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Homeowners Insurance: Valuing Your Home

homeowners insurance

After years of hard work saving money, faithfully following your budget, and with a little help from bank financing, you may have finally acquired your dream house. This house is your home and might just be your home for a while, as you enjoy home ownership and build equity. As an investment, It should therefore be maintained and protected to last you a lifetime.

Maintaining the quality of your home will keep its value intact and may even increase with regular upkeep. A home requires a regular maintenance, just like a car and other equipment. Here are ways on how you can value your home so it can last generations.

Periodic Maintenance Checks

A regular check on the following items in your house can prevent your house from gradually deteriorating and losing value:

  1. Check the caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors. It is good to do this with every change in season. Check screens for tears.
  2. Regularly clean gutters and drain pipes of leaves and debris to prevent their clogging.
  3. Check the roof and chimney for leaks and flashing around vents and skylights.
  4. Inspect siding for holes and peeling paint.
  5. Maintaining the exterior of your home is as important as the interior.
  6. Regularly check and replace the filters on your HVAC system.
  7. Check your HVAC drip pans to make sure they are not holding water.
  8. Check that your fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
  9. Have your gas appliances checked by a licensed engineer or technician.
  10. Trim tree branches that are hanging over the house. They could cause damage during a storm and may also be causing fallen leaves into the gutters.

These are just some of the more important items you need to check on a regular basis. For a small fee many home services companies will come to your house and provide an inspection.

Repairs

Knowing the brewing problems in your house’s structure is good, but without making the necessary corrections, your home and possibly the safety of your family remains in jeopardy. If you do not have the skills, tools and time, it is time to call on the experts for these jobs. Experienced professionals are the people to go to for help. Repairs are less costly than renovation, so it’s always best to get repairs completed before they worsen and affect other parts of the house.

Proper maintenance and repairs will prolong your home’s life and restore it into its original high value. You will also enjoy the benefit of lower insurance premiums.

Homeowners Insurance

Called force majeure or acts of God, problems resulting from natural phenomena cannot be controlled or prevented in most cases. Examples are lightning, smoke, hail and fire (which may be from natural causes or otherwise). They occur when you least expect them like other man-made accidents.

It is essential to ensure your valuable property is protected against all of these disasters. Homeowners insurance will be your strong shield against natural catastrophes. Getting the proper coverage will allow you to sleep peacefully at night and give you a peace of mind that the home you worked so hard to get will not be affected or diminish in value.

If you want to protect your home and make it last a lifetime, we’d be happy to discuss what coverage is best for your home and family and make sure to protect what’s most important to you. Give us a call today at 817-423-0048.

Be A Better Driver: How to Stay Safe on the Road (Part 2)

road safety tips part 2

In our previous article, we discussed some of the common road safety tips you need to keep in mind while driving. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced driver, it is still important to always be careful and extra mindful while driving on the road.

Here are more driving tips on how you can become a better driver.

6. Observe red light and stop signs.

Running a red light and ignoring stop signs are two of the surest ways to cause an accident. Not observing red lights and stop signs often result in side-impact collisions at high speeds and even to wrongful deaths.

7. Pay attention to traffic road signs.

Signs indicating one way, wrong way, U-turn, slippery when wet, animal crossing and other road safety signs are there for a reason – to help you avoid accidents.

8. Avoid tailgating and road rage.

Tailgating or driving too closely to another vehicle can prevent you from reacting in time if the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly. Observe a one car-length buffer for every ten mph you drive – It is the safe distance to allow you to brake suddenly at any given time.

9. Adjust to unfavorable driving conditions.

The presence of unfavorable driving conditions like snow and ice, heavy rains, flooding, fog and potholes should signal you to exercise extra caution. When bad weather occurs, the roads usually become slippery, and the surroundings have low visibility. Anticipate these conditions and drive accordingly to avoid collisions and other accidents. It is important to ensure that your car’s lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, and radiator are in good operating condition for driving especially during bad weather.

10. Less accidents = more savings.

Insurance companies reward good drivers. A clean driving record free from traffic violations and accident history can earn you more favorable rates when you apply for your auto insurance.

With driving, the old adage is true – practice makes perfect. New drivers are more prone to being involved in accidents because of their inexperience and skill level. Veteran drivers rarely get involved in accidents. Regardless of your experience, it is wise to make sure you and your vehicle are suitably covered. We would be happy to discuss your coverage and help you gain a clear understanding of what you need. Give us a call today – 817-423-0048.

Top 10 Driving Tips: How to Stay Safe on the Road (Part 1)

road safety and driving tips

The motor accident statistics in the US are staggering. The average number of car accidents each year is 6 million. Three million people get injured in car accidents and two million of them suffering permanent injuries. Every day, 90 people perish in car accidents. Aside from loss of lives and injuries, accidents result in economic losses.

The cost of hospitalization and the inability to work resulting from accidents can drain your emergency funds and savings and render you income-less for a long time. For drivers who are not at fault, most accidents are unavoidable, regardless of whether you are a veteran driver or just got a driving license.

Top Driving Tips for Road Safety

To prevent accidents from happening, utmost care must be observed by all drivers at all times. If you are a new driver who is beginning to experience the freedoms of having a vehicle, you must exercise caution even more.

1. Use your seat belt at all times.

According to DriverKnowledge.com, 1 in 7 people do not wear seat belts while driving. Not wearing seat belts is a major cause of many car injuries and deaths. Seat belts are your first line of defense. They reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of serious injury by half.

2. Avoid distractions.

Distracted driving is the #1 cause of car accidents in the U.S. today. A distracted driver is a motorist who diverts his attention to other things when driving. These distractions are usually caused by talking on the cell phone or texting or by eating. It has been determined that using a cell phone while driving reduces your brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Have your mind fixed on your driving, and nothing else.

3. Do not speed.

The most damaging and lethal car accidents come from speeding – driving 10 to more than 30 mph over the limit – and street racing. Collision and crashes normally occur when you drive beyond the tolerable speed limit for a given driving zone or condition. It is always safest for you and other drivers when you follow speed limits and adjust your speed according to the driving conditions, like bad weather and heavy traffic.

4. Do not drink and drive.

This important pointer is almost a cliché, but surprisingly, many drivers do not put it into practice. Driving while under the influence of alcohol causes many accidents daily. Get a designated driver when you cannot avoid drinking.

5. Avoid reckless driving.

Reckless driving is when you speed unnecessarily, change lanes abruptly or tailgate. Impatient drivers who cannot wait for the appropriate time end up causing needless car accidents.

Accidents don’t always come at a time you least expect them – they come when you are least prepared and mindful of what’s happening on the road. When you stay alert and aware, you can not only maintain a safe driving state of your own, but also anticipate a dangerous situation forming around you and make the necessary adjustments to prevent being involved in an accident.

More Driving Tips on Part 2

Stay tuned for part 2 of our top 10 driving tips to stay safe on the road. To keep you and your vehicle safe at all times and to ensure that you have someone reliable on your side during emergencies or accidents, contact Jon Derrick Insurance Agency. We will protect what is precious to you – 817-423-0048.

Ready for the Road–A Few Tips Before Summer Travel Season

This is probably the perfect time to schedule your road trip, but before you hit the road it might be worthwhile to check your auto insurance. We don’t mean to be a downer, but the basic fact is, it not only necessary for everyone who drives a car, but also could mean the difference in a financial catastrophe if you don’t have proper coverage. Here are a few topics to consider before you go on that much-awaited road trip. 

  1. Liability gets you the basics. 

Liability coverage is required for all vehicles and comes into play if you are in a car accident and you are determined to be at fault. Liability coverage will help you pay for the cost of the other drivers’ damages, whether to property or people.  

2. Eliminate risk with collision and comprehensive coverage. 

Collision takes the “what if” out of the equation when you are at fault and your vehicle is damaged. What if you only have liability and you cause an accident? You are responsible for paying for the damages to your vehicle by yourself. This can add up to a very large amount of money depending on the damage. The average cost of damage to a vehicle in Texas is over $4,000, so if you don’t have collision, be prepared to pay out of your savings. Comprehensive covers you from damages caused by storms, vandalism, and passive objects like a tree or post in a parking garage. Both coverages are important and are relatively inexpensive compared to the costs involved to repair your vehicle. If you live in an area that often experiences accidents caused by nature, comprehensive coverage is a sure win. 

3. Medical is included. 

The Medical Payments option covers medical bills you might incur should you find yourself in a covered accident. On top of the trouble of sorting out the accidents, it is one less thing to worry about on the part of the driver. No one wants to pay bills on top of bills, on top of bills and this inclusion helps with that. 

You might be interested in other auto insurance inclusions and how they can save you money. To learn more visit jonderrick.com/services/auto-insurance or give us a call at 817-423-0048 for a quick check to make sure you and your loved ones are properly covered with the right auto insurance.  

Summer’s Here, Enjoy Peace of Mind While Playing with Your Toys

motorbike on the road riding. having fun driving the empty road on a motorcycle tour journey. copyspace for your individual text.

Nothing is sweeter than spending summertime outdoors playing with your favorite toys.  Taking your motorcycle for a short trip in the country, skiing or fishing with the family on your boat, or relaxing at your favorite state and national parks with your RV are all fun and games – until an accident happens.

Protecting yourself not only means having your vehicle in tip-top shape, but also having the right insurance to safeguard you during unpleasant circumstances.

When purchasing insurance for your toys, here are some important things you need to know:

 

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability should be the top priority when shopping for your insurance.

If you cause a car accident that injured another driver, pedestrian or unrelated passenger, bodily injury liability helps pay for their medical expenses and lost income as a result of their injuries.

This liability does not include your own hospital fees or loss of income if you cause the accident.  However, it does provide legal defense if you are sued over the accident by the injured party or their insurance company.

 

Property Damage Liability 

Property damage liability usually aids in covering repair costs if you are at fault for an automobile accident that destroys another vehicle or property which includes

  1. Repair damage or destruction to other businesses, fences, houses, lamp posts, mailboxes, etc
  2. Auto body shop labor or parts replacement
  3. Legal expenses incurred for property damage claim
  4. Lost of income from business closure that your accident was assumed to cost
  5. Other recurring expenses from the destruction

Property damage liability excludes damage to your own vehicle. You should get collision coverage to shoulder the repair costs of your vehicle.

 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage insures you if you’re in a not-at-fault accident with an uninsured driver, including hit-and-run incidents. On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage comes in when the at-fault drivers do have insurance, but the damages surpass the liability limit of their policy.

 

Watercraft and Boat Insurance

There are many options to look for when shopping for watercraft and boat insurance.  Physical Damage Coverage gives protection to your boat, motor and trailer during an accident. There are other options like Watercraft Liability, Medical Payments, Equipment and Accessories and Emergency Service.

Taking trips with your toys can do wonders for your physical and mental health, but safety should not be compromised as you go on your adventures.  Knowing you are protected can help ease your mind from worries so you can fully enjoy your time.

 

See what it takes to get your toys covered. Check out our Motorcycle Insurance and Watercraft/Boat Insurance.

 

Got questions? Call Jon Derrick at 817-423-0048.

 

 

 

When Should You Get Long-Term Care Insurance?

This is an important question to ask. But before one delves into consideration, the definition of long-term care insurance must first be laid out.

Long-term care insurance is a benefit to pay for care when a person is no longer able to perform two of the six daily functions: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, moving from a chair or a bed, eating, and caring for incontinence.

When one is in his or her prime years, thoughts of this possibility might not come naturally. But as most insurance policy advocates will say, the sooner, the better. Some experts say buying during one’s mid-40s is ideal because premiums are lower. You are also healthier. Others prefer to buy in their early 60s to pay premiums for fewer years.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national trade group, says that in 2009, 50% of longterm care insurance policy buyers were in the 55 to 64 age range.

Some might think that long-term care insurance is unnecessary if an individual is able to selfinsure and has prepared well for retirement. But it may not always be the case because money in the bank may need to be allotted for other things such as expenses or debts, leaving no room for healthcare in their advanced years. Also, not having coverage could reduce the retirement funds for the healthy spouse.

Another consideration in investing in longterm care insurance is your family’s medical history. If Alzheimer’s is part of your family’s medical history, the care you or a loved one might need in the future, when the disease has taken its toll, may best be given by trained professionals. It may help preserve positive relationships and memories with loving family members if they are not obligated to provide care for family members whose disease has progressed, making it difficult and even emotionally painful to care for their loved ones.

Long-term care insurance may be a difficult reality to plan for, but it is well worth everyone’s time to consider, especially while the possible policy holder is young and healthy.

To know more about long-term care insurance, visit this link.

We would love to answer your questions. Call us today at 817-423-0048. 

Is Your Car Ready for Spring Break?

You have been planning and waiting for months for the time when you can bring your car out and take a road trip. You’ve spent time preparing for everything—the budget, the itinerary, the accommodations. Have you considered whether or not the main player in your road trip is prepared? Your car and its possible effects on your life?

Auto insurance may not be at the top of mind when planning for a road trip but it should be. A trip with friends or family has very many factors to consider, and it may not come to mind this spring, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned traveler. Here are a few things to consider about auto insurance for your upcoming traveling.

  1. What is Liability?

    Liability coverage helps you by protecting you from the cost of unforeseen damages. If you get into an accident during spring break and you are found to be of fault, liability helps to protect you from the cost of the damages. No one wants to hear the word “accident” during the spring break, but these are possible and very real circumstances.

  2. What is Collision Coverage?

    This particular coverage protects you from paying the cost of repairs to your car should you find yourself in an unfortunate accident. Your car gets back on the road in no time thanks to collision coverage. Of course, the collision must be deemed as a covered loss in order to claim the coverage. Spring break is a great time to enjoy, but in the event you get into an accident, this coverage can save you from doubling the cost of your trip, especially if you might not have allotted finances for car repairs.

  3. What is Personal Injury Protection?

    Lost income, medical expenses and other similar things can be reimbursed if you are hurt in a covered accident. Long drives lead to fatigue and is a combination that should automatically be considered for insurance because the two obviously do not go well together. This protects you and your family should you get hurt in an accident.

It is always wise to be prepared for life’s what if’s, and doing so should be a part of the list of preparations and plans for a road trip. Wouldn’t you feel better—and safer—during a long drive if these and more were taken care of in advance? And wouldn’t you be able to enjoy your road trip better if you knew you had nothing to worry about?

Call us today at 817-423-0048 for a quick check to make sure you and your family are properly covered. You may also visit https://jonderrick.com/services/auto-insurance/ for more info on our auto insurance.

Do you Love Life Insurance?

The love month often means that special gifts are on everybody’s mind. What can I get that was better than last year’s gift? This Valentine’s Day you probably showered your loved ones with gifts that were sweet, funny, playful, romantic, and thoughtfulbut what about gifts of security?  Though the special day has come and gone, why not consider giving a gift that will secure your spouse and your family’s financial future? Making sure they are protected for the years to come can be the most thoughtful and loving gift you can give. Here are a few things you and your spouse should consider:

  • The premium payments for life insurance may be a small sacrifice now, but it will be a huge benefit of your spouse and your children. Should you pass on before them, it is a net they can land on to ensure that they will be in a good place financially. Death is already difficult enough to bear, the financial strain that it can cause may be avoided today through the gift of life insurance.
  • You should still consider life insurance even if you are a double income household. Many believe that only families with a single provider should consider life insurance, because the person who manages the home technically does not bring in income. If your family relies on two incomes for all its day to day expenses, the loss of one income can be a burden. Some people think they will simply downsize, but downsizing might not be an option or might take too long.
  • Life insurance isn’t just for the affluent. In fact, if there is anyone who will benefit the most from financial security, it is the average family whose income doesn’t go very much past their budget each month.

Find the right timing when you talk to your spouse. If life insurance is your idea, but you are afraid that the topic might be too sensitive, make sure that the setting is right. It’s not a discussion you can have in passing when you’re driving to dinner orunloading the groceries. Some have found it to be helpful to bring up the topic during birthdays, as one grows older. Make sure you provide enough time to have a good discussion without any distractions, such as kids needing help or upcoming appointments or work.

Ask us today how you can protect those most important to you through 8174230048 and visit https://jonderrick.com/services/lifeinsurance/ to know more about life insurance.

Safe Travels for Young Beginner Drivers

As a new driver, your first experiences in the pilot’s seat can be exciting – an adventure even! Try to recall the first time you slid behind the wheel: the click of the ignition, the sound of the engine purring, the sudden lurch forward when your foot “softly” tapped the gas pedal. This moment, marked by a sudden rush of adrenaline and excitement, can easily fuel a young driver’s confidence and try his or her luck on the road.  

 If you happen to be the parent or legal guardian of a young driver, it’s natural to worry and be concerned about their safety, especially when they have acquired their license and begin to take trips on their own. Accidents happen, and while your auto insurance coverage can surely protect you from expenses arising from vehicular mishaps, you don’t have total control over what happens on the road.  

 That said, there are some things that you and your beginner teen driver can do to minimize the risk of accidents (and help you keep both your insurance claims and premium rates down). Apart from enrolling them in a well-rated driving school, you can also sign them up for a driver-safety program to bolster both their skills and knowledge. Additionally, completing such a program may make them eligible for premium discounts being offered by some auto insurance providers.  

 We also recommend you and your teen driver sign a Parent-Teen Contract, such as the one you can download here. We’ve found that this has been effective in informing young drivers of facts that can inform their decisions on the road, as well as ensuring their compliance with agreements they will make with you relative to becoming a responsible driver.   

Of course, (guided) practice makes perfect. When you do a ride-along with your beginner teen driver, take the time to remind him/her of the importance of abiding by traffic rules – and how doing what they can to maintain a good driving record not only contributes to less road accidents casualties and fatalities, but also helps manage insurance premiums and leverage for even better coverage.  

Seeing your beginner teen driver take your car out for a spin can be unnerving – but it’s certainly a moment of pride and joy. As they embark on this rite of passage, trust us to help you all stay financially protected against unexpected events on the road. Call us today to talk about your auto insurance needs – 817-423-0048 or visit jonderrick.com/services/auto-insurance/ 

New Year’s Priority: Protect Your Loved Ones with Insurance

Our celebration of the new year comes with the reminder that life is a precious blessing, one that we must nurture and protect as much as we can. It’s no surprise then that the urge to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and secure comes very naturally to us.  

 This 2019, what can you do to make sure you and your family are sufficiently protected? There’s a good number of ways you can do this, and it really all depends on what your priorities and goals are. For a family man and insurance agent like me, taking care of my financial health is important. I know that having my finances in order enables me to consistently provide for my family’s every need, which includes having a safe and loving home, receiving quality education, and budgeting for a comfortable lifestyle.  

 Anyone who has loved ones depending on them may find my priorities relatable – but not all may be as knowledgeable about just how beneficial insurance policies can be when financial security is a goal. Some treat insurance as an expense, and thus consider it a burden rather than a benefit. Yes, there are premium costs involved, but much like other investments, insurance offers good returns – best of all being a nest egg that can come to a family’s aid in the event of costly accidents or the breadwinner’s demise. 

We each have the whole year ahead of us, and now is the best time to not only be grateful for the life that we have lived, but wisely prepare so that we can continue to protect it, and, in the process, protect the lives of those who matter most to us – our loved ones. Our doors are always open to you, and we are ready to answer your inquiries and requests for insurance advice. Talk to us today.