Happy 4th of July

4th of July Safety

Ready for your Fourth of July celebrations? The backyard barbecue, time at the beach and even some fireworks? Whatever you choose, All of us at Ed Cantu Insurance Agency want you and your family to enjoy your holiday so please remember these steps to help keep you safe. Whether your 4th of July weekend involves fireworks, grilling or going to the beach, there are safety tips you should follow.

FIREWORKS SAFETY- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.

Remember that Corpus Christi and most local cities outlaw the use of personal fireworks. If you choose to use them anyway, be prepared to pay a fine and please follow these safety steps:

* Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
* Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution to put out a fire.
* Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
* Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
* Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
* Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

GRILLING and outdoor cooking SAFETY- Many folks are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills so please follow these steps to safely cook your backyard grilling or barbecue:

* Always supervise a grill or barbeque pit when in use.
* Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
* Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill or pit.
* Keep the grill or pit out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
* Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill or pit to keep the chef safe.
* Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
* Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills or pits.

BEACH SAFETY- If your visit to the beach includes swimming in the Gulf or Bay, you should learn how to swim in the surf and swim at a life-guarded beach when possible, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Other safety tips include:

* Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.
* Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
* Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
* Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
* Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause you or someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
* Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave fish and animals alone.
* RIP CURRENTS Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Any beach with breaking waves may have rip currents. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following this:
If you or someone is caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, you should turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, you should float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
* Additional water safety tips are available at

SUN PROTECTION- Don’t let a steady breeze or a cloudy sky fool you. It’s going to be HOT so be sure to:

* Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 and reapply your sunscreen often.
* Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
* Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.
* Protect your feet – the sand can burn them, and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
* Watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke: Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person. Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

DOWNLOAD a FIRST AID APP… You can download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

My team and I hope you and your family have a fun, safe 4th of July weekend and a fantastic summer so please follow these tips to ensure your well being.

Because We Care!

Ed Cantu

Hurricane Season and FLOODS

Hurricane Season is Here.  Are you ready for the severe wind and Flood Damage that often comes with these catastrophic storms?  NOW is the time to update and invest in vital wind and flood insurance to protect your home and belongings!

Like me, you‘ve probably watched Storm Expert Dr. Steve Lyons when you‘ve followed Hurricanes on The Weather Channel over the years. I had the opportunity to meet and visit with Dr. Lyons about the impact and severity that Hurricanes bring and the damage that they leave behind. He spoke about the Hurricane Footprint…the “5 Toes” of a storm which includes Wind, Rain, Waves, Water Rise and Tornadoes and the catastrophic damage that occurs from the high wind speed and water damage from each of these elements during and after a storm.

Ed with Dr. Lyons



Did you know that even a Category 1 Hurricane or Tropical Storm with lower wind speed can bring up to 30 inches of rainfall and waves that cause major damage? The start of Hurricane Season is upon us so now is the time to prepare yourself and your family with proper protection to avoid financial ruin!

5 toes if hurricane

Dr Lyons constantly told his TV viewers that the category of a hurricane is very poorly related to some of these “toes”.  So the viewer need’s to pay close attention of what category the hurricane is offshore and more importantly, what category it is expected to be at landfall. He says that in order to paint this picture of impact, you MUST have models that forecast each toe of the hurricane damage’s footprint.  Take note that he used the term “WATER RISE” on TV because “SURGE” is just one component of the total water rise that you should care about!

According to Dr. Lyons, here is an example of a few recent hurricanes, their Saffir/Simpson categories at landfall and the estimated WATER RISE where it struck.  As you can see, there is no obvious relationship between coastal water rise and Saffir/Simpson category:

Year Name Category Water Rise State



Cat 3

15-20 Feet Texas



Cat 3

24-28 Feet** Louisiana



Cat 3

12-15 Feet Texas



Cat 4

   6-8 Feet Florida



Cat 5

14-17 Feet Florida



Cat 3

18-21 Feet Alabama

** (US Measured Record)

Lets see what water rise can do in our Corpus Christi Area.  The Darker areas of this map really needs to secure flood insurance protection.

flood zone cc 2016

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

This map shows how high our Corpus Christi Coastal Waters will rise when tidal surge increases by:

4-6 Feet Red * Likely to Occur with a Category 1-5 Hurricane

6-9 Feet Lavender * Likely to Occur with a Category 2-5 Hurricane

9-13 Feet Gold * Likely to Occur with a Category 3-5 Hurricane

13-18 Feet Yellow * Likely to Occur with a Category 4-5 Hurricane

18-25 Feet Green * Likely to Occur with a Category 5 Hurricane

Costly Flood Damage to your home and your prized belongings are why you should invest in vital flood insurance NOW!

Floods are the # One natural disaster in the United States. Did you know that your Homeowners policy excludes flood damage? Our recent heavy rainfall has saturated our soil. The heavier rainfall that often occurs during tropical storms or Hurricanes (sometimes up to 30”) combined with the tide surge that these storms bring makes now a smart time to invest in vital flood insurance protection for you home!

5 Things You Should Know about Flood Insurance protection before it’s too late.

  • Flood damage is so costly that Private insurance companies won’t offer coverage.
  • Heavy rainfall or water surge caused by a storm (Tropical or not) is not covered by your Home or Windstorm Policy.
  • You… We all live in a Flood Zone (everyone does).
  • Only Flood insurance will protect your home and prized belongings from rising water or mudflow due to heavy rainfall or water rising from coastal tide surges.
  • Flood Insurance can be very affordable and we can help you secure protection.

According to the National Flood Program, You are four times more likely to have a flood than a fire during a 30-year mortgage. And 25% of all Flood claims are paid to homeowners who were considered in low risk flood areas and thought it would never happen to them. The good news is that unless your property is in a “high risk” flood area, the average Flood insurance premium is less than $39 per month.

Windstorm insurance is available as long as there is not a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico but there is a 30-day waiting period for Flood protection to go into force so it’s urgent that you contact us today!  Call (361) 991-1493 today and we’ll take care of this over the phone or email us now at

Because We Care…

Ed Cantu

Ed Cantu

P.S. Don’t think flood damage can happen to us in the Corpus Christi area?  Check out the photos below taken during moderate/heavy rainfall on 5-15-16.                                            (Keep in mind that this flooding was without any wave action or Tide surge!).

flood 2016 1 flood 2016 2

Southside Corpus Christi          Glenoak Dr. Flour Blubb

flood 2016 3flood Candlewood st

Eastside Corpus Christi                 Near Carroll High School

Life Insurance Policies Explained

Life insurance is an essential part of financial planning. One reason most people buy life insurance is to replace income that would be lost with the death of a wage earner. The cash provided by life insurance also can help ensure that your dependents are not burdened with significant debt when you die.

When you buy life insurance, you want a policy which fits your needs without costing too much. Your first step is to decide how much you need, how much you can afford to pay and the kind of policy you want. Then, find out what various insurance companies charge for that kind of policy. If you compare Surrender Cost Indexes and Net Payment Cost Indexes of similar competing policies, your chances of finding a relatively good buy will be better than if you do not shop.

Six Basic Kinds of Life Insurance

Regardless of how fancy the policy title or sales presentation might appear, all life insurance policies contain benefits derived from one or more of the three basic kinds shown below. Some policies due combine more than one kind of life insurance and can be confusing.

Term Life Insurance
Endowment Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance
Variable Life Insurance
Universal Life Insurance
Variable Universal Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is death protection for a term of one or more years. Some companies are offering policies with terms up to thirty years. Premiums on term insurance remain level during the life of the policy. Term Life Insurance has no cash value account. Death benefits will be paid only if you die within that term of years. Term insurance generally provides the largest immediate death protection for your premium dollar.
Some term life insurance policies are renewable for one or more additional terms even if your health has changed. Each time you renew the policy for a new term, premiums will be higher. You should check the premiums at older ages and the length of time the policy can be continued.

Some term insurance policies are also convertible. This means that before the end of the conversion period, you may trade the term policy for a whole life or endowment insurance policy even if you are not in good health. Premiums for the new policy will be higher than you have been paying for the term insurance.

Life Insurance “Endowment”

An endowment insurance policy pays a sum or income to you, the policyholder, if you live to a certain age. If you were to die before then, the death benefit would be paid to your beneficiary. Premiums and cash values for endowment insurance are higher than for the same amount of whole life insurance. Thus endowment insurance gives you the least amount of death protection for your premium dollar.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance gives death protection for as long as you live. The most common type is called straight life or ordinary life insurance, for which you pay the same premiums for as long as you live. These premiums can be several times higher than you would pay initially for the same amount of term insurance. But they are smaller than the premiums you would eventually pay if you were to keep renewing a term insurance policy until your later years.

Some whole life policies let you pay premiums for a shorter period such as 20 years, or until age 65. Premiums for these policies are higher than for ordinary life insurance since the premium payments are squeezed into a shorter period.

Although you pay higher premiums, to begin with, for whole life insurance than for term insurance, whole life insurance policies develop cash values which you may have if you stop paying premiums. You can generally either take the cash, or use it to buy some continuing insurance protection. Technically speaking, these values are called nonforfeiture benefits. This refers to benefits you do not lose or forfeit when you stop paying premiums. The amount of these benefits depends on the kind of policy you have, its size, and how long you have owned it.

A policy with cash values may also be used as collateral for a loan. If you borrow from the life insurance company, the rate of interest is shown in your policy. Any money which you owe on a policy loan would be deducted from the benefits if you were to die, or from the cash value if you were to stop paying premiums.

Variable Life Insurance

Variable life insurance, provides permanent protection for you and death benefits to your beneficiary upon your death. The value of the death benefits may fluctuate up or down depending on the performance of the investment portion of the policy. Most variable life insurance policies guarantee that the death benefit will not fall below a specified minimum, however, a minimum cash value is seldom guaranteed. Variable is a form of whole life insurance and because of investment risks it is also considered a securities contract and is regulated as securities under the Federal Securities Laws and must be sold with a prospectus.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life insurance is a variation of Whole Life. The insurance part of the policy is separated from the investment portion of the policy. The investment portion is invested in bonds and mortgages, the investment portion of Universal Life is invested in money market funds. The cash value portion of the policy is set up as an accumulation fund. Investment income is credited to the accumulation fund. The death benefit portion is paid for out of the accumulation fund. Unlike Whole Life Insurance, the cash value of Universal Life Insurance grows at a variable rate. Normally, there is a guaranteed minimum interest rate applied to the policy. No matter how badly the investments go by the insurance company, you are guaranteed a certain minimal return on the cash portion. If the insurance company does well with its investments, the interest return on the cash portion will increase.

Variable-Universal Life

Variable universal life insurance pays your beneficiary a death benefit. The amount of the benefit is dependant on the success of your investments. If the investments fail, there is a guaranteed minimum death benefit paid to your beneficiary upon your death. Variable universal gives you more control of the cash value account portion of your policy than any other insurance type. A form of whole life insurance, it has elements of both life insurance and a securities contract. Because the policy owner assumes investment risks, variable universal products are regulated as securities under the Federal Securities Laws and must be sold with a prospectus.

Rates and coverage vary form state to state. Shop around on your own and talk to an independent insurance agent to make sure you get a plan that’s right for you. It’s amazing how much rates may vary from company to company for the same coverage.

For more information or a quote on life insurance fill out our free life insurance quote request form.