Tag Archives: insurance

Summers Buys to Boost Your Backyard

Want to keep the kiddos outside this summer? School is coming to an end and it’s time to start thinking about how you and your family are going to enjoy those summer nights. Here are a few ideas that will have the whole family excited to hang out in the backyard!

 

  1. Update that same ol’ swing set- Change out that baby swing the kids have outgrown, and give them a place to hide out. The hammock pods from Amazon; $29.45, give your kiddo the perfect space to hang out- outside! The set includes are the tools necessary to be hung from a swing set or tree.

  1. Zipline across the backyard. Turn your backyard into an adventure park! Everyone ages 8 and up can enjoy the complete zip line kit from Slackers Zipline; $76.94. Suspend the zip line cable from two trees and watch your child soar through the backyard, safely.

  1. Nothing beats a classic game of corn hole. Find these portable PVC pipe cornhole boards on Amazon for the perfect summer game. Everyone can enjoy them, whether in the pool or out in the lawn. Available for $36.99.

  1. Here’s a new approach to s’mores. Don’t have a fire pit? No problem! Roast some s’mores after burgers- on the grill, in the oven when your backyard picnic gets rained out or atop a portable grill at a tailgate. The S’more to Love Basket, cooks the dessert evenly, making for the best s’mores experience! Forget about the marshmallow catching fire or falling in. Available from Amazon; $13.99.

  1. Can’t forget the old faithful sprinkler- This year, be the talk of the neighborhood with the coolest water sprinkler on the block! The Ginormous Unicorn Sprinkler will keep the kids cooled off and running around the backyard all day. How could one not love a giant 6ft unicorn with water spewing out the horn?! Available at Target, $50.

  1. How cool is this 2-in1 extender table?! This is a must-have for all backyard entertainers. Serve snacks on the top and keep drinks cold on the bottom. Use either fully extended for the perfect cocktail table height or collapsed for the ideal side table.

  1. Who will be the magician of the bunch? Take the fire pit up a notch and throw in the Magic Flame Pocket. Watch your youngster get excited as the flames change colors. The 12-pack from Amazon is available for $7.99.

 

  1. Take dinner outside. Enjoy a pizza -fireside. The Pizza Stone, $14.90 turns dinner time all around. Have the family hand make individual pizzas and cook them over the fire or on the grill. Just like that, the kids didn’t even know they prepped their own meal. Win-Win! If you decide to cook over the fire pit, make sure you have a rack to set your stone on.

These small buys get the whole family outside and enjoying the summer sun. Pick a few items and plan to spend as much time enjoying your yard this summer. Don’t forget the fresh watermelon, sunblock and unlimited popsicles to top the day off!

6 Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Summer Heat

 

In Texas, we can never be certain what type of weather we are going to get. But one thing we do know is Texas heat is no joke!!
Here are a few tips to help prepare your home for those HOT summer days.

1. Give Your Air Condition a Check Up
Now is the perfect time to make sure your air conditioner unit is functioning at its best. It would be horrible to find out in the dead of summer you’re a/c is going out. First, replace your air filter. Clean any debris from the vent and the exhaust and dust off any dirt from your main unit. Turn you’re a/c on while you leave and test how it regulates the temperature to ensure it is working properly. If something doesn’t seem right, it may be time to contact a professional. Some companies offer a free service check and can tell you of any necessary fixes. This may also be the best time to invest in a programmable thermostat if you do not have one. Programmable thermostats help regulate the use of your air condition and offer energy saving solutions. Look for a blog on Smart Thermostats.
2. Clean and Inspect your Gutters and Roof
During the winter months, your gutters suffer a lot, from freezing rain to fallen debris. Take this time to inspect your gutters for leaks, give them a thorough clean and check for any damage. Inspect your downspouts and ensure they are flowing away from your house. This is also a great opportunity to check the roof for any damages or possible leaks. With the heat comes the rain. Check exteriors and take note of any water build up or cracks that can cause water to seep in. Cleaning the gutters and checking the roof, may not be possible for everyone, especially those in a two-story home. Contact a professional if you need assistance.
3. Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Did you know that your ceiling fan is meant to run in different directions based on the season? During the winters months, it should run clockwise to help distribute heat that rises. As for the summer months, your fan should run counter-clockwise at a higher speed to get a breeze flowing. Check to see which direction the fans in your home are moving, and, if necessary, hit the small black switch near the base to change directions.
4. Clean Windows & Screens: Check for Ventilation
It’s time to wash away the winter build up on your windows and screens. Take some vinegar and water and scrub away the winter grime from the exterior of your windows. Rinse off all your screens and replace the old torn ones. Check your window seals and weather stripping during this time to ensure there are not any leaks in the ventilation. Replace or re-caulk where necessary. This keeps the cool air in and the hot air out.
5. Inspect Outdoor Plumbing
The water hose hasn’t seen the daylight in quite some time. Begin checking your outdoor plumbing before the summer heat is in full force. Run your sprinklers and test the system to make sure everything is running smoothly. A slow trickle may be a sign something is not functioning properly. Finding out you have a busted pipe right when your kiddos are ready to run the sprinkler, is no fun! If you are unable to find the cause, call a professional to come out and take a look.

6. Prepare for Summer Bugs
With the hot summer days and the rain comes bug heaven. During the winter months, you may not notice more bugs making their way in. However, most of these insects stay cooped up in the walls or attic. Enter summer months- bugs wake up and began to head back outdoors. The hot, humid weather also makes for a great combination of insects. Find a DIY pest control solution here and begin to treat all your baseboards, exterior exits, and windows. If you checked for ventilation in the windows- you are one step ahead!

In Texas, we can never guarantee any type of weather. But we can guarantee our home will be ready to take on the heat. Contact your Al Boenker Insurance agent today to see how they can help you save on your home insurance.

Why an Al Boenker Insurance Agent?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an independent insurance agent and a standard broker?

why an al boenker insurance agent1. Independent Agents Shop Multiple Carriers Independent agents are able to shop multiple insurance carriers with one application. Agencies carry contracts with multiple insurance companies (versus just one) and can compare several quotes instantaneously. This is a huge advantage for you, eliminating the need to submit multiple applications to different carriers to find the best and cheapest option.

2. Independent Agents Save Time & Money– With more choices comes a variety of coverage options and price points, saving you time and money. Agents do the shopping and you do the saving.

3. Independent Agents are Licensed Professionals– Agents offer their experience, expert knowledge, and guidance when it comes to selecting the right policy. They are able to explain the complex insurance world to you and make sure you understand all aspects of your policy. When independents set up your policy, they are doing all the research for you- eliminating errors and ensuring your insurance needs are met. According to U.S. Insurance Shopping Study by J.D. Power, “Shoppers are increasingly reliant on agent recommendations when considering and quoting insurers.”1 Be certain that your home and auto are properly covered.

4. Independent Agents are Your Neighbor most agencies are locally owned and community driven. They are your neighbor, belong to community organizations, have children on the same little league team, and attend the same church. Your coverage is their priority.

5. Independent Agents are Your Advocate they offer their help and support when it comes time to actually use your insurance. Dealing with a claim can be a mess. Your independent agents assist you and ensure you are taken care of by the insurance company. When accidents happen, your agent is there.

Give us a call at 1-800-Thanksal or visit us online at www.thanksal.com and let us help you find the best rate and option for you. Let our agents compare your current carrier and see how they can help you save.

Texas Stock Show & Rodeo: A Long Living Tradition

The great state of Texas has a long history of hard work, dedication, and commitment to tradition. One of those traditions is the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Groomed horses, tough cowboys, family-friendly activities and delicious fried food come to life every year in the early winter. Great folks from major cities across the lone star state take part in this legendary event.

For more than a century, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has been a long-standing tradition -that this year takes place January 12- February 3rd. At the start of the “Cowboy” tradition, livestock auctions were the major reason for the show. Today 4-H and FFA organizations contribute to the success of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show.

While cattle raiser and horse breeders have found a home at the Will Rodgers Memorial Center, this legendary event has evolved and encapsulates Texans from all demographics and backgrounds as they show up to experience the indoor rodeo, enjoy the midway and shop local vendors. Even our former president, Theodore Roosevelt was Guest of Honor in 1911.

The first show took place in 1896 and has a long-standing heritage in Fort Worth. The name has evolved from “Texas Fat Stock Show” to “National Feeders and Breeders Show to then, “Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show,” finally landing as “Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show,” in 1987. However, most refer to the spectacular as the Fort Worth Stock Show.

The annual events give life that Texas does not travel far from its roots. Our connection to the past stands as a vital resource and continues to push Texas and livestock industry to new heights. Get out and catch the Fort Worth Stock Show as it wraps up this weekend.

Check out the major stock shows coming to cities near us and make it a weekend vacation!

  

 

Be Prepared to Tackle Your Taxes This Season

It’s that dreaded time, Tax Season! You have those that prepare all year long, are organized and ready to pass everything on to their CPA or Tax professional and BAM taxes are ready to be submitted February 1st!  Then there is the rest of us who will wait to the last minute, scramble to find all the documents and still feel unprepared to file.

However, being prepared and confident is not a far reach. Whether you recently got married, had a baby, bought a home, changed jobs, or started a small business, there is no reason to delay filing. Waiting until the last minute and scrambling adds more stress to the already stressing task.

Here are a few tips and tricks to prepare yourself to rock your taxes!

  1. Don’t Delay! Remember the saying, “The early bird gets the worm?” well unfortunately when you delay it takes a lot longer to see your tax return. Filing early prevents you from scrambling to meet the deadline -eliminating errors and a quicker turn around on your refund.
  2. Gather Necessary Documents Having all your documents ready when you visit your tax professional or sit down to file saves time and eliminates the  Get a complete tax checklist here.
  3. Know Your Deadlines Deadlines are very important when it comes to your taxes. If you need to file an extension make sure you do so before the cut off. This will prevent you from acquiring more fees and penalties. Here are your deadlines.
  4. Get Help! Reach out to your local tax professional. Most will let you call or stop by and offer you some guidance. Seeking assistance is one way to guarantee that you are getting the most out of your refund and not making any mistakes. No one wants to get audited…

Tax season can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Utilize your resources, do a little research if there was a major milestone in 2017 and don’t wait until the last minute! You got this! J