August 2018 E-News: What is Replacement Cost Homeowners Coverage?, Agency News, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!



What is Replacement Cost Homeowners Coverage?

Disaster can strike at any time. No one is immune to the threat of losing his or her home due to any number of possible hazards. But a recent survey found that most homeowners are seriously underinsured. Marshall & Swift/Boekh, a leading insurance data services company, found that 66% of homeowners had inadequate coverage by an average of 18%. That averages out to $36,000 for a typical $200,000 home. While few people would willingly choose a policy with a $36,000 deductible, that is the net result of being underinsured by that amount on what may well be their most valuable asset.

Market Value vs. Replacement Cost
The market value of what your home would sell for today is very different from the amount of replacement cost coverage to properly insure the rebuilding of a home. Market value takes into consideration the land value, depreciation, and other nearby market factors while the replacement cost simply reflects the cost to rebuild a home. These can be very different numbers.

For example, you can have a home worth $400,000 in one neighborhood while an identical home across town could have a market value of half that much, even assuming they were built on lots of equal size. But actually replacing those homes – rebuilding them in place using similar construction methods and materials – would essentially cost the same for both. Rebuilding costs can be higher or lower than market values, since factors like land value and depreciation don’t affect rebuilding.

Sitting down with your agent to review the features of your home is very important, as homes with features such as crown molding, hardwood floors, and tile cost more to rebuild. Other factors, like custom or luxury kitchens, can add significantly to the rebuilding costs. Your agent will take these and other factors into consideration, including your home’s total square footage, to determine the total replacement cost. This is the amount you should insure your house for. This is sometimes referred to as “Coverage A” in your homeowner’s policy.

Separate Structures
Separate structures, sometimes referred to as “other structures” or “Coverage B”, refers to any structure that is on your property, but not attached to your main house.  Examples of separate structures include:

  • Detached garage
  • Fence
  • Garden shed
  • Detached in-law unit
  • Retaining walls
  • Swimming pool
  • Outdoor kitchen

Most homeowner policies automatically include separate structures insurance (Coverage B) that equals 10% of the amount of insurance on the main house (Coverage A). If the number and value of separate structures are significant, such as a detached living quarters or many others beyond one item listed above, a separate valuation should be done for each to determine if extra coverage is needed. If you have just have a normal size fence and nothing more, you will probably be fine with the 10% figure. But in either case, this should be brought up when discussing replacement costs with your agent.

Contents Coverage
Your homeowner’s policy will automatically include personal property coverage, which is a separate item sometimes known as “Coverage C” that can equal 50% to 75% of the Coverage A amount. If you have a typical amount of personal property in your home, this should be adequate. However, if you have a lot of personal property or you have higher value items, then you may want to discuss an additional amount of coverage with your agent. Items such as jewelry, guns, coins, computers, business, and high risk property typically have policy sub-limits, some of which may be $1,000 or less. Such special items should be discussed with your agent, especially if you have them valued over $1,000. A homeowner’s policy has many options to increase these personal property coverage amounts.

Larger Homes and Other Special Risks
In some cases, the insurance company will have an appraiser come by and visit your property. This will provide a better valuation than relying on a database estimate alone. This is commonly done for homes larger than 5,000 square feet, for some commercial properties, or for structures with unusual characteristics, such as unique craftsmanship and materials, historic value, and other special considerations.

Know The Value Before a Catastrophe
Knowing the value is part of good financial planning and risk management. What you are doing is protecting what you have as well as the investment in your home. Shortchanging yourself only create problems when a claim occurs. The worst thing you can do is deal with value after a claim, because at that point, it is too late. That is why it’s best to address this now and let insurance serve its purpose and allow you to smoothly proceed with your life after a claim occurs.

Be sure to take a detailed home inventory before any disaster strikes. Take photographs and record serial numbers where applicable, particularly on high value personal property. There are a number of commercial websites that can help you with this process and will automatically store this information offsite, where these important records are not vulnerable to the same disaster that befalls your home and property.

We Are Here for You!

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.

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AGENCY NEWS
  • Doug Roberts, David Green, Russ Taylor, and Mr. and Mrs. Sorrel will be attending the TNLA 2018 Nursery/Landscape Expo on August 16-18 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. For more information about the Expo, click here.
  • TXINS is a proud sponsor of the El Campo Lady Lions Club Annual Ice Cream Social. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, Aug 7 at the El Campo American Legion Hall from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased from any Lady Lions Club member or at the door. Come out and enjoy fun frozen treats, entertainment, games, and kid-friendly activities. It’s fun for the whole family!
  • Happy August birthday to David Green! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy August work anniversary to the following TXINS staffers: Nancy Pfeil-14 years; Allison Silvas-7 years; Lindsey Malek-5 years; and Jo Ann Hernandez-3 years. We are thankful you are a part of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to Rey Legett and Kenny Trochta for winning July’s Texas Trivia Contest. We hope y’all enjoy your free Whataburger gift card! Don’t miss your chance to win a $5 Whataburger gift card in our Texas Trivia contest….check out this month’s question below!

Helpful Tips About Your Insurance

Back to School
The start of school is just around the corner and kids will soon be going back to school and off to college. It is very important check your auto policy to make sure all of your children with a license are properly added to your auto policy. Additionally, if your child is away at college and needs proof of insurance for contents or liability, be sure to call us to update your policy. We can provide proof of coverage for dorm and apartment rentals. And don’t forget about renter’s insurance! Policies are very affordable and can save you thousands in replacement costs for lost, stolen, or damaged goods.

Hurricane Harvey Claims and Repair Information
The end of August marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it brought to thousands living along the Texas Gulf Coast. Many Harvey victims still have OPEN claims. Clients have 365 days from the date of loss to complete all repairs. If you received a check for ACV and your policy is a replacement coverage policy, it is important to submit your receipts to receive additional funds for replacement coverage. If for some reason you aren’t able to complete all repairs in the 365 day time frame, you must contact your adjuster to explain why and request an extension. If you suffered damage or loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey and still have not filed a claim, you have 365 from the date of loss to do so, however all repairs must still be completed within 365 days of the original loss.

Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is very important to have whether you live in a designated flood zone or not. Anyone can have their home flooded, as witnessed during Hurricane Harvey, and the basic homeowners policy do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is not expensive and can be purchased easily. There is typically a 30-day waiting period for the policy to go into effect so don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your home against flood waters.

 

Elotes

Recipe of the Month:
Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

Author: SeriousEats.com
Active Time: 30 min   |  Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 4 ears shucked corn
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

1. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

2. While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream or crema, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until homogeneous and set aside.

3. When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.

4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

 

1015_onions

Texas Trivia

The state vegetable of Texas is the Sweet Texas 1015 onion. Texas 1015’s trademark sweetness makes them considered one of the sweetest of the all sweet onion varieties. They can be used in all onion preparations because of their high sugar content.

Texas 1015 onions were developed by Dr. Leonard Pike, a horticulture professor at Texas A&M University. After 10 years of research and development, the Texas 1015 was released in 1983 and nicknamed the “million dollar baby” because of the enormous cost and amount of time it took to develop. They now grow throughout the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

How did the Sweet Texas 1015 onion get its name? Email us your answer. If you are one of the first three people to answer correctly, you’ll win a $5 Whataburger gift card! 

Show Your Spirit, Texas!

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Congratulations to Sheri Noris of Elgin, TX for being our July Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Sheri!
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From our customers…

“I needed to verify auto coverage to get a loaner car at the dealership and my insurance card had expired. I called my TXINS rep and she emailed a new card to the dealership in less than 5 minutes. Great personal service!”
Tommy Hitzfeld, El Campo, TX

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is proud to be an independent Trusted Choice Agent. We provide our clients with a choice of companies, offer complete customization of policies, and advocate on our clients’ behalf to ensure each receives quality service and quality product. We are committed to providing competitive pricing and unparalleled customer service. You have our word on it.

 

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