|MAY 2013 |
Statewide Condo Connection Newsletter
Hurricane Season 2013 begins June 1. Are you prepared?
Forecasters at Aon Benfield's Tropical Storm Risk are predicting an above average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, with three major hurricanes during the course of the season.
Tropical Storm Risk's Mark Saunders and Adam Lea forecast the season, which runs June 1 to Nov. 30. They see 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. A category three storm is a hurricane with sustained winds of 111 mph or stronger. The predictions are unchanged from their initial prognostication in December.
The combination of slightly weaker trade winds over the Caribbean Sea and tropical North Atlantic from July through September, along with slightly warmer sea surface temperatures during August and September, could lead to increased storm activity.
While admitting that the forecast is very uncertain, early indications researched by Saunders and Lea project a 57 percent probability the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above average.
In April, ImpactWeather came out with its prediction for 2013 saying there could be less storms this year than in 2012, but more major hurricanes. Last year saw only one major hurricane, but 19 named storms, ten of which became hurricanes.
On April 8 The Weather Channel's Weather Services International (WSI) says it too expects another active hurricane season, with 16 named storms, nine hurricanes, and five intense hurricanes expected.
We recommend you review your disaster plan and secure your procedures in the event of power outage or direct storm damage. Emergency phone numbers should be on file, including cell phone numbers and who to call list. Contact a local disaster recovery firm for planning and advice should you need them.
Statewide has connected with Servpro as a value added service to our clients. They have offered to prepare their Emergency Ready Profile, for our clients at no charge. They will meet with you, survey the buildings and grounds and provide you with the completed ERP document as a handy reference tool for emergency/disaster situations.
HOT TOPIC: General Liability - Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards
Did You Know?
- Slips and falls are the single most common reason for visits to the emergency room.
- The average cost of a slip and fall injury, including medical bills, physical therapy and missed wages, is substantial. Further, these type losses drive the increased cost of business insurance.
- Slips and falls are the number two cause of accidental death and disability, following behind automobile accidents.
Within a business or a residential community, there is a legal duty to provide a safe environment for persons who enter the place of business or property -customers, delivery persons, vendors, residents, etc. This means that if a trip hazard exists which is either known or should have been known with a reasonable inspection of the premises, there is a duty to warn and educate others about the hazard or remove/mitigate the hazard
Here are the Basic Walking Surface Standards according to ASTM F1637-10 and the Florida Building Code:
- The maximum displacement between walking surface joints is ¼"
- If the displacement is between 1/4" and 1/2", then the edge should be beveled
- The walking surface should be slip resistant
- Carpet should not be wrinkled, loose, or with holes, seams, and/or with frayed edges
- Parking lots should be smooth and even with no pot holes
- Wet floors should be marked with signage and the water or other substance cleaned up, immediately
- Parking stops should be in good condition & properly secured
- Common areas and walkways should have adequate lighting
Property should be inspected on a regular basis for any type of hazard. An inspection check sheet is available for use in identifying hazards at businesses and within communities. Just ask us for a copy you can use to control hazards in and around your property.
Citizens Property Insurance Co. - 2013 Legislative UPDATE - SB1770
On May 2nd, the Senate passed SB 1770 by a 32 to1 margin, sending the "major" property reform measure of the 2013 Florida Legislature to the Governor's desk. It is presumed Governor Scott will sign the bill. Most of the changes apply to personal lines policies. A few examples include:
- All personal lines multi-peril and wind-only risks will be required to be submitted through the Citizens Clearinghouse. Although the bill does not stipulate an effective date, it is widely believed that Citizens will try to implement the Clearinghouse by 1/1/2014.
- The 115% eligibility rule for Citizens new business will be enforced rigorously by the Clearinghouse. All personal lines renewals will also be required to be submitted through the Clearinghouse, however, the risk can only be ruled ineligible if the private carrier's quote is equal to or lower than that of Citizens (comparable coverage is still required).
- A new 48 hour holding period is created by the Clearinghouse. In other words, the applicant must be held in the Clearinghouse for 48 hours prior to being offered coverage by Citizens to provide private insurers adequate time to review the risk.
- The bill also prevents Citizens from insuring homes valued at more than $1 million. That cap gets lowered gradually until it reaches $700,000 in 2017.
- Among the bill's highlights is also a provision banning Citizens from insuring new or "substantially improved" homes in areas seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line after July 1, 2014.
- However, the bill no longer contains language related to Citizens' rates. The original Senate bill outlined a plan to require Citizens' rates to be actuarially sound for new business starting 1/01/14.
Please contact us to discuss any concerns you have about Citizens and for other property insurance options, as we have markets that compete and beat Citizens in rates and coverage features. We begin the process 120 days prior to your policy renewal date. Call us today !
FEMA - NFIP Flood - Rate Changes effective October 1, 2013
The NFIP has released their rate increases with an average increase of 10% for policies effective 10/01/2013 and later. Specific Zone rate increases are as follows:
V Zones - (Post-FIRM): 11% / V Zone (Pre-FIRM): 17%
A Zones - (A1-A30 and AE) (Post-FIRM): 6% // (Pre-FIRM):16% Zones AO/AH/AOB/AHB: 6%
Un-numbered A Zone: 8% / A99: 9%
B, C or X Zone Standard: 8%
PRP EE: 20% / PRP: 1%
In addition, The Federal Policy Fee is increasing from $20 to $22 for PRP policies and from $40 to $44 (or equivalent multiple for Residential Condominium Building Association Policies) for all other policies.
Please check your policy(s) carefully and adjust your budget accordingly to fund these increases. Please contact us to discuss your policy rating, flood zone changes, and Elevation Certificates as these all factor into the cost of the Flood insurance. Let us make sure your costs are as low and possible - send us your current declarations page(s) and elevation cert(s), for a free review.