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

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.

 

 

 

Sooo….What does the Louisiana Thousand Year Flood Event mean to you? Are you at Risk for a Flood?

La.Flood

So let’s look at how FEMA determines if you are “at risk”.  Flood maps, known officially as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS), show areas of high and moderate to low flood risk.  Cities and counties use the maps to set minimum building requirements for coastal areas and floodplains.  Lenders use them to determine flood insurance requirements, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses them to help determine what you pay for flood insurance.

High-risk areas are identified on the FIRMs as:

  • Zones AE, A, AH, AR, A99, or AO. These properties have at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
  • Zones VE or V. These properties also have at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. In addition, these properties face hazards associated with coastal storm waves and storm surge.

 Insurance note: Federally regulated or insured lenders require mortgage holders to purchase flood insurance for properties in high-risk areas.   

An elevation survey of the lowest living level of your home is required in order to apply for Flood Insurance.  The surveyor will provide a Flood Certificate showing the elevation.  When buying a home, make sure to ask if a flood Certificate is available.  Flood Insurance rates are based on the Flood Zone as determined by FEMA maps and the elevation of your home.  The higher your home is above the required minimal flood elevation, the less your pay in premiums.

Moderate- to low-risk areas are identified on the FIRMs as:

  • Shaded Zone X. The risk is reduced in these areas but not eliminated.
  • Zone X. These properties are in an area of overall lower risk.

Insurance note: Lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) are often an option in these areas. Flood insurance coverage is not mandatory in these areas but is recommended, as the risk for flooding is still very real. Keep in mind that while your property could be designated as moderate to low risk, it still may be geographically close to a high-risk area

In this case you should consider purchasing a Preferred Risk Flood Policy.  Premiums are reasonable.  Typically, for $250K on your Home and $100k Contents, annual premiums are $450.  Every homeowner in Louisiana was probably eligible.  Just because your Mortgage Company did not require you to purchase Flood Insurance does not mean you do not have a Risk of flooding or that you were not eligible for Flood Insurance.

Not sure about your home or business’s true Flood Risk,                                                             call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.  239-265-9577

We will help you assess your risk, review your present coverage and make recommendations.  Do  not take chances with your most important asset.

Find out what is covered by Flood Insurance

Sooo….Do I need Flood Insurance for my 3rd Floor Condo unit?

condo2

First, does your Association provide a Master Flood Policy through the RCBAP, Residential Condominium Building Association Policy administered by FEMA?  The RCBAP limits the flood coverage that can be purchased by the Association up to $250,000.coverage limit per condo unit in the building.  This program requires the Assoc. flood insurance to be purchased at a limit equal to 80% or greater of replacement value of the building in order to avoid a “Co Insurance” loss penalty at time of a claim.  The RCBAP policy covers all building items regardless of who installed them.  This is broader than the coverage required by the Florida Condominium Statute.

The Condominium Owners Policy form HO6 in Florida does not provide any Flood coverage.  The Loss Assessment coverage within the HO6 will not respond to a flood loss to Association property.

The only way that a unit owner can cover a Loss Assessment for a direct flood loss to Association owned buildings is to purchase an individual flood policy with building coverage from National Flood Insurance Program.  The Building Coverage Limit will double as the Loss Assessment coverage limit.  There is no deductible for a covered Loss Assessment claim.

This Individual Flood Policy will also typically provide Loss Assessment coverage for the following:

  • When the RCBAP has been written for a coverage limit of at least 80% but less than 100% of replacement value.
  • Assessments due to there being NO RCBAP coverage at all.
  • Assessment for damage to a non covered building.

This is not a complete analysis of this issue, but it points out some very important considerations for the Condo Owner…..

  • Find out what Flood Insurance is in place for your Association property.
  • Question whether coverage limits are at 100% of replacement value?

You can read more at Condo Owners Flood Insurance.

Questions…Call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. at 239-265-9577 or email us at  info@swflagency.com

Sooo…You lost your roof in the hurricane…What do I do now?

Home damage 2

Sooo….the worst has happened.  The hurricane has taken your roof off and the interior of your home is a mess.  Furniture, flooring, window treatments, clothes , electronics……all gone.  When your mind calms down, you call your insurance agent.  After discussing your damage, he asks if you have a detailed inventory of the personal property that was damaged or lost and do you have photos by chance. Opps…so you never got around to doing this.

Well, Homezada.com has a very cool Free app that makes documenting your property room by room with photos a snap.  Check it out.  We can answer any questions you may have about what is needed to document a claim made under your Homeowners or Condominium policy.  Call SWFL Agency at 239-265-9577.

 

 

 

 

 

Homeowners Insurance 101

Homeowners insurance is designed to bring your home and possessions back to the same condition they were in before a loss occurred. There are several different types of homeowners policies offered by a wide variety of insurance companies and not all coverages are the same. You should speak directly with an  agent at SWFL Insurance Agency about your specific coverage needs.

The most common Policy Form written in Florida is the HO3. The information below applies to the HO3. While reading through the information below, you should keep in mind a couple definitions: (a) Exclusions are situations where your policy does not provide coverage; and (b) Liability is something for which you are legally responsible.

Coverage A – Dwelling

Imagine your house on moving day…empty, waiting to be filled. This is the part referred to as Coverage A: your physical home (walls, fireplaces, tile floors, carpeting, etc.) and the structures attached to it, such as an attached garage.

The current real estate market does not effect the insurance value of your home.  Your home should be insured for the Replacement Cost or amount that it would cost to rebuild in full (to current building code) in the event of a total loss.  If you aren’t sure your home is adequately insured, you can check with your Independent Agent at SWFL Insurance Agency.

Coverage B – Other structures

Not all structures that exist on your property are actually attached to your house. Therefore, Coverage B offers insurance protection if you have other structures such as a pool, detached garage, gazebo, or storage shed.

Coverage C – Personal property

Your personal possessions such as furniture, clothing and appliances are covered. Certain types of possessions are excluded or have limited coverage. Please see personal property exclusions and limits of coverage for more specific information.

Coverage D – Loss of use

This coverage is also called Additional Living Expense. Essentially, this pays for your increase in housing and other living expenses (like meals and laundry) if a major loss makes your house uninhabitable and you have to move out temporarily while it’s being repaired.

Covered perils

Coverage A & B are insured against risk of direct loss or all risk subject to conditions and exclusions. Sinkhole is excluded.

Coverage C are insured for the specific perils listed below subject to conditions and exclusions.

  • fire or lightning
  • windstorm or hail
  • explosion
  • aircraft
  • vehicles
  • riot or civil commotion
  • smoke
  • theft
  • vandalism/malicious mischief
  • glass breakage

Some policies also provide coverage for:

  • falling objects
  • weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • freezing of plumbing
  • accidental plumbing discharge
  • rupture of steam or hot water heating system, air conditioning systems, or water heaters
  • damage from artificially generated electricity.
  • volcanic eruption
  • catastrophic ground cover collapse (not sinkhole)

Exclusions

A homeowners policy does not provide coverage for the following perils

  • loss due to flood, or water that backs up through sewers
  • loss to building by earthquake, aftershocks and mud slides
  • loss by enforcement law or ordinance regulating construction, repair or demolition, or zoning
  • loss due to power interruption when the interruption takes place off the residence property
  • loss due to neglect of the insured to save and preserve property following a loss
  • war and nuclear perils
  • intentional loss.
  • sinkhole

Limits of liability

  • For basic homeowners policies, a specific minimum amount of coverage is required for each of the major property coverages, based on the primary amount of insurance selected. Some of these excluded coverages may be purchased for an additional premium.
  • Coverage A (Dwelling) = Typically set by Insurance Carrier at 100% of Replacement Cost
  • Coverage B (Other Structures) = 10% of Coverage A limit
  • Coverage C (Personal Property) = 50% of Coverage A limit
  • Coverage D (Loss of use) = 20% of Coverage A limit.

For example, if your home is insured for $100,000 under Coverage A:

  • Coverage B liability limit is $10,000
  • Coverage C is $50,000
  • Coverage D is $20,000.

Deductibles

With a homeowners policy, a deductible applies to the property portion of the policy. A deductible is the amount you would have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Typical deductibles are $500 or higher and some policies have several deductibles.

Florida homeowners policies also have a Calendar-Year Hurricane Deductible. The hurricane deductible will only apply once per calendar year and is stated as a “percentage” of Coverage A. This means if you have one hurricane loss, your Calendar-Year Hurricane Deductible will be applied. However, if you have losses from subsequent hurricanes during the same calendar year, the deductible for the additional hurricane losses will be the greater of:

  • The remaining amount of the “Hurricane Deductible” (if not exhausted by the original loss), or
  • The “All Other Perils Insured Against” Deductible.

Typically the higher the deductible you select, the lower your premium payment is

Optional coverages

There are a number of optional coverages (also called endorsements) which enhance your basic homeowners policy either by adding or removing certain coverages. Some of the more common add-on coverages include:

  • Broadened coverage for contents: provides “all-risk” protection for your possessions. This means that your personal property is covered in most situations, regardless of the cause of loss.
  • Personal Articles Floater: provides specific amounts and worldwide protection for special property such as jewelry, silverware, fine art, furs, cameras, firearms, musical instruments, and home computers for an extended variety of losses
  • Sinkhole:  Provides coverage for loss caused by a “sinkhole” as defined by Florida law.
  • Personal property exclusions and limits of coverage
  • Water back up of sewers or drains: you’re covered for a specific dollar amount if water backs up through a sewer or drain, or overflows from a sump pump.
  • Contents replacement cost coverage: after a loss, you would be paid based on the cost to buy new…with no deduction for depreciation…subject to your policy limits and deductible. Special limits apply to certain items such as jewelry, watches and furs.

Personal Property exclusions and limits of coverage

Certain classes of property are specifically excluded from coverage because of the nature of what they are or because they are generally covered by other types of policies:

  • Animals, birds or fish
  • motorized vehicles or aircraft, including equipment and accessories
  • radios, CB radios, tape decks, etc., while in or on a motor vehicle
  • articles separately described and specifically insured in any other insurance
  • property of boarders ( renters insurance is available and should be considered by boarders).
  •  aircraft or aircraft parts
  •    property in an apartment held for rental by the insured
  •    property rented to others off the residential premises.

Certain classes of property have specialized limits of coverage:

  • money or related property, coins and precious metals other than tableware – $ 200.
  • securities, manuscripts, and other valuable property – $ 1,000.
  • water craft, including trailers and equipment – $ 1,000.
  • trailers – $ 1,000.
  • jewelry, watches, furs and semi-precious stones – $ 1,000.
  • firearms – $ 2,000.
  • silverware, goldware or pewterware – $ 2,500.
  • property on the residence premises used for business purposes – $ 2500.
  • property away from residence premises used for business purposes. – $ 250.

Personal liability (Coverage E)

NOTE: Most Homeowner Insurance Companies provide only minimal animal liability or totally exclude this coverage. Discuss this in        detail with your agent.

Provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage for which you are legally responsible. For example, let’s say your dog bites someone, a guest falls down your front stairs, or your son throws a ball through your neighbor’s window. You are legally responsible for the damaged caused by these actions.  Personal Liability helps to cover the associated costs of these related damages.

Most homeowner policies provide a minimum of $100,000 of liability protection. However, you can opt to increase this amount to $300,000 or $ 500,000. Also  Umbrella Insurance 101 can help you determine whether the liability limits available on your homeowners policy are sufficient for your needs. Of course, an independent agent at SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. is your greatest resource for this evaluation.

Medical payments (Coverage F)

Pays all reasonable and necessary medical expenses for a period of three years from the date of an accident to a person or persons injured while on your property. This coverage does not apply to the insured or regular residents of the insured’s household.

Bodily injury

Accidents do happen…and sometimes they happen to other people while at your home, or by a member of your household. This coverage helps to pay for the expenses created in the event that a physical injury to others is caused by you, residents of your household, or your pets.  Injuries resulting from automobile accidents are not covered under a homeowners policy.

Property damage

If someone’s property is accidentally damaged by you, members of your household, or your pets, your homeowners policy will help to repair or replace it.

Liability coverage exclusions

A homeowners policy does not provide coverage for:

  • bodily injury or property damage resulting from an automobile accident
  • bodily injury or property damage which is expected or intended by the insured
  • bodily injury or property damage arising out of business pursuits
  • bodily injury or property damage arising out of rental of any part of the premises
  • liability arising out of ownership, maintenance, use, loading or unloading of aircraft, motor vehicles or water craft
  • liability arising out of war or insurrection.
  • Additional exclusions to Coverage E only:
  • liability assumed under contract or agreement
  • property damage to property owned by, used by or in the care of the insured
  • bodily injury which is covered under a Workers Compensation policy.

Call 239-265-9577 for a Premium Quote or Request a Quote at www.SWFLAgency.com

SWFL Insurance Agency offers Homeowners Insurance thru the top rated Insurance Companies in Florida.

SWFL Insurance Agency. August Newsletter

         INSURANCE NEWSLETTER                                                                            August 18, 2015

Timely and Important Topics that can Save Money and Protect Your Wealth

  • Attention Condo Owners on Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel….We now offer Condo Owners Insurance Policies that include Wind and Flood coverage. These policies provide coverage for “weekly rentals”. Call 239-265-9577 for a comparison premium quote.
  • We offer very competitive Auto Insurance Premium rates for “Seniors” through the Travelers Insurance Company. Call us at 239-265-9577 or request a quote at  www.SWFLAgency.com.
  • It is Hurricane season again….Make sure your Homeowners, Condo Owners and Flood Policies are up date and that the insured values are accurate. Do not assume that everything is fine, have your policies reviewed today. Make sure your “Replacement Cost” has been evaluated. We offer free reviews and premium quotations with no obligation.
  • Dairyland Motorcycle Insurance can Save you Money   !!!!! By Combining Multiple Discounts, Dairyland may be the Best Deal in Florida. Save up to 7% with Dairyland, when your Homeowners policy is provided by SWFL Insurance Agency.   Rider Group Discounts for Members of HOG, and some 30 additional groups.  Special Discounts for Military Rider Groups, both active and retired.
  • Flood Facts…To be considered a flood, the water that causes damage must have covered at least two acres or have affected at least one other property. Also, if your home sustains any mold or mildew damage that you could have prevented from occurring, your policy won’t cover such damage. Additional living expenses and business interruption is not covered.  Call if you have questions.
  • If you have had a Wind Mitigation Inspection of your home, you may be able to create serious premium savings for years to come by having your roof truss to wall metal connection updated by adding nails. Give us a call to discuss. Every home is different. We will need to review your wind mitigation report, so have it handy when you call. Some of our clients have saved as much as $900.+ per year.
  • Watch for future Newsletters with new topics of interest. Don’t miss our timely articles on our Blog at www.SWFLAgency.com

Call 239-265-9577 for Quick Quotes or visit www.SWFLAgency.com 

Providing Auto, Motorcycle, Golf Cart, Home, Condo, Flood, Business Insurance

                                      Health, Medicare and Life Insurance  

                 SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.               SWFL Insurance Associates, Inc.

     Lee County                        8595 College Pkwy, Suite 160, Fort Myers         239-265-9577

     Charlotte County            3718 Tamiami Trail, Unit C, Port Charlotte     941-624-3444

     Collier County                  2500 Tamiami Trail N. Unit 113, Naples            239-649-4442

Hurricane Season is Here. Remember.. Flood Insurance has a 30 day waiting Period!!

Many homeowners learn the hard way (or the wet way) that their homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover property damage caused by hurricanes and floods. If you live in a potentially affected area — which could include everything from a home on the coast near a fragile levee that sees frequent floods to one downhill from a stream that hasn’t flooded in years — you probably should buy a separate flood insurance policy to cover your home and its contents.

Get Flood Insurance Coverage for Property and Contents

A flood insurance policy through the NFIP can provide maximum coverage of $250,000 for property and $100,000 for contents. (Property and contents coverage must be purchased separately, even though they may form part of the same policy.) If you want additional coverage, you can purchase excess flood insurance from private insurers. The average flood insurance policy costs less than $570 per year, according to the NFIP.

If you buy a home in a designated high-risk flood zone and get a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, your lender must require that you purchase flood insurance.

If you live in a zone that’s been designated moderate- or low-risk, you don’t need to buy flood insurance for your lender’s sake — but you may want to do so anyway, especially if your own observations indicate that the official designation on your area are out-of-date (a common problem). According to FEMA, almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas with low-to-moderate flood risk. The good news is that you’ll qualify for a preferred-risk policy. The premiums for this type of policy start at only $129 per year (for both property and contents).

Here’s what flood insurance pays out for each type of property covered:

Contents. Flood insurance pays actual cash value (not the most generous amount — it means the cost to replace                            the damaged or lost property based on its actual, depreciated value as used goods).

Property. You can opt for replacement cost coverage (the cost to replace the damaged or lost property with new property, without regard to depreciation) if you’re insuring a single-family home that is your primary residence. Available coverage is at least 80% of the full replacement cost of the building (an amount that’s set in advance for your property) or the maximum available under the NFIP.

Know What Flood Insurance Doesn’t Cover

A good flood insurance policy can be a financial lifeboat following a destructive event such as a hurricane. But flood insurance doesn’t cover everything. Before buying, you should know about the following key restrictions and limitations, which are specific to flood insurance

Swimming Pools and Landscaping Aren’t Covered

If something goes wrong with a swimming pool on your property and this causes your home to sustain flood damage, your flood insurance policy won’t apply. Also, don’t expect any reimbursement for flood damage to flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees, or other landscaping on your property.

Water Must Have Come From Outside Your Home 

If something breaks or malfunctions inside your home — for instance, pipes freeze and burst or a toilet overflows — and this leads to flooding, your flood insurance policy won’t apply. However, your homeowners’ policy should cover these types of losses. Ask your agent or broker to give you the lowdown.   

Small Floods Don’t Count Living Expenses or Business Interruption Aren’t Covered

To be considered a flood, the water that causes damage must have covered at least two acres or have affected at least one other property. Also, if your home sustains any mold or mildew damage that you could have prevented from occurring, your policy won’t cover such damage.

Your flood insurance policy won’t pay you for any living expenses you may incur (such as renting a hotel room until your property is fixed). Also, you won’t recover any financial losses caused by business interruption (if you operated a business out of your home) or any other loss of your home’s use.

Money and Important Papers Aren’t Covered

Your policy won’t pay for the value of any currency, precious metals, stock certificates, and other valuable papers that get destroyed in a flood.

Improvements and Most Contents in Below-Ground Areas Aren’t Covered 

Your flood insurance policy won’t cover any improvements you’ve made to your basement, such as finished walls or floors. Also, almost all personal property (including clothing, computers and electronic equipment, kitchen and office supplies, and furniture) located in basements or other areas of your home below the lowest elevated floor aren’t covered.

If You Want Coverage, Act Now

Unlike other types of insurance, flood insurance coverage doesn’t kick in on day one. With few exceptions, you must wait 30 days after you first purchase a flood insurance policy before your policy will take effect. So the longer you delay looking for coverage for your home, the greater your risk of suffering a loss before your policy is actually in place.  The only time this waiting period does not apply is when a lender or mortgage company is involved.  Check with your agent closely when you have a real estate closing and flood insurance is required by the lender.

Even if the next hurricane season is months away, you could still benefit from getting a flood insurance policy sooner. In addition to damage from hurricanes, a flood insurance policy will also protect you from losses from other causes, such as heavy or prolonged rainstorms, coastal storm surges, snow melt, clogged storm drainage systems, levee dam failures, and mudslides.

*From an Article written by Ron Leshnower on NOLO.com