TXINS January E-News: Life Changes Affecting Your Insurance Coverages, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia Contest, and More!

Life Changes Affecting Your Insurance Coverages

As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, it’s important to think about your insurance coverages and determine what, if any, life changes occurred in the past 12 months. Contact TXINS right away if you experience one of the following major life changes to ensure your current policy information is correct and if your current coverage is sufficient. Remember, insurance policies are a contract and the information on that contract must be complete and correct to avoid issues down the road.

Marriage or Divorce
Whether it is a first marriage or combining households from a previous marriage, marriage absolutely requires the review of insurance coverages. There are concerns as it relates to physical property – is there enough liability coverage, homeowner’s coverage, umbrella coverage, and personal property protection.

Another key item that should be reviewed is health insurance. Questions to consider are things like which employer offers the greatest subsidy, which employer offers the most robust benefits, and how will you go about accessing care.

Other insurances that should be reviewed include life insurance, disability insurance, and perhaps long-term care. Sufficient life insurance should be in place so that financial goals are accomplished upon the death of the first spouse. Disability insurance is important for minimizing income shortfalls so you can pay current bills or make progress on meeting future financial goals.

Divorce prompts many of these same issues. There is a need to identify what gaps in coverage exist as a result of a divorce. It is likely that the couple will live apart, so each should review the property and casualty coverages. Auto insurance policies most likely will need to be altered as well to remove the divorced spouse from the policy.

Paying Off Mortgages and/or Liens
If you pay off your mortgage, you must remove the mortgage company from the policy. If you don’t and a claim in made, the claim check will be made to the insureds and the mortgage company. This can cause a major headache if you no longer have a mortgage.

Additionally, if you pay off your lien on your vehicle, notify your insurance agent to remove the lien holder from your policy. Make sure you receive a clear title once the loan is paid off. As with a home claim, the claim check will be made payable to the insured and the lien holder unless the loan is paid off and the lien holder is removed.

Children Going to College
Full-time college students may remain on the their parent’s policy with the vehicle rated in the city where they’re attending college provided the vehicle is titled in the parent’s name or the student and a parent’s name. If the vehicle is titled only in the student’s name, he/she will need to purchase their own policy, separate from their parents. It is imperative you notify your agent and let him/her know the student’s new address.

Once a student is no longer in college, working full-time, and not living with their parents, the child should be taken off the parent’s policy and purchase their own policy.

New Drivers in the Household
Parents often forget to add a child to their policy once their child receives their driver’s license. Unfortunately,  it’s only after a loss that many of these issues are discovered. This causes undue stress that could have been prevented had they notified their agent.

Birth or Adoption of a Child
The birth or adoption of a child is a critical time to evaluate if you have enough life insurance. Adding a child means your household expenses will increase, so you need to consider if you have enough life insurance to provide for the child’s care and education in the event of something happening to one or both parents.

Buying a Home
Buying a home not only means homeowners’ insurance, it also may require you to purchase more life insurance to help your spouse or significant other pay the mortgage if something happens to you. Most formulas for calculating life insurance use mortgage and other debt to determine how much you need.

Employment Changes
As your career progresses and your income increases, your life insurance should increase accordingly. Your policy should be adequate to help your family meet its financial needs for several years if you pass away. Many employers offer group term insurance to employees, but it is a good idea to purchase your own policy outside of work when you are young. Plans purchased in your 20s or 30s will have the same low rate throughout your life. If you wait to buy individual insurance when you are older, you may have developed a health problem that makes insurance very costly or impossible to get. Relying on a policy from work can be problematic if you are laid off or quit in later years.

New Residence
If you moved since renewing your home, auto, or health care coverages, it is imperative to let your agent know your new mailing address as soon as possible. Your insurance rates may go up based on the location of your new home. Premiums for homeowner’s, renter’s, auto, and health insurance can rise because companies are allowed to charge more or less based on your location.

There are countless events when it is opportune for you to review your insurance. Keep in mind this is a fluid process. You should revisit your insurance planning at least once a year. Do not put insurance on the back burner, especially when there is change on the horizon.

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. That’s a promise.

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.

The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • As a proud long time member of the American Honey Producer Association, Mr. Sorrel will be attending the 47th Annual AHPA Convention & Trade Show Jan. 5-9 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Sorrel always looks forward to visiting with our beekeeper clients, so make sure and stop by to say hello when you see him. For more information about the show, please visit www.AHPAnet.com.
  • Al Ford, resident Bee Producer, will be in attendance at the Austin Beekeepers meeting in Austin on Jan. 16.
  • Congrats to Celeste Clark, who will be celebrating her 2 year anniversary with TXINS on Jan. 24. Celeste is member of our Personal Lines team and we are thankful to have her!
  • Congrats to Wayne Allen of Wharton, TX for being our only winner in last month’s Texas Pride Trvia Contest. For your chance to win, check out our trivia question below.
  • A super huge congratulations to Charles Allen Sides of Canton, TX for being our Grand Prize winner in our annual Referral Program Drawing. Charles won a $1,500 gift card that we’re sure came in handy for the holidays! Be sure to send in your referrals for a chance to win! Find more info on the flyer below.
The ladies of the Personal Lines Department celebrated at the TXINS Christmas Party on Dec. 12 at the El Campo Country Club. From left to right: Gigi Luedecke (Needville), Kim Cole (Georgetown), and Lindsey Malek and Nancy Novosad-Pfeil (El Campo).
Meet the TXINS Team
Al  Ford

Al Ford originally joined TXINS in 2001 left the agency in 2007 after a move to the Austin area. When he heard that TXINS opened an office in Georgetown, he knew it was fate. Al joined the Georgetown team in April 2015 and has been a welcomed addition to the growing office. Al is a cheery, welcoming face in the morning – always has a smile, a compliment, and a helping hand to lend whenever needed. With Al’s vast knowledge and zeal for the beekeeping niche market, it was an easy decision to make him our new Beekeeper Producer. With a strong background of customer service, customers are in good hands when speaking with Al. We are so pleased to have him back with us!

To learn more about Al, please click here.

My sister and I decided to start keeping bees as both a hobby and a source of income. With the beeswax, we want to make lip balms and other health and beauty products to sell at local craft fairs and farmers markets. What type of insurance should we get to make sure our investment and our personal assets are covered?  – Dottie F., Manor, TX

Dear Dottie:

Beekeeping is becoming more and more popular these days. If you can garden, you can be a beekeeper. It takes about the same amount of time and effort to keep your veggies producing as it does to keep bees. One big bonus of beekeeping: They help your vegetables, flowers, and other garden plants thrive. And of course you get the added benefit of delicious fresh honey at your fingertips!

Before you get your beekeeping operation moving, be sure to contact your TXINS agent to inquire about a General Liability policy for your new business. Beekeepers, like most farmers and makers of commercial products, need a general liability policy for numerous reasons, including:

  • To be able to sell their product in stores and farmers markets;
  • To place the beekeeping equipment on other people’s property;
  • To remove hives from homes and businesses; and
  • To have an insurance company defend them in case of a claim of negligence.

As a beekeeper, general liability insurance is perhaps the most vital safeguard your money can buy. It protects you against claims by other persons resulting from damage or injury caused by your operations. For example:

  • A fire starts on the property where you are working your bees as a result of misuse or accident using a smoker.
  • Someone, invited or uninvited, interferes with your bees and gets badly stung.
  • A car with windows open passes your apiary, a bee stings the driver and there is an accident.
  • Livestock on your neighbor’s property is stung and dies in close proximity to your bees.
  • Produce from your apiary is chemically contaminated and causes illness to consumers.

All these incidents could result in legal action against you. The resulting damages and legal costs awarded against you could run into huge figures. Having the right insurance policy is necessary to protect yourself and your operation.

Fortunately, TXINS agents are well versed in beekeeping insurance. We have the answers to your questions and will work with you to make sure you are fully covered for any and all circumstances. For more information, visit our Beekeeping Insurance page on our website. Best of luck to you and your sister on your new venture!

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

You Learn Something New Every Day
– Cats have two sets of vocal chords. One purring and one for meowing. In total, cats have more than 100 vocal chords.

– A person burns more calories sleeping than watching TV. Another great reason to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night!

– A group of frogs is called an army. A group of toads is called a knot.

– January 19 is National Popcorn Day. Depending on how it’s cooked, popcorn can be a healthy treat. Here are 30 delicious healthy popcorn recipes sure to please your taste buds. Feeling a little more decadent? Here are a few less health-conscious recipes worth the splurge.

Generation M2
They’re called “Generation M2”: highly tech-savvy children ages 8 to 18, whose lives are immersed in electronic media. Today, M2’s spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). It is important to monitor your child’s social media activities. Here are a few simple tips to help keep your child’s online presence less stressful.
1. Make sure your child stays away from Facebook until he/she is at least 13 and until you are comfortable with him or her having an account.
2. Make sure your child’s privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook are set to the strictest levels.
3. Create ground rules about social media usage and stick to them.
4. Keep the home computer in a high traffic, central location, avoiding bedrooms where they can access the internet in private.
We LOVE Referrals!

Congrats to Charles Allen Sides of Canton, TX, our Grand Prize Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals Charles!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 3, 2015.)

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