How To Burglar-Proof Your Home

How To Burglar-Proof Your Home

According to the US Department of Justice, one American home is burglarized every eight seconds.  The greatest weapons against burglary are light, time, and noise. It is a lot harder for a burglar to break into a home that has a well-lit yard, and that is difficult or noisy to enter.

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance can protect you from all kinds of losses, including theft or burglary. Call our office today to get a no-obligation review of all your personal insurance.

Here are some steps you can take to burglarproof your home and safeguard your belongings:

Secure All Doors and Windows Whenever You Leave Your Home.  Sounds simple, but failing to lock all doors and windows when leaving home, is one of the most common mistakes leading to home robberies.

Leave a Light on in One or Two Rooms When You Leave Your House at Night. This will give your home the appearance of being occupied when you are away.

When on Vacation, Rely on a Trusted Friend. Tell them where you will be and how to reach you.  Ask them to pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, litter, packages, or anything else that would make it appear that you are not home.

Leave a Radio Playing on a Talk or News Station. This will make it sound like someone is home.

Never Open Your Door to a Stranger. Home invasions are becoming more commonplace. Sounds simple, but too many people will allow strangers into their homes posing as power company representatives, or other utility company workers.  Ask for identification, and if you are still in doubt, call the company for verification before letting anyone inside.  Keep your door closed and locked unless you know who is on the other side of it.

Always Keep Your Shades and Drapes Drawn at Night. A lighted house with open drapes is like a fishbowl at night, exposing its contents to every passerby.

Keep Your Home Well Lit. Mount exterior lights out of reach, in your yard and on your home.

Use Deadbolts.  Discourage burglars by making it time-consuming to break into your home. Simple security devices such as deadbolts, window grates, and alarm systems will usually scare away any burglar.

Install an Alarm System. Noise is the number one deterrent for burglars. The most effective ones are the systems that will ring at an outside service, who will then contact the police.

 

Texas Business Insurance

Business Insurance

According to the latest surveys by major insurers, small to medium sized businesses have a number of critical gaps in their insurance coverage. The reasons for gaps vary; not fully understanding how certain coverage applies to their business, buying insurance from a captive agent who can’t provide the coverage, thinking their commercial coverage provides the coverage, and finally believing they don’t have the risk.

Business Insurance For Your Organization 

Here are the coverage’s you should consider to make sure you are adequately protected.

Pollution Liability- Protects against the liability that comes with polluting the       environment including restoration and cleanup, liability for injuries and deaths caused by pollution.

Cyber Liability- Cyber liability is 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.

Directors & Officers Liability– Covers costs, damages, and defense protection to directors and officers of a company resulting from law suits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals, shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability– Employment Liability 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 that is designed to cover third party claims, damages and claims arising out of providing professional advice.  Many firms create legal obligations arising out of a professional’s errors, negligent acts, or omissions during the course of providing services to clients.

We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.

 

 

Is Your Business Ready For 2020?

The world is changing, and we understand the issues your business faces every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top employees, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual commercial insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of coverage found in most commercial insurance programs.

Commercial Insurance for Businesses

Liability Insurance– Covers your business against claims of negligence that resulted in loss or injury to a customer or visitor to your business.

Worker’s Compensation– Protects your business when an employee becomes injured on the job. It is required by law.

Commercial Auto– Covers against loss for your business vehicles and any liability your business incurs as a result of an accident.

Property– Insures against loss for your buildings and equipment.

Employment Liability– Covers your business and managers from claims of harassment, discrimination and other civil rights as afforded under state and federal laws.

Cyber Liability– Protects your liability interests when data or sensitive client information is stolen or accidentally lost by your business.

Professional Liability-Protects your business when a third party accuses your business of being negligent or making a mistake in providing professional services.

An Independent Agent Who Understands Commercial Insurance

When you purchase business insurance through an independent agent you are working with a licensed professional who specializes in the products and services you need. We have access to many insurance companies and know which ones are designed just for your business. Independent agents are local business owners who employee your neighbors to serve your needs.

 

Holiday Stress Reduction

Buy Decorations In The Off-Season

Buy Christmas decorations year-round on the Internet. And in the off-season, you can get them at reduced prices. Buy your decorations all year, and when the Christmas season arrives, you’ll be ready.

Wrap Sooner Not Later

As soon as Christmas wrapping paper is placed on the shelves, start selecting and buying. By this time, you should have a shelf full of presents to wrap. Wrap at your leisure; a few at a time or all at once. Just enjoy it. You have time to make the presents look outstanding. Give them that added decorative touch that will make the recipient feel special and give you the opportunity to be creative.

Record What You Wrap

You have two lists to cross-reference. Check off or make changes as necessary. If you didn’t make a list, you should make one now. Don’t make a mistake I made one year. I got all my wrapping done early, and by the time Christmas came, I couldn’t remember what I was giving everyone or exactly what it looked like. I remember wishing I had a digital camera. I could have taken pictures of the presents before wrapping them. I don’t have to worry about that now. I have a list and a digital camera.

Collect Recipes

Don’t wait until you have to prepare a dish for a party to decide what you want to make. Start collecting recipes from magazines and friends. But don’t stop there. You have plenty of time to try them out. Put stars beside the ones you especially like and will be proud to serve. When the time comes, it will be fast and easy to make choices.

Christmas can be a pleasure, even before the season begins. Enjoy your window-shopping, whether it’s in the stores or on the Internet. But be ready to buy when you see something you like. Make your choices wisely and keep up with your lists. Following this plan will be a great stress reliever come Christmas time. Have fun, and keep on enjoying Christmas.

How To Prepare For Holiday Home Safety

How To Prepare For Holiday Home Safety

The Holidays are almost upon us, and if you have been to any department store, the sounds of Christmas are ringing out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hospital emergency rooms treat over 12,900 people each year for injuries such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Before you put up the lights or cut down the tree, we wanted to provide you with a few safety reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

The Tree

Keep Christmas Trees Fresh; water regularly.

Keep trees away from heat sources.

Take Christmas trees down before January.

Do not burn the trees in your fireplace.

Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant”.

Lights

Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.

Never string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer.

Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.

Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.

Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

If you use a timer for your outdoor lights, make sure it is rated for outside use.

Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

Ladder Safety

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture.

A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.

Use ladders with slip-resistant feet.

Never stand on top two steps.

Enjoy the season with family and friends, and never drink and drive.

Texas Home Insurance

A 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.  Homeowners insurance plays an important role in society. It protects your most important financial asset, your home. Remember, each homeowner’s insurance policy is different, and if you bought your homeowners insurance online, you may not have proper coverage.

What Can We Do to Help?

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

Purchase all your insurance 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.

 

 

Save On Your Next Business Insurance Renewal

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Business Insurance Renewal

Your business insurance should be an important part of your overall risk management program. It is important to have the best possible insurance coverage, competitive pricing and the right insurer. We have found a number of factors that could be important to manage when renewing your business insurance program. Give one of our professional a call today, we can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

Business Insurance

A business insurance program should generally include commercial property, auto liability, professional liability commercial general liability, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, flood insurance, and excess or umbrella liability.

Insurance Renewal Tips

Provide complete information about your operation to your agent and insurer.

Consider increasing your deductibles to save money.

Use an independent agent like us. We are equipped and prepared to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Let us market your program to a number of different insurers.

Combine your business property, auto, and liability with one insurer into a package or business owners package. You will receive package additional premium discounts.

Develop a safety program.

Provide safety incentives for having no losses over time.

Follow all OSHA regulations.

Putting a little extra effort into your next business insurance renewal can offer many rewards that include better coverage and lower premiums. We hope you and your team will join us on this risk and insurance journey, and in the end know that there is a better way to buy commercial insurance and have true peace of mind.

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

 

 

Prepare Your Business For The Next Disaster

There are many things businesses can do to prepare for the impact of the many natural hazards they face including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes.  Developing an emergency preparedness plan is one of the most important strategic decisions you will make as a small business owner.

Your Business Insurance Company May offer Resources

Check with us to determine if your business insurance company has tools and resources to help you. Your business insurance will respond to many hazards and risks that are insured under your policy.

Three Questions to Ask About Your Business

How vulnerable would your business be if a disaster or other emergency were to occur?

Do you have a plan to protect your employees and business?

Have you provided emergency preparedness training to employees?

The American Red Cross offers free tools that may be useful to you: www.readyrating.org

Get Your Business Prepared

Review your policy with us to make sure you understand the nature of your coverage, the deductibles, and the limits of your insurance.

Create evacuation and shelter safety procedures.

Create backup copies of critical data and programs.

Train your employees annually in emergency preparedness.

Protect vital business records. Keep your most important documents in a safe that has been tested and listed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary tools and torches.

Create an emergency contact list.

Learn what kind of emergencies might affect your business.

Decide ahead of time what you can do if your building becomes unusable.

Make emergency preparedness part of daily procedures and communications.

Thanks to the American Red Cross and U.S. Small Business Administrating for providing some of this information.

Is Your Insurance Keeping Up With Your Life?

Is Your Insurance Keeping Up With Your Life?

Often major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, children heading off to college, or even the death of a loved one can trigger a need for a change in your personal insurance coverage.  Let us look at few of the life events that can affect your personal insurance.

Change in marital status creates a need to update your auto insurance.  If you have a new person living in your household, your auto insurance will need to reflect that change.

Children heading off to college in another city also create a need to update your auto insurance, especially if they are taking a vehicle to college with them.  In addition, your homeowner’s insurance should be updated if your student is taking any personal property to college such as a television, computer, or other items.

If you are newlyweds, you will need to update your homeowners or renter’s insurance to reflect new policyholder information as well as the replacement value of your personal property.  If you have renter or homeowner’s insurance now, and you and your spouse or partner combine households, you are automatically covered by the existing policy.  However, it is still important to call your agent.

When there are changes in marital status, it is essential to update your health, life, and disability coverage.  There may be new names that need to be added or removed as beneficiaries.

When children start arriving in your home, it is essential to consider updating your life insurance to reflect the additional expenses necessary to manage the household in the event the primary breadwinner is gone.