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smiling business owner

Protect your startup with the right commercial coverage.

When you open a business, you are opening yourself up to risk.  This is why it’s so important for business owners to protect their companies with the right commercial insurance protections.  But with all the coverage options out there, how do you know which policies you need?  Here are some of the most essential forms of coverage for new business owners.

  • Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

BOPs are great options for small businesses because they combine general liability and commercial property insurance in a single, easy-to-manage policy.  BOPs offer coverage for third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, product liability lawsuits, repair/replacement costs for business damage, and so on.

  • Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this type of coverage is essential for businesses that provide professional services.  Professional liability policies offer financial protection in the event that your company is accused of making costly mistakes while rendering services.  This type of insurance is particularly important for architects, engineers, IT professionals, accountants, consultants, lawyers, medical professionals, and so on.

  • Cyber Liability Insurance

Today, most businesses have some type of digital element in their operations.  If your business collects, stores, or manages customer data or conducts business over the Internet, then you face the risk of cyberattack or data breach.  Cyber liability insurance is designed to cover the losses associated with a major cyberattack, including the cost of informing affected customers, restoring compromised information and identities, ongoing credit monitoring, repairing affected computer systems, and so on.

  • Commercial Auto Insurance

Finally, if your business relies on company vehicles to complete operations, then you need to protect these company assets and the employees who operate them with the right commercial auto insurance.  Much like personal auto policies, commercial policies offer coverage for repairs and medical fees incurred by an accident or damage event.  Commercial auto policies offer higher coverage limits and more diverse coverage options than personal properties to protect the higher liability risks and more valuable assets of companies.

This is what you need to know about commercial insurance for your newly-launched business.  Do you have additional questions about your business insurance needs?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

filing folder labeled "life insurance"

What happens when your term life insurance policy expires?

One of the major concerns with term life insurance is that your coverage will eventually expire.  This is why many policyholders want to know what their options are as the end of their term draws near.  Here’s what you can expect once your term life insurance is set to expire.

  • Can You Lose Your Term Life Coverage?

When your term comes to an end, you don’t automatically lose your insurance.  You actually have the option to keep paying premiums and maintain your coverage.  However, there is a catch to this—once your term ends, your premiums will increase significantly.  Typically, most people cannot afford to keep paying such high rates, and they are forced to find a more affordable coverage option.  On the plus side, this option does help the policyholder avoid coverage gaps as they search for alternative life insurance.

  • My Term is Ending, What Are My Options?

If you are reaching the end of your policy term, then you have a couple of options.  If you are retired, your children are financially independent, and you no longer have ongoing financial obligations (debt payments, mortgage payments, etc.), then you can simply let your coverage lapse and go without life insurance coverage.

If you still need coverage, then the easiest and most common option is to buy a new term life policy.  While this will require you to go through the application and medical examination process all over again, this tends to be the most affordable life insurance option.  While your premiums will likely be higher than before (due to your age and health), your rates will be locked in for the entirety of your term, so you do not need to worry about sudden price hikes.

Finally, you may also have the option to convert your life insurance policy at the end of your term.  This option will allow you to change your term life policy into a permanent life insurance policy where you do not have to worry about your coverage expiring.  Please note that this option is not available on all term life policies and, even if it is, you might be subject to certain limits regarding when you can convert your policy.  For instance, many policies will only allow you to convert to permanent life within a specified window of time, usually within the first five years after the policy has been issued.  Other policies may require you to convert your policy before turning a certain age, usually before you turn 70.

This is what you need to know about your life insurance options when your term policy is close to expiry.  Do you need help securing the right life insurance coverage to fit your needs and your budget?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are eager to get you the coverage that you need today.

rat peeking out of home wall

Preventing common pest infestations.

During the warm spring months, insects and vermin are more active.  As a homeowner, this means that your risk for infestations is higher.  To ensure that your home isn’t overrun by unwanted guests, here are some of the precautionary measures that you should take.

  • Gnats

While gnats are more annoying than harmful, no one wants to a swarm of these tiny bugs inside their home.  The best way of keeping gnats out is by keeping your doors and any windows without screens closed.  You should also make sure that you don’t leave food or dirty plates lying around, as this can attract the winged invaders.  If gnats do manage to get inside, then you can trap them using apple cider vinegar.  Simply fill a jar a quarter of the way with the vinegar and place a funnel over the top of the jar.  The gnats will be attracted to the vinegar and fly into the funnel, but will not be able to get back out.

  • Ants

Ants are some of the worst pests to deal with.  When the weather turns warm, ants try to find ways inside homes so they can access food and water.  This is why one of the best ways to prevent an infestation is by never leaving food out.  The foods stored in your fridge and cupboards should be sealed in airtight containers, so ants are not attracted by the smell.  You should also inspect the areas around your home’s windows and doors and seal up any gaps or cracks where ants can enter from.  You can also attempt to ward ff ants using some home remedies.  Many homeowners claim that sprinkling cinnamon, coffee grounds, or chili powder around their homes’ points of entry is an effective way of keeping these tiny invaders away.

  • Mice and Rats

While most homeowners think about rodents infiltrating homes to escape the cold of winter, mice and rats are equal opportunity pests.  Regardless of the time of year, rodents are always looking for food, water, and shelter.  The best way to keep mice and rats out of your home is by sealing up any possible entry points.  Additionally, you should keep all food sealed up, so the smell doesn’t attract these pests.

These are some of the most common pests that homeowners have to deal with and what you can do to stop them from invading your home.  Want another way to protect your home and loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

teen driver leaning out of car window

When do kids need their own auto insurance?

When your teen first learned how to drive, you probably insured them under your auto insurance policy.  However, as your child gets older and starts making their own way in the world, you may be wondering when they need their own car coverage.  Here’s what you need to know about covering your child on your auto insurance policy.

Typically, insurance providers will let you keep your child on your auto insurance policy as long as they continue to live in your home.  Once the child moves out, then they must secure their own auto insurance policy.  However, there are some exceptions to this residency rule.  If a child is moving away from home to attend college, then most insurance providers will allow them to remain on their parents’ auto policy.  This is because they still consider the parents’ home as the student’s primary address.  The other exception to the rule is children of divorced parents.  In this case, a parent can continue to list their child on their policy even if they only live with them part-time.

In addition to moving out, insurance providers will require children to secure their own auto insurance policies if they have proven themselves to be financially independent.  While each insurance provider has their own definition of financial independence, many insurers consider a child to be financially independent if they own a home or get married.

This is what you need to know about insuring your child on your auto insurance policy.  Do you have additional questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

lightning storm

How you can avoid serious thunderstorm damage to your property.

If you live in an area prone to major thunderstorms, then you know just how devastating the damage left by these powerful storms can be.  This is why it’s so important to take steps to protect your home.  Here are some of the precautions that you should take around your property if a storm is brewing.

  • Install Storm Shutters

Because heavy rains and fierce winds can shatter your home’s windows, you should install storm shutters over them.  Not only will this prevent damage to your windows, but it also protects your family and belongings from getting hit by broken glass or debris.

  • Invest in a Surge Protection System

During thunderstorms, electrical lines are left vulnerable.  Lighting strikes can cause power outages, and falling trees can take out power lines.  Should this happen near you, then your home’s electrical system will probably hit with sudden power surges.  These surges can cause damage to plugged-in appliances and electronics and can even start fires.  To protect against these risks, you should put your entire home on a surge protection system.

  • Put Up Lighting Rods

Lightning rods are metal rods that you attach to the peaks of your roof.  Lightning rods help to direct lighting strikes to the ground instead of letting them strike the frame of your home.  So, make sure you put up your rods to prevent lightning damage to your home.

  • Test Your Smoke Alarms

Lighting strikes can cause a fire to break out on your property.  Because lighting is most likely to strike your home’s roof, make sure you install a smoke alarm in your attic, so you are alerted at the first signs of a fire.  You should also check the other smoke alarms in your home to make sure that they are operating properly.

These are some of the precautionary measures that you should take to protect your home from thunderstorms.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Then 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 today.

family at beach

Protect yourself with the right insurance this spring break.

As temperatures gradually increase, the promise of spring is in the air.  For many students and families, spring is all about taking a break and setting off on an exciting vacation.  As you plan your spring break trip, make safety a priority with these insurance tips.

  • Homeowners Insurance

Before setting off on your spring vacation, make sure that you review and update your homeowners insurance.  Because your risk for theft increases anytime you leave your home unoccupied, you may want to speak to your insurance provider about increasing your personal property coverage limits.  Additionally, you should make sure that you have adequate coverage to protect against unexpected weather events that could cause damage to your home while you are away.  Depending on where you live, this might mean updating your flood, fire, earthquake, landslide, and/or storm coverage.

  • Auto Insurance

If you are taking a road trip for your spring break, then it’s important that you look over your auto insurance policy.  Because your risk for accidents and vehicular damage increases the more you drive, you may want to increase your policy’s coverage limits in preparation for your road trip.  Additionally, if your trip will take you over state lines, verify that your insurer will offer you the protection you need once you leave your home state.

  • Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a form of coverage that will protect you from certain financial risks and losses that you may encounter during your travels.  For instance, travel insurance can help you cover the cost of lost luggage, last-minute cancelations, and medical emergencies.  If you are going on a particularly expensive trip or traveling overseas, then you should secure travel insurance to protect yourself from costly losses.

Protect the people and things that you love most with these spring break insurance tips.  Do you need help with your personal insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

woman on phone and laptop

Helpful tips for female entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day is coming up on the 8th.  As this holiday is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history, now is the perfect time to take a chance and start building the business that you’ve always dreamed of.  For aspiring female business owners, here are some of the suggestions to consider.

  • Assess Your Strengths

Before jumping in headfirst, you need to have a clear idea of what your business will be.  Just because you can do a little bit of everything doesn’t mean that you should.  Rather than stretching yourself too thin, think objectively about what you are good at and what you would like to devote your life to doing.  Once you have a solid idea of what your business will specialize in, this will guide all your other business decisions.

  • Do the Necessary Research

As an entrepreneur trying to launch a business, it’s absolutely imperative that you do the proper research.  For instance, you should explore your potential markets, investigate potential competitors, and think of ways to set your company apart.  You should also work to foster connections with other entrepreneurs and local businesses and make the most of their practical advice and guidance.  The more you know about your industry’s professional landscape, the better equipped you will be to make an impact.

  • Make a Plan

Every burgeoning business needs a plan to get started.  For instance, you should set financial goals, create your value proposition, and map out the steps that you will take to achieve commercial success.  By setting concrete goals and determining the metrics you will use to measure success, you can keep your business moving forward.

These are some of the tips that female entrepreneurs should try when starting a business.  Once you launch your company, you need to protect it with the right business insurance.  For assistance with all your commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

mother sitting with distraught teen

How you can support your teen if they are in a toxic relationship.

February is Teen Dating and Violence Awareness Month.  A major goal of this month is offering resources and support to young adults who are in or who have recently escaped a bad relationship.  If you are a parent who suspects that their teen is involved in a harmful relationship, then your child needs your support more than ever.  Here are some of the things that you can do to help your teen.

  • Listen and Withhold Judgment

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Give Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Offer Resources

Sometimes, you cannot offer the support or help that your child needs.  If your teen isn’t comfortable talking to you, then do not take it personally.  Instead, do your best to connect your teen with counselors or other professionals that can help them manage their situation.  While it’s hard to step back, it’s important that your teen feels safe and empowered enough to make decisions on their own.

These are some of the things that you can do to help your child deal with a bad relationship.  Want another way to protect your loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

cardboard home next to calculator and money

Have bad credit?  Then here’s how you can still be approved for a home loan.

If you have bad credit, then getting approved for a home loan can be challenging.  However, this does not mean it’s impossible.  With FHA loans, borrowers can secure financing, even if their credit score is low.  Here’s what you need to know about this bad credit home loan program.

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA loans were created by the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 as a way to increase homeownership across the U.S.  FHA loans are government-backed, meaning that lenders can offer these types of loans without assuming risk.  This means that lenders are safe to offer FHA loans to borrowers who would otherwise be considered too risky to approve.

FHA Loan Requirements

While traditional mortgage loans require borrowers to have a credit score of at least 640, FHA loans have much more lenient credit requirements.  FHA loans are available to individuals with credit scores as low as 500.  If your credit score is anywhere from 500-579, then you can secure a loan with a 10% down payment.  Individuals with a credit score of 580 or above can secure an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment.

Please note that you will have to prove compensating factors that make up for your low credit score.  Common compensating factors include the following:

  • Large down payment (10% down or more)
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • High income
  • No outstanding debt
  • Large amount of cash reserves
  • Proof of significant amount of time with current employer
  • Proof of ability to make comparable rent payments

This is what you need to know about FHA loans and how they are providing financing opportunities for individuals with bad credit.  Are you looking to buy a home?  If so, then it’s time to start shopping for homeowners insurance.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

couple holding hands and showing off engagement ring

Important financial steps for couples.

If you have gotten engaged or are thinking about getting engaged, then congratulations!  This is a major step for you and your partner.  However, before you advance your relationship, it’s important that you are both on the same page when it comes to your finances.  Here are some of the important financial matters that couples should take care of before getting married.

  • Provide Access to Personal Information

One of the most important things to do with your partner is tell them where to find your important financial information.  This includes things like your checking, saving, and investment accounts, as well as information on your insurance, loans, and so on.  You should also tell your significant other where to find important documents like your birth certificate, titles, deeds, safe deposit key, and so on.  Having this conversation now will help them know where to find important information in the event of an emergency.

  • Discuss Financial Responsibilities

To avoid arguments or misunderstandings in the future, you should determine your spending and saving habits now.  You should also decide if you are going to open a joint checking account, who will handle paying the bills, and how you will handle major purchasing decisions.  By having a clear plan, you and your partner will be far more likely to manage your money wisely and avoid major fights.

  • Write Your Wills

To ensure that you have a say in how your estate and assets are managed after your death, you should create or update your will.  When writing your will, include your partner as a beneficiary to ensure that they receive a portion of your assets.  Additionally, decide if you will give them power of attorney, which would give them the authority to manage your affairs after your death.

These are some of the financial responsibilities that you and your partner should take care of before getting married.  Do you need help securing the right life insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.