Three years ago, husband and wife entrepreneurs Brian and Karen Culbertson and recently married agents David and Kristen Cantoni opened the Culbertson Allstate Insurance Agency in Fort Myers. As a scratch agency, they started with no customers, no accounts and no revenue. Since then their Fort Myers insurance office has become the top producing property and casualty Allstate location in the state of Florida.
I was honored and a little nervous this last week to be interviewed for a story that local news station NBC-2 in Fort Myers was doing titled "Why are your home insurance rates going up?" Like all news stories, my 15-20 minute interview ended up being about 10 seconds worth of sound bites, but I did appreciate that at the end of the message the reporter used my recommendations on what homeowners can do to lower their rates, and that it seemed to be a pretty even sided review of an answer to this so often asked question.
Culbertson Agency is the fastest growing Allstate agency location on the west coast of Florida and one of the fastest growing in the country. Last month our Fort Myers agency wrote 580 new policies. That's over 400 new households. Year-to-date (as of 5/31) we've brought on over 2000 new households to our agency which brings our total households insured to over 7000. If you are tired of cold calling and networking functions to find prospects, this might be the opportunity for you.
Local Fort Myers Insurance Agency Culbertson Agency is excited to announce the launch of their brand new and completely re-designed website at www.culberstonagency.com. The new site is a responsive lay out which means it has been configured to work across all devices include tablets and smart phones.
“We have found that over 60% of our prospects and customers in southwest Florida are now landing on our website via devices other than a computer” Said Brian Culbertson, founder of Culbertson Agency. “We wanted a new website that was clean, simple and extremely user friendly. We focused on a clean, simple and modern design that better portrayed who and what we have become as an agency.”
Local Allstate agents Brian & Karen Culbertson are always looking for ways to give back. This week the husband and wife team announced the grand opening of a new Christian T-shirt business called SaltTee and the launch of their online store. SaltTee is the producer and online retailer of limited-edition, premium graphic t-shirts that tell stories of hope and love.
Insurance Agents, Brian Culbertson and David Theiss of Fort Myers Insurance Company, Culbertson Agency, recently took a week-long break from writing insurance policies, so that they could travel to a small community called “Hato del Yaque” near Santiago, Dominican Republic, where they would provide assistance to children and families. Since the inception of Culbertson Agency, the company has provided financial support to children in the Dominican through a child sponsorship program called “G.O. Kids” (www.go-ministries.org/go-kids). This year, however, the agents took on an even more active role in supporting the community, by physically traveling to the Dominican Republic and providing aid where it was needed.
WOW! I am floored by the response we had to our recent Agency survey for 2011. We as agents, come in everyday to serve you, our customers, and stick by our golden rule principle of treating others the way we want to be treated. It is such a blessing to receive this kind of feedback, it makes it all worth while. Each year, our parent company mails out 667 total surveys at random to our customer base. This year 239 surveys were completed over a 2-month period. The following are some of the results:
For the past nine years, Gulfshore Business magazine has acknowledged 40 individuals under 40 years old who have distinguished themselves in their professions, and within the Southwest Florida community. A local Ft Myers Insurance agent at the Culbertson Agency, Brian Culbertson, recently won the coveted 2011 “40 Under 40” Award.
One year ago, a young entrepreneur opened an Allstate Insurance franchise without a single customer and no policies or accounts. Yet he had one golden rule in mind:
Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. This became the foundation of his business along with the intention of providing a high level of service to his customers. One year later, Brian Culbertson and his staff of dedicated Fort Myers insurance agents, are enjoying the fruits of their labor as they celebrate their one year anniversary.
Brian Culbertson, an insurance agent based in Fort Myers, recently debuted a new eBook entitled “9 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Insurance”. The eBook provides useful tips and information about opportunities to save money on homeowners insurance premiums, as well as discounts that may be available to Florida homeowners.
Congratulations to the Culbertson Agency team of Fort Myers, FL for winning the Florida territory, 2010 rookie agency of year.
Kristen Cain of Estero, FL has recently joined the Culbertson Agency of Fort Myers as an Account Manager. Kristen has a bacherlors degree from Indiana University and is a Florida 440 licensed customer service insurance representative.
Culbertson Agency is offering property insurance to Florida homeowners and renters through its Castle Key Insurance and Castle Key Indemnity Companies. Formerly known as “Floridian Insurance Company”, Castle Key is financially strong and has 225,000 policies in force in Florida.
I heard about this study on the radio driving to work this morning. Apparently a psychologist did a study of 1,000 coffee drinkers to see if how you take your coffee can reveal insight to your personality. The researching studied the drinking habits of 1000 coffee drinkers and this is what they found ....
Have I mentioned that I love pizza? Recently the Culbertson Agency published our top ten pizza restaurants in Fort Myers. But I left off my favorite pizza in Fort Myers. That’s because it doesn’t come from a restaurant. For the very first time ever, I’m about to share with you the Culbertson family secret recipe for the BEST homemade pizza ever.
Culbertson Agency has been on a quest to find the best pizza restaurants in Fort Myers. Last week we gave you the first five in our top ten list of the Best Pizza Restaurants in Fort Myers. Today we complete that list. Without further adieu, I introduce numbers 6-10 of the Best Pizza Restaurants in Fort Myers (in no particular order).
I love pizza. Who doesn’t right? But I’m pretty sure I love it more than the average guy. I eat pizza at least once per week, and if my wife is out of town, that number may jump up to once per day. Bad day at the office? Good day at the office? Gained a pound? Lost a pound? Ran a Marathon? Celebrating Friday night? Tuesday night? … All seem like a good time to eat some pizza. I count pizza as a fruit & vegetable on the food chart (it has TOMATO sauce ... don't judge)
The Culbertson Agency has been proud sponsors and members over the years at the Fort Myers YMCA. It is such a great program and our own family has benefited from it tremendously. Below are a few pictures from the most recent spring 2013 soccer season for the two teams our kids played on.
I know I am guilty of more than one of these Facebook mortal sins. I hope you forgive me and don't unfriend me for the occasional Facebook faux pas. With a little help from my friends, I've compiled this list of very annoying status updates, in no particular order, in an effort to help you avoid the unfriend.
We've taken a ton of calls and emails today as a result of an article in the News Press about flood insurance in Fort Myers and the surrounding waterfront communities of Cape Coral, Bonita Springs and Estero. Below is a brief summary of changes that will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2013 as part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12),
he Allstate Insurance Company today released its ninth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report®.” The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.
When a Tropical Storm or Hurricane is on track to come for a visit, we tend to start thinking, "What If?" One of the questions that can come to mind is "Am I covered for insurance to protect my home and other investment properties?"
If you’re in an auto accident with another car or if you have a passenger(s) in your vehicle, then it is in your best interest and our recommendation to open a claim. There could be long-term health impacts for the drivers or passengers that would be covered under your insurance policy. If there is a chance someone else in the accident could claim they were injured, you should file the claim to protect yourself from an injury lawsuit.
If you've never had an accident, chances are you will someday. Now I know we are all great drivers in Southwest Florida and never expect to be in an accident, but as an insurance agency our mantra has always been hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Many times I am asked "what is the differences between standard and non standard auto insurance in Florida". The main difference between standard and non-standard auto insurance is the forms they are written on.
It's hurricane season again! Culberton Agency offers some inexpensive tips on how you can prevent damage due to hurricanes and protect against filing claims on your FL Home Insurance. The following steps can help prevent or reduce damage from hurricanes. While some FL homeowners may be able to perform these tasks themselves, we encourage homeowners to consider the potential hazards of heights and using special tools or supplies, and consider hiring a professional to perform these preventive measures.
Florida is trying to stop the rampant auto insurance fraud that has taken place under the no-fault system. In recent years the amount of auto vehicle accidents has remained relatively the same, yet Florida PIP claims have skyrocketed. Nearly half of all FL auto insurance fraud investigations are in regards to PIP. Starting January 1st, 2013 there are changes in Florida’s PIP (aka no fault insurance).
We have saved one of the very best ways to save money on your car insurance for our last eBook tip! Family Plans are one of the most common discounts in the auto insurance world. Almost every insurer has some type of family plan. By adding multiple cars and drivers together on the same policy, you can save money overall.
Check to see if any of these groups have made arrangements with an insurance agency for group discounts. Many of them have! Group rates are a way for insurance agencies to find new business by giving preferential treatment to members of certain organizations. It’s a great way for you to save money on your auto insurance without doing a thing.
How long has your current car been under the same insurance policy? Five years? Ten? You may have forgotten that as your car gets older and decreases in value, you don’t necessarily need to be paying as much as you would for a new car. Depending on the age of your car and your personal circumstances, you may want to reduce your coverage to save money on your auto insurance. For collision and comprehensive coverage (see Tip #5 for definitions), you really need to examine the replacement value of your car.
Have you ever wondered if your child's computer, clothing or micro-fridge is covered in their dorm room or even in the fraternity they might be joining? Most FL Home Insurance policies provide coverage for personal property owned anywhere in the world for an insured person. An insured person can be defined as the person or persons named directly on the policy decleration's page and that person's resident spouse AND IF a resident of the insured's house, any relative and dependent person in the insured's care.
When a hurricane event occurs, Culbertson Agency understands your need to get your life back together as quickly as possible. We are dedicated to helping you resolve your hurricane claim promptly. Please view our claims contact page to contact your carrier directly to being the claim process.
Your insurance company knows that if you are driving a safe car, there is less risk that they will have to pay out for major claims. Your car insurance policy will be priced differently depending on:
Many people never think about – or change – their auto insurance policy, despite the fact that life circumstances may change over time. For some people, it makes more sense to keep a low deductible on their car insurance, but for others, it would be wise to increase the deductible.
If you aren’t already familiar with the common terms in auto insurance, now is a good time to learn. When you understand what type of coverage is available in different insurance policies, you will be in a better position to decide how much you need. Arm yourself with this information and you may be able to save money on your policy! Your auto insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance provider.
One of the key premium discounts the you can get on your FL Home Insurance is from the shape of your roof. In this post we will look at the various roof shapes typically found on FL homes and how they can impact your FL Home Insurance.
Some of our customers have really caught on to getting the lowest rates for their automobile insurance. The trick is to consider all kinds of discounts. There are probably several you haven’t thought of yet. You may qualify for more than one! All of these special auto insurance discounts can add up to big savings when combined.
You may not have realized that your credit score doesn’t just impact your ability to get loans. It also affects your auto insurance rates. Why? Insurance companies have done many studies to determine who is a good insurance risk and who is a poor risk. It’s been proven time and time again that people with a solid financial history have fewer insurance claims.
One of the best ways to save money on your car insurance is to keep a clean driving record. Insurers don’t like risk. If they see that you are a “risky bet,” then you will be paying more for auto insurance than your friends with better driving records. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps your driving record on file. It includes things like your traffic tickets, accidents and other violations.
If you are like most people, you probably haven’t thought about your home and car insurance since the last time you received a bill for it. It’s unfortunate that most people don’t spend more time researching the options for insurance... because there are lots of ways to save money! One of the best ways to save money on your car & home insurance is to bundle it with an Umbrella Insurance policy.
Dreading that next auto-insurance bill? You're not alone. Many people get those same thoughts in their mind, when they think: “How much is my premium going up, now?” Well Culbertson Agency would like to offer you piece of mind. A FREE helpful tool packed full of valuable information on ways to help you get your premiums down.
As if we needed another issue to deal with in the FL Home Insurance market, the state has now issued a new FL Wind Mitigation Inspection form for 2012 (2/1/2012 to be exact). Most admitted carriers will require this new form for all new policies beginning February 1st, and may also start requiring re-inspections on existing policies to utilizing the standards as set forth in the new form. We hope to get more info passed along from FL on this towards the end of January.
Have you ever been in a fire or maybe a theft or vandalism? What was the first thing on your mind? Keeping your family safe. After that, you're probably wondering what to do about your home. It can be really frustrating to have to replace parts of you life that are lost in an event such as a fire or theft... So, how do you protect yourself from them and the damage they cause to your home and family?
Obviously, maintaining a good credit score is all around a good idea and makes life easier when trying to make any major purchases. However, Florida insurance companies are also increasingly using credit information to price Florida insurance policies. Here are a few tips of important things you can do right now to begin improving your credit:
After you’ve taken all of the suggestions for keeping your Fort Myers home insurance premium as low as possible, there may event be MORE discounts available to you! Ensure that you are getting ALL of the credits that you may be eligible for. Here are a few to consider. We may have covered some of these in previous tips, but we’ll include them as a reminder.
In order to make the most of your money when purchasing Florida homeowners insurance, you need to know what the coverage includes and how much you actually need. Here are some policies that are basically industry standards. Each “HO” refers to a different type of policy, broken up by what they cover and what they don’t.
So, how much is enough when it comes to Fort Myers homeowners insurance? The amount of FL home insurance you buy should be a fairly straightforward matter of getting ample coverage to rebuild your house and replace its contents in the event of a total loss. You also want to protect yourself in case someone gets injured on your property and tries to sue you for all you’re worth. But how much is enough to cover you without going overboard?
If you’re willing to take on a little more risk, it could save you a lot more money. Most financial experts agree that increasing your Cape Coral insurance deductible on your homeowner’s policy makes good financial sense. Just to clarify, the deductible is not to be confused with your premium. Deductible – This is the dollar amount of losses or damages that you, the policyholder, pay before the insurance company starts paying – the amount that is your responsibility to pay on any claim.
A security alarm is a good idea, regardless, as it helps to protect your home and your family from potential break-ins as well as the insurance discounts it can get you. The concept of a burglar alarm has been around for generations. They basically began as home made “booby traps”, and have evolved into elaborate alarm systems and home security systems complete with video monitoring and emergency call center alerting.
I am often asked by customers what is the difference between a FL Home Insurance HO-3 and an HO-2.
The coverages for the Dwelling (Coverage A) and Other Structures (Coverage B) is the significant difference between HO-2 and HO-3.
If you live in Florida, installing hurricane shutters is a smart decision. After watching the impact of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes on coastal cities and towns, we realize how quickly hurricanes can change paths and how devastating they can be. Sometimes there may not be time to board up the windows, and even if there is, this may not be enough to keep your home and family safe from flying debris. However, shutter safety is not the only reason to consider hurricane shutters. You can also save money!
We understand that homeowner’s insurance policies can be quite high if you live in Florida. Especially if you live near the water! However, many Floridians do not know that the wind mitigation inspection certificate can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars on your Florida homeowners insurance. One thing the inspector will be looking for is updated roofing.
Welcome to sunny Florida! Here, we enjoy beautiful beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze... oh, and the occasional category 5 hurricane. If you are a homeowner in Florida or any other area that requires windstorm insurance, you are all too aware of the outrageous premiums we must pay in order to live in our own homes. The hurricanes of recent years have caused many insurers to raise their prices, and have caused you as a homeowner an additional stress that doesn’t end with hurricane season.
When you experience FL Home Insurance claim, go ahead and take all reasonable steps to protect your FL Home and Property from any additional damage. FL insurance companies will pay all reasonable costs incurred by you for all necessary measures to protect covered property that is damaged by a covered cause of loss. Keep receipts and document all work that is done on the property due to the loss.
I am often asked "What is the FHCF Emergency Assessment fee that is on my policies?" The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) is a state run MANDATORY re-insurer which provides reimbursements to insurance companies that write residential property insurance in the state of Florida.
Florida regulators just approved an average rate increase of 18.8% for Florida homeowners who are covered by State Farm. This according to state documents filed today. State Farm originally requested a 28% average statewide rate increase in Florida.
Flooding in Florida may bring significant personal and financial hardship. Since nearly all Florida homeowner policies exclude losses due to flooding, it’s important to take the time to talk about coverage with your agent and why it may be important to purchase a separate flood policy. With hurricane and the rainy (and thus flood) season just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about flooding and flood insurance.
In the Florida Home Insurance Market, State Farm is calling for a statewide increase of 27.7% on average. They are naming increased sinkhole claims as the reason for these price hikes. This request is coming as Florida officials are trying to negotiate a deal over how to address the rising cost of sinkholes in preparation for its legislative session which will take place on March 8, 2011.
Florida officials recently held a hearing on a statewide average home insurance rate hike of 39.3 rate increase for First Home Insurance Co., a Florida domiciled insurance company based in Maitland, Florida. This is not a company that we represent currently at the Culbertson Agency. This is a statewide average, however, rates could vary by area.
Did you know that Florida has ranked # 1 in insured losses from staged accidents and questionable claims in the United States since 2007? More than 27% of the nation’s stages accidents reported in the first half of 2009 occurred in Florida. Five of America’s 10 worst cities for losses related to staged accidents and questionable claims are in Florida: Tampa (#2), Orlando (#4), Miami (#5), West Palm Beach (#7) and Hialeah (#10). Central Florida accounts for more than 25% of the questionable claims in the state.
Home Insurance can provide critical resources in the event of a natural disaster. Those living in Florida are particularly familiar with the damage a severe storm can bring. Those living in areas more prone to weather-related damage should familiarize themselves with home insurance companies and their offerings.
State insurance regulators will hold a public symposium next month in the Orlando area about how to improve the state's stormy property and home insurance industry. This month, the Office of Insurance Regulation approved a 15 percent average increase for Royal Palm Insurance.
An epidemic is sweeping across Fort Myers, Cape Coral and all of Southwest Florida, causing drivers to black out for five seconds at a time. It’s called texting and driving.
Well, today is Labor Day. Did you know that the first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882. Yep, for 128 years, people have gotten to skip their normal day jobs, where they get paid for what they do, to stay at home and do “special projects” for free. Up north, Labor Day is also the symbolic end of summer. I moved to sunny Fort Myers 7 years ago to avoid the much too soon end of summer.
Citizens Property Insurance made its pitch at a public hearing in Tallahassee on Tuesday to raise homeowners rates an average of 6 percent to 11 percent, depending on the line of business. The state-run carrier, the largest property insurer in Florida with about 1.2 million policies, writes policies for those who cannot find coverage in the open market.
Breed profiling by some homeowners insurance companies followed a wave of breed-specific legislation by state and municipal governments to curb dog attacks, according to Cunningham. "Highly-publicized, pit bull attacks in the 1980s led to knee-jerk reactions by many communities and objections to breed discrimination by dog owners," he says. According to the American Kennel Club, only Ohio has a breed-specific dog law, in this case aimed at pit bull owners.
Naples, FL - Across the state, homeowners are feeling the pain of higher home insurance rates. In Southwest Florida, some State Farm policy holders have seen their rates increase by more than 40 percent this year. While the state’s largest private insurance carrier got state approval to raise rates by an average of 14.8 percent in December, some homeowners have seen much bigger increases. That’s because the increase is a statewide average and State Farm also has dropped its voluntary discounts for customers with no claims, multiple policies, and burglar or smoke alarms.
Due to our deteriorating results in Florida, we are reducing all commissions to zero percent, effective Sept. 7, 2010. We appreciate your continued understanding and support. That e-mail, sent Sept. 3 from Explorer Insurance Co. to its 400-plus Florida authorized agents, put the brakes on the company’s auto insurance business in the Sunshine State.