Halloween Safety

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are out Halloween night is always a concern.  A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.

Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.

Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Safety tips for kids

Never, ever, go into a house.

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

An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children. Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or with friends.  Never go out alone.

Only go to homes with a porch light on.

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.

Do not eat homemade food.

Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.

Use a flashlight.

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/https://www.aap.orghttps://www.cdc.gov

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

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.

Remember to call our office today.  We will work hard for you.

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.

 

 

Are You Putting Your Homeowner’s Insurance at Risk?

Things That Will Impact Your Homeowner’s Insurance

If you own a home or rent, you need the right kind of homeowner’s insurance.  Homeowner’s insurance is needed to protect yourself, your family, and your property from loss and/or damage.  We can provide you with many homeowner’s or renting insurance options.  Let us do the shopping for you.

Do not place your homeowner’s insurance at risk!

Pay your insurance premiums on time. A poor payment history of constant late payments may encourage the insurance company to cancel your coverage.

Do not file an excessive number of claims. No doubt, you buy insurance to pay for covered claims or losses.  However, if you nickel and dime the insurance company, they may be apt to not renew your coverage, or offer a policy with a higher deductible or at a much higher premium.

Having a high risk is costly. If you own a pool, have an old home where the wiring or roof has been neglected, or own certain breeds of dogs, you may not get the most competitive rates.

Criminal activity. If you have been convicted of certain crimes, your insurer may not offer a renewal.  These activities might include assault, drug convictions, or fraud.

Be completely honest on your application. If it is found that the information on the application is dishonest or intentionally incorrect, you may be subject to a non-renewal.

Summer Can Be Risky for Everyone

A Personal Insurance and Safety update

Summertime means more of us are heading to the pool, lake, ocean, or river to relax and have fun.  Unfortunately, these activities can lead to accidents and injury.  Summer also brings increases in heat related illness and teen driving accidents, according to PC260.com.

It is also important to have a personal insurance review to make sure all your summer activities are covered.  For example, if you have purchased a boat, you may need a separate watercraft policy.  In addition, if you have installed a pool you will need to add that risk to your homeowner’s policy.  We want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer, so here are some reminders about summertime safety.

Some of the Top Summer Risks

River water can be very cold, especially as the early snowmelt flows downriver.  Even if it is 100 degrees outside, the river water temperatures can be very cold.

If you are planning foreign travel, remember to check travel advisories.  Also, be sure you have all your medical issues managed correctly.  Check with your health insurer, as many will not provide coverage in foreign countries.

Don’t forget your pets. Summer heat can affect your pets, so make sure they are not left in vehicles or in homes during long heat waves.

When you are on the water, do not mix drinking and water craft driving.  Verify that you have life vests for everyone and keep life vests on all children all the time.

Heat stress is one of the most common illnesses during summertime.  The risk of getting skin cancer is much higher among people who sunbathe, and especially those who have experienced multiple sunburns.

Barbecues and fire related risks increase during the summer.  Always keep children away for open fires, and keep barbecues away from buildings.

When riding your bike we recommend you always use a helmet.

Texas Business Insurance 101

Texas Business Insurance

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

Commercial Liability

Bodily Injury – Bodily injury to a third party.

Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).

Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.

Advertising Liability – Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander and invasion of privacy.

Products & Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products you sell or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.

Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.

Management Liability – This might include cyber, employment, and professional liability coverage. Directors and officers liability also might fall under this category.

Umbrella – Provides excess liability over primary auto and commercial liability policies.

Pollution – Coverage for accidental release of pollutants. 

Business Auto

Covers vehicles owned by the company for business use and can include comprehensive and collision

Risk is a factor for whatever business you are in. We provide business insurance solutions to help you manage your risk, which keeps you in business. Apple Insurance Specialists understands how the right insurance can protect you and your business from any unforeseen liabilities

July 4th Safety Tips

Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that two out of five fires reported on that day are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause? So you think it cannot happen to you? Here are a few facts:

In 2013 over 9,000 people went to the emergency room as a result of fireworks related injuries. There was an estimated 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, and $36 million in direct property damage. This is why it is a good idea to have a free home insurance review and quote, call us today!

Injuries by Fireworks Type (US department of Health & Safety)

17%: Sparklers

14%: Reloadable Shells

13%: Firecrackers

7%: Roman Candles

6%: Bottle Rockets

6%: Novelties

2%: Multiple Tubes

1%: Fountains

Fireworks Safety Tips

Buy fireworks only from licensed vendors

Never combine fireworks

Obey all local laws

Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting

Follow directions

Never relight a firework

Don’t smoke or drink while lighting fireworks

Soak used fireworks in water before placing in trash

Make sure there is parental supervision

Never experiment with homemade fireworks

Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings

Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby

Light one firework at a time – then move back quickly!

Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers

Never carry fireworks in your pocket

Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals

Clean up all used fireworks including debris

“Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July and year end celebrations. Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths” Consumer Products Safety Commission.