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.

The Most Common Auto Insurance Mistakes: And Why They’re So Easy To Avoid

At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we have worked with people in the Fort Myers, FL and tried to get them to avoid silly and problematic auto insurance mistakes. These are the most common we’ve noticed happening in our coverage area. They are quite easy to avoid if you are skilled and intelligent about your coverage.

Improperly Filing A Claim

It might seem hard to believe, but many people don’t know how to file a car insurance claim. As a result, they may end up making a mistake that either complicates their coverage or voids it. Talk to your insurance company when filing a claim and go over the proper filing method. This action will save you a lot of issues.

Claiming Items Your Policy Doesn’t Cover

Make sure you fully read your policy before making a claim on your auto. There is a chance that you might try to claim items that your policy doesn’t cover. For example, many types of auto insurance won’t protect your items in the vehicle without extra coverage. They may also not cover specific non-essential elements of your vehicle, such as your air conditioning or radio repairs.

Failing Inspection Tests

Some types of insurance policies may require you to pass an inspection to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly. These are usually more common for commercial or industrial vehicles. Failing these tests will either increase your policy or void it. Make sure that you keep your cars running smoothly to avoid this issue and to prevent serious repercussions.

Avoiding Silly Mistakes

Contact us at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. to get the coverage you need for your vehicles. We can help Fort Myers, FL residents like you avoid these mistakes and keep your car fully insured and safe from severe issues and damage.

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.

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! 

 

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.