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First Florida Underwriters Insurance blog

What Is Not Included In Home Insurance Policies?

There are a number of things that may not be included in a home insurance policy. You want the very best for your home in Orange Park, FL. This means you have to look at the fine print so you don’t encounter any surprises. First Florida Underwriters Inc can also work with you to ensure you get the coverage that you need.

There are four things covered in a standard policy:

  • Liability protection
  • Personal belongings
  • The structure of your home
  • Additional living expenses

What’s not covered includes detached garages, pools, and other structures that may be found throughout your property. These would have to be added above and beyond your standard policy.

You also have to look at the kind of damages you are protected against. For example, your policy will provide coverage against fire, theft, hurricanes, lightning, and various other disasters that may be listed within your policy. However, you would not be protected against floods or earthquakes. You would need to add these as riders to your policy.

Various damages as a result of routine wear and tear will also not be covered by a home insurance policy. This would require a completely different insurance policy altogether.

Knowing what is and isn’t covered is critical so that you know whether you will be covered in an insurance claim. If you aren’t covered, the expense is on you as opposed to being covered by the insurance company, minus the deductible that you have to pay per your policy details.

At First Florida Underwriters Inc, we have independent insurance agents who can help you with your home insurance policy. We will work to ensure that you have sufficient coverage for your home in Orange Park, FL. It will make it easier for you to enjoy your home without wondering if you have enough protection.

 

 

What Items Should Be In Your Emergency Travel Kit?

No matter if you travel across town or across the country, having an emergency kit in the trunk of your car can be a life-saver. At First Florida Underwriters Inc, agents serve residents who live in the Orange Park, FL area. Agents understand the need for having an emergency kit and are willing to help their clients gather the items they need to stay safe while they are on the road. 

For You

If you get stranded along the roadway due to your car breaking down or an accident, there are several things you can keep in your trunk to keep you safe. A few of the most common items include:

  • Handheld flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • First aid kit

You can add other items that are used by your family, especially if you have small children.

For Your Car

When it comes to the items you need for your car, you can include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Reflective triangle
  • Small tool kit
  • Tow rope

Placing a box in your trunk that contains the items for both you and your vehicle will help keep you safe and out of harm’s way if an emergency happens. You will also have everything you need in case you come across another motorist who is stranded along the side of the road. 

Residents who live in Orange Park, FL can always turn to the agents of First Florida Underwriters Inc if they have questions about what they should put in their emergency kit. Call and schedule an appointment with your agent today to go over your auto and home policies. It’s also a good time to ask any questions you may have about staying safe while you’re traveling. 

What Types Of Roof Damage Are Normally Covered By Insurance?

The agents of First Florida Underwriters Inc work with the residents of Orange Park, FL to find the right homeowners policy that fits their needs. In Florida, there are additional types of coverage that may be beneficial. Hurricane and flood insurance are commonly sold due to the winds and rain that accompany strong storms. Strong winds and heavy rain can also cause extensive damage to a home’s roof and gutters.

Storm Damage

If a roof is in good condition, the strong winds that accompany hurricanes and tropical storm can loosen shingles or tiles. The stronger the winds, the more likely it is for damage to occur. In most cases, if a homeowner has hurricane insurance any damages caused by storms can be turned in by filing a claim. The damages will have to be assessed and estimates received on how much it will cost to make the necessary repairs.

General Wear and Tear

Part of the inspection will determine how much of the damage is the result of general wear and tear. If the roof is more than a few years old, broken or damaged shingles can compromise the integrity of the rood causing leaks inside your home. Yearly roof inspections and regular maintenance will reduce the impact of general wear and tear.

Residents who live in Orange Park, FL can always call the agents at First Florida Underwriters Inc if they have questions concerning their homeowners insurance and what types of roof damage it covers. Each agent is bonded and licensed with years of experience. Call and schedule an appointment today so you have all of the answers you need.

Valuing the Invaluable: Choosing the right homeowners Insurance

It is important to protect yourself with homeowners insurance since owning a home is one of the most valuable investments. In as much as the price is important when choosing the right cover, it is necessary to look at the insurance providers’ overall quality before consideration in order to get the most out of your money. The four main factors to consider include:

  • Claims processing

In the event of damages in your home, battling with an insurance company that you have been making payments to can be a nightmare considering the conditions surrounding the entire process of filing a home insurance claim. It is of significance to get an insurance company which you can easily contact the agent who will ensure timely payments.

  • Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is another important factor to consider. As a policyholder, it is comforting to know you can simply contact an agent who will treat you fairly and expedite the process of reimbursement without any hustles and inconveniences.

  • Coverage options

Most home policies cover damages for personal property, dwelling coverage, and liability insurance. Nevertheless, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes are in most cases deemed to be added as an additional policy. Apart from the standard home coverage options, an insurance provider that has other catastrophic coverage options to complement the basic options should be considered before making a purchase. We at First Florida Underwriters Inc. in Orange Park FL, offer additional policies.

  • Financial stability

It is important to investigate the financial stability of an insurance company before buying a home insurance policy because there have been rising cases of insurance companies failing to pay claims and policyholders losing their policies. This can be done by getting the company’s current financial statement and look at their growth rate and profitability or searching online resources in order to get a clear insight of the company’s financial strength.

In case you are a homeowner, visit Orange Park, FL agents with First Florida Underwriters Inc., to help you get the right policy that suits your needs.

How Long Do you Have to File a Home Insurance Claim?

Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim is not something that many of us want to deal with. Sadly, more people than you may imagine deal with homeowner’s claims each and every day. For those that live in the area, the agents with First Florida Underwriters in Orange Park, FL can help you determine how long you have to file your home insurance claim.

For the most part, the time limit when it comes to filing a home insurance claim is going to vary between agencies. Some allow up to a year while others require you file within a few months. Some agencies even set the time limit at 30 days requiring that the incident be reported and a claim filed within 30 days of the occurrence.

It is very important that when you have a homeowner’s claim that you want to file, that you take the time to gather your proof and file as quickly as you can. This is going to reduce the likelihood that your agent or agency is going to be able to or want to reject the claim and leave the burden of repair on you. When you take on a new policy you should read the policy to find out just how long you have and how to go about filing.

When preparing to file a claim you first want to make sure you take the time to gather proof in the form of photos so that you can show them to the adjuster when they come to assess the damage. Though they will take their own photos, it can take up to a week for an adjuster to come and things are bound to look different in the span of a week. No matter how you go about filing your claim, the agents with First Florida Underwriters in Orange Park, FL can help.  

The Importance of Changing Your Home Insurance Policy After Home Renovations

Here at First Florida Underwriters Inc, one of the questions that we are often asked is whether your home insurance policy should be changed after home renovations are made. Here is how we answer this question. 

Following home renovations, we strongly encourage those insured by us to consider changing their policy. First, you should have an appraisal done on your home to determine the estimate value of your home. Following renovations, you may have significantly increased the value of your home. If your policy is not updated, it may not reflect these changes and you could be paid out less than your home is worth. Home insurance does not pay what your home is worth if your home is worth more than the limits on your policy. 

Secondly, we strongly suggest letting your insurer know what renovations you have made. If you have replaced old carpet with new carpet, there may not be a huge discrepancy with the insurance company as long as you retain the receipt. But if you ripped out old carpet and laid down slate tiles, you have changed the materials used in the home, which may cause affect any money you receive if something were to happen to your home. As such, you want to ensure that the insurance company knows what materials are used in your home so you can be properly compensated if the flooring is damaged, the countertops are damaged or if your home winds up being a total loss. 

If you have made renovations to your home, now may be a great time to look into changing your home insurance policy. If you are looking to obtain a new policy, contact First Florida Underwriters Inc today for a free quote for home insurance. 

Home Insurance Necessary for Suburban Floridians

Life in an active suburban community requires good home insurance. Accidents can, and will, happen if you allow your home to be used for neighborhood activities. And, when something bad occurs, it usually does when you least expect it.

Without adequate home insurance, you will need a lot of money saved up to take care of the bills. Some households have gone into bankruptcy after being sued by someone hurt on the property, Do not let this happen to you.

Fortunately, you can better avoid such problems by speaking with the professionals at First Florida Underwriters Inc. The staff understands how it is to live in a large suburb.

To help you know what to discuss when you contact an insurance agent, the following are some of the types of accidents that befall homeowners in Orange Park, FL and beyond.

1. Visiting Kids Can Slip and Fall

Like most families, yours probably plays host from time-to-time. The neighborhood kids stop by to swim in the pool or play soccer in the backyard. All goes well in most instances. But, a kid can very easily slip and fall, hurt their head. Their parents will probably want to sue you for the exorbitant medical bills.

2. Guests Can Lose Expensive Items

You may also be held responsible for guests who cannot keep track of their expensive items.

Someone may have fine jewelry, take it off and then upon leaving, realize it is missing. They will want you to pay for a replacement, probably claiming you failed to make your home a secure environment.

3. Pets Can Attack Visitors

Of course, your dog, cat, or other pet is nice enough when you are around. But, how about when alone? You never know, right?

Animals have been known to take a bite out of postal carriers, delivery drivers, and maintenance personnel. When these attacks happen, the owner usually has to foot the bill.

Get Fully Insured Today

Litigation can be expensive. You probably cannot afford a lawsuit alone.

Purchase a comprehensive home insurance policy, and perhaps even some umbrella coverage, because this security is a virtual necessity in Orange Park, FL.

Be sure to ask the experienced staff at First Florida Underwriters Inc about the appropriate policy for your situation.

 

Renovation Planned? Get a Homeowner’s Policy Update First

For some Orange Park, FL families the possibility of adding a new room, flooring over an open ceiling, or adding an extension all mean more enjoyment of their existing home. However, in addition to the need for construction and expert work, these projects also will require an update to the related homeowner’s insurance policy on the property. Further, it’s a good idea to consider the need for liability coverage for any workers on the project as well, even if the contractor says they have worker’s compensation in place as their own business.

Contractor coverage can be a big problem. While companies will state and even promise they have their worker’s covered, when a serious injury occurs it’s a frequent situation that whatever was in place was insufficient. Then the attorneys go after the next attorney involved, the homeowner. By having a homeowner’s insurance policy updated for the work being performed and liability coverage, these sorts of “surprise” can be easily fended off and shut down before becoming a financial nightmare.

At a minimum a home change also changes the risk involved that was originally covered by the existing policy. If the current policy is not updated with the renovation occurring, claims could be delayed or outright denied if its determine they are in a part of the home that is new and not part of the original policy scope. Again, it’s a surprise that can be avoided by taking basic, easy steps before the renovation starts. In the best situations, updating a policy for what’s needed before any work even begins is the best approach and most advised by agents at First Florida Underwriters Inc.

So if you’re wondering how to go about a renovation in Orange Park, FL and have questions about coverage, the folks at First Florida Underwriters Inc can help answer them. Give them a call or email.

 

Tips for Cleaning Out Your Garage

When it comes to keeping your home clean, you may tend to forget about the garage area. After all, this tends to be the area of the home where you keep storage, or like many homes, where you keep your vehicles. Regardless of the use of your garage, having it nice and tidy is a great way to keep your home looking its best. If you keep your garage clean, you are probably much more likely to keep the rest of your home clean. Here is a look at two tips you should follow to clean out your garage.

1) You need a trash can in the garage

Even if you rarely use your garage, you need a trash can in it, and you should empty this trash can as often as you do the other garbage cans in your home. Not only does this help ensure the trash in the garage gets taken out, but it also keeps you going in and out of the garage, reminding you that it’s an actual part of your home. 

2) Give away the stuff you don’t need or use

Do you have stuff stored away in your garage that you haven’t touched in years? If so, and as long as these items do not hold any type of sentimental value, you may as well clean them out and give them away. Read that again. Don’t throw them away, give them away. The items you no longer use are likely things some other people would love to have. 

If you would like to learn more about cleaning out your garage and protecting your home with proper home insurance, contact First Florida Underwriters Inc serving the Orange Park, FL area. 

Home Cleaning Checklist for Fall

Fall cleaning is as important as spring cleaning. Besides the need to winterize your home, fall is a good time to do routine maintenance and home cleaning before the winter weather comes. Be sure to check your home insurance with your agent at First Florida Underwriters Inc. to adjust the coverage for changes that happened over the last year and update replacement costs.

Here is a checklist to help remind you of things to do to get ready for winter:

  • Wash Windows – Choose a cloudy day for this job to make it easier to see streaks on the glass. Old newspaper is terrific to use for buffing the glass dry after spraying it with glass cleaner. This job is easier when two people work together. One stays inside, the other cleans the outside window glass at the same time. 
  • Window Coverings – Vacuum drapes using an upholstery attachment. Use a vacuum brush for blinds.
  • Walls – Wipe walls with a dust mop, wash them, and dry them.
  • Ceiling Light Fixtures – Dust off light fixtures. Remove globes and glass coverings to wash them with dish soap.
  • Furniture – Vacuum upholstery and spot clean if necessary.
  • Kitchen Cupboards – Empty the cupboards, wash them inside and out, replace shelf liners with new ones, and reorganize the contents when putting everything back.
  • Refrigerator – Move the refrigerator away from the wall, dust off the condenser coil at the back and clean the area under the refrigerator. Remove contents and wash the shelves. Defrost the freezer section if needed.
  • Carpets – Use steam-cleaning equipment or have professionals do the carpet cleaning.
  • Wood Flooring – Buff out any scratches and apply a new coat of floor finish.
  • Closets – Remove clutter and reorganize contents. Get rid of unneeded stuff.
  • Test Smoke Detectors – Replace old batteries with new ones.
  • Furnace Maintenance – Have the furnace checked for proper operation and replace the filter with a new one.
  • Chimneys – Have a professional sweep the chimneys and clean the flues.
  • Weatherproofing – Check weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
  • Gutters – Remove debris and clean out the downspouts.
  • Roof – Repair any damage to prevent leaks.
  • Landscaping – Trim trees to prevent damage from falling branches.
  • Patio Furniture – Put outside furniture away in storage.
  • Drain Hoses – Remove water from garden hoses and put them away in storage.

This checklist will help you be ready for winter and have a nice holiday season.