Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

 Halloween is fast approaching. All kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door hoping to find the full size candy bar.

A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you. Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Pets first. Dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.

 Clean up your yard. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Are all your lights working? Make sure you offer a well-lit path.

Candles. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table.

Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off.

Decorations. Don’t go overboard with decorations, they can cause fires and injuries.

Safety tips for kids

Never, ever go into a house

Go with friends

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child

Only go to homes with a porch light on

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective

Don’t eat homemade food

Look at all wrapped candy, if it has been opened toss it out

Use a flashlight

 

 

10 Things To Consider When Buying Home Insurance

Homeowner’s Insurance

You buy home insurance to protect your most important asset.  There are many items to consider and we can help you through the process of finding the right coverage for you and your family. Remember not all homeowner’s insurance policies are considered equal.

There are many factors that go into determining your homeowner’s insurance premiums.  We thought it might be fun to address our “top ten list” of things every homeowner should know before purchasing insurance.  As your agent we can help you identify the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

  1. You are a statistic. To an insurer, you are a set of risks. An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your “risk factors” including your occupation, who you are, what you own, and where you live. To us, you are a person and we value our relationship with you.
  2. Know your home’s value. Before you buy a policy, it is important to know your home’s replacement cost.
  3. Insurers differ. As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can be priced differently by different companies. You can save money by comparison shopping.
  4. Don’t just look at price. A low price is no bargain if you don’t have the right coverage.
  5. Go beyond the basics. A basic homeowner’s policy may not promise to entirely replace your home.
  6. Look for discounts. Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk.
  7. Be sure that you have the proper documentation if you have a claim. Your idea of fair compensation may not match that of your insurer. Your insurer’s job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.
  8. Know your policy. Keep your policy updated, and reread it before you file a claim so there are no surprises.
  9. Check you deductibles. It may benefit you to increase your deductible, especially if you have a good claims experience.
  10. Your policy excludes Quake and Flood. Check with us and we will provide you with a quote.

Life Insurance

Texas Personal Insurance Update

Most of us buy insurance in this order; auto insurance, renters’ insurance, home insurance, and then life insurance.  However, many of us do not think about how the events in our lives may affect our need for different kinds of insurance.  As your life changes, the need to protect your life, investment, and family also changes.

Here are some major life events that will affect your need for personal insurance

College –– If you have a child heading off to college, you may need to update your auto and home insurance. If your child has a car, the rates may be less in the city of the college.  You will need to notify your insurer regarding the new location.  In addition, if your child is renting, you may need to provide renters’ insurance to the property owner.

Retirement – If you had commuted regularly to your job, your mileage has likely plummeted in retirement. If so, you should report it to your auto insurer to significantly lower the cost of your auto insurance premiums.  In addition, you will need to consider other insurance options.

Marriage or Divorce –– Changes in marital status, or even just moving in together, means the combining of households, cars, and other property, so you’ll want to update your insurance policies accordingly. Are you both protected? Are coverage limits adequate?

Having a baby –– When your family grows, you may want to consider life insurance to protect your loved ones. Life insurance can provide the financial security for many years, and give you peace of mind.

Moving –– Whenever you move, you will need to update your auto and home insurance. New addresses may actually lead to lower costs.

Home Renovations – If you have made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch, or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, report those changes to your insurance company.

Georgetown Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses.

Five Keys to Improving Your Personal Insurance

 

A Personal Insurance Update

We work to ensure that your personal insurance provides the protection you deserve and need.  We understand you may need different coverage like a personal umbrella, RV insurance, valuable articles coverage, earthquake, or flood coverage.

Over the years, we have found that homeowners who adhere to the following strategies have a better chance of obtaining the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Use an agent like us to represent you in the market.  We know and understand personal insurance, and we are much better equipped to help you manage your personal insurance program.  We will stand by you in every claim situation.

Only use financially strong insurers.  It is vital that your insurance is there to pay for claims.  Look for insurers with an “A” rating by AM Best.

Make sure you have high liability limits.  It is essential that every homeowner have enough liability insurance to cover the unexpected events.  This is especially true if you own an RV, ATV or boat.

Consider increasing your deductibles.  Often a slight increase in your deductibles can reduce premiums.  If you are able to manage a larger deductible, you may be better off in the end.

Allow your agent to manage your entire personal insurance needs. Having one source for all your policies will save you time.  Also having one professional handle all your needs gives them the ability to understand your entire needs.

Summer Driving Tips

An Auto Insurance Update

Summer is here, and many families are planning that great summer road trip.  Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer weeklong adventure, it is important to be prepared before you hit the road.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics reveal that more fatal traffic crashes occur over the summer months than over the winter months.

Summer Driving Tips

If you have teen drivers, make sure they have taken driver safety training.

Never use your phone while driving.

When on a long drive, take frequent breaks.

Roads become very slippery in the first few minutes of rainfall because the rain mixes with the oil and dirt on the road. It takes about 30 minutes of steady rain to wash the oil and dirt off the road.

If your car is due for a tune-up, oil change, battery check, or tire rotation, now is the time to get it done.

Use seats belts every trip, all the time.

Traffic laws vary by state, so it is important to follow traffic signs.

Pack extra water and supplies in case of an emergency.

Drive at a safe speed. Speeding increases the likelihood and severity of a crash.

Auto Insurance

It will be important to have an auto insurance update before you go. Laws vary from state to state, and when it comes to your auto insurance, it is important to have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Personal Umbrella Insurance

You’ve worked hard to earn your lifestyle. Consider adding additional liability protection to your Texas Auto, Home, Renters or Condo policy. Personal Umbrella Liability coverage added to your other policies can protect you, your spouse and any relatives living in your home. Let the staff at Heaton Bennett Insurance show you the value of an umbrella liability policy.

Umbrella Insurance Protection

Umbrella Insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. Just as an umbrella protects you from heavy rain, an umbrella insurance policy protects you from losing the entirety of your wealth and assets in the event of a claim. Umbrella insurance can provide limits above your business insurance, personal auto and home policies.

Umbrella insurance provides broad insurance beyond traditional insurance. It provides additional liability coverage above the limits of your primary insurance policies. It can also provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the primary policies

It is true that personal umbrella insurance may not be for business or individual, but if you are a business, wanting to protect your company’s resources, building financial resources for your future, are a professional, own your home, boat or recreation vehicle, you should consider an umbrella insurance policy.  Having the added protection of an umbrella insurance policy is coverage no one should go without. Call us today, for a free review.

High Net Worth Individuals

Do you own a boat, second home or have other expensive toys? Often high net worth individuals need higher liability limits to protect personal assets. A simple rule is, the more you own the greater risk you may have of losing it. The nice thing about an umbrella policy is that it is competitively priced. Usually, it costs about $300 per year for each $1,000,000 increment of insurance that you buy, and it can bring you great piece of mind.

 

Are Burglars Looking At Your Home?

A Personal Insurance Update

Your homeowner’s insurance may provide protection and help you recover from a loss.  However, it is very important to have the right kind of home insurance to cover these kinds of claims.  Call us for a free review.

Interesting Facts About Burglaries

Burglars do not travel far. The typical burglar lives within two miles of their victims.

Over 90 percent of burglars are male.

Dogs are not the same as a home security system.

95% of burglars are under the age of 25.

A large percent of burglars use an open door or window to enter your home.

Homes that have a security system are not as attractive to burglars.

What Can a Homeowner Do to Prevent Burglaries?

While nothing is 100% guaranteed there are measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of a burglary.

Leave lights on when gone.

Have timers on outside lights.

Get a security system.

Never leave a door or window unlocked.

When traveling, do not post vacation pictures or information on social media until you return home.

Reduce landscaping around doors and windows.

Tell your neighbors to watch your home while you are on vacation.

Our agents have access to more carriers and more plans, and that means that they have more options – including multiple policy discounts and preferred premium pricing – to create the best possible combination of coverage to protect your family while lowering your costs.

Do You Love Your Valentine’s Gift? You May Want to Insure It.

Do You Love Your Valentine’s Gift? You May Want to Insure It.

It is that time of year when many of us give that special person in our lives a gift that they will enjoy year round. Valentine’s gifts typically include watches, jewelry, art, cameras and other valuable items.

Whatever you may do this year, if you purchase an expensive item for that special person, make sure you get it insured. Most homeowners or renters insurance policies restrict coverage for items like jewelry to $1,000 dollars.  In addition, most policies cover named perils for fire and theft, etc.; however, they may exclude coverage for the ring that gets flushed down the toilet; that is unless the expensive item is scheduled. To cover such circumstances that the insurance industry has dubbed “mysterious disappearance”, you will need a valuable articles personal property endorsement on your homeowners or renters policy.

Tips to keep valuables safe

Have your jewelry appraised by a qualified jewelry appraiser for insurance replacement purposes

Take pictures

Keep items in safe place

Take off while working outside

Our homeowners and renters insurance can provide many benefits including:

Additional Living Expense -This coverage pays for the extra, above normal costs of expenses such as food and lodging incurred while the policyholder’s home is being repaired.

Extended Replacement Cost – Provides additional coverage up to 150% of the dwelling’s policy limits to rebuild your home in the event you suffer a covered loss.

Personal Liability Protection- Pays for bodily injury or property damage caused to others as a result of a covered incident.

Identity Theft Protection – Pays for expenses you incur as a result of criminal identity theft.

Call us today.  We can provide you will the right combination of coverage, and price, followed up with outstanding service.

We Answer Common Home Insurance Questions

We Answer Common Home Insurance Questions

Whether you are a new homeowner or have owned your home for a longer period, there’s no doubt you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance. You want to protect your home, your possessions, and your family. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions about homeowner’s insurance.

As a homeowner, am I required to have insurance? Yes, in most cases, especially if you have a lender. It’s also wise to look into insurance if you are in the process of constructing your home and even renting your home to someone else.

What types of coverage does homeowner insurance provide? Two types casually, which covers the home and contents, and liability, which covers anyone who is injured on your property. With both types, the amount of coverage depends on the policy.

Will the replacement cost be the same as the sale price of my home? No. The replacement cost will cover the amount needed to replace the structure and/or contents. Replacement cost is usually calculated based on the individual policies formula. It’s wise to take inventory and photographs of your home and contents.

Will homeowner insurance cover damage or theft outside of my home? It depends on the policy. Sometimes standard policies offer this kind of coverage, but if not, ask if purchasing the coverage at additional costs is an option.

Are home-based businesses covered under homeowner insurance? No, unless you qualify for an endorsement to your current homeowner insurance policy. Otherwise, look into getting a business owners insurance policy.

Of course, homeowners will have more questions about homeowner insurance particular to their own situations (including protection against the elements, possessions that are no longer in the home, contents of vehicles, etc.). When searching for a homeowner insurance policy, be sure to ask about coverage relevant and beneficial to your own situation.

 

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.