I’ve Lost Everything- Help!

Here in Fort Myers, FL, we know that disaster can strike. From hurricanes to floods, it’s heartbreaking to lose everything. When the unthinkable happens, it’s important to know what steps to take next. 

– First, call your insurance agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. While it’s not likely that you’ll have a clear head in the middle of a disaster, your insurance agent is trained to handle these situations. They’ll be able to walk you through the claims process so that you can get your life back on track as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to write down their instructions so that you don’t forget anything.

– Next, take photos of all damages. You may feel like you’re being over the top, but you cannot take enough photos. Your insurance company will want to see close-ups, various angles, etc., and with cell phones, it’s not like you’re going to run out of film. When in doubt, take a picture. 

– Fill out the required forms. Your insurance agent will walk you through exactly what forms need to be filled out in order to get your home in working order again. 

– Arrange to have an insurance representative survey the damage. The representative will walk through the remnants of the house with you to help the insurance agency get a clear picture of the damage. 

While home destruction is an unfortunate reality for some Fort Myers, FL residents, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is there to walk you through the entire process of getting your life back. Stop by our local Fort Myers, FL office today to chat with an agent and make sure your home insurance policy suits your needs.

Parametric Insurance…an innovative way to cover that Huge Windstorm Deductible, the Dock Damage, the Tree Removal, etc. during the next storm….

Homeowners Insurance does not cover everything, and then there is that Huge Hurricane Deductible…which could be 2% or more of the insured value of your home. Many policies do not cover pool cages, boat docks, awnings, trees, landscaping, etc. And then there are all the additional costs of generators, fuel, travel, etc.

And now….. along comes an innovative idea to help cover these costs…Insurance based on an event, not a loss.

You can use your payments to: (This is cash deposited to your account within 72 hours)

·        Repair or replace swimming pool cages, boat docks, piers, seawalls

·        Remove fallen trees and debris

·        Restore landscaping

·        Fix property damage not covered under your homeowners insurance

·        Meet your hurricane deductible

·        Pay additional living expenses

·        Pay evacuation expenses

·        Replace a mobile or manufactured home

·        And more

Home types/structures covered: (no physical damage to your home is required to be paid)

·        Single family homes

·        Condominiums and Apartments

·        Mobile homes, Manufactured homes

·        Boat docks, car ports, entry structures, backyard patios, gazebos, fences and more

Causes of loss covered:

·        Wind

·        Water damage from rain, flood or storm surge

·        Flying debris

·        Mold

“This form of parametric insurance pays if specific parameters are met. In the case of hurricanes, the parameters are strength of the hurricane and distance of the insured property from the hurricane track. These parameters are easily available and verifiable, without the need for deductible, adjusters or a lengthy claims process.”

“Claims are paid electronically within 72 hours of an Hurricane Event, no claims representatives, no waiting for payment!  Claims payments can be used to pay for ANY losses that occur from a named hurricane. Exclusions include items such as: intentional loss, illegal acts, and neglect. The average policy offers $5K of coverage, has a $0 Deductible, and costs about $300 annually. Coverage limits up to $60K are available.”   Coverage is underwritten by an insurance carrier with an A.M.Best rating: A- (Excellent), and backed by a global reinsurer with A.M. Best rating: A+ (Superior).

Contact SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. for a quote or information.

239-265-9577 Fort Myers / 941-624-3444 Port Charlotte / info@SWFL Agency.com

Do You Need Additional Home Coverage?

Determining the amount of home insurance coverage you need in Fort Myers, FL is important in order to make sure your family is protected in the event of a problem. Your home insurance policy will include six types of coverage: dwelling, other structures, personal possessions, loss of use, personal liability and medical payments. The amount of coverage you have should equal the full replacement cost of your home in the event your home is a total loss. However, there are some other considerations that you may want extra coverage for.

Contents Coverage

It’s possible that your contents may be underinsured. Many replacement cost policies don’t include full replacement and instead, you would receive a percentage for the furniture and other possessions. For condos, you need to read the fine print about what the association covers and what you need to ensure. Make sure you have enough to cover your valuables. If you have fine jewelry, silverware, fur coats or expensive artwork, you may need some additional coverage.

Remodels

If you upgrade your kitchen, bathroom or other areas of your home, it may increase the value of your property, which would mean you need to increase your policy coverage.

Other Upgrades

Certain upgrades also require additional insurance costs. If you put in a pool, it’s wise to have an umbrella policy. Speak with your agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. if you have upgrades in your home.

Flood Coverage

Flood coverage is not covered under a typical home insurance policy. Therefore, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, think about getting a separate policy.

Certain dog breeds

Some dog breeds, like pit bulls and rottweilers, may not be insurable and may require additional liability coverage.

Contact an agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL to work on a policy for homeowners insurance.

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 take up a renters insurance cover?

As an apartment renter, you need to ensure that you are protected in the event of the unexpected, because your landlord’s insurance will only cover damages to the structure of the building, and not the contents therein. The implication is that your belongings will not be included in this case. Most landlords will require you to purchase renters insurance for your new lease, while some will not demand this, but this is something you should consider.

Coverage For Personal Belongings
In the course of your stay at the apartment you are currently renting, your belongings are exposed to many risks, some of which may be hard to prevent. If there is damage or theft of your possessions, your landlord’s insurance will not cover for these, but your renter’s insurance will do. As such, it may be wise to take an inventory of all your belongings as well, as a record for the insurance company. 

The record will be helpful in case you need to make a claim. Such a document should be kept safe either at a friend’s or relative’s house or an online platform and not your house.

Cushion Against Loss Or Damage
At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.  Fort Myers, FL we understand that you may have put in a lot to furnish your home, and saving enough money to replace the same after loss or damage may take a while. For that reason, we will offer compensation when that happens, to help you recover fast without having to spend more from your bank account.

Insurance Solutions To Suit Your Budget
Since the lifestyle of one individual is different from that of another, their financial muscle will also vary to some extent. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. Fort Myers, FL renters insurance solutions are customized to satisfy these requirements, and one that suits you is available.

Some tenants imagine that renters insurance is expensive, which keeps them from purchasing it, when it may cost them much more later. This is a myth you should not trade for your possessions.

 

Does Renters Insurance Cover Things Outside the Home in Fort Myers?

Many people understand how important it is to have renters insurance in Fort Myers, FL. However, they don’t understand just how much renters insurance really protects them. It doesn’t just protect things in your home. At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc., we think it’s a good idea for you to understand how renters insurance can protect your off-premise property

Personal Property is Still Personal No Matter Where It’s At

Your personal property belongs to you no matter where it’s located. Understanding that can help you understand how your renter’s insurance can cover your things, even when they’re not in the home.

How an insurance company covers off-premise items can vary, so it’s important to discuss the possibilities beforehand. It’s certainly possible for your renter’s insurance to cover some or all the following:

  • Items in a storage unit
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen luggage when traveling
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen items from your vehicle

Things immediately outside your home may also have coverage. For example, items in a shed or on the lawn are outside the home, but they’re still your personal property.

Often, insurance companies will only cover a portion of the value of property not at the home. This can vary, but even some assistance is better than none at all when it comes to recouping a loss.

You May Have More Coverage for Your Personal Property Than You Know

As mentioned, your policy may not cover all off-premise items, but it will cover some. Even if your policy or agent doesn’t specifically say you have certain forms of off-premise coverage, it never hurts to ask.

A situation may arise where something belonging to you becomes damaged, stolen, or lost while you’re not at home. Contact your renter’s insurance carrier to see if they can help you out.

Renters insurance is incredibly versatile. If you rent in Fort Myers, FL, you should consider renters insurance a necessity. To learn more about how renters insurance can cover you, contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today.

The Third Nail…..An Easy Way to Save on Your Homeowners Premiums

Example…..1982 Home in South Ft. Myers. Frame construction, new roof, metal clips with 2 nails.                                                                                                           Value at $ 378,000. Annual Homeowner Premium is $4,450.

Same Home after retrofit adding Third Nail to top and bottom of metal clips…Cost of $900.                                                                                                                 Value at $ 378,000. Annual Homeowner Premium is $ 2,777.

Annual Premium Savings of  $1,673. Each and every year. That is a No Brainer.  (Note: Every Home is different)

How can I determine if my Home will benefit from a Hurricane Strap Retrofit adding the Third Nail?

  1. If your home was constructed prior to the year 2000, you are a candidate.
  2. Review of your present Wind Mitigation Report.
  3. If your report is dated prior to 2012, your insurance company will probably require a new report on the new Revised 2012 OIR-B1-1802 form. If you need a new inspection, call your inspector or call SWFL Insurance Agency at 239-265-9577.
  4. On the new 2012 inspection form, review Item 4, Roof to Wall Attachment.  If “Toe Nails” is checked, you can definitely benefit from a Hurricane Strap Retrofit adding the Third Nail.
  5. Once you have your Wind Mitigation Report on the Rev.2012 form, call SWFL Insurance Agency at 239-265-9577 for a Premium Quote Comparison for adding the Third Nail.
  6. Once you have the New Premium Quotes, you can determine the savings and decide if it makes economic sense to have the Hurricane Strap Retrofit completed. If you want to proceed, we will put you in touch with licensed contractors who can complete the retrofit. Typical cost for Retrofit is $900 to $1,000.

Questions?   Call us at 239-265-9577 or Email at Info@swflagency.com

Thanks much.

Josh Weaver

Vice President

SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.

 

 

 

What Specifically Does Renter’s Insurance Cover

For those that do not own a home, a homeowner’s insurance policy is not necessary. There is however a type of insurance geared toward renters that you may be interested in. Renter’s insurance is insurance that is offered to those that rent properties as opposed to owning them. For those in the Fort Myers, FL area, the agents with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help answer all your pertinent questions.

So what does renter’s insurance cover? For starters, renters do not have the added security of an insurance policy that is tied to their mortgage should their apartment burn down, should there be storm damage, or should there be any other sort of disaster. Renters insurance helps to protect your property in the event that there is a fire, damage to the building, a storm, or even a break in where things are damaged or stolen.

Renters insurance also can help if there is a claim filed against you by your landlord. This means that you can be protected just like a homeowner without having to own a home. Renters insurance basically provides you with the added security of knowing that your items and possessions are protected and that if something does happen, your landlord can file a claim with the policy to fix the damage rather than expecting you to pay it.

This is a great policy for those that do rent and want to protect their items. For those that are lifetime renters, this type of policy is a big necessity and you should take the time to take out a policy. For those that live in the Fort Myers, FL area, the agents with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you find the renters policy that covers your particular situation perfectly.

Do You Need More Life Insurance Than What Is Offered By Your Job?

Contrary to popular belief, the life insurance policy that is offered by your job is often not enough. Many people are fooled into thinking that they have enough from their employer but you should really consider whether it is enough in Austin, TX. Use these questions from Southwest Insurance Center to make sure you have enough life insurance coverage.

  • Do you have enough coverage to pay for your debts? Depending on how much debt you have, you may quickly find out that you do not have enough coverage to pay for all of your debts. This could leave one or more of your loved ones with an added burden of paying off these debts which is not something you want. This is especially true if you have a substantial mortgage payment. 
  • Do you have dependents who rely on you? If you have children who rely on your income for survival, then you should consider getting more life insurance that what your employer provides. This is especially true if your spouse is not working. If you want to be able to take care of them even after you are gone, you should consider getting 10 to 12 times your annual salary coverage which is a lot more than what employers offer. You can opt for an additional amount of coverage through your employer but you may still need to get an additional policy to ensure you have enough coverage. 

If you need life insurance, you want to make sure that you have enough coverage and for many, there is not enough coverage provided by their employer. If you are interested in learning more about your options and getting added coverage, be sure to reach out to Southwest Insurance Center, serving Austin, TX, today.