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How to Protect Your Property From Coastal Erosion

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Image source: SBS

One of the biggest risks coastal properties face is coastal erosion, which results in the shoreline moving toward the land as cliffs are pulled back or as beach and dune systems change locations. When this occurs, roads, residential and commercial buildings, and other coastal infrastructures run the risk of being damaged or in worst cases, even destroyed.

While coastal erosion is a natural process, the fact remains that it poses a threat and may result to economic losses. In the US, coastal erosion contributes to around $500 million yearly in coastal property loss. The US Climate Resilience Toolkit outlines some of the most popular non-structural methods for controlling erosion. The reason why states are shifting toward non-structural alternatives is because structural solutions may affect natural water currents and may deter beach replenishment in the process.

The non-structural strategies mentioned include:

  • Beach replenishment – dredging of sand from offshore and dumping it on the beach so the latter is protected
  • Dune protection and improvement – will absorb the impact of storm surge and high waves, thus delaying or forestalling the flooding of inland areas
  • Wetland protection: A study that appeared in the “Journal of Environmental Economics and Management” tried to place a value on wetlands for their part in reducing wind damage to property resulting from diminished storm intensities.
  • Habitat restoration – protects and depending on the condition, restores the ecosystems and habitats in the environment
  • Structure relocation and debris removal: There may be cases that would require the relocation of your property. This is especially true for houses that are built on minimum required setbacks, since these do not provide enough protection from damage and loss because of erosion. Note that permits are required for this solution.
  • Use of dredged material for beach nourishment: They can be replaced into beach zones to improve or create new beaches and recreational spaces. Beach nourishment is quite popular along the ocean costs since good quality beach sand is usually hard to find.
  • Sandbags – for temporary protection while the owners are seeking for more permanent solutions

Having a better understanding of coastal erosion is the key in protecting your property from the damages inflicted by such. Talk to an expert and find out if your structure faces imminent threats so you can act fast before the soil even begins to erode.

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Getting Insurance for Your Second Home | Vacation Home Insurance

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Image source: Zillow

Whether you are leasing your second home to seasonal travelers or keeps it exclusively for family use, there is always the risk of damage or loss from natural calamities, theft, and other unforeseen incidents or disasters. If you belong to the cautious group of homeowners, these threats may be enough to justify buying a second insurance for your vacation home.

What are the factors to consider when getting insurance for your second home?

  1. Check first your primary home insurance policy. Ask your insurer if the existing policy can cover a second home. Otherwise, you will have to purchase another insurance.
  2. If you are renting your home, consider a comprehensive insurance policy that will protect your property from fire, hailstorm, and any other catastrophe. The best way to deal with this is to determine first the risks to your home.
  3. Verify how much you need to spend if you add personal liability coverage. This will help minimize the costs if you are sued by someone following injuries obtained within your property.
  4. Be specific on what you want to insure. Second homes are usually covered by a more restricted type of policy called “named perils,” which means incidents not indicated in the list will likely not be covered.
  5. Note that vacation or second homes tend to be more expensive to insure because they are either located in an earthquake- or flood-prone (waterfront) area or would normally feature special amenities such as pools and hot tubs.
  6. Never misrepresent facts when talking to your insurer. This may delay or void your rights when you make claims in the future. The savings you are hoping to get will not be worth the risk.
  7. Ask your agent about a personal umbrella policy (PUP) for greater liability protection. However, PUPs generally cover incidents related to personal negligence. For vacation rental activities, a specific umbrella (commercial) will be required.

Before the family gets busy preparing for that much-needed vacation, check with your insurer your available options if you wish to insure your second home. Protect your investment. Call an agent now.