Homeowner's Academy

This is your guide to interesting facts, tips and general homeowner information. We hope you find the information useful - and feel free to share with friends!

Top Home Dangers Facing Florida Residents

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Apr 09, 2014

flood-houseFive Risks Faced by Florida Homeowners

Florida is an amazing place to live but it does come with a variety of hazards from hurricanes and floods to problems faced in every American home. At People’s Trust we’re here to help you identify many of these problems because we only write insurance policies in Florida and have the local expertise and personal knowledge to understand what Florida homeowners face.

We’ve looked at dangers that not only put your home at risk but also can put you in harm’s way when inside your house. Five of the top dangers Florida residents face includes:

Water and Floods from Inside and Out

While flooding is a danger that’s easy to understand, the water in your pipes actually poses the biggest risk to your home. In Florida, water from leaking pipes and appliances are the number one cause for a claim.

To help prevent this damage to your home, People’s Trust recommends installing non-burst hoses on your washing machines and toilets. If you notice condensation, molds, or pools of water around an appliance or a sink, check for leaks immediately. If water appears to be coming from the floor and causing damage to your home, call us and ask about the claims process and our Rapid Response Team partners.

Tips for responding to floods differ but are just as important.

Hurricane Concerns and Florida Home Insurance Risks

Last year had a relatively mild hurricane season, but it always pays to prepare for these storms. Did you know that 40% of hurricanes that reach the United States hit Florida? We don’t need any better reason to stock up on supplies today. Top things to prepare for the next hurricane include:

  • Install hurricane shutters.
  • Move your lawn equipment, potted plants, and furniture inside before winds pick up.
  • Create an emergency first aid kit.
  • Store at least three gallons of water per person.
  • Keep non-perishable foods and a manual can opener.
  • Gather battery powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Set aside sleeping bags and blankets.
  • Develop an evacuation plan and place to meet in case you’re ordered to evacuate while someone is at work or school.

When you renew your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy, make sure you check your hurricane deductibles and that you are comfortable with the coverage you have.

Mold and Home Maintenance

The Florida Department of Health notes that mold can be one of the most significant health hazards in your home. When mold is present and growing in your home, it can damage your walls, floors, furniture and even put your health at risk.

The most common health problems associated with mold exposure are allergic illness, irritant effects, infection, and toxic effects. People with severe allergies or with other respiratory and immune system problems are at an increased danger when exposed to mold.

To help prevent mold growth in your home, Florida DOH recommends:

  • Clean up and dry all major spills immediately.
  • Dry out wet carpets within 24 hours.
  • If you’re renovating and materials get wet, dry them out immediately.
  • Keep indoor humidity levels below 60% inside your home.

If you discover mold, clean it with soapy water and a mold cleaner.

Electrical Wiring Poses a Fire Hazard

Electrical wiring has been a big problem for homeowners and Florida homeowners insurance, especially for homes constructed in the 1960s to the 1980s. Breaker boxes in thousands of homes in Central Florida and across the U.S. pose a significant fire hazard.

Always make sure you have a fire extinguisher that’s in proper working order.

Many electrical panels installed during those years have been found to be defective. Not only do they fail to prevent fires, but some overload and start fires on their own. The risks of these panels, especially Federal Pacific Stab Lok circuit breakers, are a danger known by experts but are not often thought about by homeowners. Fires caused by these breakers continue to make local news.

The safest practice is to check your panel, either with a professional or by writing down its name and looking for reports by safety organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Homeowner’s Secret Risk: The Bathroom

While the kitchen and garage offer many obvious dangers, the most dangerous room in any home is actually the bathroom. More than 20 million American adults are injured every year in the bathroom, and the severity of the injury tends to rise with age.

Falls account for 80% of all accidents in the bathroom, according to AARP and the CDC. For older Americans, these falls often cause hip fractures and require hospitalization.

The best way to prevent these falls is to install a grab bar. Bars should be located in the shower or bathtub area as well as near the toilet. For Americans age 65 and older, more accidents occurred getting up off the toilet than stepping out of the shower.

Another key prevention technique is to use bathmats and nonskid strips to reduce bathtub falls.

These are some great ways to stay safe when disaster strikes or during your everyday life. For major disasters, People’s Trust can help you once the danger is over and you need to make a claim, but the best daily policy is to stay vigilant.

Should you have any questions, you can reach our Customer Service Representatives at 1-888-524-6003. If you need to make a claim, call us at 1-888-511-7716 or use this web page to make a report.