Gasparilla is around the corner and summer will be here before you know it, which means days spent on the water. Being cautious and practicing proper boat safety won’t always protect you from possible accidents that can occur on the water. This makes it the perfect time of year to consider your boat insurance options. Keep reading to learn what can impact your boat and personal watercraft (PWC) insurance costs:

There are many different factors that will affect your boat insurance rates such as size, features, and type. Aside from these few factors, there are a few more to consider when shopping for Florida boat insurance that is right for you.

Storage Location

Where you keep your boat can play a role in your boat insurance rate. For example, if you store your boat in a shed in your backyard, you may face lower insurance rate rather than someone who stores their boat on a dock.

In Florida, hurricane-prone areas may also influence your insurance rates. Boats that are in hurricane-prone areas are unfortunately more likely to be damaged than those that are stored more inland.

Driving Record

Insurance companies will normally check DMV records of all the drivers for their overall driving record. Insurance companies will usually consider things such as DUIs (and BWIs) and reckless driving convictions when determining the cost of your boat insurance rate.

You may face a higher boat insurance premium if you have a poor driving record. This means you need to be careful whether your pirate invasion is on land or by boat because that Gasparilla DUI/BWI could come back to haunt you when getting PWC insurance in Florida.

Boat Ownership Experience

The more experience a boat owner has, the better insurance rates they will be able to procure at our independent insurance agency. Someone with 15 years of boat ownership experience may have a lower boat insurance rate than someone who is a new boat owner. Also, having many claims on your record will result in higher boat insurance rates.

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Where you plan to go on your boat will affect your insurance rate. Taking your boat and staying close to shore is considered less of a risk than someone who plans to take their boat into international waters. So for those of you who do most of your boating in a local or community lake, your boat insurance may be lower-but you still need to make sure you’re properly insured.

In order to minimize costs, it is important to look into all the ways to get great boat insurance rates and we can help you do that! At Seibert Insurance in Tampa, FL we treat you like a person, not just a policy. Our independent agents will help you find the right boat or PWC insurance to meet your coverage needs and budget.  Get a hassle-free quote today from a local insurance specialist!

Did you know that water damage is the most common cause of loss under a home insurance policy?  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most destructive.  At Seibert Insurance Agency, we understand how important your home is to you and your family, and we will do everything in our power to help you protect it.

We’ve been on the other side of unexpected water damage and know how scary it can be to see water gushing from places water shouldn’t be coming from. Fortunately, there are several easy, inexpensive (yet effective!) things you can do to prevent water damage from occurring.  Because water damage is so common, we’re sharing more tips to help you prevent water damage to your home.

1.Check the hoses on appliances.  Replace rubber hoses with steel braided hoses on your toilets, washing machine, and any new appliances (standard hoses on new appliances are not as durable as they used to be).  Don’t trust your handyman skills?  No problem!  Most plumbing companies will replace these hoses for less than a couple hundred dollars.  This small expense can save you thousands in water damage and deductibles.

2. Make sure your water pressure is not too high.  For about $6, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test your pressure for the appropriate level (which should be between 60 and 80 PSI).

3. Check your water before you leave home.  A lot of water damage occurs when no one is home.  Never (and we mean never!) let your washing machine or dishwasher run while you are out.  Water leaks can happen in an instant and a lot of damage can be caused in just minutes.

4. Make sure your water pressure is not too high.  For about $6, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test your pressure for the appropriate level (which should be between 60 and 80 PSI).

If you’re going out of town, it’s a best practice to turn off the water to the house before you leave. No one wants to come back to a flooded home!

5. Stay on top of home maintenance.  Florida summer rains can lead to roof leaks and more severe damage if you’re not careful. Our Tampa insurance experts recommend you examine your roof every few months as damaged shingles will allow water to come in and claims may be denied if you can’t say when the roof damage occurred.

If any roof shingles are worn, curled, or missing, replace them immediately.  Also, keep water from leaking into the walls or floor of your bathroom by replacing cracked tiles and re-grouting when necessary.

6. Know your home. Quick: Do you know where your water shut off valve is for the house?! It is extremely important to know! And you’d be amazed how many Florida homeowners and renters have no clue.

If you are home and a pipe bursts, you will want to immediately shut off the water to prevent further water damage.  Also, stay on top of that water heater!  Seventy-five percent of water heaters fail before they are 12 years old, so make sure you know the age of your heater.  As it gets older, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a plumber.

What to do After a Water Loss?

We understand that accidents happen; that’s the reason you carry insurance in the first place. In the case, you have a water loss and need to file a claim, call your home insurance carrier or agent ASAP. We can refer a list of contractors that will help with repair work. If you happen to use your own vendor or contractor, DO NOT sign your policy rights away via an “Assignment of Benefits” to the contractor.  This is a new scam that is occurring in Florida and it can end up costing you big time.

Call Seibert Insurance in Tampa, FL

At our Tampa independent insurance agency, we want to make sure you’re prepared for all of life’s accidents. These water damage prevention tips should help you to minimize your risk of home damage and insurance rate hikes.

If you would like a quote for flood insurance or home insurance, please contact Seibert Insurance Agency at (813) 960-4672 for a hassle-free insurance quote today!

Your dog or cat is more than just a pet; it’s part of your family. At our Tampa insurance agency, we understand that it can be difficult to view your pet as a potential liability. Unfortunately, animal-related damage is a very common cause of Florida homeowner’s insurance claims. Some may be thinking…what is animal liability coverage anyways? This coverage can come into play if your pet bites another person or even just barks at someone!! That’s why animal liability coverage in Florida is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner.

Accidents happen especially when it comes to your furry friends. Did you know that most homeowner’s insurance policies either totally exclude animal liability coverage OR limit it to $25,000 per incident? But the average liability claim payout for a pet-related injury claim was $37,051 in 2017 (up 93.4% since 2003), according to data from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.

What’s Covered with an Animal Insurance Policy?

You may have the friendliest pet in the world but if it barks at someone that is afraid of dogs and they run away from the barking sound and trip and fall…that is an animal liability claim. Clients of our Tampa, Florida insurance agency know that this type of coverage is key to protect homeowner’s and renters for medical expenses and even legal defense in case your dog causes an injury.

These pet policies aren’t just canine liability. It can also cover a cat in the instance it scratches a visitor in the face…that too is an animal liability claim. Most claims are settled for less than $50,000 BUT if you have an exclusion on your policy for this coverage, that means you are paying to defend yourself and paying for the injuries out of your own pocket!

The animal liability policy we offer covers bodily injury and property damage to 3rd parties. Our Florida pet liability policy excludes bites to the insured or insured’s family and it excludes property damage that the insured owns/rents. Even if your dog has a bite history, Seibert Insurance can help provide you with the coverage you need.

When Should I Consider Pet Liability Insurance?

Maybe when you bought the home, you did not have any pets so you were not worried about the coverage? It is important to review your homeowner’s policy at least annually to look for things like this. If anything has changed, like you expanded the family by adding Fido to the mix, you will want to update your policy and add coverage for things like animal liability.

A New Breed of Pet Insurance

Dog bite insurance and animal liability insurance in Florida is crucial for any responsible pet owner in securing yourself from liability should your dog bite someone, cat scratch, or otherwise cause harm or injury. Don’t’ assume your policy covers these types of accidents! Check with your homeowners’ insurance agent to find out what coverage you may already have for canine and/or animal liability.

Protect yourself with a policy today available through Seibert Insurance Agency where we treat you like a person (or in this case pet) not just a policy.

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”.

As insurance agents, we get that question all the time! At Seibert Insurance, we hear “I don’t have any assets, just bills and debt – so why do I need the higher limits of liability insurance?”. It’s simple – you never know what will happen.

You don’t know what damage you may cause a person or a family if you are in a horrible auto accident. Say you are driving down the road, your phone rings and you look to answer it…in that one second that you take your eyes off the road the light turns red and you smash into another car.

We all know ambulance rides to the hospital and some diagnostic tests to find out what is wrong can run upwards of $10,000- $20,000. If you were at fault, you are responsible for those injuries, lost wages, etc. Yes, Florida is a “no-fault state” but once that $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection coverage runs out, that person you smashed into will be looking for you to pay the rest of the bills. If you have what is required by the state of Florida to cover you for insurance, you better run for the hills because $10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident and $10,000 Property Damage coverage will not get you very far in this scenario.

You may have a pile of bills you have to pay at home but how would you feel about a judge garnishing your wages to pay for the injuries your insurance came up short on? When you do not have enough coverage liability insurance, this can easily happen. As a Tampa, Florida independent agent we hear stories like this all the time.

Want to make sure you have the right limits on liability insurance? Call Seibert Insurance today. Our experts will make sure you have sufficient liability limits to protect your future earnings and assets you will accumulate over your lifetime. Plus, if you have a clean driving record, most of the time the cost to increase your limits is less than you spend to buy coffee in a month. So what are you waiting for? Call our insurance agency now!

Did you know Comprehensive Coverage is often very affordable coverage to have on your vehicle?

Lenders will require you carry this coverage if you have a loan on your vehicle, but even if your vehicle is older and you no longer owe, it may be a good idea to keep this coverage as it can help alleviate some heartaches unique to our Florida landscape.

Depending on the year/make/model of your vehicle you may only be out of pocket $50 every 6 months to ensure you can repair/replace your vehicle in the event of the obvious types of Comprehensive or Other than Collision Losses; Theft, Fire & Vandalism.

Other Types of Comprehensive Losses

Did you know it also covers you for flooding?

Remember all of those cars in the USF Parking lot with water up to their windows a few weeks back?  What a bummer to come outside to see that. Now how about if you had to go buy a new car with cash?

Street flooding during Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.

Hitting a deer or other Animal is also considered a Comprehensive Loss

How many times have you had a near miss with wildlife?

With these crazy storms, Comprehensive coverage is even more important.

Comprehensive Losses include a tree falling on your vehicle and damage to your vehicle from hail.

It also covers windshield cracks.

Glass break is also another common Florida problem, a crack to your windshield due to a rock from the road, an errant golf ball from the nearby golf course or a softball when you’re at the fields for your kid’s practices.

Contact your agent today to make sure you have this valuable coverage.

Now may be a good time to review your policy with your agent and ensure you’ve got the right coverages to protect you and your vehicles, before the summer season and busy vacation schedules get underway.