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.

Does My Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Outbuildings?

If you have a detached garage or a stand-alone shed in your backyard, you may be wondering if your standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers these outbuildings. Fortunately, most home insurance policies cover outbuildings that are separate or detached from the primary building.

Coverage Basics

If your property has a shed, gazebo, guest house, pool house, deck, or fence, these structures are called outbuildings and have the same insurance coverage as the primary home. However, it’s wise to check just how much protection these buildings have.

For example, if you have outbuildings on your property for business purposes, your primary home insurance policy may not cover any damage to these buildings. In some cases, you need to buy additional coverage for outbuildings you use for a business.

Know the Risks

Most standard home insurance policies cover damage for risks like theft, fire, or other named perils, including the risks to external structures. However, these buildings have the same coverage as the primary building. So, it’s essential to check how much coverage you have – especially if you have high-value structures on your property.

Examine Coverage B of Your Homeowners Policy

Coverage B of your home insurance policy details how much protection you have for detached structures. Knowing which outbuildings aren’t covered under your standard policy is also vital. For example, some policies don’t cover detached structures used for agricultural purposes. And, any outbuilding you use for rental purposes – like renting a guest house – might not have the same coverage as other detached structures.

Contact our team of insurance professionals today at Shell Insurance Agency in Deer Park, TX to find out more about outbuilding coverage on your standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

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!

Who should get an auto insurance plan in Texas?

Owning a car is a good option for people all over the Deer Park, TX area. If you are going to buy a car when in this part of the state, you need to make sure that you are properly covered with insurance. There are a few situations when someone should get an auto insurance plan. 

Those that Want to Stay in Legal Compliance

A common situation when someone will want to have insurance for their car is when they want to stay in compliance with the law. Drivers in Texas need to have liability insurance. This will give you protection if you cause an accident that results in damages. If you aren’t covered, you can face penalization from the state. Further, those that have an auto loan in place are going to need to carry a full plan until they have paid off the loan. 

Those that Want to Protect their Car

You should also get auto insurance in this part of the state if you want to protect your car. If you choose to buy a car when you are here, it would be wise to ensure your investment is covered as well as possible. If you opt to get a full insurance plan, it will give you support to replace or repair your car if you incur certain forms of loss.

There are a lot of great reasons why someone should get auto insurance coverage in the Deer Park, TX area. If you are looking for a car or new insurance plan, you should speak with Shell Insurance Agency to discuss all of your insurance needs. If you work with Shell Insurance Agency, you can get all the support that you need to build a plan that will help you remain protected. 

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

If you own a home in Deer Park, TX, flood insurance is a must-have. Your home is the most valuable asset you probably own. The best thing you can do is to guard it by purchasing flood insurance safely. And since home insurance does not cover floods, it would help if you had a separate flood insurance policy.

Just because your home has not flooded before doesn’t mean it won’t do so in the future. Unfortunately, Mother Nature can knock any time, and you don’t want to wait to receive her wrath unprepared. That’s why you need to buy flood insurance from Shell Insurance Agency. This way, you will get coverage in the following areas:

Building property coverage

Flood insurance covers damages to your home in the event of an unfortunate event. Building property coverage covers the following:

  • Plumbing systems and electrical
  • Window blinds
  • Water heaters and Furnaces 
  • Refrigerators, build-in appliances, and cooking stoves
  • Detached garages
  • Solar energy, fuel tanks, and pumps
  • Detached garages
  • Staircases, anchorage systems, and foundation walls

Personal contents coverage

Your flood insurance also protects the contents of your home. You have to disclose your contents correctly to your insurer. Here is a list of the contents inside your home that the policy covers.

  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Dishwashers
  • Portable air conditioners and microwaves
  • Dryers and washers
  • Freezers and the food inside the freezers
  • Certain valuables like arts but up to a specific limit

You can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers. Either way, you will have a policy that shields when floods strike.

Flood insurance in Deer Park, TX

Flood insurance protects the things you value. It’s essential to talk to your insurer also to learn what flood insurance does not cover. Ready to purchase a flood insurance policy? Contact us at Shell Insurance Agency for an affordable quote.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer

In today’s society, we can’t be sure about our homes’ safety. Crime rates are rising every day, and there’s so much on the news about theft and burglaries. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make your home safer. You can even take a step further and purchase home insurance. It protects your home from vandalism and theft, as well as other damages caused by unexpected events like fire, hail, and wind.

If you need home insurance in Deer Park, TX, Shell Insurance Agency can help you make the right choices that suit your needs.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer

Secure Your Windows and Doors

If your home is equipped with old windows or doors, replace them. If you don’t want to do that, make sure they are locked properly before bedtime. Many burglaries occur through open doors and windows, so ensure all of them are locked. Keep window ladders away from your second-story windows too! If someone can get on the ladder then they can unlock your window and walk right in!

Buy a Security System

It’s expensive but it pays off. Burglars don’t like homes where there are security systems because it makes their jobs more difficult. It’s better to spend some money than none at all if you need this extra protection. You can also consider getting a guard dog. Yes, dogs fight off burglars.

Add Solid Doors and Fences

If you can afford it, consider replacing your doors with solid metal ones instead of those made out of glass or wood. They’re much stronger and harder to breakthrough. If you already have a wooden door, make sure there’s not a window on it either because that will make it easier for burglars to get in. A fence around your yard is also another good addition if you feel like security isn’t enough. It stops people from walking into your home without permission.

Secure Your Valuables

If someone knows where all the valuables are in your home, they more likely to steal them. Hide everything! Put your valuable items in a safe and if you have expensive jewelry, keep it locked up at all times. You can even buy heavy-duty jewelry boxes and keep them under your bed or inside the closet so no one finds them.

Connect With Your Neighbors

It’s always nice to be friends with those living around you. Having good relationships with your neighbors will benefit both of you as well as other people who live around you. If someone is eyeing their neighbor’s house, then they’ll come over and tell you about it instead of keeping quiet thinking that there’s nothing they can do about it because the person has lived there for years already.

These are some of the best practices to make your home safer. Purchasing home insurance gives you peace of mind that in case anything happens, you’ll be protected. Shell Insurance Agency serving Deer Park, TX provides home insurance policies to help owners cover their homes. Contact us today!

How do you have someone prosecuted for identity theft?

Shell Insurance Agency serving Deer Park, TX wants you to understand that identity theft is a crime. When another individual uses your name, likeness, credit card number, driver’s license number, or Social Security Number, that’s identity theft. The term identity theft or ID theft means that a person other than yourself used your identity to represent themselves.

Identity theft is illegal. 

Those criminals should listen to the old adage, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

This blog explains how to handle documenting ID theft and pressing charges to have the perp arrested and tried. You can have an individual prosecuted in criminal and civil court for identity theft.

By filing criminal charges, you can have the person arrested for the crime. The matter goes to court unless they cut a deal. If prosecuted, tried, and convicted, they will go to prison. The prison terms for this crime vary by state.

You can also sue the individual in civil court to recover the money they defrauded other companies of and to recover damages for any reputation harm they did.

Filling Criminal Charges

You first need to report what happened to the police. Ask to file a report for identity theft. Also, once filed, obtain a copy of the police report. At the time that you file your police report, ask the police department to submit your name and information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s NCIC Identity Theft File. This helps law enforcement flag stolen identities, so they can more easily spot imposters.

What to Bring

You need to take proof with you. If you reported charges to your credit card companies or to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you need to print a copy of that report. Take your government-issued photo ID with you, typically your driver’s license. Also, bring with you proof of your physical address, such as your utility bill, rental agreement, or mortgage papers. You should take with you any proof of the identity theft, such as screenshots of fake accounts they created using your name and photos, bills for purchases they made, photos of them using your credit card information taken from retail store security cameras, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notices, etc.

The police typically do not have time to investigate these matters themselves, so if the identity theft occurred online and did not involve accessing your finances, you need other proof of who did it. You will need to hire a private investigator or a computer firm that specializes in criminal documentation of digital access. They will need to trace the creation of and access to the account(s) to document their Internet Protocol (IP) address which reveals their physical address. Police use the physical address to arrest the individuals. You cannot hire a computer repair shop or Best Buy to do this type of work. The companies specializing in this type of digital investigation locate themselves in major cities, including Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc. You may not find a local company that specializes in it, but since most of these companies conduct their investigations online, this won’t matter.

Filing in Civil Court

You will need to hire a personal injury attorney to file civil charges. Rather than the type of personal injury attorney that deals with car accidents or construction accidents, you need one that specializes in criminal and civil fraud. Many lawyers now specialize in identity theft. Take with you the same paperwork as when you filed the criminal charges, plus the police report. The civil process takes time, and you may not recover much money out of it, but you will be able to document the reputation damage, which can help you recover your good name.

You can help yourself by carrying identity theft insurance from Shell Insurance Agency serving Deer Park, TX. This pays for the fraudulent charges made by those who stole your identity.

Why basic auto insurance may not be right for you

If you are a driver in Texas, you have more than 300,000 miles of roads to choose from. That gives you lots of choices, pretty much like what you get from your independent insurance agents. Choices are always a good thing. At Shell Insurance Agency in Deer Park, TX, we are locally owned and we listen to our customers’ needs and work to customize the perfect coverage. 

Basic auto insurance is just that, basic insurance. It is the least amount you can legally get away with. In Texas, that is 30/60/25 which means $30,000 coverage for one person injured in an accident with the maximum for the entire accident of $60.000, An additional $25,000 is for property damage. 

Imagine that it is a very bad accident and involves an expensive car. The totals can go way beyond the basic amount. If it does go above what your insurance covers, you could be responsible for the additional amount. That could be life-changing. If you can’t manage that payment, upping the amount of liability insurance you carry is a good idea. 

Basic auto insurance isn’t right for you if you have a car loan or you lease a vehicle. You need to have insurance on the vehicle and that requires collision and comprehensive coverage. You may also want to have collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is more than a couple of thousand dollars in value and you use it every day to carry on with your normal activities. Not being able to repair or replace your vehicle isn’t an option for most people.

Basic auto insurance is right for some people, but it may not be right for you. Talk to your insurance agent about what is the best amount for you. 

Contact Shell Insurance Agency in Deer Park, TX for all your auto insurance needs.

3 Benefits of Flood Insurance

We love our homes because it’s the safe haven for our family and pets. While most homeowners understand the importance of protecting their homes, buying flood insurance never crosses their minds until their mortgage lender asks them.

Over the past years, the US has experienced record-breaking floods, resulting in property damage and loss of lives. Without flood insurance, you may be staring at losses when floods damage your home. While you may expect federal assistance, this is not always the case. 

So, why do I need flood insurance in Deer Park, TX? Shell Insurance Agency shares benefits you enjoy when you invest in flood insurance.

To protect your home

Water damage can cause devastating damage. Did you know that just a one-inch rise of water may cost about $25,000 in repairs? Because floods can cause costly damages to your home, you require flood insurance to save you the hassle of financing the repairs from your pocket.

But I don’t live in a flood-risk area? Floods are unpredictable and can strike anywhere. Data from FEMA shows that about 20% of all flood insurance claims arise from residents living in moderate to mild flood-risk areas. 

For peace of mind

Instead of shuddering every time the weatherman mentions an imminent storm, purchase flood insurance to live a stress-free life. This way, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your loved ones when you hear of imminent bad weather. 

To keep your loved ones safe

The worst part about floods is that your home insurance doesn’t cover your home when damaged. As such, your loved ones might be rendered homeless when floods strike. Thankfully, a flood insurance plan protects the safe haven of your dear ones when the unexpected strike.

Buy flood insurance today!

Featuring several rivers and their proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, floods are a reality in Deer Park, TX. But how can I be safe? The surest line of defense is purchasing flood insurance from Shell Insurance Agency. Contact us today for an affordable quote. 

Everything you need to know about ID theft insurance

Identity theft insurance, or ID theft coverage, is critical for any individual or business with any sort of online presence, given the ease with which malicious actors regularly obtain access to confidential financial information. ID theft insurance protects you in the event that someone steals your identity and attempts to use your private information to make unauthorized purchases or open credit lines in your name. 

What is ID theft insurance?

ID theft insurance typically provides assistance in the event your personal financial information is stolen and used. It kicks in after an adverse event and offers reimbursement to cover many of the expenses often incurred when attempting to recover control over your identity. It’s important to remember that insurance coverage can vary by location. We at the Shell Insurance Agency have tons of experience helping Deer Park, TX individuals and businesses understand the available options. 

What kinds of events does it cover?

There’s no one-size-fits-all ID theft plan, so make sure you understand precisely what’s covered to ensure that your most important assets are protected before making a purchase. Many plans will help pay for legal and notarial fees incurred as part of the recovery process. Rectifying ID theft is often a time-consuming process, so some insurance plans provide assistance for child care expenses and lost wages. Others offer compensation for mailing and phone expenses related to securing your financial identity. Some plans even provide guidance to help you through the process. 

Reach out — we’re here to help

Interested in finding out more about this important form of financial protection? We at the Shell Insurance Agency serve Deer Park, TX, so if you live in the area, we’d love to help you with your insurance purchase. Give us a call to schedule an appointment — we’d love to hear from you.