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Driving for app based transportation companies is rapidly increasing in popularity. Whether you drive full-time for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, or it is the source of additional income, make sure you are covered.

GreatFlorida Insurance is offering rideshare insurance to meet the growing demand from rideshare drivers for full coverage.
GreatFlorida Insurance is one of the few insurance companies in Florida to offer rideshare insurance. We make sure you, your passengers and your vehicle are protected while driving.

Our company offers a rideshare endorsement to supplement your auto policy. It fills in coverage gaps while driving for a rideshare company and keeps you covered while you drive for personal use.
Give us a call today at 888-478-7801 to discuss GreatFlorida rideshare insurance and speak to an agent in your area.

FAQ’s

Doesn’t the rideshare company’s insurance cover me while driving?
Uber and Lyft provide a $1 million insurance policy while a passenger is in your vehicle. It serves as your primary insurance during this time. The same coverage is not extended to drivers while you are logged into the app without a passenger.
Policies vary between the different rideshare companies, especially during the time when you are logged into the app but have no passenger in your vehicle.

Coverage Gap
Just because you are signed into the rideshare app does not mean you are covered. The time between logging into the app and a passenger entering your car, you could be uninsured or underinsured. This is considered a coverage gap.
While logged into the app, accepting a job, driving to a passenger and waiting for them to enter your vehicle, your personal car insurance is responsible for damages. During that time many rideshare companies have a policy that is “contingent,” making it a gray area.

Doesn’t my auto insurance cover me?
Most drivers with auto insurance have a personal auto insurance policy. It is intended for personal use not for commercial driving or driving-for-hire.
Unfortunately, personal auto insurance companies would be likely to deny your accident claim. When you are logged into a rideshare app, insurance companies consider that as driving-for-hire, so it would fall into the commercial driving category.

What if I do not make changes to my auto policy?
If your auto insurance discovers you are using your vehicle for profit, such as ridesharing without proper insurance, they can set the policy to cancel or non-renew. 

Additionally, should a claim occur while a driver is logged into the rideshare app and they do not have rideshare insurance, their claim can be denied by their auto insurance company.

Commercial auto insurance is also available to drivers who participate in rideshare but it can be more expensive and limiting when it comes to personal use. That is why GreatFlorida Insurance offers rideshare insurance, as a less expensive option to supplement your personal auto policy, while covering the gaps a rideshare company doesn’t cover.

Accidents are inevitable. Make sure you are covered during personal use and while ridesharing with GreatFlorida Insurance’s rideshare insurance.
If you are a rideshare driver, agents at GreatFlorida Insurance can make sure you get the proper coverage for you and your passengers. Contact us today to discover all the auto insurance options available for you.

Simply call 850-968-2494 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent in Cantonment will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Uber  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
5/17/2017

It was a busy legislative session in Florida this year. State legislators filed about 1,900 bills. Only 12.6 percent, or 234 bills, were passed by both the House and Senate chambers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“The fewest in at least 20 years,” reports the Sun Sentinel.

“There were three insurance related bills, whether you support them or not, all of them failed,” reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s biggest independent auto insurance agency.

Listed below are other successful and unsuccessful proposals politicians had to consider in 2017.

 Passed

$82.4 billion state budget approved

A plan to build reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee to treat polluted water before it flows downstream into Florida Bay. This is in response to toxic algae blooms.

Grocery stores and big box stores such as Walmart and Target can sell liquor.503073214_19256215_8col

Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft cannot be regulated by local governments but establishes statewide requirements for insurance and background checks.

Boat owners who have locator beacons will receive boat registration fee discounts

Parents and school district residents will have an easier time challenging educational material used in classroom instruction or school libraries, including books, pamphlets and presentations a parent finds objectionable, offensive or inappropriate for the age of the student.

More support for students to express their religious beliefs in public schools, while requiring school districts to adopt policies allowing “limited public forums” for students to pray at school events.

 

Failed

The repeal of PIP, personal injury protection as part of car insurance. “A repeal would lower the costs for people who currently carry bodily injury protection as part of their car insurance, but increase it for people with policies covering the minimum,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance agency.

A bill to repeal Florida’s red light camera law

A requirement that first time DUI offenders have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

Ban on the use of disposable plastic bags.

Cities and counties cannot pass new regulations on private homes used as vacation rentals such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

Assignment of Benefits-Changes a policy that allows homeowners in need of property repairs to sign over benefits to contractors, who then pursue payments from insurance companies, to curb litigation claims.

Call GreatFlorida Insurance for all your auto insurance needs. We can craft a policy to suit your needs. Contact us today.

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The post Winners and losers from the 2017 Legislative Session appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/27/2017

After spending a good amount of money and time planning your ideal trip you might be thinking of  purchasing travel insurance. But, you might already be covered.

Homeowners insurance, renters insurance, auto insurance and medical insurance follows you on vacation,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowners insurance provider. That includes; rental cars, illness, stolen items, lost luggage, accidental injuries and property damage. Before you buy travel insurance, check your policy and see what is currently covered. You want to avoid paying for insurance coverage beyond what is necessary.

Medical coverage

Your current health insurance policy could provide adequate coverage on your travels. Check coverage in the area you are headed. You might be surprised to find doctors and facilities that accept your health insurance even overseas.  The U.S. Department of State urges international travelers to make sure they have health insurance where they are traveling. Many foreign doctors and hospitals require cash payment and emergency medical evacuation can cost up to $100,000. Also, Medicare is not available outside of the country.

While illness is covered during your travels, a pre-existing medical condition might not be. This is a detail you will need to review with your insurance agent.

Lost or stolen items

It is a pain to arrive at your destination without your luggage. The U.S. Department of Transportation limits lost baggage claims to $3300. Keep in mind, airlines account for depreciation of your stuff so if you are traveling with golf clubs or pricey camera equipment you might want to make sure your luggage is covered. Stolen items and lost luggage are reimbursed under your homeowners insurance and renters insurance policy.

“Make sure to know your insurance coverage deductibles and limits before taking off on vacation,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Rental cars

Auto insurance will extend to a rental vehicle. If you cause an accident while driving a rental car, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the damages to other cars or property.

Travel insurance

One of the most common misconceptions about travel insurance is the idea that you can cancel for any reason and be reimbursed. Travel insurance will reimburse you on a majority but not all expenses. Like other insurance policies, the amount you pay for travel insurance will depend on a few variables. The type of coverage you choose, how many people are traveling in your party, age, destination and the length of travel. You can expect to pay 5 to 15 percent of the cost of our trip. The deductible amount is usually $200.

Make sure you are not paying for insurance you already own. Check out your current health insurance, auto insurance, renters insurance and homeowners insurance policy to see how much you are covered for while on vacation.

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance for all your insurance needs today.

 

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The post Are you insured on vacation? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/22/2017

Harsher penalties are looming for first-time drunk driving offenders.

A Florida bill (HB 949) that requires an ignition interlock device installed in a driver’s car after their first drunk driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives. On Tuesday, it passed through the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. The bill must pass through two more committees before reaching the House floor.

“The motive behind introducing a bill like this is to prevent drinking and driving while keeping others safe, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency.

InfographicStat-67reductionInRepeatOffenders

Current law only requires first-time DUI offenders to install an interlock device if the person had a .15 percent blood alcohol content or more, or if a minor was in the vehicle.  Also, devices are mandatory for offenders with multiple DUI’s.

Drivers required to install a device must contact an approved vendor for installation. The cost to lease a device ranges from $50 to $100 per month.

“Damages from DUI’s come in at over $50 billion year,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance agency.

In order to understand how it works, a driver blows into the device and it measures a person’s breath alcohol content. The IID only allows the vehicle to start if their blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.

Opponents worry the legislation could be too harsh for first time offenders. However, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports about one-third of drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

On the other hand, supporters feel the bill will help save lives. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) a drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest. MADD supports the use of ignition interlock devices. They believe that suspending the license of these drivers makes sense. Unfortunately, three out of four of those with a suspended license continue to drive.

GreatFlorida Insurance is aware, everyone makes mistakes. Not only do we provide quality car insurance, but we also offer SR-22 insurance and FR-44 insurance. Contact us today.

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The post DUI ignition interlock bill gains momentum appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/8/2017

While Florida does not require you to get boat insurance before you register your vessel, boat insurance is a good idea. Boat insurance offers protection from the responsibility of owning, operating and towing your boat.

“Many homeowners, mistakenly assume a boat is covered under their homeowner’s insurance,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.“Depending on your homeowner’s policy, you might have limited coverage on a small vessel on your property.”

As a matter of fact, if your boat is financed, your lender may require you to have boat insurance. Also, certain marinas and harbors require insurance for you to dock your boat.

Much like car insurance, there are different options to choose from when it comes to buying boat insurance. Your insurance needs depend on the type of watercraft you own while selecting the option you feel most comfortable with.

boat-accident

Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance explains the difference between liability, collision, comprehensive and medical coverage.

Liability Losses– this will cover bodily injury and property damage in an accident where you are at fault.

Comprehensive and Collision Physical damage or comprehensive and collision will cover any out of water incidents. Collision covers damage to a boat involved in a collision. Comprehensive coverage protects your boat if it is stolen, damaged by a fire or vandalized.

Uninsured Coverage– this will cover costs for damage and injuries if you are involved in a collision with a boater that does not have boat insurance.

Medical Coverage– will cover costs related to injuries suffered in a boat accident. Check your health insurance first, it could provide the adequate coverage you need.

Additional coverage is also available for fishing equipment and other boat related personal property you want to insure.

Financial Website, Money Crashers recommends purchasing comprehensive coverage if you have a loan on your boat or you own a newer model.

When purchasing boat insurance, you must also choose how the insurance company will pay you in the event of a claim.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) encourages boat owners to insure their boat for the amount it would cost you to replace it which is the “Agreed Value.”

The “Actual Cash Value” coverage reimburses you the current market value for your boat or personal belongings. Because everything depreciates, you will usually get less than what you originally paid.

As a final point, boat repairs can be costly making boat insurance a great defense to protect your investment.

GreatFlorida Insurance covers a wide variety of boats including yachts, ski boats, pontoons, jet boats, sailboats, bass boats, commercial vessels also cover personal watercraft such as a Wave Runner.

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The post Do I Need Boat Insurance? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/1/2017

This week, Consumer Reports released their annual report of the top 10 trucks and cars for 2017. “This list is esteemed because Consumer Reports in a non-profit and independent agency,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency. “They provide a non-biased opinion of the products they test.”

The list is full of outstanding all-around performers. As a matter of fact, road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety make up the overall score.

Road test performance is based on more than 50 evaluations done on sight. When it comes to reliability, according to Consumer Reports, “We predict how trouble-free new cars will be based on actual problems reported by subscribers in our 2016 auto survey on more than half a million vehicles.” They also take into consideration the manufacturer’s track record.

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Determining owner satisfaction is merely asking the questions, “Does it make you happy?” “Would you buy it again?” Collected data from model years 2014 and older is also taken into consideration. Safety is analyzed by accident avoidance tests as well as government crash text information.

Below is the list for those in the market for a new vehicle this year or curious auto enthusiasts.

Subcompact Car: Toyota Yaris iA

Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze

Compact Hybrid: Toyota Prius

Sports Car: Mazda Miata MX-5

Midsized Sedan: Kia Optima

Large Sedan: Chevrolet Impala

Small SUV: Subaru Forester

Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander

Luxury SUV: Audi Q7

Compact Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

Car and Driver also has their top picks for 2017 vehicles with a more extensive list of vehicles. “Hopefully, these lists can serve as a guide if you are planning to purchase a new vehicle this year,” says Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

GreatFlorida Insurance has available agents throughout the state to help you with all your car insurance needs. Give us a call today or visit us online.

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The post Consumer Reports Names Top Vehicles for 2017 appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/8/2017

The controversial Florida red-light camera program will continue. The Florida legislature refused a ban on the cameras. A tied vote led the Senate Transportation Committee to reject the measure.

“Reducing accidents is the purpose of installing red-light camera enforcement systems at busy intersections,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance provider.

Red-light cameras deter drivers from running red lights and turning on a red light before coming to a full stop. Also,turning right on a red light when a “no turn on red” sign is posted.

However, opinions across Florida are split regarding the red-light camera’s effectiveness. For the most part, studies regarding red-light camera use show a decrease in red-light traffic violations when used. Nevertheless, compelling evidence suggests an increase in the number of auto collisions at those same intersections where cameras are present.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles surveyed 148 intersections in 28 cities and counties across the state. The survey used crash data collected between July 2012 and April 2016. Crashes rose 10.14 percent when comparing data prior to installation and after installation according to the December 2016 report.

Also, collisions involving vehicles running red lights were down 3.14 percent. Consequently, the survey noted that not all crash reports give exact locations. This makes it problematic to associate the accidents with red-light camera intersections. But the increase in red-light camera intersection accidents follows a trend. Last year’s report shows a 14.65 percent rise.

“The most useful information will come from county or municipality evaluations. Nationwide studies on red-light camera effectiveness are often contradictory and lead to confusion about the safest scenario for drivers,” said Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

Money is a major factor in the debate. Some legislators believe the red-light cameras are about increasing revenue, not public safety. In fact, opponents of the red-light camera program say the technology has become a new revenue source for local governments. For instance, the $158 fine is split with state and local governments.

Statewide red-light camera revenue brought in almost $60 million in 2016 for the state according to the Florida Department of Revenue. Therefore, cities and counties divide $53 million with about half that going to the camera companies.

All that being said, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that fatal crashes from drivers running red lights increased by 30 percent per capita after cities turned off their red-light camera programs.

GreatFlorida Insurance has knowledgeable agents across Florida who are committed to finding you the most affordable car insurance to fit your needs. Call 888-478-7801 or online at www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.

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The post Red Light Cameras Hang Around appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/1/2017

Allstate Insurance AgentThe Captive Insurance Agency model, like that of Allstate and StateFarm, initially enjoyed much popularity among those interested in entering the P&C insurance industry.

Yet, over time, this captive model has gone through changes that have left many of their agents suffering.

In recent years, auto insurance premiums have begun to rise because of increased claims and rampant fraud, especially in Florida.

While a real problem, the captive insurance companies have responded by becoming selective in the customers they offer coverage to. Specifically looking for those people with good credit and good driving records. This leaves many captives with little to offer their clients. As one ex-Allstate Insurance agent put it, “We feel like we’re in the insurance rejection business”.

Adding insult to injury, increasingly lowered commissions continue to reduce profits for these same captive agents. They sell less and are paid less for what they do sell.

As a result of these issues, sales quotas fall short of what is expected, even mandated, and begins to threaten agent jobs. This unstable work environment communicates that these captive insurance companies are more interested in growing their profits, than in supporting their agents.  The unrealistic expectations force many agents to look for alternatives.

The Insurance Journal recently reported that morale is quickly sinking at one big blue insurance company due to lowered commissions (8% to 10%) and increased premiums.

Terminations are also forcing the sales of captive agencies because of unmet sales quotas. Some long-time agents are going as far as suing the parent insurance company in retaliation.

Captive Agents Look for Alternatives

Independent Insurance Agencies like GreatFlorida Insurance, Brightway, and We Ensure are reporting an active exodus of captive Allstate agents this last year. Wishing to speak on the condition of anonymity, some ex-captive agents shared their experiences and why they chose to become independent insurance agents:

“Eventually rate increases forced me out. Being a captive agent made me feel like a one-trick-pony and I could not do much for my clients. Allstate is a conservative underwriter. They want to insure the cream of the crop and that is a small niche group.”
– TJ an exAllstate agent in FL. 

“Allstate is looking for a particular person to fit their profile, a homeowner with excellent credit.”
– KS an exAllstate agent in FL. 

Commenting about agent commission rates, two former captive agents said, “When they are good, they are good but when they are bad, they are really bad.”

A Better Way

Independent Insurance Agencies offer greater freedom and options for the agent and their customers.

Speaking to Ana Miranda of GreatFlorida Insurance in Pinecrest, an ex-captive agent, she explained that as an independent, she can offer a variety of products represented by a diverse group of insurance companies. “There isn’t a risk that walks through that door that I can’t sell”.

“Existing captive agents have come to a tipping point where it no longer makes sense to stay where they are, leaving money on the table.”, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, the largest and fastest growing franchise of independent agents in Florida.

GreatFlorida Insurance works with top insurance carriers such as Progressive, Mercury, Safeco, as well as 95% of all the available carriers in Florida.

They also boast higher commission rates from 15% to 22% and with fewer writing restrictions, the potential to grow the agency as an independent is far greater.

For GreatFlorida, 2016 saw the largest number of converts from the captive model to the independent, in years.

Why GreatFlorida Insurance?

Recent ex-captive agents shared why they chose to join the GreatFlorida Insurance franchise.

“I now have more freedom to offer more choices. You are restricted when you are a captive agent. Now my customers have 4-10 auto insurance companies who can offer coverage.”

“Because GreatFlorida Insurance is one of the largest in the state, they can negotiate the carrier appointments and higher commissions for me. Going from 10% as a captive, to 15% with GreatFlorida for each new policy I sell, is a huge increase in my income.”

“Other independent insurance agencies wanted more money down and more in commissions. GreatFlorida Insurance was the most responsible choice for me.”

“I like the way they operate. Easy going and laid back. They’re hands off and force no minimums. Everything is real fair.”

Compare GreatFlorida Insurance to a Captive AgencyFlorida Insurance Franchise and Allstate

To learn more about the insurance policies and options available at GreatFlorida Insurance, visit www.greatflorida.com or call 888-478-7801.

For franchise options call our franchise hotline at 772-577-7555.

The post Why are Captive Insurance Agents Suffering? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.