Avoid These 3 Home Insurance Mistakes At All Costs

insurance agency in tampa

Most Americans understand that having homeowners insurance is a must. But because there are so many homeowners insurance options out there (and there’s just so much to know!), you might not be as informed about your coverage as you think you are. Unfortunately, these misconceptions often lead to costly mistakes. We’ll discuss just a few of those mistakes below. To avoid making them, be sure to work with a reputable insurance agency in Tampa with an agent who will answer all your questions and is dedicated to finding you a policy that fits your needs.

  1. Making an insurance decision based on price alone
    You know what they say: you get what you pay for. Of course, it’s understandable that you’ll want to save money where you can, and you certainly don’t want to overpay for your insurance policy. However, keep in mind that lower-cost insurance policies are priced that way because they don’t offer as much coverage. If you aren’t adequately protected under a multitude of circumstances, your more affordable choice won’t be worth it in the end. You should feel free to compare prices between insurers to find the policy that will fit your budget, but you should also work with your insurer to identify your exact coverage needs. Make sure your insurer is licensed to operate in your state before signing up for a policy, too.
  2. Forgetting about flood insurance
    Most homeowners who are on the hunt for an
    insurance agency in Tampa understand the need for flood protection, especially during hurricane season. However, standard home insurance policies do not provide flood insurance. In Florida, you can’t afford to skip this coverage. You’ll have to purchase supplemental flood insurance through a private lender or through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Some homeowners may be tempted to forgo this coverage altogether, but experts recommend that most people get it.
  3. Assuming you know what’s covered
    Even though home insurance policies can do a lot to protect your home, a given policy might not cover as much as you’d think. A recent survey conducted by the Insurance Information Institute found that 43% of homeowners erroneously believed that heavy rain flood damage was covered by their standard insurance policy. A lot of other homeowners think that they’ll be covered for a total rebuild in case of a fire or that their insurance coverage applies to mold damage, sewer system backup damage, or other natural disasters. Be sure you know exactly what’s outlined in your policy and what isn’t before working with any insurance agency in Tampa.

We understand how overwhelming the insurance purchasing process can be, but we’re here to help you avoid these costly mistakes. For more information on our policies or to get started on expanding your coverage, contact us today.

Debunking 3 Common Myths Surrounding Homeowners Insurance

homeowners insurance in tampaChoosing a homeowners insurance policy can be one of the most complicated parts of buying a home. Not only are there eight standard homeowners insurance policy types to consider, but there is so much information to understand about these policies. And that’s before you even start analyzing the fine print on your chosen policy.

So before you choose a policy that suits your needs, it’s important to be aware of some of the most common misconceptions about home insurance. Don’t fall for these popular myths about the various types of homeowners insurance!

Flood damage is a standard component included in most homeowners insurance policies.
This may seem logical, but the fact is, home insurance rarely, if ever, includes any kind of flood damage protection or coverage. Homeowners interested in purchasing flood insurance will have to do so through a separate policy. In light of the devastating hurricanes that have destroyed so many homes in Florida and Texas, those in flood-prone areas may be better off purchasing even a small flood protection plan. Contact services that provide homeowners insurance in Tampa for more information.

Great home insurance just isn’t worth the investment.
It’s true that homeowners insurance in Tampa may not be the same price as in other areas of the country, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good investment. In fact, in areas particularly at risk during hurricane season, comprehensive homeowners insurance is especially important. There are a number of factors that affect the premiums of any given policy, but countless homeowners have been able to reap the rewards of homeowners insurance when they need it most.

“While home insurance costs vary by state — as well as factors like the square footage of the house, building costs in the area, and the location’s likelihood of damage from natural disasters — the average annual premium runs about $952 nationwide. But when broken down, that’s only an extra $79 that you need to add to your monthly housing budget (i.e., mortgage premium, property taxes, and interest),” explains Daniel Bortz on Realtor.com.

While those premiums may seem like an unnecessary expense right now, in the long run it may be one of the wisest investments you ever make.

Home insurance policies fully cover all injuries that occur in the home.
Here’s another common misconception, and one that’s far from a given. The reality is that while most visitors are typically covered in the event of an injury inside your home, family members and those who live in the home are typically not covered by home insurance plans. These types of injuries can be covered by separate health insurance policies, but don’t assume that your homeowners insurance will cover 100% of injuries sustained under your roof.

Ultimately, knowing the truth that hides behind these deceptive myths is essential to choosing the right homeowners insurance policy. If you have any doubts, questions, or concerns about what your policy does or does not cover, contact insurance brokers for more information.

Brier Grieves October 18, 2017 No Comments

Auto Insurance Policies: What Is Covered?

 

The roadways are some of the most dangerous places in the entire world. Presumably, even if every driver on the road was as careful as possible, there might still be millions of accidents each year. There is a significant number of people who do not follow driving safety precautions, however, and this results in many auto accidents.

Since these accidents happen so often, having a sufficient auto insurance policy is essential. On average, a driver will have to have an auto accident claim at least once every 17.9 years. If you’re looking for quality auto insurance in Tampa, Florida, it’s important that you know what is covered by a basic insurance policy.

Keep in mind, however, there are plenty of insurance agencies that offer various insurance options, but this information should help if you’re looking for any basic auto insurance in Tampa.

Collision
Collision coverage pays for any damage to your car resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object. Additionally, this type of insurance coverage also covers damages caused by driving over potholes.

Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage applies if you have caused harm to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. You and your listed family members are also covered while you’re driving someone else’s car (as long as you were given permission). It’s important to have enough liability coverage so you aren’t sued for a significant amount of money if any injuries were sustained.

Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability includes coverage for any inanimate object that you damage. Items that you own aren’t covered, but anything that doesn’t belong to you and was damaged (a guard rail, house siding, mail boxes, etc.) is covered.

Whatever type of policy you have, make sure that you’re driving as carefully as possible so you can keep yourself and everyone else out on the roads safe. If you’re in need of quality auto insurance in Tampa, contact Brier Grieves Insurance today.

Brier Grieves October 12, 2017 No Comments

6 Reasons Why Investing In Real Estate Is Good Way To Make Money?

How is investing in real estate a good way to make money?

Why should you invest in real estate in multiple cities across, America? This is the question that I want to answer for you today.

I’m sure you have heard about all the great reasons why you should invest in property, so my intent isn’t to regurgitate what you already know.

There are several reasons why you should invest in real estate in multiple cities. Here are six reasons why you should invest.

  1. Spreads Risk

Think of investing in real estate as you would investing in the stock market. In the stock market, most of the “smart” money tells you to diversify you stock portfolio to mitigate the risk of losing all of your money.

You can even find this theory in practice with mutual funds and ETF’s. These funds buy shares of different companies, weighted by risk and other factors. Investors can buy these investment funds depending on their risk appetite. You can apply this theory to investing in real estate in multiple cities.

By investing in multiple properties, you spread the risk of losing money due to regional factors in a particular market. Factors influencing housing prices in Cleveland will not be the same in say Cincinnati or Columbus.

2.  Gain Holistic View Of Housing Market

The benefit of owning investment properties in multiple cities is you gain a holistic view of the housing market. You can see emerging trends before many of the “home flippers” or other competitors rush into the market. By studying patterns in multiple markets, you can make strategic decisions about what properties you should buy and which ones you can let go of.

In contrast focusing on just one market, you don’t really get a sense of what is going on outside a particular city or neighborhood for that matter. With a one market strategy, you don’t see the forest through the trees.

3. You Get To Keep More Of Your Money

Paying taxes isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. Am I right? We all worked hard to keep our money and would like uncle sam to take as little as possible. Investing in real estate across multiple cities allows you to keep more of your money. This is especially true for small business owners who have to pay the self-employment tax.

Profits from investment properties are not subject to the self-employment tax and are taxed at much lower rates than personal or corporate income.  The capital gains tax goes from 0%-20%, whereas the personal income tax ranges from 0%-39.6% plus an additional 3.8% taxes on net investment income for higher wage earners.

4. Tax Deduction Strategy

By investing in real estate in multiple cities, you are basically a business, which means you can deduct certain expenses from your tax bill. A big one would be your travel expenses. The associated cost of traveling to your investment property to check on it, room and board, car rentals and other expenses can be written off on your taxes.

5. Leverage Economic and Technological Innovation To Your Benefit

This is probably one of the most overlooked benefits of investing in multiple real estate properties. Simply the more property you own, the more you can leverage technology to lower your cost of ownership.

Companies such as Airbnb, Tripping.com and VRBO make it possible for property owners to rent out their homes or individual rooms for a fee. This new “sharing” economy is perfect for real estate investors. You could run a mini-hotel service and not have to worry about long-term tenants if you wanted to go that route and make a healthy profit.

Buying properties in Miami and San Diego and renting out homes through Airbnb would provide you with a profit between $28-$31K annually.

6. Take Advantage Of State Solar Policies

What does solar energy have to do with real estate investment? Solar and other forms of “green” energy are increasingly in demand from consumers who want to protect the environment and lower their electricity bill.

Residential solar systems should be part of your investment equation because adding solar can add to your property value. Studies have shown that for an average 3.6kW solar system house, buyers were willing to pay $15,000 more for the home vs. a home without solar. 

With healthy tax incentives to reduce the cost of going solar plus zero down financing, you can leverage solar incentives in each state to increase your profits. Here are the states with the best solar incentives. Use these solar incentives to buy property strategically.

Overall investing in real estate is a great way to make money now and in the future.

We would love to help you! contact us at 1-813-876-4166 today! We would be delighted to answer any inquiry you might have.

Brier Grieves October 5, 2017 No Comments

5 Advantages for Landlords Who Require Proof of Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance sounds like something that shouldn’t matter all that much to the landlord. You’ve insured the house; the contents and the rest of their personal property are up to the renters. Renter’s insurance, however, does more than just protect the renters’ personal property–and requiring your renters to show proof of rental insurance has a number of advantages to you.

Accidents Happen

Your property is covered in the event of severe damage due to flood, fire, or other natural disasters. Chances are, you also have something in your insurance policy to cover extreme damage caused by the renters, whether they hit the gas instead of the brake and ran the car into a wall or accidentally let the toilet overflow all night, ruining the entire bathroom. When you file a claim, however, you run the risk of your insurance premiums increasing along with it. Renter’s insurance can take some of the burden off of you, making the renters responsible for damage that was actually caused by them.

Homes Get Damaged

In the worst-case scenario, what if there was a fire due to faulty wiring that caused the property to be destroyed? Without renter’s insurance, your tenants have no recourse for replacing items that were lost in that fire except to come after you. Legally, you might win the case. You will, however, end up paying a number of unnecessary legal fees in the process. Requiring renters to protect themselves offers you a cushion so they’re unable to come after you.

Help Renters Keep Their Money

When a theft occurs, it can be financially devastating for your renters. Many big-ticket items like cell phones, laptops, and tools used for work “need” to be replaced immediately. Others, your renters will consider important enough to replace for their own reasons. When you require renter’s insurance, you ensure that your renters have the means to replace those important items without dipping into next month’s rent–which means that you’ll be more likely to keep getting paid on time.

Prevent Liability Issues

If your tenants cause damage to someone else, you don’t want to be the one who is liable. This is particularly true in the case of individuals who have large dogs or dogs who are known to be dangerous. If they don’t carry liability insurance, chances are, the damaged party will end up coming after you for financial reparation. You don’t want to get caught in the middle of a nasty legal fight. When your tenant has renter’s insurance, you can leave the battle to their insurance company.

You Weed Out Tenants

Most tenants won’t mind paying the fees for renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance tends to be relatively inexpensive. They aren’t covering the home itself, just the contents, and so can pay as little as a few cents a day for the privilege. Those who raise a fuss over it are probably tenants who are going to cause problems anyway: the ones who complain over the little things, call you to fix every minor bump on the walls in the middle of the night or scramble to come up with their rent money on time every month.

Renter’s insurance has a number of advantages for your tenants, who need to protect their possessions and their bank accounts for the possibility of accident or catastrophe. More importantly, however, it protects you, offering you a cushioning layer between any accidents that occur while the tenants are renting your property. While you can’t write a requirement for renter’s insurance into an existing lease until the term is up, you can add it as a requirement on all of your new leases. Looking for more information about the benefits of renter’s insurance? Contact us today to learn more.