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

Commercial Insurance and Business Tax Deductions

Small and micro businesses in Fort Myers, FL worry regularly about operating costs and keeping budgets tights to maintain new profits. These controls are critical to be successful in the first years of operation, especially when the owner and employees depend on the business to earn a paycheck. However, in the scrutiny of cost justification, many companies defer or do without liability coverage and commercial insurance. And this can be a big mistake.

Not only does commercial insurance represent critical financial protection from possible liabilities, it can also be a very valuable tax deduction for the business. According to the Internal Revenue Service, commercial insurance can be a viable tax deduction. The key factor in the IRS’ perspective, per the federal tax code, is that the expense claimed as a deduction needs to be "ordinary and necessary" for the business. While commercial insurance can represent a valuable liability protection it also needs to be obtained in a policy form that is clearly for the business only. Personal liability coverage is not allowed and can be a big mistake in a tax audit if found to be declared in a misleading manner by the business owner and tax filer.

According to the experts at SWFL Insurance Agency commercial insurance represents a critical safety net for new small businesses. It provides the means to fend off potential liability risks when a new company does not yet have the resources to fully stand on its own. And SWFL Insurance Agency has seen multiple businesses in Fort Myers, FL have to resort to bankruptcy without insurance protection. And that can be a sad ending for an incredible amount of work, energy, sacrifice and more. To avoid this kind of abrupt ending and enjoy viable tax deductions for a business at the same time, contact the staff at SWFL Insurance Agency to find out more.

 

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.

 

 

 

Beware of the AOB…..Assignment of Benefits….Avoid this at all cost.

   

“What is an Assignment of Benefits?”

“An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is a contract between you and a contractor (such as a plumber, water remediation firm, roofer, etc.) where you give the contractor control of your claims benefits. They file a claim for their services and direct the insurance company to pay them directly.

What’s in it for the contractor?

Once you sign an AOB, you lose control of the direction of your claim. The contractor takes control, and can submit whatever they like to your insurance company, sometimes billing the company two, three, four, five times the going market rate for their services, and sometimes including work that was never performed. You don’t see this, and you can’t verify what they did.

What are the potential pitfalls in signing an AOB?

  • You have committed to this contractor, and you have little to no recourse if you’re not satisfied with their work.
  • You can no longer comparison shop if you are not satisfied with their work. Even if they walk off the job with their work incomplete, they can still claim compensation from the insurance company which gets deducted from your benefits.
  • Both you, and the contractor, are still bound by the terms and conditions of the policy, and if the contractor violates those terms and conditions, those actions could potentially jeopardize coverage for your entire loss.

What’s in it for the contractor?

This is where the age old mantra of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” comes into play.  Has the contractor done any of the following?

  • Solicits a job from you unannounced for damages you didn’t even know were allegedly present?
  • The contractor is offering you something for nothing, such as a free roof or kitchen.
  • Wants to start work immediately and advises you to delay contacting your insurance company?
  • Offered to “take care of” your deductible.

Any of these issues could potentially lead to a fraud investigation which could jeopardize your coverage.

Possible Litigation:

As mentioned above, there is no standard for what the contractor can submit to the insurance company, and if the company questions the scope and/or the pricing submitted by the contractor the company can be sued directly by the contractor.  And while you may not be a party to this lawsuit, more likely than not you will end up being a witness.

What should you do if you have a claim?”

Contact your insurance agent to report the claim.  He can guide you through the process.  Some insurance carriers will have contractors that they have vetted and will recommend.

This article is compliments of Federated National and SWFL Insurance Agency.

Questions or need a Homeowners or Property coverage quote, call 239-265-9577 or email joshw@swflagency.com.  We are Your Insurance Answer People in SWFL.

A Heads Up to Small Businesses….What are the most common claims and their cost?

“Despite experiencing these types of events, the survey found that many small businesses aren’t filing claims for them. Insureon cites the following possible reasons for this trend:

  • They don’t have insurance or don’t have the right policy to cover the claim.
  • The cost of the incident is less than their deductible, so they deal with it out of pocket.
  • They worry that filing a claim will cause their premiums to go up.
  • They prefer to handle the matter on their own rather than wait for resolution from an insurance company.

As a result, many small business owners are choosing to let their carrier know about an incident, but don’t file a claim. Instead, they pay for the incident out of pocket to prevent higher premiums in the long run. But how does the cost of a claim stack up against the cost of coverage?”

“According to The Hartford, the 10 most expensive types of claims (and the cost per incident) are:

  • Reputational harm: $50,000
  • Vehicle accident: $45,000
  • Fire damage: $35,000
  • Product liability: $35,000
  • Customer injury or property damage: $30,000
  • Wind and hail damage: $26,000
  • Customer slip and fall: $20,000
  • Water and freezing damage: $17,000
  • Struck by object: $10,000
  • Burglary and theft: $8,000

In comparison, the median price that most small businesses pay for coverage is:

  • $428 per year for general liability insurance
  • $920 per year for professional liability insurance

Compared to a $20,000 bill for a customer slip-and-fall accident, most business owners would probably rather pay $428 for general liability per year, plus their deductible, to pick up the tab.

How do the most expensive claims compare to the top incidents small businesses experienced in 2016?” Read more…at PropertyCasualty360.com.

For a review of your business insurance risks and a competitive proposal for coverage, call SWFL Insurance Agency at 239-265-9577 or drop an email to joshw@swflagency.com. www.SWFLAgency.com

Sooo You Operate a Business from Your Home…Note to Self…My Homeowners Policy will not cover My Business Property or Liability.

     Most people often believe that their existing Homeowners, Condo or Renters insurance  Policy will cover any loss or damage to their business equipment, furniture and supplies in the event of Fire, Theft or other catastrophe, when in fact, those policies usually explicitly exclude coverage for any business exposures on their premises.

The Home Business Policy, can solve this problem.  However, is not intended for all types of home businesses. It is specifically targeted for over 100 retail and services risks operated from the insured’s residence and presenting minimal product liability, professional liability and/or off-premises exposures.

Policy Benefits:

  • Provides coverage for over 145 classes of small retail & service-type home-based businesses
  • Affordable Premiums
  • General Liability coverage up to $1 million
  • Loss of business income protection up to 12 months available
  • Broad coverage with on premises theft included
  • Carrier is admitted and A.M. Best “A+” rated
  • Up to $100,000 (varies by state of risk) comprehensive coverage for business personal property both on and temporarily off premises

Popular Business Classes Include:

  • Residential Inspection Services
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Insurance Agents
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Teacher/Tutors
  • Photographers
  • Accounting Services
  • Bakers
  • Computer Consultants
  • Interior Decorating
  • Jewelry (Costume)
  • Art Gallery / Art Studio
  • Crafts

Call us today to discuss your business and obtain a premium proposal.  Policies start at $150. Only takes a few minutes.

SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.

8595 College Pkwy. Suite 160, Fort Myers, FL 33919

 239-265-9577

Family Risk Questionnaire

   

 SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc.  /    Family Risk Questionnaire

Please Compete and Return so we may update your account

Customer:                                                       Phone:                                Email:

Auto Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Home Owners Insurance/  Condo Owners Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you interested in higher Liability Coverage Limits ?  Yes_____  No_____

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

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

FLOOD coverage is not included in the Homeowners Policy?

Do you need a quote for flood insurance?  Yes_____  No_____

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

Do you need Excess Wind or Flood coverage?  Yes_____  No_____

Do you operate a business from your home?  Yes_____  No_____

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

Do you have domestic employees in your home?  Yes_____  No_____

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

Do you have pets?  If so what kind?  ________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please copy and print this list as needed.

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

Thanks much.

SWFL Insurance Agency

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

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

Home Insurance

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

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

No coverage for personal property of non insureds.

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

Auto Insurance

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

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

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

3 Things You Can Do To Lower Your Insurance Rates In Fort Myers, FL

Lowering your insurance rates in Fort Myers, FL basically means two things: Understanding the laws and regulations that dictate the roads and the insurance industry in the sunshine state and being a safe, reliable driver. Here are a few ways you can generally expect to lower your insurance rates:

  • Take advanced driving courses

With advanced driving courses, you’re proving to the courts and to your insurer that you’re devoted to being a better-than-average driver. You’ll be seen as a lower risk, and in most scenarios, this will get you some discounted rates.

  • Get your credit in order

Being reliable, proving that you’re low risk, has as much to do with proving that you’re financially reliable as it does with proving that you’re a safe driver. You can get a free or cheap credit score check before buying a new insurance policy, and make sure to deal with any outstanding debts you may have.

  • Stay up on the law

Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that your insurer will cover your ends no matter who is at fault. This means that you can’t drive around with a slim policy and expect that the other party will be found responsible. No matter how safe of a driver you may be, if you’re in an accident, you are most likely to be the one whose insurance is covering your damages. This is true no matter what provider you find through SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. It’s important to keep your insurance rates low so that you don’t have to settle for the minimum required policy. If you’re a safe driver, then you will pay less, and you will have a lot more options available to you in getting good coverage.

 

How To Find Auto Insurance In Fort Myers

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

Comparisons

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

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

Finding the Right Coverage

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

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

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