When Should a Hair Salon Get Commercial Insurance?

If you own a hair salon or you’re thinking about opening one, it’s pertinent that you understand the importance of commercial insurance. Many business owners wait for months or years until they get insurance. This is often a huge mistake and can even lead to the failure of a company in certain instances. Here at the Southwest Insurance Center serving the Austin, TX area, we take pride in helping hair salons around the area protect themselves with proper insurance. Here’s a look at the top two reasons your salon should get commercial insurance from day one.

Product Recall

As a salon owner, you offer your clients so much more than a hair cut or styling. You are offering them products to ensure they look their best even when they’re doing their own hair at home. But what happens if you sell them a product that ends up getting recalled? Will your customers take their business elsewhere because they start to think poorly of you since you sold them a bad product? With commercial insurance that has business interruption coverage, you can rest easy knowing your salon is protected against the losses that you endure do the loss in clients.

You Burn a Client

It happens even to the best of hair stylists. You get busy chatting and then all of a sudden your client yells "Ow" because you accidentally burned her neck with the curling iron. Or maybe you leave the straightener on a chunk of hair for too long and what was supposed to be a medium-length hairstyle all of a sudden has to be turned into a chin-length bob. These kinds of instances put you at great risk of being sued by the customer. With professional liability insurance through commercial insurance, you can take comfort in knowing you are protected.

Contact the Southwest Insurance Center serving Austin, TX today to learn more about the reasons you need to have commercial insurance from the get-go at your salon.

Should I cash out my life insurance if I have an emergency?

If you live in Austin, TX, you may have purchased a whole life insurance policy through Southwest Insurance Center so you could have access to cash if you needed it. There wouldn’t be much point in having it if you were afraid to ever use it, but it can be difficult to decide when to take advantage of it. You may even need to pay taxes on the cash you get, so you want to make sure you are doing the right thing.

Two Kinds of Benefits In a Whole Life Policy

There are actually two kinds of cash benefits available if you have a whole life policy. The first one is the same as you would have with a term life policy, a death benefit. That benefit comes into play if you die, and your beneficiary will have access to that money to help settle your estate or help pay for your funeral or other expenses.

The unique advantage to a whole life policy is the actual cash value. When you pay your premium, the money adds up and could get quite large over time.

Borrowing, Withdrawing or Surrendering

There are three ways you can get the cash value from your policy. You can simply borrow the money and pay it back, so you still have a solid policy later. You can withdraw money and keep it, which diminishes your total. Or you can simply surrender your policy, cashing it out and canceling your policy.

When you are thinking about getting cash from your policy, it may help to know you can keep your policy, and even pay the money back. If you are in Austin, TX and have any questions about your policy, or if you would like to purchase one, give Southwest Insurance Center a call today.

First-Time Home Buyers Tips

You’ve waited a long time for this so it’s worth doing it right the first time. Buying a new home for the first time can be a little daunting, but with the help of a few tips, this difficult-looking task can be a worthwhile journey.

Pay Off Debt

It is expensive to buy a home. Depending on what you are looking for, it could cost AN AVERAGE OF $200,000 or more. Going into this investment, you don’t want to have any other debt hanging over your head. Pay off your car payments, credit card bills, and any outstanding loans. Your biggest loan will come from the mortgage company.

What Can You Afford?

Decide before going to see a realtor how much money you will be able to spend on a house. Trying to get a loan for more than you can afford will put you in a financial crisis quickly. Take into account your bills will be higher including your electricity and water. You will also need to have a security system, which many have monthly monitoring services and homeowners insurance. You can look for decent homeowners policies at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX.

Down Payment

You should put down as much as you can when you first buy a home. The more you have down, the less you will have to pay later. The goal would be to put 20% down, but that is not always doable. Make sure if you have to pay less, get a fixed mortgage rate. That way your interest rate will stay the same for the length of the loan because a variable rate could increase your payments over the years.

Get to the Southwest Insurance Center to find out more information concerning a homeowners policy. These Austin, TX agents can also help you discover auto, commercial, and life insurance policies.

Will my auto insurance really go up if I get a ticket?

Austin, TX is a great place to drive because you can miss out on so much if you don’t have a way to get from place to place any time you like. At Southwest Insurance Center, we help make sure our clients have the auto insurance coverage they need in case they are ever involved in an accident. 

One problem with Texas, though, is that it can be tempting to go fast to cover those long distances quickly. Unfortunately, that can cost you, not just because of the traffic tickets but because you may find your insurance premiums go up after you receive too many points.

Points in Texas

Every time you get a moving violation on your driving record, the Texas Department of Public Safety will assess points. Your driving privileges can be suspended if you get too many points, and the points stay on for three years unless you take an approved class to have them taken off your record. 

This turns into a vicious circle for some people, because they may be tempted to drive while suspended and get more violations.

Higher Insurance Rates

Speeding is associated with accidents, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that even one ticket could cause your insurance rates to go up. In a metro area like Austin, TX, that could translate into hundreds of dollars a year you don’t want to be spending because you made a mistake and got points on your driving record. Since the points stay on for three years, that adds up to a lot of money.

At  Southwest Insurance Center, we understand how difficult it can be to find the best price insurance. We help all our clients to find competitive policies and encourage them to keep their records clean. If you have any questions or want to get a free quote, call Southwest Insurance Center today.

What Does Collision Insurance Cover?

At Southwest Insurance Center, the agents who serve the Austin, TX area offer their advice to their customers to ensure they always have the right type of car insurance in place at all times. Collision insurance is a good choice for those who don’t necessarily want the added expense of a comprehensive policy. They have to remember, however, the limitations a collision policy bring with them.

Hitting Another Car

Collision coverage protects you against damages caused by any type of collision. Whether you hit another vehicle or they hit you, the damage that results would fall under the protection of a collision policy. This would also include limited coverage for any injuries sustained by either party from the collision. Collision policies are designed to cover only the damages that are the result of an accident that involves a collision.

No Comprehensive Coverage

Collision coverage does not cover any of the other types of damage that a comprehensive policy does. It will not cover theft, broken windshields, or any other type of damage that is often claimed. Rocks that are kicked up and damage windshields or chip paint off of your car are not covered by a collision policy.

While many people sometimes confuse collision and comprehensive policies, they are quite different. In Austin, TX, the agents at Southwest Insurance Center are always available to explain the differences and go over your policy with you to make sure you have the types of coverage you both need and want. Contact the office today to set up a consultation and go over your policies. Reviewing your policies and bringing them up to date may save you money!

 

Do You Have Adequate Fire Insurance for Your Dwelling?

Fire insurance is a key part of a comprehensive insurance plan for any dwelling, but when you own structures that are uninhabited the requirements can be different. The team at Southwest Insurance Center is here to help you determine the appropriate level and type of fire insurance for your dwelling in the greater Austin, TX area. Dwelling fire insurance is necessary for clients who own a rental or other investment property in which they do not reside. It is also appropriate for sheds and other outbuildings that are not inhabited. 

Your Homeowners Policy May Not Provide the Fire Insurance Protection That You Need

When you own property, such as a rental unit or another investment property, your homeowner’s policy will likely prove insufficient for adequate coverage. Your homeowner’s policy will cover the structure in which you live, but not other property that you may own but in which you do not reside. The same may also hold true for sheds and other outbuildings that are on your property but are not inhabited.

Don’t be confused about your fire protection! Now is the perfect time to work with your professional insurance agent and review all of your current coverage. Many clients overlook Dwelling Fire Insurance when they review their insurance protection needs. You do not want to be caught without adequate coverage in the event of fire damage to one of your dwellings! Clients who are looking to protect rental units will want to learn more about rental interruption coverage and other policy options that can protect you from loss of income.

Interested in learning more about how Dwelling Fire Insurance can help to protect your Austin, TX area assets? Contact the team at Southwest Insurance Center today to schedule a consultation.

Who Should Carry Personal Insurance?

Most people are familiar with the standard insurance products available such as life, home, and auto, but there is another type of insurance that protects you from financial losses if you unexpectedly become disabled or die as a result of an unforeseeable accident or incident. 

Who Needs Personal Insurance?

If you have a family or you have significant debts and responsibilities, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to carry personal insurance. If you are injured, disabled, or killed, you can provide for yourself, family, or survivors. It is an extra layer of protection for everyone. If you are considering purchasing personal insurance, you need to work with an experienced company and agents who can outline your need and insurance products to cover those needs. 

Quality Insurance Services 

The quality of the insurance and the service work together to offer you peace of mind by purchasing personal insurance. If you live in the Austin, TX area, you should work with Southwest Insurance Center to get the guidance and products you need. They can work with you individually to ensure you get the level of protection necessary to prevent loss during a covered event. They will even help you or your loved ones file a claim in the future. 

Personal insurance is a great strategy for protecting you and your loved ones in the event of an accident or injury that would create a burden. Southwest Insurance Center is proud to serve the residents around the Austin, TX area and look forward to working with you to find coverage that works for your situation. Call or stop by the office today to speak with an agent. 

Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Dams?

There are a large number of Austin, TX dams that, while generally safe, could burst and cause severe floods. We’ve seen this problem happen at Southwest Insurance Center, and want to protect you from this danger by providing high-quality flood insurance.

Dams are Not Considered in Flood Risk Assessment

Flood maps are drawn up by FEMA to gauge parts of a city or county that are the highest risk of floods. These are based on the location of rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds, and the intensity of rain in an area. However, FEMA does not take the location of dams into account when drawing up these maps.

As a result, somebody who lives near a dam may be, technically, in a low risk area. However, a burst dam will cause severe and life-threatening flooding throughout an area. As a result, anybody living near these areas needs to look into flood insurance right away.

Floods Caused By Dams are Covered 

Flood insurance typically doesn’t limit what kinds of floods that it covers. The only types that it usually doesn’t include are those caused by a homeowner’s negligence. Therefore, flood insurance will pay to repair damage caused by a burst dam. 

This type of coverage will pay for essential items in the home, such as the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. They also help pay for appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers. Carpets, window treatments, and other types of permanent items are also covered. Personal property is also included, including clothing and much more. 

Find the Coverage That You Need

If you live downstream from a dam in Austin, TX and are worried about what will happen if it bursts, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Southwest Insurance Center. Our experts will find you a flood insurance policy that meets your needs and provides you with a maximum level of protection.

When Might Someone Need to Have Umbrella Insurance

Making sure that you have the right type of insurance in place is very important. Most people are aware that they need to have auto, home, and other types of insurance at all times. However, one type of insurance that not all people think about is umbrella insurance coverage, which will provide you with general and blanket liability insurance on top of your other policies. There are several reasons why someone may need to have umbrella liability insurance in place. 

Significant Assets

One of the main situations in which someone should have umbrella insurance is if they have a lot of personal assets. If you are a public person, or are commonly known to have a significant personal wealth, you need to make sure that you are properly protecting this. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you have an umbrella insurance policy in place that will provide you with liability protection.

Higher Levels of Risk

If you have a certain type of job or other risk factors that make you more prone to being sued for liability, you should consider getting personal umbrella insurance as well. For example, if you are a journalist, you are a higher risk of being sued for either slander or libel. This type of risk is almost never covered by your home insurance policy. Instead, your umbrella insurance will kick in and provide you with the coverage that you need. 

If you are in the Austin, TX area and are considering your liability insurance needs, you should speak with the team at the Southwest Insurance Center. The professionals at the Southwest Insurance Center will be able to review your personal situation and current levels of liability protection. They will then be able to provide you with suggestions for additional umbrella insurance and ensure that you get into a policy that provides you with enough liability coverage.

 

What is an RV?

Generally, an RV is a recreational vehicle that either has a motor attached or is a trailer pulled by another vehicle. It is not exactly a home or building but is not exactly an automobile either.  That makes insuring it a little complicated, but the agents at the Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX have policies that will fit your needs regardless of the type of RV you have.

The area around Austin, TX, as well as the rest of the state, is popular for camping year round for the most part. A lot of people enjoy having these types of vehicles, and Texas a great place for that type of activity.

For a small trailer that is pulled by a car or light truck, you may only need to add that to your automotive policy. While pulling the trailer, the trailer is considered part of your car or truck. When you have an RV that has a motor built in, it is called a motorhome, and that is where it gets a little tricky. For those types of vehicles, you will need a separate policy.

Basic liability is required in Texas for your vehicles, and that includes your RV. There are other types of coverages that are not required, but might be a good idea in order to protect your property. Just like with car insurance, there is a collision and comprehensive coverage. There is also vacation liability, which covers you while you are camping. 

Some people stay in their camper year round, or for extended periods, and extra coverage here is also a good idea. The contents of your RV should also have some coverage as well.

Stop by the Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX, or visit us online, to get more information about coverage on your RV.  We welcome new customers and can help you find the policy you need. We also encourage existing customers to update their policy regularly.