According to the FBI, a home break-in takes place every 13 seconds – and, contrary to popular belief, more than two-thirds of burglaries occur not at the dead of night but during the day, when homes are more likely to be unoccupied.
Criminals love an easy target, so making use of the following tips may encourage a burglar to target someone else and not you!
Install a home security system: A centrally monitored alarm is not only an effective deterrent, but also brings you discounts on your home insurance premiums. If you don’t want to fork out for a security service, consider “faking it” with an alarm company sign on your front lawn and dummy security cameras.
Lock doors and windows: An astonishing 79% of home break-ins occur through an unlocked door or window. It takes just seconds for an opportunist thief to walk in, grab some valuables, and make their escape. You should also close curtains and blinds, so would-be intruders cannot see inside and identify items worth stealing during a quick raid.
Get to know your neighbors: One of the best deterrents for thieves is a community where people keep an eye out for each other.
Don’t make things easy for thieves: Lock ladders and tools away. Remove items near the home, such as rocks, which could be used to break a window. Install strong doors with high-quality locks. Trim trees and shrubs near the house to eliminate hiding places.
Make it look like you’re home: Leave lights or a radio on when you go out. Better still, put lights on a timer to go on and off at random times.
Replace worn keypads: Have a keypad on your gate or garage? Be sure to change the code regularly, otherwise certain keys are likely to become worn which makes it a lot easier for thieves to guess your code.
Secure your passports, documents, jewelry and cash: The first place a burglar will look for these items is in the bedroom, so buy yourself some time by keeping these items in a locked box or a safe in another room.
And finally …. consider owning a dog for maximum deterrent value. Small dogs make a lot of noise and attract attention to an intruder, and if you have a big dog, may God help anyone who decides to gain unlawful entry to your home!
Did you know that one of the most common causes of expensive home insurance claims is entirely preventable? Read our handy tips here – and make sure you contact Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston to confirm that you have coverage for this common peril.
When the mercury rises in Houston, so does anxiety about the size of your next electricity bill. With temperatures topping 103F in the city this week, and no end to the heatwave in sight, stay cool with Memorial Insurance Agency’s tips on keeping energy costs as low as possible!
Use fans: While a fan won’t actually make the room cooler, the circulating air will make it FEEL more comfortable. Try and get into the habit of using fans instead of AC whenever possible.
Line-dry your clothes: An electric dryer hits your pocket twice: it uses a lot of power, and it generates heat so your AC has to work harder. Humidity is highest in Houston in the mornings, so hang out your clothes on a sunny afternoon and they will be dry in no time.
Close your blinds: In the height of summer, the best place for the sun is outside – not streaming into your living room!
Keep AC vents open: Yes, even in rooms that are not in use. Keeping all vents open allows for better circulation of air throughout your home, and lower energy bills.
Spend more time on lower floors: Cool air sinks lower, so staying downstairs during the day will allow you to be more sparing in your use of the AC. Now, if only Texas homes had basements!
Set your thermostat to 78 or above: For every degree higher than 78, you save on average 8% on your energy bill.
Turn down your water heater: Your boiler accounts for 18% of your household energy bill. If your thermostat is set to 140 or 150, turn it down to 120 – you might be amazed at the savings.
Seal cracks around doors and windows: For obvious reasons – you want to keep that nice cool air inside the house.
Properly insulate your home: See above!
Go somewhere else: Prefer someone else to pay the AC bill to keep you cool? Malls, coffee shops and restaurants are all excellent places to linger during the heat of these summer days!
Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident can be scary and frustrating. If you are involved in an automobile accident, you are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other driver. But if a driver takes off instead of stopping, your head may be swirling with questions. Here at Memorial Insurance Agency, serving the greater Houston, TX area, we are often asked if auto insurance offers coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident. You may be covered only if you carry one of these two types of policies.
Collision coverage will cover both your vehicle and any injuries you or your passengers may sustain if a driver hits you and fails to stop. Your insurance company often requires that you report the accident to the appropriate authorities in order to provide coverage for a hit-and-run accident. Additionally, you are typically required to pay the deductible, even if the accident was not your fault, unless the hit-and-run driver is found.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Collision coverage does more than provide coverage for hit-and-run drivers. Unfortunately, not every driver needs the coverages it provides. If you are looking to simply protect against uninsured or hit-and-run drivers, some insurance companies offer a coverage called uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage coverage. This type of insurance will protect you against a driver who does not have insurance, does not have enough insurance coverage to cover the damage they caused and/or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Unfortunately, not every auto insurance policy type provides any or ample coverage if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. This is why it is so important to ensure that you have the best auto insurance policy for your needs. Here at Memorial Insurance Agency, serving the greater Houston, TX area, we will help you select the best type of auto insurance policy for you. Call us now to learn more.
Want to know why “road rage” is not covered by many auto insurance policies? The simple answer is that property damage or liability claims resulting from aggressive driving are not considered to be accidental, but rather, an avoidable consequence of risky behavior.
Even if you’re feeling calm, you don’t want to become part of someone else’s auto accident as a result of their bad driving choices. The following tips may save your bacon on Houston’s high-octane highways:
Stay far away: Slow down or change lanes to leave as much space between you and the offending driver as possible. If you are being tailgated, move aside to reduce the chance of being run into from behind if you are forced to brake sharply.
Note the vehicle details: Pull over and report the aggressive driver to the police. Remember – do not make a call on your cell phone while driving!
Don’t use hand gestures: A middle-finger salute could quickly escalate the situation out of hand if the other driver is already feeling angry, aggressive, or upset.
Don’t confront another driver: In a moment of madness, it may be tempting to follow the person who just cut you off, force them off the road, and teach them a lesson using a tire iron or firearm. Don’t do this.
Practice empathy: Maybe the aggressive driver is running late for work, or just had an argument with his wife. Perhaps the slow driver is lost, or has a mechanical issue with his vehicle. At some point, everyone has been one of those drivers – try not to take the bad driving of others personally.
Stay safe on those crazy roads and if you need auto insurance advice, call your friends at Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, Texas!