Buying Your First Car: What Does Auto Insurance Do?

Whether you are financing the new car you just bought from that St. Petersburg, FL dealer or paid cash, you will need a Florida auto insurance policy to register the vehicle. Your friendly agent at Great South Insurance Agency LLC is here to help you understand just what that policy is designed to do for you, and what it will not. 

Required: Medical Payments

The minimal insurance policy will include $10,000 in personal injury protection. Since Florida is a no-fault state, if you are in an accident–no matter who caused it–your insurance company will cover your medical expenses up to that $10,000 cap. The same applies to the other person.

Required: Payment for Property Damage

Your insurance will also cover damage to your car or other personal property up to $10,000. The other vehicle will cover its own damage up to that $10,000 limit. You most likely will want to purchase a policy that exceeds those required minimums as if you happen to need surgery or are driving a vehicle valued over $30,000, that $10,000 will be used up in an instant.

What’s Missing from the Law: Comprehensive and Increased Liability

You may want added liability because if you did cause the accident and the other person suffers significant injury or damage, they can sue you for the added costs associated with the accident. Comprehensive coverage is also a popular addition. It will help defray the cost of damage to your car no matter what might have happened. Your insurance company will pay you upfront to get your car fixed while their representatives will be responsible for hunting down the responsible party. 

For more information about auto insurance and optional coverage available in the St. Petersburg, FL area, give your agent at Great South Insurance Agency LLC a call today.

My Dog Failed Potty Training and It Went Through my Condo Floor, Now What?

We love our furry pet friends and most of the time treat them like family members. However, despite the fact that our dogs and cats practically share their lives with us, they are still fundamentally animals. And when nature calls, they act like what they are and go where they need to go. They also display behavior consistent with their instincts, including everything from scratching to chewing. All three can cause serious damage to a property, and when it involves liquid, the damage can spread from one unit to another in a shared building like a condominium in St. Petersburg, FL.

From what Great South Insurance Agency LLC has seen, from an insurance perspective, pet damage in condos gets treated very similar to the same in a home by homeowners insurance. In short, the damage is generally not a covered category for the policyholder. However, pet damage in a shared building can affect more than just the pet owner, it can create damage considerations for other parties as well. Where a condo owner has extended general liability insurance, such as an umbrella policy, he or she may still be able to address claims even though the standard condo insurance protection won’t apply. Otherwise, the condo owner could very well have to address another tenant’s damages directly and out of pocket.

To find out what options exist for a resident of St. Petersburg, FL, give the experts at Great South Insurance Agency LLC a call. They have handled multiple condo tenant-owners’ needs and match appropriate policies to their situations, including with pets. Don’t find out the hard way what will or will not be covered for your furry friend. It’s far smarter to prepare for risk intelligently and enjoy life more. Reach out to our offices for more information.

Should You Invest In A Home Security System?

The agents of Great South Insurance Agency LLC are always available to discuss possible ways for homeowners to protect their property and family. If you live in the St. Petersburg, FL area, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether or not home security systems are worth the price regarding value and convenience.

Are Home Security Systems Worth the Price?

There are several types of home security systems on the market. They vary in price due to the level of sophistication and whether or not the system is professionally installed and monitored. Most conveniently run off of cellular or WiFi connectivity and use wireless equipment that can be easily moved from one location to another if you move. Most systems can be used by renters or homeowners and have a variety of equipment and package options to choose from. With the majority of systems, a basic package runs anywhere from $200 to $500 and contains entry sensors, indoor/outdoor cameras, and remote monitoring through the use of downloadable apps and keychain remotes.

Professional Monitoring vs. Self-Monitoring

Depending on how much you want to invest in your system, you can choose either professional, 24/7 monitoring or self-monitoring options. Either type is extremely effective. If you select a self-monitoring system, you can avoid the month to month fees that are required if a professional service is hired.

Residents in the St. Petersburg, FL area can call the agents at Great South Insurance Agency LLC to find out the benefits of having a home security system in place. There are several options to choose from, and with the right information, you can find the right company to protect your home and family and give you the peace of mind you desire.

If you own a condominium, do you need homeowner’s, renter’s insurance, or both?

Many condominium owners in Florida only spend part of the year staying in their condo. When they are not occupying the condo, they may rent it out for a portion of the year. Condominiums need insurance just like a regular home; however, it is a little different than regular homeowner’s insurance because the condominium building itself is also insured.

Condominium Insurance

Condominium insurance covers the area from the floor of the condo to the ceiling and the exterior walls and then stops there. Hallways, elevators, and shared public spaces are usually covered by the building’s HOA insurance.

Renter’s Insurance

If the condominium is rented out for part of the year, the personal effects of the renters are usually not covered by the condo insurance. In such a case, the renter should get a renter’s policy to insure their personal effects.

Commercial Insurance

If the condo is regularly rented out for short periods to many different people, it is operating as a business. In this case, it may be appropriate to have commercial insurance that is similar to the type of policy that is useful for a small bed and breakfast hotel.

Consult with an Insurance Agent

Since every circumstance is a bit different, it is best to consult with your agent at the Great South Insurance Agency LLC in St. Petersburg, FL to get advice on what insurance is appropriate for your needs.

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Condominium owners who stay in their condo for only part of the year have special needs for insurance coverage. They also need coverage for the other location where they stay for the part of the year that they are not living in the condo. They may need commercial insurance if they rent the condo to others. Renters need to have renter’s insurance for their personal items as well.

Contact your agent at Great South Insurance Agency LLC, serving St. Petersburg, FL and the surrounding area, for all your condo insurance needs.

Which areas of Florida are most at risk in a flood?

If you’ve lived in St. Petersburg, FL for any length of time, then you know that flooding is a very serious risk, not just here, but throughout the entire state.

Coastal cities, especially on the West coast or along the Gulf of Mexico, are at a higher risk for severe flood damage, especially during hurricane season. But all it takes is a couple of Summers in any part of Florida to understand that flooding can be a serious risk no matter where you are in the sunshine state. Even if you live inland, the state is only so many miles from coast to coast, and Northern Floridians aren’t completely safe, either.

This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re covered against flooding damages. Great South Insurance Agency LLC can help you to find a policy that works for you. Although some regions are at a higher risk than others, there is nowhere in Florida where flooding is not a concern.

The best advice you can get as a Floridian: Don’t worry about how high your risk of flooding is. Sometimes hurricane season seems to skip the Keys and go right for the upper West coast, sometimes St. Petersburg, FL is bone dry all Summer. You never know. If you call Great South Insurance Agency LLC and make sure that you’re covered, then you won’t need to stress about it, because you’ll have a backup plan if flooding does hit your town. St. Petersburg is at a higher risk than some cities, but no city is one hundred percent safe, so coverage is what counts.

How Does A Reckless Driving Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance?

The agents of Great South Insurance Agency LLC offer several different types of auto insurance coverage to the residents of St. Petersburg, FL and the surrounding area. They have the experience necessary to be able to offer coverage to individuals who may require high-risk insurance. Reckless driving and DUI charges can cause your insurance rates to sky-rocket, so it’s important to have a reputable insurance agent you can talk to in order to get the coverage you need. 

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a serious charge and portrays the driver as someone who has little to no regard for anyone else who may be on the road with them. They often drive at a high rate of speed, putting themselves and others at risk of injury or, in severe cases, death. Their blatant disregard for human life and the safety of others is considered criminal behavior. If charged with reckless driving, you may lose your license, be assessed heavy fines, or put in jail. 

How Does It Affect Your Insurance

If you or a loved one has been convicted of a reckless driving charge, it may be extremely difficult for you to find an insurance agency willing to offer you coverage. If you’re charged with any traffic violation that includes reckless or careless driving, you will need to talk to your insurance agent right away to determine how your coverage will change.

If you live in or near the St. Petersburg, FL area, call the agents of Great South Insurance Agency LLC. We will be able to answer any questions you may have concerning reckless driving, DUI, or the need for high-risk insurance.

What Makes Condo Insurance so Special?

There are a lot of different condos available in the St. Petersburg, FL area. It is a beautiful place and with a lot of people wanting to be close to the beach, a condo is a popular option. However, a lot of people make the mistake of trying to get a home insurance policy for their condo instead of a condo insurance policy. If you own a condo in the area, here at Great South Insurance Agency LLC, we know that condo insurance is the best option for the protection of your property. 

Condo insurance is not the same as having home insurance. If you own a condo, then you need to have condo insurance because it simply provides you with better coverage. Condo insurance is great because it protects your unit instead of the entire property like home insurance. It can also help to protect you from your neighbors. If someone around you has a leak that causes water damage in your unit, home insurance will not help you but condo insurance will. This is because it takes into account the close proximity of the units and the fact that things like this happen. A home insurance policy would not protect you and you would likely pay even more for it. You are not responsible for common areas in your condo, so you shouldn’t have to pay for an insurance policy for the area. 

If you are in the market for a condo insurance policy that meets your needs as a condo owner, make sure you contact us here today at Great South Insurance Agency LLC, serving St. Petersburg, FL. We will not only find the perfect policy for you but we will also make sure that it fits within your budget. We can also take a look at your existing policy to make sure that you have exactly what you need as a condo owner. Reach out to our offices for more information.

Improvements to Protect Your Home

How Can I Better Protect My Home?

Residents of Florida are constantly making updates to their homes in order to protect their family and belongings. Getting a policy from Great South Insurance Agency LLC, serving St. Petersburg FL and the surrounding region, will protect your home further from certain danger. However, sometimes you have to do more to avoid having to use your policy needlessly. 

1. Upgrade Your Door

Wood and glass break easily when an intruder is trying to get through your door. Upgrading your door to stainless steel makes it harder for a burglar to get through. Stainless steel doesn’t mesh with all decors but is the most effective. You may want to use a deadbolt that requires a key on both sides if you aren’t willing to change to stainless steel. 

2. Consider Replacing Your Windows

If your windows aren’t designed to withstand the impact of a severe storm or are just outdated, you should consider updating. Windows are an easy way for burglars to get in. Not to mention, although it doesn’t affect your insurance, old windows don’t protect against UV rays as effectively, so the light coming through the window will discolor your furniture. 

3. New Smoke Detectors 

It’s important to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. It’s also vital to make sure the batteries in the detectors are changed frequently. If you’ve had the same detectors in your home for quite some time, it’s important to purchase a new one every few years to ensure you have a detector that works effectively.  

4. Update Your Insurance

One home improvement that isn’t costly is updating your homeowner’s insurance policy or acquiring one. Keep in mind, a minor change in your home could make certain aspects of your policy null and void if you’re not regularly updating the policy. 

To get a new policy or update your current one, contact Great South Insurance Agency LLC, serving St. Petersburg, FL and the surrounding areas, by giving us a call or dropping by our office.