Why Home Insurance in Houston TX Is More Important Than Ever

Protecting your home is an important part of ownership, now more than ever. As housing values increase in the greater Houston, TX  area, the team at Memorial Insurance Agency is here to help you keep your home covered. As house values increase, so do your insurance needs. This includes market increases as well as factors such as improvements and additions that you make to your home. We recommend that all of our clients review their home policies on a regular basis in order to ensure that they have the protection they need.

Now is a Good Time to Review Your Homeowner’s Policy

Houston is a great place to live, and home values are reflecting that positivity in many areas of the city. If you have owned your home for a long time and haven’t given your insurance policy much of a thought except to continue rolling it over, it’s time to take a closer look at your coverage. There are many factors that can contribute to the need for an increased coverage level to ensure that your policy keeps pace with your home’s value.

If you have increased the equity in your home or made significant improvements such as updating the kitchen or bathrooms or put on an addition, it is likely that you will need to increase your policy values. It can be easy to keep renewing the same policy year after year without reviewing the details of your home insurance coverage levels. Don’t be caught with insufficient coverage!

Is it time to review the home insurance policy for your property in the greater Houston, TX area? Give the agents at Memorial Insurance Agency a call today to schedule an appointment to review your current policy for completeness. 

Tips for Revising Your Home Insurance in Houston, TX

If you’ve owned your home for many years in Houston, TX, then your home insurance can start to feel like it’s just something else to pay every month. You probably don’t even think about changing the terms, because you may assume that there’s really nothing to change. But there are a lot of homeowners out with who are underinsured — and they don’t even realize it. Memorial Insurance Agency wants you to have a few facts in mind that may just convince you to revise your policy. 

Consider the Different Events 

What happens if your home’s basement floods after a big storm? Who will you turn to if your mailman sues you if they trip over an old tree stump on the way to your mailbox? How much property will your home insurance cover if all your valuables are stolen by a thief while you’re on vacation? It’s impossible to consider every potential misfortune that can occur to your home (and really, why would you want to do that in the first place?), but asking a few questions can give you a better idea of what you need coverage for. 

The Facts of Home Insurance 

Home insurance policies don’t come with flooding protection in Houston, TX if there isn’t a special rider attached. Your liability limits on your policy may only stretch so far in the event of a lawsuit. Finally, some policies only cover the grounds and the structure of the property rather than your personal property.

If you have questions about how to build a better policy for yourself, Memorial Insurance Agency may be able to help. Give us a call so we can help you comb through your policy line by line before making a few recommendations. 

Does home insurance cover antiques?

Your home insurance policy will cover nearly anything that you can send its way. There are, however, instances where a policy may not pay for everything that you have lost. Antiques are generally covered by your standard home insurance plan in Houston, TX. You may not be satisfied with the amount that you receive to replace your prized possession when tragedy strikes, though. Such is the reason why you may want to consider additional coverage for your antiques as provided through Memorial Insurance Agency. 

The problem with antique items

The average home insurance policy places more value on modern goods. There is little issue with you claiming $1,000 for a desktop computer and receiving compensation to replace the item for said amount. The problem that arises with antique items is their inherent value that the ordinary home insurance plan does not recognize. A Chester drawer from the 1920s receives today’s market value for furniture pieces, which is well below the actual value of the piece. The possibility of you receiving less than half of what your antique items are worth is relatively high when you only have a standard insurance policy. Such is the reason for investing in additional coverage. 

How to adequately cover antiques

You should ask your insurance agent about an additional policy that pays the antique value for items in your home that have history. An appraisal of the goods that you want to classify as antique may be required before your home insurance provider is willing to insure the pieces for more than the average market value. Such a step in the process is worth it, however, when you are trying to ensure that you are not cheated in the end. 

Call Memorial Insurance Agency!

Our agents in Houston, TX can help you find the insurance policy that protects your antiques as well as other items in your home. Call today to get started with a quote for home insurance!

Insurance Claims

Insurance claim? Do you have a good agent? If you don’t, you’ll be calling 1-800-GOOD-LUCK!

At Memorial Insurance Agency, we don’t have 1-800 numbers. Your phone call will be answered within three rings, and you’ll speak directly to an experienced, licensed insurance agent.

We’ll follow up with you about your claim, intervene with carriers on your behalf, and make sure the entire process is as hassle-free as possible.

It is no surprise that anyone who has been through a major insurance claim understands the value of a good agent. Give us a call today!

The Roof and Wind Damage

While there isn’t much harmful weather in Houston, TX, such as hail, high winds can damage your roof, including missing shingles and leaks. When wind hits your roof, it doesn’t go evenly across the surface. Instead, it hits the ridgeline and the edges, and as it gets under a small corner of the shingles, it can rip it entirely off. While the wind itself can cause damage, the most common damages are the result of the wind interacting with other things on or near the roof, such as tree branches. Memorial Insurance Agency has created a few tips on how to prevent wind damage and how to recognize signs of wind damage to your roof.

Prevent Wind Damage

The roof is one of the most critical parts of your house. If it gets damaged, there is a risk of more extensive and expensive damages occurring. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent wind damage to the roof, including:

  • Trim and remove trees near the roof
  • Secure the shingles
  • Clean the gutters
  • Routinely inspect flashing
  • Secure all loose items

Recognizing Signs of Wind Damage

It’s crucial that you carefully examine the roof as soon as possible after a high wind storm. The sooner damages are repaired, the less risk there will be of more extensive damages occurring later. Signs of wind damage to the roof may include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Curling shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Loose shingles
  • Piles of granules on the ground
  • Missing chimney flashing
  • Loose gutters

If you notice any wind damage to the roof, it’s essential to contact a local roofing contractor as soon as possible to make repairs. One of the most important things you can do to avoid expensive damages to the roof is to be diligent about inspecting the roof for issues that may lead to more damage during a wind storm.

Residents of Houston, TX that are interested in learning more information about home insurance or reviewing their current policy, should contact Memorial Insurance Agency.

5 New Year’s Resolutions You Might Actually Stick To

The reason so many New Year’s Resolutions ultimately fail – as psychologists will tell you – is that they are too general. Resolving to “exercise more” is less effective than targeting a specific activity (for example, walking 10,000 steps every day). Let Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, Texas, inspire you with some ideas for resolutions that you might actually keep!

1. Get to know your neighbors: Not only might you find some deep friendships this way, but from an insurance perspective, having your neighbors keeping an eye on your home is great for security!

2. Learn something new: Regular mental workouts improve brain function as we age. Why not take a college course, learn a foreign language, or play chess twice a week?

3. Tip generously: If you can afford to dine in a fancy restaurant, the difference between tipping 15% and 20% is probably not much to you. You get a warm fuzzy feeling from being generous, and that extra money goes a long way for low-wage workers. Don’t forget parking valets, bartenders, cloakroom attendants, and food delivery workers too!

4. Take a risk: There is probably something just outside of your comfort zone that you know you ought to try. Maybe it’s investing in stocks, traveling alone to a foreign country, finally quitting your dead-end job, or trying online dating. What’s the worst that could happen? Expand your horizons and you may find you increase your happiness and fulfilment also.

5. Forgive someone: Holding on to a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The four-step process to better mental health goes something like this: Acknowledge your pain, visualize what you want the pain to turn into, work through your anger, and finally, expel your rage and resentment.

Please share on our Facebook page any other New Year’s Resolutions you are intending to keep in 2020!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Did you know that cooking accidents – and subsequent fires – are up to THREE TIMES more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year?

A house fire on Thanksgiving would really ruin your whole day. So to make sure you’re not left feeling like a turkey when your home burns to the ground, take heed of the following safety tips!

1. Don’t overfill your fryer. When you lower your turkey into the bubbling grease cauldron, oil can spill over the edges, hit the burner, and cause a fire.

2. Thaw your turkey completely before cooking, and lower it slowly into the pot.

3. Avoid using water or ice to cool down oil or put out an oil fire. Water and oil do not mix, and the steam bubbles will cause the oil to spit. If the oil goes into your eyes, a burning house will be the least of your worries.

4. Keep your turkey fryer away from other structures, and – obviously – don’t use it indoors. Avoid placing it on wooden decking or other flammable surfaces.

5. Don’t leave your fryer unattended – if left unwatched, the oil in your fryer will continue to heat, eventually catching fire.

Happy and safe turkey frying this Thanksgiving Day!

Top 5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is the time when coastal Texans bid goodbye to our storm season, and other parts of the country prepare for theirs! But although we do not usually get “winter storms”, there are still some commonsense things you can do to make sure your home is ready for the cooler months:

  1. Take care of trees and shrubs: Falling tree limbs are one of the leading causes of damage to homes – and one of the main reasons for home insurance claims. Inspect your trees carefully for any signs of disease, and have a professional arborist prune any dead branches.
  2. Clean gutters and downspouts: After the last of the leaves have fallen, be sure to remove them from roofs, gutters, and downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to pool, and lead to roof or siding damage. Moreover, excess leaves constitute a fire hazard – insurance carriers will usually request that you remove the leaves if they inspect your home.
  3. Make exterior repairs: Maybe it’s finally time to replace that roof or siding! It is also important to seal any gaps, to prevent rodents and other vermin entering the home as the weather cools. Thinking of moving your home to another insurance carrier? Be aware that insurance companies will conduct a home inspection, and can refuse to insure your home unless it’s in good condition and any necessary repairs are made.
  4. Check safety devices: Test all your smoke alarms, and replace the batteries if necessary. Check the expiry dates on your fire extinguishers.
  5. Clean dryer vents: Lint buildup in dryer vents not only makes your dryer less energy efficient, but can also cause a fire. If you don’t know how to remove the lint yourself, call a professional to give your vents the once-over and make sure you’re in good shape for the dry winter season.

Give Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston a call if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance!

Tropical Storm Imelda

In the insurance world, there is a surefire way to tell when a major storm is coming – and you don’t even need to look at the weather forecast! What happens is that insurance carriers issue a moratorium on binding new business policies when a storm or hurricane is 24-48 hours away from making landfall.

Why do insurance companies do this? In the same way that health insurance carriers exclude pre-existing conditions, property insurance carriers decline to insure buildings (and sometimes cars too) if the risk of loss is suddenly increased. This is understandable – otherwise, some people would only buy insurance at the last minute, when property damage from a storm or hurricane seems inevitable.

At the time of writing, many insurance carriers are not binding coverage due to the threat from Tropical Storm Imelda, which is currently deluging coastal Texas with rainfall. Thankfully, at this point, it’s not looking like becoming a major wind event, so the chance of you having to make a homeowners insurance claim is small. Flood insurance is another matter, and we recommend that every homeowner in the greater Houston area invests in this sensible – and usually inexpensive – coverage.

7 Home Theft Prevention Strategies

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Get to know your neighbors: One of the best deterrents for thieves is a community where people keep an eye out for each other.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!