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Learning About Scheduled Personal Property Insurance

Here’s how this special type of insurance can fill your personal property coverage gaps.

Your homeowners insurance policy offers you four main coverages: property coverage, personal liability coverage, loss of use coverage, and personal property coverage. When it comes to your personal property coverage, your policy is subject to certain limits. These limits can make it difficult for homeowners to secure adequate coverage for high-value items such as jewelry, antiques, fine art, and so on. Fortunately, you can secure the additional coverage you need with scheduled personal property insurance. Here’s what you need to know about this special type of coverage.

The Limits of Your Homeowners Insurance

As previously mentioned, the personal property insurance offered by your home policy is subject to certain limits. While you may have $10,000 in personal property coverage overall, your policy may place dollar limits on certain categories of items. For instance, you may have a $2,000 limit on electronics. If you were to file a claim for $3,000, your policy would only cover you up to $2,000, leaving you to cover the rest.

Scheduled Personal Property Insurance

Fortunately, adding scheduled personal property insurance to your homeowners insurance policy can help you address this coverage gap. This optional type of insurance allows you to list high-value items on your policy to receive extra coverage. Scheduled personal property insurance has three main benefits:

  • It increases your personal property coverage limits for the scheduled items.
  • It offers coverage for more perils than standard homeowners insurance.
  • It removes insurance deductibles if you file a claim for the scheduled items.

This is what scheduled personal property insurance can do for you. Are you interested in learning more about your personal property or homeowners insurance? If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Preserving Your Home’s Exterior

Try out these suggestions to reduce wear and tear on your home’s exterior this winter.

During the winter, exposure to wet weather, freezing temperatures, and other harsh conditions can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior. While minor wear and tear might seem like a minor issue, it actually paves the way for more serious damages. This is why it’s so important to take these steps to protect your home’s exterior this winter.

Clean Out Your Gutters

When leaves, twigs, dust, and other debris accumulate in your home’s gutters, they can become clogged and prevent water from draining off your roof. This increases the chances of water seeping into tiny fissures in your roof and causing serious damage. Fortunately, preventing this damage is easy. All you need to do is clean out your gutters to ensure that water can easily drain away.

Trim Bushes and Trees

If you have bushes or trees surrounding your home, make sure to trim them this winter. This will prevent branches from scraping across your home’s exterior and causing damages. Make sure you leave enough space between your home and any vegetation for a person to walk through, and you can prevent this form of wear and tear.

Apply Fresh Paint

Applying a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior is a great way to boost its curb appeal while also adding a layer of protection. Because outdoor paint is specifically formulated to seal against water, wind, and cold temperatures, adding a fresh coat to your home will protect its siding. For the best results, experts recommend re-painting your home every ten years.

These are some of the steps you should take to protect your home’s exterior this winter. Want another way to keep your home safe? Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in America

Is your car one of the most stolen vehicles in the country?

According to data released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), older car models are favored by car thieves. The vulnerability of older cars is likely due to their lack of anti-theft technologies. Popular brands such as Honda topped the list of stolen vehicles due to the high resale value of their parts. Interested to see if your car made the list? Refer to this list of the top ten most stolen cars over the past year.

1) Honda Civic

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1998 (6,707)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 45,062

2) Honda Accord

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1997 (6,301)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 43,764

3) Ford Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2006 (3,151)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 35,105

4) Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2004 (1,970)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 30,058

5) Toyota Camry

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (1,100)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 17,278

6) Nissan Altima

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,450)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 13,358

7) Toyota Corolla

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,012)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,337

8) Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2001 (1,242)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,004

9) GMC Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (957)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 10,865

10) Chevrolet Impala

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2008 (991)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 9,487

If your car made the list, make sure you are taking additional precautions to prevent your car from being stolen.  One of the best ways to keep your vehicle safe is by securing the proper auto insurance protections.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

Take These Steps to Prevent Holiday Home Fires

Reduce your home’s chance of fire this holiday season.

As a homeowner, you can imagine just how devastating a serious fire in your home would be. Unfortunately, during the holidays, your home’s fire risk increases significantly. Luckily, there are some steps you can take around your home to reduce the chances of a fire breaking out on your property. Here are some home fire risk precautions you should employ this holiday season.

Cooking Safety

As you prepare for your upcoming holiday parties and meals, make sure you are practicing fire safety. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports cooking as the top cause of holiday fires. These fires often occur when homeowners forget about food they have left in the oven or on the stove. Another common cause of cooking fires is leaving flammable items near the heat of the stove. So, to reduce your risk for a holiday cooking fire, stay vigilant and do not leave your kitchen unattended during the cooking process.

Candle Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the incidence of fire caused by candles is four times higher in December than it is during any other time of the year. The best way to avoid a house fire is by not lighting candles inside your home. However, if you must use candles, make sure to remove anything flammable within a foot radius of the candle. Additionally, ensure that your candles are placed on sturdy surfaces. Finally, never leave your home or go to bed without extinguishing all the candles inside your home.

Decorating Safety

Finally, using decorative light strings can also increase your home’s risk for fire. Before you hang up any lights, make sure they do not have any frayed cords, exposed wires, or damaged bulbs. Additionally, avoid plugging more than three strings into the same extension cord or power strip, as this could also increase your chances of starting a fire. Finally, check all your lights and cords to ensure you are using the right ones for outdoor and indoor use respectively. Using the proper equipment will ensure your decorations do not spark a fire this holiday season.

These are some of the precautions you should take to reduce your home’s chances of fire this holiday season.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your personal coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

Protect yourself as you finish your holiday shopping online.

As the holidays approach, you are likely doing some online shopping. Today, online shopping has become such a regular occurrence that consumers forget about the dangers that this retail method poses. With cyber criminals on the prowl this season, take these precautions to protect yourself as you shop online.

1) Only Shop Websites and Companies That You Trust

Now is not the time to be exploring retailers that you’ve never heard about. While it’s fine to try out a new store in person, things get far riskier online. This is because cyber criminals can actually create fake websites that look like they belong to legitimate retailers. These sites are used to steal payment and other personal details without the online shopper ever being the wiser. So, to avoid falling into these traps, stick to trusted sites and retailers when you browse online.

2) Do Not Use Public Wi-Fi Networks

While you might want to do a little online shopping at your local coffee shop, never plug in your payment information while connected to a public Wi-Fi network. These networks have very little security safeguards in place, and it is very easy for other people on the same network to intercept the information you are inputting. A good rule of thumb: never log into an account or input personal information while you are connected to public Wi-Fi.

3) Shop Using Gift Cards

Finally, protect your bank account by doing your online shopping with pre-paid gift cards. This way, if a hacker gains access to one of your accounts, they only get the payment information for the card. While you might lose whatever money you have remaining on the card, this is still preferable to a criminal gaining free access to your credit card or bank account.

These are some of the precautions you should take to stay safe while shopping online.  Want another way to protect yourself this holiday season?  Make sure you have the proper personal insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

What You Need to Know About Personal Liability Coverage and Your Homeowners Policy

Do you need to increase the personal liability coverage limits on your homeowners insurance policy?

As a homeowner, you know you are open to certain risks. While you should be concerned about physical damages to your home, you also need to worry about the chances of a liability event taking place on your property. Fortunately, the personal liability coverage offered by your homeowners policy should protect you in the event of a claim. But is this coverage enough? Here’s what you should consider when it comes to your personal liability coverage.

What is personal liability coverage?

Most homeowners have personal liability insurance as part of their homeowners insurance policy. Personal liability insurance offers financial protection for the policyholder in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury, property damage, or other losses. This type of insurance offers compensation to pay for the affected party’s medical treatment or repair costs. Additionally, your insurance will also provide coverage for your legal and settlement costs should the other party decide to sue.

Do I have enough liability protection?

Unlike auto insurance, there is no minimum liability coverage amount that homeowners need to carry. That being said, there are several factors that affect the amount of coverage that you absolutely need to carry. For instance, your liability coverage limits should increase along with your income, investments, and property value. If you have a pet, a swimming pool, trampoline, or other special home features, you will also need higher liability coverage amounts. To determine how much coverage is right for you, speak to a trusted insurance agent.

How to secure additional liability coverage?

If you only need to increase your coverage limits slightly, you can simply speak to your agent to have your policy’s coverage limits updated. Be aware that increasing your coverage limits will also increase your premiums. Another way to secure additional liability coverage is by investing in a personal umbrella policy. These types of policies offer excess liability coverage if a claim exceeds the coverage limits offered by your existing policies. Securing an umbrella policy is a great way to supplement your homeowners insurance and get the comprehensive liability protection you need.

This is what you need to know about your personal liability coverage limits.  Do you have additional questions regarding your homeowners insurance?  If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

Try out these suggestions to protect your home and belongings during a power outage.

While most homeowners consider power outages mere annoyances, they actually have the potential to be quite dangerous. In fact, losing power could actually place your home and personal belongings at considerable risk. Here are some of the precautions you should take to reduce the risk of damage or other losses during a power outage.

Prepare Portable Phone Chargers

While you should definitely stock up on flashlights and batteries for a power outage, you should also make sure to have portable phone chargers prepared as well. When the power cuts out, you will lose access to your landline and to the Internet. However, calls made from a cell phone will still be able to go through, which is why it’s so important to keep your phone charged throughout the duration of a power outage in case you need to call for help. Having a portable phone charger will ensure you and your family can maintain contact with the outside world.

Secure Your Home

If you rely on a home security system, it will go out when your home loses power. This is why it’s so important to be extra cautious when locking up your home for the night or during your absence. Make sure you close and lock all windows and external doors. Additionally, it’s important to secure other points of entry such as doggy doors and garage doors. Taking these extra precautions ensures that your home will not be vulnerable to burglars.

Unplug Appliances and Electronics

When the power goes out, the power grid can become unstable, meaning your home might be hit with sudden power surges. These influxes of electricity are so powerful that they can actually damage any appliances and electronics that are plugged into your home’s main electrical supply. To protect your appliances and electronics from damage, make sure you unplug them as soon as your home loses power. You should only plug things back in when the power has been restored and seems to be stable.

These are some steps you should take to protect your home and personal belongings during a power outage. Remember, another great way to keep your home safe is by securing the right homeowners insurance protection. For assistance with your home’s coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

Try out these driving tips to stay safe this Thanksgiving weekend.

If you are like many other Americans, you are planning on driving to a relative’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving. With thousands of others also traveling along the roadways, you are bound to encounter some tricky traffic situations. To ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other motorists, here are some driving tips to employ this holiday weekend.

Check Weather Conditions

Before you set off on your drive, make sure you check the road conditions that you will encounter along the way. For instance, check to see if you will face rain, wind, fog, or even snow on your holiday commute. Knowing your risks ahead of time will allow you to take precautionary measures like replacing your tires or windshield wiper blades. If the weather is going to be particularly severe, you may also want to consider changing your driving route to avoid the worst of it.

Plan Frequent Stops

If you are driving a long distance, make sure you plan to take frequent stops. Not only will this give all your passengers a chance to stretch their legs and use the restroom, but taking breaks will also help you stay alert and well-rested throughout the drive. Additionally, making pit stops will also allow you to switch off drivers without affecting your traveling schedule.

Stay Calm

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, expect to see more drivers on the roadways. Additionally, as holiday stress settles in, you will likely encounter some motorists who are driving recklessly. Rather than acting aggressively towards these drivers, distance yourself from them and try to stay out of the fray. If you allow yourself to get too caught up in your road rage, you too might start driving dangerously. Rather than putting yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk stay calm and drive responsibly.

These are some of the driving safety tips you should employ during your Thanksgiving commute. Want another way to stay safe behind the wheel this holiday weekend? Make sure you have the right auto insurance protection in place. For assistance with your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency today.

Household appliance

Watch out; these appliances can set your home ablaze.

Fires are some of the most serious and devastating risks that a homeowner can face. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to stay vigilant and take steps to reduce their home’s fire risk. Keeping an eye on these common household appliances can help you mitigate your risk for a house fire.

Dryers

When you use your dryer, lint from your clothing collects in the lint trap, tubing, and vents. This lint is highly flammable, and the extreme heat that your dryer generates is enough to set it ablaze. This is why it’s so important to clean out your dryer on a regular basis. You should clean off your lint trap after every load, and you should do a deep clean of your dryer’s tubing and vents every month or so. Keeping up with this maintenance will reduce your risk for a fire starting in your dryer.

Dishwashers

Because dishwashers make use of water, most homeowners do not consider this appliance a fire risk. However, what they do not account for are the electrical components that heat the water. If these components malfunction, this could easily spark a fire, which is why it’s so important to get your dishwasher serviced by a professional, especially as your dishwasher gets older. In some cases, it’s safest to replace old dishwashers completely.

Microwaves

Failing to maintain or use your microwave properly can increase your fire risk. For instance, if you do not clean out your microwave after each use, the food remnants left behind can actually ignite the next time the microwave is used. Additionally, attempting to heat non-microwave safe materials such as metal and plastic can also start a fire. Simply keeping up with routine maintenance and using your microwave properly will reduce your fire risk significantly.

These are some of the common household appliances that can pose fire risks for your home and how you can reduce this risk. Want another way to keep your home safe? Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

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Here’s how cancelling your auto insurance policy now will affect your ability to secure coverage in the future.

If you need to cancel your car insurance policy before your term ends, then you might be worried about the future impact of your premature cancellation. Fortunately, cancelling your auto policy for a legitimate reason should not impact your ability to secure affordable coverage in the future. Here’s what you need to know about auto policy cancellations.

Cancelling Your Policy

As mentioned above, cancelling your auto policy for a legitimate reason should not have negative effects on your insurability. This means your insurer will not punish you for cancelling your policy if you are selling your car, moving out of state, or so on. When you go to secure a new auto policy, you shouldn’t have issues securing coverage at a price that you can afford.

Having Your Policy Cancelled

Choosing to cancel your policy and having your policy cancelled by your insurer are two completely different scenarios. An insurer only forcibly cancels a policy when policyholders prove themselves too risky to insure. For instance, an insurer might cancel when the insured has missed payments, filed too many claims, committed insurance fraud, or showcased some other risky behavior. If your policy is forcibly cancelled, this will automatically mark you as high-risk to insure. Because higher risk translates into increased insurance costs, you will have a difficult time finding an insurer willing to offer you coverage at a low cost.

This is what you can expect when cancelling your auto policy. Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance? If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.