Archive for the ‘agency’ Tag

Best ways to prevent a big increase in Auto Insurance rates   Leave a comment

What is the one thing that consumers do that causes auto insurance prices to go WAY up? You may be surprised to know that it is NOT necessarily a ticket or violation but rather a lapse in coverage. That’s right if you allow your policy to expire and have a gap between policies or you simple fail to pay your insurance bill this can cause an increase as high as 50%. Why? It is the law and you are required to have coverage in order to maintain a license tag in Florida. Just as the State considers it unacceptable and irresponsible to drive without insurance so do insurance companies.

So what’s the best way to prevent a lapse? That is simple, most companies offer an EFT payment option which actually often gives you a discount as well as a much lower down payment in exchange for electronically accepting payment each month automatically from your account.

Another tip for BIG savings, Pay your policy in full instead of making monthly payments. This is not always an option when cash flow is limited and that is why payments plans exist but it frequently can be 20% savings to pay in full for 6 month or a year. The Department of Insurance allows companies to submit rate changes twice a year in most cases so if you get a 12 month policy instead of 6 months you may push that rate increase off for another 6 months.

If you think your insurance rates are too high give us a call or check out our website to request an instant quote online. Have your policy and vehicle information handy for the most accurate quote.get-quote-button

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

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Posted February 5, 2015 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

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Crash Statistics 2013   Leave a comment

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Annual Global Road Crash Statistics

  • Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
  • An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.
  • More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
  • Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
  • Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.
  • Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads, on average over 1,000 a day.
  • Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.
  • Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP.
  • Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.
  • Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

 

Annual United States Road Crash Statistics

  • Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year
  • An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
  • Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
  • Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
  • Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, or an average of $820 per person
  • Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death of healthy U.S. citizens traveling abroad

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

Courtesy of ASIRT

Renters Insurance 101   Leave a comment

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Before you embark upon finding renters insurance, you’ll want to have a solid grasp on what it is and why you need it in the first place. Here we’ll give a brief explanation of renters insurance, explain why you need it, and tell you what it covers.

Why Have Renters Insurance

A lot of people have the misconception that, because they rent their home, they are exempt from needing insurance protection. This could not be further from the truth. Insurance is not just for homeowners, and here is why.

  • Liability protection. Lawsuits abound in today’s society, and, if one were brought against you, it could mean financial ruin. Accidents happen all the time, and you don’t want to end up financially devastated because of a mistake you made. Liability protection covers inadvertent damage to property or bodily injury that you case. For example, if a fire starts in your apartment because of your negligence, the other tenants could potentially bring legal action against you. Accidental occurrences, like someone tripping over something and hurting themselves in your apartment, are likewise covered.
  • Landlord policies do not cover personal belongings. Remember that the average renter has over $20,000 in personal property that a landlord’s policy would not cover. In the event that the items inside your residence were ever damaged, stolen, or vandalized, renters insurance would reimburse you for your losses.
  • Renters insurance is Inexpensive. When you compare the cost of renters insurance with what you stand to lose if you don’t have it, it underscores how inexpensive coverage is. There is no one who rents that should not have renters insurance.

What Renters Insurance Covers

Renters insurance policies will specifically state the events against which you are insured. Typically, the major events include:

  • Smoke damage
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Lightning damage
  • Wind damage
  • Theft
  • Vehicle/aircraft damage
  • Water-related damages

Aside from the aforementioned perils, your renters insurance will also include liability protection, which means you are covered in the event that you cause unintentional property damage or personal injury to another person. Usually, the policy will even cover your legal fees, if necessary. Renters insurance typically also includes medical payments coverage, which covers the medical expenses of a person who does not live at the insured property.

“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.”

Auto Insurance Coverage for Teen Drivers with Divorced Parents   Leave a comment

When a teenager receives her driver’s license, she often will be added to her parent’s auto insurance policy. But if her parents are divorced, teen car insurance could become a bit confusing.

A father teaching his teenage daughter how to drive.

 

Insurance companies and states have different requirements regarding coverage of additional drivers on an insurance policy, but here are some tips to review if you have a teenage driver with divorced parents:

If your teen has access to driving vehicles at both parents’ houses, then both parents might need to add him or her to their individual policies. Some companies may require that the parent with custody add the teenage driver to their policy. Divorced parents may want to contact their insurance companies to find out what is required in their situation.

Every state requires licensed drivers to have auto insurance coverage, which includes teen drivers, even those with a permit, when driving. If you have a teenager in your household who may be on your former spouse’s insurance, it may be a good idea to find out if your insurance would cover your teen while driving your car.

Safe driving techniques can help all family members save money on car insurance. Teaming up with your former spouse to encourage, educate and even monitor your teen might help to make him or her a better driver. Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

No matter which parent carries their teenager’s insurance, both can set rules for the use of the car. Here are some suggestions:

  • Prohibit cell use and texting when in the car.
  • Limit the number of passengers in the car when your teen is driving.
  • Establish a boundary of where your daughter can take the car.
  • Encourage your son to call you at any time for a ride if he feels he, or another driver, isn’t fit to drive—no matter what the situation is.
  • Require everyone—drivers and passengers—to wear seat belts.

Having a teenage driver in the family is always an exciting time for everyone. If you have a change in your family situation, contact your insurance agent to determine if any changes are needed for your policy.

“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.”

Courtesy of Allstate

You’re moving out of state — do you need new car insurance?   Leave a comment

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You’re moving out of state; it’s time to pack your bags, get your affairs in order and head off for new horizons. An additional consideration, one that sometimes isn’t top-of-mind, is car insurance. Specifically: do you need to get new car insurance when moving to a new state?

The answer is almost always “yes,” but with a major caveat.

When you move to a new state you usually have between 30-90 days to register your vehicle. Use those months to get your car insurance situation straightened out; do not do it before you move.

That is the major caveat: do not cancel your old car insurance policy before setting up your new one. Do not cancel your policy in one state and then move to another state before getting a new one. You should never drive — especially across state lines — without a car insurance policy. It is illegal, and potentially very costly if you get into an accident.

Indeed, your policy may change after you relocate even if you stay with the same provider. Your new state may have different laws and policies than your old one does, thereby adding or subtracting a few dollars from your monthly bill. You might also be commuting more (or less), which would also affect your premium. In your move you may have also acquired some new assets, including a new vehicle. Additionally, your car insurance provider might not be able to sell insurance in your new state — so it’s definitely best to check in.

When you register your vehicle in the new state must show proof of insurance. And the states must match; if you’ve moved to Florida, when you register your vehicle there you must have valid car insurance in Florida as well. Do not go to register your car without first getting your car insurance set after the move.

“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.”

Thanksgiving Waiver   Leave a comment

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While this is intended as fun and games you may actually have exclusions on your homeowners or renters policy that you are not aware of. Please give a call to discuss ways to properly protect yourself against Uncle Ralph when he chokes on the cranberry sauce or other possible crazy liability claims.

Click the Image above and print for everyone who will be eating at your house this Thanksgiving.

“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.”

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

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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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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.”

Swimming Pool Safety   Leave a comment

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Whether you have a luxury in-ground pool, or plan to blow up an inflatable kiddie pool, it is important to consider the safety implications. 

There are an estimated 7.4 million swimming pools and five million hot tubs in residential or public use in the United States, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, there are over 3,400 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States each year, with more than one out of five drowning victims being a child 14 years old or younger, according to the CDC.

The I.I.I. suggests taking the following steps if you own or are considering purchasing a pool or spa:
  • Contact your town or municipality
    Each town will have its own definition of what constitutes a “pool”, often based on its size and the depth of the water. If the pool you are planning to buy meets the definition, then you must comply with local safety standards and building codes. This may include installing a fence of a certain size, locks, decks and pool safety equipment.
  • Call your insurance agent or company representative
    Let your insurance company know that you have a pool, since it will increase your liability risk. Pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” and it may be advisable to purchase additional liability insurance. Most homeowners policies include a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability protection. Pool owners, however, may want to consider increasing the amount to at least $300,000 or $500,000. You may also want to talk to your agent or company representative about purchasing an umbrella liability policy. For an additional premium of about $200 to $300 a year, you can get $1 million of liability protection over and above what you have on your home. If the pool itself is expensive, you should also have enough insurance protection to replace it in the event it is destroyed by a storm or other disaster. And, don’t forget to include the chairs, tables or other furniture around the pool deck.

If you have a pool, the I.I.I.  recommends taking the following safety precautions:

 
  1. Install a four-sided barrier such as a fence with self closing gates to completely surround the pool. If the house forms the fourth side of the barrier, install alarms on doors leading to the pool area to prevent children from wandering into the pool or spa unsupervised. In addition to the fences or other barriers required by many towns, consider creating several “layers of protection” around the pool, in other words setting up as many barriers (door alarms, locks and safety covers) as possible to the pool area when not in use.
  2. Never leave small children unsupervised—even for a few seconds. And never leave toys or floats in the pool when not in use as they may prove to be a deadly temptation for toddlers trying to reach them who might then fall into the pool.
  3. Keep children away from pool filters and other mechanical devices as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing. In case of an emergency, know how to shut off these devices and clearly post this information so others can do so too.
  4. Ask if pool users know how to swim. Learners should be accompanied by a good swimmer. If you have children, have them take swimming lessons as early as possible. And, do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  5. Check the pool area regularly for glass bottles, toys or other potential accident hazards. Also, keep CD players, radios and other electrical devices away from pools or nearby wet surfaces.
  6. Limit alcohol use around the pool, as drinking alcoholic beverages negatively impacts balance, coordination and judgment—and its effects are further heightened by sun exposure and heat. The CDC reports that alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation.
  7. Clearly post emergency numbers on the phone, in the event of an accident. Keep a first aid kit, ring buoys and reaching poles near the pool. You may also want to consider learning basic water rescue skills, including first aid and CPR training. For additional information, contact the American Red Cross.

“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 August 12, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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