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Renters Insurance Quotes in Brandon, FL

Gena Swanson, Agent


232 Oakfield Drive
Brandon, FL  33511
Fax : 813-982-4078

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Renters Insurance BrandonRenter's Insurance

You do not have to own your property for it to be considered your home in Brandon. It is often your possessions that are more treasured than the house, especially when renting.

While the landlord may have home insurance covering the structure, your personal belongings are not covered unless you have a renter’s insurance policy in place.

GreatFlorida Insurance has budget friendly renter’s coverage to protect against damage or theft of your small appliances, electronics, computer and entertainment equipment, clothes, shoes, jewelry, furniture, bikes and just about anything else you own.

Renter’s insurance is not only created for your possessions but, can offer protection if someone is injured at your rental property as well as  provide living expenses if your rental is damaged and you need to find temporary housing.

GreatFlorida Insurance can cover your rental property whether you live in a condominium, apartment, townhouse or home in Brandon. Safeguard your personal effects with renter’s insurance today.

Protect What's Yours with Renter's Insurance

Whether you own or rent your home, the fact remains that you want to protect your belongings and your family from life's unfortunate events.

While most people have heard of homeowners insurance, many renters don't know that there are special policies just for them called renters insurance.

Contact a GreatFlorida Renter's Insurance Agent in Brandon to get more information on a renters insurance policies and to get your free renters insurance quote.

Call 813-982-4077 or take a few minutes to complete our online quote request form.

Why should I get a renters insurance policy?

Even though you may be living in a home that is protected by someone else's homeowners insurance policy, you want to be sure that your personal belongings and liabilities are covered.

If an accident, natural disaster or other unfortunate incident occurs, a renters insurance policy will make it easier to get back on your feet.

How do deductibles work with renters insurance?

Just like with other policies, a deductible is the amount that you agree to pay before your insurance policy begins to pay. However, it is important to note that this applies to personal property claims and not to liability claims.

Additionally, hurricane deductibles are applied differently since storms can cause damage multiple times in one year. Your GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Brandon can provide you with additional information on how deductibles work.

What personal items does a renters policy cover?

Renters insurance policies are designed to keep your assets safe. Take a look around your home. You probably have more personal property in your home than you initially realize.

Do you have?

  • Kitchen appliances and supplies
  • Electronics
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Purses
  • Furniture
  • Entertainment systems

Protect items such as these with a superb renters insurance policy from GreatFlorida Insurance. Get your quote by calling 813-982-4077.

How about protection against personal liability?

When someone is hurt at your home, it may be as much your liability as it is the landlord's liability.

Not having proper coverage in place can be a costly mistake. Renters insurance will give you the protection you need whether you need to cover attorneys' fees or pay for the medical bills of those injured on your property.

Protection at home and away from home.

Damages and personal liability can by incurred whether you're home or away from home. For instance, if you accidentally set something on fire because of a faulty appliance or lapse in judgment, a good renters insurance policy can help you recover from those damages.

On the other hand, if your home catches on fire, suffers from water damage as a result of an action of your neighbor or building management, or is broken into, a renters insurance policy will be your best asset.

In these instances your policy will cover damaged items as well as pay part of your living expenses should you be forced out of your home due to the damage.

Renters insurance covers your belongings from natural disasters.

Florida is the Sunshine State. Our tropical climate draws visitors from around the world. However, it also leaves us susceptible to severe storms, floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.

When you rent your home, you are not responsible for damage to the structure, but guess who is responsible for your personal belongings. You are.

The destruction of your home and personal belongings can be devastating. Give yourself and your family the best chance for a second start with proper renters insurance coverage.

You'll also ensure that you'll have financial support to pay for living expenses if you are forced out of your home.

Payment plans available.

Renters insurance can fit most any budget. You have the option of paying for the entire year upfront or paying a deposit followed by quarterly payments. Get more information when you contact a GreatFlorida Insurance Agent.

Get started by making a list and checking it twice.

How can you get started? Before calling GreatFlorida Insurance take inventory of your belongings. From furniture to appliances to electronics to clothes to shoes to clothing to jewelry, these costs can really add up.

Once you have an idea of the total value of your belongings, a GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Brandon will be able to put together the best possible renters insurance quote for you.

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Call 813-982-4077
Florida Renters  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

This year’s legislative session was unique. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School prompted action from lawmakers, shifting the agenda toward the end. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s Legislature passed the fewest bills in two decades. The lack of progress could be due to the unexpected gun debate that took place. In response, legislators passed gun-control measures for the first time in 20 years.

Many of the same issues, along with some new debates were brought up again among lawmakers. Let’s look at what passed and what fell short.


A bill to repeal the no-fault auto insurance system, requiring drivers to carry personal injury or PIP Coverage.

“Florida lawmakers have argued over eliminating PIP and replacing it with a fault-based system for years. It seems to never gain enough momentum to become law,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance company.

An effort to ban fracking, the controversial oil- and natural- gas drilling process.

A ban to red-light cameras.

A proposal allowing law enforcement officers to pull people over for texting while driving. A practice, the National Safety Council reports causes 1,600,000 accidents a year.

Creation of new specialty license tags.

Guns at church.


Tax cuts by $168.6 million- including a property tax break for homeowners displaced by hurricane Irma and nursing homes that purchase electrical generators. It also includes back-to-school holiday exempting sales tax on clothing and school supplies and reduces sales tax on business rents.

“It adds an 18 percent reduction in penalties for non-criminal traffic infractions for drivers who attend driving school,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance company.

Permanent daylight saving time.

Permits trained school employees to carry concealed weapons in school, raises the age requirement for gun purchases from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for rifles and other long guns, allows police to seize weapons from those who pose a danger to themselves and others, and bans the sale of bump stocks.

A bill to make threats of mass shooting and terrorist attacks a second-degree felony.

Expansion of mental health services in public school.

K-12 -Creates voucher-like scholarships to pay for students who are bullied in public schools so they can attend private schools. Requires all schools to visibly display the Florida state motto, “In God We Trust,” and allows tenants of commercial property to direct tax revenue of up to $57.5 million in rent into the account of two scholarship programs.

More money for the state’s Bright Future’s merit scholarship program.

A homeowners’ insurance policy must visibly state that hurricane insurance does not include flood insurance.

Creation of the first Florida Slavery Memorial built on Capitol grounds.

Prescription limits on opioids and money for addiction treatment.

A resolution declaring pornography a health risk.















The post Winners and Losers from the 2018 Florida Legislature appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Self-storage is a $38 billion a year industry. According to Sparefoot, an online source for self-storage information, over nine percent of households rent a self-storage unit. While Floridians spend an average of $88.68 a month on storage unit rent.

The Self-Storage Association reports half of all units are rented for a year. Many people find storage units a temporary solution during a move or while in transition. “A lack of attics and basements in Florida homes might leave you short on storage space,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

However, not all storage rentals are temporary. 30 percent rent for two years or more. Of longer term renters, fifty percent are simply storing what does not fit in their home.  And others have sentimental items they emotionally cannot deal with. While some are storing items they no longer need or even want. Often, long term self-storage renters forget what is in the storage unit.

Whether you appreciate your self-storage unit or loathe it, make sure your items are insured. Before renting a storage unit, contact your insurance agent or review your homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy may protect your items in storage.

“When you sign up to rent a storage unit, the self-storage company may try to sell you insurance, but chances are you already covered,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

Check if your policy covers items that are stored at an alternate location other than your home. While a renters insurance policy or homeowners policy will cover your belongings, it might not cover them as fully as the ones kept in your home.

Stored belongings might only be covered by a small percentage. A homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy usually protects personal property up to 10 percent of the amount of coverage in your policy.

Exclusions your homeowners or renters policy might not cover include flood or water damage, mold and mildew as well as losses incurred from the failure to maintain the unit properly, which is the responsibility of the storage company.

If you are storing a valuable collection, you might require a personal liability or umbrella policy for additional coverage and peace of mind.  If you plan to keep a vehicle, motorcycle or ATV, you will most likely require separate auto insurance.

To properly safeguard your things selecting a storage facility to suit you and your belongings. Make sure to look for the following when shopping for a unit.

Gated facilities

24/7 security camera

Keypad access or a lock with short arms resistant to bolt cutters

Inspect the unit for pests or leaks before renting.

Choose a climate controlled unit that will protect against mold and mildew.

Do an inventory of what you have in storage along with the estimated value of each item and a picture.

The post Self-storage, a blessing or a curse? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Across the country hearts are heavy, grieving the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “These tragedies impact our communities-our parents, our children, our school professionals, our first responders-the mental health of our whole country,” reminds the professionals with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Even if someone is not involved directly traumatic events, especially within our state, burden our hearts and minds,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance provider.

Many people experience sadness, anxiety or anger. Some have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. Their minds are dominated by the details of the event. These symptoms typically decrease over time.

Effective and healthy ways to cope during this time include:

Talking to your children about the incident, discuss how it makes them feel.

Limit news and social media exposure. Continuous exposure causes a person to relive the trauma. Also, descriptions and images in the media can cause fear in kids going to school.

Maintain your normal routine.

Connect with people in positive ways. Talk with people and take the time to listen to others. Tell people you care about that you love them.

“Doing something for others can help you channel stressful feelings,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance provider.

However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), points out that in some cases the anxiety will continue and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to experience the effects of trauma, it is important to get professional help. Signs to look for include the following:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses.

Our world seems to be experiencing tragedy and stress on a more frequent basis. Be sure to slow down and be kind to yourself as well as others.

The post Coping with tragedy appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

“Cell phones are no longer just phones, but so much more,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

They store our calendars and photos, provide access to our favorite stores and emails. Checking our cell phones on a regular basis has become a habit for many. However, the lure of instant information is an unhealthy attachment and cell phone addiction is real.

A poll conducted by the non-profit, Common Sense Media found 50 percent of teens feel like they are addicted to their mobile devices, with 78 percent admitting to checking their devices at least hourly. Nevertheless, this is not only a teen problem. The study reports 27 percent of adults feel they are addicted to their mobile devices with 69 percent checking them at least hourly.

What is wrong with a cell phone habit?

Countless studies show too much time on your cell phone is bad for your focus and mental health. “Most people check their phone every 15 minutes or less, even if they have no alerts or notifications,” Larry Rosen a psychology professor and author of The Distracted Mind, tells CNBC. “We’ve built up this layer of anxiety surrounding our use of technology, that if we don’t check it as often as we think we should, we’re missing out.”

Additional health issues that can develop from cell phone addiction include, poor posture which affects your spine respiratory functions and even emotions. Also, sleep. The blue light emitted from your phone can stop melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us feel sleepy and regulates out circadian rhythm. Sleep is essential to our health, especially the health of teens who are still developing.

“Aside from health and mental health problems, cell phone use continues when many drivers get behind the wheel,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. admit to reading or sending a text while driving. Almost one in three teens ages 16 to 17-years-old said they have texted while driving.

How to ween yourself and your family?

Below are some tips on how to disconnect from your cell phone.

Do not sleep with your phone. If you need an alarm clock, buy one. Do not depend on your phone. Place it away from your nightstand or bed.

Stop alert notifications. Designate a time to check in and stick to it.

Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your iPhone or place your phone to the airplane setting for a break from screen time.

When spending time with your friends and family, put it away so you won’t see it or hear it.

Try a detox. Set aside a weekend or holiday where you turn the phone off and put it away. Do not pick it up for a couple of days.

The post Cell Phone Addiction appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Most people do not look forward to filing taxes, especially with a new tax law in place for the first time in decades. Those changes can induce confusion and stress. This will be the last year for several tax credits as well as the beginning to benefit from some new ones.

Several tax credits are eliminated for the 2018 tax year. However, they are still available for your 2017 tax return.  “This will be the last year to take advantage of some deductions, so it’s important not to miss out on them,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Investing information company, The Motley Fool, reports this will be the last year to take advantage of the following tax breaks.

Personal exemptions

Property tax deductions

Mortgage interest deduction on home equity loans

Moving expenses

Unreimbursed employee expenses

Tax preparation fees

Investment-related legal and accounting fees

Job search costs

While several tax breaks will expire after this year, there are new ones are available for this year’s returns. “This year is unique with overlapping changes, so make sure your taxes are filed correctly, to avoid overpaying the IRS,” warns Buck Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency. Error rates for returns filed on paper are at 21 percent, while error rates for those filed electronically are less than one percent.

Some changes in tax deductions and credits are listed below.

Tax brackets expand. According to personal finance resource, GOBankingRates, “the federal income tax system uses a progressive tax structure, meaning that as you earn more income, your tax rate goes up as well.”

The Standard deduction, will experience a slight increase.

Health savings account– an increase to the contribution limit.

Earned income tax credit– the maximum income you can have while still qualifying for the EITC increased for each filing status. Also, you can have up to $3, 450 of investment income annually while still qualifying for the EITC.

Retirement savings credit-there is an increase in income limits.

Increased employer-paid parking or transit tax breaks

If you are looking for affordable and reliable homeowners insurance, give GreatFlorida Insurance a call.

The post Changes this tax season appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

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

November 30, marked the end of an extremely destructive, 2017 hurricane season. While totals are still being calculated, estimates currently put damages at $200 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported to The Orlando Sentinel that 432,286 renters applied for aid in Florida during October. FEMA does not pay what is covered by insurance, however they try to help the uninsured and underinsured. Keep in mind, they do not cover all damages.

“Renters are less likely than homeowners to insure their belongings,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent renters insurance company.

Most landlords in Florida, do not require renters to carry insurance. The Insurance Information Institute found only 41 percent of renters said they had renters insurance.

“There is a misconception that the landlord is accountable for personal liability issues, but a landlord’s insurance often covers just the structure, not personal property or personal liability,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent renters insurance company.

Renters insurance offers protection for personal belongings that could be damaged by a fire, water issue or storm. It also includes reimbursement for items stolen from home or lost, as well as incidents that are the renters responsibility.

Also, renters insurance will pay out money to replace furniture, clothes, kitchen appliances, electronics, laptop, paddle board, jewelry and more.  You do not have to own a lot to justify a renter’s policy. It could be a specific item such as a bike, engagement ring, musical instrument or collection that is the motivation for coverage.

If an injury occurs in a rental property or even the rental property yard or driveway, the renter can be held responsible for the victim’s medical bills. A renters insurance policy can also provide money for temporary housing. If a rental property is damaged from fire or water, a renters policy will cover hotel expenses while repairs are made.

Renters insurance offers a lot of benefits for a small amount. The average renter’s policy ranges from $15 to $30 a month, offering peace of mind for the price of lunch.

Before purchasing renter’s coverage, inquire with your rental company or landlord to see what their policy will cover. Next, take inventory of your possessions and determine a level of protection that makes you feel comfortable. An experienced agent at GreatFlorida Insurance.  They can guide you through the process to make sure you purchase enough coverage to protect your belongings without paying for overlapping and unnecessary coverage. Give us a call today.

The post Hurricane exposes insurance gap appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.