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What is an Assignment of Benefits Agreement? (And why shouldn't you sign one?)

What is an Assignment of Benefits Agreement?

You come home from work one day to find that a leak under your sink has sprayed water all over the floor. Panicking, you shut off the water main and call the first plumber that pops up on Angie’s List. He fixes the leak and recommends a company to take care of all the water damage.

You’re satisfied with their work, so you take the referral and call the remediation company. But when they show up, that’s when the problem starts.

They present you with an Assignment of Benefits form and say that they won’t start work until you sign it.
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What are Commercial Bonds (& Why Do I Need One)?

What Are Commercial Bonds (& Why Do I Need One)?

“I was just hired to re-pave the parking lot at my local library, but they’re requiring me to have a commercial bond…what is that and why do I need one?”

At Harry Levine Insurance, we get questions like this all the time.

Although commercial bonds aren’t an insurance policy in the traditional sense, they do provide a financial guarantee of your work and protect your customers against risk.

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Smart Home Insurance Discounts

Smart Home Insurance Discounts

Today’s tech doesn’t just make our lives easier, it protects our homes and makes them more energy efficient. Who doesn’t love that?

Your insurance company loves it, too. Having an extra layer of protection against theft, damage, and other forms of risk means less claims to pay out on. So it should come as no surprise that many insurance carriers are beginning to offer smart home insurance discounts if these devices are installed in your home.
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Your Quick Guide to Florida Insurance Laws

Settling down in the Sunshine State?

Florida remains one of the most popular states in the country, with roughly 900 people moving to the state every day. That’s 330,605 new residents each year! And frankly, with year-round sunshine, warm temperatures, beautiful sandy beaches, and countless things to do, who can blame them?

But if you’re planning on joining us in this wonderful state, you’ll need to know more than what hours Disney is open. Here are some of the things you need to know about Florida insurance laws.

Keep reading our guide so that you’re prepared for your big move.
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First-Party vs. Third-Party Cyber Risk Insurance

Business owners who forego cyber risk insurance usually cite the cost as a deterring factor. But with the average cost of a cybercrime at $200,000 (and this is a conservative estimate!), you can’t afford not to have it. That amount might be a drop in the bucket for a Fortune 500 company, but for small and home-based businesses, it can spell disaster.

This is why we so strongly recommend cyber risk insurance for all types of business owners. Because you never know when you may become a target to this type of crime, protecting yourself at all times is essential.
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Understanding Your Insurance Score (Everything You Need To Know)

Understanding Your Insurance Score

You probably already know your credit score, but did you know that you also have an insurance score?

If not, you’re not alone. Most people go their whole lives without knowing that their insurance score even exists, much less what it is. However, because your insurance score is used to calculate your premiums, this is one instance in which ignorance is not bliss.

In this article, we’ll discuss what your insurance score is, how it’s calculated, and why companies use it.
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10 home maintenance tips to reduce claims and home insurance rates

10 Tips to Reduce Claims and Home Insurance Rates

There are a lot of factors that help determine your home insurance rates, but none are so easy to control as proper home maintenance.

Taking care of your home prevents wear and tear, damage, and the stress of having to deal with a middle-of-the-night emergency. When your home performs the way it should, you not only live better, you can breathe easier. And so can your insurance company when they consider how much of your risk they are taking on.

More claims lead to higher home insurance rates, so proper home maintenance is one way to keep your premiums down.
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Letter from V.P. Jason Levine [October 4, 2019]

Dear Valued Clients,

I am writing you today because your insurance is currently with Florida Specialty Insurance Company. Even if you’d already left Florida Specialty, there is some important information to share.

We’ve been trying to provide updates and communicate as much as we can since mid-August on the Florida Specialty insolvency situation. We have finally received confirmation today that on Wednesday, October 2, Florida Specialty was ordered liquidated by the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County (Tallahassee). The Florida Department of Financial Services has been appointed Receiver.

  • If you are a homeowner (HO3 policies) we have either issued replacement coverage for you through Nationwide Insurance effective September 28th, 2019, worked with you to some other circumstance, or we are actively working to contact you regarding additional information needed to get replacement coverage in place.
  • If you are a condominium unit owner, the owner of a rental or non-owner occupied home, or a mobile home owner we have quotes ready for you and we’re in the process of trying to contact you. We need to speak with you ASAP, as for these types of policies we absolutely need your involvement with paperwork to get replacement coverage activated.

If we haven’t spoken with you or you do not have replacement coverage in place please call us immediately.

 Here is a quick rundown on exactly what’s happening:

  1. All roughly 91,000 Florida Specialty policies will be cancelled effective November 1, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. Formal notices should begin going out by U.S. Mail immediately.
  2. The Receiver, the Florida Dept. of Financial Services, will continue to accept claims for up to 1 year.
  3. The Receiver, the Florida Dept. of Financial Services, will continue to administer in-progress claims.  The Florida Insurance Guarantee Association (FIGA) will stand behind Florida Specialty claims as needed, but only within the scope of FIGA.  You can learn more here.
  4. The Receiver, the Florida Dept. of Financial Services, will continue to process pro-rata refunds that may be due to you. Unfortunately, those refunds are now subject to a $100 deductible imposed by Florida law. (Translation: Your refund will be $100 less than what it would normally be. Even if you’ve already moved from Florida Specialty, this will apply to you if your refund has not yet been processed.)

We are legally required to inform you that:

  • FSIC’s insurance policies are cancelled effective 12:01 a.m. on November 1, 2019, unless otherwise terminated prior to that date.
  • As your agent, we will first work to find coverage in the private market.
  • If we cannot find coverage for policyholders in the private market, Citizens Property Insurance Company (“Citizens”) will provide you with a guaranteed offer of coverage, but it must be bound using the process Citizens has put into place. There will be no lapse in coverage.
  • The deadline for filing claims in the FSIC receivership proceeding is 11:59:59 p.m. on October 2, 2020.

Please call us to discuss your options without delay. Our biggest goal is to make sure that you come through this process with the highest quality insurance coverage that we can make available to you. We look forward to speaking with you. As always, your business, professional trust, and your referrals are most appreciated.

View the Court Order for Liquidation here.

Important FAQ and Contact Information for Affected Policy Holders

How Long Does a Roof Last? (The Age of Your Roof and Insurance)

How Long Does a Roof Last?: Age of Roof and Insurance

Your home does a lot for you: it keeps you warm and dry, it keeps you safe, and it keeps all your things in one place. Aside from the odd repair or two, it’s holding up and doing its job well.

That’s why it comes as such as shock when your insurance company informs you that your roof age is too old and they are going to drop your homeowners insurance coverage if you don’t get a new one.

Huh?
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Should I File For a Workers' Comp Exemption?

Should I File For a Workers’ Comp Exemption?

Workers’ compensation insurance is a crucial—and often mandatory—part of owning a business in Florida.

But if you’ve owned a business for some time (or spent enough time around insurance agents), you might have heard of some business owners filing for a workers’ comp exemption.

Filing a workers’ comp exemption is a complex issue that should not be taken lightly. There are requirements that must be met and proper procedures to follow.

So what exactly is a workers’ comp exemption, how does it work, and is it right for you?
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