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We are closely monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and adapting Gulfshore Insurance’s operations and business to accommodate and respond to your needs. We are addressing the current situation and taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our teammates and their families, while providing uninterrupted support to our clients.

At this time, we have made the difficult decision to restrict visitors at our physical location. Although we truly enjoy meeting with our clients face to face, we are acting with our clients’ best interests in mind. Our utmost priority is to take all responsible action to help stop the virus spreading further and maintain the health of our clients and associates.

To that end, we would prefer that all visitors refrain from visiting our office for the time being, and we will be recommending that our associates refrain from attending any outside meetings as well. While we are disappointed we will not be able to see our clients in person for the moment, we remain committed to serving them and answering any questions they may have about their insurance.

In addition, many of our dedicated associates are now working from home per CDC guidelines. As such, all insurance processing will occur electronically for the foreseeable future. Our service teams are more than happy to speak with over the phone or via email about insurance needs.

We will continue to adapt and implement appropriate measures in line with the situation in our area. There is no mistaking the challenge of these unprecedented times; however, Gulfshore will continue to be here when you need us the most. If you have any questions, please let us know.  

We have entered unprecedented times as we all respond to COVID-19. We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and are working to ensure we meet the needs of our clients as well as provide for the health and safety of our employees. Our goal is to be in a position to serve our clients and even more so in times of uncertainty and confusion.

As such, we have implemented proactive steps to ensure that the continuity of our service is not impacted. We will remain fully operational with all offices open; however, beginning March 16th, a portion of our workforce will begin working from home. All of our colleagues will have access to their direct phone lines and email. In addition, our main phone lines will remain open.

The next few weeks may bring additional unexpected developments and disruption. We are committed to staying focused on those factors that remain within our control including our commitment to supporting our clients needs. Please take comfort in knowing that we are well positioned to weather this storm. 

We will remain vigilant in the face of this adversity and hope that our community remains safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact a member of our service team should you have any concerns or needs.

Natural disasters have been on the rise in the last decade, and according to a new analysis, it’s causing a spike in home insurance rates across the country. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2018 saw 850 “natural catastrophes” across the world—a jump from 740 in 2017 and just 500 a decade earlier. The disasters have racked up damages to the tune of $350 billion in some years – and those were just the insured losses.

A recent report noted that 2017 and 2018 brought the costliest back-to-back years on record for economic losses solely due to weather-related events. As insurance companies struggle to keep up with two years of higher-than-expected losses from natural catastrophes, homeowners may see increases in rates, particularly in more disaster-prone parts of the country.

“Every year in the United States, natural disasters account for tens of billions of dollars in damages,” the report reads. “A significant portion of those damages falls on the shoulders of insurance companies. When insurance companies experience huge loss from natural disaster-related claims, they compensate for that loss with an increase in home insurance rates.”

Average home insurance rates have risen in every state in the last decade, mainly due to natural disasters, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. And Florida’s average rate is the highest in the nation. Florida tends to have most of its damages caused by hurricanes, such as Hurricane Irma, which hit the state in September 2017 and caused $11.1 billion worth of damage, with the vast majority of that to homes, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Hurricane Michael hit Florida in October 2018, causing $6.4 billion worth of damage to the state.

You can read the full analysis of the decades’ worth of NAIC data by clicking here.

You may have heard the phrase “A-rated” and wondered what that really means. What is an “A” rated insurance carrier and why should it matter? Insurance carrier ratings look similar to school report cards, and, in a way, they are. Most homeowners want a carrier with a high financial stability rating.

There are many companies that monitor the strength of insurance providers, but the most common ones you’ll run into are A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Demotech. For more than 100 years, A.M. Best has been recognized as the industry standard for insurance carrier ratings. A.M. Best is the most prevalent insurance-specific agency and is the one most commonly used by major insurers. Each rating agency uses proprietary scales to rate an insurance company. As a result, one company’s rating isn’t necessarily equivalent to another’s. These rating agencies consider a wide variety of factors, but look at how well the business is doing financially, how responsibly it is run, and external factors like vulnerability to natural disasters.

A.M. Best Ratings

A.M. Best ranks each insurance carrier with a letter grade and often a plus or minus. Ratings might also include a second plus or minus, called a “notch,” that further expresses the degree of the rating.

The A.M. Best rating is an indicator of the company’s ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations. Their rating is based on a comprehensive, quantitative, and qualitative evaluation of a company’s balance sheet, operating performance, and business profile. A.M. Best’s rating system has a proven track record in indicating insurance companies that may, over time, encounter financial difficulties. As such, A.M. Best’s rating is recognized worldwide as the benchmark for assessing and comparing insurers’ financial strengths.

A Note on Demotech Ratings

Demotech joined the ratings arena in 1985 and specializes in providing ratings and detailed financial analysis of regional and specialty insurers. Many consumers prefer an A.M. Best over Demotech rating, but if you live in a coastal area or certain hard to insure areas, you may need to rely on Demotech. A company with neither a Demotech nor an A.M. Best rating should be a cause for concern.

What it all means to you?

Considering the financial stability of an insurance carrier before purchasing coverage is important because the insurer has an ongoing financial obligation. Generally, an “A” rated insurance company is considered one that performs at the top of its industry in creditworthiness (the ability to repay creditors and pay any claims presented) as well as how it performs financially when compared to its peers. The stronger the financial strength rating of an insurance company, the more likely it is that it will not experience financial failure and perhaps even close its doors. You need a company you can depend on to be around when it is most needed.

Gulfshore Insurance represents the top-rated insurance companies that specialize in insurance protection for successful individuals and families: AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault. Our preference is to place our clients’ personal risk management programs with these Admitted Carriers that receive superior financial ratings from the national rating agencies. We value their financial stability, breadth of coverage, loss prevention services, and their track record of settling claims promptly and fairly. In situations where the Specialty Providers are not the right fit for our clients, our agency represents up to 20 other companies, allowing us to find appropriate solutions to fit our clients’ needs.