Can Life Events Impact Your Insurance?

Most of us buy insurance in this order; auto insurance, renters’ insurance, home insurance, and then life insurance.  However, many of us do not think about how the events in our lives may affect our need for different kinds of insurance.  As your life changes, the need to protect your life, investment, and family also changes.

Here are some major life events that will affect your need for personal insurance

College –– If you have a child heading off to college, you may need to update your auto and home insurance.  If your child has a car, the rates may be less in the city of the college.  You will need to notify your insurer regarding the new location.  In addition, if your child is renting, you may need to provide renters’ insurance to the property owner.

Retirement – If you had commuted regularly to your job, your mileage has likely plummeted in retirement.  If so, you should report it to your auto insurer to significantly lower the cost of your auto insurance premiums.  In addition, you will need to consider other insurance options.

Marriage or Divorce –– Changes in marital status, or even just moving in together, means the combining of households, cars, and other property, so you’ll want to update your insurance policies accordingly.  Are you both protected? Are coverage limits adequate?

Having a baby –– When your family grows, you may want to consider life insurance to protect your loved ones.  Life insurance can provide the financial security for many years, and give you peace of mind.

Moving –– Whenever you move, you will need to update your auto and home insurance.  New addresses may actually lead to lower costs.

Home Renovations – If you have made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch, or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, report those changes to your insurance company.

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

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

What’s Under Your Roof?

A Home Insurance Review

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things that could cause damage to your home and personal property? Probably not, but we think about your personal insurance coverage every day. Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you from claims that can come from many different events. We can design a homeowner’s insurance product that fits your individual needs. Here are a few of the kinds of events that can be covered under your roof.

Damage To Your Home Can Include

Fire and smoke damage

Lightning strikes

Falling objects

Explosion

Vandalism and malicious mischief

Theft

Windstorms and hail

The weight of ice, snow or sleet

Water damage

Damage from an aircraft, car or vehicle

What is Not Covered Under Your Roof

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover; earthquake, flood, wear and tear, damage from animals, mold, acts of war, government actions, tenant damage, defective work, plus others.

Personal Property

Your homeowner’s insurance can also cover your personal belonging. This might include; cloths, furniture, and other items.

Do You Have A Leak In Your Roof?

Do you have coverage for additional living expenses if you are required to move out of your home while it is being repaired? If you own guns, art, or other collections, you may need additional coverage. Is your expensive jewelry cover while away from your home? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, call us today.

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

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.