TXINS July E-News: Hurricane Preparedness, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia Contest, and More!

Hurricane Preparedness:
Is Your Home Protected?

Many living along the Gulf Coast still remember the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Residents in six states were affected and property damage exceeded $91 billion. More recently, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, impacting residents in fourteen states, causing more than $60 billion in damages. If you live along the eastern seaboard or Gulf of Mexico, it is crucial to protect your home against loss from hurricanes.
Hurricane Insurance Coverage May Help in a Risk Zone
Hurricane coverage is available in many states, and if you live in a flood zone, is worth purchasing. Your TXINS agent can provide the guidance you need, particularly if you live in a zone vulnerable to hurricane damage. Even if your home is hundreds of miles from the coast, you may experience the damaging effects of a hurricane that hits landfall.

High winds are the primary cause of hurricane-inflicted property damage. Hurricane force winds have been known to uproot trees, overturn vehicles, shatter windows, and even level buildings. Heavy rains can also damage roofs and allow water to leak into your home.

Be sure you fully understand your homeowners insurance, including your limits and the exclusions in your policy. Because no two home insurance policies are alike, make sure you know what is covered and whether you may need to add coverage or increase limits to be prepared.
Hurricane Insurance Does Not Cover Flood Damage
Hurricanes bring heavy rains that often cause flooding due to sewage backups, rising waterways and saturated soil. While hurricane insurance policies will typically cover water damage if the water comes from above, if damage comes from flooding, you will need to have a separate flood insurance policy.

Homeowners insurance does not cover property destroyed by cresting rivers. To prepare for this type of damage, you need flood insurance offered through the National Flood Insurance Program and available through TXINS. While you can apply for flood insurance anytime, there is a 30 day waiting period before you can use the coverage. It is important to plan ahead.
Federal Disaster Assistance is Not Insurance
Some people feel that they can rely on federal assistance in the event of a natural disaster. However, government assistance programs are distinctly different from insurance coverage, and may or may not provide the assistance you need to recover from a hurricane. Here are the key differences:

  • Federal disaster assistance will usually provide temporary housing and necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter following a hurricane or flood.
  • Federal financial assistance comes in the form of low-interest loans that must be repaid to the government.
  • Disaster relief is often subject to congressional approval and can be delayed.

Tips for Hurricane Preparedness
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity, or phone services are shut off?

Put together a basic supplies kit including:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

Develop and document emergency plans

  • Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan
  • Discuss your emergency plans with other family members to determine a meet-up location should you become separated.
  • Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs, and make plans for your pets to be cared for.

Before the Storm Hits

  • Replace or restock your disaster supplies as needed
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind
  • Close your windows, doors, and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank
  • Unplug small appliances
  • Fill your car’s gas tank
  • Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
 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.

  • All TXINS offices will be closed on Monday, July 4. Happy Independence Day!
  • Happy Birthday goes out to Stephanie Korenek, Celeste Clark, Kirby Wrobliski, and Yvette Smith. We wish them all the very best as the celebrate their special days!
  • We extend a heartfelt welcome to new agent Roland Rodriguez and accounting manager Shebra Adler. We are excited they have joined the TXINS team!
  • Don’t forget to check out our new Texas Trivia contest question! Be one of the first people to email us the correct answer and win your very own Texas flag!

At TXINS, we love celebrating birthdays! In June, we surprised Kristen from the Commercial Lines Dept. with a cake and a delicious fruit bouquet. From left to right: Hector Gutierrez, Shebra Adler, Roland Rodriguez, Kristen Johnson, Jo Ann Hernandez, Karen Strode, and Mr. Sorrel.

jo ann hernandez Meet the TXINS Team
Jo Ann Hernandez

Jo Ann joined our TXINS team in August 2015 and her fun personality and energy were exactly what we were looking for. Always quick with a smile, Jo Ann connects with her clients and makes them feel comfortable and welcome. Her co-workers describe her as a true team player, going above and beyond for her teammates and clients.

To learn more about Jo Ann, click here.

I just bought a new fishing boat! The dealer suggested I look into boating insurance but I have no idea what that is. Can you help?  – Tim H., Conroe, TX

Dear Tim:

Congratulations! Boating is a great way to bring people together, but it is important to remember that accidents, injuries, and fatalities do happen. To get the right coverage that will protect your financial investment, talk with your local TXINS agent who knows the risks and regulations to help ensure that you are fully covered before you head out on the water.
The exact boat coverage you need depends on multiple factors. Small boat insurance is very different from yacht insurance. However, for most types of boats, the three kinds of coverage in a basic boat insurance policy include:

  • Bodily injury liability for expenses related to the injury of another person
  • Property damage liability for expenses related to harming another person’s property
  • Physical damage for damage to your own property, including your boat and trailer

You also may want to add additional types of coverage to your boat insurance policy in order to fully protect yourself and your property. Here are some examples of additional coverage:

  • Property coverage for equipment such as tools, life preservers, anchors, and oars
  • Insurance for fishing equipment like your rods, lures, nets, and tackle
  • Towing coverage when your boat becomes disabled and needs servicing
  • Medical payments coverage for hospital and funeral expenses for you or your passengers
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage if you have an accident with another boater whose insurance is not sufficient to cover damages

You can insure just about any kind of vessel. Every type of boat has the potential to be stolen or damaged, and can be involved in an incident that results in harm to another person or their property. Even if your boat is docked or stored in your garage, it can potentially be vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, or stolen.

Be sure to consider the amount of coverage needed to repair or replace your boat if damaged or stolen and ask your agent to help you get the right coverage for those items.

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.

Learn Something New Every Day
– About 80% of vanilla flavored food (including ice cream) is flavored artificially because vanilla beans are very expensive.

– Venus is the only planet in our solar system that rotates clockwise. All other planets rotate counter-clockwise.

– Australia is the only continent in the world that has no volcanoes.

– July is National Ice Cream Month. We can’t think of a better way to beat the heat of summer than with a big bowl of ice cream! Making it yourself has never been easier. Here are several super easy, no-cook recipes for making delicious ice cream right in your own kitchen.

Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix
A large majority of pet owners have owned a pet that is afraid of fireworks. If you can’t ask for quieter fireworks, you can comfort your pet to reduce stress (theirs and yours). Here are ways to keep your pet safe during this month’s festivities.

– Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets.
– Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets. Pets often become frightened or disoriented by the noise. Opt to keep them in a quiet, sheltered, and escape-proof area at home.
Make sure your pets’ ID tags and microchips are current. In case your pet gets out, having an up-to-date ID tag or a microchip greatly increases the chances they’ll make it back home to you.

We LOVE Referrals!

Congrats to Eddie Moreno, Jr. of El Campo, TX, our June Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals, Eddie!

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 1, 2016.)

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