In this video, Owner & Agent Matthew Jones explains the process of transferring a flood insurance policy and how it can help you save on premiums. He discusses the changes made by FEMA in 2021 and the new rating system called Flood 2.0. He also shares a real-life example of a client who saved over $900 a year by transferring their policy. If you’re buying a home in a flood zone, this video will provide valuable information on how to keep your flood insurance premium down and benefit from the old rating system.
Americans have been dealing with inflation costs since 2021, from food, gas, housing and now auto insurance. Unfortunately for Floridians, Florida has the highest rate of auto insurance right now according to an article that was written by the Washington Post. It also stated that Florida has seen an 88 percent increase since 2013. Agent and Owner Matthew Jones expands on the rising costs of auto insurance in Florida.
What causes auto insurance rates to rise?
The main causes for rising auto insurance rates include several factors such as accident frequency, litigation, fraud, and severe weather. When it comes to Hurricanes everyone thinks about their homes and how the insurance world is going to impact home insurance, but we forget that everything else is affected too including auto and boats. There were at least 40,000 auto claim lawsuits filed each month in Florida this year!
Due to the flooding damage caused by Hurricane Ian in 2022, Florida insurance companies were forced to raise auto insurance rates to compensate for the cost of claims of more than 14 percent, which is the highest nationwide. Right now, the average cost of auto insurance is about $3,100 annually. That is 50 percent higher than the national average average, of $2,000.
So how do we get our auto rates to decrease?
- If we are married, make sure the person with the best credit score is put first on the policy.
- Ask your agent if the carrier is offering an device discount.
- Pay your premium in full.
- Pick a deductible that is best for your pocket, if you can afford a $1,000 deductible, select that and don’t pick $500.
- Ask about a low mileage discount.
- Most importantly shop your auto insurance. Carriers change rates all the time based on what they have on the books as far as liability in the area. So, it’s important to stay ahead of the rates and always ask your agent to shop for you.
These steps may lower your premium, but not take you lower then what you use to pay as there’s no guarantee. These steps will help you achieve the best possible policy for you and your family.
Living in Florida, with its tropical climate and proximity to the coast, residents are familiar with the potential risks of flooding and need for flood insurance. To protect homeowners and businesses, the state has implemented flood insurance requirements. As traditional homeowners insurance typically does not cover flood damage, getting flood insurance is crucial in safeguarding one’s property and financial well-being.
- According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Florida accounts for approximately 37% of all flood policies in the United States.
- FEMA reports that Florida has experienced more than $9 billion in flood losses between 1978 and 2018, making it the highest-ranking state in terms of flood damage.
- Only one in three Florida homeowners located in high-risk flood areas actually have flood coverage. This leaves many at risk of substantial financial losses if a flood occurs.
When discussing flood insurance requirements, there are items to consider:
- Flood insurance is not covered by most home policies.
- It covers your building and personal possessions, but does have some restrictions.
- Coverage limits may vary based on the type of structure (residential vs. non-residential).
- There are federally defined flood hazard areas on the Flood Insurance Rate Map which fall under the 100-year flood zone.
When residing in Florida, having flood insurance is a crucial step in protecting your home or business from potential damage and financial loss. The statistics show the significant risk of flooding, and although there are diverse perspectives on the affordability and necessity, it remains an important safeguard.
We can help you obtain a flood policy that will protect your investment and budget. Our agents are happy to educate you on flood zone areas and specific coverages that may be needed based on your unique circumstances. For more information on getting a policy that will work for you, contact us today!
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.
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.
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:
- Not every state has social host liability laws. (Check your state’s laws here.)
- 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).
- 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.
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 www.JonesFamilyIns.com – Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.
Does my auto insurance cover me when I am on Holiday Vacation?
With the holidays coming on strong, you’re probably thinking of taking trips to visit family or just enjoying some time off. You might wonder if your auto insurance covers you even when you’re out of town. Driving out of the state is always questionable when it comes to insurance policies. Whether you’re renting a car to do some sightseeing, or driving a family member of friend’s car while you’re away, it’s smart to do some research before you put any risks on the line.
For the most part, you don’t have anything to worry about if you already have car insurance, and can spend your holiday stress-free with your family. Generally, your auto insurance will cover you for any accidents even if you are out of state. You may not realize it, but your car insurance policy will protect you even if you are driving a rental vehicle. That’s why it’s okay to turn down rental car insurance from the rental company, especially if you have a credit card that also offers car rental insurance coverage. *Always check with both your insurance policy and your credit card company to make sure that you are covered before you make any decisions.
However, there are some situations when your car insurance won’t cover you if you get into an accident out of state. For example, if you are moving to another state and plan to stay there for an extended period, your insurance policy will only cover you for a short term. You need to talk to your insurance representative as soon as you can to update your policy and get the coverage you need according to the state you’re moving to. Every state has different insurance requirements, so it’s important that you meet the ones in which you are living.
Your insurance policy may not cover you if you travel south of the border into Mexico, or in international areas. If you do drive into Mexico, you should buy a different type of insurance for the duration of your travels. Ironically, most insurance companies will cover you if you drive north of the border into Canada.
Regardless of what policy you have, you should always check what you’re covered for before you head off anywhere. Call your insurance agent to get specifics on what you should or shouldn’t worry about. It’s a simple and easy step that might make a huge difference in protecting your family down the line.
Does my auto insurance cover me when I am on Holiday Vacation? Contact us at Jones Family Insurance. Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.
I Just Bought a New Car. What Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
Congratulations! After weeks of research, comparing makes and models, and taking test drives you finally bought that brand-new car you wanted. But before you take that well-deserved road trip, check one more item off your list: the right car insurance from Jones Family Insurance!
While some auto coverage options are essential whatever the age of your car, new vehicles may carry some additional risks you should know about. So before leaving the lot, give us a quick call to discuss the possible coverage options:
New vehicle replacement. Here’s how this coverage works: If you’re the original owner of a new car that is totaled or stolen within one year of purchase, you’ll be paid the full value of the car you lost or a comparable model. Without this policy, you may have to settle for something less than new.
Loan and lease coverage. Consider what could happen if you financed your new car and then it was totaled or stolen soon after buying it. Not only would you lose your new ride, you’d still be on the hook for your entire loan balance — which would be more than the car was worth. With loan and lease coverage, you’d get a check to cover the gap between what’s left on your loan and the depreciated value of your car.
Audio-visual and custom equipment coverage. If you’re an avid music fan who enjoys a custom sound system or DVD player, this coverage protects you for the full value of any A/V equipment not installed at the factory or dealership. It also covers such modifications as roll bars, certain custom engine parts, lift kits, special wheels, artwork, decals, and other personal touches.
OEM parts replacement. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are often preferable to other aftermarket parts because they are made specifically for your make and model of vehicle. So if you want your Honda repaired with Honda parts, or your Mercedes to only have official Mercedes parts, this coverage is for you. When you buy this optional coverage, it’s added to your existing Comprehensive and Collision coverage so that all repairs or replacements made to your damaged car will include new OEM parts where available.
You invested in a new car. So be sure your investment extends to the right auto policy as well. To learn more protecting your new vehicle, give us a call today at Jones Family Insurance. We serve North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.
Fact file: Florida hurricane insurance
- Six of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida. Three of these storms occurred within just two years: 2004 and 2005. (See chart.)
- The costliest hurricane, based on insured property losses to Florida, was 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused $25.9 billion in damage to Florida and Louisiana (in 2019 dollars). (See chart.)
- Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is covered by the federally managed National Flood Insurance Program, but private flood insurance is becoming increasingly available.
- Florida leads the nation in the number of flood policies, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, with about 1.8 million policies in force in 2019.
- About 98 percent of the total population of Florida lives in one of the coastal counties. The number of people living in coastal areas in Florida increased by 4.2 million, or 27 percent, from 15.6 million in 2000 to 19.8 million in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Florida, 2.9 million single-family homes were at risk in 2020 for storm surge damage from hurricanes up to Category 5 strength, according to CoreLogic, Inc. These homes would cost $581 billion to completely rebuild, including labor and materials.
- After its establishment in 2002, when the state passed legislation combining two separate high-risk insurance pools known as the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Florida Residential Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (CPIC) experienced exponential growth. As a result, Florida Citizens has evolved from a market of last resort to the state’s largest property insurer.
- Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp. provides multiperil and wind-only insurance coverage to Florida homeowners, commercial residential and commercial business property owners.
- Direct homeowners insurance premiums in Florida written by Citizens was $490.9 million in 2018 down from $795 million in 2014.
- Citizens was the state’s fourth leading homeowners insurer in 2018, with a market share of 5.11 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2014.
- Florida Citizens had 346,227 policies as of March 31, 2020.
Get you homeowners insurance, flood insurance and auto insurance from Jones Family Insurance. Serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.
The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business
When you run a business, having the right insurance is extremely important. You can avoid so many financial burdens and protect your budget when you work with us for business insurance in Punta Gorda, FL, and throughout the state. One of the most important coverage options that all businesses must have is workers compensation.
Protect Your Employees
Whether you have 20 employees or 20,000, these people rely on your business for an income. If an employee is injured on the job and cannot work, it can be impossible for them to keep up with medical bills and still provide for their families. Having good quality workers’ compensation ensures that employees have a safety net if they are injured on the job. This can also help them recover more quickly so that they can return to work because they don’t have to worry about medical bills.
Protect Your Business
When an employee is hurt on the job, the business is held responsible. If you have good workers’ compensation coverage, you won’t have to worry about paying for medical bills out of your business’ pocket. Paying a small premium for coverage now means you won’t have to pay an exorbitant sum later.
When you need workers’ compensation coverage or any other type of business insurance for your company, rely on the agents at Jones Family Insurance. We will help you find a policy that meets your needs at a competitive rate. Contact us, Jones Family Insurance, today to get started.
The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business – Insurance in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Florida
How to make sure your child’s car seat keeps them safe and secure on the road
Your child’s car seat is essential to their overall safety while they’re in your vehicle, but it can be easy to “set it and forget it” when it comes to a car seat, which can be detrimental to your child’s safety. As seasons change and children grow, there are some important things you should do to make sure your kids’ car seats are always prepared to do their job, whether you’re taking a quick drive to the store or heading out of town.
Consider these tips:
- Follow the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions. While installing a car seat might look pretty straightforward, it’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, safety checks, and maintenance. Revisit the instructions if you’re moving your car seat or lending it to the babysitter so they can drive your little one around in their own vehicle.
- Readjust the straps as your child grows or as seasons change. When your child grows or starts wearing different clothing as seasons change, adjust their car seat harness and check its overall fit. The harness should always be snug enough that you can’t easily grasp and pinch a horizonal fold in the top of either shoulder strap. You should also check that the harness is snug around your child’s hips and torso. If you’re adjusting the harness in colder weather, check the fit before putting on your child’s thicker layers — with a coat on, it may seemlike the harness is snug enough, but it should actually be adjusted to fit snug to your child’s body, not to the coat. Note: It’s not always safe to put your child in their car seat wearing a heavy jacket, as the impact of a collision may cause the straps to compress the material, leaving the straps too loose to keep your child secure. Some heavier coats shouldn’t be worn in a car seat at all, while others may specifically be advertised as car seat safe. Do your research before putting your child in their car seat with a winter jacket on.
- Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible, but know when it’s time for a change. In the event of a crash, your child will be best protected in a rear-facing car seat, so keep your child’s seat facing the rear of your vehicle until they reach the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight and height limits. Each province will also have its own laws in place that specify how long a child must be in a rear-facing car seat, so make yourself aware of those laws as well. When your child outgrows their rear-facing infant seat, you may want to purchase a larger rear-facing seat or convertible car seat for them to use until they’re ready to face forwards. Always follow your provincial laws and the car seat manufacturer’s instructions before changing the direction of your child’s car seat.
- Take note of the car seat’s expiry date and replace it on time. Every car seat has an expiry date, but maybe you’re wondering, “Do car seats really expire? Is there anything wrong with using my five-year-old’s baby car seat for my newborn?” The answer to both of these questions is yes — car seats really do expire, and it’s unsafe to use an expired car seat for a new baby. While there are several reasons you should never use an expired car seat, here are just a couple of important ones:
- Car seat manufacturers incorporate the latest crash test data and technological advances in materials and manufacturing into their new designs, so your outdated car seat may be missing out on innovations and features that could amp up your child’s safety
- The materials that make up a car seat can deteriorate after sitting in your vehicle for an extended period of time — especially if you live in Canada, where temperatures fluctuate significantly over the course of a year
- If a car seat has been involved in a collision, replace it. Whether or not your child was in the car seat at the time of the accident, there’s a chance that the seat’s safety capabilities have been compromised. Even if you can’t see signs of damage, you should properly dispose of the car seat and buy a new one — you’ll likely be able to claimopens a pop-up with definition of claim this purchase through your car insurance company. Never give away or leave a car seat at the side of the road if it has been involved in a collision.
Jones Family Insurance serving Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers Florida