prop7335 September 1, 2016 No Comments

Protect Yourself from Hermine and Water Damage

Hermine is officially here and this tropical storm is likely to lead to significant water damage and flooding all throughout the state. Hopefully your home will not be among those harmed by this tropical storm. However, this is Florida, and so being prepared to fight flooding and water damage is always wise. There are certain things that you can do to protect yourself in the future but for today if you are out driving in these conditions or you need to head to the store, be careful not to drive through any standing water. The sheriff’s department and Emergency Management Systems have been issuing warnings all throughout the day and yesterday, so be on guard to protect yourself while out and about.

In the meantime, it is wise for you to call our office so that we can review your homeowners insurance policy. Whether your policy was purchased from our agency or someone else, we can review it for you to make sure that your coverage is what it should be so that you will not have to pay for fixing your home out-of-pocket, in the event that you suffer flooding.

Your homeowners insurance policy needs to have enough coverage in place to pay for repairs to the physical structure of your home as well as to pay for replacing your furniture and other valuables. For example, if your living room were to flood, the things that would need to be repaired or replaced are your –

  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Couches
  • Rugs
  • Lamps
  • Tables
  • Electronics
  • Personal Items, etc.

Much of what would require repair would not be the structure but the things inside of your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of not insuring all of their personal property. If you do not have items like your huge new television or your fine art collection included in your policy, you may not have enough money to pay to replace them in the event of major damage.  Adding this coverage to your policy is simple, but it does require making a phone call to our office.

Protect Your Home from Hermine and Other Storms

In addition to making sure that you have the right level of insurance coverage, there are other things you can do to protect your home. These include –

#1 Creating natural barriers.

If your home is surrounded by cement, there is no surface for water to sink into or be soaked up by.  Water will simply run wherever it wishes without being absorbed into the earth. Consider planting natural barriers and having a lawn, bark, or plants that thrive in wet conditions and are likely to soak up water during normal rain storms. While this is not going to stop a tropical storm, it can help to prevent water from running everywhere on a regular basis.

#2 Build cement barriers.

You can help to direct water away from your home by creating cement barriers or even building trenches. This may require the help of a contractor but if you do so strategically, you can help to direct water away from your front door or garage.

#3 Use sandbags.

In the event that there is a major tropical storm like Hermine, your best bet is to buy or fill sandbags that can be placed around your home. This can provide some protection during major storms.

Call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance

For more tips or to have your homeowners’ insurance policy reviewed, call our office and speak with an agent.  We are here for you!

What Would You Do in a Flood?

At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, our goal is to protect you and your family from the many unplanned disasters that can come your way. This includes protecting your home against a flood. We offer flood insurance and recommend that you have your homeowners insurance and flood insurance reviewed on an annual basis. What most people don’t realize is that flood zone designations can change. Things like new construction can change runoff patterns and cause flooding in areas that never received it before. Fortunately, it is easy to check, and we will be happy to do it for you during a consultation over the phone or in person.

Having the right level of flood insurance coverage is the best place to start when creating your emergency plan. Remember that this coverage wonâÂ?Â?t be found in your standard homeowner’s insurance policy, so you will need separate flood insurance. Beyond that, there are certain things you can do to prepare your family for this and any type of natural disaster.

Create an Escape Plan

If your home was threatened by a storm, had physical damage, caught on fire, or started to flood, how would you and your family get out? Businesses have an emergency escape plan for a reason, and you should, too. Knowing what you will do can help make sure that all your kids end up leaving the house the same way as you. This will prevent the need to try and find them in the middle of what could be significant chaos. You should also have a designated meeting spot away from your home in case some of you are home and others are out. It is also wise to have a family emergency contact.

Make a Go Bag

If you live in a flood zone, you need to prepare for the reality of evacuation. Most of the time, there are warnings, but in case you need to get out right away, you should have a “go bag”. This should include several days worth of clothes for each family member, toothbrushes, toothpaste, medication, cash, copies of IDs and important documents, diapers, a couple of toys, cell phone chargers, flashlight, water, and snacks. While only a few basic essentials, it can provide what you need if you have to suddenly stay at a hotel for a night or two.

Catalog Your Belongings

It is important to make a list of the important belongings in your home and provide that list to your insurance agent. For example, your furniture, artwork, jewelry, and electronics should all be listed out. Many of these items can be insured ahead of time, and by cataloging them, it will be easier to have them replaced in the event of a flood. Some people take extra precautions by taking photos of important things or making videos. You can even upload the photos to a private album on Facebook so you can access them in the future from anywhere with an Internet connection.

When discussing flood insurance, we can provide you with even more tips for how to protect you and your family. To review your policy, call and speak with one of our Florida insurance agents.

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!

Homeowners Insurance Policy Holder Tips

Are you a snowbird getting ready to pack up your northern home and head south? Here are some pointers on how to secure your northern home and prepare your southern home for your winter visit.

Before leaving your home up north, you should consider these things:
1)Establish a way of paying your bills (electronically, forwarding your mail, or automatic payments are all good options)

2)Have a neighbor or hire someone to periodically check on your home. Have them check to make sure that all is in order and that nothing has happened such as a broken pipe, leaking roof, or a break-in.

3)Make sure that your lawn/landscaping is maintained. Overgrown grass or piled up snow are a sure sign that your home is unoccupied. You don’t want to leave an open invitation to burglars.

4)Consider investing in an alarm system. Make sure that the alarm system is armed and that authorized people have the codes to disarm the system.

5)Have your mail forwarded to your southern locale.

6)Check your insurance policies. Do you need to update your policy to include your other home? Does your auto insurance policy need to be altered to include the extended miles that you will be traveling?

7) Before you leave your northern home check your exterior lighting – do you have motion sensors? Do they look broken from the outside? A burglar will see this and know they don’t work, you could be a target

8) Check your roof before you leave your northern home – make sure gutters (if you have them) are secure and your roof is “intact” – no shingles are lifted. You could come home in the Spring to find that your roof is leaking.

9)After you have arrived at your other home away from home, make sure to double check and see if the condition of your southern home is still up to par. Are all of the windows and doors still locked? Are your belongings still there? Has there been any sign of burglary?

10)Make sure that there are no unwanted pests such as bugs, stinging insects, or termites in your home.

11)Check to see if you there are any signs of water damage. Do you see or smell any mold?

12)Have the roof checked to make sure that there are no leaks. Florida has experienced a very rainy season this past summer and it could have effected your roof.

If you notice any of the above mishaps, contact your insurance agent. These mishaps might be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Our experienced insurance agents are ready to assist you with all of your homeowner’s insurance needs.

We offer three convenient locations in Southwest Florida. We have homeowners insurance offices in Naples, Ft. Myers, and Port Charlotte. You can contact us at any of our three offices. For Naples, please call: 239-591-0963. The Ft. Myers office can be reached at: 239-997-0420. To reach our Port Charlotte office, please call: 941-391-5423. We look forward to serving you!

Florida Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance For Your Home

Flooding is considered the highest ranked natural disaster in the United States, according to FEMA. Most people living in Florida think they are not living in a flood zone. Truth is known that Florida as a state is in a flood zone; your exact location varies on the levels of risk. It is said that if you live in a Preferred Risk Zone as determined by FEMA, you could purchase flood insurance for as little as $129.00 a month. Did you know that, homeowners insurance does not cover floodinflood insuranceg in your home or property that is destroyed? The rainy season is here and flooding could happen at any time unexpectedly. As bills are being passed through the senate about flood insurance, now is the time to have your home covered. The Senate bill, SB 542, which was passed last week would aim to give more flexibility to policyholders and private insurers to select various deductible amounts and choose between insuring their property for the outstanding balance of their mortgage, the property’s replacement cost, or the actual cash value. This bill would give the insurance policy holder options.

If you have been thinking about purchasing flood insurance for your home, now is the time. Don’t wait; it takes up to thirty days for your insurance policy to be in effect. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance’s number one priority is the help you. You can call one of our three offices Naples at 239-591-0963, Port Charlotte at 941-391-5423, or Fort Myers at 239-997-0420 for a quote. We look forward to hearing from you.