Holiday Shopping Safety

Personal Insurance and Safety Update

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 60 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.

Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

There Are Many Ways to Get Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

An Auto Insurance Update

Everyone likes to get the best possible combination of price and coverage on their auto insurance.  For the most part, your auto insurance is based on your driving record and the type of vehicle insured.  There are a few things you can control when it comes to purchasing auto insurance.  Many insurers offer a variety of discounts that can affect your auto insurance premium savings.  Discounts may vary from insurer to insurer.

Good student discount. For teen drivers, this can save hundreds of dollars. Typically, if your student maintains an A or B average, the discount will apply.

Multi-policy discounts. Most insurance providers offer discounts to customers who carry more than one line of insurance with them.

Drivers education courses. Many insurers offer discount if drivers have taken driver’s education courses.

Military discount. Many insurers offer discounts for military service.

Equipment discounts. If your vehicle has special safety equipment, you may be eligible for discounts.

Call our office for more information on how these discounts may apply to your situation.

Five Steps to Family Financial Protection

  1. What does financial security mean to you? Start by asking yourself, “What would happen if our family’s primary breadwinner died prematurely or became disabled?” Most people answer that they would want their loved ones to continue in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed, to have enough money to stay in their home, and to provide for their children’s education through college.
  1. Determine needs versus wants. You may want 100% financial security to provide for your spouse for their lifetime, and your kids through college. However, can you afford it?  Most of us don’t have enough savings to achieve this, which is where life insurance comes in. You will want enough money, or death benefit, to replace your missing income.
  1. Look at the entire picture. This is not just about life insurance–that is just one piece of the formula. You also need to consider the possibility of loss of income due to a disability, chronic, or critical illness.  Consider transferring this risk by purchasing Disability Insurance and Coverage for Long Term Care.  Look at all your assets such as money in retirement plans, benefits packages, investments, equity in property, and potential social security benefits.  Once you have the numbers you can figure out what the shortfall is–which can be funded with life insurance, or more life insurance than you currently have.
  1. Prepare a last will and testament! If you die without leaving a will, the legal consequences can be disastrous, particularly if you have many assets.  In addition, there are negative tax consequences that may arise. Your will guides the court, the person you choose to administer your estate, and your heirs on how to distribute your property and pay off debts.  A will can be completed online for very little cost through a multitude of online sources such as LegalZoom.com, LawDepot.com, and TotalLegal.com.
  1. Do not put it off. Far too often, I have had to inform an applicant for life insurance that they are being declined because of their poor condition of health.  Many of us simply are unwilling to accept our own mortality until we are given a grim medical diagnosis by a physician. DO NOT WAIT.  Life and Disability insurance cost much less the younger you are and the healthier you are.  Consider that the cost for a $1,000,000 life insurance policy for a healthy 45-year-old male is approximately $48 per month……about 2 weeks’ worth of coffee from Starbucks!

Home Insurance Update

Many homeowners have experienced premium increases. Our agency works very hard to bring our clients the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service.

What Can We Do To Help?

We are an independent agency.  This allows us to search the market for the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service. We compare insurance company’s rates and use the competitive market to your advantage. Here are some ways to save on your premiums:

Purchase all your insure through our agency

Ask us about additional discounts

Consider increasing your deductible

Keep your home well maintained

Replace your roof, water heater and other equipment when needed

Review your policy regularly- you may not need the same kind of coverage you did a few years ago

Remember to call our office today. We will work hard for you.

We Know Risk

At Davidson Stewart Morelock Insurance, our products are as unique as our clients and our insurance expertise allows us to match the products you need with your budget.

With unmatched insurance expertise, you can’t go wrong working with our agents to guide you to the perfect insurance solution.

Whether you need insurance for your car, home, business, hobbies or, just about anything in the Dallas Metroplex, Davidson Stewart Morelock Insurance has you covered.

Personal Insurance

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Davidson Stewart Morelock Insurance has built a diverse network of the most trusted, nationally recognized insurance providers to offer customers the highest quality insurance policies at the best rates possible.

From auto, home, life and health to commercial, agribusiness and contractor insurance services, the experienced agents at Davidson Stewart Morelock Insurance understand the unique insurance needs of the Dallas Metroplex.

Please call our experienced Trusted Choice insurance agents today at 214.217.9277, or click here to start your free online insurance quote request.

Why Auto Insurance May Be The Most Important Financial Decision You Make

Auto Insurance Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are five leading factors involved in auto accidents.

Drunk Driving: Crashes caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol (DUI) accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes. DUI crashes also cost the nation $49 billion dollars, an average cost of $158 dollars for every person in the U.S.  Including lost quality of life, these crashes were responsible for $199 billion dollars, or 23 percent of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Speeding: Crashes involving a speeding vehicle traveling over the posted speed limit, or too fast for conditions, accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $59 billion dollars in 2013.  This is an average cost of $191 dollars for every person in the U.S.

Distraction: Crashes involving a distracted driver accounted for 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $46 billion dollars in 2013.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $19 billion dollars in 2013.

Seatbelts: Seatbelt use prevented $69 billion dollars in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs. Conversely, preventable fatalities and injuries to unbelted occupants accounted for 5 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $14 billion dollars in 2013.

Auto Insurance Coverage

Having the right kind of auto insurance can protect you from serious financial loss.

Auto liability

Auto physical damage & collision

Uninsured motorist

Personal injury protection

Auto medical payments

 

Keep Your Home Safe

The majority of home burglaries do not involve violence or the use of a weapon. The average dollar loss from a burglary in the United States is just over $2,000, and there are over 2 million burglaries in the US every year.

Your house is more than just an investment, it is a place where memories are made and dreams are built. Whether you are a first time home owner or celebrating many happy years in your dream home,  We are here to help you protect the home you love and the life you’ve built. The good news is about 80% of home burglaries are considered preventable. As you plan your holiday travel, here are a few things to remember.

Most burglars are afraid of getting caught, and will only go through unlocked doors and windows.

Thieves love to see piled up newspapers on your lawn. It lets them know you aren’t home.

If a burglar sees that no lights are on, chances are no one is home.

Attractive ornaments or pricey “kids’ things” outside your home can indicate to a potential intruder that your house is full of valuables.

Cyber thieves hope you put your old financial records in the trash without shredding them, because they want to collect your personal information.

Leaving your cars unlocked and valuables inside is an invitation to a burglar—even if it is in your own driveway.

If you post your vacation pictures on Facebook while you are away, it lets burglars know that your home is unoccupied.

People who fail to lock their guns in a gun safe are more likely to get them stolen. Lock all guns in a cabinet and use trigger locks as well.

If do don’t tell your neighbor you will be gone, it is just one less person for the burglar to worry about.

If you have a security system, use it 100% of the time. Burglars will generally not enter a home with a security system.

Create and maintain a detailed household inventory, and call our office today.  We can provide information that may help you determine if you have adequate insurance coverage on your home and belongings if, despite your good planning, the worst case scenario occurs.

Big Risks Ahead

Many think that operating a small business has little or no risk. The fact is, operating a small business has just about the same risks as any other business. Employees can still sue you, you can cause injuries to your customers, and your building can burn just like a big business.  General liability risk is very real for small businesses and it is important to have a business insurance program that addresses these issues.

To protect a small business from potential lawsuits, liability insurance is necessary. Policies vary greatly, and they cover different classifications of risks for varying costs.

Commercial General Liability Insurance covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault.  Small businesses may face a wide array of damage charges. Personal injuries, property damage, libel, and slander are just a few examples.

Product Liability Insurance covers legal fees for litigation involving a faulty product.  It also covers any personal or property damage charges caused by the defective product.

Employment Liability Insurance provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees.  It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability Insurance pays for damages caused by services.  It is also called errors and omissions coverage. This is for companies that market a service instead of a product. For example, professionals in medical clinics must have medical malpractice coverage.

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology.  It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

There are other types of insurance designed for specialty businesses. For example, there are special policies for companies involved only in internet sales.  The nature of the business determines what type of coverage is necessary.

Stay Dry While Boating… Take A Boating Safety Course

Boating is a great adventure on any type of boat and is being enjoyed by many on a daily basis, but with that comes a great responsibility. It is not mandatory to do a boating course at this time, but there are some excellent reasons to get your self-informed about the rules of the road.

You will learn about safety equipment and what you are required to have on your boat before you undertake any boating excursion. This is very important because what you don’t have with you could make the difference between being able to handle a situation or not.

You will learn that driving a boat is vastly different from driving a car. You are dealing with air and water currents. If you have never docked a boat you may think that it is easy until that is, the current is pulling you in the opposite direction that you want to go.

Knowing how to work with lines and tying knots is part of boating. You have to be able to secure a boat properly. If your boat gets away, it is amazing how quickly the current will take it out of your reach, and you will probably require the assistance of another boater to help you get to it.

You will learn what the channel markers mean. We learned the hard way the first time we went out on a boat and ran aground outside the markers. We also had no clue what the red and green markers meant on the poles. This you also learn on the course.

There are speed limits on certain water ways, but unlike the roads, they may or may not be posted. Ignorance may not be enough to get you out of a ticket.

Using charts for coastal navigation can be a lifesaver. It’s your roadmap that helps you stay away from the shallows and shows where all the markers and bridges are, and by using measurements, you can calculate the distance and time it will take to get somewhere.

Just like on the roads, there is the right of way. On a boating course, you will learn who has the right of way and why.

Every boat should have a horn. You may hear one long toot or 2 short toot and so on, and you’ll learn what they mean.

There are boating regulations and laws that must be followed by all boaters, for example, (and I have seen this rule broken so many times) you are not allowed to sit on the bow of the boat with your feet hanging overboard.

Anchoring a boat is not just a matter of plopping it down to the sand. There is a mathematical technique applied to anchoring that has to do with the size and length of your boat. Knowing how to do this correctly will give you that extra insurance of knowing your boat is going nowhere until you want to move it.