Tag Archives: natural disasters

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.

Boating Insurance 101


With spring in full swing, it’s time to get the boat uncovered and ready for the lake. There is nothing more exhilarating than taking on the open water with the wind blowing and rays beaming. One thing that is not so appealing is Boat Insurance. What is it? and how do you begin to know what the right coverage is? When it comes to insurance coverage for your boat, you can imagine that an everyday runaround boat is similar to getting auto insurance versus a large yacht, which would resemble a small home insurance policy.

Here are a few tips on finding the right coverage and getting your boat ready for the water!

Why do I need boat insurance?

Unfortunately, your home insurance does not cover your boat. There is a slight possibility that your home coverage could stretch to a very small boat- most likely without an engine but not likely. Just like your vehicle is not covered by your home policy, neither are watersport vehicles. Why may you ask? A boat is a portable vehicle- not stationary. Your home policy is covering things that don’t necessarily move. If you are new boat owner there is a possibility you could save on your boat coverage by bundling with your home insurance provider.

What is boat insurance?

Boat insurance can be looked at like a combination of auto and home insurance. There a few main things you need coverage for, then you have the extras. Similar to a home policy, you will be covered if there is an accident or someone gets injured while riding in or operating your boat. Protection for the boat owner is there, similar to a homeowner. Like auto insurance, boat coverage typically includes coverage for bodily injury that your boat inflicts on others, property damage your boat inflicts on docks and other boats, and physical damage to your boat should you hit something. You can also add comprehensive coverage that offers theft protection, damage against fire or flood, personal property coverage for any equipment on the boat, uninsured boaters, damage to the trailer, and roadside assistance if you need to be towed. Consider these additional coverages if your boat is stored off-site or if you have a large quantity of gear or equipment. Check out a list of coverage here.

When is my boat covered?

So, your boat is covered regardless if you are in the water or not. The amount of coverage is what comes into play. If you are pulling the boat down the highway and are in an accident or back end to someone your auto policy takes over- but only the limits on that policy. There is a chance your homeowner’s policy will cover some accidents if the boat is parked on your property. If you plan to travel far out into the ocean there can be limitations on the distance you are covered. Check with your insurance agent if off-shore boating is going to be your main source of travel. In the meantime, a one-time policy can be purchased if you need to move your boat or if there is an indication of a natural disaster coming that will require the boat to move.

Know that you have a couple of boating insurance questions answered, download your spring boating checklist from DISOVERBOATING.COM and get ready to have a safe and fun boating season! 7914_DB14_Spring_Startup_Checklist

Give us a call at 1-800-THANKSAL or visit us online at www.thanksal.com to get a free quote and see how you can save while bundling your insurance.






Home and Auto Safety Tips for the Winter Months

Texas is generally known for its warm climate, luscious landscapes and sunny skies. However, there comes a time every year when the sun mysteriously disappears and grey clouds envelope the air. Sometimes, strange icy particles will gently cascade onto our houses and streets, causing confusion and panic for every Lone Star Citizen.

Fortunately, there are various steps you can take to protect your home and car during the upcoming winter season. Preparing for these unexpected weather conditions can help keep your loved ones safe and ultimately save you a lot of money.

Preparing your Car

Since most Texans are not accustomed to driving on icy roads, it’s important to be extra careful and always prepare for the worst. Before driving in these dangerous conditions, make sure you:Driving in winter

  • Always check your tires and make sure that the tread depth is sufficient. You can test this by taking a penny and sticking it into the tread. If the tread does not cover any part of Lincoln’s head, then it is probably worn and you may need to replace your tires.
  • Keep a bag full of emergency supplies in your trunk. This can include – car repair tools, a blanket, food, shovel and first aid kit.
  • Make sure you have replenished all of your car fluids – gas, antifreeze, brake fluid, ect.
  • And remember, make sure you drive at a reduced speed while on the road and never slam on your brakes. If you happen to catch yourself swerving on the ice, make sure that you turn the wheel into the swerve to avoid losing control.

Preparing your Home

Heavy snowfall and icy conditions can also cause severe damage to your home. In order to prevent Mother Nature from putting you in a financial hole, make sure you:

Majestic Newly Constructed Home Facade on a Blustry Winter Day

  • Clean your gutters and inspect your roof to make sure it can support the weight of heavy snowfall.
  • Remove all garden hoses and cover all of your outdoor faucets.
  • Remove all overhanging tree branches that could pose a threat if weighted down with snow.
  • Fill in all door and window cracks with caulk to make sure cold air is not seeping into your home.

From all of us at Al Boenker Insurance, we hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!


Homeowner Insurance 101

house-insurance-419058_640 (1)Homeowners insurance, also known as property insurance, acts as a safeguard from weather-related damage, in addition to unforeseen events that may occur on the property. Some homeowner insurance policies do not include coverage for natural-disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or floods. These acts of nature generally need a separate insurance policy.


Here at Thanks Al, we’ve compiled a list of questions we commonly get about homeowner insurance. If you have a question, and it’s not listed below, please contact one of our knowledgeable insurance representatives.

Why should I buy homeowners insurance?
Home owners: Homeowners insurance safeguards both your house and personal property.
Tenants of rental properties: This insurance protects your personal property.
All parties: Having insurance coverage protects against liability for unforeseen events/accidents that results in injury of another party or damages their property.

What does a homeowner insurance policy cover?
Homeowner insurance covers damage cause from incidents such as fire, theft, and defacement to your house, adjacent structures (i.e. garage or shed) and personal belongings. The insurance policy also covers living expenses if your house becomes temporarily unlivable. It also covers the liability in the event that you or a member of your household injures someone or causes damage to their property.

Are any items in my home not covered by my policy?
Most possessions are covered up to stated limits for covered perils, such as theft or fire. Items including money, securities, watercraft, grave markers, trailers, and guns have coverage restrictions. If you were to lose a bracelet or drop an antique, it would not be covered, unless the possession was specifically insured. Damage to property or personal possessions by pets is not covered by a homeowner policy. Your Thanks Al representative can inform you of your policy’s specific coverage limits.

Visit our website to learn more about our homeowner insurance policies.