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Anthony B. LoSchiavo, Agent

727-343-8899

2752 66th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL  33710
Fax : 727-343-8895

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Driving for app based transportation companies is rapidly increasing in popularity. Whether you drive full-time for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, or it is the source of additional income, make sure you are covered.

GreatFlorida Insurance is offering rideshare insurance to meet the growing demand from rideshare drivers for full coverage.
GreatFlorida Insurance is one of the few insurance companies in Florida to offer rideshare insurance. We make sure you, your passengers and your vehicle are protected while driving.

Our company offers a rideshare endorsement to supplement your auto policy. It fills in coverage gaps while driving for a rideshare company and keeps you covered while you drive for personal use.
Give us a call today at 888-478-7801 to discuss GreatFlorida rideshare insurance and speak to an agent in your area.

FAQ’s

Doesn’t the rideshare company’s insurance cover me while driving?
Uber and Lyft provide a $1 million insurance policy while a passenger is in your vehicle. It serves as your primary insurance during this time. The same coverage is not extended to drivers while you are logged into the app without a passenger.
Policies vary between the different rideshare companies, especially during the time when you are logged into the app but have no passenger in your vehicle.

Coverage Gap
Just because you are signed into the rideshare app does not mean you are covered. The time between logging into the app and a passenger entering your car, you could be uninsured or underinsured. This is considered a coverage gap.
While logged into the app, accepting a job, driving to a passenger and waiting for them to enter your vehicle, your personal car insurance is responsible for damages. During that time many rideshare companies have a policy that is “contingent,” making it a gray area.

Doesn’t my auto insurance cover me?
Most drivers with auto insurance have a personal auto insurance policy. It is intended for personal use not for commercial driving or driving-for-hire.
Unfortunately, personal auto insurance companies would be likely to deny your accident claim. When you are logged into a rideshare app, insurance companies consider that as driving-for-hire, so it would fall into the commercial driving category.

What if I do not make changes to my auto policy?
If your auto insurance discovers you are using your vehicle for profit, such as ridesharing without proper insurance, they can set the policy to cancel or non-renew. 

Additionally, should a claim occur while a driver is logged into the rideshare app and they do not have rideshare insurance, their claim can be denied by their auto insurance company.

Commercial auto insurance is also available to drivers who participate in rideshare but it can be more expensive and limiting when it comes to personal use. That is why GreatFlorida Insurance offers rideshare insurance, as a less expensive option to supplement your personal auto policy, while covering the gaps a rideshare company doesn’t cover.

Accidents are inevitable. Make sure you are covered during personal use and while ridesharing with GreatFlorida Insurance’s rideshare insurance.
If you are a rideshare driver, agents at GreatFlorida Insurance can make sure you get the proper coverage for you and your passengers. Contact us today to discover all the auto insurance options available for you.

Simply call 727-343-8899 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Auto Insurance Agent in St. Petersburg will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Uber  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
12/28/2017

It’s hard to believe a new year is right around the corner. With each passing year, life brings changes. It is crucial to have an insurance policy that reflects your lifestyle and needs. Transitions throughout the year can dictate adjustments to your insurance. Insurance policies should be reviewed annually to guarantee you and your family has suitable coverage.

“Taking the time to review your policy and your coverage amounts prevents you from being over-insured or under-insured,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. A review and chat with your insurance agent can help you determine if you are overpaying for insurance you do not need or under-insured, risking coming up short in the event of a disaster.

Homeowners Insurance Policy

CBS News reports 59 percent of homeowners in America are underinsured. As the real estate market fluctuates, it is important to know the updated value of your home. That is the starting point for determining the amount of homeowners insurance you desire. “A policy based on your mortgage may not cover the cost of rebuilding your home if disaster occurs,” reports Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.

Most homeowners want a policy that will cover the costs of rebuilding their home with the current quality of materials or replacing their home of similar value. Without an annual update to your homeowners policy you could become a victim of depreciation and receive only a percentage of what it would cost to rebuild or replace your dwelling. Other factors that can change the price of your home include, adding a swimming pool, a home addition, electrical upgrades and renovations. These should be reflected in your homeowners insurance. Also, consider additional coverage for newly acquired electronics, jewelry or other costly belongings.

However, there are discounts available for homeowners. “Some home renovations can qualify you for a discount on your premium,” reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance. These can include, an updated roof, the addition of hurricane shutters or impact windows, as well as modernizing the home’s electrical and plumbing. The installation of a monitored alarm system, smoke detectors, or the adding of deadbolt locks can also save you money. Furthermore, maintaining good credit could qualify you for an additional savings program with your insurer.

If life changes include divorce, make sure it is reflected on the homeowners policy. If not, you and your former spouse will both be liable for damages or injuries sustained on the property. In the unfortunate event of the death of a spouse, you might decide to add or reduce the amount of coverage on your homeowners policy.

Umbrella/Liability Insurance

Maybe 2017 brought additional prosperity and your assets have significantly increased. You might want to consider increasing the amount of your umbrella policy. Auto insurance and homeowners insurance only provide basic liability coverage. While an umbrella policy is not reserved for the wealthy, personal and financial obligations can also cause you to review and make changes to your policy. Financial website, Money Crashers points out, owning a swimming pool, dog or gun, can increase the risk of accidents that could lead to a lawsuit.

Auto Insurance Policy

If a driver on your  auto policy has increased traveling you might consider adding emergency roadside assistance to your policy. However, review for an overlap in auto insurance coverage. You do not need emergency roadside assistance coverage if you are a member of AAA.

If someone in your home has recently attended a driver’s education class or your vehicles have been accident free, most insurance companies will qualify you for a discount. Inquire about other new “good driver” programs your insurance company offers. A new car or teen driver could have you wanting to increase comprehensive and collision. However, Once you have paid your vehicle off you may want to consider dropping collision to save money.

Boat Insurance

Think about purchasing additional boat insurance if you have recently purchased fishing or diving equipment. Also, if you are towing your boat more often, make sure you have comprehensive and collision in case your boat is involved in an accident out of the water.

Talk to your GreatFlorida Insurance agent to see if you are a member of affiliations that qualify you for a discount. They can be through universities, firefighting or as a member of AARP.

 

The post Are you adequately insured? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
12/19/2017

“If you have travel plans this week, you are not alone,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance provider.

A record setting amount of travel is expected to take place for the year-end holiday season. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting 107.3 million Americans will travel between Saturday, December 23 thru, Monday, January 1.

Higher gas prices nationwide are not keeping people a home. AAA attributes a strong economy and consumer confidence, for the gradual rise in travel volume for the past nine years. In Florida, a drop in fuel costs is expected by Christmas Day. Currently Jacksonville, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando have the lowest average gas prices in the state while West Palm, Miami and Naples have the highest.

Make sure the car is road-trip ready before you take off. Car battery-related issues, lockouts and flat tires are the leading cause for contacting roadside assistance.

“Check your auto insurance to make sure you have roadside assistance available in case of an emergency”, says Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance.

97.4 million are predicted to travel by vehicle so drivers can anticipate travel times to take up to three times the normal amount of time. Road congestion will be at its peak between Wednesday, December 20 through Thursday, December 21.

Listed are some tips to help ease the frustration of traffic, while maintaining merriment in the car.

The best time to leave on a road trip is before or after the morning commute. Less cars are on the road at the beginning of the day.

Try to avoid driving through metropolitan areas during peak traffic.

Travel on the holiday itself.

Get plenty of rest before you head out on a long trip.

Prevent distracted driving. Designate a passenger to be the text messenger and navigator.

Thankfully, the weather will cooperate with in-state travel plans. The Weather Channel predicts upper 70’s or 80’s expected through Christmas before cooler temperatures arrive the following week.

GreatFlorida Insurance wishes a Happy Holidays to all our esteemed agents as well as our appreciated customers across the state.

The post Planes, Trains and Automobiles-Holiday Travel Predictions appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
12/12/2017

Taking proper care of your car keeps it running longer and more efficiently. Consequently, advancements in car manufacturing requires vehicles to be less dependent on car mechanics and more reliant on technology.

“Fuel prices are enough strain on the budget without unknowingly paying too much for car maintenance, “says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance provider.

Car maintenance guidelines vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. However, experts agree, always use the car’s owner’s manual as your guide.

Listed are some long held maintenance myths you might believe that are no longer true.

MYTH: Get an oil change every 3,000 miles.

TRUTH: Most cars can go 5,000 – 7,500 miles before an oil change under normal driving conditions. See your owner’s manual recommendations.

MYTH: Flush the transmission fluid.

TRUTH: Most cars don’t require this for 25,000 – 50,000 miles. Many new vehicles use fluid that never needs replaced or doesn’t need replaced until 100,000 miles according to AAA.

MYTH: Mileage boosting additives and devices.

“Plenty of fuel and oil additive products claim to improve fuel efficiency,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.

TRUTH: They do not work. The EPA reports after extensive testing, “Don’t be fooled by these erroneous claims.”

MYTH: A/C system recharge

TRUTH: If your air conditioning is blowing cool air, it is fine. Most modern A/C systems do not require a recharge unless there is a problem with the system.

MYTH: Purchase premium fuel.

TRUTH: Does your car say premium fuel is “required” or “recommended?” Edmunds reports, to reduce emissions, “most major brands of gasoline have plenty of additives in all grades to both protect engines and cut pollution.” If it is recommended and the driver gets regular, the car’s performance could suffer slightly, but no damage would be done to the engine.

The post Car Maintenance Myths appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
11/1/2017

The wintertime tradition of setting our clocks back before bed on Saturday is coming. Sunday, November 5 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time (DST) will come to an end and we welcome Standard Time.

“Whether you like Standard Time or DST, the disruption seems to be what annoys people the most,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

We “fall-back” and do not have Daylight Saving Time until Sunday, March 11, 2018.  About a week before spring begins.

Energy Savings?

Daylight Saving Time was originally invented to reduce energy consumption. However, a 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study reported Daylight Saving Time reduces annual energy use by about 0.03 percent.

After Indiana adopted Daylight Saving Time in 2006, The National Bureau of Economic Research examined power usage statistics. They found that electricity consumption rose 1 percent overall, with a 2– 4 percent increase during the fall. The additional power usage cost Indiana power users $9 million a year and increased pollution.

Better for our Health?

Some health experts feel our bodies never adjust to DST. They believe the body’s internal clock, (circadian rhythm) follows the sun and adjusts naturally. Despite social changes, you cannot fool your biological clock.

Researchers at the Brookings Institute found public safety can benefit from Daylight Saving Time. When DST begins in the spring, theft drops for the day on an average of 7 percent. We experience a 27 percent reduction in robberies during the evening hour that added extra sunlight.

“Being able to walk out to your car from work while it is still light outside definitely makes you feel safer,” notes Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.

Brookings Institute also reports, the DST time shift reduces our response time and cognition adding extra stress on our bodies. There is an increase in the number of traffic accidents, workplace injuries and heart attacks in the days following the time change as our internal clocks are thrown off. They feel most of these costs are due to the transition between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time, not the sunset time itself. By moving to a year-round DST and permanently shifting that hour of daylight to evening, their research suggests we would be safer.

The post The end of Daylight Saving Time appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/25/2017

Werewolves howl. Phantoms prowl. Halloween’s upon us now.” Richelle E. Goodrich

If you enjoy being spooked, dressing up and sweets, Halloween is your night. Of course, all the activity, fun and mischief can result in calamities. GreatFlorida Insurance wants to make sure you enjoy an amusing and safe Halloween this year by checking out the following tips.

Drivers

“Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year,” reports The National Safety Council.

  • If you plan to leave your home, try parking so you do not have to back out of a parking space.
  • Check around your vehicle for little ones before you leave.
  • Be prepared to stop at crosswalks and intersections.
  • Stay off your cell phone.

“Drive especially slow that night,” suggests Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency.

Trick-or-Treating Trail

Set ground rules before your kids head out. Halloween is a night of pranks. Teach your children the difference between a prank and vandalism to keep them safe and out of trouble.

  • Children under 12 years of age should have adult supervision.
  • If you are with your kids, ditch the phone. Parents need to be in the moment and pay attention.
  • Make sure to stay on sidewalks and cross the street at corners and crosswalks and always look both ways before you cross.
  • Tell your kids to never go into a stranger’s home.
  • Set a time limit for your older kids to be out and be familiar with their route.
  • Encourage kids to avoid short-cuts through alleys and backyards.

At Home

  • Create a clear path to your door. Pick up leaves, debris and garden hoses, toys and bikes so trick-or-treaters do not trip.
  • Provide good visibility. Turn on your outdoor lights and make sure to replace burned out bulbs.

“A homeowner is not liable if someone falls or trips on their property, unless the homeowner was negligent. Do your best to keep pathways repaired and potential obstacles put away,” warns Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowners insurance agency.

Pets

  • Do not leave your pets in the yard, they can frighten children and entice pranksters.
  • Keep your animals confined and away from the door during trick-or-treating hours recommends The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA.
  • Halloween candy is not for pets, chocolate, especially dark chocolate can be toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Pet costumes can prompt laughs, but cause stress for your animal. If you dress them up, try a test run first. Make sure their mobility, sight and ability to breath is not limited.

Costumes

  • Make sure the costume fits properly to prevent trips and falls.
  • Try using non-toxic face paint and make-up instead of masks to make sure vision is not restricted. If you use a mask, make sure the eyes and nose holes are large enough.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or a flash light so they can be seen. Using reflective tape on a costume or candy bag is also helpful.
  • Do not allow your kids to carry sharp or dangerous accessories with their costume.
  • If you or your kids are using decorative contact lenses as part of a costume, make sure to get them from a reputable eye center and try them out first.

 

The post Keeping Halloween Fun, Frightening and Accident Free appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/11/2017

Many Floridians are looking to replace their flood damaged cars, but buyer beware. Hundreds of thousands of cars are estimated damaged by recent hurricanes. Carfax estimates that as many as half of flood damaged cars eventually return to the market.

“Instead of landing in the scrap yard, they are dried out, cleaned up and put back on the market, reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance company.

In fact, flood-damaged cars can be resold in Florida. State law requires the title to be branded as flood damaged. Unfortunately, not all states require title branding to protect consumers. The Florida Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reports flood damaged cars from states without flood branding requirements can be resold in Florida with clean titles. Although, Edmunds reports, “A vehicle history report should reveal any branding for flood damage, even if someone has washed the vehicle’s title by moving it through states with differing regulations.”

Keep in mind, cars without flood insurance never receive an inspection, therefore no brand is added to the title. “Savvy buyers could find deals but are also taking a risk. Be suspicious if the deal seems too good, warns Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

How to spot a flood damaged car

Check the vehicle’s history- Consumers should take precautions such as getting a history of repairs and checking the VIN number with Carfax, the National Insurance Crime Bureau or National Motor Vehicle Title Information System databases.

Be alert to strange odors- a mold or mildew smell or the strong smell of a cleaning solution or air freshener to mask damage.

Look for stains, mineral deposits or discolored carpet.

Check out door panels to make sure they are not warped.

Inspect for dried mud under the dashboard or where the spare tire is kept.

Examine the exterior for water build-up-such as fogged up headlamps or taillights.

Flood damaged cars are usually sold by private sellers or independent used car dealerships, stick with a reputable car dealership in your area. Shady sellers will go to great lengths to turn a profit on a defective vehicle.

If you are looking for affordable and dependable auto insurance, look no further than GreatFlorida Insurance. We have you covered, contact us today!

The post Avoid buying a flood damaged car appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/26/2017

Starting in August, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will begin issuing a new Florida driver’s license and ID card.

“As a matter of fact, the last update to the cards was 2003,” points out Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

Updates to the card will offer a new look and feel, along with increased security. The makeover is an effort to nearly double the protection against fraud. “The new credential provides Floridians the most secure over-the-counter card on the market today,” claims FLHSMV.

The new card also conforms to Homeland Security’s REAL ID Act. REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and Federal Government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents. This is turn, should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

new-dl-fraud-protection

The new driver’s license and ID card are unique to Florida. The card front incorporates a pastel colored linear rendering of the Florida state seal and a large orange “FL” over a stark white base. On the back of the card, an image of the state of Florida rests among ocean waves and the year 1845 is displayed. This refers to the year Florida became the 27th state in the Union.

Additional features include, photograph images that are printed with a transparent background and appear in four locations on the card. Differentiating head colors across the top will make it easy to determine what type of license each person owns. The blue font indicates a commercial driver’s license, a green font is a driver’s license, red font is an ID card and the orange font is across the learner’s license.

Plenty of new characteristics doubling as fraud protection measures include; redundant data, ultraviolet (UV) ink and optically variable data features. Also, the new design incorporates designations for lifetime sportsman, boater, freshwater, saltwater and hunting licenses as well as designations for veteran, organ donor, deaf/hard of hearing and developmentally disabled and more.

Those under 21 will find a red box on the front of their card that indicates the date they reach the legal drinking age.

For now, the new cards will be available at select service centers. The agency reports by the end of 2017, new credentials will be available at all service centers thought the state and online. Previous driver’s license and ID cards will still be in use alongside the new cards until it is replaced or phased out.

Floridians are only required to replace their current license of ID card if it is expired, or a name change or address change is needed. “Driving with an expired driver’s license can carry a fine, probation, suspended license and an increase of your insurance rates,” reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency. So, make sure you do not let your driver’s license expire.

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance today for all your auto insurance needs.

Florida-Auto-Insurance

 

The post Florida driver licenses get a new look appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.