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
  • Competitive rates
  • Right-fit Policies
  • Licensed Insurance Experts
  • Trust and Integrity
  • Local connection
  • Community Involvement

InsuranceBlog

Wind Mitigation Cert

HURRICANE sEASONWhen you own a home here in Florida you know that sooner or later you will have to face the possibility of a strong storm or even a hurricane. That’s no secret. Mid west has tornadoes, West Coast has wildfires and earthquakes and the Southeast has it’s hurricanes.

For a time after the last major hurricane here in Florida Insurance companies were reluctant to insure Florida properties. Since that time however, building codes have become more strict, new technologies have come along for windows and doors making them safer during high winds. Measures are in place to try to ensure the safety of our homes and the people who live in them.

One of the things you can do to make absolutely certain your home is in shape for a big storm is to obtain a Wind Mitigation Certification of windstorm inspection. These Wind Certs as they are called will also help lower your insurance premiums considerably. What is a Wind Cert? According to Wikipedia:

“A windstorm inspection, also referred to as a windstorm mitigation inspectionwindstorm insurance inspection or wind mitigation inspection, is a kind of home inspection common in the coastal areas of the Southeastern United States. The purpose of a windstorm inspection is to determine the appropriateness of a given structure’s construction in the event of strong winds, such as those present in a hurricane.

Windstorm inspections look for construction features that have been shown to reduce losses in hurricanes, such as a hip roof, concrete block construction, the presence of gable end bracingshutters and opening protections, the presence of roof to wall attachments such as toe nails, clips or hurricane straps, and the presence of a secondary water resistance barrier.

A homeowner with windstorm insurance can often submit the results of a windstorm inspection to their insurer to obtain discounts on their windstorm insurance. In Florida, for example, premium discounts for certain favorable wind mitigation features are mandated by State law and can total 45% of the original policy’s premium. In coastal parts of Texas, the State mandates windstorm inspections prior to certifying a new building.”

Windstorm Inspections, or Wind certifications are offered by independent contractors and the best ones are often offered by Home inspectors and General contractors. Sebastian Insurance highly recommends getting a Wind Cert, not only for insurance purposes, but also for your piece of mind. Give us a call and we can connect you with a reliable Wind Cert contractor.

Bill Kriener

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Wildfires Can Happen Anywhere

Home and Residential Insurance, Sebastian FloridaWhile wildfires seem to happen more frequently out in California and along the west coast, even here in Florida wild fires can start . Just about every state has had fires over the last millennium. The more new developments move into areas that were previously pastureland, the more damage a wildfire can do.

Before a Wildfire ever hits your area it is important to:

Know What Your Insurance Covers and How Much You Need

  • Does your homeowner’s insurance policy covers repair or rebuilding costs.
  • If you can’t live in your home, most policies we offer at Sebastian Insurance will pay additional living expenses as provided in your policy. Review your policy for detailed coverage explanations.
  • Review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild based on current construction costs.
  • Work with an independent building contractor to get a precise estimate, and talk to your agent about your building’s unique features.

How to Reduce Wildfire Damage

  • Clear all the brush around your home.
  • Plant succulents and other green deciduous plants that contain water around your home.
  • Remove or prune low-hanging tree branches.
  • Cut grass and weeds regularly and keep your roof and yard clean, especially from dry yard debris.
  • Don’t stack any combustible materials near your home .
  • Keep signs and addresses visible so firefighters can easily locate your property.

During a Wildfire

Protect Yourself and Your Family

  • If a wildfire starts in your area, monitor local news reports for evacuation procedures.
  • Prepare for evacuation by turning off gas valves and pilot lights, closing all windows and doors, and packing your car for quick departure if there is time and it is safe to do so.
  • Return to a burned area only when local authorities have instructed you to do so.

Bill Kriener

Sebastian Insurance covering Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellmere, Grant, Micco, John’s island, orchid island and all of Brevard County, Indian River County

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Customer Service

The Power of Customer Service

At Sebastian Insurance we really do go theHelping hand extra mile for our customers. I know other companies say they do, but I don’t think all of them actually practice what they preach.

I would like to share with you a situation which occurred recently with one of our clients. This gentleman was a referral from another client so we did not yet know him very well. He was in the process of purchasing a second home in Vero and came in to have us write an insurance policy on his new home. We got all of the paperwork in order, obtained the proper signatures and got the process going. Our new client left for his full time residence and we thought all was well.

About a week later we needed some further information from him and we attempted to make contact. Our phone calls went unreturned so undeterred we took it one step more and attempted to have the documents delivered to him, but those were returned. We were mystified, but that didn’t stop us. One of my agents managed to track him down through the referral source and all was well.

He had neglected to inform us that as well as purchasing a new second home here in Vero Beach, he was also in the process of selling his home up North and moving to a new one. We now have all the updated information for him so we expect smooth sailing from here out. And our new client was so impressed that he referred some new friends.

The bottom line is whether it results in referrals or not, for us customer service is important. When people appreciate the level of service we provide it is gratifying!!

 

Bill Kriener

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Insuring Teen Drivers

 

Most of us working here at Sebastian Insurance have children. During their early years we have spent a good deal of our time shuttling them from home to school, to after school activities and play dates. By the time they are teenagers we are torn between wanting them to be able to drive themselves, and worrying about them getting their license and driving themselves.

The insurance companies we work with offer various programs that help your teens to become safer drivers. One of them is the Teen Safety Rewards Program.

It encourages better drivers. Parents and agents all want teen drivers to be safer on the road. That’s why the Teen Safety Rewards Program includes helpful resources like the Road Ahead Guide and the Parent-Teen Contract to help you prepare your teen drivers before they get behind the wheel.

I will let you know, insuring a Teen Driver in Sebastian, Vero Beach, or anywhere in Indian River County can be a big expense. Insurance companies charge more to insure teens  because they are inexperienced drivers. However, at Sebastian Insurance, we offer a range of options to help you manage the cost of insuring a teen driver, including:insuring teen drivers

Good student discount: Applies if a teen maintains a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better, makes the honor roll, or is in the top 20% of his or her class.

Driver training discount: Parents can save if their teen has completed an approved driver education program.

Distant Student discount: Available if a teen is in school more than 100 miles away from home without a car.

There are other incentives and rewards we can offer you to help defray the cost of your teenager’s Insurance. Give us a call and we can help you keep the costs of insuring your teen driver as reasonable as possible.

 

 

Bill Kriener and associates

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Vero Beach Area

Sebastian, vero beach, InsuranceIconThe name of our agency is Sebastian Insurance, but don’t let that stop you from contacting us if you live in Vero Beach. We also write policies for people all over  Indian River County  including  Vero BeachSebastianFellsmereOrchid, and Indian River Shores  .

We offer all of the “standard” insurances you commonly think of such as:

Homeowner’s Insurance

Boat Insurance

Recreational Vehicle Insurance

Flood Insurance

Commercial Insurance for local businesses

At Sebastian Insurance we also offer insurance for very specialized situations, like weddings and elephants. Sebastian Insurance goes all out for our customers, and it doesn’t make any difference whether you reside in Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere, Orchid, John’s Island or Indian River Shores full time or part time, we are happy to help.

 

Bill Kriener and associates at Sebastian Insurance serving all of Indian River County and Brevard County..

 

Homeowners Insurance vs. Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance, Sebastian Florida

 

We live in a tropical environment here in Florida and much of the land here is barely above sea level.  We are a state with water, water, everywhere.  It comes down from the sky all summer, it’s in our lakes and rivers and here in Indian River County, we are located right on the ocean. So when we get hit with heavy tropical storms or hurricanes, it is a safe bet that some flooding will occur.

There are two types of policies that cover losses due to water damage—homeowners insurance and flood insurance. These provide two separate and distinct types of coverage. They do not duplicate coverage, but complement it.

Most homeowner policies cover damage to your home caused by a sudden and accidental water event, like a burst pipe, wind-driven rain or melting snow that seeps into your home after a winter storm.

Water damage caused by poor home maintenance such as overfilled gutters, lack of roof upkeep, condensation buildup due to inadequate ventilation or ignored leaks is generally not covered.

Flood damage to your home and belongings is also not covered under your homeowner policy. For flood damage you will need a separate flood insurance policy. Information about a Flood Insurance policy is available through our office at Sebastian Insurance. If  you live anywhere in south Florida, we can help you.

If you are a new homeowner, or if you have never lived in an area where flooding occurs, please give us a call and we at Sebastian Insurance can work with you to obtain Flood Insurance. Yes it costs a little more to have it than it does to go without, but I have seen the heartache that NOT having Flood Insurance can cause, and it’s hardly ever worth the amount of money saved.

 

Bill Kriener

 

Sebastian Insurance, Insurance for homes, Insurance for Cars, Insurance for Boats, Insurance for Jewelry

Motor Cycle Safety Tips

At Sebastian Insurance we have customers in Sebastian, Wabasso, Vero Beach, Palm Bay, Ft Pierce and Pt St Lucie and in almost   all of  those cities we have customers who drive motorcycles. Big, long distance cruising bikes, and smaller, faster and lighter bikes and everything in between.

Motorcycles are an economical and enjoyable way to get from place to place. You will get no argument on that from us, but we must not tell a lie, they are not the safest means of transportation. They leave the rider vulnerable and exposed, and if the rider chooses not to wear a helmet, they are even more vulnerable to severe head injuries.

More often than not, motorcycle accidents are NOT caused by the riders themselves, they are caused by other drivers in automobiles. In order to try and keep riders safe, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has published these tips for Motor Cycle Safety:

“QUICK TIPS: General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely

Be visible: 
• Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.
• Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
• Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
• Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.
• Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
• If a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.

Dress for safety: 
• Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.
• Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.
• Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.
• Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.

Execute strategy (SEESM) to increase time and space safety margins.

• Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions.
• Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.
• Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
• Watch for turning vehicles.
• Signal your next move in advance.
• Avoid weaving between lanes.
• Pretend you’re invisible, and ride extra defensively.
• Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit.

Know your bike and how to use it:

• Get formal training and take refresher courses.
• Call 800.446.9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org to locate the Motorcycle Safety
Foundation hands-on Rider Course SM nearest you.
• Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how  to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.”

Bill Kriener

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Sebastian Insurance Community Involvement

Exchange Club of Sebastian is just one of the community organizations I  belong to. When companies advertise on television, they show how their team members go out into their local communities and volunteer. I don’t like to advertise everything I do, that my staff and my family does, in our local community, but every so often I would like to share something special with you.

Each year for too many years to remember now, our Sebastian Exchange Club has put on the Blue Water Open Fishing Tournament Blue Water Open in Sebastian Florida. All the locals get involved by sponsoring a fishing boat, donating baskets filled with goodies for the silent auction, and turning up to participate the day of.

This year we had some great silent auction and live auction items. Some of them were very expensive, so those who won them got a great deal. Still others were even more expensive and the generous members of our community bid up the price at the live auction. Maybe they didn’t get a steal of a deal, but the children and young adults of our community reap the benefit. It’s for the kids.

The Blue Water Open Tournament of 2014 earned in excess of $50,000 for our Exchange Club. Through out the year we distribute those funds to various charities, the Boys and Girls Club of Sebastian and to deserving students in local area schools. Donations are made to the Sebastian High School clubs, like the Guitar club, and  individual students.  The Exchange Club donated funds to the Yellow Umbrella. In fact this past year our Sebastian Exchange club  presented a BIG check for $16,000 to Yellow Umbrella, which is a Child Abuse Prevention Center. Yellow Umbrella offers professional counselors who act as role models and teach parents how to be more loving and responsible to their children, through home intervention, structured classes, and training materials. The supportive relationship that develops between the parent aide and the family helps to break the cycle of abuse.”

 

Bill Kriener

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Before You Remodel !!

Before you remodel call Sebastian InsuranceIf your home feels a bit outdated and run down, it might just be time to do some remodeling. Before you do, it would be a very good idea to call us at Sebastian Insurance and have a chat.

Once you begin the remodel, if you are significantly upgrading the materials used in your home, say you are moving from a pretty standard builder grade home to something a bit nicer now that the children are grown, you may not have adequate coverage for the newly upgraded finishes.

There is also another host of concerns when you work with General Contractors on your home remodel: This information is taken from the Insurance Information Institute:

“Contact your insurance agent or representative before or shortly after the construction begins to increase the insurance coverage on your house to reflect the increase in the cost to rebuild the structure.

When hiring a general contractor, find out if the contractor has workers compensation and ask to see a copy of the policy. Workers compensation pays for medical and rehabilitation expenses and covers lost wages if the workers sustain injuries on the job. Injured workers may sue you if the contractor does not have proper insurance.

In most home improvement projects, the contractor subcontracts the builders, electricians and plumbers. The workers hired may not be full-time employees of the contractor and therefore not covered under the contractor’s workers compensation policy. While some independent builders, electricians and plumbers may carry their own workers compensation coverage, others may not.

You should verify the insurance coverage of the contractor and the subcontractors. If the coverage is insufficient, you may need to fill in the gaps by extending the limits of the liability portion of your homeowners policy.

If you purchase additional items, such as furniture, exercise equipment or electronics, you may need to increase the amount of insurance you have on your personal possessions. Keep receipts and add them to your home inventory.”

So in closing, never worry if you think you should be bothering us with questions, always call before you make changes with your home, car, jewelry, water craft. It’s better to spend a few minutes checking things out and finding that you are okay now, than it is after something happens and you learn that you aren’t adequately covered.

Sebastian Insurance

Bill Kriener and Associates

member of the Chamber of Commerce, Sebastian Exchange Club and BNI

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It’s Hurricane Season, Are YOU Prepared?

In Vero Beach, Sebastian and the surrounding communities, everyone probably knows by now that we need to have our Hurricane Kits on hand. The kits should contain fresh water, enough for at least three days. Canned food and snacks, enough for at least three days as well. Keep at least a half a tank of gas in each of your vehicles and have some cash on hand.

In addition to these items The Ready.Gov site lists:

“Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children”

Even if you can’t get around to gathering all of these things, try to have as many of them gathered in a safe place, ready for when the storms come, because sooner or later they will come, and it’s impact on you and your loved ones will be even worse if you aren’t prepared.

 

Sebastian Insurance, serving HURRICANE sEASON