October 2018 E-News: Four Life Insurance Myths Shattered, Agency News, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!



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Four Life Insurance Myths Shattered

Life insurance is a straightforward concept: Buy a policy and pay a relatively small premium, and the beneficiary will get a large cash benefit if the insured dies while the policy is in force.
But there are many variations on this basic theme – and just as many misconceptions about how life insurance works. Here are some of the most common myths.

1. I already have enough life insurance through my job.
Many people believe they have coverage from work. But in many cases, the amount of coverage from a workplace group policy is not nearly enough to provide meaningful protection for the employee’s family.
The reason: Section 7702 of the tax code, which governs employer-paid group life insurance benefits, only allows employers to deduct premiums for a death benefit of $50,000 or less. That’s only a fraction of the true need for most working families.

Many financial experts recommend owning between 10 and 12 times one’s salary or more – especially if you are relatively young. The reason: If the unthinkable happens, the family will need that life insurance to replace many years of a breadwinner’s salary.

Furthermore, if you get sick and lose your job, you may lose your life insurance just when you need it most. And you may not be able to qualify for life insurance then.

Owning your own policy ensures that you can select the amount of protection that suits your needs, and that your policy follows you even if you change jobs or leave the workforce. If you have coverage at work, you may want to explore owning additional coverage for yourself and your family.

2. I’m young and healthy and don’t need it.
The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young and in good health. Accidents and injury, not illness, are the leading cause of death for Americans under age 44, and the fourth leading cause of death for Americans of all ages, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

These deaths include:

  • Car accidents
  • Accidental drug overdoses, including prescription drug overdoses
  • Medical error
  • Falls
  • Drowning
  • Accidental shooting
  • Electric shock
  • Fires
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Crime

Any of these events can strike the young and healthy at any time. More than 235,000 Americans died of injuries and accidents in 2016, according to the CDC –  105,296 of them, or 43%, were age 45 or younger.

3. I don’t qualify for life insurance.
Medicine has improved a great deal in recent years – and life insurance underwriting has changed with it. You may still be able to qualify even if you have controllable diabetes, cancer (in remission, usually for five years or more), or if you smoke or are overweight, have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Yes, you’ll likely have to pay a higher premium, or settle for a lower amount of life insurance.

4. I can’t afford it.
It’s more affordable than you think. Some 80% of Americans vastly overestimate the cost of life insurance, according to LIMRA. Millennials overestimate the cost by 213% and Gen Xers by 119% .

The fact is today’s life insurance carriers are able to offer meaningful protection for just a few dollars per week – and often less than the cost of a single dinner out per month. This is especially true if you buy it while you are still relatively young and healthy.

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
  • Happy October birthday to Marilynn Sorrel, Christina Carrasco, Nancy Pfiel, and Elyse Hlavinka! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy October work anniversary to the following TXINS staffer: Yvette Smith-4 years. We are thankful you are a part of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to Antonio Cisneros, Rey Legett, and Gracie Diaz for winning September’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!

We send huge congratulations to Hector Gutierrez as he welcomes a new grandson into his family. The TXINS staff took up a collection and purchased this wagon for Hector and Baby Nolan, who was born on September 28. We see many, many fun times ahead with this new toy!

A Hacker’s Tips on Keeping Your Personal Data Protected

One big concern for most everyone these days is online safety and protecting personal and credit card information. Not only that, but clicking on a nefarious link on a website or in an e-mail can unleash a cyber attack on your computer with bots rifling through all of your files. In addition to online scams, criminals are also calling people and asking for personal information.

Recently, an anonymous hacker who now writes a cyber security blog had these recommendations for individuals who want to protect themselves and their files when online.

Here’s the techie’s advice:

  • Check senders carefully. Cyber criminals will try to get you to click on a link in an e-mail by making it seem like it comes from an official source, like “auditor@irs.gov.” If in doubt, don’t click on any links and call the agency using information from 411 or other legitimate sources.
  • Don’t believe every caller. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS who tells you that you owe back taxes and face penalties that could involve asset forfeiture, you should know that the IRS doesn’t make phone calls.
    Tell the caller that you’ll call them back. Look up the number from scratch and call. More often than not, nobody will answer or the agency will never have heard of you.
  • Don’t follow links to a site that’s going to ask for secure information, such as a password. “If I want to raid your bank account, or do other harm, one way I can do it is to send you an official-looking e-mail with a link to your bank, asking you to log into your account for some reason,” the hacker writes.  If you go to the criminal’s site, they will then obtain your log-in information and have access to your bank account.
  • Before you follow a link, verify that the visual link and the actual link match. For instance, let’s say the link is “PETA.org.” But if you move your cursor over the link without clicking, most browsers will then show you the real link, either near the cursor, or at the lower-left corner of the window. If you see something like “PETA.smurfit.org” or “PETA.ru,” or anything else that doesn’t exactly match, it’s likely they’re trying to dupe you.
  • Don’t automatically grant access for all programs. If you download a new game online and it asks you to enter the system manager password, you may be right to be suspicious as a game would not need system-level access.
  • If you are using a new site that requires a password, use a unique password, and one that can’t be found in a dictionary. In other words, don’t reuse a password from another site. This way, if the site is compromised and they get your unique password, they won’t be able to access other online accounts of yours.
  • When a system asks for security questions and answers, give ridiculous answers. For instance, if a site asks which high school you went to, don’t use the name of your real school. A dedicated hacker can find out where you went to high school. Instead, you might want to write something like “cuddly panda” or “fuchsia.”
  • Ignore spam e-mail. You can often tell that e-mail is spam before opening it.  Look at the “From” address.  Do you know anybody named “Special Offer?”  If the subject seems odd it’s likely spam and should be avoided.
  • Set your e-mail reader so that it does not load images automatically or follow links automatically. For instance, if a scammer includes an image, allowing it to load can send the image ID to another server that then gains access to your system. Before you allow the browser to load images, check that every image name is generic.

 

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Recipe of the Month:
Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Author: FoodNetwork.com
Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups orange cheese puffs
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bell pepper with a long stem
  • Crackers, for serving

Instructions:

1. Put the cheese puffs in a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Combine the cream cheese, Cheddar, chives, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and mix to combine. Mold the mixture into a ball, pressing the top of the ball with your hand to flatten it. With the tip of a butter knife, carve lines down the sides to resemble a pumpkin.

3. Roll the cheese ball in the ground cheese puffs. Remove the entire bell pepper stem with a paring knife and put it on top of the cheeseball as the pumpkin stem. Seed and slice the bell pepper. Serve the cheeseball on a plate with crackers and slices of bell pepper.

 

Texas Trivia

It’s baseball playoff season again and the Houston Astros are on the move to win another National Championship. First debuting in 1962, the Houston baseball franchise was first called the Colt .45s. They changed the team’s name to the Houston Astros in 1965.

The Astrodome, dubbed the “Eight Wonder of the World” opened in 1965. Minute Maid Park, where the team plays now, opened in 2000. One of only six stadiums with a retractable roof, rain delays or cancellations at Minute Maid are never an issue. It takes 12-20 minutes to close the roof at Minute Maid Park, and it moves back and forth an estimated 160 times a year for a distance of 14.6 miles.

When determining the shape of Minute Maid Park’s retractable roof, what did designers track and study? 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 Ronda Espinoza of El Campo, TX for being our September Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Ronda!
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From our customers…

“My TXINS representative shows a genuine care for my needs and helps manage my family’s home and car insurance needs.”
Tien Pham, Cypress, 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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