We are proud to support these causes throughout the year with financial donations as well as volunteer activities. This Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to take a look at these non profit organizations to see the good they are doing for those around us.

American Heart Association

We were a proud sponsor of this year’s American Heart Association Heart Walk in Orlando, and our Vice President Traci Sihle is a member of Circle of Red. This organization promotes heart healthy habits and helps prevent heart disease in Central Florida. Click here to Donate:

APROQUEN

A foundation near and dear to our hearts is centered in Nicaragua. APROQUEN turns tears into smiles by treating more than 300 children annually who are born with a cleft lip and/or palate, as well as over 850 children annually who have suffered severe burns. Click here to Donate:
Trick Or Treating: Are You Covered?

Trick Or Treating: Are You Covered?

It’s one of the most unpredictable times of the year with strangers wandering up and down your street mixed with higher vehicle traffic. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, Halloween has more vandalism claims to vehicles than any other day of the year.

Most homeowners policies will cover any damage to your home from vandalism.

However, if you are throwing a Halloween party or hosting a haunted house at your home, there could be multiple issues if someone is injured on your property. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover slip-and-fall accidents, but you will be responsible for any potential injuries if you fail to warn people of hazards such a poorly lit areas or potential hazards.

A few other possible issues that are easily avoidable include:

  • Candy or Treats: To protect yourself from any liability of someone becoming ill or having an allergic reaction to something you are passing out, go safe with store bought candy that steers clear of common allergens such as peanuts
  • Car Accidents: According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other nights of the year. It’s a good time to review your insurance coverage to make sure you are covered from any accidents or any vandalism to your car
  • Real Fire in Carved Pumpkins: According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are close to 900 fires from holiday decorations each year. If your pumpkin catches on fire, your insurance will likely cover the damages, but we would encourage you to use battery operated candles or have someone monitoring the area

If you have questions about your home or auto coverage, click here to connect with one of our specialists to make sure you are covered as we ramp up for the holiday season.

Identity Fraud Protection

Identity Fraud Protection

This week, the top trending application is one familiar to you if you’ve been on social media. FaceApp takes a current photo of you and transforms it to give you a glimpse into the future. The problem? Once you allow FaceApp access to your photo, you give it permission to use your picture and name for any reason, for any amount of time.

More than 100 million people have downloaded the app, which claims that users still own their user content. However, take a look at the fine print:

Read more from Forbes.

FaceApp has responded to the concerns over user privacy, including the ties to its Russian-based team. You can read the full statement here.

This may not be presenting the overwhelming sense of danger some outlets have expressed it to be, but it still presents a common issue facing us all today in the digital age. Cyber security and identity theft can range from an inconvenience to a life altering and expensive event. Click here to connect with one of our experts on how to not only protect yourself and your family, but also your small business against cyber attacks.

Fourth of July Insurance Risks to Avoid

Fourth of July Insurance Risks to Avoid

The fun and frivolity of July 4th brings a whole slew of risks. We chatted with our Personal Lines Sales Manager Catina McKenzie and Insurance Agent Eric Dudley about the unique high risk environment the Fourth of July presents us with. Take a look at the most common insurance claims surrounding the holiday, and the best ways to avoid them:

#1 Fireworks

While not surprising as a top risk, a fireworks-related accident will be covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Fireworks were involved in almost 9,100 of the reported injuries in 2018. With burns accounting for more than 44% of the injuries, safety is a top priority. If someone is injured on your property, a standard insurance policy automatically includes $100,000 of liability coverage.

#2 Drunk Drivers

As with any holiday, there is an increased risk of drunk driving. Beer sales are the highest on the Fourth of July (even more than St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve.) According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 40% of all traffic deaths during the first week of July 2017 were alcohol-related, making July the deadliest month. Outside of the extreme dangers to yourself and others, a DUI could cause you to be disqualified for some car insurance carriers and your rates will likely increase substantially if you retain coverage.

#3 Grilling Accidents

A grill can be left unattended, have leaks in the propane lines, a buildup of grease, or could be in need of a good cleaning. All of these things can lead up to a massive issue. Fire departments respond to nearly 10,000 home fires involving grills and barbecues which can add up quickly in property damages.

#4 Boating and Water Risks

The Fourth is a great holiday to get the boat out onto the water, and you certainly will see an increase in company on the lakes and waterways. More boats means a higher risk for accidents. You can click here for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary tips on staying safe.

Unfortunately, this holiday is also high risk for drownings. From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2017, at least 163 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools. Nearly 70% of those were under the age of five. As you can see, Florida leads the nation in these unfortunate statistics. Keeping an eye on children and practicing water safety is key.

Click here for more from the CPSC.

While these risks bring up the clear and present threats surrounding the Fourth of July, you can connect with one of our personal lines experts here to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect you and your family this holiday. We wish you and yours a very safe Fourth of July!

Big Fun Without The Big Fee

Recently, WalletHub named Florida the second most fun state in the US. While we are thrilled at the esteemed placement, we took a deeper dive into the rankings, and how being fun means a higher exposure to risks.

You can click here for the full article, but the methodology was based on these categories:

Entertainment & Recreation

No one does entertainment the way Florida does. Once your jaw comes up off the floor from our beaches and theme parks with award winning hospitality, you can look at the remaining factors of golf courses, overall weather, restaurants, events, and overall spending. While we are fortunate to have all of these things to offer, it also means an increased risk for businesses when it comes to protecting employees, patrons, and being in high traffic areas. It also means those of us who call Florida home are at an increased risk on the road.

Nightlife

Florida offers amazing nightlife for locals and travelers. With bars and entertainment comes an increased risk for business owners and locals alike. Whether you are heading out on the town in the Milk District in Orlando or partying on I Drive, there are risks associated with ride sharing, atmosphere, areas of highly concentrated crowds, and more.

We’ve called this state home for 45 years, and while we think it should absolutely be named the number one place for fun, we’ve worked to transfer the risks that comes with playing host to travelers and locals.

If you own a business in Florida, connect with one of our commercial agents here to talk about the unique risks you face in this fun atmosphere.

If you’re someone who calls Florida home, connect with one of our personal lines agents here to discover ways to keep your homeowner and auto policies at great rates while making sure you are protected from anything that may be an unintended consequence from all of this fun.