Brrrr…It’s Cold Outside


Well, this week has been a cold week on Sanibel. We won’t complain though, as we are thinking of everyone elsewhere in the US dealing with far greater cold temps. Stay warm & safe everyone.

Insurers Try New Tactic To Limit Damage Claims

Florida Realtors logoHere is an article posted on FloridaRealtors® website: Some Florida homeowners are discovering their insurance companies are employing an interesting strategy to avoid future claims costs.

Settlement checks sent by at least three companies include language stating that accepting the check releases the companies from further obligations connected to the claim.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys say they have major problems with this strategy: It tries to intimidate policyholders into not seeking payment for additional costs that come up during repairs and is likely unenforceable.

Palmetto Bay-based trial attorney Joe Ligman pointed to a section of Florida insurance law stating an insurer, after paying “actual cash value” for an insured loss minus any applicable deductible, “shall pay any remaining amounts necessary to perform such repairs as work is performed and expenses are incurred.”

But that’s not what notices from two of Florida’s largest insurers say.

On the back side of checks sent to homeowners, Fort Lauderdale-based Universal Property & Casualty includes the statement that an endorsement by the payee “constitutes receipt and release in full settlement for the claim or item mentioned in the draft.” Universal P&C is the state’s largest property insurer, with 612,227 policies statewide and 237,172 in the tri-county region as of Sept. 30, according to state records.

Along with a check sent to at least one of its homeowners, Deerfield Beach-based People’s Trust Insurance sent a letter stating that “your endorsement of the indemnity check constitutes a full accord and satisfaction of a disputed loss.”

And a third company, Sarasota-based Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Co., enclosed with checks to at least two victims of Hurricane Irma a “release of property damage” that “does hereby … release, acquit and forever discharge” the company and its officials “from any and all claims, actions, causes of actions, demands, rights, damages, costs, loss of service, expenses and compensation whatsoever” stemming from the hurricane.

By contrast, state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. acknowledged in December that rising labor and materials costs triggered by Hurricane Irma would likely result in higher repair costs than initially estimated.

“As they go through the claims and repairs process, things will come up that may require us to readdress [and reopen] the claim,” Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier said Wednesday.

Locke Burt, chairman and president of Ormond Beach-based Security First Insurance, said his firm does not send release language with its claims checks “because we agree with the trial lawyer. It wouldn’t stand up in court.” Plus, he said, “We wouldn’t treat people that way.”

The Sun Sentinel contacted Universal P&C, People’s Trust and Gulfstream and asked each why they assert that acceptance of a settlement check releases them from supplemental claims.

The state law requiring insurers to pay any remaining amounts for additional work does not apply to People’s Trust, which operates a unique business model known as “managed repair,” countered Amy Rosen, the company’s chief marketing officer.

The company, with 129,626 policies statewide and 56,511 in the tri-county region, provides a premium discount in exchange for a customer’s agreement to use its affiliated “Rapid Response Team” contractor to make repairs. Rosen said it only sends the letter asserting acceptance of its check releases it from future obligations when a policyholder “wishes to receive a monetary payment in exchange for [the company’s] agreement to waive its right to have [the Rapid Response Team] perform the repairs.”

“If the insured accepts the monetary payment … then a settlement has been reached,” Rosen said. “If the insured does not accept the payment, then [the Rapid Response Team] repairs the property and, if additional covered damage is found, that is also repaired.”

Perry Cone, Gulfstream’s general counsel, declined to respond to questions about why it directs its policyholders to sign the release forms. “Gulfstream absolutely follows Florida law in its claims handling processes,” Cone wrote.

Travis Miller, spokesman for Universal Property & Casualty, said the statement on the checks “does not preclude claims for replacement costs or supplemental damage,” adding it “represents payment for items that have been reported to the insurer, have been reviewed, and are included within the scope of the draft.” He said other statements with the check will specify that the release pertains to a portion of coverage the check is for, such as additional living expenses, and “does not affect other payments such as replacement costs or other portions of the same claim [or any other claim.]”

Trial attorney Ligman, representing a policyholder who has declined to endorse a check from Universal, has filed a petition asking a Miami-Dade County circuit court judge to determine whether endorsement of the company’s check would bar him from making future claims.

“Universal refuses to change their check policy and continues to send the check release endorsement in violation of Florida law in order to trick their insureds to believe that they are releasing all future claims,” the petition states.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 29, 2017 – January 5, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandy Bend #4 2/2 $779K.

6 price changes: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 now $244.8K, Captains Walk #B2 1/1 now $249K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 now $450K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 now $1.25M, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.273M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.749M.

1 new sale: By-The-Sea #9 3/2 listed at $1.749M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $470K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $745K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $537K; 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $575K; 1513 Sand Castle Rd 2/2.5 $689,000; 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $799K; 529 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $799,997; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $889K; 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 $1.049M; 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 $1.195M.

6 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $489K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $548K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $630K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.225M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 now $1.389M; 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.899M.

12 new sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $499K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $545K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 listed at $599K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed at $750K, 335 East Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.095M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $1.1M, 1277 Par View Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.15M, 1106 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 1313 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 1052 Whisperwood Ln 3/3 listed at $1.499M, 3945 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $3.195M, 4115 West Gulf Dr 4/5 listed at $5.485M.

4 closed sales: 725 Nerita St 2/1 $385K, 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $540K, 3273 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $820K, 4155 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $4M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 667 Birdie View Pt listed at $345K.

No closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $330K.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $725K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 listed at $609K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 20 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $989K, 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $2.695M.

2 price changes: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $2.899M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.2M.

1 new sale: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 listed at $5.6M.

2 closed sales: 11461 Old Lodge Ln 2/2 $995K, 11500 Gore Ln 3/2 $1.15M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Have A Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out These Sanibel Beach Pictures


It’s Susan reporting another week of nice Sanibel summer weather. The island has been a little quieter following the departure of holiday visitors, but there are still plenty of vacationers enjoying the islands.

Sunday night, I had dinner with friends at the new Doc Ford’s and was surprised to find a wait from as early as 6 p.m. right through closing time. It’s a popular place and worth the wait. These friends also shared some of their vacation photos – fine examples of the great weather, sparkling gulf, and how empty the beach was this week at Chateau Sur Mer. Thanks, Pia.

Chateau 1 07-17Chateau 2 07-17Chateau 3 07-17Chateau 4 07-17Chateau 5 07-17Chateau 6-07-17Chateau 7 07-17chateau 8 07-17

Yesterday was the July Membership Breakfast Meeting at the islands Association of Realtors®. Very little real estate activity was announced, but the speakers were excellent. Affiliate members, David Arter (Private Client Insurance Services), Chris Heidrick (Heidrick & Co. Insurance), and Mike Gadaleta (BB&T Oswald Trippe & Co.) updated members on insurance issues. Below is some info from David Arter’s handout on Wind Insurance.

Following some other news items is a summary of the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Wind Insurance & More

There are three types of providers for wind insurance here:

  1. Admitted Markets – these are the insurance providers licensed & approved by the State of Florida. Several carriers write wind insurance on Sanibel & Captiva.
  2. Citizens – this is the admitted carrier that is operated by the State of Florida.
  3. Surplus Lines (or Non-Admitted Carriers) – these must be access through a broker, no standardized forms are required (meaning they do not need to comply with state requirements), and there is no minimum earned premium.

What is Citizens? – Citizens Property Insurance can insure residential dwellings to a maximum value of $699,999 (per Florida Senate bill 1770). Policies could be subject to a “surcharge” (of up to 45%) if Citizens sustains a deficit as a result of a hurricane or other reason. They have strict underwriting and administrative guidelines, limited endorsement availability, and a depopulation program. Originally designed as the “Carrier of Last Resort’, Citizens was the largest property insurance carrier in Florida. Recently, it has gone from 1.1 million policies to under 450,000 personal residential policies.

Wind Mitigation Inspections – The Wind Mitigation Inspection form used today was revised in 2012. It contains such information as the age of the roof, the roof deck attachment, wall attachment, geometry or shape, secondary water resistance, and opening protection (shutters, hurricane glass, etc.). A wind mitigation inspection is recommended even on an older property, if was permitted before 2001, but the roof meets 2001 Florida Building Code (meaning a new roof was permitted after 3/2/2002) – or if a roof permitted before 2001 Code has hurricane wraps or clips (3 nails required), has Level B or C Roof Deck Attachment, and/or Level A Opening Protection.

Helpful Tips When Looking for Insurance Coverage

  • To get insurance credits or a better price, get a Wind Mitigation Inspection done, even on homes built before 2002.
  • For homes 30 or more years old also get a 4-Point Inspection. This inspection covers the roof, plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems. From this inspection, insurance agents can determine if the property is eligible for coverage by different providers. Many require that a roof have a remaining useful life of at least five years. Polybutylene plumbing also is a problem for virtually all carriers. Electrical Fuse panels and Federal Pacific Panels are generally unacceptable by most carriers. (Some also restrict Zinsco and Challenger panels.)
  • For flood insurance, a copy of the current policy helps as does an Elevation Certificate (prepared by surveyor).
  • When buying a property, providing the insurance agent with a copy of the MLS information helps too. They use that and county public records to provide estimates.
  • Establish the closing date and bind polices early. Insurance agents are often balancing between available markets, zip code openings/closings, and storms. During Hurricane Season, carriers can stop writing policies at a moment’s notice. A storm threat usually means companies will stop writing policies until the storm passes. A signed application and payment are needed to bind a policy.

Sanibel Planning Commission Reaffirms Position on Retail Stores

Good summary about this week’s Planning Commission meeting at the “Santiva-Chronicle” on-line.

“The Sanibel Planning Commission reaffirmed its stance on formula retail, or chain, stories in a unanimous 6-0 vote at City Hall Tuesday, July 11, and also was in agreement that the city needs to keep a close eye on the changing face of retail business. With no public hearings on its agenda, the Planning Commission spent just over 90 minutes discussing formula retail, after which it voted to stick with the recommendations it unanimously passed at its June 13 session. The commission will vote on approving a resolution at its Aug. 4 meeting that will forward four recommendations to the City Council for its consideration as either amendments to the Land Development Code or action items. They are:

“1. Adjust the current review trigger that requires additional review and approval by City Council from 50,000 square feet to 60,000 whenever a new formula retail stores is permitted in excess of this total amount of commercial floor area representing all formula retail stores within the City Commercial District;

“2. Amend the current definition of Formula Retail Stores so that it does not apply to retail businesses with fewer than three existing stores;

“3. Develop and post on the city’s website mysanibel.com an instructional guide with the necessary steps for starting any permitted business on Sanibel;

“4. Request that the city examine the future economic development of its Commercial District to ensure that it maintains an appropriate mix and variety of uses.

“The commission discussed all the points Tuesday with several commissioners stressing that the nature of the retail business is going through changes. ““The idea that a mom-and-pop business is going to succeed is changing,” Commissioner Chuck Ketteman said, referring to consolidation into large chains and the effect of the Internet. “Our focus might become what kind of formula retail business it will be rather than just on how much of it we have,” he said.

“Chairman Dr. Phillip Marks agreed, noting the effect of an Internet service like Amazon Prime that delivers quickly with free shipping. “We may have to change our focus when it comes to new businesses,” Marks said.

“The commission also looked at ways to help new businesses, whether formula retail or not, to follow the proper procedure for opening. That, the commission agreed, should include brief questions on the business tax receipt that would identify potential formula retail conflicts both for new businesses and existing ones who may have become formula retail after opening here.

“Presently City Council and Planning Commission must approve a formula retail application because the 50,000-square feet trigger plateau has been surpassed. Both boards approved applications for a pair of Periwinkle Place businesses, Fanta Sea and Everything But Water, in the past 15 months. It was those two applications that prompted City Council to ask for a potential overhaul of its formula retail procedures.

“Commissioner Karen Storjohann noted that Fanta Sea was open for two years before it came before the Planning Commission. She and Vice Chairman Holly Smith have been vocal about updating forms to both help businesses comply and to track violators like Fanta Sea was.“We need to assure that people are getting the right information on the front end,” Smith said. Ric Base, president of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is often a first contact point for prospective new businesses. “We would like to have something to hand to people. It shows that we are all on the same page,” Base said. He agreed with Ketteman and Marks that the landscape is changing for the retail industry. “We will see huge changes in the how retail operates in the next five years,” Base said.

“The Land Development Code Subcommittee, which consists of the entire Planning Commission, will meet in September. Ketteman said two points that might be addressed at that time are the guidelines for swimming pools and decks and the guidelines for vegetation buffers. The commission has approved several decks and pools in recent years upon reasonable requests from property owners. If the code were rewritten, approval could come from the Planning Department without commission involvement.

“The design of the vegetation buffer was the main sticking point at the recent hearing at which Mud Bugs Cajun Restaurant was approved on a narrow 4-3 vote. More flexibility in the Land Development Code regarding vegetation buffers deserves consideration, Ketteman said.”

Sanibel Surveys News

Bean, Whitaker, Lutz & Kareh, Inc., a local Surveying and Civil Engineering firm based in Fort Myers since 1987, has announced that they have acquired Sanibel Surveys. Andy Johnson, owner of Sanibel Surveys since 2005, will be appointed senior project manager and will continue providing professional surveying services on Sanibel Island as well as Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and throughout Lee County. Mr. Johnson is a survey graduate of New Mexico State University and has been involved in the survey profession for over 20 years. 

Air in Green Homes May Be A Health Risk

This article caught my eye on REALTOR®Mag on-line on June 27, 2017:

“Energy-efficient homes built too tightly have building experts warning about the potential health impact on owners. A home sealed efficiently can be great for reducing heating and cooling costs and managing its environmental impact. But the home itself still needs to breathe, some experts warn.

““Many homeowners are now having trouble with their more tightly built houses because the homes lack the ventilation necessary to get the stale inside air to the outside of the house and bring fresh air inside,” Remodeling writes.

“Bryan Henson, president of Allen Construction in Santa Barbara, Calif., says a house that’s sealed up completely would become a toxic environment to humans.The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million people worldwide die each year from indoor air pollution. Cases of asthma are on the rise, and asthma can be triggered by indoor contaminants such as mold, dust, and dander.

“More homeowners are questioning their indoor air quality and its impact on their health, sparking a growing interest in the “healthy home” concept. Healthy home systems tend to focus greatly on indoor air quality by providing filtered fresh air into the home.

“For healthier air, homeowners need to consider their home’s air flow. In some homes, the air may be pushed down through the attic into the home or come out from a crawlspace through the living area and out the attic. The problem with crawlspaces, building experts note, is that they often contain moisture, soil gases, and even rodents and their droppings. Indoor air space needs to be properly sealed off from the crawlspace and attic, and older homes may need more sealing off because of their older toxicity, such as lead paint, says Henson.

“To help gauge how healthy a home is and find areas worth improvement, homeowners can take a quiz made by Hayward Healthy HomeThe Pharos Project lists different products and includes their chemical ingredients and potential hazards to homeowners’ health. More resources for improving a home’s health and indoor quality include The Healthy Building Network, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Indoor Air Quality Association.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 7-14, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Moonshadows #2C 3/3 $1.775M.

1 price change: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 now $419K.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 listed at $529K, Sanibel Surfside #223 2/2 listed at $778K, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $999K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $602K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $629K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $689K, 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 $699.9K.

4 price changes: 9113 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 now $639,999; 732 Windlass Way 4/3.5 now $1.195M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.699M; 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 now $4.395M.

6 new sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $524.9K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $546K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 listed at $569K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 listed at $689K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed at $789K, 390 Old Trail Rd 4/4.5 listed at $2.195M.

5 closed sales: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $515K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $590K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.075M, 408 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.35M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $7.2M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 9441 Peaceful Dr now $249K (our listing), 1311 Par View Dr now $274K.

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Aerial of 9441 Peaceful Drive in Gumbo Limbo, backing to conservation land.

 

1 new sale: 6159 Starling Way listed at $639K.

1 closed sale: 2529 Wulfert Rd $230K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 now $495K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 listed at $375K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $320K, Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 $590K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until next Friday, here’s one more fun picture from Pia. Pelicans love special perches.

Chateau pelicans 07-17

Happy weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan