Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

flash-731488_1920We live in a great state. But we do have unique risks that we need to manage and prepare for. Your homeowner’s insurance can be designed to protect you from most of these risks and disasters.

Insurance And Disasters

It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how insurance might apply to other disasters.

  1. Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.
  2. Hurricanes— Most property insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hurricanes, except for flood loss associated with the hurricane. If you live in a high wind area, you will need to have a separate policy to cover your home and personal property.
  3. Tornadoes— Damage from tornadoes typically is covered, since it usually is considered wind damage.
  4. Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.
  5. Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.
  6. Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

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.

Amberg Insurance has been voted BEST INSURANCE AGENCY and BEST AGENT by the residents of Charlotte County and Harbor’s Hottest Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

How To Prepare For Florida Hurricane Season

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Hurricane season takes place June 1 to November 30 every year. Don’t wait until after you have a loss to check your insurance, review your homeowners or renters policies to make you have the right coverage in the event you’re hit with a destructive storm.

What is Florida Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it. Florida Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.

Remember The Key Terms

Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a real possibility for an area within 48 hours.

Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is issued when a hurricane is expected within 36 hours. Begin precautionary action at once. Important – once a Warning has been issued for our community insurance cannot be bound. If you are involved in closing on a new home, we recommend binding coverage early, especially in hurricane season.

Now is the time for you to build an emergency kit and create an evacuation plan.  For more information on this, go to http://www.ready.gov/american-red-cross

Hurricane Planning:

  • Review your insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage and limits.
  • Hold an annual family meeting to discuss issues and plans.
  • Develop an evacuation plan; this should include phone numbers, meeting places and routes of escape from your home, neighborhood and city.
  • Check your home for vulnerable areas, such as leaking roofs.
  • Make sure you have a secure place for recreation vehicles, boats, and motorcycles.
  • Make plans for your pets as well.
  • Notify neighbors and family members of your evacuation plan.
  • Plan for any special medical needs.
  • Make sure the gas tank in your car is full.
  • Anchor or stow small boats and RV’s.
  • Secure any outdoor furniture.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
  • Trim any old trees.
  • Secure any antennas.
  • Make sure flashlights are working.
  • Evacuate, if advised to do so!

 

 

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.

Amberg Insurance has been voted BEST INSURANCE AGENCY and BEST AGENT by the residents of Charlotte County and Harbor’s Hottest Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

Summer Travel Safety

As the summer vacation season approaches and thoughts turn to fun in the sun, getting on an airplane or even camping. If you plan on traveling to a foreign country, call our office for an insurance review.

Consider Travel Insurance

When traveling overseas, you never know what could unexpectedly happen. In the case of a medical emergency, lost baggage, or stolen wallet, it can be difficult to find your bearings in an unfamiliar place. We can provide coverage when traveling internationally.

Here are some tips to protect your data from prying eyes so you can have one less thing to worry about on your vacation.

  • Don’t post on social media until you return.
  • Let a trusted neighbor know you will be away and have them keep an eye on your home. It is a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Be aware of any travel and health alerts at your destination.
  • Write out a schedule and give it to a family member for safety purposes.
  • Make copies of all of your credit cards, important identification information, including your medical insurance cards, and your traveler’s checks.
  • Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended period.
  • Stop the paper and garbage service.
  • Don’t take expensive jewelry with you. Jewelry can get lost or be a target for thieves.
  • Never put your home address on your luggage tags. Write your phone number instead.
  • If you are traveling to a foreign country remember to study up on laws and customs. You will have a much better time if you understand the culture.

Before you leave for vacation, you may decide to close your curtains to prevent people from peering inside your home to see whether you’re there. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help the police, your neighbors or friends from seeing inside your house

You might be able to pay less for your insurance premium and not even know it. So it pays to connect with us to review your insurance needs. Allen & Furr Insurance, is 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.

Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection. 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 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.

Now go and have a great time!

 

Be Aware of Fraud During Storm Recovery

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We are moving into storm season and we wanted to remind you about contractor scam.

Prevent Contractor Scams

  • Make sure all contractors are licensed and insured.
  • Check with your insurer to see if the contractor has provided work for them in the past.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Always ask for a quote in writing.
  • If you must, only pay a small amount up front, but also use a credit card so you can challenge payment if needed.
  • Get referrals and check references.
  • Never sign a blank agreement.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed in Texas.

Insurance Scams

Some people have already received fraudulent computer calls saying their home insurance has been canceled and they need to make an immediate payment by credit card.  Also, be aware of people who say they are adjusters representing your insurance company and you need to pay your deductible now in order to have your claims covered.  Call our office if you have any questions regarding your claims.

Charity Scams

Many scammers are out asking you to donate money to their charity. Make sure you donate to legitimate organizations.  Donate money to charities you know, such as The Red Cross or your local church.

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.

Amberg Insurance has 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.

 

Never Sign Away Your Rights

Roofers Working

As a Florida homeowner, you carry homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself in case of damage to your home. Horrifically, unscrupulous contractors use an insidious trick to defraud thousands of Florida homeowners every year – convincing them to sign away their rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form.

What is an “AOB” form?

A contractor or repair company representative will often tell you that an Assignment of Benefits or “AOB” form is necessary for them to do work on your home. They may promise it will make the process easier for you as it will allow them to “handle everything.” They might even offer to lower or eliminate your deductible if you sign the form immediately.

This tactic is often used by roofing contractors after storms, or by water restoration companies if you have water damage caused by a leak in your home. However, signing an AOB form efficiently turns over your rights under your insurance policy. If someone can gain access to the roof or the interior of your home before your insurance adjuster arrives, they may intentionally cause extra damage so they can inflate repair costs

Don’t allow roofing contractors up on your roof to “investigate,” or water restoration companies to start work before the damage is assessed. Most importantly, don’t sign an AOB form. We are here for you and can help you navigate the claims process and avoid contractor abuse and fraud.

You can help stop AOB contractor fraud by knowing your rights (including the right to cancel a contract, including a signed AOB form, within three days) and you can also help others avoid a nightmare like Barbara’s by sharing this information with friends, family, and neighbors. Together, we can put an end to contractor abuse and AOB contractor fraud.

It is important to note that not all homeowner’s policies are created equal, and what one company offers may not be the same as another company. Also keep in mind, if you bought your policy online, who really knows what coverage you have?

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 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.

 

Are You Prepared For The Next Flood? Part Three

freec tHistoric storms in the Gulf of Mexico, such as Harvey, Irma and Maria have emphasized the importance of homeowners securing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

NFIP: The City of Punta Gorda participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NF P makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in the floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and drainage problems.

The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided contents are in an insurable building.

Mandatory Purchase Requirements: The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned building in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings.

How it Works: Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the letter “A” or “V”.  Flood Insurance is a valuable tool in the protection of your home.  Can you afford not to have this insurance?

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.

Amberg Insurance has 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Prepared For The Next Flood? Part Two

flood bf 567Historic storms in the Gulf of Mexico, such as Harvey, Irma and Maria have emphasized the importance of homeowners securing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Flood Hazard Zone…Know Your Location

Flooding and other surface drainage problems can occur well away from a river, lake, or ocean. If you are looking at a property, it’s a good idea to check out possible flood hazards before you buy. Here are some reasons why:

  • The force of moving water or waves can destroy a building.
  • Slow moving flood waters can knock people off their feet or float a car.
  • Standing water can float a building, collapse basement walls, or buckle a concrete floor.
  • Water-soaked contents such as carpeting, clothing, upholstered furniture, and mattresses may have to be thrown away after a flood.
  • Some items such as  photographs  and heirlooms  may never be restored to their original
  • Floodwaters are not clean: floods carry mud, farm chemicals, road oil, and other noxious substances that cause health hazards.

Floodplain regulations: The City of Punta Gorda regulates construction and development in the floodplain to ensure that buildings will be protected from flood damage. Filling and similar projects are prohibited in certain areas. Houses substantially damaged by fire, flood, or any other cause must be elevated to or above the flood level when they are repaired

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.

Amberg Insurance has 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Prepared For The Next Flood? Part One

storm-426789_1920Historic storms in the Gulf of Mexico, such as Harvey, Irma and Maria have emphasized the importance of homeowners securing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As you are aware, most locations in the City of Punta Gorda require the purchase of flood insurance as a condition of a mortgage. It is our belief; however, that all properties in the City of Punta Gorda and numerous locations in Port Charlotte are susceptible to damage from flood waters and property owners should protect themselves by purchasing flood insurance. Here are some reasons why:

The Flood Insurance Rate Maps do not take into account the vulnerabilities to storm surge. These maps primarily look at rainfall flooding. The City of Punta Gorda is extremely vulnerable to storm surge. In fact, all residents in the City of Punta Gorda live in a storm surge zone. With the City of Punta Gorda having an average elevation of less than 10 Feet, this leaves a majority of our population vulnerable to storm surge even from a minor storm. It is very possible that residents in X Zones (which are not required to have flood insurance) could experience flooding from storm surge that could cause major damage to their home or business, and any contents contained in the structures. Many people living in zones that do not require the purchase of flood insurance have purchased flood insurance for the reason stated above.

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.

Amberg Insurance has 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 for Everyone

download (1)A Personal Insurance and Safety update

Summertime means more of us are heading to the pool, lake, ocean, or river to relax and have fun.  Unfortunately, these activities can lead to accidents and injury.  Summer also brings increases in heat related illness and teen driving accidents, according to PC260.com.

It is also important to have a personal insurance review to make sure all your summer activities are covered.  For example, if you have purchased a boat, you may need a separate watercraft policy.  In addition, if you have installed a pool you will need to add that risk to your homeowner’s policy.  We want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer, so here are some reminders about summertime safety.

Some of the Top Summer Risks

  • River water can be very cold, especially as the early snowmelt flows downriver. Even if it is 100 degrees outside, the river water temperatures can be very cold.
  • If you are planning foreign travel, remember to check travel advisories. Also, be sure you have all your medical issues managed correctly.  Check with your health insurer, as many will not provide coverage in foreign countries.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Summer heat can affect your pets, so make sure they are not left in vehicles or in homes during long heat waves.
  • When you are on the water, do not mix drinking and water craft driving. Verify that you have life vests for everyone and keep life vests on all children all the time.
  • Heat stress is one of the most common illnesses during summertime. The risk of getting skin cancer is much higher among people who sunbathe, and especially those who have experienced multiple sunburns.
  • Barbecues and fire related risks increase during the summer. Always keep children away for open fires, and keep barbecues away from buildings.
  • When riding your bike we recommend you always use a helmet.
  • Do you know if your pool cage or supports are covered?

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.

Amberg Insurance has 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.

2015 Florida Hurricane Season Is Here

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We are in the middle of the 2015 hurricane season and it is time to provide a refresher on hurricane safety and preparation. Make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date.

What is Florida Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it. Florida Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.

Remember The Key Terms

Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a real possibility for an area within 48 hours.

Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is issued when a hurricane is expected within 36 hours. Begin precautionary action at once. Important – once a Warning has been issued for our community insurance cannot be bound. If you are involved in closing on a new home, we recommend binding coverage early, especially in hurricane season.

Now is the time for you to build an emergency kit and create an evacuation plan.  For more information on this, go to http://www.ready.gov/american-red-cross

Hurricane Planning:

  • Review your insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage and limits.
  • Hold an annual family meeting to discuss issues and plans.
  • Develop an evacuation plan; this should include phone numbers, meeting places and routes of escape from your home, neighborhood and city.
  • Check your home for vulnerable areas, such as leaking roofs.
  • Make sure you have a secure place for recreation vehicles, boats, and motorcycles.
  • Make plans for your pets as well.
  • Notify neighbors and family members of your evacuation plan.
  • Plan for any special medical needs.
  • Make sure the gas tank in your car is full.
  • Anchor or stow small boats and RV’s.
  • Secure any outdoor furniture.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
  • Trim any old trees.
  • Secure any antennas.
  • Make sure flashlights are working.
  • Evacuate, if advised to do so!

Amberg Insurance has been voted BEST INSURANCE AGENCY and BEST AGENT by the residents of Charlotte County and Harbor’s Hottest Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.