Why Parents of Teen Drivers Should Have an Umbrella Policy

When it has taken you a lifetime to assemble assets and attain your financial goals, the last thing you want is to see all those assets consumed by a lawsuit. Although accidents occur daily, parents become more at risk when their teenagers start driving, particularly in today’s lawsuit environment.

Many parents in Fort Myers, FL, may either be ignorant or deficient of the fact that if their teen is not yet of age of maturity (at least 18), then all the liability for damages caused by any accident falls on them. In fact, young drivers make up over 30% of vehicle accidents that result in injury. This is why SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. encourages parents to take a second look at their insurance coverage and decide whether an umbrella insurance is necessary.

As a resident of Fort Myers, FL, an umbrella policy will add an extra layer of insurance protection over your auto or homeowners insurance. Specifically, an umbrella insurance protects your personal assets in an event that a major claim surpasses the coverage limits of your other insurance policies cover.

How Much Coverage Do I Need on My Umbrella Insurance?
Your umbrella insurance will vary depending on numerous factors. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. presents you with various options that are best suited different types of situations. Your initial step should be to assess your current policy and see how much coverage you have. The next step will be to search for information on the maximum liability your insurer will cover, and then consider how much more coverage you require to be on the safer side.

Alternatively, you can contact Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.  to quickly and easily explain the varied options to you, including their benefits and challenges.

 

The Benefits of Carpooling

If you commute to work, you might want to consider carpooling.  In fact, carpooling in Fort Myers, FL comes with so many benefits you’ll wonder why you haven’t started carpooling sooner.  And you don’t have to carpool every single work day to reap the benefits. Even just a couple of days of carpooling each week goes a long way. Read on to learn about some of the benefits of sharing a ride to work.  

You Save Money

This is one of the best and most obvious reasons to carpool. By sharing the commute, you save money by using less gas and by putting less wear and tear on your car. This monthly cost cutting strategy can add up to significant savings over time.  

You Help the Environment

When you carpool, you decrease your carbon footprint for that day by sharing it with someone else and getting one less car off the road. This means the air is cleaner and less polluted because of this simple, positive action. Encourage others to do the same.  

It’s Convenient

Carpooling offers flexibility. You can do it once, twice, three, or more times a week. It’s always up to you.  

It Provides for Relaxed Social Interaction 

Unless you’re running incredibly late, carpooling should offer a relaxed, stress-free drive where occupants and chat on the way to work and even stop for a quick cup of coffee in the drive through.  

Fewer Cars Equals fewer Accidents

The more people carpool, the fewer cars there will be on the road.  And fewer cars means fewer car crashes.  

At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we serve the Fort Myers, FL area when it comes to auto insurance and we stand behind all the benefits of carpooling. If you are looking for an auto insurance policy, call the SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. at 678-454-0661 to speak with a friendly insurance agent.  

Can Insurance Laws Vary From City To City?

Insurance laws vary from state to state, but can they vary from city to city, or will be the same in Fort Myers as they are in Miami?

The short answer is no, or at least, almost never. But, the city that you live in is a major factor when it comes to insurance. The laws are governed by state and federal government, but the experience you have buying insurance in Fort Myers, FL will be different than the experience you have in Orlando, for example. Car culture does vary from one town to another.

  • Insurers consider where you live when setting your rates

In general, you’re going to be looking at higher rates in a city with a lot of traffic and very intense weather. For instance, New Orleans and Detroit tend to have very high insurance rates. Fort Myers is subject to the severe storms and crazy traffic found throughout many metropolitan areas in Florida, so your rates will likely be higher than in a rural town like, say, Lake Wales, but lower than in the densest cities like Tampa and Miami.

  • Traffic laws, ordinances, and customs may vary from city to city

Cities may pass their regulations regarding things like parking etiquette, and different police departments may enforce the law differently. “When in Rome,” as they say, behave as would a Roman. Insurance laws tend to be the same across the state, but you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the local regulations in any town you’re not just passing through.

In a city like Fort Myers, where you have some extreme weather, especially in the Summertime, and a lot of traffic, it’s important to shop around to make sure that you get the best insurance you can get for your dollar.

Family Risk Questionnaire

   

 SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.  /    Family Risk Questionnaire

Please Compete and Return so we may update your account

Customer:                                                       Phone:                                Email:

Auto Insurance

If we do not provide your auto Insurance, can we provide a Proposal? Yes _____  No _____

Do you presently carry adequate Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage?   Yes _____  No _____

How much is your net worth?  You should have liability limits to protect this wealth.

Can we provide you with a quote for increased Liability and Uninsured Limits?   Yes____   No___

Do you have electronic device/equipment that has not been declared?  Yes____  No _____

Do you have regular use of a vehicle that you do not own? Yes____  No _____

Do you need Rental Reimbursement and Towing and Labor coverage?  Yes____  No_____

Have any vehicles been titled to a Trust or another family member?  Yes ____  No______

Do you have recreational vehicles (boats, motorbikes, motor homes, golf carts, LSV? Yes ____  No______

Do you have any vehicles not listed on this policy? Yes ____  No______

Do you have drivers or persons who live in household not listed on policy? Yes ____  No _____

 

Home Owners Insurance/  Condo Owners Insurance

If we do not provide your Home or Condo Insurance, can we provide a Proposal? Yes ___No___

Costs of construction of homes increases every year.  Insured values should be reviewed each year.

Are your home and contents insured to 100% replacement cost?  Yes ___No___

Do you carry adequate Additions and Alterations for your condo?    Yes ___No___

Do you rent your home or condo to others?    Yes ___No___

Valuable items such as jewelry, furs, silver, guns typically have limited coverage under the HO Policy.

Do you have valuable items that need to be insured?  Yes_____  No_____

Are you interested in higher Liability Coverage Limits ?  Yes_____  No_____

We recommend that you consider purchasing an Umbrella Liability Policy.  Can we quote?  Y__  N___

Are you interested in Personal Injury coverage (libel, slander, defamation)?  Yes_____  No_____

FLOOD coverage is not included in the Homeowners Policy?

Do you need a quote for flood insurance?  Yes_____  No_____

If Wind/Hurricane coverage is not included in your Homeowners Policy, do you need a quote? Y___N__

Do you need Excess Wind or Flood coverage?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you operate a business from your home?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you own rental property or vacant land or a farm?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you have domestic employees in your home?  Yes_____  No_____

Have any property deeds been changed to another family member or trust?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you have pets?  If so what kind?  ________________________

Do you have children living away from home or away at school?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you have a pool ?  Do you have an enclosure?  Do you need insurance?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you have a dock?  Do you have a boat?   What kind and size?  _____________________

Do you have a new roof or new hurricane protection?   Yes_____  No_____

Have there been other changes that we should be aware of?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you have a significant other, roommate, etc. living with you….No Liability or Property coverage is provided for them…….discuss with agency.

NOTE:  This may not be a complete listing of every possible risk exposure that your family may have, however this list does include the majority of the most common exposures that occur. Please discuss with us any situation in which you may not be sure of coverage.

Thank you for taking the time to review and respond to this questionnaire.  These are important considerations for your valuable insurance coverage.  We look forward to assisting you with any new quotes that you may request.  We Value and Appreciate your Business.

Please copy and print this list as needed.

Please call us at 239-265-9577 or email info@swflagency.com  with any questions or requests.

Thanks much.

SWFL Insurance Agency

Sooo….Your fiancé, who lives with you, is driving your car and has a serious accident….Will your auto policy respond?

Today, over 50% of American households are occupied by individuals, roommates or unmarried couples.  If you fall into the living together but not married category, you should be very careful making any assumptions about how your insurance policies may respond to a Liability or Property loss.

Home Insurance

Coverage restricted to named insured, resident relatives by blood, marriage, adoption or someone under 21 in foster care.  Girl friends, boy friends, fiancés, roommates, tenants typically have no coverage extended to them.

No coverage extended to non insureds for liability losses or defense activity or costs.

No coverage for personal property of non insureds.

Example of problem….your girlfriend and teenage son live with you.  Her son is playing sandlot football and injures another child.  The parents of the child are suing the girlfriend / mother for medical bills and damages…..no coverage would extend from your homeowners policy.  The girlfriend should have a Renter’s Policy to provide liability and property coverage for she and her son.

Auto Insurance

Be wary of the definitions of “Named Insured” under the different coverage parts of the Personal Auto Policy.

Be very careful allowing any “non insured person”, especially those living with you, to use your vehicle on a regular basis.  There are exclusions that apply to such situations.  If you both use each other’s vehicle on a regular basis, you should consider having your girlfriend added as a driver on your policy and likewise adding you as a driver to her policy.

Need to discuss your life situation and how your insurance will apply, give SWFL Insurance Agency a call at 239-265-9577 or email me at joshw@SWFLAgency.com.  We are your Insurance Answer People.

How To Find Auto Insurance In Fort Myers

It is important to find quality auto insurance in Fort Myers, FL. This means taking the time to explore various policies and learning more about the ways that you can add coverage to an existing policy. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process as long as you ask for help where you need it.

Comparisons

One of the best ways to find auto insurance is to take the time to make some comparisons. This will allow you to see what the various insurance companies in Florida offer. Some companies will offer more than others, including roadside assistance, collision coverage, and much more.

To get quotes for comparing, you can work with an agent at SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. we will do a lot of the work on your behalf, contacting insurance companies and getting quotes that are specific to you. It will make it easier to compare with the companies have to offer so that you can make a more informed decision.

Finding the Right Coverage

In the end, the coverage is the most important aspect of finding good auto insurance in Fort Myers, FL. What works for you may be different than what works for another individual. This has to do with the kind of car you drive, your driving history, as well as your budget for auto insurance.

By working with an independent insurance agent from SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc, you are able to get the assistance that you need. An agent will be able to look at your coverage, make recommendations, and even help you to find discounts that will save you money throughout the year.

When you are ready to begin shopping for auto insurance, contact us today. One of our agents will be happy to help you every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

Fort Myers Cares: Tips to Ensure Bicyclists and Drivers Safety

Sometimes it can be difficult to share the road with fellow drivers, let alone bicyclists. They’re typically going much slower than you, and can come from any direction. They have just as much of a right to the road as you do in Florida, so you need to adapt to their habits too. While your initial reaction might be not very positive, there are ways to safely work with them so everyone can get where they’re going. 

I Saw the Sign 

You should be aware of bicycle riders signs on the road. Before they make a left-hand turn, they’ll point their arm in the direction they’re going. If they’re making a right hand turn, then they’ll create a right angle with their elbow bent at 90-degrees. Do not try to beat a bicycle driver making these turns because you think you’re faster than they are. Many an accident has been caused by underestimating their speed as they head into the turn. 

Respect and Patience 

These are 2 concepts you’ll need to work with if you’re in a town with a lot of bicycle riders. We’re in such a hurry all the time, and all we can think about is being late. It can make for truly hazardous conditions for everyone. Don’t honk at them or yell, even when you feel like they’re being selfish and hogging the lane. They’re in a precarious situation on their bike and upsetting them will not help. 

Safety All Around 

For Myers is served by SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. and we want you to stay safe when you’re on the road. If you need insurance or are thinking about changing plans, then give us a call to see if we can help you today. 

3 Reasons You Need Auto Insurance Now

For licensed drivers of all kinds, acquiring quality auto insurance is of the utmost importance. No matter if you are a newbie or a veteran, there is an array of reasons why one should always maintain good coverage on their vehicle. With that said, the following is an overview of three reasons you need auto insurance right now.

Peace of Mind

First and foremost, while this may seem like a minuscule reason, having peace of mind while you’re on the road is necessary in order to stay focused and safe on the road. By purchasing a quality insurance policy, you do not have to worry about how accident related expenses will be covered. Thusly, this leaves you free to focus on the road. 

Avoid Lawsuits 

Speaking of which, if you do not have a sufficient auto insurance policy and are involved in an accident, you may be on the hook for astronomical costs and fees. However, by purchasing sufficient coverage, you will have the added protection of being financially backed by a reputable agency that you can trust. 

It’s the Law

Lastly, no matter where you reside in the United States (with the exception of New Hampshire) you must have some sort of auto insurance coverage in order to legally operate a vehicle. The failure to do so could result in fees, fines, or even jail time. In order to avoid these potentially harsh consequences, be sure to maintain coverage on your vehicle at all times. 

Overall, if you are seeking quality auto insurance in Fort Myers, Florida, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is a great company to consult. Call, stop by, or email them today to find out how you can quickly secure coverage and hopefully save big! 

If I let my Mother in Law borrow my car, is she insured?

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The Problem

Soooo, your mother-in-law needs to run to the airport. Or, your brother needs to borrow your pickup to haul his new big-screen television. They all say they will return your vehicle in an hour.

You may not realize it….But you may be creating a HUGE Problem for yourself.    As an auto insurance policyholder, if you let someone not listed as a driver on your policy drive your vehicle, you could be setting yourself up for an expensive headache.

Sooo…You lend your vehicle….Then, the next thing you know your brother or your mother-in-law is involved in a fender-bender. Or, your brother is rear-ended, your pickup and his new TV damaged. The headache that’s developing is called a lending loss.

Insurance Speak

Your insurance company considers that your act of Lending is giving permission to someone not listed as a driver on your auto insurance policy to drive your vehicle.  Your underwriting of your  insurance policy for acceptance and premium rates has been based upon the driver details, violations and accident history as established by your application and DMV reports.  Lending creates an unknown exposure.  You typically have a driver with unknown driving record and experience behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle.  Research has shown that borrowed cars have a much higher probability of getting into an accident.  Think about it…when you get behind the wheel of an unknown vehicle, it takes time to become proficient and comfortable.  Many drivers who borrow do so because they don’t own a car and don’t have auto insurance.   Insurance carriers discourage “lending” and consider it a reflection on your driving decisions.  If someone drives your car often, they should be added to your policy to avoid the “lending” issue.

The policyholder — and owner of the vehicle — is “primary.” That means he will be liable for anything the driver does to or in the vehicle — legal or otherwise.  Soooo….someone else’s accident could cause you to LOSE your coverage, lose your preferred rate, or worse expose your asset because the loss was greater that your coverage limits. In most states, if you loan your vehicle and then the borrower loans the vehicle to someone else who then gets into an accident, you the policyholder may still be at fault.

Tell the Family

Always remember this about lending your car or truck: Insurance follows your vehicle, but insurance responsibility usually follows the policyholder. Be sure to have this discussion with your driving-age children.

Your teens generally have no idea that it’s not OK to lend the car or let someone else drive.  We even see a few parents who casually hand over their car keys to their kids’ friends.  Bad idea.

The best advise is to never be a lender or a borrower.

Need Insurance advice…Call SWFL Insurance Agency at 239-265-9577 or email info@swflagency.com.

See more about this subject at Who is an insured under your Auto and Homeowners policies?

 

Sooo…Your Driver’s License is being cancelled because you have an LSV without insurance.

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Your first thought is…what is an LSV?  A Low Speed Vehicle is defined as a four wheeled electric or gas vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but less than 25 mph.  Many LSV vehicles start out as golf carts and are converted.  The easiest way to tell the difference between a golf cart and an LSV is to look at Registration Numbers. A Golf Cart will have a Serial Number while an LSV will have a 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number.

If you happen to own an LSV and think you have it insured under your Homeowners Policy…..you are not properly insured.  The State of Florida requires the LSV to be insured under a Personal Auto Policy.  Without the proper coverage on file with the DMV, they will cancel your driver’s license.

A low speed vehicle may operate on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. The vehicle can also cross intersecting roadways where the speed is greater than 35 mph.  An LSV must be registered with the Florida DMV and have a valid license plate and registration.  An LSV must be insured. Florida law requires PIP or No-Fault coverage and Property Damage Liability at a minimum. We strongly recommend Bodily Injury (BI), Uninsured Motorist (UM), and Medical Payments (MedPay) coverages.

Any low speed vehicle must be equipped with standard safety equipment. NHTSA requires these components: headlights, taillights, stoplights, front and rear turn signals, reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, safety belts, and vehicle identification numbers. Significantly, NHTSA does not require LSVs to have airbags, or other safety features beyond seatbelts since they are intended for low risk driving.

You must have a valid drivers license in Florida to operate an LSV……This is not your 12 year old.

Florida DMV has an informational brochure ….Low Speed Vehicles  .

SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. has a carrier that will cover your LSV.  Call us at 239-265-9577.