YOUR KEY TO COVERAGE FOR:

Sebastian Insurance offers security and piece of mind for your home, auto, boat, Business, and Life.

OUR MISSION:

To provide our customers with the highest quality of service and the best rates. When it comes to coverage, you can count on the professionals at Sebastian Insurance.

WE OFFER:

  • Over 25 years experience
  • Excellent customer service
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  • Right-fit Policies
  • Licensed Insurance Experts
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InsuranceBlog

Things to keep in mind when buying a car

Buying a new car is an exciting time — but it can also be stressful. After all, you’re trying to get the best deal on price, while also deciding on the make, model and features you need.

 

Here at Sebastian Insurance, we can’t really help you become a master negotiator when it comes to buying a car. But we can give you some things to consider when you’re looking around the lot — and when you’re trying to answer the age-old question of “new, or used?” Read on with an open mind, and you might just come to a different decision the next time you’re on the car lot.

 

New cars

Ah, that new-car smell. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s one of the things that people love about climbing into a brand-new car. And while they make air fresheners that supposedly give you that same smell for your used car; it just doesn’t seem the same, does it? Still, there are other benefits to buying new — and, of course, there are drawbacks as well.

 

  • PRO — maintenance: Some manufacturers offer free scheduled maintenance for a set period of time after you buy the car, and you likely won’t need a new battery, tires, etc., for several years after your purchase.
  • PRO — peace of mind: Your new car may have a warranty for up to 10 years, and also is covered by “lemon laws” that could allow for a replacement or refund if the car has serious defects.
  • CON — cost: Depending on the make and model, buying a new car is almost always more expensive (at least in terms of the purchase price) than a used car.

 

It’s also worth noting that if you purchase a new car in its first model year (meaning it’s a new model for the automaker), there won’t be many user reviews available, and data on reliability and repairs will be limited. In addition, sometimes newly introduced cars have some kinks that generally are ironed out by the second and third model years. These aren’t necessarily serious issues, and the warranty should cover them, but in some instances, you and your car could be headed to the shop more than you’d like.

 

Used cars

Don’t care about the new-car smell? Looking to save some money on your purchase? Well, a used car might be right for you. There are many advantages to buying used, but you’ll want to be a little more careful. After all, it’s hard to know exactly how well the previous owner treated the car. But you can limit your risk with a little bit of work.

  • PRO — cost: New cars depreciate quickly after they’re purchased. By buying used, you’re letting someone else take that financial hit over the first few years of the life of the car.
  • PRO/CON — reliability: Buying a used car is less of a gamble than it used to be, particularly with the advent of “certified pre-owned” programs many automakers now offer. However, used cars generally don’t carry the same warranties as new cars, even though the original manufacturer’s warranty is usually transferable to a second owner.
  • CON — maintenance: While a used car theoretically shouldn’t need more frequent maintenance than a new car, you’ll likely need to replace things like tires, headlights, etc., earlier. And scheduled maintenance probably isn’t covered by the automaker.
  • PRO/CON — history: You’ll need to check the car’s title history to make sure it hasn’t been in a serious accident or salvaged. Ask the dealership to provide this information, usually from Carfax.

 

Of course, whichever car you purchase, the important thing is that it’s a good fit for you. Bear in mind that certain makes and models can result in higher insurance costs for you, so feel free to check in with us before you buy.

Whether you live in Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, or Fellsmere, Sebastian Insurance is the perfect place to insure your new or used car. Have fun shopping — and we’ll see you on the road!Choosing new vs. used

After-School Safety Tips for Parents and Kids

Parents, class is back in session in Sebastian, Vero Beach, and all along the Treasure Coast, so you’ve likely already reviewed the basic safety tips for kids who walk or bus to and from school.

Those tips, of course, are:

  • Walk with a buddy
  • Stay in well-lit areas
  • Never accept a ride with strangers
  • Once home, lock the door and don’t let anyone in

 

However, Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, urges you not to overestimate your kids’ safety smarts. Kids under 10, for example, may not grasp the concept of crossing a street safely, she says.

She suggests teaching them: “Stop. Left. Right. Left.” Meaning that children should, “stop at the curb, look left, right, then left again before crossing, and keep looking as they cross.”

Another thing kids need to know, says Borba, is how to ask for help. Have kids practice saying, “I need help,” out loud and instruct them to “find a uniformed employee, a police officer or a woman, preferably with a child,” when they need assistance, she says.

Once they’re home, kids will likely use the Internet, so be sure to discuss digital safety too.

Staying Safe Online

Internet safety advocate Sue Scheff, author of Wit’s End and Google Bomb, says that, “we need to put parental controls/security measures on computers and cell phones. Unfortunately, these aren’t guarantees, so having a cyber-smart child is your best defense.”

Teach kids about the dangers of sharing personal information, such as their home address and phone number, online. Since social media is on the rise, these dangers are becoming more prominent.

While online, it’s best for kids – and adults – to converse and connect only with people they truly know and trust, to keep their social accounts private and to still be cautious even then. After all, photos and information that go online today will still be there years later, when kids apply for college scholarships and jobs.

Above all, stay involved in your kids’ digital lives. Let them know you’re there for them, always – to talk, not to judge or punish, says Scheff. “Many kids fear having their Internet removed if they tell their parents they are being bullied online,” she says.

Sebastian Insurance wishes you safety for your children, and remember to keep the lines of communication open to help keep everyone safe, both in and outside of your home.Keep your little bus riders safe!

Lightning Capital of the U.S.

Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. This of course includes our little paradises in Sebastian and Vero Beach. We can tell the time of day by the weather. The afternoon is getting close …thunderstorms and rain start to roll in, this usually brings lightning.

Recovering from a Disaster

We wanted to share some safety tips if lightning begins to strike.
First things first; if you hear thunder lightning is close enough to strike you.
Find shelter. An enclosed building or a vehicle with the windows rolled up.
Wait at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder to go back outside.
When indoors stay off of corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
Avoid plumbing (sinks, baths, faucets etc.)
Stay away from windows and doors.
Stay off of porches ( we know how gorgeous mother nature is but she is not a force to tempt.)
Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
If for some reason you are unable to find shelter and are stuck in a storm immediately get off of any elevated areas.
Never lie flat on the ground or shelter underneath a tree.
Get out of and stay away from bodies of water, pools, ponds, lakes and of course the ocean.
Stay away from any objects that conduct electricity like barbed wire fences, power lines, etc.
We hope some of these tips helped from our family here at Sebastian Insurance to yours up and down the Treasure and Space Coast ,Stay safe!
Megz Montalvan
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Flood Safty

Flood Insurance, Sebastian Florida

For the past couple of weeks we have been in various flood advisories and watches in the Sebastian and Vero Beach area.

Here at Sebastian Insurance we wanted to give a little bit of information to help you and your family stay safe if find yourself in a situation with a flooded area.
You probably know that most flood related deaths or injuries could be avoided. We all know the saying “Turn around don’t drown”
If you come to an area that is cover with water its hard to tell how deep it actually is. This is because it depends on what condition the road or ground is in underneath and visibly you cannot tell, especially at night.
Did you know that :
6 inches of fast moving water can knock an adult off their feet and sweep them away.
only 12 inches of water with a decent current can carry a small car away
18 – 24 inches can easily carry an SUV, van or truck away with a good moving flow.
What to do before a flood:
Listen to your weather alert radios or local news if any storms are passing through that may cause flooding.
determine weather the area you are in is in fact a flood zone.
learn which roadways and areas are likely to flood and find alternate routes to avoid them in a situation.
Communication is always key. Plan a way for your family to connect during an emergency. Always have a good charge to your electronics. (cell phones, weather alert systems, ect.)
Emergency kits are always an essential.
When evacuation occurs pack your belongings, include things for your pets if you have them. This way everyone and everything is ready to go!
If possible and the conditions are looking bad. Trust your intuition and leave before hand. Be proactive and avoid getting stranded.
During a flood:
Always stay in tune with local stations and news to see progress and updates on the flooding.
Get to higher ground!
Follow evacuation orders.
If you have enough time before evacuation unplug utilities and appliances in your home.
Avoid flood waters!
It is never safe to walk or drive through flood waters.
“Turn around don’t drown.”
We care for our community in this beautiful area. Please stay safe.
From our family here at Sebastian Insurance to yours!
Megz Montalvan
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Shrimp Burger Challenge!

We hope you all enjoyed the the Shrimp  Burger Challenge!
Florida Organic Aquaculture, LLC recently teamed up with Florida Food & Farm to develop the world’s best shrimp burger!  We brought together several local chefs to create their own shrimp burger recipes and share them!
The burgers were delicious! We hope to see you next time! Stay posted for future event!
 IMG_0009Fellsmere Fresh Farmers’ Market
IMG_0010Local chefs creating the best shrimp burger!
IMG_0008We want to thank everyone for all their hard work and love put into this wonderful event!
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[Read more…]

Faulty Appliance Tips and Prevention

With the heat and humidity here in our little paradise. It may seem certain appliances cause some problems some of which can be dangerous and expensive.

Before you remodel call Sebastian Insurance

There’s a ticking time bomb in your house right now, waiting to strike when you least expect it. In fact, there might even be more than one. And each can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.

We here at Sebastian Insurance are talking about faulty appliance hoses, of course.

Consider your washing machine: According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), washing-machine failures cost an average of more than $5,000, and faulty hoses are responsible for more than half of those failures.

You can take steps to defuse these ticking time bombs — or at least make them less likely to go off. Here are the common hoses and tubes you should be checking:

Washing Machine

Most washing machines come with rubber hoses that connect to your water supply — hoses that can wear out and eventually burst. The IBHS says to check frequently for blisters, worn tubing, stress cracks and loose connections. Even if there is no obvious wear, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail.

Dryer

Although you should clean the lint trap in your dryer with every load, danger lurks behind the dryer as well. Flexible plastic or foil ducting can easily trap lint and increase the risk of fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency recommends the use of a rigid or semi-rigid metal duct instead. Whichever you use, be sure to disconnect and clean the ducting annually.

Refrigerator

If your refrigerator has an icemaker or water dispenser, it also has a hose connecting it to the water supply. Replace the standard hose with a steel-braided line for added security.

Dishwasher

Dishwasher leaks can easily go undetected, so it’s important to check these connections regularly as well. Make sure that hoses and lines have no kinks, and periodically remove and clean the filter in the dishwasher, which is designed to stop food pieces from making it into the drain hose.

Gas Grills

At least once a year, check the hose connecting the fuel source to the burners. Simply brush it with some soapy water, turn the gas on (do not light the grill) and check the hose for air bubbles. If you see any, replace the hose and fitting.

In addition to checking your hoses regularly and replacing them when needed, there are monitoring systems available now that can automatically shut off your water supply in the event of a failure. Some detect leaks with moisture indicators, while at least one new system actually checks your water meter for unusual activity.

To further protect you, your homeowners insurance may cover certain damage that results from appliance hose failures. But, it all depends on the circumstances of your situation and on your specific policy. You may find that an appliance hose failure is not covered by your insurance, so it’s best to maintain your appliances to avoid damage in the first place.

If you have questions about your homeowners insurance coverage or need help with a claim, we here at Sebastian Insurance are happy to help.

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Hurricanes and Insurance

Precautions before a Hurricane or Heavy Storm.

Claims after the storm.

Recovering from a Disaster

If you’re keeping up with the weather we know there’s a storm in the works. Of course there is no guarantee it will hit us but just to be safe we’ve described a few precautions (if you haven’t already done them) to protect your belongings. Preparing your personal items before the storm hits leaves you to focus on you and your loved ones in case of an evacuation. Also taking these precautions make the steps if you do have to make a claim less stressful.

 Take vehicles with you if you can. Cars, motorcycles, RVs. RVs are a comfortable shelter, they can keep you and several loved ones together. Don’t forget to keep safety in mind while you stay in your RV: Remember to have safety accessories, such as fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, installed and checked first. Boats and motorcycles can be trailered behind your car or RV, too. Secure Your Boat, RV or Other Vehicles Staying Behind

If you’re not able to bring your car, boat, RV, motorcycle or other type of vehicle with you there are other options. Park vehicles indoors when possible. If you can’t then try to find higher ground that is close to a sturdy building for more protections. Keep vehicles away from trees or poles; any large objects that can fall on it and cause damage. Make sure to secure RV awnings so wind doesn’t tear them away.

It’s best to remove your boat from the water and move it inland before a storm hits. Boats left unsecured can not only be damaged by wind or flying objects from hurricane forces, but they can float away if waters rise. If it’s secured properly, your boat is much more likely to survive a storm inland than on water.

Just make sure that if you cannot take something with you your items are secure as possible

If you’ve taken all the precautions but still find yourself in a situation where you have to make a claim after a storm, it’s important that you have Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers damages resulting from high winds, flooding or other weather-related factors.

Don’t just take important documents with you. Waterproof them, too.
If you have to evacuate, you should take all important documents. This means waterproof your insurance papers! Even if you don’t have to evacuate, it’s a good idea to keep these documents in a waterproof container, to help minimize time spent on the phone or working through a claim if you have to make one after the storm.

Report damage as soon as possible. If any of your vehicles are damaged, report the damage as soon as you can. The sooner your insurance company knows about it, the sooner it can begin resolving your claim.

Take Pictures of absolutely everything. Pictures can help your insurance company identify and find your vehicles if they’ve floated or flow away during a storm. They also can show items that may have been attached to your vehicle that may have been lost or damaged during a hurricane.

Your safety should always be your major concern when preparing for and evacuating because of a hurricane. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to figure out your evacuation plan, and make sure your family members or others who plan to leave with you also know the drill. You may even want to practice a couple of times to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

Following these tips well before a storm hits your area can help you stay calm during an evacuation. Plus, knowing you’ve done what you can to prepare for a storm, as well as for any claims you might have to make afterward, can provide much-needed peace of mind during turbulent times.

If you have any other questions please call us at the office or stop by. We are here for you before and after the storm to help!

Article by Megz Montalvan

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Umbrella Insurance?

What is Umbrella Insurance?

umbrella-5

A personal umbrella policy provides extra liability insurance for auto and home  owners.

Is the liability insurance you have with your auto or home policy enough to cover all  your assets? A severe car accident or damage on your property could be costly.  You’re regular home or auto insurance may not be enough to help.

 What is umbrella insurance?
Umbrella insurance adds an extra layer of personal liability protection. A single  policy covers all underlying policies you own (auto, home, motorcycle, boat, etc.) and kicks in if the liability limits on these policies are required.  And compared to the risk of a catastrophic event, We can help find an Umbrella Policy that covers all your needs to have peace of mind, always.

An umbrella policy can help cover many things we may not think of on a daily basis. Or we assume our regular policy will never exceed its limit.

Bodily Injury : The cost of damages to another person’s body. Like the cost of medical bills and/or liability claims a few examples:

  • Injuries to an person because of a serious auto accident where you are at fault.
  • Harm caused to another as a result of your dog (yeah, you probably should have taken him to obedience school)
  • Injuries to a guest in your home due to a fall
  • Injuries that happen to a neighbor’s child who falls while playing in your yard

Property Damage: covers the cost of damage or loss to another person’s property. Examples:

  • Damage to vehicles and other property as a result of an auto accident where you are at fault
  • Damage claims when your new puppy decides a friend’s priceless oriental rug would be a good chew toy
  • Accidental damage to school property caused by your child (hey, you can’t disown them)

Owners of Rentals: helps protect against liability that you may face as a landlord. Examples include :

  • Someone tripping over a crack in the sidewalk of your rental property and suing you for damages
  • Your tenant’s dog biting someone and you being held responsible for the injuries

Coverage is also provided should you be sued for:

  • Slander – injurious spoken statement
  • Libel – injurious written statement
  • False arrest, detention, or imprisonment
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Shock/mental anguish
  • Other personal liability situations

Umbrella Insurance can be confusing, we can help! Call our office or stop by for a free quote!

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Watercraft Coverage

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Hot sun and warm water are the norm for us here on the Treasure coast. Especially during the summer months we love to enjoy the rays out on the sandbar and the beautiful beaches of Sebastian and Vero. If you don’t already have your very own boat or watercraft maybe your thinking about purchasing one. Either way its always a good idea to get yourself covered.

Here at Sebastian Insurance you can get your own policy for your vessel or add it on to your home owners insurance. We can help you decide which is better for you at the best rate.

 You may not be required to have boat insurance but it is always a good idea. It can help with an accident if you’re on or off the water. Certain situations you may never have though about could be tragic and expensive. We want you to always feel at ease while you enjoy the time with your family and friends.
A few for instances where being covered can help:
Fuel Spills – The environmental impact from a boating mishap that results in a fuel spill could be costly. For example, if you own a 39-ft. cabin cruiser that holds 300 gallons of gas and you wreck it in a state park, authorities may hold you responsible for the fuel cleanup. If you have a boat insurance policy, you may be covered for this type of damage. If not, you could be held responsible for paying the cleanup costs out of pocket.
Noncontact Accidents – You may be responsible for your boat’s wake, so if the wash that comes out of your boat when you’re boating causes a wave that capsizes another boat, you could be liable for damage to the other boat.
Protection Off the Water – Even if you’re not boating, your boat insurance works for you. Let’s say your boat is stored at a marina in the off season. Several situations could occur  your boat falls off the jackstands and clips another boat, your fuel tank leaks, your boat catches fire, etc. In all of these situations, having boat insurance could benefit you because the damage you cause to other property would be covered. Without boat insurance, you may have to pay for damages out of pocket if no other parties were at fault and/or no other coverages applied.
We can help you decide the best policy for you without any confusion and hassel. Give us a call or stop by for a free quote today!
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1715 Fleet Society Commemoration Week

This week the Sebastian chamber of commerce is getting together for the 300th anniversary of the plate fleet in 1715.  Join us for tours around the Sebastian / treasure coast area. With educational gatherings about the Spanish fleet. July 26th to August 2nd! Check the Sebastian chamber of commerce website for more details about the 300th anniversary of the 1715 fleet society commemoration week!

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Www.Sebastianchamberofcommerce.Com

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