Do I Need Commercial Insurance if I Just Started a Home-Based Business?

Many people enjoy starting a business from their home. It has tremendous appeal because it is a way to make some extra money while keeping expenses to a minimum. The decision about what kinds of commercial insurance is needed for a home-based business depends very much on what type of business is operating from the home. Another consideration is and whether there will be any clients or customers that come to the home.

Talk with your agent at Blanchard Insurance, serving Altamonte Springs, FL and the surrounding communities, to learn more about this to make sure you and your business are protected.

Commercial Insurance for Home-Based Businesses

There are many reasons that make it a wise idea for a home-based business to have commercial insurance, which are:

  • If your business requires a professional license from the state of Florida, then you need professional liability insurance and you probably also need to have commercial insurance of other types.
  • If anyone comes to the home for a business purpose having commercial insurance is important.
  • If you hire workers, Florida’s laws require businesses to have worker’s compensation insurance if they have four or more workers. It may still be a good idea to have worker’s compensation insurance even if you only have one worker because this insurance helps to limit the liability of the business owner(s) if a worker is harmed, injured, or killed on the job.
  • If you use any vehicle for the business, especially if you let other people drive it, you need commercial vehicle insurance.
  • If a portion of the home is reserved for use as a home office, that portion needs separate commercial insurance since it will not be covered in the home insurance.
  • If you make any product that is for sale, you will want to consider product liability coverage.
  • If you offer personal services like nail care, skin care, or massage therapy, etc. you will probably want to have liability coverage.
  • If your home-based business is a major source of your income, you should consider business interruption insurance so that you can pay the bills if the business is unable to operate due to an unexpected event.

Contact your agent at Blanchard Insurance in Altamonte Springs, FL by calling 407-788-8640 or by using the convenient online form to get a quote for commercial insurance.

Florida’s Current Flood Insurance Situation in Today’s Political Climate

It’s no secret that the maps of Florida’s flood zones and storm zones are complicated. Nor have they been made any less complicated by FEMA and recent disaster. Hurricane Katrina brought about a 20% increase in flood insurance nationwide. Meanwhile, all flood and storm zones were scrutinized carefully while FEMA put together the next amendments and debt forgiveness that covered over 5 million homes with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. 

What Does Flood Insurance Have to Do with NFIP?

NFIP was a big deal in November. If the bill that Rubio, Kennedy, and Menendez didn’t pass, NFIP would have run out of funding. In November, Trump extended the period to May 31, 2018. At this point, we will re-examine the Senate’s proposal.

Essentially NFIP and its amendments made it so that Special Flood Hazard Areas must be insured. Here are a few examples of the types of insurance that this program requires depending on the zone that you may be in:

  • Mandatory flood insurance on flood-prone homes in order to secure mortgages,
  • Claims have caps on the types of losses for the property owner,
  • More likely to find homes in flood-prone areas as rentals due to increased risks and costs associated with living on a storm or flood prone area.

Homeowners Flood Insurance in the Altamonte Springs FL Area

These are just some examples that make it necessary if you own a home in Altamonte Springs, FL area that you stay in touch with Blanchard Insurance. We can always go back over your policy with you and make sure that you are covered fully. 

Give our Blanchard Insurance office in the Altamonte Springs, FL area a call or come visit our website and stay in contact!

When to Update Your Auto Insurance

Your auto insurance in Altamonte Springs, FL may seem like a list of terms and conditions that should stay the same from month to month. But this assumption can land you in hot water if you’re not careful. Policies need to grow and evolve with the policyholder, so the vehicle owner is always covered. Blanchard Insurance wants you to know when to call your carrier. 

You Upgraded Your Car

Upgrades are normally the biggest reason why people need to update their policy. If you install expensive rims or replace the stereo system, this inherently increases the value of your car. If you don’t let your carrier know, these upgrades may not be covered under your normal policy. Your auto insurance policy has limits in place based on how much the vehicle was worth at the time of purchase. Anything that alters that value will need to be communicated with your carrier. 

Your Lifestyle Changes

Whether you move, get a new job, or decide to start driving for a ride-sharing company, you need to update your policy. For example, if your new job means you’ll be commuting twice as far as you were before, your insurance carrier will want to know about the increased risks of your being on the road. Or if you move to a location with less overall crime in the area, you may be able to get a discount on your insurance policy. 

If you live in Altamonte Springs, FL, you need to be aware of how your policy is affected by the choices you make. The more you stay in communication with your carrier, the less likely it is you’ll have a problem if you do file a claim. If you have questions about how auto policies work in real life, call Blanchard Insurance to get more information today. 

What to Look for When Comparing Car Insurance Polices

Comparing car insurance policies in Altamonte Springs, FL is a good way to save money, but you need to know what to look for.

It can be easy to focus on the final cost of  policy, but when you are comparing policies you need to look at the coverage selections, limits, and deductibles, before you consider the final prices. The cheapest policy will likely offer the least amount of coverage, which can provide some of the least financial protection if you have an accident. There are also a number of different policy options. It’s best to select liability limits that are higher than the required ones and have optional coverage, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, in order to have the best financial protection. You need to compare apples to apples in order to get the right picture.

Compare Discounts and Premiums: Your policy may come with a deductible, and this means you have to pay it before coverage can kick in following a claim. Raising your deductible can lower your premium. When you are comparing limits and deductibles, also look at available discounts that are offered. Discounts can be good money savers, but not all are created equal. Read the terms of each discount and take the savings into consideration while you compare different rates.

Look at the Company: Don’t just look at the quotes, but also look at the company providing the policy. Check the business vitals and factor in customer service. Does the company have any reviews? Are they able to provide claims service 24/7?

Pay Attention to Any Exclusions or Additional Services: Policies can come with additional features. Some policies will offer towing and labor cost overage to help with tire changes, lockout assistance, and emergency job starts. This may not be important if your car is new, but will be useful if your car is older. An add-on service may not break a policy, but it can be useful if you are looking at two policies that are almost the same price. An agent at Blanchard Insurance can explain the added services.

Contact Blanchard Insurance, serving Altamonte Springs, FL, to get a quote on car insurance. 


Is Mobile Home Insurance Required?

For those thinking about buying a manufactured home, also referred to as a mobile home, in the Altamonte Springs FL area, you may be curious about the insurance you need.  Mobile home insurance is a particular type of homeowner’s policy.  These policies are designed to cover the specific risks that can come with a manufactured home because these homes are built with lighter materials and transported to a location where they are most often tied down with ground anchors to create stability.  The risks come with this type of strapped down-home versus a home built on a concrete foundation.    

Mobile Home Insurance

In Altamonte Springs, FL, you will want to work with an agent that understands the specifics for mobile home insurance.  If your home is financed through a bank or mortgage company, more often than not, you’ll be required to carry a policy to cover the banks’ and your investment.  The home itself will be needed to be installed properly on a permanent foundation that passes a foundation inspection. 

As a homeowner, it’s in your best interest to carry homeowner’s insurance to help repair possible damages, replace assets in the home, help protect you from potential liability claims, or cover the loss of the house if necessary.  Mobile home insurance can be tricky, and you don’t want to end up with out of pocket expenses that could have been avoided. 

Blanchard Insurance

The Blanchard Insurance agents have been helping homeowners with their home insurance needs for over 20 years.  Contact a Blanchard agent today.  We can sit down with you and take the time to answer all of your questions and help assess your unique situation.  This way, we can give you the best options for your mobile home insurance to protect your investment.

Making the Most of Classic Car Ownership

Restoring and owning classic cars can be a fulfilling hobby. It can also get expensive. Since classic car owners put a lot of money, time and love into their restorations, they want to make sure that these prized possessions are protected. Classic car insurance is one way you can protect your investment. 

What is Classic Car Insurance?

Classic car insurance is a special category of insurance reserved for antique and classic restored cars. Because these cars have a value which is not based solely on the market value of the car itself, it is imperative that they have special insurance coverage.

What is the Definition of a Classic/Antique Car?

In most cases, a car is considered a classic if it is 10-24 years old and has been restored to its original state. In most cases, these cars are not used full time and in all cases, these cars must be stored under specific conditions. An antique car would be a car 25 years or older, also restored to the original state, with limited use, stored under specific conditions. 

How Are Classic Cars Insured?

Classic cars are insured for what is called an agreed amount. This amount has nothing to do with the car’s market value, but rather this is an amount that the owner and the insurance agency decide upon based on the restoration that has taken place and the value of the car in a collectible context.  In most cases, an insurance policy for a classic car will be highly dependant upon the owner adhering to certain protective measures for the car. These measures are put in place to make sure the car is not put at unnecessary risk. 

If you would like to learn more about classic car insurance, please contact our friendly staff at Blanchard Insurance in Altamonte Springs, FL. 

Thinking Of Buying A Camper? Here’s Why You Need Recreational Insurance

If you have an RV, travel trailer, or camper, you don’t need the hassle of booking flights, renting a car, or reserving a hotel room. When you have an RV, Camper, or travel trailer, you can just pack, lock up your Altamonte Springs, FL home and get on the road to your dream destination! Lucky for you, Blanchard Insurance offers affordable, specialized RV, camper or travel trailer insurance to help protect you and your belongings. 

What Kind Of Recreational Vehicle Insurance Do I Need? 

Depending on what type of RV, camper, or travel trailer you have, your insurance requirements will vary. However, even if you aren’t required to carry insurance (some non-motorized trailers don’t require it), it is wise to protect you and your belongings with coverage. RV insurance is available for: 

  • Conventional travel trailers 
  • Fifth-wheels 
  • Towable trailers 
  • Expandable travel trailers  
  • Truck campers and folding camper trailers 

Here are the types of RV insurance you should consider. 

Total Loss Replacement – If your RV is totaled within the first four years, this will provide you with a new, comparably-equipped RV.  For the fifth through seventh years, the settlement is the original documented purchase price or actual cash value at the time of loss, whichever is higher. After the seventh year, the settlement is typically on the actual cash value.  

Vacation Liability – This covers property damage or bodily injury damage or losses that occur at your vacation site. Typically, with comprehensive and collision coverage,  

Replacement Cost Personal Effects – This pays to replace your personal belongings in your camper that result from a covered loss.  

Emergency Expense Coverage – This will pay for expenses such as hotels and transportation due to a covered loss.  

Recreational Vehicle Medical Payments Coverage – pays the cost for necessary medical treatment that is caused in an RV accident, regardless of fault. 

Blanchard Insurance covers motorized recreational vehicles, motorhomes, van campers, mini motorhomes, towable campers, and sports utility recreational vehicles. For more information about the specific insurance coverage, you need for your RV, give the Altamonte Springs, FL insurance experts a call today.

What Can RV Insurance Cover?

RV insurance – much like auto insurance – covers many of the risks that are common to traveling on the open road including collision, liability, non-accident-related damage, and more. Many RV insurance packages will also include coverage for your personal belongings, equipment, and accessories in and on the RV itself. You may also have access to additional coverage options including total replacement, campsite and vacation, emergency expenses, towing and roadside assistance, special coverage if your RV is your full-time residence and uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage. Naturally, this will all depend on whether or not you are with Blanchard Insurance, how far you are from Altamonte Springs, FL, and which package you choose.

How It Works

By design, a Blanchard Insurance policy is there to protect you – the owner – from excessive financial stress in the event of an accident, loss, or damage. It can also provide you with some assistance and compensation in the case of a roadside breakdown that you have repaired on your own.
To more specifically illustrate how this all might work, let’s consider some common troubles you can experience while on the road with your vehicle. Assuming you’re near Altamonte Springs, FL, your RV insurance could cover you in these situations:

If your policy covers uninsured/underinsured motorists and you are involved in an accident with such a driver who is deemed at fault, your insurance will cover your damages since you can’t make a claim against the other motorist’s insurance. The specific amount covered will depend on the amount of damage and policy specifics such as deductible amount and limits set on the policy.

If your policy includes liability coverage and you are involved in an accident for which you are deemed at fault, your insurance company will compensate the other motorists involved up to the liability limits on your specific policy. However, you will be on the hook to pay any costs beyond those limits. This could include the costs of damages, injuries, court fees or judgments.

If you have towing coverage or roadside assistance, your insurance company can reimburse you for costs associated with towing your vehicle after being disabled in an accident.

Comprehensive coverage can cover all sorts of things beyond accidents while on the road. If your insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, your insurance company can cover anything from animal damage, hail damage, or even total loss in the case of a flood or theft. This is still all subject to your deductible and limits you selected when purchasing your policy.

How to Stay Safe on Your New Motorcycle

Motorcycle ownership can be a great and exciting part of your life. Many people dream for years of owning a motorcycle, but when the happy day finally arrives you will want to make sure that your motorcycle experience is as safe as possible. Here are a few tips to help make sure that you stay safe on your new motorcycle.

Take Motorcycle Safety Class

Driving a motorcycle is very different than driving a car. For this reason, motorcycle driving and safety courses are offered. It is a wise investment in both time and money to go ahead and enroll in one of these classes. This way you can make the most of your time on your bike without huge risk factors. 

Always Wear A Helmet

Even if you live or are traveling in an area that does not require full head protection, you should always go the extra mile and protect your self with a full helmet. Even a minor motorcycle accident can cause serious head trauma if you are not fully protected. 

Be Aware of Driving Conditions

You should carefully evaluate driving conditions before driving your motorcycle. If driving conditions are less than ideal, and you have another option for transportation, it is usually a good idea to save the bike for another day. You should also never drive too tired or impaired in any other way. 

Don’t Take Risks

Motorcycles have a strange way of changing people’s attitudes. Do not fall victim to this when it comes to risk-taking. Your motorcycle can be a source of joy and pride for many years to come, but only if you make safe, wise decisions today. 

If you would like to speak to someone about motorcycle safety and insurance for your new motorcycle, contact our friendly staff at Blanchard Insurance at Altamonte Springs, FL

How Boat Insurance Protects Your Beautiful Vessel From Vandal Damage

Living in Altamonte Springs, FL is a great option for people who love boating. Unfortunately, your beautiful vessel may end up being vandalized by somebody who is either jealous of your property or simply mean-spirited. Therefore, you should contact Blanchard Insurance to learn more about how boat insurance can help you against vandals.

Why Do People Vandalize Boats?

Vandals very rarely have good reasons for their destructive behavior. Some are simply bored individuals who are thoughtless about the property of others. Some vandals are so-called artists who think that painting their name or other items on a boat is an expression of their artistic skills.

More serious vandalization issues, such as breaking parts of the boat for no reason, may also be a problem. Some people are jealous of the success of others and lash out in any way that they can. Whatever the cause, a vandalized boat is a heartbreaking situation.

Will Insurance Cover Vandals?

When your boat is vandalized by somebody else – including paint damage and other physical destruction – your boat insurance will typically kick in and help you repair the damage. Most policies will cover up to the limits of your policy, which is typically based on a yearly amount.

However, some lower-quality policies may have exclusions on vandalization that you need to take into account before buying a policy. Look through the limitations to see what the policy won’t cover and then ask your provider for one that will cover the vandalized property. Thankfully, most should provide this coverage without requiring a special request from you.

Protect Your Financial Investment

As you can see, boat insurance is a good choice for any Altamonte Springs, FL residents who are concerned about vandals damaging their boat. So please contact us at Blanchard Insurance to talk to one of our agents. We can help you find an insurance policy that will protect you from losing serious cash if somebody damages your boat.