Home Safety for the Holiday Traveler

Home Safety Tips

Many people will be traveling this holiday–in fact about 98 million according to travel experts.  After you have packed your bags and planned your itinerary, you still need to consider how to best protect your home while on vacation. But leaving home more often demands a dutiful travel safety checklist that includes precautionary measures to help keep your home safe and secure when you head out.

Remember to get a homeowner’s insurance checkup before you go.  We can help to make sure you have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

If you are planning to vacation during the holidays, here are few thoughts to consider:

Get a security system.

Trim landscaping that is too close to your house.

Don’t advertise your vacation on social media.

Cancel mail and other deliveries.

Have a neighbor check on your home.

Always lock your garden sheds and garages.

Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.

Lock all doors and windows.

Have adequate exterior lighting.

Never put your home address on your luggage tags. Write your phone number instead.

Set automatic timers to turn your lights and a radio on and off.

Happy Holidays!

There Are Many Ways to Get Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

Insurance Life Reimbursement Protection Concept

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.

Holiday Shopping Safety

Personal Insurance and Safety Update

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 60 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.

Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

 

Home Insurance Update

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.

Health Insurance

 

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses. For over 14 years we have provided exceptional customer service and comprehensive insurance coverage to our customers. As independent insurance agents in Austin, we offer a selection of insurance policies through trusted insurance companies such as, Travelers, Hartford, MetLife and Progressive. Our #1 priority is to provide each customer with insurance quotes representing the best value and the protection they need to safeguard their business and personal assets.

 

Little Known Home Hazards

A Homeowners Insurance Update

We all know how to keep our home safe from fires, burglars and other major homeowner’s risks. Your homeowner’s insurance covers many different kinds of losses. Cooking, candles, and smoking are the biggest causes of house fires in the United States. However, there are a few hazards around the home that many of us don’t think about.

9volt Batteries

9volt batteries can create fire when exposed to many kinds of metal. Keep 9volt batteries stored in a plastic container.

Smoke Alarms That Are Not Working

A large percentage of homes fires go un-noticed because of smoke alarms that don’t work. A working smoke alarm can be your best defense to notify you of a fire.

Dryers

Over 20% of home fires start as a result of poorly vented or dust filled dryer vents. Check your dryer vent every time you use your dryer.

Candles

Candles left unattended are also a major cause of home fires. If you use candles, make sure they are kept away from flammable items and blow out before you leave the room.

There Is Insurance for (Almost) Everything

 Business Insurance Update

Most business owners buy commercial insurance to cover fire, theft, and certain liability risks.  However, did you know there are many unique insurance products that can also protect your business?  Your business insurance should be able to respond to almost all the activities in which you are involved, but if you are not properly insured, it may not.  Therefore, we thought we would explain several business coverage’s you may not have considered. 

Unique Kinds of Business Insurance 

Political Risk Insurance—The world is becoming a very dangerous place, so there is coverage for business owners and executives who travel to foreign countries.  Kidnap and ransom coverage can protect your executives in case of an unforeseen event.

Giving Advice—Do you or your employees give advice to your customers?  If so, you may need Professional Liability Insurance.

Foreign Liability—If you export products to a foreign county, your business is at risk of a product liability claim if the products cause an injury or loss.

Loss of Value—If you rely on your voice or other talent to produce income, you can buy insurance to cover yourself in the event you are unable to perform.

Environmental—Environmental insurance is there to protect humans and physical assets from the effects of pollution exposure, so you can carry on running your business without worrying about major oil spills or other catastrophic events.

Chicken insurance—Many people insure their pets, but you can also buy coverage to insure your chickens or other animals.

Tax opinion insurance—Acquisitions, reorganizations, mergers, or other changes of ownership can present complicated tax problems.  Tax insurance protects the business in the event the transaction produces a larger than expected tax liability.

We Know Insurance

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses. For over 14 years we have provided exceptional customer service and comprehensive insurance coverage to our customers. As independent insurance agents in Austin, we offer a selection of insurance policies through trusted insurance companies such as, Travelers, Hartford, MetLife and Progressive. Our #1 priority is to provide each customer with insurance quotes representing the best value and the protection they need to safeguard their business and personal assets.

There Are Proven Ways To Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto Insurance

When it comes to purchasing auto insurance, having options can be a very important way to save money. Putting money back in your pocket is one of our primary goals.  We know and understand the auto insurance market.  This allows us to provide you with the best possible combination of pricing, coverage and service.

Auto insurance rates differ from company to company, so it really pays to have us shop your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RV and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles.

How to reduce your auto premium

There are many things you can do to keep your auto rates at the lowest level possible.

  1. Review your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent.
  2. Encourage your student driver to get the best grades possible. Most major insurance companies offer a discount for students in good academic standing.
  3. Select a safe car. Check out which cars are popular with thieves and avoid them. Also, the more expensive the car, the higher the premiums.
  4. Be a safe driver. The more accidents and tickets you have, the higher the premiums will be.
  5. Purchase a car with an alarm or LoJack. LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System provides car owners with peace of mind knowing that if their vehicle is stolen, they have the best chance of getting it back.
  6. Be loyal. Many auto insurance companies offer loyalty discounts if you stay with them over time.
  7. Check for other auto insurance discounts. These might include taking safe driver courses, senior discounts and more.

How Cyber Liability Insurance

Almost every business has a cyber liability exposure.  Most businesses are securing some form of coverage to protect their companies from these types of threats.  A recent report by a leading insurance firm said that purchases of cyber insurance grew over 30% in the last year.  It has become clear that even a good IT department cannot solve all the cyber risks your business has.

Cyber liability coverage (for data breaches) has evolved from just insurance for information technology companies, to coverage that nearly every kind of business should have — if they do not already.  Businesses including retailers, banks, contractors, distributors, restaurants, medical offices and more are unaware of the severe data breach exposure they face.

Here are a few of the latest methods used by cyber criminals

Social Engineering.  This email looks like it is coming from your boss or CFO to transfer funds into the company account.

Direct Force.  This is software that attaches to your computer, usually through emails, and then goes through hundreds of thousands of different words, combinations of words, and numbers to try to crack your password.

Pushing.  This is a common way to gain entry and pull information.  Again, usually attached to an email, and once it is opened, the virus accesses your system.

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.