Why Your Insurance Agent Is Your Best Friend

Are you frustrated with the lack of good customer service? Are you tired of calling a company and getting someone in a foreign county? When you go to the store and ask for help, do you get a teenager who knows less than you do about your questions?

If you are looking for insurance, it can be much easier than you think. Working with an agent will save you time and money on your insurance.

Why You Should Be Your Agents Best Friend

Agents care about helping you find the best combination of price, coverage, and service.

When you call our agency you get a licensed professional who can actually answer your questions.

We take time to find the best option for you.

You will get more choices of insurance products and companies.

Our employees live and work in your community.

If you have a claim, you have an advocate to help you.

We can make insurance easier to understand.

We offer many online services you may desire, always backed up by a real person.

We know which companies have the best track record when it comes to pleasing their policy holders. We can narrow your options down and help you choose between the best insurance companies in the market. Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value. Our agency has a proven track record, we live here and we understand the needs of our neighbors.

 

 

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.

Driving Safety Tips

Auto Insurance Update

Summer has arrived and many people are hitting the road.  In the summer months driving time increases, so it is important to be a defensive driver.  In addition, in the summer, thousands of young, inexperienced drivers are on the roads, increasing the risk of accidents.  We all want to have a safe and fun-filled summer, so here are some driving safety tips to ensure that your summer is truly enjoyable.  Remember, we have access to very competitive auto rates, and we offer great service at affordable prices.

Summer Driving Safety Tips

Do not drive if you are tired.

Keep your tank full of gas.

If it just rained, the road can be slick from road oils and water.

Wear sunglasses help cut out glare.

Watch for construction zones, as roadwork increases in the summer months.

Never text and drive, and always wear your seatbelt.

Bicycles and motorcycles are sharing the roadways.  All drivers must be carefully educated to watch for, and avoid, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

Make sure your brakes are working correctly.

It is important to use your headlights in the daytime, not so much, so that you can see, but so that other cars can see you.

Check your tires, and make sure they are fully inflated.

 

Remember weather conditions can change quickly, so plan extra time to get where you are going.  Don’t ever assume your time on the road will be uneventful. You could be stuck in traffic for extended periods, so it is always a good idea to travel with water and some energy bars.

Civil Disobedience Is Newer Civil

A Risk Management Update

There seems to be a growing number of protects and civil disobedience these days. For whatever the reason for the protests, it does create a risk for your business. Your business insurance is designed to protect your business from unknown claims or accidents. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Are Riots A Covered Loss?

Generally speaking, damage to your building and other property due a riot is a covered peril. This would include fire, theft, and vandalism. If you were forced to close your business by civil authority but had no building damage you may be able to collect for lost revenue, depending on how your policy is written. Remember, each policy is unique, so call our office for a review.

What If The Fire Department Refuses To Put Out The Fire?

Insurance companies generally will not deny a claim because the fire department pulled back for safety reasons. If civil authorities limit or restrict access to a burning building, your insurance will not be jeopardized.

Final Thoughts

Business insurance is designed to protect your business from accidents and other unforeseen events. Many of the damaged businesses had insurance, and those that did not will most likely have to close their doors.

Don’t Buy A Used Motorcycle Helmet

A motorcycle helmet is one of those essentials that will help save your life should you have an accident while riding your bike. This will protect your head from a damaging and even potentially fatal head injury. Motorcycle helmets are so important that state lawmakers have even included a directive in the state laws that orders all people riding the motorcycle to wear helmets.

Some people though do not understand the importance of this accessory. In fact, some people do not even like wearing it because it is too heavy and too suffocating. Others find it a killjoy not to be able to feel the wind on their faces when riding a motorbike.

Motorcycle helmets are not really that expensive, but they are also not cheap. Some who are not that well-informed will probably save all their money for the motorcycle leaving a really small budget for safety gears like the helmet. Some even buy used helmets instead of new ones. This, however, is one practice that should not be encouraged.

Using used helmets is extremely dangerous and impractical. Used helmets are actually worthless, and what is more, you cannot really tell whether they are damaged or not. You won’t even be able to tell if they are relatively new ones or not. This is because the helmet is made from a hard outer shell that envelops a layer of expanded polystyrene. You will never be able to tell if the expanded polystyrene is already compressed or not unless you cut the outer shell. An already compressed polystyrene layer will not protect you from an accident.

Another thing that you should consider is the fact that polystyrene becomes brittle as it ages. This is the reason why old helmets should be exchanged for new ones in a couple of years as it may not be able to absorb much of the impact when an accident does happen. The polystyrene layer is also easily damaged by the sun and by chemicals such as gas vapors.

Motor bikers who always place their helmet near the gas tank will also unknowingly damage the lining of the helmet. It is also not a good idea to always let the helmet sit under the heat of the sun. If you can, try to park your motorbike in areas that are shaded. Pointed objects may also compromise the lifespan of the helmet by piercing through the polystyrene layer inside.

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.