Posts Tagged "houston flooding"

Understanding the Cost of Commercial Flood Insurance

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Property owners of both residential and commercial units purchased more than $3.5 billion in flood policies last year through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The reason? More lenders may be requiring flood insurance—and yours could ask for it, too. Insuring your home or commercial building against flood risk is important, but it is also important to understand its cost. One way to ensure cost-control is with an error-free elevation certificate, says Michael Allison, president of AmeriFlood Solutions, Inc. The elevation certificate is a document that indicates the elevation of the property, which determines insurance premium rates. The certificate must be free of errors and omissions—either could potentially cost thousands in needless expense, Allison says. “A signed and sealed elevation certificated does not ensure accuracy,” Allison said in a statement. “More than 50 percent of the elevation certificates reviewed by our staff have errors. Further, outdated elevation certificates may not reflect building improvements or uncover documentation errors or omissions that can cause insurance agents, brokers and carriers to rate flood policies inaccurately. That can add up to a considerable difference in the amount paid for coverage or measures implemented to mitigate flood damage.” Allison recommends reviewing the elevation certificate with an insurance broker or agent or flood risk expert—they can help you determine if you are paying too much (or too little) for flood insurance. Source: AmeriFlood Solutions,...

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Falling Trees, Who’s Responsible?

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in News | 0 comments

With the horrible storms that just came through Houston, we’ve been dealing with a lot of falling trees so I thought I would answer this question: Are homeowners responsible for tree care-related accidents on their property? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. It depends on several factors: state law, the circumstances of the accident, and the type of insurance coverage the homeowner and contractor each possess. “Liability is a complicated issue, but even so, there are several steps all homeowners can take to reduce the risk of litigation,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Tree work can be dangerous, even for experienced professionals, so homeowners should always take extra precautions to ensure their assets are protected.” Learn from three common mistakes that homeowners make: Homeowner Mistake 1: Forgetting to verify contracts and credentials Not all tree care companies are trustworthy businesses. Before you hire, always ask for current certificates of liability and workers’ compensation insurance. This is a crucial step; if you hire a company without insurance or with inadequate insurance, you may be liable for accidents or injuries, and may have no means for recourse if you property is damaged. Disreputable tree care companies, on the other hand, may not have this documentation. Some may even forge these documents or exaggerate their coverage, so it is always a good idea to contact their insurer directly to verify their claims. Next, insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates when work is to be performed, and exactly what is to be done. Reputable tree care companies will have no issue complying with these requests. Public opinion is also important. Research potential tree care companies on Yelp or the Better Business Bureau to see what past customers have to say. This can provide you with insights that are not always evident on paper. Homeowner Mistake 2: Ignoring obvious hazards Even if all the necessary paperwork is in order, you may still be liable for injuries if you neglect obvious hazards on your property. A loose step on a porch, for example, may cause issues if a contractor suffers injury because of it while the contract is being completed. Routinely inspect your property for such dangers, and make repairs if possible. If you find something temporarily beyond your repair, it is best to warn the contractor of the risks involved. For extra peace of mind, take a look at your homeowner’s insurance coverage. It is a good idea to check the personal liability section of your homeowner’s policy to ensure all the necessary coverage is there. Homeowner Mistake 3: Micro-managing the tree care project It can be tempting to micro-manage tree care projects on your property; as the owner, you have a significant financial and emotional investment in the project, so it is natural that you want to ensure everything goes according to plan. From a legal perspective, however, this may be a mistake. Excessively close monitoring of day-to-day operations can open you up to personal injury liability if a worker is injured on the job. It is always best to monitor from a distance, and let the professionals perform the job you hired them to do. Source:...

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