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!

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.

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!

Fire Safety For Home Insurance

Don’t Let Your Turkey Cause Your Home To Go Up In Flames

According to the National Fire Protection Association (USFA), the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is three times higher than any other day. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to stay safe this holiday season. Here are some cooking safety tips for you:

• Always stay in the kitchen while cooking
• Do not let children near the stove or burner while cooking
• Use back burners when possible and keep handles turned towards the back of the stove
• Keep the counters clear of clutter
• Use timers to keep track of the cooking food
• Keep the floor clean so you don’t trip over anything
• Don’t become distracted by your guests. Keep your eye on that food!
• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them prior to the big day

If you choose to make your turkey in a turkey fryer then make sure to follow these safety tips:
• Before starting, make sure to read the directions on how to use the fryer. Be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions
• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying
• Do not overfill the fryer with oil
• Never leave the fryer unattended
• Allow at least two feet between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner
• Keep children and pets away from the fryer
• Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand

If a fire does occur then make sure to have an escape plan ready. If the fire is contained, then you can try and extinguish it with a fire extinguisher or by smothering it with a towel. If a fire gets out of hand, evacuate your home and call 911 from a safe distance.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance urges you to use caution while cooking this holiday season. A Florida homeowner’s insurance policy may cover destruction if your home has a fire. If a fire does damage your home, please call our Naples office at 239-591-0963, our Port Charlotte branch at 941-391-5423, or our Fort Myers location at 239-997-0420. Keep safe and have an enjoyable holiday season!

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!

Water Damage – Can You Claim It?

Do You Have Water Damage?

If you think you have water damage whether it be inside your home or an outbuilding on your property it’s best to have an insurance adjuster come take a look. The problem with the Florida storms is that Summer after Summer our strong rain storms can eventually lead to water damage and rotten wood if not caught early enough.

So many homeowners get really excited once we make it out of hurricane season unscathed that they don’t inspect their home or outbuildings (garages, barns, pole barns, etc.) for water and wind damage. Even if it’s a quiet hurricane season it’s still a great idea to take a look and see if you notice any leaks or water damage to your structures.

Insurance companies are always happy to send out an adjuster to review a possible problem area. At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance we advise clients to call our office immediately if they notice any sign of damage. If left alone and not looked at homeowners could have bigger problems such as rotten wood, mold, mildew and leaks that can eventually affect the structure of the building in question.

We have seen shingle roofs with water damage where the driving rain leaked under the shingles and rotted the plywood underneath. After years of rainy Summers the roof line was affected. Don’t let this happen to you. Inspect your roof or hire a licensed and insured roofer to look at your roof. If you have water damage inside your home or other structures get an estimate from a contractor. Our homeowners insurance adjusters will review the damage report and discuss the next steps to getting you on your way with repairs. You want to make sure your structures stay secure and mold free.