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Hurricane-Proof Your Home

 
As we edge closer to another hurricane season in the New York/Long Island area, preparing your house for disaster should be a priority.

 

Whether your home is old or new, it may not be able to withstand hurricane force winds.  To protect your home, the American Red Cross recommends that you focus in on three particular areas of your home: the roof, the windows and the doors (including a garage door if you have one).

 

 

Hurricane Roof Damage

Hurricane Roof Damage

 Window Protection:

 Unprotected windows are very vulnerable to wind damage and damage from wind blown debris therefore it is critical that you protect them. The easiest and most effective way to protect them is with storm shutters. Steel is the best and the most expensive. Aluminum and plywood shutters are also available.    

  

 

These are readily obtainable from many building supply stores, including Home Depot and Lowes.  If you live in a hurricane or storm-prone area, you may want to also think about installing impact resistant windows according to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. These windows are designed to withstand flying debris. Also be aware that taping your windows will not protect them and is not effective.

 

Storm-Proof the Roof:
Another vulnerable area of your home is the roof. During a hurricane, the wind can actually get underneath the roof shingle and peel it off the roof.  The Federal Alliance for Safe Home recommends you go to your local building supply store and get premium flooring adhesive. Apply with a caulking gun to the underside of your roofwhere the roof and the support beams meet. Be sure to look for an adhesive that has been tested and has a strong rating.

 

Hurricane Damage to Garage Door

Hurricane Damage to Garage Door

Even the best methods of roof and window protection is not enough if you don’t also protect your doors (including your garage door). The garage door is potentially the largest and weakest opening of your home to a hurricane. According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes about 80% of residential hurricane wind damage starts with wind entry through garage doors, making this a critical area to reinforce.  However, many garage doors are made of lightweight materials that make it vulnerable to hurricane damage. A qualified inspector can determine if both the door and the track system can resist high winds and, if necessary, help replace them with a stronger system.  
 
Pay special attention to any sliding glass doors that you may have, as they are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors. When building a home or replacing a door, you should consider impact resistant door systems. As a temporary measure, you can cover the entire patio door with plywood.
 
Finally, periodically review your home insurance policy with your agent and make sure you are properly covered BEFORE disaster strikes.
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You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay for your car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance company,  the coverage you request and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of things you can do right now to lower your insurance costs.

 

1. Ask for Higher Deductibles.

Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before you make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 or $1000 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15% to 30%.
2. Drop Collision and/or Comprehensive Coverage’s on Older Cars.
It may not be cost effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage on cars worth less than $1,000 because any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost and deductible amounts. You can go to many online sources to check the value of your car. 

3. Buy a “Low Profile” Car.
Before you buy new or used car, check into insurance costs. Cars that are expensive to repair, or that are a favorite target for thieves, have higher insurance costs.

 

4. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts.
Some companies, such as
State Farm Insurance, offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year. 

 

5. Consider Insurance Cost When Making a Move.  

Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest in center cities where there is more traffic congestion. 

 

 

6. Find out about Automatic Seat Belt or Air Bag Discounts.
You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some coverage if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags. 

 

7. Ask about Anti-lock Brakes.

Anti-lock brakes improve steering control and stability when a car is brought to a stop, thus reducing accidents. Some states, including Florida, New Jersey and New York, require insurers to give discounts for cars equipped with the brakes and some insurers have a nationwide discount in place. 

 

8. Inquire about Other Discounts.
Some insurers, such as State Farm, offer discounts for more than one car, no accidents in three years, drivers over a certain age, driver training courses, anti-theft devices, and good grades for students. 

 

If you live in the state of New York and have more questions about insurance coverage, contact Long Island Insurance for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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