Mission Statement

"Our mission is to create peace of mind and build enduring relationships."

Bob Lancaster Insurance's mission statement is the core of our culture. Our customers always come first, and we strive to provide them with the products and service that best respond to their needs. Building trust and fostering loyal, long-lasting relationships are the essence of who we are and fundamental parts of our company values.

Putting our mission statement to work

Our employees work hard to connect with our customers on a very real and personal level. Find out what Bob Lancaster’s mission means to them and how they carry it out every day.

Bob Lancaster Insurance, serving Florida's insurance needs since 1964. Contact us today at 321-725-1620 - see what we can do for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

July 4: The Deadliest Day On The Road

Independence Day is typically a time for barbecues, family gatherings, and celebrating the birth of our nation, however, for many travelers this holiday it may end in tragedy. According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), July 4 is now the deadliest day on the road for all Americans.

In the U.S., car crashes are the number one cause of death for everyone ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group. Based on the latest available data, IIHS reports that more than 670 people were killed on July 4 from 2007-2011, which equates to an average of 134 deaths on that day each year.

Teens accounted for six percent of the driving fatalities on July 4, but continue to be particularly susceptible to distracted driving incidents. Recent research found that 75 percent of teens admit that they find reading and responding to texts distracting behind-the-wheel, which is up significantly from the 49 percent reported by teens in 2009.

Putting down the phone, never texting while driving and always wearing a safety belt can help make sure that everyone returns home safely after their Independence Day celebrations.  It's great to see that teens are evolving in their behavior and perceptions around texting, but research still found that 39 percent of teen drivers admit to texting behind the wheel and six percent say they do it a lot.  This demonstrates the need for programs that educate about the dangers of distracted driving.

  • Teens are watching: 55 percent of teens reported seeing their parents using a phone while driving, up from 37 percent in 2009.
  • Do as I say, not as I do: Interestingly, only 32 percent of parents admit to making and answering phone calls while driving.
  • Teens feel comfortable speaking up: 87 percent of teens say they would speak up in a car with someone who was driving in a way that made them feel scared or uncomfortable, up from 59 percent in 2009.
We urge Americans to do their part to make roads safer for all families during the Independence Day holiday. Here are three simple ways that parents and teens can help to have a safe holiday:
  • Talk together about driving early and often. Parents should discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving with your child at a young age, and keep talking with their teen before, during and after the licensing process.
  • Don't rush the training process. Just because teens have a permit or license doesn't mean they are ready for every driving condition. By easing into the training process, both parents and teens will feel assured they are more prepared for a variety of driving situations.
  • Never text or drive distracted. Parents should be positive role models when they're behind the wheel. All drivers can pledge not to text and drive, and help reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries.

Contact us for all your Insurance needs! (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease Effective 7/1/13

Due to a recent change in Florida law, workers’ compensation rates in Florida will decrease by an average of .7% on July 1, 2013. The law now caps the reimbursement rates for prescription medications that are dispensed to a claimant by a physician. 

This rate change will be applied only to policies written or renewed after July 1, 2013. For more information on the new rates, visit www.NCCI.com.

Contact us for all your Insurance needs!  (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's Tips - Avoid Dog Bite Claims

Dog-bite claims cost insurers over $489 million in 2012, accounting for more than a third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in the year, according to a study by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, but these claims could be prevented if pet owners pay attention to their own body language and signs from their furry best friends.

Melissa Berryman, a dog bite specialist who designed and teaches a safety and liability class for dog owners says, "Those claims can be financially hard on the homeowners and tragic for the dogs, which is especially troublesome when you know that bites aren’t a ‘bad dog’ problem – they’re a human ignorance problem."

She adds, "Dogs react based on their pack positions, the handling ability of their owners and the situation and context. People have the power to recognize this and redirect the interaction to that of friends."

Berryman is the author of People Training for Good Dogs: What Breeders Don’t Tell You and Trainers Don’t Teach.

Following are tips Berryman offers to help owners understand the signals they are sending to their dogs when visitors arrive at the home.

Consider your dog’s “rank”

Dogs have superior/subordinate relationships similar to the military, Berryman explains. Rank of family and guests dictates a dog’s behavior towards them. A high-ranking dog, a “general,” won’t tolerate insubordinate behavior from a perceived low ranking “private’’ child or guest. Berryman says bites often occur when human “privates” try to take food or toys away, or hug or pull a “general” type dog by the collar off of furniture.

Yelling can exacerbate a dog’s agitation

Your dog doesn’t know you’ve ordered pizza, Berryman notes, so when the delivery person arrives, your dog is agitated by the threat at the door and starts barking. She explains that when you yell at your dog to stop barking, he interprets this as agitation on your part; he understands tone, not language. That only increases a dog’s anxiety and vulnerability. When the door opens, the dog bites because it thinks you and he are both feeling threatened and you’re both going to attack the threat. Berryman says it’s best to happily reassure your dog when someone arrives and leave the greeting of guests to you, and not the dog.

How you treat strangers influences how your dog treats them

Dogs respond to their owners’ behavior, which gives them signals about whether or not a situation is safe, says Berryman. When the dog’s owner meets a stranger and interacts formally with that stranger, as many of us do, dogs can view this as the behavior of foes, or as apprehension, such as that of prey. Owners holding leashes tightly unwittingly place their dog in the dangerous fight stance of the fight or flight response, she notes, adding that it’s best to relax and act like a friend when meeting strangers, which will elicit a friendly response from a dog.

Remember, dogs aren’t trying to protect a home when they react negatively to strangers or visitors

Dogs place no value on your home, car, or the valuables they might contain, says Berryman. When they’re in a home or car, they are trapped in an enclosed area and will respond to perceived threats with an automatic fight-or-flight response. Berryman says it is the owner’s responsibility to train dogs to calmly signal someone’s approach and then to assert authority over the situation.
By understanding and respecting how dogs’ instincts and natural behaviors differ from ours, dog owners can prevent bites and insurance headaches, Berryman says.

Does your Homeowners Insurance Policy exclude Dog Bite Liability?  We can offer a Dog Bite Liability policy.  Call us for a quote today at (321)725-1620.

Contact us for all your Insurance needs!  (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Loss Control - Scalding Prevention

Occasionally third degree burns can result, especially if there is prolonged contact. Scalds caused by steam are typically far more severe because of a greater amount of latent heat that is absorbed.

Scalds are most commonly a result of exposure to high-temperature water such as tap water in baths and showers, cooking water boiled for the preparation of foods, and spilled hot drinks. Most scalds are considered first or second degree burns. 

The two high risk groups are children under the age of five and adults who are elderly and/or have disabilities.

Children: Young children are especially vulnerable to burn-related injury and death. They do not perceive danger, have less control of their environment and have a limited ability to react promptly and properly to a burn situation. A child in hot water will scream, but may not withdraw from the water. Additionally, children's skin is thinner than that of adults and therefore burns at lower temperatures and more deeply. For example, a child exposed to hot tap water at 140° for three seconds, or 156° for one second, will sustain a third degree burn, an injury requiring hospitalization and skin grafts.

According to data from the National Safe Kids Campaign, 4,000-5,000 children are scalded each year, most often in bathtubs. The average bathtub scald burn covers 12% of the body surface with a full thickness third degree burn. Statistics from the National Safe Kids Campaign indicate that the scald burn sources were 95% in residential settings, of which 54% were in apartment buildings and 46% in single family homes.

Adults: Adults with disabilities are also susceptible to scald injuries. Those at risk from scalding/burning include the elderly, those with mental illness, learning disability, reduced mobility and anyone with reduced sensitivity to temperature, or who cannot react appropriately, or quickly enough, to prevent injury. They may be in hospitals, care homes, social services premises, and special schools (i.e.. health and social care establishments). The risk of scalding/burning should also be assessed in community facilities such as community centers, staffed and sheltered housing for the elderly, the mentally ill, and those with cognitive disorders or disabilities.

Fatal accidents and major injuries to vulnerable service users continue to occur. Scalding is one of the main causes of fatal incidents to non-employees in the healthcare sector. Since 1996, approximately 13 fatalities and 42 major injuries were attributable to hot water scalds in health-care premises alone.

Large Loss Example:

      Circumstance leading to large loss: Injured party was a male adult, developmentally disabled and living in an adult group home for about seven years. He was severely injured sustainingsecond and third degree burns while taking a shower and facing the shower handles with the spray hose draped behind him. The group home supervisor shut the curtain to go retrieve something in the closet. While STILL in the bathroom, the supervisor noticed the steam. The injured party was not capable of yelling and did not have the cognitive ability to react quickly.

     Loss Cause Analysis: Shower was not provided with an anti-scald device. The attendant did not provide adequate supervision per company standard operating procedure and was unknowledgeable to the individual's disability to communicate fully.

     Exposures leading to the loss:

1. There was no anti-scald device in the shower

2. The individual was improperly supervised

3. The attendant was not trained to understand claimant's disabilities

     Controls which should be in place:

1. Never leave a child or person with a disability alone, especially in the bathroom or in the kitchen. If you must leave the room, take the person with you

2. Set your water heater thermostat to 120°F or less. The lower temperature, the lower the risk of sustaining scald-burn related injuries

3. Install anti-scald devices in bathtub faucets and shower heads

4. Always test the water temperature before putting a child or an adult with disabilities in the bathtub or shower

5. Provide training for staff. Never depend solely on any one water temperature control procedure or product. Products malfunction and can never replace physically checking the water

Contact us for all your Insurance needs!  (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wind, Rain, Hail, Lighting: Is Your Home Ready to Weather the Storm?


As extreme weather becomes more common across the state, we here at Bob Lancaster Insurance offer homeowners advice on how to make sure their homes are prepared to deal with storms. 

Much of the property damage caused by extreme weather can be easily averted.  Simply keeping your structures and grounds in good repair can go a long way. That way, when severe weather threatens a bit of picking up and latching down usually takes care of the rest.

Before the storm:

Prepare an emergency "kit" to cover injury, power failure, heat loss, being 
stranded, and evacuation. Consider first aid and essential medications, 
non-perishable foods/ fresh water, flashlight/fresh batteries, fire extinguisher, 
and protective clothing. 
Regularly inspect your home and grounds. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of 
debris to avert backups. 
Check your roof for loose or damaged shingles, seal around flashings and chimney;
remove dead tree branches; check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. 
Make sure the fireplace and chimney are inspected and cleaned annually 
Weather-stripping is invaluable against destructive weather. 
Where possible, move cars, boats, other vehicles, etc., into an enclosed area. 
Finally, when storms threaten, secure or anchor loose or flyaway items too large 
to bring in. 

After the storm:
Inspect your home for damage, and if you find damage, take preventive action to 
reduce risk of further loss. If your roof is damaged, cover it as soon as possible 
with tarps secured with ropes and nails.  If your home is badly damaged, leave 
until it can be properly inspected. 
Report downed or sparking power lines, broken gas, or water mains. Avoid downed 
power lines and standing water.  Don't attempt to drive across flowing water, 
downed power lines or enter barricaded areas. 
If you are without power, turn off all electrical equipment and avoid opening the 
refrigerator or freezer to keep food safe longer. 
If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the 
outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system. 
Do not run a generator inside the home or garage. 
During clean up, don't pile debris near power lines. Always exercise care when 
using a chain saw or any other power tools. 
When it is safe, take photos of damaged areas and possessions. Notify your 
insurance agent and provide an address and phone number to reach you. 

All these safeguards are relatively inexpensive and easy to complete.  Sometimes, however, despite your best efforts, weather-related property damage may occur. Plan ahead for loss. Document your belongings by video or make a list for your insurance company.  Call us to review your insurance policies and coverages to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Contact us for all your Insurance needs!  (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964