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Flood Insurance Quotes in Kendall, FL

Anakarina Callejas, Agent

305-515-5613

10471 N Kendall Dr - #101
Miami, FL  33176
Fax : 888-237-7027

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What is Flood Insurance?

GreatFlorida Insurance can help protect your investment with a Florida flood insurance policy through the NFIP. The NFIP is administered by the U.S. Government. It was designed to lower the rising costs associated with repairing damage to property and belongings caused by flood.Florida has the largest number of participants in the NFIP. While flood insurance is backed by the government, it cannot be purchased directly but must be purchased through an insurance agent.

Who Needs Flood Insurance?

Federal law requires homeowner’s with property in flood zone areas or areas designated as high-risk have flood insurance. Depending on the location of the home, flood insurance could be required as a condition of the mortgagee. Properties in areas considered low or moderate risk are not required by federal law to have flood insurance-however, a lender can still make it a requirement. Flood insurance is available to homeowner’s and renters and is highly recommended to all living in Florida.

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can help you identify your property’s risk to assess your needs for flood insurance.

Many homeowners assume they can collect federal disaster assistance if a flood occurs but it is only offered when the president declares a major disaster which only happens in half of all flooding situations.

Why Flood Insurance is Important

The entire state of Florida lies within FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) highest designation of storm frequency, making Florida a flood zone with varying levels of risk. FEMA charts flood zones on consistently updated government maps. Flooding poses a threat to a high number of Florida homes due to the proximity to water and the high number of properties in coastal areas.

You do not have to live in a high risk flood zone to experience damage, 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from low or medium risk communities.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you select the right flood insurance whether you want to cover your structure, belongings or both.

Flooding can be caused several different ways. Hurricanes or tropical storms, an overflow of inland or tidal waters, a rapid accumulation of rain or runoff of surface waters from any source, mudflow or collapse of land or erosion can cause flooding as well as a broken water main.

It takes only inches of water in your home to cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Considering the expenses associated with repairing flood damage it makes sense to purchase flood insurance. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) the average flood insurance claim amount between 2010 and 2014 was $42,000.

  • Most flood insurance policies require a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect unless you have a new home purchase and closing is less than 30 days.
  • Flood policies must be paid in full upfront.
  • Policies are purchased for a one year term.
  • Premiums are based on the amount of coverage you desire, your deductible amount selected, your property’s flood zone risk, location and foundation type on your home.
  • Flood insurance covers the home’s foundation and its support systems as well as appliances.
  • Coverage is available for the structure and/or your belongings.
  • GreatFlorida Insurance agents can help you identify what is covered under building property coverage and personal property coverage as well as coverage for lower levels in your home such as basements and crawlspaces.
  • They can walk you through how damages are valued explaining the difference between Replacement Cost Value, RCV or Actual Cash Value, ACV and other special considerations.

Contact your local GreatFlorida Insurance agent for the best Flood Insurance rates in Florida.

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Florida Flood  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/17/2018

Hurricane Michael was the 3rd most powerful storm to hit the U.S. The storm quickly escalated to a category 4 hurricane, making it the worst in almost a century. National Geographic reports, Michael had the three most critical characteristics for a hurricane to gain strength and make a big impact. Those include, warm waters, low wind shear (a change in wind speed or direction in a short distance) and a tight core, keeping the storm intact.

“In a span of 48 hours we watched the tropical storm grow to a worst-case scenario,” recounts Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance company.

While it has been a week since Michael made landfall, the impact was so devastating, crews are still searching for survivors in the hardest hit areas. Hundreds remain in shelters and over 100,000 are still without power. Many are dependent on food and water being air dropped to their areas. Bay county schools are closed indefinitely for over 26,000 students. Cell phone service is spotty, and it is difficult to fill a gas tank. To support victims, Verizon announced it would give a three-month credit to every Verizon customer in Bay and Gulf counties.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has established a website, floridadisaster.org, for storm victims, as an information hub. The website includes a list of open shelters, instructions on how to apply for disaster assistance, emergency supply distribution locations, updated curfews for each county, family reunification, boil water notices, debris reporting, insurance resources, available gas stations, power outage details, school closures, traffic, weather, a list of open camping areas, rumor control and more.

“At GreatFlorida Insurance, we are making every effort to provide our customers with a quick response so they can piece their lives back together,” says Ellsworth Buck Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance company.

Gov. Rick Scott, issued an emergency order that ensures additional protections to Florida insurance policy holders. According to the Insurance Journal, the order requires that insurers perform the following.

  • Freeze any rate hikes for 90 days.
  • Provide an additional 90 days to policyholders to supply required information to their insurance company.
  • Rescind for 90 days, all non-renewals or cancellations issued to policyholders in the days leading up to Hurricane Michael. This gives policyholders 90 days to either renew their insurance policy or find a new insurance policy.

For those interested in helping financially, Charity Navigator has highly rated the following charities. They will help by providing food, shelter, medical care and other necessities to victims of the storm.

Team Rubicon, https://teamrubiconusa.org

Samaritan’s Purse, https://www.samaritanspurse.org

All Hands and Hearts- Smart Response, https://www.allhandsandhearts.org/programs/hurricane-michael-relief/

Direct Relief, https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/hurricane-michael/

Many good Samaritans have packed up trucks with food and supplies to come and aid storm victims utilizing their own resources.

The post Hurricane Michael- What is being done? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/9/2018

Driving in the rain is stress inducing.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it is more dangerous to drive on a rainy day than a snowy one. Most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement-70 percent and during rainfall-46 percent.

“Sometimes rain seems like no big deal, but it’s a good idea to follow safe driving techniques when driving in inclement weather,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

Slow down and keep calm

When the weather takes a turn for the worst and you must get behind the wheel, make sure you are alert and attentive. Reduce distractions. Also, even if it is raining during the day, it is a good idea to turn on your headlights to increase visibility. Keep your pace slow and steady. Leave plenty of extra space between you and the car in front of you, five seconds is advised.

Avoid hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is the biggest risk to driving on wet pavement. It occurs when a layer of too much water gets between the road and your tire, preventing the tire’s tread to properly grip the road.

“Rotating your tires and maintaining proper tire pressure will keep you tires it good condition, this helps prevent hydroplaning,” reminds says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

To prevent hydroplaning, avoid the outer lanes of the road where excess water accumulates.  Also, drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. Another word of caution, turn-off cruise control. Cruise control causes you to lose control on wet surfaces. If you hydroplane while in cruise control, your car will accelerate.

Popular Mechanics recommends, “If you start to hydroplane, keep both hands on the steering wheel and gradually apply the brakes. Slamming on the brakes or jerking the wheel can cause a skid.”

Water and wind

Keep a firm grip on the wheel if it is windy.  Be aware of vehicles around you, larger vehicles are more susceptible to high winds and could have trouble staying in their lane.

When it comes to standing water, avoid driving through a puddle with an unknown depth. If you are confident the puddle is only and couple of inches, slow down before coming to it and do not brake until you drive out of it.

Motorcycles

For those riding on motorcycles, be sure to wear proper gear especially for your feet and hands. Likewise, invest in a clear, anti-fog faceshield or goggles.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers reliable and affordable car insurance as well as motorcycle insurance. Contact us today!

The post Avoid driving like a maniac in bad weather appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
9/27/2018

“Hurricanes and floods can endanger lives, economic viability and entire communities,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Seeing the destruction Hurricane Florence left behind in the Carolinas, is a heartbreaking reminder of the importance of flood insurance.  According to data from Pew Charitable Trusts, between 2000-2017, flood related disasters accounted for more than $750 billion in losses in the U.S. Flood related disasters are the most common and most expensive disaster threat in the nation.

Pew Charitable Trusts also reports, when Hurricane Irma hit Florida last year, 14 percent of the 3.3 million households in the nine counties affected by the disaster had flood insurance. Leaving many Florida residents to come out-of-pocket for repairs and expenses.

“Most homeowners are unaware of the natural disasters covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s principal independent homeowners insurance agency.

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers natural disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes and hail storms. Two natural disaster categories a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover are floods and earth movements.

Floods are defined as rising water from excessive rainfall, hurricanes, storm surge, dam failure and a tsunami. Earth movements include earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes.

A homeowner might have a hurricane deductible included on their homeowners insurance, however it will not cover the flooding caused by a nearby lake that overflows during a hurricane. Experts with CNBC say a hurricane deductible typically ranges from one to five percent, depending on the specifics on your homeowners insurance policy. The percentage is based on your insured value, not the damage caused.

Flood insurance is available with GreatFlorida Insurance, through the National Flood Insurance Program. Also, additional disaster coverage is available for addition to a standard homeowners policy. Do not wait until the report of a storm is looming. It takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect.

The post Understanding flood insurance appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/9/2018

“Being on the water, provides a sense of calm and clarity,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

In his book, Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, explains that being on, in or near the water improves creativity, emotional health and relaxation. It can also heal the mind and body.

In the book, he describes the state of a “red mind” and its antidote, a “blue mind.” A red mind is characterized by stress, anxiety and fear, whereas a blue mind is described as calm, peaceful and happy. A blue mind can be achieved by being in, near, on, under or around water. Such as being on a boat. He describes to Discover Boating, that a blue mind, gives our minds a break, it helps us to disconnect from tech and connect with our thoughts and insights as well as with other people.

Research shows walking on the beach, hanging out at the lake or even taking a dip in the pool can calm you down while sparking creativity. He shares with Huffington Post some additional benefits to being around water.

Water gives our brains a rest.

Water can induce a meditative state.

Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.

Exercise by or in water is good for our brains and our bodies.

“These findings explain why we feel so much joy when boating,” observes Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Boat rental website, Carefree Boat Club, explains that boating allows you to create bonding experiences and enjoy memories with family and friends. They report, according to studies, boaters respond to stress or stressful situations in a manner better than non-boaters.

So, the next time you are debating that fishing trip or all-day outing at the beach, remember, it can benefit your health, body and mind.

The post Can Boating Help Us Be Our Better Selves? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/12/2018

“Fishing, tourism and public health are vulnerable to algae this year in Florida”, observes Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance company.

Red Tide

A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. You might recognize red tide on the beach. It looks like thick mats of smelly, brown, seaweed and covers beaches along Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Red Tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher than normal concentrations of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports some red tide produces toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals and birds. In humans, the toxin can become airborne and varying levels of eye and respiratory irritation can occur, becoming more severe for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Even touching the bloom can cause a rash.  MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium issues daily beach conditions from beaches along the Southwest coast and along the panhandle. Try checking their website before you head out for the day.

Toxic Algae Bloom

Red tide is not the only algae growing in Florida. Two years ago, some Florida waterways and beaches were afflicted by what many described as a green, slimy, rancid- smelling algae. Well…it’s back. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports the blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria, typically develops in nutrient-rich lakes that contain high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen. High temperatures, warm water and abundant sunlight create ideal conditions for the toxic blooms to thrive.

Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie estuary are filled with the toxic algae as it continues to spread to Cape Coral and Ft. Myers. “Just cleaning up the water will not help, points out Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency. Both red tide and the blue-green algae are exacerbated by fertilizers and other pollution fed by runoff from the surrounding land.

The blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, nausea, respiratory issues, cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Long term conditions include; liver, kidney and nervous system damage.

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this week for seven counties around the lake to give state environmental and tourism agencies more resources to respond to problems caused by the algae. The order also authorizes flushing water south of the lake instead of down the rivers that run to the coasts.

The post Algae Plagues Florida Beaches and Waterways appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
6/6/2018

Following the devastation of last year’s hurricane season, lawmakers promised many changes. However, as this year’s storm season begins, only a few changes are on the books.

“After billions in damages, most Floridians were expecting to see more changes this hurricane season,” comments Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

According to the Associated Press, “The Florida House of Representative’s Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness issued 78 recommendations over the past year, with 27 being acted upon, mostly as appropriations in the state budget.”

The few substantial changes made include, ensuring nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a supply of generators and three days of fuel. Also, the creation of a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday occurring now through June 7. Certain storm supplies are tax exempt, such as: flashlights, batteries, candles, reusable ice packs, fuel containers, ratchet straps and portable generators.

Preparedness is essential, but understanding risk is also important. “As we head into hurricane season, know your homeowners insurance deductible and limits. You want to be insured for your home’s replacement costs,” reminds Buck of GreatFlorida Insurance.

Most homeowners insurance cover hurricane wind damage, but not flood damage. Flood insurance is separate from your homeowners coverage. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials advise everyone with a home in Florida to get flood insurance, despite what a flood map might say.

To improve the publics knowledge of risk, the National Hurricane Center is making improvements in forecasting. New public advisories will better help communicate danger, especially those in an evacuation zone. Adjustments are being made to official hurricane track maps. Experimental wind maps will become official. And advisories will include potential impacts further in advance.

Access to fuel and transportation presented a real problem for those trying to evacuate. In order to ease congestion, a promise to identify larger gas stations along evacuation routes and improved fuel delivery to those areas.

Insurance is designed to help people rebuild their lives. GreatFlorida Insurance can help protect your home with a Florida flood insurance policy provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. We also offer homeowners insurance and rental insurance. Check us out online today.

 

 

 

 

The post Changes this hurricane season appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
5/23/2018

A sink hole is growing on the North Lawn of the White House. We will resist the temptation for commentary and jokes.

“Sinkholes are nothing new to Floridians,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowner insurance provider.

However, concerning experts, are the recent heavy rains throughout the state, that may lead to additional sinkholes. Such as the ones in The Villages or the more than a dozen that opened in an Ocala neighborhood earlier this month.

Speaking to a local news agency, Dr. Anthony Randazzo, professor at the University of Florida calls the stretch of land between Tallahassee and I-4 through Central Florida, “sinkhole alley.”

Dr. Randazzo says last year’s Hurricane Irma is responsible for over 400 sinkholes. Recent heavy rainfall is exacerbating the problem.

Sinkholes occur in Florida so often because the peninsula is made up of porous rocks such as limestone or sandstone, which can dissolve over time as they interact with acid naturally occurring in rainwater, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

So, what happens if a sinkhole develops near or on your property? Florida law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse.

“However, sinkhole damage must meet specific criteria and may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.  “The law defines sinkhole damage differently from catastrophic ground cover collapse. Sinkhole coverage is available to add to a homeowner’s policy for an additional cost.”

Florida homes do not require inspection for the possibility of sinkholes. Also, most builders do not have them inspected, because of the additional expense. It is impossible to predict when and where the exact location of a sinkhole might develop.

Only a licensed, professional geologist with training in identifying sinkholes, might be able to determine the possibility of sinkhole activity. It is important to keep in mind, not all potential sinkhole activity can be identified.

As a protection to buyers, home sellers are required to disclose when a sinkhole claim was made on a piece of property and the amount that was paid to repair the damages.

You can call the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at 850-245-2118, with a sinkhole question.

The post Heavy Rain Responsible for Sinkholes appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.