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.

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.

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.

Some Really Bad Auto Insurance Decisions that you will Regret….

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We often forget that our auto insurance policies are contracts. Besides paying your premium on time, in order to keep your car insurance rates down you should abide by your car insurance company’s rules.

But how can you abide by the rules when you don’t even know what they are?

Here are 10 common scenarios that people ask about.  If any of these hit close to home, quickly fix the issue before you get in a pickle.

  1. You haven’t added a licensed teen to your car insurance policy.

Withholding information about your teenage driver from your car insurance company is a big no-no.  They will find out….They will either increase your premiums or cancel your policy.  If there is an accident before they find out, the company can deny the claim and cancel your policy or cover the claim and request all back adjusted premiums.

  1. You let your adult child take your car when they moved to another state.

Car insurance companies expect to be informed about these changes.  If your daughter were in an accident, your insurer could say you concealed vital information about the vehicle’s location, deny your claim and cancel the policy. The better way, add the child’s name to the car’s title.  Then your child can buy insurance for the car in her own name and using her new address. This will also allow your child to register the car in her new state, which most states require.

  1. You sold your car to your son but still carry the insurance on it.

Not good. In general, you cannot carry insurance on a car in which you don’t have an “insurable interest.”  Typically those with an insurable interest are the car’s owners, lienholders and co-signers – meaning those who would be affected financially if something happens to the car.

Your child should buy car insurance for the vehicle.  If he’s still a minor, you may have to be on the policy with him.  Minors typically must have a parent or guardian involved in the auto insurance contract.

You could face problems submitting a claim if you have failed to tell your insurance company about the ownership change. Or worse, the car insurance company could say you hid the change as a scheme to get lower car insurance rates, which would qualify as insurance fraud and a reason for it to deny claims and cancel the policy.

  1. You are financing and insuring a car for a relative who lives out of state.

Auto finance companies want evidence that the car loan is in the same name as the insurance policy. Since you’re not the primary driver of the car, nor is the car at your residence, it is difficult, if not impossible, for you to insure the car.

You should contact the finance company to see if it will allow your relative to be the “named insured” on a policy.  If it agrees, your relative has the hurdle of finding an insurance company in her state that will permit her to insure a car she doesn’t own.  If she can find such a company, then she still has to list you and the finance company on the insurance as owner and lienholder, respectively.

If you carry insurance on the car without telling your insurer about the situation and your relative wrecks the vehicle, it’s very likely the accident wouldn’t be covered.  Your car insurance company is likely to call you out for misrepresenting who was driving the car and where it was located, and cancel the policy.

  1. You lend your car to a friend for a few months and don’t notify the insurance company.

Your car insurance policy typically will cover a friend who drives your car occasionally, but it’s a different story when you loan your car out for a long period. The car is now housed someplace other than your residence, and someone else is acting as the primary driver of the car — both circumstances your car insurance company wants to know about.

If your insurance company’s rules allow, you may be permitted to add your friend as a driver to your auto policy, but most car insurance companies don’t want to add a person outside of the household.  If that is the case, your friend should consider insuring the car.  Some insurance companies will allow someone to insure a car that he doesn’t own, as long as the owner is listed on the policy.

If your friend crashes your car, your insurer can deny claims because you concealed pertinent information about the “real” driver and vehicle location. That can leave you and your friend on the hook for damages he caused.

  1. You sold your car and the buyer is making payments but you’re still carrying the title and insurance.

Don’t keep your name and insurance on a car that another person possesses!

First, as the owner – because your name is still on the title — you have vicarious liability for the actions of the person driving the car that you “sold.”

Second, you’re paying for insurance but any claims might not be covered. Your car insurance policy normally covers cars and drivers of your household, not others.

If you’re in this situation, you should sign the title over to the new party. He can easily get insurance once he registers the car — and you will no longer be held responsible for his actions. To protect your interest in the car, make certain you’re listed as the lienholder on the car’s title and auto insurance policy.  That way you’ll be notified if he tries to sell the car or drop car insurance.

  1. You’re delivering pizzas with your personal vehicle.

Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage if you use the vehicle to deliver items, whether it’s pizza, newspapers, packages or medical supplies. Insurance companies see unsavory risk in delivery drivers because they are constantly on the road.

If you want to be paid to deliver items, you should change to a business-use or commercial car insurance policy. If you don’t and you get caught driving for deliveries, you’re on your own to compensate others for damages they sustained — and the damages to your own vehicle.

  1. You let an “excluded driver” drive your car.

Big mistake. When you put a named-driver exclusion on your policy it meant that the person listed is not covered under any circumstances and shouldn’t be driving your car.

So if that person gets behind the wheel of your car, even in an emergency, and causes an accident, you and the driver will be the ones to pay for any resulting injuries or property damage.

Hide your keys from any excluded driver in order to lower your risk of financial disaster.

  1. You bought a new car weeks ago and haven’t told your insurer.

If you traded in a vehicle, then your car insurance policy likely extends the same exact coverage to your new car for a limited time. This means if you bought only liability on your old car, your new car would only have liability coverage.

The deadline for informing your insurer about the new car varies by insurer, but is typically 14 to 30 days. Don’t bet on having automatic coverage, either; some car insurance companies don’t give you any.

And if you’re adding a car rather than replacing one, you should buy coverage for it before driving it off the lot.

If you’re outside the insurer’s automatic coverage period, or there is no extended coverage on your new car, and you’re in an accident, your insurance company won’t help you. You’ll be paying out-of-pocket for damages you do to your own car or others.

  1. You haven’t told your insurance company that your live-in girlfriend drives your car.

Insurance companies hate it when you “forget” to tell them about a driver who lives with you or regularly uses your car. Insurers can’t charge you correctly if they don’t know about all licensed household members, including a girlfriend or spouse.

If you recently got married or moved in with someone, let the insurance company know immediately and have the person added to your policy as a driver. If you fail to do so, don’t be surprised if claims are denied if they cause an accident, or if you’re asked to pay back premiums based on the additional driver.

If your car insurance company believes you were intentionally hiding the driver – say your girlfriend has a bad driving record — then it may say you committed fraud by means of misrepresentation. This means your car insurance company can cancel your policy.

Not sure what to do….Call SWFL Insurance Agency at 239-265-9577…We have good rates and know how to best insure your situation. Thanks much.

What Florida’s new 2015 Drone Law means for you

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In an earlier SWFL Agency Blog post called So…You bought your kid a $2,000. Drone for Christmas, we detailed the issue of how the Homeowners Insurance Policy might react when your kid drives the drone through the neighbor’s windshield.

If you are considering using a drone in your business, we recommend that you review the 2015 Florida Drone Law as outlined in the article at “What Florida’s new drone law means for you”.  There are some very interesting implications.  This thing is going to generate a number of lawsuits.  Even if you hire a company that uses drones for Real Estate activity, you should understand the law and the company you hire should completely know and abide by the rules of the statute…..even though they may be a bit ambiguous.

Yacht, Boat Insurance and the Total Loss

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In the event of a total loss, your boat insurance policy may pay you based on the Agreed Value, Actual Cash Value or the Replacement Cost Value. In explaining how these three policy forms are different, I will use a three-year-old boat, insured for $40,000 which was destroyed by fire.

Agreed Value

Agreed Value is easy. You and the insurance company agree on the value of the boat before the loss. Using our example, you would be paid $40,000. If the current value of the boat at the time of the loss is $20,000 or $55,000, you would be paid $40,000, the Agreed Value of the boat.

Actual Cash Value

Actual Cash Value is the value of the boat at the time of the loss. A boat insurance company will pay the insured value or the Actual Cash Value of the boat at the time of the loss, whichever is lower. In our example, if the Actual Cash Value of the boat is $25,000, this is the most you will be paid. If the Actual Cash Value is $55,000, then you would be paid the insured value of $40,000. The Actual Cash Value is determined by the insurance company from sources such as a used boat price guide and other boats listed for sale.

Replacement Cost

The newest option is Replacement Cost. A Replacement Cost policy agrees to replace your boat with a new boat. You are required to purchase this coverage when the vessel is new and the coverage is only available until the vessel is two or three years old. Our $40,000 three year old boat has a Replacement Cost new today of $45,000. The Replacement Cost policy would pay $45,000 for a new boat. Some policies may specifically state they will pay a percentage over the amount the vessel is insured for, 20% for example. Once the boat reaches the age where replacement cost is no longer available, the policy form will be changed to Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value.

We know boats..let us find the best policy for you..We will shop and compare coverage

Call 239-265-9577 or Email Info@SWFLAgency.com       www.SWFLAgency.com

 

 

The Boat and Yacht Insurance Policy ….How they Pay differs widely by Company

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When discussing insured value and how a boat insurance policy will pay, most people think about a total loss. This is important but the majority of claims are partial losses. Depending on how your policy responds could cost you several thousand dollars above your deductible.

A boat insurance policy has two different ways to pay in the event of a partial loss. One is to replace the damaged items new for old without deducting for depreciation. The second is to depreciate the damaged items in the event of a loss.

Depreciated Value is defined as Replacement Cost less depreciation. Most boat insurance companies use a non published depreciation schedule that applies to partial losses. An example may be 7% depreciation per year on a stern drive or 15% depreciation per year on canvas. You will want a policy that pays replacement cost for a partial loss when available.

Each insurance company will apply Replacement Cost and Depreciated Value differently. Read your policy carefully.

Some boat insurance companies do not provide replacement cost coverage for partial losses. If the boat is insured on this policy form, then no matter the type of loss, the replacement parts are subject to depreciation. If the part costs $2,000 and is subject to 20% depreciation, you would be paid $2,000, less $400 depreciation, less your deductible.

Some boat insurance companies provide replacement cost for partial losses until the boat reaches a certain age. The age will vary with each insurance company. Once a boat reaches that age, all partial losses are settled on an actual cash value.

Most boat insurance companies that provide replacement cost for partial losses name specific items that are subject to depreciation. Canvas, sails, cloth, trailers, and plastics are examples of specifically named items. These items generally have a limited life span. They also specifically name items to be depreciated based on the item’s age. Outboards, stern drives and internal machinery are examples of items that change from replacement cost to depreciated value based on their age. Each insurance company has different specifically named items and different ages when items change from replacement cost to actual cash value. Review the specifics of your policy for details.

Replacement Cost for a partial loss is what you want when available. A depreciated value can cost you several thousand dollars. Below are examples to help explain how replacement cost vs. depreciated value work.

Example 1 is an 11 year old boat with a $250 hull deductible that hits a submerged object. The replacement cost of the damage to the prop, shaft and strut is $5000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost coverage until the vessel is three years old. The damaged prop, shaft and strut are 11 years old and subject to depreciation. Insurance company A will deduct 50% depreciation or $2500 from the $5000 replacement cost. You would be paid $2,250 ($5,000 replacement cost, less $2,500 depreciation, less your $250 deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost coverage with specific named items subject to depreciation. The prop, shaft and strut are not specifically named items and are therefore settled on a replacement cost. Insurance company B would pay $4750 ($5000 less your $250 deductible).

Example 2 is an 8 year old stern drive boat with a $500 hull deductible that hits a submerged object. The replacement cost to the stern drive is $8000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost coverage until the stern drive is six years old. They will apply 60% depreciation (7.5% per year) to the $8000 replacement drive and then apply the $500 deductible. Insurance company A will pay $2700 ($8,000 less $4,800 depreciation, less $500 hull deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost coverage until the stern drive is 10 years of age. They will pay $7500 ($8000 less the $500 hull deductible).

Example 3 is a boat with a $500 hull deductible that suffers wind damage to the fly bridge enclosure. The fly bridge enclosure is 2 years old and the replacement cost is $5000.

Insurance company A provides replacement cost until the fly bridge enclosure is three years old. They will pay $4,500 ($5,000 less the $500 hull deductible).

Insurance company B provides replacement cost but specifically names canvas as a depreciated item. Insurance company B will apply 20 percent depreciation to the replacement cost. They will pay $3,500 ($5000 replacement cost, less $1,000 depreciation, less the $500 hull deductible).

There are other items to consider. For example, if the stern drive has to be replaced, most companies will apply a reduced depreciation if you agree to a remanufactured stern drive. This can save thousands of dollars in depreciation. We represent one insurance company that applies no depreciation for a remanufactured unit. Also, depreciation is only applied to parts (real property). Depreciation is not applied to labor, storage charges and other non real property items.

In the case of a Total Loss, please review this article  Yacht Boat Insurance and the Total Loss

We know boats..let us find the best policy for you..We will shop and compare coverage

Call 239-265-9577 or Email Info@SWFLAgency.com       www.SWFLAgency.com

 

 

Realtors…Are you at Risk for Performing Non Traditional Listing Services

What Should Brokers/Agents Do To Protect Themselves From Liability?

1.  The Brokerage can restrict their agents’ activities to those defined by the listing contract. The typical listing contract does not contain language that would obligate the listing agent to “oversee the property”, “close up/ open up the property”, “check periodically on the property”, or take on other non‐traditional real estate listing services.

2.  If an agent does undertake any additional tasks which are not defined by the listing agreement,the listing agreement should be amended to clearly state what it is that the agent is undertaking. Vague statements such as “keeping an eye” on the property should be avoided.

3.  Any contractual obligation for maintenance or repair should run from the owner to the service provider and not through the agent. The agent should not be a party to a contract with a service provider regardless of the owner’s assurance of reimbursement.

4.  The brokerage should determine, before any non‐traditional tasks are undertaken, if there is  appropriate insurance coverage to provide protection in the event of any claims.  If the agent is performing actual property management, it is important that the agent  understand that all payments for management services must be run through the brokerage. Any payments outside the brokerage may undermine insurance coverage and may be in violation of state licensing laws.

5. If the property requires work before it can be listed, the agent should confirm the work has been completed and done properly before the property is opened for showings. For example, if the agent was called upon by the seller to arrange for a repair to the property, the agent should determine that repair was made prior to the property being listed for sale especially if that repair, if not done properly, could injure people viewing the property.

6.  Any knowledge the agent acquired because of their role in overseeing or arranging for repairs to  the property is knowledge that will need to be disclosed by them as part of the real estate transaction. Specific state laws define the obligation of real estate agents to disclose material facts but knowledge acquired by the agent as a result of their taking on non‐traditional tasks is knowledge nonetheless that may need to be disclosed to potential buyers.

Agents taking on non‐traditional tasks to aid sellers in maintaining and marketing property need to appreciate that all additional tasks that they undertake may expose them to potential liability. Such additional tasks should be undertaken with caution. If undertaken, the exact parameters of the task should be memorialized in writing. The agent should not be the contracting party for repairs with service providers. The agent should also make sure that insurance coverage is in place. Finally, any knowledge they acquire as a result of this additional work may need to be disclosed to potential buyers.

Many real estate agents pride themselves on providing full service to their clients. But full service should not include full liability.   An excerpt from the Real Risks Newsletter, Travelers.

 Not sure your E&O coverage would cover these situations. 

Travelers Real Estate Agents / Property Manager E&O provides professional liability protection for claims or suits resulting from real estate agent or broker professional services.

Call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. for a review of your present coverage and a Competitive Premium proposal – 239-265-9577

Auto Insurance Basics 101

Overview of Your Personal Auto Policy

Liability Coverage (Bodily Injury & Property Damage)

If you are deemed to be at fault in an accident that’s covered by your auto policy and other people or property are injured or damaged, liability coverage helps protect you and pay the cost of these damages. Everyone has different needs, so we can customize your liability coverage to suit your personal needs. Remember when your insurance coverage limits are exhausted, you will be paying out of your pocket. Our recommendation for bodily injury limits is $ 50k per person / $ 100k per accident, property damage limits is a minimum of 50k per accident.  This coverage helps to pay for damage to another driver’s property (car, house, fence, etc). With pickup trucks costing in excess of $ 50k these days, many vehicles have values in excess of the state requirement of $10k. That’s why we recommend the higher coverage. This increased coverage is usually very affordable, sometimes as little as a few dollars extra per month.

Medical Payment Coverage (Med Pay)

Medical payment coverage helps pay for medical expenses for accident-related injuries to your family and passengers, no matter who is at-fault. These expenses can include; hospital stays, doctor visits, x-rays, surgery, and even funeral expenses should the worst happen. Medical payment coverage covers you, your passengers, and other family members. This is a valuable protection that is fairly inexpensive to add to your policy.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

This coverage helps pay for medical expenses and other damages incurred by your family and passengers when the other driver carries little or no bodily injury liability insurance. A recent survey found that about 20% of drivers in SWFL either have no insurance or carry the state minimum. That’s why UM coverage is a valuable addition to any auto insurance policy.

 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection coverage (or PIP) is required by the state, and covers $10k in medical expenses and other expenses regardless of who’s at fault. The way PIP pays out is a little more complicated, so please call or stop by for a more in depth explanation.

 Collision Coverage

This covers your vehicle if you’re in an accident that involves a “collision” with another car or cars or objects (trees, house, etc). Collision coverage helps pay for repairs to your vehicle up to the ACV (actual cash value) of your car less the applicable deductible. Typically, you can select a deductible from $100 up to $1000. Keep in mind, that you can save money by choosing a the higher the premium.

 Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage helps pay for losses that result from everything that is “not a collision”. This can include; fire, theft, vandalism, storms, or even a tree falling on your vehicle. This coverage also provides coverage for broken glass and/or windshields. Like collision, comprehensive coverage carries a deductible, and can affect your premium based on how high or low of a deductible you chose.

Other Coverage that can be added.

Towing and Labor—This option will help reimburse you for the expense of having your vehicle towed, as well as other basic roadside services. You usually have a couple of coverage options; either $50 or $100 per occurrence.

Rental Car Reimbursement—This feature would pay a set amount ($20, 30, 40, etc) for you to rent a vehicle while your car is in the shop being repaired due to accident. The coverage typically pays for a maximum of 30 days. A nice feature, if you only have one vehicle in the household, or if you need a vehicle to get to and from work.

Customizing Equipment—Custom wheels, gauges, and other aftermarket products that are permanently installed to the vehicle.  Stated amount coverage is available for values over $ 5,000.

Loan Payoff Coverage—Pays for the difference between the actual cash value and any greater amount that you may owe under a finance or lease agreement to a financial institution.  Limited to 25% of actual cash value. Some conditions apply.

Typical Available Discounts –  How Many do you qualify for?

Advance quote discount

Multi Car discount

Continuous coverage discount

Paid in Full discount

Three year Safe Driving discount

Five Year Accident Free discount

Vehicle Anti Lock Brake, Airbag, Passive Anti-Theft discounts

Multi-Policy Discount

Senior Citizen discount

 

We have Great Auto Insurance Rates.  See how many Discounts you may qualify for. 

Request a Quick Quote from Website or Call 239-265-9577.

 

 

 

Private Flood Insurance…an answer to FEMA’s exploding flood premiums

Hey Homeowners and Realtors!

Are your Flood Insurance Premiums out of sight? Can’t sell that home because of lack of Flood Insurance or unmanageable premiums, we have the answer.  

Private Flood Insurance is available.   Premiums are reasonable.

Call us now for a premium quote. Elevation certificates are not required.

Same coverage as FEMA; accepted by every major mortgage lender; no elevation certificates required; uses same claims adjusters as FEMA.

Older homes, second homes, non-primary residences, commercial properties and small apartment buildings enjoy significant savings compared to FEMA policies. The program is attempting to reach out to an even broader audience by lowering the minimum policy coverage from $100,000 building coverage to only $50,000 building coverage. 

Coverage cannot be bound.  Application must be submitted and accepted by company. Typically takes less than a day for approval.  Pay premiums within 7 days.  Mortgage lender can be billed for premium.

Call 239-489-1212  or email info@swflagency.com  for your quote today.

We need the following in order to prepare a Private Flood premium quote:  Name, address, phone, email, building value requested, contents value requested, zip code, flood zone (A, AE, B, V, etc.)