On Wednesday December 14, 2022 Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed Senate Bill 2A, Property Insurance, at the second special session of this year designed to “repair” the property insurance market in Florida. This was a HISTORIC reform for all Floridians who have been struggling with an unstable insurance market driven by many “unnecessary” lawsuits and catastrophic events that led to high record premiums.

It is unthinkable how to many homeowners the average annual premiums have more than triple in the last three years. The insurance industry has seen underwriting losses of approximately $2 billion in the last couple of years. Even worst, we have seen carriers go under while others decided to close shop and leave our beautiful Sunshine State.

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though this new Bill doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect tomorrow, it is definitely some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Below we list some of the most important items the Bill corrected that will help stabilize the Homeowners and Property Insurance Market.

Here are some of the most important provisions:

  • One-Way Attorney Fees: it eliminates one-way attorney fees in suits arising in residential and commercial property insurance.
  • Assignment of Benefits (AOB): it prohibits AOB contracts of residential and commercial property insurance policies issued on or after January 1, 2023.
  • Bad Faith: requires a breach of contract before a policyholder can sue a property insurer for settlement-related bad faith.
  • Offer of Judgment – makes attorney fees available for the prevailing party in offers of judgment (proposals for settlement).
  • Arbitration: allows carriers to include mandatory binding arbitration in their policies.
  • Claims Handling: it reduces from 90 days to 60 days the time insurance companies have to pay or deny a claim, unless extended by regulators; and reduce from 14 days to 7 days the time a carrier has to review and acknowledge a claim communication and begin an investigation, along with other time requirement changes.
  • Claim Filing: it reduced the deadlines for policyholders to report a claim from 2 years to 1 year for a new or reopened claim, and from 3 years to 18 months for a supplemental claim.
  • Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR): allows the Florida OIR to withdraw approval of policies with an appraisal clause for companies that routinely invoke it; enhances OIR’s ability to do market conduct examinations of property insurers after a hurricane, including examinations of managing general agents; allows OIR to discipline insurers for abuse of the appraisal process; adds information regarding the use of appraisal to the list of information that a property insurer must include in its quarterly reports to OIR.

These are just some of the new changes that will impact the insurance industry in 2023 and beyond. As an Independent Insurance Agency that provides property insurance solutions to lots of customers across the State of Florida, we can say this is a big WIN for all of us. The insurance marketplace needed to be corrected because we were heading down a very scary rabbit hole. Hopefully, this will bring many more carriers to our Sunshine State and make our market more competitive and more accessible.

Deer Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency located in Jacksonville, Florida. We provide homeowners, flood, auto, and commercial insurance solutions throughout the State of Florida.

My only daughter, my little miracle, has asked me many times what I want for Mother’s Day. Taking a nap or to sleep has always come to mind when thinking about her question. I have told her “I don’t know” but deep down I really knew. I just didn’t have the heart to tell her in case something went wrong.

What I really wanted was to close on the house that we wanted for years. The house we all love and that has so much sentimental value to us. I have wanted that for a long time. For anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Three Kings Day, valentines and everything else in between. I had faith God was guiding us during the whole process and He certainly did. We learned, we grew, and together as a family we embarked on a journey that led us to finally own the house. With God’s help and blessings we were able to buy it. That just happened, before this Mother’s Day, and it was the most amazing gift. A nap would also be fine just in case she (or my husband) read this, lol.

I wish all mothers health, life, peace, joy, abundance, wholeness, security, sleep/rest time and much, much love. I pray God blesses you all and guides you through every step of your journey. I wish you are granted what your heart desires and dreams. I really wish you all the best!

At Deer Insurance Agency we wish all the mothers of the world a Happy Mother’s Day! 

May God bless you all!

Some of the basics

In the beautiful sunshine state any vehicle with a current Florida registration must be insured with a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) automobile insurance coverage. The requirements are a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and a minimum of $10,000 in PDL. It is mandated that PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the car accident. On the other hand, PDL coverage pays for damage to another person’s property caused by you or someone else driving your insured vehicle. 

If you want to adventure into the wondrous world of auto insurance in Florida you can check out the information on Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

So, are those minimum enough?

Well, as it happens with other things in life, the minimum may not be enough but it is way better than nothing. Also, it is required by law, so it is definitely necessary to comply. 

When in doubt, I recommend you do something about it. Be proactive. Be a protector. Knowing about other optional insurance coverages can help you make an informed decision that better protects your assets and gives you peace of mind. 

Optional auto insurance coverages related to PIP and PDL

Bodily injury liability (BIL): It is not required but it can be a very helpful coverage. It pays for injury or death to others when you are at fault in a car accident. This coverage will pay for the other party’s medical expenses related to the car accident you were at fault.

For example (and I am really hoping it does not happen to you) say you are at fault in an automobile accident and the other driver is injured.  The other driver’s PIP coverage covers his medical bills up to the limit of the coverage. Then, the other driver’s insurer decides to subrogate the medical claims from you because you were at fault for the accident. If you do not have BIL coverage you have to pay for that out of pocket. Instead, if you have BIL, that coverage will reimburse the other driver’s insurance company up to the limit you selected. 

Extended PIP: This is a supplemental coverage that extends medical benefits for you and your family members. The basic PIP covers up to 80% of your medical expenses, while the extended PIP covers the rest (so you will be covered 100%). However, all of those medical expenses are subject to the $10,000 maximum limit coverage. You can decide whether to include your family members in this coverage or not. Also, the extended PIP can provide an additional income-loss benefit. 

Let us avoid penalties

It is  important to maintain the required insurance coverage throughout the registration period or your driving privilege and license plate may be suspended for up to three years. The best practice is to comply with the FLHSMV and: “Turn in your license plate at your nearest driver license office and motor vehicle service center or Tax Collector’s office BEFORE canceling your insurance to avoid suspension and reinstatement fees”. Please note that failure to maintain the required insurance coverage may result in the suspension of your driver license/registration and a requirement to pay a reinstatement fee of up to $500. We really want to avoid that! On top of that, the insurance carriers can charge you an additional premium for not maintaining continuous coverage on your vehicle insurance.

Our recommendation

We like to encourage our readers, prospects and clients to protect themselves, their assets, and be best prepared with the insurance coverage that is right for them. We believe that with life’s uncertainties, and the risk of losing important things, we should protect our hard-earned assets. 

With Deer Insurance Agency by your side, you can have the peace of mind, confidence, and trust that your insurance needs are well served and protected. Email us at hello@deerinsurance.com for a free quote customized just for you. 

Oftentimes, these two-insurance coverages are thought to be the same coverage.  In reality, each one covers different types of events and they complement each other very well. They are very useful coverages to have in an auto insurance policy. In our beautiful Sunshine State we definitely recommend our customers to have both of them.

Collision Coverage

Under Collision coverage, the insurance company pays for damages if your vehicle overturns or if it collides with another vehicle or object. Collision coverage involves a “deductible” amount you select when you purchase your policy. This deductible, typically $250 or $500, will be deducted from the payment the insurance company will make to repair your damaged vehicle in the event it exceeds the deductible amount. 

How does this Collision Coverage works? 

Imagine you are involved in a car crash that results in $9,500 worth of repairs to your vehicle (hopefully it will never happen) and you have a $500 deductible. The insurance company will pay $9,000 after subtracting your deductible of $500.  

Collision coverage can help you recover for your damages regardless of the other party’s insurance status or even if you were at-fault for the accident. Sadly, some Floridians drive without insurance coverage so having Collision coverage is a good way to protect your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Under Comprehensive coverage, the insurance company pays for damages caused by an event other than a car collision, such as fire, theft, vandalism, hail, or flood damage. Comprehensive coverage could also cover damages from when you hit an animal while driving. Additionally, if your car is stolen, Comprehensive coverage could cover the cost of a rental vehicle (subject to a daily limit). Like Collision coverage, a deductible usually applies.

It’s important to notice that Comprehensive coverage it’s not the same thing as full coverage. 


According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle, in 2020, we have so far 242,998 crashes in our State, 2,290 fatalities from all crashes, and 150,940 injuries from all crashes.  This year, because of the pandemic, some may say we haven’t been driving as much as other years.  Still, those numbers reflect the sad reality that accidents happen and it is good to be as protected as one can be.

auto insurance



Our Recommendation

We like to encourage our prospects and clients to protect themselves, their assets, and be best prepared with the insurance coverage that is right for them. 

We really believe that with life’s uncertainties, and the risk of losing important things, we should protect our hard-earned assets. With Deer Insurance Agency by your side, you can have the peace of mind, confidence, and trust that your insurance needs are well served and protected. Email us at hello@deerinsurance.com for a free quote customized just for you. 


For most of us, our pets are family members. We love them. We treasure our time with them. We are happier because of them. We know they wouldn’t harm anyone until they do.

Animal Liability Insurance Coverage

Animal Liability insurance offers coverage for bodily injury and property damages caused by some of your loving pets to a person who doesn’t reside in your home. Some homeowners insurance policies include Animal Liability Insurance Coverage.  Others don’t.  If needed, you can add this coverage to your home insurance policy by an endorsement or you can buy it as a separate insurance policy. This insurance coverage can help you pay medical expenses related to the injury or damages your pet caused. It will provide coverage up to the policy limits. For example, a homeowners insurance policy can give you the option to add an Animal Liability coverage sublimit of $100,000.

We encourage pet owners to research if they already have this coverage, if it’s the right fit for them, or if they need to get one. It is important you know the details of your coverage as it varies between insurance companies.  

Which pets are covered?

homeowners insurance

Sadly, not all pets are covered. Depending on your homeowners insurance company, the Animal Liability Insurance Coverage won’t covered:

  1. Animals owned or kept at the time of the application and not disclosed on the application;
  2. Any  animal with  a  prior  history  of  bites  or attacks  or  that  caused “bodily  injury” or “property damage” to any person property or animal, as established through insurance claims  records,  or  through the  records of local   public   safety,   law   enforcement or other similar regulatory agency;
  3. Any  dogs  of  the  following  breeds  or  any mixture  that  includes  any  of  the  following breeds:

(a) Akita;

(b) American Pit Bull Terrier;

(c) American Staffordshire Terrier;

(d) Catahoula Leopard;

(e) Chow;

(f) Doberman Pinscher;

(g) German Shepherd;

(h) Husky;

(i) Malamute;

(j) Pit Bull;

(k) Presa Canario;

(l) Rottweiler;

(m) Staffordshire Bull Terrier; or

(n) Wolf;

Other animals that are NOT covered are: any reptiles or amphibians; any exotic or non-domestic animals; and any livestock, farm animals, horses, or other saddle animals.

About our Beloved Dogs

Below are some statistics about dog bites that you can view on the Florida Health website.  You should also check out their Tips for Dog Owners and Safety Tips for Adults and Children.


  • Children between 1 and 9 years of age are at the highest risk for dog bites, with boys in this age group at a higher risk than girls?
  • Children under 10 years of age are more likely to be bitten on the head or neck than other age groups?
  • Each year, an average of 2 Floridians die from injuries due to dog bites?
  • Each year, over 600 Floridians are hospitalized due to injuries from dog bites?

An in-depth analysis of 799 dog bites that were reported to Florida Department of Health in Bay County, Florida from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 found that:

  • Children less than 6 years old and boys from 6–14 years of age were the two groups at greatest risk of being bitten by a dog. 
  • Most dog bites (86 percent) which involved children less than 6 years old were from dogs known to the family, and more than half occurred in the home.
  • The cause of bites of over one third (39 percent) of children less than 6 years old was unknown, suggesting some young children may have been unsupervised when in contact with dogs.
  • More than half of dog bites involving persons 15 years and older occurred when the victim attempted to break up a dog fight. These incidents occurred somewhat more frequently in the home or on the dog owner’s property (55 percent) but also occurred frequently off the property. 
  • Across all age groups, the most common cause of dog bites (26 percent) was inappropriate behavior management (interacting with the dog while it was eating food, chewing on a toy, roughhousing, or touching or moving the dog against its will). These types of bites occurred most frequently in the dog owner’s home or on their property (71 percent of cases). 
  • Another common cause of dog bites was protective behavior (24 percent of cases), which occurred regularly both on and off the dog owner’s property. 
  • Dogs that were off their owner’s property and off-leash were the source of approximately one third (32 percent) of all dog bites reported, and most (89 percent) involved dogs unknown to the victim.

Data extracted from: Matthias J, M Templin, MM Jordan, D Stanek. Cause, setting and ownership analysis of dog bites in Bay County, Florida from 2009 to 2010. Zoonoses and Public Health. published on-line 8 Apr 2014: DOI: 10.1111/zph.12115.

Our Recommendation

In 2019, the average cost per claim of a dog bite (Nationwide) was $44,760.00. This is NO small amount.  The good thing is, you can protect yourself, your assets, and be prepared just by letting us review your homeowners policy to verify that you have the Animal Liability Insurance Coverage. Keep in mind, this is completely FREE and we do it because we like helping others to be properly insured.     

With life’s uncertainties and the risk of losing important things, we should protect our hard-earned assets. With Deer Insurance Agency by your side, you can have the peace of mind, confidence, and trust that your insurance needs are well served and protected. Email us at hello@deerinsurance.com for a free customized quote for you. 

The Basics

When it comes to automobile liability exposure, Florida has a no-fault system. Basically, every insured driver purchases the required insurance by law for THEIR own protection. This way, those who are paying for the coverage are going to be covered, regardless of fault.

Insurance Coverage Required under Florida Law

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an obligatory insurance coverage for automobiles that are registered and licensed in Florida. Non-commercial motorists are required by law to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP.  The PIP coverage will pay for 80% of injured car occupants’ medical bills and 60% of lost wages, no matter who was at fault.  

What is the use for the Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical Payments coverage applies no matter who is at fault and covers the cost of a reasonable and necessary medical care provided to you as the result of a car accident. The coverage is often limited to a specific time period following the accident (usually three years) and the amount of coverage you choose when you purchased the policy.

Why would I want this coverage?

As mentioned before, PIP only covers 80% of medical bills directly related to injuries sustained in a car accident. So, it is not going to cover 100%.  Then, what happens to the 20% not covered by PIP? You can use the Medical Payments Coverage to supplement that gap of coverage.  That way, you are better covered and regardless of who was at fault.  

Is it worth it? 

PIP and the Medical Payments Coverage will undoubtedly provide you with more money to cover for medical expenses related to an auto accident. It will give you peace of mind and security in a moment of vulnerability.  It is in an unfortunate scenario of being unprotected for those medical bills that one really wishes to have bought that extra coverage. Unfortunately, by then, it is “too little, too late” (and no, I am not talking about the JoJo song but here is the link in case you want to see it).

Remember, sadly, an auto accident can happen to anyone at any time.  You cannot control other people’s insurance coverage, financial situation or actions on the road.  But you can protect yourself, your assets and be best prepared.

With life’s uncertainties, and the risk of losing important things, we should protect our hard-earned assets. With Deer Insurance Agency by your side, you can have peace of mind, confidence, and trust that your insurance needs are well served and protected. Email us at hello@deerinsurance.com for a free quote customized for you. 

In our beautiful Sunshine State, you do not need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage to be in compliance with state law. Then, why buy it? Why spend money (or the way I see it, “invest”) in that extra auto insurance coverage? Well, simple. Because it will protect YOU. You buy it to protect yourself from other drivers on the road.

And Here’s Why

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage pays for damages that you are legally entitled to recover for your bodily injury. In general, this coverage provides what you would received from the other person’s insurance company had that person been insured (i.e., in the case of an uninsured motorist that caused you the damages). This coverage may also protect you if the person who caused the damage does not have enough limits of insurance (i.e., in a scenario with an underinsured motorist that caused you damages). 

Basically, is an additional insurance coverage for your losses in the event that you are injured in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, or the other driver does not have an adequate amount of insurance to cover your bodily injury damages.  But really, what are the odds of that happening? Sadly, a lot! According to Insurify Insights (updated on May 12, 2020):

Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers out of any other state in the nation, with over one in four drivers operating a vehicle without insurance. Drivers in Florida face lesser fines for this infraction than drivers in other states, with fines at $150 for the first infraction. Other consequences of driving without insurance in Florida are an SR-22 for up to 3 years, registration suspension, license suspension, and confiscated plates.” [Our emphasis]

Also, as you can see in the graphic below, Florida is the state with the most uninsured motorists:

Our Recommendation

An auto accident can happen to anyone. Even the best drivers are not exempt of this risk.  You can control your driving but not everyone else’s around you. You do not know who is uninsured, underinsured or properly insured. But you can protect yourself. You can have peace of mind, protect your assets, and be prepared. So make sure you include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in your auto insurance policy because it is better to have it and not needed, than to needed it and not have it. 

With life’s uncertainties and the risk of losing what we value and care for, we should protect it! With Deer Insurance Agency by your side, you can have peace of mind, confidence, and trust that your insurance needs are well served and protected. Email us at hello@deerinsurance.com for a free quote customized for you. 

Oh My God!!! Can you imagine that? It would be chaotic. Thankfully, they are on their way to marriage soon so we don’t need to worry about that happening anytime soon. There’s no question their love and synergy have inspired many couples to actually get out of heir comfort zones and be a little more “goofy” and “playful”. Their social media posts with curiosities, daily workouts, family time, and “goofiness” have made them one of Hollywood’s top couples.

The question is, what could be worse than JLo and ARod breaking up? Many things, right. But one that could be devastating is actually losing your home to a disaster and not having the right insurance policy to recover from it.

Think about it, we live in Florida, a flood, hurricane, or tornado can change our life in seconds. Your homeowners insurance is one of the key elements to being ready and having peace of mind. All it takes is for you to make sure your homeowners insurance is reviewed and updated. If you have done so recently (in the last 2 months), GREAT JOB! However, if you have not, and you only been renewing your policy with your mortgage, please call your independent insurance agency and have them verify it and make the necessary changes, if needed. If you are currently NOT working with an independent insurance agency, CALL US. We would love to help you out!

Here are the 3 main things we will check with you:

  1. House updates – have you done any renovations or updates? What about your roof, HVAC system, water heater, or plumbing?
  2. Additions and alterations – have you changed anything around your house? How about a new gazebo for your backyard? Any new additions or alterations?
  3. Household composition – have anything in your family changed? Do you have new pets? Have your kids moved out?

Oh really, that’s it? Yeap! Is that simple. Your home is the result of your efforts, your hard earned efforts. We would love to protect those efforts.

Hurricane Michael

Photography by Douglas R. Clifford

Today marks the beginning of hurricane season and everyone in our beautiful Sunshine State has to be ready. Whether you live in north, south, east, west, or central Florida, everyone should begin getting ready with their families. We always recommend that you start with your homeowners and flood insurance policy. Reviewing your policy is FREE and it can save a lot in the future.

At Deer Insurance Agency, WE CARE!

by Ariel Rivera, MBA, CIC, CPIA

Agency Principal @ Deer Insurance Agency

I got an idea, how about we all take some time to think about this thought. So, this morning I came across a Dave Hollis interesting thought that says “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” OMG, isn’t it true? We are all dealing with rapidly changing times where there is a “new” normal. But in reality, aren’t parts of the “new” normal awesome? We definitely think so!

Of course we miss sports, our co-workers, warm hugs, and social interaction. But there are many other things that we don’t miss. For example, traffic, excessive stress and rush, wild mornings, etc. To a certain point, life has given us an opportunity to regroup and value what we love the most: #family. So let’s take some time to appreciate where we are in this “crazy” journey, even if it’s not where we really wanted to be. Some say “it’s all about the process” (which we love), but right now we say “it’s all about the moment”. Enjoy the moment with your family and let’s keep praying for everyone affected by COVID-19, whether is due to illness, job loss, or excessive work and stress (like doctors and nurses). May God bless you all and let’s stick together to win this one.

There is no doubt that the outbreak of COVID-19 have changed our lives forever. But for small businesses, it may cause significant economic impact. All around the world we have seen the closing of businesses, specially small and large public ones like theaters, movie theaters, museums, sports arenas, etc. All this business closures and/or reduction in sales will always raise the question: What About My Business Interruption Coverage?

Now, by definition business interruption is: “Business Income Coverage — commercial property insurance covering loss of income suffered by a business when damage to its premises by a covered cause of loss causes a slowdown or suspension of its operations. Coverage applies to loss suffered during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property. It may also be extended to apply to loss suffered after completion of repairs for a specified number of days. There are two Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), business income coverage forms: the business income and extra expense coverage form (CP 00 30) and the business income coverage form without extra expense (CP 00 32). Business income coverage (BIC) is also referred to as business interruption coverage.” Source: IRMI (International Risk Management Institute, Inc.)

As you can see, most business interruption coverage’s required that an actual damage to your premises (your physical business) occur due to a covered cause of loss (fire, theft, hurricane, etc.). Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not considered a “covered cause of loss” under the standard unendorsed Business Owners Policy (BOP), nor COVID-19 causes a direct physical damage to your premises (physical location), thus no triggering of coverage can happen. On some unique cases, or on some specific industries like hospitality for example, insureds can opt to buy endorsements to this coverage (specifically the Extra Expense part of the coverage), and add certain coverages like “Special Peril Business Interruption”, or “Communicable Disease” which usually gives them a low sublimit to this type of coverage. However, this type of endorsements are very rare to come around and need approval of the insurance carrier.

There is no question that this are sad times for business owners. Business interruption coverage is very complex and requires a high technical level of insurance knowledge. We recommend that all business owners consult their coverage with their insurance companies or agents to make sure what their options are. At Deer Insurance Agency, we support local businesses in our community and we encourage our clients, friends, and communities to please keep shopping local. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and we will do our very best to support them. Stay safe!

IMPORTANT: Coverage analysis must be done based on the specific wording of an insured’s policy. Please consult with your insurance company or agent to verify your coverage.

About Deer Insurance Agency

Deer Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency in Jacksonville, FL. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best insurance programs for their needs. As an independent agency, we get to work with multiple insurance carriers and identify the ones that best fit our client’s needs and the communities we serve.