Boating Season

Warm Weather Means Boating Season

Now that the warm weather has come around it is time for boating season. Before you take your boat out you should check many things to ensure you and your family’s safety.boating season

• You should always check you’re to make sure your safety equipment is your boat. This includes but is not limited to a fire extinguisher, a whistle, and make sure everyone that is going to be in the boat has a life vest available in case of an emergency. You should also make sure your have ropes and anchors because the ropes can brittle and break after use for a few season
• Make sure your registration is up to date and not expired. Having an expired registration on the water could cost you a hefty fine. Also, make certain the registration sticker is on the boat.
• You should always make sure your boat has a plug and know exactly where the plug drain is located.
• The mechanics on your boat should always be checked. Replace all cracked belts and hoses that you know are not going to make it through the boating season. Check all electrical systems; turn on and test everything including battery terminal which sometimes get corroded. Also give the hull a look over to make sure there are not any spots which could leak water inside.
• The status of your boat trailer is very important also. Make sure your tires are aired up properly; and test your lights seeing if you have brake lights, turning signals, and running lights.

Using this list will ensure your families safety over this boating season. Enjoy your time on the water and be safe.

Home Insurance

home insurance

Home Insurance Policies and What To Look For

Home insurance policies differ in many ways. We think of home insurance as a must, but don’t always explore our options when looking for the perfect home insurance policy. It is not your insurance provider’s responsibility to make sure you get the best deal, it is your responsibility. There are many ways to make sure you get the best possible home insurance that fits your needs, let’s talk about a few.

Always shop around for the perfect insurance. Sometimes people just want to stay insured by the family insurance company but shopping around could be to your advantage. Even if you stick with your family insurance company getting other quotes could help you negotiate with your current insurer.

Another thing you can do is to take advantage of special discounts insurance companies offer. Insurance companies do not automatically deduct these discounts; you have to ask for them. Your driving record or report card are two examples of discounts which may apply to you. Ask your insurance company yearly for a list of discounts that may apply to your family.

Make your home more disaster ready. The best way to prepare for a disaster is before it happens. Being prepared for a disaster might not help lower your insurance rate, but it will help after the disaster happens. You could cut down trees close to your home or install hurricane shutters so your home would sustain less damage during a storm.

Often when your home has a security system installed an insurance company will offer a discount. Installing a security system is not a hard or as expensive as it sounds. Ask your provider for specific details on what needs to be installed to be eligible for the discount.

Did you know where you live depends on your insurance cost? Your home insurance cost depends on if you live close to the ocean, elevation, flood risk, and many other claims that have been made close to your home. If you have not yet bought a home you should check out the area before purchasing. Insurance rates could go up two blocks down the road from your home. Your dream home might not be as dreamy as you think.

These are a few things you should take in to consideration when searching for your perfect home insurance policy. If you need help finding a great policy call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance at 239-591-0963. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

 

Sinkholes

sinkhole

Sinkholes In Florida

Sinkholes in Florida occur all the time without any warning signs. Some might ask how does a sinkhole form? The peninsula of Florida is made of limestone, which helps to store and move groundwater. Soil sits on top of the limestone and over time, groundwater erodes the limestone, forming a cavity. When this occurs a sinkhole is created. The cause of a sinkhole is when a period of drought is followed by heavy rain, along with a heavy pumping of groundwater by people.
Tampa counties which include Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hernando, and Pasco are affected the most by sinkholes. Does your insurance cover sinkhole damage? Florida law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse, this is when a sinkhole opens suddenly and severely damages your home. In some cases sinkhole incidents catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage will not cover the damage. Actual sinkhole coverage is available to add to a homeowner’s insurance policy for an additional cost.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection stated, “Many insurance companies rely upon the regional maps showing zones of sinkhole occurrences based on the local geology and historical sinkhole activity, or on private sinkhole data.” When you are choosing a homeowners insurance policy take into consideration the area you live and the risk of sinkholes in the area.
At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance we thrive in helping you to choose the right policy that fits your needs, give us a call at 239-591-0963. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

Auto Accidents

Make Sure You Know Exactly How To Handle An Auto Accident

Auto accidents are inevitable but they do happen unexpectedly. If you ever are involved in an accident you should know what exactly you should do.
The first thing you should do is call 911, whether you call or the over driver does someone needs to call. An official document needs to be made to prove who is liable for the accident or if you chose to file a personal injury lawsuit down the road. You should then gather the other driver’s information. The information you should find out is contact information, their auto insurers name and pAuto Accidentolicy number, license plate number, and the make, model, and color to the driver’s vehicle. Make sure you take pictures of your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle to show the damage. You should also know exactly where the accident occurred; take a picture to better remind you later.
If you’re injured or the other driver calling 911 is a must! If you go to the hospital make sure you document all treatment you receive, include locations, names of doctors, addresses, and telephone numbers, tests they perform, and prescription information. This information will help you if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Next you should open a claim. You should file your claim as soon as possible. When you contact your insurance agency you should have your policy number and must be able to recall details of the accident. Setting up a claim will help you get your car repaired, some insurance agencies have specific places where your vehicle can be repaired and be covered.
Following these steps and having the correct information for your auto insurance agency will help you get through this unexpected collision more smoothly. If you need auto insurance call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance at 239-591-0963 we will be happy to serve you.

Auto Insurance

Cancelling An Auto Incurance Policy

Cancelling an auto insurance policy should be painless. Life always throws you a hardball at one point or another and you may need to cancel your auto insurance policy. A few examples of this is you sell your car or your parents pass way. Every insurance agency has a different policy on cancelling your auto insurance but there steps you can follow to make sure it goes more smoothly.
The first step you should take is to contact your insurance agenauto insurancecy. Call your agency and let them know you want to end your coverage and when you want to do this. Do not let your coverage end without telling your insurance. If your policy goes without payment they could report this to the credit agencies.
Second, you should follow you insurance agencies lead on the cancellation. Every agency does cancellations differently, so find out how yours does them. Agencies have their own way of doing cancellations so just follow their lead on doing so.
Next you can ask for a refund. You can do this if there is a death in the family. An example would be if someone dies and there is a few months left on the policy. You can ask the agency if they would refund the rest of the money left on the policy.
Finally you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles, also known as the DMV. This all depends on what state you live. If you sell your vehicle you may also want to turn in your license plate and registration tag. Just call your local DMV and see what the procedures are.
These are the steps you should take if you want to cancel your auto insurance policy. If you are in need of auto insurance please contact Gulf Coast Educator Insurance at   239-591-0963.

Changing A Flat Tire

How To Change A Flat Tire

Have you ever had to change a flat tire on your car? Some people have never had to change a tire, or do not even know how to start or finish a tire change. There are a few basic steps on how to change a tire.
1. Find a safe place to pull off the road. When you pull off the road make sure you are completely off the road. Do not pull on a hill or an incline, the vehicle needs to be on flat ground. Be sure to set your parking brake, and turn on your haflat tirezard lights.
2. Get your tools. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire. Put your tools where the tire is flat.
3. Loosen the lug nuts with a wrench. First, you need to remove you hubcap. Then, loose the lug nuts but do not completely take them off just loose them. If you are not sure which direction the wrench needs to go, turn it counter-clockwise. Sometimes to lug nuts are too tight to loosen, stand on the wrench while on the nuts; your body weight will help loosen the lug nut.
4. Lift your vehicle off the ground with the jack. Once the jack is in place, jack your vehicle about 6 inches off the ground. Jack your vehicle enough where you can spin your tire freely.
5. Remove the lugs nuts and the flat tire. Once your vehicle is jacked up you can remove the lug nuts, make sure you put them all in the same place so none of them are lost.
6. Put the spare tire on and put on the lug nuts. Put the spare tire on, line up the lug nut posts and push the tire all the way to the wheel base. Next, put all the lug nuts on but do not tighten them.
7. Lower your vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts. Lower your vehicle to the ground using the jack and remove the jack from under your vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts now that your vehicle is back on the ground. When tightening your lug nuts tighten 50% then move to the opposite nut (across the circle), keep doing this till the lug nuts are as tight as they can be.
8. Put your tools and flat tire back in your trunk. You have completed your tire change. Put all your tools and flat in the trunk. Remember the tire you have on your vehicle is a spare and not a tire to be driven on for a long time, it needs to be replaced.

Severe Weather

Spring Is Here, And So Is The Severe Weather

Make sure your home is ready for the severe weather to come. Spring has been here for a few weeks and we have had a few severe thunderstorms. During these storms if your home gets damaged the first thing you should do is call your insurance agent to see if the damage actually needs to be filed. If you are jusevere weatherst missing a shingle you may want to get someone to repair it without filing a claim. Your agent should be able to help you find someone to repair it for you. Insurance companies are resorting to this because more and more people are filing claims on roof damage. Some insurance companies are trying to remap the way to reimburse home owners for those repairs. For example, in the past if your roof was damaged you would just get a new one. Now some insurance agencies are taking into consideration the actual age of your roof. This means you could have to pay your deductible and part of the new roof costs due to the depreciated value of you old roof. Insurance companies try to keep premiums down but some companies have no choice but the raise rates. This happens when more claims are filed, due to the severe weather; the rates must go up because of the money lost. Make sure you know what is covered on your policy by your insurance company if there is damage to your home. Give your agent a call and check your policy. If you need home owners insurance call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance at 239-591-0963 they will be happy to help you find the insurance the is best for you.

Lightning Can Cause Hundreds of Dollars in Damage

Lightning Is Dangerous To You And Your Home!

Thunderstorms and lightning are either loved or hated. Some people are scared to death at the first sight of lightning and thunder, either way thunderstorms can cause a lot of damage. When lightning hits the ground, a tree, or a building it does not strike straight down it spreads. Annually in America there are more than 20 million lightning strikes the actually hit the ground. $1 billon dollars in damage are reported each year to insurance companies, damage from lightning can be severe.
If lightning hits the your home or nearby power lines it could potentially destroy your property. Lightning can travel through wiring and phone lines which can ruin your computers, televisions, stereos, and other electronics. One way to safeguard those belonging is to unplug those electronics if you are expecting a thunderstorm. Sometimes if your install a surge protector it will help protect your electronics but if the lightning strike is a direct hit it will jump the surge protectors. Your insurance company may or may not cover these electronics if they are ruinlightninged by lightning, check with your insurance agent to see if you are covered. Lightning strikes are not just limited to direct lightning strikes on a building but can strike trees which then could split, falling through your roof. Be careful after a lightning storm avoid using landline phones if power lines are down; if your home gets hit by lightning during a storm call an electrician to inspect and repair your home.
Thunderstorms are dangerous and your home should be protected. If you need home owners insurance and live in the Naples, Florida area call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance at 239-591-0963.

Test your Tread, Do the Penny Test!

How To Do The Penny Test

The penny test works wonders. Have you ever wondered if your tires are to worn and if you should get new tire? Did you know there is a simple test that you can do at home to see if your need new tires? It is simple to do, let’s talk about how this test is done.

The old way to test your tires was by using a penny. Flip the penny testpenny over with Lincoln’s head down toward the tread. Next, you put the penny down between the grooves in your tire, if any of Lincoln’s head is missing your tire tread is less than 1/16’s of an inch and you should replace your tire. Lincolns head should be visible for your tires to be ok to drive on. This test is out dated now.

The new test suggests you use a quarter to test your tires, only because they say you should replace your tires at 2/16’s of an inch. It is exactly 2/16’s of an inch from the top of Washington’s head to the edge of the quarter. The new test is done the exact same way as the penny test. Flip the quarter down with Washington’s head downward and place the quarter between the tread. If any of Washington’s head is missing you should replace the tire because it is unsafe to drive on.

Why should you perform this test on your tires? You should perform this because it is dangerous to drive on worn tires. When your tires get worn down they lose performance and traction. Losing traction means you could hydroplane and cause harm to yourself or someone else. Check your tires and be safe on the road.

 

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.