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Be Prepared for Severe Weather Events

Severe weather can occur anywhere. If your area is effected you may not have access to food, water or electricity for days or even weeks. Recall hurricane Irma which left many places here in Naples, Florida without electricity for weeks. True, some “pockets” of electricity existed but unless you had welcoming friends or family members in those areas you were not privileged to benefit from the luxury that electricity can provide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of adults in the U.S. do not have the resources or plans in place for any emergency. That means if you have friends or family members that live near you chances are they may come knocking at your door for help. Would you be prepared to either turn them away or provide them with aid? There is no such thing as being “too prepared,” and it’s better to start preparing now than later when the store shelves are empty!

 

Here are some tips for preparing for severe weather.

  • Staying hydrated. It is recommended to have enough water to supply one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
  • Prescription medicines. Not a cheap preparation, but talk to your doctor to schedule to have at least a three-day supply on hand.
  • Personal hygiene. Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper. You’ll want to avoid getting sick during this time. Don’t skip on hygiene.
  • Get a first-aid kit and most importantly know how to use everything inside or have someone around who does.
  • Electronics. Be sure to have battery-powered or solar flashlights handy. A cell phone with a portable charger will come in handy as well.
  • Important papers. Copies of drivers’ licenses, special medical information, social security cards, etc. Keep them in a waterproof, air tight bag.
  • Cash. Without power, stores may not be able to process credit cards and ATMs may either be non-operational or out of cash. Keep an amount that you would feel comfortable with in small bills stored somewhere in your home.
  • Basic hand tools. A wrench, screw driver or set of pliers can be handy for repairs and more.
  • Pet food. Your furry friends will also need a 3-day supply of food and water.

 

We don’t sell food insurance at American Accord, but we do offer insurance products which will help protect you from financial loss.

Talk to one of our insurance representatives today to discuss your level of insurance to make sure you are adequately covered. We will shop around for the best rates for your needs.

 

Before Signing a Lease, ask these Questions

Finally settling into your new lease, whether it is an apartment, condo or home, can bring so much joy. However, don’t let this enthusiasm get the best of you. Before signing your lease, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Here are a few important questions to ask your landlord or leasing office before signing your lease agreement.

  • How long is the lease term and what is the termination procedure for either party?
  • What, if any, utilities are included in the monthly payment?
  • Are pets allowed? Remember, you may want a pet in the future.
  • What is the parking arrangement?
  • When is the rent due and how is rent payment to be submitted?
  • Is the security deposit refundable and in what ways can I personalize the property?
  • In what ways can I personalize the property?
  • Last, but not least, what insurance coverage if any is provided?

Talk to your American Accord Insurance Agent today to learn more about what renters insurance has to offer. Stop by any of our convenient insurance office locations in Naples, Florida or give us a call at 800.464.8586. You may also send us an email anytime.

 

Buying a used car? Here are some tips.

So you are in the market for a “new”, yet used car. Well, we at American Accord want to help protect you from a potentially costly mistake. We have compiled a brief list of tips to take into account before agreeing and handing over your hard earned money.

  1. The first tip when buying a used car is to determine your budget. This will help you narrow down your choices making you less susceptible to promotions and “deals”. This will also help you calculate your monthly payments, if financing. If you do plan on financing, consider getting a loan from your local bank. You may find that they may have lower interest rates when compared to the car dealership or manufacturer.
  2. Ask the right questions. When you meet with the owner, inquire about the car’s ownership history, maintenance and the current condition of the car. You may be surprised, but humans lie. We know you knew that but hopefully that sarcastic sentence will help remind you to double check someone’s claim. The owner may be gifted with a silver tongue turning a lemon of a car into lemon-aid. Write down the VIN number (usually located on the driver’s side door or dash) and you can get a report online for a small fee.
  3. Whether you are purchasing from a dealer or private owner, ALWAYS take the car for a test drive! During the drive, listen closely for any noises of potential trouble. It is a good idea to drive on hills (we know it is hard to do in Naples), highways and in stop-and-go traffic. You’ll get a better feel for how it drives and decide if you feel comfortable driving it.
  4. After negotiating a price, it’s time to close the deal. Before you negotiate (see tip 5 below), make sure the car is priced fairly. You can find out what it is worth on a vehicle valuation website such as Kelly Blue Book. After a price is set, you should never pay a private seller with cash. If something goes wrong and there’s no paper trail, it may be tough to get your money back. Along with the car, the previous owner should provide the title, a dated receipt for the sale signed by you and the seller and a spare key if available. Also make sure to research the rules in your state regarding how the seller should transfer the title for the vehicle to you.
  5. Call your American Accord insurance agent prior to committing to purchase and or taking possession of the car. What if making this purchase increases your insurance rate blowing your budget out of proportion? Don’t get caught off guard, know how much this new/used car will actually cost you each month. Once this suggestion is met, then it is time to inquire about the process to insure the new car.

From everyone here at American Accord – good luck and happy shopping!

Looking for a New Motorcycle? Don’t forget about Insurance Coverage!

Since you’re in the market for a new bike, here are a few tips to help you when making a decision on your new ride.

The first and most important question to ask yourself is to get you grounded in reality thus from making an expensive mistake. What type of riding are you looking to do? A sport bike may get you excited, but there is a good chance you’ll never need that kind of power commuting to and from work.

Get the Bike’s Service History

The seller may not have that, but request it just in case. This will help you understand what kind of service has been recently done on the bike and what yet may need to be done. Also ask for an owner’s manual and factory toolkit if available. Alternatively request one directly from the manufacture or locate one online. The Devil is in the details.

Prepare your Documents

You can’t legally ride a motorcycle without a bike license. Take the motorcycle safety course in your area if you’ve never owned a motorcycle and purchase a DOT-approved helmet before your first ride.

Test Drive

Pick a day with dry roads to test the bike. Don’t forget your bike license and helmet! If at a dealership, be prepared to sign an insurance waiver; if private, be ready to leave your license with the seller as security. Start slowly on the bike to get used to how it feels and responds.

Insure the bike with American Accord Insurance

If you buy a bike, don’t ride naked! Protect your ‘tail-pipe’ with reputable insurance from American Accord. Call or visit one of our local agencies near you to learn more!

Proposed Changes to Florida’s Auto Insurance Requirements

Recently the Florida House voted 88 – 15 to repeal Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) system.

Under House Bill (HB19) drivers would be required to purchase bodily-injury liability coverage at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

The Senate proposal (SB 150) would replace the PIP system in 2019 requiring all drivers to carry bodily injury coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident as well as mandatory medical payment coverage (MedPay), of $5,000. Coverage would increase to $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident after three years.

What does this mean for you? A likely increase in your premium depending upon on the area in which you live. Give us a call or schedule a meeting with one of our insurance agents to review your current auto insurance policy.

Protect Your Family and Secure Their Future

If you are new to buying any type of life insurance, you will need to know how it works and have a good understanding of the types in order to choose the coverage that will be best for you and your family. If you live in Naples, Bonita Spring or Marco Island the team at American Accord Insurance is willing and able to assist you.

A life insurance policy is basically a contract between you and the insurance company. You make payments on the premium and in exchange for the insurance company providing a lump sum payment – also known as a “death benefit” – to your beneficiaries when you, or the insured party, passes away.

In a typical situation, the life insurance type will be determined by the goals and needs of the policy owner. The type known as term life insurance will provide the protection only for a specific amount of time. The more permanent type, like whole or universal life insurance, provides coverage for a lifetime. One more thing that is important to know is that the death benefits from life insurance policies are typically tax free.

 

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Benefits of Homeowners Insurance

Southwest Florida, namely Naples, Bonita Springs and Marco Island have some truly beautiful homes, and its beautiful weather and proximity to the ocean means that those homes are likely to increase in value as more and more people escape the cold winters up North.

While homeowners insurance may seem like just another bill you have to pay, it’s worth remembering that there are far more reasons to appreciate it rather than resent it.

1. Protecting Your Investment

Homeowners insurance is what saves you from having to make all of the repairs after harsh winds or rains come tearing through your neighborhood, or having to replace your possessions should you be targeted by thieves or vandals. The wealth in Naples and Marco Island makes these areas very attractive to criminals, and having the right protection can be crucial to keeping protecting the accumulated value of your property.

 

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