Condo Insurance: It May Not Provide the Protection You Think it Does

There are a few misconceptions around the coverage that condo insurance provides, and if you are looking to buy a condominium in the greater Fort Myers, FL area we recommend that you review all of your insurance needs carefully. At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we can provide you with the necessary guidance to make sure that your condo policy is appropriate for your situation. Typically, your COA policy will only cover the common areas of your building as well as the structure itself. In the event that a storm causes flooding or broken windows and other damage inside your unit, the loss will usually not be covered.

Your Insurance Coverage vs. That Provided by Your Condo Owners Association Insurance

Having a comprehensive condo insurance policy in place can provide the protection that you need in the event of loss or damage. Water damage caused by a plumbing problem in your bathroom is the type of accident that will not be covered by the Condo Association’s policy. In addition to damage and loss due to fire and theft, you may also want to look into liability coverage. Your personal property also needs coverage above your condo building’s policy. In simplest terms, your condo itself is your own responsibility when it comes to securing the right level of insurance coverage.

We Are Here to Answer All of Your Condo Insurance Questions

If you are thinking about buying a condo in the lovely Fort Myers, FL area, or would like to make sure that your current coverage is adequate, call SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today. We can review the ins and outs of condo insurance with you and help you find the most appropriate policy to provide the coverage that you need. 

Collision and Liability Insurance for Your Boat

Living near the Gulf is one of the great joys of being a Fort Myers, FL resident, and when you have a boat, the water is even more fun! At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we provide a comprehensive range of collision and liability insurance policies for your boat and other watercraft. While the requirements for boat insurance can be quite limited, we recommend that all of our clients carry comprehensive coverage.

Some Advantages of Collision and Liability Insurance for Your Boat

Protecting your boat from damage and theft is always a smart idea, and this protection can be found in basic boat policies. If you are also seeking liability protection to protect you in the event of injury or damage caused by your boat, there are comprehensive policies available. In fact, the most complete coverage will also cover events such as repair and tow in the event that your boat malfunctions while you are out on the water. 

Having liability insurance can help you in the event that your boat causes damage that is not due to a collision. We offer both types of protection because of the risks associated with liability damages in today’s society are too great to go uncovered. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from all manner of mishaps, from dents and dings to damage and injury caused by your boat. Owning a boat is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends and enjoy all that our beautiful area has to offer. 

Interested in Learning More about the Benefits of Boat Insurance?

We strongly advise all of our clients to carry adequate coverage for their boats and would welcome the opportunity to review boat policies with you. If you are in the greater Fort Myers, FL area, contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. to learn more.

What Does a Commercial Insurance Policy Cover?

Commercial insurance comes with a wide range of policy options that are put in place to protect a business from financial loss. Every commercial operation experiences its own set of risks; therefore, every commercial insurance policy must be tailored to fit a particular business’s needs. We live in a litigious society where a simple lawsuit against your Fort Myers, FL business could render it bankrupt.

Every commercial entity in Fort Myers, FL isn’t required to have commercial insurance except when it has employees or own vehicles that are used for commercial purposes. From the inception stage, a business faces risks from every angle, which makes commercial insurance coverage with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. the perfect way to protect your investment.

Our commercial insurance coverage will help you cover the following:

Liability charges

If your business is held responsible for personal injuries and property damage towards a third party, then commercial insurance will cater for the cost of defending you and resolving the lawsuit.

Property

In case your commercial business property is lost or damaged, commercial insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

Workers

If employees suffer work-related injuries and illnesses, commercial insurance covers medical treatment, disability, and even death benefits.

Company vehicles

This part of your coverage functions just like the standard auto insurance. It covers company vehicles and drivers for personal injury, property damage, collision, comprehensive, liability, third party bodily injuries, and much more.

Loss of income

In the event of a disaster or a catastrophic event, your business operations are likely to be interrupted, which could lead to loss of income. Commercial insurance covers business expenses such as employee wages and rent.

By helping you get the right coverage, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is able to help your business avoid major financial losses. Contact us today for any commercial insurance needs.

 

Top Tips for Buying Renter’s Insurance

Most renters presume they do not need a renters insurance coverage if their landlord has property insurance. This is wrong. Having a renter’s insurance policy ensures that your personal property is protected against hazards such as fires, burglary, and other natural disasters. Here are the top tips you should follow when buying a renter’s insurance policy:-

Go for a higher deductible
The deductible amount refers to the amount of money you have to pay to your insurer before they settle your claim. While it is tempting to go for a lower deductible as it implies a lower amount once you file a claim, it is not always a good decision. A higher deductible means lower premiums. 

Choose a correct coverage amount
You could come up with the correct coverage amount by taking stock of all your possessions and their worth. This gives you a rough estimate of the amount of coverage you should get.

Understand what’s covered and what is not covered
While renters’ insurance policies cover a wide range of things, not all disasters might be included. For instance, some policies exclude natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes. Depending on your insurer, you could have the policy adjusted to include such happenings or purchase a different policy for them.

Bundle your policy
Combining your insurance with the rest of your insurance policies is an effective way of saving on your coverage costs. This is because most insurers offer a significant discount on a combined policy. For instance, you could combine your renter’s insurance policy with your automobile and liability coverage.

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. has been offering renter’s insurance policies to Fort Myers, FL residents for years now. Contact us today and learn about our tailormade coverage options. 

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! 

 

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.