3 Reasons to Winterize Your Home

Homeowners in Longwood, FL often have homes in other areas of the United States. They come to Florida to enjoy the lovely weather and their holidays. However, before leaving their homes, it’s important that they winterize it.

Winterizing Second Homes Saves Money

One of the main threats against a home during the winter months is frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can cause water damage and leave you with a hefty repair bill. Before you head to Florida this year, it’s imperative that you prepare your water pipes for the winter. You should consider insulating your pipes to ensure they can withstand freezing temperatures. You may want to consider placing your water on “vacation” which will help you avoid freezing pipes altogether.

Conducting Home Inspections Help Avoid Problems

Your roof plays a significant roof during the winter months. It safeguards your home’s interiors. As such, it’s critical that you make sure you get a roof inspection, along with other annual inspections. A roof inspection will uncover roofing problems that could jeopardize your home while you are out. In addition to a roofing inspection, you should consider having a professional check the following:

  • Your heating system
  • Your gutters
  • Your windows and doors
  • Your foundation

By doing your inspections before leaving, you will have the peace of mind knowing that your home can withstand whatever Mother Nature brings this winter.

Winterizing Uncovers Security Holes

When you leave your home for the winter, the last thing you want to be concerned about is whether a thief is in your home. Fortunately, taking a 360-degree assessment of your home will highlight light problems that may be an opportunity for thieves. Use your assessment of your home to secure your home so that you can enjoy Longwood, FL without any stress.

If you need home insurance or you are interested in increasing your home insurance policy, Blanchard Insurance is here to help. We encourage you to give us a call today so that we can ensure your home insurance policy meets your needs.

 

 

Auto Insurance: Is It Really Necessary?

If you were able to make the decision on your own, you likely would choose to not get auto insurance so you could save money or put it towards other things. However, in the state of Florida, you are required by law to have auto insurance that meets the state minimums. Even with knowing the state minimum requirements, is auto insurance really necessary? Continue reading to see why we think it is in Longwood, FL.

What are the State Minimums in Florida?

Florida does not have as strict of requirements as other states but there is still a set minimum. As a Florida driver, this is what you should have covered in your insurance policy:

  • $10,000 of no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
  • $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance.

What Can Happen If You Do Not Have The State Minimum?

In Florida, you could face some penalties and you do not have to even get pulled over for this to happen. The DHSMV will know if you do not have a record of auto insurance and will contact you to get the proof or they will fine you. In this state, you will get fined for not having auto insurance. For the first offense, it is $150. For a second offense, you will pay $250. For every offense after that, you will pay $500. These amounts can add up very quickly if you do not get the auto insurance in time. It is best to get auto insurance because in the long run, you will save money by paying for that instead of fines.

If you are ready to get an auto insurance policy that meets state requirements and your budget, be sure to contact our agents with Blanchard Insurance, serving Longwood, FL, today. we will be happy to run some quotes for you.

The Difference Between Home and Renters Insurance

Whether you are making a change from renting to owning or vice versa, you should understand the difference between having homeowners insurance and renters insurance. There are some similarities in coverages, but before you buy your first home or move into a rental, you should discuss the details with the qualified agents at the Blanchard Insurance in Longwood, FL.

The Buildings’ Structure

Homeowners insurance typically covers the structure of your home. Structures that are attached or separate, but are part of the property may also be covered. This can include garages, sheds, porches, decks, or other dwellings located on the property.

When you are renting, the landlord would maintain coverage for the structure of the building you are living in. Disasters that affect the property are most likely covered under his or her policy. There are some exceptions. If damage is done to the property and it is deemed your fault, you would have to pay for the repairs. This is where you would need renters insurance to help alleviate the cost of damages you may be responsible for.

Your Personal Property

Homeowners insurance protects the property in your home. If you own your home, your personal property’s protected under homeowners insurance. If you are renting, the landlord insures the building, but you would need insurance to cover your personal belongings. Renters insurance is there to help you in case your personal property is stolen, vandalized, or lost due to fire or other catastrophes. You can also tailor your policy to cover specific water damages as well.

You should be aware that if your property is destroyed, the landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your items. It only covers the building. It is important to talk with an agent at Blanchard Insurance to help you decide what form of coverage you will need to protect yourself and your personal property.

Don’t get caught unprotected. Call or visit the independent agents in Longwood, FL at Blanchard Insurance to help you choose the right policy for your home and family.

Small Part…Big Heart

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Blanchard Insurance is not the biggest insurance agency around and we don’t pretend to be. Our business model has always been 100% customer satisfaction and in order achieve this we take a real hands-on service approach in everything we do. We take the same approach when giving back to our Central FL community.

This year we’ve seen a major division in the communities in which we live  across the nation. Whether it’s political, religious, or civil unrest; without our communities coming together we are essentially nothing. That’s why our team here at Blanchard Insurance got together and said what can we do to turn the tide and make our own community better.

Our answer was simple: let’s open a dialogue by breaking bread with one another and embrace the holiday spirit. We reached out to the Daytona Beach Police Department and DME Basketball Academy, a program that prepares student athletes for collegiate basketball programs, and invited everyone to have dinner on us. With the help of our partner and local accounting firm Tax & Business Solutions we served over 80 dinners in 2 nights.

The highlights of the evening were seeing the officers and players swapping their NBA and Division I favorites and actually sitting through a roll call and hearing first person accounts of what these officers go through on a daily basis to keep our communities safe by putting their lives on the line. Some of the officers were even getting early autographs from some of these future NBA stars.

I am proud to be a part of this company and take great pride in the initiatives our team has taken to bring about positive change in our community especially during the holiday season. Maybe next year we’ll run a 3 on 3 tournament, but I think DME might has just a small advantage!

Ride Shares: Are Your Clients Covered on Your Insurance?

Large companies have paved the way for many smaller businesses to launch their ride share services. Rideshares are similar to taxi cabs where clients call drivers to take them to various places for pay.  Unlike taxi services, rideshares are not as heavily regulated as taxi services, and they are not as expensive. Many people are starting their ridesharing services to transport people to events at Arbor Park or to the local oil painting classes at Longwood Elementary. Having an entrepreneurial spirit is a part of living the American dream, but it is important to ensure that you have the right coverage on your vehicle to protect your clients.

What Coverage Do You Need for Your Rideshare Service?
To start, if you are operating as a business, you need to have commercial insurance on your personal vehicle. With commercial insurance, our insurance company provides you with larger limits to ensure you are protecting your business.

You will also have to speak to our local agents in Longwood, Florida 32779 to determine if you need any additional coverage. This step ensures complete protection extends to your clients traveling with you if you are in an accident. It also ensures that you have enough to cover the costs of a lawsuit and it decreases your chances of cancellation since you are operating a business with the appropriate insurance.

What to Say to Your Insurance Agent?
When you call us to get a quote it is imperative that you provide details about your business operations. The more information you provide, the easier it is to provide you with options that will fully cover your business. Additionally, by willfully misinforming our agents, it could be considered insurance fraud. So, when you call you want to make sure you disclose all the details necessary to insure your rideshare business.

Before you continue transporting customers around Longwood, you must ensure that you have the right coverage for your vehicles. Our informed agents will outline all the policies that are available to you and help you identify one that fits your budget.

Physician Mortgages for Lake Nona

 

Lake Nona Mortgages for Physicians
Lake Nona Mortgages for Physicians

 

We have been working with Scott Johnson and CenterState Bank to move families into their new homes across Central FL for over 10+ years. Scott is always keeping our agents up to speed on new mortgage loan programs and when we heard about this special program for physicians we wanted to highlight it. This is an excellent plan for physicians planning to live and work down by Medical City in Lake Nona and the surrounding areas as it is catered directly for doctors. Please reach out to Scott Johnson for more info.

Once your financing is in place please don’t forget to reach out to is for all of your homeowners insurance needs!

5 Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask When Choosing a Deductible

This is an excerpt from a blog published by American Integrity Insurance Company on 03/03/2015…

 

1. How much can you afford?

How much you can afford to spend on your insurance premium is likely the first decision you will have to make. You pay your premium no matter what, while your deductible is something you only need to pay in the event of a covered claim. Since the deductible you choose will either lower or raise your premium – it’s important.

You may find that you can only afford your premium with a high deductible, in which case your options are limited. If you’re not as price sensitive then you have the luxury of taking the next step of deciding whether or not a small or large deductible makes sense for you.

2. Are you prepared to cover your deductible?

This is a central question to your deductible decision. It’s tempting to go with a high deductible to lower your premium cost. But if your home sustains $3,000 in damage, and you have a $2,000 deductible, can you afford to repair the damage? With a $1,000 deductible, you could repair it more easily.

But you need to weigh possibilities like that against the higher overall costs you will pay for the insurance. The fact is, most homeowners only file an insurance claim once every nine years or so. But you will pay sometimes as much as 20 percent more each year to have that lower deductible.

3. Will a low deductible be tempting?

Industry research shows that low deductibles actually tempt some homeowners into filing smaller, more frequent claims. But that strategy will create more problems in the long run. Many insurance companies will increase your premium if they see a pattern of claims or they may not even offer you coverage.

So claiming that stolen bicycle, repairs to the garage door you backed into and the window the kids broke playing ball can actually end up costing you much more over time in increased insurance costs than if you had just paid those smaller expenses out of pocket.

4. Are you disciplined to self-insure for small disasters?

You might be better off choosing a higher deductible building your own emergency fund and using your homeowners insurance as only for major disasters. The key here is “building your own emergency fund” Do you have the discipline to do it?

Some people have chosen that route. There’s a growing trend toward so-called self insurance that is, covering small damages and losses with your own funds. This is especially true when it comes to pricier homes. In Malibu, Calif., for example, it’s not unusual for $10 million homes to have a deductible of $10,000, $25,000 or even $100,000!

5. Do you understand which deductibles are a percentage and not a fixed amount?

Make sure you understand if your policy has any deductibles that are a percentage of the total loss and NOT a fixed amount. This can vary depending on your policy type and carrier. In Florida your Hurricane Deductible is a percentage of your total loss. It’s important to understand this ahead of time so you aren’t taken by surprise. Obviously, your deductible could be quite large in some circumstances.

Homeowners Insurance 32779

 

3 Homeowners Coverages You Need to Raise

Simply having a homeowners insurance policy in place to protect what may be your most important asset is simply not enough. Without adequate coverage limits you could be putting not only your investment, but yourself personally in financial jeopardy.

 

Every property has its own unique characteristics as well as the property owner having their own individual financials needs and goals. A good insurance agent can identify the potential risk associated with these property features and match those risks with coverage that will mitigate potential financial loss. Unfortunately in reality this does not always occur in an industry that is increasingly becoming more focused and driven by cost and sales rather than value. Here are 3 coverages to pay close attention to when purchasing homeowners insurance or reviewing your existing policy:

 

  • Personal or Premises Liability: Almost all homeowners and dwelling policies come with a minimum $100K in liability coverage. Most insurance companies will offer increased limits of $300K or even $500K, but a lot of the time these increased limits are not purchased. They should always be taken advantage of since the difference in cost is usually about $20 per year for hundreds of thousands in additional coverage. $300K will go much farther in settling a liability suit brought against a homeowner and reduce the chances of a claimant going after the property owners personally and their other assets. This is especially important for investment properties since a tenant poses additional risk and the property is not directly under the owners immediate care and control.

 

  • Medical Payments: This coverage is included in just about every homeowners and dwelling policy to cover emergency medical expenses of non-resident relatives in the event of injury on the premises. Most policies come with a minimum $1K limit, but in today’s world $1000 won’t even cover even the most basic ER costs. Most homeowners insurers will allow you to raise this limit to $2K,$3K,$5K and even $10K. Just like liability, the difference in costs is usually just  few dollars per year. Having the ability to cover an injured party’s ER bill can go a long way in preventing a potential liability suit.

 

  • Loss Assessment: If you live in a subdivision or condominium community your most likely belong to a homeowners or condominium association. You probably also routinely pay a scheduled assessment that covers association costs such as association insurance, landscaping, and community repairs and maintenance. As a member you are also subject to special assessments including assessments to cover community losses that may not be covered by the association insurance or losses that exceed the policy limits. There special loss assessments are most common in condo association. Most homeowners and condo unit owner policies come with a minimum $1000 in loss assessment coverage. You can however in most cases purchase higher limits such as $2K, $3K, and $5K for a few additional dollars per year. This could save you thousands of dollars in the event of an assessment.

 

 

5 Ways Car Insurance Quotes Can Help

Longwood, Florida is a suburb of the Orlando metropolitan area. There are various things to do, including many outdoor activities. Many people commute to nearby areas such as Orlando and Winter Park, so traffic can be heavy during the morning and evening hours.

When you need car insurance in the 32779 area, it’s important to get quotes as they can help in a number of ways.

Learn Coverage Options

There are all sorts of coverage options, beyond the minimum requirements in Florida. You may want collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and other levels of coverage as well and quotes can tell you how much it’s all going to cost.

Explore What Companies Offer

You may only know about a few car insurance companies. Our agents will show you some of the companies based in Florida and beyond that can provide you with more benefits than what you are accustomed to.

Make Effective Comparisons

Comparisons can be made with insurance quotes, giving you another reason to get them. This way you can see the coverage options with the prices to see what’s in your best interest to have. You may be surprised by how easily it is to afford extra coverage.

Determine Your Needs

Sometimes you’re not sure of what you actually need on your car insurance. There’s a balance between getting what you need and finding a good price. You will be able to talk to the best agents when getting quotes so you can have all of your coverage needs examined by someone in the industry.

Find the Best Price

It’s important that you find the best price on insurance so you don’t overpay for your insurance in Longwood. We have the best agents and will work to find you quotes that make sense based on the coverage you need.

New Car Replacement

There have been a lot of recent commercials marketed by the auto insurance industry promoting a coverage called new car replacement . Some even go as far as to market the coverage as unique to their company alone. Truth is almost every insurer in the marketplace offers an almost identical or similar coverage. Similar to gap coverage, new car replacement bridges the coverage gap between the actual cash value, or often referenced as the Blue Book value, and the cost of the car brand new. The purpose of this cover is to address immediate depreciation once you drive a car off the sales lot.

While the coverage essentially serves the same purpose insurer to insurer it is true that not all auto carriers are created equal. All the companies will only offer the coverage on current and future year models, but a majority of the companies will only afford the new car replacement for a period of 12-24 months or a specific mileage limit like 12K miles.

However one insurer does stand out from the rest when it comes to coverage and especially new car replacement. This company will continue the coverage for a period of 5 years to replace or repair the car with the same make and model new car in the event of a total loss. That is huge if you ask an industry professional like myself and worth every premium dollar for the value. This is especially true when you are investing upwards of $30K in a new car.

Give us a call today if you’ve recently purchased a new car or are looking and we will be more than happy to discuss this amazing coverage and company…

Longwood Auto Insurance Savings
Longwood Auto Insurance Savings