Author: alien

Does Pet Insurance Cover Snake Bites?

Pet insurance cover

As per stats, Texas leads the list of “Venomous snakebites per year,” with 1,408 snakebites occurring every year on average. When the stakes are high, it’s important to take precautions against snakebites and protect both yourself and your furry friends. And for your furry friends, there’s an option of pet insurance coverage.

But do pet insurance policies in McAllen, Texas, cover snake bites? The good news is yes. Find out more in this article.

Adorable little girl bringing her beautiful cat to the veterinarian at the animal hospital.

Pet Insurance Coverage: What’s Covered and What’s Not

A pet insurance policy is a form of health insurance policy designed for pets to pay off a portion of their medical bills when the need arises. Just like policies for humans, pet insurance varies based on its coverage.

Usually, you’ll find two different types of pets insurance policies, which are:

  • Accident & illness pet insurance plans
  • Accident-only pet insurance plans

As the name suggests, accident & illness pet insurance policies are designed to cover accidents and illnesses, while accident-only plans cover only what’s deemed as “accidents.” Then, there are add-ons in the form of routine wellness plans.

Here are some common accident events the policies provide coverage for:

  • Animal bites
  • Car accidents
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Eye injuries
  • Fractured teeth
  • Poisoning
  • Broken bone
  • Swallowed objects

Most pet insurance policies provide coverage for snake bites under accident, more specifically, “animal bites.”

Within the chosen coverage level, pet insurance can typically help you manage costs for:

  • Surgery: This includes emergency surgery for accidents and necessary surgeries for illnesses.
  • Hospitalization: Overnight stays for observation, treatment, and recovery are often covered.
  • Medications: Prescribed medications used in treatment are usually reimbursed.
  • Diagnostics: X-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic tools can be expensive; pet insurance can help offset these costs.

Your furry friend will need anti-venom immediately after being bitten by a venomous snake. The good news is the pet insurance policies pay for the anti-venom and related medications.

However, just like with humans, there are common exclusions to be aware of, which are:

  • Pre-existing conditions: Any condition your pet had symptoms of or received treatment for before the policy began is typically excluded.
  • Preventative care (unless as a wellness add-on): Routine checkups, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and flea/tick prevention are usually not covered in accident-only or accident & illness plans.
  • Elective procedures: Procedures not deemed medically necessary, like tail docking or ear cropping, are not covered.
  • Cosmetic procedures: Treatments purely for aesthetics are excluded.
  • Behavioral issues: Costs associated with training or treating behavioral issues are not covered.

Therefore, the coverage will most likely be determined on a pet-by-pet basis.

Pet Insurance Form Animal Doctor Concept

Pet Insurance Policy Coverage Cost

If you’ve taken an insurance policy before, you’d know how policies are priced. The majority of the factors are applicable to pets as well.

The average cost of a pet insurance policy is around $50 per month, which can go as high as $80 per month.

Usually, companies weigh in on the risks and rewards when determining coverage and cost. Less vulnerable and risky pets will attract lower rates than their riskier counterparts.

Here are the factors taken into consideration when determining pet insurance policy coverage cost:

  • Pet species: Dogs are generally more expensive to insure than cats because of their hyperactive and risk-taking nature.
  • Breed: Certain breeds with higher genetic predispositions to health problems may have higher premiums.
  • Age: Younger pets typically have lower premiums, which increase as they age. This is in line with humans.
  • Location: Vet costs can vary by location, so your geographic area might influence the premium.
  • Coverage level: Accident-only plans are cheaper than accident & illness plans, and adding a wellness plan will further increase the cost.
  • Deductible: This is the amount you pay upfront before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible generally means a lower monthly premium.
  • Reimbursement level: This is the percentage of covered costs your insurance company reimburses you for (usually between 50% and 80%). A higher reimbursement level typically results in a higher premium.

Thus, you need to consider all of the factors when deciding on the cost. Please note that snake bites in the US are highly regional, with the Southern part of the country being more vulnerable. So, areas where venomous snakes are more likely to be found will demand higher coverage costs.

In 2024, snake sightings were on the rise in North Texas. Thus, it’s not uncommon for insurance providers to demand higher coverage in this region.

In the southern part, like in the McAllen and RGV areas, the risk is lower but not nil. They inhabit both venomous and non-venomous snakes in Southern Texas.

The good news is that common snakes found in the region, like Rough Earth Snakes, Checkered Garter Snakes, and Diamond Waterback, are harmless and non-poisonous. However, you need to be wary of species like Texas Coral Snake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, and Broadbanded Copperhead, which are quite venomous.

Veterinarian team bandages the paw of a sick Corgi dog

How to Handle Snakebites for Pets?

While pet insurance can help manage the financial burden of a snakebite, the first priority is always your pet’s well-being. Therefore, you must know what to do after a snake bites your furry pal.

Here are the immediate steps you should take:

  • Stay calm

Most people and pets get nervous when such an event occurs. A frantic pet can worsen the situation. Take a deep breath and assess the situation.

  • Identify the snake (if possible)

If you can safely do so, from a distance, try to snap a picture of the snake for identification. This will help the vet determine the type of venom and provide the most effective treatment. However, prioritizing your safety is crucial. Don’t attempt to capture or handle the snake.

If you decide to go after the snake and kill or decapitate it, ensure to dispose of its head safely because snakes have reflexes to bite even hours after being decapitated. And they can expel venom, often in greater amounts.

  • Move your pet away

Carefully remove your pet from the area to prevent further bites. If possible, carry them to minimize movement of the bitten limb.

  • Restrain the bitten limb (if possible)

If it’s safe to do so, gently immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or bandage made from clothing. This helps reduce movement and swelling.

It’s usually recommended not to apply anything or feed anything to your pet unless advised by the vet. But if you have a pet first-aid kit, you can use saline solution to flush the wound gently. It’s best to contact the vet immediately and rush to their clinic.

A deadly Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) in Arizona, USA. Snake is coiled on a rock with rattle visible in the Superstition Mountains.

How to File a Claim for Pet Insurance in McAllen, RGV?

Once you’re at the clinic, the vet will go about their duties and do the needful. In most cases, the pets recover and live another day after receiving anti-venom treatment.

During this phase, your task would be to file a claim for insurance in McAllen. It starts with double-checking the insurance policy and contacting your insurance provider. Let them know about your pet’s situation and your intent to file a claim. Most companies have a dedicated claims hotline or online portal for this purpose. So you can file digitally right from the clinic.

You’d have to file an online form and provide itemized vet bills. The cornerstone of your claim is a detailed bill from your veterinarian. Ensure it includes all charges, medications, procedures, and taxes.

Depending on the case, the amount is reimbursed to the vet clinic within a few days. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Review your policy’s appeal process and submit any additional documentation that strengthens your case.

And, if you are looking for a reliable pet insurance provider in McAllen, SafeGuard Insurance Agency is dedicated to provide utmost insurance protection to your pets. Contact us today to learn more.

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season in McAllen

Hurricane season cover

Hurricanes are powerful tropical storms that can hit coastal regions with destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding. McAllen usually experiences fewer direct impacts from these storms than coastal regions. However, the damage can still be significant.

So, it is important to secure your home and belongings to prepare for the hurricane season. Taking proactive steps to prepare can safeguard your property, minimize damage, and ensure safety.

During the hurricane season, it is important to be aware of upcoming storms and be alert for Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) notifications and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). These will broadcast major storm or emergency information through television, radio, and mobile phones.

In this article, we will help you prepare your home for hurricane season in McAllen. Let’s get started.

Dangerous fallen tree branch in residential neighborhood.

Perform A Risk Assessment

To begin, conducting a thorough risk assessment of your home and surroundings is crucial. McAllen’s location in the Gulf Coast region puts it at risk of powerful hurricanes, heavy rainfall, and destructive winds. McAllen’s Severe Wind Factor™ risk is determined by the probability and intensity of hurricane, tornado, or severe storm winds impacting the area.

Flooding is also another concern, especially if your house is in a low-lying area or near bodies of water.

As a homeowner, you should understand your property’s flood and storm damage risk. You should also look out for vulnerabilities like a weak roof, old windows, and an inadequate drainage system. Understanding these vulnerabilities can help you find ways to fortify your home to protect it from extensive damage. So, how do you do that? Let’s find out.

Take Proactive Steps to Prepare for Your Home

There are several measures that you can take to protect your home from damage in the event of a hurricane:

Roof Reinforcements

The roof usually sustains the most damage during a hurricane, as it is most exposed to the wind and rain. Missing shingles, leaks, and sagging are common occurrences that you may face after a storm.

To prevent or minimize roof damage from a storm, you should have your roof inspected by a professional. Also, consider installing hurricane straps for added reinforcement.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Inspection: Call a professional to assess your roof for damage and signs of wear and tear. Look out for loose or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and areas prone to leaks.
  2. Shingle Reinforcement: Make sure that all the shingles are securely fastened to prevent them from blowing away. Consider using hurricane clips or nails that are specifically designed for strong winds.
  3. Hip and Ridge Reinforcement: Strengthen vulnerable areas of the roof, like hips and ridges, with additional nails, screws, or hurricane straps for added stability.
  4. Debris Mitigation: Remove loose objects from your roof, such as antennas or decorations, as they can become dangerous projectiles in strong winds.
  5. Seal Cracks: Search for holes and cracks all around the roof and seal them properly. This will prevent water from entering the roof structure and causing it to collapse during the storm.

Teenage son helping his father board up the windows of their house in preparation for a hurricane.

Secure Your Doors and Windows

During hurricanes, doors and windows are also very vulnerable to damage, particularly from flying objects like debris and from water leaking into the home.

To protect your home, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Storm Shutters: Install storm shutters to provide strong protection against high winds and flying objects. If shutters are not a feasible option for you, then opt for impact-resistant window coverings.
  2. Plywood Covering: If storm shutters are out of your budget, you can cover your windows and doors with plywood to create a barrier against debris. Also, seal any gaps with caulk to prevent water infiltration.

Secure Outdoor Items

If you have outdoor items, you will have to secure them to keep them from becoming dangerous projectiles that can damage your property. Make sure that structures like carports and sheds are properly fastened and securely anchored.

If you have other items, such as patio furniture, grills, and plants, remember to bring them inside before the storm hits to avoid potential damage.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Preparation for the aftermath of the hurricane is just as important as preparing for the onslaught of it.

Usually, in the event of a hurricane, there is a chance of extended power outages, and getting immediate medical aid can be challenging. So, in such cases, you should be prepared with an emergency kit.

  • When building an emergency kit, it is essential to include items like a radio, flashlights, spare batteries, a charged cell phone with a backup battery, tools to turn off utilities, a fire extinguisher, and essential documents in waterproof bags. Stock up on cash, first aid supplies, medications, mosquito repellent, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and pet supplies.
  • In the aftermath of a hurricane, you should keep in mind how you’ll prepare your food without power. A tip you can remember is that you can utilize a barbecue grill if you have one. Also, stock up on extra gasoline for a generator and ensure your car has a full tank of gas in case local gas stations lose power.

Regularly update your emergency kit before each hurricane season, and store it in a known, accessible location. Being well-prepared can make all the difference in weathering the aftermath of a hurricane safely and comfortably.

Clear Outdoor Obstructions

To protect your property and surrounding areas during a hurricane, it’s crucial to assess and manage your landscaping. Trim branches near your home to prevent them from falling and causing damage. Identify and remove dead, dying, or weak trees and limbs, prioritizing those closest to your house.

If you are unsure, hire a professional arborist for safe pruning. Additionally, clear gutters and downspouts of debris to maintain proper drainage and prevent water buildup as it can help to avoid flooding.

Filling deep white bath tub

Fill Tubs and Freeze Water Bags

In the aftermath of a hurricane, it is common for the water supply to be disrupted, posing potential health hazards due to contaminated or unsafe water sources. Consuming contaminated water can lead to serious health issues, including gastrointestinal infections and waterborne diseases. Therefore, taking proactive measures to store clean water is crucial for safeguarding against such risks during and after a hurricane.

To avoid a shortage of water, you can store water in various ways. One effective method is filling bathtubs, making sure there is a reserve for flushing toilets when regular water sources are unavailable.

Additionally, freezing quart-size bags of water serves a dual purpose: preserving perishable food items by keeping them cold in the event of a power outage and providing a source of safe drinking water if contamination occurs.

Prepare Sandbags

Preparing sandbags can be invaluable for protecting your home from water damage during a hurricane. When properly placed, they serve as a barrier and direct water away from vulnerable areas of your home.

To maximize their effectiveness, it is essential to overlap the sandbags and stack them in a pyramid-like formation, creating a wide base for stability. This arrangement helps to distribute the weight evenly and prevent the bags from shifting or collapsing under pressure.

Additionally, placing sandbags strategically around doors, windows, and other entry points can create a watertight seal, further enhancing your home’s resilience against flooding.

Switch Off Utilities

Turning off gas, electricity, and water before a storm hits is a critical safety measure that helps reduce the risk of accidents and damage to your home. Gas leaks, electrical fires, and water leaks can all pose significant hazards during a hurricane or severe storm.

By shutting off these utilities in advance, you can minimize the likelihood of dangerous incidents occurring.

Knowing where the shut-off points are in your house before an emergency occurs is essential for swift and effective action. Familiarize yourself and other members of the home with the location of the gas shut-off valve, main circuit breaker or fuse box, and main water supply valve to ensure everyone’s safety during a storm.

Mother explaining to her family the assembly point map while preparing emergency backpacks

Make an Evacuation Plan

Having an evacuation plan is crucial if local authorities advise you to evacuate during a hurricane. Determine evacuation routes, prepare your vehicle with a full tank of gas, and include your pets in the plan. Familiarize yourself with local evacuation procedures and heed any evacuation orders issued by authorities as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If conditions become dangerous, be prepared to leave promptly. provides resources for preparing your car and staying safe during emergencies. It is essential to have a plan in place and to prioritize safety as you weather the storm.

Renew Your House Insurance

Review your home insurance policy with your agent or insurer before hurricane season to identify any coverage gaps and request additional quotes if needed. To ensure you have a grasp of the extent of coverage provided by your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Policies often have exclusions, requiring separate endorsements or policies for certain coverages. Additionally, there may be a separate hurricane deductible. So, review or renew your policy before the hurricane season.

Get Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance policies usually do not cover flooding, especially in hurricane-prone areas, so considering flood insurance is wise. The costs can vary based on flood risk and mitigation measures. However, you will need to get flood insurance beforehand as it cannot be bought at the last minute.

The National Flood Insurance Program typically enforces a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, preventing policy purchases for imminent storms. Additionally, insurance companies may implement moratoriums before hurricanes, restricting policy changes until after the storm to avoid covering forecasted events.

Home insurance

Secure Your Home With Us!

Preparing your home for hurricane season is a critical step in ensuring the safety and security of your family, property, and neighborhood. By assessing the risks, taking proactive measures to reinforce vulnerable areas, and creating an emergency preparedness plan, you can minimize the impact of hurricanes and weather the storm with greater resilience.

Remember, it’s never too early to start preparing, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now to protect what matters most.

Do you need to update your home insurance policy? SafeGuard Insurance Agency is dedicated to helping you find the right home insurance policy in the RGV. Contact us today to learn more.

What Every Homeowner in McAllen Should Know About Insurance

Family outside a house

For the majority of Americans, a home is going to be the single biggest expense they’re likely to incur in their lifetime. In the state of Texas alone, the average home value stood at $298,624 as of February 2024. For McAllen, that figure stood at $219,666—lower but still significant.

So, when the investment is high, why not insure it with a suitable home insurance policy? Think of home insurance as a safety net for your biggest asset. In this article, we will explain everything homeowners should know about home insurance in McAllen.

The real estate agent is explaining the house style to the clients who come to contact to see the house design and the purchase agreement. Within a modern office

Why Do You Need Insurance Coverage in McAllen, Texas?

McAllen is known for its Texan sunshine and brightly colored birds. But it’s also prone to tropical breezes and natural calamities.

The state of Texas sees roughly 30 to 60 thunderstorms every year. The National Weather Service predicts severe weather (hail, wind, and flooding) to peak in April and May of 2024 for the Lower Rio Grande Valley area. This time of the year always sees some level of thunderstorms or floods, which cause significant damage to buildings and public infrastructure.

It’s necessary to keep yourself safe in such events. Equally important is reducing financial liabilities by opting for comprehensive insurance coverage.

Insurance Isn’t Required by Law in Texas

While Texas doesn’t mandate home insurance as it does auto insurance, lenders often require it. If you’re securing a mortgage in McAllen or surrounding areas like Laredo or Brownsville, anticipate the need for home insurance as part of your financial planning.

Unlike auto insurance, which is mandatory for drivers in Texas, no state law mandates homeowners to carry home insurance. However, while it’s not a legal requirement, many mortgage lenders will require borrowers to purchase home insurance as a condition of the loan.

Lenders would want to protect their investments, and home insurance provides financial protection for both the homeowner and the lender in the event of damage to the property.

In most cases, lenders will require homeowners to maintain a minimum level of coverage throughout the duration of the mortgage loan.

So, if you’re looking for a mortgage, it’s better to get insurance coverage.

Curious interested young wife and husband couple reading paper document, bank loan approval notification, correspondence letter or considering agreement contract, sitting together on couch at home.

Understanding Home Insurance Policy

The first step to getting home insurance coverage is to have a good understanding of the policy.

There are pages and pages of written information in any insurance policy. Thus, knowing all the details may seem intimidating. But to get started, you need to know two things: the home insurance type and coverage.

There are several different types of homeowner insurance policies, each offering varying levels of coverage. The type affects the premiums and total coverage cost.

Home Insurance Types in McAllen

The four common types available in McAllen, Texas, are:

  1. HO-1 Policy (Basic Form): This insurance is the most basic form of homeowner’s coverage, providing protection for the structure of the home against a limited number of specified perils, such as fire and lightning. Personal belongings are typically not covered under this policy.
  2. HO-2 Policy (Broad Form): This policy provides coverage for your home’s structure against specific risks outlined in the policy, typically including common threats such as fire, theft, vandalism, and certain natural disasters. Personal belongings are covered based on specific named perils.
  3. HO-3 Policy (Special Form): This is the most popular type of homeowner insurance policy and provides broad coverage for your home’s structure against all perils except those specifically excluded in the policy. It also covers personal belongings on a named perils basis and includes liability protection.
  4. HO-5 Policy (Comprehensive Form): This policy goes beyond HO-3, providing comprehensive coverage for both your home’s structure and personal belongings on an open-perils basis. This means it protects against all risks unless they are specifically excluded.

There’s also HO-4, which is known as Renter’s insurance, and HO-6, known as Condominium insurance. They’re self-explanatory and suited for the specific cases. So unless you own a condominium in McAllen, it’s perhaps not suitable for you.

These options apply whether you’re looking for homeowners insurance in McAllen or exploring home insurance options in Laredo or Brownsville.

Business meeting, welcome handshake and couple meet with lawyer or financial advisor. Elderly married man, wife and woman retirement conversation, planning and insurance documents for estate finance

Home Insurance Coverage Options in McAllen

Here’s a list of things that can typically be covered under a homeowner insurance policy in Texas:

  • Dwelling – At the bare minimum, you’d want to protect the very foundation or structure. Therefore, dwelling coverage is a must. It covers everything from the foundation to the frame to the roof. Dwelling coverage may also extend to other structures on your property, such as garages, sheds, fences, and swimming pools.
  • Personal property coverage – Imagine a flash flood sweeping through your property, damaging your furniture and electronics. Home insurance comes to the rescue! This coverage protects your precious belongings, from furniture and appliances to clothes and electronics, in case of covered events like theft, fire, or weather-related damage.
  • Liability coverage – Financial protection in case someone is injured on your property or if you or a family member accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property. This is particularly important if you host gatherings, barbecues, or recreational activities on their property and invite guests. It helps cover medical expenses and legal fees if someone sues you due to an accident on your property.
  • Additional Living Expenses (ALE) – This is the coverage for temporary living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as reimbursement for hotel stays or rental accommodations while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Residents in McAllen, Laredo, and Brownsville should consider additional coverage for region-specific risks such as hail and flooding.

Besides the ones mentioned above, you have the option to seek further coverage. This includes hail coverage for damages caused due to hailstorms or drain coverage that reimburses for damages caused due to overflowing drains or sewers.

Thus, you need to look into the two factors to decide on the insurance policy for your home.

Insurance Needs Evolve Over Time

The world around us is constantly changing, and the needs for protection evolve right along with it. Insurance, as a safeguard against unforeseen risks, is no exception.

Homeowners insurance, specifically, needs to adapt to keep pace with these changes and ensure it continues to provide comprehensive protection for our homes.

For example, increased frequency and intensity of storms, floods, and wildfires necessitate adjustments in coverage and potentially require additional riders for risks in areas previously considered low-risk.

Also, at times, policies become more customizable, allowing homeowners to tailor coverage to their specific needs and risk profiles. For instance, discounts might be offered for installing flood-mitigation features or opting for sustainable building materials.

So, when there’s a change in lifestyle or environment, it’s a good idea to reflect that on your insurance policy.

Select the Right Broker to Work With

An experienced broker can guide you to the best policy for your needs. They understand the nuances of the local market, whether you’re in McAllen or seeking home insurance in Brownsville.

You need to select the right policy. For that, you need to work with the right broker first. In fact, zeroing in on the right broker is half the job done.

The right broker can assess your specific needs and risk profile to recommend policies that offer the most appropriate coverage at a competitive price.

Learn About Claims Processing and Customer Service in RGV

Lastly, you should know a thing or two about claiming the insurance and the customer service offered in your locality.

When it comes time to file a claim, having a broker in your corner can be invaluable. They can advocate on your behalf, negotiate with the insurance company, and ensure you receive a fair settlement. This is better and safer than filing the claim yourself.

But if you want to go solo, ensure there’s reliable customer service in your region. The settlement process can take multiple rounds of talks, inquiries, and site visits. A reliable service ensures you get served sooner rather than later.

If you’re looking for home insurance in McAllen, why not receive a free quote?

5 Tips to Get the Best Car Insurance Rates in McAllen, Texas

Car insurance McAllen.

Car insurance is an inevitable part of owning a car. While there are several advantages to it, things get troubling when the car insurance rates go up. That is, you pay a higher premium each month.

This can affect your monthly budget and make things more challenging.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to get the best car insurance quotes in McAllen, Texas. By using the tips we have mentioned here, you can lower your premiums and enjoy a more affordable lifestyle.

1.    Drive better and carefully

The Texas Department of Insurance offers valuable advice on reducing car insurance costs. In their first point, “Ask for discounts,” they highlight criteria that insurance carriers in Texas consider for discounts. And the second criterion on the list is “Maintaining a good driving record.”

We couldn’t agree more.

One of the most effective ways to get the best car insurance quotes is to maintain a clean driving record. And you maintain a good driving record by driving more carefully on the road.

Your driving history, including past accidents, traffic violations, and at-fault claims, significantly impacts your premium. A clean record with no accidents or violations for a certain period (typically 3-5 years) translates to discounts on your premium with Progressive, as with most insurers. Conversely, a history of accidents, tickets, or DUIs will lead to a higher premium as you’re considered a higher risk.

Many insurance providers offer discounts for safe driving. These discounts may include good driver discounts, accident-free discounts, and defensive driving course discounts. A clean driving record often makes individuals eligible for these discounts.

You can claim them by asking for discounts from your insurance broker. But you can only ask for discounts if you have a clean driving record.

Therefore, the first step is to incorporate better driving habits and clean up your driving records. This can result in anywhere from 5-10% savings on car insurance rates.

Guy sitting in the driver's seat and smiling.

2.    Sign up for a driving monitoring program

Trackers are all around us. From our cellphones to laptops to home theatres, you can find those devices collecting and transmitting data. And these devices can help you lower your car insurance rates in McAllen, Texas. How?

A telematics or driving monitoring program involves installing a device in your car or using a smartphone app that collects data on your driving habits. The device collects a variety of data, including:

  • Mileage: How many miles you drive annually
  • Time of Day: When you typically drive (daytime, nighttime, rush hour)
  • Speed: Whether you maintain the speed limit or tend to speed
  • Braking: How often and how harshly you brake
  • Acceleration: How quickly you accelerate from a stop
  • Location: Where you drive (safer vs. high-risk areas)

Insurance carriers in Texas offer discounts if you drive fewer miles. Thus, it’s a better idea to drive less if possible. Unless necessary, you can opt for public transport, which would help cut down the total miles on your vehicle.

Driving during the daytime and less traffic hours also helps reduce insurance bills. Likewise, controlled driving speed, careful braking, and mindful acceleration help in that regard.

Texas follows a permissive rating system, allowing insurers more flexibility in setting rates based on various factors, including driving habits measured through telematics. Several car insurance McAllen companies, including Progressive, State Farm, and GEICO, have driving monitoring programs in place. So, make use of them to get the best car insurance rates.

3.    Shop around and review your options

Many times, people go with the first insurance broker they come across and sign a deal. Many of us receive referrals from friends and families and trust the broker to be the best for us. However, that’s not always the case (even though our friends want the best for us).

Instead, you need to obtain quotes from multiple brokers, compare, and negotiate like a pro.

Understand that each case is different. Your friend who forwarded you the broker’s details may own a different car, have a different driving habit, and have different coverage than yours. Thus, the broker is able to get the best deal for him/her. But the broker may not get the same deals for you and get you the same rates.

Different insurance providers offer different quotes for the same coverage. By collecting quotes from different insurance companies, you can compare prices and identify the most competitive options.

Also, some companies may provide better coverage options or discounts that align with your specific requirements. Getting multiple quotes allows you to customize your policy based on your preferences.

When prospecting insurance brokers, you need to do some research and gather basic details about them. This includes their founding date, founders, success stories, reviews, and achievements. You can even go through the most commonly asked auto insurance questions to understand things better. In most cases, the brokers have this info on their website.

couple signing contract at insurance agency office.

4.    Bundle insurance policies

Throughout our lifetime, we take up several insurance coverages besides auto insurance, such as health, home, travel, endowment insurance, and so on.

We may or may not take the policies from a single carrier. But, there are benefits to acquiring coverage from a single company.

Bundling insurance policies, commonly known as a multi-policy or multi-line discount, involves purchasing multiple insurance products from the same insurance provider. This often includes bundling auto insurance with other policies such as home, renters, or life insurance.

Insurance providers typically offer discounts when you bundle multiple policies. This can lower the overall insurance costs compared to purchasing each policy separately.

This discount you get can vary but is often a significant percentage of the total premium.

Another benefit of the multi-policy approach is a more streamlined and cohesive coverage package. Policies can be tailored to complement each other, reducing potential gaps or overlaps in coverage.

So, wherever possible, opt for multiple insurance coverage from the same carrier and then ask for better rates.

5.    Increase your deductibles

Lastly, increasing your auto insurance deductibles can lower your insurance rates. A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay from your pocket before your insurance coverage gets activated to cover a claim.

By opting for a higher deductible, you are taking on a greater share of the financial responsibility in case of a claim.

This means the insurance carrier’s potential payout is reduced. And in return, they may offer you lower premium rates.

GEICO states that “if you choose a high deductible amount, then you’ll likely pay a lower insurance premium.”

By accepting a higher deductible, you can enjoy immediate cost savings on your insurance premiums.

Higher deductibles also encourage responsible behavior. When you’re aware of the increased out-of-pocket expense required to make a claim, you are more cautious on the road and less likely to file claims for minor incidents.

It’s recommended that you start with higher deductibles. If your need changes, you can also reduce your deductible later down the road.

Male hands and car as protection of car.

Get the Best Car Insurance Quotes in RGV, McAllen

In conclusion, getting the best car insurance in McAllen, Texas, is a matter of making a few smart decisions. The above five tips can lower your rates anywhere from 5% to 30%.

For any assistance related to car insurance in McAllen and to get the best car insurance quotes, contact us today.

Year-End Financial Review: Assessing Your Insurance Needs in the Rio Grande Valley

The end of the year is an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming new year. Those with a head start often find it easy to stay ahead of the game.

This is especially true when it comes to your financial health and your insurance coverage. A thorough financial review at the end of the year doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it can set you up for a more peaceful and stress-free new year.

In this article, we will reveal how to assess your insurance needs in Rio Grande Valley in a few easy steps.

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What Do You Need Coverage For?

First things first: You need to know what you’re insuring. There are different insurance policies, each designed for specific coverage. For example, you can choose everything from life insurance to auto insurance, health insurance to homeowners insurance. At the end of the year, take the time to evaluate your insurance options, and which ones you need for the upcoming year.

Here is a rundown of various insurance types and who may need them in 2024.

Health Insurance

  • Purpose:  Health insurance shields you from the financial impacts of medical bills.
  • Suitable for: Everyone! But especially those prone to unexpected trips to the doctor or anyone keen on preventive care.

Life Insurance

  • Purpose: Ensures your loved ones are financially secure if you pass away.
  • Suitable for: Breadwinners and anyone with dependents.

Auto Insurance

  • Purpose: Protect you from the financial impacts of incidents involving your vehicle (s), including non-accident events such as theft or vandalism.
  • Suitable for: Every driver on the road. Accidents happen, and you want enough coverage to pay for any bills related to injuries, property damage or vehicular damage involving your vehicle. a superhero to swoop in and take care of the damages.

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

  • Purpose: Protects your castle (or humble abode) from disasters like fires, theft, or bad weather.
  • Suitable for: Homeowners and renters alike. Even if you don’t own the place, your belongings deserve protection.

 Pet Insurance

  • Purpose: Ensures your furry friends get the best care without forcing you to overextend yourself financially.
  • Suitable for: Pet owners who want their furry friends to have a health safety net, too.

Business Insurance

  • Purpose: Safeguards your enterprise from various risks – from property damage to legal woes.
  • Suitable for: Business owners, big or small.

However, don’t take the definition as absolute. Within each type, there are various options available.

For example, within life insurance, you have term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life is the coverage for a specific period. And permanent life insurance, as per the definition, is coverage for life.

So, as you head into 2024, identify the new items on your to-do wish list. Do you plan to get a dog? You may want to think about pet insurance. Have you added a new member to your family? Expanding health insurance coverage or adding life insurance could protect your loved one.

Before the new year, evaluate your needs and seek the appropriate policy.

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Calculate the Coverage

The next step is to calculate the coverage you will need in your insurance policy.

Calculating coverage is like figuring out the right suit size for your body. You want it snug but not too tight. Let’s break it down using health insurance as an example:

Evaluate Your Medical History

Look back at your medical past. Are you the picture of health, or do you have a history of medical struggles? Consider your health risks and the likelihood of needing medical care. Also assess the medical histories of all of your family members. New diagnoses, for example, may mean you need to expand your coverage.

Assess Your Lifestyle

Consider your current lifestyle. Do you participate in extreme sports or prefer the calm of a good book? Risky activities might warrant more coverage.

Factor in Family

If you have a family, factor in their health needs. Kids, for instance, might need more frequent doctor visits. Family coverage should fulfill the needs of everyone in your family.

Account for Future Plans

Think about your future. Are you planning to add children to your family? Consider coverage that accommodates the expansion of your clan.

Check Your Budget

Assess your budget. While we would all love the prefect health insurance plan, the one you purchase should be realistic for your financial capabilities. Ensure that the premium is something you can handle without financial distress. Here at SafeGuard, we work hard to get you the right coverage within your financial limitations, and snag you all the discounts for which you are eligible so you do not have to compromise on the plan you get.

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Consider Deductibles and Copays

Take note of deductibles and copayments. These are the amounts you pay out of pocket. Usually, the higher your deductible or copays, the lower your premium. However, you need to strike a balance between the cost of your premiums and out of pocket costs that fit within your financial comfort level. Our experienced agents can help!

Review Network Coverage

Check the provider network for your insurance company. Ensure that your preferred healthcare providers are included in your insurance network. You do not want to face high medical bills because your insurance does not cover the providers you use.

Think About Out-of-Pocket Maximums

Examine out-of-pocket maximums. This is the maximum amount you’ll have to pay in a given year. Find a cap that will not threaten your financial health.

Please note that coverage also affects cost, which is the monthly premium you pay. Thus, it’s recommended not to include coverage for things you wouldn’t need. To balance cost and coverage, it’s recommended to consult an insurance agency.

Fill Gaps by Adjusting Coverage

For first-timers without coverage, the task is simple: Get the coverage you need. This also applies to people who never held a particular type of insurance but now need it. So, talk with an insurance agency to find the right policy.

Those already enrolled in a policy may find that there are gaps in their coverage that they need to fill in the New Year. This means upgrading the policy to match your needs. Remember, coverage can be changed. For example, raise the coverage amounts on your auto insurance, add a new baby to your health insurance policy, or seek out a new homeowner’s policy that provides more robust coverage for your larger house.

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Find the right insurance agency to work with in the RGV and McAllen

Last, you need to work with the right insurance agency to get the most suitable plans. Insurance is a complex landscape, and having an expert guide can save you from making costly mistakes. A good agent ensures you understand the ins and outs of your coverage options, helps you find customized solutions based on your unique needs, and works within your budget and your needs.

Given that we’re at the end of the year, you can expect such plans to be on offer. So contact Safeguard Insurance Agency, a premier insurance agency in the RGV, for your insurance needs. We look forward to working with you!

Navigating Trucking Regulations and Insurance Requirements in the Rio Grande Valley

Trucking plays a vital role in the movement of goods across the Rio Grande Valley and across the Valley’s U.S./Mexico border. However, in order for consumers and essential products to connect effectively, trucking companies and their clients must adhere to the area’s regulations and insurance requirements. 

In order to equip you to remain in compliance and enjoy a smoother trucking process, we have put together this comprehensive guide to trucking regulations and insurance requirements in the Rio Grande Valley. 

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Federal Trucking Regulations

When trucking items through any part of the Rio Grande Valley, you must first make sure you remain in compliance with the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations, which apply to trucking across the Valley and the nation, include the following: 

Compliance With Hours of Service

In order to prevent sleepy drivers from causing accidents on the road, the FMCSA requires drivers to follow certain Hours of Service (HOS). These hours limit the amount of driving time truck operators can engage in at one time, while also implementing required rest breaks, daily and weekly driving limits and more. The goal is to maintain road safety by ensuring that all truck drivers are alert and responsive behind the wheel. 

Vehicle Weight Limits and Size Restrictions

In addition, the FMCSA carefully regulates the weight and size of commercial vehicles in order to protect road infrastructure and prevent damage from oversized vehicles. Appropriately sized and weighted trucks reduce stress on bridges, ensure safe manuevering on roads and highways and reduce the number of accidents. 

Requirements will depend upon the type of truck you operate. However, in general, federal limits on weight are a total limit of 80,000 pounds, with a single-axle limit of 20,000 pounds. Meanwhile, trucks may not exceed a width of 96 inches. These requirements apply to trucks that spend any portion of a trip on the country’s interstate system

Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection Protocols

Finally, federal regulations require you to keep your trucks maintained and inspected on a set schedule. As a result, if you operate a truck in the Rio Grande Valley, you must ensure that your vehicles are regularly inspected, maintained on schedule, and repaired promptly when needed. These regulations help you reduce the occurrence of mechanical issues and breakdowns that can endanger your vehicles, your drivers and other people on the road. 

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Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Regulations

In addition to federal regulations, you must also stay abreast of and in compliance with state-specific regulations when operating in the RGV. These requirements encompass everything from Texas road-specific regulations to state-specific registration, licensing and permitting standards to safety standards. 

Vehicle Registration, Licensing, and Permits

In order to operate your trucks in Texas, and in the Rio Grande Valley in general, you must comply with TxDOT’s requirements for vehicle registration, licensing and permits for commercial vehicles. For example, you may need to do the following: 

  • Obtain a permit for oversized or overweight loads
  • Comply with axle weight limits
  • Follow route restrictions for certain goods
  • Use hazardous material placards when applicable
  • And more

Safety Standards and Guidelines

In order to keep road conditions safe and to reduce accidents, TxDOT also has stringent safety standards to which your trucks must adhere. For example, here are some of the safety standards and guidelines you will need to follow in order to be safe and legal while trucking in the Rio Grande Valley: 

  • Load securement regulations to prevent load shifts or falling items during transport
  • Signage requirements, such as those for labeling hazardous loads
  • Reflective markers and signs to improve visibility
  • Equipment standards to ensure safe and well-maintained vehicles

Compliance and Penalties

In order to ensure that trucking companies comply with relevant requirements, the TxDOT conducts regular inspections of trucks on state roads. If you fail to comply with these regulations, you could face a number of disciplinary measures, including 

  • Citations
  • Fines 
  • Operation suspension

If you plan to engage in trucking transportation in the Rio Grande Valley, you must stay up to date on any changes in regulations and requirements that apply to your operation. In addition, you may need to implement training programs for your drivers, ensure regular inspections of your vehicles, and implement protocols for staying on top of all relevant regulations and requirements.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affects trucking in the Rio Grande Valley by maintaining emissions standards for commercial vehicles. The goal of these requirements  is to minimize the environmental impact of trucking on the environment. Here is a look at some of the ways in which the EPA influences trucking in the Valley. 

Emissions Standards for Trucks

The EPA sets limits on the emissions levels allowed from commercial vehicles like trucks. These restrictions affect the most major air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and others. In addition to limiting the amount of emissions allowed by your trucks, the EPA requires you to implement certain technologie to reduce the release of pollutants into the environment. Examples of these technologies include diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems. 

Adherence to Emissions Control Measures

In addition, the EPA requires trucking companies to engage in specific measures to control emissions. These may include regular vehicle maintenance, engine tuning, following manufacturer-recommended service schedules and adding emission control technology to older vehicles. 

Compliance Enforcement

In order to ensure that truckers follow all applicable requirements, the EPA may enforce their regulations through practices such as the following: 

  • Emissions testing
  • Inspections
  • Certification requirements

If you fail to comply with EPA requirements, you could face a number of disciplinary measures, including fines, corrective actions or other penalties. Want to avoid these problems? Try these steps to remain in EPA compliance: 

  • Implementing regular maintenance schedules
  • Investing in new equipment
  • Utilizing clean energy technology
  • Using low-emission fuels
  • Training employees on eco-friendly driving techniques 
  • Engaging in collaborative initiatives to reduce your carbon footprint

Insurance Requirements for Trucking in the Rio Grande Valley

Before you can engage in trucking practices in the Rio Grande Valley, you need to make sure that each of your trucks meets insurance requirements. Here are some of the types of trucking insurance you may need for your vehicle: 

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers damages or injuries caused by accidents that involve your trucks, whether on or off the road. You can purchase coverage for your vehicles, for property and other people’s vehicles, and even physical injury caused by your vehicles. 

You must meet certain federal and state minimums when it comes to liability coverage, but you may want to purchase higher coverage limits in order to protect yourself against any potential accident. 

Cargo Insurance

When trucking in the Rio Grande Valley, you need to protect your cargo as well as your vehicles. Cargo insurance can protect you in the event of damage, theft, or loss of the goods you are transporting during your trip. The exact limits you should purchase depend upon factors such as the type of cargo you are carrying. For example, hazardous material may require more coverage than non hazardous loads. 

Bobtail Insurance

Bobtail insurance is an additional type of coverage for times when accidents occur while your truck is not pulling a load. For example, bobtail insurance will protect you if you get into an accident when driving an empty trailer back from a load delivery. 

Under no circumstances should you ever operate your trucks without insurance – You could end up facing significant financial and legal consequences. If you want to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage for your trucking operation, you should work with a reliable insurance agency. The right professional, like those at SafeGuard Insurance Agency, can help you evaluate your insurance needs and obtain the right coverage.

Family Life Insurance Planning for Border Town and Rio Grande Valley Residents

Living in the picturesque Rio Grande Valley gives you the opportunity to enjoy the area’s rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic natural beauty. However, you need to do more than live in the moment, especially when you have a family. In order to secure your family’s future and finances, you should consider life insurance planning focused on the Rio Grande Valley. With the right insurance in place, you and they can enjoy peace of mind no matter what your future holds. 

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Why Life Insurance Matters

While some types of insurance, such as car and health insurance, are widely considered essential, many people do not realize how essential life insurance is. However, this type of coverage offers some significant protection for your loved ones in case you pass away. Here are some of the ways in which this coverage can support your loved ones. 

Income Replacement

Its most basic function is to act as a financial cushion for your family in the event of your death. As a result, appropriate coverage will include enough money to replace the income you would have earned had you continued working. This type of coverage is especially important if you are the primary earner in your family, because it will help your loved ones maintain their quality of life after you have passed away. 

Debt Protection

Debt is often part of life. However, if you pass away, you do not want to leave that debt with your loved ones. Life insurance can ease the financial burden on your loved ones by providing them with the finances they need to pay off that debt. Mortgage, credit card bills, and loans can all be paid off with the benefits of your policy. 

Educational Support

The future of your children is always a concern. If you pass away, they may not have the income they need to pursue higher education. However, a life insurance policy could provide the benefits they need to continue their education. Access to quality education can set them up for a promising future, even if you are gone. 

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How to Choose the Right Life Insurance

Life insurance offers many advantages for your family. However, when faced with the wide array of policy options available, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. Here are some tips for choosing the right life insurance for your Rio Grande family. 

Consider your goals

Your circumstances will, in large part, dictate which life insurance policy you choose. Consider why you want the coverage in order to determine the best course of action. Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • How much money do I need to support my family’s needs? 
  • Do I want to provide for things such as my children’s education? 
  • How much does my family rely on my income to make ends meet? 
  • How long do I need life insurance coverage (e.g. Until a debt is paid off, my children complete their education, or all the way through my retirement?)
  • What is my monthly budget for the life insurance policy? 
  • Will my financial needs change over time and in that case, do I need a life insurance policy I can convert to different terms down the line? 
  • Do I have any current health problems that could affect my premiums or ability to get coverage? 

Understand your life insurance options

Once you understand your circumstances and your goals, you should take the time to explore all of your life insurance options. Here are some of the most common types of coverage from which you can choose: 

Term Life Insurance: This type of insurance provides coverage for a certain amount of time (e.g., 10, 20, or 30 years). This type of insurance is ideal if you only need coverage for a specific reason (e.g. Until you retire, your kids graduate college, you pay off your mortgage). 

Whole Life Insurance: This type of coverage lasts throughout your entire life. In addition, many of these policies provide a cash value that grows over time and that you may be able to access before you pass away. This type of insurance is ideal if you want long-term financial stability or the freedom to access funds during your lifetime.

Within these two types of life insurance options are specific coverage types. Here are some of the most common:

Level Term Life Insurance: Your death benefits remain the same over the course of the policy. 

Decreasing Term Life Insurance: Your death benefits gradually reduce, usually every year, over the term of the policy.  

Universal Life Insurance: This whole life insurance policy allows you to adjust your premiums and death benefits based on your changing financial needs. 

Variable Life Insurance: This type of whole life insurance includes a death benefit and a savings account that you can invest. While your cash value or death benefit may be guaranteed to fall below a certain level, you could experience losses with this type of coverage. 

Variable-Universal Life Insurance: This type of whole life insurance combines variable and universal life insurance. For example, you can enjoy a savings account and investments while also having the freedom to adjust your coverage and premiums as your financial needs dictate. 

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In order to successfully do life insurance planning in the Rio Grande Valley, you should consult with an experienced insurance company. They can help you understand and navigate your many options and help you get the right coverage for your situation. At SafeGuard Insurance Agency, we work with you to meet your policy and budget requirements so you can enjoy a more secure future for yourself and for your family.

Auto Insurance Fraud and Theft Protection in South Texas

As a vehicle owner in South Texas, you have to be aware of the unfortunate reality of auto insurance fraud and theft. While losing your automobile to thieves is always a possibility, there are other potential problems that require your vigilance as well: Staged accidents, ballooning damages and injuries after a crash, and more. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to protect yourself. Here is a look at the best strategies for avoiding South Texas auto insurance fraud. 

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Secure your vehicle to discourage theft

Texas leads the country in vehicle thefts. And while certain cars are more vulnerable, you should never assume you are immune to losing yours. In order to discourage would-be thieves from targeting your vehicle, here are some steps you can take: 

Invest in anti-theft devices

Devices that make it more difficult to steal your vehicle can be helpful in preventing South Texas auto theft. Steering wheel locks, car alarms, and GPS tracking systems are all examples of effective anti-theft devices. Use any of these and you could also get a discount on your South Texas auto insurance. 

Park in well-lit areas

When you are out and about, particularly after dark, look for well-list areas to leave your vehicle. The more light there is around your car, the less likely it is that anyone will try to take it. If you have the option, choose a secure parking garage for added protection against theft. 

Stay alert when driving

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Accidents can happen quickly, but alert driving can help you anticipate potential problems before they result in South Texas auto insurance fraud. Here are some of the steps you can take to drive in a way that discourages fraud and theft. 

  • Follow the rules of the road. 
  • Maintain safe following distances. 
  • Obey all traffic laws. 
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. 
  • Manage your speed. 

Document everything after an accident

If you do experience an accident, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against South Texas auto insurance fraud. Primarily, you should focus on keeping records of everything that happens related to the incident. This includes

  • Taking photographs of the accident scene.
  • Getting a copy of the police report. 
  • Getting a copy of any witness statements.
  • Taking photos of vehicle damage and/or injuries. 
  • Exchanging insurance information. 

You should also promptly report the incident to your insurance company so they can begin the process of filing claims and exploring potential fraud, if the situation warrants it. 

Stay alert to fraudulent claims after an accident

After an accident, you should not assume that everything will proceed the way you expect. You could end up the victim of fraud if the others involved in the incident report injuries or damage that go beyond what happened during the accident. 

In order to avoid this problem, keep an eye on all of the medical statements, reports and claims that come through as a result of your accident and report any discrepancies to your insurance company immediately. In fact, take the time to report anything suspicious immediately so your insurance company can deal with it before it becomes a major problem. 

Choose a reliable insurance company

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Your insurance company can be a supportive partner in helping you to avoid, and handle, South Texas auto insurance fraud and theft. You just have to choose the right company. Ideally, you should choose an insurance company that has extensive experience handling fraud cases. 

In addition, choose an insurance company that can offer comprehensive auto insurance policies tailored to your needs. You may not want to settle for basic coverage. Additional coverage can help protect you against unexpected difficulties after an accident. The more coverage you have, the more protected you will be against fraudulent claims and expenses. 

If you want to avoid South Texas auto insurance fraud, choose SafeGuard Insurance Agency. We have years of experience offering not only comprehensive policies that work for your budget and needs, but we also have extensive experience in handling fraud. 

Thanks to our experience and to your dedication to providing you with proper insurance for total peace of mind, we have the tools to protect your vehicle now and help you navigate potential fraud if it occurs. Contact us today to learn more and to get a quote.

Safeguarding Your Rio Grande Valley Home: Natural Disaster Insurance Tips

The Rio Grande Valley is an affordable and family-friendly place to buy a home and raise a family. Its natural beauty and safe neighborhoods bring joy and satisfaction, and its close-knit communities offer rewarding relationships. 

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However, the Valley can also bring with it less-than-ideal weather, and its fair share of natural disasters. In order to adequately protect your property during one of these events, you need to choose the right homeowner’s insurance for your home. To help you get started, here are some tips for safeguarding your Rio Grande Valley home. 

Know the risks your home faces

The right natural disaster insurance in the Rio Grande Valley is the one that protects your home against the perils it is likely to face due to its location – And does not make you pay for coverage you do not require. 

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Before purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy, or additional natural disaster coverage, make sure you understand just how at risk your home is. Here are some factors that may affect the amount or type of disaster insurance you require: 

  • Whether or not your home is located in a flood zone
  • How close your home is to the coast
  • Natural disasters in the area – For the RGV, you may have to account for hurricanes, tropical storms, wind, etc., but not necessarily for extensive winter weather. 

Once you know the types of disasters that could affect your home, you can look for a policy that offers coverage for damage caused by these types of events. 

Know what your homeowner’s policy already covers

Before you purchase Rio Grande Valley disaster insurance, you need to know what is already covered under your standard homeowner’s policy. Often, these policies will cover certain disasters and weather-related events. Some that may already be included in your policy are the following: 

  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Wildfires
  • Tornadoes

However, the exact coverage can vary from policy to policy. And, you may find that you only receive partial coverage for damage caused by certain disasters. For example, your policy may only cover wind damage but not damage from tornadoes. It may cover water damage, but not flooding. Or, if a hurricane hits, your policy may cover wind damage but not flooding caused by the storm.

Once you know what your regular policy covers, you can decide where the gaps are in your current coverage. Now it is time to find a policy that closes those gaps and provides total protection against any disaster your home may face. 

Purchase additional policies to close coverage gaps

One of the most common natural disaster policies that homeowners purchase separately from their standard insurance policy is flood insurance.

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Flood insurance, which is available through the federal government,  is usually required for homeowners whose residences are in an established flood zone. However, even if your home is not located in one of these zones, you could consider purchasing a policy in order to give yourself peace of mind. 

If your homeowner’s policy does not already include it, you could also consider adding windstorm insurance. This policy can be purchased separately from your homeowner’s policy or added to it. It will cover damage caused by windstorms and hail. 

Together, flood, windstorm and standard homeowner’s insurance coverages can provide comprehensive protection for major natural disasters such as hurricanes. These policies can help you recoup your losses and rebuild your home even in the event of total destruction during a major weather event. 

Other natural disaster coverages you could consider for your Rio Grande Valley home are the following: 

  • Sewer backup coverage
  • Earthquake coverage (Though not much of a concern in the RGV)

Get deductible and coverage limits that work for your budget

Once you choose the types of natural disaster insurance to buy for your Rio Grande Valley home, you will need to decide which coverage and deductible limits to purchase. In general, the higher your deductible (The amount of money you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in), the lower your premium. And, the higher your coverage limits, the more your insurance policy will cost. 

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For example, if you choose a $1,000 deductible for your flood insurance, you will face higher premiums than if you chose a $10,000 deductible. But, if your home experiences flood damage, the lower deductible means that you will only have to pay $1,000 to have your home repaired.

In addition, you will need to purchase enough coverage to cover the cost of replacing belongings and property damaged during a natural disaster. For example, your homeowners insurance policy or your flood policy will probably cover at least the amount of money it would cost to rebuild your home. 

While more coverage translates into higher premiums, comprehensive coverage can also give you peace of mind if the worst case scenario happens. And, it can save you money in the long run if you need to rebuild or replace possessions destroyed in a natural disaster. 

In order to navigate these decisions in a way that gets you the most coverage for the best price, you need the guidance of an experienced home insurance agency, like SafeGuard Insurance Agency. Our team works within your home and budget parameters to create the best possible value for your circumstances. And that can make getting peace of mind and total protection for your home easier, and more affordable, than you imagined. Contact us today to get started!