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

2008

Ike

Cat 3

15-20 Feet Texas

2005

Katrina

Cat 3

24-28 Feet** Louisiana

2004

Ivan

Cat 3

12-15 Feet Texas

2004

Charley

Cat 4

   6-8 Feet Florida

1992

Andrew

Cat 5

14-17 Feet Florida

1995

Opal

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 eddcan2@aol.com

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.

Insurance Open Enrollment: Understanding The Affordable Care Act

On Saturday open enrollment begins for those who have yet to add health insurance, and it’s expected to be higher than it was last year. Of course, the rising cost of healthcare is a yearly thing. While auto insurance rates can actually go down for customers over time, medical insurance is a different ballgame entirely.

Because of the expense, many customers may opt to pay the penalty and go without insurance, but that is a huge mistake, especially if they experience a major medical event, such as pregnancy or cancer treatment.

In that sense, 2015 will see modest gains with an average of six percent expected nationwide, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC consulting firm. However, that’s only a small part of the story. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and traditional health insurance are fueled by the premiums of healthy people. Costs go up when there are more unhealthy people in the system than healthy people, and from the first year of ACA (aka Obamacare), it’s now known that many of the newly signed were from a higher risk pool of applicants.

Young people largely decided to sit out 2013-14’s open enrollment period and as a result, many could see increases that go well beyond the six percent quote. In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield estimates that there could be much larger increases even for those who get traditional insurance through their employers, with young people bearing the brunt.

“The key is to get the uninsured insured and that will help us all,” BCBS VP of Sales Ron Rowe said in comments to KSHB, adding that some of the increase is also due to people who don’t understand the workings of health insurance so they stay out of the system. “We found a lot of people just don’t know and understand or have even heard of Obamacare. They thought in January they would walk to their mailbox and there’d be an ID card there; it’d be free and off we’d go.”

The federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars just trying to spread the word about the healthcare law. While most Americans have heard of it, far fewer have actually tried to find a place within the system.

Existing economic hardships are keeping many from enrolling because family budgets are already spread thin and many families feel like they have nothing to lose since a $2,000 bill is as impossible to pay as a $20,000 bill.

While subsidies would help many of these families afford coverage, the system is still unproven after a disastrous rollout in 2013 and 2014, and many simply don’t have enough confidence or patience to get through the enrollment process.

 

So what’s an agent to do?

For starters, even if you do not directly sell health insurance to customers, it can be beneficial to speak with them about their health insurance needs as part of basic family planning.

If it’s possible to afford a $150 per month payment, for example, that could save clients tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over time in case of a major medical event (and in the event they qualify for subsidies).

For families that are too cash-strapped, they might even qualify for Medicaid.

 

In Summary

With most agents committed to improving the lives of their customers, having the health insurance talk is just one more way that you can help clients get their financial acts together. Even if they are buying a policy directly fromHealthCare.gov, you can use the ACA as a way of emphasizing the importance of insurance products, the repercussions of not having them, and as a means of building trust with your clients.