Tag Archives: Cheap Insurance

Preparing for High Waters

Prepare for the flood. Most don’t begin to prepare until it is too late. Check out the seamless process and take the necessary steps to prepare for high waters beforehand.

Before the Flood

Elevate any electrical components that might cause a fire. Examples include heating units, air condition units, and wiring appliances 

Clear any debris from gutters and runoffs. Clean gutters allow them to work properly and alleviate access water from your home. Ensure the run-off area is clear, giving the water the ability to flow down instead of buildup in your yard or at the base of your home.

Fuel Tanks If you have fuel tanks or equipment with fuel inside- be sure to anchor them down. Additional fuel may be necessary for flooding situations but prepare to store tanks higher up and secure them properly.

Valuables If possible, move valuables to a safe place.

Ensure any documents that you might need are in a secure place and accessible if you need to grab them. Examples include birth certificates, insurance documents, passports, etc.) Invest in a safe deposit box if applicable.

Prepare a safety kit- include water, non-perishable foods, safety supplies (flashlights, medicines, first aid equipment, and a battery-operated radio. Kick it old school, have these items ready to go when you are.

Plan and practice a flood evacuation route. Ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number (from fema.com).

Pet Plan Come up with a pet plan in case you have to evacuate. Many shelters will not take pets in for flood reasons. Ensure you have additional food and water for your animal and any necessary crates if you have to evacuate. Pet life jackets can be purchased here.

Check your insurance policy and make sure you have adequate coverage. 

Standard Home Policies do not offer flood insurance. Speak with your agent and ensure your policy includes flood coverage. Remember, flood insurance has a future effective date (usually 30 days out) so establish coverage beforehand. Flood insurance is offered to homeowners, business owners, and renters.

Know your risk of flood possibilities. Are you in a classified flood zone? Click here and input your address to see where you are on the flood map.

Conduct a household inventory. Take photos prior to the flood. Determine the value of your assets and store all insurance documents securely. The items will be of much value when it comes time to file a claim.

No one wants to be caught off guard with no time to prepare. As a family, come up with a plan that you’re confident with. Remember as much as you prepare and plan, the weather is always unpredictable. These steps are only here to give you peace of mind in case of an emergency.  Check out the complete guide to flood readiness here.

 

Back To School Driving Tips 101

School is back in session! The summer is over, and we are heading straight into a new school year. Back to school means there are more drivers on the road than usual during your morning commute. Most will purposely take alternate routes during the school year to avoid the additional slow down time. However, if you are dropping off a kiddo, there isn’t any other choice.

Here is our Back to School Driving tips from TXDOT.GOV to help make the commute a little easier and avoid fines.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones, and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.

Take this tip very seriously. Don’t be the parent that completely forgot you entered a school zone and up getting a ticket for being on the phone. Check your city requirements- as some city ordinances have banned cell phone use while driving altogether.  

  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.

Even when you think there aren’t any police officers around, they’re there!  

  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.

This is a hard one to follow, especially at the beginning of the school year. The pickup and drop-off line will get better. It always starts out rocky, but the process does get smoother. Avoid parking down the road and encouraging your schooler to meet you elsewhere. Your tax dollars pay for the cross guard and the necessary crosswalk to ensure your child’s safety, utilize it.

  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.

We all know how dreadful it is to be stuck behind a school bus as they make each stop, but remember it is unlawful to pass a school bus when they have their flashing lights on.

  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Be cautious of that Wilding!

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Remember these safety tips as you approach a school zone. Don’t end up in a situation that could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines and possibly injure someone. School is just beginning, and we wish everyone a great and safe year!

Your Local Independent Agent,

Al Boenker Insurance

 

Home Warranty vs. Home Owner Insurance


Image source: hscwarranty.com

 

Buying a new home is one of the most joyous times in your life. It’s a huge milestone many dream of! However, as joyous as it is – the stress can easily pile up! From mortgage companies to home insurance, there are so many moving parts to the entire process. One thing that may not be on your mind is the damages your new home may one day face.

Repairing a roof from recent hail damage or replacing an outdated appliance- these are things that may come up. Depending on what needs to be repaired or replaced – and why – a home insurance or home warranty policy may offer protection. Both offer coverage but different types of protection. So, what’s the difference?

Home Warranty Insurance Covers the repair or replacement of broken appliances due to normal wear and tear. Examples include water heater, garage doors, air condition unit, dishwasher, and possible plumbing and electrical. A basic policy can range from $300-$500 a year. If a claim needs to be made the insured will call the warranty company which then sends a pre-approved contractor to inspect the damage. If the damages are covered, the homeowner will pay a $30-$50 deductible and the repair or replacement is taken care of and there are no additional charges. This process is very similar to an auto collision when there is damage and the adjuster comes out and accesses the damages, the deductible is paid, and repairs are made.

Home repairs can be costly. Replacing an entire water heater can cost up in the thousands. With your home warranty in place, you pay your deductible and the rest is taken care. The policy more than pays for its self in this situation. A home warranty policy is worth the while but is not required.

Some exclusions apply such as “covered under a manufacturer’s warranty” appliances. In this case, your contractor will help you determine if the appliance is still under manufacturer warranty.

Home Owners Insurance Covers theft of your belongings or if your home is damaged by fire. A standard policy helps pay for damage and repairs to your home or replace personal property during these types of events. However, homeowner’s insurance typically will not provide protection if, for instance, your air conditioner or other appliance breaks down or is defective.

 With your homeowner policy, you also get legal protection in case an accident occurs on your property.

It’s important to note that coverage limits will always apply. An Al Boenker Insurance Agent can help you determine whether you have enough protection in place should you experience a loss. Home warranty and homeowner offer different coverages that you may find beneficial- to determine what you might need talk with your agent today.  Give us a call @ 1-800-ThanksAl.

Recreational Vehicle Insurance 101

School is out, and vacation and travel are on everyone’s summer list. RV’s, boats and watercraft just give you all the summer feels. Loaded down and in route to a favorite destination where your family is going to make memories is one of great gratitude! However, with all good things, we must prepare for the not so pleasant. Knowing the amount and type of coverage you have in case of an accident can give some peace of mind.

So what kinds of insurance coverages do you need? Here is quick break down on coverages for the different type of vehicles.

BoatThere are widely different coverages for different styles of vehicles. The most standard coverages you are going to seek is for:

  • Physical damage (motor, vessel, anchors, and onboard equipment)
  • Liability (in case your boat injurers someone else or their property)
  • Additional coverages can be offered for storage, fishing equipment, and personal items stored on board.

Motor Home/RVYour motorhome or RV is more than just a vehicle and needs more than just standard auto insurance. Motorhome coverages include:

  • Comprehensive and collision- this protects from direct damage, accidental loss, collision, fire, smoke, flood, wind, theft, fallen debris, and lightning.
  • Coverage for attachments such as awnings and antennas.
  • Additional coverages including, towing, total loss replacement, emergency lodging in case your rig is being repaired to campsite liability.

5th Wheel- Your auto policy doesn’t cover your haul like you may think. Here are some standard coverages your 5th wheel will need.

  • Comprehensive and collision- this protects from direct damage, accidental loss, collision, fire, smoke, flood, wind, theft, fallen debris, and lightning.
  • Coverage for attachments such as awnings and antennas.
  • Additional coverages including, towing, total loss replacement, emergency lodging in case your rig is being repaired to campsite liability.

5th wheels have similar coverage to your motorhome or RV but due to its attachment style, there can be different needs.

Personal Watercraft- PWC insurance helps ensure you and your personal watercraft against accidents, vandalism, and liability. Typical coverages include

  • Collison, theft, fire, vandalism, water damage, and storm damage. Your standard coverage is meant to ensure risk to the PWC and owner.
  • Expanded coverages include medical bills, full replacement cost, towing and roadside assistance.

Off-Road Vehicles– ATV’s are a guaranteed fun time! However, protecting yourself cannot be guaranteed. Off-road vehicles are considered to be a little more dangerous and in return protect against accidents, injury, and theft. Here are the standard coverages offered to ATV’s

  • Liability Coverage- covers the cost of bodily injury and property damage.
  • Collision- will assist in paying for damages to the machine after an accident
  • Comprehensive and under/uninsured motorist are additional coverages that can cover you from theft, vandalism and weather damage.

As you can see, there are several different coverages and possibilities that you might need. Each recreational vehicle has different parameters and restrictions. The best choice to determine the right amount of coverage is to speak with your Al Boenker Insurance agent. Their expertise and knowledge will help you determine the value of your rec vehicle and its content and help make you make the best-informed decision. Being informed is empowering! Now take your knowledge and have a safe and fun summer!

 

Top Texas Lake Spots


Photo courtesy: Possum Kingdom Lake

Summers in Texas can get hot…extremely hot. What better way to combat this intense heat than to take a trip to the lake? With your Boating 101, it’s a perfect time to hit the water. Whether you enjoy fishing, water sports, or just relaxing on the vessel with some friends, there are plenty of activities to look forward to on the water. Texas is scattered with over 170 vast beautiful lakes that are primed and ready to be explored. However, we’ve narrowed down that list to our top 6 to help make your lake getaway planning a little easier.

Here are our Best Texas Lake Getaways

  1. Lake Texoma– Unfortunately, we have to share this beautiful grand lake with Oklahoma, but we’ll still consider it a Texas lake. Lake Texoma is the 12th largest lake in the United States and it contains some of the best fishing in the state of Texas. This lake holds bass that weigh up to 20 lbs as well as various types of catfish and crappie. With over 1,000 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room for swimming as well as a ton of trails for horseback riding and hiking!
  2. Possum Kingdom Lake– This Lake resides about an hour west of Dallas/Fort Worth and features tons of fun activities for the whole family. Take the boat out on this gorgeous lake for some fishing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling and water sports. The marina offers rentals for wakeboards, kneeboards, water skis and tubes, so you’re covered if you arrive empty-handed. While you’re there, make sure you check out the infamous “Hell’s Gate” cliff formation in the lake. You can even go cliff diving if you’re brave enough!
  3. Lake O’ the Pines– Have your camera charged if you’re looking to visit this lake because the sights here are out of this world. This beautiful lake has thousands of pine trees that stretch across miles of shoreline. Not only does the shoreline serve as a great photo backdrop, but it also offers a ton of awesome amenities such as campgrounds, picnic spots, beachfront and boating ramps. If you enjoy fishing then you’re in luck! This lake is filled with a wide variety of bass, chain pickerel, sunfish, and crappie.
  4. Sam Rayburn Reservoir– If you’re a fishing fanatic then this is the destination for you! This spot hosts over 300 fishing tournaments every year and it is filled with largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and red ear sunfish. Being the largest reservoir in Deep East Texas, this location offers a ton of great amenities such as swimming, boating, water sports, nature trails and camping grounds.
  5. Lake Travis– Located in the Austin, is one of the most popular lakes for recreational activities in Texas. Here you will find a large shoreline where camping and picnicking are very popular. Want some adventure on the water?  Boating, scuba diving, and swimming are popular activities in enjoyed at the lake. Don’t forget to stop at The Oasis and make sure you’re there at dusk and get your camera ready when the sunset bell starts ringing.
  6. Lake Conroe– Lake Conroe is located approx. 60 miles north of Houston. With lavish homes belonging to retired basketball players Rudolph Tomjanovich and Aaron Grey, and retired baseball pitcher Clemens lining the shoreline, there is no wonder why this is a popular spot.  It is a top spot for fishing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and boating. Surrounding Lake Conroe is the Sam Houston National Forest, Waterpoint Center, 10 marinas and some of best golf courses in Texas.

Before planning your lake getaway now is a great time to make sure that all of your boat insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!

From all of us at Al Boenker Insurance, we hope you stay safe and have a great time. Remember boat safety and etiquette, Oh, and don’t forget those life jackets!