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.

Conclusion

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!

Hurricanes can occur at any time at any time of year, but Florida and the rest of the Atlantic region, the season begins on June 1st and last until November 30th.

While hurricane season is stressful for anyone in the storm’s path, business owners have a host of additional concerns that come into play. As insurance agents in Brandon, FL, we are familiar with all the nuances of hurricane preparedness for business owners.

Business owners in Tampa prep for approaching hurricane

Developing a Hurricane Action Plan

As with many things in life, the best defense is to go on the offensive before the storm hits. Long before the threat of a hurricane is imminent, your business should have a Business Continuity Plan in place. This document, also called a Disaster Recovery Plan, should be tailored to your business’s unique needs.

It should address natural disaster risks that are unique to the Tampa Bay area, and your neighborhood specifically. This should take into account everything from your flood zone, which can be found on the FEMA website, to the material comprising your office building. It should also identify critical operations and how employees and management will communicate during the disaster.

Remember, this plan should be shared with employees. If you discuss your hurricane preparedness plan before a storm is imminent, it will be easier for everyone to digest the information with a clear head and calm demeanor. That way, they (and you!) will be ahead of the curve if it is actually needed.

How to Get Your Business Prepared for a Hurricane

When you know a storm is approaching, the active part of hurricane preparation begins. Utilize your knowledge of the storms timeline to prioritize the items on your timeline. This includes data-related preparation such as backing up all your files and uploading company information to the cloud. When this is done correctly, a company should be able to have all of its computers destroyed and still have access to all of its necessary electronic information.

In addition to preparing your electronic assets, you must prepare your company’s physical assets as well. Make sure you have implemented any necessary means of hurricane protection, including:

  • Getting electronics and other valuables up high
  • Putting furniture on cement blocks
  • Boarding up windows
  • Placing sandbags in strategic places to prevent flooding

Last but—as any business owner knows—far from least, you must protect your financial assets. Sadly, natural disasters are a prime opportunity for theft, so this should be prevented or at least mitigated to the best of your ability.

Make an inventory of your business assets, from electronics to vehicles, to merchandise and other supplies. Depending on your business, you may be able to get some of these items to a safer place.

The Assurance of Quality Insurance

No amount of preparation can guarantee your Tampa area business will be 100% safe from Mother Nature, but you can rest assured knowing you have excellent insurance coverage. It’s a good idea to secure commercial property coverage, which would allow you to rebuild if necessary. Even if you rent your building, commercial property insurance can be purchased to protect your contents and any improvements you have made to your leased space. In some instances, wind coverage will be excluded by your carrier. In this event, you would need to purchase a separate policy to cover for the peril of wind.

Flood insurance is also a necessity for most Florida businesses, especially if your business is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). According to FEMA, “the SFHA is the area where the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies”.1 Banks will require you to have flood insurance, if you got a loan to purchase your building and it’s located in an SFHA.

If your business is severely damaged by a hurricane, you will need to spend time cleaning, repairing, and potentially rebuilding. During this time, you will also need a paycheck! Don’t forget to ask your Brandon insurance agent about Loss of Business Income coverage. This protects your business from lost income, by not being able to continue normal operations due to a covered claim. In most instances your deductible for this type of coverage is calculated in hours, not a specific dollar amount. A common deductible would be 72 hours of business interruption, before the coverage would kick in.

Conclusion

As a business owner, you want to do everything in your power to minimize loss and restore your usual operations as quickly as possible. It’s critical to be prepared logistically and physically, and to have insurance coverage that will protect you financially.

When it comes to that last item, we are happy to help. As a family-run insurance agency here in Brandon, FL, we understand the importance of your business and will do everything in our power to help you protect it. Please give us a call at 813-685-9393 or get a free quote by completing our online form.

Are you looking to rent in Channelside Tampa? This is a popular neighborhood right now, which means renters are paying a premium for these coveted spots. Whether you’re about to move in, or are already settled, this is a good time to talk about your Channelside renters insurance policy.

Do you have the right protections? Are you missing something important that could come back to haunt you in case of an emergency? Our independent insurance agents have the expert information you’re looking for.

Reviewing Channelside renter's insurance policy with couple in Tampa

There are some myths surrounding renter’s insurance, as well as confusion over what exactly is covered in your renter’s policy. We are often asked by clients in Tampa about the specifics of renters insurance. Below we’ve detailed everything you need to know about renter’s insurance so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this form of protection is right for you.

What’s Covered for Renters in Channelside Tampa?

Think about the most valuable material possessions in your possession. Most renters have electronics, jewelry or artwork that can be quite valuable. Still very few have taken the appropriate steps to insure their possessions in comparison.

Your Channelside renters insurance policy should protect your property in the event of a loss.

Please note that you may be asked to provide proof of ownership during the claims process, so it’s wise to save receipts or take photos. Consider cataloguing items of great value and keeping the record somewhere safe, maybe on an external hard drive that isn’t left out in the open.

Other areas of coverage that most people might not realize include items stolen from inside your car or medical expenses incurred if a friend is injured at your house.

Sometimes the unexpected happens, and it’s wise to prepare for all situations. Additional protection can be added specifically for certain high-priced items, such as wedding rings. Make sure you organize some relevant information, such as an appraisal, about certain items that you are interested in protecting before you speak to an agent regarding your policy.

What Isn’t Covered By Renters Insurance?

Though renters insurance covers you from a number of unexpected disasters一things like fire, lightning, hurricanes, theft and more一it will not cover damage resulting from floods and certain other situations. However, if you have specific needs, please contact one of our insurance agents in Brandon who can tell you exactly what is and isn’t covered.

Why Landlord’s Insurance Isn’t Enough

Many renters dismiss the idea of renters insurance because they believe that their landlord’s existing policy is enough, and sadly that’s almost never the case. Your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property or any damage that you are liable for. That means that something as innocent as a grease fire could come back to bite you in the end. In cases like that, it’s the renter who will be at fault and responsible for the monetary damage if they’re uninsured.

Understanding Your Liability as a Renter in Channelside

The concept of liability is at the core of all insurance, especially with your renters insurance policy. Most apartment complexes require that you purchase liability coverage prior to moving in. While most complexes offer their own program, most of the time you can find a similarly priced policy that will also include coverage for personal property. That is why it is important to call one of our agents so that they can help you get the most out of your renters insurance policy.

A Pet Lover’s Best Friend

Did you know that renter’s insurance can also protect your pets? Perhaps your new dog was caught in a position that made them uncomfortable, causing them to lash out and bite your relative, or your cat clawed at a friend while they were playing. You may understand their behavior to be abnormal and largely harmless, but not everyone is going to see it that way. Liability coverage can extend to injuries inflicted by your pet. Every policy is different, so you will have to do your research, but it may be worth it, especially in cases involving family or friends. Even if your renters insurance doesn’t cover for animal liability, stand alone policies can be purchased at very affordable rates.

Channelside Renters Insurance Is Affordable

Compared to other types of insurance policies, renters insurance in Channelside has an affordable price tag. Most policies cost between $100 to $200 per year. For less than a person typically spends on coffee alone, you can ensure that your belongings will be protected from unexpected issues. Discounts are available for bundling your auto insurance with your renters insurance in Tampa. Our insurance agents have saved clients $100s by bundling these important policies.

Channelside Renters Should Be Protected

Perhaps the most important information that you can take away from this article is that renters insurance is simply a way to protect yourself, your belongings and your family. Though none of us hope to need insurance, we have it to protect ourselves during difficult times. Small problems can compound into big bills for the regular person, and this often occurs during a time that may be difficult for you personally. Even if a fire occurs in a building you’re living in but doesn’t reach your apartment, smoke damage can ruin all your clothes and electronics.

Renters in Channelside with the right policy can rest easy knowing their belongings are either going to be fixed or replaced.

Should your apartment become unlivable due to water damage, smoke, or a house fire, renters insurance will not only be there to compensate you for the value of your items, it will also cover the living expenses incurred by moving into temporary housing.

If you are interested in attaining renters insurance in Channelside, consider speaking with a professional about the best plan for you. Renters in the Tampa area can contact us to speak with our team of knowledgeable agents and receive a quote today.

Number two on the list of what insurance companies are most afraid of right now — after billions of dollars in Hurricane Irma claims — are armies of contractors and attorneys swelling those claims by billions of dollars more.

In South Florida, insurers have been raising rates for several years and blaming third-party repair contractors who persuade policyholders to sign over claims benefits and then sue if the insurer denies or underpays the contractors’ invoices — dramatically increasing claims costs.

To continue reading, please click the link to read the full article on the Sun Sentinel.

Starting on April 1st, 2015, FEMA will be implementing changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This will affect all flood insurance policies that are bound or renewed after that date. Below are the important facts that you need to know as it relates to your policy.

  1. 1) Each policy will be surcharged as stated by the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA)
    • $25 for primary residences
    • $250 for non-primary residences
  2. Reserve Fund Assessment will increase to 15% for all policies except for Preferred Risk Policies
  3. There will be a new deductible option of $10,000.
    • If you choose this higher deductible it must apply to both building and contents coverage
  4. On average rates will increase by 9.9%
  5. This will lead to a premium increase of 19.8% on average

Flood insurance is important coverage for all homeowners in Florida. Here at Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance we are committed to providing our customers with as much knowledge about their policies as possible. If you have any questions about your policy contact us today to schedule your free policy review.

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!

As a parent, nothing is more important to you than your child’s safety. Over the years, you’ve chosen everything from their food to their schools with great care. Now that they are old enough to drive, you are likely putting that same care into the selection of your teenager’s first vehicle.

If it seems like a daunting choice, don’t worry! Choosing the best car for your child is not as tough as it may seem at first. At Charles D. Talley Jr. Insurance, our agents have helped many Florida parents get the best coverage for their teens before they hit the road. For starters, there are five key factors you should keep in mind when making this choice:

  • Reliability- It’s a great idea for your teen to learn how to change a tire, get in the habit of regular oil changes, and discern when they may need to take their car to the shop. However, you may regret purchasing an overly-high maintenance car for your teenager. You don’t want them breaking down at night or spending too much time and money on repairs!
  • Safety- This one is a given. Parents always want their children to be safe, and picking a safe car is a great start! Be sure to look for safety features like curtain airbags and electronic stability control. Also make sure the car you buy has received at least a “good” rating by the
    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Size- Disregard the common myth that “bigger” automatically means “safer.” While very small cars do not usually score well on crash tests, larger cars have a higher center of gravity, which makes them more likely to flip. The safest cars for teens are typically mid-sized or compact.
    Horsepower- When it comes to teens and horsepower, less is more. Young people can be easily tempted to test a powerful car, so it’s better to steer clear.
  • Affordability- Remembering to stay within budget is also important. While you may want to give your child the very best, buying a luxury car for a teenager usually isn’t practical–not to mention that many luxury cars also break the previous horsepower guideline.

These key factors serve as good general guidelines when purchasing a car. They will also come in handy when it comes to finding the right auto insurance coverage for your children. Using these recommendations, we have also compiled a more specific list of vehicles that are very well-suited for teens.

They are as follows:

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark

Selling Points

  • $12,170 starting MSRP
  • 31 mpg city/39 mpg highway

Though it’s on the smaller end of things, the Spark scored reasonably well on the IIHS’s safety ratings. Its modern look and cheerful colors are well-suited for teenaged drivers. Also, the price is really quite affordable.

The 2014 Ford Focus

Selling Points

  • 4-Door Sedan
  • $16,810 starting MSRP
  • 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway.

This sleek sedan is sure to appeal to your teen’s sportier side. With excellent safety test ratings and versatile appeal, this car does not disappoint. It’s even available in an electric version!

The 2014 Toyota Corolla

Selling Points

$16,800 starting MSRP
28 mpg city/37 mpg highway

“Toyota” is practically synonymous with “reliable.” Not only will your child be safe as a teen, but also as a college student and young adult. This practically bulletproof engine will ensure years of faithful service and safe passengers.

The 2014 Subaru Impreza

Selling Points

  • $17,895 starting MSRP
  • 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway

If you live in a rural area with dirt roads, it can be especially worrisome to have a teenager on the road. Luckily for families like yours, the all-wheel drive Subaru Impreza is a terrific choice for handling dangerous weather and compromised roads.

The 2014 Honda Accord

Selling Points

  • $23,625 starting MSRP
  • 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway

The Accord is one of the best-selling cars in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. With its long history of reliability, dependable safety features, and overall great performance, it’s the ideal car for anyone– including your teen!

Hopefully these five general guidelines and five specific examples have helped give you an idea of what car might be best for your teenager. In the end, the choice is personal and only you can come to the right conclusion for you and your family. However, we can get you a free auto insurance quote today if you’re ready.