Archive for October 2013

Homeowners Halloween Horrors   Leave a comment

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When zombies, Snookies, and Lady Gagas storm your front door this weekend, don’t fear! Your homeowners insurance will protect you from Halloween mishaps.

Halloween is all fun and games until a trick-or-treater trips, knocks over your jack-o-lantern, and sets your front porch on fire. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover these common Halloween home mishaps:

  • Tricksters damage your home. Standard homeowners policies cover vandalism, such as dents in your siding caused by eggs thrown at your home, when repair costs exceed your deductible.
  • Candles or decorations cause a fire. A fire started by a Halloween candle or a string of holiday lights will be covered. If the fire makes your home unlivable, your homeowners policy will pay your living expenses while you wait for repairs.
  • A trick-or-treater gets hurt on your property. Injuries to trick-or-treaters or your party guests are covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. The injured person files a claim with your insurer.
  • You crash your car into a telephone pole to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater in your driveway. That accident would be covered by the collision portion of your auto insurance (if you have it). If you hurt anyone, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the cost of their treatment.

If everything on this list of Halloween home horrors occurred, your umbrella insurance would kick in to cover costs — if you have it.

To make your property safe for Halloween, the Insurance Information Institute has these recommendations:

  • Pick up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop, or porch that a person could trip over.
  • Turn on your outdoor lighting so kids can see where they’re going.
  • Use battery-powered lights in your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Don’t put matches, lighters, or candles in places children can reach.
  • Pets, candles, and trick-or-treaters don’t mix. Keep pets away from the front door on Halloween.
  • Look for safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), on your decorative lights.

Courtesy Houselogic.com

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

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Posted October 30, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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Halloween Waiver for Trick-or-Treaters   Leave a comment

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Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Liability and Indemnification Agreement

_____________________ (hereinafter referred to as “Trick-Or-Treater”) agrees not to sue, harass, or
trick ____________________ (hereinafter referred to as “Benefactor”) for providing free, delicious
Halloween treats.

Trick-Or-Treater acknowledges and understands that no warranty, either expressed or implied, is
made by Benefactor as to the nutritional content of the goody. This document is offered in order to
duly warn Trick-Or-Treater that unforeseeable risks of harm may lurk in the Tootsie Rolls, Pop Rocks,
Blow Pops, Baby Ruths, chewing gum, Butterfingers, caramel apples, and any or all other
comestibles that may be offered.

Trick-Or-Treater is hereby informed that Benefactor’s snacks may contain any or all of the following:
calories, carbohydrates, sodium (salt), fat, peanuts, sugar, and marshmallow goo.
Trick-Or-Treater acknowledges that overeating may incur risks including, but not limited to, ruining
dinner, tummy aches, nougat stuck in teeth, sticky fingers, and chocolate-stained clothes.
Trick-Or-Treater hereby holds harmless Benefactor from all liability for personal injury suffered by
Trick-Or-Treater — which may be caused, in whole or in part, by any element or agent of Benefactor’s
candies. Trick-Or-Treater agrees that neither he/she, nor his/her parents, little league coaches, or
piano teachers will sue Benefactor or his/her agents for any injury that Trick-Or-Treater suffers, in
whole or in part, from consuming edibles collected from Benefactor’s premises.

This indemnification includes an agreement not to haul Benefactor into court on the basis of:

1) Failure to warn of potential for overeating because candy tastes too good and is provided at no
cost;
2) Failure to provide nutritional information or adequate educational information on exercise options;
3) Failure to state that candy corn is not really corn;
4) Failure to warn the lactose intolerant away from milk duds;
5) Failure to offer “healthier alternatives,” “organic alternatives,” or “lame treats no kid wants”; and
6) Failure to provide information about other venues offering alternative, “healthier” Halloween
goodies.

TRICK-OR-TREATER INDEMNIFIES AND RELEASES BENEFACTOR FROM ALL LIABILITY. TRICK-ORTREATER
HAS READ THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTANDS IT. HE/SHE IS SIGNING IT FREELY AND
VOLUNTARILY AND WITHOUT DURESS, AND AGREES NOT TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS IN SUPPORT OF
JOHN “SUE HAPPY” BANZHAF, ESQ., OR ANY OTHER PERSONS WITH LAW DEGREES WHO
CANNOT OTHERWISE FIND MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT, AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE.

TRICK-OR-TREATER: ___________________________ DATE:______________________
BENEFACTOR: _____________________________
WITNESS: ___________________________ WITNESS: _________________________________

Posted October 24, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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Pumpkin Safety   Leave a comment

Pumpkin

Safety is key when you’re pumpkin carving with the kids for Halloween. These tips from Pumpkin Masters will help!
When you’re carving pumpkins, having fun is key — but the most important thing to remember is safety, especially with kids. After all, you want to carve the pumpkin, not yourself!
Here are five safety tips to ensure a safe — and fun — pumpkin-carving session with the little ones.

1. Create a safe workspace.
Set out your carving materials on a well-lit, dry surface. Make sure everyone has the tools they need right in front them, and that kids can reach the space easily.

2. Choose the right tools.
Using household kitchen knives can be dangerous, especially for children, so we recommend carving tools specifically designed for kids, which has a larger handle that makes it easier for little hands to grip and maintain control.

3. Point the blade away.
No matter which carving tool you’re using, point the blade away from you as you carve. If your hand slips, you’re less likely to get hurt.

4. Saw, don’t slice.
Instead of using a sweeping movement, like slicing, try gently sawing through the pumpkin as you carve. Go as slowly as you need to avoid slipping.

5. Watch your hands — and others’!
Be mindful of where everyone’s free hands are when carving. Whether you’re carving yourself or you’re holding a pumpkin for someone else, keep one hand on top of the pumpkin instead of on the side. That way it’s within sight, which will decrease the risk of poking or slicing through the pumpkin — and into someone’s hand.

6. Illumination:
Small battery powered LED lights are much safer than traditional candles. They won’t burn you or your pumpkin.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted October 17, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in General Info

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IS YOUR BUSINESS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE STATE?   Leave a comment

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Every corporation and limited liability company (LLC) in Florida is required to file an annual report with the Florida Department of State.  Annual reports are due to the state by May 1st of each year.  For 2013, this requirement applies to businesses formed in 2012 or earlier; new businesses that were formed in 2013 do not have to file their first Annual Report until 2014.

If your business is organized as either a corporation or LLC and you did not file your Annual Report this year, your business entity was dissolved by the state in September and your company is no longer in “active status.”

If your business entity is dissolved and the company’s officers hold exemptions from workers’ compensation insurance, the state can revoke the exemption(s). If your company remains dissolved for over a year, the state will no longer protect your corporate name, and it will become available for other businesses to use.

If your company was dissolved because you did not file the Annual Report for 2013, you can restore your company’s active status with the state by filing a Reinstatement Application and paying the appropriate reinstatement fees.  The Reinstatement Application is only available online from the Division of Corporations’ website at www.sunbiz.org. Click on the box that says “File a Reinstatement Here!”  Or, you can click on the box that says “Get Online Reinstatement Filing Instructions” if you want to see the instructions for filling out the form.

The form is very similar to the annual report form.  Once it is filed, the reinstatement will be retroactive to the date your company was dissolved, as if the dissolution never happened.

For corporations (except nonprofits), the fee to be reinstated is $750 if the Reinstatement Application is filed on or before December 31st.  If the reinstatement is submitted on or after January 1, 2014, the fee goes up to $900. 

For LLC’s, the amount is $238.75 if the Reinstatement Application is filed on or before December 31st.  Starting January 1st, the fee goes up to $377.50. 

If you can’t remember whether you filed your company’s Annual Report for 2013, you can check your company’s status by visiting the Division of Corporations’ website at www.sunbiz.org.  Click on “Search Our Records” on the left-hand side of the screen, then click on “Inquire by Name.”  Enter the name of your company, and the system will find your information.  

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted October 4, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

I had an accident but I didn’t get a ticket so the other guy is at fault, Right?   Leave a comment

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Florida is a “Comparative negligence” State

Florida uses a form of comparative negligence (or your percentage of fault compared to the other party’s). This allows you to seek compensation even if you’re deemed only partially at fault. Since Florida uses comparative negligence, you can seek damages in proportion to your degree of responsibility for the crash.

For example, if a speeding driver rear-ends you after you suddenly changed lanes, it may be determined that both of you bear a degree of fault. If the other driver is found to be 60 percent responsible and you’re held 40 percent responsible, you may seek up to 60 percent of the settlement from the other driver’s insurer.

What “At Fault” Means 

It should come as no surprise that “at fault” literally means the person that caused the accident, or the one whose fault it is. Basically a person that is considered the catalyst for the accident is most likely to be considered “at fault”. There are other classifications of accidents, such as “no fault” and “partial fault”. Often times it can be difficult to ascertain who is at fault, and liability will be assessed to both drivers. In most cases, the person considered at fault will be the one that has performed an illegal, reckless, careless or irresponsible action while driving their vehicle, thus causing other vehicles to react to their actions, resulting in an accident.

What are the Ramifications of “At Fault”? 

Drivers that are considered at fault will find their insurance rates will increase, especially if there has been considerable damage to other vehicles. In addition, some insurance providers will drop drivers if they have too many at fault accidents. Furthermore, negligent drivers may be forced to pay for medical expenses, adding even more cost to their insurance companies. This can be particularly devastating if several cars, and multiple people, are involved. Property damage can also be tacked on to this as well. Insurance rates are not the only ramification of being at fault for an auto accident. Florida will assign points for every incident on driver’s licenses if you get into too many accidents, which in turn can further raise insurance rates.

What to do after an accident.

Get information from all of the vehicles involved. Get the other drivers names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Record the makes and models of the other vehicles, their insurance company information, and their vehicle identification number. The more information that you can get the better but, the mentioned information is a must. Do not ever try to handle the accident without your insurance company. In other words, do not ever let another driver talk you into handling the situation amongst yourselves. Even if they admit guilt of the accident and tell you that they would rather not have insurance companies involved for fear of future insurance rates going up, don’t go for it. Even if the person seems like the nicest person in the world, don’t make this mistake. There have been many cases where this has happened, then a few days later the innocent driver who was not at fault is informed that the other driver is suing them. Suddenly that other driver does not believe that the accident was their fault anymore and reported the accident to their insurance company. This kind of situation will leave you in a bad situation so do not fall for something like this no matter what! 

You will then want to contact your insurance company right away and let them know what happened. Give them all the details of the accident and let them know that the accident was not your fault. If you can call them while the police are present it may be even better as the police may be able to give them information that you can’t.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”