September 2018 E-News: Adult Children and Your Liability if They’re Negligent, Agency News, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!



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Adult Children and Your Liability if They’re Negligent

If you have an adult child who you are still paying some expenses for, or they are studying in college (living either away from you or at home), you could still be held liable for any damage they cause through their own negligence.

Even if your child has their own car insurance in their name, if he or she injures someone severely and is sued, and the policy limits on their car insurance are not enough to cover the judgment, you could be held liable for damages their policy didn’t cover, depending on the circumstances.

That said, aside from car accidents, negligent and/or intentional acts that damage someone else’s property or injure a third party could be covered under your homeowner’s policy and an umbrella policy.

Car Insurance
There may be situations when the parents of a 20-year-old reckless driver who either still lives at home or is away at college may take steps to separate his liability from their own, like:

  • Putting the car he drives in his name
  • Removing him from their auto insurance policy
  • Requiring him to buy his own insurance

When you remove a young adult driver from the family policy, you reduce the probability of a claim for property damage, first-party and third-party injuries, and other liabilities that may result from an accident.

It would reduce the parents’ auto insurance premiums and push the liability to the child’s insurance. However, if the child is sued for extreme negligence and the award exceeds the policy’s liability maximum, the additional award could be on the parents’ shoulders if the child doesn’t have the personal resources to pay.

The parents’ car insurance would not cover it and, since it’s auto-related, a the homeowner’s policy wouldn’t cover it either. The expenses would come out of pocket.

Coverage explanation
The scope of coverage for minor and adult children under their parents’ homeowner’s policies, with respect to personal property coverage and personal liability coverage, rests on the policy definition of “insured” in the typical policy.

The definition, in pertinent part, includes relatives who are residents of the named insured’s household. Children, brothers and sisters, parents, and grandparents are examples.

This doesn’t mean that your 40-year-old daughter who is over for dinner is covered, though, since a visitor is not a resident. The policy will cover persons under the age of 21 in the care of the named insured (such as a foster child), as well.

The next time your homeowner’s or renter’s policy is up for renewal, please call us and let us know if you have any grown children and what their status is in terms of living arrangements, and any financial support you may be providing them. It will help in determining who is and who is not covered in your family and household.

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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Notify Your Agent!

AGENCY NEWS
  • Happy September birthday to Marissa Sosa and Jeff Copeland! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy September work anniversary to the following TXINS staffer: Janet Corson-7 years. We are thankful you are a part of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to Allen Shimek, Cindy Riha, and Kenny Trochta for winning August’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!

Hector Gutierrez and Lindsey Malek scooped ice cream to the biggest crowd ever at the 5th Annual Lady Lions Club Ice Cream Social on August 7. More than $10,000 was raised through ticket sales, sponsorships, and raffle sales. TXINS is proud to be a longtime sponsor of this fun community event, which supports various organizations in the El Campo community.
In a joint effort to relieve local families of the high cost of sending kids back to school, TXINS and Select Premium partnered together to collect school supplies through the month of August. All supplies were donated to the Boys & Girls Club of El Campo and distributed to kiddos in the El Campo community.

Pictured left to right: Lecticia Vasquez (Select Premium), Shebra Adler (TXINS), Jill Hearne (Boys & Girls Club), Nancy Pfeil (TXINS), Lindsey Malek (TXINS), and Gordon Sorrel (TXINS).

Companies Ban Smartphones at Work for Safety Reasons

More and more employers are banning cell phones in the workplace because they are distracting enough to be a serious safety issue for workers.

You already know the dangers of using your phone while behind the wheel. But in many workplaces – warehouses, construction sites, factories and other worksites with heavy equipment and lots of inventory – the distraction of a smartphone can have deadly consequences.

In busy workplaces, safety should be your primary concern. Consider the following:

Industrial machinery and phones don’t mix
OSHA bars the use of cell phones in construction regulations pertaining to cranes and derricks, but the hazard exists across any dangerous equipment. Some workers should absolutely not have their mobile phones on and within reach, such as powered industrial truck operators, forklift drivers, and machinery users. If you have any of these among your workforce, you should strictly ban the use of mobile phones in any capacity during the use of industrial equipment.

You may consider extending the ban to include all of the other employees who regularly work around that equipment, particularly when they are walking or moving product to and from the warehouse. Also, if any staff from your office are in the work area, they too should refrain from using their phones while walking.

The biggest dangers
One of the main points employers stress is that the best way to prevent workplace injuries is for all employees to be aware of their surroundings. When people are using cell phones in an operational environment, it impedes their ability to recognize and react to hazards, particularly moving equipment like forklifts.

The biggest concern is people who are in the middle of writing long messages and engaging with others on social media or texting. Many of these apps have been shown to greatly reduce the user’s awareness of the real world around them. There are many instances in which workers cause traumatic injuries or even death to themselves or others due to cell phone distractions that could have easily been prevented.

Potential property damage
Distracted cell phone usage is known to cause workers to accidentally misuse equipment or machinery, which can result in either small or serious damage to company property. Also, having a cell phone around hazardous chemicals or waste can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of all workers in the vicinity, in addition to property damage. Furthermore, the cost of replacing damaged property can have a major financial impact on your organization and possibly be at your expense.

Reduced productivity
Cell phone usage can have adverse effects on warehouse production levels and the individual performance of your employees. People who are on their phones should be working. It’s easy for them to ignore important matters that come across their desks. Employers who do not have cell phone usage policies in place might not realize how much social media and smartphone use can hurt productivity.

What you can do
Create a policy that explicitly explains when and where employees may use their mobile phones while on the job. Some companies ban cell phones altogether, particularly call centers where employees’ devices are collected at the beginning of the day and kept in lockers until breaks.
Consider the following for your company’s cell phone usage policy:

  • Mobile phones are barred for employees when performing on-site job-related tasks.
  • Answering calls, texting, checking social media, or using the internet are all activities that fall under dangerous cell phone usage.
  • Set parameters for when and where employees are allowed to use their phones.
  • Consider restricting certain types of media and watching videos.
  • Hold employees accountable to productivity levels. Note that time spent on the phone on personal matters is keeping them from focusing on their jobs.

 

Recipe of the Month:
Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Author: AllRecipes.com
Prep Time: 20 min  |  Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins  |  Ready In: 2 hrs
Yield: Serves 14

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 5 teaspoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time (the batter will look curdled). Add flour mixture to potato mixture. Beat on low until combined.

3. Pour batter into 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hr and 20 mins, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool cake for 20 mins in the pan, then invert onto serving plate.

4. To make the glaze: in a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar with orange juice to achieve drizzling consistency. Spoon over warm cake and sprinkle with orange zest if desired.

 

Texas Trivia

Blue Bell Creameries opened in Brenham, TX in 1907 under the name “Brenham Creamery Company.” It changed its name in 1930 to “Blue Bell Creameries.” The bluebell was the favorite wildflower of Blue Bell’s general manager and eventual president, E.F. Kruse and grows in abundance around the Brenham area every spring.

The Brenham Creamery Company was initially founded to make butter from the excess cream brought in by local farmers. They began producing ice cream in 1911, and by 1958 they had ceased production on all butter products to focus solely on ice cream. Even as Blue Bell’s popularity grew, it’s growth was slow. It didn’t expand sales outside of Texas until the 1980’s. Blue Bell’s product line includes ice cream, sherbet, and other frozen snacks.

How many states are Blue Bell products sold in? 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 Tara Chapman of Austin, TX for being our August Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Tara!
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From our customers…

“Everyone in the office always helps me with any questions or concerns I have. They make the process very easy and make us feel like we are in good hands all of the time.”
Honey E. Pedroza Munoz, Rosenberg, 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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