TXINS July E-News: Emergency Preparedness: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia & More!

Emergency Preparedness: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late 

Summertime means swimming pools, family vacations, sleeping late, and relaxing. It’s also the best time to prepare for emergencies like flood, tornadoes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. It’s better to plan ahead when it comes to emergency preparedness!

Things to do, purchase, and plan for:

1. Buy flood insurance. Damage to your home from flood waters is excluded under homeowners and renters insurance. Securing flood coverage before a hurricane or flood is crucial. In many cases, there is a 30-day waiting period. Even if you don’t live in a flood plain, a hurricane or concentrated downpour can cause a flood situation.  
  • Flood insurance covers direct physical losses from floods and losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels and accompanied by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tide surge, or a similar situation which results in flooding. Flood insurance also may cover mudslides.
  • Coverage for the structure and contents of the home are sold separately. Buildings are covered for replacement cost but content coverage is available on an actual cash value basis only.
  • Determine if you should purchase additional private flood insurance on your home (if valued above $250,000).
2. Locate the switches to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
3. Keep copies of important documents offsite. Scan copies onto a DVD. You can keep an additional, digital copy on a secure online document storage service, but make sure to have a hardcopy as well.

4. Keep copies of insurance policies, phone numbers, etc. Many people rely on cell phones or digital storage for keeping track of phone number and other important account numbers. Scan these onto a DVD but also have hard copies in case a computer may not be available. Important phone numbers include your insurance agent, physicians and health care providers, family members and close contacts, emergency services, attorney, etc.

5. Keep a first aid kit fully stocked and ready to go in your house and vehicles.

6. Keep a list of all medications and have a full 30-day supply of your meds, vitamins, and eye care supplies.

7. Don’t forget about your pets. Have enough food and medications for pets. Keep a kennel on hand as well as most shelters will only accept pets if kenneled. Remember, it is a felony in Texas to leave pets behind. So make plans to keep your pets with you if you need to evacuate.

8. Stock your shelves with non-perishables, including:

  • Canned foods and soups
  • Dried jerky/fruit
  • Gatorade
  • Breakfast/energy bars
  • Frozen plastic jugs of water (don’t use milk jugs)
  • Batteries (a variety of types) and flashlights
  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, towels, alcohol, hand sanitizer, etc.)
9. Get cash in smaller denominations, sufficient to obtain food, transportation, or shelter for at least 2-3 days.

10. Video record your assets. You should not rely on memory after a flood, fire, or similar disaster.

11. Purchase a tool kit with hand-operated can opener.

12. Have a battery-operated radio/TV and extra batteries or a hand-crank radio on hand.

13. Cut storm boards for your windows. Do this before the storm approaches when you have plenty of time and the supplies are plentiful.

14. Keep several Ice chests on hand.

15. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings once a hurricane, tornado, or power outage is imminent. Open only as needed if power goes out.

16. Purchase a generator. Before purchasing, talk with an electrician about what size generator you need. Do you want it to run your whole house, or just for limited emergency purposes?

  • Get a transfer switch permanently mounted to your house or get the necessary extension cords for your generator.
  • If you have a generator, test it regularly to make sure it works.
  • Get enough gas/diesel cans to last you through several days of use. This probably requires 10 five-gallon cans. Fill the gas cans only once a hurricane or power outage is imminent. Otherwise, storing large quantities of gas is hazardous.
17. Charge your cell phones.

18. Have additional power packs or solar chargers for your cell phone.

19. Map out multiple evacuation routes. Keep laminated maps of these routes in all vehicles.

20. Tune up your vehicle and keep it gassed up.

21. Get a power inverter for your vehicle so you can run electrical items off of your car.

22. Trim trees around your house and remove other obstacles in your yard.

23. Keep a weather-proof camera to document damage should it occur.

24. Keep a “bug-out” bag with a change of clothing and hygiene and basic supplies ready.

25. Take advantage of the Insurance Institute’s home inventory software. This free program lets you scan receipts, take pictures, and inventory your valuables.

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.

  •  All TXINS offices will be closed Monday, July 3 from 12 p.m. through Tuesday, July 4. We wish everyone in the TXINS family a very happy 4th of July!
  • Elyse Hlavinka will be heading to Columbus, OH later this month to train with the State Auto PaceSetter Program for two weeks. We are really excited to see what  knowledge she brings back to share with the rest of the TXINS team!
  • Happy July Birthday to Celeste Socha and Yvette Smith! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Congrats to our June Texas Trivia winners Larry Staha and Chris Shaw! 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!

Mr. Sorrel and Kara Wood attended the 120th IIAT Conference in Ft. Worth last month and listened to an insightful and hilarious speech on why it’s important to have good attitude from motivational speaker Sam Glenn, the Attitude Guy. One of the things that really stuck with them was the idea that “Your attitude is a choice. You choose your attitude – not the environment around you.” Listen to one of Sam’s speeches here…we hope you’ll be inspired, too!

TXINS is now on Instagram and Pinterest!

Follow us for updates, contests, and other fun stuff!

My wife and I are downsizing and moving into a condo in the New Braunfels area. Will a normal homeowners policy be enough coverage or do we need something more specific to insure our new residence?  – George T., Bremond, TX

Dear George:

How exciting! We have to admit we are just a tad bit jealous of you right now.

Condos offer a great alternative to traditional single-family home ownership. A traditional homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for damage to the structure of the home as well as the contents within. Typically, the condo association will have a master policy that covers damages to the structure of the building and to the common areas. This policy also provides liability coverage for injuries that occur in common areas or on-site facilities such as a gym or swimming pool.

Because condominium association insurance covers damage or injuries in common areas, condo owners can obtain insurance coverage that is less costly than typical homeowners insurance policies. In this way, condo insurance policies are written specifically for the unique needs of condo owners.

Condo insurance covers the personal property damage and liability risks faced by condo owners; it picks up where the condo association insurance leaves off. Most mortgage companies require you to buy condo insurance and remain covered for the life of your loan.

When you own a condo, you are responsible for covering any and all damages within your unit, often including interior walls, flooring, and ceilings. A condo insurance policy will also provide coverage for your personal property. If you should incur losses due to theft or experience property damage caused by such things as fire, water damage, or tornado, you may be able to receive compensation through your condo insurance.

Your condo insurance will also cover you against liability claims. If a guest is injured while in your home and you are held liable, your condo insurance can cover some portion of the bodily injury claim, depending on your liability limit. If you are sued, most policies will also provide coverage for court costs and legal fees.

Condo insurance will not cover damages to personal property caused by flooding; you must have a separate flood insurance policy if rising water from a river or other waterway damages your home. Flood insurance requires 30 days from the date of purchase before it will provide coverage, so don’t wait until a flood warning to buy your policy.

The amount of condo insurance you need depends on the value of your belongings. To best assess your coverage needs, go through your home and write a detailed list of all your belongings as well as their estimated replacement-cost values. This will give you a good idea of how much you stand to lose in a disaster as well as how much it will cost you to replace everything and start over.

Good luck with your move! Let us know when you’re settled in so we can come for a visit…our staff loves hanging out at the river! 🙂

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 Emily Wienen of Georgetown, TX, our June Referral Program winner! Thanks for your referrals, Emily!

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.)

Texas Trivia

7‑Eleven, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest convenience store chain operating, franchising, and licensing more than 56,600 stores in 18 countries. 7-Eleven has more stores than any other retailer or food service provider.
The idea of convenience selling began in 1927 when an employee of Southland Ice Company started selling milk, eggs, and bread from the dock of a local icehouse. In 1928, Southland began selling gasoline from ice docks as well and the gas station/convenience store combo was born. When Prohibition was repealed the stores added beer and liquor to the shelves and business boomed. First called Tote’m stores, Southland changed the name of its “convenience stops” to 7‑Eleven in 1946 to reflect the 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours of operation.
July 11th (7/11) is the official birthday of 7‑Eleven. To celebrate, participating stores give away free small Slurpees to customers who visit between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. According to 7-Eleven, which two Slurpee flavors are the most popular? 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 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…

“The staff at Texas Insurance is courteous, helpful, and professional. They don’t keep us waiting and we are very satisfied.” –Ester Herrera and Maria Casas, El Campo, TX

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