What to Expect from Flood Insurance

Extreme weather patterns over the years have resulted in countless flood events all across the country. Texas is no stranger to flood disasters. As home insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, we recommend Texas homeowners purchase flood coverage. Here’s what a flood insurance policy from Shell Insurance Agency in Deer Park, TX has to offer. 

Flood Events Covered by Flood Insurance 

Flood insurance protects both your home and personal belongings against major flood loss. Flood insurance covers water damage caused by rising lakes or rivers, storm surges, heavy downpours that cause flooding, dam overflows, mudflows and melting snow.

As many Texas homeowners have recently discovered, floods aren’t limited to flood zone areas. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, you’re at risk of flood disasters. With flood insurance, you can be prepared for any eventuality. 

Protection Offered by Flood Policies

Flood policies offer two types of coverage: building and contents. You can purchase just building coverage, just contents coverage or both. Each has their own deductible, which is the part that you pay before coverage kicks in.

Building coverage protects your home’s structure. It covers flood damage to foundation walls, electrical and plumbing systems, wall-to-wall carpeting, staircases, furnaces, water heaters, cabinets, built-in appliances and detached garages. You can buy building coverage for up to $250,000.

Contents coverage protects your belongings. This includes clothes, furniture, electronics, major appliances, paintings, curtains, blinds and more. You can buy contents coverage for up to $100,000. Just so you’re aware, contents coverage is for the actual cash value of your goods at the time of loss – not current replacement costs.

Benefits of Flood Insurance Coverage

Flood insurance provides financial support to help you recover from flood disasters. To purchase flood coverage for your Deer Park, TX home, give Shell Insurance Agency a call.  

The Basics of Identity Theft Insurance

Identity theft occurs when someone gains access to your credit cards, account numbers, or computerized information intending to defraud. The Federal Trade Commission reported that identity theft affected more than 1.4 million Americans in 2021, so nearly anyone could be affected. Given the potential impact, feel free to contact the Shell Insurance Agency, serving Deer Park, TX, to determine whether identity theft insurance should be part of your insurance plan.

What’s Covered By Identity Theft Insurance?

Victims of identity theft may incur out-of-pocket expenses to fix the problem and spend substantial time doing so, and they may suffer direct financial losses. Identity theft policies range from basic to comprehensive, so the following list identifies how you could be affected by identity theft and the expenses and losses covered by different policies.

Out-of-pocket expenses may include:

  • Obtaining copies of your credit report
  • Notary, certified mail, and bank fees
  • Legal fees and court costs
  • Telephone costs

Due to the time required to repair your identity and reputation, some policies also cover the following:

  • Wages lost while resolving issues
  • Child care costs

More comprehensive policies may reimburse or cover the following:

  • Stolen funds
  • Credit monitoring
  • Identity restoration specialists who handle tasks so you can return to work.
  • Data restoration specialists (following a cyberattack)

Generally, those with more assets and whose time is most valuable need more comprehensive coverage, but everyone’s situation and needs differ. 

Working With Shell Insurance Agency

Many gain comfort knowing their families have identity theft protection. In a world where anything can happen, the Shell Insurance Agency team, serving Deer Park, TX, can help you gain that protection. So give us a call or stop in today.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Keeping your home safe and protecting the investment you have made is crucial to your financial security. Flood damage can be a devastating event in the life of a homeowner. At Shell Insurance Agency, serving Deer Park, TX, and the surrounding areas, we are here to help you better understand flood insurance options. Keep reading to learn more. 

Is Flood Insurance Included In My Homeowner’s Policy?

Often, flood insurance is not included in a homeowner’s policy. This is because flood risks can be very different from place to place. This makes it difficult for underwriters to create insurance policies that are one size fits all kind of policy. Flood insurance policies often need to be customized to your particular needs and risk factors. 

What’s The Difference Between Natural Flooding and Interior Flooding?

Interior flooding refers to flooding within your home due to plumbing or appliance malfunctions. This type of flooding is often included in your homeowner’s policy. 

Naturally occurring flooding would be flooding that results from natural disasters or events that are taking place outside your home. You often need a flood insurance policy in addition to your homeowner’s policy to cover this type of damage. 

Do I Need Flood Insurance?

The answer to this question can vary from person to person. Some homes are located in areas with so little chance of flooding that they may not be needed. Other homes are located in very high-risk flood zones. The best way to determine whether you need this type of coverage is to talk with an insurance representative. 

To learn more about flood insurance, please get in touch with us at Shell Insurance Agency, serving Deer Park, TX, and the surrounding areas. 

Do You Need Identity Theft Insurance?

Identity theft is a surprisingly common problem that Americans face, with a new theft occurring every 22 seconds. Identity thefts are expected to increase over time, with many expected to experience financial loss. You should consult an insurance agent for protection if you’re somebody with a high risk of identity theft. Identity theft insurance is one method of many in protecting yourself in this situation. At Shell Insurance Agency, we’re offering identity theft insurance to the people of Deer Park.

How Do I Know if I Need Identity Theft Insurance

Because the internet is now such a pervasive platform, many use it for banking purposes. Americans have a 1 in 6 chance of losing money to a scam. If you have some of your money stored in a digital storage space – like an online banking account or a payment processor – then identity theft insurance comes highly recommended. 

What to Expect From Identity Theft Insurance

There are various types of protection against identity theft, and insurance offers its own set of benefits. In an identity theft insurance plan, you can expect payment if your identity is stolen. It can also cover additional theft-related fees, like legal aid, application charges, or lost wages on the job. When shopping for this insurance, find policies matching your needs.

Finding Identity Theft Insurance from Deer Park, TX

Ready to purchase an insurance plan that covers situations like identity theft? If so, please contact our Deer Park agency at 713-527-2209. Our team would be happy to discuss insurance options with you. 

Three Wise Ways to Flood-Proof Your Yard

Torrential rainfall, hurricanes, and floods can all cause significant damage to your Deer Park, TX landscape. From Shell Insurance Agency, here are three wise ways to flood-proof your yard and keep your property safe.

Identify Low Areas in Yard to Elevate or Fill In

1. Look for standing water: Areas, where water collects and stands after a rainstorm or sprinkler use, can indicate low spots in the yard.

2. Measure elevation changes: Use a laser level or another tool to measure elevation differences across your yard. Low spots will have a lower elevation than the surrounding area.

3. Look for drainage patterns: If you have a large yard, look for signs of water draining away from specific areas. This could indicate that those areas are lower than the rest of the yard.

Install Sloping Landscapes to Guide Water Away From House

Installing sloping landscapes around your home can help prevent flooding by guiding water away from the house and its foundation. Sloping landscapes are designed to direct surface runoff away from the house, preventing it from pooling around the foundation and causing water damage. They also help prevent water from entering the home in heavy rainfall or floods. By directing water away from the house, sloping landscapes help reduce the risk of flooding, property damage, and costly repairs.

Choose Plants That Can Withstand Flooding

Flood-tolerant plants can be an excellent asset for properties prone to flooding. They have deep roots that help stabilize the soil, preventing erosion and reducing the risk of landslides or mudslides. Additionally, these plants can provide a buffer against rising waters and help absorb excess moisture, thus lessening the impact of flooding on your property.

At Shell Insurance Agency in Deer Park, TX, we provide flood insurance to protect you and your property. With us, you can trust that you’ll be getting quality coverage and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered in case of a flood. Contact us today to discover more!

Three reasons why everyone should have ID theft protection

Shell Insurance Agency is here to serve the insurance needs of the Deer Park, TX community. If you have questions about ID theft insurance and how it can help to protect you, we are here to answer them. Call our office or stop by today to find out more.

Top reasons why you should have ID theft protection

  1. ID theft insurance is an effective way to avoid serious financial problems. When your ID is stolen, it can lead to a lot more headaches than just having your accounts changed. Hackers typically use the data they steal to open credit accounts and mortgages. Protecting yourself from this financial risk is smart in today’s environment. 
  2. You can maintain tighter control over your data and information. It can feel like a challenge to successfully protect your privacy and personal data in today’s online world. With an ID theft protection policy, you can access the resources necessary to keep your personal data and online information safe. 
  3. It is an effective way to protect your credit profile and score. We all know how important a healthy credit score is to obtain a loan or open a credit card account. Ensure you have the protection you need to keep a strong credit score. An ID theft policy can alert you to unusual activity before it becomes a problem. 

Contact us today!

If you live in the greater Deer Park, TX area, Shell Insurance Agency is here to help with all your insurance needs. Most people spend a lot of time online and protecting your data, and privacy only makes sense! Give our office a call today and learn more about this important type of insurance. 

Can FEMA Re-map Your Town?

You bought a home that doesn’t sit in a flood zone, but when FEMA updated its flood maps, you received notice that you do own a home in a flood zone. Here’s how to handle that problem.

Shell Insurance Agency knows that your Deer Park, TX home means a lot to you. That’s why you insure it. When you purchased your home, it may not have appeared in a flood zone on any map. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts regular research in the area of floods and updates the US flood maps accordingly. Your community can also decide to re-visit the flood maps and update the flood zones.

FEMA and Community Agencies Can Re-map

When the agency updates the flood maps for Deer Park, it can result in your home and others moving into a flood zone that requires federal flood insurance. Typically, this occurs due to a flood or series of flash floods striking the area.

Re-mapping causes homeowners who previously did not need to purchase flood insurance to need to do so. The Agency requires this to ensure that each homeowner can repair or rebuild after a flood, since homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood or rising water damage.

Updating Your Insurance Coverage

While it’s rare that this occurs, it can happen. Shell Insurance Agency can help you obtain flood insurance locally. Our insurance policies meet the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which works in conjunction with FEMA.

Let us help you properly insure your Deer Park, TX home against flood. Contact us if you find that either FEMA or your community updated the flood map for Deer Park and your home or business now falls within a flood zone that requires coverage.

Essential Steps to Protect Your Identity from Thieves

When you purchase ID theft insurance from Shell Insurance Agency, you probably hope you’ll never use it. Things happen in Deer Park, TX, just as they do in the rest of the US, so taking careful preventative measures helps you avoid needing to file a claim.

Using the advice from the US government and identity theft expert Frank Abagnale, we’ve put together this quick list of precautions to help you keep your identity safe.

  1. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place, such as a safe or safety deposit box, stored with your other critical identifying documents. Don’t carry your number with you; memorize it. Only provide your Social Security number when necessary.
  2. Avoid sharing personal information, such as your birthdate or bank account number, unless you must for an application or payment.
  3. Use a credit monitoring service like Lifelock or Experian Dark Web Scan + Credit Monitoring monitors the three major credit bureaus – Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. The service needs to notify you in real-time of an identity compromise.
  4. Use a micro-cut shredder to credit offers, shred receipts, account statements you still get on paper, and expired credit cards so no dumpster diver can access your personal information.
  5. Collect your mail daily and put delivery on hold when you go out of town.
  6. Know your billing cycle date and contact your bank or creditor if your statement doesn’t arrive on time.
  7. Compare your receipts with your bank statement and credit card statements to balance your accounts and catch unauthorized transactions.
  8. Review all three of your credit reports annually to check for incorrect information, especially accounts you don’t recognize. You can get a free credit report from Annualcreditreport.com.
  9. Always use a credit card, so you use the bank’s money, not your own. Credit cards protect you from unauthorized charges. You typically only have liability for $50.
  10. Avoid using debit cards since they provide a bank account gateway. Examine any ATM or gas station pump card reader carefully before using it. Skimmer attacks place an artificial card reader over the legitimate reader to steal your card number, then your cash.
  11. Activate all of the security features on your smartphone and other mobile devices.
  12. Create passwords you can remember that an identity thief would find difficult to guess or hack. At a minimum, you should use a different password for each website. Each should consist of at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one digit, one special character when allowed, and not more than three repeating characters. Typically, each password must consist of at least eight characters.
  13. If a company with which you do business experiences a security breach, change your password for their site.
  14. Install virus-detection software, malware detection software, and a firewall on your home computer, tablet, and smartphone.
  15. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public Wi-Fi. Also, update your firewall settings before signing onto public Wi-Fi.
  16. Freeze your credit files with the credit bureaus, Innovis, and the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange if you know you don’t need to apply for a loan or a credit card. The freeze prevents costs nothing and stops anyone from being able to apply for credit or utilities in your name.

If you don’t already have ID theft insurance, contact Shell Insurance Agency serving Deer Park, TX. Let us help you protect your identity.

Understanding flood insurance

If you live in the greater Deer Park, TX area, you may wonder if flood insurance is something you need. Fortunately, the team here at Shell Insurance Agency is here to answer all of your questions!

What you need to know about flood insurance

Many people are unsure if flood insurance is something that they need. The answer is an easy yes in some situations, as their home or business is located in a flood plain or their lender requires them to carry such coverage. But in situations where it is a little less cut and dried, you may wonder if flood insurance is something that you should have.

The first thing to understand is that water damage coverage is typically classified by the cause of the damage. For example, your homeowner’s policy may cover the damage caused by a broken pipe but does not provide protection against damage caused by excessive rain or another natural cause.

First, it makes sense to take a close look at your homeowner’s policy to understand what protection it offers for different types of damage. Next, sit down with a local agent who understands your area and the need for flood insurance at your home or place of business. 

Learning about the options you have available to protect your property can help you make the right choice for flood insurance.

Find out more today!

Shell Insurance Agency is your source for insurance in the greater Deer Park, TX area. We are proud to serve the insurance needs of our community and look forward to working with you too. If you would like to learn more about the flood insurance options available in our area, call or stop by today.

Is ID Theft Insurance Worth It?

It seems that data rates are increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, you have to be smart about keeping your identity safe. For this reason, more and more people in Deer Park, TX are making a smart investment in ID theft insurance.

What Is Identity Theft Insurance?

Identity theft insurance, which is available for purchase from Shell Insurance Agency as an add-on to your property insurance policy, provides coverage for expenses that you incur while restoring your identity. The exact coverage options will vary, but typically ID theft insurance will cover the following:

  • Certified mailing fees
  • Loss of wages
  • Monitoring black market websites and chat rooms for information
  • Notary fees
  • Public records searches

It is important to note that these policies do not pay for direct monetary loss, such as money that is stolen from a bank account. In addition, some policies may cap your coverage if your ID is stolen or require payment of a deductible before coverage kicks in to pay for any expenses.

Peace of Mind

Identity theft insurance can provide you with peace of mind. Be sure to take the time to research the benefits to get a good understanding of everything that is covered by this type of insurance policy. Always read the fine print to ensure that you are making an informed decision and getting the coverage that you need.

If you are located in the Deer Park, TX area and you are interested in learning more about identity theft insurance, you are invited to contact Shell Insurance Agency. Our skilled and knowledgeable team of experts is here to provide you with answers to any questions and address any concerns that you may have about purchasing this particular type of insurance. Give us a call today!