Boat insurance midland odessa, tx

Boat Insurance

If you’re an avid angler then you are serious about catching fish. Your success depends on your boat and equipment, keeping both in tip-top shape is important. An on that same note, keeping your insurance current is equally important.  Whether you fish just for fun or compete in tournaments, be sure your insurance is what it should be to meet your needs.

Ask your independent insurance agent if your fishing and boating insurance includes the following and discuss what you may or may not need. If you compete in fishing tournaments you will want to ask whether that is included in your policy.

  • Damage Coverage
  • Disappearing Deductible
  • Consequential Damage Clause
  • Fishing Equipment
  • Protection & Indemnity (P&I)
  • Medical Payments
  • Tournament Fee Reimbursement
  • Towing and Emergency Assistance
  • Unlimited Trailering within the continental United States

And remember the importance of safety when you’re boating or fishing. In Texas alone, there are over 250,000 registered boats and the state enforces strict boating and fishing laws. Make sure you and your crew are well informed and well prepared before you leave the shore.

And if you’re new to the game and don’t have boating insurance yet, check with one of our independent agents about getting a fast, online quote here.

The bass, trout and who know how many more are out there waiting for you. Don’t let the worry of damage, injury or loss complicate your fishing fun. Contact your independent today and get all the details worked out.  You might even want to invite him to join you for a fishing trip!

Texas Cyber Insurance Policy Nowadays, even if you’re a small business, you probably need cyber insurance. The fact that over 40 percent of small businesses have been targeted in the last two years should be taken seriously. As most business, large and small, is increasingly reliant on the internet, playing it safe is just common sense. The unseen ‘bad guys’ are out there and they seem to be getting smarter by the day.

So what exactly is cyber insurance and what does it cover?

Basically cyber insurance covers your business in the case of a data breach that is related to sensitive customer information. That would include Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, health insurance info, account details and such.

So exactly what does cyber insurance cover?

Cyber insurance covers legal fees and other expenses and it also assists in the following ways:

  • Customers are notified about a hack or breach
  • Personal identities of affected customers are restored
  • Compromised data is recovered
  • Damages to your computers and computer systems are repaired

Contact your independent insurance agent to find out more about cyber insurance. While it is still relatively new to the insurance industry, there are many fine products available to ensure better security for your business.

The National Cyber Security Alliance* advises that updated computer systems, strong passwords and a well trained staff are three important ways to avoid a security breach. In addition to your cyber insurance, think defensively when it comes to protecting your business and the security of your customers.

Renters Insurance Agent Odessa, TXIf you rent a house, apartment or mobile home you should renters insurance coverage. Why?

Personal effects are not protected by the landlord’s insurance policy. Your landlord’s insurance covers damage to the building but does not protect your personal possessions.

If your personal effects are lost, damaged or stolen, renters insurance provides coverage. Renters insurance also protects you against liability claims if a visitor to your rented home or apartment is injured.

How you are compensated depends on the type of loss and the amount of coverage you have in place. You can purchase “actual cash value” (depreciated) coverage for your personal property, or you can buy replacement cost coverage for your personal possessions.

Although you aren’t required to carry renters insurance by law, your landlord can require renters insurance in your rental lease agreement. Having renters insurance protects you so that regardless of what happens on the premises, your renters insurance will cover you.

If you are required to relocate due to repairs from fire, smoke or water damage, for example, your renters insurance can cover temporary accommodations.

Renters insurance is very affordable. Depending on where you live and the coverage amount you choose to carry on the policy, the cost is around $100-$250 per year. The national average for renters insurance is $15 to $30 per month.

Texas renters insurance is very affordable. The average cost is around $15 a month for $10,000 of personal property coverage and $100,000 of liability. You can get more coverage if you need it which might total $20 a month.  Consider what it would cost if you had a major loss and did not have renters insurance. The loss of electronics, jewelry or valuable collectibles could be in the thousands, making the cost of renters insurance minimal by comparison.

Considering the affordability of renters insurance, why do so many people run the risk of not having it?

Insurance Agent Odessa, TXYou may have wondered about the phrase Independent Insurance Agent. What exactly does that mean? And why should I use them? In this week’s blog we will try to clarify that for you.

Insurance agents who work for one company are referred to as ‘captive agents. They will only sell insurance policies from one insurance company. The only way you can buy insurance policies from those companies are through their exclusive agents.

Independent agents, on the other hand, can sell insurance products from a variety of insurance companies.

There are pros and cons to both. For captive agents, knowing the ins and outs of a certain company’s policies has an advantage. Ideally, they know their company’s policies thoroughly. Independent agents however, are able to shop around, negotiate and get you the best price on comparable policies from a number of different insurance companies.

Independent insurance agencies are licensed through 99.5 percent of all insurance companies. An MGA (managing general agent) is used for hard to place commercial risks. Unlike traditional agents, an MGA is vested with underwriting authority from an insurer. Many independent agents are not big enough to get direct contracts with insurance companies, so they broker through an MGA.

Agents working as brokers operate on a lower commission rate because the MGA keeps part of the commission and charges a monthly fee to write policies through them. Brokers have no binding authority through the policies they write through an MGA and are required to tell the insured they are not the “agent of record’.

Working with an independent insurance agent serves you in many ways. They not only find you competitive pricing, they make sure you’re fully and correctly covered. Working with you face-to-face, an independent agent is more like your personal adviser, taking the time to listen to you and understand your individual needs.

Independent agents are often your neighbors who share an interest in the community and the challenges of living in the area. An independent insurance agent also offers the convenience of one-stop shopping by providing you with auto, home, renter, business coverage and whatever specialty insurance you may need along the way.

Tornado Home Insurance Coverage in TexasTornado Alley, a swath of land from Texas to Nebraska, is most prone to destructive vortexes, but the fact is, tornadoes can strike anywhere. Random tornadoes have formed in areas far outside of Tornado Alley in recent years, touching down in cities from outside Sacramento, California, to Long Island, New York.

For those of us living in Texas, being prepared for the possibility of a tornado goes with the territory.  And one major factor is homeowner’s insurance. Keeping your homeowner’s insurance current and comprehensive can be a life-saving or a life-altering decision. If you’re not sure what your homeowner’s insurance includes, visit with your independent insurance agent.

Also know the safest places to take refuge from a tornado, whether you’re at home or away from home.

Safe Shelter at Home

The basement, if your home or building has one or the innermost rooms with the fewest windows, such as a hall closest or bathroom, are safe places to shelter inside a home. Bathrooms can offer additional protection because pipes reinforce the walls and lying in the bathtub provides an extra barrier from flying debris.

Safe Shelter Away From Home

If you’re away from home a concrete, single-story structure may be your safest bet. Big box stores have roofs that can get ripped off in high winds so try to avoid those. If you’re in one of these stores, take refuge in the bathroom, which is a concrete structure. Avoid the storefront.

Usually tornadoes move from southwest to northeast, but they can double back so keep an eye on the skies. When a twister is close, you may decide to pull over to a low-lying area but avoid underpasses, which can amplify wind speeds and turn into a wind tunnels. Once parked, the NOAA recommends getting as far away from your car as possible. While your car may feel like it offers protection, violent tornadoes can hurl cars hundreds of yards. Being in your car is safe in a lightning storm, but definitely not during a tornado.

If you’re running away from your car or you’re caught outside, look for an open field and lay face down in a spot lower than ground level. If you can’t find a ditch, crouch by a strong building. Cover your head with clothing, a purse or a backpack and your hands, but don’t clasp your hands together. Lay one hand over the other then if one hand takes a hit from a hailstone or debris, your other hand is still functioning.

Even though you may never suffer the ugliness that a tornado can disseminate, it’s always best to be in a state of readiness and prepare for the worst. Tornadoes are one of nature’s deadliest disasters.

Golf Cart Insurance Policy Odessa, TXPerfect golfing weather may cause you to temporarily forget about your golf cart insurance. But before you grab the irons and head for the links, check to make sure your golf cart is fully covered.  Depending on how you use your golf cart and what type it is will be the deciding factors for the kind of insurance you need. Homeowner’s may be all you need, but you may need more.

Which type of golf cart do you own?

A basic cart is similar to using a riding mower

A cart that is speed-modified goes up to 25 mph on neighborhood streets

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can be used on neighborhood and city streets

How you use your golf cart affects your insurance needs.

Do you drive only on a golf course or on your own property?

Do you do some street driving and use seat belts?

Do you use it for regular use on streets as well as golf course?

If your golf cart is listed on your homeowner’s policy, be aware it is covered for ‘theft only on premise’. There is limited coverage for off premise.

Motorcycle insurance is what you need to cover your golf cart if it is an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). This covers liability, guest liability, comprehensive and collision.

Save money on your golf cart insurance by bundling – getting all of your insurance with one company. If you own your own home, you might get a homeowner’s discount. And remember that taking a safety course can often result in a policy discount. Also, if you take a higher deductible on your policy you will pay less for your golf cart insurance.

In some golfing communities, the Home Owner’s Association requires golf cart owners purchase specific golf cart insurance and name the HOA as an additional insured. If live in a community with an HOA you will want to find out what they require.

Insurance for hail damage in TexasIt’s that unsettling time of year when Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your property without much notice. Among the culprits is hail damage. Repairs due to hail damage can often cost thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the hail, the impact angle and force, and the duration of the storm.

The fact is that hail damage varies widely in total cost and the major categories are roof damage and vehicle damage. Siding, fences, and decking can also potentially suffer harm from hail impacts, but let’s focus on the main two for now.

Hail Damage to Roofing

Because your roof is more exposed to the weather than any other part of the house, it takes the brunt of a hailstorm. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof material and are prone to severe damage by hail stones.

Hail may only damage a certain portion of your roof, but it is usually impossible to replace only a portion of the shingles. Undamaged shingles adjacent to damaged ones must be taken up and put back down during the repair process, adding to labor costs. Replacement jobs can run from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars of damage.

When the damage is severe and widespread enough to call for total roof replacement, you could be looking at a $10,000 to $20,000. Your homeowner’s insurance will typically cover this expense, minus your deductible.

Hail Damage to Vehicles

Often overlooked is the cost of hail damage to vehicles, but the total price tag can be quite significant. If the dents are in hard to work on areas like the car’s roof, the cost goes up. Finally, broken windshields average about $300 to replace. Comprehensive auto insurance will cover hail damage and if you have not yet paid off your car loan it’s a good idea to carry it.

Hail damage in the U.S. costs homeowners millions of dollars in damage every year. While it often cannot be prevented, there are ways to minimize the risk and homeowner’s and comprehensive auto insurance policies will cover it. Knowing the potential costs of hail damage ahead of time should help motivate you to guard and insure against it so you are not caught unprepared.

RV Insurance Odessa Midland TXOne way to be sure your RV is adequately insured is to request an easy, fast online quoteRV insurance is different from other insurance, so it’s best to understand the details before you hit the road for summer trips and campouts.

For instance, do you know what a Total Loss Replacement (TLR) is?

It means that if your RV is totaled, your insurance cover replacement of a new RV or pays you the initial purchase price. That depends on how old your RV is at the time of the loss.

Do you understand what a Purchase Price Guarantee (PPG) means?

This kind of policy will reimburse you for the amount you paid for the RV toward the purchase of another RV. This policy can extend for the life of the RV or just first 10 years;  then convert to an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy in the 11th year.

What is an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy?

An ACV policy pays the depreciated, fair-market value of your RV in case of a total loss. ACV is the most common type of policy offered to RV owners.

Do you need Vacation Liability?

If your RV is parked and someone is injured at your campsite,  at the beach or wherever you’re parked,  you are covered up to the stated policy limits.

What is Diminishing Deductible Coverage?

Good drivers are rewarded with this coverage as comprehensive and collision deductibles are reduced by 25% of your original deductible for every year you have no claims until your deductible reaches zero. After that, you pay no deductible.

Is it best to take out Personal Contents Coverage?

If you’re traveling very light, you may decline this coverage. However, if you’re taking everything but the kitchen sink, you probably should take out personal contents coverage. It covers housewares, tools, clothes and sporting goods. Your homeowner’s policy may provide coverage, but there are often limitations to coverage for off-premises property, items in storage or belongings damaged in a collision. RV insurance specialty policies replace stolen or damaged items at full replacement cost. Items such as awnings, antennas, external racks and signal dishes are usually covered at no additional cost. Dollies for towing and trailers are usually included, too.

Do you really need Emergency Travel Expense?

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. If your RV breaks down because of a covered loss, most RV insurance policies cover the cost of a rental car and/or hotel room while you’re waiting for repairs. If the RV is beyond repair, the policy can cover airfare to return you and your family home.

Do you qualify for Discounts?

Membership in an RV club is on way to qualify for a discount.  Also, installing supplemental braking systems can sometimes reduce your premium. Completing a safe driving course is usually a sure way to receive a discount on your RV insurance. Ask your independent insurance agent about these discounts and more.

Spring Cleaning Your Insurance Policy in TexasAre you busy with closet cleanouts and dusting remote corners of your house?  Spring has a way of motivating us to get busy and start afresh. And as you’re tackling your spring cleaning list, don’t forget to add checking on your insurance policies to the task. After all, they may need a bit of dusting or airing out.

Smart financial planning and managing a budget should include your insurance coverages and costs. Here are some tips that will help zero in on any changes needed.

Auto Insurance

Do you examine your auto insurance policy at each renewal time? If not, you should. Review your declarations page, which is the summary of your coverage and deductibles.

Are your liability limits high enough to adequately cover you in case you cause an accident? If you’ve simply renewed the same policy for many years, you might be underinsured.

Do you have collision and comprehensive coverage? This covers your own vehicle if you have a collision. If you’re carrying collision and comp on an older car, is it worth it? In the worst case, if your vehicle were totaled, these coverages would pay out only for the value of the vehicle. Consider the premiums you pay compared with the actual cash value of your vehicle.

If your deductibles are low — like $500 — this could be a savings opportunity. Switching to a higher amount, like $1,000, will reduce your premiums even more. Be sure all your vehicles have current insurance cards on board. You’ll want to have the current card handy in case there’s an accident.

Homeowner’s insurance

Reviewing your homeowner’s insurance, look on your declaration page to be sure updates are being made annually to reflect local construction and property costs. Are your deductibles what you expect?

Consider your valuables. If you’ve acquired expensive jewelry, for example, it may not be fully covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. You may need riders for items like jewelry, fine art, digital equipment and computers. Have a complete home inventory in case your house suffers serious damage.

Insurance policies protect you against financial disaster, whether it’s from a car crash, house fire, flood or burglary. Having your policies up to date is way more important than having a clean closet.

Workers Compensation Insurance Odessa, TXIndependent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage; employers are not required by state law to purchase coverage for independent contractors. Whether or not a worker is an employee is not controlled by what name the employer uses for the worker, but by the circumstances surrounding the employee’s work.

Independent contractors provide a service, usually with a contract, whether written or spoken. An independent contractor controls how the service is provided, who provides it, and how it is delivered. The key is that the independent contractor acts independently, free of direction and control of the hiring company (employer).

To be an employee, the worker does not need to be interviewed and formally hired. Independent contractors typically receive payment by the job; on the other hand, employees receive wages on an hourly or salaried basis.

Another factor in distinguishing an independent contractor from an employee is who provides the equipment. An independent contractor typically provides the equipment necessary to complete the job, while an employer typically provides the equipment for the employee to complete the job.

Another thing to consider is the character of the work involved. If the work is highly skilled, and the worker only performs a single job, the worker is likely an independent contractor. Independent contractors almost always work for more than one company. Otherwise, if the worker is trained by and receives regular work from the same company, the worker is more likely to be considered an employee.

The state worker’s compensation board will consider all of the above factors regarding the workers’ employment situation to determine whether the worker was an independent contractor or an employee. Ask your independent insurance agent what works best for you if you have questions about worker’s compensation.