What is the Big Deal about Credit Ratings and Insurance Scores?

A big factor in determining the premium of a personal auto policy has nothing to do with a person’s driving record—it’s his or her credit record. According to Conning and Company, more than 90 percent of insurers use an applicant’s credit history—his or her insurance risk score—to slot him or her into a certain program. When a person applies for auto insurance, the insurance company asks for permission to pull his or her credit information. The insurer then secures a credit report from one or more of the credit bureaus—TransUnion; Experian; or Equifax. For more information on credit reports or to secure a copy of your own report, go to http://www.credit.com. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. If your score is below 650, you may have trouble getting insurance or you may have to pay a higher premium. In order to improve your credit score, keep in mind the following factors that influence the score.

● Payment history—The largest factor is credit and loan account payment history. A steady record of on-time payments going back several years shows responsibility.

● Debts owed—The number of accounts you currently have, including type and balance. Try to have just a few active accounts with low balances.

● Length of credit history—The longer your credit history, the better.

● New accounts—Every time you apply for a new account, a record of that application appears on your credit report and drops your score. Limit the number of applications you submit.

● Balance of accounts—It is best to have between two and six open credit cards and one or two loans.

● Negative records—Collections, judgments, and bankruptcy filings will drop your score.

Copyright 2008, 2016, International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

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. 

Do I need an umbrella insurance policy in FT Myers, FL

Before you can decide if you need an umbrella insurance policy in Fort Myers, FL you need to understand what an umbrella policy is and the value it has to you. What better way to learn about this important coverage than with one of the friendly agents at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. They can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Umbrella insurance is not a policy that you can purchase on its own. You need to already have a home, auto, condo or renters insurance. Umbrella coverage is excess liability insurance above and beyond what the original policy would cover.  An umbrella policy will only go into effect after the liability limit of the original policy has been met. If you have assets, you can protect them from a judgment against you. A judgment can also garnish your future wages. Most umbrella policies offer about a million dollars of liability coverage at a very affordable price. 

Certain things make you more liable to be sued. A dog, a pool or a trampoline are high on the list of risky things to own. If you entertain at your home, if you volunteer or if you are a coach, these are also things that can make you more vulnerable to being sued. Umbrella insurance can help to pay for not only legal expenses but judgments against you. 

If any of these things has got you thinking about whether or not umbrella insurance is something that you could benefit from and you happen to live in or near the Fort Myers, FL area, why not stop by the office of SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. or give them a call for a no-obligation quote. You will be glad you did. 

 

 

 

Finding the right motorcycle insurance for Southwest Florida

Choosing the right insurance policy for your Fort Myers, FL area motorcycle can be a confusing process and you may find yourself throwing your hands up in frustration, not sure what to do! There’s no need to let the process frustrate you, especially because the team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is here to work with you to help you determine the right motorcycle insurance policy for your needs.

Find the right motorcycle insurance for Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is a great place to ride, and it’s important that you have the right insurance policy in place before you get onto the back of your bike. There are minimum limits to the amount of insurance that one must carry for their motorcycle, but many bike owners find them insufficient. If you are looking for a comprehensive policy that minimizes the chance that you’ll have significant personal liability, it’s time to talk to a local insurance agent. Many people don’t realize that by taking a policy with low policy limits they are increasing the chance of their policy being maxed out. It is important to remember that when the policy limits are reached due to a covered event, and remaining amounts can become the liability of the owner. 

Comprehensive motorcycle insurance makes a lot of sense for many reasons, it protects you, your bike, and any passengers that you have onboard.

Before you get out on the open road, make sure that you have the protection you need! The team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. has the necessary knowledge to help you find the comprehensive motorcycle policy that is right for your needs. If you are in the greater Fort Myers, FL area call or stop by today and learn more about the available motorcycle insurance options!

When Should You Review Your Renters Coverage?

If you have lived in your rented residence for some time in Fort Myers, FL, do you know the last time you reviewed your policy? Reviewing your policy periodically will ensure that you aren’t paying more for what you need, and you have the right coverage to protect you. You should always let an agent at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. know if you are moving, but there are some other times you may want to contact your agent as well.

Changes in Life: If you get new electronics, jewelry, or expensive items in your residence, you will need more insurance coverage. Think about how much it would cost to replace all the items in your home and increase the coverage amount if required. Maybe you have gotten an inheritance, and now you have more assets to protect and need to increase your liability limits. If you get a dog or other pets, are they covered under the policy? Whenever you have significant changes in life, be sure to check with your insurance agent to make sure you are still covered.

Discounts and Increases: It’s not uncommon for your insurance premiums to increase each time you renew your policy in Fort Myers, FL. However, you may not realize that if you review your insurance and get pricing quotes, you can also save some money. Your renewal yearly is a great time to make sure you review your coverage. Consider different discounts you can get, such as lumping all your policies together with the same company. You may also be eligible for other discounts if you haven’t had any recent claims.

Changes to Deductibles: A lower deductible may mean you have a higher premium. You should run some numbers with your agent to see what is better for your budget.

Contact SWFL insurance Agency Inc. to get a quote on renters insurance.

Will Condo Insurance Cover My Personal Belongings?

If you own a condo in Fort Myers, FL, you aren’t required by law to carry condo insurance. However, if your furniture and clothing are damaged by a burst pipe or overflowing sink in your own unit, you may have to come up with the money to replace your belongings. Your condo association may also require a certain amount of insurance and lenders may have a similar requirement if you took out a mortgage on your condo.

The professionals at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can answer any questions you have on the types of condo insurance coverage you may benefit from. Here is some additional information on personal belongings coverage to get you started.

What is Condo Insurance for Personal Belongings?

Condo insurance is available to protect your personal belongings, which aren’t covered in your condominium’s master insurance policy. Often called a walls-in policy, condo insurance protects individual units. Typical policies offer various coverage options, including reimbursement for personal belonging lost or damaged in a covered event.

What’s Covered?

Appliances, clothing, jewelry, electronics and furniture and are usually written into your personal property coverage. If any of these items are damaged in a covered event, your insurance pays to repair or replace them.

Condo owners choose how much coverage they need, including:

  • Actual cash value gives you the depreciated value for your damaged belongings.
  • Replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the replacement cost of the lost or stolen items, regardless of depreciation.

Contact your SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. representative to set up an appointment to discuss your condo insurance needs. Come in for a quote on your Fort Myers, FL condo or contact an agent today so that you can rest assured that your belongings are covered in the unfortunate case of an event beyond your control.

How Flood Insurance Can Benefit a Fort Myers Property Owner

One of the biggest assets that you will ever own is your home. When you own a property in a city such as Fort Myers, FL, there are a variety of important factors to consider to ensure your asset is properly covered by insurance. One of the most important things that you can do would be to get a flood insurance policy as it can benefit a property owner a number of ways. 

Protects Your Asset

Nothing could be more damaging to a property than a flood. Due to the location of the ocean and other waterways, those that are in Fort Myers will always run the risk of experiencing a flood. When you get flood insurance, you will receive coverage for this risk. This can include making all repairs to clean up the flood and replace your personal assets.

Ensures Compliance

Depending on where you live in Fort Myers and the type of mortgage that you have, you could be required to carry flood insurance. Those that are in a flood zone and have a FHA mortgage will need to have flood insurance at all times. When you have this insurance in place, you will be assured that you are in compliance with your flood insurance covenant in your loan agreement. 

If you own a home in the Fort Myers, FL area, it is very important that you properly consider your flood insurance needs. Due to the complexities that come with this type of insurance, it would be helpful to speak with the team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. The insurance professionals at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you to learn more about your flood insurance options and to get into a policy that properly protects your home. 

What Information Is Needed For A Home Insurance Quote In Florida?

When you live in Fort Myers, FL, you can choose to be in the city or the suburbs. What’s important is that you protect your home thoroughly. To do that, you need home insurance. Obtaining a home insurance quote is easier when you work with us at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. We’ll show you what information is needed to get a quote.

Your Address

The first thing that is needed is the address of your home. This identifies whether you’re in a flood zone or not. It will also use your zip code to understand more about what other people in that zip code have experienced, such as the number of claims, the overall crime rates, and more.

Details of Your Home

A few details about your home will be needed to get home insurance, too. This includes the age of the home, its estimated value, as well as the total square footage. Any “additions” to the home have to be included, too. This way, you can be sure that they’re covered within the policy in case they get damaged in a storm or anything else. Such things include a detached garage, a pool, a privacy fence, or anything else that is a structure away from the home itself but still on the property.

Personal Details

Finally, you will need to provide some personal details. This includes your name, social security number, and contact information. If you have pets that will be living in the home, they need to be identified, too. This way, the level of liability can be better determined.

Are you ready to get a home insurance quote in Fort Myers, FL? Contact us at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today. One of our insurance agents can walk you through the process and customize a policy for you and your home.

 

Protect your inventory with commercial insurance

We all know how important it is to carry the appropriate level of insurance to protect our assets, and the same is true when covering the value of your inventory. Business owners understand that one serious loss to their work-flow can wipe out years of hard work. The team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. are here to help you find the right insurance to cover all aspects of your Fort Myers, FL area business, including inventory. 

Be sure to obtain the right level of commercial insurance

Inventory protection can make a huge difference in how well your business is able to bounce back after experiencing a loss. When you are obtaining your policy, be sure to work with a professional agent that understands the nuances of commercial insurance. Inventory valuation can be tricky to determine, as it is constantly fluctuating. When you have a busy season coming up, your inventory levels will be a lot higher than they are during the slower months of the year. Some people make the mistake of valuing their inventory at the time that they obtain their policy. This can lead to serious problems if you get your policy during one of your slow months. Be sure to look at the levels of inventory that you carry all year long, and determine the highest level as your insurable value. This is yet another reason why it is helpful to work with a professional agent that is able to guide you through the process. 

The team at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. are here to help business owners in the greater Fort Myers, FL area obtains the insurance that provides the appropriate protection for their inventory and overall business. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to review your commercial insurance needs. 

How umbrella insurance can hear Ft Myers, FL residents

The world is full of risks and the stress that goes along with those risks. When you live in Fort Myers, FL you get the opportunity to take advantage of the area and the weather without worrying from day to day.

Unfortunately, there are risks even in sunny Florida, and at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. we work to help our clients mitigate those risks. One great way to keep your risks low is by adding an umbrella policy to your already existing policies.

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella Insurance is different from other kinds of policies because you can’t get an umbrella policy by itself. You need to have an existing policy, like homeowners or auto insurance, and then add on umbrella insurance. 

What makes umbrella insurance great is the high limit; your umbrella policy goes well above and beyond your normal policy limits with a typical policy usually starting at $1,000,000 worth of coverage. That seems like a lot until you think about it.

An Umbrella Policy In Action

For example, say you carry full coverage auto insurance. A normal policy will max out well below the actual damages for a serious accident, especially if there are multiple people seriously injured.  Once you hit your policy limits, you are responsible for all the damages that still need to be paid, if you are deemed responsible for the accident.

If you have an umbrella policy, it will kick in once your standard policy maxes out. You can relax and recover during that stressful time as your umbrella policy pays out.

You can get umbrella insurance in Fort Myers, FL that will cover your home, auto or business. If you want to find out how umbrella insurance can help you, call SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today.