TXINS February E-News: Don’t Let a Natural Disaster Interrupt Your Ability to Do Business, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia & More!

Don’t Let a Natural Disaster Interrupt Your Ability to Do Business

hurricane warningHurricane Matthew, which wreaked havoc in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and flooded large portions of North Carolina in 2016, is a lesson on why business interruption insurance is important for all businesses.

Matthew damaged or destroyed more than one million structures and cost $10 billion in damage.

By the time meteorologists identify a hurricane nearing the country it’s too late. Insurance coverages are set and business owners must wait out the storm to see what damage it creates.

Recent hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes are a good reminder for business owners to review their insurance policies to make sure they’re covered in the event of a natural disaster.  Here are a few things all business owners should consider.

Don’t underestimate how long business might be interrupted.
When reviewing business interruption insurance options, it can be tempting to save a few bucks and choose less coverage, especially if your business hasn’t been through a hurricane, earthquake, or flood. It’s easy to underestimate how much damage can be caused and how long your business could actually be interrupted.

Almost 40% of small businesses don’t reopen after a disaster because they’re not properly covered. In some cases, a business may reopen just a few days later, but it could feel the effects of the event long after it’s back up and running. Business owners should review policy limits now to make sure they’re adequate. Make sure your coverage includes extra expense as well. It’s best to be prepared.

flooded officeMake sure suppliers are covered.
Your business might not be directly affected by a hurricane or earthquake, but your suppliers might be. If you can’t get raw materials to make your products, or if you can’t deliver them, you might need contingent business interruption (CBI) to cover your suppliers. Contingent business interruption will reimburse lost profits as a result of a disruption in your supply chain. Review your policy now to assess what weather events trigger all of your business interruption coverages and the limits provided.
Review payroll coverage.
If your business has been impacted by a storm, operations might be stalled for several weeks or months. If your business employs skilled professionals, you’ll likely wants to ensure they can continue working when your business is back up and running. If your business requires people to work in a specific location or with specific tools, you’ll want to ensure those employees are paid while the business is being rebuilt.

It’s important for a business owner to determine which classes of employees should be covered during a period of restoration and any exceptions to employees are addressed and defined appropriately covered as “ordinary payroll” under business interruption coverage as well.

disaster planCreate a disaster recovery and communications plan.
In addition to making sure your business has adequate insurance to cover necessary repairs and rebuilding following a weather event, it’s vital to have a disaster plan to cover the technical aspects of what’s needed to get the business up and running again. Similarly, owners need a communication plan outlining how to alert employees about the status of the business.

Often, businesses’ insurance policies are not top of mind until an actual loss occurs. However, it’s important to review policies and plans regularly to make sure they align with current business. For example, if your business is going through major growth, you may want to ensure its business interruption policy adequately covers the loss of expected revenue.

If your business has made recent organizational changes, you may want to revisit who is and is not covered under payroll insurance. Putting these policies into place now can help you deal with a disaster if and when it strikes.

*original article published by Regina Burns-Stover on PropertyCasulty360.

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 have planned for the month.

  • Russ Taylor will represent TXINS at the Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association’s annual Trade Show on Feb. 2-3 at the Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, TX. For more information about the show, click here
  • The Traditions Insurance Services team will be attending a training session in Victoria on Feb. 8-9 where they’ll learn important information to better serve our crop insurance customers. 
  • Happy February Birthday to the following TXINS team members: Amber McDonald,  Doug Roberts, and Lindsey Malek. We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Congratulations to Eve Schaefer from Katy and Kyle Korenek from El Campo for winning last month’s Texas Trivia contest. Don’t miss the new Texas trivia question below. Be one of the first three people to answer the question correctly and win your own full-sized Texas flag!

On January 18, David Green, Mr. Sorrel, and Hector Gutierrez attended the Western Rice Belt Conference at the El Campo Civic Center. Conference topics included Disease Management Update, Laws and Regulations, Weed Control, Insect Management, Financial Risk Management, Market Inventory and Outlook, Rice Policy Update, and Price Risk Management Tools.

Warehouse of the Unexpected: Extra Zero

When the unexpected strikes, will you be ready? Contact your TXINS agent today to ensure you are protecting what matters most.

My mother recently passed away and we’re finding out her affairs are not entirely in order. I know she has a few policies through TXINS. Can you give me a bit of information on what we should know as we move forward in this process?  – Pam S., Buda, TX

Dear Pam:
First, we are very sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. Dealing with the death of a loved one is stressful. But not knowing what to do with someone’s finances after the person has passed away poses an additional burden on a grieving family.

The status of the deceased’s insurance coverage depends on the situation, the policy, the insurance company, and state regulations. Here’s a look at what generally happens in the following scenarios.

A spouse dies, leaving a home and car to the surviving wife or husband.
Most insurance policies have provisions for surviving spouses. Upon the death of a policyholder, whether home or auto, the surviving spouse is allowed to maintain the homeowner’s insurance policy and auto policy merely by continuing to make premium payments. But in both cases the surviving spouse must still call the insurance company to let it know about the policyholder’s death and ask to be listed as the “named insured”.

Homeowners insurance generally remains in effect for a certain time until the policy can be re-registered or rewritten. While each company’s contract can be different, most insurance companies will give a family up to 30 days to notify the insurance company of a policyholder’s death. The main issue for the insurance company is how the contract is titled, meaning who will be living there and who owns the property? For example, if a husband and wife own the house and the husband dies, the wife can send a certified death certificate and the policies can be placed in her name since she has ownership.

A widow or widower dies, leaving the house to adult children.
In this case, the heirs should notify the homeowners insurance company as soon as possible. If the house will be vacant or rented out, then the insurer will require that the policy be rewritten because the home will no longer be owner-occupied. If the home is re-deeded to one of the children, a new policy can be written for the child.

It is very important you are upfront with the insurance company. You may pay a higher premium if the home is vacant. But in many cases the extra premium is far less when compared to a loss if the insurance doesn’t pay because you didn’t tell them your parent had passed away.

Insurance companies will give a reasonable period to continue coverage.  If the family informs the insurance company of the death of the homeowner within the time prescribed in the policy, and the family continues to pay the premiums due as the insurance company has instructed them, then the insurance company should pay a claim if something happens to the home. However, an insurance company may not honor a claim if the family hid the homeowner’s death from the insurance company, or the home was vacant for an unreasonable amount of time, or for whatever other reasons the insurance company considers breaches of the insurance policy.
 Preparation is key.
When contacting the insurance company after a loved one has died, be prepared with the policy numbers and a certified copy of the death certificate. We recommend having several original certificates or certified copies of the death certificate on hand. Most financial institutions, government agencies, creditors, unions, membership groups, etc. won’t discuss financial affairs or take action until a death certificate is produced.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of tending to someone’s financial affairs is gathering the right documents. For many families, this is a nightmare chore due to poor planning and record-keeping as well as a lack of knowledge about where critical documents are located. To ease this burden for your loved ones, create a list of all assets, important accounts and property, put it in a safe place, and tell a trusted confidante where it’s kept.
Proper planning is key to eliminating the extra stress and burden of handling a loved one’s finances after they pass away. While it’s not a topic we like to think about, it’s imperative to have your affairs, and the affairs of loved ones, in order well ahead of the time you will actually need the information.

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.

Congrats to Maggie Manley of Sunset Valley, TX, our January Referral Program winner! Thanks for your referrals, Maggie!

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 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,000 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 7, 2017.)

* Image courtesy of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History

Texas Trivia

About an hour south of the Texas/Oklahoma border is Seymour, TX. If you’re interesting in paleontology, this tiny town is definitely a place you shouldn’t miss. Seymour is a hotbed of archeological activity. It even has a Permian reptile named after it: the Seymoria, a small, reptilian, lizard-like creature. The first one was discovered in 1875 and is currently on display at the Smithsonian.
The land around Seymour is currently being excavated to unearth a Dimetrodon skeleton. What have the excavators nicknamed this new archeological find? Email your answer to
Kara Wood. If you are one of the first three people to answer correctly, you’ll win a full-sized Texas flag!

Show Your Spirit, Texas!

TXINS encourages our customers to utilize TXINS 24/7. Through this service, you have secure access to all of your insurance information whenever and wherever you need it.

Through TXINS 24/7, you can:
– View and reprint auto ID cards
– View policy info
– Request policy changes online
– Access your TXINS agent’s contact info
– Obtain a certificate of insurance (commercial accounts)
– Maintain and manage an up-to-date list of certificate holders (commercial accounts)

To learn more or set up your free account from your desktop, click here.

TXINS is proud to be a Trusted Choice® agency. We are dedicated to you and are committed to treating you as a person, not a policy. This commitment means we will:

  • Work with you to identify the insurance that is right for you, your family or your business, and use our access to multiple companies to deliver those products.
  • Guide you through the claims process for a prompt and fair resolution of your claim.
  • Help solve problems related to your coverage or account.
  • Thoroughly explain the coverage and options available to you.
  • Return your phone calls and emails promptly and respond to your requests in a timely manner.
  • Use our experience and company relationships to customize coverage specific to your unique needs.
  • Treat you with respect and courtesy.
  • Conduct our business in an ethical manner.

This is our promise to you. For more information on Trusted Choice, click here.

From our customers…

“My TXINS agent and customer service rep always call with any updates to our policies. They keep us up to date on everything.” –Cedric and Carol Farrow, El Campo, TX

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