Tips to Reduce the Risk of a Cooking Fire

Standard home insurance policies typically offer general coverage against various physical and liability hazards. A dwelling fire insurance policy offers coverage that is more specifically tailored to damage to your property in the event of a specific hazard. This type of policy provides residents of Austin, TX protection against fire and smoke-related damage. House fires can be devastating and one of the leading causes of house fires is due to cooking.  Southwest Insurance Center has put together a few tips to help you reduce the risk of a cooking-related fire.

Stay in the Kitchen

When cooking on the stovetop, it is important that you never leave a stovetop unattended. It only takes a second for a distraction to turn into a serious, life-threatening event. Make sure to avoid overfilling pots and pans, which may boil over and lead to a fire. Keep heat temperatures as low as possible while cooking on the stovetop.

Have Lids Nearby

Grease fires are extremely dangerous because the source of the fire is liquid, which can splash and adhere to clothing, skin and other surfaces while the grease is still burning. Pay close attention while you are cooking with grease or oil and if you notice the grease is starting to smoke, immediately turn the heat down and remove the pan from the heat until smoking stops. The smoke is an indication that the oil is too hot and about to ignite. If a grease or oil fire does break out, turn the heat off and smother the fire by putting a lid on the pan. If you can’t safely put a lid on the pan, use a fire extinguisher or toss some baking soda on the flames.

Distractions can quickly lead to a cooking fire, so you should never cook while you are intoxicated or sleepy. It’s also extremely important that you use caution when children are in the kitchen with you while cooking. Never let children play near the oven and supervise children that are learning to cook.

Residents of Austin, TX that want to learn more information about dwelling fire insurance should contact Southwest Insurance Center.

When is it a good idea to get flood insurance?

Owning a property in the Austin, TX area can be a great long term option. This city is one of the fastest-growing in the country and provides a lot of opportunities to property owners and residents. If you do own a property in Austin, you need to carefully consider all of your insurance needs. One form of insurance that you might need is flood insurance. There are several situations when getting flood insurance could be beneficial. 

When Required

One of the most common situations, when people get flood insurance, is when it is required by a lender. All lenders are going to order flood searches on a property that they finance. If they determine that you are in a high-risk zone, the lender will likely require that you carry flood insurance. If you do not carry this insurance when it is required, you will be in default under your loan documents. 

When at Risk

Even if flood insurance is not required for you to have, you should still consider getting it when you are at risk. If you believe that you are at risk due to a local waterway, you should check your current home insurance policy to see if the flood damage is covered. If it is not covered, you need to get an additional flood insurance policy to mitigate this concern. 

If you do own a property in Austin, TX and think that you could benefit from flood insurance, or if it is required, you should call the Southwest Insurance Center. The rules and regulations around flood insurance are complicated and hard to understand. The Southwest Insurance Center can help you to evaluate your options and get into a flood insurance policy that properly protects you and your home. 

Why personal article insurance is essential for your high-value items

Many people in the greater Austin, TX area are unfamiliar with the benefits that come with having a personal article insurance policy along with their homeowner’s or renter’s coverage. Southwest Insurance Center is here to answer all of your questions on this topic and help you determine if a personal article policy is right for you.

Protect your high-value items with a personal article insurance policy

An often overlooked fact of homeowner and renter policy coverage specifications is the coverage limit on single items. Most policies will stipulate the maximum amount of coverage that it provides for single items like jewelry, artwork, electronics, and other items. If you are the owner of any items that have significant value, it’s time to make sure that you have any additional coverage that you may need.

High-value items are also typically sentimental in value. This means that their loss will be especially painful if they aren’t also covered monetarily. It makes sense to do a regular review of your belongings and personal items to determine which exceed the maximum allowed coverage levels. Following the review, sit down with your local insurance agent and determine which personal article policies are right for your needs. With the appropriate coverage in place, you can rest assured that you will have the protection you need in the event that you experience a covered event. Don’t wait to find out too late that your policy does not provide adequate protection!

If you are in the greater Austin, TX area and would like to learn more about the personal article policy options that are available, call or stop the Southwest Insurance Center today! We can answer all of your questions and help you determine if there are gaps in your current insurance policies.

RV Propane Tank Safety and Maintenance for Novices

The propane tank on your RV is an essential element in your ability to stay comfortable while you’re on the road. These tips from Southwest Insurance Center are designed to help newer RV enthusiasts keep cozy without risking the safety of your Austin, TX rig.

  • Before your first outing with a new propane system, spend some time looking over your owner’s manual. Note things like suggested maintenance schedules, cautions, and other important information.
  • Don’t fill your propane cylinders over 80% capacity. This ensures that excess gas doesn’t escape from the tanks and end up seeping into your appliances. Liquid propane in your appliances can contribute to fires and damage the regulators in your system.
  • Check your camper batteries before each outing. Many propane systems are connected to your main battery source. If your battery gets low, your propane system could sound an alarm that sends everyone onboard into a frenzy. Often, propane system manufacturers will make the low battery sound a little different from other alarms.
  • Shut off all the electricity in your RV before changing or checking your tanks. Be sure to seal off gas valves to your appliances as well to prevent gas from seeping out during the service.
  • Make sure your onboard carbon monoxide monitor is always working. This is especially important in older rigs with propane systems that may not be equipped with more modern safety features. Propane gas is colorless and odorless. Manufacturers add scent to the mixture that causes the gas to smell like rotten eggs to warn you of a leak. However, this can be easy to miss if you are asleep or outside your rig. A functioning monitor is your best bet to stay safe.

Find the perfect coverage for your on-the-road dreams at Southwest Insurance Center. Visit our Austin, TX area representatives for more information on RV insurance.

When is getting umbrella insurance a good idea?

People all over the Austin TX area need to spend time considering their personal insurance needs. For most people, this will including having a home, auto, health and other forms of insurance. For some people, having additional personal liability insurance could be a good idea. There are several situations in which someone should consider getting an umbrella insurance policy. 

Additional Coverage

One of the reasons why people get umbrella insurance is that it will give coverage on top of their base policies. While the liability coverage you receive from your home and auto coverage can seem substantial, there are situations where it is not enough. For those that want coverage against the risk of significant damage or injuries, having the additional umbrella insurance is a necessity as it can be much higher in coverage. 

Covers for Unique Situations

Another advantage of having umbrella insurance is that it can protect you from some unique situations that are not included under normal insurance policies. When you have an umbrella insurance policy, you will get personal coverage against slander, libel, false arrest or malicious prosecution, or causing mental anguish. Due to these unique forms of coverage, those that are in certain professions should consider having umbrella insurance a complete necessity.

There are clearly many situations in which having umbrella insurance is a good idea. To make sure that they are properly covered for their umbrella insurance needs, people that are in the Austin, TX area should call the team at the Southwest Insurance Center. The insurance professionals at the Southwest Insurance Center could help anyone to get into a policy that provides the right level of umbrella coverage. This will ensure you are properly covered for all of your liability risks, which should provide peace of mind. 

When Umbrella Insurance is Smart Buy for Business Professionals

You hold a position of importance at your place of employment in Austin, TX. You own a beautiful home and have a decent nest egg stored away for the future. But it could all disappear when you skip purchasing Umbrella Insurance from Southwest Insurance Center. How does this unique insurance work?

Umbrella Insurance Helps You when the World Falls Apart

Your umbrella policy provides a high level of liability insurance in the instance of somebody being injured through your actions.  This injury may be physical or economical. It kicks in after your more traditional home or auto insurance maxes out on any particular instance.  If you are held personally responsible for a financial disaster at your workplace, it can also help out in certain circumstances.

Keep Your Savings and Retirement Safe

Why is it a smart buy? When you have enjoyed a successful life, you now have more to lose when you are suddenly responsible for somebody’s exorbitant medical bills or other types of expenses. Your umbrella policy can prevent you from emptying out your savings account, selling the house, or going into debt to fulfill your obligations.

Send the Kids to College Anyway

You tell your children that everybody makes mistakes. Make sure that yours does not hinder their chances at having a better life. Leave the college fund intact when you use your umbrella insurance and maintain the lifestyle you and your family have enjoyed.

If you have more questions about how you can keep all of your plans for the future together with umbrella insurance, give your local Austin, TX agent from Southwest Insurance Center a call today.

3 Tips for Choosing Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance is like having a safety net when you’re on the road, something that should appeal to all those without an exterior frame to protect them. Choosing insurance can feel like a bit of a minefield because of the many plans, policies, and premiums available, but it doesn’t have to be. Southwest Insurance Center wants you to have a better idea of what it means to pick the coverage that’s right for you. 

1. Compare Plans 

This is probably the best advice you’ll get if you live in Austin, TX. All motorcycle owners are seen as having a bit of daredevil in them, and this is reflected in the coverage levels and price of the plan. Even if it seems like you’re getting one standard-issue quote after the next, it’s important to check several sources before you really have an idea of what it should cost you. As you compare, keep in mind the reviews of every company. Sometimes paying a little more is worth it for a company that’s easier to work with. 

2. Consider Comprehensive Insurance 

Liability only for motorcycle drivers can be a tempting choice because of its appealing price tag. However, motorcycles are expensive to buy and replace if anything happens to them. And considering they’re more likely to be stolen and stripped due to their sheer portability, a comprehensive policy may be the only thing that recuperates your losses. Unless you have a bike you know you wouldn’t mind losing, you should talk to someone about comprehensive. 

3. Pick the Right Partner 

Southwest Insurance Center is here to help the people of Austin, TX get the motorcycle insurance they need. Give us a call today to learn more about how the right policy can protect you when it counts. 

Does My RV Insurance Cover My Motor Home if I Put It In Storage?

As much as we would like to, we can’t travel all of the time. This means that our RV probably spends a few months each year in storage. The agents of Southwest Insurance Center serve residents living in Austin, TX and assist them in making sure their RV is protected whether you have it out on the road or neatly tucked away in storage. Keeping your insurance coverage intact while your RV is in storage is very beneficial.

What Your Policy Covers

Most RV insurance policies cover your RV no matter where it is. If you are traveling, you’re covered. If it has been put in storage, your coverage will remain in place unless you choose to cancel it.

Storage Insurance

Since you won’t be putting your RV on the road, you may be able to lower your costs by choosing a policy that has a storage option. With storage insurance, your liability coverage drops because you will not be using your RV to camp or putting it on the road. Once you take it out of storage, you will need to notify your agent so the liability can be put back into effect.

Who’s Responsible?

Most storage facilities have a policy in place that will cover damage to RVs on their property if an event happens on the property that is not the RV owner’s fault.

If you own an RV and live in Austin, TX, call the agents of Southwest Insurance Center and talk to them about their RV insurance policies. They can find the right policy to cover all of your recreational and RV insurance needs.


Common Types of Boat Insurance

Whether you are considering purchasing a boat or you already own a boat, one of the most important things many people in Austin, TX forget to invest in is boat insurance. Many people make the mistake of assuming that their boat is covered under another insurance policy, such as their home or auto, but this isn’t always the case.  Contacting Southwest Insurance Center about insurance coverage for your boat ensures that should there be a theft or damages associated with the boat, you are covered. So, what are the most common types of boat insurance? Here are the three most common types.

Hull Insurance

Hull insurance is designed to cover damages to the boat as well as any damages to the property of others that is caused by your boat. Hull insurance generally includes the cost of repairs to the boat and if there is a total loss, the hull insurance will pay coverage for the agreed value amount of the boat.

All Risk

An all-risk policy is designed to generally cover any risks that aren’t specifically excluded in the boat insurance policy. For instance, coverage may include pollution liability, ice damage, mechanical breakdown, freezing and reef damage liability. You may also have the option of including medical insurance as a rider to your All Risk policy.

Third-Party Liability

Third-party liability insurance is designed to cover damages to the property of others that is caused by your boat. This type of insurance also typically covers incidental damages due to a liability caused by medical expenses, rescue operations, towing and fuel spills. The rules and regulations for docking in a marina vary, so it’s important to find out if your marina requires a third party marine liability policy.

Just like other insurance policies, there are ways you can save on the monthly premiums. For instance, if you store your boat in a covered shelter, you may qualify for a discount, so be sure to discuss any available discounts with your insurance provider.

To learn more information about boat insurance, residents of Austin, TX should contact Southwest Insurance Center.

Life Insurance Policy: To Take Control Over The Unexpected.

You never know what could happen. This is one of the random aspects that make life beautiful, but it also makes some people very uncomfortable. After all, if you build a life for yourself and your family,  you probably want to know that your hard work will not just fade if you are gone. At Southwest Insurance Center we understand, and we offer quality life insurance to help negate your worry about what could be. We serve Austin, TX and the surrounding areas with quality insurance services for all aspects of your life. 

Life Insurance To Fit Your Needs:

We offer policies that fit your specific needs. For example, if you are a single guy without any assets to insure yet you do not want to leave the expense of an unexpected funeral on your parents or closest relative then you can buy a small policy and leave a designated funeral home as the beneficiary. If you run your own business and have a lot of balls in the air at any given time a policy that covers your business completely with possibly some umbrella coverage to boot will keep your employees with jobs if something were to happen to you. If you are a family man with a steady job that keeps your family comfortable and stable, ensure continued stability with a basic life insurance policy that covers at least your mortgage and enough for your spouse to live on during the aftermath. 

Contact us at Southwest Insurance Center for a life insurance quote that fits your specific needs and allows you to feel a little better about the things you cannot control in life. We serve Austin, TX and the surrounding areas.