Do You Have Enough Insurance Coverage on Your New Ride?

If you were one of the lucky ones who bought a new car at the end of the year, be sure to find out if you have enough insurance coverage on it. Most people are unaware of the type of auto insurance they have, what is covered, and what is’t. As long as they keep getting a card in the mail with their insurance number, everything is squared away ? except when it isn’t.. At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, we know that not understanding your auto insurance coverage can hurt you in the event of an accident.
Here are a few questions to ask your insurance agent:

Should I have the same coverage levels for all my vehicles?

No. Most families have two or more vehicles that were bought in different years. If you just got a new car, you will want more coverage on it than your third vehicle that just sits in the driveway. While many people put the same level of coverage on each of their cars, this is not necessary and can hurt you in the long run. For example, if you have a truck in the driveway that is only used to go to Home Depot, you can probably get by with minimal coverage. Putting that same level of coverage on the minivan used to take your kids to and from school and soccer practice is unwise.

What would happen if I was hit by someone without insurance?

That depends on the type of coverage you have. At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, we tend to recommend that you have an uninsured motorist provision on your insurance plan so you are covered no matter what happens. This coverage would make sure your medical bills were paid and that your car was repaired after an accident, without needing to go after someone who clearly could not afford to pay for these damages.

What happens if my new car is totaled?

This is a big one. If you paid sticker price for your new car or truck, got a loan on it, and drove it off the lot, it could be worth less than what you paid. If you bought it with zero down (or a low down payment), this could become problematic later on. When a car is declared totaled by the insurance company, money is paid out based on the current value of the vehicle. If the value is less than what you owe, you would be obligated to pay the difference to the bank. Essentially, you would be without the benefit of your vehicle while still owing money for it. In order to eliminate the risk of this happening, you should get GAP coverage. This ensures that your loan is paid off if the car is totaled.

We know the entire concept of insurance can feel complicated, but it does not have to be when working with an experienced agent.

Our goal is to make sure you have the right level of coverage so you are prepared for anything that comes your way. Give us a call to review your policy today.

Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips

Off To Grandma’s House You Go?

Are you heading out on the roads for Thanksgiving this year? Gas prices are low, the weather in Florida has been nice, and turkey dinner beckons. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to be safe while on the roadways this Thanksgiving. Here are a few tips on preparing for your road trip to “grandma’s house” this year.

•Prepare ahead of time. Map out the route in advance and factor in extra travel time due to the abundance of people driving by car for their turkey dinner
•Check your vehicle to make sure the tires are properly inflated, the car is oiled, the gas tank is full, and all maintenance tasks have been performed
•Stay safe by wearing your seat belt and have children in car seats
•Slow down and be prepared for delays
•Take frequent breaks and switch drivers if you need a rest
•Move over a lane for emergency vehicles (i.e. police) when traveling I-95, I-75, I-4 or other major multi-lane highways and interstates
•Don’t use cell phones or text while you are driving
•When you stop for a break, keep all valuables in the trunk or covered and lock your car when you leave it

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to have a very happy Thanksgiving. Obeying the rules of the road, maintaining your car, and being prepared for delays helps ease the stress of travel. Make sure that your car insurance is up to date and that you have enough coverage.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a variety of auto insurance products to Florida residents. Insurance policies can be obtained for cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV’s, campers and more. So no matter how you get to grandma’s house, be it on a motorcycle, car, or in a RV, Gulf Coast Educators Insurance will make sure that you have all of the auto insurance coverage that you need.

Auto insurance is necessary to protect you and your vehicle in the event of a car accident, theft of your vehicle, or vandalism to your vehicle. There are various policies available that offer different coverages and deductibles. To learn what policy works best for you, please contact us.

We offer 2 locations in southwest Florida to help with your auto insurance needs. Our knowledgeable and experienced insurance agents can help you review or obtain an auto insurance policy. To speak with an auto insurance agent at our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963, or for our Ft. Myers office please call 239-997-0420. We offer the best in auto insurance rates. Happy Thanksgiving!

New Carriers

Naples, Florida Insurance Agency Adds New Carriers

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a vast array of insurance and financial services for residents in Naples, Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers. We are locally owned and operated. Our offices have experienced agents that offer affordable, quality insurance and financial service products.

To enhance our services, Gulf Coast Educators Insurance has added three additional carriers to our line: Epic, Edison, and Chubb. These three carriers all have high ratings for service and quality. We chose them to offer a quality product at a competitive rate for our customers. A partnership with these companies helps to insure that our customers have a variety of options when choosing their insurance.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance works hand and hand with our clients to create a customized homeowners insurance policy that works for them. Each client has different needs and wants. Our qualified insurance agents are available to review an existing policy or create a new policy to meet a client’s needs.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers homeowners insurance for those that own a home, condominium, town house, or rent an apartment. We highly recommend that everyone carry a homeowner’s policy to protect their home and belongings. Renters insurance is important since it protects a renter in the event their apartment is damaged or their belongings are stolen.

Please contact us at one of our three locations: Naples, Port Charlotte, or Fort Myers to schedule an appointment for a homeowner’s insurance review or policy. To make an appointment with our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963. To reach an insurance agent at our Port Charlotte office, please call 941-391-5423 or to schedule an appointment with our Fort Myers office, please call 239-997-0420. We are happy to help you find the best home or property insurance coverage for your needs. Please give us a call today!

Auto Insurance, Drinking, Driving

Drinking and Driving Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates

With the July 4th holiday just around the corner the insurance agents at Gulf Coast Educators Insurance caution drivers to celebrate smart over July 4th. Your auto insurance policy can take a terrible hit if you get are cause an accident because you were under the influence of alcohol while driving.

Drunk drivers can cause accidents that can cost others their lives but the drunk driver can lose their driver’s license, gain points on their license and see a significant increase in their auto insurance rate. Insurance carriers can look at a driver who has been pulled over for drunk driving as a high risk and therefore may increase what you are paying for auto insurance.

On the flip side if you have had too many car accidents (whether you’re drunk or not) you may not be able to get car insurance. Wreck-less driving, driving while intoxicated, speeding, running stop signs and traffic lights can all be costly mistakes when it comes to your car insurance policy.

The auto insurance agents at Gulf Coast Educators Insurance encourage all drivers to be safe, stay alert, don’t text and do not get behind the wheel of your car if you have been excessively drinking. If you would like a competitive auto insurance quote we encourage you to call any of our Southwest Florida car insurance offices. We offer the best in auto insurance! We have offices in Naples, Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers, Florida. Contact us today for your free quote!

New Year – New Insurance Policy

3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!

Out with the old year and in with the new year. Now is a great time to review all of your insurance policies. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance can help you with all of your needs whatever they may be.

Do you need to update your homeowners insurance policy to cover new high ticket items that you received for the holidays? Did Santa bring you a new car, boat, motorcycle, golf cart, or RV? Did you experience a life changing event such as an engagement, wedding, or birth of a child? All of these items and events require different types of insurance policies.
Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers many types of homeowners policies. Our agents highly recommend that all homeowners carry a homeowners/property policy. This policy might need to be updated due to the addition of costly electronic items. Our agents would be happy to review your policy with you and see if there any additions that need to be made.

We also offer condominium, renters, and flood insurance. If you moved over the holiday you will want to make sure that your new home is covered. If you are now renting an apartment, it is best to obtain renters insurance to protect yourself from loss or damage to your belongings. Rental coverage provides personal property protection, family liability protection, and additional living expenses. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers affordable rental insurance.

Were you lucky enough to receive a new car, boat, motorcycle, golf cart, or RV over the holidays? Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers a variety of auto policies. If you are now the proud owner of a new (or used) car, motorcycle, or RV, it is essential to obtain the best auto insurance. We can help you obtain the right auto policy for you.
While everyone knows that autos and motorcycles need coverage, many people are unaware that you can also obtain coverage for boats and golf carts. In fact, we highly recommend that you do have insurance coverage for these vehicles.

Accidents can happen while boating but can also happen while toting your marine vessel behind your car. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance boating policies are offered for all types of boats such as cruisers, pontoon boats, and small run-abouts. Boat insurance offers peace of mind while in the water and while towing your boat.

Golf carts are popping up more and more in communities. While driving and riding a golf cart can be a fun method of transportation, it can also lead to accidents. The golf carts can flip over, run people, pets, or objects over. We recommend purchasing insurance to protect yourself from any claims that involve your golf cart.

Maybe you became engaged, got married, or welcomed a child into your home in the past year. All of these life events require an inventory of your current life insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate coverage.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance would be happy to review your current policy and see if any adjustments need to be made. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is here to help you with all of these life events. We invite you to contact any of our offices to consult with our experienced agents. You can reach our Naples office at 239-591-0963. For our Port Charlotte office, please call 941-391-5423. Our Ft. Myers agents are available at 239-997-0420. We look forward to helping you with all of your insurance needs. Please call us today and Happy New Year!

Black Friday Auto Safety

The clock is ticking down to the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday!<.h1>

While many shoppers are writing out lists and planning their shopping strategy others are scheming on how to steal your newly purchased gifts. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers some auto safety tips during this holiday season:
• Park in well-lit areas
• Lock all of your doors and windows
• Place your newly purchased items in the trunk. If an item needs to go on a seat then make sure it is covered
• Don’t overload yourself with bags
• Be aware of your surroundings. Have your keys ready to open the door and don’t linger in your car after loading it.
• If you are dropping items in your car and then going back shopping, consider moving your car to a new location. Many thieves watch and simply break the windows on your car to retrieve the loot once you are back shopping.

Of course, there are also dangers while driving during Black Friday. Quite a few shoppers have been up for an extended period of time and are operating on minimal sleep. Tiredness and sleep deprivation can cause people to drive erratically. Don’t let the stress and exhaustion of the holiday get to you.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 89 million people shopped on Black Friday. That is a lot of cars on the road and in the parking lots! Accidents happen because people are in a rush to get to the next bargain. Slow down and follow the speed limit. Eliminate distractions such as texting and talking on the phone while you are driving. Be on the lookout for pedestrians. People are rushing out of their cars to buy their gifts and often don’t use walkways. Shoppers have been known to dart in between cars and in front of traffic in order to get the deals. You don’t want to spend your shopping time involved in an accident.

When you are leaving the store be careful backing up. Many accidents occur when people back into another car. Make sure that you double check so that no one backs into your car. Your car could also be hit by another car while it is parked in the parking lot.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to be safe during Black Friday and during all of your holiday shopping. Follow the tips above. If you do end up having an accident, then report it to the police and your insurance company. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance clients can call 239-591-0963 for the Naples office, 941-391-5423 for the Port Charlotte office, and 239-997-0420 for the Fort Myers office. Wishing you the best this holiday season!

Is Your Roof Leaking?

Florida has been his with a lot of rain this Summer it’s no wonder we are all not drifting away!  With rain comes leaks.  Whether it be the roof of your home, your pump house, garage, outbuilding or car, leaking roofs can mean for a serious uphill battle against moisture and mold.

Thanks to our tropical weather it’s challenging for things to totally dry out.  The humidity just keeps the air damp and can be a breeding ground for mold.  Yes mold!  Here is a quick list of things to notice in your home or on your property that could be an indication your have a leak:

 

1) water spots on your ceiling

2) the smell of must when you walk into your home

3) rotten wood on the underside of your roofing materials (i.e. shingles)

4) a dip in your roof line

5) a fuzzy appearance anywhere on your wall – this could be mold

6) if you have cracks in your home’s stucco you may have water seeping into your home.  You will want to consult with a repair man but you may consider caulking those cracks

7) if you have shingle damage from hail or have had shingles lifted from driving rain you may consider getting a roofer out to inspect for damage

8) if you have cracked roofing tile or missing tile(s) you may have damage underneath

9) in your vehicle if you notice a damp smell or musty smell you may have a leak in your car roof somewhere or maybe a seal around the doors, you may consider having this checked out

Many people will use Damp-Rid to pull the moisture up but long term this won’t repair the problem.  We recommend homeowners and car owners call their insurance company to let them know of possible damage.  Once you have made that initial call begin getting repair estimates.  It’s a good idea to get at least three estimates.  A note of caution you want to ask the contractor if they are licensed and insured.  Ask for proof of paperwork too.  Be sure the insurance policy is current.  We have had clients hire a non-licensed contractor and then not have the repairs pass county inspection.  It may cost a little bit more to work with a licensed contractor but you will save yourself a lot of frustration and anxiety in the end as your repairs will be done right and pass county inspection.

We encourage homeowners to call us with questions.  If you have other homeowners insurance and you are shopping around call us for a free homeowners insurance quote.  We would be happy to give you an estimate.  We have three convenient locations in Southwest Florida including an insurance office in Naples, Ft. Myers and Port Charlotte.  Visit our contact page with our phone numbers and addresses and reach out to us today.  We look forward to answering your questions!

Those Little White Lies

Can Little White Lies Lower Your Insurance Rates?

Little white lies can lower your insurance rates; if you lie to lower your insurance rates you are not alone. These little white lies are called “premium leakage” to your insurance company. The reasons people lie are to save mcar insuranceoney, no correct answer on the insurance form, or they felt cheated by the company in the past. 10 percent of potential premiums from insurance companies are lost by drivers providing bad information. All the misinformation you provide adds up. During a study men were more likely to lie than women, 42 percent vs. 27 percent. Also, drivers under the age of 30 were more likely to lie about information provided than drivers over 50 years old. The top five things that drivers lied about during the study were annual mileage, where the car is parked, names of drivers with access to the vehicle, history of tickets or accidents, and gaps in insurance coverage.  People lie about where their car is parked at night because it lowers their rates. Some places have a higher crime rate than others. What happens if you get caught giving bad information? If you get caught in your little white lies your claim could be denied, your premium could go up, policy denied, or sued for fraud. Insurance company’s pull DMV reports and check all the information you submit to them, so you will get caught giving false information. If you are looking for auto insurance in the Naples, FL area  give Gulf Coast Educators a call at (239) 591-0963.