Bizarre Homeowners Insurance Claims

In most cases, one encounters bizarre insurance claim stories through comedians and weird news outlets. However, the reality is often stranger than fiction. At Whiteside Insurance Agency, LLC in Spicewood, TX, we ensure our clients have the best access to claims service by dealing with them as fast as we can. Every year, the claims service department see many claims from customers concerning their homes brought about by all manner of accidents. The agency makes certain these claims receive critical and professional attention, though some tend to stand out more than others due to their weird circumstances.

Below are some unusual claim stories:

An IT problem– It is impossible to prevent pets from helping themselves to anything. Particularly, cats can be very curious as one cat owner from San Diego discovered when they left their laptop unattended. Unfortunately, the cat spilled a cup of coffee that the owner had beside the laptop all over the keyboard. Both the cat and the owner learned a valuable lesson.

Splash screen – In Kansas, a 2 year-old dog had his dream of a refreshing swimming experience feature on a television. Thinking that it was a real swimming pool, the dog jumped and ended up hitting the screen causing an estimated damage of about $250.

An unexpected and unwelcomed guest– cleaning ones teeth is normally a peaceful affair until you introduce a wasp into the act. Thankfully for the Kilmarnock resident whose mourning clean-up was rudely interrupted, the only damage caused was to his sink after he knocked over a glass which damaged it while trying to chase the wasp away.

A shoe in – Children are another recipe for disaster at home as a Rochester resident discovered. One of the little darlings broke the television screen after launching a shoe at his sibling.

Something’s fishy– Another weird claim came from a man who was taking part in a competitive billiards-type of game. No sooner had he made a wild shot did the ball soar off the table and hit an expensive fish tank. All the fish were rescued and his claim paid.

Call Whiteside Insurance Agency, LLC Today

We will help you with your claim no matter the level of “uniqueness." Reach out to our agents in Spicewood, TX to learn more about how to start a home insurance policy. If you are looking for quotes from home, try our online rating tool for home and auto insurance. Call us at (877) 693-8882 to speak with someone or schedule an appointment.

 

 

3 Reasons to Start Using a Password Manager Today!

Log in Faster

During a typical day, how many separate websites do you have to log into? Taking the time to enter complex passwords over and over again can be quite tedious. You need passwords for your email, your social media accounts, your online banking and probably other important tools and services. Each website you visit has its own unique requirements for how long or how complicated your password must be and how often you must change it. With a password manager you can log in once at the beginning of your day or your browsing session and instantly have access to all of your online accounts…no extra typing required!

Avoid Frustration

How many online accounts do you currently have? When was the last time you updated your important online passwords? You probably can’t recall. If you are required to change passwords for an account frequently it can be easy to mess up and type in an old password. Websites don’t like frequent log-in attempts and may choose to lock you out if you try too many combinations! All of this can create a huge headache when you are just trying to get through your day and accomplish simple tasks. Having a good password manager puts you back in control and provides one central place to verify and keep track of your online accounts. The number of passwords and usernames you can memorize has a limit, but a password manager can keep track of a huge number with no problem. Why not make your life easier?

Keep your accounts secure

Many people try to solve their password problems by using the same password on every website. This creates a huge (and unnecessary) security risk. If a hacker can uncover your username and your password on one site, what’s to stop them from trying that same password on another website you use? Think of how many websites you already have the same username for. This is why having diversity among your passwords is important. The more that you re-use the same password, the more likely it is that a hacker can “crack” that password on one small, poorly secured site and from there obtain access to all of your important online accounts.

How to Get Started?

Find a password manager that is recommended and reviewed by trustworthy sources. There are many to choose from. Make sure that you understand how the program works (is it online only? does it have an app for your phone?) and the specific benefits it provides. Check out these top password managers and start protecting yourself today: LastPass  Dashlane  1Password  RoboForm.

We Care

At Whiteside Insurance in Spicewood, Texas, we want our neighbors and friends to be safe online and offline. If you have any questions about your insurance, call us today at (877) 693-8882.

(photo courtesy Jonas Löwgren)

New Year’s Confessions. Yes, I ate that chocolate bar.

It’s the first half of January. How many of us made a New Year’s Resolution?

Statistics say that as many as 45% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution. But only 8% of us keep them.

What’s the number 1 New Year’s Resolution? 

You guessed it- to lose weight.Well that’s cheery news.

But wait.

Even if we can’t resist that chocolate bar, we can do something that will make us feel better than a candy bar. We can call our insurance agent and schedule a review of all of our insurance policies.

We can hear you thinking- “uhm, that is not better than a candy bar.”

OK, maybe it won’t be better than a candy bar. But we can catch up on what happened last year in your life, laugh about funny things that happened and talk seriously about the sad things of life that happen to all of us. We can also make sure that you are covered properly and also not paying more than you need to be paying.

2 Reasons To Review Your Insurance

Reason #1
New discounts, new rules and new laws can change the insurance landscape- and that can affect you for better or worse. It’s our job to know things you don’t know. Stuff changes out there in “insurance-land.” Call us and ask us if any of it affects your coverage or rates.

Reason #2
Life changes mean that insurance needs can change. If you had someone move out of the house or into the house last year (like a new birth!), you need to make sure that your insurance coverage still meets your needs. Did anyone get married or divorced? Did you add an addition to your house last year? How about a pool or a deck? What about the new dog you adopted? Did you get anything valuable for Christmas- and is it properly covered? Call us to ask. We want to hear what’s changed in your life.

We wish you a Happy New Year, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your business.

Call Us Today

We will make it easy to review your coverage. It only takes a few minutes. Call us at (877) 693-8882.

Photo, Death By Chocolate, courtesy JD Hancock. Article used with permission.

Earthquakes in Texas – Fact Not Fiction

“I feel the earth move under my feet.” Yes Carole King, so do we, even here in Texas. Sorry, we know that song is stuck in your head now. Go ahead and listen and sing along. Just come back for the rest of the article.

Are there really earthquakes in Texas?

Yes there are. As a matter of fact, we Texans have lived through more than 100 notable earthquakes since 1847. And even though we haven’t had any damaging earthquakes in the Austin Texas area, or the Hill Country surrounding Austin (like Spicewood and Burnet County) in recent memory… we could be living on borrowed time.

Are any of these Texas earthquakes recent?

Yes they are. As recently as 2012-2013, Dallas experienced several earthquakes reaching a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale. As a matter of fact, there have been more than 15 notable earthquake incidents in Texas since 2010.

But it gets worse. Lots of potential “house-buster” earthquakes are lurking under the ground, and they send up little warning shots all the time. Texas had over 50 earthquakes that measured 1.5 or greater on the seismograph just this year (2014), and we just got hit by a 3.4 earthquake south of Fort Worth on November 29, 2014, that was reported by almost 200 people.

What’s the risk of a big earthquake in Texas?

Like all risks, it is not a question of “what are my chances if it happens?” Instead, it’s a question of, “IF it happens, am I ready?”

Dozens of small earthquakes happen every year in Texas that are still large enough to cause minor damage to your home or business. Even an earthquake as small as 2.5 on the Richter scale can damage your property.

So far, we’ve been fortunate in Texas that we haven’t experienced the “big one” yet. That helps keep earthquake insurance premiums lower than in states like California and Alaska.

What can you do to stay safe?

Here are some simple things you can do to be prepared for an earthquake in Texas:

  1. Keep some emergency supplies in several places, like work and also at a family member’s house.
  2. Know where your nearest fire and police stations are.
  3. Have a pre-arranged designated spot to meet your family or friends in the event of an earthquake. Cell phone coverage may be interrupted. Everyone should know where to meet if that happens.
  4. Secure tall furniture to the walls, such as tall bookcases. Even a small earthquake in Texas can topple a heavy bookcase and hurt someone.
  5. Ask a handyman friend to check on gas appliances (like water heaters) to make sure they are securely bolted down and won’t easily shift in a small earthquake.

There are many more things you can do to prepare for an earthquake. Check out this earthquake Facts and Fantasy page for more ideas.

Can I buy earthquake insurance in Texas?

Yes you can. And the premiums may be lower than you expected. You can request a quote on earthquake insurance in Texas from us. You may also just want to give us a call. We insure folks from all over Texas. Whiteside Insurance is an independent insurance agency in central Texas, and we represent multiple companies. Currently, we can quote earthquake insurance with Travelers, Hartford and Met Life. Call us at (877) 693-8882.

Mobile Home Insurance Done Right

If you have been wondering if your Mobile Home is insured right, of you want to update your insurance coverage, we would be happy to provide you the insurance coverage you need. Whiteside Insurance Agency LLC is not in business of quoting insurance… We are in the business of bringing you the insurance coverage you need. Watch this video from Foremost Insurance to find out more about how Whiteside Insurance Agency LLC and Foremost Insurance can parter with you.  http://youtu.be/5pjQ41Q3Vlk

The Hartford Billing Just got Easier

The Hartford has just made paying your Insurance Premium Bill Online easier with the launch of their updated Online Service Center.  If you are interested in Making a Payment, Managing a Claim, Printing Policy Documents, or Updating your Preferences, then visit the appropriate Personal or Business Link Below.  For more billing information on other carriers we represent, please visit http://www.whitesideinsurance.com/make-a-payment.html.  We appreciate your business and value your Friend & Family Referrals.

Pay your Business Premium

Sign-up when you activate your account or login to receive an email notification when your policy, billing and general correspondence documents are available for viewing online.

Pay your Personal Premium

Sign-up when you activate your account or login to receive an email notification when your policy, billing and general correspondence documents are available for viewing online.