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Category Archives for Home Insurance

Important things when shopping for Condo Insurance

If you are looking into buying a condo, you might not consider the cost of condo insurance. Condos are not condolike houses – there is no backyard, no basement, and generally you have a home owners association, or HOA, that takes care of fixing things around the property. But you will still have to provide some insurance for a portion of your property. It is important to look at your master policy in order to find out what kind of insurance you need, and what the condo association already covers.

 

There are two main types of insurance that will be discussed in the master policies: bare walls-in and all-in insurance policies. Bare walls-in insurance covers all real property, but does not cover the fixtures and installations in the condo unit, including countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and flooring.

 

All-in condo insurance refers to the type that covers fixtures, installations, or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings of individual units. It is important to check the individual condo association’s master policy in order to see if there are any specific details or variations in it. Generally, the cost of the condo’s master insurance policy is included in the HOA fees.

 

In order to decide what kind of coverage you will need, you should consider how much coverage to acquire. Look at what other owners are paying for upgrades, such as flooring, cabinetry and countertops, in order to determine what kind of coverage will be needed if you are under a bare walls-in insurance policy.

 

Also, you have to decide if you want cash-value or replacement-cost coverage. It is generally recommended to get replacement-cost coverage, as this will generally pay more (the entire value of getting the item replaced at today’s cost standards). You also need to decide if the coverage will be for content, structure, or both items.

 

Content coverage looks at furniture, area rugs, electronics, jewelry, valuable artwork/collectibles, while structure items include the flooring, cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, and lighting. You can look at what you have and what you want covered in order to also decide how much coverage to acquire.

 

Other things to consider are flood and wind damage coverage. While the condo association’s flood coverage will cover the floors and structural issues for the most part, it is highly unlikely it would cover any of your property that was damaged.

 

Once you have figured out the type of coverage, as well as the amount of coverage, you are looking for, it is time to start getting quotes and make sure that your condo is full protected from any potential damage it could receive.

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Home Insurance Lakeland

Florida-HomesmallHome insurance in Lakeland is a very important insurance policy that you should consider getting for you and your family. It is important for a number of reasons. First, having your home insured provides protection in case an accident occurs, allowing for costly repairs to be made once you have paid the deductible.

Without this, it would be highly costly to cover repairs that can be incurred during a fire or other damage to the home all on your won. Besides covering the actual dwelling, many types of home insurance will also cover the content of your home, including furniture, jewelry, stereo equipment, appliances, and other items.

Content that is insured is based on the percentage of the dwelling that is covered. It is really up to you to decide how much or how little is covered, and under what circumstances your insurance company will pay for something, as there are many different types of home insurance. Policies can cover damage caused by a variety of sources, including fire, vandalism, hurricane, lightning, or other specific events.

Some policies also cover liability, in case someone is hurt on the property. It is also important if you are planning on getting a loan to cover parts of the purchase of the home or for additions to the home. Many lenders will require the homeowner obtain adequate insurance before they will fund a loan as a way of insuring their investment.

In order to receive money from your insurance company when something happens to your home and possessions within it, you will first have to file a claim. Once the claim has been issued, the insurance company will normally issue a check to the contractor that is doing the repairs or a check to you to cover the cost of buying new items. It is important to keep up to date with your insurance, as if you drop your coverage and something does happen to your home, you could lose the building and your place to live.

The home is often the biggest asset someone owns, so it is important to keep it protected. Even if fire or wind damage, or some other catastrophic event never occurs, a slip by an uninsured worker who is doing repairs to your home could cost you thousands for medical care and lost wages, money you may just not have. Decide what aspects of coverage are the most important to you, and look for a policy.

Consider where your home is, as home insurance in Lakeland will need to cover different weather variables than that in other states – hurricanes and heavy rains that can cause floods, or lightning that can cause fire are both distinct possibilities in this area.

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Security First Insurance Company

Is an (A) rated company that writes in all most all counties in the state of Security First InsuranceFlorida!

 

 

Security First writes in these counties that most companies will not:

 

 

  • Hillsbourgh County
  • Pasco Count
  • Hernando County
  • Miami Dade
  • Palm Beach County

 

 

Security First offers a variety of insurance products to cover your home or property and keep you secure.
Credits and deductibles are two more important issues that we find that most people looking for homeowners insurance. Properly applied credits and deductibles allow you to maximize your coverage while minimizing your premium. Paying higher deductibles will reduce your premium amount but some mortgage companies only allow certain limit. Your home can qualify for credits based on the year it was built, the type of construction, having an alarm system, and others.

 

This can be a huge saving, the windstorm loss mitigation credit. Your home may be strengthened against storms and you may not even know it. Depending on the year your home was built or the mitigation upgrades added to it, you may qualify for significant savings on your premium. Be sure to discuss windstorm loss mitigation with your agent.

 

When insuring your home, there are some very important issues to consider. One of the most important is insuring your home to its proper replacement value.

In the event of a total loss, you will need to rebuild. To determine the most accurate replacement cost for your home, We have powerful tool that allows our agents to calculate as accurately as possible the construction costs of rebuilding your home.

 

(All policies are effective for one year)

 

Homeowners 3 – Special Form Policy: Owner-occupied homes with one or two family units and town homes.

 

Homeowners 6 – Unit Owners Form Policy: Owner-occupied condominiums.

 

Dwelling Property 3 – Special Form Policy: Dwelling Fire policies are typically used for residential rental properties but may be owner occupied as well. Contents coverage only is also available. Policies can be written for up to four units in a single structure.

 

Don Westerfeld 8/7/2011 1:36:00 PM

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Are You Ready for a Hurricane

Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30 for the Atlantic Ocean

The peak threat of hurricane activity is from the middle of August through late October for the United States.  For the 2011 hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated last week that the Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to this seasons outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

 Across the entire Atlantic Basin, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year;

  • 12 to 18 named storms (with winds of 39 mph or higher) of which,
  • 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (with winds of 74 mph or higher), including
  • 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)

The impact of hurricanes is not only limited to the coastline, flooding rainfall, debris and strong winds often pose a threat to inland areas as well. Being prepared is critical, therefore, individuals and families should be ready, before a storm is even forecasted.

 Every residence should have a hurricane package with the following supplies:

  • Water: 1 gallon of water daily, per person, enough for at least 3-7 days
  • Food: A 4-7 day supply of nonperishable foods, canned foods, snack foods, any specialty foods for infants or the elderly.
  • Cooking tools, fuel, paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • First Aid Kit, Prescription Drugs and Medicines
  • Hygiene Items, Toiletries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery operated or hand cranked Radio/TV
  • Fully charged cell phone and a traditional (not cordless) telephone
  • Blankets, Pillows
  • Cash and Credit Cards
  • Seasonal clothing; sturdy shoes, rain gear
  • Important documents in a waterproof container; Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card, etc…
  • Vehicles filled with fuel
  • Pet care items: Supply of food and water, proper identification, immunization records, medications, a carrier or cage and their leash and collar, and having a plan for your pets.

webdon1Most of all make sure your Insurance is active, once a storm is in the box close to Florida you will not be able to get Home insurance or coverage for your vehicle. My name is Don, please contact me with any questions.

 

Don Westerfeld 5/29/2011 7:39:00 AM

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The difference between Sinkhole and Catastrophic ground cover collapse

Sinkhole Coverageflhome

 

A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth’s surface caused by karst processes — the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks[1] or suffosion processes[2] for example in sandstone.

 

Sinkholes may vary in size from 1 to 600 meters (3.3 to 2,000 ft) both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may be formed gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide. The different terms for sinkholes are often used interchangeably

 

Catastrophic ground cover collapse

 

On the other hand, covers only a small portion of damages caused by sinkhole activity. Under Florida law, catastrophic ground cover collapse includes geological activity resulting in the following:

 

  • Abrupt loss of ground cover
  • A depression in the ground clearly visible to the naked eye
  • Structural damage to the building, including the foundation
  • Government condemnation of the insured structure and an order to vacate the premises
  • By the express terms of the coverage, catastrophic ground cover collapse only covers damages when the insured property is condemned by a governmental agency and ordered vacated.

Consider the damage that the property must sustain before a government agency would force a family out of their home, and it becomes clear just how worthless this coverage is.

 

There will be sweeping changes

 

Here in the near future to home insurance polices in the near future. To higher deductibles for sinkhole coverage to buy back option sometimes requiring an inspection and even excluding the coverage all together.

 

There are bills being passed as I write this, for more information contact me.

 

Don Westerfeld 4/29/2011 7:17:00 AM

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What is the Best Home Insurance For You?

When looking at Lakeland insurance plans and policies, the options can sometimes get overwhelming. FLHOME1Which plan is right for you? First, you must consider the property you want to insure. Options for insurance include homeowners insurance, landlord insurance, renters insurance, vacant land insurance, condo insurance, and vacant home insurance. If you own the property and plan on living in it yourself, homeowners or condo insurance may be right for you. If you own the home but do not plan on living there, vacant home insurance or landlord insurance could be the key. If you are only renting a home or apartment, renters insurance is the obvious choice. And finally, vacant land insurance is often overlooked, but what happens if someone has an accident on your property?   Once you have determined which category of home insurance is the one you need, you need to start your research. There are many ways to go about this. Most states offer an insurance website, and this can be a valuable tool at the beginning of your research. These sites offer information including company ratings and any complaints that have been filed. From there, other insurance sites such as J.D. Power can offer more background information, including Better Business Bureau ratings for insurance companies near your ZIP code.   After you have done this research, you can narrow your search to a few companies with good ratings that you think might be a good fit. From there, you can comparison shop for the lowest rates. Many websites will offer you instant insurance quotes, helping further narrow your selection even before you call an agent. When you finally place a call, the companies will have agents ready to answer any questions you may have left about their insurance offerings.   After you have done this research, you can narrow your search to a few companies with good ratings that you think might be a good fit. From there, you can comparison shop for the lowest rates. Many websites will offer you instant home insurance quotes, helping further narrow your selection even before you call an agent. When you finally place a call, the companies will have agents ready to answer any questions you may have left about their insurance offerings.   By doing your homework and researching the companies, you can cut out a lot of the headache involved in finding the best home insurance for you. Soon you will be able to rest assure that your Lakeland property is properly insured.   Copy of IMG_0411By doing your homework and researching the companies, you can cut out a lot of the headache involved in finding the best home insurance for you. Soon you will be able to rest assure that your Lakeland property is properly insured.   Don Westerfeld 3/3/2011 12:55:00 PM

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State Farm insurance rate increases

Jumping on the wavesState Farm Insurance, a Florida insurance company is canceling some insured’s homeowners policies due to an increased cost of weather related claims.

 

In fact, State Farm has not written any new homeowner’s policies in the state of Florida since 2005 also the Office of Insurance Regulation said these are the average increases for the following counties:

 

  • Duval County 15.5%
  • Clay County 17%
  • Baker County 16.6%

 

State Farm has issued 632,000 personal, commercial and residential insurance policies statewide.

 

According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, some South Florida residents saw their homeowners insurance premiums jump from $2,246 a year to $8,524.

 

Don Westerfeld 6/7/2011 9:04:00 PM

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Forced Place Insurance: What Does it Really Cover?

fistcashI often find that when asked about their homeowners insurance, many of my clients tell me that they are (covered by insurance from the mortgage company). Which is forced place insurance.

 

Forced place insurance is usually at least double usually triple what a standard homeowners policy cost, and much more limited in actual scope of coverage.

 

It is very important if you find that your insurance has lapsed that you get a policy to cover the house and also you as soon as possible.

 

Do not rely on your mortgage company to protect you or to help you in this matter, contact us today and we can send the bill right to your mortgage company and bill the escrow, or we can set you up on easy payment plans for you.

 

Be very clear and understand this: if your insurance is canceled or if your insurance has lapsed and you were notified by your mortgage company that they have obtained insurance for you call me, this insurance covers their loan in case of fire/theft/damage but it does not cover the homeowner‘s property or interest.

 

Don Westerfeld 12/22/2010 4:41:00 AM

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What Are Wind Mitigation inspection Discount?

With home insurance costs rising and with changes made to the wind mitigation discounts, its important to talk with an agent that understands them.

Before you pay for an inspection you should see if you qualify for the new revised wind mitigation discounts.

 

paridise1Questions you should ask your agent:

 

  • Do I qualify for any wind mitigation discounts?
  • Is it worth it for me to get a wind mitigation inspection?
  • Which inspection company should I use?
  • Can I have my local handyman do the inspection?
  • Do you offer a guarantee if I don’t qualify for the discount?
  • What is a hip roof?

Even if you save a smaller amount over the years it can really add up. Its your money so you really need to check with your agent or contact us to see if you qualify for any discounts.

More information on wind mitigation inspections.

Don Westerfeld 10/4/2010 8:51:00 PM

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What You Should Know: Hurricane Home Insurance Florida

Most Florida insureds are unaware of several fees attached to there policy. One is the cat fund created by the state to offset the cost of hurricanes. Easy analogy is taxing someone in a low risk area to subsidize a person in a high risk area. Even if you don’t own a home you are being surcharged on almost all types of insurance, including auto insurance, property insurance, Liability insurance. This article sums it up, as Florida insured myself it really scares me. We are looking at a bad situation.

 

Don Westerfeld 9/23/2010 9:36:00 PM

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