Vacation: Protect Your Home!

Home Safety For Vacationers

Summer is here and that means vacation for many families! Getting away to spend time with family or friends is always fun but returning to a home that has been burglarized is not. According to FBI statistics, July and August see an increase in home burglaries. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers these tips on keeping your home safe while you are away:

•Lock all doors and windows. Sounds basic but is often forgotten in the rush to leave for a trip
•Secure all sliding glass doors with a rod or wood in the track
•Unplug the automatic garage door so that thieves can’t use a universal remote to open it
•Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car(if your car is parked in the driveway)
•Make it appear you are home as much as possible by putting lights on timers, having your mail and papers picked up by a trusted neighbor, keeping your lawn maintained
•Make sure the outside of your home is well lit
•Don’t leave a spare key outside
•Don’t post about your trip on social media. If you do, this is like extending an open invitation to be robbed
•If you have a home security system, then arm it
•Consider having a trusted neighbor or friend come and check on your home to make sure everything is okay

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers the best homeowners insurance rates in Naples, Ft. Myers, and Port Charlotte. Our experienced and knowledgeable insurance agents are available to customize a homeowner’s insurance policy for you and your family.

If you already have a homeowners policy then consider having it reviewed to see if your needs have changed. We are happy to review your policy and see if you are fully covered. To schedule an appointment to review your policy, please contact our Naples office at 239-591-0963. To reach our Port Charlotte office, please call 941-391-5423. To speak with an agent at our Fort Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wishes you a safe and happy vacation! Call us today for a policy review.

Mistakes That Home Buyers Make

Mistakes In Buying A Home…Insure Your Home With Caution!

Many home buyers make mistakes when purchasing a home. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants to help homeowners avoid these costly mistakes. Here is a list of common mistakes to avoid when you insure your home:

•Not knowing what you can afford. Just because a bank qualifies you for one amount that doesn’t mean that you can afford that amount. Remember you have to be able to pay all of your bills which could include: groceries, student loans, credit card payments, financial investment, and insurance.

•Not using an agent or using the seller’s agent. There are many factors involved in buying a home and an experienced agent is worth his/her weight in gold. The seller’s agent works for the seller and isn’t concerned with your needs.

•Skipping the home inspection. A home inspection is a necessity to discover if there are code violations, if the house needs repair, or if there is structural damage to the home

•Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Being pre-qualified for a mortgage helps a home buyer understand what they can and can’t afford, points out any errors that might be on a credit report, and can help a buyer realize that they may need to save more or improve their credit score in order to afford their dream home

•Becoming too emotionally invested where they must have this particular house even if the home is not within their budget or meets their basic requirements (example: buying a two bedroom home when there are plans to have children and add to the family)
•Not considering additional expenses. For example, property taxes, maintenance costs of lawn, pool, and homeowners association fees

These are just a few of the mistakes that a potential home buyer makes. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance can help make sure that a home buyer has enough home insurance coverage. Our insurance agents are experienced and knowledgeable and can help you protect your home.

Our agency also offers auto insurance, life insurance, and financial service at any of our three Florida insurance office locations: Naples, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. The agents at Gulf Coast Educators Insurance can help you customizing an insurance policy to cover all of your insurance needs.

Please call us today to set-up an appointment to review your insurance coverages. To reach our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963. For our Port Charlotte office, please call 941-391-5423. To speak with an agent at our Fort Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. We are here to help you get the best insurance coverage for you and your family. Call us today!

Life Fit For A King!

Do You Have The Best Life Insurance?

Recent news brought us the story of the death of a Blues legend, B.B. King. Mr. King reigned as the king of the blues for more than half a century. His death is a loss but he leaves behind a legacy of music for his family, friends, and fans. Most people will not leave such a legacy behind but they can make sure to protect their family by having a life insurance policy. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a variety of life insurance products.

A life insurance policy helps provide for family that you leave behind when you die. Even a person who is single should consider having a life insurance policy. The policy can pay for funeral costs as well as helping the family pay off any bills that you leave behind. Those that have a spouse, family, or anyone that relies on their income, definitely needs to have a life insurance policy.
Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers several options for a life insurance policy. These options include:
• Buy-Sell Agreement for business owners
• Term Insurance
• Whole Life Insurance
• Universal Life Insurance
• Key Person Insurance
Our knowledgeable and experienced insurance agents are available to help you choose the best life insurance policy for your needs. Our agents can explain all aspects of the policies and help you personalize a policy to best meet you and your family’s needs. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance advises you to consider life insurance while you are healthy. The costs are lower when you are younger and healthy. Of course, if you are older and have some medical conditions, it is still advisable to consider getting a life insurance policy.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is the leading agency for insurance and financial services in Southwest Florida. We have three locations located in Naples, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. To schedule an appointment to discuss life insurance with our Naples insurance agents, please call 239-591-0963. You can reach our Port Charlotte insurance agents at 941-391-5423. To set up an appointment at our Fort Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. Our agents are waiting to help you secure the perfect life insurance policy for you and your family. Please call us today!

Having A Party – Is Your Home A Liability?

Is your home a liability when entertaining?

How much liability insurance do you need when entertaining in your home? Imagine that you are hosting a birthday party for your child at your home. You have hired a face painter, brought in ponies for pony rides, and have a bounce house set up in the backyard. What happens if a child gets hurt while bouncing in the bounce house or has their foot stepped on by the pony? Does your homeowner’s insurance cover it or are you responsible? What about the vendors that you hired? Do they carry insurance or are they relying on your policy to cover any accidents?

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance recommends reviewing your homeowners insurance policy before hosting an event at your home. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance also highly recommends that you only hire vendors that are insured. Make sure to check that the vendor’s insurance is up to date and that the vendors are licensed by the state.

Our insurance agents offer these tips when hosting an event at your home:
•If you are having a pool party or have rented a water slide that ends in a pool of water, make sure to hire a lifeguard. Parents have a tendency to visit with each other and lose track of their child. To prevent accidental drownings, always have a lifeguard

•If you own a hot tub, make sure that the hot tub is securely covered

•Lock doors to rooms that you don’t want anyone to access, especially a child and if there are prescription drugs in that room

•Keep your pets away from your guests. Pets can get excited or agitated by the noise and lash out by biting or knocking small children over depending on the size of your dog

•Remove debris from your lawn so no one gets hurt while bouncing on a bounce house or sliding down a slide

•If you have livestock, keep the livestock fenced in a separate area where small children cannot access

•If you do have a bounce house, make sure there is an adult supervising it at all times. Limit the number of children that are jumping. Do not allow food or drinks inside the jump.

•If you do have pony rides or a petting zoo at your home then make sure that the children wash their hands after petting the animals. Do not let the children share their food with the animals.

Examples of events that you may host at your home include:
• Birthday parties
• Weddings
• Anniversary celebrations
• Graduation parties
• Baby Showers
• Quinceanera celebration
• Bridal Showers

No matter what event you are hosting at your home, Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to be aware of potential liabilities that could occur during your event. Call one of our three Gulf Coast Educators Insurance locations to check what your homeowners policy does and does not cover. To reach our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963. To speak with an agent at our Port Charlotte office, please contact us at 941-391-5423. For our Ft. Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is here to help make sure that you are covered. Just by reviewing your insurance policy you could have dome descent homeowners insurance savings that you were not even aware of.

Homeowners Insurance For First Time Homeowners

Congratulations, you are buying your first home!

One important consideration when buying a home is to make sure that you have adequate homeowners insurance coverage. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a variety of homeowners insurance policies at competitive rates. Our experienced insurance agents can walk you through a homeowners insurance policy and help you find the perfect coverage for you and your family. We offer great savings on homeowners insurance.

Home insurance policies cover both the exterior and interior of your home. Our insurance agents will need to know what type of home you are buying, how your home was constructed, the square footage of your home, the year your home was built, and where your home is located. Our seasoned insurance agents can explain all of the different aspects of a home owners insurance policy such as what a deductible is, what liability coverage consists of, replacement cost, and actual cash value. Our agents can also discuss adding riders to your homeowners insurance policy to cover specific items such as jewelry.

First time home owners are often unaware that there are certain factors that can make a home more expensive to insure. For example, owning a trampoline or pool can increase the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. A bad credit score, living in a high crime area, and living in a flood zone can also be factors in a higher homeowners insurance policy.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is the best agency for insurance in Southwest Florida. We offer three offices to help serve you. Our main insurance office is located in Naples and we have two branch offices in Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers, Florida. Our expert insurance agents provide experience and knowledge to help you choose a homeowners insurance policy that will meet your coverage needs.

Please contact any of our three offices for a competitive home insurance quote. To reach our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963. Our Port Charlotte insurance agents can be reached at 941-391-5423. To contact our Ft. Myers insurance agents, please call 239-997-0420. We are here to help you get the best home owners insurance policy! Follow us on our Facebook page too!

Wind Mitigation – Home Insurance Savings

Looking For Cheaper Homeowners Insurance In Naples, Ft. Myers or Port Charlotte, FL?

Did you know that you could save money on your homeowner’s insurance policy if you have a wind mitigation inspection? A wind mitigation inspection is a home inspection that determines if a structure can endure through strong winds such as those seen in a hurricane. This inspection looks at different aspects of the construction of a home.

A wind mitigation inspection, in Florida, is usually performed by a licensed general contractor, building contractor, architect, engineer, building inspector, or a home inspector. Gulf Coast Educator’s Insurance offers various discounts on your homeowner’s and property insurance policy if you qualify. Many different types of structures qualify for a wind mitigation review. The various structures that qualify include single family homes, multi-family buildings, commercial buildings, condominiums, and town homes.

There are six different categories of wind mitigation features that can help you qualify for a wind mitigation discount. These categories include:
•a wind resistant roof covering that was installed after March 1, 2002
•roof geometry
•roof deck attachment
•a secondary water barrier
•a roof to wall connection attachment
•opening protection

All of these components are independent of each other and qualify for their own discounts. You need not have all six components in order to receive a discount on your insurance policy. One of our highly qualified insurance agents at any of our three locations can review the results of your wind mitigation inspection and let you know what types of discounts you are eligible to receive. Learn more about wind mitigation.

With hurricane season right around the corner, now is the best time to get a wind mitigation inspection. You can save money and have a safer home by qualifying for the wind mitigation discounts. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance services all of Southwest Florida. Our offices are located in Port Charlotte, Ft. Myers, and Naples. To schedule a wind mitigation review, please call 239-591-0963 for our Naples office, 941-391-5423 for our Port Charlotte office, and 239-997-0420 for our Ft. Myers office. We look forward to being able to help you save money.

2014 IRA Contribution Deadline Is Looming!

The deadline to make an IRA contribution for the 2014 tax year is fast approaching!

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants to remind you that April 15th is the deadline to finish up your 2014 IRA contributions. If you do make a contribution between January 1st and April 15th of this year, then it is highly important to specify which year you want your contribution to be applied to. If you do not specify then your contribution will be applied to this year, 2015.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance can help you with your contribution questions. An IRA is a form of investment where you set aside money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Our agents are highly experienced and can explain the different types and the benefits of each IRA. The different types available include: the Roth IRA, a traditional IRA, SEP, and Simple. Don’t go it alone! Our agents are here to help explain all of the ins and outs of each type of IRA available.

Our Southwest Florida insurance agents can help you decide which option of IRA’s will best suit your life style. The government does place limits on the amount of money that you can invest in your IRA each year. Our knowledgeable insurance agents can help you choose the best IRA option for you based on different factors such as when you want to withdraw the money, if you want to withdraw the money tax free and pay the taxes first or if you want to invest the money and pay the taxes when you withdraw from your IRA.

Investing in an IRA can be confusing. Our insurance agents are here to help sort out the benefits of each type of IRA. We are happy to help explain the different IRA options and are here to discuss your investment needs with you. We service all of Southwest Florida, our insurance agents in Naples, Ft. Myers and Port Charlotte are here to help. To reach our Naples insurance office, please call 239-591-0963. To schedule an appointment with our Port Charlotte insurance office, please call 941-391-5423. To contact our Fort Myers home insurance office, please call 239-997-0420. For more information about IRA’s click here for more on our website. We look forward to helping you with your investment options. Let us help tailor the perfect investment option for you. Please call us today!

Home Office Business Insurance

Do You Work From A Home Office?

Have you ever heard the expression, “when it rains, it pours”? This means that when something goes wrong, a lot of things go wrong. This expression could apply to any business that you are running out of your home. No matter if your hobby has blossomed into a home based business, you sell items for extra income, or use your computer and phone to run a business, you need to make sure that you have an insurance policy to cover loss and damage.

Have you considered what would happen if the items that you store in your home that you sell for extra spending money were damaged due to a fire or flood? What happens if they are stolen? What if you use your computer for your home based business. What happens if your computer, printer, scanner, file cabinets, or office supplies were ruined due to fire or water or even worse, stolen? Does your homeowners insurance cover these items or not?

These are all very important things to consider when you work from home. Does the company you work for cover any loss due to fire, flood, or other? Different organizations may work it differently. If you are self employed and lose your computer, files, inventory, etc. does your homeowners insurance policy cover your loss? A licensed insurance agency will help you to understand what is covered and what is not.

At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance we encourage you to contact your insurance agent to find out what happens if your home office is destroyed or damaged. Our highly trained agents would be more than happy to discuss your insurance policy and its coverage with you. We have three insurance office locations so we are sure to have an office near to you. To contact our Ft. Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. To reach our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963 and our Port Charlotte office can be reached at 941-391-5423.

Having insurance to cover loss of items needed to run your business is highly important. How would you replace your computer, printer, or items that you sell for profit if they were damaged or stolen? What about the time and business you would lose if you had no insurance and had to cover all of these items out of pocket. Would you be able to afford it?
Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is the leading agency for insurance and financial services in Southwest Florida. Along with issuing and/or reviewing your homeowner’s policy, we can also help you with all of your insurance needs. For more information about homeowners insurance and what exactly it covers, please review our website. We look forward to helping give you peace of mind regarding your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Please visit online or give us a call at one of our three conveniently located offices. For the best homeowners insurance agency near Ft. Myers, Naples and Port Charlotte we invite you to call us! We know that we can help you!

Homeowners Insurance – Not all created equal

Has your home insurance policy had a check up recently?

Did you know that not all home and property insurance policies are created equal? That’s right the first thing to consider is finding the best insurance agency in Naples, Ft. Myers or the Port Charlotte area. Working with an agent who is knowledgeable and will help you consider your options and not just sell you the most expensive policy so they make the most. There are several other elements to consider when purchasing the best homeowners insurance policy to protect you:

1) Your deductible – do you truly know your deductible? Is it a dollar amount or a percentage? You don’t want to have sticker shock if after storm damage you realize that your deductible is not a dollar amount but rather a percentage of the limit of your policy.

2) Loss of use coverage – this is coverage is your home is a total loss and uninhabitable. The coverage would pay for hotel stays or an apartment rental while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

3) Do you have enough liability coverage? Liability coverage protects your assets in the event somebody gets hurt on your property and sues you. There are additional coverage opportunities to liability coverage such as personal catastrophe liability. This would give you an extra one to five million dollars in coverage added on to your homeowners and auto insurance.

4) Can you customize your policy? Do you need Inland Marine coverage or flood coverage? Depending on your needs you may one or both types of coverage.

5) Is the insurance company you have your policy with, are they financially sound? Will there be money available to you in the event of damage that is covered? Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is a Horace Mann Agency. We are financially sound insurance agency. You can check the ranking of any insurance company by checking the ranking from Ward and A.M. Best. They release the ranking on an annual basis.

6) Guaranteed Replacement Cost – with this type of coverage you can rebuild your home without worrying about depreciation, policy limits or insurance construction costs. If you have a cash value plan then depreciation is taken into account when calculating your reimbursement amount.

7) Protect your home improvement investment – any time you complete a home improvement project be sure to let your insurance agency know so they can adjust your limit if needed.

What this boils down to is selecting the best insurance agency in Naples, Ft. Myers and Port Charlotte. Which agency is going to work with you, be thorough and offer the best insurance rates for what you need. Buying too much insurance is excessive while being under-insured is risky business.

For more information about home and property insurance please call us at any of our three locations, Port Charlotte, Naples and Ft. Myers. We service Southwest Florida.

A Physical For Your Life Insurance Policy

Our last blog post discussed getting healthy so you can possibly lower your life insurance premiums. This post we would like to address the aspect of getting a physical for your life insurance policy. A former senior health care advisor to President Obama, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, has recently stated to The New York Times that people should just skip their annual physical. While this is an interesting perspective, skipping a physical is usually not an option for a person looking to obtain a life insurance policy.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a variety of life insurance products to residents in the Southwest Florida area. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance encourages consumers to consider purchasing life insurance in order to provide for a spouse, family, or others who rely on your income for survival. A life insurance policy can also help provide funds for medical emergencies, legal aid, and funeral costs.

Being in perfect health is not needed in order to obtain a life insurance policy. In most cases, an exam is needed to obtain your life insurance policy. However, you don’t even need to leave your home or office for your life insurance exam. A qualified person will come to you to conduct the exam. A typical exam consists of:
• Providing a detailed medical history
• Your height and weight
• Your blood pressure and pulse
• A blood sample
• A urine sample

If you are interested in obtaining a high level of insurance or are older, other tests such as an EKG or treadmill stress test might be required. The results of the tests are used to determine whether you are a candidate for life insurance and what the premium of your life insurance policy will cost.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance encourages everyone to follow healthy habits. Losing weight, stop smoking, and exercise all help keep you in good shape. These habits might help you obtain the best life insurance policy with the best premiums.

We offer several options when considering a life insurance policy. These options include:
• Term Insurance
• Whole Life Insurance
• Universal Life Insurance
• Key Person Insurance
• Buy-Sell Agreement for business owners

Our experienced and knowledgeable insurance agents are ready to help you determine which type of life insurance is best for you and your family. We will guide you step by step in creating the best insurance policy for you. Please contact our Naples office at 239-591-0963. You can reach our Port Charlotte office at 941-391-5423. Our Ft. Myers insurance agents are available at 239-997-0420. We look forward to working with you!