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Insurance Center

Playground Safety
Purchasing Playgrounds are great places to relax, but the laughter can easily turn to tears if you're not careful. Younger children are likely to be injured on the playground because of their stage of development. They are compelled to investigate. They won't be satisfied at the bottom of the slide; they need to see the top too.

Teach your children playground safety:

  • Hold onto all equipment with both hands.
  • Wait until moving equipment stops completely before they get off.
  • Sit on the swings and slides, not stand, lie or hang upside-down.
  • Only one person should be allowed to use playground equipment at a time.
  • Be sure they walk well away from areas where other children are swinging or sliding.

Consult with TCU Insurance Agency on how insurance can help you protect yourself and your assets should a child be injured on your property. Discuss a Personal Umbrella policy with us today!
 
Contact TCU Insurance Agency for more information or apply for a no obligation quote online.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

What Every Policyholder Should Know About Umbrella Insurance
Purchasing Homeowners, auto and watercraft policies have a limit on liability insurance. If an unfortunate accident should occur and you are at fault, do you have enough liability insurance from your current policies to cover your costs for your negligence? Since no one can predict how much a judge may award the injured person, umbrella insurance may be the needed protection for a policyholder to ensure they're covered.

Liability insurance is the portion of a homeowners or auto policy that pays for expenses such as the injured person's medical bills, rehabilitative therapy, and lost wages due to the negligence of the at- fault person. The liability portion of an insurance policy also covers a legal defense representative if the negligence would happen to land the at - fault person in the court room. After adding up all of the medical expenses for the injured and the legal fees of the negligent person, the standard liability on a homeowner or auto policy is often not enough. Almost every state has financial responsibility laws that hold drivers accountable for bodily injury and property damage resulting from car accidents and the at-fault driver could be sued for the damage. Personal assets from the at-fault driver could be seized resulting from a lawsuit. Similar laws are also in force for both home and watercraft owners.
 

Umbrella insurance is designed to give added liability protection above and beyond the limits on homeowners, auto and watercraft insurance policies. With an umbrella policy, depending on the insurance company, you can add an additional $1-5 million in liability protection. This protection is designed to "kick-in" when the liability on other current policies has been exhausted.
 

A personal liability umbrella insurance policy can give policy holders added liability protection without a large added cost. Additional liability insurance is often inexpensive, especially compared to the added coverage one gains. Furthermore, liability insurance covers your non-business activities anywhere in the world. Having the added protection of a liability umbrella policy is coverage no one should go without!
 

Contact TCU Insurance Agency for more information or apply for a no obligation quote online.


TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

 

Are You Purchasing or Renewing an Insurance Policy?
Purchasing or renewing an insurance policy is an important financial decision. But, with so many options to choose from, it's hard to know if you're getting the best coverage at the most affordable price.
 
Luckily, there are ways to become better informed about your options, which will ultimately save you money: 
 

  1. Conduct annual reviews: Conduct a review of your policy at least once per year with your independent agent. To review new optional features or available discounts. Your independent agent can help you work through your policy options to ensure the coverage you choose makes sense in your current stage of life.
    Talk to your agent about what discounts might be available for you now and in the future. 
     

2.   Combine policies under one carrier:

Bundling products under the same insurance carrier allows you to take advantage of significant discounts. Plus, bundling products takes less time to manage, review and pay for each policy.
 
3.   Pay your policy in full:
When possible, opt to pay in full at the time of purchase, rather than paying month-to-month. Many carriers offer a paid-in-full bill plan, offering discounts to policyholders who pay their insurance premium in bulk. This often covers 6 months to a years worth of policy coverage, depending on the carrier. Over time, small fees can add up to higher costs that could be avoided.
 
4.   Avoid late fees:
If you choose to pay in installments, set up payments with your carrier to ensure bills are paid on time with each installment. Insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to predict overall risk and likelihood of future losses. Paying your insurance bills on time may lead to an improved insurance score, which can result in a reduced premium.
 
5.   Assume more risk:
Talk with your independent agent about the benefits in assuming a portion of the risk by purchasing high deductibles and paying for small losses. Oftentimes, assuming a portion of the risk means premiums can be kept low and a loss surcharge will not be applied to your policy. The result is an overall reduced premium. 
 
Insurance is meant to protect you against catastrophic losses that have the ability to cause financial devastation, not small risks that can be assumed by yourself. By assuming a portion of the risk, you can purchase reduced amounts of insurance, tailored to meet your specific needs and reduce your overall premiums. 
 
Contact TCU Insurance Agency for more information or apply for a quote online.
TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

 

 

 

Fire Safety
Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on an advance warning from smoke alarms, and advance planning (a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced). 
  

Facts and figures

  • Only one-fifth to one-fourth of households (23%) have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan to ensure they could escape quickly and safely.
  • In 2004, there were an estimated 395,500 reported home structure fires and 3,190 associated civilian deaths in the United States.
  • One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening and the time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

Putting your plan to the test!

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether everyone in the house can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest (the one with the least amount of smoke and heat) but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke, if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Contact TCU Insurance Agency to help you today or apply for a quote online at www.tcuinsurance.com.

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

Fire Safety Tips For the Winter
Homeowners & Business Owners: Fire Safety Tips for the Winter
As the weather gets colder, it’s likely we’ll turn up our heat and brace  ourselves for the winter ahead. But as the use of heating systems increases during the cold weather months, so does the frequency of residential and business fires. It is important business owners and homeowners alike prepare their employees and families for potential fires, and practice important
prevention habits.
 
Make sure you’re covered.
Homeowners, renters and business owners should ensure they have the proper insurance coverage in place in case of a fire. Most policies cover fire damage to residences or businesses, as well as personal belongings, but may have limitations. Additionally, most commercial insurance will protect business owners from liability if an employee is injured or loss of life occurs during a fire.

 

Practice makes perfect.
It only takes minutes for a house or business to become engulfed in flames, making a planned escape route is a necessity. Plan an escape route and post it where everyone can easily find it. Practice your route at least twice per year at different times during the day, especially with children or people with disabilities. Designate a meeting spot a safe distance from your home or business, such as a tree across the street, so you can be assured everyone made it out safely.

Fire-proof your home or business.
Stop the fire before it starts by eliminating potential hazards in your home or business. Equip yourself with fire
extinguishers, regularly tested smoke alarms and sprinklers. Keep curtains, towels or any items that can easily catch fire at least three feet from heaters. Business owners should also consider posting “No Smoking” signs around machinery and flammable materials to alert employees of potential danger.
It is also important to protect important papers including birth certificates, property inventory and proof of its value, such as receipts, titles and appraisals.
In the case of a fire, business owners may be required to show proof of property value to ensure full coverage from their insurance policy. Make copies of all your important documents, and keep the originals in a safe deposit box outside of your business.
 
By taking the proper safety precautions, homeowners, renters and business owners can protect themselves, their property, family members and employees from a fire. Contact the TCU Insurance Agency, to review your policy today, or apply for a quote online from TCU Insurance Agency.

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

Ice Dam Prevention
As winter progresses through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow. These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of the following:

 

  • Soaked insulation
  • Stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock
  • Damp, smelly and rotting wall cavities
  • Stained, blistered and peeling paint

Insulation
The fundamental problem is the attic space and roof are warm. The solution would be: Try to maintain a cold roof. In addition, the ceiling must be airtight. Areas around the chimney, plumbing vents, wiring or thin spots in the insulation are typical escape routes for warm air coming from living spaces.

Ventilation
Attic ventilation plays a relatively small part in controlling ice dams. There are a number of reasons for this fact. The first and most important is winter air (cold air) does NOT have the capacity to "pick up" and remove moisture entering the attic space from the home. Where ventilation does play a role is it helps maintain a cold roof deck.

Two forces move air through the attic; wind and the temperature difference between the attic air and the air outside. As attic air warms up, it rises and exits the ridge vents. As it leaves, it is replaced by cold outside air entering through the soffit vents (passive ventilation). This process helps keep the roof deck cold, which is the objective in preventing ice dams. Usually, mechanical ventilation, which exhausts air from attic space, only causes problems. Systems that positively pressurize attic space to help control ice dams must be designed by professionals with experience!

Passive attic ventilation helps maintain dry attic space and remove heat build-up during summer months. The greater the vertical distance between the outlet and inlet of air flow the more effective these systems are. Using a combination of ridge vents and soffit vents is based on this principal.

Available Help
Weatherization contractors may be listed under Energy Management, Conservation Consultants or Insulation Contractors in the Yellow Pages. The contractors could use a blower door test and an infrared camera to help detect places where heat and moisture are escaping up into the attic space.

Contact TCU Insurance Agency to help you today or apply for a quote online.

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 


Spread the Word About Safe Grilling
In 2010, fire caused more than $1 billion in direct property damage to apartment structures. Nearly 4,000 people were injured in apartment fires and 440 people perished as a direct result of more than 90,000 apartment fires across the United States. That is nearly 250 apartment fires reported across the U.S. everyday.

 

As the weather begins to heat up across the Midwest, one of the main causes of apartment fires, grilling, begins to rear its head. The numbers do not lie: Nearly 8,000 fires involving grills are reported each year, and they are largely due to unsafe grilling habits. Of the many dangerous practices, the biggest danger is when grills are used too close to a structure. Grills should only be used when it is possible to allow a minimum of 20 feet away from any deck, overhead tree branches or building. Please be safe when grilling this summer. And, if you would like more information about how to protect you and your family, we can help.

Contact TCU Insurance Agency for more information or apply for a quote online.
 

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

 

Why do I need to review my insurance policy?
The Insurance Information Institute recommends reviewing your home, auto and life insurance once a year.  However, you should also review your policy whenever one of the following situations occur:


1. When your policy is due for renewal.
While it is tempting to pay the renewal bill immediately, it is the perfect time to review your insurance policy. All insurance is not the same. Insurance companies are constantly trying to invent new coverage to protect you from evolving changes that are occurring constantly in everyday life. At renewal time think, “Is there something I need to speak to my agent about?”, before putting the policy away. This simple practice will allow you to review your policies each year.


2. When you make major purchases or alterations to the home.
Building a new deck? Just purchased a big screen TV? Making new purchases or adding improvements to your house is usually a great time to look at your home insurance policy. A perfect example of a major improvement is adding or expanding a room, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Additionally, if you or a member of your family has received an expensive gift, such as artwork, a computer or even an engagement ring, contact your agent.


3. When you buy another car or need to add or remove a driver to your auto insurance policy.
With the current hard economic times, more people than ever are driving uninsured or have minimum limits. You need to be sure your limits take this into consideration. Do you have an Umbrella liability policy? Does your Umbrella go over your Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage?  Discuss this with your agent during your review.


4.  When a major life change occurs.
Getting married or divorced; if you retire; the addition of a new family member through birth or adoption of a child or grandchild; taking on the financial responsibility of an aging parent; purchasing a new home or refinancing your existing home; purchasing or investing in a business;  you have a loved one who requires long-term care; or you are coming into an inheritance.
Contact the TCU Insurance Agency, to review your policy today, or get a quote online from TCU Insurance Agency
 

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

Vacation Checklist
Brought to you by TCU Insurance Agency

If you are planning a vacation, be sure your home is prepared for your absence:

  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly.
  • Install several light timers to go on and off in different rooms at various times throughout the day.
  • Have a neighbor or relative pick up your mail. If you will be absent more than a week, have the post office stop delivery.
  • Lock up. Almost half the burglaries committed occur where a door or window has been left unlocked.
  • Wedge a rod between the door and the frame of a sliding door.
  • Never leave a spare key hidden near your door.
  • Don't put your name and address on luggage tags; they can be interpreted as signals of your absence from home. Use a business address instead.
  • Unplug electrical appliances such as televisions, microwaves and computers. This will protect them in case of an electrical storm.
  • Be careful when posting the details of your travel plans before or during a vacation on social media. It's best to post updates and photos afterward.

Get a quote online from TCU Insurance Agency or contact the TCU Insurance Agency, if you have any questions.

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

Don't Give a Burglar the Gift of Your Home While Away on a Vacation
AAA Offers Tips on How to Safeguard a Home while Away on a Vacation
Homeowners should take every precaution possible to ensure their home looks lived-in while they are away. A standard homeowner's insurance policy typically covers furniture, electronics, sports equipment and other personal items if they are stolen. It's important to note jewelry, fine art and other high-value items may have limited amounts of coverage.
Tips to Protect Your Home from Burglars

 

  1. Make your house look lived-in while on vacation. Put timers on a few lights at various times.
  2. Make sure to stop your newspaper and/or mail so it doesn't pile up. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers or simply call the post office and/or newspaper and ask them to put a stop on delivery.
  3. Walk around your home and make sure all doors and windows are tightly secured. Check to see if there is any "wiggle room"; that could allow a thief to pry open a window or door. Make sure there is nothing around your home that can be used to climb to upper floors.
  4. Don't announce your vacation in a voicemail, email or a social media platform. While it's important to let a neighbor know you will be away to keep an eye on your home, don't broadcast it online or in a voicemail where strangers will be able to learn when your away.
  5. Don't put your home address on luggage tags. This gives a potential thief the address of your home and a confirmation you won't be there.

Contact your insurance agent prior to leaving for vacation. If anyone has questions about what's insured in their home, it's best to contact your insurance agent before a trip to discuss deductibles and coverage limitations.

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.

TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

Educational Employees Insurance Program
TCU Insurance Agency has teamed up with several Regional and National A-rated insurance companies to provide a special insurance program just for educational employees! The Educational Employees Insurance Program offers special coverage, services and discounted pricing. Below are just some of the special features of this program.

  • Educators & School Employee Discounts
  • Multi-Policy Discounts
  • Alumni Discounts
  • Claim Free Rewards
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Identity Protection Program
  • Vanishing Deductibles
  • Flexible Payment Options
  • Comprehensive Agent Reviews

TCU Insurance Agency is proud to offer this special Educational Employees Insurance Program.
Contact TCU Insurance Agency for more information or apply for a quote online.
 

©2012 Teachers Credit Union.
TCU Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU. Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.

 

 
 

 

 

 

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