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!

Welcome Back To Florida

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance welcomes back snowbirds

.

Are you considered a snowbird? Do you own a home in Florida and one elsewhere that you retreat to in the Summer months?

Our team of home insurance agents offers tips for making sure both your homes are safe and secure, especially the home that will be vacant for the next few months.

When leaving your home to return to Florida, consider these things:

•Consider a home security system and arm it when you go
•Have the landscape maintained
•Have a trusted neighbor check on your home
•Forward the mail and stop newspaper delivery
•Unplug appliances that aren’t being used so they don’t drain energy
•Turn down the thermostat
•Turn off your water heater
•Turn off your water
•Consider installing a sump pump if you have a basement
•Don’t post plans on social media
•If you get snow consider hiring a plow company to keep your driveway maintained so your home looks lived in

The Sunshine state welcomes you back, now that you are back to your Florida residence you may want to review the following:
•Check the inside and outside of your home for any mishaps that may have occurred while you were gone (i.e. broken windows, water damage, tree limbs on your roof, etc.)
•Check for water spots
•Check for mold
•Check the roof for leaks
•Trim your bushes

The summer storms in Florida are a nuisance for homeowners. Water damage can be unreal especially if your home is near a lower lying area.

These are a sample of tips of what to do when leaving one home and returning to another for the winter. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance also encourages you to check your insurance policies. Do you need to update your auto insurance policy to cover driving in Florida? Does your home insurance need to be updated?

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance has experienced insurance agents available to help you with your insurance needs. Come in and have your policy reviewed. We have three convenient office locations available: Naples, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. To contact an insurance agent at our Naples location, please call 239-591-0963, for our Port Charlotte office call 941-391-5423 or in Fort Myers office call 239-997-0420.

Our team of seasoned agents can offer you the best homeowners insurance in Naples, Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers.

We look forward to helping you!

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!

July 4th Home Protection

Happy Independence Day!

Many families choose to spend the holiday away on vacation visiting family, going to the beach, or having fun at a theme park. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers tips on keeping your home safe while you are away on holiday. A few ideas to keep your home secure are:
•Lock all your doors and windows
•Think like a thief. Walk around your home and see if there are any weak spots such as greenery that blocks windows and doors, are expensive items visible through the windows, is there a ladder out providing easy access to the second floor? All of these things can be fixed before your trip
•Have motion lights on all doors and timers on lights in your home
•Lock your shed
•Lock your car and remove the garage door opener from it so that a thief can’t get into your car and have easy access to your home
•Have a neighbor or friend pick up your mail and newspapers
•Have a friend or neighbor check on your home
•If you have an alarm, use it!
•Remove your spare key, you won’t need it while you are gone and you don’t want a thief to find it
•Don’t broadcast on social media that you are going away on vacation. Also, don’t post your pictures until you are back home
•Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home during the 4th to make sure that no stray fireworks land on your property and cause damage to your home

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance is happy to review your insurance policy for you to make sure that you are covered fully in the event of a theft or damage to your home due to fire. We are the leading agency for insurance and financial services in Southwest Florida! Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers three convenient locations: Naples, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. To schedule an insurance review with our Naples office, please call 239-591-0963. To speak with an insurance agent at our Port Charlotte office, please call 941-391-5423. To reach our Fort Myers office, please call 239-997-0420.

Gulf Coast Educators offers homeowners insurance policies to homeowners, renters, and those living in condominiums and townhouses. We also offer flood insurance. For more information, please call one of our three locations. We look forward to helping you!

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!

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.