For the most part, there is one central question that our potential clients ask frequently:

Why Should I Buy Insurance Coverage From You if You’re Not the Least Expensive?

Insurance in Florida is very complex, and some agents are unscrupulous when trying to provide “cheap” premiums. You might find yourself paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a fraction of the cost. Some agents sell State Minimum Bodily Injury limits–$10,000 per person / 20,000 total per accident–often called 10/20 on auto insurance to “show” a reduced premium. However, suppose you are at fault in an accident. In that case, you might find yourself paying thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars if you cause severe injuries, especially when multiple people have been injured. The cost between 10/20 (state minimum) limits and 100/300 might only be a slight difference in premium, but the out-of-pocket cost to you in an accident can be catastrophic.

Here are some other questions our clients often ask.

Does Comprehensive Auto Insurance Cover Everything?

The word comprehensive is defined as “complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.” But comprehensive in the insurance world means something different. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage covers damage to your vehicle from non-traffic-related causes such as storm damage, fire, hitting an animal, or flood and does not cover collision or liability. This is VERY important to understand when purchasing an auto insurance policy.

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What Are Front Loading Discounts?

Some agencies use discounts that the customer doesn’t qualify for in the initial quote to show a lower rate–For example, discounts such as senior discounts (for people not yet old enough to be eligible for the discount) and alarm system discounts (for homes that do not have an alarm system). This practice is known as “front-loading” discounts. Once the carrier realizes that the customer doesn’t qualify for the discounts, they will appropriately increase the rate to reflect this. You will no longer have the low rate initially quoted.

What is a Replacement Cost Evaluation?

A replacement cost evaluation determines how much money it would take to rebuild the home and replace the lost contents. The problem with replacement cost is that it grows over time. This could result from inflation or the cost of labor and materials increasing based on the current demand. Replacement cost coverage covers the difference between what the property was initially insured for and what rebuilding will cost. Because replacement cost insurance adds higher premiums to the homeowner’s insurance policy, some disreputable insurance providers may conveniently “forget” to mention it to keep the customer’s premiums low, leaving the client underinsured.

What is Reinsurance?

Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. Some Florida carriers purchase more reinsurance than others, thus further spreading their exposures to provide additional financial strength and stability. A reputable insurance carrier maintains a reinsurance balance to ensure they have enough coverage for their booked insurance customers. One of the recent challenges in the Florida market is that many reinsurers have pulled out of Florida due to excessive fraud and frequent damaging storms and hurricanes.

What is an A.M. Best Rating?

A.M. Best is one of the leading entities that rates insurance carriers' overall financial stability and service levels in the United States. Because Florida is a high-risk hurricane state, very few carriers qualify for AM Best’s stringent guidelines, which require large amounts of reinsurance, managing exposure saturation throughout the State, and an insurance carrier’s underwriting experience. As such, very few Florida insurance carriers qualify for AM Best ratings, and those that do are typically superior to those that don’t.

Is Wind Storm Coverage Part of Standard Home Insurance Coverage Packages?

Get specific details about the windstorm coverage in your homeowner's policy. Insurance carriers usually include Wind Coverage (when eligible based on the location to the coast and other structural qualifying characteristics). Pay close attention to the wind deductible applied to the policy. Higher deductibles (usually a percentage of the dwelling value) can lead to massive out-of-pocket expenses at the cost of minor premium differences. Because windstorm damage is widespread in Florida, you should ensure that your policy has adequate coverage for windstorm worst-case scenarios that won’t bankrupt you with massive out-of-pocket expenses.

Does Your Auto Insurance Policy Include Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

This is a critical question to ask a prospective auto insurance company. The high cost of Florida auto insurance makes some drivers willing to roll the dice and hope they never get pulled over or into an accident. But when they do (and this happens often), and you don’t have uninsured coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, you are stuck paying the bills for injury, repair, or vehicle replacement. Uninsured Motorist coverage helps when there is “permanent scarring and disfigurement” and is the only coverage that pays for pain and suffering. A 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council found that more than 20% of Florida drivers are uninsured. As such, if you are injured in an auto accident by someone without adequate coverage, Uninsured Motorist coverage is critical and, when triggered, can substantially help fill in the gaps where health insurance doesn’t cover injuries in an accident.

Should My Older Vehicle Have Collision Coverage?

This depends on the situation. If you lease a vehicle or the loan on the car has not been paid off, the lender/leasing company requires collision coverage to ensure that they are protected. The car's age, condition, policy deductible cost, number of miles, and replacement part value are some factors to consider for keeping collision coverage.

For example, if you have an old vehicle that runs well but has a blue book value of $1500 and your collision coverage deductible is $1000, paying the collision coverage deductibles each month for years for a $500 check to replace the old vehicle might not make sense. Another factor to consider is if you are hit by a stolen car, the owner of that stolen car is not responsible for damages to your vehicle, so carrying collision coverage on an older car might be a good idea.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with the insurance experts at the Mizrahi and Garris Insurance Agency at (904) 262-9202 or click "Free Quote" in the header of this page. We would be happy to answer any questions about your insurance coverage options.

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