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.

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.

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.

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.