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 ensure you are protected.

You need to know what your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers if a guest is injured. You should also know what is covered if your guest damages 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 that your insurance policy covered such incidents when they were not.

Here are some things you will want to ensure 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:
  • Ensure the carpet or rugs are not bunched up where someone could trip.
  • Coil up any garden hoses so they will not become a trip hazard.
  • Mow your lawn so 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 driving home unsafe for your guests. End the party early to ensure guests can go home safely if necessary.
  • 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.
  • Ensure the food 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 knows 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.
  • 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 wound 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 can, preserve the scene for the insurance company to look at firsthand. If you cannot 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 damage 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 to the location where the damage occurred, take multiple pictures from numerous angles and distances.

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

If you have any questions about Homeowners Insurance, contact us via email or 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 before 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 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 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 upswing, not the opposite. Factors like crime rates, school ratings, and undesirable things like liquor stores or strip clubs should all be considered before deciding.

Timeworn or Trashed?

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

The difference between cosmetic repairs and replacing 70% of the structure can mean thousands of dollars more. Electric wiring should be considered 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 centered around a fireplace, or do you like 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. Ensure 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 existed since the Civil War.

The Cost of Renovation

Before 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 finance the renovation cost. Once you have received funding, don’t gold-plate your renovation project. Don’t add a new wing or an addition that will put you over budget and ruin 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.

If you have any questions about Homeowners Insurance regarding older homes, contact us via email or 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 customers’ lives – their homes. We were founded by Florida homeowner Michael Gold who was inspired to create a new kind of company when his homeowner’s insurance premiums skyrocketed.


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


People’s Trust knows that when you purchase homeowners insurance, you want to be a part of a solid, dependable company. We are financially backed by “A” rated reinsurance companies. 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 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 hours a day, 7-day-a-week response, and outstanding service in the event of a loss. Rapid Response operates out of statewide warehouses stockpiled with top-quality materials – ready for an everyday loss or catastrophe.


With our employees 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 are committed to reversing the trend. Trust isn’t just part of our name; it’s a fundamental business component.

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

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Ordinance of Law Coverage

Florida-HomesmallWhy do most customers have a general idea of what their Home insurance covers? Most don’t understand covered perils and how the claim is handled. I don’t understand many 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 requires it to be removed and rebuilt from the ground up. The undamaged portion of the structure has to be torn down and rebuilt due to a change in municipal codes. This is where the ordinance of law coverage comes into play.


Typically 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 demolishing and removing the debris of undamaged portions of the structure that must be torn down or modified.
  • The increased cost of reconstruction that is, the added cost to repair or rebuild under the current code. This may include upgraded electrical system sprinkler systems redesigned 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 the zoning board and ask the questions such as:

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

At Lock Insurance, we always recommend this coverage and 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. It’s too 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 homeowners 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 essential to look at your master policy to find out what kind of insurance you need and what the condo association already covers.


Two main types of insurance will be discussed in the master policies: bare walls-in and all-in insurance policies. Basic 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 essential to check the particular condo association’s master policy 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.


To decide what kind of coverage you need, you should consider how much coverage you can acquire. Look at what other owners pay for upgrades, such as flooring, cabinetry, and countertops, 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 typically pay more (the entire value of getting the item replaced at today’s cost standards). You must also decide whether the coverage will be for content, structure, or both.


Content coverage looks at furniture, area rugs, electronics, jewelry, and valuable artwork/collectibles, while structure items include flooring, cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, and lighting. You can look at what you have and what you want to be 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 doubtful it would cover any of your property that was damaged.


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

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Home Insurance Lakeland

Florida-HomesmallHome insurance in Lakeland is an essential insurance policy that you should consider getting for you and your family. It is necessary for several reasons. First, having your home insured protects you in case an accident occurs, allowing for costly repairs 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 own. 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 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 various 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 essential if you plan on getting a loan to cover parts of the home purchase or for additions to the house. Many lenders will require the homeowner to obtain adequate insurance before they fund a loan to ensure their investment.

To receive money from your insurance company when something happens to your home and possessions, you must first file a claim. Once the claim has been issued, the insurance company will typically issue a check to the contractor doing the repairs or a statement to you to cover the cost of buying new items. It is crucial 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 most significant asset someone owns, so it is crucial to keep it protected. Even if fire or wind damage or some other catastrophic event never occurs, a slip by an uninsured worker who repairs your home could cost you thousands for medical care and lost wages, the money you may 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 and lightning that can cause fire are distinct possibilities in this area.

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