Fort Lauderdale Insurance

Fort Lauderdale insurance is tricky, especially when it comes to homeowners insurance given that the Sunshine State is in an active hurricane area.

Besides homeowners insurance, health insurance and car insurance are also important factors for those of us who spend a great deal of time in Fort Lauderdale.

Insurance is an investment and an important financial decision because the consequences of making a poor decision early on can have serious implications later. You need to be comfortable with the choice that you make and ensure that you will get what you expect to get, when and if there comes a time when you need to make a claim.

What we've learned over the past 25 years that my family has been coming down here is that you need to shop around because both coverage and the cost of premiums can vary widely from agent to agent and insurance company to insurance company and even more importantly that cheaper isn't necessarily better.

Two important factors that must be considered when deciding on Fort Lauderdale insurance companies is the financial stability of the company and the customer service they offer.

A general starting point for both these factors, is to find out how long the company has been in business. Being around for a while is usually a good sign but what you really need to know is how have they been doing while they've been around?

To find out an insurance company's financial stability, you should refer to A.M. Best's Insurance Reports which should be available at most public libraries. The report rates insurance companies based on their financial stability, strength, operations, management and history—there is no better source for accurate independent assessments. This type of information will go a long way in making you feel comfortable with your choice.

As far as customer service goes (which for insurance companies includes hassle free claims, excellent response times, and being there when you need them) there is no independent body that covers insurance companies in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere else that we know of. So the best advice we can give is the following:

First, ask friends and family who hold a policy with the insurance company that you're considering and ask them how the company has performed when they've had a claim.  It is important that they've had a claim because everything prior to a claim is just "sales" and they, like every company, will be at their best when selling you a policy or renewing it. What matters is how they follow through on their claims.

Secondly, look into Fort Lauderdale insurance company complaints to learn what others have experienced. You can then evaluate and compare their complaint ratio versus the national average and hopefully identify any red flags for concern.

To find out about a company's complaint ratio go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) web site. They will provide a complaint score for every Fort Lauderdale insurance company. Keep in mind that every company receives complaints so what you need to look for is how your company ranks in comparison to the national average or median insurance complaint score.

We can't guarantee that everything will be great if you follow these few steps but what we can say is that you did your homework and approached your insurance needs as an educated consumer— and that's really all any of us can do.

Unfortunately insurance is a part of life and we all need to have it. Health and travel insurance are a must regardless of where you live or vacation, so is car or automobile insurance. And if like us, you have a second home in Fort Lauderdale (or even if it's your first) your homeowners insurance needs to cover flood and hurricane damage. This is especially important in Florida with its potential for inclement weather—trust us, we have lots of experience in this regard.

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