Archives November 2021

Tips to Determine the Best Condo Insurance Policy for You

Condo insurance may seem complex at first. You may even assume you don’t need it if your condo association already has insurance. But that should not deter you from purchasing your own condo insurance.

Though your condominium association may already have a condo insurance policy, oftentimes it does not mean that your specific unit or belongings are protected. It will typically only cover the common areas, such as the gym, game room, pool, etc.

Buying your own condo insurance policy helps protect you, your unit, and your belongings. There are several types of condo insurance that you may want to consider including in your policy, including:

  • Personal liability coverage – helps cover legal defense costs if you are sued
  • Medical coverage – helps cover medical expenses if someone is injured on your property
  • Dwelling coverage – to protect the interior parts of your condo
  • Personal property coverage – to help cover any of your personal belongings, such as furniture or clothing

Tips to Determine the Best Condo Insurance

Every policy and individual’s needs are different, which can sometimes make it challenging to determine the best condo insurance policy for you.

One of the first things you should do is find out what, if any, insurance coverage your condo association already has.

This will help you better evaluate what type of condo insurance you actually need. Sometimes, local or state laws also outline what coverage is required in your area.

Next, you should make a list of your belongings and estimate their value. This will give you a better idea of how much insurance coverage to get in order to replace your belongings if they are damaged.

Lastly, everyone has a different budget, and the cost of an insurance policy depends on a variety of factors. These factors include your location, what you are insuring, the cost of belongings to be insured, and any applicable discounts for which you may qualify.

Helping You Choose the Best Condo Insurance Policy

Shopping around for the best condo insurance can be time-consuming and complex, as you will have to decipher the technical jargon of each policy and each quote.

At GWK Insurance, we make finding the best insurance policy easy by educating, informing, and assisting you each step of the way. Contact us today to help you make the best insurance policy choice for your lifestyle and budget.

10 Key Condo Insurance Terms You Need to Know

Your home is your safe haven…a place where you can relax, entertain, and store tangible memories and keepsakes. Whether it is a house, townhome, or condo, accidents can happen at any given moment and affect your belongings, investment, family, and shelter.

Having condo insurance is a way to help mitigate the financial challenges that accompany a variety of unpredictable events that can negatively impact your condo unit. However, when is the last time you read through your insurance policy or evaluated other insurance policies?

Whether you already have a condo policy or are determining which is the right one for you, the technical jargon can be complex and may even steer you in the wrong direction.

10 Key Condo Insurance Terms to Know

Make sure you have the best policy for your lifestyle, budget and needs by understanding the following key condo insurance terms.

#1: Ho6 Insurance

You may have heard the term “Ho6 insurance” in your search because it is a type of condo insurance specifically designed to cover various aspects of your unit, including:

  • Structural improvements
  • Personal belongings
  • Personal liability
  • Assessed losses by your condo association

#2: Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage is another type of condo insurance that complements your condo association’s master policy. This type of protection covers the permanently affixed items in your unit, up to your policy’s dwelling coverage limit.

#3: Personal Property Coverage

This type of coverage can be a little tricky because not everything you consider personal property may be included in this coverage, such as golf carts. Commonly covered personal belongings generally include:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Household tools

#4: Endorsement

This is an added protection to the type of insurance policy you choose. It supplements the allotted coverage in your basic policy to help cover items, like jewelry, that exceed the amount of coverage in your policy.

#5: Inflation Protection

The cost of goods is subject to change each year based on several economic factors, including inflation. Inflation protection in your policy raises your coverage a small amount every renewal period to keep up with the pace of inflation.

#6: Premium

Consistent with most types of insurance (health, auto, etc.), the premium is the monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual payments you make to pay for your insurance policy.

#7: Deductible

In the event you file an insurance claim with your condo insurer, you would typically pay a deductible if the cost of damages exceeds the deductible amount. Your insurance company would pay out the additional costs.

#8: Replacement Cost (RCV/ACV)

Replacement cost (RCV) is a little different than the actual cost value (ACV). RCV refers to how much it costs to replace the damaged item, whereas ACV refers to the actual cash value of the item, as it may have depreciated over time.

#9: Condo Association

Most condo associations have a master policy that insures common or shared areas of the property. Sometimes, the master policy may even cover select parts of individual units, but most only protect the common spaces. It is important to understand what the master policy covers in order to best determine the type of coverage for your needs.

#10: Additional Insured

There is a declarations page on every policy itemizing the scope of your insurance coverage, including any additional insured parties who are not the condo owner but have a legal interest in the property, such as a mortgage company. The additional insured parties may be notified of any policy renewals, potential cancellations, claims, payouts, etc.

Searching for condo insurance can easily become overwhelming and complex. At GWK Insurance, we help you find the policies that best meet your lifestyle and financial needs. Contact us today to get the right condo insurance coverage for you.

Are You Properly Insured for Hurricane Season?

Floridians know there is an additional season (other than winter, spring, summer, and fall) to prepare for annually — hurricane season, which begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th.

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, then you likely understand the importance of having the right insurance policies in place before a catastrophic storm makes its way to shore.

While there is no such thing as hurricane insurance, there are various policies available to create the best comprehensive coverage for your home and belongings.

5 Steps to Ensure You Are Properly Covered

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover your home’s structure in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane. However, there are several variables that can affect your insurance payout.

The following are five steps you can take to ensure you are properly covered for hurricane season.

#1: Check that your policy limit will sufficiently cover the rebuild your home

Homeowner’s insurance policies have plenty of technical jargon to read through, but double-checking the amount your insurance will pay you in order to rebuild or make extensive repairs is important.

Be sure to consider that your home’s value is not equivalent to the cost of rebuilding it. Determine the actual cost of rebuilding your home and ensure your policy covers that amount.

#2: Understand your hurricane deductible

When you are reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy, pay close attention to the Declarations page, which will likely have a separate deductible for hurricanes.

This part of your policy is expressed as a percentage (anywhere between one and five percent) and details what would put it into effect.

#3: Determine what natural disasters your insurance policy does and does not cover

Not only will your policy list and detail what is covered, it will also state what the policy does not cover, such as flooding. This is when having separate flood insurance is beneficial. Hurricanes often lead to flooding, so if your home is in a flood zone, you may want to consider additional coverage.

#4: Document the value of your possessions with a home inventory

Prior to each hurricane season, you should conduct a home inventory to ensure that your belongings are sufficiently insured should they need to be replaced. This also helps create a smoother insurance claim process.

#5: Review your policy to ensure you’re properly covered

Take some time to review your insurance policies before a hurricane makes landfall this year. You may learn that you have too much or too little coverage for your home and belongings.

It is also important to note that sometimes, before a hurricane, a moratorium (temporary pause on issuing or updating insurance policies prior to a natural disaster) may be in effect by your insurance company, making it challenging to find the right coverage for you. So, make sure you make any changes as soon as possible to avoid being in a moratorium.

At GWK Insurance, we have been helping individuals and families find the best insurance coverage and providing them with peace of mind since 1979. Contact us today to help you get the best possible coverage for your home, lifestyle, and budget.

Umbrella Insurance: How It Works & What it Covers

Purchasing insurance can help mitigate the financial costs and worry of the many what-ifs and accidents that may come your way. Just like there is likely an app for “that,” there is likely an insurance policy for “that” too.

Whether it’s homeowners, renters, auto, health, business, etc., is your policy’s coverage enough for your needs? This is where an umbrella insurance policy can come into play.

Umbrella insurance is generally purchased as a supplement to your existing insurance policies, as it extends your coverage for situations where you may need a bit more financial protection, with a higher monetary limit.

How Umbrella Insurance Works in Florida

While you pay a monthly premium and have a deductible to pay when you file an insurance claim, most insurance policies have a cap on how much the insurance company will pay out (as outlined in your policy) in the event of a claim.

Umbrella insurance works as a supplement to your primary insurance policy, covering the difference between what your primary insurer pays out and what you may still owe, including any additional legal costs resulting from a potential lawsuit.

What Can Umbrella Insurance Typically Cover?

While umbrella insurance does extend your financial protection for many common types of claims, it can also cover a broad range of situations, including:

  • Libel and slander
  • False arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Personal mental harm or anguish
  • Legal defense costs for covered losses

Should You Get Umbrella Insurance?

If you have insurance in Florida, should you even bother getting umbrella insurance? It depends on your finances, property values, and overall net worth. Having umbrella insurance is an added means of protecting your wallet.

Another question to ask yourself is if you are at risk of being sued, which can happen to nearly anyone. Having umbrella insurance may provide you with extra peace of mind for the “what ifs” and accidents that may occur.

Whether you have a substantial net worth or may not feel you have enough financial coverage from your existing insurance policies, umbrella insurance may be a worthwhile investment for you.

If you are unsure or considering which insurance policies are best for your lifestyle and budget, contact GWK Insurance today to help you find the best solution for you.

How Florida Boat Insurance Coverage Helps You

You may think your home insurance policy will cover your boat, too. However, that is not usually the case. It is often in your best interest to have a separate boat insurance policy.

Purchasing boat insurance is your best solution to financially cushion you from the many devastating damages (salvage work, wreck removal, environmental and pollution damage) that can potentially ensue after you purchase your boat.

Insurers are risk managers and take several factors into consideration when determining whether to insure your boat and what policy makes sense for both parties, including:

  • Your boat’s age and value
  • Its speed and horsepower
  • The condition it is in
  • Type of vessel
  • Where it will operate (lakes, oceans, etc.)

Understanding Boat Insurance Coverage

Like most insurance policies, coverage varies from basic to comprehensive. Boat insurance coverage is dependent on how and where you will be boating.

You should keep in mind, however, that just because you have an “all risk” boat insurance policy, it does not necessarily mean that every type of loss will be covered and will typically exclude wear and tear, denting, and manufacturer/design defects.

However, you may be able to purchase additional coverage for medical payments, towing and assistance, and personal effects.

How Boat Insurance Coverage Helps You

Boat repairs can be quite costly, but having the right insurance policy can help mitigate the financial burden that you may encounter. Your needs are different from other boaters’ needs, and your boat insurance coverage policy will likely be different, too. However, there are a few common coverages found in most boat insurance policies.

Property Damage Liability

This coverage helps cover the cost of damages to another person’s property that resulted from an accident you caused.

Bodily Injury Liability

This part of your coverage pays for any associated costs of injury caused by a boating accident you may be found responsible for.

Hull Coverage

This type of insurance generally covers physical boat damages, oftentimes including trailers, equipment, motors, and accessories.

While basic coverage is better than no coverage, you may find it worthwhile to purchase additional coverage, such as:

  • Specialized coverage
  • Salvage coverage
  • Consequential damage coverage
  • Towing coverage
  • Cruising extension coverage

Get The Best Boat Insurance Coverage for Your Vessel

While boat insurance may not be required to own or operate a boat in Florida, it is in your best financial interest to purchase coverage.

Contact GWK today to help you find the best boat insurance coverage for your specific needs and budget.

3 Rules of Thumb to Find the Best Condo Insurance in Florida

Unexpected events can happen at a moment’s notice, and having insurance coverage can help mitigate the associated financial burdens of these accidents, natural disasters, and more.

However, there are quite a few insurance providers and policies available for Florida condo owners, which can make it challenging when you are trying to find the best condo insurance policy for your needs.

Your condo association will typically have a policy, but that doesn’t mean that it will cover everything you need. Their policy will often provide coverage for the common areas or the exterior of your building but not for your specific unit.

3 Rules of Thumb When Shopping for Condo Insurance

Every condominium association and unit owner has different needs. Here are three things you should consider when you are searching for the best condo insurance for your unit, budget, and overall needs.

#1: How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The first rule of thumb to finding the best condo insurance for your needs is to determine how much condo coverage you actually need. As mentioned earlier, condo associations will typically have an insurance policy in place. However, some coverages can be more robust than others.

Comb through your condo association’s master policy to determine what it covers, and then determine what additional coverage you will need to protect your unit and belongings, which likely include:

  • Floors
  • Cabinets
  • Fixtures
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Artwork

#2: Compare the Right Items

There are several items to evaluate when shopping for the best condo insurance, which is why it is important to understand what you should compare when evaluating policies. Instead of shopping for condo insurance solely based on price, you should also compare each policy’s coverage types, including whether it offers:

  • All in and all-inclusive coverage
  • Special entity coverage
  • Bare walls coverage
  • Personal property coverage
  • Dwelling coverage

The cost of condo insurance is dependent on several factors, such as your credit score, condo’s age, location, claims history, etc. However, the average annual cost is around $625.00, which generally provides around $60,000 personal liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

#3: Know When to Get Professional Assistance

It is important to gather several quotes and compare each policy’s pricing, available discounts, and coverages to help you determine the best condo insurance for your needs and budget, which is often easier said than done.

To find the best condo insurance for your needs, it is very helpful to have a reputable, customer-service oriented insurance agency, like GWK Insurance, to help you. We help condo owners and others shopping for insurance by thoroughly researching and providing you with the best possible quotes for your needs and budget. ,Contact us today to learn how we can best help you.

What is the Average Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance in Florida?

Having homeowner’s insurance in Florida goes hand in hand with homeownership, and at times it may feel like an unnecessary expense until a financially devastating accident happens and you need to file a claim.

With the cost of home insurance steadily rising year after year over the past decade, it can leave you wondering whether you are overpaying for your homeowners insurance or even if there are ways you could be saving a few bucks on your monthly premium. However, there are quite a few factors that affect home insurance rates.

Factors Affecting Home Insurance Rates

Your homeowner’s insurance premium in Florida can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, such as where you live. For example, if you live in a high velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ), you will likely pay significantly more for homeowner’s insurance.

Though it is one of the largest factors that affects your insurance rate, it isn’t the only one. Other factors that impact how much you may pay for homeowners insurance include:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your marital status
  • Your credit score
  • Your claims history

The Average Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance in Florida

According to Bankrate, the average cost of homeowner’s insurance in Florida is about $1,353 annually, with $250,000 in dwelling coverage.

4 Areas Homeowners Insurance Typically Covers

Every homeowner’s needs and insurance policy may be different, but there are a handful of standard coverages that are often included in each one, including:

  • Dwelling coverage which pays for repairs or replacement of the home’s structure
  • Personal property coverage which covers the cost of damages to your personal property
  • Liability coverage which covers your legal liability for property damage or bodily injury
  • Loss of use coverage which covers a variety of expenses incurred while you may have to live away from your home due to extensive damages

Helping You Find the Best Homeowner’s Insurance Rates

Though homeowner’s insurance rates may be steadily rising and there are numerous factors impacting rates for your home, there are several ways you may be able to lower your rates and still get comprehensive coverage.

At GWK Insurance, we help you find the best insurance solutions that make sense for your unique needs. Contact us today to get the best possible homeowner’s insurance options available to you.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

Understanding what your homeowner’s insurance policy actually covers can often be challenging. Sometimes it will exclude certain events or accidents altogether depending on the circumstances.

For example, damages resulting from flooding may not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, which is why many homeowners will purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

Like having a separate flood insurance policy, there are several steps you can take as a homeowner to best protect yourself and your home from the unexpected. However, you may still be wondering whether or not your homeowner’s insurance covers storm damage. The answer—it depends.

Types of Storm Damage Homeowners Insurance May Cover

Storms can cause a great deal of damage to homes, and not all homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the cost. However, many will often cover certain types of storm damage, such as lightning strikes.

Lightning Damage

Lightning can be unpredictable and strike anywhere at any moment. If it hits your home or near your home, the damages can quickly add up. While every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, oftentimes the provider will cover damages that are a direct result from a lightning strike, which can include power surges or outages that can damage electronics and appliances or even cause structural damage.

Hail Damage

Hailstorms can damage several parts of your property, such as your roof and siding. Oftentimes homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damages resulting from hail and wind. However, it is important to note that water from rainstorms or hail can cause significant damage to a home, but when it comes to water damage, the average homeowner’s insurance policy coverage will depend on the cause of the loss. Double check your policy to determine if yours covers for things like seepage, flooding, etc.

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Needs?

Determining what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers prior to placing a claim for storm damage can be beneficial. You can discover whether you should invest in more coverage or learn you may get more comprehensive coverage at a better price.

At GWK Insurance, we help individuals and families find the right insurance policies for their unique needs and budget. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get the insurance policies you need.


Should You Always Bundle Your Home & Car Insurance?

Whether your home and car insurance policies are bundled or you are contemplating bundling them, there are a few things you should consider. One of the most common misconceptions of bundling your insurance policies is that you are guaranteed to save the most money.

However, that is not always the case, and shopping around may be in your best interest.

What Does It Mean to Bundle Your Insurance Policies?

There is an insurance policy for practically everything in life. Bundling your insurance policies simply means that you are buying different policies (life, home, auto, etc.) from the same provider, which may or may not be the best solution for you.

There are several benefits to bundling your insurance policies, including discounts. Depending on the provider you choose to bundle your policies with, you could potentially save up to 25% annually on your premiums.

Another benefit of bundling your policies is that you only have one company (provider) to work with. This means you can make claims, pay premiums, and manage or view your policies under one app or website. It also helps to limit the exposure of your online banking information, if you make online or automatic payments.

Having too many home or car insurance claims can often lead to your insurance provider dropping you. But if your insurance policies are bundled, you may reduce the chances of that happening.

The above are all substantial benefits for many individuals to choose to bundle their insurance policies. However, it may not be right for you.

If your immediate thought is to bundle your policies, you may be shortchanging yourself by not spending more time shopping around and comparing prices. You may find a better price and quality of coverage if you choose not to bundle policies.

Helping You Shop for the Best Home & Car Insurance Policy

Bundling home and car insurance policies can be beneficial, but it may not always be the best solution for you. At GWK Insurance, we can help you find the best home and car insurance policies for your budget and coverage needs, which may or may not be bundled. Contact us today to start shopping for the right policies for you.

What Happens When Auto Insurance Limits are Exceeded?

You buy an auto insurance policy anticipating that it will provide coverage for you when you need it the most. However, that is not always the case. There are times when damages may exceed an insurance policy’s claim limits.

Each claim is different, and several unique situations can make interpreting some auto insurance policies challenging. However, if you are in an automotive accident and the financial losses are more than yours or the other person’s auto insurance policy limit allows, you may be wondering—or panicking about— what options you have to cover all the damages or injuries.

The main question here is how you will be able to compensate the victim or receive compensation if the auto insurance limits are insufficient.

Florida Auto Insurance Laws

Nearly every state requires drivers to have some level of auto insurance. In Florida, there are two types and amounts of required coverage:

  • $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $10,000 in property damage liability

However, drivers can elect to purchase more coverage than these two bare minimum requirements and, in many cases, choose to do so because accident damages may exceed the above coverage amounts.

While insurance companies are required to pay up to the entire coverage amount as outlined in their policies, if the expenses or damages exceed the policy limit, you will likely need to explore other options, such as filing a personal injury claim.

Exceeding Auto Insurance Limits

Damages can quickly exceed the limits of an auto insurance policy, and the insurer won’t pay out more than what is outlined in the policy. However, Florida no-fault auto insurance laws provide specific options for individuals whose damages exceed a policy’s claim limit, including filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Shop The Best Auto Insurance Coverage for You

Auto accident damages can range from minor with a superficial paint scuff to fatal. Because it is an accident, it is unpredictable, which is why having more coverage is often better than having the minimum auto insurance coverage, especially to help avoid filing or having a personal injury lawsuit filed against you.

When you purchase insurance, you shift the price of a potential misfortune to the insurance company in exchange for payment, known as the premium. At GWK Insurance, we make it a point to educate, inform, and assist our clients in the process of making the right insurance choices. Contact us today to learn how we can help you shop for the best auto insurance coverage for you.