July 2017

Insurance insights for Sun Insurance Services clients

From Our President: Jim Brandt

Dear friends,
I’ve been in the insurance industry for more than 35 years, and I have never seen a more confusing insurance landscape as the one we have in Florida today.

Changing insurance laws, fluctuating property values, insurance carriers leaving Florida, and new mortgage requirements make things complicated.

Our clients are asking more questions than ever, and we are taking the most common ones and addressing them in our new monthly newsletter.

I hope you can devote a few minutes to the information we’ve prepared, and that it will make you a better insurance consumer. I hope you enjoy it.

Of course, if you have any questions, we’d love to talk to you.

And, on behalf of my granddaughters Aubrey and Hannah, and our entire staff, we hope you have a wonderful, safe Fourth of July.

Until next month,

 

 

Why are my insurance premiums are going up?

This is a question we hear almost every day in our agency, especially since there haven’t been any major hurricanes in Florida in years.

But it’s true—rates are going up for homeowners insurance. And for auto insurance, too. There’s no single reason for the rate increases, but there is a big one: AOB fraud, or Assignment of Benefits.

A contractor knocks on your door. “Did you realize you have damage to your roof? I’m sure I can get your homeowners insurance to pay for a new roof. Just sign here and I’ll even cover your deductible. It’ll be totally free.”

Or, someone points out a small crack in your windshield or dent in your car door. “I can get that fixed for you and deal directly with your insurance company. No inconvenience on your part at all. Just sign here.”

For many Floridians over the past few years, the temptation has been too great to refuse. What could go wrong?

The problem arises when unscrupulous contractors overcharge for their services, or submit false claims on your behalf.

AOB abuse in Florida has skyrocketed over the past several years and as a result, rates are going up. Insurance companies are paying inflated prices for claims and huge litigation costs when they try to contest the claims.

This is the fifth consecutive year that a bill on curbing AOB has failed in the Florida legislature.

For a more indepth discussion of the AOB crisis, click here to read more on the home page of our web site.

Am I in a flood zone?

The answer is yes…no matter where you live in Florida

If your mortgage company requires you to carry flood insurance, you are in a mandatory flood zone.

Flood damage is NEVER covered by homeowners insurance, and you might be surprised to know how much damage just an inch or two of rising groundwater can do to your home and its contents.

If you’re not in a mandatory zone, you are in a preferred zone, and flood insurance is extremely affordable for you. For example, for $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage, the price averages just $355 per year.

Flood insurance covers structural damage, appliances, flood debris clean up, and the replacement of any floor surfaces destroyed or damaged. You can also purchase coverage for home contents, such as furniture, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and artwork.

Flood policies may be purchased at closing without a waiting period, but after that, you’ll face a 30-day waiting period for it to take effect.

Want more information? Call us at 407-781-1600.

Florida Business – Laws That Impact You

FL Business LawsEvery Florida business must follow federal, state and local laws. Failure to follow these laws can create risk and liability for your business. Your business insurance may respond to these depending on the claim or action brought as a result of failure to follow the law. These are not all the laws that will impact your business, but these seem to be the ones that get a lot of attention. Continue reading

Insurance Needs For Florida College Students

Insurance for Florida College StudentsSo, you have sent your college student off to school. You packed all of the sheets, towels, books, computer, etc. But did you remember to make sure they have one of the most important things they will need at school  – the right insurance coverages? If your child is renting a home or apartment with others, you may want to consider a renters policy. This will keep any liability separate from your individual policy. Continue reading

Tax Free Hurricane Supplies In Florida May 31 Through June 8

The Florida Legislature is making storm supplies exempt from sales taxes for one week at the start of hurricane season. The exemption is part of a tax-cut package approved by the Legislature. Gov. Rick Scott, signed it on May 12. Monday.

“This is going to go a long way to helping Floridians prepare for hurricane season, making sure they have all the supplies they need to get themselves and their families ready,” said Bryan Koon, the state’s emergency management director.

 

Under the bill (HB 5601), the tax break would be from May 31 through June 8.

Some of the specific items in the tax free hurricane sales holiday include:

  • A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less.
  • A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less.
  • A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less.
  • A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less.
  • A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less.
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less.
  • A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less.
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less.
  • A portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less.
  • Reusable ice selling for $10 or less.

These exemptions do not apply to sales inside of a theme park, entertainment complex, lodging establishment or airport.

Sun Insurance Services is an Orlando Florida based independent insurance agency serving all of the Sunshine state, providing personal insurance, business insurance, health insurance and life insurance throughout Florida. We take what we do very seriously, but we HAVE FUN in the process! If we can help you with any of your FL insurance needs, please contact us today!