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.

How to Remove a Car from An Auto Policy

There comes a time in every car insurance policy holder’s life when you want to remove a car from your policy. There are ways that this can be done that are simple if you just know where to start. If you are having trouble with the process and live in the Jacksonville, FL area, the agents with Connect America Insurance Agency can help.

The first step is that you have to show that the car is not going to be on your policy any longer. You may need to prove that the car is either no longer being driven at all or at the very least, not being driven by you. In some cases, it may be necessary that you prove the car is no longer being licensed so there is no chance it is going to be driven.

The next step is to identify which car is being removed. You want to make sure you have the correct vin number and the correct information so that the car you want removed, is the one that is taken off the policy. With the help of an agent the process should only take a few moments. You can remove cars from auto policies yourself but this may cause a bit of trouble as you do need to know what you are doing.

If you are selling the car you may need proof of a transfer of title. For those that are transferring a car to another policy, if you still owe money on the car you will need to send the new proof of insurance to your lender and to anyone that may have a vested interest in the car. If you live in the Jacksonville, FL area, the agents with Connect America Insurance Agency can help 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.



Vehicle Prep: Key to a Safe Road Trip

The success of your vacation family road trip lies in putting the safety of your family first. Preparing your vehicle in advance can help you have a safe and positive road trip experience. Vehicle prep can entail the following:  

Vehicle Inspection

Have your car inspected by a certified mechanic to make sure all systems are working properly before taking off on the road. If your car needs a tune-up, oil change, new brake pads or other essential repairs, get them done in advance of your travels. Before going anywhere, get a clear “thumbs up” from your mechanic to show your vehicle is road ready.     

Safety Features

If you’re traveling with young children, check your kids’ car seats to ensure they’re installed properly and functioning as they should. Safe car seats and working seat belts are a must when traveling with children. Additional safety features such as airbags and child safety locks will further protect your kids on the road.      

Insurance Coverage

Review your auto insurance coverage from Connect America Insurance Agency to make sure it’s up to date. Keep in mind that roadside assist coverage could come in handy for unexpected breakdowns during your travels. Whether you’re staying around Jacksonville, FL or driving out of state, you can travel worry free knowing you have adequate car insurance coverage.

Emergency Kit

Pack an emergency travel kit to help with crisis situations that may arise on the road. Your kit should contain such essentials as water, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, car tools to make simple repairs and first aid kit. Make sure you also have a working cell phone with a charger to stay connected with loved ones during your travels.

In the event of an accident, contact your Connect America Insurance Agency rep in Jacksonville, FL to help with any insurance needs.      

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.



So…Should You Let the Babysitter Drive Your Car?

Busy parents need help.  Their "to do list" is always a few pages long and getting out of the house – alone – can be challenging. That’s where the babysitter up the road comes in handy.  She’s reliable, the kids love her, and she cleans up after herself!  She’s been such a help that you’re thinking about adding more responsibility to her job. She can do the food shopping, run errands, or just get the kids out of the house for a few hours.  But she’ll need to use your car.  Sound like a good idea? Before your hand over the keys to your car, there are a couple of things to consider.  

Get More Information

Before you loan out your car to the babysitter, you’ll need to get more information.  Since it is your car, in your name, you hold liability.  No matter who gets behind the wheel of your car, your insurance policy is the primary coverage. That means you must be certain the babysitter is covered before she drives your car in Jacksonville, FL.  

Review Your Auto Policy

Take a few minutes to read over your auto policy, paying particular attention to exclusions or restrictions.  The babysitter would be considered a "permissive driver" in most instances, so look for any information on whether permissive drivers are covered.  If you’re still not sure, call your insurance agent, and they will be happy to assist you.  However, if you plan on lending her the car regularly, you may want to talk with your insurance agency about adding her as a listed driver.  

At Connect America Insurance Agency serving Jacksonville, FL, we can help you find the right auto insurance policy for your vehicle, and we would always are happy to answer all your questions about extending coverage.  Feel free to call Connect America Insurance Agency today to speak with a friendly agent.