Am I Covered In A Flood?

Flooding might not be as much of a concern in some states as it is in others. With a drier climate and higher elevation, flooding is rare but is far more common in coastal states like Florida. Certainly, it’s something that we need to think about in Brandon, FL. In Florida, you never know what storm season will bring, and we have environmental hazards in addition to typical plumbing concerns.

So here’s the question:

Flooding: Are You Covered?

The truth about flood insurance is that some homeowners policies will cover it, and by some, we mean "very, very few." As a general rule, your homeowner’s policy won’t protect you against a flood.

The only way to know for sure: Sit down and read your insurance policy. It’s a good idea to take the time to really read your policy front to back anyway. Insurance is a "just in case," so you need to know what your provider is prepared to handle.

Flooding might not be covered for a number of reasons. One of those reasons being that flooding is a complicated area. Flooding isn’t just the initial damages, but long term damages, as well. A flood might not do any major damage at first glance but may result in mold and deterioration over time.

If you’re not covered against a flood, you certainly do need to seek coverage. This type of protection may not be requisite in some states, but it is simply a necessity in Brandon, FL. If you’re looking to upgrade your plan to include flood damages, get in touch with Runnels Insurance and let’s see what we can do for you.

When Should You Add Coverage To Your Home Insurance?

Life is constantly evolving. The way we use our homes is always changing, too. At Runnels Insurance, we encourage our Brandon, FL customers to regularly reevaluate their home insurance needs. Big changes to your property mean big chances that your coverage may not be enough to protect your new investments, such as:

Additions To Your Property

Are you considering adding a room to your home? How about installing a new swimming pool or deck? Finally going to build that covered parking, garage, or workshop? All of these situations call for new coverage. You don’t want to have something major cause damage or even total loss of your addition, only to find out it was not covered by your current policy. Whenever you make a major change or improvement to your property make sure you have proper insurance coverage.

Renting Out Parts Of Your Home

Leasing out an unused section of your home can be an excellent way to generate extra income. However, your current homeowner’s insurance might not cover damages caused by renters. Furthermore, if you end up leasing to a tenant who decides to sue you later your current policy may not cover legal or court fees. While Florida law does not require landlords to purchase rental-specific coverage, it’s still important to consider the "what if’s" with your insurance agent and adjusts your coverage appropriately.

Hosting Major Events

From super sweet 16th birthdays to graduation blowouts to intimate backyard weddings, our homes can play host to many of life’s special events. Unfortunately, the more people that gather at your home, the more chance there is for something to go wrong. People can accidentally get hurt or damage your personal property. Before you host a large event at your home, examine your current policy to make sure you’ll be covered if a guest gets hurt or breaks something valuable. You may want to consider increasing your coverage or opt for an umbrella policy to fill in any gaps.

Changing home insurance coverage can be confusing to do alone. Runnels Insurance extends a friendly and encouraging hand to all homeowners in Brandon, FL. Let us work together to make sure your policy fits your personal needs.

3 Tips About Auto Insurance For Teenagers

When teens reach driving age, they get excited about everything that entails their new journey as a driver. Everything except for car insurance, that is. Between learning how to drive, choosing a cool car, planning where to drive with friends once they get their permit or driver’s license, to finding a job that will cover their gas costs, teens may even forget to think about auto insurance in the first place.

However, the opposite should be the case: Runnels Insurance agents believe that auto insurance should be at the forefront of the minds of teens and their parents. Finding the right policy is not just up to the teen; a parent’s help and input are priceless in this case. Auto insurance for teens in Brandon, FL can be a tricky purchase. Here are some tips for teens and their parents to consider while shopping for that coveted first auto insurance policy.

1. Add The Teen To An Existing Family Auto Insurance Policy

While a straightforward approach to car insurance for teens may be to buy a brand new policy, parents should consider adding their kids to an existing family policy. Not only can this save money, but it can also offer the brand-new driver with a better start to their driving track record.

To accommodate this addition, parents can choose to raise their overall deductible. This allows for adequate coverage for the new driver, since teenagers are typically considered a risky demographic for insurance companies.

In addition to increasing their deductible, parents can purchase a personal liability umbrella policy. This type of addition cushions an existing policy from its own limits. This way, if the teen gets involved in an accident where the cost of damages exceeds the existing policy, the umbrella policy can kick in.

2. The Teen Should Attend Driving School

As a parent, are you planning to teach your own child how to drive?

Of course, this is certainly an option, and it may seem like you would save money by taking this route. Driving school can be costly, after all.

However, consider letting your child attend driving school anyway. The cost of driving school may lower your insurance policy payment and increase your child’s coverage. When a teen enrolls in driving school, there is a clear record of driving performance which can be shown to your insurance provider. This typically makes the teen less of a liability for the purposes of insurance.

3. Purchase A Safe Vehicle

Did you know that the type of vehicle tied to an insurance policy can affect its cost and coverage parameters?

Teens often hope to score a flashy, sporty car that looks cool and drives fast. Sports cars and small cars in general can be interpreted as a liability by an insurance provider. In fact, most brand-new cars can cause an increased insurance rate.

If you hope to keep your insurance rate reasonable, go with a safe, used car. Any car that has a good track record in the industry, has four doors, and average mileage should work well as a starter vehicle.

Are You Ready To Purchase Your Teen’s Auto Insurance?

Before the teen goes out into the world with his or her fancy new license to freedom, it’s time to invest in some protection. Runnels Insurance can help you purchase a policy that works for the entire family. Contact us today for a quote that works with your budget and provides you with the best in terms of coverage.

5 Life Insurance Myths that Could Leave You Unprotected

Life insurance myths could rob you of valuable protection for you and your family. At Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL, we can help you distinguish life insurance facts from the fiction so you can make smart life insurance choices. Here are some common myths about life insurance coverage.

Myth: Life insurance is too costly.

Life insurance isn’t “one size fits all.” Prices vary depending on the policy you choose. By discussing options with your Runnels Insurance agent, you’re sure to find a policy that gives you the protection you need at a cost you can afford.

Myth: Young, healthy adults don’t need life coverage.

Life insurance is cheaper to buy when you’re young and healthy. You never know when serious health problems will develop and lead to your early demise. If you have a family, life benefits can provide financial security for your spouse and children in the event of your untimely demise.

Myth: You can’t get life insurance if you have health issues.

You can still get life insurance with medical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis if you are managing your symptoms. However, you’ll probably pay more for your policy that if you were in good health.

Myth: Singles don’t need life insurance.

You may be single now, but what about the future? Buying a life insurance policy now can provide valuable protection for when you do get married and start a family. It can also provide financial support for aging parents or young siblings if you were to suddenly pass on.

Myth: Stay-at-home parents don’t need life insurance.

Who would care for your children in the event of your untimely demise? Life insurance benefits can help pay for childcare to make it easier for your spouse to support the family after you’re gone.

To learn more about life insurance options and costs, contact Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL today.

Can I get umbrella insurance for my personal needs or is it only for businesses?

You have probably heard of umbrella insurance, but most people think of it as something that businesses need to protect themselves against great losses. However, there are also umbrella policies for individuals, and those are personal umbrella policies. If you live in Brandon, FL, you might have considered getting an umbrella policy from Runnels Insurance.

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

It’s easy to describe umbrella insurance because of its name. Like an umbrella, it spreads out over you and your family to protect you from outside harms. What an umbrella policy actually does is add extra coverage to your other insurance policies, like home and auto. When you have umbrella insurance, your limits go up drastically. The minimum coverage for an umbrella policy usually starts at $1 million.

What Is Covered?

Much of what is covered is the same as what is covered under your regular insurance.

  • Bodily injury — If you are in an automobile crash and you are at fault, you could be sued for all of the medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses of the victim. Most auto insurance policies won’t go very far when the injuries are serious. When your home is included, your umbrella policy will add extra protection for situations such as when someone is injured when visiting you.
  • Property damage — The minimum coverage is usually too small to cover all the damages, and you could be stuck paying the rest out of your own pocket.
  • An umbrella policy also offers protection against some unusual kinds of claims, including slander, libel, and shock or mental anguish.

If you think you could use an umbrella policy in Brandon, FL, don’t hesitate to give us any obligation call at Runnels Insurance today.

Does my condo insurance cover renovations?

In Brandon, FL, you will just as likely need to purchase condo insurance as you would homeowner’s insurance. Both housing types remain quite common and Runnels Insurance offers both.

Once you settle into your condo, you might decide to renovate. It makes sense to make the place truly yours. You need to know that the insurance your condo association provides does not cover your renovations. Whether it provides “all-in” or “bare walls” coverage, it does not cover your changes.

The all-in master policy covers the condo’s interiors from the studs inside the walls to the contents with which you filled it. That means your Alexa gets replaced, as well as the cabinets, flooring, lighting, etc. In this case, you get back the condo you purchased and everything in it. This is a rate policy that most condo associations do not carry.

The bare walls master policy covers the cabinets, flooring, lighting, etc. only. That leaves replacing your contents up to you.

The result of a close read of your master policy is that you need a supplementary condo insurance policy of your own. A condo insurance policy provides similar coverage to a standard HOA policy. It is a derivative type of HOA. It provides coverage for any type of renovations or remodeling you made to the interior, your contents and liability coverage. That means if a guest trips, falls and breaks their arm in your bathroom, the condo insurance covers your liability which would include their medical costs and perhaps a suffering payment.

Drop by Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL to discuss your condo insurance needs. We can help you with a home inventory or to determine your additional liability needs if you run a home business.

How Motorcycle Insurance Differs From Auto Insurance

If you have been driving a motorcycle for any amount of time, you know that driving a motorcycle is vastly different from driving a car. For this reason, insurance coverage of a motorcycle is also vastly different. In order to be safe and insured properly, it is important to understand these differences. 

Two Wheels Just Isn’t The Same

Driving on two wheels just is not the same as driving on four. The risk factors are increased drastically. For this reason, insurance must be different. If you have never insured a motorcycle before, be prepared to have a different rate and possibly a different policy for your motorcycle. 


There are also significant distinctions when it comes to passengers. In an automobile, it is assumed that there will be more than one passenger since the vehicle is built for multiple passengers. This is not the case with a motorcycle. With a motorcycle, it is assumed there will only be one passenger. Therefore, if you plan to have passengers ride with you, you will need to add this to your insurance policy. If you overlook this step and allow passengers to ride with you without adding passengers to your policy you could get into a lot of trouble. 

Time of Use

Motorcycle insurance also gives you the option of only paying for coverage when you will be using the bike. This is very handy for people who only use their bike during certain seasons of the year. If you do not ride all year long, then you can save money by only getting part-time coverage. 

If you would like to learn more about motorcycle coverage, please contact our friendly staff today at Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL. We would be delighted to answer your questions. 

Boat Insurance Basics

Most homeowner policies include liability protection for boats below a certain size. These policies also provide some coverage for damages to the boat itself in addition to the motor and trailer, typically a specific dollar amount or percentage of the home’s value. Larger boats are more likely to require a separate insurance policy, especially if they have a motor. An agent at Runnels Insurance can provide you with more details on the insurance you’ll need for your boat in Brandon, FL.


Insurance companies often classify larger boats as a yacht if its length is greater than 26 feet, which requires a different policy from a basic boat owner’s policy. Boats capable of faster speeds, typically 25 mph, may also require greater coverage. Additional factors that can increase the coverage you require include equipment such as covers, fenders, fishing gear, communication and navigation equipment.


A boat owner’s policy will include many types of coverage that are common to other types of property insurance, including liability, theft, damage and loss. However, it often specifies coverage for particular parts of the boat such as the hull, furnishings, machinery and permanently attached equipment. Coverage for towing, assistance and uninsured boaters are also common components of boat insurance.


Boat policies usually have more than one deductible, each of which may apply to a different type of property and loss. They may also use one of several methods to determine the reimbursement for a physical loss, including the replacement cost or a specific amount. The boat’s actual cash value (ACV) is also a common method of calculating reimbursement, which is the cost of a new boat less the depreciation of the insured boat. The same policy may also handle different types of boating property with different reimbursement methods.

Get a quote on boat insurance from Runnels Insurance, serving Brandon, FL.

What RV Insurance Is Needed if You Are Living in Your RV Full Time?

Many people choose to live in an RV full time for a number of reasons. Full-time RV insurance differs slightly from auto insurance, so you want to make sure you have the proper coverage in Brandon, FL.

Liability: If you are living in your RV full time, things that are covered under homeowners insurance also need to be covered under RV insurance. This means that you need to have a higher liability value so that if someone slips and falls inside the RV, you are covered. Ask an agent at Runnels Insurance if you are covered in camp or while parked, as well as on the road, in order to have the most amount of coverage.

Personal Property: Since your personal belongings will be in your RV and it will likely be most of what you own, look for additional property coverage options. Many standard policies will give you a certain amount of coverage, but if you have expensive equipment, such as TVs or computers, you may want to increase the value. Also, check to see if the coverage includes items attached to the RV that has been added aftermarket.

Replacement Coverage: If something were to happen to your RV, you should know what the replacement coverage is since this is more catastrophic than just losing a vehicle. Full replacement coverage is best so that you can get the RV replaced.

Towing: You will need a separate towing package to make sure that you have coverage for towing a big vehicle.

Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance can be useful if your RV breaks down from a flat tire, battery failure, or if you get locked out. Even if you are not going to be driving your RV at all, consider this option.

Pet Injury Coverage: If you don’t have a separate pet insurance policy, then this coverage can make sense, especially if you live in the RV full time.

Contact Runnels Insurance, serving Brandon, FL, to get a quote on RV insurance. 



How much flood insurance do I need?

If you live in Brandon, FL, you probably realize that your regular property insurance will not give you the help you need if you are the victim of a flood. When you purchased your policy at Runnels Insurance, you learned that there are some limitations and that you may need an extra policy to get the coverage you need. 

What Is Flood Insurance? 

Flood insurance is insurance that protects you when large amounts of water flood your home and it usually comes through the National Flood Insurance Program  (NFIP). Because of the geography of Florida, flood insurance is usually a requirement of a mortgage. There are many possible sources of flooding for any property in the area, such as lakes, rivers and, of course, the ocean.

The policies themselves generally cover up to  $250,000 for property and up to  $100,000 for personal possessions. The property covers the amount that it would take you to rebuild, including for your home’s foundation, HVAC system, other large appliances, carpeting, and debris removal. Personal items include clothing, furniture, curtains, small appliances, and even food.

How Can I Tell How Much Coverage To Get?

Your flood policy is meant to help you recover if there is a disaster, so you need to consider that when purchasing your policy. If you live in Florida, the chances are you will need flood coverage even if you don’t live by the water, as it covers flooding from storms. 

Investigating your options and comparing private insurance might get you a better deal and the specific coverage you need. You don’t want to be left high and dry in Brandon, FL if a flood damages your home. At Runnels Insurance, we can help you assess the value of your property and tailor your policy to you. Please call today if you have any questions.