How much is Insurance after two PIP claims in Florida?

It might be hard to find auto insurance in Florida with PIP claims but we are here to help.  Blankit can provide insurance to individuals that have a prior PIP claim.  Our agency is now able to offer insurance to people with two pip claims. We are an independent insurance agency that provides insurance for many major  insurance carriers in Florida. If you need help finding insurance after a PIP claim please feel free to give us a call.

Why is it hard to find insurance after a pip claim?  PIP claims account for the majority of insurance fraud in Florida.  Due to the high rate of PIP fraud in Florida some insurance companies are now rejecting individuals with one or more pip claims.  Insurance companies sometimes consider individuals with a PIP claim high risk.  Even if the accident that resulted in a PIP claim is not your fault the insurance carriers can still hold this against you.

How long will the PIP claims stay on my record? Most insurance companies go back three years but in some cases it is five years.   When the PIP claims come off your record, you will most likely have more insurance options available.

What does PIP insurance cover? Personal injury protection coverage pays for medical bills and work loss if you are injured in an accident.  This type of coverage pays regardless of who it at-fault.  This coverage is required on every auto insurance policy issued in the State of Florida.

Why am I considered high risk because of my PIP claim?  Insurance companies consider you high risk because some people abuse PIP insurance with fraudulent claims.

How much does insurance cost after PIP claims?  In some cases your insurance rates can be higher after a PIP claim simply because most standard insurance carriers will not offer you coverage.  Insurance rates are also determined by other things including age, sex, location, credit and claims history.

Blankit High Risk Auto Insurance Quote

If you have any additional questions about getting insurance after PIP claims please feel free to give us a call at 1-855-692-5265

Why choose us if you have two PIP claims?

Blankit Experience – We have experience in insuring individuals that have PIP claims.  Our agency staff will also re-quote your policy every six months to make sure we are providing you with the best rate possible.

Blankit Statewide coverage – Our agency is available throughout the State of Florida and can write you a policy no matter where you live.  We use electronic signatures so you request a quote, chat with us, and purchase your new policy from any computer or smartphone.

Blankit Customer service –  We use one of the most advanced customer management systems in the industry.  Our agency understands that our jobs depend on keeping you happy.  If you have a problem, we will do our best to solve the issue.

Blankit’s Carriers – We have contracts with many major carriers that offer insurance to high risk drivers with prior claims.  Some of these companies include Progressive, Infinity, Gainsco, and more.

Get a CLUE and don’t get caught off guard on your Insurance Rates.

That new house looks perfect in every way, but prior damage and other issues may be lurking in the house’s history. These are details you’ll want to know about before signing the closing papers and being responsible for this house. You can check this history thanks to a free tool that lists insurance losses on a property going back seven years.

The majority of home insurance companies contribute claims history information to a database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE. Underwriters use the information in a CLUE report to rate insurance policies.

Compare quotes to save on home insurance

CLUE and you

CLUE is a claims-information report generated by LexisNexis®, a consumer-reporting agency. The report generally contains up to seven years of personal-auto and personal-property claims history. An insurer may request a CLUE report when you apply for coverage or request a quote. The company uses your claims history, or the history of claims at a specific property, to decide if it’ll offer you coverage and how much you’ll pay.

Insurance companies match that information to their insurance underwriting rules, which vary from company to company. These same facts and figures can help a home buyer determine whether to buy a particular house and how difficult and costly it might be to get homeowners insurance on the property.

If you’re clueless about CLUE, don’t feel embarrassed. A recent survey found that 82 percent of Americans have never heard of the database or the reports associated with it.

What’s in a CLUE report?

A home’s CLUE loss history report provides insurance company names and policy numbers and any claim numbers. The report lists the dates of any claims, the loss types and amounts paid for losses, and it will tell if a claim was denied.

Weather-related losses, fires, theft, vandalism and water damage are some of the types of claims listed. But the report doesn’t indicate what part of the property or home was affected. You’d need to ask the homeowner for those details.

The report contains the following claim information provided by your insurance company:

Your name Date of birth
Policy number Date of loss
Type of loss Amount the company paid
Description of the covered property Property address for homeowner claims or specific vehicle information for auto claims

A report might be blank, for two reasons:

  • The homeowner did not make any claims in the past seven years.
  • The home was covered by an insurance company that doesn’t participate in CLUE.

Claims for the property under a different owner also won’t be included either, and therefore not considered when rated for insurance.

 

 What companies report

Insurance companies report all claims for which they:

  • Pay out money
  • Set up a file for a possible claim
  • Formally deny a claim
 LexisNexis advises insurance companies not to report claims information when you contact them to simply ask a question about coverage or your deductible.

How to get a CLUE

A free CLUE report can be obtained once a year from database giant LexisNexis. Requests can be made online or by calling (866) 312-8076.

Here’s the catch for a homebuyer: Only the owner of a property may access its CLUE report.

You must request the report from the owner of the home you’re considering buying. A savvy seller should obtain a CLUE report before showing the home, make several copies and have those available for potential buyers. Even a homeowner who’s not in the market to sell may want to get a CLUE report — to check for any inaccuracies.

Since the CLUE report is one of many pieces of information that an insurer might look at, what is in the report can influence your premiums positively or negatively, So if there are any inaccuracies, it’s important to get them corrected, just as it would be for your credit report.

  • You can check for inaccurate or unrelated information that could be making you pay higher premiums. If you find mistakes, contact LexisNexis Consumer Center at 888-497-0011. They’ll verify your information with the reporting insurance company and notify you of the results within 30 days.
  • You can add an explanation to an item in the report that will show in all future reports.

I have a CLUE. What do I do?

A consumer armed with a CLUE report should examine it for any claims that could lead to skyrocketing home insurance premiums. These include fire, burglaries and physical damage to the structure. If there’s a hazard on the property and someone fell into a hole, a claim would ensue. When the property has experienced multiple burglaries, that can mean that it needs an alarm system,

Claims might also indicate issues with the physical location of the property that can affect premiums, . If it’s close to the water or known to flood frequently, insurance can cost more.

A recent claim can have positive ramifications if the damage was addressed properly. For example,  if a roof was damaged by a windstorm and replaced by a new one, this would actually make the house more desirable to an insurance company.

A CLUE report is not an inspection

Potential buyers should use the CLUE report to let their home inspector know of any repairs that have been made so that the inspector can make sure the work was done correctly.

A CLUE is not a secret database, and it gives no score or recommendations, It just tells what happened in and outside the home. It doesn’t take the place of an inspection or disclosures from the seller. It’s an additional tool to evaluate the home and the cost of homeowners insurance.

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How to save money by improving your Insurance Score

For many people, the formula used to determine insurance rates may look like a mythical magic 8-ball type of voodoo. But in fact, there are highly-evolved formulas that help insurance companies identify the risks they are taking on when issuing your insurance.

You may have an identical driving score, the same number of tickets, driving experience, etc. as someone else, but a wholly different insurance score. That score determines how low or high your insurance premiums will be.

What is an Insurance Score?

Before you can understand how it affects your premium, you first need to know what is an insurance score is and how it’s determined. The truth is that it varies from one insurance company to the next. Each company has its own formula for determining your insurance score and how much weight individual components will carry in the formula.

Some of the factors that could impact your score include things like:

  • Credit Score
  • Collections
  • Length of Credit History
  • History of Late Payments
  • Outstanding Debt
  • Driving Record
  • Type of Employment
  • Miles Driven on Average Week
  • Value of Vehicle
  • History of Insurance Claims

What insurance companies are really interested in when it comes to determining your insurance score is how likely you are to file a claim. The less likely their formula determines you will be to have an accident or file a claim, the lower your premiums will be.

There are also factors, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that cannot be used in determining your insurance score. These include:

  • Race, color, national origin
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Income, occupation or employment history
  • Location of residence
  • Any interest rate being charged
  • Child/family support obligations or rental agreements
  • Certain types of inquiries of your credit report like account review inquiries, employment inquiries, promotional inquiries from credit companies, etc.
  • Whether or not a consumer is participating in credit counseling of any kind
  • Any information not found in the credit report

It should be noted that this is the case for insurance companies operating in the state of Florida. Other states may have different policies and laws regarding what can and cannot be used in determining your insurance score.

What is a Credit-Based Insurance Score?

A credit score is a snapshot of your credit at one point in time. Credit-based insurance scores were introduced in the early 1990s and use certain elements of a person’s credit history to predict how likely consumer is to have an insurance loss, as research shows there is a correlation between credit characteristics (credit-based insurance scores) and insurance losses. According to FICO, a major company that generates credit-based insurance scores, approximately 95% of auto insurers and 85% of homeowners insurers use credit-based insurance scores in states where it is a legally allowed underwriting or risk classification factor.

How can an insurance company use your credit-based insurance scores?

An insurance company can only use your credit-based insurance score as one factor in its underwriting process. It will be considered with several other factors that vary by insurance type. For example, with auto insurance other factors could be your zip code; the age of the operators; the make, model and age of the car; and even the miles you drive annually. You can ask your insurance company if a credit-based insurance score was used to underwrite and rate your policy and which risk category you were placed in after you receive a quote.

What kind of information goes in to my credit-based insurance scores?

There are several different companies that create credit-based insurance score reports for insurers to use. FICO looks at five general areas it believes will best determine how you manage risk. This is the breakdown of what it considers and how much the information generally weighs in figuring your credit-based insurance score:

  • Payment History (40%) — How well you have made payments on your outstanding debt in the past
  • Outstanding Debt (30%) — How much debt you currently have
  • Credit History Length (15%) — How long you have had a line of credit
  • Pursuit of New Credit (10%) — If you have applied for new lines of credit recently
  • Credit Mix (5%) — The types of credit you have (credit card, mortgage, auto loans, etc.)

What is a Good Credit Score for Insurance?

The bottom line is that your credit score plays a larger role in your insurance score than you might expect. In many instances, a bad credit score can be the single most influential factor in providing you with a less than favorable rating – even if you have a clean driving record and no history of filing claims in the past.

How Can I Improve My Insurance Score?

The single most important thing you can do to improve your auto insurance score is to improve your credit score. That may take time, leaving you with higher than average premiums while you work to make your credit score better by doing the following things:

  • Keep your balances low.
  • Pay your bills on time. This includes credit cards, loans, and even your home utility bills as they can all have adverse effects on your credit history when late payments are reported.
  • Avoid allowing bills to go into collections.
  • Keep your credit accounts to a minimum.
  • Monitor your credit report annually to make sure there are no mistakes and that your information is accurate.
  • Maintain accounts for longer periods of time.

In other words, you must take control of your credit and change it for the better – one account at a time, if necessary. Another thing you should consider is avoiding maxing out your credit cards. You want the limit available on your cards to be high (meaning you have plenty of credit available that you aren’t using) and it is better to have a few accounts open in good standing – especially if they are long-term credit accounts.

Other things you can do to improve your auto insurance score that may be beneficial include things like taking defensive driving classes, driving safely and avoiding tickets.

You should also avoid making numerous credit inquiries in a short amount of time when you’re attempting to apply for auto insurance as this might be a red flag for some insurance providers.

The key is to take the time, now, to begin improving your credit score (and, consequently, your insurance score) so that you can get a better premium when the time comes to apply for auto insurance of your own.

Give us a call to learn more about how your insurance score impacts your premium and how to save money.

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Blankit’s Easy Condo Insurance Guide: What is Covered by Who?

To state the obvious, a condominium is not the same thing as a house. Usually, there’s no backyard or basement, and you don’t have to worry about cutting the grass or shoveling a front walk.

Insurance is another area where homes and condos differ. Condo owners are typically responsible for insuring just a portion of their property on their own. However, rules differ from complex to complex, and it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure you have proper insurance coverage.

Here are six things you need to know about insuring your condominium and how Blankit protects you.

6 questions about condo insurance

Condominium owners have unique insurance needs. Ask yourself these questions to make sure you are properly insured.

  1. What does your master policy say?
  2. How expensive is the association deductible?
  3. How much coverage is appropriate?
  4. Cash value or replacement cost coverage?
  5. Have you insured contents and structure?
  6. Are you covered for flood and wind damage?

myblankit flood

1. What does your master policy say?

Owners of condominium units obviously do not own the entire condominium complex. Typically, they own their own unit outright and share ownership of the rest of the complex with all the other owners.

From an insurance point of view, that means all individual unit owners have a collective responsibility for insuring areas of the complex owned in common.  This includes building exteriors and hallways, the pool area, parking garage, entry, club houses, etc. A condominium association typically collects monthly dues from unit owners and uses a portion of these funds to insure common areas.

Meanwhile, the unit owner typically is responsible for separately insuring everything within the four walls of his or her individual unit.

The condo association’s master policy, as well as association rules, should spell out clearly which parts of the complex are insured through association dues, and which parts are not. There are two broad categories of master policies.

Two types of master policies

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  1. Bare walls-in. Covers all real property from the exterior framing inward, but does not cover the fixtures and installations within the condo unit. So, things like granite countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and the flooring are not covered by the master policy. This condo owner will probably have the greatest coverage need.
  2. All-in. Covers fixtures, installations or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings of individual units. This condo owner will probably have a more limited coverage need.

There are also variations of the two types. These details should be spelled out in the condominium association bylaws.

2. How expensive is the association deductible?

Condo association insurance typically includes commercial insurance coverage for the commonly shared building and common areas. Such policies typically have an association deductible.

Basically, in the event of a natural disaster or hurricane or whatever, it is spelled out in the policy. If the condo association needs major work or there is major damage to the structure, the condo association will tender the claim to their commercial insurer and they would get covered for their loss.

But there would be a deductible and that deductible would be assessed against all unit owners — so if there are 10 unit owners, it would be divided 10 ways.

A recent trend in many states toward more expensive condo deductibles. We are looking at wind now at 3%.

The coverage should be spelled out in the association’s bylaws.

Step 1: Always read your bylaws. Always 

A copy of the association’s insurance agreement should have been given to the unit owner at the time of purchase. It specifies the responsibilities of the association and the individual owners.

If the owner does not have a copy, he or she can obtain one from the association’s board of directors, its business manager or anyone from the association responsible for addressing individual unit owner questions. The owner’s condo insurance sales representative should be able to assist in answering questions about the insurance agreement.

3. How much coverage is appropriate?

Once you’ve determined exactly which parts of your condominium unit you must insure individually, you need to decide how much coverage to acquire.

You can estimate coverage by paying attention to how much other owners in the development paid for recent upgrades, such as new flooring, cabinetry and countertops.

Another way we can roughly estimate that is we go by about half the market value for interior structures. So, if there’s a fire, for instance, people have enough to replace their flooring, their cabinetry and their walls — anything else that’s actually considered their personal responsibility. That’s a pretty good way to estimate it. Some buildings may have you cover the windows and walls, so please, read your bylaws when calculating sufficient coverage.

4. Cash-value or replacement-cost coverage?

Once you determine the appropriate amount of coverage, you’ll need to decide how much coverage to purchase. You need to pick between two basic categories: cash value and replacement cost.

What’s the difference? Thousands of dollars, in many cases.

Cash-value coverage only replaces the value of the insured item minus depreciation.

With actual cost-value coverage, there’s depreciation based on the age of your contents. If the TV was 2 or 3 years old, we’d go see what it costs today and calculate the depreciation.

In this example, the person who lost the TV would receive a check for the amount that the TV was worth after two or three years of wear and tear.

By contrast, a person with replacement-cost coverage would receive a check for what it would cost to replace the old TV with a new model. Depreciation is not used in the replacement-cost model.

We strongly recommend replacement-cost coverage for your contents, especially in a condominium association. So if you had a loss, the insurance compensation would replace what it would cost if you were to buy it today.

myblankit fire

Are you covered?

5. Have you insured contents and structure?

When insuring your condo, make sure you have coverage for contents and structural items.

What’s the difference?

Content vs. structure

Examples of content: furniture, area rugs, electronics, jewelry, valuable artwork/collectibles

Examples of structure: flooring, cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, lighting

We often tell our customers that if they were to turn their condo upside down, everything that falls out is a ‘content. Everything that stays is ‘interior structure.

Condominium owners should approach insurance needs from a slightly different perspective compared to owners of single-family homes. Someone who owns a standalone single-family home typically looks at the price of replacing the structure (usually a house) first before determining insurance coverage for the possessions or content inside the structure itself.

In contrast, condominium unit owners should take the reverse approach.

Condominium coverage is really built off your contents,  you look to see what you have: electronics, furniture, furnishings, rugs, etc. That would be the first thing you need to assess to determine the value of your contents.

Next, determine which structural items inside your four walls you are responsible for insuring.

You definitely need to gauge what all those things would cost if you had to replace them today.

There are gaps between what the condominium association covers and what your personal condo policy covers.

We often ask customers to fax Blankit the part of their bylaws that describes the common elements so we can figure out if they need anything in between or expanded coverage.

For example, people need coverage if there is damage to the building that begins in a common area but continues through a unit owner’s front door and into the unit.

There are so many different possibilities of where there could be a gap in recovery.

Always consider that there is the need to insure special items, such as artwork, jewelry and furs separately listed.

Every customer should be aware and talk to their Blankit agent about any special items and possessions they might have. An agent will typically ask about art or jewelry or fur, but things like baseball card collections, stamp collections and things of that nature may not come up in conversation. You should really think about what you have that is important to you so you can make sure your covered. Jewelry, for instance, can often be limited unless you get expanded coverage.

6. Are you covered for flood and wind damage?

The U.S. government offers flood insurance to all homeowners. This coverage is often optional, but may be mandated by the mortgage holder if the property is in a flood zone.

These would all be discussions you’d typically want to have under the guise of an association. A flood will generally affect the actual structure of the building, so it would fall under the condo association’s master policy.

It is also worthwhile to consider personal flood insurance as a condo unit owner.

The individual unit owner can buy their own flood insurance because the association’s flood coverage probably won’t cover anybody’s personal contents or the interior structure. The association insurance will rebuild the building.

If you’re in a flood plain and the mortgage company requires the condominium association to have flood insurance, they’re going to require the unit buyer to bring a certificate saying you have flood insurance to the closing.

This is a warning light to the buyer and the customer to get personal flood insurance.

Please be careful to note that there is a difference between flood insurance and water backup coverage.

Water backup coverage isn’t federally mandated, but it’s a very good idea to have if you’re in a space where perhaps the basement has a lot of storage area and there’s potential for damage to your personal items if water backs up through your sewers and drains. Sometimes people get this mixed up with flood insurance.

Coverage for windstorms will generally be covered under the standard condominium policy unless there is a specific exclusion attached to the policy. If windstorm is excluded, the consumer may purchase wind coverage through the state’s wind pool association.

For the best rates on your Unit and your Building’s Insurance, contact Blankit today for all your needs! 

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Small Business Insurance Needs?

As A Small Business Owner, What Insurance Do You Need?

Updated: February 2017

When you own a business, you have a lot to protect, and the right small business insurance coverage can be important to your continued success. Luckily, there are a variety of coverages to choose from when it comes to protecting your business.

Clothing Store Owner.

But, do you know what types of business insurance coverage options are out there? And, which of those coverages could help protect your particular business?

Here’s a rundown of the things to consider when it comes to buying your small business insurance policy.

Small Business Property Insurance Coverage

Perhaps the most obvious reason to purchase small business insurance is to protect your tangible investment—from your merchandise to the tools you use to make your business work. What would you do if, for example, a fire destroyed your place of business, making your equipment unusable and your products unsellable?

The property coverage in a business insurance policy can help protect the physical property of your business against certain causes (they vary and are specified in your policy). This coverage may protect the actual building in which your business is housed, as well as inventory, equipment, furnishings and other property you have there. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), it may also cover other costs, such as equipment breakdowns or the cost of removing debris after a covered loss.

Small Business Liability Insurance Coverage

No matter how careful you are, you may find yourself in a variety of situations that could result in a lawsuit against your business, so it’s a good idea to be prepared—just in case. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) outlines three types of business liability coverage:

General liability coverage: This type of coverage protects you in case you are sued because of accidents, injuries or claims of negligence. For example, if someone is injured on the premises of your business and files a lawsuit against you, this type of coverage may (depending on the situation) help cover some of the related costs.

Product liability coverage: If your company manufactures or sells a product, this type of coverage may come in handy. It protects you in case your product is defective and causes injury or damage.

Professional liability coverage: Businesses that provide services often purchase this type of coverage, which protects against errors and negligence. One example, according to the SBA, is the malpractice insurance that doctors are required to carry.

Small Business Insurance Coverage Relating to Employees

Depending on the number of employees you have, as well as other factors, there may be additional insurance considerations. Employment practices liability coverage, for example, helps protect you in case a former employee files a groundless claim against your company.

Also, according to the III, all states except Texas require businesses with a certain minimum number of employees (at least three to five, depending on the state) to have workers compensation coverage, which may help protect them in the event that an employee is injured on the job.

Small Business Insurance Coverage for Business Vehicles

Just like your personal car, your business’ vehicle needs to be protected. Business auto coverage is available to help protect your company against liability arising from accidents in your company’s vehicle, as well as other features, depending on the policy.

Small Business Data Compromise Insurance Coverage

Data compromise coverage, or data breach coverage, is another way to protect your business. This type of coverage helps protect against any associated legal or other costs in the event that personal data of employees or customers is stolen or accidentally released by your company.

Other Considerations

As you shop for a small business insurance policy, there are many things to think about.

If you run your business from home, for example, your homeowners insurance policy typically offers limited or no coverage for business-related property, such as supplies, tools or customers’ items stored for repair, or for business-related liability. So, it may be a good idea to consider purchasing a business insurance policy.

In addition to the coverages described above, there may be even more business insurance options to consider. A conversation with your business insurance agent can help you determine the best way to protect your company.

Cancelled Insurance, Non Renewal, No Insurance?

Are you confused where to turn?

Having your insurance cancelled can be scary.

We at Blankit here to help by providing you advice on the insurance that is right for you. As Insurance Agents we work for you, not big faceless companies who only know you by a number. We are focused on your needs and providing you with suitable coverage for your insurance needs. We are your personal agent and you will always receive our personal attention. You are never alone.

Picture this: You’re going through your bills and see a letter from your insurance company with bright red letters on the front that reads “important notice.” You open it up to find out that you will no longer be insured, at least by them. You might wonder, “What’s this about?” Determining whether the notice is a non-renewal or cancellation could be the difference between a bad day and a dismal one.

Non Renewal vs. Cancelled Insurance

You may be confused as to the difference between a “non-renewal” of policy versus a policy cancellation. When your auto insurance company notifies you of a non-renewal, it means that your current coverage will continue until the end of the policy period, and thereafter cease to exist. Alternatively, if you are warned of cancellation, it means that your policy will be shut down immediately with proper notice in advance of the cancellation.

To put it lightly, you don’t want your policy to be cancelled. Non-renewal is seen as less serious by insurance companies. When it happens it’s simply because your insurer doesn’t want you as a customer any longer. Your policy typically will be non-renewed because you submitted too many claims in a short period of time, so you may want to rethink calling in a claim for the guy who bumped your car door in the parking lot. The policy can also be non-renewed if you have become a higher risk in the eyes of your insurer for a variety of reasons. For example, if your auto insurer finds out that you have a conviction for driving under the influence on your record, they may decide to non-renew.

If you have any questions about how Irma claims may affect your policy or if a claim has already affected your policy, please contact us today, an experienced Personal Blankit Agent is always standing by to answer your questions. Don’t be afraid, Blankit is by your side. “We work hard to protect your hard work.”

How Can I Find the Right Coverage?

An experienced Personal Blankit Agent will help you pick the appropriate coverage for your situation. As an Independent Agency, we have access to a variety of insurance plans and companies worldwide.  We work hard to make sure that we have access to all insurance carriers worldwide, so you can find the insurance that is right for you at a competitive price.

Protect your life with insurance made for you. We know how to find the coverage that meets the needs of people like you who need help finding coverage after cancellation or non-renewal. Let us help you design the insurance plan that is right for you. Call (855) 692-5265 to talk to your Blankit Agent today.

Is Halloween a covered risk? — Top 5 insurance tips!

1. Does a homeowners’ insurance policy cover vandalism to my property?

Generally, a homeowners’ insurance policy will cover vandalism to a home; however, the damage would need to be significant to rise to the level of filing an insurance claim. The homeowner must pay out of pocket for the amount of the deductible — the insurance carrier would pay the remaining portion of the claim. For example, if the cost of the damage is less than or equal to the amount of the deductible, then filing an insurance claim wouldn’t be worth it.

Tip: Be alert when home, its a night with heavy neighborhood traffic. If your out for the night, ask a neighbor to keep and eye out and keep all your lights on.

 

2. Does my homeowners’ insurance policy cover a slip and fall accident?

A slip and fall injury will usually be covered by Coverage E of the personal liability portion of a homeowners’ insurance policy and Coverage F, medical payments to others section. This coverage extends to those visitors who do not live at the insured’s property but are accidentally injured while on the property, resulting in liability and medical bills. Many may want to look at umbrella insurance to extend liability protection.

Tip: Keep driveways and pathways lit and clear of hazards and debris to avoid little monsters tripping. Make sure all of your lights are on this night and that you have clearly inspected your property. This is the one time of year you make get hundreds of visitors to your property at night.

 

3. Does homeowners’ insurance cover dog bites?

With the onset of visitors and doorbells ringing, this may cause some pets to be provoked by the unusual Halloween customs. If your pet does bite a trick-or-treater, Coverage E Personal Liability and Coverage F Medical Payments to Others would cover the situation. Check the policy and with the agent to confirm coverage, as some insurance policies and state regulations vary and may not cover certain situations or certain breeds of dogs.

Tip: Place the pet in a crate or room while the trick-or-treater’s are visiting so that the pet is not provoked. It may not be your pet, many people bring their dogs trick or treating. So keep an eye out and keep some distance.

4. How do I know if I’m underinsured?

Don’t be caught underinsured on your policy. Many policies contain a clause stating that an insurance company will not fully cover damage to a home unless the policy covers 80% or more of the home’s total replacement value. As a result, if the homeowner has inadequate coverage (usually less than 80% the home’s replacement value), then the homeowner may only receive a proportionate amount of coverage on a claim.

Tip: Avoid getting shocked this Halloween season with underpaid claims. Talk to your Blankit agent about whether you’re adequately insured and what risks might affect you. Your never spooked with Blankit.

 

5. Does my homeowners’ insurance policy cover candle fires?

A standard homeowners’ insurance policy covers accidental fires under its covered perils section. As a result, fires caused by lit candles are usually covered. During a busy Halloween season, the best practice is not to light candles or leave them unattended.

Tip: Avoid potential fires by using battery LED pumpkin lights for creative Jack O’ Lanterns this Halloween season. these lights are cheaply purchased at any dollar store and last for well belong the night. Don’t let a $1 of prevention  burn down your family’s home. Blankit is here for you all year long. A safe night to all. Please drive safe and slow on Halloween.  And remember that Blankit only gives treats no tricks, all year long.

Am I Prepared for Another Irma?

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic of the hype, the simple fact is that hurricane Irma caused massive devastation in Florida, and could have been even worse had the storm shifted in either direction.  While a majority of Floridians only lost power, the damages will still amount into the billions. Our hearts go out to those who were affected by Irma, Harvey and any other storm we may still get hit by this year.  Despite the occasional fake video or misinformation going around, the media did their job of warning people of the potential threat to Florida.  Whether your family stayed or evacuated, the exposures faced could impact the rest of your life.

If you were fortunate enough not be directly impacted by hurricane Irma, hopefully you learned a valuable lesson.  Preparation is the vital, and yet often overlooked, element to survival.  We saw this with the shortages of fuel, water, wood, food, ice, and just about every other essential item.  Long lines on highways, gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores; Irma led to the largest evacuation in US history.  Were you stuck in these lines or on the road?  Did you not have the vital supplies necessary to weather the storm? What did you do after the storm?  

A day before the largest storm in over 100 years is barreling into the Florida coastline and you still don’t know whether to leave or stay.  Does this sound like a familiar scenario?  Many of us did not know if we should stick it out or leave.  Some natives and even lifers (those that travel to Florida and never leave), have heard the hype before and pay no attention to the warnings.  Some believe the media is behind driving people to consume more.  Regardless of your position, the fact is that hurricane force winds will cause substantial damage anywhere and to anything in their path.  Even if the winds don’t directly damage your property, the rising water levels from storm surge and rain could cause irreparable damage.  

For most of us, the good news is that there is time to prepare so that you are not sitting in hour long lines, or worrying if there will be enough water, food, or even shelter for you.  I have devised a helpful anagram to prepare for any disastrous situation.  Stick to the P-L-A-N to keep you and your loved ones safe before, during and after the devastation.

  • Plan – having a plan for an emergency situation sounds obvious, and will save you from wasting precious time. Fire escape plans, hurricane plans, evacuation plans, will all come in handy, but the key is to have them in place prior to needing them.  Knowing what steps to take, who is in charge of what, and where to go will allow you to beat the panic.  While others are running around stressing about what to do, your family will be at ease knowing what, where, and when.  Don’t over complicate the plan.  Keep your plan simple and easy to remember for everyone.  
  • List – A list will not only cut down on wasting time, but you can inventory your supplies to ensure the most effective use of resources.  If you only have a limited amount of water, then record the total amount you have so that you know how long it will last (about 1 gallon of water per day per person is sufficient) and will be able to ration accordingly. Remember, women and children always come first!
  • Assess – it is scientifically proven that when we panic, our brains fail to use the reasoning portion for critical thinking.  This means that under stress, we begin making irrational decisions, which could put you or your family in harm’s way.  Think clearly, and execute quickly.  Listen to the warning messages and take appropriate action, but remember not to panic because you already have a plan and lists in place, so you’re ahead of the game.
  • Neighborly – letting other people know where you will be during the storm not only help give them peace of mind, but it will help the first responders to focus their efforts.  Posting on social media, calling relatives and friends, and telling neighbors your plan will reduce stress for everyone and who knows, maybe your neighbor has a better plan than you do.  If power goes out after the storm and you are not able to reconnect with loved ones right away, try to change your voicemail on your phone to let everyone know your status.  Be kind and lend assistance.  You will have extra time that wasn’t wasted, so use some to help others that did not plan ahead.

Having a plan, also includes making sure you have the right insurance policy in place (before the storm is announced otherwise it could be too late) to protect all of your hard work.  There’s the obvious possessions like your car, home, RV, and business property, that you want protected.  But storms can even bring devastation in ways you did not think.  For instance, maybe you’re A/C, refrigerator, or water heater could not handle the power surge and stopped working.  Or your business may be up and running, but are any of your customers?  How long will your business survive without customers?  What if you work from home and both your house and business were affected?  Don’t leave these questions unanswered!  Speak with a Blankit Insurance professional today to discuss how we can help you PLAN ahead so you’re protected for the future!

Remember, by the time a named Storm is announced, you may only have less than 24 hours to secure an insurance policy before the carriers close down and to stock up on supplies before they are gone. Irma’s lesson to all of us is, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare and keep your family safe.

Protect Your Home While It’s on The Market

Tips for protecting your home and assets while it’s on the market.

You’ve dusted every nook and cranny, pulled rogue weeds from the garden bed and strategically placed cut flowers in every room of the house. However, if you feel a bit unsettled when you close the door and leave for a showing of your home, you’re likely not alone. Unfortunately, houses for sale can be targets for theft, liability lawsuits and more – particularly during an open house while there a lot of people milling around at once. Here are a few ways you can protect your home while it’s on the market so that you can feel more at ease:

Inform the neighbors

If you’re not returning directly home after a showing, ask a neighbor to swing by and make sure your doors were locked after the showing. This will keep your home safe from unwanted visitors who may know your home is for sale – and that there are unfamiliar guests coming in and out.

Hide the valuables

Don’t keep high-value items visible in the home while it’s on the market, especially jewelry, collectibles and other items that can be easily stolen. Keep these items in a large, heavy safe or secure a safe deposit box at your bank to stash them while your house is on the market.  Other items to remove from sight: your Social Security number, blank checks, prescription medications and anything else that someone might be able to snatch unnoticed.

Slips, trips and falls — oh my!

If someone gets hurt on your property, they can hold you liable and sue. Since potential buyers aren’t familiar with your home and you’re not there to warn them about “that one loose floor board,” make sure to prevent injuries and resulting lawsuits with these preventive measures:

  • Repair loose and uneven flooring, especially on porches and decks
  • Check banisters and railings to be sure they are secure
  • Secure rugs with non-slip padding
  • Keep hallways and stairwells clear of clutter
  • Make sure your home is well lit inside and out

Avoid accidental property damage

Potential buyers (especially serious ones) likely want to know the ins and outs of your home. Some will test appliances and faucets for functionality. But will they remember to turn off the gas burners and the bathroom sink? To avoid property damage caused by fire, water damage and other potential threats, ask your real estate agent to communicate these concerns to the selling agent. The selling agent can double check to make sure everything is turned OFF before leaving the premises.

Gun safety

Gun owners – you may think your gun is well concealed in your bedroom closet, but potential buyers likely will poke around in there to get an idea about storage space. If you keep a gun in your home, make sure it is unloaded, locked in a gun box and out of sight. This can prevent accidental injuries and theft.

Dog bites

If you are a dog owner, consider what you will do with your pet while your home is being shown to potential buyers. Your best bet? Remove dogs from the premises. This will not only make your home more appealing to non-animal lovers, but it also eliminates the threat of dog bites. While Fido might be your most loving companion, you never know how he’s going to react when strangers come a-knockin’. If you can’t remove your pooch from the house, secure a dog crate that can be placed indoors or out, so that the animal can be safely contained during the showing.

If you have particular concerns about your property, communicate these to your real estate agent. You can always request that he or she is present for any showing of your home. Also talk to your insurance agent if you have questions about the types of coverage you have for property damage and personal liability lawsuits. Since your home is likely your biggest investment, make sure you protect it and your financial livelihood while it’s on the market to get the biggest bang from your home sale buck.