Homeowners Insurance in Fort Myers

Your home is your castle, let's make sure it's protected - affordably!

Have you ever asked yourself… What would happen if a disaster struck your home tomorrow? Are you confident you’re properly covered for damages and total loss? Would you be required to pay out of pocket for some or all the repairs?

Many people never read or attempt to understand their insurance policy until after disaster strikes. Working with an agency that will help you understand your risk and make recommendations is crucial, and with rising rates and dwindling availability it’s more important than ever. more importantly, when you’re facing a crisis, you’ll feel less pressure knowing your representative took the time to make sure you have the right protection and that you insurance carrier has your back.

Finding the right Fort Myers or Cape Coral insurance agent that will work with you and help shop for affordable home insurance with the proper coverages can be a daunting task. Lott & Gaylor’s home and insurance products offer our customers protection for their dwellings and personal possessions, along with personal liability coverages.

Call us today and let us put our knowledge of the current insurance marketplace to work for you. Whether you’re searching for broader insurance coverages, verifying that you’re getting the best value for your “insurance dollar” with great companies or you’re looking for better service for your personal insurance needs – we can develop a affordable solution for you and your family.

We offer fast, free no obligation quotes from many markets to help corner the most competitive rates and the most favorable terms. Our agents are seasoned at placing the most affordable home insurance in Southwest Florida and around the state.

How does Homeowners Insurance Protect You?

If you have tangible assets, you need the protection of a homeowners policy. These policies cover you in a home or an apartment, whether you are an owner or a renter. A well-written homeowners or dwelling policy will pay to replace your personal property that is destroyed in a fire or other disaster.

The policy will also be your first line of defense against a lawsuit from someone injured at your home. For instance, if someone slips and falls in your home or is injured somewhere on your property, you can be held responsible. Liability coverage is there to protect you.

The cost of the home and liability coverages are determined by many rating factors. The quality of the coverage, however, is determined by the quality of the insurer and whether the policy is written on a named perils or all-risk basis. A named-perils policy covers only those losses specifically cited in the contract. The all-risk (special form) policy works the opposite way – unless a peril is specifically excluded, coverage is provided. The special form policy is broader and the burden of proof is on the carrier not you in the event of a loss.

You could also potentially need insurance to protect you from having to pay for:
Did you know?
  • Many homeowners policies will not cover sewer backup, it's important to confirm that you have this coverage and adding it by special endorsement if necessary.
  • Flood Damages caused by surface water or water that flows below the surface of the ground aren’t usually covered, a separate flood policy should be considered.
  • A standard homeowners policy only covers jewelry, up to set limits if the loss resulted from one of the perils named on the policy.

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Homeowners Insurance Options You Should Consider

The house and contents are covered, now what? Our companies offer broadened protections to help cover the little things not always found on unendorsed policies.

Broadened Water Damage

Water leaks and overflows tend to do more harm than most other types of damage.

Most homeowners polices do offer limited coverage if the damage is sudden and accidental. Usually up to a strict limit of $25,000 while other may allow you to buy that coverage up for a small additional charge.

If possible, we recommend increasing your coverage to have the maximum protection available in the event of water damage from leaks from pipe or faucet failures in and around your home.

Be aware, some types of water damage may not be covered on your homeowners policy. Unresolved maintenance issues, water back up from an outside sewer or drain or standard flood for example. Additionally, the source of a water leak may not be covered, like a broken pipe, leaky faucet or ruptured water heater – though the resultant damage would be.

Ordinance & Law Coverage

This coverage is included on most homeowners policies and is especially important if you’re in an older home.

Older homes that are damaged may need upgraded electrical; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC); and plumbing units based on city, county or state codes. Here in Florida, we have had extensive changes to wind related codes to rooves and windows.

Many communities have a building ordinance(s) requiring that a building that has been damaged to a specified extent (typically 50 percent) must be demolished and rebuilt in accordance with current building codes rather than simply repaired.

It’s important to consider the age of your home, if it’s older you may be more likely to have to upgrade than had you lived in a newer home. Talk to one of Lott & Gaylor’s personal lines experts to see if your current limits are adequate.

Jewelry, Guns and Art

Depending on what you’ve got, your collectibles may be just fine to be included on your homeowners policy.

Because these items are fragile and mobile they are also most prone to theft. Unfortunately, that sometimes results in the insurance company limiting the homeowners insurance in a more limited way than your “regular” household contents.

Occasionally and for high value items such as diamonds, necklaces, fine watches – a more specialized approach is needed that could require a separate policy and an appraisal of the items.

Be aware the there could be limitations to coverage for these items, mysterious disappearance or accidental damage may not be covered causes of loss.

It’s important that you speak with your agent about the types and kinds of art, jewelry, firearms’ or other collectibles that you have.

Animal Liability

Pets are great but sometimes even the best of them can nip at or bite guests or other visitors, potentially leaving you on the hook for expensive medical bills or even lawsuits.

Even if you have a $300,000 limit of homeowners liability, the policy could limit pet caused injuries to as little as $25,000. It’s important to communicate to your agent that you have a pet as this can be an often overlooked area of homeowners or condo insurance.

Additionally, some breeds of dogs could be uninsurable for pet liability, these may include but not be limited to Chows, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Akitas and German Shepherds.

Important note: If you have an umbrella – it’s important to confirm with your agent that animal liability’s will be covered there as well.

Identity Theft

What a nightmare to realize that your credit cards, bank account or other personally identifiable information are in the hands of criminals?

Fortunately, many insurance companies are offering the opportunity to help reduce the burden of getting you back up and running. While the coverage will not prevent identity theft from occurring, it will provide valuable assistance with:

These coverage can generally be added for as little as $50 to $100 annually depending on available limits.

Screened Pool Enclosure Coverage

Florida homeowners insurance companies do not regularly include pool cage coverage on an unendorsed policy. If you have a screen enclosure and wish to ensure it, your agent will offer to add the coverage on in increments of (usually) $10,000.

Important to understand is that the coverage will be limited to the structure itself and not include the screen panels. So if a tree branch or projectile during a storm rips through screen it is unlikely that you will receive any recovery from the insurance company to replace them.

Additionally, the screen enclosure is usually going to be subject to your homes hurricane deductible. Be sure to talk to your Lott & Gaylor personal agent before submitting claims to ensure the damage exceeds the total amount of the deductible. Otherwise you risk having an uninsured loss showing up on your record without ever recieving a dollar.

Golf Cart Liability

Folks in Lee County love their golf carts. We love to take them to the neighbors for dinner, down the street to watch the sunset or to allow our kids to drive to a friends house.

Unfortunately, many do not realize that standard homeowners policy’s do not cover for liability for owned golf carts when used on city streets or sidewalks. Beyond that, they would not be covered for any reason other than to service your premises, on a golf course or being used in a community whose by-laws permit the use of the golf carts “over the road.”

Your homeowners liability policy does cover, the liability arising out of a borrowed (or non-owned) golf cart.

The solution to this is gap is relatively simple. There’s a separate recreational vehicle policy that can be purchased for owned carts (subject to certain usage limitations.) Be sure to let your personal lines agent know if you have a cart or other personal recreational vehicle that needs coverage.

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Little-Known Homeowners Insurance Facts

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What is a Homeowners Insurance Policy?

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History of Fort Myers

In the early 1700s the Lee Island coastline first appeared with some accuracy in British maps. During the last half of the 1700s coastal areas of Lee County were a base of operations for bands of pirates raiding the cargo ships sailing to and from the port of New Orleans.

Florida became a US Territory in 1821, and the ensuing wave of settlers asked for protection from the native Seminoles. Fort Myers was built along the Caloosahatchee River as one of the first bases of operations during the Seminole Indian Wars. Fort Myers was named in honor of Colonel Abraham C. Myers, the son-in-law of the commander of Fort Brooke in Tampa.

The fort was abandoned in 1858 and reoccupied by Federal troops from 1863-1865. The Southernmost battle of the Civil War, a skirmish between Northern and Southern troops occurred across the river in 1865 and is reenacted annually at the North Fort Myers Cracker Festival.

The fort itself was disassembled, and some of the wood used in construction of some of the first buildings in what would become downtown Fort Myers. No more than ten families lived in the original town when it was platted in 1876.

Herds of cattle were driven past the old fort grounds to Punta Rassa where they were lifted onto schooners and steamers using block and tackle, and shipped to Cuba. Cattle, farming, and logging were early mainstays in the Fort Myers area. Tomatoes, avocados, and castor beans were cultivated on Sanibel Island. Many pineapple plantations flourished inland along the river as settlers began to move away from the fort area.

By 1885 Fort Myers was bursting with pride and a bulging population of 349, the second largest town on Florida’s Gulf Coast south of Cedar Key.

The opening of the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) linked Fort Myers to Tampa and Miami, adding more to the growth of the Big Boom in the 1920s. Growth radiated in all directions until the 1930s.

Two devastating hurricanes in 1921 & 1926, combined with poor publicity and inadequate planning brought a collapse in Florida’s boom time. Fort Myers suffered along with the rest of the nation during the Great Depression. Still, there was moderate progress as some of the more elegant buildings in Fort Myers were built during the 1930s.

Courtesy of Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

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