Imagine you’re a homeowner in Brandon looking to protect your family and property with the best insurance coverage. You sift through countless online and over the phone quotes, but seem to fit your unique needs. That’s when you finally decide to call an independent insurance agent, and your life is never the same.

Independent insurance agents in Brandon offer numerous benefits for both personal and commercial insurance needs. They provide customized solutions, access to a wide range of products, and possess valuable local market knowledge. For residents and businesses in Brandon, working with an independent agent can make all the difference in securing comprehensive and affordable coverage.

Need expert advice on insurance solutions? Contact Talley Insurance at (813) 685-9393 for a personalized consultation.

Reason 1: Customized Insurance Solutions

Tailored Coverage for Your Unique Needs

Consider John, a small business owner in Brandon who runs a boutique marketing firm. John initially purchased a generic insurance policy that didn’t account for the specific risks associated with his industry.

After consulting with an independent insurance agent from Talley Insurance, John received a customized policy that covered his unique needs, including professional liability and cyber liability. This tailored approach ensured that John’s business was protected against the specific threats it faced.

Why It Matters

Independent insurance agents excel in offering personalized insurance solutions. They take the time to understand your individual requirements and tailor policies to fit your specific needs.

This personalized approach ensures that you are adequately covered, whether you need home insurance, auto insurance, or commercial insurance for your business. Customized coverage means peace of mind, knowing that your unique risks are accounted for.

Reason 2: A Wide Range of Insurance Products

Access to Diverse Insurance Options

Imagine Sarah, a homeowner in Brandon who needs comprehensive coverage for her home, car, and life insurance. She initially struggled to find a single provider that could offer all the policies she needed at competitive rates.

However, after reaching out to an independent agent from Talley Insurance, Sarah discovered a range of options from multiple carriers. The agent helped her combine home, auto, and life insurance policies, providing better coverage and saving her money.

Why It Matters

Independent insurance agents have access to a wide range of insurance products from multiple carriers. This access allows them to offer clients more options and better coverage. Whether you need a specific type of insurance or a combination of policies, an independent agent can help you find the best solutions tailored to your needs. This variety ensures that you get the most comprehensive coverage at the most competitive rates.

Reason 3: Local Market Knowledge

Expertise in the Brandon Market

Consider a restaurant owner in Brandon who needed insurance coverage that addressed specific regional risks, such as hurricanes and flooding. The owner worked with an independent agent from Talley Insurance, who had extensive knowledge of the local market and the unique challenges it presented.

The agent provided a policy that included comprehensive flood insurance and business interruption coverage, ensuring that the restaurant was well-protected against local risks.

Why It Matters

Local market knowledge is a significant advantage of working with independent insurance agents. They understand the specific needs and risks of the Brandon area, allowing them to provide more relevant and effective insurance solutions.

This expertise ensures that you receive coverage that addresses the unique challenges of your region, whether for personal or commercial insurance. Having a local expert on your side means better protection and peace of mind.

Reason 4: Personalized Customer Service

Building Long-Term Relationships

Consider the Smith family in Brandon, who had been dealing with a faceless insurance company for years. Whenever they had questions or needed to make changes to their policy, they were met with long wait times and impersonal service. Frustrated, they turned to an independent insurance agent at Talley Insurance.

The agent took the time to get to know the Smiths personally, understanding their unique needs and providing tailored advice. Over the years, the agent conducted regular policy reviews, ensuring the Smiths always had the best coverage. This personal touch made all the difference, transforming their insurance experience from a hassle to a reassuring partnership.

Why It Matters

Personalized customer service is a hallmark of independent insurance agents. Unlike large, corporate insurers, independent agents build long-term relationships with their clients. They provide dedicated support, proactive risk management advice, and regular policy reviews to ensure you always have the best coverage.

This level of personalized service means you’re not just a number; you’re a valued client whose needs are prioritized. This relationship-building leads to better protection and peace of mind, knowing you have a trusted advisor on your side.

Florida Independent Insurance Agent FAQs

Q1: What Is The Difference Between An Independent Insurance Agent And A Captive Agent?

A1: An independent insurance agent represents multiple insurance carriers, providing a variety of policy options. In contrast, a captive agent represents only one insurance company, limiting the range of products they can offer.

Q2: How Do Independent Insurance Agents Save Me Money?

A2: Independent agents can compare policies and prices from multiple carriers to find the best coverage at the most competitive rates. This ability to shop around ensures you get the most value for your insurance dollar.

Q3: What Types Of Insurance Can Independent Agents Help With?

A3: Independent agents can assist with a wide range of insurance products, including home, auto, life, and commercial insurance. They provide comprehensive solutions for all your insurance needs.

Q4: Why Should I Choose An Independent Insurance Agent In Brandon?

A4: Independent agents in Brandon have local market knowledge and can provide personalized service tailored to the specific needs of the community. This local expertise ensures you receive coverage that addresses the unique risks and challenges of the area.

Q5: How Do I Choose The Right Independent Insurance Agent?

A5: Look for agents with a strong local reputation, positive reviews, and a commitment to personalized service. An agent who takes the time to understand your needs and provides tailored advice will offer the best protection.


Choosing an independent insurance agent in Brandon offers numerous advantages for both personal and commercial insurance needs. From customized insurance solutions and a wide range of products to local market knowledge and personalized customer service, independent agents provide comprehensive and tailored coverage that large, corporate insurers often can’t match. By working with an independent agent like those at Talley Insurance, you ensure that your unique needs are understood and met with the best possible policies.

Don’t leave your insurance needs to chance. Contact Talley Insurance today at (813) 685-9393 for a policy review. Our team is dedicated to providing the personalized service and tailored insurance solutions that Brandon residents and businesses deserve.

Disclaimer: The scenarios and names used in this blog post are fictional and are intended for illustrative purposes only. They are designed to provide a better understanding of how Talley Insurance can help Brandon businesses with professional liability insurance. Any resemblance to real persons or actual events is purely coincidental. For personalized advice and solutions tailored to your specific needs, please contact Talley Insurance directly.

The cost of your home is far more than just the cost of the house itself. From taxes to utility bills, any homeowner knows that there are far more pieces to the puzzle than just his or her mortgage. Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or the tenth, you are likely surveying all the pieces of the puzzle and visualizing how they will fit together. If you want to slide the home insurance piece snugly into place, look no further!

If you’d like to save this piece for later and just skip to some actual estimates, give us a call at (813) 685-9393 or fill out the form on this page.

Location, Location, Location!

It can be a heartbreaking moment to fall in love with a home… and then learn that the flood insurance would shatter your budget. In the same way that location plays a large role in determining the price of the home itself, it also plays a major role in determining your insurance payment.

In general, the following factors will drive your insurance costs up:

  1. Densely populated neighborhood
  2. High crime area
  3. Far away from fire hydrants and/or fire station
  4. Location vulnerable to natural disasters or severe weather

Please note that floods, earthquakes, and mudslides aren’t usually covered by regular home insurance. If any of these risks apply, you will need an additional policy!

Certain Characteristics of a Home Affect Premiums

Now that we’ve covered the location, the next consideration is the home itself. First and foremost, your home’s value will have a major impact on the premium. If your home is destroyed in a fire or other covered disaster, your home insurance will pay to rebuild it. This is called dwelling coverage. Dwelling coverage can generally be calculated by multiplying the home’s square footage by local construction costs.

There are also a variety of other characteristics that come into play when it comes to insurance premium calculations. These often include:

  1. Age of your roof
  2. Type of your roof
  3. Whether you have impact-resistant roofing
  4. Your home’s electrical system (circuit breakers are usually less than fuse boxes)

There’s Also Protection for Personal Items & Liability

Of course, your home is more than just your house! The vast majority of homeowners insurance policies include protection for your furniture and personal belongings. They also include liability in case someone is injured on your property.

Don’t forget that the things you love may require a little more coverage! This includes items like swimming pools, hot tubs, and trampolines, as well as certain breeds of furry friends.

Your Credit Score Also Affects Your Home Insurance

Remember, insurance is all about assessing risk! This means that your credit score will impact your home insurance premium as well. The better your score, the lower your premium will be.

Past claims can also affect what that final number is going to be. If you’ve made a number of insurance claims in the past, you will appear more likely to make a claim in the future. That said, insurance is meant to be used when you need it. This should never defer you from making a claim, as an experienced insurance agent (link to contact or about us) will be able to find you the best price.

How to Discount Your Home Insurance Premium in Florida

Speaking of finding the best price, there are certain actions you can take to decrease the amount you’ll pay for coverage. One of these is bundling your home and car insurance, which can lower your premium up to an impressive 20%. Of course, the exact savings depend on your provider and other considerations, but it is often a good idea. We are happy to advise as to whether or not bundling would be the best idea for you!

Insurance discounts are also typically a great idea! Some providers offer 5% off of premiums for having a smoke detector and some also grant a discount of up to 15% for home alarm systems. Please note that figures are estimates that depend on state and provider. If you’re here in Brandon, FL (or anywhere in Florida!) we will use our extensive knowledge of Florida insurance to find any available discounts for you.


If you’ve ever put together one of those 500-piece puzzles, you already know it’s faster and more efficient with a partner and a strategy!

The insurance experts here at Charles D. Talley Jr Insurance, Inc are ready to help protect your masterpiece with the best coverage for the best price. With over 35 years of experience, we are proud to say we’ve had client after client say, “We didn’t know THIS level of coverage existed at THIS low of a price.”

Want to see if we can do the same for you? Give us a call at (813) 685-9393.

Hurricane season, which starts on June 1st, is fast approaching to the dismay of Florida homeowners. our insurance agency consider those 6 weeks to be one of the more turbulent times of the year. The good news this year is that Florida lawmakers approved a tax holiday that will overlap with the start of hurricane season.

If you have yet to hear about this “ tax holiday,” here’s what you should know.

The Sales Tax Free Holiday Starts May 31st

At the end of the legislative season, Florida lawmakers approved a $121 million tax break package. They also approved a tax holiday that remains in effect through the start of the hurricane season this year. This means that many of the important supplies that are recommended when preparing for a hurricane won’t be subject to a sales tax.

Do you need to buy a new generator? How’s your supply of batteries or tarps? Even with comprehensive home insurance and a great flood insurance policy, you don’t want to be unprepared during this time of year.

If you have them thinking about stocking up on these types of supplies for this year’s hurricane season, then this is great news. From May 31st until midnight on June 6th, you won’t have to pay a sales tax when purchasing any of these items. This tax-free holiday is only going to last for a week, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Which Hurricane Supplies Will Be Included?

Here is a comprehensive list of the various hurricane supplies that are included in this sales tax free holiday:

  • Flashlights and other portable self-powered light sources (as long as they cost $20 or less)
  • Portable self-powered radios like two-way and weather-band radios ($50 or less)
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks ($25 or less)
  • Waterproof sheets like tarps, plus ties and ground anchors ($50 or less)
  • Batteries including AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt and 9-volt batteries ($30 or less)
  • Note that sales tax will still be applied for car and boat batteries during this tax holiday
  • Portable generators ($750 or less)
  • Non-electric coolers ($30 or less)
  • Reusable ice ($10 or less)


With the amount storms we have seen threatening the Tampa Bay area over the last few years, it’s nice to see that this type of tax break was approved. Additionally, Florida lawmakers have approved a back to school sales tax holiday which will be in effect in early August. If you are a parent, then you’ll be happy to know that there will be no sales tax for the purchase of important items like computers, new shoes, clothes and other various school supplies.

Have questions about your insurance that you’d like answered BEFORE hurricane season? Speak to one of our insurance experts by calling (813) 685-9393.

In today’s post from Charles D. Talley Insurance Agency, Inc, our resident Insurance expert, Adam Talley, is going to walk you through the different coverages included in a home insurance quote that you would receive from an independent insurance agency like ourselves. For any homeowner who has had questions about their home insurance in the past, this is information they don’t want to miss!

Be sure to take careful note of everything that was covered in this video. If you feel like you have more questions about your home insurance policy or you’re looking to save money on a better policy in Florida, then please give us a call today at (813) 685-9393. Adam would be happy to help you and your family.

Dwelling Coverage

When you receive a home insurance quote, the first thing you should see is your dwelling coverage. So what does this actually cover? Dwelling coverage is the limit that your insurance carrier has set for rebuilding a damaged home. For instance, say a home was severely damaged in a massive storm in Tampa. We’ll assume that the homeowner had the appropriate home insurance in this scenario. Their dwelling coverage will cover the costs to repair or rebuild their home.

Other Structures Coverage

The next item you should see in your home insurance quote is other structures coverage. If you’re wondering about what this actually covers, we understand because the name is a little vague. Other structures coverage is for other structures that are on your property, but are not part of the house.

Covered other structures can include:

  • Detached garages
  • Fences
  • Sheds
  • Bird baths
  • And more…

Personal Property Coverage

The next item in your home insurance quote is personal property coverage. What’s included as covered personal property on a home insurance policy in Florida? Imagine that you are holding your house in your hand. Now imagine that you can take the roof off the house with your other hand and turn this mini version of your house upside down. Then you start to shake it like you would a shoe you’re trying to empty of sand. Think of all the items in your home that would fall out in this hypothetical scenario. To your home insurance carrier, all these items are considered personal property.

With a home insurance policy in Florida, there are two ways to cover your personal property.

  • Actual cash value – This would be the depreciated value of your personal property.
  • Replacement cost – This would be the cost to replace the item for a brand new version.

(Insurance Insider Tip: Make sure you ask your insurance agent about scheduled personal property.)

The Flat Screen TV Scenario

If you’re still a little confused about personal property, here’s another good example. A homeowner has a big flat-screen TV that is about 10 years old. During a serious thunderstorm in Tampa, lightning strikes the home and destroys the TV. If this homeowner was using actual cash value to cover their personal property, then they’re probably not going to get more than $100 from their insurance carrier for the TV. That’s because this is what the actual cash value of a 10 year old TV would be (if it was in relatively good condition). However, a homeowner that was using replacement cost could get $800 to $1,000 to replace that destroyed flat screen TV. This would be equivalent to the price for a new TV at a electronic store or online in Tampa .

Loss of Use Coverage

The next item in your home insurance quote is loss of use coverage. This is an important item to note for homeowners living in Tampa or other places that are at risk from massive storms like hurricanes. This is coverage for homeowners that can’t live in their house due to a covered claim.

Let’s say that a hurricane ends up causing significant water damage to a home in Hillsborough. The residents of the home must vacate the property while repairs are being made. The cost of having to stay in a hotel and purchasing meals over an extended period of time can be significant. Fortunately, loss of use coverage will cover those extra costs.

Liability and Medical Payment Coverage

The next items in your home insurance quote are going to be personal liability and medical payment coverage. These two types of coverages are tied pretty closely together when it comes to home insurance in Florida.

Personal Liability Coverage

Let’s say a homeowner decides to throw a party for their neighbors at their home in St Petersburg. Everyone’s having a great time, but then something very unfortunate happens. One of the guests ends up tripping as they are walking around the pool in the backyard. Even more unfortunate is that this person decides to sue the homeowner who threw the party. Personal liability coverage will protect that homeowner in this scenario.

Medical Payment Coverage

As we mentioned before, this form of coverage is closely tied to personal liability and here’s why. Let’s imagine the same scenario that we did before — a homeowner in St. Petersburg throws a party for their neighbors and some of their close friends. However, this time it’s a good friend of theirs that trips and falls during the party. While we’ll assume that they aren’t going to sue their friend, they may need some help paying for their medical bills. This is where medical payment coverage comes in.


In this post and video, Adam Talley wanted to cover some of the essential coverages included in your home insurance policy. But there could be other coverages and endorsements included in a home insurance quote in Florida. If you have any questions about items on your quote that weren’t covered in this post, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at (813) 685-9393.

Are you doing everything you can to prevent potential fires in your home? Our Insurance expert Adam Talley goes on Tampa Home Talk to discuss fire safety tips With Pasco County fire rescue officers, Corey Deirdrorff and Lisa Negron. Make sure that you don’t miss any of these important tips that can protect your home and your family in the coming year.

How Do You Handle a Grease Fire in Your Kitchen?

Unfortunately, this type of fire is quite common. people are cooking something on the stove and they get distracted; they go sit down, they get on their phone, or they even fall asleep. All of a sudden they’re dealing with a serious situation. it’s a grease fire! What do you do?

As both Cory and Lisa note, the one thing you should not do is try to douse the fire with water. This is not going to produce the desired effect and it can make the matter even worse. remember that a fire needs oxygen in order to survive, so what you need to do is stifle the grease fire. These Pasco County fire rescue officers recommend covering the fire with a sheet pan or a lid in order to take the oxygen out of that fire.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Holiday Lights

Do you like to dazzle your family and neighbors with an extravagant light display during the holidays? If you’re planning on putting up a bunch of holiday lights, there are some fire safety tips that you should keep in mind in order to protect your family and your home.

Review the UL Recommendations for Your Lights

On the end of the light chords you are going to be able to see what is called the UL recommendations. What does tells you is how many strands of lights can be safely strung together. Essentially, you need to read the tag!

The outlets that you will be plugging these lights into on the outside of your home should be GFCI outlets. If you come home and noticed that your lights are continuously popping, that’s because there’s just too much voltage running through them. You really don’t want to let things get to this point. This becomes a potential fire hazard for your home in Tampa.

According to the Pasco County fire rescue officers, this is what you want to do. First, make sure that you are not connecting more than four to five strands of lights to one single outlet. Next get wind of those safety covers that you can use for electrical outlets and slide them on the end in order to prevent any moisture from getting up into the back side of your lights.

If you are concerned about how many strands of lights that you can string together safely after reading the UL recommendations then do a Google search for more information. Also Lisa notes that you need to be careful about how many extension cords you are connecting to a single power outlet. this is another common mistake that many people make during this time of year and it could have disastrous results for your home.

How to Spot a Loose or Worn Bulb

Lisa notes that it is extremely important to inspect your holiday lights before you plug them in. Keep an eye out for any loose wires, missing rubber on the outside of the string, or any other noticeable defects. The fire rescue officers also recommend watching out for any of those classic lights that bubble in the middle. These tend to be a significant fire risk. Do you know which ones we’re talking about? Here is a picture:

Old Christmas lights in a home in Brandon

Recommendations for a Christmas Tree & Space Heaters

Corey recommends placing your Christmas tree and decorations at least three feet from any significant heat source. If you plan on using a space heater when the temperature gets a little colder, you need to be very careful. Corey and Lisa see a lot of home fires get started during this time of year due to space heaters.

Make sure that you take extra caution when using space heaters and that you have purchased one that is up to date. The latest models have extra safety features built-in. For instance, they will shut off if they tip over or if they become too overheated. And you also never want to use an extension cord with a space heater. This is extremely important!

What Should You Do if There is a Fire in Your Tampa Home?

Not surprisingly, the Pasco County fire rescue officers recommend that you call them as soon as you notice a fire in your home. Corey notes that it takes his fire team about 5 to 7 minutes to get to your home. After the 911 call has been processed, his team is dispatched and they make their way to the source of the fire rapidly.

Granted that in those five to seven minutes, a fire can grow exponentially. So that is why they recommend having a plan of action in place within your family in case of a house fire. Once the Flames have been seen, have someone call 911 and have another person help family members out of the home immediately. Do not wait to act even in the case of a fairly simple cooking fire. in action during this situation can lead to significant damage to your home and put yourself and your loved ones in danger.

Don’t ever hesitate to call 911 and get in touch with the local fire department. They would much rather have to cancel on route to a home then not be called at all and have that home burn down.

Insurance Risks If You Don’t Have Central AC in Florida

Furman Insurance perspective, it is pretty important to have a central AC system for your home. So for instance let’s say someone has a wall unit instead of central AC. This type of situation represents a significant risk and can be really difficult for insurance agents to ensure on your home insurance policy. During the warmer summer months, not having a central AC unit can also lead to significant mold growth in your home.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Dioxide

Volume might not be able to get a discount on your home insurance for ensuring that you have smoke detectors in the most critical places of your home, however you can get a discount for having smoke alarms that will alert the fire department in the case of a detected fire.

Corey also recommends that you should be checking your smoke detectors every 6 months. Make sure that you are replacing the batteries and not waiting until it’s chirping at you.


Well, we hope that you learned a thing or two today from this discussion on fire safety tips for your home during the holidays and beyond. This is an extremely important topic and one that’s not talked about enough. if you have any questions about the fire safety tips that were discussed here or how certain factors might impact your homeowners insurance policy please don’t hesitate to contact the insurance experts at Charles D. Talley Jr Insurance Inc.

Most homeowners insurance policies have a sub-limit for jewelry items, usually somewhere between $1,500-$2,500. So if you are planning to buy your loved one an expensive piece of jewelry for Christmas, you will want talk with an agent about scheduled personal property, or a rider as it is commonly referred to.

Engagement ring covered by scheduled personal property in Tampa

What’s Scheduled Personal Property?

Ask any insurance agent, and they will tell you that personal property insurance coverage is an essential aspect of homeowner’s insurance. However, a good agent will also tell you to take a close look at what is protected under your policy.  You may discover that an additional coverage (aka scheduled personal property) can provide better protection for your most valuable possessions.

What’s the Difference Between Standard Personal Property & Scheduled Personal Property?

Your standard homeowner’s policy usually provides coverage for your personal property. However, there it may also apply a dollar limit to how much will be paid out for specific possessions, such as jewelry. Some policies have a per-item limit applied for these types of valuables.

So for instance, there could be a $1,500 sub-limit applied to what your insurance will pay for jewelry following a theft. This would be upheld even if your overall personal property limit is significantly higher that.

Continuing with this example, let’s say you or your spouse has an engagement ring that is worth $3,000. It is stolen during a break-in. If you haven’t asked your insurance agent about scheduled personal property, your policy will likely only cover up to the $1,500 (maybe up to $2,500) sub-limit. This isn’t a situation we want you to find yourself if, especially with the holidays coming up.

Scheduled Personal Property for the Win

Scheduled personal property is an optional add-on to your homeowner’s insurance policy that provides increased coverage limits for specific, valuable possessions like that expensive engagement ring. Experiencing a break-in is terrible, but this coverage can be extremely helpful.

What types of possessions are covered by scheduled personal property?

  • Art and antiques
  • Expensive cameras and technical equipment
  • Firearms
  • Jewelry and furs
  • Musical instruments
  • Extensive and unique collections

Please note that your insurance agent will usually need to see a recent receipt or professional appraisal for the item(s) you want covered.

Call one of our agents at 813-685-9393 to discuss your options, and make sure you and your loved ones are properly protected. Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc., serving the Tampa Bay Area since 1983.

Your home has sustained damage from a hurricane. It’s a horrible situation, so what should you do first? Adam Talley provides expert advice you can follow in this situation.

If you’re home has sustained damage during a hurricane, here’s what your insurance agent recommends doing. First you should take pictures of the damage. After that, the next thing you need to do is contact your insurance carrier.

Flood Zones & Wind Zones in Florida

In Citrus County, most people are going to have flood insurance. Most homeowners that are along the waterway are in a mandatory flood zone. They more than likely have flood insurance. That’s a good thing! The further north you get, that will more than likely be your wind insurance policies. Remember that both wind and flood insurance are covered under your home insurance policy.

Along the coast, you get higher velocity wind zones. In Florida, the normal homeowners policy has to offer wind protection. In those high velocity winds zones, carriers can decline this coverage. This means you might have to get a third policy that is specific to wind. This means that if you live along the coast, your homeowners insurance policy might not cover wind.

Can You Get Coverage If You’re in a High Risk Zone?

If you didn’t already have the appropriate coverage, you will likely will be out of luck if the storm is bearing down on you. When it comes to flood insurance, unless it’s for a closing and it’s mandatory by your mortgage company there’s a 30-day waiting period.

If you recently closed on a home in this area then you should be okay. if you were in a A flood zone or V flood zone, Your mortgage company more than likely already made you get the appropriate flood insurance.

The Difference Between Flood and Hurricane Coverage

This is a question we get all the time at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc. Since many of our clients live within these potentially hazardous zones, we want to make sure that they have the full understanding of where they’re covered and where they aren’t in the event of a hurricane. So in this instance, there is a distinct difference that you should know.

Florida homes sustain flood damage from hurricane surge

Your flood insurance covers against rising water. However that isn’t going to cover against damage from wind-driven rain following a breach in your roof. That is where you’re going to want hurricane coverage for your home in Florida. If you’re wondering if hurricane coverage will protect you from the rising water caused by the storm surge, sadly this would not be the case. Even though that rising water was caused by the hurricane, this type of damage would only be covered by your flood insurance.

What To Do After You’ve Made Your Insurance Claim

First off, if you’re wondering if the hotel that you are going to have to stay in will be covered by your insurance policy, the answer is yes! This is covered under the “loss of use” portion in your home insurance policy. This covers the extra expenses you will incur eating out, staying at hotel, or whatever else is required to get you by while you wait for your home to be repaired. This is a good thing because mortgage companies don’t care about a storm displacing you. They will still expect that mortgage payment to be made on time.

A 4 Point Inspection – What Is That?

Essentially, this is an inspection for insurance eligibility purposes and it’s going to cover the four systems of your home. These four systems are your roof, the plumbing, electricity, and the HVAC system. The specifics of the 4 point inspection will depend on the age of your home and the carrier you have your home insurance policy with.

Our insurance agency works with several carriers that don’t need a 4 point inspection no matter what the age of the home is. Then there are some careers that require this inspection after 30 years others that require it after 40 years. Essentially it depends a great deal on the carrier in question.

What About The New Form For the 4 Point Inspection? Should You Be Concerned?

The new form that just came out is directed by Citizens Property Insurance and the purpose of this form Is to provide even more detail around the essential systems of the home. This provides important insights into potential risk areas for an older home that could lead to a significant claim in the future.

What Happens When An Issue Is Discovered During the Inspection?

These situations can actually differ significantly depending on the carrier involved and the situation that is discovered during the 4 point inspection. Carriers will defer in how they approach various items that might be deficient in the home. However, if it is a small issue and it is for a new home closing, they might let us write the policy with the stipulation that homeowner will fix the issue within a reasonable amount of time after they have moved in.

More significant issues like a roof leak will need to be addressed before we are able to write the policy. In fact, the roof is the number one rating factor when it comes to homeowners insurance in the state of Florida and it is the number one that can cause significant damage to your home. If you have additional questions about what you should do following a hurricane, or if you’d like to talk to an insurance expert about your home insurance policy, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 813-685-9393. You can also request a home insurance quote online here!

1) Depopulation Home Insurance

The Citizens Take-Out program is also referred to as Depopulation. It is required by Florida law for Citizens to create programs to return policies back to the private market. For an insurance company to qualify as a take-out company it must first be approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

2) Carriers

There are currently over 20 insurance carriers approved as take-out companies. These companies have wide range of experience level in the marketplace, ranging from several years (Avatar Insurance) to well over twenty years (Universal North America) of service.

3) Opt-out Letter

If your policy has been selected by one of these companies you will be notified in writing that your policy has been assumed. That letter will also provide instructions on how you can “opt-out” and stay with Citizens. It is important to read your assumption letter carefully, as there is a limited timeframe in which you can elect to opt-out.

4) Policy Assumption

If you do not respond during the designated timeframe you will receive documents from Citizens and your new company advising you of the non-renewal of your current Citizens policy and the assumption and creation of your new policy with the take-out company.

5) Know Your Options

If you receive an opt-out letter the most important thing is to call your insurance agent. Here at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc. we are dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and service to allow you to make the right decision regarding your insurance policy. If you choose to opt-out of the assumption, it is our pleasure to fax, email, or mail the letter to the prospective company for you, to give you peace of mind.

Bonus For You!

Due to the current state of the insurance market in Florida many homes that could previously only be insured by Citizens can now be insured through the private market. At Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance Inc. we have over 10 homeowners insurance carriers that we can quote you with to ensure you are receiving the best coverage that fits your needs.

You’re a homeowner and you have home insurance. It’s an investment that’s supposed to have you covered against any unforeseen circumstances, so you’re basically good to go! Right…? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not the simple “yes” that most people assume it is.

While homeowners insurance does cover a variety of important potential damages, there are certain things that most policies exclude. It is imperative to be aware of these exceptions, rather than assuming any homeowners policy has you 100% covered. That way, you can evaluate whether or not your current policy suits you. Remember, the agents at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance are always more than happy to answer any questions you have or provide their expert opinion on your specific situation!

Some of the most common things left uncovered by home insurance are as follows:

1) Pets

Little dog in front of a Florida homeDogs might be a man’s best friend, but as any dog owner knows, they are not exactly predictable pals. Unfortunately, dog bites accounted for over one third of homeowners insurance liability claims in 2013, amounting to $483 million in payouts. While most injuries caused by pets are covered by home insurance, some policies name specific breeds or sizes of animal that are excluded from coverage. Of course, an animal that was originally covered by your insurance will likely lose this coverage, should they bite or injure someone.

(Feeling underinsured? We can get you a personalized home insurance quote today!)

2) Mold

While this may seem like a commonplace issue that a little bit of mold spray should knock out, try not to underestimate this insidious destructor. Mold can sometimes grow for years within walls or ceilings without being discovered, causing significant damage to your home. It is best to choose an insurance policy that includes protection against mold, and that it isn’t limited to a $10,000 payout (as many policies are.) It may seem like a lot of money at first glance, but fixing mold damage often costs far more.

3) Earthquakes

Though many natural disasters are covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy, earthquakes are not one of them. You must purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy in order to be protected from an event that could be, quite literally, earth shattering. The good news is that most major insurers offer earthquake insurance, and our experienced agents can help you choose the best one.

4) Floods

Like earthquakes, floods are a topic that many homeowners may assume is covered in their main insurance policy, but actually are not. If you live in Florida, this is one insurance topic you really want to get right! Please be aware that there is typically a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance; you won’t want to wait until a flood warning to seek protection.

5) Trampoline Injuries

Child jumping on trampoline in FloridaThese springy playthings are actually far more dangerous than most people realize. In 2012, a whopping 94,900 people were treated in emergency rooms for trampoline-sustained injuries. If your child or your child’s friends (or even you and your friends) get injured while on a trampoline on your property, you are responsible. In fact, some insurance companies will not even insure a residence that has a trampoline on the premises.

(We recommend parents check out this page before they purchase a trampoline for their family.)

As with many topics, knowledge is power when it comes to insurance. Life is far from predictable, and proper coverage helps keep your protected in even the worst potential circumstances. Knowing exactly what your insurance policy covers—and what it doesn’t—places you in the best possible position as a homeowner.

After examining your current insurance policy, we’ll help you get additional coverage if you need it. Or maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to realize that you already have all the protection you need. Either way, our helpful and knowledgeable team will help you through the entire process!