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.

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.

Prom and Graduation Safety

This is the time of year when graduation parties and proms are in full swing. We congratulate all graduates on a job well done. High school is full of defining moments for Bay Area teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation. We want your celebration to be a happy and safe one, so here are a few tips.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

Absolutely no alcohol

Always use seat belts

No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances

 Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:

Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.

Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.

Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.

Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.

Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.

If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

We Know And Understand Insurance

The leading trends in insurance today

We live in a new age, and that means insurance professionals need to be prepared to meet the new demands of the insurance buyer.  Home and auto insurance buyers have changed the way they select insurance companies and their agents. One thing that has not changed is that everyone needs home and auto insurance, and business owners need commercial insurance.

We know and understand your needs

Here is what our clients are telling us they need from us in order to meet their changing needs.

We offer coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Our home insurance products can be designed to include coverage if you rent your home to third parties, or if you own a vacation rental.

Our web page is constantly being updated to reflect the buying habits of all generations.

For the environmentally conscious buyers we offer insurance products that include premium discounts for homes that meet stringent efficiency and sustainability standards, discounts for using eco-friendly building materials, and even unique “pay as you go” auto policies so you only pay for the miles you drive.

Filing a claim has never been easier. Most of our insurers have online reporting, but we are always here to help manage your claim if needed.

We understand how the technology of a “connected home” works and the importance of proper homeowner’s coverage.

There is new technology that can be added to your vehicle that monitors your driving and provides discounts for safe drivers.

You want, and deserve, more choices and personalization concerning your insurance program. Our friendly team is always ready to serve you.

Five Reasons an Independent Agent Is Better Than Online Insurance

A Personal Insurance Update

Buying insurance for your home, auto, or business is one of the most important decisions you can make.  Just ask the people of Houston, Texas.  Currently, independent agents are on the ground helping their clients finalize their claims so they can get back to their daily lives.

We understand what is important to consumers when it comes to securing insurance. These are the things people feel are important when it comes to purchasing insurance: *

Cost

Ease of obtaining coverage

Speed of obtaining coverage

Peace of mind that everything is covered

Security of personal data

*Source: Adam Bishop

Here is how we help you with each of these

Cost – Independent agents have access to more markets and have better relationships with insurers, thus affording better pricing options for you.

Ease of obtaining coverage—We actually do all the legwork for you. You will not be routed to a call center, placed on hold, and then talk to someone who may not even be licensed.

Speed – It is easy to call or meet with us. We live in your community.

Peace of mind – We make sure that you are covered for what you need to be covered for.

Security – We make sure all your personal information is secure.

2017 Was A Tough Year For Many Insurance Companies

2018 is here, and 2017 is in the rear view mirror.  Last year we saw and experienced many hardships and disasters, but also hand many successes.  We hope 2018 brings you much happiness and success.  2017 was a year in which many entire communities were destroyed by storms and wildfires, 20 million or more people experienced an identity theft, and a number of women come forward describing their sexual harassment.

Here is a list of the top risk issues for 2017

Wildfires in California and Oregon – over $4 billion in damage

Storms in Texas, Florida, and the Northeast

Flooding in Texas, Oregon, and most of the Midwest

Identity theft and cyber breaches

An increase in sexual harassment claims

The continued evolution of driverless vehicles

The regulation of drones

Advances in home technology

Retention of key employees

The ability to attract quality workers

Terrorism

Random shootings

Over the next few months we will try to help you develop a clear plan on how to manage these risks. Please contact our office and we will be happy to help you identify what is important to you and then put together a plan to help you manage you risks most effetely.  Here are just two.

Identity Theft and Cyber Breaches

Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports.  This type of insurance will help you with certain kinds of expenses to aid you in restoring your credit. Cyber policies cover the liability arising from website media content as well as breach related property losses such as: (a) business interruption, (b) data loss/destruction, (c) computer fraud, (d) funds transfer loss, and (e) cyber extortion.  It can also provide notification and other services for a covered loss.

Harassment Claims

Your business must address this issue head on.  First, you need to secure employment practices liability insurance.  This insurance will offer defense and indemnification coverage should you be involved in an employment litigation.  Second, your business needs to have a clear anti-discrimination policy.  The policy should include reporting procedures and anti-whistleblower provisions.