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Homeowner's Policy Coverages

A Florida Homeowner's Insurance policy is designed to cover the structure of your home, and includes protection for various kinds of Personal Property as well as Liability coverage. Want to know more? Give us a call at 888-478-7801 to speak to a local agent.

Home Insurance Coverage — What Is Covered

Standard home insurance coverage policies provide the following types of coverage, up to the limits outlined in the policies:

  • Dwelling — Pays for damage or destruction to your house and any unattached structures and buildings. Examples include fences, attached garage, or patio cover.
  • Personal Property — Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Liability — Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.
  • Medical Payments — Covers medical bills for person(s) injured on your property.
  • Loss of Use — Pays for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Most standard Florida Homeowner's Insurance policies pay 10% to 20% of the amount of your Dwelling coverage.

Does my policy cover hurricane damage?

Yes, your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages cause by windstorms. The deductible for hurricane damage can range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the dwelling depending on the policy.
NOTE: Hurricane damage is normally covered, but may be rejected in certain situations.

What does the hurricane deductible mean?

This is the amount that you, the policyholder, will have to pay out of pocket. For example, if your home is insured for $250,000 with a 2% wind deductible and has hurricane damages of $50,000.
The amount of the deductible will be 2% X $250,000 = 5,000.

The remaining amount ($45,000) would be paid by the insurance policy. What factors can affect Florida Homeowner's Insurance premiums?

Home Features and Characteristics — The age of your home, type of structure, wiring, roof, garage, etc., can affect your Florida Homeowner's Insurance premium. Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, stone or has synthetic siding.

Location — Where your home is located can change your Florida Homeowner's Insurance premium. For example, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close to a fire station; is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.

Protective Devices — Burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your Florida Homeowner's Insurance premium.

Personal Factors — What you do can affect your Florida Homeowner's Insurance premium, too. For instance, smokers may pay more for home insurance than nonsmokers. A good credit history also can lower what you pay for home insurance.

Claims History — If you have a history of claims on a Florida Homeowner's Insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.

Discounts and Special Programs

There are many discounts are available on Florida Homeowner's Insurance policies. For example, you may qualify for a discount if your home has an updated roof, a monitored alarm system, hurricane shutters or impact windows in Florida.

Payment Options

In many instances your Florida Homeowner's Insurance policy can be escrowed in with your mortgage. However, if you need to pay separately, many carriers now offer several convenient payment options.

Does my policy cover floods?

The fact is that Florida homeowner insurance does not cover damage caused by flood, and federal disaster assistance is only offered when the president declares a major disaster (which only happens in 50% of flooding situations).

Unfortunately, most people do not find this out until it is too late. However, flood insurance is available to protect homes and businesses and their contents in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Home Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you.

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About Homeowner's Insurance in Florida

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can easily explain the specific needs of your home in Florida. Along with mortgage requirements and the difference between dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use coverage as well as available discounts.

Get a Free Insurance Quote from your local GreatFlorida Insurance agent. They will help you find the most affordable options.

Your home is likely your most costly asset. It contains your belongings and valuables and more importantly your family and cherished memories.

After the overwhelming task of finding a new home in Florida, it can be tempting to settle by purchasing a basic homeowner’s insurance policy that could leave you with inadequate coverage or paying for more coverage than you need.

GreatFlorida Insurance in Florida will make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide adequate coverage to protect your home from fires, hurricanes, break-ins and more. Compensation for your financial loss will allow you and your family to continue living comfortably.

Homeowners Insurance Florida Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/10/2019

Millions of households across the U.S. own a dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds us, any dog can bite, if provoked. Half of all dog bites involve a dog owned by the victim’s family or neighbor.

Approximately, 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). They also report, about 800,000 require medical attention. Children are usually the victims, 44 percent are under 14 years-old.

“In Florida, if your dog bites someone even if it is a first-time occurrence, the owner is held liable,” reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency. Florida is a “strict liability” state regarding dog bites. This means a dog owner is liable for any damage to a person, even a non-bite injury.

A report by the Insurance Information Institute (III), reveals, Florida had 1,281 dog bites or other dog related injury claims last year, second only to California. Over $56 million was paid out in Florida with the average cost per claim being $43,893.

The report also notes a trend in higher costs per claim being attributable not only to dog bites but also to dogs knocking down children, cyclists, the elderly, etc., which can result in injuries that impact the potential severity of the losses.

Dog bites and other dog related injuries accounted for nearly a third of the money paid out in 2018 for homeowner liability claims, totaling $675 million nationally.

Homeowners insurance and renter’s insurance policies generally cover dog bite liability legal expenses,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Each insurer is responsible for checking into their liability limits. The dog owner is responsible for damages that exceed claim limits.

Whether you own or rent your home, insurance should be a priority to protect your family and belongings. GreatFlorida Insurance works with reputable insurance companies to provide dependable homeowners insurance and renters insurance at affordable prices. For more information go online to www.greatflorida.com or call us today.

The post Florida Ranks Among the Top for Dog Bites appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/3/2019

“Proper disposal of medications can prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, most abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends. They usually come from the home medicine cabinet.

The best way to dispose of expired or unused medication is through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsored, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. They seek to provide an anonymous, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. Saturday, April 27, will be the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The DEA reports, the last take back day brought in more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired medication.

Responsibly getting rid of unwanted medications can protect you, your family and the environment, reports the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  • It prevents the poisoning of children and pets.
  • Deters misuse by teens and adults.
  • Avoids health problems associated with taking the wrong medicine, or medicine that is too old and no longer effective.
  • Keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers.

In homes that use septic tanks, prescription and OTC drugs flushed can leach into the groundwater. In areas with wastewater treatment plants, prescription and OTC drugs poured down the sink or flushed can pass through the treatment system and enter rivers and lakes. They may flow downstream to serve as sources for community drinking water supplies. Water treatment plants are generally not equipped to routinely remove medicines.

However, the Food and Drug Administration still recommends flushing Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and a couple of dozen other drugs, so they cannot be fished out of the trash.

“Those medications are considered a lethal threat to others,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance agency.

The following link provides a  list of medications to be flushed.

If you cannot make it to the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, some Walgreens and CVS locations, have a kiosk to dispose of unwanted medications.

To dispose of medications at home, use the following instructions:

  • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds
  • Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag
  • Throw the container in your household trash
  • Delete all personal information on the prescription label of empty pill bottles or medicine packaging, then dispose of the container.

GreatFlorida Insurance has experienced agents that can offer you and your family quality health insurance policies to fit your needs. Call us at 888-478-7801 or go online to www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.

 

The post Medicine Disposal appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/27/2019

“Towing a boat may seem simple but it requires more than getting a trailer and hitch,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent boat insurance agency.

Improper towing can lead to tipping, unattached cargo and cause serious damage to suspension and braking systems as well as strain to your engine and transmission.

Make sure to avoid common boat towing mistakes before hitting the road. Below are tips from goboatingflorida.com.

Disconnected brake lights

Always check the electrical connector to make sure your brake lights, taillights and turn signals are all working. Have someone behind the boat while you tap the brakes and use turn signals to make sure they are working. Keep an extra trailer light bulb in your vehicle in case the light goes out. Keeping the electrical wires taut at the right length will stop them from dragging on the ground and disconnecting during turns.

Forgetting about what’s in tow

No matter how strong your tow vehicle is, it will be less responsive once a trailer is behind it. You won’t be able to accelerate, turn or brake as fast, so be sure to look up the road and give yourself extra time and space to change lanes or slow down.

“It’s a good idea to take a practice run before you hit the road,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Ignoring your vehicles tow specs

Before you plan a trip, it’s crucial to know how much your vehicle is rated to tow. Don’t forget it isn’t just about how much your boat weighs, it also includes how much gear and fuel you have inside the boat. Even if you’ve checked the weight limit, always keep an eye on your tire pressure and temperature gauge. Installing a weight distribution bar system can help smooth out the ride and properly tow up to your vehicle’s max capacity. It’s natural to assume that bigger is better but check your tongue weight before purchasing the bars. When you’ve set this up properly the load bars will be parallel with the frame of the trailer. If you notice excessive bouncing between your vehicle and trailer, your setup may be incorrect.

Using the wrong size ball hitch

It’s important to use the properly rated hitch ball for your towing system. Boat supply store, West Marine, explains, “The coupler mounts and locks on top of the hitch ball and articulates around the hitch ball. Recreational and light commercial hitch balls come in a variety of sizes including 1 7/8″, 2″, 2 5/16″ and infrequently, 3″. Lighter trailers generally use smaller hitch balls. The diameter of hitch balls is fairly standard, but shank diameters and the hitch ball weight ratings may differ. The rating of the hitch ball is just as important as the receiver hitch rating.”

Failing to secure gear

Make sure to secure fishing and ski equipment, life vests, seat cushions and coolers before heading out. Fasten down anything vulnerable to blowing out of your boat while traveling down the road.

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance today to get a quote for boat insurance today. Our offices are located throughout Florida for your convenience.

The post Common Boat Towing Errors appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/20/2019

Maintaining your car can require a lot of time and money. “Regular maintenance of your car can save you bigger car problems in the future” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s biggest independent car insurance agency.

In fact, AAA reports that most roadside trouble is a result of neglect from car owners failing to perform basic maintenance tasks. While some jobs are better left to the professionals, listed below are some simple and affordable tasks you can handle on your own.

Jump start your car

It can happen when you are on your way out, your battery is drained because you left on the lights. Simply jumping your car can get you back on the road.  It’s quick and easy. All you need is another vehicle and jumper cables. To start, turn off the engine on both cars. Grab jumper cables. Connect the positive (red) clamps to the positive terminal, one on each car battery. Throughout this process, do not let the jumper leads come into contact. Attach one negative (black) clamp to the negative terminal of the working car. Attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery. Start the engine of the working car and wait five minutes. Then start your car. Do not turn off your engine.

Replace windshield wiper blades

Wipers should be replaced every six to eight months. You can pick them up at an auto parts store, online or a big box store. The store should have a manual telling you the type of wipers you need based on your car model and make. It is as easy as sliding them off and on, directions are included.

Checking car fluids

Fluids such as engine oil, brake fluid, wiper fluid and radiator coolant are essential to your vehicle’s function. Consult your owner’s manual to know how often to check your fluids. Park your car on a flat level surface and set the parking brake. Remember, always allow time for the engine to cool off before opening the hood. Many fluid levels can be checked using the dipstick included or checking the fluid reservoir.

Check tire pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure gives your tires greater longevity, quicker steering response, a smoother ride and better fuel efficiency. Tiremaker, Bridgestone has the following recommendations for checking your tires. Gather the following items, a tire pressure gauge and air compressor. You can use an air compressor found at most gas stations. Check your car manual to find the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure). Check the tire pressure with your gauge. You can do that by removing the valve cap from your tire. Then place the pressure gauge on the valve stem and press down hard enough so the hiss sounds disappears, and your gauge provides a reading. With a standard gauge, the air pressure will push a small bar out from the bottom of the gauge. Measurement units are etched into the bar. A digital gauge will show you a reading on the screen. After checking each tire, fill to the correct PSI and repeat every month.

“For peace of mind, GreatFlorida Insurance can always sign you up for Emergency Roadside Service with your car insurance,” says Ellsworth Buck.

The post DIY Car Maintenance appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/13/2019

Recently in Pasco County, some inmates helped rescue a baby locked inside a vehicle. The parents of the child accidentally locked her in the car, leaving their keys on the front seat. A Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Inmate supervisor and five low-risk offenders repairing a parking lot meridian nearby offered to help. With a coat hanger and a special, “skill set” the inmates were able to open the door and retrieve the child.

“Thankfully the parents realized immediately the baby was in the car,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.

While it seems unfathomable, people leave their children behind in the car several times a year. In 2018, over 50 children died in hot cars according to safety advocacy website, Kidsandcars.org.

The website highlights University of South Florida Psychology Professor, David Diamond’s work on why people forget and leave a child behind in a car. He explains it has to do with the complex functions of the brain. He states that the problem is the failure of prospective memory, the process by which the brain remembers to do something in the future. Professor Diamond says, “The brain memory systems that fail when people forget children in cars are the same as those systems that cause us to forget to shut off the headlights when we arrive at a destination.”

Several brain processes are involved with leaving a child in the car. Many factors can disrupt these processes such as stress, interruptions, multitasking, and sleep deprivation. Also, Professor Diamond points out, the lack of visual or verbal reminders increase the chance of a child being left in the car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash-related fatalities among children. When a child is left in a hot car, their temperature can rise quickly.

“Children suffer heatstroke even if they are left in the car for a few minutes,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance agency.

Children are vulnerable to heatstroke. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the following are some facts about kids and heatstroke.

Kids aren’t built for heat: A child’s body temperatures rises 3-5 times faster than an adult.

Every minute counts: The temperature of a car can climb 20 degrees in 20 minutes.

It doesn’t have to be hot: Heatstroke can occur in the shade, with the windows down, and even at temperatures as low as 57 degrees.

The post Children Left in Cars appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.