How is condo insurance different from home insurance?

Owning a condo in Oviedo, FL puts you in the perfect place to enjoy Central Florida. Located just 35 miles northeast of Disney World and 30 miles from sandy Atlantic beaches, you have an ideal location. But, like owning any home, a condo in Oviedo comes with plenty of worry and things that you need to care for. Condo insurance may be something that you know little about, and how it is different from home insurance may be confusing. The knowledgeable agents at The Wurzel Agency are ready and able to answer any questions that you may have. 

The significant difference between home insurance and condo insurance is that home insurance includes the entire home, inside and out. Home insurance covers the main structure, exterior attachments like a garage or deck, and also any other structures in your yard such as a shed, detached garage, or casita. When you own a condo, the condo association will have a master policy that covers the exterior of the building. This includes the roof, walkways, common areas like a pool or a gym, and the parking lot. They repair or replace wear and tear and also damage caused by covered perils. Their insurance, however, does not cover the interior of your unit. 

Condo insurance covers your personal property and also offers liability coverage. With a quality condo policy, you will also be covered for loss of use if the condo is damaged so severely that it is not habitable. It will pay for you to stay somewhere else until your unit gets the okay for you to move back in.

If you are a new condo owner or are considering changing your condo insurance coverage, The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL is happy to talk to you about the perfect coverage for your unit. 

The Christmas Tree Conundrum: Real or Fake?

The kind of tree that adorns a person’s home during the holidays can provoke debate as much as Coke versus Pepsi or Chevy versus Ford.

When it comes to Christmas trees, do you choose live or artificial? Do you cut your own at one of our local tree farms, or pop by the tent in the Home Depot parking lot? Alternatively, do you prefer the convenience of an artificial tree that won’t shed its needles, doesn’t need water, and already has lights?

Both live and artificial trees have their advantages and disadvantages, and we here at The Wurzel Insurance Agency certainly aren’t going to try to convince you that one is better than the other. However, in the spirit of giving, we thought we’d provide some information to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Artificial trees

According to the North Carolina Consumers Council, artificial trees pose fewer safety concerns than live trees, but that’s not to say they don’t have risks of their own. Even fake trees can catch fire when socket are overloaded with Christmas lights, and it only takes seconds for any tree to become completely engulfed in flames. Also, yes, even flame-resistant artificial trees will eventually succumb to a fire. 

When using a pre-lit tree, always follow instructions, and place the tree in an open area where a fire won’t quickly spread to furniture or other things nearby.

The benefits of artificial trees, of course, are well-known. They’re convenient and often less messy than real trees. You can reuse them year after year, saving money and saving the environment. So, there’s no need to spend time searching for the perfect tree since it’s usually easy to adjust the branches to your liking.

Live trees

OK, so you want the real deal. That’s great! However, you’re going to have to take a little more care than you would with an artificial tree. First of all, pick a tree that’s in good shape. If needles come off quickly when you give it a shake or a quick pull on a branch, find another one. 

When you get it home, cut off the bottom two inches of its trunk, and fill the tree stand with water regularly to prevent a fire. Remember not to overload it with lights and decorations. Also, the longer you keep your tree up, the drier — and the more dangerous — it will become. 

Dispose of your tree properly as well. Don’t burn it or put it in your fireplace, as a burning Christmas tree can be harder to control than other types of fires.

If you’re a fan of real trees, you probably don’t need us to tell you the benefits. Just take in that smell and enjoy the season!

No matter what tree you choose, the important thing is to keep safety in mind as well. If you do that, your holiday enjoyment will be real, even if your tree isn’t! 

The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.

Save a Life: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

You’ve seen them on the roads; you might even know a few of them. 

You could be one yourself.

Distracted drivers in come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and experience levels. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment — in the time it takes you to answer your phone or check the kids in the back seat. 

If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone, think about this: More than 390,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed as a result of distracted driving. 

Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. There are three main kinds of distractions:

Visual –taking your eyes off the road

Manual –taking your hands off the wheel

Cognitive –taking your mind off what you’re doing

To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car:

• Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. Doing so will help reduce temptation.

• Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.

• If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.

• This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!

• If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road. 

Your car is no place for multi-tasking. Focus on driving safely – for yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road.

Make sure you and your family are fully protected on the road. The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.

Why a Home Inventory Is Important

Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory? I didn’t think so.

The fact is that most people own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. However, what about that holiday china in the garage? Alternatively, every pair of shoes?

Did you know this is personal property for insurance purposes? Also, if a fire or some other disaster destroys your home,  a list of possessions makes filing a claim easier. It also helps you put your life back together.

Why should you complete a home inventory and what’s the best way?

Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance. You need coverage to replace the items if they are lost, stolen, or destroyed. The easiest way to take an inventory is to video with your smartphone, recording, and describing items as you walk through your house. Then email it to yourself, so the files are stored in the cloud. Alternatively, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist.

Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory:

  • Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note.
  • Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process more manageable.
  • Store your video or photo inventory offsite, so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged.
  • Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables.

Though the task may seem daunting, it’s essential to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all. 

How much insurance do I need?

We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to protect your personal property most effectively. You should consider full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers your property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.) 

Finally, remember your homeowner’s policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art, and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent much hassle later!

The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.