Seasonal Home Maintenance Tips for Florida Residents: Summer Edition

At Synergy Insurance Group, we understand the unique challenges Florida homeowners face, especially during the hot and humid summer months. To keep your home in top shape and avoid common insurance claims, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance tasks tailored to the season. Here are some crucial summer home maintenance tips for Florida residents.

1. Air Conditioning Maintenance

Clean and Replace Filters

  • Why: Clogged filters reduce efficiency and can lead to system failure.
  • How: Check and replace filters monthly. Clean reusable filters regularly.

Professional HVAC Check-Up

  • Why: Ensures optimal performance and prevents unexpected breakdowns.
  • How: Schedule a professional inspection and servicing before the peak summer heat.

2. Roof and Gutter Inspection

Inspect and Repair Roof

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

  • Why: Prevents water damage and foundation issues.
  • How: Clear debris from gutters and ensure downspouts direct water away from your home.

3. Pest Control

Seal Entry Points

  • Why: High temperatures and humidity attract pests indoors.
  • How: Inspect and seal cracks, gaps, and holes in walls, windows, and doors.

Yard Maintenance

  • Why: Overgrown vegetation can harbor pests.
  • How: Trim bushes, mow the lawn regularly, and remove standing water where mosquitoes breed.

4. Hurricane Preparedness

Inspect and Reinforce Windows and Doors

  • Why: Prevents wind and water damage during storms.
  • How: Check for gaps and cracks. Install storm shutters or impact-resistant windows if necessary.

Check and Secure Outdoor Furniture

  • Why: Loose items can become dangerous projectiles.
  • How: Secure or store outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that can be picked up by strong winds.

5. Plumbing Check-Up

Inspect for Leaks

  • Why: Humidity and heat can exacerbate plumbing issues.
  • How: Check for leaks in hoses, faucets, and pipes. Repair any issues promptly to prevent water damage.

Clean and Maintain Drains

  • Why: Prevents clogs and backups.
  • How: Use natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar to clean drains. Avoid chemical drain cleaners that can damage pipes.

6. Electrical System Maintenance

Check and Replace Worn-Out Wiring

  • Why: Prevents fire hazards.
  • How: Inspect all visible wiring for wear and tear. Consider a professional inspection for hidden wiring.

Surge Protection

  • Why: Protects appliances from power surges during thunderstorms.
  • How: Install surge protectors on major appliances and consider a whole-house surge protection system.

7. Exterior Maintenance

Pressure Wash Exterior Surfaces

  • Why: Removes mold, mildew, and dirt buildup.
  • How: Pressure wash siding, driveways, and patios. Be cautious not to damage surfaces.

Paint Touch-Ups

  • Why: Protects against weather damage.
  • How: Touch up any chipped or peeling paint to protect your home’s exterior from the elements.

8. Fire Safety

Check Smoke Detectors

  • Why: Ensures early detection of fires.
  • How: Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.

Create a Fire Safety Plan


By performing these summer-specific home maintenance tasks, Florida homeowners can protect their property from the unique challenges posed by the state’s climate. Regular maintenance not only helps in preventing common insurance claims but also ensures that your home remains a safe and comfortable haven throughout the year. Stay proactive and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained home. Remember, Synergy Insurance Group is here to support you every step of the way.


Autumnal Care: Navigating Fall Home Maintenance in Florida

Autumn in Florida is a subtle transition, softly nudging the boundaries of a seemingly endless summer with mild whispers of cooler breezes. While the quintessential fall transformations are minimal, homeowners still need to adjust their maintenance practices to ensure their homes are well-kept and prepared for seasonal changes. Here’s a guide to fall home maintenance tailored to meet the specific needs of Florida residents. Read more

How to Keep Pets Calm During A Storm

Our pets have sharp senses and can detect changes in atmospheric pressure, electrical charges, and vibrations, which often precede storms. Thunder, lightning, gusty winds, and sudden changes in lighting can be unsettling for them. Signs of pet anxiety during storms may include restlessness, pacing, excessive barking or meowing, trembling, and seeking shelter in unusual places. By understanding their reactions, you can better address their needs.


1.     Create a Safe Haven: Designate a cozy, secure space where your pets can retreat during storms. A quiet room with familiar bedding, toys, and a comfortable hiding spot can provide them with a sense of security.

2.     Gradual Exposure: If your pets are anxious during storms, consider desensitizing them to storm-related sounds. Play recordings of thunder or rain at low volumes while engaging them in enjoyable activities. Gradually increase the volume over time to help them build a positive association.

3.     Positive Reinforcement: Reward calm behavior during storms with treats, praise, or gentle petting. This positive reinforcement can help them associate the storm with positive experiences.

During the Storm:

1.     Stay Calm: Pets often mirror their owners’ emotions. If you remain calm during the storm, your pets are more likely to feel secure. Engage in soothing activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to calming music.

2.     Distraction and Engagement: Provide engaging toys or activities that capture your pets’ attention. Puzzle toys filled with treats or interactive play can divert their focus from the storm.

3.     Physical Contact: Physical touch and closeness can be reassuring. Holding, cuddling, or simply being present can help alleviate your pets’ anxiety.

Hurricane Preparedness for Pets:

1.     Emergency Kit: Include essential pet supplies in your hurricane preparedness kit: food, water, medication, a leash, a carrier, ID tags, medical records, and a recent photo of your pet.

2.     Evacuation Plan: Determine pet-friendly evacuation routes and shelters in your area. Keep a list of contacts who can provide temporary shelter for your pets if needed.

3.     Identification: Make sure your pets have proper identification, including a collar with up-to-date tags and a microchip with accurate contact information. This is important in case of separation during a storm.

Post-Storm Care:

1.     Reassurance and Routine: After the storm passes, establish a routine as soon as possible. Pets thrive on consistency, and returning to familiar activities can help restore their sense of normalcy.

2.     Check for Hazards: Inspect your surroundings for any potential hazards that might have been caused by the storm. Broken fences, fallen branches, or debris can pose risks to your pets.

3.     Monitor for Stress: Keep an eye on your pets for any lingering signs of stress. If their anxiety persists, consult a veterinarian to explore potential solutions, such as behavioral training or medication.

As responsible pet owners, our priority is making sure the well-being of our furry companions, especially during unpredictable weather events. By understanding their anxiety triggers, preparing ahead of time, and providing comfort during storms, we can help our pets feel safe and secure.storm prep

Having a plan in place ahead of time can reduce anxiety for the whole family. Download our Disaster Preparedness Plan to help you prepare for a storm.

Top 10 Hurricane Resources in South Florida

Hurricane Resources

South Florida’s stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and sunny climate are alluring, but the region is no stranger to the annual threat of hurricanes. This blog covers the top 10 essential hurricane resources in South Florida, empowering you to weather the storm with confidence.

Read more

Spring Cleaning for Safety: Change the Clocks, Change the Plan

You’ve changed the clocks and been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. While you’re in the throes of all that cleaning, take a moment to add these general safety tips onto your honey-dos. From the ceilings to the medicine cabinets, now is a great time to make your home as safe as possible for the new season. Here are a few ideas to kickstart your plans. Read more

Are You Prepared For a Storm?

Preparing for a storm can be an undertaking that no one looks forward to, but being equipped when a storm hits can be invaluable. There is no better time than now to put a plan in place to protect you and your family. Below are some essential aspects to consider when storm is on the horizon.

Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit prepared is vital. It’s a great idea to always have an emergency kit on hand stocked with batteries, flashlights, first aid kit, and other essential emergency items for unexpected disasters. When a storm is approaching, other necessities should be stocked for your emergency kit in case of power outages. Some of these items should include water, non-perishable food items, prescription medicines, cash, and any other items that may may be needed. When considering items to include in your family’s emergency kit, you should also consider any unique needs of your family. If you have small children, you may need to have extra formula and diapers; if you have pets, make sure you have plenty of pet food on hand.

Financial Preparedness

Preparing your finances ahead of a storm could be one of the best financial decisions you’ll make. The recovery process after a disaster will take much longer if you don’t have immediate access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other household records. Below are a few tips to prepare your financial disaster plan.

  1. Store important documents in a safety deposit box or in a cloud based storage to have easy access during a disaster.
  2. Consider creating an emergency fund that could be used in any crisis.
  3. Make sure you’re fully covered. Obtain property, health and life insurance if you don’t already have it, and review the policies. During storms, such as hurricanes, there are certain damages that your insurance may not cover, so make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not covered.
  4. Document your assets. It’s a good idea to take photos or do a quick video walk-through of your home. You may not ever need it, but if you do have to file a claim, it is much smoother to have everything documented.


storm prep

Download your Disaster Preparedness Plan

It sounds simple, but it’s important to communicate with your whole family about what to do in certain scenarios to reduce stress and confusion.  When a storm makes landfall, where will you shelter? Will you stay in place or evacuate? Do you know your evacuation route? How will you receive storm updates if there is no power or internet? These are just a few of the questions to consider when creating a plan for your family. Having a plan in place ahead of time can reduce anxiety for the whole family. Download our Disaster Preparedness Plan to help you prepare for a storm.

For more resources to create your storm preparedness plan visit

Stock Up on Hurricane Supplies This Tax Free Holiday


The 2020 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is here, from May 29th – June 4th. Unlike previous years, there is only ONE tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies in 2020.  So it’s time to stock up on those high demand hurricane supplies and general household items. Because, don’t forget hurricane season starts on June 1st (what a crazy coincidence!) and a lot of disaster preparedness items are sales tax exempt during this time.

Hurricane Prep Savings Galore

When a hurricane hits, you don’t want to be scrambling to find these important disaster preparedness items. You can avoid long lines and a lot of stress by planning to pick up these top disaster preparedness items during the sales tax holiday. Click the image below to see the high demand tax free items.

While there are price limits on what you can buy, the range of emergency supplies isn’t half bad:

2020 Disaster Prep Sales Tax Holiday

Planning Ahead

Remember that the most common emergency items are always exempt from taxes, including first-aid kits, basic foodstuffs (including baby formula), bottled water, and prescription medications.

There’s little worse than running smack dab into an emergency without the supplies you need! Now is the time to get the fuel, food, and lighting you need if worst comes to worst. Don’t stand in line with everyone else, only to find out the items you need most are sold out. Prep for hurricane season now (without those pesky taxes!) and rest easy when the storm hits. You can get all the details of Florida’s Tax Free Holiday here as well.

storm season

Download your free Disaster Preparedness Plan Ebook here!

Synergy Insurance has been helping Floridians improve family safety for years, and we want to help you too—whether you’re a client or not! For more information about disaster prep, download our Disaster Preparedness Plan to learn more about what to do when a storm touches down. If you have any questions about how homeowners insurance can help you get the coverage you need to stave off the worst of the storm, call Synergy Insurance today.

The Truth About Flood Insurance

flood insurance

Flooding is the #1 ranked natural disaster in the country and yet, there are numerous common misconceptions about flood insurance that permeate in the United States, specifically in Florida. Make sure your home and property is protected in case of an emergency, as many residents live in coastal areas. Knowing the importance of flood insurance is the first step in preventing unexpected loss, and we’re here to help get you ready.

My Homeowners Policy Covers Flooding

Fact: Your homeowners policy more than likely does not cover flooding.  You may have optional coverage for back-up of sewers and drains, but flooding caused by natural disasters or similar events are provided by different agencies such as The National Flood Insurance Program to allow policyholders the maximum flexibility in coverage and to save them money with lower premiums.

I Don’t Live in a Flood Zone, So I Don’t Need Flood Insurance

Fact: Per the National Flood Insurance Program, flooding is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow, caused by various conditions such as severe storms and sources of rapid water accumulation. Believe it or not, we all live in a flood zone, which has the potential to fill with water any time.  The difference is the severity or risk of flooding in your particular zone.  Industry wide, however, over 20% of all flood claims come from people who are NOT in high risk areas, and 1/3 of all disaster assistance goes to flooding victims according to FEMA – so we’re all at risk.

Flood Damage is Easy to Pay Back

storm seasonFact: If you don’t already have flood insurance, contact a Synergy agent to discuss options. Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don’t need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. One inch of flood water can cause up to $27,000 in damages alone, leaving you scrambling to pay for it. A claim against your flood insurance policy could, and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA — and you don’t have to pay it back.

Make sure your home, family and belongings are protected in case of a disaster with our Disaster Preparedness Plan! This resource is filled with tip sheets, evacuation routes, and safety information to help give you peace of mind during the worst. Click the image to get your copy!

Essential Safety Tips for Nighttime Boating

boat insurance

If you own a boat (or better yet, as the joke goes, you know someone who does),  you’ve probably thought about spending some evenings on the water – especially in the summertime.

It’s a great thought, of course. But, when you’re boating after dark in Florida, you need to think about staying safe, even as you enjoy the stillness of the water and the starry sky.

Here are seven things to keep in mind, both before you hit the water and once you’re out cruising around:

    1. Have a plan – and tools to help if it goes wrong: Don’t go boating at night in an unfamiliar place. You can’t see as well, obviously, so stick to where you know the ropes, so to speak. And because things look different in the dark, make sure you have the correct navigational tools in case you get lost.
    2. Share your plan: Always give a friend or family member your “float plan.” Include where you’re going, your boat’s description and registration information, who’s with you and when you’ll be back.
    3. Check – and dress for – the weather: On top of the other difficulties of boating at night, you don’t want to get caught in a storm if you can help it. And you want to be comfortable, so be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the forecast. A sweatshirt, blanket and extra towels may come in handy, even in the summer.
    4. Do a pre-trip inspection: This is good advice for daytime boating as well, but at night it’s crucial that your navigation lights work, for starters. You also need a horn, plenty of fuel, a radio, a flashlight, flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets for all passengers.
    5. Slow down: Speed is a factor in many boating accidents, and the limited visibility at night makes the water even more dangerous. Remember, you aren’t going to be the only one on the water at night, so know the right-of-way rules.
    6. Pay attention. Know how to monitor the navigation lights of other vessels to recognize which direction they are going. Be particularly cautious about small vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, as well as anchored or drifting boats. Their lights can be easily confused with lights onshore.
    7. Don’t get distracted – or drunk: It’s never okay to drink and operate a boat, so be sure you have a designated driver. And, though you’re out there to have fun, make sure you can still hear the sounds from approaching vessels. Keep the stereo low and your ears open.

While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage. If you’re a new boater or just in an unfamiliar vessel, you may want to put in more hours during the day before tackling an area at night. Even then, start with short evening outings and work your way up to a moonlight ride. And don’t forget to turn on the lights at the dock before you go!

Contact Us!

homeowners insurance At Synergy Insurance Group, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable.

Contact us today to speak with an agent and get a free, no-hassle quote! Our agents are available to help you find the best coverage possible.


What Should Go in Your Home Safe (or Safe-Deposit Box)?

home insurance

Spring has arrived, which means it’s time to clean the cobwebs out of the corners, organize the closets and so forth. While you’re at it, don’t forget to revisit the important documents and other items you have in your home safe and in that safe-deposit box at the bank.

What documents do you need to keep? What can your shred? Are your valuable items properly secured?

Wait, what’s that? You don’t have a home safe? Or a safe-deposit box? Well, let’s look at why you may want to get one – or both – and what to keep inside.

Home Safes

Oftentimes these are well suited for safeguarding important documents and valuable things you access somewhat regularly, such as jewelry or watches. Keep in mind that while residential safes help protect against fire and theft, they often aren’t as robust as commercial models. For the best protection in a home safe, select a model that is heavy enough that a burglar couldn’t make off with it, and consider bolting it to the floor. Here are some of the things you may want to keep inside:

  • Insurance policies and your agent’s contact information.
  • Passports, original birth certificates and Social Security cards.
  • Photocopies of passports, credit cards and driver’s licenses, in case they are ever lost or stolen from your purse or wallet.
  • Tax documents and tax returns, from the past six to seven years.
  • A list of your family’s medical information and contacts, including doctors, pharmacies and medications.
  • Investment and banking documents, including billing contact information, as well as emergency cash.
  • Heirloom and other valuable jewelry and watches.
  • Wills and other important legal documents, including wills that list you as the executor.
  • Computer backup disks or drives, or other small electronics you don’t use regularly.
  • Safe-deposit box keys.

Safe-Deposit Boxes

Speaking of safe-deposit boxes, are they an old-fashioned notion or something that’s worth your while? To answer that question, U.S. News & World Report recommends gathering everything you might want to store in a safe-deposit box and then determining whether you feel secure enough storing it all at home.

If not, a safe-deposit box may be a better, more secure option. A bank is more heavily guarded than your home, after all – against theft, fire and other disasters.

If you do decide on a safe-deposit box, here’s what you might want to keep in it:

  • Originals of key documents, such as property deeds, car titles, etc.
  • Valuable collections or family keepsakes that you don’t access very often.
  • Pictures or videos from your home inventory to use for insurance purposes.

If not, store these items in your home safe. And, here’s what NOT to put in a safe-deposit box:

  • Anything you may need to access quickly, such as passports, powers of attorney documents, etc.
  • Cash. Not only will your money not earn interest in a safe-deposit box, it won’t be protected by FDIC insurance, either.

homeowners insuranceRemember, putting something in your home safe or a safe-deposit box is more secure than stashing it in your sock drawer, but it doesn’t guarantee anything, either. So, think about having document backups, as well as insurance for your valuable items.

After all, if something is valuable enough to lock up, isn’t it valuable enough to insure, too? Talk to us about your personal property coverage and about scheduling any high-value items, especially expensive jewelry and collectibles, separately.