Are you tired of increasing premiums when you have had no accidents?! Seibert Insurance Agency in Tampa, FL shares 6 Best Practices that are sure to head off premium increases for commercial vehicles. 

If the best practices are implemented, not only will they decrease the likelihood of an accident – they will decrease the cost you are paying for your commercial fleet insurance in Florida! 

Daily 60-second Safety Inspection

  1. Look for low tire pressure, ladder not secured properly, blinkers not working, etc.
  2. If documented and logged regularly – mitigates liability for the company

Click here for a free example.

Auto Fleet Safety Policy

  1. Sets the expectation for the driver
  2. Lays out the steps for discipline if tickets/accidents do occur
  3. Mitigates liability for the company

Click here for a copy of free example.

GPS Tracking Devices

Track speed, route, fast acceleration, hard braking

We recommend these companies that offer this service: **local to Tampa Bay Area

Dash cams are another great investment for fleet liability claims.  Today, companies can use video to protect commercial fleets and monitor events in the case of an accident.

Quarterly Safety Training

  1. Reminds drivers of the importance of safely driving
  2. If documents and logged – mitigates liability for the company

Click here for a free example.

Incentive Program for Drivers

Reward drivers for logging safety inspections and being accident/ticket free 

Click here for an example incentive program guideline. 

Regular Vehicle Maintenance Log 

Evidence of regularly scheduled service on the vehicle helps to mitigate liability for the company

Click here for a copy of a free maintenance log.

If a commercial client were to buy these resources, it would cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Have a  local fleet (plumbing, electrical companies, housekeeping, etc.), Seibert Insurance Agency in Tampa Bay is here to help any fleet of 10 or more vehicles. Contact our Tampa insurance agency today to learn your commercial auto insurance options!

Did you know that floods have been happening more frequently and more severe each year for the past decade?

Many people think “flood can’t happen in my area” and that is incorrect. A flood can happen anywhere and as you know it is excluded under your Florida homeowner’s policy.

Do You Have Enough Flood Coverage?

Many victims of Harvey & Florence had flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, but they did not purchase “excess flood insurance” that was available through a private market. Unfortunately, many needed the additional coverage and didn’t realize it until after the storms had passed.

The many articles and news stories we have seen recently where people didn’t have flood insurance OR they didn’t have enough flood insurance has prompted us to alert you to the fact that you too may be left “high and dry” with no coverage or not enough if you only have what the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers. The highest flood insurance coverage amount you can purchase through the NFIP was not enough for those victims of Harvey, and may not cover the damage that’s happened with Hurricane Florence. As a reminder, the NFIP only offers $250,000 on the building and $100,000 on the contents, if you need more coverage than that you can buy an “Excess Flood Policy”.

Some Seibert Insurance Agency clients have taken that first step and purchased the first layer of flood insurance, and that’s great but you may need more! No matter where you are in the process, we recommend you call the office today to start the process of applying for a flood policy through the NFIP and/or an excess flood policy through a private market to ensure you are properly protected against the risk of flood especially here near our Tampa Florida insurance agency.

Get Excess Flood Insurance

Call us today – 813-960-4672 – to start the process. It only takes a few minutes to get a quote and just a few hundred dollars could make hundreds of thousands of dollars difference after a flood event. Seibert Insurance Agency is here to help you have the right level of insurance coverage and an “Excess Flood Policy”.

Wondering ‘what is my home really worth’? Well, It depends where you look…Our Tampa, FL Insurance agents have found that some of our clients are frustrated when they see 3 totally different numbers throughout the year regarding their home “worth”.

3 numbers you will see as a homeowner

Market value of your home which is what you bought your home for or what you could sell your home for today if you put it up for sale

* Rebuilding cost of your home which is listed on your homeowners insurance policy.

Assessed value of your home which is what the property appraiser says your home is worth

So, why 3 numbers and why are they different? They each serve a different purpose.

As we saw with the home boom in the 2000’s, home prices (market value of homes) skyrocketed.  With the rising popularity of the Tampa Bay area, the market value of homes will trend upward). Assessed valuation of your home determines the value of a residence for tax purposes and takes recent, comparable home sales and inspections into consideration. An Appraiser will also provide an evaluation of a property’s value when a home is purchased and financed with a bank.

When it comes to Florida homeowners insurance, you want to insure for Rebuilding cost, not market value or assessed value. To get an idea of your home’s rebuild value, multiply your home’s square footage by the average rate a home builder would charge per sqft or call your local insurance agent and have them run a replacement cost estimator for you. Keep in mind rebuild cost is only on the home itself, not your land. Seibert Insurance Agency can offer coverage for homeowners insurance for the amount of money it would take to rebuild your damaged or destroyed home with the same like kind/quality of materials.

The rebuild cost of homes has also been increasing year after year…the cost of labor and materials are what drives these costs. For example, a roof that cost $10,000 10 years ago to replace may cost $25,000 today simply because of the cost of petroleum and labor have increased so much. This cost is higher than what you see home builders building homes for brand new because additional factors are taken into an account after a claim. For example, you may have to level and remove the existing structure and if it is after a disaster, the cost of labor and materials will soar due to huge shortfalls of both labor and materials.

Remember, when it comes to Florida homeowners insurance, you want to insure for Rebuild cost, not market value. Call Seibert Insurance Agency today to complete a Replacement Cost Estimate on your home to ensure you are insured properly!

“Never trust your insurance company” is a message that we hear all the time as Florida insurance agents. The funny thing is when you step back and look at our industry, the vendors out there are the ones you don’t want to trust. Sadly, several of our insurance clients have received lawsuit paperwork mailed to me that named me as a plaintiff and I have no idea why.” Unfortunately, our industry is riddled with fraud and what is known as “AOB’s”. These AOB’s are an assignment of your benefit to the policy, some go so far to have the vendor be a power of attorney! AOB abuse causing insurance rates to skyrocket!

Watch out for AOB Abuse

One client, small business owner Mike Hinsch’s trouble started after replacing the windshields in three work trucks. His commercial auto policy increased from $16,000 a year to $22,000 over the windshield claim! Why? This plumber had no idea the glass company hit his insurer up for 14 thousand dollars.

Too often, clients will contact the insurance company to get the approved replacement costs that are covered in their policy. Then once they are signing paperwork for their appointment, the vendor slips something into the paperwork, and doesn’t explain it’s an assignment of benefits of the policy. This gives them the right to sue the carrier on your behalf without your permission.

Why would they need to sue the carrier? Because they decided to change the price of the windshield to $1,500 from the original estimate of $700. They don’t tell you they were changing the price, they had no reason to change the price…they just did.

They did that because they knew that insurance would only agree to pay the agreed upon price of $700 and then they knew that they could then file a suit to try to get the additional $800 PLUS now the attorney can charge thousands of dollars in attorneys fees…sounds crazy, but it happens every day!

Hinsch had no idea the glass company hit his insurer up for 14 thousand dollars.

Clients have been named as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, and never knew until they received paperwork after the fact!

What can you do?

Keep good records and get written evidence that they quoted $700 to replace the windshield. That way, you can sign an affidavit and undo what the vendor has done under AOB. Once there, read what you’re signing.

Another recommendation is if you have a claim, even something as small as a windshield replacement, call your carrier or agent FIRST! If you use a vendor recommended by the carrier, they guarantee the work and the quality AND you avoid scenarios like this where you are involved in a lawsuit and don’t even know it!