Lock Insurance – Lakeland, Florida

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Insurance and Your Home Get Together

Are you hosting a family reunion or neighborhood party at your house or perhaps an apartment? Before you have that big event in your home, it’s wise in this litigious age to make sure you are protected.

You need to know what your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers in case of a guest being injured. You should also be aware of what is covered if your guest damage any of your property.

We all have that one uncle who drinks a little too much at Thanksgiving and then stumbles into something valuable and breaks it.  It would be unfortunate if you were under the impression such incidents were covered by your insurance policy when they were not.

Here are some things that you will want to make sure are in your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

How to Deal with Injuries to Guests at Your Party

Be Proactive

  • The first way to deal with injuries to your guests at your party is to prevent them. Here are some things to look for in your home:
  • Make sure that carpet or rugs are not bunched up where someone could trip.
  • Coil up any garden hoses so it will not become a trip hazard.
  • Mow your lawn so that there are no holes or trip hazards hidden by tall grass.
  • Make sure guests are not walking across a slippery surface.
  • Remove any objects with sharp edges or points that could cut or bruise a guest.
  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are used and have fresh batteries.
  • Be aware of impending severe weather that may make it unsafe for your guests to drive home. If necessary, end the party early to ensure guests can drive home safely.
  • Don’t allow too many guests on a small balcony at one time.
  • Ensure that furniture for the party such as folding chairs are sturdy and won’t break under the weight of a guest.
  • Make sure food that is being served is not undercooked or has been left out too long.
  • If alcohol is being served, make sure everyone drinking has a designated driver and know when to cut someone off. If a guest has been drinking and does not have a designated driver, offer to drive them home or call a cab or Uber for them.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party ends.

When an Injury to a Guest Happens

If an accident happens, take these steps:

  • Deal with the injury first, if it is severe call 911.
  • Make sure other guests are uninjured.
  • Take pictures of the injury with a smartphone or digital camera.
  • Quickly report the incident to the insurance company and include the names and contact information of the guest who witnessed the incident.
  • If you are able, preserve the scene for the insurance company to look at firsthand. If you cannot persevere the scene, take multiple pictures from numerous angles and distances.

When Damage to Your Home or Property Occurs

If the structure of your home or apartment is damaged, or any of the property inside of it, take the following steps.

  • Take pictures with a smartphone or digital camera.
  • Call the insurance company to see if the damaged is covered.
  • Just like the recommendation for an injured guest, if possible, preserve the scene for the insurance company to come and survey. As with an injured guest, if you cannot persevere the scene where the damage occurred, take multiple pictures from numerous angles and distances.

If you have taken steps to make your home safe and know what your policy covers, you can rest easy when guests arrive at your party that you are prepared.

Should you have any questions about Homeowners Insurance, contact us via email here or call us at (863) 646-LOCK.

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What to Know Before You Buy That Fixer Upper

What You Should Know Before You Buy a Fixer Upper

In the Lakeland and Plant City areas, many homes have crossed the century mark. These beautiful old southern homes can be enticing, but restoring them can have hidden costs. Several factors should be considered prior to taking on a fixer upper; do-it-yourself or contracted home renovation.

Is it Right for You?

A lower priced listing on a two-story Victorian home can be tempting. Restoring a fixer upper and increasing its value is an excellent way to increase your net worth. But, do you really know what’s involved? Renovating a home takes time, effort, and capital. The size of a renovation will dictate how long it takes; a fixer-upper can take up to a year to finish. As the home is worked on there will be hammers hammering, saws cutting, voices shouting and footsteps on the roof.

If all of this sounds like too much of a disruption for your family, you should avoid taking on the project. However, if you can take the bang and clatter of renovation, it can be rewarding both personally and financially.

Searching for a Home to Renovate

Where to Buy

The saying “location, location, location” carries just as much weight now as it did a century ago. You want to find a fixer upper to restore in an area where real estate prices are on the upswing, not the opposite. Factors like crime rates, school ratings, and undesirable things like liquor stores or strip clubs all should be considered before making your decision.

Timeworn or Trashed?

The condition of the home you are going to purchase makes a difference in the success of its renovation. Is weathered and only needs a coat of paint and new shingles, was it ravaged by termites, did squatters use it as a drug den before it was put up for sale?

The difference between cosmetic repairs and having to replace 70% of the structure can mean thousands of dollars more. Electric wiring should be factored into the cost if the home is over 50 years old. Fuse boxes and old wiring can’t handle the load that today’s electronics and appliances put on them and will have to be replaced.

Floor Plans

Do you want a 19th or 20th-century floorplan in the 21st century? Do you like the charm of a room that is centered around a fireplace, or do you want wide open areas where a high definition TV is the center of attention? If the latter is the case, support walls in an older home may not be able to be knocked out for expansion.  Air conditioning may not flow well in a house that was never intended to have it. Make sure the layout gives you enough square footage for your family to live comfortably. Lifestyle is a significant point to consider when deciding to live in a home that has been around since the Civil War.

The Cost of Renovation

Before you embark on your journey to restoring an old home, you should create a realistic budget.  Make sure there are allocations for the cost of unforeseen issues, this will save you from going over budget.  Here are a few of the things to consider in your budget:

  • Replacing the roof.
  • Patching and painting walls.
  • Refinishing or replacing old flooring.
  • Repairing foundations.
  • Putting in tile or removing the carpet.
  • Installing new plumbing or sewer lines.
  • Replacing light fixtures and switches.
  • Replacing doors.
  • Fixing or replacing air conditioning.
  • Painting the exterior of the home.
  • Replacement windows.
  • Repairing or replacing the bathroom.

Remember to shop for the best financing on your home; or seek a Federal Housing Administration 203k loan which lets borrowers purchase a property and also finances the cost of renovation. Once you have received financing, don’t gold plate your renovation project. Don’t add a new wing or an addition that will put you over budget and ruing the aesthetics of a home.

Saving a piece of history by renovating a home can be a rewarding experience, just be sure it is an experience you are prepared to have.

Should you have any questions about Homeowners Insurance in regard to older homes, contact us via email here or call us at (863) 646-LOCK.

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We want to welcome Peoples Trust Insurance Company to Lock Insurance

SAMSUNGTheir Mission: People’s Trust is committed to making Florida homeowners insurance affordable by providing our customers with protection that emphasizes savings, security, and customers first.


People’s Trust is in the business of protecting the foundation of our customer’s lives – their home. We were founded by Florida homeowner Michael Gold who was inspired to create a new kind of company when his own homeowners insurance premiums skyrocketed.


Determined to make a difference for Florida homeowners People’s Trust was founded. A team of experienced and tenured insurance executives were assembled to build out the vision. A distinguished board of directors was recruited to provide governance, oversight and counsel to the venture. Together, a company committed to integrity, ethics, and doing the right thing for their policyholders was born.


People’s Trust knows that when you purchase homeowners insurance you want to be a part of a strong dependable company. We are financially backed by “A” rated reinsurance companies and we are proud to have been assigned a Financial Stability Rating® of A, Exceptional by Demotech, Inc., a financial analysis and actuarial consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio. We have met or exceeded all of the State of Florida requirements to write and service insurance policies.


We offer the exclusive benefit of the Rapid Response Team, an affiliated company of People’s Trust that provides our customers with professionals that can guarantee 24 hour a day, 7 day a week response and outstanding service in the event of a loss. Rapid Response operates out of statewide warehouses that are stockpiled with top quality materials – ready in the event of an everyday loss or catastrophe.


With our employees all living in Florida, approaching property insurance from a Florida homeowner’s perspective comes naturally to us. We have each felt the financial pain of increasing premiums and we are committed to reversing the trend. Trust isn’t just part of our name; it’s a fundamental component of the way we do business.

TAKE CONTROL – Switch to People’s Trust Insurance Today!

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Ordinance of Law Coverage

Florida-HomesmallWhy most of our customers have a general idea of what there Home insurance covers most don’t understand covered perils and how the claim is handled. Just like I don’t understand a lot of things under the hood of my car that the mechanic does. Ordinance and law coverage is one of them.


One of our clients in Winter Haven Florida had a kitchen fire recently they deemed the house was over 40% damaged because it was not built to code the county is requiring to be removed and rebuilt from ground up. The undamaged portion of the structure has to be tore down and rebuilt due to a change in municipal codes. This is where ordinance of law coverage comes into play.


Normally your policy comes with a percentage a lot of times it is 10% of the structure value, in some cases you can increase the percentage for a fee.


Ordinance of law coverage is designed to pay for:

  • Cost of the demolition and removal of the debris of undamaged portions the structure that must be torn down of modified.
  • Increased cost of reconstruction, that is the added cost to repair or rebuild in accordance with the current code. This may included upgraded electrical system sprinkler systems redesigning to meet hurricane resistant standards
  • Loss of Value of the undamaged portion of a building when it must be torn down to meet code requirements.

I would suggest becoming familiar with local and state zoning laws. You can contact zoning board and ask the questions such as:

  • Since the building has been constructed has there been any changes in code that could effect my property?
  • Does existing code prohibit from rebuilding, location or size, and what percentage has to be damaged to rebuild?

At Lock insurance we always recommend this coverage and really stress on older homes, contact us today so we can review your current policy to make sure you have the correct information so you can make a wise decision. Once the claim happens its to late to review your policy and implement the changes.

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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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