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Umbrella Insurance Fort MyersUmbrella Insurance

Lawsuits are not reserved for the rich and famous, unfortunately, no one is immune.  Disastrous circumstances can leave you in debt if you are not protected.

An umbrella insurance policy goes beyond the limitations of traditional insurance.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides extra liability insurance from lawsuits, property damage, injuries, slander and libel, worldwide incidents and false arrest and imprisonment as well as shock and mental anguish for residents of Fort Myers.

Our umbrella insurance is designed to protect you and your family from major claims and lawsuits. It is security without the huge costs.

An umbrella policy will cover medical bills and claims of an incident that occurs on your property such as a dog bite, pool injury or death, or boating incident. Property damage liability covers damage you are responsible for such as a serious auto accident.

It can also safeguard rental property you own. Without an umbrella policy your assets, college fund, salary and retirement savings are vulnerable.

GreatFlorida Insurance is here to support you and your family when a crisis occurs. Prevent your family from financial ruin by signing up for an umbrella policy to shelter your family’s future.

Umbrella Insurance Fort MyersCover Your Bases with Umbrella Insurance

It's the part of insurance that we all dread, policy coverage limitations. You pay for insurance expecting complete protections.

Unfortunately, we all know that while it's essential to arm yourself with insurance policies that protect your assets, there are occasions where those policies just aren't enough.

You can hope that you have great luck and will never need more than your policies cover, or you can invest in umbrella insurance.

Contact a GreatFlorida Umbrella Insurance Agent in Fort Myers for your free quote today by calling 239-433-2800 or by taking a few moments to complete our online quote request form.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella Insurance is like the super hero of insurance policies. It saves you by breaking the chains on the limitations of auto, boat and home insurance.

Basic policy exclusions are no match for umbrella insurance. Get added protection from such liabilities and incidents like:

  • Lawsuits
  • Property damage
  • Injuries
  • Slander and libel
  • Worldwide incidents
  • False arrest and imprisonment

How do I know if I need an umbrella insurance policy?

Do you want to know you're protected against the limits of your policies? Do you want coverage on items that are excluded from your policies?

If you answered "yes," an umbrella insurance policy is your answer.

Simply call 239-433-2800 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Umbrella Insurance Agent in Fort Myers will help you find the best deal for you.

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Call 239-433-2800
Florida Umbrella  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/9/2018

“Being on the water, provides a sense of calm and clarity,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

In his book, Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, explains that being on, in or near the water improves creativity, emotional health and relaxation. It can also heal the mind and body.

In the book, he describes the state of a “red mind” and its antidote, a “blue mind.” A red mind is characterized by stress, anxiety and fear, whereas a blue mind is described as calm, peaceful and happy. A blue mind can be achieved by being in, near, on, under or around water. Such as being on a boat. He describes to Discover Boating, that a blue mind, gives our minds a break, it helps us to disconnect from tech and connect with our thoughts and insights as well as with other people.

Research shows walking on the beach, hanging out at the lake or even taking a dip in the pool can calm you down while sparking creativity. He shares with Huffington Post some additional benefits to being around water.

Water gives our brains a rest.

Water can induce a meditative state.

Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.

Exercise by or in water is good for our brains and our bodies.

“These findings explain why we feel so much joy when boating,” observes Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Boat rental website, Carefree Boat Club, explains that boating allows you to create bonding experiences and enjoy memories with family and friends. They report, according to studies, boaters respond to stress or stressful situations in a manner better than non-boaters.

So, the next time you are debating that fishing trip or all-day outing at the beach, remember, it can benefit your health, body and mind.

The post Can Boating Help Us Be Our Better Selves? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/1/2018

Over the last two months, U.S. health officials have issued several warnings regarding certain foods associated with foodborne illnesses. “While food poisoning might just seem like something you have to ride out, some symptoms can be quite serious,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Below are details about foods it is best to continue avoiding.

Salads and Wraps

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a public health alert for salads and wraps from Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Kroger. The food is possibly contaminated with the cyclospora parasite from a lettuce contamination. The tainted food contains beef, poultry or pork and was distributed by Caito Foods, LLC. It is also the cause for McDonald’s to stop selling salads at over 3,000 of their locations this summer. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting fatigue and fever.

Ground Beef

Win Opportunity Knocks recalled more than 6,000 pounds of frozen and fresh ground beef from St. Petersburg due to an E.coli contamination.

Snacks

The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert for foods that contain whey powder. The powder is produced by, Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI). The recall was prompted by a positive test for salmonella. A few companies have issued voluntary recalls of their snacks containing whey powder. Recalled items include:

Ritz Crackers-Ritz Bits and Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and mixed cookie and cracker variety packs.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers-The recalled flavors include, Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel.

Swiss Rolls– Swiss Rolls are distributed nationwide under a variety of brand names.

Another snack food to avoid is Taco Bell Salsa Con Queso Mild Cheese Dip for possible botulism. Botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poising. It can cause dizziness, double vision, trouble with speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing and constipation.

Cereal

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal recalled in June and again in July is responsible for over 100 people falling ill in 33 states with salmonella.

On a side note, as of July 26, the CDC declared the melon outbreak was over and it is safe to consume again.

“If you experience any symptoms you feel might be related to food poisoning, seek immediate help from your doctor or healthcare professional,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance agency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimate that each year 48 million people fall ill from food poisoning, while 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. While it seems more foods are contaminated this year

Experts credit legislation and updated technology to the increase of food recalls by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The post Food Recalls: Products to Avoid appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/25/2018

62 million Americans are in a homeowners association (HOA), according to the Community Associations Institute. That translates into, 24 percent of U.S. homes belonging to community associations.

“Most homeowners don’t think about their HOA until a problem arises,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Houselogic.com explains, “Each HOA, a volunteer group of neighbors who manage common areas and community property, creates its own covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). These cover resident behavior, architecture and common responsibilities, such as fee schedules and fines for non-compliance.”

HOA fees are typically paid monthly or annually. They are often based on individual community amenities and the size of a home.

Homeowners often have mixed feelings regarding HOAs. Most people appreciate them. The greatest benefits of an HOA include, neighborhood attractiveness, less homeowner maintenance and community safety. These factors also contribute to protecting property values within the community.

While some homeowners feel trapped by the rules and restrictions of an HOA. Their arguments include aggressive or unresponsive associations that overstep their bounds.

“If you do not like someone telling you what to do with your home, being part of an HOA might not be for you,” says Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

Violating HOA rules varies from place to place. HOAs have far-reaching legal powers to collect fines. If you don’t respond to letters from the board, property manager or collection agency, some HOAs can file a lien against your property or have the right to foreclose on your property.

An HOA board is voted on by homeowners. If neighbors feel the board is unresponsive or overzealous, they can be voted out or change the rules.

Before buying property regulated by a community association, make sure to carefully read HOA rules and regulations so you know what to expect.

The post Living with Your HOA appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/17/2018

A new driver in the family is exciting. However, it can also be the source of stress. Aside from safety concerns, car insurance costs increase significantly.

Teen crash rates are the highest of any age group, making them the riskiest group on the road. Adding a teen to the family car insurance policy can sometimes double the payments.

“While car insurance can get pricey for teens, discounts are available,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. Below are some discounts available to teen drivers to cut auto insurance costs.

Good Grades

Good student discount rewards students financially, for doing well in school. According to DMV.org, statistics show that students who get good grades are less likely to get into a car accident, making them a lower risk for car insurance companies. A Good grade discount varies among auto insurance companies, however most require the following:

The student is under 25 years old

Full-time enrollment at a high school or college/university

Maintain at least a B average (3.0 grade point average), or be on the honor roll or Dean’s List.

Show other accepted proof of good performance, if home-schooled.

Score in the upper 20 percent on one of the six standardized tests.

Some insurance companies will extend the discount for a year after a student completes school.

Driver’s Education

Safety is the top concern for parents of a teen driver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Driver safety courses teach new drivers rules of the road, as well as offer teen drivers savings.

Students who complete a driver training program, are eligible for a discount. DriversEd.com reports drivers can earn a discount of up to 10 percent after completing their course. Some insurance providers have special courses where students can earn over 15 percent savings.

Electronic Device Technology

Several auto insurers now offer electronic devices to monitor teen driving habits. The devices gather information such as, the number of miles driven, speed, the number of hours on the road and how often the brakes are applied hard. Drivers who meet the standards can save up to 30 percent on premiums.

“These devices are great for safety and savings,” says  Buck,  of GreatFlorida Insurance.

Distant-Student Discounts

If your student driver, resides at a school at least 100 miles from your home and only occasionally drives your vehicle, you could qualify for a discount on your auto insurance.

Car Selection

While most teens dream of receiving a brand-new car for their 16th birthdays, the reality is, they will most likely be driving something used. A used car will save you money to insure instead of insuring a new one. Large trucks and SUV’s cost more to insure, particularly if they have a four-wheel drive option. Some car features that can save money include; anti-lock brakes (ABS), air bags, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision preparation systems and anti-theft devices.

 

The post Lowering a Teen Drivers Auto Insurance appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/12/2018

“Fishing, tourism and public health are vulnerable to algae this year in Florida”, observes Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance company.

Red Tide

A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. You might recognize red tide on the beach. It looks like thick mats of smelly, brown, seaweed and covers beaches along Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Red Tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher than normal concentrations of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports some red tide produces toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals and birds. In humans, the toxin can become airborne and varying levels of eye and respiratory irritation can occur, becoming more severe for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Even touching the bloom can cause a rash.  MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium issues daily beach conditions from beaches along the Southwest coast and along the panhandle. Try checking their website before you head out for the day.

Toxic Algae Bloom

Red tide is not the only algae growing in Florida. Two years ago, some Florida waterways and beaches were afflicted by what many described as a green, slimy, rancid- smelling algae. Well…it’s back. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports the blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria, typically develops in nutrient-rich lakes that contain high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen. High temperatures, warm water and abundant sunlight create ideal conditions for the toxic blooms to thrive.

Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie estuary are filled with the toxic algae as it continues to spread to Cape Coral and Ft. Myers. “Just cleaning up the water will not help, points out Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency. Both red tide and the blue-green algae are exacerbated by fertilizers and other pollution fed by runoff from the surrounding land.

The blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, nausea, respiratory issues, cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Long term conditions include; liver, kidney and nervous system damage.

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this week for seven counties around the lake to give state environmental and tourism agencies more resources to respond to problems caused by the algae. The order also authorizes flushing water south of the lake instead of down the rivers that run to the coasts.

The post Algae Plagues Florida Beaches and Waterways appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/5/2018

The interior of a parked car in Florida averages 150 degrees, according to researchers at the University of Central Florida.

“Every driver in Florida is familiar with the intense heat that greats you as you open the car door on a hot day,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency. Not only is a hot car terribly uncomfortable, but cooling your car down quickly can keep you from looking like a hot mess before you arrive at your destination.

Engineers at Consumer Reports found the best method for cooling off a hot car as soon as possible. The following are their instructions for how to do it.

“These tips will help you get the most from your air conditioning system while burning less fuel,” says Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance agency.

Don’t Pre- Cool

Don’t run the air conditioning in your car until you are ready to drive. The A/C works better when you are driving. Once you are on your way, open the windows and crank the fan to full blast. When cold air starts coming through the vents, close the front windows but keep the rear windows cracked open for another 10 – 20 seconds. This gets cold air to the back of the car and creates an easy path for the hot air to escape the cabin.

Go Low

Adjust the temperature and fan. Setting the temperature to the coldest temperature and adjusting the fans speed keep the air from drying out, making the A/C more efficient saving you some fuel.

Don’t Recirculate

If passengers are in the backseat, turn off recirculation mode. This takes air from the front of the car and pulls it back through the front system keeping the people upfront cool, but leaves the air in the back stale and hot.

Turn Off Start/Stop

Newer cars have an auto start-stop system, turn it off. This feature saves fuel, but it can also keep the air conditioning compressor from running when it shuts the engine off. In very hot weather, you will notice the lack of cool air quickly especially if you are stuck at a lengthy stoplight or in stop and go traffic.

Check the Air Filter

Check your cabin’s air filter to make sure it is clean. A dirty filter prevents air flow.

Automatic Climate Control

If you have automatic climate control in your car, lowering the temperature doesn’t make the car cool off faster. Most systems will do all the temperature and fan adjustments automatically, so you can just set it and forget it.

The post How to Cool Your Car Down Quickly appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
6/27/2018

On July 4th people across the country express their American patriotism by celebrating Independence Day.  A quick history refresher- On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted, declaring the 13 colonies liberated from England.

“Independence Day is a festive day to reflect on the privilege of freedom and democracy we enjoy in this country,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Below is some information you might find useful in commemorating this Independence Day.

FIREWORKS- What is legal and what’s not?

The 4th of July is all about fireworks.

In Florida, nothing airborne or exploding is legal including shells and mortars, tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and even firecrackers. Although, you can legally purchase fireworks if you sign a waiver. The waiver states that you will be using the fireworks to scare away birds from agricultural products or fish hatcheries, according to Florida Today. Lying on the form is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Illegally using fireworks is also a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, sparklers, snakes and party poppers are legal. Keep in mind, there is still a risk of injury using sparklers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports 8 deaths were caused by fireworks in 2017 along with 12,900 emergency-room related injuries. Sparklers were the number one cause of injuries.

The South Walton Fire District recommends the following guidelines to light it up safely:

Keep a bucket of water close by or a garden hose.

Don’t light anything on dry grass, look for a flat surface.

Never try to re-light a “dud” and light one item at a time.

Do not use unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with.

Only purchase fireworks from a licensed vendor.

Light up in an open area.

Never allow young children to play or light fireworks.

Keep any part of your body from being directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.

Never carry sparklers in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

DRIVING

More people are killed in car accidents on Independence Day than any other day of the year. “The staggering amount of traffic contributes to that grim statistic, reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance and car insurance agency.

Along with a high traffic volume, drinking and driving adds to dangerous road conditions. Alcohol also exacerbates dehydration, intensifying the effects of alcohol and causing drowsiness. Distraction from fireworks, is likewise a source of car accidents.

GreatFlorida Insurance is available 24/7 to help with your insurance needs. We offer quality and affordable homowners insurance coverage to Floridians across the state. Call us at 1-888-478-7801 or check us out online at www.greatflorida.com.

The post Make Independence Day unforgettable-in a good way appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.