Florida Home Insurance – What You Need To Know About Home Insurance

 

When you think of Florida, the first thing you typically think of is the beautiful orange groves and palm trees.  Unfortunately, the second thing you usually think of is hurricanes and tropical storms.  Inclement tropical weather is just one facet to consider when owning a home in Florida and debating whether home insurance is a good idea or not.  There are plenty of other facets that make home insurance a good idea in the state of Florida.  The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL offers home insurance and consultations to help you with your insurance needs.

Home Insurance

What exactly does home insurance entail?  Home insurance policies are typically offered a la carte, meaning that you have a base policy and can add additional types of coverage to the policy.  We will cover a few of these types of policies below.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is sometimes offered separately as additional coverage to purchase to add to your main home insurance policy.  Sometimes, the flood insurance is included with the home insurance policy, it’s all dependent on the insurance provider and the types of policies that they offer.  Floods are an accepted consequence of living in a tropical area such as Florida.  Heavy rains can form at any time and heavy rains are also a consequence of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Damages and Liabilities

Should your home be damaged from storms, winds, or fires, your home insurance policy will cover the home and everything in it.  Many times, providers will offer rental coverage should you need to stay elsewhere while your home is being repaired for an insurance claim.  The home insurance policy also includes liability insurance for your property to protect you from liable events that occur on your property.

More Information

To learn more about home insurance, please contact The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL today! 

Things that home insurance doesn’t cover

Home insurance protects your home from some of the hazards of life. It protects from fire, strong winds, vandalism, and theft. The liability coverage protects you from legal action that may happen as the result of an injury to someone who is visiting your home. You may feel confident that you are completely protected with your home insurance but you would be incorrect. All home insurance policies have exclusion and you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you are not aware of the things your policy doesn’t cover.  At The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL, we try to make sure that all of our customers know exactly what their policy covers and more importantly what it doesn’t cover. 

Floods

Even though floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters, home insurance does not cover flooding that originates outside your home. If a pipe inside your house burst that is a different kind of flooding. If you live in an area where flooding is a potential danger you can get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Hurricanes

If you live in an area that is prone to hurricane damage make sure that you have hurricane coverage. It usually has a different deductible than the rest of your policy and has its own specific limits. Read your policy carefully to avoid misunderstanding. 

Termite damage

If your home suffers from termite damage, the damage will not be covered by home insurance. It is the expectation of the insurance company that you will maintain your home and getting your home treated for things like termites is part of that maintenance.

Earth movement

Earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes are all types of earth movement that are not covered by typical home insurance. You can however by a rider or separate policy to cover them. 

Contact The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL for all your insurance needs. 

5 Tips to Help Prevent Tree Trouble

Trees are pretty amazing. They produce oxygen. They serve as natural air conditioners, both by blocking sunlight and through evaporation. And they even absorb sounds, helping to keep things peaceful.

These benefits, along with countless others, are great reasons to keep the trees on property in good shape. Looking for another? Unhealthy trees can actually pose great danger to your home and property, as well as to your family and other people.

With these tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation, you can help prevent tree trouble – and potentially save yourself from a home insurance claim:

  1. Inspect trees frequently. The size, color and condition of leaves, and overall leaf cover, are good indicators of a tree’s health. Cavities or disfiguration can be a warning sign, although they don’t always mean a tree is a hazard. Just keep a close eye on it. Dead branches are a big risk, because they can fall easily. Those that cross or rub can create weak spots. 
  2. Plant in an appropriate space. Putting in a tree that will grow to be large? Don’t put it near power or sewer lines, or close to your home. Avoid planting brittle trees – their limbs are weak and more likely to break and fall. Examples include Silver Maples and Willows.
  3. Prune correctly. Cut outside the branch collar, and prune regularly as trees age. Don’t allow a tree to be topped.
  4. Leave it to an expert. Once a year, have a qualified arborist thoroughly evaluate the trees on your property. An arborist can identify ones that need to come down immediately, as well as those to watch. In particular, trees that have been topped, or that have lost large limbs unexpectedly, could cause trouble. Taking down trees can be very dangerous, so leave it to a professional.
  5. Remember, you’re responsible. Property owners are generally responsible when their hazardous trees cause damage or injury to others. So keep your trees healthy, your space beautiful and your liability low!

When a tree does fall, you may or may not have coverage through your homeowner’s policy for any damage it may cause. If you’d like to discuss your coverage, please give us a call today. It may be a good time to think about adding extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio with an umbrella policy.

A Few Tips for the College-Bound

College is expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your coverage.

HOMEOWNERS (varies by state)

  • Personal Property:  Most homeowner’s policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage). Not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items such as jewelry or expensive electronics require special coverage. Renters insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Liability Coverage: General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered.  
  • Documentation: Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. Use photographs and keep receipts.

AUTO (varies by state)

  • Car Stays Home: Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still drive your car while at home on school breaks.
  • Car at School: Make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered.  
  • Driving a Friend’s Car: Students are generally covered if they are listed on their parent’s policy and are not regularly using the vehicle. The coverage would be secondary. The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage.
  • Discounts: A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

Before your child leaves for school, give us a call. We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage. We’re here to help! 

Summers mean backyard grilling – safely!

Just like steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer — and grilling isn’t just about great food. Backyard cookouts often create treasured memories with friends and family.

Keep in mind, however, that when you grill, you’re playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents.

There’s good news, though: You can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. The tips below can help ensure you cook only your burgers – and not your house – the next time you fire up the grill.

TIPS FOR ALL GRILLS

Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, or other flammable articles). 

NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes are deadly.

Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.

Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.

CHARCOAL GRILL TIPS 

From Kingsford.com

  • Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of liquid and burn you.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
  • Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees. 
  • To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water. 

GAS GRILL TIPS

From the National Fire Protection Association

Check your grill’s hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak, and it will not stop after the grill and gas are turned off, call the fire department. If the leak stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department, do not move the grill.

Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home.

Store propane tanks in an upright position, and never indoors. 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.

Let’s Keep Our Florida Lawns (and Ourselves) Safe

For many of our Florida neighbors, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in the yard — often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Each year about 400,000 people are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Don’t let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital! Follow these handy safety tips.

Tool safety tips from the CPSC:

  • Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes and no jewelry. Sturdy shoes are recommended, and ear plugs may be appropriate depending on how loud your device is.
  • Before starting, remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass, or stones.
  • Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them.
    Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs, and trees.
  • Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult.
  • Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Of course, you should never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
  • Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University

  • If you use chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Follow all instructions.
  • Keep children and animals away from the application area, and protect your skin, eyes, and nose during and after application.
  • Remember, use only the recommended amount. Using more of the chemical will not do a better job.
  • Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?

From all of us at The Wurzel Insurance Agency, here’s to keeping both you and your lawn healthy and safe this summer!

Home Insurance: Protect Your Biggest Asset With the Right Policy

Living in Oviedo, FL or the surrounding area can mean a beautiful location and a lot of great amenities close by. But while you’re enjoying life in the sunshine state, don’t forget to make sure you have the proper home insurance. The Wurzel Agency is here to help, with the homeowner’s policies that can meet your needs. You’ll want to be sure you’re covered for hurricanes and other events, along with the basic coverage you have on a home. In order to get the right level and type of coverage, you should work with a trusted agent who can answer your questions and ensure that your largest asset is being adequately protected so you can have some peace of mind.

Whether you have a mortgage company that requires insurance or your home is yours alone, it’s still a good idea to have a homeowner’s policy that’s thorough and complete. With the right level and type of coverage, you can feel secure that your home and family will be protected. It’s exciting to own a home, but it’s also a big responsibility. Fortunately, you have quality insurance agents on your side to make sure you’re getting the help and support you need. Feel free to ask us plenty of questions, too, so you can make an informed decision on your coverage levels and other considerations. We’re happy to help you be an informed consumer.

By reaching out to The Wurzel Agency today, you can get started on finding the right home insurance policy for your Oviedo, FL house. We know you have options for policy coverage, and we’ll be here to advise you so you can make a good choice you’ll be happy within the long run. It’s also a good idea to review your policy at least once per year to make sure everything’s up to date. Sometimes when life situations change, this means a change in coverage should happen, as well. Contact our office to have your questions answered.

Spring cleaning tips from The Wurzel Insurance Agency

Spring is a time for new beginnings, so cleaning and organization around the house are top-rated this time of year. 

If you’re ready to tackle that monumental chore, knowing as spring cleaning, read on for some helpful information! (And if you’re so tidy and organized throughout the year that spring cleaning isn’t a big chore for you, well done! We might be a little jealous!) 

Take it one room at a time. Deciding to clean or organize your entire home can quickly become overwhelming. If you focus on just one area or room, then move to another only when you’re finished, you’ll likely work more efficiently.

Follow the six-month rule. Generally, if you haven’t used something in six months (except seasonal items), it’s a good idea to consider throwing it away, recycling it, or donating it. 

Don’t forget the kitchen. Just like other rooms, your kitchen likely stores items that haven’t been used in some time — and this includes food in the refrigerator or freezer. Give those appliances a thorough cleaning, get rid of expired foods, and donate unexpired foods you won’t be eating.

Set yourself up for success. Paper clutter is something we all could probably cut back on pretty quickly. Setting up a few recycling bins throughout the house gives you a convenient alternative to setting that old magazine or paperwork down somewhere and watching the pile grow.

Make some money! The spring-cleaning garage sale is a tradition for many homeowners and can be a great way to bring in some extra income. Talk about a win-win situation — you get rid of stuff you don’t need, and someone pays you for it!

Stay safe. When you’re cleaning or maintaining your home, be mindful of the physical risks involved. Lift with your leg muscles, not your back. Avoid prolonged repetitive motions. Use ladders, lawnmowers, and other dangerous tools with caution.

Happy spring, and happy cleaning!

Ready to Remodel? Time to Call Your Insurance Agent!

Ready to make your home improvement dream a reality? It’s essential to have the right type of insurance and the right amount of coverage first! 

Insurance should be in place during and after construction. If you’re considering a remodeling project, it’s essential to contact your agent before the process begins. Waiting until the project starts or is already finished can be an expensive mistake, so be sure to take the following essential steps first: 

1. Discuss home improvement plans with your agent. Ask about updating your homeowner’s policy, and ask whether other types of insurance will be needed for protection during the construction process. Only those who are qualified to perform DIY projects should attempt them. People who are not construction workers should not help unless there is sufficient liability coverage for their protection. Many homeowners must raise their no-fault medical protection limit for such workers. For a larger project, it is best to consider a “course of construction” policy. This covers the home during the building process from weather or theft damages.

2. Make sure the contractor is covered. Before allowing a contractor to start work, ask to see his or her insurance policies. Contractors should carry both workers’ compensation and commercial general liability insurance. If one of the insured contractor’s workers sustains injuries, that individual will not be able to sue the homeowner. Contractors who are unwilling to provide insurance documents should never be hired.

3. Store all receipts and records. Be sure to take photographs before, during, and after the remodeling project. This provides a virtual history of what the property looked like during each phase. Hold on to all contracts from contractors, and be sure to save the receipts for all materials purchased. Keep receipts for any other belongings bought for the home during the project as well.

4. Update insurance policies again after the project. Let your agent know when any home improvements are completed, as insurance amounts may need to be increased following a major renovation. All of the records and receipts may need to be copied and sent to the insurance company. This helps them assess needs and assign accurate values for the improvements. Your agent will be able to recommend any coverage needed for more expensive items. You may need additional liability coverage if a pool or spa was added, or an umbrella policy may be the right solution for this situation.

Be sure to ask your agent about discounts as well! When you install smoke detectors, stronger doors, deadbolt locks, or burglar alarms, they may qualify for discounts. Some insurers also offer more significant discounts to people who install more sophisticated burglar alarm systems, sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, or other devices. 

If you’ve updated your plumbing, electricity, roof, or windows, those may also qualify for discounts. This is especially true if any energy-saving features were installed. In areas prone to intense storms, shutters, reinforced roofs, and shatterproof windows could also earn you a discount, so be sure to ask your agent about what your insurance company offers. 

Don’t forget: If a remodeling project is the result of a growing family, be sure to consider your other insurance needs, such as a life insurance policy, as well. 

Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!

Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things – like chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “BE MINE,” and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting – not to mention romantic – to receive jewelry from a loved one or give it as a gift. If you’re lucky enough to have received some new jewelry this Valentine’s Day, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes and think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

Don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry. At The Wurzel Insurance Agency, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowner’s policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. 

You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent evaluation if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re safely stored at home or being worn on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can keep the cash settlement.

Photographs can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry can sometimes be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Should I go with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance? Some insurance companies specialize in jewelry insurance, and we only represent companies that are reputable and stable. We’re happy to advise you on all the options available. 

Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please talk to us before making that decision. We’re here to help you assess what’s needed when it comes to insuring your valuables. 

Of course, it’s essential to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use. A safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen — but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year!