Resources & Information
Insurers beg customers not to sign over claims rights after Hurricane Irma
Number two on the list of what insurance companies are most afraid of right now — after billions of dollars in Hurricane Irma claims — are armies of contractors and attorneys swelling those claims by billions of dollars more.
In South Florida, insurers have been raising rates for several years and blaming third-party repair contractors who persuade policyholders to sign over claims benefits and then sue if the insurer denies or underpays the contractors’ invoices — dramatically increasing claims costs.
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NFIP Flood Insurance Changes and How it Affects Your Policy
Posted on February 12, 2015 by Chuck Talley
Starting on April 1st, 2015, FEMA will be implementing changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This will affect all flood insurance policies that are bound or renewed after that date. Below are the important facts that you need to know as it relates to your policy.
1) Each policy will be surcharged as stated by the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA)
- $25 for primary residences
- $250 for non-primary residences
2) Reserve Fund Assessment will increase to 15% for all policies except for Preferred Risk Policies
3) There will be a new deductible option of $10,000.
- If you choose this higher deductible it must apply to both building and contents coverage
4) On average rates will increase by 9.9%
5) This will lead to a premium increase of 19.8% on average
Flood insurance is important coverage for all homeowners in Florida. Here at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance we are committed to providing our customers with as much knowledge about their policies as possible. If you have any questions about your policy contact us today to schedule your free policy review.
Citizens Take-Out Program: 5 Important Facts to Know
Posted on January 8, 2015 by Chuck Talley
1) Depopulation Home insurance tailored to your needs
The Citizens Take-Out program is also referred to as Depopulation. It is required by Florida law for Citizens to create programs to return policies back to the private market. For an insurance company to qualify as a take-out company it must first be approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
There are currently over 20 insurance carriers approved as take-out companies. These companies have wide range of experience level in the marketplace, ranging from several years (Avatar Insurance) to well over twenty years (Universal North America) of service.
3) Opt-out Letter
If your policy has been selected by one of these companies you will be notified in writing that your policy has been assumed. That letter will also provide instructions on how you can “opt-out” and stay with Citizens. It is important to read your assumption letter carefully, as there is a limited timeframe in which you can elect to opt-out.
4) Policy Assumption
If you do not respond during the designated timeframe you will receive documents from Citizens and your new company advising you of the non-renewal of your current Citizens policy and the assumption and creation of your new policy with the take-out company.
5) Know Your Options
If you receive an opt-out letter the most important thing is to call your insurance agent. Here at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc. we are dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and service to allow you to make the right decision regarding your insurance policy. If you choose to opt-out of the assumption, it is our pleasure to fax, email, or mail the letter to the prospective company for you, to give you peace of mind.
Bonus For You!
Due to the current state of the insurance market in Florida many homes that could previously only be insured by Citizens can now be insured through the private market. At Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc. we have over 10 homeowners insurance carriers that we can quote you with to ensure you are receiving the best coverage that fits your needs.
5 Surprising Things Your Home Insurance Might Not Cover
Posted on December 1, 2014 by Chuck Talley
You’re a homeowner and you have homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance has you covered for any unforeseen circumstances, so you’re basically good to go! Right…? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not the simple “yes” that most people assume it is.
While homeowners insurance does cover a variety of important potential damages, there are certain things that most policies exclude. It is imperative to be aware of these exceptions, rather than assuming any homeowners policy has you 100% covered. That way, you can evaluate whether or not your current policy suits you. Remember, the agents at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance are always more than happy to answer any questions you have or provide their expert opinion on your specific situation!
Some of the most common things left uncovered by many insurance agencies are as follows:
Little dog in front of a Florida homeDogs might be a man’s best friend, but as any dog owner knows, they are not exactly predictable pals. Unfortunately, dog bites accounted for over one third of homeowners insurance liability claims in 2013, amounting to $483 million in payouts. While most injuries caused by pets are covered by home insurance, some policies name specific breeds or sizes of animal that are excluded from coverage. Of course, an animal that was originally covered by your insurance will likely lose this coverage, should they bite or injure someone.
(Feeling underinsured? We can get you a personalized home insurance quote today!)
While this may seem like a commonplace issue that a little bit of mold spray should knock out, try not to underestimate this insidious destructor. Mold can sometimes grow for years within walls or ceilings without being discovered, causing significant damage to your home. It is best to choose an insurance policy that includes protection against mold, and that it isn’t limited to a $10,000 payout (as many policies are.) It may seem like a lot of money at first glance, but fixing mold damage often costs far more.
Though many natural disasters are covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy, earthquakes are not one of them. You must purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy in order to be protected from an event that could be, quite literally, earth shattering. The good news is that most major insurers offer earthquake insurance, and our experienced agents can help you choose the best one.
Like earthquakes, floods are a topic that many homeowners may assume is covered in their main insurance policy, but actually are not. If you live in Florida, this is one insurance topic you really want to get right! Please be aware that there is typically a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance; you won’t want to wait until a flood warning to seek protection.
5) Trampoline Injuries
Child jumping on trampoline in FloridaThese springy playthings are actually far more dangerous than most people realize. In 2012, a whopping 94,900 people were treated in emergency rooms for trampoline-sustained injuries. If your child or your child’s friends (or even you and your friends) get injured while on a trampoline on your property, you are responsible. In fact, some insurance companies will not even insure a residence that has a trampoline on the premises.
(We recommend parents check out this page before they purchase a trampoline for their family.)
As with many topics, knowledge is power when it comes to insurance. Life is far from predictable, and proper coverage helps keep your protected in even the worst potential circumstances. Knowing exactly what your insurance policy covers—and what it doesn’t—places you in the best possible position as a homeowner.
After examining your current insurance policy, we’ll help you get additional coverage if you need it. Or maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to realize that you already have all the protection you need. Either way, our helpful and knowledgeable team will help you through the entire process!
The 5 Safest Cars for Your Teenager in 2014
Posted on November 20, 2014 by Chuck Talley
As a parent, nothing is more important to you than your child’s safety. Over the years, you’ve chosen everything from their food to their schools with great care. Now that they are old enough to drive, you are likely putting that same care into the selection of your teenager’s first vehicle.
If it seems like a daunting choice, don’t worry! Choosing the best car for your child is not as tough as it may seem at first. At Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance, our agents have helped many Florida parents get the best coverage for their teens before they hit the road. For starters, there are five key factors you should keep in mind when making this choice:
- Reliability- It’s a great idea for your teen to learn how to change a tire, get in the habit of regular oil changes, and discern when they may need to take their car to the shop. However, you may regret purchasing an overly-high maintenance car for your teenager. You don’t want them breaking down at night or spending too much time and money on repairs!
- Safety- This one is a given. Parents always want their children to be safe, and picking a safe car is a great start! Be sure to look for safety features like curtain airbags and electronic stability control. Also make sure the car you buy has received at least a “good” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
- Size- Disregard the common myth that “bigger” automatically means “safer.” While very small cars do not usually score well on crash tests, larger cars have a higher center of gravity, which makes them more likely to flip. The safest cars for teens are typically mid-sized or compact.
- Horsepower- When it comes to teens and horsepower, less is more. Young people can be easily tempted to test a powerful car, so it’s better to steer clear.
- Affordability- Remembering to stay within budget is also important. While you may want to give your child the very best, buying a luxury car for a teenager usually isn’t practical–not to mention that many luxury cars also break the previous horsepower guideline.
These key factors serve as good general guidelines when purchasing a car. They will also come in handy when it comes to finding the right auto insurance coverage for your children. Using these recommendations, we have also compiled a more specific list of vehicles that are very well-suited for teens. They are as follows:
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark
- $12,170 starting MSRP
- 31 mpg city/39 mpg highway
Though it’s on the smaller end of things, the Spark scored reasonably well on the IIHS’s safety ratings. Its modern look and cheerful colors are well-suited for teenaged drivers. Also, the price is really quite affordable.
The 2014 Ford Focus
- 4-Door Sedan
- $16,810 starting MSRP
- 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
This sleek sedan is sure to appeal to your teen’s sportier side. With excellent safety test ratings and versatile appeal, this car does not disappoint. It’s even available in an electric version!
The 2014 Toyota Corolla
- $16,800 starting MSRP
- 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway
“Toyota” is practically synonymous with “reliable.” Not only will your child be safe as a teen, but also as a college student and young adult. This practically bulletproof engine will ensure years of faithful service and safe passengers.
The 2014 Subaru Impreza
- $17,895 starting MSRP
- 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
If you live in a rural area with dirt roads, it can be especially worrisome to have a teenager on the road. Luckily for families like yours, the all-wheel drive Subaru Impreza is a terrific choice for handling dangerous weather and compromised roads.
The 2014 Honda Accord
- $23,625 starting MSRP
- 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway
The Accord is one of the best-selling cars in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. With its long history of reliability, dependable safety features, and overall great performance, it’s the ideal car for anyone– including your teen!
Hopefully these five general guidelines and five specific examples have helped give you an idea of what car might be best for your teenager. In the end, the choice is personal and only you can come to the right conclusion for you and your family. However, we can get you a free auto insurance quote today if you’re ready.