Distracted Driving Could Increase Insurance Rates

No matter how good of a driver you may be, distracted driving can be one of the most dangerous acts you can ever commit. Moreover, despite the lack of laws on this issue, there are various consequences to this violation. For instance, did you know distracted driving could raise your insurance rates by as much as 41%? The following is an overview of how that could happen. 

Consequences of Distracted Driving

In addition to being charged a serious fine, distracted driving has been known to injure and or kill a variety of people from all walks of life. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured as the result of distracted drivers in 2015 alone. These numbers should be sobering, to say the least, and lets us all know why distracted driving is such a major issue. 

How Distracted Driving Could affect Insurance Rates

Once you have received a ticket, the distracted driving infraction will stay on your driving record. Therefore, when you have to renew your insurance or wish to switch to another company, the company will be alerted of your history of distracted driving and will charge you, on average, an extra 16%. Moreover, depending on the company and the nature of your driving record, you could be on the hook for up to 41% more per policy. 

Keeping in mind, distracted driving is not recommended no matter who you insure with, for those looking to purchase high-quality insurance in Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc is a fantastic option. Therefore, if you are seeking quality coverage to protect yourself from the various distracted drivers on the road, call, email or stop into our Fort Myers, FL office to find out how you can protect your vehicle and hopefully save! No need to wait, contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today! 

 

Providing Liability Insurance for the “6-pack” or “Charter Boat Captain’s License”

The Coast Guard Auxillary defines the “6 Pack License” as follows. “This license is properly termed “Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels” (OUPV) and is commonly referred to as the “6-pack” or “Charterboat Captain’s License”. The word “uninspected” means that the equipment required and the design of the boat are less regulated. “6-pack” refers to the 6 passenger limitation placed on the license. OUPV licenses are issued with a particular route. Your license can be for the Great Lakes, Inland routes meaning bays, sounds, rivers, lakes, etc. of the US or Near Coastal routes out to 100 miles offshore. All OUPV licenses are for 100 Gross Tons vessels (about 100 feet, more or less). The OUPV license may be upgraded to a Master license.”

In a nutshell, the 6 Pack Liability Insurance is typically provided under a “Charter Boat Policy”.  The policy language specifically addresses chartering, clients and crew.  Read your policy….they are not all alike.  The Hull and Liability Insurance typically follows the boat, not the Captain.  If a 6 Pack Captain contracts to be the captain of a non-owned vessel, the Yacht Insurance Policy for the non-owned vessel should be amended to include crew coverage for one or more and endorsed for charter.  This process and the resulting policy endorsement language may be different from policy to policy.  Scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and similar activities are typically excluded,  but may be endorsed to the policy.

Let us quote your Charter Boat Policy ….We will make sure that you have the correct coverage.  Call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. at 239-265-9577 or email Info@swflagency.com to request an application.

If My Dog Bites An Intruder Will My Insurance Cover Their Treatment?

Your dog is a member of your family, but there are times when a friend or neighbor may get on their bad side. Dog bites can lead to expensive medical bills and often result in hard feelings on both ends. At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. agents are ready to answer the questions Fort Myers, FL residents may have when it comes to dog bites that occur on their property.

Injuries That Occur On Your Property

When an injury occurs on your property, your homeowner’s insurance policy will kick in and cover the person’s medical expenses. This is also true if your dog bites someone or causes them to fall. It’s important to remember that any type of injury that occurs on your property is your responsibility. Just like you would be responsible for someone falling down a flight of stairs, you will also be responsible for any injuries that were caused by one of your pets.

Containing Your Dog and Maintaining Control

Responsible pet ownership means containing your pet and maintaining control of your pet at all times. This can mean surrounding your property with a high fence, keeping your dog on a strong leash while others are present and making sure your pets are current on all of their vaccinations.

The agents of SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serve residents throughout the Fort Myers, FL area. If you have questions about your homeowner’s insurance coverage and how to handle a dog bite situation, don’t hesitate to call the office and speak to a licensed agent. They can provide you with the answers you need and provide you peace of mind.

Do Rental Properties Need Home Insurance?

If you have rental properties that you are renting out, then you have probably asked yourself whether or not you need to invest in homeowners insurance. In most cases, you will need some type of landlord policy. If, however, you do not intend to rent out the property on a full-time basis — you are only going to rent out sporadically — then a homeowners policy might make for a better fit. Let’s take a quick look at an important factor to consider when deciding what type of insurance you need on your rental properties. 

What is the length of the rental agreement?

If you intend to rent out your home for a short period of time, like for a sporting event that’s taking place over the period of one or two weekends, then you probably don’t need a landlord insurance policy. Instead, you should speak with your insurance agent to see if your current homeowner’s policy will provide protection. If, however, you intend to rent out your home for more than a period of 14 days, then a landlord policy will likely be needed. Still yet, if you do decide to rent out your home for only a short period of time yet you don’t live in the home, then a homeowners policy might not be suitable. This is why it is so important to speak with your insurance agent about the best type of policy to invest in. 

Understanding Coverage

It is pertinent to understand that landlord policy and homeowner’s policies will likely not cover your tenant’s belongings in the home. This is why it is important to tell your tenants that they need to invest in a renters policy. 

To learn more about putting insurance on rental properties, please contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving the Fort Myers, FL area. 

Why You May Need Additional Condo Insurance

Insurance for a condo is obviously very different than insurance from a home. The roof and grounds, for example, are usually covered under the primary building owner’s policy as opposed to a unit owner within the building. But just because the HOA enforces strict laws about home insurance doesn’t always mean that you have enough coverage to replace everything you care about. For condo owners in Fort Myers, FL, consider the following tips from SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. 

Times Goes By 

The passage of time isn’t just a natural inevitability, it’s also a recipe for change. The more time you live in your apartment, the more you have a chance to improve upon it and increase its value. From buying a new television to adding an expensive fixture to the bathroom, all of those small improvements you make can really add up. As the state of your condo becomes more and more luxurious, it can push you into a different coverage bracket where you need additional insurance to protect it all in case something happens to it. 

You Started Too Low 

Most people vastly underestimate their worth when it comes to their insurance policy. They do it because that underestimation translates into lower premiums. But it only takes one event to force you to come to terms with the fact that you never had enough coverage, to begin with. While it may mean paying a slightly higher premium, it’s necessary for condo owners to truly evaluate what they would want replacing if something were to happen. For more information or to ask questions about the right level of coverage for you, give SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. a call. We can help people of Fort Myers, FL find the right policy for them! 

Do You Need Boat Insurance If Your Boat Is In Dry Dock Storage?

If you currently have boat insurance, or you are considering purchasing boat insurance, you may have questions about your coverage. For instance, you may want to know if you boat insurance covers damages that occur in dry dock or in storage.

Dry Dock And Storage Damage

If you put your boat in storage or in dry dock, the facility would be liable for any damages, which would be covered by their liability insurance. Your boat insurance generally does not cover damages that occur outside of the water. If you are storing your boat at home, your homeowners’ insurance policy may cover any damages if they occur on the property. 

Know Your Policy

It is important to know the limits of coverage for your boat insurance policy. That is why you should purchase your insurance through an insurance agency that has your best interests at heart. A reputable company will explain all of the terms and conditions and make sure you understand before you make your decision. They will also walk you through every step of your purchase and even the claims process. If you live in or around Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you get the right coverage for your needs.

Don’t purchase boat insurance without knowing what you are buying. Seek the assistance of a professional insurance provider and ensure you have the proper coverage as well as answers to all of your questions. For assistance with boat insurance, if you live in or around Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is ready to help. Call or stop by to speak to one of our agents today.

3 Thing to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Riding a motorcycle can be one of life’s pleasures. Out on the open road with the warm wind blowing and the sun shining down, it is easy to forget troubles and just enjoy the day. But riders also need to take the time to protect themselves, and to be sure they are doing all the right things to keep them from getting hurt on the road. If they do happen to be in an accident, they want to know that they have good coverage. That’s where SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. in Fort Myers, FL comes in. Here are three things the agency thinks riders should know about motorcycle insurance.

1. Insuring a motorcycle typically costs far less than insuring a car, truck, or SUV.

2. Not all states require a motorcycle to be insured, but Florida does.

3. Anyone wanting to get motorcycle insurance must also be properly and legally licensed.

Riders who work with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can get plenty of information about the right kinds of insurance for a motorcycle rider to have. It is important to have trusted professionals and knowledgeable agents on their side, and that can give them the best chance to get the policy that is perfect for them. Not all policies are the same, and not all companies provide the same value, either.

In Fort Myers, FL there are options, but the best choice is the one that consumers do not really have to think about. They know they can trust their agent and the company to do what is right for them, and give them the best possible advice on what insurance they really need to enjoy their motorcycle to the fullest. Then all they need to do is get out on the open road in the sunshine and have a good time.

Is Flood Insurance Worth It?

Contrary to popular belief, flood insurance is rarely included in home insurance policies. However, even if you do not live in an area that is prone to getting floods, you may still want to consider getting a flood insurance policy. This is because a flood does not just happen when a lot of rain starts coming out of the sky. Here are a few reasons from SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. why you should consider getting flood insurance even if you do not live in a flood area in Fort Myers, FL. 

  • A flood can happen in your home. If you have never experienced rain coming from inside your home, you are lucky. However, that does not mean it cannot happen. In fact, a pipe bursting or a bathtub overflowing for a long period of time can cause the same result. There could be extensive water damage that you will have to repair as part of this inside flood and a home insurance policy may not cover it. 
  • A neighbor can cause a flood. You cannot control what other people do and that includes your neighbors. If your neighbors have something such as an above ground pool in their backyard, there is a flood risk. If there is a hole in the pool or it is punctured in some way, all of that water can flow out and cause some major flood damage to your home. 

As you can see, a flood can happen in a variety of ways in Fort Myers, FL which makes getting flood insurance a no-brainer. If you are considering adding this policy, be sure to reach out to SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today to get your policy started. We will make sure to find one that meets your needs and your budget. 

Three Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Motorcycle

Living in Fort Myers, FL, there are ample incentives to get a motorcycle. Southern Florida is home to many great routes and stretches of enjoyable open road. If you’re ready to turn this dream into a reality, there are a few things you need to know before you start spending money. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. wants to see you succeed, so here are the three biggest things you need to consider before making that first purchase.

Cost

Sure, you’ve likely looked at bike prices. That’s hardly the whole story. Besides the motorcycle itself, you need to consider the cost of insurance, custom equipment and changes to the bike, maintenance (which is substantially different from car maintenance) and riding gear. All of it together can change your bike cost by as much as thousands of dollars, depending on your tastes and choices, and it needs to be a part of the budget.

Safety

If this is your first bike, there’s a good chance your riding experience is limited. A riding instruction/safety course can go a long way to helping you stay safe on the road. There’s a reason motorcycles are notoriously dangerous after all. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers driving courses across the country, and similar groups might be in the Fort Myers, FL area. You can shop around. There is one truth that universally unites bikers: the road is dangerous and you need to be prepared.

The Bikes

Lastly, you need to know about the motorcycles themselves. Shopping for a car is matter of matching prices and preferences. Motorcycles are more involved. For starters, do you know what engine size and weight you can handle? It doesn’t matter how well you control the bike. If it’s too heavy, you can’t pick it up. Beyond that, what type of riding do you want to do? Cruisers, touring bikes, sport bikes and standard bikes all offer substantially different riding experiences. You can’t have it all with a single motorcycle, so you need to have riding goals in mind before you go shopping.

When you know what bike you want, talk with a representative at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. They’ll make sure you have the right coverage for your new bike.

When Can You Claim Your Flood Insurance?

Most homeowners in Fort Myers, FL tend to overlook the importance of purchasing flood insurance. In fact, statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicate that only a few homeowners have purchased flood insurance. However, flood insurance is a necessity for everyone and not those that only live in high-prone states. Keep in mind that your SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. standard homeowners’ policy doesn’t cover you against flood damages.

When Should You Claim Your Flood insurance?

You can file a flood insurance claim whenever you experience a flood which results in damage. However, there are three key steps that you must follow while filing your flood insurance claim in Fort Myers, FL.

Notify Your Insurance Provider

After experiencing a flood, the first thing you should do is contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. or your insurance company. Make sure that you have your policy number and an email address or telephone contact where you can be reached on at all times. You should expect an adjuster to contact you within a few days of filing your claim.

Record the Damage

Make an effort of separating the damaged property from the undamaged property. Your adjuster will always need evidence of the damage to your home and other property to prepare an estimate of the loss. You can take clear photographs of all the damaged property. You should also make a comprehensive list of all damaged or lost items including their date of purchase and estimated value.

Complete a Proof of Loss to Support Your Claim

Your proof of loss is usually your sworn statement of the approximated amount you are claiming from the insurance. The evidence of loss should be accompanied by all supporting documents to make your case count. Your adjuster should help you prepare your proof of loss. The law requires you to file your proof of loss with your insurance provider within 60 days.

Are you a homeowner who doesn’t have a flood insurance policy. Contact us today for a free quote.