Insurance can be a very confusing and oftentimes intimidating place. Everyone has an opinion on it too.... just ask any one at your condo's pool and you'll start an hour long heated discussion the likes of which haven't been seen since so and so's nephew violated the rules by hanging their towel on the railing overnight.... Anyway I digress, as important as insurance is to all of us living in south Florida the advise that we consider should be equally as important. I can't tell you some of the ridiculous things I have been told by some well meaning insurance "experts". In today's blog, I'd like to share some common advise that may be helpful.
1) Get your insurance advise from a licensed insurance agent. This may seem pretty basic but one may be surprised by whom some people seek insurance advise from. Some of the most common that we encounter here in our agency are; my realtor, mortgage broker, neighbor (who is not an insurance agent), co-worker (again not an insurance agent), family member (you guessed it....not insurance agents), the fellas I play golf with and my favorite....the guy I met at a bar last night. While all of these folks are smart well meaning folks who, I am quite sure are competent in their field, they are many times sorely lacking in insurance knowledge in order to advise you in how best to protect your financial future, in the same way as I would be lost in guiding you through the intricacies of a real estate transaction or teeing off the #7 hole. Florida property insurance is very dynamic and constantly changing, and even if someone were in the business several years ago much has changed in the marketplace.... and continues to.
2) With the above in mind, find someone that you trust and take their advise. Insurance is still a relationship business, I think that many times consumers treat it like we are buying shoes on ebay. If you develop a loyal two way trusting relationship with an agency there are many way they can assist you in your time of need. Now while we are not claims adjusters, nor do we make judgements regarding claims, we can be in a position to assist you and inform you regarding processes and the like. Also, more importantly we are assisting you purchasing the best policy that we can in order to protect you.
3) If a insurance policy is too good to be true it usually is. You get what you pay for. Over the years we lost many policies to agencies selling the exact same carrier than us for say a condo unit. We were quoting adequate dwelling coverage along with proper endorsements etc, they were quoting 50k on dwelling (no matter the size on the unit) minimums on contents, no endorsements etc. The clients thought we were too high and went with the cheaper policy, which is great..... until we got a visit from our Aunt Irma. Then we discovered the cost of these cheap policies. They could cost the homeowner potentially a 50k claim on up. All of that is for a difference in premium of about 300.00/year, which sounds like a lot, but how about if we say 3000.00 over 10 years.... not really that big of a deal for a second home in paradise.
4) All of Florida is a "Flood Zone", no exceptions. That being said there are many areas that are considered low risk hazard areas, but my advise is that if you own a single family home in Florida you should carry flood insurance. Condos do have some twists and turns but these should be discussed with YOUR LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT.
These are the top 4 there will be more to come I hope you enjoy. If you have any questions or want to talk something out, please give me a call.
Have a great day,