Q & A Video With Bridget Hinckley

A Univeristy of Flordia, School of Business graduate, Bridget has been in the insurance industry her entire life. First working for two large national carriers in underwriting and then her family's Independent Agency, before going out on her own to found Hinckley Insurance.

Direct Dial 561-220-5974

The Rising Cost of Fl Auto Insurance Explained

- Commonly asked question: Why is insurance expensive in Florida compared to other regions?

- Focus on car insurance market

- Factors contributing to high car insurance costs in Florida:

- Inflation affecting everything

- Labor shortages

- Supply chain shortages leading to increased repair costs

- Totaling out cars due to parts unavailability

- Resulting in tow yard and rental car expenses

- High medical costs contributing to inflation

- High number of uninsured and underinsured drivers

- Litigation frequency in Florida leading to increased costs

- Suggests contacting Hinkley Insurance for policy evaluation and potential cost-saving options

- Emphasizes the importance of shopping around for insurance rates due to statewide rate increases

Uninsured Motorist Insurance Explained

- Uninsured Motorist Coverage Explained:

- Uninsured motorist coverage is often compared to "bare bite" coverage.

- It's something you may not need often, but when you do, it's crucial.

- Conditions for Claiming Uninsured Motorist Benefits:

- You must be involved in an accident where you are injured.

- Someone else must be at fault in the accident.

- Steps to Claim Uninsured Motorist Benefits:

- First, exhaust all your primary medical coverage.

- Then, exhaust the primary medical coverage of the at-fault party (if they have coverage).

- Finally, you can turn to your own uninsured motorist policy for benefits.

- Coverage Provided by Uninsured Motorist Insurance:

- Covers excess medical expenses.

- Can cover lost wages.

- May cover pain and suffering.

- Includes coverage for loss of consortium (emotional and physical support loss).

- Covers expenses like hiring help for tasks you can no longer do.

- Considerations for Needing Uninsured Motorist Coverage:

- Less important if you're retired and no longer the primary breadwinner.

- More important if you're still employed and your income supports your family.

- Budget is a significant factor in determining coverage.

- Importance of Assessing Your Needs:

- It's essential to evaluate your specific situation and insurance needs.

- Seek guidance from an insurance professional to determine the right coverage for you.

- Factors like income, health coverage, and individual circumstances should influence your decision.

Does Filing an Auto Claim Affect My Rates?

- Filing a claim can potentially affect your insurance rates.

- Some insurance policies offer features like accident forgiveness or claim forgiveness that can protect you from rate increases after a claim.

- Whether your rates are affected depends on factors like fault, the amount paid for the claim, and your claims history (severity and frequency).

- If you're not at fault and the claim amount is low, it may not be worth filing a claim, especially if it's close to your deductible.

- Keep in mind that even contacting the claims department for questions can be counted as an occurrence, even if no formal claim is filed.

- It's advisable to consult your insurance agent for guidance on whether to file a claim, as they can provide expert advice based on your specific situation.

- Insurance agents can provide valuable insights and assistance in navigating the claims process.

What Happens if my Auto Insurance Lapses?

- Insurance is experience-based rating.

- Lapses in coverage can reset your experience level, making you more expensive to insure.

- Even a short gap in coverage can put you in a higher, more expensive insurance tier.

- Instead of letting your insurance lapse, talk to your agent to explore options.

- Agents can often suspend coverage on certain vehicles while maintaining state minimums.

- This keeps you street legal and maintains the appearance of continuous coverage.

- When you buy a new car, you can add it to your policy without starting over.

- Ensure your interim policy includes bodily injury coverage.

- Build six months of continuous coverage to improve your insurance position.

- Start shopping for better rates around the five-month mark.

- Seek assistance from your insurance agency for guidance and support.

- Many agencies follow up with clients to explore better insurance options after the five-month mark.

Condo Insurance Explained

- Condos have unique insurance requirements compared to homeowners' policies.

- Condo policies typically encompass two key coverages:

- Dwelling (also known as "addition and additions and alterations, improvements, and betterments"): Covers rebuilding your unit's interior if the building is destroyed.

- Individual policy responsibility: Includes your kitchen, bathrooms, cabinets, light fixtures, and flooring.

- No fixed requirement for coverage, but a common estimate is $100 per square foot.

- Contents coverage: Protects items you could take with you when moving, such as clothing, furniture, and kitchenware.

- No specific rules for how much contents coverage to carry.

- Liability coverage is crucial for condos, especially for scenarios like unit-to-unit damage.

- Common liability scenarios in condos include AC unit leaks, toilet floods, and pipe breaks.

- Various options available to customize coverage and seek discounts.

- Wind mitigation measures, such as wind mitts, can impact condo insurance rates.

- Expert guidance can help determine suitable coverage and pricing for your condo..

Flood Insurance Explained

- Flood insurance covers damage caused by groundwater rising, not issues like pipe breaks or overflowing toilets.

- It applies to areas where normally dry land becomes inundated due to groundwater rising, such as coastal regions after a hurricane.

- There can be disputes between insurance companies and FEMA regarding whether a particular event should be classified as a flood or a result of a hurricane.

- In coastal areas, it's advisable to have both hurricane insurance and a flood policy for comprehensive coverage.

- The entire state of Florida is considered a flood zone, with some areas designated as emergency zones where flood insurance is mandatory for mortgage holders or citizens policyholders.

- If you're in a non-emergency zone, flood insurance is not required, but it's essential to consider how your property drains and assess your risk.

- It may be a good idea to carry a small flood policy for a few years if you're unsure about your property's flood risk, especially if it's a new purchase.

- If you know your property has a history of standing water, it's strongly recommended to have flood insurance.

- Typical flood insurance coverage includes up to $250,000 for structural damage and up to $100,000 for contents.

- All flood policies are underwritten through FEMA, so the pricing remains consistent regardless of the insurance company you choose.

The Rising Cost of Florida Home Insurance Explained

Why is Home Owners insurance so expensive in Florida?

- Reinsurance: Insurance for insurance companies, a global issue.

2. Impact of Natural Disasters:

- Hurricane Ian: $112 billion in losses, third-largest in US history.

- Severe weather in California and Florida.

- International events like flooding in Australia and earthquakes in Eastern Europe.

- These Global Reinsurance Costs are passed on to Consumers.

- Supply and Demand: Fewer insurance companies willing to do business in Florida.

  • -Litigation:

- Florida accounts for 79% of all litigation against home insurance companies in the US.

- Drives up claims costs.

-Reconstruction Costs due to inflation

- Building material costs.

- Supply chain and labor shortages.

Result: Higher insurance prices in Florida.

Why Did My Home Owners Insurance Get Non-Renewed?

- Non-renewal of policies: One common question, especially during certain times of the year, is why insurance policies are being non-renewed.

- Non-renewal reasons: Excluding excessive claims, the primary reason for policy non-renewal is risk management.

- Risk management: Insurance companies determine their reinsurance based on maximum exposure or probable maximum loss in specific areas.

- Managing risk: Insurance companies manage risk down to the county, zip code, and even individual risks to evenly spread their exposure across the state.

- Purpose of risk management: This approach helps control reinsurance costs and prevents complete devastation of their business by a single catastrophic event in one area.

- Exposure management in Florida: Exposure management is a necessary practice in Florida to ensure the financial stability of insurance companies and their ability to continue writing business.

- Non-personal nature: Policy non-renewal is not a personal decision but a strategy employed by insurers to maintain solvency and protect their overall business interests.