All Posts tagged tx

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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Whole Life vs. Term Life: Which is Best for Me?

If you’re like many people who are looking for life insurance as a way to protect their families, you may be totally confused at trying to determine which of the available options is best for you. You may not understand the differences, what the built in guarantees are, or what will give you the best return on your investment. MSN Money breaks things down and provides a very helpful understanding about what you get with each type of life insurance, how they differ, and how you can determine which type of policy is best for your needs.

Term Life

Term life insurance, as its name implies is just that. The policy is designed to last for a specified term. As long as you pay on the policy during your lifetime, you’re covered. If you die before the end of the specified term, your beneficiaries will collect the death benefit. If, on the other hand, you die after the term ends, your beneficiaries get nothing.

Term life policies are very flexible. You can choose to purchase coverage that lasts for 10 or 20 years, or you can opt to purchase a policy that will extend beyond age 70. Rate plans may vary, as some companies add a clause that allows them to raise the rates to cover their increased expenses. Additionally, some companies may use health as a factor in establishing what your premiums are.

Permanent or Whole Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is more expensive, but in this case, you’re getting what you pay for, and in many cases, much more. It offers you the added security of a built-in savings or investment account. The longer you make payments, the greater its cash value. When you die, your beneficiaries will collect a death benefit that it frequently considerably more than what you paid in.

Permanent life insurance premiums don’t change: they remain the same year after year. When you first take out your policy, part of the added cost of your premium is placed in an investment account. As interest accrues, the value of that policy also increases. Upon your death, the profit that this type of policy earned is not taxable, so your beneficiaries don’t have to worry about paying capital gains taxes on the investment.

Another added advantage to permanent life insurance policies is the security it offers in times of great financial duress. You can borrow money from the policy and any taxes you’d ordinarily have to pay on the interest is deferred.

There are three types of permanent life insurance: whole, universal and variable life insurance.

  • Traditional Whole Life

Traditional whole life offers the most security and the best guarantees. It offers guaranteed minimums for both the death benefits and cash value. There is also a guarantee on what you’ll pay for your annual premiums, so you don’t have to worry about unanticipated premium increases. Traditional whole life is best for people who prefer to make more conservative investments, and for people who aren’t real great at saving money.

  • Universal Life

If you’re looking for more flexible premiums immediately after purchasing your life insurance policy, this may be the best option for you. It also offers the guaranteed minimums for both the cash value of the policy and for death benefits to beneficiaries.

  • Variable Life

If you can afford to be a riskier investor, then you may want to look into variable life insurance. There are fewer guarantees on this type of policy (in terms of what the premiums will be,) but that trade off comes with the greater potential for increasing the cash value of this type of policy. There is still a guarantee on the maximum you’ll have to pay out in annual premiums, and a guarantee on the minimum that your beneficiary collects in death benefits.

Before making any decision, contact the experts at Dean Davis Insurance in Austin, TX.

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When Do You Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance?

It is important, and sometimes difficult, for business owners to understand when they need to have a commercial auto policy. Generally you will need a policy when a company vehicle is used in tasks related to the employee’s job. If an employee is driving a company owned vehicle, your company is liable if anything were to happen while that employee is driving the vehicle.

Another time a commercial auto policy should be in place is when an employee uses their own vehicle to perform their job. If your employee is using their own vehicle for regular business use, on average more than 3 times in a 1 month period, again commercial vehicle insurance is for you.

Talking with your agent about what type of policy you need can help protect you, so you don’t have to worry about whether you have the proper coverage or not. For more information about commercial insurance in Austin, TX, contact Dean Davis Insurance.

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Get Great, Fresh Produce at Your Local Farmers’ Market

Shopping around is the best way to find high-quality products to meet your needs at the lowest possible price. One of the best places to find produce is not at the grocery store, but at your local farmers’ market. Consider dropping by your nearest farmers’ market in Austin, TX to check out what they have at great prices.

One of the main perks of local produce is that it’s very fresh because it is often picked just the day before going to the market. This means that it will taste better if you eat it right away, or last longer if you choose to store it in the fridge when you get home. Another perk of local produce is that you can discover new types of fruits and vegetables that are grown in your area but may not be in your usual menus.

Shopping locally is often the best choice, and not only for fruits and vegetables. When you’re shopping for insurance in Austin, TX, contact our team at Dean Davis Insurance for personalized help finding the best home, auto, and life insurance for your needs.

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Common Driving Distractions You Need to Stop NOW!

Driving requires a great deal of concentration and skill in order to maintain safe control of your vehicle on the road. Any kind of distraction can be a danger to your safety by causing a potential accident. Rowdy children, crying babies, feisty pets and ringing cell phones are all common driving distractions that can lead to accidents. You may not be able to eliminate every distraction while driving, but you should try to minimize these hazards as much as possible.

The use of cell phones while driving is a leading cause of car accidents. Most drivers don’t realize how distracting cell phones can be. It’s difficult to focus on driving when you are having a heated conversation on the phone. Cell phone usage while driving makes it difficult for you to concentrate on road conditions or surrounding traffic. As such, it poses a risk to you, pedestrians around you and other drivers. As a safety precaution for children, Texas recently passed a new law banning drivers from using their mobiles when driving in school zones.

Safe driving helps you avoid accidents that could increase your insurance premium. For more information on safe driving practices, contact Dean Davis Insurance, your auto insurance specialists in Austin, TX.

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Fun Fall Recipes

The seasons are changing, which means great fall produce is coming to the Austin area. These recipes for Fall are a great way to welcome the season:

Pumpkin Spread Make a delicious pumpkin spread for toast by mixing freshly cooked pureed pumpkin with cream cheese, confectioners sugar and a bit of cinnamon.

Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese Add a delicious seasonal touch to your sandwich by adding thin slices of tart apple the next time you make a grilled cheese. Try varying the cheese for a delicious and different meal.

Rustic Apple Tart Use a refrigerated pie crust to make this dish easy and quick! Put one crust in a pan, then top with thinly sliced apples, a scattering of chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of sugar. Fold in the edges of the pie crust, then bake at 350 till golden.

Pear, Cranberry and Blue Cheese Salad Top a green salad with slices of pear, dried cranberry and chunks of blue cheese for a tasty and healthy fall dish.

Family-owned Dean Davis Insurance helps look out for your family, no matter what the season. Contact one of our Austin, TX agents today for a quote.

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