GreatFlorida Homeowners Insurance - Port St. Lucie, FL - Jeannie Evans
Homeowners Insurance Agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Jeannie Evans

Homeowners Insurance Agency in Port St. Lucie, FL

Jeannie Evans - GreatFlorida Insurance - Port St. Lucie, FL.


787 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd
Port St. Lucie, FL  34984
Fax : 772-398-3444

Port St. Lucie, FL Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance | Port St. Lucie, FL

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can easily explain the circumstances specific to Port St. Lucie, FL homeowners, along with mortgage requirements and the difference between dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use coverage as well as available discounts.

Check out our online request form and a knowledgeable GreatFlorida Insurance agent will find the best options for you to choose from.

Your home is likely your most costly asset. It contains your belongings and valuables and more importantly your family and cherished memories.

After the overwhelming task of finding a new home in Port St. Lucie, it can be tempting to settle by purchasing a basic homeowner’s insurance policy that could leave you with inadequate coverage or paying for more coverage than you need.

Jeannie Evans at GreatFlorida Insurance in Port St. Lucie, FL will make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide adequate coverage to protect your home from fires, hurricanes, break-ins and more. Compensation for your financial loss will allow you and your family to continue living comfortably.

Our knowledgeable agents in Port St. Lucie will explain the details and variety of home insurance coverage available to you.

We are familiar with the unique circumstances and needs that Port St. Lucie homeowners face such as flood and hurricane damage.

GreatFlorida Insurance shops all the major carriers in Port St. Lucie, to find the best policy and the best rate. Easy, Low-Cost and Worry Free. That's the GreatFlorida Insurance promise.

Simply call 772-398-2333 or complete our online quote request form.

Jeannie Evans at GreatFlorida Insurance Port St. Lucie, FL will help you find affordable Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance to protect one of your most valuable assets.

Port St. Lucie, FL Homeowners InsuranceHome Insurance FAQs

Homeowners Policy Coverages

Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance policy is designed to cover the structure of your home, and includes protection for various kinds of Personal Property as well as Liability coverage.

Want to know more? Give us a call at 772-398-2333 to speak to a local agent.

Discounts and Special Programs

There are many discounts are available on Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance policies. For example, you may qualify for a discount if your home has an updated roof, a monitored alarm system, hurricane shutters or impact windows in Port St. Lucie.

Payment Options

In many instances your Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance policy can be escrowed in with your mortgage.  However, if you need to pay separately, many carriers now offer several convenient payment options.

Home Insurance Coverage — What Is Covered

Standard home insurance coverage policies provide the following types of coverage, up to the limits outlined in the policies:

  • Dwelling — Pays for damage or destruction to your house and any unattached structures and buildings. Examples include fences, attached garage, or patio cover.

  • Personal Property — Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

  • Liability — Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.

  • Medical Payments — Covers medical bills for person(s) injured on your property.

  • Loss of Use — Pays for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Most standard Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance policies pay 10% to 20% of the amount of your Dwelling coverage.

Does my policy cover floods?

The fact is that Florida homeowner insurance does not cover damage caused by flood, and federal disaster assistance is only offered when the president declares a major disaster (which only happens in 50% of flooding situations).

Unfortunately, most people do not find this out until it is too late. However, flood insurance is available to protect homes and businesses and their contents in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Does my policy cover hurricane damage?

Yes, your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages cause by windstorms. The deductible for hurricane damage can range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the dwelling depending on the policy.

NOTE: Hurricane damage is normally covered, but may be rejected in certain situations.

What does the hurricane deductible mean?

This is the amount that you, the policyholder, will have to pay out of pocket. For example, if your home is insured for $250,000 with a 2% wind deductible and has hurricane damages of $50,000.

The amount of the deductible will be 2% X $250,000 = 5,000.

The remaining amount ($45,000) would be paid by the insurance policy. What factors can affect Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance premiums?

Home Features and Characteristics — The age of your home, type of structure, wiring, roof, garage, etc., can affect your Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance premium. Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, stone or has synthetic siding.

Location — Where your home is located can change your Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance premium. For example, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close to a fire station; is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.

Protective Devices — Burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance premium.

Personal Factors — What you do can affect your Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance premium, too. For instance, smokers may pay more for home insurance than nonsmokers. A good credit history also can lower what you pay for home insurance.

Claims History — If you have a history of claims on a Port St. Lucie Homeowners Insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.

Simply call 772-398-2333 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Home Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance

When filing your taxes, you want to take every opportunity possible to save money on expenses that can reduce your taxable income.

“Deductions are sometimes available on health programs and treatments such as smoking cessation, weight loss and alcohol and drug abuse, if it is not covered under your current health insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.”

Below is a list of some commonly missed tax deductions and credits that could be available to you.deduct-home-business-expenses

  • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction– Floridians do not pay a state income tax making taxpayers eligible to deduct state income tax paid on purchases. If you purchased a large item such as a car or boat, you can add the sales tax paid to the amount sown on the IRS tax table.
  • Charitable Contributions-Money donated to your church, a charity or even if you purged your closet or home of household items and dropped them off at Goodwill, those can be counted. Out-of-pocket expenses such as food ingredients needed to prepare meals for a soup kitchen or if you drove your car for charitable activities, you can deduct 14 cents per mile.
  • Tuition-There are Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit available for those taking classes. A tax credit is available for tuition, fees, books and other educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents.
  • Health Insurance-“Health insurance premiums for self-employed people, are 100 percent deductible from their gross income,” reports Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance.
  • Job Relocation-Your moving expenses are deductible if you took a first job and moved more than 50 miles away. You can deduct 23 cents per mile of getting you and your household goods to the new area, including parking and tolls.
  • Casualty, Disaster and Theft-Casualty, disaster and theft losses can be deducted on your tax form, but the IRS has some stipulations. The IRS states, “You may not deduct casualty and theft losses, (generally covered by homeowner’s insurance) unless you reduce the loss by the amount of any reimbursement or expected reimbursement.”
  • National Guard-National Guard and Reservists can claim overnight travel expenses.
  • Gambling Losses-Your losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported.
  • Child Care-A child care tax credit is offered, worth 20 – 35 percent of what you pay in childcare while you work.

Financial management company, Intuit suggests a tax credit is better than a tax deduction because it reduces your tax, dollar-for-dollar. As painful as filing your taxes is, take your time to think back over your finances for the year to save money on your taxes.

GreatFlorida Insurance is the leading independent insurance company in Florida, offering health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance and boat insurance. Call us today for a free quote.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance

In 2015, Florida experienced the warmest year on record. With a significant El Nino predicted for the 2015-2016 winter season, a shift in temperature is expected.  This year, NOAA National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is predicting that El Nino will be amongst the strongest one ever reported.

Forecasters expect El Nino to bring Florida wetter and cooler weather than the normally drier winter weather. An increase in overnight tornado activity and flash flooding is also anticipated.

At GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowner’s insurance agency, we know the importance of being prepared during a weather emergency. The better equipped you are with knowledge and a plan, the less stressful an unexpected event can be on your family.

So exactly what is El Nino?  It is a complex weather pattern resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean around the equator. NOAA explains, “The deviations from normal surface temperatures can have a large scale effect on the ocean as well as global climate and weather conditions.”


El Nino develops over North America producing wetter than normal conditions in the Gulf Coast and Florida.  It typically forms in the spring and reaches its peak in in December and January. This year, climatologists at NASA see the potential of a second peak occurring in February and March and dying down in May of 2016.

This weather anomaly typically lasts 9 – 12 months and usually occurs every five to seven years. Temperatures and participation amounts are not the only effect El Nino brings. In an El Nino year, marine life is affected and the fish population declines.

“El Nino generally results in more severe weather occurring throughout Florida,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowner’s insurance agency.

The recent El Nino season has been attributed to reducing the Atlantic hurricane activity in 2015, minimizing the risk of summer wildfires, an increased risk of flooding and it is responsible for the severe storms as of late.

The intense El Nino event of 1997-98, caused alarming weather conditions. It lead to widespread damage across Florida resulting in a number of deaths from tornadoes along with the loss of crops.

While there is no reason to panic, it cannot hurt to be prepared. Floridians can be ready by assembling an emergency kit, having a weather radio on hand along with an evacuation plan in place.Tornado_warning

If you find yourself in a tornado, take the following advice.

  • Take shelter where you are
  • Find the smallest interior room or closest to ground level, away from windows
  • Make sure everyone in your home, school or business knows where to go before a tornado hits
  • Protect your head by putting on a bike helmet or pulling a mattress over you

GreatFlorida Insurance offers you protection for you and your belongings when an adverse weather situation occurs. Contact us today if you are looking for first rate homeowner’s insurance.

The post Severe Weather Expected this Winter appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

What is important to you when it comes to selecting insurance? There is no right or wrong response, the answer is based on personal preferences.

A survey of over 400 agents and brokers from Insurance Journal found overall, regional insurance carriers scored better than national carriers. “Local insurance provides an opportunity for more personalized service, you’re not just a number” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency in Florida.

In order to guide you through your decision making process, below is a list of the top ten reasons to choose a Florida based insurance agent rather than a nationally based one.

  1. Customer Service – When calling a local agent, you will get them phone, giving you one- on- one service. Your personal agent is already familiar with your policy and coverage. When you phone a national insurance company, you will most likely reach a call center and a different representative every time.
  2. Personal Contact – Local insurers are better at building personal relationships and getting to know their clients. They ask you specific questions and examine your needs more to make sure you are not underinsured. They can also make you aware of discounts, special savings or bundling opportunities for your car insurance and homeowner’s insurance.
  3. Know the Area – A local insurance agent has intimate knowledge of your area. They can assess possible risks and will inform you if you require specific coverage. For instance, if your home address is in a flood zone and you require flood insurance not just homeowner’s insurance. They are also familiar with common claims in the area and can make recommendations due to that information.
  4. Human Resources – A local insurance agent can serve as your personal HR department if you own a small business. If one of your employees has a question regarding their health insurance, they can inquire with the agent.
  5. Flexibility – Local insurance agencies will offer more flexibility to customize coverage. National insurers usually work off a standard operating procedure.
  6. Second chances – No one is perfect. If your driving history has a blemish, local insurance agencies are less rigid and more accommodating to offer car insurance coverage. A national carrier often has their hands tied to strict company policy.
  7. Options -A local independent insurance agency, such as GreatFlorida Insurance, can comparison shop with different insurance providers for you. While a captive agent is obligated to one insurance company.
  8. Support a Local Business – Money spent locally, stays in your community. Forbes points out; local businesses will give back to the community, further increasing community character and economic benefits to build up the area.
  9. Prompt Service – Direct access to your agent usually means you get answers quicker and the claims administration process will be faster.
  10. Security – With the constant breach of security at large companies online, inputting your personal data can leave you more vulnerable. Knowing who you are submitting your personal information directly to feels more secure.

GreatFlorida Insurance has been offering auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance throughout Florida for 25 years. Our independent insurance agents can find the right insurance for you, give us a call.buylocalbanner

The post Buying Insurance Local vs National appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

“Hidden fees, add-ons, unnecessary insurance coverage and unfulfilled reservations are some of the complaints consumers have when it comes to renting a car, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent car insurance provider.

Are you familiar with the Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes to pick up his reserved car and they do not have his vehicle?

Jerry responds, “But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation. See you know how to take the reservation; you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation – the holding.”

A former car rental employee explained to the LA Times, that reservations are used for planning but will not guarantee you a vehicle. Supply and demand will dictate whether your reservation is honored. Most car rental companies do not charge for no-show reservations, so they take as many reservations as they desire.Florida-Rental-Car-Insurance

Do you really need extra insurance? “Before renting a car, check with your insurance agent for the type of car insurance coverage you currently have in order to avoid paying for double coverage,” urges Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.

Take into account, a car rental employee is a sales person. They have been urged to sell you upgrades as well as insurance.  If you do not have car insurance, consider purchasing car insurance from the rental company.

The most common types are, LDW- loss damage waivers, it protects the vehicle if stolen, vandalized or if a tree limb should fall on it.  CDW- collision damage waivers covers damage caused by a collision with another vehicle.

Some credit cards, such as American Express, offer automatic insurance coverage when you pay for a rental using that card. Also, certain homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the cost of belongings stolen in the car.

US News & World Report suggests the following tips for keeping costs down while renting a car.

  • Try renting a car from a company located away from the airport if possible.
  • Shop around
  • Do not pre-pay for gas, fill it up yourself.
  • Forgo the GPS rental and use your smart phone for directions.
  • Take the time to thoroughly inspect the rental car before you drive away.
  • Return your car on time to avoid possible late fees.
  • Check that tolls are covered by the rental car company.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers dependable and affordable car insurance. Give us a call today for your free quote.


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by GreatFlorida Insurance

“It’s not unusual to encounter an alligator on the golf course when you are playing golf in Florida but lately, there has been some remarkable alligator activity on some Florida courses,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest healthcare insurance agency.

Two alligators shocked golfers when they began to wrestle on the greens at the Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood. Golfers reported that the two gators thrashed and bit one another for at least 10 minutes before the smaller gator, estimated to be 10 feet long, limped away. The champion of the fight, Goliath has been nicknamed by locals and is known for making appearances on the golf course but has never been seen taking on another alligator.

At the Crandon Park Golf Course in Key Biscayne, a six foot crocodile ate a dog after it ran into the water. The dog was a 25 pound pit bull terrier mix, off his lease and chasing ducks and geese in the early morning hours.florida-health-insurance

Another alligator was photographed by a stunned golfer in Naples at The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek. The alligator was feasting on a large python.

While alligators are native to Florida, alligator attacks are rare. According to the Tampa Bay Times, no one has suffered a fatal, unprovoked alligator bite in Florida since 2007. Encouraging news, there are no documented deaths from an alligator bite to a golfer in Florida.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC reports 10 percent of all violent gator confrontations occur when golfers are trying to retrieve balls.

With an estimated 1.5 alligators populating the state, it is no wonder they can be seen lurking around golf course marsh areas and banks with heavy vegetation.  “At one time, the American alligator was considered endangered but thanks to the alligator population boost, the species was removed from the endangered list,” reports Buck, from healthcare insurance provider GreatFlorida Insurance.

In order to have a peaceful co-existence between golfer and alligators, the FWC has the following recommendations:

  • Never feed alligators, it is dangerous and illegal.
  • Seek immediate attention if you are bitten by an alligator.
  • Observe and photograph alligators from a distance.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and warning signs.
  • Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
  • Leave alligators alone, even small ones

Alligators less than four feet long are not considered dangerous. If you encounter a gator longer than four feet and posing a threat to people, property or pets, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).  Nuisance alligators are killed not relocated.

GreatFlorida Insurance wants to help keep golfers in prime shape for the green. That can be accomplished through the high quality healthcare insurance we provide to cover well visits and injury care. Give us a call today.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance

If you are concerned about last weekend’s potential storm, the occurrence of the rare “Super Blood Moon” or ensuing doomsday predictions, one thing is for sure- our world is unpredictable. In order to deal with life’s uncertainties, the Federal Emergency Management Association, FEMA is declaring October as National Preparedness Month.

“This year’s emphasis is to make sure you have an emergency plan today, do not wait,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. This sounds very basic and almost trivial, but once a situation occurs, organizing and making a plan is too late. Your family could be scared, scattered and not sure what to do.” has been set-up by FEMA, as a resource to help families prepare. The website provides information on protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency. It also details, how to make a plan, assemble an emergency kit, methods for supporting community preparedness and a plan to protect your business. Activities are available for parents and educators to get kids involved as well.

It has been close to 10 years since the last hurricane occurred in Florida. In a recent poll, reports most people under the age of 34 are optimistic that a hurricane would not hit Florida this year. With a lack of storm activity over the years and 1 million new Florida residents in the state since the last storm, naivety could cause some Florida residents to be ill prepared.

Hurricane Wilma hit Florida in 2005 leaving almost 4 million people statewide without electricity for several days. Widespread flooding and property damage, common during a severe storm can prevent access to clean water and shut down businesses.  It is essential to have some supplies on hand in these instances.

One way to prepare for life’s unexpected moments is to make sure you have dependable insurance in place. GreatFlorida Insurance provides auto insurance as well as homeowner’s insurance to protect you and your family. If you are looking for top notch auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance, give us a call today, so we can help you achieve peace of mind for the future.


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by GreatFlorida Insurance

Over the years hackers have gotten more sophisticated and nasty with the evolution of ransomware.  Ransomware is malicious software designed to hold computer folders, files, and video files ransom.  It blocks the victim’s access to their data until a sum of money is paid. It ultimately takes your data hostage.

CryptoWall 3.0 is the latest threat to PC users.  PC World describes CryptoWall 3.0, as a “sophisticated ransomware program that encrypts the victim’s files with a strong cryptographic algorithm.”  Users are then asked to pay anywhere between $500 and $1,000 within 24 hours, in order to receive a decryption key that will allow them to recover their files.  If the demanded amount of money is not paid on time, the ransom usually doubles.

“The virus hits close to home and has infected two GreatFlorida Insurance agents, reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “It is a serious concern, because it permanently locks people out of their files and once locked, it cannot be undone.”

CryptoWall 3.0 is distributed in a few different ways. It can be accessed through malicious websites or legitimate websites that have been hacked and spam email. Hackers are even using forged headers from shipping companies such as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service to infect PC’s.

USA Today reported various outcomes for infected victims. Some have run out of time to pay the ransom and lost everything. Some luckier victims have paid the demanded amount and received a decryption key, getting their information back, while some pay and never receive a decryption key loosing access to their data permanently. These hackers are criminals so it is difficult to know if they can be trusted.

What Do You Do?

While law enforcement and cyber security experts are aware of the growing problem, there is little they have been able to do because of the lengths the hackers go through to preserve their anonymity. It is believed most of the hackers are located in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Being proactive is your only defense. Once a computer has been infected, there is little you can do.

Backup, backup, backup!

External drives are good if your drive crashes or if you lose your laptop, but this virus can attack connected drives as well. So they won’t save you.

If you work on a Apple computer, you are less likely to be hit, and you also have the advantage of using Apple’s TimeMachine to keep daily backups of everything.

The only way to be 100% sure is to keep a safe copy of your mission-critical files or backups, in a secure, preferably encrypted, cloud storage location. Ideally you should have your local backups synced to a secure cloud such as SpiderOak or SOS Online Backup :

Anti-Virus / Anti-Spam / Anti-Spyware

The most current security software can block suspicious emails, but regular updates are crucial. Make sure all desktops have the latest updated version of a security software. While the Free versions are better than nothing, paying for a license will help you stay ahead of the game with the latest protections and updates.

Bitdefender is a popular choice.

Email Safety

Client-side email programs like Outlook and MacMail old-school and are susceptible to these attacks because they download email attachments to your PC before you open them. By then its too late. It is safer to use a web based email client like GMail or Yahoo. These online email clients have strong and current SPAM lists and anti-virus monitoring.  They also have built-in viewers for certain documents, PDFs, Images, and MS Office files, so you dont have to download them to see them. Its an extra level of protection.

Modern Web Browsers

Use the most modern browsers available such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. Make sure these are running the latest versions with well known vulnerabilities already fixed.

GreatFlorida Insurance takes an interest in our customers and wants to see the best possible outcome in their lives. If you are looking for auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, health insurance or additional insurance, contact us today.

Common Sense

Never open attachments from an unknown or unverified sender. Watch for executable files, those you double click to open. For example: .zip, .exe, .doc, .pdf, etc. NEVER open executable files sent via email from people you don’t know, and even this is not 100 percent.


About CryptoWall 3.0

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by GreatFlorida Insurance

By August most Floridians are longing for cooler temperatures -we know that will be months away. The late summer temperatures can bring along a higher utility bill, but is it possible to reduce your summer utility bill while staying comfortable?

The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates a typical US family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills. They believe in taking a whole house approach to maximize yearly savings.


“Making an investment will pay off in the long run,” say Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Energy saving home improvements can qualify you for tax breaks and possible incentives from some homeowner’s insurance policies.”

Installing rooftop solar panels, a programmable thermostat, replacing windows purchasing energy efficient appliances, adding insulation or planting trees and bushes on your property are all effective methods for lowering your energy usage.

Simple Tips

There are a variety of methods for lowering your utility bills whether you are looking to make a long term investment or want to make more efficient use of how you utilize energy in your home.


Change out light bulbs. The DOE reports if you change out your five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs you can save $75 a year. Do not let sticker shock deter you, they use much less energy and last far longer.


Install white backed shades and curtains to reflect the sun. Awnings over the outside of south and west facing windows provide shade, greatly reducing the heat from the sun.

Electronics/Home Office

Unplug electronics such as computers, video game consoles and television sets when not in use. If that sounds inconvenient, think about using a power strip and turning off the power strip or placing items on a light timer.

There is an old myth is that computers last longer if they do not get turned off. This is simply outdated information that relates to mainframe computers. At least put your computer on automatic sleep mode if you do not want to turn it off.


Check to make sure all your vents are opened-closing vents does not reduce energy consumption.

Replace air filters monthly, you can buy them in bulk at a hardware store.

Use fans, while they do not cool the air, they do circulate it helping you to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.


Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.

Install a low flow shower head.

Wash clothes in cold water. Heating the water for your washing machine accounts for 90 percent of the energy the washing machine uses, according to

While thoroughly rinsing your dishes before they go into the dishwasher is good, that uses water. How you load them is more important. Utensils should be loaded in their designated carriage, handles facing down because they need less water than to other end. Plates on the bottom facing the center, cups and bowls on the top row with bowls slanted to reduce trapping water inside of them. Avoid placing large items such as serving platters facing the door of the dishwasher; they can prevent the detergent door from fully opening.

Turn off the heated dryer on your dishwasher and let dishes dry on their own.

Some Florida utility companies offer off-peak discounts between the hours of 7am and 7 pm. Try running the dishwasher and doing laundry in the evening.

GreatFlorida Insurance has offices located throughout Florida to provide dependable and affordable homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance. Our experienced agents will work to present you with options to choose from so you know you are getting the ideal insurance policy for you and your family.


The post Tips for Reducing Energy Bills appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Florida Home ImprovementsRenovations can take your dwelling from cramped and outdated, to spacious and modern. Renovations in 2014 continued to rebound in Florida, according to Renovation Magazine’s annual, “Cost vs. Value Report.” An escalation in remodeling means a surge in home property values.

“Home renovations will most likely boost a home’s value. If that happens your newly renovated home could be inadequately insured, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance offers compensation for damage, loss or injury to individuals, your property, home and belongings.  The amount of homeowner’s insurance required is determined in part on the value of your home.

Let’s say you upgrade your kitchen and replace your laminate countertops with quartz and install custom cabinets. Your existing home insurance might not be sufficient to replace your new items if they are damaged.

Most likely your home insurance premiums will increase as you upgrade or create more livable space in your home. Remodeling doesn’t always mean an increase. Some renovations such as window and door replacements, roof replacement, the addition of a security system or upgrades in plumbing or electrical can make you eligible for lower premiums or discounts depending on your coverage.

Call your insurance agent before construction begins. This will this give you an opportunity to discuss potential changes in your home insurance policy, allow you to protect your investment throughout the process and extend liability while work is done on your home, further protecting you.

Before work starts, a contractor should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance to prove they have adequate worker’s compensation coverage and liability insurance should an accident or burglary occur during the job. Check all subcontractor’s such as electricians, painters and plumbers as well and verify that their coverage is current.

All renovations should pass the proper inspections and meet local codes.

Popular home renovations that will change your home insurance include, but are not limited to the following.

Pool/ Hot tub– many residents in Florida have a pool or spa in their yard. Home insurance liability will increase to cover medical expenses if someone is injured while swimming and legal expenses if you are sued. Your insurance company might require you to place a fence around your pool for safety.

Home office– if your new business plan requires the use of machinery, keeping an inventory, or generates visitors, an additional business policy or policy amendment might need to be added to your home insurance.

Room additionhomeowner’s insurance factors in livable square footage to the price. Also, basements can be flood prone and might require additional water coverage. If you take on tenants, landlord coverage could be required.

Your home is more than an investment- it is where your life happens.  GreatFlorida Insurance offers home insurance to protect your dwelling, belongings and family. Call us today for a free quote.


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by GreatFlorida Insurance

staycation-image-wideA staycation or a stay-at-home vacation found popularity during the economic downturn a few years ago.  A staycation’s benefits have kept it trending in the U.S.  It is a great way to cut back on discretionary spending and save money. Let’s face it, traveling is not stress free. Long lines at airport security and gridlocked traffic will not put you in a “Zen” state of mind. Comprehensive planning and packing can make you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation.

“Home can lose its sense of adventure, said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “After being some place for a while, it is easy to dismiss local sites or think you will visit there one day.”

They key to enjoying a successful staycation is to relax. Consumer Reports urges you to discipline yourself to avoid activities that will have you focusing on work such as checking work emails and calling the office. Other suggestions include, taking a break from your daily routine and placing a hold on household projects.

If you are a little stumped on what to do while you are enjoying a staycation, the list below is sure to help.

According to Wikipedia, most Floridians live an average of 25 miles or less from the water.  Check out a beach, lake, spring, river, splash park, water park or pool.

Florida has 11 national parks and 174 state parks as well as many more municipal parks to explore, hike or bike.

  • Zoo
  • Golf or mini golf
  • Aquarium
  • Museum-art or historical, botanical gardens
  • Local theater
  • Dinner theater
  • Skating rink
  • Indoor trampoline
  • Stop by a local winery or craft brewery
  • Summer concerts
  • Twilight movies in the park
  • Theme park
  • Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral

To help you achieve a greater peace-of-mind, whether you are traveling or taking in the local sites this summer, GreatFlorida Insurance provides quality and affordable auto insurance and homeowners insurance. Our knowledgeable agents will find the right auto insurance and homeowners insurance to fit your specific needs. Contact us today.


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