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Property Insurance Claims in Florida

Sinkhole swallows elderly Florida couple's car

A few days ago, the earth opened up about an hour and a half north of Tampa and devoured a car. News media reports said that a sinkhole swallowed a car in an Ocala restaurant parking lot.

The sinkhole also ruptured a natural gas line, forcing evacuation of a shopping plaza. According to reports, the sinkhole opened up after a heavy rainfall flooded the parking lot.

Riding the storm out: Home defense

Hurricane season began a few days ago, so if your Tampa home is in need of improvements to make it storm-ready, this is the time to do it. After all, when the raindrops start falling, it might be too late to get to those needed repairs and upgrades.

According to a recent newspaper article, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that there will be 5 to 9 hurricanes this season and that 2 to 4 of them will be will be major. That means the possibility of hurricane damage to your home from high winds or storm surge will be present through the end of the season.

Storm surge report: Nearly 3 million Gulf Coast homes at risk

As we well know in Tampa, hurricane season is officially underway. With it comes the release of the 2017 Storm Surge Report that shows that nearly 7 million homes along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are at risk of storm surge damage.

The total reconstruction cost is pegged at more than $1.5 trillion, says property information and analytics firm Corelogic, which produced the data. The reconstruction cost assumes a worst-case scenario in which all the homes completely destroyed and have to be rebuilt. The cited figure includes costs of labor and materials by region.

What should I know about the 2017 hurricane season?

With only a week until hurricane season starts, right now is the time when you need to review what insurance coverage you have on your home and other property. You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that everything is in order because this might not be the case.

If you have lived in Florida for any length of time, you are probably accustomed to the ins and outs of hurricane season. Still, there are probably some points that you haven't considered yet.

Florida dry; fire risks high

The rest of the U.S. has been soaked this spring. Florida and Georgia are exceptions, however, say experts.

“We are buckled up for a very long and very hot wildfire season,” said the commissioner of agriculture in Florida. Wildfires often spread to homes and businesses, leaving behind damage from smoke, flames and even firefighting efforts.

Hurricane Center unveils new storm warnings

Last year's Florida storm season has prompted a response from the National Hurricane Center. The federally funded center is unveiling a set of new warnings for people in a storm's path.

The new notifications include storm surge watches and warnings. Those will be issued when there's a possibility of ocean waters washing inland and threatening lives. The hope is that the watches and warnings will help reduce the number of water-related injuries and deaths.

How does fire fit in with insurance claims?

On our Florida insurance blog, we have often blogged about insurance issues as they relate to storms and flooding. Florida hurricanes are not uncommon and result in property damage every year. We have also discussed sinkholes on several occasions. 

Recent weather-related news in Florida requires that we discuss a different weather event: wildfire. People tend to associate wildfire and the significant damage fires cause with California. Florida, however, has seen an uptick in wildfires this year.

Winds do damage in Tampa and surrounding areas

On its official website, the city of New Port Richey touts its proximity to Tampa (it's just 30 miles northwest of us), its waterfronts (river and Gulf of Mexico), shopping, culture and history. If you were there last weekend, you undoubtedly felt some high winds blowing through the Pasco County town.

According to the Associated Press and WTSP (Channel 10) news, tropical storm-force winds caused damage there. A county spokesperson said winds gusted up to 65 miles per hour and sustained a velocity of around 50 mph from Hudson to New Port Richey.

Bracing for the coming storms

When you live in a vacation destination, it can sometimes be difficult to get excited about traveling to another vacation spot. That is one of the dilemmas for people living in Tampa, course, though many of our readers have undoubtedly packed up and traveled to enjoy the warm beaches of other locales.

One such spot is Destin in the Florida panhandle. The Emerald Coast locale is famous for its sparking sugar-white beaches, golf, fishing and more. A recent article in the area newspaper made it clear that officials and residents there must be prepared for storms that damage roofs, cause flooding, pull up trees and too often result in injuries and deaths.

Experts predict fewer major Florida storms this year than normal

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the good news is forecasters predict that this year's hurricane season will produce fewer storms than normal. Of course, the bad news is that few things in life are less reliable than weather predictions.

Forecasters are hedging their bets this year because of uncertainty over the Pacific weather phenomenon commonly known as El Niño. If conditions change, El Niño could help produce another active storm season, much like last year's when a pair of destructive storms struck Florida.

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