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

Tips to Prepare for Storm Season

June 1 was the official start day of Hurricane season for us here on the Treasure Coast. Don’t let a calm 2015 leave you off your guard.  Be prepared, a little preparation goes a long way in keeping your family safe.

 

Emergency Kit

 

Every household should have an Emergency Supply kit. If you have one leftover from last year, double check that the batteries still work, and someone hasn’t gotten into the rations. If you need to put one together, click here to download an Emergency Supply Checklist from FEMA. The Red Cross also has a good checklist. Choose the one that is right for you and your family.

 

Two other useful sites with

information on how to prepare are www.ready.gov

and www.hurricanesafety.org.

 

Evacuation Plan

When emergencies arise, it can be difficult or even impossible to get gas, so make sure your car always has a full tank during hurricane season.  Find out your neighborhood’s hurricane response plan, and plan your route to a shelter in the event of an emergency. Discuss evacuation plans with your family, and run a practice drill so everyone knows what to do if the time comes. To prepare even more thoroughly, talk to one of our Sebastian Insurance agents about how to protect your home and family in the case of an emergency.

Handy List of Phone Numbers 

Most people don’t think to write down important information, insurance policy numbers, phone numbers, your insurance agent, the electric company, friends and family, etc. If you lose power, you will not be able to Google phone numbers, and if your cell phone loses its charge, you will not be able to access your phone book.

Plan for your Pet

 

If you have a pet, make sure to do your research ahead of time. Not all shelters take pets! Click here here for a list of shelters in your area, whether it be Sebastian, Vero Beach, or Fellesmere.  Some shelters require you to pre-register, so preparing early is crucial if you have a pet. Make sure all of your information is up-to-date on your pet’s ID tag, as well as their shots.

 

PLEASE NOTE – registration is usually suspended when a hurricane warning is announced, so don’t put off registering your pet.

Sebastian Insurance wishes you a safe and well prepared Hurricane season!

Hurricane Season is upon us!

Hurricane Season is upon us!

BOAT & WATERCRAFT INSURANCE

Sebastian Insurance can help make your time on the water relaxed and worry-free! We will find you comprehensive protection that protects you, your friends and family, your watercraft and your boating equipment. The average boat costs less than a dollar a day to insure. You’ll enjoy being on the water even more when you aren’t worried about your safety, the safety your passengers, or your investment.

Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere– Do you know what to look for in a watercraft insurance policy? Sebastian Insurance can help you determine the right amount of coverage to meet your specific needs. Just give us a call today at(772)589-1110 to get started. Here are some items you’ll need to consider when shopping for boat insurance on the Treasure Coast:

  • Navigational Area:
    Know where you are covered in the water. Some companies, such as Safeco Insurance, offer protection that covers you up to 75 miles from the U.S. coastline; into Canadian coastal or inland waters; and into the Pacific coastal waters of Mexico. In California, Florida and Oregon, additional coverage area can be purchased.
  • Agreed Value Coverage:

Watercrafts depreciate just like automobiles. Actual cash value policies can make it difficult to replace a boat that’s been stolen or destroyed. This means that if your boat is a total loss you will get the value you insured it for, minus any deductible.

  • Liability

Like car insurance, personal liability coverage provides coverage to other boaters and boat owners in the event you are at-fault for an accident on the water. This coverage will pay to repair or replace the property of someone else as well as for their medical care, lost wages and other costs incurred as a result of a boating accident for which you are at-fault.

  • Medical Payments

Medical payments coverage will pay for the cost of needed care that is the result of a boating accident. This coverage is available from $500 to $10,000 and covers you, your passengers, and even your water skiers/tubers, regardless of who is at-fault.

  • Physical Damage Coverage

Physical damage coverage pays for the cost to repair or replace your watercraft, its motor, any permanently attached equipment, and your trailer, if it is stolen or damaged.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Watercraft Bodily Injury

Since boat coverage is not always mandatory, many boaters choose not to get insurance. If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured boater, and you are injured, this type of coverage pays for medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident.

  • Fuel Spill Liability and Wreckage Removal

Should your boat sink or be seriously damaged, there is a chance that it could leak oil or fuel into the water. As the boat’s owner you are required by law to have this cleaned up, which can be time consuming and expensive.

  • Personal Effects

Your policy can provide coverage for many personal effects, including clothing, jewelry, cell phones, scuba/snorkeling and other sporting equipment, and fishing equipment. Limits vary by state – check with Sebastian Insurance for information. Personal effects coverage does not include jewelry, watches or furs.

  • Unattached Equipment Coverage

This pays to repair or replace equipment that isn’t permanently attached to your boat or personal watercraft, but is designed for use primarily on a boat. This includes items like lifesaving equipment, water skis, anchors, oars, fire extinguishers, tarps etc.

  • Emergency Assistance

The Emergency Assistance Package provides coverage for towing, labor and delivery of gas, oil or loaned battery if the watercraft is disabled while on the water.

Every need is unique – contact Sebastian Insurance today at http://sebastianinsurance.com/contact-us/ to find out how to get the best boat and watercraft insurance coverage for you.

Boating

Spring Ahead with these Home Maintenance Tips

Dear Treasure Coast Resident,

Your home is one of your most important possessions. By keeping it properly maintained, you can reduce the risk of a loss. Please take a moment to review these important safety tips.

  • Test your smoke detectors monthly, and change the batteries annually or as needed.
  • Replace all high-intensity bulbs with fluorescent bulbs that don’t produce as much heat.
  • Have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
  • Remove all dead trees in your yard, and keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed and away from utility wires.
  • Repair cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walkways to provide a level walking surface.

For more seasonal home maintenance tips and to learn how you can further protect your home and property, visit travelers.com/prepare-prevent/index and contact us at Sebastian Insurance to stay even safer!

Safe Home

Appliance Hose Safety

Should You Be Worried About Your Appliance Hoses?

 

There’s a ticking time bomb in your Sebastian, Vero Beach, or Fellsmere 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 humble 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 (typically when you fire up the grill for the first time after winter), 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. Even if you’re feeling unsure about your appliances, our home insurance policies will help ease

Appliance Hose Safety

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
Sebastian, vero beach, InsuranceIcon

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
Sebastian, vero beach, InsuranceIcon

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!
Sebastian, vero beach, InsuranceIcon

[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.

Sebastian, vero beach, InsuranceIcon