Introduction Natural disasters (including floods, nor'easters, etc.) affect the lives of many people in the United States every year.The hazardous effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community; or very large, affecting an entire city or county. People who understand disasters and know what to do before and after a disaster can significantly reduce the time and cost to return to normalcy. The purpose of this information is to provide an understanding of the types of natural disasters and the insurance available to cover the losses resulting from them.
Insurance for Your Residence Depending on your type of dwelling, you will need to consider your insurance options to determine the most appropriate coverage. It makes good sense to purchase the type and amount of coverage that is adequate to protect your home and your family.
Owning a Home – There are various types of policies available to homeowners. In general, the homeowners policy combines property coverage with liability coverage. Dwelling policies only provide property coverage.
Rental – This policy covers the personal property owned by renters. It can also cover liabilities arising from accidents and injuries for guests..
Owning a Condominium – Condominium policies primarily provide content coverage to condominium owners. In addition, there are special provisions to cover the portions of the dwelling for which you are responsible as defined by the governing rules of the condominium.
Owning a Home on a Farm – If your home is on a farm, a farm owners policy may be appropriate to protect against loss. In general, a farm owners policy provides coverage for farm business exposures, and both property and liability coverages.
Insurance Available for Your Property Before buying an insurance policy, you should check for the types of coverages and products available in New York State. You also need to know the types and limits of coverage you want to purchase. Coverage is available for:
Dwelling – This is the structure of the house. (That is considered a covered property.)
Other Structures – These are other structures that are separate from the house. Examples are detached garages or toolsheds.
Personal Property – The contents in your home are considered personal property. This includes furniture, appliances, clothing and computer equipment. Some personal properties are specifically excluded and are either not covered under the policy or have limited coverage. Examples are: money, jewelry and firearms.
Loss of Use – This is the cost of additional living expenses incurred, when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable, and the cause is due to a covered loss. Reimbursement, such as the cost of a hotel room, will be made to the insured to maintain a normal standard of living.
Information Source: New York State Department of Insurance 25 Beaver Street One Commerce Plaza New York, NY 10004 Albany, NY 12257 (212) 480-6400 (800) 342-3736 www.ins.state.ny.us
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:
14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."
The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Expected factors supporting this outlook are:
Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures - up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average - are now present in this region.
High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.
"The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be. Whether or not we approach the high end of the predicted ranges depends partly on whether or not La Niña develops this summer," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "At present we are in a neutral state, but conditions are becoming increasingly favorable for La Niña to develop."
"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can't control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you're ready."
NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit NOAA on Facebook.
Doherty Enterprises Inc., a franchisee operating 21 Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and 19 Panera Bread restaurants on Long Island, recently raised a total of more than $25,000 for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. Applebee's, guests purchased "paper apples" for $1 and up that were then posted in the restaurant, while Panera guests made cash donations at the registers. The dollars add up and, according to Frank Cassano, representative and CEO of the American Red Cross, one hundred percent of the monies received from these campaigns will go directly to the Haitian relief effort. Greg Desrosiers, a General Manager for Applebee's who has family in Haiti, was delighted that both chains in Nassau and Suffolk counties took the initiative to back this philanthropic effort.
Edward Doherty, president of Doherty Enterprises Inc. said, "It's not just about supporting our local neighbors; it's also about helping our global neighbors in need. We have several employees with relatives in Haiti so we organized this fundraiser to do our part to provide aide to their homeland."
Photo:Panera Bread Shares the Warmth to Help Aid Earthquake Victims... When the call for help came from the American Red Cross, Panera Bread and its guests throughout Long Island responded with generosity. Greg George (left), Vice President of Panera Bread LI, presented a check for $15,400 to Frank Cassano (right), representative and CEO of American Red Cross, from cash donations made at the registers of its 19 Long Island bakery-cafes. All funds will go directly to support the Haiti Relief effort.
About Doherty Enterprises, Inc. Doherty Enterprises, Inc. was established in 1993 and is the 14th largest franchisee in the United States, operating six restaurant concepts including: Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Chevys Fresh Mex, El Pollo Loco, Carino's Italian Grill, and their own concept, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub. To date, Doherty Enterprises owns and operates 92 restaurants in northern and central New Jersey, Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens. The Doherty vision is to be the "Best Food Service Company in the Tri-State Area" and its mission is to "Wow Every Guest Every Time, Wow Our People, Wow Our Communities and Wow Our Suppliers." (www.DohertyInc.com)
About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
This fundraiser was part of Doherty Enterprises' "good neighbor" mission to WOW their people and communities, whether locally or globally.
Whenever there is snow, you are likely to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.
As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow. These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.
Preventing Ice Dams To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. InsulationIncreased insulation in an attic will help to prevent ice dams. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers. If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.
If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.
Ice Dam Inspection Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow. Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. Detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage and more importantly, solve the problem.
If your home or office has experienced fire or water damage, you may want to seek a professional that can help you repair and restore your building.
Natural disasters, such as floods and fires can leave commercial and residential buildings with mold and smoke damage. Both are major contributors to property loss and need to be taken care of in order to save the structural integrity of your house or building.
Water damage can either be immediate, such as flooding, or be more gradual, such as water spots on hardwood floors or even walls. However slow or fast water damage occurs, it is important to remove any carpet, dry the area and hire a professional for removal or extraction in case of mold. Restoration can include everything from inspection of the area to asses where the source is and how much damage has occurred, cleaning and sanitizing the area, and deodorize any smells. All this is done with special equipment.
If you have experienced fire damage that has left smoke stains, ceiling damage, or lots of soot, this too needs to be dealt with by a professional restoration company. Fire damage can be covered by fire insurance, so make sure to check if you can get any financial help to cover losses.
When damage has occurred to your home or office, whether in the basement or on the roof, you need to seek professional help to restore damage and save your property. Damage can easily spread, and if not handled properly can cause worse problems.
What is DKI? Disaster Kleenup International, Inc. is a network of the leading, independent property damage restoration contractors across North America. DKI member companies (see www.AdvancedRestoration.com in New York) provide full service to their customers: Emergency response, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, returning damaged property to pre-loss condition fast and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to their consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens announced today an initiative focusing on mortgage companies with significant claim rates against the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program.
HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas were served to the corporate offices of 15 mortgage companies across the country demanding documents and data related to failed loans which resulted in claims paid out by the FHA mortgage insurance fund.
Inspector General Donohue said, "The goal of this initiative is to determine why there is such a high rate of defaults and claims with these companies and whether there is wrongdoing involved. We aren't making any accusations at this time, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, but we will aggressively pursue indicators of fraud. We are members of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and today's activities reflect our commitment to seeking information on red flags that may arise from data analysis.
" This initiative was prompted, in part, by the FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, who was alarmed by the incidence of claims against the FHA insurance fund by a number of poor performing companies and reached out to the HUD OIG for assistance.
FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, "We are taking risk management extremely seriously. In addition to the policy changes we are implementing and additional changes we plan to announce later this month, we need to hold FHA lenders accountable for the high rates of defaults and claims against FHA. The Inspector General's initiative will help us determine whether there is fraud and better manage risk in the long run.
" The HUD OIG identified these direct endorsement companies from an analysis of loan data focusing on companies with a significant number of claims, a certain loan underwriting volume, a high ratio of defaults and claims compared to the national average, and claims that occurred earlier in the life of the mortgage. These are key indicators of problems at the origination or underwriting stages. The HUD OIG wants to see why these loans failed.
Some actions available to the HUD OIG are audits, investigations, and inspections and evaluations. In addition, we rely on the support of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and of State and local law enforcement. The DoJ is available to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions against wrongdoers. HUD is available to proceed with administrative sanctions such as suspensions, limited denial of participation, debarment, and civil monetary penalties.
The probe will be conducted by the HUD OIG's Audit and Investigation staff jointly. They will assess why these companies have high default rates, especially at this unprecedented time when the FHA mortgage insurance program represents such a significant percentage of mortgages currently in force in our country.
This probe is a new type of approach in which HUD OIG is focused on corporate offices rather than individual branch offices. This is a starting point for more detailed reviews if abuses are uncovered, and the HUD OIG anticipates that more probes may follow.
"The FHA market share has skyrocketed," Inspector General Donohue further said. "Our job is oversight. We work for the American taxpayer. Each loan on this list will be thoroughly examined and we will track down the reasons why it failed. Once we determine the causes, we will look to see whether there is a need for further review or remedial action. We want to send a message to the industry that as the mortgage landscape has shifted we are watching very carefully and that we are poised to take action against bad performers."
The following companies were served OIG subpoenas today:
First Tennessee Bank N.A., Memphis, TN Alethes LLC, Lakeway, TX Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Edison, NJ Pine State Mortgage Corporation, Atlanta, GA Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corporation, West Bloomfield, MI Alacrity Financial Services, LLC, Southlake, TX Assurity Financial Services, LLC, Englewood, CO D and R Mortgage Corporation, Farmington, MI Webster Bank, Cheshire, CT Mac-Clair Mortgage Corporation, Flint, MI Americare Investment Group, Inc., Arlington, TX 1st Advantage Mortgage, Lombard, IL American Sterling Bank, Independence, MO Sterling National Mortgage Company Inc., Great Neck, NY Dell Franklin Financial LLC, Columbia, MD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General is statutorily authorized to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance on loans by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.
Wood Dale, IL - Disaster Kleenup International (DKI), North America's largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today that they are the first organization to have achieved the Green Risk ProfessionalTM designation established by Vale Training Solutions.
DKI made the decision to partner with Vale Training Solutions for Green Risks training in response to the market's demand for green building. DKI is the leading provider of quality emergency and reconstruction services for commercial, residential and insurance clients throughout North America and the curriculum provided in Vale's Green Risks courses has allowed DKI to continue at the forefront of industry trends.
"We have pioneered this movement by being the first and only disaster restoration and reconstruction organization to be green risk certified in building reconstruction and restoration services," said Dale Sailer, president of DKI. "DKI understands that in today's marketplace, individuals and organizations continually strive to do their part in building or creating green environments."
Property owners understand the long term advantages of 'going green' and insurance carriers have responded with green coverage for new environmentally sustainable construction or renovation following a loss. Jon McCreath, President of Vale Training Solutions, says "As more carriers offer green coverage, independent adjusters, restoration professionals, and engineers must be adequately trained and possess the expertise and professionalism necessary to understand the makeup of green construction and building products, rating systems and insurance coverage."
McCreath continued, "GRPTM adjusters and restoration professionals provide the expertise necessary when buildings are insured with 'upgrade to green' endorsements or where restoration/repairs include green measures to replace damaged traditional products" DKI is the only Green Certified Services Organization that is adequately trained to provide a superior level of knowledge, expertise, professionalism and customer service to property owners, managers, facility directors, and insurers of green buildings. Not only does DKI understand the makeup of green buildings, products used in green buildings, rating systems and insurance coverage as it relates to these elements, but DKI can ensure that if a green building sustains damage, the building will be restored using the most efficient green products in the marketplace.
About DKI Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., headquartered in suburban Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., contact Michele Donahue at (630) 741-7262. Advanced Restoration Corporation is a DKI Member Company that services the New York Metro area. If you require Emergency Service in New York, please call (800) 693-6263.
Another challenge with the existing home inventory on the market is the condition of the property. Whether it is REOs, foreclosures, short sales, or not, less people are presenting homes for sale in pristine condition.
The FHA 203k loan can help. The 203k can give the buyer the ability to have one loan to purchase and renovate their home at the same time.
Similar to a traditional mortgage with a construction loan added on top, the 203k can be used for the following:
Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens (even built-in appliances)
Replacing a roof, gutters and downspouts
Adding a second story, afamily room,another bath, etc.
Completing a basement or attic
Upgrading plumbing, heating, air conditioning or electrical service
Installing new siding, energy efficient windows and doors
AND MUCH MORE!
It is important to hire a general contractor that is familiar with the 203k process and requirements. Advanced Restoration Corporation, a 203k contractor, was recently featured on NBC News4 New York regarding 203k loans, along with Continental Home Loans.
For more information on 203k loans in New York, please contact the following:
You are purchasing a home that needs minor repairs (repairs under $35,000 qualify for a streamlined loan). Incorporating the rehab into your mortgage payment allows you to have just one payment. Some highlights include:
Loan amounts up to 110% of the home's appraised value; renovation amounts up to $35,000.
No work write-up, no inspection required if repairs are less than $15,000 and no HUD consultant required.
There is no longer a minimum of $5,000 in repairs for a 203K Streamline.
On a 203K Streamline, up to 50% of the rehab amount can be requested immediately following the closing. After closing the work can start.
For a 203K Streamline, there is a maximum of 2 draws per contractor.
Loan can be used for many improvements, including repair/replacement of: roofs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, minor remodeling, windows, doors, etc.
Available for mortgage refinance transactions including those where the property is owned free and clear.
203K Streamlined Loans are available through HUD approved lenders. For more information on how Advanced Restoration can be your 203k contractor, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.
You are thinking about buying a home foreclosure on Long Island, but the properties you are looking at need serious rehabilitation. What Can You Do?
You may want to apply for an FHA 203(k) restoration loan through an approved lender!
The purchase of a house that needs repair is often a catch-22 situation, because the bank won't lend the money to buy the house until the repairs are complete, and the repairs can't be done until the house has been purchased.
HUD's 203(k) program can help you overcome this obstacle by enabling you to purchase or refinance a property plus the cost of making the repairs and improvements in one mortgage. The FHA-insured 203(k) loan is provided through approved lenders nationwide and is available to persons wanting to occupy the home.
The downpayment requirement for an owner-occupant (or a nonprofit organization or government agency) is approximately 3.5% of the acquisition and repair costs of the property.
The 203(k) loan includes the following steps:
A potential homebuyer locates a fixer-upper and executes a sales contract after doing a feasibility analysis of the property with his/her real estate professional. The contract should state that the buyer is seeking a 203(k) loan and that the contract is contingent on loan approval based on additional required repairs by the FHA or the lender.
The homebuyer then selects an FHA-approved 203(k) lender and arranges for a detailed proposal showing the scope of work to be done, including a detailed cost estimate on each repair or improvement of the project.
The appraisal is performed to determine the value of the property after renovation.
If the borrower passes the lender's credit-worthiness test, the loan closes for an amount that will cover the purchase or refinance cost of the property, the remodeling costs and the allowable closing costs. The amount of the loan will also include a contingency reserve of 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs and is used to cover any extra work not included in the original proposal.
At closing, the seller of the property is paid off and the remaining funds are put in an escrow account to pay for the repairs and improvements during the rehabilitation period.
The mortgage payments and remodeling begin after the loan closes. The borrower can decide to have up to six mortgage payments (PITI) put into the cost of rehabilitation if the property is not going to be occupied during construction, but it cannot exceed the length of time it is estimated to complete the rehab.
Escrowed funds are released to the contractor during construction through a series of draw requests for completed work. To ensure completion of the job, 10% of each draw is held back; this money is paid after the lender determines their will be no liens on the property. It is essential for a borrower to select a general contractor (restoration company) that is familiar with the 203k loan process, including the required forms and documents.
Streamlined 203k Loan
FHA's Streamlined 203(k) program permits homebuyers to finance up to an additional $35,000 into their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before move-in. With this new product, homebuyers can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or FHA appraiser.
Advanced Restoration Corporation is a full-service property restoration contractor with the ability and 203(k) knowledge to provide complete Rehabilitation & Restoration services to your new home or refinance! We service the New York Metro area (Nassau County, Suffolk County and the NY Boroughs).
For more information about 203(k) loans and mortgage professionals authorized to generate FHA 203(k) loans, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.
We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY, the Hamptons & East End) and the New York City areas.
When Disaster Strikes, Advanced Restoration Is Ready to Respond 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week.
You are guaranteed to speak with one of our knowledgeable, caring team members, day or night. Our immediate response to your property damage claim helps minimize the damages to the structure, contents, and ease the sometime catastrophic effect that a disaster may have on an owner or occupants.
Our company is dedicated to serving our clients with courteous and prompt service. We take the utmost pride in the craftsmanship of our work. As certified specialists in water mitigation and fire/smoke restoration, we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to deal with all types of property damage. Our professional staff is also trained in all aspects of mold remediation and damage appraisals.
Do You Have A Flooded Basement Due to the Recent Storms of 2011?
Our Disaster and Emergency Response Teams serving Long Island and New York City can minimize your property damage and help get your home or business back to normal.
Choose Building Deconstruction. The Green Alternative to Demolition on Long Island
Advanced Restoration Corporation is proud to partner with The Reuse People (TRP) on all our Building Deconstruction projects to make the Long Island Community the Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the rest of the country.
We are the TRP-Certified Building Deconstruction Contractor on Long Island.
The Long Island Insurance Golf League has been the place to golf and network for the Long Island Insurance Community for over 25 years. Insurance Agents, Brokers, Adjusters, and Claims Managers of all handicaps are all welcome to participate.
The Insurance Golf League is a 9 Hole League that plays every Wednesday from April through August. An end of the year we hold an 18 hole outing complete with dinner to celebrate the year and league awards will be handed out.