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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Preventing Insurance Fraud and protecting your rights

From the website of Florida's Chief Financial Officer:

"Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime.  It is estimated that insurance fraud costs the United States $80 billion dollars or more a year, which is ultimately passed down to consumers.  The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF) estimates this fraud costs each family approximately $950 annually!"

Help stop insurance fraud!  In the event of a loss, DO NOT sign anything until you have spoken with your insurance company and/or your insurance agent!

Unscrupulous contractors, roofers and water mitigation companies will try to get you to sign and Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form to begin repairs.  AOB occurs when a homeowner signs a contract for service with a vendor, which transfers or "assigns" the rights to the claim and the claim proceeds to the contractor in exchange for repairing the damage.  If you sign an AOB, any claim check will include the vendor as well, thus moving control of the claim proceeds from you to the vendor!  Furthermore, this could delay the repairs from being made which may prevent you from returning to your home as quickly as possible.

The contractor, roofer or water mitigation company may then directly submit to your insurance carrier an extremely inflated bill for services rendered, often 2 to 3 times the normal rate!  They could also sue the insurance company directly and place a lien on your property.  All this leads to higher premiums for you!

AOB abuse for Florida homeowners and condominium owners must be stopped!

Here are some easy steps to stop this fraudulent activity and keep your insurance premiums affordable:

  • If you have a loss, always call your insurance company and/or insurance agent first.
  • Never sign a contract that you have not read or one that you do not understand

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

Serving Florida since 1964

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Personal Property: 6 Reasons Why Yours May Not be Fully Covered

Personal Property Coverage Helps Protect Your Belongings
Why You May Want More Personal Property Coverage

Imagine you took the roof off your house, turned the whole thing upside down and started shaking. Everything that hit the dirt is what your insurance company calls “personal property” – hence Personal Property Coverage (Coverage C) on your homeowners, condo or renters policy.

Some people call it “my stuff coverage” because, in the event of a covered loss, such as a fire, theft or weather-related damage, it helps you recover, at least partially, the investment you’ve made in some of your key possessions. This includes furniture, artwork, jewelry and more.

However, in my experience, hardly anyone understands the restrictions and limitations of this coverage, and that can lead to potentially devastating consequences. So, let’s explore six reasons why your personal property may not be as fully covered as you think it is.
  1. You don’t have an updated home inventory.
    On a standard policy, your personal property is covered at a percentage of your dwelling coverage. So, you may have $500,000 of coverage for the dwelling and $250,000 of coverage for personal property. But, is that enough? To know for sure, you need to know the value of your stuff. Having a home inventory – a list of all your stuff, the value of each piece and other details, such as model numbers – tells you how much coverage you need. If your home inventory shows you’re lacking coverage, be sure to purchase more.
  2. You have Actual Cash Value coverage instead of Replacement Cost coverage.
    Say you purchased a brand new, top-of-the-line TV five years ago. Today, that TV is only worth a fraction of what you paid for it. Now say the TV has been stolen, and your insurance policy covers the loss. How much will you get?

    With Actual Cash Value Coverage, your policy will typically pay the depreciated value, and, no, it won’t be enough to purchase another top-of-the-line model at current prices. For that, you need Replacement Cost Coverage, which typically pays the purchase price of a similar model that’s available in stores right now.

    Think of it like this: Replacement Cost gets you the new; Actual Cash Value is back in with the old. Your policy will tell you which of the two coverage types applies to your personal property.
  3. Your policy has sublimits for certain item types.
    Other types of property, such as jewelry, silver, furs, firearms and collectibles, won’t settle at either Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost if their value is above a certain threshold. You may have a $20,000 Rolex and $50,000 in Personal Property Coverage at Replacement Cost. If the watch is destroyed in a fire, your claim should be a slam dunk, right? Wrong. Your policy may only cover each piece of jewelry for $500 to $1,000 total. This is known as a “policy sublimit,” which can vary widely from item type to item type, policy to policy or state to state.
  4. You haven’t scheduled high-value items.
    When you do have an item, such as the Rolex, valued above your policy sublimits, you can “schedule” it. This designates separate coverage for the full appraised value of individual items. You can schedule as many items as you like to help offset your policy sublimits. It’s simple to do so. Just provide your local insurance agent with a recent appraisal and purchase that amount of coverage. Your agent will advise you on any special requirements.
  5. You tend to lose or drop things but don’t have Special Personal Property Coverage.
    It’s important to know which losses are covered and which aren’t, as outlined by your policy. Personal property destroyed in a fire? Likely covered. Personal property that mysteriously disappeared? Likely not covered, unless you had Special Personal Property Coverage on your policy. This extends your coverage to many other different types of losses so you’re protected for a wider array of scenarios, such as dropping your new TV.
  6. Your belongings are destroyed in an earthquake.
    Here, we’ve hit a brick wall. Your policy does not cover earthquake damage. However, you are able to purchase earthquake coverage for an additional fee, such as through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). You can choose higher personal property limits to cover as much as you can, but you will likely still face coverage caps for certain items, such as jewelry. For example, your earthquake policy may cap jewelry coverage at $3,000 total, with no more than $1,000 per item. You also won’t be able to schedule items. Still, some earthquake coverage is better than none, so it’s certainly worth entertaining a discussion with your agent.
Armed with the above information, I trust you’re now motivated to check up on your personal property coverage through your homeowners, condo or renters policy. If you’re not sure what to make of it or you find you may not have enough, be sure to talk to your independent agent immediately so you have the coverage you want before a loss occurs.

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

Bob Lancaster Insurance
                                                            Serving Florida since 1964

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Type of Fire Extinguisher Every Home Should Have

Selecting a Fire Extinguisher

Extinguish Your Worries Over Picking the Right Fire Extinguisher

A fire is a fire, and a fire extinguisher is a fire extinguisher, right? Well, not quite. There are actually different types of fires and different types of extinguishers that respond best to each. So, which is right for you?
We’ll get to that, but first let’s look at the five different fire types, as outlined by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association:
  • Class A: Fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, cloth, etc.
  • Class B: Fires in flammable liquids, like gasoline, or flammable gasses, such as propane.
  • Class C: Fires in energized electrical equipment, such as appliances or motors.
  • Class D: Fires in combustible metals.
  • Class K: Fires in cooking oils and greases, such as animal and vegetable fats.
Selecting a Fire Extinguisher
For each fire class, there’s a fire extinguisher to match, and it’s important to use the right one. For example, an extinguisher rated for Class B fires only might not be appropriate to use on another fire. In fact, it might even be dangerous.
So, how do you pick a fire extinguisher? Do you need several? A good bet is a multipurpose extinguisher, which typically is rated for Class A, B and C fires and available at home improvement stores. This type of extinguisher is typically good for general living areas and will work on small grease fires, as well. Specialized kitchen extinguishers are available, too. (Note: Class K extinguishers are typically for large commercial kitchens.)
No matter which type you choose, you want:
  • An extinguisher that’s large enough to put out a small fire but not too heavy to handle safely.
  • One that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • One for each level of your home, as well as in the garage.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Before you use a fire extinguisher — or try to fight a fire with any method — make sure you consider the following questions:
  • Is the fire small and contained?
  • Are you safe from toxic smoke?
  • Do you have a way to escape?
  • Do your instincts tell you it’s OK?
If you’ve answered “yes” to those questions, the National Fire Protection Association recommends remembering “P.A.S.S.” when it’s time to use your extinguisher:
  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever.
  • Sweep the hose from side to side. Once the fire is out, remain aware, because it can re-ignite.
Maintaining a Fire Extinguisher
It’s easy to just put an extinguisher in your kitchen cabinet and forget about it. But, by doing that, you run the risk of it not working when you need it most.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, some need to be shaken monthly, and others need to be pressure tested periodically. Follow the instructions on your specific extinguisher. Also, check regularly to make sure it’s not damaged, rusted or dirty.
Remember, a fire extinguisher won’t do you any good if it doesn’t work, and it won’t help if you can’t get to it, either. So, ensure it’s in an accessible place, not buried in the back of a closet.
Finally, don’t ever forget that sometimes your best bet is not using an extinguisher at all. It’s using your family escape plan to get you and your loved ones out of danger. If there’s any doubt, get out!

Insurance Coverage for Home Fires

Fireplaces, stoves, furnaces – the average home has plenty of fire risks. If you were to lose everything in a home fire, would you have enough insurance coverage to rebuild your home and replace all your belongings?

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

Bob Lancaster Insurance
                                                            Serving Florida since 1964