Florida Homeowners Insurance: Tips You Should Know

Thanks to those serious Sunshine State-loving hurricanes, Florida homeowners insurance premium numbers tend to be higher in comparison with the rest of America. Add state-specific legislation regarding property insurance and insurance fraud to the equation to bump the numbers ever higher, and it’s no wonder that Floridians are so eager to learn about coverages and policy discounts. For homeowners who see themselves paying nearly double (sometimes more) than their neighbors in nearby states, it makes sense to learn everything possible about the subject.

That’s why we’ve put together a Florida homeowners insurance primer to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. We realize there are challenges in selecting a policy and assessing risk. That’s why it’s so important to also talk with a Florida-specific insurance advisor who understands where you definitely need coverage, where it’s not supremely necessary, and how to edge those payments lower and lower through strategic methods.

A knowledgeable Florida insurance advisor will reveal the ins-and-outs of homeowners insurance.

Simply put, Florida homeowners insurance is designed to cover sudden and accidental direct physical damage or destruction of the interior or exterior of a private home subject to the insurance policy provisions. But there’s more: it’s not just those walls that are protected by a policy of this sort. The possessions inside are as well – and some third-party liability protection is tucked nicely in there as well. This is a quick answer to the question Why do I need homeowners insurance? A more detailed description of why is shared below.

Did you know Florida homeowners insurance is not required by law?

This purchase is a preventative measure that homeowners take in order to secure what is likely their most costly asset: the home sweet home. But no, it is not required. And that means if disaster occurs, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have planned for any possible loss – whether partial or total.

Hurricanes aren’t the end-all.

In fact, most homeowners insurance claims don’t stem from mammoth storms. It doesn’t take a natural disaster in order for loss to occur. It goes without saying that a hurricane can completely decimate a property and its contents, but the dramatic scenario of a house being torn from its foundation is much less likely than other issues that can arise on a normal occasion due to what’s known as unforeseen perils. Even without worst-case scenarios, plenty of risk exists. Common events such as water losses can do major damage, for example. Opt to go without Florida homeowners insurance, and those repairs will come straight out of your wallet.

Floridians can’t put their homes in a protective bubble; homeowners insurance is the closest thing to it.

Wind, water, theft, fallen trees that crush the roof and more can prove disastrous to a homeowner. Those losses can be covered under homeowners insurance.

Let’s talk canines. The liability portion of a homeowners insurance policy might include dog bites, as those that do happen commonly occur at the owner’s residence.

Before adopting a dog, check with the insurance carrier to see if they will deny coverage because of the breed. Many insurance companies have an Animal Liability Exclusion, or they limit the amount of liability you can purchase for this type of coverage. This is another solid reason to review your policy with an insurance advisor.
Costs of Florida homeowners insurance policies vary.

Florida homeowners face a common challenge when deciding what type of homeowners insurance to actually select.

A trio of options exist; knowing the aspects of each will help in the decision. Before you head into that appointment to talk with an insurance advisor, know your ACV, replacement cost and extended replacement cost verbiage. That way, you’ll be able to have an in-depth discussion and decide together which is right for you and your family.

  • Actual cash value – A homeowners policy that is ACV will take depreciation into account. Let’s say an ACV policyholder experiences a loss that is covered under their Florida homeowners insurance policy. Since they’ve opted for ACV, which was likely less expensive in premium than the replacement cost option, they will likely not receive the same amount they originally paid for the insured item. Instead, the actual value at the time of the loss will factor into the claim. As anyone who has ever sold a car can tell you, depreciation is not a positive element. But then again, at least with this coverage the insured is protected up to a certain point.
  • Replacement Cost on Contents – You paid that certain amount for that property that was damaged or stolen. In your mind, it was worth that sum and perhaps more, due to sentimental value. The policyholder who opts for replacement cost insurance will be talking to their insurance adjustor about the replacement of covered items with ‘like kind and quality’ without depreciation; unfortunately, sentimental value is not a consideration when adjusting a claim.
  • Ordinance or Law Coverage – Looking for even more coverage? This endorsement will extend the coverage amount 25%-50% above the dwelling coverage limit. Someone who wishes to opt for this likely is looking ahead at possible scenarios: perhaps they live in an especially storm-prone area and know they’d have to incur more expense due to updated ordinances, or they are anticipating laws regulating the construction and repair of damaged homes. Cost varies for this extra assurance, but should a covered claim strike you’ll have peace of mind.

How can you lower your Florida homeowners insurance premiums?

Time for some good news! Opportunities do exist to lower your premium and still enjoy the benefits of comprehensive coverage. Some of these elements include:

  • Water shutoff devices – How sturdy is your water heater? Has that hose connected to the washer ever been serviced? These questions are important to answer affirmatively because water damage can really be a drain on your finances. The right water shutoff device will not only protect you from that damaging H20, but it can also elicit a premium discount. Inquire as to whether that water shutoff device is approved by your carrier for savings.
  • Multipolicy discounts – Have you opted to keep your insurance coverage through one company? Perhaps it’s time to start. An insurance company may offer you multipolicy discounts, and with that one-stop-shop mentality comes the ease of dealing with one company. Imagine it: One comprehensive renewal, and one advisor who understands customized protection for what matters to you. It’s a win-win scenario. W3 is an independent insurance agency, we shop for insurance solutions tailored for you!
  • Of course, there’s always the tried-and-true higher deductible choice. If you are looking to reduce your premium, consider a higher deductible. An advisor who understands your unique situation can give insight as to whether that’s likely a good fiduciary move.
  • Improve home security – It makes total sense that an insurance carrier might give you a discount for installing a solid security system. If a thief has difficulty making their way into and out of your home, those possessions that you’ve insured are much safer.
  • Wind mitigation credit – How wind-prone is your residence? Consider having an expert inspect your home. If it’s wind-resistant, you’ll get credits – and that means discounts.
  • Straddle that line between overinsured and underinsured. Again, that’s where the knowledgeable insurance advisor is worth his or her weight in gold.

Consider adding umbrella insurance to your homeowners portfolio.

  • While you’re talking with your Florida homeowners insurance advisor, be sure to ask about the mighty umbrella. There are so many true-life stories of people who purchased Florida homeowners insurance with total confidence, only to find out later that they were in fact underinsured. The umbrella covers you like a shield, one more layer of liability protection. It’s so possible to imagine any of the following scenarios occurring. That’s why it’s so important to acquire the right amount of insurance.
  • Falls on your property – Who knows to what extent the medical bills will be for someone who trips over that loose paver in the driveway? You could be paying for hospital stays in perpetuity.
  • Calamitous events – No one can see into the future. That’s why accidents occur, and that’s why it’s important to consider umbrella insurance to fully cover you if they do.
    Add your own here: __________. It only takes a small amount of creativity to imagine the Halloween trick or treater who stumbles on the step and needs medical attention or the teenager who goes to take the car out of the garage for a joyride and forgets the gear is in reverse.

No one wants to go through the claims process, so take measures where you can to improve the hardiness of your home and keep more money in your pocket. As a Florida homeowners insurance shopper, you’re on the right track; you’re definitely ready to search for the right policy now that you’ve read this blog.

Good luck as your protect that which you hold most dear, and contact W3 Insurance when you’re ready to talk about coverage options. Please note that this article provides a general description of coverages. For complete policy information, including exclusions, limitations, terms and conditions, please refer to your insurance policy contract.

We’re here to help you protect and save. As an all-lines agency, we offer advice regarding coverage, discounts and more. Contact W3 Insurance at 727-522-7777 for more in-depth advice regarding Florida homeowners insurance.

Have You Considered Adding A Water Shut-Off Device To Your Water Damage Action Plan?

Picture this. You’ve just arrived home, and as you pull into the driveway, you see water seeping out the garage. You open the door and discover the painful truth: a plumbing leak has occurred, and water is everywhere. Cue the panic questions:

Do you have insurance coverage? How much coverage do you have for water damage losses? Don’t let the above scenario happen.

Thanks to leak detectors and water shutoff devices, protecting your property from water damage losses has become much easier. From leaky pipes to water heater malfunctions and everything in between, these water damage culprits that lead to property insurance claims are preventable.

Avoid costly repairs and potential insurance claims by installing a preventative device. Some devices could even lead to a policy discount with some insurance companies. Take some time to research and discover more about the various types of leak detectors and water shutoff devices. An initial investment can save you time, money, and aggravation in the long run.

Check out what one of our clients recently told us about their experience with a water shut-off device:

“I wanted to report firsthand about water shutoff devices you recently mentioned. Like you my insurance carrier here in Cincinnati the Cincinnati insurance Co. recommended the installation of a water flow control device. They mentioned four different brands. I researched them and chose Flo by Moen.

When I purchased it online they had a special deal with a plumber for the installation cost of $150 I booked it several weeks out it was installed without a hitch. It was then connected to AC power and Wi-Fi and is now providing daily reports on water usage and every night it performs a system check for leaks.

If I leave the home for any extended period of time I put it in away mode so that it is much more sensitive to shutting off the water supply in the event of what is deemed to be a leak. So for the total cost including installation of about $550 I’m also saving $200 per year on my homeowners policy here.”

It is important for you to review the policy limits for water damage coverage within your insurance contract. If you have questions, contact W3 at 727-522-7777. A great place to begin is a water damage action plan. Find advice regarding crafting one here: https://w3ins.com/category/homeowners.

Your Home: A Water Damage Time Bomb

Keep Dry With This Action Plan

Water damage can be a real drain. Protect your home and your pocketbook by opting for the right water damage coverage and addressing potential threats. Proactive “waterproofers” save themselves the expense and headache that comes with an unwelcome deluge. Keep the wet away from your Welcome mat by completing essential home maintenance essential to loss prevention. Below, we’ll examine the common sources for home water damage and how you can prevent excess H20.

  • Roofing: Plenty of water damage risks don’t involve torrential rainfall or wind. Homeowners are often surprised to learn that maintaining their roof is only one element of protection – but it is of course an important one. Give yours a birthday present by having a professional roof inspector examine it every year. This professional will spot suspect shingles, crumbling flashing and other elements that can put you at risk for leaks.
  • Plumbing: Plumbing in general should be treated as a valuable home element. If you see corrosion, condensation or leaks emanating from plumbing anywhere in your home, act immediately. Here’s a hint: If your water bill suddenly spikes, you may well have a malfunctioning plumbing element.
  • Sump Pump: Heading out on vacation? Avoid a surprise ‘gift’ upon your return home by turning off your main water supply line. Since sump pumps can fail for a variety of reasons, it’s a solid strategy. Take the time to inspect those. Clogged inlet screens and float switches can yield problems. Remember to take a look at the outside pipes and watch for that water flow – it should occur away from the home.
  • Water Heater: Five years is the magic number for these home elements. After age five, water heaters are much more likely to burst. Flush yours of sediment twice annually. And once a year after that five year point, ask a professional plumber to take a look at the anode rod, which will inevitably eventually deteriorate. And remember: no hot shower is worth the amount of damage that water heaters can cause if compromised.
  • Toilet: Anyone who has ever experienced a toilet overflow will tell you that it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s also unfortunately a common one. A backed-up toilet can wreak plenty of havoc on wood floors and baseboards; plus, it’s downright gross. How’s that flush mechanism working? Ask that question and answer it every six months. If you need to replace the flapper or film valve, do so. Also, giving the supply line some TLC every six months or so will keep that water flowing where it’s supposed to.
  • Sink: Faulty plumbing lines, thou art evil. When they deteriorate, these lines and the damage they cause can cost a homeowner approximately $7,000. Faulty plumbing lines are the big risk factor in a sink. Inspect it every six months, and if you don’t know where the water supply shutoff line is, go find it immediately.
  • Washing Machine: This one’s an obvious risk. After all, it has ‘water’ in the name! What you should really be on the lookout for here is water supply lines. Every six months, take a look at it. Is it secured correctly? Is it looking worse for the wear?
  • Ice Maker: That supply line can really be a doozy. If an icemaker is not properly installed, that supply line hose can fail. The result of such an incident is a watery mess and inevitable damage. Again, every six months should be a good adage for inspection.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to do quick checkups on water hoses and the like. Schedule these ‘visits’ in your calendar and adhere to them. Putting off inspection of potential water damage sources can prove a costly mistake. Additionally, contact your insurance advisor to discuss whether you need increased water damage coverage. Different elements such as age of the home can increase your risk.

Remember: Your insurance policy is designed to cover you for sudden and accidental loss not otherwise excluded in the policy form. It is not a home maintenance policy. By understanding your coverage and doing your part to maintain your home, you’ll earn an A+ in water damage prevention.

Request a review of your current coverage

At W3, our advisors are committed to helping you understand the protection provided by your policy and making sure that it works for you. Contact us! We’ll review your options and put a watertight plan in place.

Homeowners Insurance and Hurricanes: What Is (and Isn’t) Covered

home with approaching hurricane

Hurricane insurance coverage is as vital to the Florida homeowner as storm shutters that withstand gale-force winds. Those sandbags, batteries, and shutters are must-haves in the emergency preparedness kit, but hurricane insurance coverage alone possesses the power of rebuild. If the worst happens, and that storm demolishes a home, the right coverage can make all the difference. Here’s what to expect as you consider coverage options:

Florida Hurricane Insurance Requirements

It may surprise you to learn that many homeowners policies consider coverage for hurricanes to be standard. However, as a Floridian, beware: a separate windstorm deductible applies to covered losses. When one speaks of ‘hurricane coverage,’ that is actually what they are referring to – the combination of coverages that add up to full protection. This a la carte coverage aspect means that it is important to talk with an insurance professional before choosing coverage. Whatever policy you select, know that the best options cover both the exterior of the home as well as the contents. That takes into account those valuables you hold dear.

Hurricane Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

If a tree pushes a divot through your rooftop or the windows shatter (where were those shutters when you needed them)? Your homeowners insurance should cover the damage. Remember, though, that some areas require an extra oomph of coverage––whether that be through increased contents coverage or a replacement-cost endorsement for your contents. This provides you the money to replace your damaged or destroyed possessions with the same, or similarly valued, items.

Possible Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Even though hurricanes often bring flooding along for the trip, homeowners insurance does not cover damage from rising surface water. Mold is also not covered by homeowners insurance unless it was added by endorsement and the result of a covered loss. Excess moisture in the air can cause mold, and this is a very real concern when a hurricane hits. 

Flood Damage (Even Resulting from a Hurricane) is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

You read that correctly. Even though it’s rather counterintuitive, flood insurance is a completely different coverage. Living in Florida, with shrinking shorelines and neighborhoods surrounded by water, it’s essential for your total home protection to elect for flood insurance.

If a hurricane results in flooding, those who elected to purchase flood insurance can rest easy knowing their home and property will be protected.

Every Florida Home Should Have Flood Insurance

We can’t drive this home enough. Did you know that it doesn’t take a major storm for flooding to occur? Homeowners who state that they don’t need flood insurance because they don’t live in a flood zone miss the mark. In Florida, we know that when it rains, it pours. Heavy Florida showers present a very real flood risk.

Protect yourself. Prepare your home against hurricanes and know what your policy covers. Speak with one of our experienced advisors long before that storm system appears on the radar. We will break down the intricacies of insurance and make sure you understand what you’re paying for. We’re here to help you weather the storm.

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Is Flood Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

flooded house

Water, water everywhere: Unless you’re lounging on a boat or swimming laps, it’s not a good scenario––especially in your home. Insurance to protect against flooding is a specific coverage election and that’s why the policy is specifically labeled ‘flood insurance.’ So, why do you need it? Reason number one is that water can wreak havoc upon a home, and all are susceptible. 

Water Damage from Rising Surface Water

If excess rising surface water makes its way indoors, that means homeowners’ insurance will take care of the damage, right? This is a common misconception. Water damage from rising surface water will not be covered by homeowner’s insurance. Rising surface water constitutes a flood and therefore is covered by flood insurance only.

Forget the part-tsunami, part-tidal wave catastrophic flood image. Just an inch of water inside your home will do major damage. It doesn’t take a dramatic event to douse the savings you’ll need to access to repair that floor, built-in cabinetry, baseboards, etc. Often, water damage from rising surface water comes not from a rush, but a continuous flow. 

We all Live in a Flood Zone

You read that correctly: We’re all in this together. The sooner homeowners realize that they, too, live in a flood zone, the sooner they’ll realize purchasing Florida flood insurance is non-negotiable. Sure, some of us are more at risk than others. The house on the shore of Anna Maria Island is, of course, going to be located in a higher potential flood zone than the Pinellas Park bungalow. However, a well-placed storm can do major damage anywhere.

Flood Insurance at a Glance

How do you know what your Florida flood insurance covers? For the quick and comprehensive answer, contact your W3 insurance advisor. Our staff is trained to assess your exact flood insurance needs and suggest the policy that fits. Remember: The question is not whether you need to purchase a flood insurance policy – it’s which policy you should select. 

Basic flood insurance is likely going to cover the actual façade of the home. The prior example of permanent flooring damaged due to flood is covered with this type of policy in effect. The architectural integrity of the residence and more are protected as defined in the actual flood policy.  

Dwelling and Contents Coverage

Concerned about valuables being damaged because of a flood? Comprehensive Florida flood insurance coverage may be your best election. This ‘upgraded’ coverage means that should the couch be harmed by a flood, you’ll be compensated. Homeowners with valuable possessions such as antiques find these policies to be a vital part of their insurance plan. It’s important to purchase dwelling and contents coverage for flood protection. 

Flood insurance is most frequently purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private market company. The insurance company underwriting your home insurance may offer it as an endorsement to your home policy.

While being fully covered is the optimal solution, some flood coverage is better than none at all. 

Are You Covered?

If you aren’t sure, it’s time to ask the experts. Our advisors will review your policy at no charge to ensure you are fully covered. 

Call Us

New Year, New Exposures – The Importance of Holiday Gift Insurance

importance-of-holiday-gift-insuranceEveryone who fit a trampoline, puppy, drone or diamond under the tree, listen up: you are not only popular in your home right now, but you also likely need to adjust your personal lines insurance. For many of us, the New Year came with new exposures. Here’s how to back some of those fun and precious gifts from Santa with the proper holiday gift insurance protection.

  • Puppy owners – Congratulations on your new addition! Along with new bowls and chew toys, it may be time to purchase an umbrella policy. No, not because cuteness is now raining down upon your family, though it most certainly is. Many a Florida homeowners policy excludes animal liability. If protection is available through homeowners insurance, it usually offers a lower limit of liability coverage. A personal lines umbrella can extend your limit or close that coverage gap. Also consider purchasing pet health insurance, especially if your fuzzy bundle of joy is of a breed known to develop health problems.
  • Drones – These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are classified by the FAA as bonafide aircraft. That leaves your Florida homeowners insurance carrier to decide whether you receive personal liability protection under your current policy. There’s a reason for this. Plenty of accidents have been attributed to drone use. UAVs have been reported to literally fall out of the sky and damage people and/or property. They’re not just ‘remote control cars in the wide blue yonder.’ Check your residential insurance policy with your agent and gauge any additional coverage needs.
  • Golf cart – We’ll ignore for the moment that you obviously purchased that vehicle for yourself. But know this: that cart and your liability arising out of its ownership and operation is likely unprotected. Specific insurance policies or endorsements for golf carts exist precisely for this reason.  Note: When you call your insurance agent for options, be prepared to say, “This sounds like auto insurance!”  Florida golf cart insurance is really very similar, with coverage offered for elements such as bodily injury, collision and property damage.  It’s also important to note – if your golf cart or low speed vehicle has a 17 digit vehicle identification number (VIN), you are then required by the state to have an auto policy with PIP coverage in place at all times.
  • Baubles and other bling – Jewelry may be insured under your Florida homeowners policy – or it may not be. Get an appraisal and work with an insurance expert to properly protect your investment.
  • Additions to existing policies – So you went for the whole bow-on-the-car Christmas morning shock factor? Good for you! Make sure to call your insurance agent and add that SUV to your auto policy. The same goes for a new boat or home expansions.

For all these new exposures and more, you can trust W3 Insurance to offer solid guidance and comprehensive personal lines insurance. Call us today at 727-522-7777. We’ll insure your New Year treasures with peace of mind protection.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Every year for the holidays we gather with friends and family to celebrate. We spend quality time with family and cherish what we’re grateful for. Leading up to the holidays there are rituals of putting up your favorite holiday ornaments, lights, knick-knacks, and more. One of these holiday rituals can present a risk in your home when it comes to causing fires; a Christmas tree.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 200 home fires per year that began with Christmas trees, both real and artificial. These fires caused an annual average of 6 civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage.

Tips for preventing a Christmas tree fire:

  • Dry Christmas trees are the biggest reason for why a tree fire starts. When picking out your tree, look for fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Add water to your tree daily.
  • Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Make sure you clean up any needles that do fall off the tree on a regular basis.
  • Check your holiday lights for split or fraying wires.
  • Always turn off the lights on a tree when leaving your home or going to bed.
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working correctly.
  • Have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to use it.
  • Remove your tree immediately after Christmas. A tree will dry out and the longer the tree is in your home the more at risk you are for a fire.

Of course, these tips may not completely remove the risk of having a Christmas tree fire, but they will lower your risk. Want to see what happens when a Christmas Tree is not properly maintained? Watch this video:

A Letter from Michael to Floridians

Dear People of Florida:

Excuse me for being a tourist. I don’t understand why you’re shocked at my visit; doesn’t everyone want to vacay in Florida? Those of you without adequate insurance coverage didn’t seem happy to see me at all. Honestly, I’m hurt. If everyone would just understand the Flood + Home Insurance = HURRICANE PROTECTION equation, we’d all be better off – and I could sweep down to Orlando for a little R&R at Disney World.

But no. Here we are, fashionably late in hurricane season, and fortifications are still not the norm. We’re not talking sandbags, bottled water and nonperishable stockpiles of corned beef hash. I mean insurance. Here’s a tip: my friends might be coming over after I tell them how great this state is, so you’d better consider coverage. Your self-declared ‘hurricane season’ dictates that all of us (and by ‘us,’ I mean hurricanes) have until November 30 to plan an unforgettable Florida trek.

It’s too late to roll out the Welcome mat for me. Here’s how to prepare for the arrival of other potential 2018 storms:

  • Understand and act upon this equation: Flood + Home Insurance = HURRICANE PROTECTION. If you only carry homeowners’ insurance, waste no time in purchasing a flood policy. Most flood coverage does not become active until thirty days after purchase. Just a few inches of water in a residence can cause severe damage. That goes for more than just homes in coastal areas. My girlfriend Florence proved that in North Carolina. She’s such an overachiever.
  • Be thankful for the ‘hurricane deductible,’ which decreases the total cost of damages based on unwelcome visits from storms like me. It’s really important to talk with a knowledgeable insurance advisor about what to expect in the aftermath of a hurricane. To give yourself the best possible outcome in the worst possible scenario, plan, plan, plan. And go one step further: actually purchase coverage.

I understand your reticence. Insurance isn’t sexy. You’re not going to zoom around town yelling, “Look at this snazzy coverage!” But still – in the very real possibility that the next hurricane chooses to retire in the land of citrus and palm – I welcome you to hold that policy high and declare “I am the champion!”

Or something like that.

Talk with a W3 Insurance advisor today at 727-522-7777 or visit w3ins.com. The W3 team finds coverage for auto, home, life, flood and more. Most importantly, they insure against damages caused by unwelcome visitors.

Sincerely,

Hurricane Michael

Request a Flood Quote

Suffered a Loss? Here’s What to Do.

Whether you’ve suffered a loss due to storm surge, fender bender or another insurable situation, you can take charge. Begin the recovery process immediately by choosing to act. A Florida insurance remedy for the unfortunate event is in your future. Here’s how to reach it as quickly as possible.

When you suffer a loss, complete the following steps:

  • First, make sure you are in a safe space. Calling your Florida insurance agent in the midst of a hurricane to declare that the roof has just been torn off your residence is not advisable. Instead, exercise caution. Report the devastation as soon as you are able and to the best of your ability. In most cases your insurance policy has a claims hotline accessible 24/7. The most efficient way to report your claim is directly with the insurance company. If you prefer contact with your agent first, you’ll likely need to wait to call during normal business hours.
  • Every insurance policy places the duty to protect property from further damage upon the insured. Become familiar with your duties in the event of a loss as shown in your insurance policy preferably before or right after you suffer a loss.
  • Take pictures. List any and all affected items, and if you must order any immediate repairs, keep all receipts. *Take note that extensive repairs are not advisable until you have spoken with your insurance representative. Often, the carrier will supply you with a ‘preferred list’ of contractors.
  • Get ready to file a claim. You’ll need to provide the following information: policyholder’s name, policy number, address of affected property (if this filing is in response to a homeowner claim), loss date and damage description.
  • Your claim is filed – congratulations! Now what? It’s time for an adjuster examination as to the scope of damage. Answer the professional’s questions fully and completely. Too much information is much better than erring on the side of too little.
  • A claims report will be compiled by the adjuster. No two losses are the same, so your report will be unique. Your agent will monitor the outcome of the claim and be available to assist you.
  • Remember that you may have a deductible to pay before the insurance company takes care of other charges.

Have questions throughout this process? Call your insurance agent. Working with a W3 insurance professional is a great way to ensure that you receive the assistance you deserve. From initial quote through claim fulfillment, our Florida insurance team is with you every step of the way.