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How to Get the Coverage You Need: An Interview with Dave McFadden of McFadden Insurance Services

By Dave McFadden

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are an independent insurance agency that focuses on the insurance services that a typical homeowner or family needs. We represent many insurance companies, so I'd have to say the primary service we provide to our customers are options for their insurance needs. This allows our customer to pick the coverage that is best for their own needs and the premium that suits their budget.

What is an example of typical/basic coverage for home insurance in Florida?

Homeowner's policies include coverage for damages to the home, liability insurance, and coverage for the personal belongings of the customer. The way these coverage types are provided can impact the cost of the policy. A primary factor in the discounting of the premium is the age of the roof and the way the home was constructed. We help our customers obtain all of the discounts they are entitled to so their premiums are as competitive as possible.

When should a homeowner consider additional policies on top of their basic protection?

Florida is a state where big storms can occur. So flood insurance is always a good idea. Some policies can be provided to substantially increase liability coverage for people who have assets to protect. People who own expensive jewelry, art collections or guns may need a policy that provides specific coverage for those items since there is only a small amount of coverage for them under most homeowner's policies. Many homeowners also own expensive toys, such as hobby cars, motorcycles, RVs and boats. These items need to be insured and the owner needs liability coverage to protect from damages that can arise out of the use of them.

How can homeowners decide what supplemental coverage that they need?

When we talk with our customers, we ask about their possessions and hobbies so we can present them with options to cover those assets and the liability that can come from owning them. It's a part of the process we use to make sure we offer all of the options our customers need.

What is one of the biggest challenges that Florida homeowners run into when they're choosing a homeowner's property policy?

In West Central Florida the exposure to storm and sinkhole damage have caused many insurers to pull away from insuring here. Sometimes, just getting a quote can be a challenge. We represent a number of insurers who want to write new policies here in the greater Tampa Bay Area.

Can you briefly explain the main discounts that may be available to help homeowners get an affordable premium?

The primary one is the wind mitigation discount. It's based upon the age of the roof, the materials used in the roof, and the hardware used to secure the roof to the rest of the building. A good inspector is critical for this discount to be earned. We work with a few inspectors that we have used for years and who do a great job.

What are two or three of the most popular supplemental policies for homeowners in Florida?

Many homeowners like to own a personal umbrella policy because it can increase the amount of liability coverage by $1 million or more. If you think of the liability coverage included in your homeowner's and auto insurance policies as a shield to protect your assets from other people who claim that you have injured them, then the umbrella policy is the biggest shield you can buy.

Personal umbrella policies provide additional liability coverage over your current homeowners, auto, boat, and RV policies. Sometimes people may have a liability exposure that isn't insured. When that happens, the personal umbrella policy can even provide coverage where none exists.

Flood insurance policies are very common in Florida because there really are very few places in Florida that are immune to the peril of rising water. If a hurricane strikes we can probably throw the 100 year flood marks out the window! Storm surges have been known to exceed 20 feet. The flood policy is the only policy that will respond to damage caused by rising waters or storm surge.

Personal article floaters are also very common. These policies can be set up to cover expensive collections, jewelry or guns. They include very broad coverage and are much more suitable for protecting your valuables than a homeowner's policy alone.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Whatever way they prefer. We can be reached by telephone at (813) 920-000, my email address is is dave@mcfaddenins.net, or they can drop in and see us in person at 18424 Livingston Ave, Suite: 3, Lutz, FL 33559. We are also on FaceBook! Our website

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