GreatFlorida Insurance - Mike Lazanis - Clearwater Insurance

Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Clearwater, FL

Mike Lazanis, Agent


1468 Gulf To Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL  33755
Fax : 727-441-9045

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Homeowners Insurance ClearwaterHomeowner's Insurance

Homeowner's Policy Coverages

A Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy is designed to cover the structure of your home, and includes protection for various kinds of Personal Property as well as Liability coverage. Want to know more? Give us a call at 727-441-9080 to speak to a local agent.

Home Insurance Coverage — What Is Covered

Standard home insurance coverage policies provide the following types of coverage, up to the limits outlined in the policies:

  • Dwelling — Pays for damage or destruction to your house and any unattached structures and buildings. Examples include fences, attached garage, or patio cover.
  • Personal Property — Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Liability — Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.
  • Medical Payments — Covers medical bills for person(s) injured on your property.
  • Loss of Use — Pays for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Most standard Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policies pay 10% to 20% of the amount of your Dwelling coverage.

Does my policy cover hurricane damage?

Yes, your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages cause by windstorms. The deductible for hurricane damage can range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the dwelling depending on the policy.
NOTE: Hurricane damage is normally covered, but may be rejected in certain situations.

What does the hurricane deductible mean?

This is the amount that you, the policyholder, will have to pay out of pocket. For example, if your home is insured for $250,000 with a 2% wind deductible and has hurricane damages of $50,000.
The amount of the deductible will be 2% X $250,000 = 5,000.

The remaining amount ($45,000) would be paid by the insurance policy. What factors can affect Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premiums?

Home Features and Characteristics — The age of your home, type of structure, wiring, roof, garage, etc., can affect your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium. Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, stone or has synthetic siding.

Location — Where your home is located can change your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium. For example, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close to a fire station; is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.

Protective Devices — Burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium.

Personal Factors — What you do can affect your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium, too. For instance, smokers may pay more for home insurance than nonsmokers. A good credit history also can lower what you pay for home insurance.

Claims History — If you have a history of claims on a Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.

Discounts and Special Programs

There are many discounts are available on Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policies. For example, you may qualify for a discount if your home has an updated roof, a monitored alarm system, hurricane shutters or impact windows in Clearwater.

Payment Options

In many instances your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy can be escrowed in with your mortgage. However, if you need to pay separately, many carriers now offer several convenient payment options.

Does my policy cover floods?

The fact is that Florida homeowner insurance does not cover damage caused by flood, and federal disaster assistance is only offered when the president declares a major disaster (which only happens in 50% of flooding situations).

Unfortunately, most people do not find this out until it is too late. However, flood insurance is available to protect homes and businesses and their contents in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Simply call 727-441-9080 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Home Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you.

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About Homeowner's Insurance in Clearwater, FL

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can easily explain the specific needs of your home in Clearwater, FL. Along with mortgage requirements and the difference between dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use coverage as well as available discounts.

Get a Free Insurance Quote from your local GreatFlorida Insurance agent. They will help you find the most affordable options.

Your home is likely your most costly asset. It contains your belongings and valuables and more importantly your family and cherished memories.

After the overwhelming task of finding a new home in Clearwater, it can be tempting to settle by purchasing a basic homeowner’s insurance policy that could leave you with inadequate coverage or paying for more coverage than you need.

GreatFlorida Insurance in Clearwater, FL will make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide adequate coverage to protect your home from fires, hurricanes, break-ins and more. Compensation for your financial loss will allow you and your family to continue living comfortably.

Florida Homeowners  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

This year’s legislative session was unique. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School prompted action from lawmakers, shifting the agenda toward the end. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s Legislature passed the fewest bills in two decades. The lack of progress could be due to the unexpected gun debate that took place. In response, legislators passed gun-control measures for the first time in 20 years.

Many of the same issues, along with some new debates were brought up again among lawmakers. Let’s look at what passed and what fell short.


A bill to repeal the no-fault auto insurance system, requiring drivers to carry personal injury or PIP Coverage.

“Florida lawmakers have argued over eliminating PIP and replacing it with a fault-based system for years. It seems to never gain enough momentum to become law,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance company.

An effort to ban fracking, the controversial oil- and natural- gas drilling process.

A ban to red-light cameras.

A proposal allowing law enforcement officers to pull people over for texting while driving. A practice, the National Safety Council reports causes 1,600,000 accidents a year.

Creation of new specialty license tags.

Guns at church.


Tax cuts by $168.6 million- including a property tax break for homeowners displaced by hurricane Irma and nursing homes that purchase electrical generators. It also includes back-to-school holiday exempting sales tax on clothing and school supplies and reduces sales tax on business rents.

“It adds an 18 percent reduction in penalties for non-criminal traffic infractions for drivers who attend driving school,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance company.

Permanent daylight saving time.

Permits trained school employees to carry concealed weapons in school, raises the age requirement for gun purchases from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for rifles and other long guns, allows police to seize weapons from those who pose a danger to themselves and others, and bans the sale of bump stocks.

A bill to make threats of mass shooting and terrorist attacks a second-degree felony.

Expansion of mental health services in public school.

K-12 -Creates voucher-like scholarships to pay for students who are bullied in public schools so they can attend private schools. Requires all schools to visibly display the Florida state motto, “In God We Trust,” and allows tenants of commercial property to direct tax revenue of up to $57.5 million in rent into the account of two scholarship programs.

More money for the state’s Bright Future’s merit scholarship program.

A homeowners’ insurance policy must visibly state that hurricane insurance does not include flood insurance.

Creation of the first Florida Slavery Memorial built on Capitol grounds.

Prescription limits on opioids and money for addiction treatment.

A resolution declaring pornography a health risk.















The post Winners and Losers from the 2018 Florida Legislature appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Self-storage is a $38 billion a year industry. According to Sparefoot, an online source for self-storage information, over nine percent of households rent a self-storage unit. While Floridians spend an average of $88.68 a month on storage unit rent.

The Self-Storage Association reports half of all units are rented for a year. Many people find storage units a temporary solution during a move or while in transition. “A lack of attics and basements in Florida homes might leave you short on storage space,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

However, not all storage rentals are temporary. 30 percent rent for two years or more. Of longer term renters, fifty percent are simply storing what does not fit in their home.  And others have sentimental items they emotionally cannot deal with. While some are storing items they no longer need or even want. Often, long term self-storage renters forget what is in the storage unit.

Whether you appreciate your self-storage unit or loathe it, make sure your items are insured. Before renting a storage unit, contact your insurance agent or review your homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy may protect your items in storage.

“When you sign up to rent a storage unit, the self-storage company may try to sell you insurance, but chances are you already covered,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

Check if your policy covers items that are stored at an alternate location other than your home. While a renters insurance policy or homeowners policy will cover your belongings, it might not cover them as fully as the ones kept in your home.

Stored belongings might only be covered by a small percentage. A homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy usually protects personal property up to 10 percent of the amount of coverage in your policy.

Exclusions your homeowners or renters policy might not cover include flood or water damage, mold and mildew as well as losses incurred from the failure to maintain the unit properly, which is the responsibility of the storage company.

If you are storing a valuable collection, you might require a personal liability or umbrella policy for additional coverage and peace of mind.  If you plan to keep a vehicle, motorcycle or ATV, you will most likely require separate auto insurance.

To properly safeguard your things selecting a storage facility to suit you and your belongings. Make sure to look for the following when shopping for a unit.

Gated facilities

24/7 security camera

Keypad access or a lock with short arms resistant to bolt cutters

Inspect the unit for pests or leaks before renting.

Choose a climate controlled unit that will protect against mold and mildew.

Do an inventory of what you have in storage along with the estimated value of each item and a picture.

The post Self-storage, a blessing or a curse? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Across the country hearts are heavy, grieving the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “These tragedies impact our communities-our parents, our children, our school professionals, our first responders-the mental health of our whole country,” reminds the professionals with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Even if someone is not involved directly traumatic events, especially within our state, burden our hearts and minds,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance provider.

Many people experience sadness, anxiety or anger. Some have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. Their minds are dominated by the details of the event. These symptoms typically decrease over time.

Effective and healthy ways to cope during this time include:

Talking to your children about the incident, discuss how it makes them feel.

Limit news and social media exposure. Continuous exposure causes a person to relive the trauma. Also, descriptions and images in the media can cause fear in kids going to school.

Maintain your normal routine.

Connect with people in positive ways. Talk with people and take the time to listen to others. Tell people you care about that you love them.

“Doing something for others can help you channel stressful feelings,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance provider.

However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), points out that in some cases the anxiety will continue and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to experience the effects of trauma, it is important to get professional help. Signs to look for include the following:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses.

Our world seems to be experiencing tragedy and stress on a more frequent basis. Be sure to slow down and be kind to yourself as well as others.

The post Coping with tragedy appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

“Central and south Florida beaches are seeing what looks like blue balloons wash up on shore but beware of the sting,” warns Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Strong east winds along with ocean currents are propelling thousands of Portuguese man-of-wars toward Florida’s east coast beaches, from Jacksonville to the Florida Keys. Lifeguards are flying purple flags to warn beach goers of the “dangerous marine life.” Over the weekend, hundreds of people were treated for stings.

What is a Portuguese man-of-war?

Usually found in groups of 1,000 or more, Portuguese man-of-wars are often mistaken for jellyfish. According to National Geographic, it is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of individual organisms. The typical size measures 12 inches long, 5 inches wide with long, thin tentacles that can extend up to 165 feet. The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, venom-injecting capsules, used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. It has a balloon like gas-filled bladder that sits above the water. The man-of-war can come in purple, pink or blue.

The man-of-war sting is agonizingly painful but rarely deadly. Even though they are washed up on shore they can still sting for up to a week. Severe stings can trigger chest pain, difficulty breathing even death. More commonly, they cause pain for 20-40 minutes and welts. They can be especially dangerous to those who are allergic, which are people who also suffer from bee sting allergies.

How to treat the sting

“Do not buy into the misinformation of  popular urban myths that suggest treating the sting by applying alcohol, urine, baking soda, shaving cream,” cautions Buck, with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent boat insurance agency.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii found the best remedy for the sting is vinegar, to remove stingers and tentacles left on the skin. Then immerse in hot water or apply a warm compress for 45 minutes. Additional treatment includes the following:

Alert a lifeguard.

Do not try to remove the tentacles with bare hands. Take a towel and use it to gently unwrap it from the skin.

Rinse with seawater, not freshwater and try to avoid cold water.

Take Benadryl or apply a topical cream.

Currently, Florida is in the height of the Portuguese man-of-war season that is expected to last until late April or early May.

The post Thousands of Man-of-Wars take over Florida beaches appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

“Cell phones are no longer just phones, but so much more,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

They store our calendars and photos, provide access to our favorite stores and emails. Checking our cell phones on a regular basis has become a habit for many. However, the lure of instant information is an unhealthy attachment and cell phone addiction is real.

A poll conducted by the non-profit, Common Sense Media found 50 percent of teens feel like they are addicted to their mobile devices, with 78 percent admitting to checking their devices at least hourly. Nevertheless, this is not only a teen problem. The study reports 27 percent of adults feel they are addicted to their mobile devices with 69 percent checking them at least hourly.

What is wrong with a cell phone habit?

Countless studies show too much time on your cell phone is bad for your focus and mental health. “Most people check their phone every 15 minutes or less, even if they have no alerts or notifications,” Larry Rosen a psychology professor and author of The Distracted Mind, tells CNBC. “We’ve built up this layer of anxiety surrounding our use of technology, that if we don’t check it as often as we think we should, we’re missing out.”

Additional health issues that can develop from cell phone addiction include, poor posture which affects your spine respiratory functions and even emotions. Also, sleep. The blue light emitted from your phone can stop melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us feel sleepy and regulates out circadian rhythm. Sleep is essential to our health, especially the health of teens who are still developing.

“Aside from health and mental health problems, cell phone use continues when many drivers get behind the wheel,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. admit to reading or sending a text while driving. Almost one in three teens ages 16 to 17-years-old said they have texted while driving.

How to ween yourself and your family?

Below are some tips on how to disconnect from your cell phone.

Do not sleep with your phone. If you need an alarm clock, buy one. Do not depend on your phone. Place it away from your nightstand or bed.

Stop alert notifications. Designate a time to check in and stick to it.

Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your iPhone or place your phone to the airplane setting for a break from screen time.

When spending time with your friends and family, put it away so you won’t see it or hear it.

Try a detox. Set aside a weekend or holiday where you turn the phone off and put it away. Do not pick it up for a couple of days.

The post Cell Phone Addiction appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Most people do not look forward to filing taxes, especially with a new tax law in place for the first time in decades. Those changes can induce confusion and stress. This will be the last year for several tax credits as well as the beginning to benefit from some new ones.

Several tax credits are eliminated for the 2018 tax year. However, they are still available for your 2017 tax return.  “This will be the last year to take advantage of some deductions, so it’s important not to miss out on them,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Investing information company, The Motley Fool, reports this will be the last year to take advantage of the following tax breaks.

Personal exemptions

Property tax deductions

Mortgage interest deduction on home equity loans

Moving expenses

Unreimbursed employee expenses

Tax preparation fees

Investment-related legal and accounting fees

Job search costs

While several tax breaks will expire after this year, there are new ones are available for this year’s returns. “This year is unique with overlapping changes, so make sure your taxes are filed correctly, to avoid overpaying the IRS,” warns Buck Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency. Error rates for returns filed on paper are at 21 percent, while error rates for those filed electronically are less than one percent.

Some changes in tax deductions and credits are listed below.

Tax brackets expand. According to personal finance resource, GOBankingRates, “the federal income tax system uses a progressive tax structure, meaning that as you earn more income, your tax rate goes up as well.”

The Standard deduction, will experience a slight increase.

Health savings account– an increase to the contribution limit.

Earned income tax credit– the maximum income you can have while still qualifying for the EITC increased for each filing status. Also, you can have up to $3, 450 of investment income annually while still qualifying for the EITC.

Retirement savings credit-there is an increase in income limits.

Increased employer-paid parking or transit tax breaks

If you are looking for affordable and reliable homeowners insurance, give GreatFlorida Insurance a call.

The post Changes this tax season appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

A chill in the air is good motivation to make warmer travel plans for 2018.  “Before you book plans for spring break or summer vacation, make sure your destination is safe,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent travel insurance agency.

Last week, the U.S. State Department, launched a new Travel Advisory system. “Improvements will provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely and reliable safety and security information worldwide. Under the new system, every country will have a Travel Advisory, providing levels of advice ranging from 1 to 4.”

Level 1, Exercise normal precaution

Level 2, Exercise increased precaution

Level 3, Reconsider travel

Level 4, Do not travel


Warning regarding Mexico

Along with the new system, the department alerted Americans, “do not travel,” to five states in Mexico. Those include, Tamaulipas, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan and Sinaloa. According to the Los Angeles Times, violence has increased across Mexico over the last several years. In 2017, Mexico recorded more homicides than in any years since the government began releasing data in 1997. Certain areas have seen more bloodshed than others. Most of the violence is drug cartel related and visitors are often targets. Homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery is rampant in these states.

Overall, Mexico’s most popular tourist areas were given a Level 2 rating (exercise increased precaution). However, The State Department advises U.S. citizens that it has limited ability to provide emergency services in much of Mexico.

Travel insurance

So how do you know if travel insurance is necessary for your trip? “Take into consideration if your booking a year in advance, traveling abroad, going on a honeymoon or other important trip, or if the trip is costly,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent travel insurance agency.

Travel insurance covers: trip cancellation, medical expenses, emergency evacuation as well as lost or stolen items.


The post International Travel Advisory for Mexico appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.