Household Maintenance “To Do” Items in Preparation for Spring

You have weathered the winter, and now it is time to enjoy the approach of springtime weather and cheer. As you get ready, remember to do some key home maintenance tasks. With that in mind, here is a "to do" list for your reference, courtesy of Integra Insurance Services serving Huntington, TX.

Wind down winter

As winter winds down, make sure you help your home wind down too. If you have a fireplace, get it professionally cleaned and inspected. Also have an inspection done of your heating system and make sure it does not need any routine maintenance.

Indoor "to do" items

After being closed up for the winter, it is time to bring some fresh air into your house. Open as many doors and windows as possible to air out and provide circulation throughout. While you do that, also complete some thorough cleaning, including vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, and wiping down all surfaces and floors. Also complete professional maintenance of appliances and equipment you will use during summer, such as air conditioning systems.

Outdoor tasks

The outside of your home and yard need some tender loving care as spring approaches. Sweep all walkways, complete yard work, and inspect the entire house exterior and yard. If you have a swimming pool or other specialized equipment, line up professionals to do maintenance on that.

There are many home maintenance tasks to do in preparation for spring. It can get overwhelming, so split up the work into smaller tasks that you do over a series of days or weekends. Before you know it, you will be ready to enjoy the upcoming seasons. If you need more tips about how to protect and preserve your home investment, please contact Integra Insurance Services serving Huntington, TX.

3 Reasons You Should Purchase a Home Insurance Policy Today

It’s no secret, owning a home is a huge responsibility. Not only are you tasked with finding a good location as well as size for your home, but you must also be sure to purchase a quality home insurance policy as well. That said, if you live in Huntington, TX the following is a closer look at three reasons you should purchase a home insurance policy today! 

Lawsuit Protection

First and foremost, purchasing a home insurance policy can protect you from highly costly lawsuits. Without coverage, if someone injures themselves on your property you may be on the hook for thousands or even millions. However, by purchasing a quality home insurance policy, you will be protected in case of an unfortunate accident. 

Natural Disaster Protection

In addition to that, natural disaster protection is also an important feature to any home insurance policy. Especially for those who live in Huntington, TX, being that this area is no stranger to natural disasters, ensuring that your home has coverage us of the utmost importance. 

Possession Protection

In addition to that, home insurance policies help to protect your possessions. In addition to natural disasters, burglaries, thefts, fires, and many other issues can cause serious damage to your things. That said, by purchasing a home insurance policy, you are ensuring that you are able to replace your belongings in the event of a worst-case scenario.

Overall, if you are looking for quality home insurance coverage in the state of Texas, Integra Insurance Services is here to serve you! Simply call in, email, or stop by to speak to our highly qualified independent representatives and find out how to begin your policy today and save. Don’t delay, contact Integra Insurance Services today!

3 Reasons You Should Shop For A New Home Insurance Policy

Shopping for homeowners insurance can be an overwhelming task. It was stressful enough to find an affordable plan when you purchased your home. In fact, there were a ton of details to focus on when you purchased your home. You might not have had the time that you would have wanted to really shop around and compare insurance policies during that process.

It’s tempting to just let your current plan renew year over year and not think about it. But, you could be overpaying or possibly have outgrown your current plan. Whether you have made improvements to your home or experienced any number of other changes, your current plan might not be best suited for you now. It’s necessary to evaluate your current insurance needs now that you have been in your current home for some time.

Looking for a replacement insurance plan for current homeowners in the Huntington, TX area doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, Integra Insurance Services knows how to make changing your insurance a smooth transition. Your home is a special place and should have a solid insurance plan protecting yourself and your family from anything that might come your way.

It would be ideal to have a local expert to assist you in your search and Integra can do just that. There could be a number of factors that are specific to your area that only a local agency would know the most about. You want someone who knows the specific demands of your area to align you with the best insurance plan. In Huntington, TX, Integra Insurance Services has the experience required to help you transition into the best insurance plan for your specific needs.

How to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter

Although the temperature in Huntington, TX has been relatively warm so far this season, cool weather will eventually arrive.  At some point, it will be time to turn the heater on. However, if you simply switch it on at the first sign of cold weather, you may be doing  your home more harm than good. By following a few simple steps before you heat your home, your furnace will remain in good shape and your home will be warm and cozy all winter long.

Step 1: Change Out the Air Filter

Air filters should be changed regularly throughout the year.  Changing out the air filter improves the air quality and your furnace does not have to work as hard.

Step 2: Clean Both the Furnace and Chimney

Clean your furnace by wiping dust and debris that has settled on it. While cleaning it, examine it for signs of rust.  To clean out the chimney, remove debris and soot buildup and make sure there are no birds’ nests inside. 

Step 3: Make Sure the Thermostat is Working Properly

In the fall, before temperatures drop, turn up the furnace to high heat to ensure the thermostat works properly.  Make sure to do this early on so that if there is a problem, you have time to correct it before it gets too cold.

Step 4:  Check That None of the Heating Vents are Blocked

Vents that are covered or blocked can’t warm the home.  Plus, they can cause your furnace to overheat and even increase heating bills. So make sure no furniture or other items are covering them up.

Cold weather will find its way to Huntington, TX eventually. When it does, your home will be comfortable all winter long by following these simple steps. Contact Integra Insurance Services to learn more about homeowners insurance in Texas.

Home-Insurance: Confusing Terms

Anyone with a home in Huntington, TX knows that home insurance is a must for protecting the property against catastrophic loss. Unfortunately, home insurance premiums can vary wildly, surprising homeowners everywhere. What are some of the factors that home insurance companies consider when calculating the rate?

First, many people don’t realize that pets can impact a home insurance rate. While dogs are a man’s best friend, insurance companies don’t look kindly on all dog breeds. Some dog breeds, such as Dobermans and Rottweilers, are aggressive dog breeds by nature. This leads to an increased chance that these dogs will potentially bite a family member of neighbor. This can lead to insurance claims that the company needs to pay out. To leverage this risk, home insurance companies will increase premiums.

Next, the potential for fire damage plays a major role when insurance companies decide premiums. If a home is close to a fire station, the owner will be rewarded with a lower premium. Furthermore, if a fire hydrant is nearby, this could also lead to a lower home insurance rate. This is because fire damage can lead to an insurance company paying substantial financial claims to replace lost or damaged property. If a fire station or fire hydrant is close to the property, the fire will be handled sooner and result in a lower financial cost to the owner and the insurance company.

Finally, home maintenance costs are a major factor in home insurance costs. Out of date water heaters, pipes that drip, inadequate water seals, and leaking roofs are all aspects that insurance companies frown upon. This is because poor maintenance can lead to major home damage that can cause insurance companies to pay out substantial claims. Keep homes in good repair to minimize home insurance premiums.

There are common factors that insurance companies in Huntington, TX take into account when deciding on home insurance premiums. Rely on the tips above to keep home insurance costs to a minimum.

 

 

Taking Care of the Great Outdoors – Fall Maintenance for Your Outdoor Spaces

A Fresh Look At Your Outdoor Space

With the changing of the season’s it is a perfect time to reimagine your outdoor space and make it everything you want it to be. the professional employees of Integra Insurance Services recognize that your home is important to you  as well as your outdoor spaces. Here is a short list of different things you can do to make your outdoor space a beautiful and safe one.

Do It Big!

If Texas is known for doing everything big we want Huntington, TX to be known for doing everything big and doing everything right.

In Huntington, TX we have the luxury of leaving all of our outdoor furniture out for the colder seasons. As long as you secure items that tend to move with a strong wind, you are rest assured to enjoy the space year around.

  • decorate with earth colors,
  • add a different set of throw pillows to patio furniture.
  • set up a low-cost, do-it-yourself scarecrow to make the season cozy while adding the right amount of warmth.
  • a firepit is just the thing for those colder days. Making one is easy and tutorials abound on the internet. If you have a couple of hours you can be enjoying your firepit in time for the weekend.
  • make certain all debris and leaves are cleaned regularly and lawns are maintained. This is the best way to be picture perfect ready for Spring and to enjoy your outdoor space safely without the threat of  a slip and fall.

An integral part of enjoying your home is having peace of mind. Let Integra Insurance Services help you handle the responsibility of all of your insurance needs, Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Preparing Your Home for Fall

According to the calendar, fall has officially arrived.  Whether or not that means much in East Texas is debatable.  We may experience another month or two of warm weather, or get hit with a “cold” front soon.  The one thing we do know here at Integra Insurance Services of Huntington, TX is that is no matter how unpredictable the weather might be, it is always a good idea to be prepared.  Is your home ready for fall?  If not, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Clear Debris from Roofs and Gutters

Roofs and gutters tend to collect leaves, branches, and other debris.  Clear these items out regularly throughout the fall. Debris can build up and clog gutters and drains causing drainage and water issues if left unattended.

Tackle Large Outdoor Projects

Does your garage need cleaning out or flowerbeds cleared?  Yes, Texas can be unpredictable, but it is likely that we will have  pleasant weather ahead.  And while this is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, it is also a good time to tackle a project that it was too hot to do over the summer.

Fire and Safety Checks

Is your fireplace clean and ready for a fire?  Are your smoke detectors working?  Or should you be concerned about the levels of carbon monoxide from your furnace?  Now is the time to prepare for when it does begin to get cold.

Seasonal preparation is just one of the ways to keep your home in shape throughout the year.  At Integra Insurance Services of Huntington, TX, we believe that preventative measures help to ensure your home is protected.  The right home insurance plan also protects your investment.  Contact us today to learn more about the home insurance plans we offer.

Why Do I Need the Protection of a Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Your home is a major investment.  Homeowners insurance protects that investment should events occur that damage or destroy the home or the owner’s personal property.  Typically, homeowners policies that are purchased in Texas cover damages to the house.  They will also cover personal property and other structures, such as sheds or fences, that are located on the property.   Should your home become inhabitable due to damage, the policy will cover the additional living expenses such as hotels and food that will be incurred.  Homeowners policies also protect the homeowner from personal liability in the event the are responsible for someone’s injury on their property.  In some cases, the policy will also cover any medical expenses related to an injury on the property. 

There are two primary types of homeowners insurance policies available in Texas:  all risk and named perils.  All risk policies, also called comprehensive coverage, cover all risks unless specifically stated.  Named perils policies provide coverage only for specifically defined threats.  The policy will outline whether is provides for replacement cost or actual cash value.  The replacement cost is the cost to rebuild or repair the home if it is damaged or destroyed.  This figure will be based on current construction costs and does not include the land’s value.  Actual cash value represents the cost to rebuild or repair the home less the depreciation due to age.  Homeowners should talk with their agent to determine the most appropriate type and level of coverage for their individual situation. 

The agents at Integra Insurance Services serve homeowners in the Huntington, TX area.  They are able to discuss the available homeowners insurance options.  Contact them at 800-655-2159 to protect your home today!

Why You Need Home Insurance

Like most types of insurance, home insurance is a widely misunderstood type of insurance. Many people think that all types of homeowner’s insurance are created equal, but that’s simply false. The best way to determine the value of your home insurance is to understand why you need the policy in the first place.

Home Insurance Helps You Cover Repairs from Weather-Related Damage

In Texas, you can experience severe weather, including hurricanes, that damage your home. From siding replacement to repairs resulting from a fallen tree, the costs of repairing your home can add up quickly. Fortunately, Integra Insurance Services’ home insurance helps you cover some of the costs, preventing you from breaking the bank when it comes to repairing or rebuilding your home.

Home Insurance Protects Your Family’s Lifestyle

Without home insurance, it’s likely you don’t have the means to immediately provide your family a place to stay. In fact, with most people have small savings, many families would be hard-pressed to make small repairs on their home. At Integra Insurance Services, we arm you with the ability to start rebuilding or repairing your home immediately. As a result of this, your family is able to maintain the same standard of living that they’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

Home Insurance Helps You Financially Following a Pet Bite

Most families have furry family members. Pets are great for families. However, dogs and other pets are a liability. They can bite your guests or neighbors. If this happens, you will likely be responsible for their medical bills and more. With homeowner’s insurance, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of a pet bit. We help you cover the costs after your deductible.

At Integra Insurance Services, our home insurance gives you peace of mind when it comes to your home. If you don’t have home insurance allow us to give you a quote.

Recycling Household Items

Living green is becoming the goal of people around the globe.  People have embraced reusing some of the more common household items because they realize that recycling in Huntington, TX isn’t quite as difficult as they thought.  There are an endless amount of creative ideas to reuse and recycle items.  Here is a quick look at some of them.

  • Empty egg cartons – sure, you can toss these into the recycling bin, but they can also be reused.  One cool thing to do is to fill each cup with cookie dough, meatballs or even individual servings of any other type of food items in order to keep them from turning into a frozen solid mass.  You can also start spring seedlings in an old egg carton before planting the seedlings outside.  You might also use them as molds for jello.
  • Mismatched socks – Mismatched and/or old socks are very easy to reuse.  You can use them as a way to keep a child’s smaller toys organized.  You can also use them as dust rags or to polish silver.  What other uses can you think of?
  • Paper towel roll tubes – Stuff your plastic bags inside one to keep them organized and out of the way.  Use it to control annoying extension cords by wrapping the cords around one.  Organize your daughter’s hair bows, clips and ties.  And of course, there is the ever famous do-to-do horn for kids.
  • Corks – olive oil and wine corks can be reused as multiple things.  You can make a floating keychain for when you are participating in water activities.  You can also save them until you have enough to make a corkboard from them.

When you begin thinking about recycling things, you might also want to take a look at your homeowner’s policy and make sure that you are covered for every eventuality.  Review your current policy or start a new one with Integra Insurance Services.