7 Things to Know When Purchasing Homeowner’s Insurance

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Everyone needs protection against liability for accidents that could injure other people or damage their property. To get the best home insurance rates and coverage, know what to look for when shopping using these valuable tips.

Whether you own a home or rent, you need home insurance to protect your personal property. Everyone needs protection against liability for accidents that could injure other people or damage their property. To get the best rates and coverage, know what to look for when shopping using these valuable tips.

Amount of Coverage You Need
If a disaster strikes, you want to have the best possible coverage. It means you will pay less out of pocket if you do. Your lender may designate the amount of coverage you need based on the mortgage terms. It’s important to know that the amount of coverage you buy for your house, contents and personal property will affect the final amount of your house payment.

Select the Right Deductible
Make sure when choosing your deductible that you’re comfortable paying that amount if you make a claim. You pay a deductible on each claim you make and it applies to coverage on your house and personal property. The lowest deductible most insurance companies will do is 1 percent; some companies cap it at 2 to 5 percent. A few companies will do a split deductible 1 percent (and up) Wind and Hail and $1,000 on all other. Higher deductibles may be available at a reduced price. That’s a question for your independent insurance agent.

Which is Best, Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?
There are two options when insuring your home and belongings -- replacement cost or actual cash value. Replacement cost is the cost to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with materials of similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation. It is important to insure your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement value. Actual cash value is the dollar amount it would cost to repair or replace damage to your home after depreciation.

Choose Your Insurance Company Wisely
You’re not required to buy insurance from the company your lender recommends. To find out what different insurers charge for identical products and services, speak with your independent insurance agent, or consult with your state insurance department or consumer publications.

Ask Your Independent Agent About Discounts
Discounts are available in some states for things such as bundling your home and car with the same company, installing deadbolt locks or alarm systems or replacing the roof. Your independent agent will know.

Basic Available Coverages
Whether you own or rent, there are different packages of home insurance offered to protect your home and possessions. Each package protects against a specified number of events that cause damage to property. Three examples are fire, windstorm and theft. In addition, each package policy usually contains four additional types of coverage: property damage, additional living expenses, personal liability and medical payment.

Understand Your Policy and Review It Annually

Remember, a home insurance policy is a legal contract. Your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the insurance company should be clearly stated. When you purchase home insurance and receive your policy, read it carefully to make sure you understand the language and contents.

Keep your policy in a safe place and know the name of your insurer. If you make changes to your home such as an addition an additional room, new insulation or remodeling, discuss this with your independent agent. These changes add value to your home and may increase replacement cost.

We at Killebrew Insurance are available to assist you in your insurance questions. Give us a call today!

May the New Year Bring Health, Peace, and Prosperity!

Friday, December 21, 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, we want to take this opportunity to wish all our wonderful customers, friends, and partners the very finest New Year to come.

As 2018 comes to an end, we want to take this opportunity to wish all our wonderful customers, friends, and partners the very finest New Year to come.

We want to convey a heartfelt “Thank You” for your business, loyalty, and friendship. It’s a privilege to serve the people of The Permian Basin, who embody a special friendliness and warmth you don’t find everywhere.

As a family-owned business, we respect the importance of family and community and hope that we can continue to help you with all your insurance needs, large or small.

Drop by and say hello anytime. We enjoy seeing you and look forward to a bright New Year filled with opportunities that benefit everyone.

Happy New Year!
James Killebrew and the Killebrew Insurance Team

How to Best Insure Those High-End, Expensive Holiday Gifts

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas is almost here, and you may be filled with excitement about surprising your loved one with that expensive Christmas gift. In all the excitement, don’t forget about the importance of insuring it.

Christmas is almost here, and you may be filled with excitement about surprising your loved one with that expensive Christmas gift. In all the excitement, don’t forget about the importance of insuring it. Whether the gift will sit in the garage, hang on the wall, or someone will live in it, here’s how to cover your big gift.

Some gifts you can insure by making a phone call to your agent or insurance company. Others - such as cars or vacations, condos, fine art, high-end electronics - require your loved one to buy an insurance policy in his or her own name.

Existing insurance may be enough

If your gift is for someone who lives with you, the easiest way to insure it may be to add it to your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s coverage. Standard policies pay out if belongings in your home are damaged or stolen, but coverage for valuables - such as furs, art and jewelry - typically have a limit. That’s after any deductible.

You can expand your current policy with a “scheduled” rider, floater or endorsement. Scheduling items onto your policy insures them based on cost or current value. For this reason, you’ll likely need a bill of sale or certified appraisal to cover the gift.

Items that gain value need special coverage

For gifts such as fine art, antiques, or heirlooms, all of which may gain value, a rider that pays the increased value is a good investment in case the gift is damaged or stolen.

An appraisal may be needed every one to three years, if you have this kind of policy. Your insurance agent can probably suggest an appraiser.

A stand-alone policy

Your independent insurance agent may offer more policy options than large insurers, such as coverage for losing the gift; but don’t miss the convenience and savings of bundling with one insurer.

Here are some cases where you may want a stand-alone policy for a gift, rather than using home insurance:

  • The person getting the gift doesn’t live with you, and you can’t add them to your home insurance
  • You or the recipient don’t have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • If the gift is used for work, it would be excluded from many home policies
  • A different type of policy is required for the gift, such as car or travel insurance

Vehicles as a gift

If your gift includes four wheels and a gigantic bow tied around it, the person driving it will need his or her own insurance. And you will need coverage for it before you drive it off the sales lot.

If you share an auto insurance policy with the gift recipient, just add the car to your shared policy and transfer the title after the surprise.

If the lucky gifted person does not live with you, he or she will have to insure it independently. You might consider surprising your loved one at the dealership so the car is properly titled and insured from the start.

No matter what your gift is, talking with your independent insurance agent before you decide can help. You can choose better coverage options with a little professional guidance.

Safety First Won’t Spoil the Fun at Your Business Holiday Gathering

Thursday, December 13, 2018

As the holidays approach, most businesses are planning office parties, pot luck lunches, and closing shop for a few days of downtime. It’s a joyous fun time of the year, but it’s also the time when burglaries, thefts, and accidents increase.

As the holidays approach, most businesses are planning office parties, pot luck lunches, and closing shop for a few days of downtime. It’s a joyous fun time of the year when friends and family get together. But it’s also the time when burglaries, thefts, and accidents increase.

Most businesses realize the value of an alarm system and have one in place year round. But there are also a few safety tips to bear in mind for your business and your employees -- especially during holiday merrymaking.

Make sure your employees fully understand the rules that go along with the holiday office party. If you serve alcohol, be sure to enforce the ‘don’t drink and drive’ policy. Paying for an employee’s taxi ride home could be a lot less expensive than a car crash or accident when leaving the party.

If party decorations are in order, avoid candles and use battery-operated lights. It’s also a good idea to have someone monitor the in/out doors, to keep a keen eye on who’s coming and going.

Minimize access to valuable hardware or software. If you’re a retail business and have cash in registers, remove it or lock up registers along with expensive electronics.

If your industrious employees are working late, make sure they work in pairs. The buddy system is always safer, especially when leaving through the parking garage or street.

If you have a security system that is operational, be sure to advise them of your events and ask for any special monitoring as people come and go. Obviously, someone in charge will be responsible for setting the security system when everyone is gone.

If you do not have a security system for your business, you should consider having one installed. Your property insurance rates can be considerably lower with a security system, saving you up to 20 percent on rates. Not to mention, your employees will feel much safer, too.

And as always, talk with your independent insurance agent and find out how much they can save you on your business insurance.

Winter Weather and Icy Roads

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Although we don’t worry much in Texas about getting too much snow, we are sometimes plagued with the wrath of icy, drizzle that makes the roads a glassy nightmare. That’s when you’re glad you have auto liability insurance.

Although we don’t worry much in Texas about getting too much snow, we are sometimes plagued with the wrath of icy, drizzle that makes the roads a glassy nightmare. Feeling your car go out of control on a slippery, icy highway can be a scare you won’t soon forget.

What happens if you slide into another vehicle?

That’s when you’re glad you have auto liability insurance, something all Texas drivers are required to have by law. Your liability coverage will pay for the damages to the car you smashed into. 

That’s definitely something to be thankful for, but be aware that your insurance rates are most likely to increase. If your car is damaged in the incident, your collision coverage (if you carry it) will pay. Remember, collision coverage is optional, but it is good to have, especially if your vehicle is newer. Collision coverage would also pay for damages if your car slid off the road or into a road sign or guardrail. Of course, you would first have to pay your deductible for the claim.

What if your car was parked in the driveway and a heavy, ice-laden branch fell on it and damaged the hood and windshield?  Comprehensive coverage would pay for it.

Towing assistance is another expense that can occur on icy roads. Depending on your insurance, you may have to pay the tow truck out of pocket, but often you can get reimbursed from your insurance company.

These are all scenarios to be aware of and well worth a call to your independent insurance agent to get clear answers. Be informed and drive safely. When icy roads occur, the best advice is to stay off the road unless you absolutely must go out.

You Deserve the Best Car Insurance Rates

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

With so many options available for car insurance, what’s the secret to getting the best possible Texas car insurance rates? The answer could be in the questions you ask.

With so many options available for car insurance, what’s the secret to getting the best possible Texas car insurance rates? The answer could be in the questions you ask.

What kind of car do you have?

Depending on the year, make and model of your car, your comprehensive and collision coverage will be higher or lower. Newer, more expensive cars usually have higher rates; however, comprehensive and collision coverage rates do not vary much. So, if you're buying a new car, look for one that’s less expensive.

What are your limits?

Minimums for liability insurance coverage are usually set by each state and that includes bodily injury and property damage. If you're getting a loan to buy a new or used car, your lender will require you to carry a certain amount of comprehensive and collision coverage.

How high should my deductible be?

If you want a lower monthly rate on your auto insurance, take a higher deductible. Just remember that should you be responsible for an accident, you'll pay the deductible up front before the insurance payment goes into effect.

What’s your credit score?

Some states (Texas included) allow insurers to take your credit history into account when determining your insurance credit score. That is then uses to calculate your premium rate. Bad credit could mean paying higher insurance rates.

Do you know a reliable independent insurance agent in your area?

Finding a reliable independent insurance agent close to home could save you time and money. An independent agent has access to many difference insurance carriers. This means they will do the ‘heavy lifting’ of sorting through which carrier would be the best fit for you. It’s also nice to develop a friendly, long-term relationship with good people you can trust.

Do you trust your insurance company?

If your choice for an independent insurance agent is with a solid group that has been around 10, 20, or more years in the community, you’re probably making a wise choice. Ask friends and neighbors, business associates and colleagues about your selection and see what they have to say.

Does your independent agent offer discounts?

Discounts can make a difference and are often available to retirees or cars with car alarms installed.

Also, if you're over 55, you can take a defensive driving course and get a usual 10 percent off your rate. Group discounts can include discounts with some agents. Also, ask your agent about ‘bundling’, which means you do all your insurance needs through one agent. This can be a money saver.

What coverage do you really need?

You may not really need to carry comprehensive and collision coverage if you have an older car and own it outright. Keep your liability insurance though, after all it’s illegal in most states to drive without it.

Does the insurance agent you select offer a yearly review?

If your agent doesn’t mention it, then request a yearly review of your policy. If you have moved, changed jobs, or you’re driving more than usual or less, it could affect your insurance rate.

Don’t Let Black Friday Make You Blue

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Black Friday comes with bargains and excitement. But it has an ominous side as well. Here are some tips to help your shopping experience be a success.

It’s that seasonal day that occurs every year, bringing savings and bargains so humongous, people travel for miles to buy, buy, buy. It’s Black Friday. Black Friday comes with bargains and excitement. But it has an ominous side as well.

All those crowded malls and parking lots afford huge opportunities for fender benders, flaring tempers, and worse. Theft increases during these busy times, so it pays to be cautious. Lock your packages safely in the trunk rather than leaving them out in view on the car seat.

If you’re out among the shoppers on Black Friday, follow a few safe tips. Find a parking spot at the mall that is well lit and gives good access into the stores. It’s also a good idea to shop with a friend or spouse, rather than alone. Try to avoid parking spots on the end of a lane, as this makes your vehicle more susceptible to scrapes and bumps of passing drivers who may be in a big hurry.

Before you even leave the house, make sure you know for sure that your auto insurance is current. If you’re not sure, contact your local independent insurance agent and find out. Also, check to be sure you have your current proof of insurance in your wallet or glove box of your car.

Generally, be on the lookout for suspicious-looking characters and keep a grip on your purse and packages. We would rather not think about such things around the holiday season, but the fact is that more thefts occur on Black Fridaythan any other day.

As the classic adage goes, ‘better safe than sorry’ when it comes to being prepared for that calendar event huge savings. After all, the idea is to save money, not come away with less than you started out with. Be safe by thinking ahead and make smart decisions so your holiday shopping can get off to a fun and lucrative start.

Why Educators Need Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Do teachers need professional liability insurance to teach or work in a school? Following are some valid reasons why you may want to take out a professional liability insurance policy.

It can be confusing about whether teachers need professional liability insurance to teach or work in a school. Many believe that because their district, union, or professional organizations covers their liability insurance, they are well protected.  However, that’s not necessarily the case.

Depending on the school district in which you work, you may not be protected individually as a teacher or school employee.

Following are some valid reasons why you may want to take out a professional liability insurance policy:

Technology Effects

With social media and cell phones being prevalent in and out of classrooms, teachers are concerned about how their actions are perceived by students. Any kind of lawsuit that results is difficult to overcome and can affect a teacher’s career.

The Unexpected

Accidents happen and if a well-meaning teacher inadvertently knocks a student’s laptop to the ground and property damage occurs, guess what? A professional liability policy would help cover the cost. If a field day with students playing softball results in a student’s injury, the teacher could be liable. Another reason to have the right insurance.

Fibs and Falsehoods

It’s fairly, normal for kids to get into altercations at school. But if a teacher is accused of not properly supervising the students, things can escalate. Accusations of wrongdoing by the teacher or inappropriate behavior can be a major problem. Some teachers say keeping their door open while meeting with students individually helps quell this situation to some extent.  In either incident, professional liability insurance could be helpful.

Rely on Yourself

If teachers face a litigious charge, they cannot always count on peers and supervisors to stand by them. That’s even more reason to have a professional liability insurance policy that protects a teacher in these instances.

Teachers as Civil Lawsuit Targets

While most schools usually run smoothly without severe problems, there are thousands of fraudulent lawsuits filed each year against teachers with no basis in fact. The past few decades have seen a rise in litigation against educators.

Teachers have enough on their plate to do a good job teaching without the worry of lawsuits. Professional liability coverage is a support that gives teachers the comfort of having more control in their classrooms and their professions.

Ask your local independent insurance agent about professional liability insurance and get the best rates possible.

Umbrella Insurance Can Protect You from the Unexpected

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What is Umbrella Insurance, and how can it benefit you? Here is information that should clear up any questions you may have.

What is Umbrella Insurance, and how can it benefit you? Here is information that should clear up any questions you may have.

Umbrella insurance is a liability insurance supplement to your basic liability policies that would include your auto, home or renter’s insurance. An umbrella liability policy is extra protection that covers a much higher limit than basic auto or home claims.

You will be protecting your assets with an umbrella insurance policy in case of an unforeseen event. For instance, a tragic accident in which you are held responsible for damages or bodily injuries would be covered by your umbrella policy.  If you are faced with a lawsuit, your umbrella coverage will pay for the damages which are your legal responsibility, up to the limit of the policy.

An umbrella policy provides what is called “excess liability”. If you are faced with claims for bodily injury liability or property damage liability, your umbrella insurance will cover these. Umbrella policies also provide a more extensive coverage and can help cover legal fees, false arrest, libel, and slander.

An umbrella policy only pays once your basic liability limits have been exhausted or the claim is excluded from the basic liability coverage. The claim will be made against you, the policyholder, on behalf of the wronged party. Then your insurance company may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement amount exceeds your coverage limits, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount out of pocket.

Everything you own: your house, car, investments, stocks, checking and savings accounts and even your future income are all assets. It’s good to consider that if you are sued for a large amount of money and your liability insurance won’t cover your loss, and you do not have umbrella insurance, all your assets are at risk.

An umbrella insurance policy could prevent financial ruin if you were faced with an unexpected event. People who choose to carry umbrella insurance can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are protected against an unforeseen, damaging scenario.

If you still have questions, give us a call to find out more from your reliable, independent insurance agent.

Do Babysitters Need Liability Insurance?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

There are a number of things that you need when you babysit - the safety checklist, the contact numbers, the bag of games, but what about one question that comes up - whether a babysitter needs liability insurance.

Very often, babysitting is a young person’s first job, usually starting with siblings, cousins or close friends. Usually 11 to12 years of age is considered the youngest recommended age, depending on the babysitter’s level of maturity and responsibility. And there are a number of things that you need when you babysit - the safety checklist, the contact numbers, the bag of games, but what about one question that comes up - whether a babysitter needs liability insurance.

In Texas, the answer is no. A homeowner’s policy can cover a babysitter while visiting your home; however, be sure to check your policy for limits and exclusions. If you feel the coverage is not enough, you may want to adjust your policy accordingly. Your independent insurance agent can advise you on what’s best.

Of course, babysitting every week or two in someone’s home is very different from providing professional childcare in your home or in an independent building. In Texas you can care for up to four (4) children at a time without a license. However, if you provide regular child care for fewer children than this, you may only need to list your home with the state, but need no license. Childcare centers are required by law to carry professional childcare liability insurance.

If you occasionally need a babysitter, there are several good things to know when start looking:

  1. Check the sitter’s references thoroughly
  2. Ask relevant questions that pertain to your children, their needs, and yours
  3. Find a babysitter that fits what your requirements, location and timewise
  4. Have the sitter over to meet your children and see how they interact
  5. Trust your instincts and if it feels odd, keep looking

It’s comforting to know you have someone reliable and trustworthy to call on for babysitting, allowing you to have some free time. Just remember to do the groundwork to settle on the right person for your personal babysitter.

 

Killebrew Blog View Blog

7 Things to Know When Purchasing Homeowner’s Insurance

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Everyone needs protection against liability for accidents that could injure other people or damage their property. To get the best home insurance rates and coverage, know what to look for when shopping using these valuable tips.

May the New Year Bring Health, Peace, and Prosperity!

Friday, December 21, 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, we want to take this opportunity to wish all our wonderful customers, friends, and partners the very finest New Year to come.

Site designed and created by Timo Creative
powered by Dialogs