Bonita Lakes ~ Featured Articles



Think twice about filing an insurance claim, particularly if the amount you receive will be small compared to the deductible you pay out of your own pocket.  There is nothing in most policy language that requires you to notify your carrier of damage, particularly if you are not going to file a claim.  Choicepoint, Inc., formerly Equifax Services, Inc., of Georgia maintains a little known "secret" database of your homes claim history.  They obtain the information from all insurers who are members of "CLUE" (the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) including claim and damage data about homes and commercial properties. They then share this information with other insurance companies. This information is kept on file about your home for at least five years and many times has been cited as the reason for a cancellation, non renewal or refusal to write a policy for a subsequent owner of your home.  By making claims for which there is not a substantial reason, you give the insurance industry ammunition to use against you, and you are basically powerless to control the use of that information.  In some cases, a homes sale can be interrupted, or the value of the home diminished because the CLUE report makes the home either uninsurable by a subsequent carrier, or perhaps insurable at high deductibles or with unreasonable exclusions. Federal Law requires Choicepoint, Inc., to reveal the content of their database to the homeowner, and you are entitled to one free report every 12 months.  It is vitally important that you know what these databases are saying about you.  To get your free report, go to and follow the instructions to request your free report.  For further information, do a google search on "CLUE REPORT" and "CHOICEPOINT"......

Points to ponder.....

If you had a generator to use during the hurricane, did you offer to let your neighbor plug in ?

Did you share ice, water, food, gasoline, cooking facility, gas grill with a neighbor ?

Did you go and check to make sure your neighbors were OK ?

Did you help your neighbors with shutters, or emergency repairs ?

Did you sweep up the broken tiles from the public street in front of your home to save everyone's tires?

Were you a good neighbor ?  What goes around, comes around.....

Since this was posted the <webmaster> has received a dozen or so emails explaining the general sentiment that neighbors were indifferent to those around them, and made little or no effort to help their neighbors.  I'm sure this is not the norm, but  it's a shame if a community of 517 homes cannot be more of a family.  In such a small space, we need to SHARE, and CARE and reach out to those of us who may be less equipped or less fortunate.  When you HAVE it is your RESPONSIBILITY to SHARE with those who have not.  When you are safe, it is your responsibility to help those who are not safe.  No man is an island as they say.  It is better to be part of a community than an outside observer of a community.  It is better to be able to count on your neighbors, than to wonder if they even know who you are. Even a small generator can accept one more light bulb, or a small TV, perhaps a small electric fan;  even the smallest freezer can take one more bottle of baby formula, or someone's last piece of fresh meat.  The lighted gas grill can cook for dozens with the same gas consumption wasted on 2 or 4.  Idle bored children driving their parents crazy can be challenged to games of filling trash bags with the most yard debris.  There are many ways to make a disaster survivable, and there is safety in numbers.  I for one, am delighted that I was close to my neighbors; we drew from each others strengths, companionship; we shared our assets, we survived in relative comfort and safety.  Think about it.  Get involved.  Meet your neighbors.  Develop friendships.  Become a family.  Storms are going to be a fact of life in South Florida.  If you stand alone, it will be a very lonely way to spend a disaster.