Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Posts Tagged ‘contractor in palm beach county’

Preparations for your Pet

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on June 20, 2014

Preparations for your Pet

* Have your pet micro chipped, so they can be identified if they go missing.

* Get your pets acclimated to a locking crate or carrier. Just leave it out and open so they can freely go in and out to get comfortable with it.

* Do not leave your pet behind and alone, they may find a way to get out and run away.

* Evacuations may last longer than a day so make sure to be prepared for a week or two if needed with their food and toys.

* Most public shelters do not allow pets. Make sure to find a pet friendly shelter and call ahead to be sure.

* Some hotels will slow pets for a storm, again always call ahead.

* Your vet or animal shelter may take in pets on a list prior to a storm coming, call and find out what steps you would need to do to get on that list.

* Be attentive to your pet even after a storm blows through. Streets and yards may be flooded and full of debris. Nails, wood, glass and other objects can injury your pet and yourself.

* It is easy for animal to become disorientated, and there will be lots of unusual smells and thing t o explore that may be hazardous to them. Down power lines, puddles and other things could harm them and your self, so pay attention when going for walks.

* Be aware of wild animals running loose looking for dry land or food, from raccoons to snakes to other creatures finding their way into your home.

No matter what the case may be, always be prepared. Your home your family and your pets.

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Insurance: Filing an insurance claim

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on May 6, 2014

Insurance: Filing an insurance claimTake photos or video of your home to document your belongings for insurance adjusters. A free computer software program, http://www.insurancevault.net , will walk you through what are the key images to take. Make sure images are easily accessible immediately after the hurricane — not solely stored on a computer.

Save copies of receipts, purchase dates, serial numbers.

Start a disaster savings account so that money is available in a worst-case scenario.
Write down the name, address and claims telephone number of your insurance company, which may differ from your agent’s contact information.

Keep this information in a safe place and have access to it if you have to evacuate.

Keep materials such as plywood on hand in case you make temporary repairs after a storm. Take photos of the damage before you make repairs. Keep receipts from your repairs so that your insurance company has documentation to reimburse you.

Document any repairs you make to your house after previous hurricanes. If you don’t, and suffer new damage in the same place, an insurance company could dispute that you ever used the money they paid you to make repairs.

Search for:

Storm 2014

Interactive tracking map

– See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/eyeonthestorm/before-the-storm/insurance-claims-inspections-adjusters/#sthash.wNEIqCG1.dpuf

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What are you going to do with your tax return?

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 15, 2014

What are you going to do with your tax return?

Cat 5 Shutters LLC is located in the heart of Palm Beach County. We have shutters for every type of budget.  For safety during hurricane season and a peace of mind.

Our Hurricane shutters are available in a wide array of styles, colors, and will add value to your home. So the question is what are you spending you tax return money on.. why not invest in your home.

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Hurricane Hunters get new equipment

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on March 24, 2014

Hurricane Hunters get new equipmentKeesler Air Force Base’s 10 WC-130J aircraft, known as the Hurricane Hunters, are being equipped with commercial Iridium satellite phone systems through Lockheed Martin. Keesler chief meteorologist Lt. Col. Jon Talbot told The Sun Herald the new system will allow for direct communication with both the air traffic control and National Hurricane Center.
“The problem we were facing was when we’d do the hurricane flying, we’re out there in the middle of the ocean in places we can’t communicate with air traffic control guys and they can’t talk to us.
“We tend to fly fairly low and a lot of times we’re not in their radar coverage, so they can’t see us and they can’t talk to us because we’re too low and all this stuff is line of sight,” Talbot said.
Talbot said the Hurricane Hunters often need to clearance to venture into a specific region to ensure another aircraft isn’t near, but can’t because their communication has failed.
He said it’s not uncommon for Hurricane Hunters to relay messages to control towers through other aircraft in the area.
“We would talk to a lot of the commercial airliners, or whoever is out there flying, and their pilots would relay the information. That’s a normal thing that happens all the time. That’s the way we typically had been doing it, but some places there is no one else out there flying or we’re out there at 2 a.m.,” Talbot said.
The new system will be a backup to the traditional radio communications, but it will ensure the line of communication isn’t severed during a mission.
Talbot said Lockheed Martin equipped the first of 10 WC-130Js last fall and ran tests to assure the new system wouldn’t interfere with existing equipment. He said Lockheed workers will arrive at Keesler in April to install the system on the remaining aircraft.
Hurricane season begins June 1.

So make sure your home is ready for the upcoming hurricane season. Contact CAT 5 Shutters LLC toll free at 1-877-cat-five or visit us on the web at www.cat5shutters.net. We offer free estimates and have a wide variety of hurricane products to fit any budget.

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Homeowners Insurance

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on March 11, 2014

Homeowners InsuranceGet a list of discountsInsurance companies offer discounts to homeowners for improvements that make their homes a better risk. These include safety features such as indoor sprinklers, smoke detectors and dead bolt locks. Discount programs change frequently, and we can’t list all the possible discounts here. If you haven’t spoken to your agent within the past year or you’ve made a major home improvement, you may be missing out on significant discounts.

Raising your deductible—the portion of a claim that comes out of your pocket—is the easiest way to cut your insurance cost. Bumping your deductible from $500 to $1,000 can save you up to 25 percent on your premium. Raising it to $2,500 can save you 30 percent, and raising it to $5,000 can save you 35 percent or more. The downside, of course, is that you’ll be stuck with a bigger bill if you file a claim. But consider this: If you raise your deductible from $500 to $2,500 and your premium decreases by $500 a year, your savings will cover the deductible increase in four years. If you put those savings aside, you’ll have a cash cushion to pay the higher deductible. And after the first four years, you’ll save $500 every year without any extra financial risk. DIYers can often offset the impact of a higher deductible by doing part of a repair project themselves.

Replace washer hoses.Washing machine hoses that leak or even burst are a common cause of water damage. Some insurance companies offer a discount of up to 10 percent on your premiums if you replace the rubber hoses on your washing machine with no-burst stainless steel hoses (available at home centers and hardware stores). In 10 minutes, you could save five times the cost of the hoses on your next bill, but this is a smart move even if your insurer doesn’t offer a discount.

Drop additional structures coverageMost insurers assume your house isn’t the only building on your property. If you don’t have a stand-alone shed, garage or other structure on your property, remove this coverage and save yourself 5 percent.

Inform your agent about upgradesInsurance companies like to insure homes with newer plumbing and electrical systems as well as burglar alarms and sprinkler systems because these features reduce the risk of fire and water damage. If you make upgrades to any of these systems in an older home, let your insurance agent know. One homeowner we spoke with called her insurance agent to report some recent plumbing upgrades, and after a 15-minute conversation, the agent raised her overall coverage by $50,000 and reduced her annual premium by $400.

Think twice before filing a claimEvery time you file a claim, you risk higher insurance rates in the future. So in the long run, filing a claim can cost you more than you receive in a payout. Paying for a smaller loss yourself will almost always cost less than the premium increase you’ll face later. A good rule of thumb is don’t file a claim if it’s worth less than $1,000 over your deductible. Statistically, if you file two claims in a three-year period, or make claims related to maintenance issues such as a chronic leak or some missing shingles, you risk triggering a rate hike or worse. Your insurance company may even drop you completely. Just inquiring about a claim (without even filing it!) could raise your rates.

Make automatic payments.Many insurance companies will discount your premium 2 percent if you pay your premiums by “automatic withdrawal” from a bank account.

Beef up your garage door.Strong winds often wreck garage doors. So a tougher door might cut your premiums by 10 percent. You have two options: Install a new hurricane-resistant garage door, or use a retrofit kit with horizontal and vertical bracing to strengthen the existing door. A retrofit solution for a double-door garage can be ordered online or special-ordered from a home center. If you have a $1,000 premium, your payback would be about five

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Quality Job by CAT 5 Shutters- Florida Keys

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 14, 2014

Quality Job by CAT 5 Shutters- Florida KeysCat 5 Shutters LLC is especially proud to offer the most advanced Hurricane Protection systems on the market today. Available in a wide array of designer styles and colors our easy to use hurricane shutters will add value to your property! Hurricane Protection, Hurricane Shutters, Storm Shutters, Window Shutters or Accordion Hurricane Shutters, whatever you call them we can do them. Below are some of the products we offer, take a look and let us know what we can do for you.

Accordion Shutters: Our Accordion Shutter system is one of the strongest in the industry, the blades in the open position only take up one inch per foot including uni-mate. We are the Manufacturer & Installer!

Bahama Shutters: Bahama shutters provide storm protection as well as sun protection. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Colonial Shutters: Provide storm protection as well as cosmetic enhancement. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Roll Down Hurricane Shutters: Are the most convenient and easiest system to operate. Roll down shutters will reduce your Air Conditioning costs and lower noise by up to 70% They also will protect your furniture’s exposure to direct sunlight. Available in Clear, White, Ivory Beige and Bronze.

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters: Inexpensive hurricane protection. These steel or aluminum shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. There are several styles of storm panels to choose from.

Roll Down Hurricane Screens: Fabric Based Hurricane Protection With Storm Catcher Roll Down Screen. Enjoy incredibly effective hurricane protection and the convenience of an electronically controlled or manually operated rolling hurricane screen system.

Stainless Steel Screens: Energy Savings and protection. Fort Security Storm & Door Systems will save you money on your electric bill on the window exposed to the sun. You may also be entitled to a discount from your insurance company. We are the first in the industry to pass the tough Dade County hurricane protocol. Offering 24/7 protection, no more worries for the last minute installation rush of cumbersome, heavy sharp edged or clear hurricane storm panels as the hurricane approaches.

Garage Door Braces: High quality aircraft grade aluminum. Lightweight (14 lbs). Incredibly strong. Telescoping design. Fits garage doors up to 8′ tall. 5 minute install. Even with shutters, if your garage door fails, the full force of the hurricane will enter your home and could possibly blow off your roof or otherwise seriously damage your home.

We do work in the following cities throughout Monroe County:  150 Velencia, Islamorada FL

Plantation Key, Islamorada, Key Largo, Ocean Reef, Tavernier, Marathon, Long Key, Cudjoe Key and Big Pine Key.

Here is another quality job done by CAT 5 Shutters:

Drive by any of our jobs we have done and take a look! If you would like to see a quality CAT 5 Shutter job in your area contact us and we will be happy to give you references. Once you see our quality work feel free give us a call to schedule your free estimate for your hurricane protection needs. Call toll free at 1-800-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at http://www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com.

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Qaulity Jobs By CAT 5 Shutters

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 14, 2014

Qaulity Jobs By CAT 5 ShuttersCat 5 Shutters LLC is especially proud to offer the most advanced Hurricane Protection systems on the market today. Available in a wide array of designer styles and colors our easy to use hurricane shutters will add value to your property! Hurricane Protection, Hurricane Shutters, Storm Shutters, Window Shutters or Accordion Hurricane Shutters, whatever you call them we can do them. Below are some of the products we offer, take a look and let us know what we can do for you.

Accordion Shutters: Our Accordion Shutter system is one of the strongest in the industry, the blades in the open position only take up one inch per foot including uni-mate. We are the Manufacturer & Installer!

Bahama Shutters: Bahama shutters provide storm protection as well as sun protection. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Colonial Shutters: Provide storm protection as well as cosmetic enhancement. Available in three types from lightweight to Heavy Hurricane approved.

Roll Down Hurricane Shutters: Are the most convenient and easiest system to operate. Roll down shutters will reduce your Air Conditioning costs and lower noise by up to 70% They also will protect your furniture’s exposure to direct sunlight. Available in Clear, White, Ivory Beige and Bronze.

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters: Inexpensive hurricane protection. These steel or aluminum shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. There are several styles of storm panels to choose from.

Roll Down Hurricane Screens: Fabric Based Hurricane Protection With Storm Catcher Roll Down Screen. Enjoy incredibly effective hurricane protection and the convenience of an electronically controlled or manually operated rolling hurricane screen system.

Stainless Steel Screens: Energy Savings and protection. Fort Security Storm & Door Systems will save you money on your electric bill on the window exposed to the sun. You may also be entitled to a discount from your insurance company. We are the first in the industry to pass the tough Dade County hurricane protocol. Offering 24/7 protection, no more worries for the last minute installation rush of cumbersome, heavy sharp edged or clear hurricane storm panels as the hurricane approaches.

Garage Door Braces: High quality aircraft grade aluminum. Lightweight (14 lbs). Incredibly strong. Telescoping design. Fits garage doors up to 8′ tall. 5 minute install. Even with shutters, if your garage door fails, the full force of the hurricane will enter your home and could possibly blow off your roof or otherwise seriously damage your home.

We do work in the following cities throughout Palm Beach County:

Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach
Glen Ridge, Golf, Greenacres, Golf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Hypoluxo, Juno Beach, Jupiter,
Jupiter Inlet Colony, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Loxahatchee Groves
North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Mangonia Park, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Pahokee, Palm Springs
Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Shores, South Bay, South Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and
West Palm Beach .

Here is another quality job done by CAT 5 Shutters:  187 Mulberry Grove Rd. Royal Palm Beach

Drive by any of our jobs we have done and take a look! If you would like to see a quality CAT 5 Shutter job in your area contact us and we will be happy to give you references. Once you see our quality work feel free give us a call to schedule your free estimate for your hurricane protection needs. Call toll free at 1-800-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at http://www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com.

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Make sure your business is prepared

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 14, 2014

Make sure your business is preparedLess than two years after starting a wholesale and retail footwear business, Kyle Berner saw his entrepreneurial dreams come to a screeching halt.

The April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a delayed shipment of about 10,000 pairs of flip-flops he was planning to package and ship to customers ahead of the busy summer season. Though the items had already been paid for by the customers, the hold-up lasted six weeks—and by then his customers weren’t interested in reordering his company’s eco-friendly flip-flops, as they had the previous spring.

“We were in trouble of actually going out of business because we didn’t have any cash reserves,” says Mr. Berner, 32 years old, who juggled odd jobs before founding Feelgoodz in New Orleans in 2008.

To salvage the situation, he quickly signed up with daily-deal website Groupon GRPN -1.28% to run a three-day sale of his flip-flops for 50% off. While the stunt didn’t net him a profit, it did generate enough cash for his business to make a loan payment on time.

If he could do things over again, Mr. Berner says he would account for extra working capital when raising start-up funds.

“We would’ve made sure we had a miscellaneous pad of cash for the unknown,” he says, adding that he now stashes away enough money to cover about three months’ worth of business expenses. “You just never know what life will toss your way.”

Taking “what if” precautions may not seem urgent or even necessary if you’re an entrepreneur just starting out. But it can be wise to set aside some funds and plan ahead in other ways in case a calamity strikes. Just one tragic event could set a new venture back several months or even destroy it for good.

Roughly 25% of small businesses fail to reopen after a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Protecting a new venture from the threat of an unexpected fiasco doesn’t require a lot of money or hard work, says Gail Moraton, business-resiliency manager for the Tampa-based nonprofit.

For starters, she recommends writing up a set of instructions describing exactly how your business functions, including who is responsible for doing each task, security passwords and contact information for key vendors. Then store it in a safe place outside of the office that you and your management team can easily access if necessary.

“It’s about having all this information available because when a disaster hits, you’re not going to remember all of these things,” she says.

Meanwhile, begin building a cash safety net to cover short-term expenses, such as a few months’ worth of payroll and supplier fees, says Dennis Ceru, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. This could help you keep your business going while you wait for things to get back to normal following an unforeseen event that temporarily puts your operations on hold.

Taking this step also could help you avoid a disruption should a key vendor or customer suffer from a disaster—preventing you from receiving the inventory or income you rely on. In fact, you might want to ask your prospective business partners if they have a business-continuity plan before agreeing to team up with them on any major projects, adds Ms. Moraton.

As for insurance, your business may be required by law to purchase a certain amount of protection, such as if you’re located in an area prone to flooding or tornados. But don’t assume this will cover you for other potential hazards or that once you’ve taken out a policy, you’re in good hands for the long haul.

“You have to understand what your insurance covers and what it excludes,” says Mr. Ceru. “You always want to have at least an annual review of your coverage, especially if you’re a start-up, because you may quickly exceed the initial coverage as your business grows larger.”

Finally, keep in mind that disaster takes many forms.

Zachary Rose of New York lost tens of thousands of dollars last year when an employee stole critical paperwork from his lead-certification-training business.

He says he wishes he had the $2,000-a-year insurance policy that he’s since taken out to protect his firm from any damages caused by dishonest employee behavior. The business-continuity coverage also includes losses due to other calamities, such as fires, power outages and natural disasters, he says.

Mr. Rose, 31 years old, founded Green Education Services in 2009 after getting laid off from an architecture firm.

In the beginning, “I didn’t really have any money at all, so to look into policies like this wasn’t something that even crossed my mind,” he says, adding that the incident also required him to spend several weeks making sure his students’ certifications weren’t compromised.

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Lining up your contractors

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 8, 2014

Lining up your contractorsLicensed, insured, and in business.

Professional licensing is a means by which the state of Florida regulates professionals who can cause harm through the malpractice and misconduct of their trades. Some of the diverse professionals regulated by professional licensing are CPAs, realtors, architects, and contractors. Many construction tradespeople are regulated because their work, if performed incorrectly, can cause fire, flood, and collapse. But, because not every construction tradesperson requires a professional license, verifying his or her compliancy with these laws is a two-step process. First, you need to determine if the contractor’s trade is regulated by licensing. Second, if licensing is required, you need to verify that the contractor’s license is current and active. This information is readily available in the database maintained by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). To help ensure that you navigate to the state website, use the words “State of” in your search term. For example, the search terms “State of Florida DBPR” and “State of Florida contractor licensing” will prioritize DBPR as a search return. Once you navigate to DBPR’s website, you will see a link titled “Verify a License.” To determine what trades are regulated by professional licensing, click the dropdown menu under “License Type.” If a contractor requires licensing, you can then enter his or her name into the database to determine the license status. License complaints can also be viewed. Contractor insurance can also protect you from the harm that can befall you from unqualified practitioners. In construction, workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance are essential. A major difference between the two is that workers’ compensation covers the employees of a company while general liability covers the public affected by a company’s operation. In addition to personal injury, property damage may also be covered in a general liability policy. Because both types of claims can be costly, you must verify that a contractor has insurance and that the policy limits and terms are acceptable. Analysis of policies is best handled by your insurance agent, who will understand your business circumstances, as well as the complexities of insurance. But, you may want to perform some preliminary research before the experts step in. Using the Internet, you can verify a contractor’s workers’ compensation coverage with Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. Authorized workers’ compensation exemptions can also be verified. This information is contained in a database that is readily marked and easy to use. To reach the state website, use a concise and accurate search term such as “State of Florida Worker’s Compensation.”

In contrast to workers’ compensation information that you can access through state government sources, you will need to verify the contractor’s general liability coverage with his or her insurance agent. You must request that the contractor have his or her agent mail you a certificate of insurance. This certificate contains important information about policy limits and special conditions, and it must be reviewed by your agent to ensure that you are adequately protected. For example, your agent can request that the certificate show if there are any exclusions, such as property damage, under the products/completed operations coverage form, as well as any exclusions related to uniquely hazardous construction activities, such as demolition. Your agent should explain the benefits of being listed as an “additional insured.” Although the government websites provides sound information about contractor insurance, frequent and comprehensive communication with your agent is essential.

Florida’s Secretary of State office has the important role of maintaining records. The Division of Corporations is a division with this office, and it maintains a business’s filings. The types of business entities include corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and sole proprietors doing business under an assumed, fictitious name. Because it is highly recommended that you contract with a business, in contrast to a person, you should ensure that the contractor’s company is in good standing with the state. In addition to verifying that the company is active, you can also view the date of registration to determine how long the company has been in business. Officers, directors, and registered agents are listed here.

Because owning a business and successfully running it are two separate matters, you may find the information held at the Building Departments useful. Building Departments are the state’s first line of defense against unlicensed and non-code-compliant work. Not only can the Building Department help you determine if a contractor meets the state’s requirements for licensing and insurance, it may also maintain a permit database that show the contractor’s customers and the inspection results. The Building Department may also have the blueprints and site plans used to construct your facility. If you are planning to alter your existing building, these documents may be helpful.

Qualifications and character

In addition to confirming that the contractor meets Florida’s requirements for contracting, it is also important that he or she meet certain standards of personal integrity. This is especially important when there are no state licensing and insurance regulations in place for the contractor’s trade. For example, Florida’s DBPR does not issue professional licenses to painters, flooring installers, and other tradesmen. Although referrals and references are essential (because you want an experienced contractor with a successful track record,) legal records can provide insight into a person’s possible criminal and civil offenses, such as fraud, drug abuse, and theft.
The Clerk of Court Office is the government office that performs court-related duties, such as the docketing and maintaining of civil and criminal records. Documents such as deeds, tax warrants, and claims of lien may also be recorded by the clerk’s office or at a separate office, such as the recorder’s or comptroller’s office. To get a general impression about a contractor’s legal history, you can read the docket entries, if records exist. To do a comprehensive search, look for records in the counties where the contractor works, lives, and maintains an office. You should also search using the contractor’s personal name and business name. When reviewing any legal information, strive for fairness and accuracy. Because legal information is often complex, you may want to seek counsel from an attorney.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

As with any undertaking, preparedness improves your chances of success. When you are prepared, you can act purposefully and in a timely manner. Without forethought, your efforts are likely to be inefficient and can waste time and money. Finding qualified contractors to repair or remodel your building is a focused process that takes time to do properly. It is not a task to undertake when an emergency is at hand. With qualified contractors ready to go and an inclusive scope of work to guide them, your projects are more likely to be done correctly, on time, and on budget, even following a disaster.

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Hurricane Shutters is a solid investment

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 6, 2014

Hurricane Shutters is a solid investmentFloridians trying to save money on their home insurance premiums can guard against hurricanes at the same time. If you don’t have hurricane shutters installed yet, now is the perfect time. Insurance Claim Guides provides an excellent review why it is important to have hurricane shutters installed. If you have questions about types of hurricane shutters or looking to get a quick feedback, contact Cat 5 Shutters, professional installer of hurricane shutters in South Florida.

For coastal residents in areas hit by hurricanes (the “wind zone”), it is hard to tell what insurance companies want from you when it comes to protecting your home with shutters. If you are in a hurricane zone and do not yet have shutters on your home yet, you may want to consider doing them soon.

Mandated Shutter InstallationIn Florida’s designated “wind zone” (nearly all of its entire coast) all homes over $300,000.00 in value must add shutters to any home improvement project that requires a permit as required by state law. For these same beleaguered home owners, the state sponsored Citizens Property Insurance (the largest insurer for these targeted homes) will deny any storm-related claims if shutters are not installed. Homeowners in Florida got the message loud and clear and obtained permits to add shutters. As a result of these measures, 700,000 Florida residents installed shutters and were qualified for a generous “wind-mitigation” insurance discount by installing high quality window shutters. Owners received up to $5000.00 in annual premium savings by protecting their homes with shutters that perhaps set them back about $10,000 to $25,000 dollars. The added protection plus the generous insurance premium discount allowed these Florida residents to feel they were making a safe investment. It really made sense at the time.

“Too many coastal residents are protecting their homes with shutters!”

(Yes, you read that right) Insurance companies, feeling pillaged by the number of wind-mitigation discount customers, despite a major hurricane not occurring for going on six years, are now claiming they are having financial difficulties. Should another major hurricane hit the region, well, there might not be money to pay out because too many people are getting their wind mitigation discounts, so insurance providers claim. Huh? Insurance companies will NOT pay storm claims if residents DON’T have shutters but CAN’T afford the very program they sponsor to make installation of them possible for thousands of home owners. Insurance Companies Make Money First, Protect Homes Second To mitigate financial damage to the company as a result of 700,000 homeowners mitigating damage to their homes during a hurricane, insurers cancelled thousands of higher-risk policies. And they increased insurance premiums, in some cases over 40%, to cover the $700 million in credits they applied to wind-mitigation discounts, which also included credit for roof improvements as well. And, to add insult to injury, insurance companies are now discussing drastically reducing the very credit that enabled a homeowner to invest thousands of dollars into their homes.

By reducing the wind-mitigation credit on homeowner policies, homeowner may not install the best protection and instead choose the minimum needed to gain a discount. Which, in turn, might not be good enough for a hurricane but who cares – the damage from a blown in window or a bad roof that flew off is covered, anyway, right? The State of Florida “shutters” at the thought of a repeat of 2005 hurricane season In 2005, Florida homeowners were paid $36 billion dollars’ worth of claims in the aftermath of eight major storms. The existing insurance coverage debacle threatens the very economy of the state should just one major hurricane hit. There are subsides of “up to $2500” to home owners available through Florida’s My Safe Home program, should the shutter installation requirement be extended to existing homes to help afford them. However, $2500 would generally buy very temporary, poor quality window protection, according to FLASH, a non-profit disaster protection agency in Florida, thus, would cost more than it would help in an extreme tropical storm situation.

What’s a Homeowner in hurricane regions to do about shutter protection? As it stands now, homeowners who are not seeking permits for home construction are not required to install shutters. That being said, without shutters, it is left up to the interpretation of the insurer to decide if appropriate and prudent measures were taken to secure the home given it is located in an area where hurricanes are known to cause damage. Just because good quality shutters are not required doesn’t mean they are not a good investment to protect your home! Should you invest in shutters?

Consider the following:

Strongly consider budgeting in other recommended storm protection measures such as roof improvements (get an expert opinion!) if you plan to go ahead with shutters. If your roof blows off, then the money spent on shutters would be wasted.
Review your homeowner’s policy for premium discounts for wind-mitigation – understand the requirements, what should be inspected and how to submit the claim for a reduction in your premiums.
 Know exactly what your policy (policies) cover and doesn’t cover in storm/flood/wind situations and evaluate if time/money spent on such improvements make sense Investigate any state programs that offer subsidies or tax incentives for home improvements and follow the guidelines so you are eligible to benefit.
Before making a final decision, speak with local disaster-relief agencies, neighbors or others who have been through a hurricane in your area and get advice specific to your location. Your neighborhood might be protected from the wind but has issues with flooding whereas a mile down the road, it is the exact opposite.
 Prioritize improvements to best protect your property! Document, document, document! Should a storm hit, have your paperwork ready to prove you spent money to protect your home and be sure your policy is able to completely replace any improvements you make.

Contact CAT 5 Shutters, LLC for all your hurricane protection needs. Call us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com. We offer free estimates.

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