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What You Need to Know About Life Insurance

What You Need to Know About Life Insurance

Considering life insurance? Here’re the basics.

When buying life insurance, you may be overwhelmed by the plethora of information available. To protect your future from poor choices today, organize your insurance by learning about the basics of life insurance!

Life Insurance 101
As the owner of a selfless insurance policy, you will never actually get to benefit from your life insurance. Your policy is designed to protect your family and finances. When you’re no longer around to provide for your family, life insurance helps your family cover your funeral costs, pay off remaining debt, and can even be used for your spouse to retire as planned or your child to go to college.

Term 
This provides life insurance protection for a specific length of time at a fixed rate (5 years, 10 years, 20 years). If you were to die during the provided coverage time, term policies pay out in a lump sum to the beneficiaries. The young and healthy can benefit from securing a fixed term and enjoy low premiums – so don’t wait!

Whole 
This is otherwise known as a permanent policy. It is not defined by a specific term length, but it pays a guaranteed benefit to your beneficiaries when you die, and generally accrues a cash value over time through interest. This policy is exempt from income tax and the premiums normally stay the same over your lifetime. The cash portion can be withdrawn for an investment such as your kid’s college education, your spouse to retire on time, or to pay off the mortgage. For those with higher financial burdens, this is significantly valuable.

Universal 
This is referred to as a flexible premium or adjustable life insurance. It’s not limited to a set term and usually has cash accumulation too. In this policy, the premiums, cash values, and coverage limits may be increased or decreased during the lifetime of the policy. Usually, the adjustments can be made after life milestones or as your needs change.

Having trouble deciding on what policy is best for your family, budget, and needs? Contact the insurance experts at the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis to find the best life insurance policy for you in Austin, Texas.

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Common Reasons Why Employees Sue & How to Protect Your Business!

Common Reasons Why Employees Sue & How to Protect Your Business!

Protecting your business from disgruntled employees is essential to growth and success.

Every business is responsible for upholding their employees to a certain standard. In this day-n-age, team members need to understand how to meet goals, how to improve, and when to check in with management.

In the ever-evolving litigious society, should an employee feel that they were wronged in some way, when they are terminated, they can lash back in the form of a lawsuit.

Below are the top 4 reasons why employees sue companies (and how to protect your business!):

Not providing a reason for termination. If you’re an at-will employee, you can fire at will, right? Wrong! Most employees think that they’re great workers, and if they get fired for a mysterious reason, they’ll make up their own reason – or their lawyer will. The reason for termination needs to be clear.

Firing an employee for a bad performance when the employee has good performance reviews. In contrast to the above situation, supervisors need to understand that they’ll need a performance paper trail if they want to fire someone. Without written warnings and a host of good reviews at hand, your case will not be strong.

Poor timing. An example of this is when an employee files an internal complaint about the employer or a supervisor, and then is disciplined for an unrelated event. Employees who file complaints can, of course, be disciplined, but the supervisor better have the documentation in order before making the move.

Out of control greed. For example, the owner of a company drives a brand new Ferrari but tells an employee that the company cannot afford to give him a raise from $9 an hour to $9.15. Should that employee get fired, they’ll likely call a lawyer for this unjust work environment.

Fortunately, commercial insurance can mitigate the costs, should your business be slapped with a lawsuit. Businesses can ensure that your HR and legal teams are doing their best to provide the proper protection and training, and secure your business with reliable commercial insurance for time and cost help defending your business.

For a quality insurance policy for your business, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, located in Austin, Texas!

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The Fastest Way to Do Your Spring Cleaning!

The Fastest Way to Do Your Spring Cleaning!

Focus on the big three: carpets, appliances, and furniture and your home will gleam by the time you’re done.

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to renew your home by giving it a deep clean.  Having a clean space can renew us mentally and help us to think clearly and begin anew as the seasons change.

Shampooing Carpets

Test out the carpet shampooer in an inconspicuous part of the house.  When you’ve got the right ratio of shampoo to water, and you’re sure the machine won’t damage the rug, tackle a large room filled with furniture by putting wax paper under the feet of the furniture and only moving it out of the way to clean.  You don’t have to move it fully out of the room. This will save time and the wax paper will make the furniture easier to slide and avoid the feet from getting wet.

Ceiling Fixtures

Be sure to hit lighting fixtures, vents, ceiling fans, and other fixtures with a cloth or vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment. You might be surprised how much more light you get after cleaning off lighting fixtures.

Wash the Walls

You may not even notice that the walls are dirty until you take a sponge with dishwashing liquid and water, and actually wipe the walls.  Then, watch how bright those dingy walls become. A sponge mop will help you reach those high places.

Don’t Forget Your Doormats

This is the first thing everyone sees as they enter your home. Shake them out, shampoo them, vacuum them, and beat them with a tennis racket (like in old country).  A clean welcoming doormat will set the tone that your space is fresh.

Raid the Fridge

Empty all the food and then do a deep clean of the fridge, including removing dust from the coils in the back.

For all of your home insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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Major Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes: Watch Out!

Major Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes: Watch Out!

With winter in full swing, and record-breaking storms on the horizon, it’s important to know how well your home is covered. 

The tragedy happens when you think that you’re covered, but loopholes in your policy leave you vulnerable.  Make sure you know your policy and have the exact coverage that you want, and, more importantly, need.

With a little bit of research and being proactive, you can make sure you have a great policy in place. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Don’t Underinsure

Many homeowners only purchase enough insurance to cover their mortgage, which can be only up to 80-90% the value of their home.  Furthermore, even if the full value of your home is covered, it may cost more to rebuild your house.

Here’s what to do.  Hire a professional to estimate the value of what it would cost to rebuild your house. Many insurers provide this service for free or a fee of about $300.  If you truly value your home, this fee may feel very small compared to the knowledge you’ll be getting in return.

  1. Don’t Assume You Have Flood Insurance

Make sure to always ask your agent if you are covered for a flood. If you live near a body of water, it may be part of your mortgage agreement to have flood insurance, but if not, then double check. Look at floodsmart.gov to see how big the risk is in your area and make sure you are adequately covered.

  1. Don’t Think You Have One Deductible Across the Board

You might think that your maximum out of pocket payment will be $500 or $1000, but make sure that there aren’t special circumstances that make you have to cover 10-15% of the cost.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be better aware of how strong your policy actually is.

For all of your home insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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Car Insurance Discounts You Might Not Expect

Car Insurance Discounts You Might Not Expect

Know what you may be paying for car insurance.

$762 a year is what the average American spends to insure their car. A lot of times, the rate you pay is based on where you live. Many could be paying less, but don’t realize they are eligible for several discounts that they weren’t aware of.

Here’s a list of average discounts per year for these factors.

  1. Low Annual Mileage – $84

If you drive 7,000; 10,000; or 12,500 miles per year, you may drive a small enough amount to be considered for a discount.

  1. Use of Car – $76

If you only use your car for farming, you’ll receive the greatest discount for this factor.  If your car has a specialized usage, be sure to tell your insurance agent and you may receive a discount.

  1. Renewing in Advance – $61

If you renew an average of 10 days before you would normally have to, many companies offer a discount for this too.

  1. Loyalty – $46

Been with your company for a while? Loyalty is rewarded in this industry.

  1. Owning a Home – $46

Being a home owner, apartment owner, or condo owner can save you some dough too.

  1. Bundling Life Insurance – $30

If you have a different type of insurance policy with the same company, this might earn you some savings as well.

  1. Automatic Withdrawal $30

Business love auto-pay.  This way they know payments have more of a likelihood of being paid on time.

  1. Short Commutes $30

Only go a short distance from home to work. This will earn you points!

  1. Sunday Driver? $30

If you don’t drive every day of the week, this is a big factor in rate assessment.

  1. Car Owner $30

If you own rather than lease, you could receive a discount too.

  1. College Grad $30

Believe it or not, college grads are less of a risk.

For all of your car insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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What Are the Differences Between Term and Whole Life Insurance?

What Are the Differences Between Term and Whole Life Insurance?

Know the difference between these two life insurance policies.

Term and whole life insurance are both viable sources of coverage, but one of them is probably better for you.  Also keep in mind that you are a changing person and that your needs change as you grow.  What may have been best for you five years ago may not be now.  Here is a guide for you to compare and contrast the differences between term and whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

This kind of life insurance is designed to cover you through a specific amount of time when they can’t afford to pay whole life insurance.  There is no cash value, but there is a guaranteed death benefit. The premiums will increase at certain times such as after a year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.

Many people choose this kind of life insurance during the time when their family is growing and as a way to have something in place of permanent insurance during years where financial responsibilities are higher than income.

Whole Life Insurance

As opposed to term life insurance, whole life insurance is made to give insurance coverage plus “living benefits” which includes cash value accumulations—as long as the insurance premiums is being paid on time. The insurance remains valid regardless of health.

In the long run, whole life insurance is better because it covers you for your whole life (hence the name). Once approved, the coverage cannot be taken away as long as premiums are paid.  Even if your health is declining, the insurance will remain in place.

Also, this type of insurance builds cash value, as long as premiums are paid on time. You can use this cash value in the future for any purpose through a policy loan. You can use it to put a down payment on a home, pay for your children’s education, or for retirement!

For all of your life insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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Collecting Costs of Installing a Swimming Pool

Collecting Costs of Installing a Swimming Pool

Before you install a pool in your back garden, ensure that you’re adding up all of the expenses involved.

Although we’re only in February, the summer will be here before we know it! Here in Austin, Texas, our summer temperatures have been known to skyrocket, causing exhaustive heat to all of us.

Many homeowners are already preparing to cool off in the summer sun by installing a new pool, now! A pool provides summer enjoyment, a perfect way to cool down, and is viable in almost any back garden! What’s not to love, you ask? Despite the fun a pool brings, it also entails a stack of bills and expenses.

Before you start redecorating the backyard and hiring contractors, take a look at some of the costs that a swimming pool brings.

  • Installation – Your location, pool size, materials, and more can affect the price tag. This can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Insurance premium – Quite simply, your liability risk increases as guests can injure themselves while using your pool. Even if someone doesn’t have permission to use your pool, you can still be held liable.
  • Home value – When looking to resell your home, a pool attracts those who love pools and those who don’t want the upkeep of the pool or have concerns for kids. In short, you shouldn’t add a pool to your home to add value.
  • Upkeep – Even when your pool is up and running, costs will continue. These costs include chemicals, equipment, resurfacing, a utility bill increase, and professionals to fix issues.
  • Whole new world – To deck out your pool, you may decide to add lounge chairs, a new BBQ, pool toys, lighting, new landscaping… The list can go on!

If a pool is financially feasible for you, it’s a great way to make lasting memories with family and friends! For the best homeowners insurance that is tailored to your home and finances, contact the Insurance Agency in Dean Davis, located in Austin, Texas!

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