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!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Work Comp Wednesday - Free Workers' Compensation and Workplace Safety Seminars and Webinars

The State of Florida, Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation offers free seminars and webinars for Florida employers regarding workers’ compensation and workplace safety.

The Division of Workers’ Compensation has partnered with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the University of South Florida’s “Safety Florida Consultation Program” to bring valuable safety information to Florida employers.

The free seminars are held in various locations around the state.

Free webinars are also available to Florida employers.  The webinars contain the same information as the classroom settings and are held monthly via your computer and telephone.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available to contractors licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation:  Construction Industry Licensing Board; Electrical Contractors Licensing Board; and the Board of Accountancy

You can download the flyer and registration forms below with the dates, times and locations for the seminars (classroom settings) and dates/times for the webinars from September 2013 through December 2013.

Please visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/wc for more details, or you may contact the Division at BocSeminars@MyFloridaCFO.com or call (813) 221-6518 with any questions.

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Tips - Avoiding Catastrophe Fraud

Tips to Help You Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud Following a Catastrophe

Catastrophes usually bring out the best in most people, but also bring out the worst in a few others. If you have just been victimized by a natural catastrophe you don’t want to become a victim again. After each natural disaster, the area affected is inundated by outsiders, including insurance adjusters, emergency/medical personnel and assistance organizations that provide valuable services. Unfortunately, experience has taught us that scam artists are drawn to disasters.

The most common types of fraud that occur after a disaster involve unscrupulous building repair firms, price gouging, offers of debris removal, and fraudulent charitable solicitations. To protect yourself, it is important to keep a sharp lookout for predators trying to take advantage of consumers.

The following can help you avoid becoming a victim:
  • Contact your agent or Insurance company immediately. You will want your claim reviewed as soon as possible so that repairs can begin promptly. In addition, your insurance coverage may provide for additional living expenses.
  • Beware of high pressure sales people. Don’t be rushed into signing a contract. Take the time to obtain written estimates from more than one contractor. Make sure to read the entire estimate or contract before you sign.
  • Get everything the contractor discusses in writing. If there are changes or modifications in the contract, they should be acknowledged by all parties in writing. Never sign a contract with blanks that have not been filled in.
  • Do not make large down payments. Unscrupulous vendors could disappear after receiving the down payment or after performing limited work. Federal law also requires a three day “cooling off” period for unsolicited door to door sales of more than $25.
  • Verify all licensing concerning those individuals or companies that you are considering hiring. Check with the Better Business Bureau or Contractor's Licensing Board for more information.
  • Deal only with licensed contractors. Ask to see the contractor's license and other identification. If the person claims to be representing a contractor, but can't show you a contractor's license, call the contractor and find out if the person is authorized to act on the contractor's behalf.
  • Only do business with a contractor who carries appropriate insurance coverage. If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property. Ask the contractor if he/she carries general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Request a certificate of insurance (COI) from the contractor that shows the name of the insurance company, policy number and policy limits the contractor carries.
If you believe you have been victimized by building repair firms or you have knowledge of suspected insurance fraud, contact:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Work Comp Wednesday - NCCI Proposes 1.0% Increase for Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Rates

On August 15, 2013, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) delivered its annual workers’ compensation rate filing to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). Based upon its review of the most recent data available, NCCI has proposed an overall average rate increase of 1%, to be effective January 1, 2014.

This is the fourth year in a row NCCI has proposed an increase in rates, after eight straight years of rate decreases.

If approved, the overall average rate impact at an industry group level would be as follows:

  1/1/14 Filing 10/1/13-1/1/14
 Manufacturing -3.2% -53.7%
 Contracting +3.5% -57.5%
 Office & Clerical +0.3% -58.1%
 Goods & Services +1.1% -54.3%
 Miscellaneous +0.9% -54.0%
 TOTAL +1.0% -55.9%

The Office of Insurance Regulation is expected to hold a hearing on the proposed rates in October.  We will keep you updated.

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lack of Documentation = CLAIM CLOSED

I often tell policyholders, be it associations, unit owners, or homeowners, to be sure to document their personal property before a loss occurs. This is especially important for unit owners that have downsized from larger houses and may keep some of their property in storage. Often pictures, or even a video, can make all the difference in getting a claim paid.

The peril of not documenting all personal property was recently felt by a 92 year old woman in Palm Springs California. This tragic story began when Erica Haines, a Holocaust survivor and double amputee requiring constant assistance from caregivers, noticed some of her gold silverware was missing from her home. When she realized that it was not simply one piece that had been misplaced, she and her current nurse began taking inventory of her personal property to see what was missing.

In the end, Ms. Haines was missing a great deal of the personal property she had collected over her life including clothing, cameras, rare books, original paintings, medicine, jewelry, and even a spare set of prosthetic legs! All in all, it appears that unscrupulous caregivers had stolen approximately $145,000 from the elderly woman.

Understandably distraught, Haines notified the police, obtained a police report, and filed a claim with Fire Insurance Exchange (a Farmers Insurance Group company) with whom she had maintained a policy since 1967.

According to the lawsuit filed on her behalf, Farmers never even sent an adjuster to the home. Instead, Farmers sent her a letter less than two weeks later denying the claim because “she could not prove that the thefts had occurred”!

While it is unclear what, if anything, Ms. Haines could have done to “prove” her claim to Farmers, this story underscores the importance of thoroughly documenting your possessions before a loss occurs. Without proof that the possessions indeed existed, it is more difficult to get a claim paid.

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Renters Insurance Can Provide Important Financial Protection This Hurricane Season

Although the majority of homeowners purchase insurance for their home, when it comes to renters, only 35 percent have renters insurance. The number of renters is steadily increasing. According to an April 2013 U.S. Census Report, the share of housing occupied by renters rose to 35.4 percent in 2013—up from 34.1 percent in 2009. 
One of the biggest insurance problems after a devastating storm is the large number of renters who don't have coverage for their homes.  It can be extremely expensive to have to re-buy the entire contents of your home, so a renters insurance policy provides very important financial protection when there is a hurricane or other covered disaster.

The good news is that renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. When you purchase renters insurance, your belongings are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage—for example, if an upstairs neighbor's tub overflows and damages items in your apartment. However, renters insurance does not cover damage from flooding. Flood insurance is available for renters - contact us for a quote.

Renters insurance includes additional living expenses (ALE) coverage if you are unable to live in your home because of a hurricane, fire or other disaster listed in the policy. ALE pays for hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other expenses you incur while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Like a standard homeowners insurance policy, renters insurance includes liability protection. This covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.

There are two main types of renters insurance policies:
  1. Actual Cash Value coverage pays to replace your possessions up to the limit of your policy, minus a deduction for depreciation.
  2. Replacement Cost coverage pays the real cost of replacing your belongings (regardless of depreciation) up to the limit of your policy. This will usually cost about 10 percent more but is a much better value in the long run.
If you have expensive jewelry, furs, sports or musical equipment, or collectibles, you may want to consider adding a floater to your policy. Most standard renters policies include a limited dollar amount for such items. A floater is a separate policy that provides additional insurance for your valuables and may even cover them if they are accidentally lost.

The best way to determine how much renters insurance you need is to create a home inventory. This is a detailed list of all of your personal possessions along with their estimated value. An up-to-date home inventory will also make filing an insurance claim faster and easier.  See Bob's post from yesterday - HOW TO CREATE A HOME INVENTORY.

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday's Tips - How to Create a Home Inventory

Would you be able to remember all the possessions you have accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire or other disaster?
Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
Start by making a list of your possessions, describing each item and noting where you bought it and its make and model. Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals you have. For clothing, count the items you own by category (pants, coats, shoes, for example), making notes about those that are especially valuable. For major appliances and electronic equipment, record the serial numbers, which are usually found on the back or bottom.
  • Don't be put off! 
    If you are just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of creating a list can be daunting. Still, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. Start with recent purchases, then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
  • Big ticket items 
    Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately and it is important that your insurance company know about these items before there is a loss.
  • Take a picture
    You can also take pictures of rooms and important individual items to have a visual record of your belongings. On the back of the photos, note what is shown and where you bought it or the make. Don’t forget things that are in closets or drawers. If you use your phone or a digital camera, you may also be able to add a description of the item when saving the photo.
  • Videotape it 
    Walk through your house or apartment videotaping and describing the contents. Or do the same thing using a tape recorder. This can be useful for items such as clothing or kitchenware. You can simply open a kitchen shelf or closet and describe the contents. For instance, in the kitchen, it would be sufficient to state that you have a set of dishes for 12 that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, etch with when and where it was purchased
  • Create a digital record 
    Use your computer or mobile device to make your inventory list. There are many software options and mobile apps that can help you create a room-by-room record of your belongings. To make creating your inventory as easy as possible, the I.I.I. offers free Web-based home inventory software, Know Your Stuff® - Home Inventory. The software includes secure online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime. You can also download the Know Your Stuff app in the iTunes App Store (or search for “iii inventory”) or from Google Play. Information about your belongings can be entered either through the mobile app or online and your data will automatically synchronize between the two. All of your information will be kept in your personal, password protected account, on Amazon secure servers. And, like the online version, the Know Your Stuff® app is free of charge. 

Storing your list 

Regardless of how you do it (written list, photos, computer hard drive, flash-drive, or in the cloud), keep a record of your inventory. If it is a physical document, store it along with the receipts in your safe deposit box or at a friend's or relative's home. If it is a digital file, make sure to back it up and keep a copy on an external drive or online storage account. That way it will be easily available to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

Personal Lines Insurance Terms

Insurance terminology can be confusing. We’re here to help with definitions of insurance terms that are used on this website. Some of these coverages are optional and may not apply to your policy. 

Actual cash value

Applies to: auto, home, condo, rentersmotorcycle, and RV insurance.
Actual cash value is determined by calculating the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, less depreciation and the effects of wear and tear over time. If an item is damaged beyond repair, actual cash value reflects the market value of the item before the damage took place, less depreciation and the effects of wear and tear over time.

If your couch was worth about $200 dollars in a yard sale before it became damaged, but would currently cost $1000 to replace with a new couch of similar size and style, the actual cash value of your couch would probably be around $200, not $1000. Actual cash value is calculated by subtracting the effects of wear and tear over time, and depreciation, from the actual replacement cost.

Actual replacement cost

Applies to: home, condo, renters, Landlord Protection® and motorcycle insurance.
Actual replacement cost is the amount of money it would cost to replace a damaged item with a new one at the time of the claim. Actual replacement cost does not factor in an item’s age and depreciation, or the effects of wear and tear over time.

If your couch was worth about $200 dollars in a yard sale before it became damaged, but would currently cost $1000 to replace with a new couch of similar size and style, the actual replacement cost of your couch would be around $1000.

Additional living expenses

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.
If you’re unable to live in your home while it’s being repaired or rebuilt after a covered loss, Safeco additional living expenses helps pay the cost of temporary housing and living expenses, for up to 24 months.

Agreed value

Applies to: boat and classic car insurance.
When you take out or renew your insurance policy, we agree on a value your boat, personal watercraft or classic car is worth. If we agree your boat is worth $10,000 and it is declared a total loss after an accident or theft, we’ll pay you $10,000. There’s no complicated formula involving the effects of age, wear and tear that will make a total loss payment less than the agreed value. It’s simple.

Bodily injury liability

Applies to: auto, motorcycle and umbrella insurance.
Helps pay for bodily injury expenses, like hospital bills and medical care, that you may be held responsible to pay if you cause an accident that injures someone else.

Broad form liability

Applies to: boat insurance.
Helps pay for expenses related to injuries or property in a covered loss involving your boat or personal watercraft. Safeco broad form liability also covers some accidental watercraft fuel spills and wreckage removal.


Applies to: home, condo, and motorcycle insurance.
C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) is a claims history database that contains up to five years of personal auto or personal property claims history. It’s used by insurance companies, like us, to research the claims history of a property they’re considering underwriting or rating for an insurance policy. If you’re a prospective home buyer, you can request a copy from the seller of a home you’re interested in buying.

You can order a C.L.U.E. report from: LexisNexis Personal Reports or call 866-312-8076.

Collision coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.
Pays to repair damage to your vehicle that is caused by an accident involving other vehicles and objects like guard rails, sign posts, trees and buildings. It does not cover damage to another driver’s vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.
Pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged in some way other than in a collision. Includes loss or damage from fire, flood, falling objects, wind, hail and collision with an animal.

Compulsory coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.
Compulsory coverage is any insurance required by state law. Requirements for different types and amounts of insurance coverage vary from state to state.

Custom parts and equipment coverage

Applies to: motorcycle insurance.
Helps pay for repairs or replacement of your motorcycle’s aftermarket parts and accessories.


Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV , and umbrella insurance.
The amount of money you agree to pay out-of-pocket for a claim is called your deductible. The deductible you choose often affects how much you pay for your insurance. A higher deductible usually means a lower insurance bill. In the case of a covered loss, you’ll only be required to pay your deductible, and the insurance company will cover the excess, up to the amount specified in your policy.

For example, if the total cost to repair your boat is $1,000 and you have a $500 deductible on your boat insurance policy, you’ll need to pay $500 of the $1,000.

Equipment breakdown coverage

Applies to: home insurance.
Equipment breakdown coverage is a type of home warranty that extends to your essential home systems and appliances. It provides protection in the event of an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown not caused by normal wear and tear or corrosion. Equipment breakdown coverage can be used to replace costly and confusing coverage provided by home warranties and big-box retailer extended warranties. It’s an alternative way to protect both your belongings and your budget.

Guaranteed auto protection (GAP)

Applies to: auto.
GAP is loan and lease protection. It covers the difference between how much is left on your loan or lease and how much your car is actually worth if it’s declared a total loss.

Identity theft

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to open accounts or incur charges without your permission. Thieves can access your personal information in a variety of ways, such as stealing your personal mail, your wallet or hacking your computer files. A thief can use your identity to rack up debt in your name or get a fake driver’s license. For more information on identity theft and tips on prevention visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Fighting Back Against Identity Theft website.


Providing indemnity means to financially restore someone after a loss, through payment, repair or replacement.

Insurance score

A Credit-Based Insurance Score (CBIS) is derived from information on your credit report. It is a number that measures the likelihood of having an insurance claim, not a measure of credit worthiness. Insurers use CBIS along with a number of other factors, including driving records, claims history, and the type of home or vehicle you own, to evaluate new and renewal auto and homeowner insurance policies.

Insurance to value

Applies to: home, and  condo insurance.
Insurance to value is a ratio that reflects the relationship between insurance coverage limits and the actual cost to completely rebuild, repair or replace a covered item after a total loss. Insurance companies typically require 100 percent insurance to value, meaning your policy limits are sufficient to replace the covered property in the event of a total loss.

Liability limits

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV and umbrella insurance.
Liability limit is the maximum dollar amount your insurance policy will cover for liability. For example, if your auto insurance has liability limits of 25/50/25, the maximum dollar amount your policy will pay is $25,000 for a person injured in an accident, a combined total of $50,000 for all people injured in a single accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Minimum liability limit is the compulsory, or the minimum amount of auto liability insurance you’re required to have in your state.

Loss assessment coverage

Applies to: condo insurance.
Loss assessment coverage helps protect you from paying out of pocket for damage or liability that exceeds your condominium association master policy limits. When you own a condominium, and damage to community owned property costs more than it’s insured for, you and other condo owners could be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket. Loss assessment coverage helps compensate for this out-of-pocket difference.

Loss of use

Applies to: auto, classic car, RV , home, condo and renters insurance.
For property: Loss of use means you are unable to live in your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt.

For vehicles: Loss of use means you are unable to drive your car or RV while it is being repaired.
Additional living expenses and rental car reimbursement are two types of loss of use coverage.

Market value

Applies to: home, and condo insurance.
The market value of your home is based on current economic conditions, school districts, the value of the land, location, and other factors. It’s the price your home would sell for if you put it up for sale. Market value should not be confused with your home’s replacement value.

Medical payments (MedPay)

Applies to: auto, classic car, boat, motorcycle, RV , home, condo,  and renters insurance.
For auto, classic car, boat, motorcycle and RV: Medical payments helps cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for you or your passengers injured in an accident, no matter who is at fault. MedPay for boat also includes injuries from water-skiing and wake-boarding.

For home, condo and renters: Medical payments help cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for guests if they are injured on your property. In certain situations it also helps cover people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover healthcare costs for you or other members of your household.

Personal effects coverage

Applies to: boat insurance.
Personal effects coverage protects your clothing, scuba and snorkeling gear, fishing equipment and other personal items from damage and theft.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

Applies to: auto and motorcycle insurance.
Personal injury protection or PIP helps pay for hospital bills and medical care expenses for you and your passengers injured in an accident, no matter who was at fault. Florida requires personal injury protection as part of your auto or motorcycle insurance coverage.

Personal liability coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.
If someone other than a family member is injured or property is damaged and you are held legally responsible, personal liability coverage helps cover the cost of hospital bills, medical treatment or repairs you may be obligated to pay for.

Personal property replacement cost coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.
Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal property replacement cost coverage will help pay for the actual cost to replace your personal belongings that are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of an insured event.

Personal watercraft (PWC)

Applies to: boat insurance.
A personal watercraft, or PWC, is a floating recreational vehicle on which you ride by sitting or standing, as opposed to riding inside a cabin or cockpit like with a boat. Models have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering. Popular personal watercraft include Jet Ski®, WaveRunner®, Sea-Doo® and AquaTrax®.

Physical damage coverage

Applies to: auto, motorcycle, classic car, RV and boat insurance.
For auto, motorcycle, classic car and RV: Physical damage is a general term that includes both comprehensive and collision coverage.

For watercraft: Physical damage helps pay to repair damage to your watercraft caused by an accident. It also generally pays to repair or replace your watercraft for insured situations such as theft, fire, vandalism or other non-collision damages that occur in or out of the water.


Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV , and umbrella insurance.
Your insurance premium is the total cost or amount you pay in exchange for one term of policy coverage. One term of policy coverage is usually six or 12 months.

Property or Dwelling coverage

Applies to: home insurance.
Helps cover the cost to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by something your insurance policy covers, like a kitchen fire or a tree falling through the roof. This is the main component of home insurance.

Total loss

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, and RV insurance.
A total loss is declared when the cost of repairs will be greater than the total current market value of your vehicle or property.  Model, year, mileage, condition, options, school districts, land value, location and your local market area are all factors in deciding if your property or vehicle is a total loss. Sometimes a total loss is simply called totaled, as in “My car was totaled.”

Umbrella insurance

Applies to: umbrella insurance.
An umbrella insurance policy is an additional layer of liability coverage that may cover you when your other insurance policies, such as homeowner’s and auto, have exhausted the maximum amount they will pay for liability claims.

Unattached equipment coverage

Applies to: boat insurance.
Pays to repair or replace equipment that is not permanently attached to your boat or personal watercraft. This includes items like anchors, oars, life jackets, water skis and sports equipment but is different than personal effects like clothing, scuba gear and fishing equipment.

Underlying insurance policy

Applies to: umbrella insurance.
When an umbrella policy is adding protection to another insurance policy, like your auto insurance for example, your auto insurance is the underlying insurance policy. Any and all of your other policies being protected by umbrella insurance are considered underlying insurance policies.

Underlying liability coverage

Applies to: umbrella insurance.
When an umbrella policy is adding protection to another insurance policy, like your auto policy for example, the underlying liability coverage is the maximum amount your auto policy will pay for liability claims.


Underwriting is the process your insurance company uses to assess risk when deciding whether to issue a policy of insurance to a customer.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle, RV and umbrella insurance.
Helps pay for damages associated with bodily injury or death from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver. Specifics of what is covered by these terms can vary from state to state. It may also cover you if you are hit as a pedestrian.

Valuable articles coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.
Personal belongings you specify are protected by an agreed dollar amount. If you have special possessions like jewelry, fine art, antiques or collectibles, you may need this type of extra protection. There is no deductible applied to valuable articles coverage claims.

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