Safety Devices and Boat Insurance Ensure a Worry-Free Family Vacation

If you just bought a new boat for your family to enjoy on the waters around Fort Myers, FL, your local agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. reminds you that you need more than a boat insurance policy to be fully protected on the high seas.

Minimum Safety Requirements for Boats Under 16-feet

State and Federal regulations apply when you take your new recreational boat out to see. Before registering your craft you must undergo an inspection and demonstrate that at the least you have enough flotation devices on board, a fire extinguisher, flare, noise maker, appropriate marker lights, and a backfire prevention device on your motor. If your boat is larger than 16-feet, there may be additional safety items required. Check with your local Coast Guard unit for details.

Recommended Equipment for Peace of Mind

Just because you meet the minimum requirements does not mean that you shouldn’t consider adding even more safety items and technology upgrades. A radio and GPS location beacon can summon help when you need it. Cell towers don’t exist off the coast. Think about an extra flotation device such as a raft or ring if you have space.

Boat Insurance Takes Care of Expenses After an Accident

Finally, don’t forget to discuss boat insurance with your Fort Myers, FL area agent. Not only will your policy help to repair or replace your boat, but it can also help to cover medical and property damage expenses in the case of an accident while at sea. Your friends and family will want to enjoy the time on the water without worrying about what happens if something goes wrong.  An effective boat insurance policy from SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. will protect your wallet in time of need. Give us a call and ask us for a quote today.

Why Your Tax Preparation Business Needs Commercial Insurance Today

With the tax season officially opened for 2019, covering your tax preparation business is essential with insurance. Like any other business, tax preparers can find their business in accidents and situations that require quality commercial insurance. For tax preparers in Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. understand the importance of commercial insurance and the need for unique coverage depending on the business and its needs.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage for any business is essential. For tax preparers, the work season is condensed, often causing high traffic in small spaces. Clients and their children can be found in the lobbies of the office from open to close. Because of this volume, the risk for accidents and liability increase. Should an unforeseen accident occur, a liability claim can be filed and your insurance will cover any associated expenses, allowing your business to continue daily operations during this time. 

Errors & Omissions Coverage

Many businesses find the need for errors and omissions coverage in their commercial insurance policy. Unfortunately, errors by your business can happen during high volume times and can cause significant financial damages in claims. With tax preparation, this service is delicate and tedious, making it a risk for errors and lawsuits if the IRS decides to audit a client and find mistakes that were inadvertent. Not being covered can cause out-of-pocket expenses, and close the doors to small tax businesses.

Contact Us Today

If you have a tax preparation business in or around the Fort Myers, FL area and are not insured with commercial insurance, contact one of our agents at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. for more information regarding a policy. If you think you need to add to your current commercial insurance policy, we can upgrade your policy to customize your business needs. 

What is included with home insurance?

Buying a home is a very big investment. When you are looking to purchase a home, you will want to make sure that you have home insurance in place at all times. There are a variety of benefits that come with a home insurance policy, each of which can provide you with valuable protection. 

Covers Your Home

One of the most important types of coverage that you will receive in your home insurance policy is coverage for damage to your property. When you live in the Fort Myers, FL area, you are always running the risk of having your home damaged by storm, fire, or a variety of other casualties. When you have a home insurance policy in place, you will receive coverage for losses you incur in these situations. This could ultimately save you a significant amount of money.

Liability Coverage

An additional benefit that comes with home insurance is that you will receive liability coverage. If you are an owner of a home, you are taking on risk if you have a guest over to your home. If the guest is injured or comes ill while they are at your property, you could be considered liable. In these situations, your home insurance policy will come in handy as you will have a liability insurance coverage component in your home insurance. 

If you are looking for a home insurance policy in the Fort Myers, FL area, you should first visit with the team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. When you meet with the agents with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. you will learn far more about all of the benefits that come with it and how it can protect you. 

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. 


What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

An umbrella policy in Fort Myers, FL doesn’t provide coverage on its own. Instead, it provides additional coverage or excess liability above the limits from basic policies. Things that can be covered include injury treatment and funeral costs for others, other’s property damage, and injuries or property damage suffered by a tenant if you are a landlord.

Understanding coverage for this policy is easier by understanding how this works. If you get into a car accident where there is damage to the vehicles and several people injured, and the accident is determined to be your fault, there is going to be a lot of things to pay for. Between the repairs, medical bills, legal fees if you are sued, and settlements from lawsuits, chances are that the total is going to be above what your auto liability insurance covers. If the total is $500,000 but your auto insurance only covers $300,000, then you have to figure out a way to pay for the additional $200,000. This is where umbrella coverage comes in. Once the auto insurance policy has been exhausted, umbrella coverage will pay the difference.

The example used is for auto insurance, but umbrella can kick in after a similar claim under homeowners insurance. In addition to kicking in for homeowners and auto insurance policies, umbrella insurance provides such additional coverage for things that aren’t covered under these standard policies. These protections include lawsuits involving defamation of character, libel, slander, and other personal attacks. While umbrella insurance is useful, there are some things it won’t cover, which include your own injuries or damage to your belongings, as well as intentional or criminal acts. For a personal policy, it won’t cover any injuries or damage that your business is responsible for and, depending on the policy, it may not cover injuries or damage caused by certain recreational vehicles such as jet skis. It’s recommended to have a million-dollar policy, but an agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help determine your risks and coverage needs.

Contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL, to get a quote on umbrella insurance. 

Protect Your Summer Condo From Fire With Renters Insurance

You love to vacation in Fort Myers, FL during the winter and rent a gorgeous condo every year for your trip. However, you are worried that fire could affect your condo while you are gone. Thankfully, you can get protection from one of the many high-quality renters insurance policies available with insurance providers like SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.

Renter’s Insurance Covers Fires

Accidental fire damage will be covered by just about every type of renters insurance. Problems that you couldn’t foresee, such as electrical issues caused by other tenants, are fully covered by most policies as are incidents of a fire triggered by the renter.

Liability claims of this type are particularly important to understand because they can help you when you accidentally cause a fire in a condo. For example, you may fry with excessive grease and trigger a small, but damaging fire. Liability coverage also protects you from lawsuits by people who are visiting your condo and who may be injured in a fire.

When a Policy Won’t Help

There are very few instances in which renters insurance won’t help somebody when their home burns down. Typically, these kinds of policies do not cover fire problems that were caused by the person on purpose as a way of collecting insurance payments.

After every fire, the insurance company will hire a professional inspector to check out what happened to ensure that nothing is too strange or unseemly about the situation. And most of the time, they will approve a claim unless there is real evidence that a person purposefully caused the fire.

Let Us Help You

So if you are concerned about your Fort Myers, FL suffering from a fire while you are away or even while you’re visiting, contact us at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. to learn more about renters insurance policies. This type of insurance provides you with the help you need to avoid serious issues.

What Kind of Motorcycle Insurance Should I Get

For those that in the Fort Myers, FL area, nothing is better than spending a day out in the sun on your very own motorcycle. If you own a motorcycle, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that it is properly covered by insurance. There are several tips that should be followed that will help you to pick the right insurance policy for your situation.

Consider Liability Laws

When you are looking for a new policy for your motorcycle coverage, the first thing you need to think about is what your liability requirements are. In Florida, all motorcycle drivers need to have minimum liability coverage of at least $10,000 for personal property and bodily injury coverage of at least $10,000 per person with a $20,000 per incident cap.

Lender Requirements

When you are going to get motorcycle insurance, you should also make sure that you are in compliance with your lender. If you took out a lease or loan to get your motorcycle, you will need to make sure you comply with all insurance requirements in the loan or lease agreement. The majority of the time, your lender will require that you have collision and comprehensive coverage in place.

Personal Needs

While certain types of coverage may not be required for you, it is still important to consider your personal needs. You should consider not only the type of coverage you need but the level of coverage as well. This will ensure you have the right type and amount of coverage. 

If you are in the Fort Myers, FL area and own a motorcycle, you should contact the SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. When you meet with the team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. you will learn far more about your motorcycle insurance needs and options. The team will also help to make sure that you get into a good policy that provides you with the necessary protection.

Excess Flood Coverage: When Basic Flood Policies Aren’t Enough

Like the rest of the state, the area surrounding Fort Myers, FL is prone to severe seasonal flooding. Is your basic flood insurance enough? SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. wants you to be prepared for the wet weather. How can you tell if you need excess flood insurance?

  • Your primary policy doesn’t cover the total value of your home. In case of severe flooding, your home may need extensive repairs to the foundation, subflooring, and support structures. These expensive repairs can quickly eat into your primary payout, leaving you liable for a large out-of-pocket contribution. Higher-value homes need excess flood coverage to protect the owner’s personal wealth.
  • You own a commercial business. Does your business owner policy include flood coverage? Check with your agent to ensure your inventory, equipment, and buildings are covered. In combination with other policies, excess flood insurance gives business owners the capital they need to rebuild after a catastrophic storm or accidental flooding.
  • You are a collector. High-value possessions like jewelry, artwork, musical instruments, and antiques are difficult to replace. However, without enough insurance, finding equivalent replacements may be impossible. After paying for repairs to your property, there is rarely enough left over from your primary payout to replace your precious items as well. Excess flood insurance provides enough funds to replace and repair all of your important items. Even these policies, however, may not fully cover the value of lost items. Talk with your insurance agent about additional policies to protect high-value collectibles.
  • You’re a landlord. Don’t risk losing months of investment income because you don’t have enough cash to repair your property after a flood. Excess flood insurance allows you to fix damages while still making regular payments to the bank.

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serves the insurance needs of residents and business owners in the Fort Myers, FL area. Contact us for more information on excess flood insurance.


Buying Condo Insurance: Know Your Boundaries Before You Purchase

Are you shopping for condo insurance for your new Fort Myers, FL home? Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know where your property begins in the complex and what the condo association is responsible for maintaining. Your agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. knows that condos come in all shapes and sizes, so your insurance policy must be written to fit your unit–not your neighbor’s.

Hallways, Entries, and the Front Porch

Are you buying into a high-rise or garden style condo? If you share the floor with a neighbor, the connecting hall, elevator, stairs, and even the front door are the responsibility of the COA. However, when you own the entire floor, you will be expected to cover any damage that happens from the ceiling to the carpeting. In a townhome, if everybody has a front porch, those are likely part of the association. Only your deed and plans will show you the details.

Yards, Pools, and Patios

Shared space usually results in shared liability. Should your unit have a private walled-in yard with a hot tub, that should be listed on your insurance policy. However, if you hold parties at the big pool and playground, liability coverage switches to the association as long as you follow all the rules and regulations.

Shared Walls and Roofs

What about your duplex? This can get sticky. Check with your COA to see who is responsible for the walls, interior plumbing, wiring, and structural elements when your unit is part of a multi-family home. You may wish to increase your coverage if the roof is listed as yours. 

Save your sanity and your wallet when you sit down with an SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. agent and design a condo insurance policy that fully protects your Fort Myers, FL home.