Tips for Protecting Your Home While Away

Many people go on vacations every year. There are so many things to do to get ready before you leave and it is easy to forget something important. It is also easy to forget to do simple tasks that will help keep your house and possessions safe from damage and theft.

Tips for keeping your house safe

Set timers on interior and exterior lights

Nothing is more inviting to a burglar than a dark house with no signs that anybody’s home. Set timers on the interior and exterior lights to make it look like someone is there.

Prepare for power surges.

Power surges can happen at any time. Unplug all electronics or plug them into a surge protector.

Don’t post on social media.

Some people post everything on social media, especially when they go somewhere on vacation. This is a beacon for someone looking for a place to rob. You are advertising when you are leaving and when you will be back.

Lock away valuables

It is always a good idea to lock away all jewelry and other valuable things. Make sure it is out of sight and in a lockbox or safe.

Double-check all doors and windows

Double-check that all your doors and windows are locked, even if you think they are.

Protect pipes

If you are going to be gone during the winter, it is crucial to check your pipes. Please ensure they are well-insulated, so they don’t freeze and burst.

Stop or pause newspaper and mail.

Newspapers and mail piling up at the door is a big flag that no one is home.

Contact us

For more information on insurance or home tips, contact us at Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL.

How to make your home more energy efficient

Making your home more energy efficient is a great way to save money and help the environment. But it can be tricky to know where to start. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Insulate your home. Add insulation to your home’s attic, walls, and crawl spaces. You can get special rolls of insulation designed specifically for each of these areas, making it easy to install on your own. Just be sure to check with local building codes before you start so that you know what type of insulation is required for your area.
  2. Check for air leaks and seal them up. A great way to save energy is by ensuring that there aren’t any air leaks in or around your home. Your best bet is to hire a professional contractor who can find exactly where those leaks are coming from and help you plug them up so that air isn’t constantly escaping from your house.
  3. Upgrade your heating and cooling system. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, make this one of the first things you upgrade. This can help to save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature in your home based on when you’re home or away – so that it never wastes energy by running when nobody is there to use it.
  4. Install low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. By replacing your old fixtures with new ones designed for maximum water efficiency, you can reduce how much water you’re using each day without sacrificing any comfort at all.

If you have more home energy efficiency questions, call Runnels Insurance today. We proudly serve the Brandon, FL area.

Will my home owners insurance cover my she-shed?

Your homeowner’s insurance covers many things. Homeowner insurance provides coverage from the structure of your home to your personal belongings. Homeowners’ insurance can be expansive, making it hard to know exactly what’s covered. Our Brandon, FL office at Runnels Insurance knows that a homeowners’ policy has many details that people may not be familiar with. We’re here to help.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for your home’s external and internal structures and any other structures on your property. Homeowners insurance also includes liability protection and medical coverage. However, every homeowner’s policy is specific. As a result, it’s a good idea to understand your homeowner’s policy thoroughly. Although many things are covered, there are some situations that your homeowners’ policy wouldn’t cover. Most policies have limits and stipulations concerning what’s covered.

Will my homeowner’s insurance cover my she-shed?

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers your home and any structure on your property. This includes sheds. There’s no need to purchase a separate policy for your shed because it should be covered under your existing homeowner’s policy. However, there are some circumstances where your shed’s damage may not be covered. If the damage occurred due to an action or incident not outlined as a covered event, you might have to cover the damage out of pocket. Your homeowner’s policy clearly outlines what’s covered. Also, an insurance agent could clearly outline what damage would be covered under your policy. If you have questions regarding coverage, call us. We’d be happy to discuss any issues or concerns you may have and provide answers. 

Who needs to carry home insurance in Florida?

If you live in the Brandon, FL area, it would be a good idea to invest in your future by purchasing your own home. If you purchase a property in this part of Florida, having the right insurance is very important. It will give your dwelling and personal assets coverage and reduce liability risks. There are various situations when someone will need to carry a home insurance plan. 

Those with Mortgages

A situation when someone in this part of Florida will need home insurance is when someone has an outstanding mortgage. A mortgage is a common way to finance real estate purchases in Florida. If you have a mortgage, you will need to follow the rules set by your lender. In many cases, this includes requiring you to maintain home insurance. Sometimes, you will even have to escrow your monthly payments. 

Those in Home Associations

You also may be required to carry a home insurance plan if you live within a home association. These associations will always want to know that their residents and owners have proper insurance. They will usually have specific rules for coverage levels and may require that you provide the association with evidence of coverage every year. 

If you do live in the Brandon, FL area, it would be very helpful to always have a proper insurance plan in place for your home. There are a lot of choices that you need to make when looking for this coverage, and Runnels Insurance can be a great resource. When you call the team at Runnels Insurance, we will offer you additional support to ensure you can select the right plan for your lifestyle. 

How do Home Insurance Adjusters Determine Coverage in Brandon, FL?

Home insurance adjusters visit your Brandon, FL property to determine your policy coverage and payout.

You decide your coverage limits when you purchase a home insurance policy from a company like Runnels Insurance. Although a policy isn’t required to buy a home in Flordia, it’s highly recommended to blunt the costs of damages.

It’s especially true when it comes to severe weather conditions the state is subject to. In addition to fire, theft, and vandalism, your home can be damaged due to hurricanes, tornadoes, and strong thunderstorms. A home insurance policy covers these conditions for your Brandon, FL property. 

How Coverage Is Determined

When you file a claim with your insurance company, it’s given a case number and delivered to the adjusters. In turn, they do one of two things. They might ask for photos of the damage for their records. On the other hand, if the damage is extensive, they’ll make an appointment to see it firsthand. 

During their visit, the adjuster will take photos and notes related to interior and exterior issues. They’ll take this information back to the office and compare the damage to what your policy covers. Further, they’ll review current costs related to the necessary repairs. These factors will determine what the insurance company pays for. 

How to Get the Right Amount of Coverage

Don’t underinsure your home insurance policy to save money. While it may initially help you, it won’t allow you to repair your home when appropriately needed. Thus, it’s best to reach out to a company like Runnels Insurance to calculate the right amount of coverage. Contact a representative today for additional information. 

Signs You Need to Update Your Home Insurance Policy

As a homeowner, you know your home is one of your most valuable assets. It’s not just the physical structure but everything inside – from your furniture to your clothes to your priceless family photos. That’s why it’s so important to have a good home insurance policy in place. But what happens when your needs change? Here are four signs that it might be time to update your home insurance policy.

1. You’ve Made Major Renovations to Your Home

If you’ve made any significant renovations to your home, it’s essential to let your home insurance company know. That’s because the value of your home has likely gone up, which means you need more coverage. For example, if you’ve added a new room or replaced your roof, you’ll need to update your policy.

2. You’ve Acquired New Belongings

Over time, you’re bound to acquire new belongings. Whether it’s a new piece of furniture or a new energy-efficient appliance, you could be underinsured if you don’t update your policy. If something happens to your home and you need to make a claim, you might not get enough money to replace your belongings.

3. You Have a New Baby

Becoming a parent is a huge life change and should be reflected in your home insurance policy. That’s because you now have more people in your home who are vulnerable to injury. You may also have more belongings, like toys and baby clothes, that need to be protected.

4. It’s Been a While Since You Reviewed Your Policy

Even if nothing significant has changed in your life, it’s a good idea to review your home insurance policy regularly. That’s because, over time, your needs may change, and you might be able to get a better rate. So, if it’s been a while since you reviewed your policy, now is the time to do it.

Contact your insurance agent today if you’re thinking about updating your home insurance policy. They can help you assess your needs and ensure you have the coverage you need. At Runnels Insurance, we can help you review your existing policy to see if it meets your current needs in Brandon, FL. We’re also here to help you find a new policy if you need one. Contact us today to get started.

What Does Home Insurance Cover?

Home insurance is an essential purchase for any homeowner. It provides peace of mind that your home and belongings are protected in a disaster or accident. But what does home insurance cover? In this article, we’ll discuss what home insurance covers.

1. Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage is the portion of your home insurance policy that covers the physical structure of your home. This includes the walls, floors, ceilings, and foundation.

Dwelling coverage includes attached structures, such as a garage or deck. If your home is damaged or destroyed by a covered event, such as a fire or severe weather, dwelling coverage will help pay for the repairs or replacement of your home.

Dwelling coverage does not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear. For example, if your roof needs to be replaced due to age or damage from a storm, you would need to pay for this repair out of pocket as it is not covered by dwelling coverage.

2. Personal Property Coverage

Personal property coverage is the portion of your home insurance policy that covers your personal belongings. This includes furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items you keep in your home.

If your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed by a covered event, such as a fire or severe weather, personal property coverage will help pay for the repairs or replacement of your belongings.

3. Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is the portion of your home insurance policy that protects you from financial responsibility if someone is injured on your property. This includes medical expenses and legal costs. If you’re sued for damages, liability coverage will help pay for your legal defense.

Liability coverage also provides protection if you accidentally damage someone else’s property. For example, if you accidentally start a fire that damages your neighbor’s home in Brandon, FL, your liability coverage will help pay for the repairs.

4. Additional Coverage

In addition to the three main types of coverage, most home insurance policies also include additional coverage for specific events. This can include coverage for flooding, earthquakes, and wind damage. You may also be able to purchase additional coverage from a professional company such as Runnels Insurance for items such as jewelry or art.

5. Other Structures Coverage

Other structure coverage is a type of dwelling coverage that protects detached structures on your property, such as a shed or gazebo. This coverage can help to pay for the repairs or replacement of these structures if  damages thema covered event damages them. Additionally, other structure coverage can help to pay for the repairs or replacement of fences, driveways, and sidewalks.


Home insurance is an essential purchase for any homeowner. It protects your home and belongings in the event of a covered disaster. Home insurance typically covers the dwelling, personal property, liability, and additional expenses. Other structure coverage is also available to protect detached structures on your property.

Florida homeowners looking for more information about home insurance can contact Runnels Insurance. We are happy to answer any questions about home insurance coverage. Give us a call today.

Documents you should always have in your vehicle

To drive in Florida, you must have a driver’s license, drive a registered motor vehicle, and have auto insurance on that vehicle. If you don’t comply with any of these, you are violating the law and could be subject to fines. At Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL, we know the laws in Florida, and we are here to help our customers comply with all of the requirements. 

Insurance card

Your insurance card is proof that you have insurance coverage. When you renew or take out a new policy, the insurance company will send you a copy of your insurance card. If you lose it, you should be able to print a new one out online or call the insurance company, and they can send you a new one. It must be carried in your vehicle’s glove box at all times. Placing it in a clear plastic sleeve will protect it from damage. It should be placed with your vehicle registration. 

Vehicle registration

Cars in Florida must be registered. You can choose to register the vehicle for one year or two years. Vehicles can be registered online at the MyDMV Portal, and your registration will be mailed to you. If you can’t do it online, you can go to a local service center. Place your registration in your glove box with your insurance card. 

Drivers license 

Everyone needs a driver’s license to drive in Florida. Driver’s licenses in Florida are good for eight years. Since a license is also a picture ID used for identification, most people carry it on their person at all times. Therefore, it should be in the vehicle when you are there. 

Contact Runnels Insurance in Brandon, FL to discuss any questions about auto insurance and get a no-obligation quote.

Should I Update My Life Insurance Policy?

Your life insurance policy should be updated as your life changes. Otherwise, if you don’t give your policy a second look, you and your loved ones will be inadequately covered. Do you have a life insurance policy in Brandon, FL? When was the last time you reviewed it? If it’s been years, you need to update it ASAP. But what are the things you should consider when reviewing your policy? According to Runnels Insurance, talk to your life insurance provider if the below changes occur:

Life events

You probably bought your life insurance policy when you were single, but so many changes have happened. Now you are married and probably have a kid. You should update your life insurance policy to ensure your dependents live a comfortable life after you are long gone.

Similarly, if you divorce or one of your beneficiaries dies, don’t fail to update your life insurance policy.

Buying a home

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial commitments you will make. It’s also an excellent time to review your insurance needs. The last thing you would want is to burden the people you leave behind with your mortgage loan. Invest in life insurance to ensure the death benefits can cover your outstanding mortgage balance.

Starting a business

It’s always exciting to start a business. It may also be an ideal time to review your life insurance policy. Investing in life insurance ensures a smooth business succession even when you die. The death benefits from the policy can be used to pay company loans and cushion your business partners financially by covering the gap you have left.

Life insurance policy in Brandon, FL

Ready to get started with life insurance? It’s one of the best ways to plan your finances. If you are in Brandon, FL and the nearby areas, don’t hesitate to contact Runnels Insurance for an affordable life insurance policy.

4 Benefits of Umbrella Insurance

When you purchase umbrella insurance from Runnels Insurance, it can help you from slumping into a financial mess. You may ask how. Umbrella insurance protects your assets and earnings when the limits of your conventional liability coverages run out. For instance, umbrella insurance can come to your rescue if you exhaust your car liability insurance after being at fault for a severe accident. The other benefits you accrue when you purchase umbrella insurance in Brandon, FL include:

Broader coverage

Umbrella insurance gives you higher coverage as well as broader coverage. What does this mean? Umbrella insurance can give you $1M worth of liability coverage and protect you from liabilities that conventional liability coverages don’t cover. For instance, umbrella insurance covers libel, slander, and false arrest, among other liabilities not covered by home, boat, or auto liability coverage.


Yes, umbrella insurance gives you high protection, but that doesn’t mean that the coverage must be expensive. It’s super-affordable since umbrella insurance takes over from where your traditional liability coverages leave off. Still doubting? Why don’t you request a quote from  Runnels Insurance to see for yourself?

No geographical limitation

Your home or car insurance will give you protection within the boundaries of the United States. However, this isn’t a problem with umbrella insurance. This coverage protects you anywhere in the world.

Peace of mind

We live in a litigious society, and you might be bothered that someone might come to claim your assets. However, you don’t have to live on the edge when you have umbrella insurance. This coverage protects you against lawsuits, ensuring you have peace of mind anywhere and anytime.

Get umbrella insurance today!

Want to protect your assets with umbrella insurance? If you are in Brandon, FL, or its surrounding area, please contact Runnels Insurance for an insurance plan that covers your needs.