Archive for October 2013

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.


Insuring Against Injury On Your Company’s Property

Injuries can happen, and they can happen on your company’s property. General liability insurance is often necessary to protect yourself against these risks. General liability insurance will be able to help you in the event that someone is injured on your company’s property or through the actions of your company or employees. These types of settlements can become quite costly, as they often involve extensive medical bills as well as additional costs such as lost wages.

Injuries that occur among your own workers, however, need to be covered under a different type of policy. Commonly, this is a workers compensation policy. Workers compensation insurance takes over any time one of your workers is injured while on the job. This can include injury that is on your company’s premises, but it also includes any injury that occurs at client sites or while traveling due to work. Workers compensation is required for full-time workers. In the event that workers compensation insurance coverage is exceeded, an umbrella insurance policy may be able to take over.

For more information about general liability insurance and other forms of necessary commercial insurance contact the experts at Dean Davis Insurance.


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.


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.


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.


Home Buyers Insurance Checklist

There are quite a few things new home buyers should know when they purchase a home. One of the most important things to consider is having an insurance checklist which should be consulted prior to signing on the dotted line. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your credit is okay – this is crucial and will help with your mortgage rate.
  • Make sure you already have a renter’s insurance policy in place – this will make your transition easier when transferring over to homeowners insurance.
  • Know where the important agencies in the area are – this includes the fire department, police department and closest hospital.
  • Know how far you are to large bodies of water and whether or not the home is in a flood zone.
  • Here are some other things to consider: roof condition, age of the home and anticipated repairs, condition of swimming pool if the home has one, and other attachments such as a hot tub, screened-in patio).
  • Consider maintenance costs.
  • Make sure you get the home inspected.

The best protection you can have when buying a home is doing your research. For more information on protecting your interests in the Austin, Texas area, contact Dean Davis Insurance.


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.