Watch to learn about the importance of a four-point inspection

In this video, Agent & Owner Matthew Jones shares the importance of a four-point inspection when buying a home. He covers the key areas that need to be inspected, including electrical, plumbing, and the roof. He also provides insights on what insurance agents look for in a good inspection and highlights potential issues that could affect insurance coverage. Watch this video to understand why a thorough four-point inspection is crucial before making a home purchase.

Contact us for all of your personal and business insurance needs.

Since opening our doors we have grown not only with the policies we write and the carriers we offer but also with our respect and trust in the community. We build relationships with each customer as they entrust us to protect them, their family and assets with the appropriate insurance coverage. It’s a point of pride for us to sit down each of our customers to learn more about their journey so we can offer the best insurance protection.

Check out more in the series:

Did You Know? How to Save on Flood Insurance

Did You Know? Wind Mitigation Report: Understanding the Key Factors

Florida, known for its sunshine and sandy beaches, is facing a less glamorous reality as homeowners grapple with the escalating costs of home insurance. Floridian’s have seen premiums go up by more than 40 percent, 3.5 times the nation’s average and they are likely to keep rising due to a variety of factors. Homeowners with a mortgage required to have insurance – don’t have many options other than to pay or leave.

Increasing Frequency and Severity of Natural Disasters:

Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. The severity of Hurricane Ian in southwest Florida and others throughout the state and recent year have led to a much higher number of insurance claims. Insurance companies, in turn, raise premiums to offset the increased risk and potential payouts.

Rising Sea Levels and Climate Change: 

Florida faces the brunt of climate change, with rising sea levels and increased temperatures. These environmental changes contribute to more intense storms and flooding, amplifying the risks associated with insuring properties in the state. Insurers factor in these long-term climate trends when calculating premiums, further impacting homeowners.

Building Code Upgrades: 

After the devastation caused by hurricanes, most recently Ian, and previously like Andrew and Irma, Florida has implemented stricter building codes. While these measures aim to protect homes from severe weather, they also mean increased costs for construction and repairs. Homeowners bear the brunt of these expenses through higher insurance premiums.

Litigation and Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Abuse:

Florida has been plagued by a surge in litigation and AOB abuse in recent years. AOB allows policyholders to assign their insurance benefits to a third party, often contractors, which can lead to inflated claims and legal battles. The associated legal costs are passed on to homeowners through elevated insurance premiums. Reforms passed last year by lawmakers have begun to limit lawsuits which should improve the situation, as if litigation costs go down, premiums should also go down.

Market Dynamics and Competition: 

The insurance market in Florida has become increasingly competitive, with fewer companies willing to underwrite policies in high-risk areas. After Hurricane Ian, seven insurance companies became insolvent. This reduced competition allows insurers to raise prices without fear of losing customers to competitors. As a result, homeowners are left with fewer options and higher premiums. Five new insurance companies have been approved to begin writing policies in Florida. However, homeowners will not see relief in the near future. 

As the state continues to adapt to a changing climate and regulatory landscape, homeowners are left grappling with the financial burden of protecting their homes in the face of increasing risks. However, there is new legislation SB2-A that was passed in the special session December 2022 which has begun to swing the pendulum. Yes, the costs are still high but the legislation has allowed more companies to be entertained and have started to open up their guidelines as well as we’ve seen new carriers open too. It may take a couple of years but I do see insurance premiums becoming more favorable to the insureds. Contact a Jones Family Insurance to review and quote your current policy with our line of carriers and also discuss bundling opportunities for your needs to save on premiums.

How much do you know about homeowner’s insurance coverage? If you are like most people, you have a policy but aren’t quite sure what it covers

Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge by the general public has caused some ugly misconceptions about insurance to spread — myths that could cost you and your family a ton of money. Here are three myths about homeowner’s insurance and their respective truths.

Myth #1: Your Homeowner’s Policy Covers Your Home-Based Business

Do you run a business out of your home? Maybe you sell vitamins, makeup, jewelry, or something completely different through a marketing program. Perhaps you handcraft items to sell at festivals or offer services to clients who visit you at your residence. Either way, you might believe the myth that your homeowner’s insurance covers your business endeavors.

This is a myth! Most homeowner’s insurance policies specifically exclude home businesses. This means that if you have an inventory of product stolen or a client becomes injured at your residence, you may not be covered. This problem is pretty widespread, too. According to Independent Agents and Brokers of America, nearly sixty percent of home-based business owners do not have appropriate insurance coverage.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation to discuss your business insurance needs.

Myth #2: Earthquakes and Floods Are Covered

Another fallacy is that a homeowner’s insurance policy will protect you against damage due to an earthquake, flood, or other natural phenomenon. The truth is that sadly many natural disasters are not covered under your standard policy. While some circumstances such as a hailstorm or a tornado are sporadic enough to warrant coverage, others that create widespread damage are not.

This is where having specialty flood coverage comes into play. These are special policies that are underwritten by a private insurer and backed by the government to fully protect your home and belongings against any damage due to named perils. Purchasing one of these policies is usually quite affordable and only takes a phone call to us to start the process.

Myth #3: Your Insurance will Cover Everything in the Event of a Disaster

One more myth that many people seem to believe is that homeowner’s insurance will cover everything you own in the event of a disaster. The truth to this myth is that having a policy only covers a portion of your belongings. Riders often need to be added to expand coverage for expensive electronics, guns, jewelry, and furs. If you own any of these items, it is worth talking to your agent about to ensure you have the coverage you need.

Do any of these scenarios apply to you? For more information or to discuss your unique situation, please contact us today.

4 Ways the Holidays Might Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

These four holiday risks could impact your coverage – and cause claims. Are you prepared?

There’s No Place Like Home (owners Insurance) for the Holidays

Whether you consider yourself jolly or grinchy, it’s important to know that the holiday season brings several unique risks that could affect the coverage in your homeowners insurance policy (or even lead to a claim). Here’s a look at four of those risks and how to keep your home protected.

#1: Expensive Presents (Hint: Get a Personal Property Endorsement!)

Your home insurance policy typically covers the stuff you own under what’s called Coverage C (personal property). But that coverage may exclude high-value items like fine jewelry, furs, art, and antiques.

If you’re planning on giving (or end up receiving) a gift that’s on the more expensive side this holiday season, call your insurance provider to make sure it’s covered. What they’ll likely do is write an endorsement, which essentially means add some extra coverage, to ensure that the high-ticket item is protected.

#2: Engagement Rings

Ever heard of “Engagement Season?” Turns out, it’s the same as the holiday season.

Because of the spirit of gift-giving and the chance to be with families, engagements tend to cluster around the holidays. If you or someone in your household is likely to get engaged this holiday season, make sure you dial up your insurance provider to add the ring to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Otherwise, there’s a chance that it won’t be covered in the event of disaster.

#3: Eggnog

Here’s the deal: parties are a wonderful part of the holiday season, but if you’re hosting and serving alcohol, you may be exposing yourself to a lot of risk, thanks to social host liability.

Essentially, social host liability means that if someone drinks at your party and then hurts themselves or someone else (e.g., by driving home), you could be held liable for damages if they decide to sue.

So if a drunk guest leaves your party, drives home, and hits a pedestrian, you could be partly liable for that pedestrian’s hospital bills, should they bring a lawsuit. That’s pretty scary, given how expensive hospital bills can be.

But there are a few important qualifiers here:

  1. Not every state has social host liability laws. (Check your state’s laws here.)
  2. Even in states without social host liability, though, you could be held liable for an injury that happens in your home (even if the injury happened in part because the injured person was intoxicated).
  3. It is illegal in every state to serve alcohol to those under 21. If you do that, you could face criminal charges (which would not be covered by your home insurance policy).

So if you’re hosting a party where drinks will be served, do a little research. If your state does allow social host liability, check with your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered. Many homeowners policies offer this coverage as part of the personal liability coverage (Part E).

And remember, too, that it’s within your power to minimize your risk: you can hire a bartender to control who drinks what, encourage the use of designated drivers (or taxis and rideshares), serve food, and stop serving alcohol an hour or so before everyone leaves.

#4: Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the holidays are a busy time for fires. For example, while candles account for just three percent of house fires per year, the four biggest days for candle-related fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas Eve.

Other top holiday fire triggers? Christmas trees, lighting equipment, cooking, and decorations.

Obviously, nobody wants their home to burn down. And really nobody wants it to happen over the holidays. So while your homeowner’s insurance policy almost certainly offers coverage for fire-related damage, be extra-alert as you deck the halls to make sure you and your loved ones are safe this holiday season.

4 Ways the Holidays Might Affect Your Homeowners Insurance — Learn more about us at – Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.


Florida Homeowners Market Update

Another homeowners property insurance Home Insurance Quote company has filed a double-digit rate increase with Florida regulators while Citizens Insurance has begun tracking contingency fee multiplier litigation, one of the cost drivers behind rates.  Plus a great history lesson about Florida’s market to pass along.  It’s all in this week’s update.

Rate Increase:  First Community Insurance Company, part of Bankers Insurance Group of St. Petersburg has filed for a 24.1% statewide average rate increase on its 22,464 HO3 homeowners policies.   The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) will hold a rate hearing on Wednesday (September 16) to consider the increase.

The company is among a growing number seeking double-digit rate hikes, brought on by the culmination of four factors we’ve outlined in the pages of this newsletter over the past 12 months: claims creep, growing attorney fees, rising reinsurance costs, and the resulting contraction of the private market with taxpayer-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation left picking up the policies.  Industry reports say similarly-sized increases are now permeating the commercial property insurance space.

Market Pressures:  Paul Handerhan, President of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform, recently provided a terrific education on how Florida’s insurance market has evolved since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew in this recent article.  He also explains the current-day litigation challenges that are putting upward pressure on homeowners rates.

Citizens:  Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has begun tracking lawsuits involving contingency fee multipliers.  While such fee multipliers used to be awarded only when a case was particularly complex and the plaintiff attorney showed it was a risky case to take on contingency, Citizens VP Elaina Paskalakis noted at a recent meeting that threshold has been eroded and is now easier to meet.

She put together the chart below of the most recent 12 lawsuits involving fee multipliers, some showing fees in excess of 1,000 or 2,000 times the indemnity ultimately paid in the case.  “The real impact is on fee demands.  Plaintiff attorneys are starting to come to us with higher fees and what they tell us they’ll be asking for in seeking multipliers.  We expect it will have a rather sharp impact on our cases going forward,” she told the Citizens Claims Committee.

Florida is the only state in the country that awards fee multipliers in such a way, due to a 2017 state Supreme Court edict (see How a $41,000 plumbing leak turned into a $1.2 million attorney fee).  Citizens Board Governor James Holton has aptly noted “this is the next great frontier for tort reform in Florida.”  We look forward to reporting on expected legislative developments in this regard.

Contact Jones Family Insurance for your homeowners insurance quote!

Florida Homeowners Market Update by Jones Family Insurance. Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.

What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers private residences. It offers financial protection in case of an accident, theft or disaster involving your home.

A standard homeowners insurance policy typically covers structural damage, personal belongings, liability and additional living expenses.

1. Structural damage

This is one of the key differences with homeowners vs renters insurance. In the case that your home suffers damage from theft, vandalism, or is destroyed by disasters such as fire, windstorms, hail, lightning or explosions, homeowners insurance can cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding it.

Your mortgage lender might refer to this as hazard insurance, but don’t let that trip you up. It’s just part of your homeowners policy.

Most policies also cover detached structures that are separate from your house, such as a garage or tool shed. These structures are generally covered up to a percentage of the insured value of your house’s physical structure, for example ten percent.

2. Personal belongings

Personal belongings that are stolen, damaged, or destroyed by an included disaster on your policy are typically covered. These may include:

● clothing
● furniture
● appliances
● computers
● TVs
● home decor
● wine and spirits
● sporting goods
● children’s toys
● electronics

Your level of coverage for personal belongings will generally be a percentage of the home’s insured value. So if where you reside is insured up to $100,000, and personal belongings coverage amount was to be 50 percent of this, the limit would be $50,000. The actual percentage used will vary from policy to policy.

Your homeowners insurance policy will also cover belongings that aren’t inside the property but included on your property: trees, shrubs, BBQ grills and patio furniture and so forth.

High-value items, such as jewelry, furs, artwork and antiques are usually covered in a standard policy. There are assigned dollar limits, so you’ll want to read the fine print.

3. Liability protection

Liability protection covers lawsuits against bodily injury or property damage that you, family members, or pets may cause to others. Such protection covers court costs and any awards you may have to pay in court.

Your policy also includes what’s called no-fault medical insurance. So if a visitor happens to be injured in your home, their medical bills can be paid by your insurance company.

4. Additional living expenses

Let’s say your house burns down and it’s now uninhabitable. While your home is being rebuilt, you’ll need to live elsewhere for a short while. Additional living expenses (ALE) covers any living away from home costs and eases the stress of being temporarily uprooted. These expenses may include lodging, meals at restaurants, storage fees, and other costs incurred while your place is being rebuilt.

And if you rent out part of your home, the amount you would’ve collected on rent while the home is being repaired would also be covered.

There are usually payout limits and time restrictions with ALE coverage. The good news is these caps are typically separate from your policy’s cap on repairing or rebuilding your house.

What won’t homeowners insurance cover?

A standard policy typically doesn’t cover wear and tear, or damage caused by an earthquake or flood. It also won’t cover mold if caused by say, high humidity or a preventable water leak.

Get your home insurance with Jone Family Insurance. Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida.


Fire is one of the most serious and devastating disasters a homeowner can face.  Luckily, all standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for fire damages.  However, many homeowners wonder what fire insurance covers when it comes to their home.  Here’s what you need to know about the fire protection included in your home insurance.

  • Coverages

Your homeowners insurance offers coverage for fire damage to your home, damage to the contents of your home, and your additional living expenses if you and your family must live elsewhere while your home is being repaired.  It’s important to note that the additional structures on your property, such as storage sheds, fences, detached garages, etc., are also covered by most home insurance policies.

  • Coverage Exclusions

All insurance policies are subject to certain limits, and your homeowners insurance is no different.  When it comes to fire, your policy will not offer coverage if the fire was caused by war, nuclear damage, and other associated perils.  The damages caused by arson are also not covered by your home policy.  Your insurance will also exclude coverage for fires that break out in a vacant home.  A home is considered vacant if it has been uninhabited for more than 30 consecutive days.

  • Wildfire Protection

With wildfires becoming more common and more deadly every passing year, many homeowners are anxious about securing wildfire protection.  Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for the damages and losses caused by a wildfire.  If you live in an area that is particularly prone to wildfires, then you may want to speak to your insurance provider and ask if there are options to secure supplemental wildfire coverage for your home.

This is what fire insurance covers when it comes to your home.  Do you have more questions about your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Jones Family Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home coverage needs.

Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.


With the 2020 hurricane season activity expected to be “well above average” in intensity; three named storms having formed already; and Tropical Depression Cristobal brought flooding rains and powerful winds from the South to the Midwest as it made landfall in Louisiana, preparedness should be on the minds of everyone who could be affected – and that means more than just people in coastal states.

Cristobal’s moved from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Midwest – just ahead of a cold front that will eventually absorb Cristobal’s remnants as it moves into southeastern Canada, according to “The combination of deep, tropical moisture from Cristobal and the cold front will wring out heavy rain along a swath from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Midwest. Strong winds will also develop in the Midwest and Great Lakes from this setup.”

“Inland flooding has resulted in more deaths in the past 30 years from hurricanes and tropical storms in the U.S. than any other threat,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. “Though wind speeds and storm surge are important, and get a lot of the headlines, flash flooding from intense rainfall associated with the storm’s rainbands impact far more people and stretch over a much larger area.”

About 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S involve flooding. This is why experts like Dan Kaniewski – managing director for public sector innovation at Marsh & McLennan and former deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – strenuously urge everyone to buy flood insurance.

If it can rain, it can flood

“Any home can flood,” Matt Jones said (Matt Jones Owner of Jones Family Insurance in Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida). “Even if you’re well outside a floodplain…. Get flood insurance. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter or a business – get flood insurance. It’s not included in your homeowners policy, and most people don’t understand that.”

Dr. Rick Knabb – on-air hurricane expert for the Weather Channel – was similarly emphatic:

“If it can rain where you live,” he said, “it can flood where you live.”

He recounted buying a new home, asking his agent about flood insurance, and being told, “You don’t need it.”

“I told him, ‘Get it for me anyway,’” Knabb said.

Flood insurance purchase rates too low

2019 was the second-wettest year on record across the continental U.S., yet flood insurance purchase rates remain low. To illustrate the difference between having and not having flood insurance, Jones described two scenarios related to 2017’s devastating Hurricane Harvey.

“The average [FEMA] payout for the uninsured homeowner in the Houston area was about $3,000,” Kaniewski said. “But if you were proactive and took out a relatively low-cost flood insurance policy…you would have received not $3,000 but $110,000. You’re not going to recover on $3,000, but with $110,000, you’d be well on the path to recovery.”

Unfortunately, he said, even inside designated floodplains, “two-thirds of homeowners do not have flood insurance.”

Shop for your Flood Insurance Policy today! CLICK HERE

Florida renewals a “perfect storm” of challenges, warns Demotech

20th May 2020 – Author: Matt Sheehan

Financial analysis firm Demotech has warned that the Florida reinsurance renewals will bring a myriad of challenges for the market, with COVID-19 issues piling on top of a shortage of retro cover, continued loss creep, and legislative issues.Even before the pandemic, analysts had anticipated that 2020 would not be business as usual for Florida focused insurers.

Ongoing complications include jurisdictional risk, the competitive position of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and increases in the cost of catastrophe reinsurance, including the limited interest of those offering catastrophe reinsurance.

“Having been involved in Florida’s residential property insurance marketplace since 1996, our view is that the financial and market-based criteria affecting residential property insurance have never been more difficult to navigate,” Demotech stated.

Changes in business models and operating plans have already been announced by Capitol Preferred Insurance Company, People’s Trust Insurance Company, and Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Demotech believes other carriers will respond in a similar manner.

“We have not experienced market conditions like we are seeing this year since 2006,” said Brian O’Neill, Partner-Client Executive at TigerRisk.

“We are a supply and demand economy, and given the shortage of retro cover available (especially low attaching cover), the loss creep from Irma and to some degree Michael, the lack of legislative reforms to fix the one way attorney fee statutes in the state, and then throw in a Global Pandemic – you have a perfect storm hitting the June 1st renewals,” he continued.

“The carriers in the state are truly performing their best to weather this storm. Support from core reinsurance partners will be critical in this environment along with creating unique risk management solutions and raising reinsurance capacity to optimally manage each carrier’s operational and financial needs.”

Hurricane Myths in Southwest Florida

We’ve all heard of some quick and easy remedies for protecting our homes during hurricane season, but how many of them actually work?

Here are some common hurricane myths and how they can actually do more harm than good:

1. Putting masking tape or window film over windows will prevent window damage and protect my home during a hurricane.

False. Putting tape over your windows may prevent the glass from shattering into small pieces inside your home but the glass can shatter regardless. Only impact-resistant coverings can fully protect your home during a windstorm.

2. Cracking open windows will allow wind pressure inside to equal the pressure outside.

False. Not only will leaving your windows open get the inside of your home wet, but it is also dangerous. Experts agree it’s important to prevent wind from entering your home and creating something called internal pressurization. For the most protection, keep all windows or doors sealed during a storm.

3. You only need to protect windows and doors facing the ocean.

False. All windows and doors need to be covered by impact-resistant shutters or 5/8-inch plywood. Wind can come from all directions and can change direction unexpectedly, and leaving any opening uncovered can put your family and home in harm’s way.

4. If the power goes out, you should light candles.

False. Never use candles, gas or oil lanterns indoors during a hurricane. You can risk causing a fire or ignition. If a fire starts during a hurricane, firefighters will be less likely to respond in a timely manner, and you can risk serious damage to your home. Without proper ventilation, lighting candles can put your family at a higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use battery-powered flashlights if the power goes out.

5. Once a hurricane passes, life returns to normal.

Depending on the severity of the storm and the damage, it could take days, weeks or even months before the power comes back. The strongest winds may have died down, but tornadoes, rain, and flooding can occur after a hurricane. It’s important to have enough supplies to last at least a month after a storm.

6. Water stored in bathtubs/sinks can be used as drinking water.

False. Water stored in bathtubs and sinks should never be ingested. Lead from the bathtub can get into the water over time, making them unsafe for drinking. They should only be used for cleaning purposes.

7. You can go outside during the eye of the hurricane.

False. Due to the light winds, people think it’s safe to go outside during the eye of a storm. There is no way to tell how long these winds will last. Strong winds can return quickly from different directions. Outside wreckage, like down power lines, can pose an additional danger. The safest thing to do is to stay indoors, no matter how calm it looks outside.