GreatFlorida Renters Insurance - Palm Harbor, FL - Jim Sullivan
Renters Insurance Agency in Palm Harbor, Florida

Renters Insurance Agency in Palm Harbor, FL

Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan - GreatFlorida Insurance - Palm Harbor, FL.


34750 US Hwy 19 North
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
Fax : 727-771-1010

GreatFlorida Insurance Homeowners Auto Agency in Palm Harbor
Contact your local Agent
Call : 727-771-0505 or

Renters Insurance Palm HarborRenter's Insurance Florida - FAQs

You do not have to own your property for it to be considered your home in Palm Harbor. It is often your possessions that are more treasured than the house, especially when renting.

While the landlord may have home insurance covering the structure, your personal belongings are not covered unless you have a renter’s insurance policy in place.

GreatFlorida Insurance has budget friendly renter’s coverage to protect against damage or theft of your small appliances, electronics, computer and entertainment equipment, clothes, shoes, jewelry, furniture, bikes and just about anything else you own.

Renter’s insurance is not only created for your possessions but, can offer protection if someone is injured at your rental property as well as  provide living expenses if your rental is damaged and you need to find temporary housing.

GreatFlorida Insurance can cover your rental property whether you live in a condominium, apartment, townhouse or home in Palm Harbor. Safeguard your personal effects with renter’s insurance today.

Protect What's Yours with Renter's Insurance

Whether you own or rent your home, the fact remains that you want to protect your belongings and your family from life's unfortunate events.

While most people have heard of homeowners insurance, many renters don't know that there are special policies just for them called renters insurance.

Contact a GreatFlorida Renter's Insurance Agent in Palm Harbor to get more information on a renters insurance policies and to get your free renters insurance quote.

Call 727-771-0505 or take a few minutes to complete our online quote request form.

Why should I get a renters insurance policy?

Even though you may be living in a home that is protected by someone else's homeowners insurance policy, you want to be sure that your personal belongings and liabilities are covered.

If an accident, natural disaster or other unfortunate incident occurs, a renters insurance policy will make it easier to get back on your feet.

How do deductibles work with renters insurance?

Just like with other policies, a deductible is the amount that you agree to pay before your insurance policy begins to pay. However, it is important to note that this applies to personal property claims and not to liability claims.

Additionally, hurricane deductibles are applied differently since storms can cause damage multiple times in one year. Your GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Palm Harbor can provide you with additional information on how deductibles work.

What personal items does a renters policy cover?

Renters insurance policies are designed to keep your assets safe. Take a look around your home. You probably have more personal property in your home than you initially realize.

Do you have?

  • Kitchen appliances and supplies
  • Electronics
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Purses
  • Furniture
  • Entertainment systems

Protect items such as these with a superb renters insurance policy from GreatFlorida Insurance. Get your quote by calling 727-771-0505.

How about protection against personal liability?

When someone is hurt at your home, it may be as much your liability as it is the landlord's liability.

Not having proper coverage in place can be a costly mistake. Renters insurance will give you the protection you need whether you need to cover attorneys' fees or pay for the medical bills of those injured on your property.

Protection at home and away from home.

Damages and personal liability can by incurred whether you're home or away from home. For instance, if you accidentally set something on fire because of a faulty appliance or lapse in judgment, a good renters insurance policy can help you recover from those damages.

On the other hand, if your home catches on fire, suffers from water damage as a result of an action of your neighbor or building management, or is broken into, a renters insurance policy will be your best asset.

In these instances your policy will cover damaged items as well as pay part of your living expenses should you be forced out of your home due to the damage.

Renters insurance covers your belongings from natural disasters.

Florida is the Sunshine State. Our tropical climate draws visitors from around the world. However, it also leaves us susceptible to severe storms, floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.

When you rent your home, you are not responsible for damage to the structure, but guess who is responsible for your personal belongings. You are.

The destruction of your home and personal belongings can be devastating. Give yourself and your family the best chance for a second start with proper renters insurance coverage.

You'll also ensure that you'll have financial support to pay for living expenses if you are forced out of your home.

Payment plans available.

Renters insurance can fit most any budget. You have the option of paying for the entire year upfront or paying a deposit followed by quarterly payments. Get more information when you contact a GreatFlorida Insurance Agent.

Get started by making a list and checking it twice.

How can you get started? Before calling GreatFlorida Insurance take inventory of your belongings. From furniture to appliances to electronics to clothes to shoes to clothing to jewelry, these costs can really add up.

Once you have an idea of the total value of your belongings, a GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Palm Harbor will be able to put together the best possible renters insurance quote for you.

Get a Quote Online
Call 727-771-0505
Florida Renters  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

Floridians can privately possess everything from alligators to zebras as long as they have a permit. In most cases, neighbors are not legally required to disclose what kind of pets they are housing.

“Exotic animals, like most animals, are curious and unpredictable,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowners insurance agency.

This impulsive and characteristic behavior can lead to animals escaping and exploring their area, putting neighbors on high alert. Some recent cases include the following:

Last year a woman found her neighbor’s eight foot King Cobra coiled up and hissing under her clothes drier.

A Miami woman was recently attacked by a neighbor’s pet Lemur. The animal caused scratches and bites requiring stitches.

A two-year-old Florida child died after she was strangled by a pet python after it escaped from an aquarium in the home.

While these cases are rare, unfortunate incidents involving exotic pets do occur. News 6 reported, “More than 260 exotic snakes, monkeys, lions, tigers, bears and other captive animals have escaped in Florida over the past decade.” aa-mj16-exotics-opener-wout

Keeping an exotic animal as a pet can pose a threat to your family and neighbors. Florida requires exotic pet owners to carry liability insurance for their animal. Some rare animals can cause injury, spread disease and damage Florida’s eco-system according to The Humane Society.

While dangerous behavior can be expected from a wild animal, what about the behavior of a domestic animal?

“Some communities require dog owners to purchase an umbrella insurance policy for their pet, in addition to the coverage included with their homeowners insurance if they own what is considered a dangerous breed,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.

Dangerous dog breeds include but are not limited to: Rottweiler’s, Pit Bulls and Chows. Unfortunately, aggressive classifications are based on the breed and not behavior history or socialization.

The Insurance Information Institute  claims that dog bites account for one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims. The average payout for a claim in 2015 was $37,214.

It is important to talk to your homeowners insurance agent to review if your pet is covered on your renters insurance or homeowners insurance, or if additional liability insurance such as an umbrella insurance policy is required.

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance if you have questions about homeowners insurance, renters insurance or umbrella insurance. We will make sure you and your pet are covered.


The post Your Neighbor’s Strange Pet appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

More than 105 million people visited the sunshine state in 2015, setting a tourism record in the United States as reported by The Orlando Sentinel. Living in a hot tourist destination might have you thinking about making some extra cash by turning your home into a short-term rental.

Additional income for homeowners and renters is the appeal to vacation rental websites such as VRBO/HomeAway and Airbnb. On the flip side, business and vacation travelers get full-home amenities including more space and a full kitchen for less than the price of a hotel room, making short-term rentals an attractive deal.

Before you start listing your place on a travel platform, keep in mind, not every home in Florida is eligible for renting. “Florida has zoning laws that restrict short-term rentals to specific areas,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance provider.

Homeowners or condo associations along with co-ops and landlords may also prohibit short-term rentals.


Whether your vacation home is your primary residence or not, you still want to protect your investment. Having the proper insurance will do just that.

“Having homeowners insurance or renters insurance is not usually adequate to cover your short- term rental,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency. “Homeowners insurance and renters insurance will cover your guests but not someone you are engaged in business transaction with.”

It is important to speak with your insurance agent before getting started. Short-term rentals are considered more risky to insure as opposed to someone with a year-long lease agreement. You may need a rider to your current homeowners policy or get rental property insurance.

Personal property covers your belongings. Liability protects you against legal fees and medical bills if someone is injured in your home. No matter how safe your home is, accidents are bound to happen.

Once you get your insurance in order, remember, Florida occupancy taxes are collected by 22 counties, according to

If you are considering renting your home, for a short or long period of time, contact GreatFlorida Insurance. Our experienced agents will get you the proper homeowners insurance or short-term rental insurance to protect your belongings and home from potential damage or theft.


The post Short-Term Rental Insurance appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Is home ownership the American Dream?

Is renting the equivalent of throwing your money away?

“Home buying versus renting is a multifaceted decision. It takes into account your financial situation as well as personal and emotional choices,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

There are pros and cons for home buying and renting. A one-size-fits-all answer does not exist. Fortunately, there are some considerations to factor that can help you make your decision.

Financial Factors

Most experts agree that your monthly mortgage or rent should not exceed 30 percent of your annual income. This is merely a guideline and it is important to review your other expenses before making a final determination.

Buying is more expensive once you factor in the cost of the home purchase, taxes, homeowners insurance as well as maintenance and repairs. A down payment is typically between 5- 20 percent, although government programs are available to help home buyers put as little as 3 percent down. Closing costs are an additional 5 percent.

Many people rent because they lack a down payment or they have poor credit. Renting generally requires first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit up front, making for a significantly smaller payment.

Keep in mind, investment educators The Motley Fool, point out rent historically increases five percent each year but a mortgage payment is locked in and does not change. Owning allows you to build equity but equity takes time to build.

 The Florida Housing Marketown-or-rent-infographic

In some markets across the U.S. rental prices continue to rise making a mortgage payment less than a monthly rental payment. “Rents are rising faster than wages throughout most of Florida,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowners insurance agency.

RealtyTrac reports, “Low interest rates and reasonable housing prices make South Florida, ripe for buying.”

Recent job growth and a population increase, along with affordable housing are drawing many buyers into the market.

Forbes reported that Florida is the best state to invest in home ownership due to economic recovery and the addition of nearly a quarter million jobs in the past year. They list Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Cape Coral, West Palm Beach and North Point as being the best cities to buy a home in 2016.

Renters are not always at a disadvantage. We don’t always know what the future holds as seen by the 2008 housing bubble bust, and that can make a significant difference when deciding to buy or rent.

Renting is ideal for those who desire for a low maintenance lifestyle and those not settled in one area or do not plan to stay in one place long. While homeownership can benefit from tax breaks, the breaks can be oversold to those with moderate priced homes.

What’s better, renting vs buying can be a difficult prediction to make and sometimes you have to go with your gut.

Whether you are looking to buy or rent a home, GreatFlorida Insurance can help you protect your valuables. We offer affordable options for homeowners insurance as well as renters insurance. Give us a call today.

The post Buy or Rent? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

By August most Floridians are longing for cooler temperatures -we know that will be months away. The late summer temperatures can bring along a higher utility bill, but is it possible to reduce your summer utility bill while staying comfortable?

The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates a typical US family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills. They believe in taking a whole house approach to maximize yearly savings.


“Making an investment will pay off in the long run,” say Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Energy saving home improvements can qualify you for tax breaks and possible incentives from some homeowner’s insurance policies.”

Installing rooftop solar panels, a programmable thermostat, replacing windows purchasing energy efficient appliances, adding insulation or planting trees and bushes on your property are all effective methods for lowering your energy usage.

Simple Tips

There are a variety of methods for lowering your utility bills whether you are looking to make a long term investment or want to make more efficient use of how you utilize energy in your home.


Change out light bulbs. The DOE reports if you change out your five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs you can save $75 a year. Do not let sticker shock deter you, they use much less energy and last far longer.


Install white backed shades and curtains to reflect the sun. Awnings over the outside of south and west facing windows provide shade, greatly reducing the heat from the sun.

Electronics/Home Office

Unplug electronics such as computers, video game consoles and television sets when not in use. If that sounds inconvenient, think about using a power strip and turning off the power strip or placing items on a light timer.

There is an old myth is that computers last longer if they do not get turned off. This is simply outdated information that relates to mainframe computers. At least put your computer on automatic sleep mode if you do not want to turn it off.


Check to make sure all your vents are opened-closing vents does not reduce energy consumption.

Replace air filters monthly, you can buy them in bulk at a hardware store.

Use fans, while they do not cool the air, they do circulate it helping you to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.


Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.

Install a low flow shower head.

Wash clothes in cold water. Heating the water for your washing machine accounts for 90 percent of the energy the washing machine uses, according to

While thoroughly rinsing your dishes before they go into the dishwasher is good, that uses water. How you load them is more important. Utensils should be loaded in their designated carriage, handles facing down because they need less water than to other end. Plates on the bottom facing the center, cups and bowls on the top row with bowls slanted to reduce trapping water inside of them. Avoid placing large items such as serving platters facing the door of the dishwasher; they can prevent the detergent door from fully opening.

Turn off the heated dryer on your dishwasher and let dishes dry on their own.

Some Florida utility companies offer off-peak discounts between the hours of 7am and 7 pm. Try running the dishwasher and doing laundry in the evening.

GreatFlorida Insurance has offices located throughout Florida to provide dependable and affordable homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance. Our experienced agents will work to present you with options to choose from so you know you are getting the ideal insurance policy for you and your family.


The post Tips for Reducing Energy Bills appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

florida-renter-insuranceIn July, the Orlando Sentinel reported on a massive fire that took place at Tivoli Apartments. An entire building in the apartment complex was destroyed. Approximately 60 firefighters were called to the blaze. The State Fire Marshal deemed the cause of the fire accidental.

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries but 75 residents were displaced.  The nearby University of Central Florida (UCF), confirms 25 of those displaced are students at the university. UCF has been working with local businesses to supply food and toiletries as well as replace textbooks for affected students.

“We applaud the efforts of UCF and the surrounding community to provide supplies for the victims of the fire. It expresses a real sense of compassion and concern,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. Unfortunately, without renter’s insurance, it can be expensive for students to replace all their items lost in the fire.”

Quite often, there are misconceptions regarding renter’s insurance. Common myths renters often believe include the following, renter’s insurance is too expensive, I don’t have enough valuables to get renter’s insurance or the landlord’s insurance will cover damages.

Renter’s insurance is actually quite affordable, typically costing less than $150 a year. So maybe you do not have brand new belongings. Many renters underestimate the cost of their property. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of electronics, clothes, dishes and more. Once you add up the cost to replace everything you own, you realize it is a lot more than you think.

A landlord has insurance on your property, but it is required to only cover the cost of the structure, not your personal belongings. Renter’s insurance will protect you from personal liability as well as cover damage you might accidentally cause to another tenants property. In the case of a fire or natural disaster, where you could become displaced, renter’s insurance can cover the cost of temporary housing.

At GreatFlorida Insurance, our agents will shop around to find the right amount of renter’s insurance for you. Every policy is personalized for each individual customer.  There is no need to pay for excessive coverage, but you want enough to meet your needs.  While your actual policy will be determined by variables such as location, your age and the amount of coverage you need, renter’s insurance typically falls into two different categories, a cash policy or a total replacement policy.


An actual cash value policy covers the current costs of your stuff, taking into account its depreciated value. Let’s say you bought a laptop for $1200, two years ago. Its current depreciated value would be $500. The renter’s policy takes into account the deprecated value and pays out that amount.

A total replacement policy or reimbursement provision comes with a higher premium because it covers the cost of replacing your belongings currently, despite the price you paid.  This type of renter’s insurance is recommended for those who have invested in newer stuff.

A GreatFlorida Insurance agent can advise you on how to inventory your personal belongings and determine their worth, making sure your renter’s insurance offers adequate protection. Contact us online today.


The post  Is Your Student Protected from Displacement? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

This year’s Florida legislative session was filled with hostility and drama. The standard 60-day session ended three days early due to contention between the House and Senate on Medicaid Expansion. Without a state budget passed, a Special Session was called June 1 -20. An early end to the session, along with a stalemate, doomed many bills. This year there were many proposal casualties.


  • Ticket quotas cannot be used to generate revenue for police departments.
  • States, counties and cities can only buy American made flags- a patriotic move
  • Attention craft beer lovers, 64 ounces of beer, known as “growlers” can finally be sold in Florida.
  • Drones cannot take pictures on private property; violators will not be arrested but can be sued.
  • Gay people can adopt children.
  • Florida school districts can start the school year as early as August 10.
  • Scale back testing in public schools
  • Tax cuts-about $400 million in tax cuts with sales tax holidays and a tax cut to cable, TV and cellphone services.


  • Comprehensive state water policy
  • Medicaid Expansion
  • Prison Reform
  • Texting while driving considered a primary offense
  • Abolishment of the death penalty
  • Equal pay for women on state contracts
  • Education– school choice, eliminating sales tax on student textbooks, mandatory uniforms for K-8, a minimum $50,000 salary for new teachers, concealed weapons to be carried by designated employees on school property in K-12 schools, ban on concealed weapons on college campuses
  • Undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.
  • Tupelo honey designated as the official state honey
  • Expansion of gambling- a victory for Disney and other’s wanting to maintain a family friendly state environment
  • Legalization of medical marijuana

GreatFlorida Insurance has been serving Florida since 1991. Dedicated to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their insurance, we offer professional service and affordable insurance. GreatFlorida Insurance specializes in:  auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, commercial insurance, renters insurance, health insurance and umbrella insurance.

Our knowledgeable agents have 115 offices located throughout Florida. Reliability is a must for our customers. We provide 24-hour service, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The right insurance coverage can give your clients peace of mind, knowing their investment is protected.

Call 888-478-7801 to talk to a local agent or go online to for a free quote.



The post 2015 Legislative Session- What Passed What Failed? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Each year many Florida drivers commit a transgression resulting in the loss of their driver’s license. Thankfully, forgiveness is extended by the state in the form of an SR22 or FR44. To help get their license get reinstated and put drivers back on the road, GreatFlorida Insurance has launched a new website,

The new website provides information specific for Florida drivers who find themselves in need of an SR22 or an FR44. “Our insurance company has been providing  auto insurance to high risk drivers in Florida for years, despite the reluctance of many insurance companies to deal with these challenging circumstances. We feel the new website will share with the public our services and help by providing accurate information that is exclusive to Florida motorists,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

A popular misconception about an SR22 and FR44, they are not insurance but actually a certificate of financial responsibility. It informs the state that you have purchased the appropriate insurance limits required to drive. The certificate is filed by your insurance agent electronically directly to the state. This alerts the state that you are maintaining continuous insurance coverage.

An SR22 can be mandated by the courts for a number of reasons including: excessive tickets and previously driving without insurance. Florida is one of the few states that necessitates an FR44. An FR44 is mandatory for those who have committed a DUI. While they detail new and possibly higher insurance limits, neither of the certificates place restrictions on your driver’s license.

Florida SR22 Insurance

For more information on obtaining an SR22 or FR44, you can visit the new website,, where you will find answers to many of your questions.

GreatFlorida Insurance is insurance for Floridians by Floridians. Since 1991, we have faithfully served Florida residents and their insurance needs. Unlike many insurance companies in the state, we are a network of independent, franchised insurance agents located in communities across Florida. This means we are not bound to one company to fulfill your insurance requirements, but we can shop around to find the best coverage and price for you. This flexibility allows GreatFlorida Insurance agents to craft a custom insurance policy specific for your needs, not just offer a standard insurance policy.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides homeowners insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, renters insurance, commercial auto insurance and umbrella insurance. We are dedicated to providing our customers professional, prompt and courteous service. We work with reputable insurance carriers across the nation such as: Travelers, Progressive, Nationwide and more.

It is savvy to make informed decisions about your insurance. GreatFlorida agents are there to guide you every step of the way by giving you options and simplifying the process of buying insurance. Contact us online or give us a call today.






The post Have you lost your Florida Driver’s License? Forgiveness awaits. appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Treadmill-walkers-gym-Depositphotos_11275390_xlThe recent death of Dave Goldberg, known Silicon Valley executive and husband of Facebook director Cheryl Sandburg is a tragic reminder of how average exercise equipment has the potential to seriously injure or cause death to individuals.

While treadmill deaths are rare, they do occur. In 2009, Exodus Tyson, four year old daughter of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, died after being strangled by the treadmill cord in her home.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 24,400 treadmill injuries were reported by emergency rooms in 2014, with an average of three deaths a year for the past ten years. Common injuries include: contusions, lacerations and friction burns.

“As with any heavy machinery in your home, it is important to carefully read the directions when setting up your treadmill and review safety instructions with family members, especially children to prevent injuries,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

Over 50 million people use treadmills, making it the most popular exercise equipment. Whether you use your treadmill to stay in shape or it has become a clothes hanger, it is crucial to be familiar with safe practices. Consumer Reports has recommended safety tips to get you and your family safe.

Keep the area clear. Leave plenty of space in the back  and on the sides to avoid getting pinned against a wall or crashing into something.

Use the safety key. If you clip this onto your clothing, as soon as you fall the machine will turn off.

Straddle the deck. Allow the belt to start moving before you step on it so it doesn’t catch you off guard, don’t start the treadmill while you are standing on it.

Stay focused. Keep your head up and don’t get preoccupied looking around or fumbling with your phone.

Know your limits. Keeping track of your heart rate is a good idea, if you begin to feel unusual, dizzy or numb, slow down or stop to prevent over exertion.

Come to a complete stop. Let the treadmill come to a complete stop before hopping off.

Keep children away. Make your treadmill off limits to kids for their safety. Remove the safety key and place it out of their reach.

People suffer injuries on treadmills  for many reasons such as, the sudden acceleration or deceleration of the treadmill, a user is unfamiliar with how the treadmill works, a slick belt surface, people are not paying attention or users lose their balance.

GreatFlorida Insurance believes in safety first. If you are looking for homeowners insurance, renters insurance or health insurance, our qualified, independent insurance agents can help. We have offices all over Florida to serve you and find affordable and reliable insurance coverage you can trust.

The post Treadmill Safety appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Florida-Insurance-LegislationThe Florida 2015 Legislative Session is underway. During the next 60 days, officials will decide and debate, on close to the 1,100 bills filed according to Florida

“This legislative session, lawmakers will reexamine some issues from last year as well as introduce new ones. GreatFlorida Insurance wants to keep our agents and customers updated on the issues that are important to you,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

Some of the hotly contested issues on the agenda this session include the following:

Budget-Florida law requires an annual state budget passed every year. Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget includes $673 million in tax cuts. He wants to see reductions in cell phone and cable and satellite TV bills as well as manufacturing and machinery and equipment. He also wants to eliminate sales tax on college text books and increase a corporate tax exemption.

Water and Land-Last year, 75 percent of Florida voters said they want to put $1 billion towards water and land conservation projects. Lawmakers must decide which projects get that money. Proposed projects include: Everglades clean-up, stormwater and land acquisitions and beach restoration.

Medicaid- During the previous legislative sessions, there has been a bid for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Many are waiting to see if it gets anywhere this time around.

Marijuana-A revised medical marijuana amendment has been proposed to ease the suffering of those with chronic illnesses such as ALS and cancer.

Guns-After the November 20, shooting at Florida State University, there is renewed interest to repeal the ban of guns on campus. Most university presidents across Florida are opposed to the bill.

Gambling-This a battle between gambling resort owners and those who want to maintain Florida’s family friendly attractions. The state’s five year, $ 1 billion casino compact with the Seminole tribe expires this year. Lawmakers must decide if they want to expand gambling beyond tribal reservations.

Insurance-Some are pushing for statewide insurance requirements and background checks for ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. These companies assert they are tech firms and not taxi services.

Other bills for consideration include:

Repeal capital punishment

Necessitate greyhound tracks to report dog injuries to the state

Regulate the use of remote controlled drones

Provide financial education and job training for people with developmental disabilities

Legalize 64 oz. beer containers, or growlers

Permit grocery and drug stores to sell hard liquor

GreatFlorida Insurance has been serving Florida since 1991. Dedicated to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their insurance, we offer professional service and affordable insurance. GreatFlorida Insurance specializes in health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, business insurance, renters insurance and umbrella insurance.


The post Your Tax Dollars at Work appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance


If you appreciate the freedom to move, are short on a hefty down payment and have shaky credit, renting is right for you. Renters frequently enjoy high end amenities, while allowing the landlord to take care of maintenance and repairs.

“Those who rent have a lower monthly insurance cost,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “Those who own, are required to maintain a homeowner’s insurance policy, while those who rent can purchase renter’s insurance for less money, while getting the same quality coverage.”

Preparation is essential when gearing up to find a good rental home. Details can easily become overwhelming if you are not organized. A good place to start is by making a list of your priorities. How many bedroom and bathrooms do you feel you need?

Is location an issue, do you need close proximity to school, work or leisure activities? What amenities are you looking for, a dishwasher, outdoor space, storage space, parking or a fitness center?

Once your list is complete, it’s time to determine your budget. Financial services company, Intuit, recommends paying no more than 25 percent of your gross monthly salary for rent. Remember to figure in utilities and renter’s insurance.

If you are looking to move into an area with higher rents, you can tweak your budget by possibly moving money from one area, such as groceries and place more toward rent.

Another step in preparation for renting a new place is to checking your credit. Almost every landlord or rental company will run a credit check and you do not want to be caught off guard by something on your credit report. The top credit agencies, Equifax, Transunion and Experian are required by the FTC to offer one free credit report to consumers each year.

Despite the myth, requesting your credit report will not affect your credit score. Gathering your paperwork is another way you could save time. Some rentals require a letter of employment, pay stubs and a reference letter from your previous landlord.

Next comes finding your ideal place to rent. There is no shortage of online resources. Some helpful websites include Craigslist, Zillow or If good schools are a priority for you,, lists available rental property in specific school zones, while rating public and private schools in the area.  While it may seem time consuming, the good old method of driving around looking for rentals can prove beneficial.

This will give you the opportunity to check out a neighborhood and see the rental up close. Pictures on a website might not show the area surrounding the rental which is significant. It can also give you the chance to find an unexpected gem.

Once you have found your future home, make sure to do a walk-through before signing the lease. This will keep you free of responsibility for damage done by the previous tenants.  Test out faucets, lights, toilets, appliances and locks on doors and windows. You might also want to check outlets to see if they are working as well as note wall and floor damage.  Read over the lease carefully before signing.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help keep your belongings protected in your new rental home. We can craft a rental insurance policy to uniquely fit your needs and budget. Our independent insurance agents are conveniently located throughout Florida to serve you.

The post Finding a Rental Home appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.