Hurricane Dorian claims information

As a precaution for the upcoming storm, Hurricane Dorian, we have created a comprehensive list of phone numbers you should call in the event that you need to file a claim. During this time, we will be checking our emails and main phone line messages as often as possible to be available to all of our clients.

 

For personal insurance claims:

AAA: 1-888-929-4222

Allied/Nationwide: 1-800-282-1446

American Integrity: 1-866-277-9871

Auto-Owners: 1-888-252-4626

ASI/Progressive Home: 1-866-274-5677

Avatar: 1-877-233-3237

Bankers: 1-800-627-0000

Capitol Preferred: 1-888-388-2742

Chubb: 1-800-252-4670

Citizens: 1-866-411-2742

Florida Family: 1-888-486-4663

Florida Peninsula: 1-866-549-9672

Florida Specialty: 1-866-554-5896

Geovera: 1-800-631-6478

Hagerty: 1-800-922-4050, ext. 4

Heritage: 1-855-415-7120

Homeowners Choice: 1-888-210-5235

Mercury:  1-800-503-3724

MetLife: 1-800-854-6011

Assurant (Flood): 1-800-423-4403, ext. 3

Olympus: 1-866-281-2242

Progressive Auto: 1-800-776-4737

Safe Harbor: 1-866-482-5246

Safeco: 1-800-332-3226

Security First: 1-877-581-4862

Southern Fidelity: 1-866-874-7342

Stillwater: 1-800-220-1351

St. Johns: 1-877-748-2059

Tower Hill Home: 1-800-342-3407

Travelers: 1-800-252-4633

Universal: 1-866-999-0898

UPC: 1-888-256-3378

Wright Flood: 1-877-270-4329

 

For business insurance claims:

American Capital: 1-866-274-5677

Auto-Owners: 1-800-437-6164

Guard: 1-800-639-2567

Hartford: 1-800-553-1710

Liberty Mutual: 1-844-325-2467

Nationwide: 1-866-322-3214

Old Dominion: 1-877-425-2467

Philadelphia: 1-800-765-9749

Progressive: 1-800-274-4499

Tower Hill: 1-800-342-3407

 

If you do not see a number listed for your personal insurance carrier, please email us at mwi@mcgriffwilliams.com, and we will be happy to assist you in whatever way we can. For business insurance, you can email comm@mcgriffwilliams.com. We hope everyone stays safe during this time. Thank you.

Hurricane season is coming… Are you and your home ready?

The inevitable hurricane season is approaching quickly so we’ve composed some information to help better prepare you for potential damage to your home and belongings. While we hope and believe that this year will have a rather uneventful storm season, we want you to feel ready and as comfortable as possible, should we encounter a hurricane.

Here are a few ways you can prepare your home:

  • Trim any trees or branches, especially those that hang over your roof or fence.
  • Tidy up any loose debris in the yard or equipment parked around the house.
  • Secure windows with shutters or boards.
  • Have your roof inspected to ensure no missing shingles, nails, or clips.
  • Stock up on water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, generator, cooler of ice, etc.
  • Be sure any required medication is purchased or prescriptions filled.

In addition, here are some tips to think about regarding your homeowners insurance policy:

  • Read through your declarations page to be sure you understand what coverage you have and what each limit is.
  • Pay attention to your All Peril deductible and Hurricane deductible, which are almost always very different. Any named storm or spinoff damage will have the Hurricane deductible applied.
  • Remember that flood insurance cannot be purchased and used immediately. Unless it is a requirement for loan closing, there is a 30 day wait for the coverage to be effective.
  • Other Structures coverage can add up quick. Typically, that limit is 2% of the dwelling amount. Evaluate this amount if you have fencing, a shed or workshop, screen enclosure, etc. There are usually endorsements available to increase that coverage if need be.

We would be happy to review your policy with you anytime. Please feel free to contact us at (352)371-7977 or info@mcgriffwilliams.com. Thank you.

Are you prepared for hurricane season?

Hurricane season making you nervous? Many people may have post-Irma jitters after the storm we had in the fall. Worry no more with these tips on how to prepare and understand the protection you have.

  • Storm deductible vs All Peril deductible…. There is a difference. Most home insurance policies have a standard “AOP” (All Other Peril) deductible of $500, $1000 or even $2,500. This would apply for damage such as fire, theft, water, etc. The storm or “hurricane” deductible applies to damage directly caused by any named storm. Even if the damage can be proven to be from a spinoff tornado, wind or lightning, the storm deductible applies if it was a result of a named storm. This is typically 2% (but sometimes can be offered at $500), which is calculated from the dwelling coverage amount on the policy. Example: $200k dwelling, hurricane deductible: $4k.

 

  • Flood insurance isn’t always available right away so you have to plan ahead. Most times, there is a 30 day waiting period for flood coverage to be effective. Damage from rising water is covered by a separate flood policy, rather than the home insurance policy. Some may think they only need flood insurance if they’re in a designated flood zone or low lying area but flooding can still happen with heavy rain. If you are not located in a flood zone (per FEMA: https://msc.fema.gov/portal), you can still purchase elective flood coverage and simply wait 30 days for the coverage to be effective.

 

  • Other Structures can add up. This coverage on your home policy is usually 2% of the dwelling amount, automatically included on the policy. This covers things like a fence, shed, workshop, and sometimes a screen enclosure. There are typically endorsements you can add if you need more than the provided coverage. These items are commonly damaged by wind so it’s imperative to be sure you the coverage you need for repair or replacement.

 

  • Storm damage to a vehicle is covered under Comprehensive coverage on the auto policy. This applies for falling/flying objects, wind, rain, water as well as vandalism, theft, fire, glass, contact with an animal, etc. Comprehensive is exactly that… it covers a lot. If you have a lien holder on your car, your lender requires this coverage. Double check to be sure you have it as it’s an important one.

 

  • Helpful hints to prepare your home before a storm approaches: trim any trees or branches hanging over or posing as a threat for damage, tidy up any loose debris in the yard or equipment parked around the house, secure windows with shutters or boards, have your roof inspected to ensure no missing shingles, nails or clips. You can also be certain to have plenty of water, nonperishable food, batteries, flashlights or even a generator and coolers of ice in the event of a power outage.

Follow these steps and rest assured that you’ve done all you can for whatever mother nature sends our way. Contact us at 352-371-7977 or info@mcgriffwilliams.com anytime you have further questions.

“Thinking Out Loud” about last night’s Grammy Awards and tomorrow’s “Random Acts of Kindness Day”

It probably wasn’t terribly shocking to many that Taylor Swift’s “1989” won album of the year. Or that Ed Sheeran’s hugely popular song “Thinking Out Loud” took song of the year. Meghan Trainor was a well-deserving recipient of best new artist and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk swept record of the year. These are just a few of the gold trophies that went out in last night’s ceremony for the 2016 Grammys.

Awards make people feel a certain kind of way. It’s important in today’s world to recognize and encourage success. Good people doing good things. McGriff-Williams has been honored to accept many awards of our own that we’re very proud of and motivated by.

best insurance GainesvilleAmerica’s Best Independent Agency to Work For Insurance Journal

Tower Tier Award Tower Hill Insurance for personal lines production

Platinum Agency Award ASI & Progressive Insurance (less than 2% of agencies receive this award)

Florida Blue Award for Top 5 agency in the northeast region for Medicare supplement sales and Top 10 in the northeast region for individual under 65 plan sales

Florida Blue Award for Top 15 agency overall in the state of Florida

“Witness Greatness” was the takeaway message from last night’s show. We feel confident that’s exactly what will happen with random acts of kindness happening tomorrow too. We appreciate the loyalty of our clients over the past 33 years and are grateful for the various acknowledgments we’ve earned.

We challenge you to share your admiration of others, especially tomorrow, and hand out your own awards…. Whether it’s a smile for a stranger, picking up the coffee tab for the car behind you or sending a handwritten note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. We all need to recognize and reward good people doing good things.

What Florida Home Buyers Need To Know About Hurricane Season

 

Insurance companies can suspend home insurance policy binding when a named storm approaches the area.

Florida insurance companies are permitted to suspend the binding (which is simply the final process of securing coverage) of home insurance policies a few days prior to a storm approaching and continue to not allow securing coverage until after (even a few days after) the storm has passed.  Named storms are not limited to hurricanes, and can include tropical storms, etc.  There are no set rules on when Florida home insurance companies are permitted to suspend the ability to secure coverage and the decision is made by each company individually; therefore, one company may suspend limit securing home insurance coverage to 5 days out, while another company may allow home buyers to secure coverage 3 days out.

buy home in gainesville fl

What if I’m purchasing a home and my closing is during this time?  If your insurance has not been finalized prior to the time of suspension your closing may be delayed.

How can I prevent delaying the closing process? Confirm with your insurance agent that all information has been provided and the application has been completed (i.e. signed, etc.). Take action early – Do NOT wait until the last minute to purchase home insurance during hurricane season.

What happens if there is a suspension during the time of my closing, but I completed the application process prior to suspension? If all documents were submitted to your agent prior to suspension, but the date of closing is during the suspension, your coverage will still be put in place on the date stated on the insurance application paperwork.

Why do Florida home insurance companies suspend the ability to secure coverage when a named storm approaches? Florida homeowners insurance companies have implemented their authority to suspend the ability to secure coverage in order to prevent home owners from attempting to secure insurance only during times they see as an immediate threat.

 

Let’s look at an example:

Assume you are purchasing a house in Florida and your closing is the last day of the month. A week prior the news is broadcasting about a storm that may potentially affect the state. You’ve received a quote for your home insurance but have not yet contacted your agent to secure the policy. Insurance companies tend to suspend binding as the storm approaches the state. Since there is no set rule as to when these suspensions are put in place, it’s best to contact your agent if there’s a chance of the storm approaching and your closing is in the near future.

If you wait until the storm reaches the Florida coast, it’s possible that you will be unable to obtain insurance, thus delaying your closing.