Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Private Risk Services > Top 5 Reasons to Consult with a Local Florida Insurance Professional

Personal Lines Top 5 Reasons to Consult with a Local Florida Insurance ProfessionalFlorida 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:

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

At Gulfshore Insurance we pride ourselves on serving as your trusted advisor. Please contact us with any questions.

Andrea Pelletier, CPRIA, CPIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Andrea works with successful individuals and their families on creating and customizing package insurance solutions in the areas of luxury homes, car collections, jewelry, fine arts, watercraft, and personal excess liability. Comments and questions are welcome at apelletier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.