Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Condo Living...Are you Insured?

Don't assume that your condo is insured under the Master Insurance Policy.   Master Insurance Policies typically insure common areas such as roofs, walkways and elevators.  Your residence may not be covered.  You need to purchase separate CONDO INSURANCE  to cover your home. 

Naples Florida has become a second home for many people.  And for some the Condo Lifestyle and it's convenience is a perfect fit.  Condo Policies may include liability, personal property loss, additional living expense if your home is uninhabitable because of a covered loss such as fire or water damage, as well as, loss because of theft. Pay Attention, you can even purchase inexpensive coverage called "LOSS ASSESSMENT" that reimburses you for your share of an assessment charge (up to the specified policy limit) resulting from a covered loss to common areas.  Anyone who has indulged in condo living is aware of "Special Assessments".  Special assessments occur when repairs, upgrades or maintenance costs exceed the available funds in the Homeowners Association's coffer. Although potentially burdensome Special Assessments are necessary and common.  They may also occur in the event of a covered loss because of a high deductible or policy limits.  In these cases, Loss Assessment coverage can be a welcomed benefit.

Pro America Insurance Agents are available to discuss your Condo Insurance needs.  Please call 239.434.5500, stop in to either branch 2700 Immokalee Rd, or 2366 Pine Ridge Rd, or get a FREE RATE QUOTE  now.  Let Us Do The Shopping For You!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time to Review Your Home Insurance Policy

The Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service.
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:
  • 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:
  • 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
  • 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)
Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

It is time to review your policies,  coverage, limits and deductibles.  A careful inspection of your Homeowners, Auto and Boat Insurance by a Pro America Insurance Team Member and an assessment of your needs will help insure that you have appropriate coverage  before a major weather events threatens South West Florida.  Understand that once a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for any part of the state of Florida a statement of "NON BINDING AUTHORITY" is issued by individual insurance companies which strips all insurance agents of the authority to bind  new applications or process endorsements (changes) for increased coverage  regardless of effective date.  

You should also be aware of the claims process if a loss is realized.  A careful review of your policy will answer many of these questions.  However, if understanding the fine print becomes a challenge stop in to one of our branches and a Pro America Insurance Agent will happily explain your coverage's. A thorough list of contents and value should be kept along with other important documents in an easily accessible place should evacuation be necessary.  Take the time to Secure your home from storm damage, protect your vehicle and properly store your boat.  Visit the National Hurricane Center for information on Hurricane Preparedness.  Your can register your family, including pets, create a family or business plan and get suggestions for an emergency kit tailored just for you from the Florida Disaster web site.    

Don't delay! Now is the time to review and revamp your Homeowners, Auto and Boat Insurance coverage!  Call our Pine Ridge Office at 239.434.5500 or our Immokalee Branch at 239.596.2400, stop in or request a fast and free rate quote on line. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Michael Watkins Kills it... Top Producer in Naples Insurance

Michael Watkins earned Top Producer in Pro America's six month bonus competition.  Michael had the highest numbers in Volume of Insurance Policies written and Total Premium for the period December 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011.  Way to go Michael!  Michael has been part of the Pro America Insurance, Naples, FL team since February 2006.  He specializes in Homeowner Insurance and celebrated his 35th year in the Insurance Industry, June 14th.  He has won many awards over the years for excellence, integrity and knowledge.  Namely, the National Sales Achievement Award, which he has won several times, and the National Quality Award.  He has also taught Life Underwriter Training courses.  His many years of experience makes him an essential part of the Pro America Team.  Michael is an avid baseball fan. He humbly calls himself  a "student of the game".  Sadly, his favorite team is The Detroit Tigers not the Philadelphia Phillies.  Michael works in our Pine Ridge Office.  Stop by for a consultation and congratulate him on his accomplishment!  

Friday, May 20, 2011

SARA MASON earns Producer of the Month again!

Kristin Carter congratulates Sara Mason
A big shout out to Sara Mason, Pro America Insurance agent for earning Producer of the Month for two consecutive months.  Sara is a Naples resident and is currently located at our Pine Ridge Office.  

Stop in to congratulate her or if you are one of her VERY happy customers refer a friend and be entered into our WEEKLY drawing for a $25.00 GIFT CARD.  Congratulations Sara!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Win a $25 Gift Card

Pro America Insurance Agency wants to reward all of our loyal customers by offering a REFERRAL INCENTIVE.  We will be having a weekly drawing and the winner will receive a $25 gift card.  To enter the drawing you need to refer a friend to your favorite insurance agent at Pro America.  After your friend comes in for a free consultation your name will be entered into our drawing.  It's that easy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

House Fire Protection - Insurance Protection Class 10

Collier County is experiencing a drought and active wildfires. Insurance companies recognize the risk of loss due to wildfires and classify homes in these areas under "Protection Class 10". Protection Class 10 is severe and includes homes located further than 5 miles from a Fire Station and/or are further than 1000 feet from a fire hydrant. Owning a home located in "Protection Class 10" often means higher premiums and limited choice of insurance companies as only a few companies provide coverage for this class. In Collier County the South East section of Golden Gate Estates is a "Protection Class 10" area.

At Pro America Insurance Agency, Brent Smith writes Naples home insurance policies for a carrier, other than Citizens, that is providing coverage to homes in Protection Class 10 areas. As a consumer, it is important that you have choice when selecting an insurance company to cover your assets and you will find "choice" at Pro America Insurance Agency, Naples FL. We provide you the ability to choose because we represent a variety of the best insurance companies in Florida.

This may be a good time to review your Homeowners Insurance coverage with Brent at Pro America Insurance. Damage caused by fire is an important coverage all homeowners policies include. However, you may want to examine your limits and deductibles as well as your carrier.

There are many simple "do it yourself" preventative measures you as a homeowner can do to protect your property from fire damage. Create a Fire-Wise Home. A Fire-Wise Home has at least 30' of cleared area around it. You want your space to appear lean, clean and green according to The Collier County All Hazards Guide published by the Collier County Emergency Management Department and the Florida Fire-Wise Communities brochure published by the Florida Division of Forestry. Homeowners should prune shrubs and cut tree branches back, remove all dead plant material from around your home and plant fire resistant vegetation that is healthy and green year round. Creating a "shared defensible space" with your neighbors is a great strategy especially for those living on narrow, nonconforming lots, such as some in the Estates. Information on Fire-Wise Homes can be found at To receive an All Hazards Guide contact Collier County Emergency Management

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Protect Your Naples Area Seasonal Residence

Summer is almost here in Naples, FL and many seasonal residents will be leaving the area and returning to their second home.  Protecting your seasonal residence from damage in your absence can be accomplished with a little advanced planning.  Most northerners are familiar with frozen and burst pipes, but have little experience with excess humidity, a potential problem in Florida’s hot, moist climate.  Damage to seasonal residences from theft, wind or hurricane, flooding and infestations are also common concerns.  No one wants to return next season to a home that has been destroyed or damaged.  There are many preventative actions seasonal residents can take to prevent damage to their homes, autos and boats while they are gone.

 Home Watch Services are very popular.  According to Pro America Insurance agent Michael Watkins, “Some Home Watch Services are very sophisticated.”  He strongly suggests that all seasonal residents take reasonable precautions when leaving, such as, turning the water off at its source, draining pipes, service air conditioning units, retain a home watch service to check the property weekly as well as asking year round neighbors to contact them if they see any suspicious activity on or in the property.  Home Watch Services abound in Naples Florida because of our large seasonal population.  These companies could provide a wide spectrum of services such as;  weekly interior and exterior inspections, alarm monitoring, contractor and repair service supervision, appliance maintenance, airport shuttle service, home reopening and cleaning services , even grocery shopping.  Reputable companies will be insured and bonded.

Understanding your Homeowners Insurance Coverage is very important.  Michael, located at Pro America’s Pine Ridge office, specializes in Homeowners Insurance. While preparing to write this article I interviewed Michael and was impressed by the breadth of his knowledge regarding possible claims, coverage’s and policy distinctions.  Having a knowledgeable agent is essential to protecting your investment.  Prior to leaving the area it is wise to meet with your agent to discuss your coverage’s and prevention strategies.  

Take note, Mold and Mildew coverage is typically limited to $10,000.00 and is only paid if it is part of a covered loss. Additionally, insurance companies follow strict “Occupancy” and “Vacancy” guidelines.  These guidelines can vary by company so it is best to meet with your agent to discuss any guidelines that may apply to you.

Having a positive working relationship with your Naples home owners Insurance Agent is paramount to accessing the best coverage for your investments.  Pro America Insurance Agents spend the time necessary to fully understand your unique insurance needs and will find the best policy with the most complete coverage at a price you can afford.  Schedule an appointment today and Let Us Do the Shopping for You!
Remember to always review your Homeowner’s, Auto or Boat Insurance Policy when determining coverage, or come in to either of our offices and let us review your policy and answer any questions you may have. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Protect your Home from Damage caused by Windstorms and SAVE MONEY on your Homeowners Insurance

Florida has taken the lead in adopting regulatory provisions related to hurricane resistant construction.  After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida adopted statute 627.0629 that required residential property Insurance Providers in Florida to give “discounts, credits and other incentives” for residential properties where construction methods that have been shown to REDUCE LOSS caused by windstorms are employed.  

Agent Peter Lechler at Pro America Insurance insists that a homeowner can easily save 10 to 40% on their entire premium with a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form.  He says that substantial credits are given for:
·         Roof permitted post March 2002
·         Roof Geometry - Hip Roof
·         Roof Deck Attachments - the size and spacing of the nails that attach the plywood to the roof truss
·         Roof to Wall Attachments - clips, single or double straps.    

Local builder and home remodeler Pat Purnell of CNP Construction, Inc of Naples, FL administers Wind Mitigation Inspections.  Purnell says that the best way to make your house 100% hurricane resistant is to have Impact Resistant Windows, Shutters and Doors.  Purnell states that;
“Your windows and doors are by far the weakest point of your house.”

He further stated that If you have “Truss Straps and a Hip Roof” along with impact resistant features you have achieved 100% protection from Wind.  You may think that if you own a home built before the 1992 Florida building code it will not have Wind Mitigation features but you are most likely wrong.  Purnell told me, that he recently inspected a home that was built in 1980; it had Truss Straps and a Hip Roof.  Pat Purnell does all types of new construction and remodeling as well as Mitigation Inspections.  Contact Pat by phone at (239) 595-4544 or email to schedule your inspection today.

Pro America Insurance Agency is a great place to start learning about Wind Mitigation credits.  Let us help you save 10 to 40% on your Homeowner’s Insurance premium.  Call us today or refer a friend.  Let Us Do The Shopping For You!  My Safe Florida Home web site is a great place to visit to learn more about Wind Mitigation .

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wind Mitigation Saved $1200.00 On My Homeowners Insurance

Home featuring a Hip Roof
I recently moved to Florida.  When I purchased my home I met with my Insurance agent to discuss Homeowners Insurance.  My agent Brent Smith at Pro America Insurance Agency asked me if I had a “Wind Mitigation” Inspection report.  He explained that I would likely save money on my Homeowners Insurance premium if I did the inspection.  I didn’t know what he was talking about in fact I wasn’t even sure I knew what he said.  It turns out he said wind mitigation and I did save money.

My original Homeowners Insurance Premium came in at $2776.00 after I submitted my Uniform Wind Mitigation Verification Inspection Form my premium dropped to $1549.00.  I saved over $1200.00 per year. To receive any credit for Wind Mitigation I had to pay for a separate additional inspection called a wind mitigation inspection.   Brent told me that although I already had a Home Inspection I would have to have an additional Wind Mitigation Inspection administered by a certified professional to qualify for any credits.  He told me that I would save money despite the added cost of a new inspection. He was right.  I’m glad I trusted him. According to Brent, shopping Insurance carriers is equally important.  He saved a recent client over $2150 per year on an “apples to apples” Homeowners Insurance Policy with Wind Mitigation credits.

If you need a referral for a Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector in your area we may be able to help.  Call the agents at Pro America Insurance Agency in Naples FL today and start saving $$.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teenage Drivers and Your Insurance Rates

My agent Brent Smith
Immokalee Rd (239) 596-2400
I have a Teen Driver and when it came time to include him on my Car Insurance Policy I had no idea what the implications would be.  I knew that my auto insurance rates would increase because I was adding a driver and another car.  I was so sure that the cost would sky rocket. Teenage drivers, especially those who drive fast cars, are the one of the most expensive drivers to insure.  And of course, I was also concerned about safety.  I'm aware there were ways to save money but I didn’t know what the best programs and products were. 
I called my Insurance agent at Pro America Insurance and he helped me.  It turns out I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  I have three vehicles, a teen driver and an Umbrella Policy through Progressive.  I found I could afford the coverage I wanted even though my son is inexperienced.  I spent a lot of time with my agent, Brent, discussing how much coverage I wanted.  I wasn’t only concerned with the bottom line.  I wanted to make sure that in every scenario I would be covered.   Brent saved me money by suggesting that I only purchase liability for two of our cars because they are older models.  My son drives an older model Jeep, thankfully it isn’t very fast.  I decided to purchase liability, collision and comprehensive for my car.  I choose a large liability limit and an Umbrella Policy because I agree that having my son on the road is a risk.  Believe me, I hope we never use the coverage’s but in the event we do I am glad they are there.  Brent walked me through all of my options and in the end I got the coverage that I wanted for a price I could afford.
It is important to know that you will pay more for a teen driver because statistically they are responsible for more claims and accidents.  However, some car insurance companies offer rate reductions after three years of experience.  If you’re teen driver has an operator’s license at 16 years old that means when he turns 19 you will see a reduction in your premium.
 Additionally, various auto insurance companies offer cost saving programs for teen drivers. Safeco offers Teensurance.  The Teensurance Program promotes replacing worry with confidence and trust.  The program offers; Roadside Assistance, GPS Vehicle Tracking, Speed, Arrival/Departure and Curfew Alerts sent to your phone or computer.  Although they have competitive prices this is a perfect example of how cost may not be the only determining factor for all consumers.
Currently Mercury is offering the most competitive car insurance rates for teen drivers but you should call Pro America Insurance Agency in Naples FL for expert and intuitive advice while purchasing Car Insurance for your new driver.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boating in Naples and SW Florida - Don't Forget Boat Insurance!

Spring is here and many Naples boaters are preparing for the upcoming season.  Naples, Marco Island and the surrounding area have many beautiful islands that are only accessible by boat.

Keewaydin Island is a wildlife sanctuary frequented by residents and tourists.  The pristine beaches are home to Least turns and loggerhead sea turtles. 
Boating is a fantastic way to get outdoors and enjoy nature, family and of course fishing.  Proper licensing and registration are required by the State of Florida.  In fact, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 who operates a vessel must pass an approved boaters safety course. You can find more information on boating requirements, classes, rules and regulations for salt water fishing and boating at Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Don't forget that Boat insurance is very important.  In fact, our agents recommend insuring your boat just as you would insure your auto with liability coverage at the $100,000 to $ 300,000 level. Personal contents such as fishing rods and electronics can be insured as well. Sea Tow coverage is also available and is a great product.  You can feel confident that you will return to port safely with this added coverage.  Typically boat insurance costs less than auto insurance.

Progressive Insurance is a top rated company for your boat insurance that Pro America Insurance Agency proudly represents.

Let us find the perfect boat Insurance coverage for you this boating season... 239.596.2400

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Producer Recognition Award

Ken Bastani (L), Richard Larach (R)
Richard Larach, an agent in our Pine Ridge, Naples office, received our Top Producer Recognition award for February.  It is Richards’s prompt response time to customer insurance coverage inquiries and attention to detail that helped him earn this distinction.  Richard is one of our bilingual agents and when asked about his accomplishment he said,
    “I credit my success to diversity.  I have a diverse knowledge of insurance, and I am bilingual.”

Richards’s ability to communicate with our Spanish speaking customers in their native tongue helps him better understand their Insurance needs. Additionally, he is known to provide insightful assistance and does an excellent job matching customer needs to the perfect Homeowner Insurance Product and /or Auto Insurance Product.  At Progressive Insurance Agency we believe in recognizing our Insurance Agents for providing outstanding customer service.  Way to Go Richie!  Buen Trabajo Felicidades! Richard works at the Pine Ridge, Naples office.  Please stop in to congratulate him yourself.
All of the Insurance Agents and Customer Service personnel at Progressive Insurance Agency pride themselves in providing expert analysis of customer insurance needs while locating the best insurance coverage at the lowest price. Both Progressive Insurance Agency branches (Pine Ridge Rd and Immokalee Road)  have bilingual agents.

Call today at (239) 596-2400 for prompt professional insurance rates and quotes for your homeowner insurance, car insurance, health, life, or any other insurance need in Naples, Ft Myers, Marco Island and vicinity.