Keep the Fire in the Barbecue

There is nothing better than grilling up a bunch of steaks or corn on your barbecue.  Grilling brings family and friends together, but an out of control fire will ruin your fun and may cause injury and damage to your home.  Your homeowner’s insurance can be designed to cover grilling accidents, but we hope you never have a fire in the first place.

On average, annually there are over 9,000 home fires directly related to barbecuing.  According to the National Fire Prevention Association, last year over 16,000 people went to the emergency room and there was $80 million in direct property damage from barbecuing.

General Grilling Safety

  • Never barbecue inside, in a garage, on the roof, or on a second story deck.
  • Do not let raw meat sit out long without being chilled or cooked.
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling food.
  • Do not over indulge in alcohol while barbecuing.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Be aware that grills themselves can remain hot long after extinguished.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, let the lighter fluid soak into the coals a few minutes before lighting them so that any vapors have time to evaporate.
  • Open the grill lid before you light it.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Keep an extinguisher outside or close by.
  • Make sure you use the grill 10 feet away from your house.

Gas Grills

  • Before having a propane cylinder filled, check it for dents, gouges or other signs of disrepair.
  • If you have a gas grill, make sure the connections from the propane tank to the grill are tight.
  • Use porcelain rocks instead of lava rocks. Lava rocks are porous and can hold grease, which can catch fire and make for an uneven heating surface.
  • When you turn off a gas grill, remember to turn off the propane tank too.

In the rare instance of a grill fire spreading to your property, your homeowner’s insurance would provide protection as fire is a covered peril.  A homeowner’s policy covers the following:

  • Damage to your home
  • Damage to personal property
  • Injuries to a guest, under the liability portion of your policy

Amberg Insurance has consistently been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

What Is Your Flood Risk?

Many businesses think they have a low risk for flooding.  According to the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP), 25% of flooding losses occur at businesses outside the flood zone.  Remember, your business insurance policy does not cover flooding, which includes rising water and mud slides.

“The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.  It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures.  Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.” (NFIP)

Flood insurance can protect your business, personal property, and buildings from possible loss.  With the constantly changing weather patterns, it is important to talk to your agent about your risk, and get a free flood insurance quote.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Amberg Insurance has consistently been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

Summer Can Be Risky Business For Your Florida Family

water-fight-442257_1920Florida Personal Insurance Update

With the summer months approaching, now would be a great time to review your homeowner’s and personal insurance program.  There is a large spike in auto accidents during June through August.  We offer a free review to assess your insurance needs, and we can recommend needed personal insurance coverage like a personal umbrella, cyber liability, and flood insurance.  Summer Risks Are Very Real.

Here are a few of the risks your family may face this summer:

  • Watercraft — Remember, your personal watercraft insurance does not cover racing. In addition, if your boat is over a certain length, you will need a separate boat policy.  Remember to have personal floatation devices for all people in the boat, and do not drink and drive your boat.  Venture beyond the geographic limits in the policy and the insurance may be nullified.
  • Travel — If you are planning a family vacation, make sure you keep your home safe while gone. Use timers on lights, cancel the mail and garbage, and do not post vacation pictures on social media while you are gone.
  • Swimming — Never leave a child unattended around water. If your child does not know how to swim, make sure they have a floatation device on at all times.
  • Bug Bites — If you are heading outdoors, be prepared for annoying critters. Use EPA-registered insect repellents* that contain at least 20% DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off!  Deep Woods) for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.  Other repellents protect against mosquitoes, but may not be effective against ticks or other bugs.
  • Barbecuing — Never leave a barbeque unattended. Do not barbecue inside or in a garage.  If you receive a minor burn, hold the skin under cool running water for up to 15 minutes to reduce swelling or until the pain subsides.
  • Sunburns — Always use sunscreen, and if your skin is burned, mix one-part whole milk with one-part cool water and gently apply it into the affected areas with a washcloth.
  • Heat Stress — You may be having fun or working in the sun, but if it is hot, keep hydrated by drink plenty of water. Wear lightweight clothing and take breaks every hour or so.
  • Fire pits — Fire pits are becoming increasingly popular for outdoor entertaining. While some burn wood, others use propane or natural gas.  Keep kids at a safe distance and teach them that fire pits stay hot long after the flames go out.

Remember to always seek medical treatment if the injury warrants it. Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Amberg Insurance has consistently been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

How to Keep Your Florida Home Safe While on Vacation

bigstock-Concept-or-conceptual-black-pl-47908673Summer 2016 Vacation Safety

Your family is on vacation having a great time, when you get a call from the police department telling you your home has been burglarized, and your identity may have been compromised.  Chances are your Florida homeowner’s insurance will cover you, but a little prevention might have prevented the loss.  There are things that you can do to deter or prevent a break-in while you are on vacation.  The basic idea is to do everything you can to make it look like there are still people and signs of activity in the home.

Home Burglary facts (Source FBI, Harris Interactive Polls)

  • 23% of burglars get in through the back door.
  • Homes with security systems have a 30% less chance of being targets.
  • A majority of convicted burglars say they avoid homes with alarm systems.
  • 20% of homeowners say they leave their doors unlocked.
  • Burglars will use social media to select targets.
  • The average cost to replace stolen items is $4,200.

Follow These Homeowner’s Tips before You Go on Vacation

  • Set electric timers for interior and exterior lights.
  • Stop all mail.
  • Do not leave any spare keys hidden outside the house.
  • Tell your neighbors that you are leaving.
  • Almost no one remembers to turn down the temperature on the water heater. This can be an excellent way to save electricity as well.
  • Do not take all your credits cards on vacation, only take the one or two you may need.
  • Don’t post vacation pictures on social media sites until your return home.
  • Complete a home inventory and keep it in a safe place.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

 

What Is Assignment of Benefits?

How Assignment Of Benefits May Impact Florida Homeowners

There have been an increasing number of homeowners who have unknowingly signed contracts or forms that include Assignment of Benefits (AOB) agreements. These forms are sometimes provided by contractors, often for water damage restoration, and must be read carefully. The end result is that the contractor is assigned your rights under the insurance policy. This can be a problem in that there are some contractors and attorneys that use this as a scam to sue insurers. This has resulted in homeowners losing control of the claim process and it could mean having to pay amounts beyond what is covered in their policy. The contractor could place a lien on the home.

Florida lawmakers are currently weighing two bills – House Bill 1097 and Senate Bill 596 – that would address the abuse of the assignment of benefits provision

How To Protect Yourself

  • Call your agent or insurer first
  • Do not sign anything without reviewing it with our office
  • Most insurers have 24/7 claim hotlines
  • Read all documents before you sign them

While there may be some good reasons to use AOB, there can be abuses, and it is always good idea to call our office first.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Are You Prepared For The 2016 Florida Hurricane Season?

storm-426789_1920On average there are about 10 storms that hit the Atlantic Ocean including the gulf each year. Some are classified as hurricanes and some are not. Being prepared, before a storm or hurricane makes you able to manage much better to the impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between you being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor. The National Weather Services and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offer great resources and forecasts for our area.

Flooding A BIG Concern

Most, if not all, homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods, but if you live in certain areas, your mortgage company may require flood insurance.  You do not have to live close to a river to be exposed to a possible flood.  If you do live in a special flood risk area, you need to have flood insurance; especially if you need help from the federal government.

The law requires coverage in an amount equal to the outstanding principal balance of the loan, the value of your home, or the maximum limit of coverage under the program whichever is less.

Many of the Companies are now offering  “private flood insurance” and can be bundled with their home insurance.

Here are some basic emergency preparedness suggestions to include in your planning process.

  • Create a family communication plan for children and adults to have. Put copies in children’s backpack and in your wallet or purse.
  • Have your agent complete a review of your homeowners insurance.
  • Flood insurance is not covered under your homeowner’s policy. While hurricanes are generally covered, if a flood ensues later, it may not be covered. You will need a separate flood policy. Remember there is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance.
  • Install hurricane shutters.
  • Prune all trees around your home.
  • Keep a mobile emergency kit in your car.
  • Monitor radio and local TV stations for evacuation orders. Act without delay to avoid traffic.
  • Assemble/replenish disaster supplies kit: FEMA recommends three days of food and water for each member of the household, including pets. You can assemble a kit yourself, or purchase a pre-assembled kit online or from many local stores. Store items in your household designated safe location.
  • Discuss with your family the safe locations for shelter in the places you are likely to spend time: home, school, work, place of worship, etc.
  • Find out your vulnerability to flooding, wind, and storm surges, and whether you live in a mandatory evacuation zone. Visit the FloodSmart.gov website to see updated flood maps.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

 

What Is Personal Injury and Advertising Liability?

Loan  application

Close up of loan application and a fountain pen

Does my Florida business have this exposure?

Every business should have a commercial or business insurance policy. Business insurance will provide many needed coverages for your business. There are two coverages that are particularly important to your business insurance; Personal Injury and Advertising Liability.

Personal Injury and advertising coverage

This coverage provides protection for your business from claims arising out of the following:

  • False arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Wrongful eviction, entry, or invasion
  • Slander/libel through written publication or oral statements
  • Violation of privacy rights
  • Copyright infringement
  • Use of another person’s ideas in advertising

Every business has exposures to these risks and it should be part of your business insurance coverage.  In most cases this coverage is included automatically, but it is always good to read your policy to make sure.

It is important to use an agent with commercial experience to help your business find the right combination of coverage, price, and service.

By having an office in North and South Charlotte County, we can provide convenient and timely service to our clients. We would appreciate having the opportunity to serve as your insurance Agent for your personal and/or business needs.