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Insurance To Help You Weather The Storm

One year has passed since Hurricane Harvey barreled through South Texas with wind speeds topping around 134 mph, devastating cities along its way. The Houston metropolitan area endured a history-making marathon of rain and flooding leaving the city in a state of emergency. Unlike most common floods, the most affected folks were not just in low-lying areas; to this day, some of them have been unable to return to their homes.

With tragic anniversaries such as these, one is often left to wonder if there was anything that could have been done to spare our fellow Texans from going through such a nightmarish circumstance. The insurance industry deals with risk assessment and financial preparedness all the time, and seeing as we are part of such an industry, you might think that we are used to calculating and preparing for loss.

On one hand, you are right – we have insurance expertise that enables us to give sound financial advice to clients when they come to us for their insurance needs. On the other hand, learning about the suffering of families still strikes our hearts with sadness, with the only consolation being that we are able to provide a measure of comfort by easing their financial burden through sound policies.

We are blessed that experts are now able to more efficiently predict the scale of weather disturbances, giving us the opportunity to prepare as best we can. For insurance agents like us, that is the primary goal: financially prepare you and your family for any event that can compromise your future.

In the case of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters, losses are felt across the board. Damages to your home, car and place of business are likely in the event of severe storms. Loss of life is a worse scenario to consider, yet it remains a real possibility as far as Mother Nature’s forces are concerned.

As we reflect back on the chaos of Harvey, this is the perfect time to review your current policies or needs, and better understand what you are entitled to should there be a need for you or a relative to file a claim.

We are always just a phone call away should you want experienced and sound advice to help protect you and your loves ones. Please feel free to contact us today.

First Car or Upgrading? Know the Right Things to Ask Your Agent About Auto Insurance

Buying your first car or upgrading your current one can be an exciting and memorable time in your life. It’s fun to go through different makes and models, carefully reviewing every feature to make sure you end up not only with your dream car, but also with one that will truly take you places. 

As you go through the process, there is one important item that you should not neglect: auto insurance. While it may not be anyone’s favorite topic, it is a very important consideration and responsibility that drivers must bear. The good news is you do have options, and your auto insurance agent will be able to provide you with the advice and information you’ll need to make the best decision. 

Here are some questions you will want to ask your auto insurance agent:  

1. What kind of coverage should I get? 

Like most states, Texas requires car owners to be covered with liability insurance, which basically pays for any accidents where you are at fault. This is the minimum requirement and only covers the other person’s vehicle in an accident and bodily injuries for the people in the other vehicle, and you will want to consider expanding your auto insurance coverage to include things such as collision, other-than-collision (comprehensive) and medical payments. Keep in mind that the coverage you decide on should match your current financial standing and projected needs. Many people who drive older cars might only carry liability because their car is worth less than the amount of the repairs that occur in common accidents. People who drive more expensive cars might consider carrying full coverage (all the items listed above) because they want to protect their investment in a more expensive vehicle. These are just two of many common scenarios to consider. Should you get medical payments? Personal Injury Protection? These are topics that many are not familiar with, and we can explain them to you to help you better understand what it is you are or are not getting with your auto insurance. 

2. How much will my premiums be?  

The premium you will pay for your auto insurance will depend on a variety of factors. Apart from affordability, your auto insurance agent will perform a risk assessment procedure. The higher the projected risk for accidents or damage, the higher your premiums will likely be. Your age (or driving experience), location (whether for home or for work) and even the type of car you are insuring will all be taken into account. If you wish to keep your premiums as low as possible, ask your insurance agent on how to best adjust your coverage amount (so that you are still sufficiently financially protected), and what payment options can be made available to you.

3. How do I file claims?  

Every insurance company has a claims filing process, which is typically started by just calling their standard customer service number. There will be paperwork involved, and how quickly you can receive your claim will depend on how quickly you can turn over pertinent documents and supporting materials. Again, your auto insurance agent will be there to help you through the process. We do have the Quick Claim Foto process which can cut the claim process to matter of a day or two for most minor accidents. 

Choosing the right auto insurance options to best fit your needs is very important and can prevent major losses or unexpected surprises. If you are close to buying a car or are considering switching insurance companies, or just need a fresh and informed look at your insurance coverage, we would be happy to help you. Do not hesitate to call us – we would be glad to assist you! 

Say “Hail No!” to Repair Costs with Insurance

Hail season is notorious for pounding Dallas/Fort Worth, causing property damage in different degrees – and financial woes for residents. In 2016, the damage caused by hail storms in Texas was estimated at $5 billion. Imagine the amount of claims filed against homeowners insurance and auto insurance that spring!  

Yes, hail season typically happens in months of March, April and May, ironically coinciding with new buds and blooms and friendlier weather. But before you heave a sigh of relief, you must know that hail occurs all throughout the year in our state. Perhaps not as frequently, but it certainly happens. Just last month, early morning thunderstorms pelted homes and other structures with heavy hail – so heavy that residents believed them to be gunshots or intruders breaking in.  

The Insurance Council of Texas estimated the cost of damage of that hail storm to be $425 million, affecting roughly 20,000 structures and 25,000 vehicles. Affected residents with sufficient wind and hail insurance coverage were likely spared from bearing the financial brunt of repairs. We assisted a number of clients with their claims filing as welland were happy to help ease their worries and secure their finances.  

Insurance policies can rescue you and your family from a money rut when you need it the most – in case of emergencies, accidents and fatality. Your property is an investment that needs safeguarding as well. Check your homeowners insurance, renters insurance and auto insurance regularly to make sure it is up-to-date with your needs. This means covering not only for the possibility of hail, but other natural risks too, such as severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.   

Seasons change. So do the dangers they bring. Don’t wait until the last minute to consider protecting yourself and your loved ones. We can help you get that protection – call us at 817-423-0048.  

 

Have A Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

We join all of you in celebrating a star-spangled milestone in our country’s history – Independence Day!  

We are certain many families will be busy with traditional festivities associated with the Fourth of July – which makes it the perfect time to talk about safety and adequately preparing for any eventuality that may disrupt your celebrations. Accidents occur during the holidays too, and it’s always wiser to make sure that you’re not only safe and secure physically but financially as well. Having insurance policies with coverage that sufficiently meets your needs will help with that.   

Families that travel for the Fourth of July holiday are reminded to buckle up, stay alert and observe speed limits. This can greatly reduce your risk of an accident, which in turn can keep your auto insurance premiums from going up (as claims frequency and your track record on the road are factored into your yearly premium computation). However, if you do run into a vehicular mishap, you can — at the very least – rest assured that your auto insurance coverage will equip you with the means to financially cope with the cost of damages and/or injuries.  

Even staying at home for the Fourth of July poses some dangers that can easily turn financially devastating when your house or apartment is not insured. Grilling and barbecuing accidents can be avoided through careful supervision and keeping flammable materials at safe distance, but even the most experienced grillers can sometimes fall short of safety standards. Your homeowners insurance should be able to ease the burden of property damages or medical emergencies, but we urge you to take as much care as possible to prevent any unfortunate incidents during your Fourth of July party.  

The same cautionary advice should be heeded by families planning to celebrate with their own set of fireworks and sparklers. Should you decide to skip the public fireworks show and have one on your property instead, please have a water supply nearby at all times and wear protective gear for your eyes and hands. Your insurance is there to shield you financially, but your mindfulness can just as easily keep dangers at bay.   

Independence Day is a proud and patriotic moment that we can all share in as a community and a nation. A happy and safe Fourth of July holiday is what we wish for every family. If you feel you need to do a quick review of what you are covered for, please do not hesitate to call us for clarifications and concerns regarding your insurance policies.   

 

What is National Insurance Awareness Day – and Should You Care?

Many of you (perhaps including our own clients) are not aware that June 28 is National Insurance Awareness day. That’s OK, you’re not exactly out of the loop. As it is, this special “holiday” is not widely publicized. Even people in the insurance industry cannot point to an exact date, time or circumstance of its origins.  

Nonetheless, National Insurance Awareness day has a very important purpose, for the benefit of both the insured and non-insured. It is meant to encourage everyone to review their existing insurance policies, whether its life insurancehomeowners insuranceauto insurance, business insurance – or all! If you are not yet covered for anything, then now is the perfect time to consider which product is right for you.  

Going over your insurance policies may seem time-consuming and tedious – and it could be, depending on how much your needs have evolved. Major life changes, such as getting married, having children, buying your first car and home, and switching jobs (or finding yourself without one), affect your current financial capacity. It makes sense to also make adjustments in your insurance policies, tools that serve to help you become financially prepared for the future and unfortunate events.  

This is why we advise our clients to give us a call, not only during National Insurance Awareness day, but on any day they have questions or feel the amount they are covered for should be re-evaluated. Apart from coverage and benefits, you will also talk about your premiums, beneficiaries, and at times maturity dates. You might also want to inquire about new products and services that your insurance company or provider has rolled out since you first purchased your policy. It never hurts to check what’s out there, especially if your family’s future is at stake.  

National Awareness Insurance Day may not be on everyone’s minds – and that’s fine, as long as you, as the insured, are taking care of your responsibilities and have a good understanding of what your insurance policies are doing for you. Our phone lines are always open to you should you want to discuss more possibilities and options for your financial security.

Three Easy Ways to Prepare for the Unexpected This Summer

Being an insurance agent has given me the opportunity to speak with and help families who find themselves in the throes of unexpected tragedies and financial challenges. During the summer in Texas (where temperatures can get very hot very quickly), heat-related health issues and deaths are common. I’ve heard stories of heat strokes and heart attacks turning fatal, with families losing breadwinners in what feels like a blink of an eye. Boating accidents are also more common than you think.  

The relief that a life insurance policy provides makes a huge difference to families, not only during the grieving period, but most notably as they move forward in life without their loved ones. I always feel a tremendous sadness for uninsured families whose grief is compounded by worries of the impending future – and how to cope financially.    

Traveling is also very common during the summer and can pose dangers. Vehicular mishaps rise during summer due to a number of factors, and if you do not have auto insurance that covers your needs properly, then you risk incurring additional financial burdens.  

At home, you may have visitors staying over for the summer, and if by some unfortunate circumstance, something in your home causes them injury, you could be held liable for the medical fees. This may sound absurd now, but trust me, this happens more than you think – and when you least expect it! Liability protection under your homeowners insurance can help take care of such expenses, and protect you and your family from shouldering unnecessary costs.  

As a family man myself, I know that I, like you, do everything I can to make sure that my loved ones are safe and secure, whatever season or time of the year it may be. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories, and you can do it with peace of mind when you have the right tools to ensure your financial preparedness. Let us help you with yours. Call us today.  

 

Auto Insurance Can Help You Feel More Safe than Sorry On the Road this Summer

Road safety during summer is something we should take very seriously – as seriously as we do our vacation planning, in fact. For many families, summer means increased frequency on the road, whether it be to drive to nearby beach destinations or to the local mall and recreational areas. Keeping your vehicle in shape can help you avoid road mishaps – and unpleasant spikes in your auto insurance premiums.

Overheated engines, unchecked tire pressure and low levels of transmission fluid can wear down your vehicle, especially when you use it more frequently in the summer. Taking your vehicle to your trusted lube shop or mechanic for a quick tune up and oil change before you hit the road is advisable to protect your family from inconvenient stops or pull-overs which could lead to a collision.

The weather can also be detrimental. This is obviously something you have no control over, but there are precautions you can take to ensure that you do not find yourselves in compromising situations. Thunderstorms are common in the late spring and summer – which can result in damaging wind, hail, slick roads, and fallen tree limbs. You can be the safest driver in the world and still be a victim of unexpected circumstances. In Texas, driving in summer can be just as dangerous as driving in winter, as it can be compounded by young, inexperienced drivers, speeding and plain carelessness. To protect yourself, review your auto insurance coverage to see if you are adequately insured, not just for possible damages to your vehicle, but also for related medical expenses, should you or your passengers need medical care.

We want you to enjoy your summer road trips, but more importantly, we want you and your family to feel safe and secure – knowing that your auto insurance is set to the right limits for any unexpected turns. Talk to us today about your auto insurance policy, and we’ll walk you through your options so that you are well-protected this summer.

Thank You for Trusting Us with Your Most Valued Possessions

We take pride in our insurance services because we know that every insurance product we offer helps to protect and secure the property and future of families and hard-working individuals in our community. Each day, we strive hard to be an insurance agency that delivers on its promises, ably provides financial advice, and responds to needs in a trustworthy, timely, client-centric manner. Why? It’s simple: you deserve no less.

Knowing that we are making a difference in our clients’ lives gives us extra motivation, and we are always grateful to receive kind words such as these:

“We have been very happy with Jon Derrick Insurance Agency. They are very attentive to our insurance needs and always super nice.”

– Michael O.

“It has been a great experience so far!”

– Tifini L.

“Good customer service and highly knowledgeable about my needs.”

– Evaline O.

“Jon’s insight really helped me better understand my situation.”

– Jason P.

Again, we sincerely thank our clients for the trust and positive feedback. If you wish to enlist our assistance in reviewing your insurance options and discussing other financial concerns, please feel free to contact us at 817-423-0048. We would be more than happy to talk with you about the best fit for your needs and capacity, may it be life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance or business insurance.

Protect your Enterprise with Business Insurance

Anyone who has put up a business from scratch knows just how much work, time, and money goes into it. Small-scale entrepreneurs are likely familiar with the harrowing processes of applying for loans and courting investors, all for the sake of raising funds for a business venture with proven potential.

Because there is a high level of investment and risk involved in owning a small business, it is sensible to find ways to protect it as it grows. Business insurance allows you to do that when you encounter losses during the normal run of your operations. Those losses can result from a number of events, most notably damage to property, legal liability and employee-related risks.

There are several types of business insurance products to financially prepare and protect your small business against different kinds of risks. Damage to equipment, signage, inventory or furniture caused by a fire or storm can be covered by property insurance, as with losses due to theft.

If your business delivers products (not just services), you can also choose to procure a product liability insurance, which can protect you in the event you are sued for damages that your product allegedly caused. Small businesses and medium-sized enterprises that have physical stores will also benefit from business insurance that provides coverage for business interruption.

Some insurance companies offer a business owner’s policy (or BOP), which is a bundled insurance policy designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. BOP coverage typically includes general liability insurance and property insurance, and is more cost-effective than other business insurance products due to its reduced premium. There are certain exclusions when you opt for a BOP, and you can adjust your benefits by opting for additional coverage.

As with any insurance product, we always advise clients to have a good understanding of their own needs so that the coverage can be tailor-fit in the most efficient way possible. We know that you, as the business owner, know the kind of risks your small business will likely face in the long run. We are ready to offer any assistance that can help you arrive at a sound decision regarding your insurance coverage, whatever industry you may be in. Call us today.

Is Renters Insurance Really Necessary and How Much Will it Cost Me?

When you decide to rent an apartment, your financial concerns usually revolve around one thing: the monthly rent. And rightfully so, since missing out on payments can lead to undesirable consequences, like eviction.

One other important consideration is renters insurance. It functions in some ways similarly to homeowners insurance: it protects your personal belongings against damages or loss due to natural events, fire and theft, among others. Valuable items such as clothing, furniture, jewelry, electronics and gadgets can also be covered under renters insurance.

You may think the likelihood of such unfortunate events is low. However, these types of losses do occur on a daily basis and luck favors the prepared. If you are signing a residential lease in Texas through a real estate agent or leasing manager, chances are the contract you sign will prompt you to consent to purchasing renters insurance.

Choosing the right renters insurance product from the right insurance company can be approached the same way you would when you shop for life insurance, auto insurance or homeowners insurance. It is best to assess (ideally together with your insurance agent) your needs. Generally, renters insurance is very affordable and the premiums do not generally increase much per every $10,000 of coverage. Premiums can be as cheap as the cost of 5 Starbucks coffee drinks.

Worth noting is an advice from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI): purchase a renters insurance policy with a high enough coverage amount (or the maximum amount the insurance company will pay you for a claim) that can replace property that is of significant importance or value to you.

Renters insurance is a very small cost to pay to ensure financial protection for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to discuss how affordable your renters insurance policy can be –817-423-0048.