Getting Your Car Ready For Winter

When the temperatures start to dip in Fort Myers, FL, motorists may experience certain dangers that do not typically take place. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is here to help when it comes time to get the car ready for the winter months. These tips and pointers will go a long way towards assisting motorists who are looking to steer clear of the winter pitfalls.

Create an Emergency Kit

Emergencies happen, no matter how prepared the motorist may be. An experienced motorist should already have a basic emergency kit located inside of their vehicle. A specialized winter emergency kit is a wise choice for any Fort Myers, FL resident that is looking for additional assistance. Navigating the snowy and icy roads can be challenging. Ice scrapers, kitty litter, winter boots, a shovel, and gloves should all be a part of this emergency kit.

Check The Interior and Exterior of the Vehicle 

The motorist must also make sure that the vehicle is in perfect working order. If not, this is the time to visit the necessary auto body shops, so that they can provide the needed assistance. Once the temperatures start to fall, any existing issues that are taking place are only going to be exacerbated. The tires, windshield wipers, and lights must all be checked. 

Schedule a Consultation Meeting

There are a number of "what if?" scenarios that need to be discussed before the winter arrives. By taking the time to speak with experienced insurance agents, the client has the chance to assess all of them. Any and all questions that they may have when it comes to these matters can be addressed in an open forum. If the client needs to obtain additional insurance coverage in order to remain safe this winter, this is the perfect chance to do just that. 

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is here to answer all questions and provide a handy guide to winter readiness. When it comes time to safeguard your vehicle, you are going to want to make sure that this investment remains protected at all times. 

What you need to know about Florida auto insurance

For many people in the Fort Myers, FL area, driving a car on a daily basis is a necessity and also an enjoyable experience. When you have your own car in Fort Myers, you will be able to get to work, school, and to all of the local dining options and beach. While having a car is a good idea in Fort Myers, there are some responsibilities that you need to keep in mind. One thing that you must do is get your car insured. There are several things that you need to know about insurance for your Florida car. 

State Minimum Requirements

Like any other state, Florida does require that you carry minimum levels of liability insurance on your car at all times. This will ensure that you are protected if you are at fault in an accident. However, this coverage will only provide protection for damage or injuries that you cause to the other party and will not provide coverage for your vehicle. 

Collision and Comprehensive

For most drivers in Florida, having a full auto insurance policy with collision and comprehensive coverage would be beneficial. When you have this level of coverage in place you can be assured that you will be covered for an issue that could cause a loss. Further, any auto lender will require that you have this.

Florida auto insurance laws can be complicated. Because of this, those that are in the Fort Myers, FL area and need to find an auto insurance policy need to reach out to the team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. When you come to meet with the professionals at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. you can learn more about your auto insurance needs and what type of policy will protect you the right way.

What does it mean when your vehicle has been totaled?

Getting into an auto accident is aggravating enough. However, the unhappiness increases if your insurance company tells you that your vehicle has been totaled. That means you have to shell out more money to buy a new ride. And, if your car is not an obvious mangled pile of junk, the assessment seems unfair. Unfortunately, as the SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL, explains, whether or not a car has been totaled stems from the economics of the automobile industry.

Essentially, when a car is totaled, the cost of repairing it, including such expenses as the tow from the accident site and the rental car cost, is greater than the appraised value of the model, make, and year of your vehicle. In short, it would cost more to repair the car than it would to buy an equivalent on the used vehicle market.

If your car is totaled, you have two options.

First, you can accept the settlement from the insurance company, based on the appraised cash value. You likely will not have enough money to buy a new car, but at least you have a substantial down payment.

Second, you can accept the settlement and use it plus whatever cash you have in your pocket to get your vehicle fixed. You might be attached to your car and cannot bear to part with it. Usually, this option is not recommended. A new car, at least, will not have the wear and tear your old vehicle has, even if the repair job makes it seem like new.

For more questions on auto insurance feel free to contact the SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL.

 

Auto Insurance Changes After a Divorce

A divorce can be a painful and confusing time for an individual. During this time period, you will have many questions concerning how things should be divided and settled between yourself and your ex-spouse. Understanding how car insurance will be affected by your divorce is a starting place. There are a few rules you should keep in mind when you are dealing with car insurance during a divorce. 

Consent is Necessary

It is necessary to have the ex-spouse’s consent before you can remove them from the insurance policy. This can be a sore spot for some couples, as bad feelings or other difficulties can make communication stressful during this time. It is important to remember that the more cordial you can be during this time, the more quickly you will be able to settle car insurance questions and the more quickly you will be able to move on. 

Addresses Must Be Separated

It is also important to note that it will be difficult to separate car insurance while you are both still living at the same address. Maintaining separate addresses will make this process easier. If you and your ex-spouse are still living at the same address, wait until addresses are different before trying to divide car insurance. 

Separating Titles

It is also helpful to make sure that the titles to the vehicles are clearly separated during the divorce. This will make insuring the vehicles less complicated and confusing. 

Establishing a New Policy

It may seem a no-brainer, but one of the spouses will be required to get a new insurance policy. There is no need for this to become another point of contention between the couple. Acquiring a new insurance policy can be a simple and inexpensive process. If you need to speak with an insurance representative about obtaining car insurance after a divorce contact the helpful staff at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL and surrounding areas. 

 

When Can You File a Claim on Your Auto Insurance?

Owning a car is a significant achievement in your life. However, you need to purchase an auto insurance policy to ensure that your car is protected all the time. An auto insurance policy will provide you with the much-needed peace of mind since you know that you will always have someone behind your back when the worst happens. However, most car owners in Fort Myers, FL do not know when to file an auto insurance claim. When your car is damaged, you need to file a claim with your insurance provider such as SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. to ensure that you do not incur significant financial losses. Here are some scenarios when you can claim your auto insurance.

Claim When You Are Sued

Accidents always occur, and you never know when it will happen to you. If you’re driving and you get involved in a costly accident, or you hit another person on the road, he or she may decide to file a lawsuit against you. If this is the case, your liability coverage should help you meet the cost of hiring an experienced attorney to represent you in court. It should also help you settle any medical bills of the injured individuals.

When Your Car is Damaged but Not in Accident

If a tree falls on your car during a windy day or your car gets burglarized, and you cannot meet the repair costs, your auto insurance provider will come in and help you repair it if you have a comprehensive coverage policy. Also, if fire, floods or storm destroys your car, you are right to file your auto insurance claim. Before you file your auto insurance, you should ensure that the primary cause of your car damage is a covered event.

Are you a car owner in Fort Myers, FL? Stop by SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today for a comprehensive auto insurance policy.

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.

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! 

 

Why Parents of Teen Drivers Should Have an Umbrella Policy

When it has taken you a lifetime to assemble assets and attain your financial goals, the last thing you want is to see all those assets consumed by a lawsuit. Although accidents occur daily, parents become more at risk when their teenagers start driving, particularly in today’s lawsuit environment.

Many parents in Fort Myers, FL, may either be ignorant or deficient of the fact that if their teen is not yet of age of maturity (at least 18), then all the liability for damages caused by any accident falls on them. In fact, young drivers make up over 30% of vehicle accidents that result in injury. This is why SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. encourages parents to take a second look at their insurance coverage and decide whether an umbrella insurance is necessary.

As a resident of Fort Myers, FL, an umbrella policy will add an extra layer of insurance protection over your auto or homeowners insurance. Specifically, an umbrella insurance protects your personal assets in an event that a major claim surpasses the coverage limits of your other insurance policies cover.

How Much Coverage Do I Need on My Umbrella Insurance?
Your umbrella insurance will vary depending on numerous factors. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. presents you with various options that are best suited different types of situations. Your initial step should be to assess your current policy and see how much coverage you have. The next step will be to search for information on the maximum liability your insurer will cover, and then consider how much more coverage you require to be on the safer side.

Alternatively, you can contact Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.  to quickly and easily explain the varied options to you, including their benefits and challenges.

 

The Benefits of Carpooling

If you commute to work, you might want to consider carpooling.  In fact, carpooling in Fort Myers, FL comes with so many benefits you’ll wonder why you haven’t started carpooling sooner.  And you don’t have to carpool every single work day to reap the benefits. Even just a couple of days of carpooling each week goes a long way. Read on to learn about some of the benefits of sharing a ride to work.  

You Save Money

This is one of the best and most obvious reasons to carpool. By sharing the commute, you save money by using less gas and by putting less wear and tear on your car. This monthly cost cutting strategy can add up to significant savings over time.  

You Help the Environment

When you carpool, you decrease your carbon footprint for that day by sharing it with someone else and getting one less car off the road. This means the air is cleaner and less polluted because of this simple, positive action. Encourage others to do the same.  

It’s Convenient

Carpooling offers flexibility. You can do it once, twice, three, or more times a week. It’s always up to you.  

It Provides for Relaxed Social Interaction 

Unless you’re running incredibly late, carpooling should offer a relaxed, stress-free drive where occupants and chat on the way to work and even stop for a quick cup of coffee in the drive through.  

Fewer Cars Equals fewer Accidents

The more people carpool, the fewer cars there will be on the road.  And fewer cars means fewer car crashes.  

At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we serve the Fort Myers, FL area when it comes to auto insurance and we stand behind all the benefits of carpooling. If you are looking for an auto insurance policy, call the SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. at 678-454-0661 to speak with a friendly insurance agent.  

Can Insurance Laws Vary From City To City?

Insurance laws vary from state to state, but can they vary from city to city, or will be the same in Fort Myers as they are in Miami?

The short answer is no, or at least, almost never. But, the city that you live in is a major factor when it comes to insurance. The laws are governed by state and federal government, but the experience you have buying insurance in Fort Myers, FL will be different than the experience you have in Orlando, for example. Car culture does vary from one town to another.

  • Insurers consider where you live when setting your rates

In general, you’re going to be looking at higher rates in a city with a lot of traffic and very intense weather. For instance, New Orleans and Detroit tend to have very high insurance rates. Fort Myers is subject to the severe storms and crazy traffic found throughout many metropolitan areas in Florida, so your rates will likely be higher than in a rural town like, say, Lake Wales, but lower than in the densest cities like Tampa and Miami.

  • Traffic laws,¬†ordinances, and customs may vary from city to city

Cities may pass their regulations regarding things like parking etiquette, and different police departments may enforce the law differently. “When in Rome,” as they say, behave as would a Roman. Insurance laws tend to be the same across the state, but you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the local regulations in any town you’re not just passing through.

In a city like Fort Myers, where you have some extreme weather, especially in the Summertime, and a lot of traffic, it’s important to shop around to make sure that you get the best insurance you can get for your dollar.