Hurricane Dorian – Important Information

Dear Customer and Friend,
 
With Hurricane Dorian approaching, currently forecasted as a major storm, I want you to know that the Pritchards And Associates Agency Family is here to assist you.  As it appears right now, Dorian will reach us on Tuesday, September 3rd (although that could surely change.) We will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday due to the holiday and the hurricane. As weather and damages permit, we will be open for business again as soon as possible. 
 
Should you have a claim, please do the following, being careful to follow the instructions explicitly:
 
1 – Please visit, ahead of time, our website (www.pritchardsinc.com), our blog (especially THIS PAGE), our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pritchardsinc/), and the two web pages mentioned below, so you are aware of how to reach out to both your insurance company and us, and how to report a claim and mitigate your losses.  We have a lot of information there that you will find useful to help you both through and after the storm. A list of insurance carriers and their contact information can be found HERE and HERE. 

2 – After the storm, call or email your insurance company as soon as possible. Carefully copy down your claim number and call or email us with that claim number. Be sure to state the extent of the damage and if your home is or is not livable. 

3 – Please keep our Agency in the loop if you have questions about or difficulties during the claim process. Remember, a company is only as good as the person you are dealing with. If you have problems along the way in the processing of your claim, please know that while we can’t work miracles, we often can get to the bottom of things that are slowing the resolution of a claim.

4 – For your benefit, keep a claim diary notated with the date and time of all your discussions and contacts with insurance company personnel and their titles, our Agency, your field adjuster, contractors, engineers etc. Do this from the very beginning of the claim and continue until your claim is closed. Keep a copy of all correspondence from anyone associated with the claim. You will likely be dealing with both an in-house adjuster and a field adjuster. The first one, the insurance company desk adjuster, deals with your claim in regard to your policy coverages, and the field adjuster deals with assessing the actual damages. 

5 – Also, please remember that being kind goes a long way. After the last hurricane, two of our own associates had total losses with their homes and yet they were here at work right away, helping others all day. You should be able to reach both us and your insurance company by email or phone after the storm passes. Please understand that we will be handling many inquiries and there could be a delay in getting through because of the volume of calls coming in at one time. We will have our entire staff available and on the phone helping people the first few days after the storm. 

6 – You can reach Pritchards And Associates at the following phone numbers: In the Okeechobee area = (863) 763-7711. Along the coast = (877) 763-6625.’

We pray for your safety and wish you the very best as we face this serious situation.

Sincerely,

Lowell H. Pritchard
General Lines Agent

Romans 15:13

Getting the Most From Your Life Insurance Options

You retired to Okeechobee, FL, and you want life insurance that will protect you and your family from issues. Therefore, you need to talk to us at Pritchards and Associates Inc. right away to learn more about what you can do to ensure that your policy is as high-quality as possible.

Pay Attention to Payout Rates

When buying life insurance, make sure that your policy pays out at a reasonable time. Some plans will take a few weeks to go into effect after a person dies. Others will go into effect almost immediately. The differences mostly lie in the policy cost and what you pay.

For example, more expensive policies typically utilize incentives – such as faster payouts – to get you to buy. And other plans have to pass through a few hands and get some specific execution before they work. So read through what to expect to ensure that you get the most from your policy.

Visit Your Doctor Right Away

Many people try to get a life insurance policy without talking to a doctor. This step is often a mistake because a company may penalize you if they find out you had a health problem before taking to them. However, they are willing to work with you if you have certain illnesses.

For example, if you spot a health problem that could affect your policy, you want to know sooner rather than later. When you see what is happening earlier, you can talk with your insurance provider and find a plan that is specific to that unique situation and save yourself the cash.

We Can Help You

So if you live in Okeechobee, FL and you want high-quality life insurance, please contact us at Pritchards and Associates Inc. to learn more. Our experts will sit down with you and come up with a plan that serves your needs comprehensively and effectively.

As Your Business Grows so should Your Commercial Insurance

Do you own a growing business in Okeechobee, FL? If so, it’s time to revisit your commercial insurance policy to make sure you are fully protected. Your business is your lifeline, a valuable asset that needs to be protected properly to make sure you stay in business for a long time. In the future, you can always sell your profitable business for retirement or pass it down to a family member. Either way, your business needs to be protected. Read on to learn more about adding additional coverage to your growing business.

Have You Added to Your Fleet?

If your growing business utilizes cars, vans, trucks, boats, ATVs, or even airplanes and you expand upon this fleet, you’ll need extra coverage to make sure it is protected. The knowledgeable insurance agents at Pritchards and Associates Inc. can help you expand on your policy to cover a growing fleet.

Are You Hiring More Employees?

As your business grows, so should your employee base. If this is your situation, you’ll need added coverage to protect these employees. Revisit your current commercial insurance policy to make sure each and every employee is covered.

Expanding to another Location?

Many growing businesses have more than one location. This can be across town or in another state. Adding another location will require you to update your current commercial insurance policy or add a new one. 

To learn more about protecting a growing business in Okeechobee, FL, contact the team at Pritchards and Associates Inc. serving this area. Our friendly agents will answer all your questions and concerns and help you find the best commercial coverage to protect your business.  

 

Smart Loss Control Tips for Mobile Home Owners

Mobile homes (legally referred to as manufactured homes if built since 1976) trace their origin back to the early years of cars and motorized highway travel. They have grown in size and improved in quality since the early twentieth century. Mobile homes are often beautiful and highly functional. They are also much more affordable than traditionally built homes.

Protecting this investment is of utmost importance to mobile home owners. The following are some loss control tips for people with these types of homes.

• If you have a hollow exterior door, consider investing in a solid one for better security. All exterior doors should also be fitted with high-quality deadbolts.


• Use timers on your exterior lights when not home to provide the illusion of occupancy.


• Form a neighborhood watch program if you do not currently have one.


• Install and periodically monitor fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Purchase at least two fire extinguishers for your home and ensure they are fully charged.


• Verify that your home has proper anchoring. Mobile home tie-downs could protect your property and your life during high winds. Use a licensed contractor to install, strengthen, or repair your tie-down system.


• Add tie-downs to outlying structures, including carports, swing sets, and storage sheds.


• Verify that your furnace and hot water heater are properly secured to the home and not sitting freely in a utility closet.


• Install adequate skirting to discourage varmints from nesting beneath the home.

For more information, and to discuss ways to protect your mobile home from loss and liability, call a trusted advisor at Pritchards And Associates. Toll Free: (877) 763-6625.

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.