Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brace Yourself from the Winds of Change in Windstorm Insurance Rates

It should come as no surprise that the June 1 beginning of hurricane season has politicians, regulators and insurance providers alike making windy projections about windstorm insurance rates. Will homeowners be left spinning in the wind while rate hikes are debated?

Scientists continue to debate the impact of global warming on hurricanes. However, it appears that insurers have decided that costs will be higher. The industry is betting on more hurricanes, cutting coverage and increasing premiums in Florida. Homeowners have already taken a big hit since 2004, with increases ranging from 100 to 300% in some instances. The rationale behind projected insurance increases is complex and is not yet approved by Florida regulators.

The editors of this blog will be asking the insurance industry and individual agents about possible discounts for homeowners who install impact-resistant windows and doors. We want to know if products that can withstand flying debris and stop structural roof damage can blow the roof off rising insurance rates. Stay tuned.

Visit Astor Impact Windows for information about purchasing impact windows and doors. You can also email us at or call us at 1-800-573-1780.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tips on Choosing a Hurricane Windows Contractor

Choosing a window contractor can be difficult if you are not familiar with the business. Consumers need to know the right questions to ask in order to correctly differentiate one company to the other. You will be surprised of how many times homeowners make the wrong choice simply because they did not ask the right questions. Below, you can find a number of important questions to ask window contractors when you are bidding your replacement window project:

  1. Does the company keep customer satisfaction ratings? If so, what are the ratings?
  2. Who are the employees/technitians who will be installing the windows and doors?
  3. Are the technitians certified by the window manufacturer? Can they provide proof of it?
  4. How many years of installation (labor) warranty is the company offering?
  5. What is the warranty of the product being offered?
  6. How many customer references has the company provided to you?
  7. How many of the customers references have you called to verify window company performance in previous jobs?
  8. For how much is the window company's general liability coverage?
  9. For how much is the window company's workers' compensation coverage?
  10. Who is the window company's license qualifier?
  11. Is the person the owner of the company?
  12. Has company provided copies of the qualifier's license?
  13. Has window company speficified that someone from their organization will be present at every building inspection necesarry to complete the job?
  14. Is the company an authororized distributor of the window manufacturer and has shown proof?
  15. Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Does the company have a clean track record with the BBB?
  16. Does the company use an independent engineering firm to establish the site specifications of the impact products to be installed at your property?

You should copy this list and create a table to see how the bidding companies compare to one another.

Visit Astor Impact Windows for information about purchasing impact windows and doors. You can also email us at or call us at 1-800-573-1780.