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Are You Hurricane Ready?

Even though Hurricane Matthew’s exact path is still uncertain it is better to be prepared than to be caught without a plan! Harry Levine Insurance is here for you if and when the storm strikes. As insurance professionals our job is more than just showing up to the office every day. Our job is to be there for our clients when they are in their most difficult moments.

We urge you to adopt a Hurricane Preparedness Plan (see below). We urge you to monitor the storm. We urge you to take photos of your home and belongings and to find your insurance policies. Keep them dry and safe! You will find a listing of all of our insurance company partners’ claims contact information here on our website. Please make a note of your carrier’s contact information.
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Workers Compensation – The Pitfalls of Trying to Cut Costs

As Workers Compensation rates in Florida soar, with more potential double digit rate increases looming, small businesses are trying to find creative ways to cut their costs on workers compensation coverage.  The end result can be very costly for the business owner. Some people are trying a new, creative way to cut costs and that is to report lower than actual payroll, so that the initial cost will be lower. There are agents out there that will allow this, and will sometimes encourage it to get your business in the door.  Don’t do it. It is a trap!
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Windshield Repair Fraud

If it’s too good to be true, then it is!

A problem that not many people talk about in the insurance world is windshield repair fraud. If your automobile glass cracks or gets chipped, it is very important to get it fixed. The State of Florida even makes it easy by requiring that insurance companies waive deductibles for windshields if you have Comprehensive Coverage as part of your car insurance policy. That’s right, if you have coverage, then you have an automatic deductible of zero for your windshield. Repairing or replacing a damaged one can be free!
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Drone Insurance Covered by Your Homeowners Policy? Think Again!

Every time something useful, cool, and new is invented, there are new dangers that come along with it. Newton’s Third Law of Physics even states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, guess what? Drones may be the hottest new present for children and tech enthusiasts, and a cutting-edge business tool, but an estimated 80% of them are operating without proper FAA approval or appropriate insurance protection.

drone insurance policy

Photo Credit: khunaspix on freedigitalphotos.net

Drones at home are less of a problem than drones used for business. Remember, once Bob the neighbor pays little Johnny $10 to take an aerial picture of his house, there has been a business transaction. You may not agree, but there was a transaction in the eyes of the court! Insurers are struggling to deal with the new risk posed by drones, whether it is drones running into each other, drones being flown into people or property, or drones having mechanical failure and crashing into people or property. There’s also that whole spying on people thing, despite plenty of existing laws and legal precedents to deal with that (just think cell phone cameras). You may think of drones as harmless, but rest assured, there are some very important things for homeowners and business owners to know about this potential insurance issue.
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Fraud is Causing Your Rate to Go Up

It seems like every year homeowner insurance costs more. We have talked about this before, but it is still happening and your rates are still going up. Our goal is to make sure everyone is educated about what is happening so you can make informed decisions about your home.

Normally, when people spend money they like to receive something of value in exchange for it. It’s difficult for insurance to provide obvious or immediate value because no one ever wants to have to use it. Everyone’s financial sensibility is vulnerable to ads like the one below that seem to bring that value. A new roof on your home can cost anywhere from $5,000.00 to $50,000.00 depending upon size, materials and contractor. The free roofs that are being promised all across Florida in ads like these, however, are not free at all. In fact, they are incredibly costly to the homeowner and the general public.
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A New Free Roof?…It Must be Too Good to be True

Free-lunch_Guy-Downes-20101

Credit – http://www.guydownes.com

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

A stranger knocks on your door.  You apprehensively answer.  They tell you that they can get you a entirely kitchen worth $25,000 or more if you’ll let them inside.  You laugh, say it’s too good to be true and send them on their way.  So why do people allow those making such outrageous claims to climb on their roofs, have access to their insurance policy  information, and ultimately to involve them in a rapidly growing fraud scam?  I suppose it’s because they aren’t be asked to actually invite the perpetrators in, but they are being promised a new roof typically valued anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000.

Insurance is there to protect homeowners from sudden and accidental damage.  Unlike a home warranty or maintenance contract, insurance does not cover wear and tear or an item reaching the end of its useful life.  Insurance is designed and priced to repair or replace a roof if a tree falls on your house, a hail storm causes damage or another sudden, accidental and unforeseeable event damages your home.  Unfortunately, opportunistic and criminally liable contractors are looking for homes with shingle roof at or around 15 years old all over Florida.  These roofs are naturally reaching the end of their lives, and most homeowners dread having to purchase one from within their household budget.  Knock, knock…
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What to do if your house has polybutylene pipes?

Polybutylene pipe

“What do you mean I can’t get homeowner insurance?”

Unfortunately, this line is becoming more common by the day in Florida. Homes are being bought and sold at a quick pace again, and any house built between 1978 and 1995 probably started out with Polybutylene plumbing pipes. If your house has not been re-piped it has been blacklisted by nearly all insurance companies. This isn’t because insurers want to be mean. It is because there is evidence that Polybutylene fails more often than other types of plumbing.
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Not All Data Breaches Are From Hackers

Not all data breaches are from hackers.

Not all data breaches are from hackers.

“Data breach? It only happens to big companies… It will never happen to me… My credit card processing vendor provides protection anyway…. I’m covered…. I don’t need to pay for even more insurance…”

Employee Allegedly Sold “bags of reservation documents” to Identity Thieves

Did you see this recent headline? If not check out the scary story here. This happened right here in Central Florida.

Ever heard the phrase ‘famous last words’? If not, you just read them above. Data breach and cyber security have become major problems facing business owners and individuals over the last decade. Getting caught in the trap of believing it won’t happen to you or that you have adequate protection without specific insurance coverage in place is often devastating. Businesses close, reputation and credit are ruined and recovery takes years if it happens at all.
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My Insurance Company Told Me My Roof is Too Old, is it?

You might have some roofing issues!

You might have some roofing issues!

 

  Q.  Why is my insurance company telling me my  roof is too old and that I need to replace it? It  looks fine to me!

A.  Keeping a comfy roof over your head is one of peoples’ highest priorities no matter where they are.  When it comes to homeowner insurance roofs can quickly become a lot more complication than just shingle or tile.  Insurance carriers have detailed data on how long roofs are expected to last, what are the most common causes of roof related claims, and which types of roofs tend to work best. 
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Have You Saved With A Wind Mitigation Inspection?

Douglas Inspection Service logo (1)

We interviewed one of our clients, Douglas Inspection Service about Wind Mitigation Inspections. If you haven’t had one yet you may be able to save money on your Homeowners insurance! You can learn more about Wind Mitigation Inspections on our blog and read about them and Douglas Inspection below!

Q. How long is an inspection?
A. The time spent at the property is usually less than an hour. We do research prior to the appointment and at the home we verify the results of our research and confirm the way the roof is secured to the house. It really depends on how far into the attic the inspector has to go to find and photograph the features the insurer is looking for.
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