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.
Florida insurance can be complicated. With so many new or seasonal residents purchasing additional properties in the sunshine state, it is critical to provide proper insight on the potential challenges of insuring a Florida home. The Florida property insurance market is drastically different than anywhere else, and the state’s vulnerability to high winds and flooding makes securing proper coverage from a reliable company a must for Florida residents.
Here are the top 5 reasons why having a local trusted professional guide you through the insurance process is critically important:
- We know the area. Local Florida agents are keenly aware of conditions that impact market availability, such as building codes, distance to water, and exposure to flooding, wind, and fire. Always rely on the expertise of a local insurance agent when purchasing a Florida property.
- We’ve weathered the storm. No area in the country, or arguably the world, has a stretch of coastline as expansive and hurricane-prone as Florida. This susceptibility to hurricanes puts homeowners and insurance companies in a risky situation. Just as insurance companies have different contracts by state, the contracts can also vary greatly within a state. A local agent will be able to help navigate through these differences and identify the bigger gaps in coverage/contracts.
- We will be here when you need us most. When ‘you know what’ hits the fan, it’s critical to have a local advocate ready to help. Gulfshore Insurance clients feel confident knowing they have dedicated and licensed Claims Advocates on staff locally who will provide the best advice in the event of a loss. A hurricane or major tropical storm can create havoc in our area, but Gulfshore Insurance has developed a comprehensive disaster preparation plan to ensure we will be there for our clients in the aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Having a trusted professional who works and lives nearby, knows the community, and can be available when a crisis strikes is critically important.
- We know the market. Home insurance in Florida has changed a lot over the years: vital coverages are now optional, have been limited, or are eliminated altogether depending on the company. Because of these changes, it is crucial to do business with experienced agents and a company you can trust.While most states across the country are dominated by household brands we’ve come to recognize from their advertising, you’ve likely only heard of one or two of the top writers of home insurance in Florida. Gulfshore Insurance represents the top-rated insurance companies that specialize in insurance protection for successful individuals and families in Florida, including AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault.
- We know the coverages you need. And don’t need. There are several unique issues to Florida homeowners that require the advice of a local professional insurance agent, including:
- Special Deductibles – Nearly every Florida homeowners policy includes a separate deductible for Wind or Hurricane Damage in addition to the All Other Peril Deductible on your policy. Deductible options vary and have a large impact on your out of pocket expense and insurance premium.
- Wind Mitigation Inspections – Florida law requires insurance companies to give discounts for specific construction techniques that reduce wind damage caused by storms such as roof type, roof covering, roof attachment methods, and opening protection. In order to verify these credits, a Wind Mitigation Inspection Form is required.
- Wind Coverage – Depending on distance to coastline, a Florida homeowners insurance policy may exclude damage by Windstorm. As a result, a separate Wind Policy is required. Markets are limited for this coverage and, as your local agent, we can guide you to ensure you are fully informed about wind coverage options including providing you with information on how to help protect your home from damage, potentially reducing the costs of this portion of the insurance in the first place.
- Flood Coverage – All properties are located in a flood zone. We can assist by providing a flood zone determination to confirm if your property is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area. In the past few years, there have been numerous legislative and rate changes for flood policies by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Even information from the current seller of a property may not be applicable due to flood zone changes. It is best to consult an experienced Florida insurance professional at the very start of the due diligence process with any property, to get an accurate flood insurance quote and explanation of flood zones.
For over 50 years, Gulfshore Insurance has weathered the storms and we know how to protect homeowners against the perils of living in paradise. As the premier source and largest broker of personal insurance in Southwest Florida, no one can beat our expertise. We would love to collaborate with you to help protect you and your buyers from the unexpected.
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.