Realtors…..A useful tool to aid in closing sales on older home

third nail

Realtors….Help your clients save on Homeowners Insurance Premiums!  

For Homes constructed before 2002, you should contact us for a review of their Wind Mitigation Inspection form and Homeowners Policy. We will determine if they are receiving the proper wind mitigation credits and provide you with our best premium proposal.  We have construction, wind mitigation and home inspection experience and are able to provide up to date information.

If we determine that you can “Save” from adding the “Third Nail” to the wall to roof truss metal connection……

  • We will determine your estimated Homeowners premiums savings.
  • We will recommend a couple of companies who specialize in “Adding the Third Nail”.  They will make a Free inspection and provide a written proposal.
  • These licensed companies can complete the required work and provide a New Wind Mitigation Inspection Report.
  • Typically the cost of adding the Third Nail for a 2500 SF home is about $ 800., one time.
  • The typical Windstorm Premium Savings is $ 600. to $ 1,000. every year going forward for this home.  Your actual savings will depend on your individual situation.     This is Big!

Homes built prior to 1960 typically do not have metal straps or clips. Many times these homes can be retro fitted to install the metal connectors and nails required by the building code.  Call us about a free evaluation.

This is a useful tool to use with new and existing clients.  Make them aware.

Call SWFL Insurance Agency today 239-265-9577.  We will help you save money!!

Email us at 

See our SWFL Agency Blog for more useful articles


Sooo…What the heck is Ordinance and Law Coverage?

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I accidentally picked up my Homeowners Policy (Good gosh…not to read it) and there it was in BIG BOLD Letters….IMPORTANT: ORDINANCE & LAW COVERAGE IS A PART OF THIS POLICY!   Why the shout out from my insurance company?

First, your Homeowners Policy provides coverage which has the intent to rebuild or repair a damaged structure and return it to the state in which it existed prior to the loss caused by a covered peril. This coverage is not intended to pay all of the costs to update the structure so that it complies with current building and zoning laws, codes and ordinances.

This becomes a particular issue when a structure is substantially, but not completely, destroyed and when the undamaged portion of the structure requires extensive renovation to comply with current building and zoning laws, codes and ordinances.

The Florida Building Code that went into effect in March, 2002 substantially changed how homes are constructed from the concrete and reinforcement steel to the roof covering.  If your home was permitted for construction prior to March, 2002, many aspects probably do not meet code.  In most counties, “When repairs and alterations amounting to more than 50% of the value of the existing building are made during any 12-month period, the building or structure shall be made to conform to the requirements for a new building or structure or be entirely demolished.”

Without adequate Ordinance & Law coverage, you would be responsible for the cost of demolishing the rest of the structure, the removal of that debris, and for the cost to rebuild the undamaged portion of the house. You can easily imagine those kinds of costs running into the tens of thousands, or even more. Ordinance or Law coverage is designed to help fill that gap.

Ordinance & Law coverage can come into play on smaller damages as well. A storm may damage a portion of your roof, which would be covered by your Florida homeowners policy after your deductible. But building regulations in your area might require that the entire roof be retrofitted with tie-downs or even replaced to meet new hurricane resistance standards. These upgrades, even though they are required by law, are regarded as home improvements by your home insurance and are not covered. Without ordinance or law coverage, you will pay the difference out of your pocket. Ordinance & Law coverage will fill the gap, helping you to bring your house up to code.

Typically, the HO3 Homeowners Policy Form includes Ordinance & Law coverage for 10% of the building coverage.   However, some companies do not include O&L coverage and it must be purchased as an endorsement. Other carriers offer 25% and 50% O&L coverage. This coverage is not expensive.  You should discuss this matter very thoroughly with your agent. Be prepared for whatever Life throws at you.

We at SWFL Insurance Agency understand property values, Building Codes and how to apply Ordinance & Law coverage.   Call us at 239-265-9577 for a competitive insurance proposal.


What the heck is an LSV (Low Speed Vehicle)?


Sooo…..You purchased a gas powered “golf cart” that you want to use on the streets in your neighborhood and to take with you on vacation in the Keys. What kind of insurance do I need to purchase? Do I buy car insurance or what? What if my Homeowners Association requires insurance? Did you hear the one about the grand parent who ran over someone with a golf cart in the street and they died?

Does your new vehicle qualify as a Golf Cart or a Low Speed Vehicle? Be careful. If the vehicle is to be used on the street and is registered, then it will most likely have to be insured as an LSV on an Auto Policy with at least Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability. 

If it is a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV), it must meet all of the following Qualifications: 

  • Registered for street use.
  • Can travel in excess of 20 mph, but no more than 25 mph.
  • Has all of the following:
    • Headlights
    • Front & rear turn signals
    • Tail lights
    • Stop lights
    • Reflex reflectors (reflectors on sides of the vehicle)
    • Exterior mirrors mounted on driver’s & passenger’s side of the car or an interior mirror
    • Parking brake
    • Windshield
    • Seat belts
    • 17 Digit VIN – Exception: Not all golf carts/low speed vehicles have a VIN, if that is the case enter all X’s in the VIN field.

If the vehicle is a golf cart that has been converted to an LSV, the Florida title will have a department assigned identification number starting with “FLA”.

 If the vehicle or golf cart qualifies as an LSV, the vehicle must be insured under an “auto” policy that includes PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and PD (Property Damage Liability) at a minimum. Typically there must be an auto policy in force that the LSV will be added to. Progressive Insurance has a program to cover the Golf Cart, the LSV, the Motorcycle, the ATV and other motorized vehicles. If the golf cart does not qualify as an LSV, the vehicle needs to be written in a Motorcycle program. Golf carts that are not registered for street use and are capable of speeds less than 20 mph are acceptable in the MC program. The Motorcycle program does not offer PIP coverage and will not satisfy the statutory requirement of an LSV registered for street use.

Exception for Florida: Progressive Insurance accepts Low Speed Vehicles converted to golf carts in the Motorcycle program if it travels at a speed not to exceed 20 miles per hour. Rates as an off-road use to comply with golf cart; however, may be driven on roads on private property, within gated communities, etc. Please review this brochure from the Florida DMV for more information. Not having the proper coverage can get your drivers license suspended.  

 If you have any questions, contact SWFL Insurance Agency for a review of your vehicle and how to insure it.

SWFL Insurance Agency        239-265-9577   

Concerned about Carrying a Concealed Weapon and the Liability issue?


In a previous Blog post, we discussed Guns, the Homowners Policy and Liability coverage. We learned that the Homeowners Insurance Policy may or may not respond in a case where you intentionally shoot an intruder on your property or elsewhere.  If you carry a weapon on your person or in your vehicle, your exposure to a liability claim is much higher.

The requirement for all gun owners to have Gun Liability Insurance is being debated in various states including Florida. There is a very good website for U.S. Concealed Carry Association that offers a Concealed Carry Guide that discusses insurance and offers Gun Liability Insurance at reasonable rates.

The NRA offers Self Defense Insurance at reasonable rates. You need to be a member.  With membership, you receive $ 2,500 of coverage for your guns at no charge.

Remember, the Legal Representation and Legal Fees is the most important part of the Insurance Coverage that you are purchasing. Whatever the circumstances, the costs associated with protecting your rights can be expensive.  Review the policy language closely for any policy you may consider.

Need help understanding your Homeowners Policy and Gun Liability, call us at 239-265-9577 or visit our SWFL Agency Blog.

A Great Homeowners Theft Prevention Guide


In today’s world, preparing for the possible burglary at your Home is very important.  Take a look at this  Theft Prevention Guide provided by Security First Insurance.  Take a minute to assess your home and determine what you can do to be prepared.  Do not become the next victim.

Are you receiving the proper premium credits on your Homeowners Policy.  Let us review your policy and offer a competitive quote.  Call 239-265-9577 or Request a Quote from this page.

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

How Much Umbrella Insurance Should I Carry?

When choosing your coverage limits, consider three things:

The risks you may face. Consider your risk exposures as a homeowner, condo owner or renter such as swimming pool, sport activities, scooters, bicycles, golf carts, property you own and its features, etc. The risk of causing an auto accident during your work commute, and any potentially dangerous activities you participate in that could put those around you at risk of bodily injury or property damage.

The value of your assets. These include real properties, possessions, stocks, bonds, savings and retirement funds. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the umbrella policy limit you should consider.

The potential loss of future income. Because liability lawsuits can result in loss of both current assets and future income, even those with few assets to protect may want to consider the long-term ramifications of a serious claim.

When you review your future income, consider your earning potential. You may not have many assets now, but if you’re on track for a high paying career, you could be involved in a lawsuit that can target money you haven’t earned yet.

Speak with an independent insurance agent at SWFL Insurance Agency, inc. to determine your specific risk factors and learn more about how to protect your current and future assets. We have Umbrella liability Policies starting at $ 250. Annually. Call us at 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  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.)