Comparing Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Coverage vs. Cost

One of the main questions when discussing worker’s compensation insurance and more broadly, insurance in general, is weighing the cost of the policy against the level and quality of the coverage it provides. For those who are seeking workers’ compensation in Jacksonville, FL, or in any other city, the optimal balance is to obtain worker’s compensation insurance with the highest quality and level of insurance necessary for the lowest cost possible. However, doing this can prove quite difficult, especially if you have never gotten insurance before or if you are looking for a very specific policy.

The first step to balancing the cost and coverage of an insurance policy is to find a reputable insurance agency. One indication that an insurance agency is reputable is that they will have their information readily available if you call or visit their website. It is wise to stay away from insurance agencies that make it more difficult than necessary to access their information. Another excellent source of information for finding reputable insurance agencies is the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization which helps settle disputes between consumers and businesses.

Once you have found a reputable insurance agency, you should evaluate the worker’s compensation insurance in terms of coverage provided vs. cost incurred. Different individuals and agencies have different standards, but whether you are working with Connect America Insurance Agency the general rule is to match coverage with cost. For example, if a worker’s compensation insurance policy only offers moderate coverage, then generally the cost to you should be moderate. One final question you might be asking is if your employer offers workers’ compensation insurance.

If you live in Jacksonville FL, or any other city in the state, Connect America Insurance Agency can help. Worker’s Compensation insurance can save you a great deal of pain and suffering, so make sure to call Connect America Insurance Agency if you are interested in more information.

How Umbrella Insurance Helps You Avoid Costly Liability Suits

Understanding insurance and how it works to ultimately save you money can be complicated and confusing. One type of insurance that is often difficult to grasp is umbrella insurance.

With that being said, umbrella insurance is one of the most helpful and important types of insurance to look into as you shop around. Let’s explore what umbrella insurance is and how it can save you money by helping you avoid costly liability suits.

Understanding Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is a type of insurance that goes above and beyond standard insurance policies, such as homeowners insurance or auto insurance. It adds extra liability coverage to your plans, and this is ultimately why it’s so important.

Most auto insurance policies and homeowners insurance policies do have a certain amount of liability coverage. Naturally, this will depend on the plan that you have, but the truth is that the liability coverage for most standard plans is not very much. Umbrella insurance can help take care of the rest.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you got into an auto accident that was ultimately your fault. Your standard auto insurance plan might cover up to $100,000 in damages for the other party, but if the actual amount of property damage, medical bills, and other costs exceeds $100,000, you’ll be left in the lurch. In this case, liability insurance from your umbrella insurance plan would swoop in and take care of these costs, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Call Connect America Insurance Agency Today

If you are a Jacksonville, FL resident and you’re interested in learning more about umbrella insurance or adding umbrella insurance to an already existing plan, give Connect America Insurance Agency a call today or stop into our nearest agency location. We are proud to serve the residents of Jacksonville, FL, and one of our agents would love to sit down and discuss your insurance options with you.

Refinancing and Special Insurance Coverage Escrows

With rising home prices and historically low mortgage rates in Jacksonville, FL, refinancing tends to be a very attractive option for homeowners to either lower their outstanding property debt or to pull out equity to make big changes and repairs on the home. However, the refinancing process has changed significantly since the 2000’s, and a number of new rules have been put in place since the 2009 real estate recession. One of those rules has to do with flood zone areas and flood insurance, according to Connect America Insurance Agency.

Typically, a financed home in Jacksonville FL has to have some kind of homeowners insurance plan in place to protect it. This ensures that the lender’s collateral, the home, is protected and remains valuable in case the home loan can’t be paid back (the lender would then foreclose on the home and sell it to recover the debt). In flood zones, however, general homeowner insurance does not protect a home. A homeowner has to obtain a special flood insurance policy coverage from the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP). For a refinance lender, this is a critical protection, especially in areas that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated risk areas for flooding.

As a result, those refinancing or going to find that while they may be able to avoid an escrow account requirement for property taxes, they may have to pay an escrow for flood insurance on top of their regular mortgage payment. This type of issue doesn’t appear or become known until the applicant is getting ready to sign the final paperwork on the refinance. To understand how this sort of issue works and get more details on flood insurance, in particular, the folks at Connect America Insurance Agency can help. Email or call today!

How Does Condo Insurance Differ From Home Insurance?

If you have just purchased a condo, you may be looking to obtain home insurance to protect your investment and fulfill your lender’s requirement to carry insurance on the property. However, many people are surprised to know that there is actually a condo insurance product, covering condos. At Connect America Insurance Agency, serving the greater Jacksonville, FL area, we are often asked what the major difference between condo and home insurance is. Here is some information.

The biggest differences between condo and home insurance is what is covered. When you buy a condo, you are typically responsible for maintaining the inside of your unit. You are not required to maintain the exterior of the building or items such as the roof. As such, condo insurance is modified to only cover the items that would apply to you as a condo building, such as only covering the things that are found within your four walls of the building. Because you are not responsible for many things in a condo that you would be in a home, condo insurance is typically cheaper than home insurance as well, which is a welcome sign to many condo buyers, especially those who are just buying their first place.

If you are looking to obtain a condo insurance policy in the greater Jacksonville, FL area, Connect America Insurance Agency would love to help. We can go over your purchase agreement and homeowners association agreement and find out what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for as far as repairs and maintenance goes in the condo. We can then put together an insurance policy that fully covers you and your investment into the building. Call us today to get a free estimate or to schedule an appointment to put a policy together for you.

Commercial Insurance for Your Home-Based Business

If you have a home-based business, you may need specialized insurance to keep your company running if something unexpected happens to your merchandise or equipment. In Jacksonville, FL, the independent insurance agents at Connect America Insurance Agency would like you to know how to keep your home business secure.

Homeowners Policy Endorsements

Typically, a homeowners policy will not cover all of the expenses that you have for your business at home. You could always add an endorsement to your current policy, but this type of addition has limits. An endorsement is an optional coverage that offers you additional security over your homeowners plan.

For example, in Florida, you can acquire an endorsement for a home day care facility. You can get greater coverage for your home, but the liability is limited. Talk with your insurance agents to go over your limits if you decide to add an endorsement to your homeowners policy.

In-Home Business Policy

For a higher premium, you can secure your at-home business property. This type of policy may cover the lost income if your business has to stop running because your home is damaged. It could also cover the loss of equipment, valuables, and accounts receivables.

Business Owners Package (BOP)

Another type of insurance that you should consider for your home business is Business Owners Package (BOP). Usually, for small and medium-sized businesses, BOP offers coverage that can include materials, equipment, and other items necessary to run your business. If you customize dresses in your home and there is a fire, the material and equipment could be covered under the BOP policy.

Come by the Jacksonville, FL offices and request information concerning your home-based business. Connect America Insurance Agency can offer you advice and start you with the right amount of coverage for your commercial business.

Why Jacksonville, FL Homeowners Often Pay More On Home Insurance

If you live in Jacksonville, FL, it’s important to get affordable home insurance. Many people who live in this area pay more – and you need to know why. At Connect America Insurance Agency, we’re here to help you learn more about what goes into a policy and get quotes to help you compare.

High Crime Areas

There are a lot of high crime areas throughout Jacksonville. When the insurance companies ask you for your zip code, this is one of the things they are looking at. If you do live in a high crime area, there are ways for you to combat the cost of high insurance premiums. This includes:

  • Living in a gated community
  • Fencing in your property
  • Getting a security system

Various discounts might apply to you, too, which will allow you to overcome high crime areas.

Flood Zones

Jacksonville offers a lot of waterfront properties. This includes property along the St Johns River as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Because of all the water, it’s possible that you will be classified as being in a flood zone. FEMA updates the flood zones every few years. If you are within one, then it might cost you more on insurance premiums. It might also require you to obtain a separate flood insurance policy.

Cost of Living

Jacksonville is known for a higher cost of living than other parts of Florida. This might have a negative impact on your home insurance because it might cost more for home repairs. Insurance companies have to protect themselves and therefore might charge more.

Your goal is to have the financial protection in place without spending a fortune on premiums. Contact one of our agents at Connect America Insurance Agency today. We look forward to helping you find home insurance in Jacksonville, FL.

 

 

Does Your Home Need Weather Insurance?

Historically, the state of Florida has experienced a high amount of hurricanes and other drastic weather. These high impact storms can cause damage in multiple ways, namely through monetary loss, uprooted property and even death. A lot of homeowners and business owners living in Jacksonville, FL are worried about the damages that a nasty storm can do their property. That is why people are turning to firms like Connect America Insurance Agency in times of extreme weather. 

How a Storm Can Ruin a Property.

Hurricanes contain wildly powerful winds that can tear down the sturdiest of structures. A strong wind can rip off entire garages, which will leave a house even more vulnerable during a storm. Not only can wind knock down walls, but it can also pick up hefty objects through the air. Items like loose tree branches can turn hazardous, breaking windows.

Floods also cause considerable damage. Flooding waters will ruin carpets, contaminate local water supplies, and carry away important possessions with overwhelming currents. Hailstorms can also be dangerous by causing dents. 

How an Insurance Plan Can Help You.

Maybe the most frustrating thing about a natural disaster is that it can strike at any time. Many people are unprepared when they are hit by a bad storm, and they have to deal with the consequences of that lack of preparation. 

That is why some Jacksonville, FL citizens are going out of the way to weatherproof their homes. You can install shutters, insulate rooms and develop emergency plans for times of disaster. You can also purchase weather insurance for the aftermath. An agency like Connect America Insurance Agency can protect owners that have a property that is at risk of bad weather.

 

 

Is There Ever a Time When You Do Not Need Home Insurance?

Some people complain about home insurance premiums that they are required to pay each year but the real question is, do you ever not need home insurance? The agents with Connect America Insurance Agency in the Jacksonville, FL area can answer in more depth but we will try to find the answer here.  

The simple answer to this rather complex question is no. There is never a time when you do not need some sort of home insurance coverage. The reason being that we cannot predict what will happen, we cannot stop nature, and we cannot predict that our homes will be safe from disaster each and every day. This means that home insurance is the only way that we can be sure that even if our homes are destroyed, we will have some form of recompense to get back to normal life.

You cannot go without home insurance for another simple fact, most people do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around to buy a new home or to rebuild if their home is destroyed. Home insurance is often the only way that people can rebuild or rebuy after something destroys their home.

You are not required by law to carry home insurance if you do not owe money on your home or if you have paid for your home in full. Technically you are not required by law at all to hold insurance, even if you have a loan, you are most likely required by your lending agent to hold home insurance. In many cases, home insurance is the best way to recover after a disaster. If you live in the Jacksonville, FL area, the agents with Connect America Insurance Agency can help you find the policy that works for you.

Use An Annual Check List Before Renewing Your Homeowners Policy

When the bank gives you a loan to buy a house, they require homeowners insurance. The basic idea is that their loan is protected. And while the State of Florida doesn’t make you carry a policy, it’s in every homeowner’s best interest to have adequate coverage. As time passes, the value of your home may change, upgrades are made and the personal property increases.

It may be a good idea to question yourself each year about how much and what type of policy you should have in place. We recommend making an annual review when renewing your policy to ensure you are properly protected. At the Connect America Insurance Agency, our professionals are committed to helping members of the Jacksonville, FL community maintain a policy that meets your changing needs.

Replacement Costs

Florida has been no stranger to natural disasters. In the event of a total loss, it’s important that you have enough coverage in place to completely rebuild. Many homeowners confuse the value of their home with replacement costs. The two are not the same. The average construction cost today runs about $150 per square foot. This number does not include specialized work, high-end materials or unique designs. Those could push that number up higher. Also, if your home was a total loss, new building codes and the cost of razing and removing existing damage could also drive the cost up. Consider your replacement coverage carefully.

Checklist

There are many other aspects of a homeowners policy that are worth assessing each year. Consider these at renewal time and consider updating your policy.

  • What is the total value of your personal items?
  • Do you have receipts or records in a safe location?
  • Do you have flood insurance and natural disaster?
  • Are you covered for temporary living expenses?
  • Have you added outbuildings such as a shed or garage?
  • Have renovations or new electrical work been addressed in your policy?
  • How much liability coverage do you have?

Reviewing and updating a homeowners policy can be complicated. There are many decisions that require careful consideration. At Connect America Insurance Agency, we take pride in serving members of the Jacksonville, FL community with professional and comprehensive homeowners policies. At the end of the day, it’s important that you have a policy that meets your individual needs and gives you financial security.

How Do Renovations Affect Home Insurnce Needs

Home improvements are wonderful and can help raise the value of your home quickly giving you a great return on your investment. That being said, they can also raise your coverage needs when it comes to your home insurance. Keeping this in mind, those in the Jacksonville, FL area can visit the agents with Connect America Insurance Agency to learn more about coverage needs.

Home renovations tend to add monetary value to your home, they also add to the cost of rebuilding should your home be damaged or destroyed. Having your home insured for the proper amount can make a huge difference in your being able to quickly and easily rebuild and get on with life in the event of an accident, and your not having enough money left to rebuild.

Generally, when you add any sort of renovation to your home that does affect the cost of rebuild and the overall value of your home, you should contact your insurance agent to adjust your insurance coverage. When you take out a home insurance policy one of the things that your agent will discuss is how much it would cost to rebuild your home. For those that have major renovations done to the home, they will need to adjust your home insurance to compensate for the fact that it will now cost more when you go to rebuild your home.

Making sure you have the right amount of coverage is going to help you make sure your home is going to be easily rebuilt in the event of an accident. For those in the Jacksonville, FL area, the agents with Connect America Insurance Agency can help you find the right policy for you and for your home and new renovations that you just completed.