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!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Bob's Rules of Insurance – Rule 4 – Insurance Is A Process, Not An Event

Rule 4 –  Insurance is a process, not an event.

Managing your insurance is not just about your policy renewals.  As your business changes, your insurance must change.

Your insurance is determined by your exposures.

Certainly the renewal process is important.  However, there needs to be a regular chance to review and update coverage during the policy year.

You buy insurance as a part of a plan to manage risks – insurance does not create risk – insurance is a tool to mitigate the impact of risk.  For example, you have the exposure of employees causing an accident while driving their personal car on company business.  You transfer that risk to your insurer when you buy non-owned auto insurance.

As your exposures evolve, your insurance should evolve.

Open claims should be reviewed at least quarterly.  Halfway through your workers’ comp year, you need to push adjusters to reduce open claim reserves.

Monthly walk-throughs help to identify hazards that have developed.

If nothing else, talk with your insurance advisor a few times a year to update him on changes you have made to your operation.  You’ll also hear of emerging insurance issues – if your advisor is any good.  You can get help with budgeting for the future.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bob's Rules of Insurance – Rule 3 – Preventing A Loss Is Better Than Being Insured

Rule 3 – Preventing a loss is better than being insured. Limiting a loss is the next best thing to preventing it.

I consider any loss as a failure in some system. Build operations and procedures to prevent and limit loss. Place backups. Create stop-gaps and fail-safes.

Inspect your electrical systems annually. Install water-usage alarms to notify you of a burst pipe. Test your evacuation plan. Install a security system. Build a video surveillance system. Perform regular inspections of your facilities. Look for unsafe conditions, hazards, maintenance issues.

In a heavy rain, inspect for water flow around your property. Where is water collecting? What could prevent water from draining away from your buildings?

Consider “what if” scenarios. What if our computer crashed? What if our main supplier shut down? What if we lost power for 5 days? What if our best customer cancelled?

Redundancy is an often overlooked tool. I have a home phone, cell phone, and Skype subscription so I am sure to be able to get and make calls. I backup my computers on-line to a server. I also backup my computers on a separate harddrive.  Much of my work is online so I can work from almost anywhere.

Build a communications plan. Have an accessible, updated list of customers, employees, suppliers, and service providers.

Any disruption is expensive. Plan to prevent disruptions and to limit them.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bob's Rules of Insurance – Rule 2 – Insurance Is For The Big Stuff

Rule 2 – Insurance is for the big stuff – you take care of small stuff.

Stuff happens. Life and commerce include ups and downs. Bumps in the road should be paid for out of your own pocket. Catastrophes is where insurance comes in.

Use deductibles to limit the involvement of the insurance company in minor losses.

Look to the other side of a loss – the total amount. Use deductibles to decrease premium and put that premium towards higher limits of coverage and broader perils. Consider adding coverage for events that are normally excluded, like flood and earthquake, that could be catastrophic.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Jewelry Insurance Tips

Happy Valentines Day!

I was in a jewelry store the other day. The place was hopping! If you gave or got jewelry or just have questions about jewelry insurance, here are some tips.

-Most homeowners’ insurance policies include coverage for jewelry.

-Most home insurance limits coverage for jewelry to the limited perils – fire lightning, wind, hail, smoke, vandalism, vehicles, aircraft…

-Theft of jewelry is usually limited to $1,000 of coverage.

-Your standard deductible applies to jewelry claims.

-No coverage for breakage under most home insurance policies.

-Coverage can be expanded by listing the jewelry on a special “floater” policy.

-Specific jewelry insurance on a jewelry floater usually gives additional perils such as breakage – this usually included accidents like loss of the stone.

-Jewelry floaters usually have no deductible.
-Watches can be included in a jewelry floater.

-You must set the value of the item. If you say the value of the ring is $5,000 and, after a loss it is determined that the ring was actually $7,000, you only get the $5,000. Conversely, if the ring was worth $3,000, you only get the $3,000. Regular appraisals can avoid these problems.

-Antiques, fine arts, silverware, etc. can also be insured on a floater policy.

-CALL US to see how your policy works and what is available from your insurance company.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Home Security and Safety Tips

Here are some general home security and safety tips:

-Check your washing machine hoses once a month – look for bulges and leaks. A broken hose will ruin your day.

-Check your door locks. How substantial are they? Are the door frames rugged enough to withstand a kick? In new construction, have the doors open outwards, making kick-ins almost impossible.

-Check the support structure of your deck. Is the deck attached to your home with lag-bolts? Nails are not enough to prevent collapse.

-Walk around your house, thinking like you want to break in. What is the weakness in your security?

-Check your smoke alarms and the batteries.

-Consider an alarm system. Your home insurance company will help to pay the bill, with reduced insurance premiums.

-To prevent electrocution, use only ground fault interruption (GFI) electrical outlets in your bathroom. The garage too. If your home still has screw-in electrical fuses, get an electrician in to inspect your wiring.

-At least one phone in your house should be hardwired to allow for phone calls in a power failure. If you use internet based phones, make sure you can make emergency calls.

-If you have a pool, buy a motion detector alarm (about $20 from many catalog companies – Google “pool alarms”) that will let you know someone is in the pool area.

-If you depend on a well for your water supply, have backup water in case the electricity goes out – both for drinking and for operating your toilets. Remember, you can pour water into the tank on most toilets for use in a flush.

-Have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Check them every six months.

-Have a safe bolted to the floor in one of your closets. Keep spare keys, blank bank checks, social security cards, and other info useful to a thief locked up. Put your “good” jewelry in the safe too.

-Install a “Charlie bar” to prevent sliding doors from being forced open. A broom stick in the track is a poor second choice. Charlie bars are mounted in the middle of the door, offering greater protection. Intruders can see the bar too. Perhaps they will search out an easier mark.

-Ladders stored outdoors should be locked to prevent a thief from using your ladder to break into your house.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Builders’ Risk Insurance, An Introduction

Builders’ risk insurance policies cover buildings during construction, renovation, or repair. Insurance coverage is provided on the structure and materials used in construction. In most cases, materials are covered while in transit, at temporary storage locations, and while stored at the job site.
Here are some of the issues to consider:

Amount Of Coverage – Most policies require that you include 100% of the expected construction cost as the amount of insurance. Coinsurance penalties may apply if you fail to meet this requirement. Work with your insurance adviser to determine what costs to include in selecting the amount of builders’ risk coverage.

You May Already Have Coverage – Your property insurance policy may include coverage for newly acquired and newly constructed buildings. The amount of insurance may be relatively small. However, it may be broad enough to eliminate the need for an additional insurance policy. Review your policy for the perils included in coverage.

Deductibles – Higher deductibles can reduce your insurance costs. Consider five thousand dollars, ten thousand, or more.

Perils Covered – What causes of loss are included in the policy? Special perils insurance forms include damage by any cause except what’s excluded – earthquake, flood, intentional damage by you, mold, terrorism, and damage by insects or vermin, for example. Named peril policies list the events that are covered – fire, lightning, wind, explosion…

Consider Flood and Earthquake Coverage – Damage caused by flood and earthquake is almost always excluded from basic policies. Get quotes and consider the coverage.
Exclusions – In addition to the flood and earthquake exclusions mentioned, most policies will exclude damage caused by defect in construction, defect in design, mold, pollution, settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging, or expansion.

Theft Of Building Materials – Some builders’ risk insurance policies exclude theft of building materials stored on site. Some require gated storage areas. Read your policy.

Subcontractors’ Work – Is the work of subcontractors (while in process) included in the coverage?

Collapse During Construction – Some policies exclude damage caused in the collapse of the building. Review your insurance policy.

Business Income – Coverage can be included for loss of income in the event that a fire or other insured event prevents you from doing business. Imagine a new hotel under construction that is destroyed two months before completion. The losses in revenue while the building is rebuilt could be substantial. Work with your insurance adviser on the correct amount of loss of business income coverage you should have.

Liability Insurance – Builders’ risk insurance does not include coverage for bodily injury or damage to property of others. Look to your general liability insurance for protection.

Get Quotes – Your insurance agent or broker can get you quotes. For new construction, your agent should get proposals from several insurers. There are specialty programs for builders’ risk insurance which may offer a better price and coverage.

Occupancy – Most builders’ risk insurance coverage terminates at occupancy. Coverage ends automatically. Be sure you let your agent know ahead of time that you are moving in. Coverage may terminate if the building is ready for occupancy. Talk with your adviser.

Soft Costs – After a building under construction is destroyed, there may be architects’ fees, attorney’s bills, planning board reviews, and the like before reconstruction can begin. Many policies require soft-costs to be a separate limit of coverage.

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Got Toys? Get Tips on Insuring Them

12 Things to Think About When Insuring Your Toys 

All across the country (though not as often here in sunny Florida), people put their motorcycles, boats, RVs and classic cars in storage for the long winter, anxiously awaiting that warm spring day when the garage door rolls up and the engine purrs (or perhaps rattles) back to life.

After a battery charge, a fluids check and a few other tasks, you’re ready to get back out on the road or the water. But, is your insurance policy ready, too? Maybe your policy is outdated due to some customization work last fall. Maybe you reduced your coverage for off-season storage. Maybe you’d just like to explore a better rate.

These are all reasons to get in touch with your independent insurance agent before the boating, riding and exploring all begins again.

Whether you need to update a policy or buy a new one, here are 12 things to think about when it comes to selecting insurance for your toys that go vroom:

Boats and Personal Watercraft
  1. How you use it: The type of policy you need and your rate may change based on things like whether you go boating in fresh or salt water, use it for recreational or commercial purposes and if there are multiple owners, you live onboard or you occasionally rent the boat to others.
  2. Standard coverages: Be sure to cover all the bases, including the hull, engine(s) and trailer. In some cases, the engine replacement cost is more than the hull. And, add your trailer if it needs coverage, too. Do you want roadside assistance with that?
  3. Equipment and extras: Be sure you understand how you’re covered and for how much when it comes to your equipment, such as fishing gear and wakeboards. Plus, consider whether you need added coverage for uninsured/underinsured boaters, passenger injuries, theft and other scenarios.
Motorcycles and More
  1. How you use it: A bike used for racing or commercial purposes will require a different type of policy than one used for commuting or recreation.
  2. Standard coverages: Your state likely requires you to carry liability coverage for property damage and injuries, to your passenger or others, you may cause while on your bike, scooter, ATV or snowmobile. And, of course, you want coverage for yourself and your ride if an accident were to occur.
  3. Equipment and extras: Your safety apparel, such as helmets, boots and gloves, is oftentimes a significant investment. Check whether you have coverage and for how much. Then, think about coverage for roadside assistance, trip interruption and custom parts.
  1. How you use it: Some people live in their RVs. Others only use them a few months each year. How you use yours, as well as things like its size and model, will affect your rate and other aspects of your policy.
  2. Standard coverages: Much like insurance for your car, RV insurance can include liability, comprehensive, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist. Your state likely requires you to carry a certain level of some coverage types.
  3. Equipment and extras: Your RV is a home on wheels, so you no doubt have it filled with some pretty valuable stuff. Be sure your policy covers it all, and think about whether you want extras such as roadside assistance and loan or lease protection.
Classic Cars
  1. How you use it: If you take your car out for a spin only in warmer weather and store it in a secure location for the rest of the year, you may be able to reduce your coverage during the off-season and save on your premium. Or, you may commute daily in your vintage beauty or travel the country for car shows. Your policy and rate will change accordingly.
  2. Standard coverages: While you’ll find many similarities between your standard auto insurance policy and an antique car policy, there’s oftentimes a key difference: agreed value. When you purchase your policy, your rate will be based on, among other things, the value that both you and your carrier agree your prized ride is worth. Then, if the worst happens and your collector car is totaled or stolen, you receive a payout for that amount.
  3. Equipment and extras: If you carry a lot of tools or other personal property in your car, you’ll want to be sure your insurance policy will help cover them if they’re lost, stolen or damaged. And, for those times when you can’t get her running again, roadside assistance will come in handy.
Of course, with each type of insurance, discounts are oftentimes available for things such as taking a safety course, being a seasoned operator or having an anti-theft device. Your independent insurance agent will see to it that you save with the appropriate discounts.

It’s a good feeling when spring arrives and you get back behind the wheel of your favorite toy. It’s even better when you know you have the coverage you want for the toy(s) you love.

Just think – the official start of spring is just 10 weeks away. Get ready to start those engines!

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bob's Rules of Insurance – Rule 1 – Insurance Is All Fine Print

Rule 1 – Insurance is all fine print – work to understand it.

Insurance policies are written by insurance companies to cover specific risks and exposures.  Every word is carefully placed to clarify, expand, and restrict coverage.  There are no hidden meanings.  There is no subterfuge.  Ambiguity in insurance contracts can be disastrous for the insurance company as courts always read confusing language in favor of the insured.

Courts, too, help define insurance contract language.  Precedent moves insurers to further clarify language.

A basic understanding of insurance is not a Herculean task.  For over 50 years, I have been explaining insurance concepts and issues to insurance buyers. Heck, helping insurance buyers is why I’m in business.  All you have to do is call.

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

Serving Florida since 1964