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.

 

 

 

You May Have More Risk Than You Think

Most Americans have risks associated with their wealth and need the right insurance to manage that risk

When we think of high net worth people, most of us tend to think of CEO’s, athletes, or celebrities.  However, what we fail to realize, is that you do not have to be a CEO to have personal risks.  In 2017, over 3 million people increased their net worth to over a million dollars.  Even if your net worth is well under a million dollars, you have considerable personal risks.  We can help you manage all your personal risks.

Do you own a boat, motorcycle, or other recreational toy? If so, you need to make sure these assets are covered correctly.  We would also recommend a personal umbrella policy to cover your increased risk of injury to third parties.

Smart technology. Almost everyone is getting smart cars or homes. This could include a smart watch, video systems in your home, the Nest thermostat and more. All these items should be insured, and you will want to talk to our team about these.

Vacation homes or condominiums. According to the National Association of Realtors, 46% of vacation homes purchased in 2015 were in the South and 25% in the West, both of these areas are hotbeds for wildfire activity.

Jewelry, guns, and other collections. If you have a gun collection or expensive jewelry, you will need to have these insured separately.

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.

See full article

What Is the Difference Between Homeowner’s Insurance and a Home Warranty?

Home warranties are offered by many companies, mostly during the selling process. Typically, there are two types of home warranties that people will purchase for their homes.  The first one covers any major systems or repairs for the first year, and the second is an annual renewal type contract which continues to keep the coverage active. See more

Homeowner’s Insurance

This is an insurance policy to protect your home and personal property from damages as result of a fire, wind, storm, or some other act of God or covered activity.

Home Warranty

A home warranty, on the other hand, is optional and typically covers the costs for repair or replacement of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems as well as major appliances like the refrigerator or oven.

Home warranty protection usually offers repair or replacement of a specific item for a specific period of time.

Even if you secure a home warranty policy, we recommend that you also have a homeowner’s insurance policy, as there are limitations in home warranty products.  If you have a mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is generally required by your mortgage company.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

How Cloud Computing Changes Cyber Risk Exposures

Cyber risk and cloud computing is a topic that keeps evolving. In a recent study 40% of companies thought they did not need cyber liability insurance. Many thought cyber liability was covered under their business insurance policy. And others thought that if they used the cloud to store client’s information that they had no risk.

A recent example has been the Anthem Health data breach; here over 80 million people may have had their personal data compromised. If a large company like Anthem Health can have a cyber-breach, so can your company. See More Here

How Cloud Computing Will Change The Cyber Risk Landscape

There is no question that cloud computing changes the cyber risk landscape. But using the cloud does not reduce your risk. In fact, using the cloud may increase your risk. As more firms use the cloud, cyber criminals will increase their efforts to brake in, as there is more information for them to steel. Your risk will vary depending on the platform your firm uses. One benefit is that your business may require less in house technology which will reduce operating costs.

Cyber Risks Are Growing

Russian hackers recently stole over 2 billion online names and passwords. Home Depot had millions of customer credit cards stolen. A local restaurant recently had 1200 customer credit card numbers stolen, and finally a medical clinic had a lap top stolen that contained 5,000 patient’s names and confidential information. Every company is at risk for cyber theft and loss.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber risk    insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

 

Why Review Your Insurance?

 

Our agency is founded and run on the philosophy that client’s needs come first and foremost. We know you hear that a lot, so we wanted to tell you how we carry out our philosophy day to day. This article is the continuation of our series on how to think differently about insurance. Every client deserves an annual insurance review. The review may take different forms depending on the individual circumstances.

Benefits To An Insurance Review

Keeps your program up to date

Provides opportunity for feedback on services

Allows for the partnership to review goals

We take time to review key exclusions and other coverage items

You may need to modify, reduce or add coverage depending on your current situation

The review does not need to take a long time 

Business Insurance Review

A business review is important because risk is constantly changing. Maybe your operations have not changed, but laws and other statutes can impact your risk and need to be addressed. Here are a few examples:

Prices change and a review can determine if you are getting competitive rates on your insurance.

Your coverage needs may have changed and your policy should reflect these changes.

There may be new insurance companies to which we have access.

Laws and regulations are changing and may require a different kind of insurance. 

Personal Insurance Review

A review of your personal insurance can be completed in person, over the phone or even via email. But the important thing is that the client and agent communicate about your personal risk and what has changed. Changes in your personal situation can have an impact on your insurance needs. Examples might include:

Change in marital status

Kids headed off to college

Remodeling of your home

Purchase of expensive jewelry

Texas Home Insurance

How To Save On Your Georgetown, TX  Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers you against fire, theft and other damage to your home and personal property. Georgetown, TX Homeowner’s insurance also covers your liability in case someone gets inured on your property. Everyone likes to save money on their homeowner’s insurance. But many people assume that saving money equals less coverage.  That is not so.  Here are some simple things that you can do to save money on your homeowner’s insurance without compromising coverage.

Homeowners insurance Savings

Stop smoking. There are over 8,000 smoking related fires every year in the U.S.

Fix the plumbing, roof, or wiring. If you live in an older home, updating these items can reduce your premiums and improve the value of your home.

Do not put in that pool. Having a pool can be fun, but it increases your personal liability and homeowner’s premiums.

Install a home security system. Home security systems can reduce your premiums and add value to your home.

Increase your deductible. Did you know most people never have a homeowner’s insurance claim?  Why not increase your deductible and save money!

Let us shop the market for you. We have access to many markets that can offer competitive homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Many insurers give locality discounts.