We’ve weathered another hurricane season in the Tampa Bay area. It’s always a relief when we escape major damage. But even though hurricane season is over, home disasters can happen at any time. For instance, home fires increase and are more severe during the winter holiday season. Flooding, fires, wind, and water damage are also possible at any time of year.
Before you get too comfortable, in addition to making sure your Florida homeowners insurance is up to date, why not take some time to strengthen (or “harden”) your home against the most common perils of wind, water, and fire? Of course, homeowners insurance is there to help you recover from disaster, but there are things you can do to lessen the extent of the damage. When we talk about “hardening your home,” we’re referring to ways to improve your home that make it less likely to be severely damaged by a peril such as wind, water, or fire.
Now that you likely don’t have to worry about an impending hurricane, you can take your time to shop for the best prices for any home improvements you make. Some home improvements may even save you money on your homeowners insurance!
(Check with your insurance company to see if any discounts on your homeowners insurance are available when you take steps to harden your home against loss.)
Water damage is one of the most common homeowners claims, and is very costly to repair. To be covered, water damage must be “sudden and accidental”—such as a burst pipe or overflowing appliance. It can’t be due to lack of maintenance. Make sure you regularly inspect and maintain appliances and plumbing.
One great way to protect your home from water damage is to install a leak detector. By alerting you to a leak, leak detectors can keep a minor problem from becoming a major one. Some can even shut off water to your home.
What about flood damage? Coverage for flooding is not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. You’ll need a separate flood policy if you need flood coverage. Click here for a flood insurance quote.
Strong winds, not just hurricanes, can damage your roof or send debris flying into your windows. Install wind mitigation features such as storm-resistant shutters, hurricane clips, and impact-resistant windows and doors. Keep trees trimmed and make sure limbs aren’t hanging over your roof or screen enclosure.
Florida homeowners take note: Certain items used to harden your home against hurricanes—impact-resistant windows, doors and garage doors—are exempt from sales tax until June 30, 2024.
What else can you do?
We realize some of these home hardening ideas require professional installation or may be too expensive for some of our clients. There are still ways you can help protect your home. Make sure your smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Install items like deadbolt locks, surge protectors, and gutter guards. Install an alarm system. If your smoke detectors and alarm system are monitored, you may be able to get a small discount on your homeowners insurance.
(See “Fall Maintenance for Your Florida Home” for more ways to protect your home.)
Even though Florida homeowners insurance is there to protect you in case of a major loss, no one wants to go through the hassle of living through the repairs. Maintaining and upgrading these areas of your home may save you money and headaches in the future. Please call an L & M Insurance Group agent at 813-672-4100 if you need a quote for homeowners insurance. If you prefer to contact us online, please click here.
L & M Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency in Riverview, FL, and we write personal insurance such as homeowners and auto, as well as commercial auto, business insurance, and more. Please give us a chance to help you with all your insurance needs!
L & M Insurance Group is an Independent Insurance Agency based in Riverview, Florida. We can shop, compare and recommend the home, auto, commercial or life insurance policy that’s best suited for you, your family or your business. Call 813-672-4100 or visit landminsurancegroup.com for more information.