Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"AP" Goofs on Homeowners Insurance

Oops! The Northwest Florida Daily News on February 14 printed an Associated Press article with incorrect information about homeowners insurance legislation. The AP article stated that Florida homeowners insurance policies would "not" be cancellable for the 90 days prior to and throughout hurricane season. Hurricane season starts on June 1. Property owners have indeed been receiving cancellation notices and been caught unawares, due to the widely publicized article. AP declined to comment on the issue.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Insurance Discount Saga Continues

Yes, now it's become a saga. My earlier post discussed the homeowners insurance discount I got by increasing my deductibles for hurricane and peril. I also got a discount by slightly reducing the estimated replacement value of my house. I had pursued a further discount by having my original builder, Felix Beukenkamp,a state certified general contractor, fill out a detailed insurance form that asked for specifications about my construction. The insurance agent told me no photos were necessary. Some of the items would in fact get me a discount, because I do have a hip roof and have a higher-code roof deck attachment. Two weeks later I get a call that the insurance company now wants photos. My husband, Randy, fully equipped with his new camera, climbs into the attic amidst insulation to take pictures. He also takes photos of the hip roof from multiple angles. I emailed these to the insurance agent. She says, "I have never had anyone send in the roof deck pictures post-construction for a discount". She implied they may not accept my photos as evidence since insulation partially obstructs the construction. She said she would let me know. Well, I made it clear that I felt like I was getting the run-around, and that I would be seeking further relief if the insurance company denied the fact that I should be getting a discount. I will advise you of how this progresses. Let me know if you have had a similar experience.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"It's Wendy!" Signs

I foolishly thought that with the opening of my new company, Rulnick Realty, that the problem would be in the past. What problem? The stolen riders. A "rider" is a small sign that is attached to a main sign. For example, you often see "SOLD" or "REDUCED" riders on real estate For Sale signs. I put riders that say "IT'S WENDY!" on all my signs. For years now, the riders have mysteriously disappeared. That is, they have been heisted, absconded with and just plain stolen. I even called the police in one case where I had about five of them taken off one listing. Mind you, the For Sale sign remains intact. It's the "IT'S WENDY!" that is apparently a prized possession. With my new company, I have invested in new, very expensive signs where my riders get inserted into a metal frame. They look more connected to the main sign. No change. Gone. Yesterday, my husband, Randy, and I rode into Crestview to take down a sign. The sign had been moved onto someone else's lot. And the "IT'S WENDY!" was gone. Stay tuned. I may be offering them for sale on my website, for $20 a pop.

Friday, March 9, 2007

New Airline to Area?

From the Nortwest Florida Daily News
Mar 9, 2007

Airline being wooed to area

Travel by defense contractors could be key to luring Southwest, officials say


Business travel could be the key to convincing Southwest Airlines to land its service at Okaloosa Regional Airport.

Local chambers of commerce have teamed up with the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County to survey local companies about how often they travel and where.

"We determined that those are the type of numbers that might give Southwest a better feel of what potential business might be," said EDC president Larry Sassano. "We haven't crunched the numbers in terms of impact, but we're getting a very, very strong response."

The Niceville-Valparaiso and Fort Walton Beach chambers are participating in the survey.

"I think Southwest needs to know that the people want them to be here," said Peggy Brockman, chairwoman of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Another airline would expand travel options, Brockman said.

"It would allow the rates to be more competitive on all the airlines," she said. "More people would have access to coming here from different destinations. It's a two-way street."

The chambers and the EDC plan to compile the results in the coming weeks and present them to airport officials.

"We're trying to overcome their typical business model," explained Jerry Sealy, Okaloosa County's airports director. "What (Okaloosa County) shows is a median income of about $30,000 to $35,000. That's not a lot of funds for flying, so we're showing them the business community will pick up that slack."

Sassano agreed, noting that the area's strong military ties generate significant business travel.

"You've got 300-plus defense contractors doing business somewhere," he said. "That's a tremendous market right there."

Sealy said he and his staff communicate with Southwest weekly to keep them updated.

"We've been after them, you know, for eight or nine years," he said. "I think we have a really good opportunity here."

The five daily flights that Southwest is considering would generate an additional 70,000 to 100,000 passengers at the airport annually.

"We know that if they do come here, our business will probably triple overnight," added Terry Curry, Okaloosa Regional's operations manager.

Southwest officials last visited the area in December.

"We made a good impression," Curry said. "They were very up front about that."

Curry said Southwest was pleased with Okaloosa Regional's facility and its potential to expand by three new gates and 22 acres for future car rental space.

The key to drawing Southwest will be selling it on a wider area than an individual city, Sealy said.

"What we're trying for them to get their hands around is to come to the Emerald Coast... that being anywhere from Panama City to Pensacola."

Daily News Business Editor Kari C.

Barlow can be reached at 863-1111,

Ext. 439.

Therrien Earns Broker License

Rulnick Realty announces that Rhonda Therrien has received her Florida Broker Associate license. Therrien has been with Wendy Rulnick since 2000, and has been a Licensed Florida Land Title Agent, as well. She has over 25 years experience in the real estate industry. Therrien also holds the CRS and GRI designations.