What Is Not Covered under Home Insurance?

Home insurance in Okeechobee, FL covers many things, but there are certain things that aren’t covered. If you are worried about your coverage under your home insurance policy, an agent at Pritchards and Associates Inc. can help you find the right option.

Mold: A standard home insurance policy will limit mold coverage or completely exclude it. The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it in the first place, and if you have a leak or flooding to get rid of the moisture as fast as possible.

Sewer Backup: If the sewer backs up in your home, it can do a lot of damage, but it’s typically not covered. You can get extra insurance to cover this.

Floods: Many times, homeowners think floods are covered but instead you need a separate flood insurance policy.

Construction Work Damage: When you are renovating your home, your policy won’t cover any damage that is done to the home. You can get a separate policy to cover damage and your contractor should be licensed and have liability insurance.

Fine Art and Jewelry: There will be a limit on how much coverage there is for personal belongings, and jewelry and fine art can exceed these limits. The way to protect these things is with a separate rider that specifies exactly the coverage.

Destroyed or Stolen Cash: It’s hard to prove that you had cash stashed away in the home if the home was destroyed or the cash was stolen. Keep it in a safe place in order to protect it.

Termite Infestation: Termites can cause a lot of damage, but your home insurance won’t pay for it. A licensed pest control company should inspect your home to avoid this problem.

Contact Pritchards and Associates Inc. serving Okeechobee, FL, to get a quote on home insurance.

Work In The Sun? Prevent Heat-Related Illness & Injuries

This post was adapted from an article by the Florida Citrus, Business, and Industry Fund (www.fcbifund.com)

The dog days of summer will soon be upon us. With that being said, there comes an increase in heat-related illnesses and injuries. What may be reported as a broken wrist due to a worker losing his balance and falling from a ladder, may actually be caused by the worker fainting due to overheating.

While heat-related illness claims are most common among construction workers, landscapers, agriculture workers and others that work in an outdoor environment; there are other industries that can be affected by heat, including warehouse and factory workers.

The combination of heat and humidity that is common in Florida is especially hazardous. The problem is that performing labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond levels that can be cooled by sweating.

The Loss Prevention Team at the Florida Citrus, Business, and Industry Fund has been busy providing education on the hazards of working outdoors in the summer heat and emphasizing prevention methods.

What are the dangers?If you work in hot conditions, you can be at risk of several heat-related illnesses. The following are heat-related illnesses and what to look for:

  • Heat rash consists of red, irritated bumps and is a sign that hot conditions are affecting your body.
  • Heat syncope (fainting) can occur when a person is not used to working in a hot environment.
  • Heat cramps are caused by a loss of salt when sweating. Severe cramps may require a visit to a medical professional.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs if you have lost too much fluid, salt, or both through sweating.
  • Heatstroke occurs when the body’s natural cooling processes stop working, and the ill person stops sweating. Symptoms of heatstroke include very hot and dry skin, confusion, convulsions, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is very serious and can lead to death.

What can you do to keep cool? Most heat-related illnesses can be easily prevented by taking the following steps while working in hot conditions:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. In hot conditions, you should aim for about 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Drink sports drinks to help replace the salt you lose when you sweat.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can both cause dehydration.
  • Take frequent breaks in a cool, shady place.
  • If the temperature spikes suddenly or you are new to working in hot conditions, take more frequent breaks and gradually build up your workload while your body adapts.
  • If you notice yourself experiencing symptoms of heat illness, tell your supervisor, and take a break in a cool, shaded area.

Source: National Safety Council

Help The Air Conditioner In Your Business Keep Its Cool

More small business air conditioning breakdowns occur in early summer than at any other time. And your company pays the price in equipment downtime and heat.

Pritchards And Associates wants to help you avoid all that. That’s why we’re offering tips from a professional field inspector. Watch this short (4:25) YouTube video:

Air conditioning maintenance for small business: Value of an annual inspection.

Any change in normal operating characteristics is a warning. Call a service technician if you notice:

  • unusual noise or vibration
  • a strange odor
  • oil or water spots
  • sudden changes in temperature, speed or pressure

Then correct the problem at once. That’s critical advice. And of course consult with a professional before undertaking any maintenance steps or repairs.

An adequate service program may cost a little more up front, but it will pay off in long-term savings.

How Can Recreational Insurance Protect You?

If you have a recreational vehicle and want to get the right coverage, a recreational policy can help you meet Florida insurance requirements and mitigate risks to your financial well-being. While you may not need a commercial drivers license for a recreational vehicle, you have to get the right policy to match your risk profile and meet state requirements. The following are some ways that recreational insurance can help you. 

Recreational policies typically include general liability insurance that financially protects vehicle owners for property damage and bodily injury claims. The coverage thresholds are variable and must be stated in the policy. Deductibles, premiums and coverage options all factor into the decision to buy insurance. For business owners that use recreational vehicles in their business, obtaining the right recreational insurance coverage is critical. 

Whether you want to rent an RV for the weekend, or if you’re purchasing your first vehicle, Pritchard and Associates Inc. in Okeechobee, FL can help tailor a policy to meet your needs. Given the size of most RVs, it’s important to select the right levels of coverage, given the damage that an RV can cause. Other recreational vehicles come with their own risks, making it important to select coverage options that match your risk profile. Working with a professional to select coverage is the optimal way to avoid insurance mistakes that can end up costing you a lot of time and money in the future. 

For additional information regarding recreational insurance, contact Pritchards and Associates Inc. in Okeechobee, FL today. Enhance your peace-of-mind while exploring Florida and other areas of the U.S. Optimize your insurance coverage and take to the road in confidence.  

 

 

 

Do I need to purchase RV insurance if I am renting an RV?

In many places around the U.S., camping is a favorite activity for many. For Okeechobee, FL residents who don’t own an RV, one can be easily rented. The agents at Pritchards and Associates, Inc. offer rental policies that pick up where the rental agencies policies may leave off. If you plan on renting an RV for your weekend getaway or vacation, make sure you are fully protected against a variety of events that could lead to financial loss. 

Insurance Provided by the Rental Company

When you rent an RV, you have the option to purchase additional insurance that will cover the cost of the RV if it is damaged or stolen. While this type of insurance is beneficial, it mostly protects the rental agency and may not fully cover your belongings. It may also have limits in terms of the amount of injury liability. The rates will begin to increase the more liability you add to the policy.

Know How to Protect Yourself  

The key is knowing how to protect yourself. While the policy from the agency protects them from any type of loss, it may not benefit you as much as you think. Instead of just taking your chances, it may be in your best interest to purchase your own policy that will provide protection for your personal belongings. 

When you have questions about any type of RV insurance, call the agents at Pritchards and Associates, Inc. We can help Okeechobee, FL residents remain fully protected at all times with an RV policy that suits their individual needs. If you have questions, don’t delay. Before you rent an RV, call and talk to a reputable agent as soon as possible. 

 

What are the benefits of getting an all-inclusive motorcycle insurance package?

Your motorcycle insurance coverage options are many, friend, so don’t be dismayed. In just the same way you would seek to fully cover your car under "auto insurance" premium packages, something quite similar is offered when it comes to motorcycle full comprehensive coverage. In fact, many consider motorcycle coverage to be the same as auto insurance coverage, falling under a subdivision of auto insurance all on its own. Let’s have a closer look at all this with information from Pritchards and Associates, Inc.

First of all, when getting the full package, you want to consider all of the following: 

  1. Collision Coverage – The first benefit is that you can be protected from the ongoing legal consequences of any type of collision, be they great or small, and possibly even regardless of who’s fully at fault. 
  2. Bill Pay Coverage – Never miss a payment again. Add this benefit to your list. 
  3. PIP (or Personal Injury Protection) Coverage – Protect yourself from those terrible medical bills that sneak up on you after you’ve been injured and unable to pay. 
  4. Trip Interruption Coverage – Need to cancel or postpone? This’ll do it. Enough said.
  5. Repair or Replacement Coverage – Need a custom accessory or part? Any other equipment? 
  6. Regular Maintenance Coverage – Keep your motorcycle updated and "tuned." 
  7. Transport Coverage – Need to have it hauled or transported across states or countries? 
  8. Roadside Assistance Coverage – You never know when you might "break down" in the middle of nowhere. 

So, what are you waiting for, folks? Pritchards and Associates, Inc. serves Okeechobee, FL, and many other areas around the state. We know all about properly insuring your motorcycle and helping you get a great deal at the same time. Contact our offices in Okeechobee, FL today. You’ll be quite glad you did.

My Boat Is In Storage, So Why Do I Need Insurance?

If you’re a fan of water sports, as an Okeechobee, FL boat owner, you probably take your boat out of the water for storage when the weather turns inclement. Like most boat owners, you probably store your skiff in a garage, shed, or your driveway when not in use. Have you thought about what might happen if you stored your boat in your garage and your garage burnt down? Your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of rebuilding your garage, but it won’t likely cover the cost of replacing your boat.  

Does My Okeechobee, FL Homeowners Insurance Cover Boat Loss? 

No, The maximum coverage the typical homeowner’s insurance policy will cover for the loss of a boat is $1,000 to $1,500, even if it was stored on your property or in your garage at the time of the loss or damage. It won’t cover damage that occurs while in use, or while loading or unloading the boat. Because your homeowners insurance only provides limited coverage for loss or damage, a separate boat insurance policy is the best way to protect your assets. Pritchards and Associates, Inc. can help you determine what type of coverage will be best for you. 

What Type Of Boat Insurance Do I Need? 

Depending on whether your boat is in use or in storage, you may need different types of insurance coverage. Insuring your boat while stored will protect you in the event of vandalism, fire, theft, or natural disaster. It will also protect you in the event you are involved in a boat-related accident, and your boat is damaged, as well as protecting you if you cause injury to a marina, another boater, or another boat. Call Pritchards and Associates, Inc. today for more information about how to protect your boat whether on the water or in storage.

Are Some Property Owners Required to Have Flood Insurance?

Numerous conditions can cause flooding in Okeechobee, FL—pouring rains, hurricanes, storm surges, and king tides. Although flooding can happen anywhere at any time, certain areas are prone to more flooding than others. For homeowners and business owners with property in areas that are prone to flooding, known as high-risk flood areas, they might be legally required to maintain flood insurance on their property. To understand whether you’re required to purchase flood insurance for your home or business, contact Pritchards and Associates, Inc. in Okeechobee, FL to find out whether your property is in a high-risk flood area.

The Homeowner or Business owner Has a Mortgage

A home or business with a mortgage from a federally regulated financial institution or lender that is in a high-risk flood area is required to have flood insurance. Although there is no federal requirement that a home or business in a moderate-to low-risk flood area must have flood insurance, the lender might still require the owner to purchase insurance. 

The Homeowner Received Disaster Assistance

If a homeowner lives in a high-risk flood area and has previously received federal disaster assistance in the form of FEMA grants or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) after there was a Presidential Disaster Declaration, then the homeowner must purchase and maintain flood insurance if they want to be considered for future federal assistance.

If you have any questions as to whether you must purchase flood insurance for your property, contact Pritchards and Associates Inc. in Okeechobee, FL. We can answer any questions that you have about a flood insurance policy.  

Why You Still Have to Report Your Health Insurance on Your 2018 Taxes

When tax reform was passed, one of the major changes in Okeechobee, FL and elsewhere was the reversal of the required Obamacare health insurance requirement. However, despite tax reform passing and implementing significant changes in a number of tax areas, there is still a lot of confusion about how it "recalled" the health insurance requirement.

First, the health insurance requirement and its related reporting are still in place as law in 2018. That means you, the average taxpayer in Okeechobee, FL, will get a tax penalty if you report that you have no health insurance coverage when you file your 2018 income taxes in April or Fall 2019 (assuming a tax extension is used). The tax reform changes made the withdrawal of the coverage requirement effective in the 2019 tax year versus immediately. For those employed by a company or agency as an employee worker, nothing has changed, and the new law had no noticeable impact. However, for independent contractors, business owners, freelancers, and consultants, the coverage requirement still applies.

Failure to have health insurance, confirmed by reported to the IRS, will result in a tax penalty that either increases your taxes due or reduces your tax refund for the 2018 tax year. It’s a sizable one too; the cost could range from $695 to as high as $2,085 per individual, depending on 2.5 percent of household income.

If you want to avoid this headache, it’s not too late to prevent this nasty tax surprise. Give the folks at Pritchards and Associates, Inc. a call or email to get a personal policy started. Pritchards and Associates, Inc. can work with a number of providers to match your specific needs and get you in a good place with your tax return before the year ends.

Are There Different Levels of Life Insurance Coverage?

Life insurance is something that many people do not know much about. What might seem like an easy enough thing to understand, can actually be quite difficult without the proper knowledge. There are tons of different types of life insurance policies to consider. If you live in the Okeechobee, FL area, the agents with Pritchards and Associates, Inc. can help you find the life insurance that is right for you. 

There is a huge number of different life insurance policies to choose from. For starters, there are a large number of differences when it comes to the amount of overall coverage that you choose. The monetary value of the policy is what is going to determine the monthly premiums. Though this may not be considered levels of coverage, it certainly is different varieties of coverage. The more coverage you have, the more expensive the policy is going to be. You can also take out policies that pay out in different situations. Some policies pay out in partial if you are dismembered or very seriously injured, some allow you to borrow against their value, and some will enable you to cash out the policy when they reach a certain age. 

It is vital that when you are working to find the right coverage for you, that you take the time to think about what amount of coverage you want really. You should take the time to determine how much coverage you need, what stipulations you want to apply to the policy, and what company you want to take your coverage out with. For those that live in the Okeechobee, FL area, the agents with Pritchards and Associates, Inc. can help you find the perfect policy with the ideal amount of coverage for your particular needs.