EIA Newsletter – January 2023

Happy New Year!

We are excited to embark on a new year with new faces and new goals! Ellis Insurance Agency continues to offer the best customer experience and always look forward to hearing from you. We are so honored to work with each and every one of you and are grateful for the kind words you shared about your experiences with us in 2022!

What to expect with Auto Rates in 2023 and things you can do to save!

We all know that inflation rates are the highest in decades. While inflation is expected to decline from 2022 to 2023, inflation rates are projected to remain elevated relative to historical averages.  Texas has also seen a huge increase in severe auto accidents over the past few years.  Compared to 2019, the number of deaths in 2021 and 2022 due to auto accidents have increased by 22.76%.  In 2021, the economic loss of all motor vehicle crashes increased by $6.8* million compared to 2020. 

These two areas have greatly impacted our Texas auto rates, but there are things you can do to help save now or save later when a claim comes along.

  • If you have no accidents, consider enrolling in Accident Forgiveness Coverage**, especially if you have youthful drivers that are about to be on or are currently on your policy.  Accident forgiveness is a feature of an auto insurance policy that prevents the surcharge for a at fault accident from being added to your next renewal with your current company. 
  • Consider Telematics!  Telematics allows auto insurers to evaluate their driving patterns and habits, such as speed, travel distance, harsh braking and driving, and seat belt usage. This data helps them more accurately estimate your liability to the insurance company so that they can offer more personalized rates and discounts based on your actual use.  Typically, you get a discount just for enrolling with an opportunity to get bigger discounts at your renewal or after the trial period has ended.  Many of these programs are App-based, very intuitive, and will update you daily with tips to improve your score.  This is a great option for a young driver on your policy that you want to keep an eye on and coach healthy driving habits.
  • If you owe money on your car (either a loan or a lease), consider loan/lease coverage, especially since the cost to repair/replace vehicles has increased.  Simply put, loan/lease gap coverage is insurance that helps you pay off your loan or lease if your car is totaled and you owe more than it’s worth. If you decide on this coverage, it’ll pay on up to 20% (maybe more depending on your insurance company) more than your car’s actual cash value at time of loss to help you take care of your loan or lease.
  • Re-shop your auto insurance at every renewal.  At Ellis Insurance Agency, we have dozens of auto insurance companies that we work with to find you the best coverages for the best rates. We typically do this on a pro-active basis, but if your renewal is coming up and you need our help to re-market your insurance portfolio, let us know and we will help!

* Economic Loss figures are estimated using the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Average Economic Cost on a per death basis figure for the year identified. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred million. 2021 figures are based on 2020 cost.

** At fault accidents are still reported to the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss and Underwriting Exchange) and other insurance companies could still rate the policy with the accident and add a surcharge. Rates may still go up if the client had an accident free discount but loses it since accident forgiveness doesn’t prevent this.

Goodbye Personal… Hello Commercial!

We are excited to announce that Jazmin Olivarez has been promoted from Personal Lines to Commercial Accounts Executive in our Business Insurance Department! She has spent all of January training and looks forward to working with Cindy and Amy to bring our Business Insurance clients the best service. Congratulations, Jazmin!

Be sure to check out Jazmin’s own business, Estilo Jazzy, a women’s and children’s boutique. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook, too!

Welcome, Marisol!

We are excited to announce our newest EIA employee, Marisol! She comes on as a Client Service and Sales Consultant for Personal Lines. You can find out more about Marisol and all our employees by visiting our Meet Our Team page!

January Commercial Spotlight

In 2022, we started featuring 2 of our commercial businesses a month. We value these partnerships and love that they trust EIA with their commercial insurance needs.

This month we featured Fast Wellness – Soft Tissue Center. Fast Wellness offers soft tissue pain therapy. Located here in San Antonio, their therapists are trained to have great communication, patience, and tenacity. They work with your sensitivity level to keep your sessions as pain-free as possible. Be sure to check out all they have to offer!

Our second spotlight this month is Maui Maui Kids Play Island! Maui Maui, located off Stone Oak Parkway, offers everything from birthday Parties to private events for the young (or young at heart)! Be sure to check them out. PS. If you’re a parent, sign up for their emails to find out when they host Parent’s Night Out!

Be sure to visit our Local Partner‘s page to see the different kinds of businesses we trust and insure!

Thank you for trusting Ellis Insurance Agency! We love our clients!

Germania’s Roadside Assistance v. Towing & Labor Service

Germania’s Roadside Assistance and the Towing & Labor Service are two separate coverages under personal auto policies. Below you will find what the difference is between Roadside Assistance and Towing & Labor.

Germania’s Roadside Assistance provides coverage for all of the insured drivers on the policy in any vehicle listed* on the policy. *This excludes motorhomes, trailers, and RV’s

Here is a breakdown of everything included in Germania’s Roadside Assistance:

To confirm you have one or both of these services, please email or call your agent. We are happy to help clarify what coverage you have and what works best for you.

You can also learn more by visiting Germania’s blog page by clicking HERE.

SafeCo Insurance – Wildfire Response Benefit

SafeCo’s new Wildfire Response Benefit comes with no additional costs. Read on to learn more about this (free) benefit and what it means for you.


Enrollment is completely free. It does not expire unless the customer requests or the policy is cancelled. There is absolutely no impact to your premium (no charge or discount) for this program.

All homeowner and Landlord Protection® policyholders within the designated wildfire states will receive a letter and opt-out form. There is currently no electronic opt in/out form. If you did not receive a form in the mail, please click HERE to download or feel free to contact Ellis Insurance Agency if you have any further questions.

Benefit and Partnership

Chloeta maintains a map of policies-in-force within the benefit footprint and monitors the area to determine wildfire proximity and threat level. The vendor makes operational decisions on which eligible properties are serviced and the types of services provided during a wild land fire response. Once safe access is secured, mitigation vendor services may include:

  • Removing pine needles and leaves from gutters
  • Removing flammable vegetation and items from around your home
  • Deploying a temporary sprinkler system to protect your home
  • Updating you regarding the status of your property and actions being taken to protect it
  • Applying a water-based gel* or firefighting foam to your home
  • Returning any combustible items moved and washing any fire gel or firefighting foam away after the wildfire event

*What is a protective gel barrier? “It’s an industry-leading, fire-preventing, and heat-absorbing fire-retardant gel that personnel may use to help protect your home and property. The gel particles adhere directly to a house or structure and quickly extinguish any flames or burning materials that come into contact with the gel. It creates a gelled water barrier that effectively helps protect a home or structure for several hours and may prevent internal combustion. It can be rehydrated to extend effectiveness, as needed. The gel is used as a last resort when fighting a fire. It is proven to be effective as it adheres to smooth surfaces such as glass.”


To learn more about the partnership, benefits, vendors, and/or policy, you can reach out to SafeCo’s Customer Service or visit https://www.safeco.com/products/homeowners-insurance/wildfire

Don’t forget that you can always reach out to Ellis Insurance Agency for ANY questions about your policy and/or benefits.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th. NOAA forecasters are predicting a 65% above-normal hurricane season this year. Learn more about hurricane preparedness and what to do in the event of a flood/natural disaster.

Hurricane Preparedness

A hurricane can be a devastating force of nature whether you live inland or on a coast. Being prepared can potentially help save you, your family, and your home from permanent damage. Read on to see what steps you can take to prepare for this hurricane season.

Evaluate Your Risk

Living on the coast is a higher probability to being hit by a hurricane, but inland residents are also at risk. Heavy rains, winds, and storm surges can cause wind damage and flooding. Once you evaluate your location and review historical hurricane information, you can decide whats best for you to prepare.

Preparing Your Family

You and your family’s safety is essential. Follow this guide to ensure you have a plan in place in the event of a hurricane

  • Develop an evacuation plan.
  • Prepare for power outages. Flashlights, electric lanterns, and gas-powered generators are a great place to start.
  • Build an emergency kit. Click here to find a list of basic emergency supplies to have on hand.
  • Be sure to secure important documents in a fire/water proof safe.

Preparing Your Home

While preparing your family and their safety is most important, it is good to start preparing your house before hurricane season starts. Here are some tips for preparing the exterior of your home.

  • Check window and door seals. It’s important that these are in good condition to prevent water damage inside your home.
  • Install storm shutters (if you’re in a high-risk area) or have boards available to put over your windows.
  • Trim tree branches around your roof. High winds can cause trees and branches to damage your home.
  • Clean your gutters to help water flow and prevent roof damage.
  • Make sure you garage door(s) are secure.
  • Have sandbags available to divert water from your home if you are in a high-risk area.

Now that your home and your family are prepared, be sure to check with your insurance agent to review your home policy. Most homeowners insurance will cover wind damage, but not flood damage as flood insurance is a separate policy. Be sure to ask what the best steps will be in the event that you need to file a claim after a hurricane. You can track current hurricanes and tropical storms by visiting the NOAA tracking site. Stay prepared and safe!

How Escrow Works With Homeowners Insurance

What is Escrow?

Escrow is money, property or a written document delivered or held by a third party pending the fulfillment of an agreement. Banks and lenders use escrow accounts to make sure borrowers have homeowners insurance and the means to pay for it.

How does it work with my insurance?

Your bank or lender creates the escrow account at the time that you sign your mortgage agreement and manages the account thereafter.

You pay a lump sum each month to the escrow account and your mortgage lender puts the money toward your mortgage payment and pays your insurance premiums directly to your insurer. The components of this payment are mortgage principal, interest, property taxes and insurance.

The data to determine your total payment usually comes from the tax authority in your state, your homeowners insurance company and the bank itself through the mortgage it provides. This way, the banks and lenders know the premium is paid and that the home is insured. Since rates change, at the end of the year, if you paid too much toward any amount owed, your bank or lender will refund your money.*

If you have any questions about following this video, please reach out to us at 210.979.9000 or www.ellisinsure.com

*information derived from valuepenguin.com

What is the current state of the San Antonio Real Estate market?

If you’re here, then you know that the San Antonio Real Estate market has been crazy!

We were curious ourselves, so we asked our friend, business partner, and client, Tadd Chapman, to provide some analytics on the current Real Estate market in San Antonio. Please watch the 2-minute video below for some updates and the latest statistics below:

Keep in mind that increasing home market values, often times DOES NOT equal the rebuild value of the home. For more on that, please contact us at EIA. We’ll be happy to educate you on the difference between the market value and rebuild value… and how that could impact your homeowners insurance.

If you would like to reach out to Tadd directly, here is his information below:

Momentum Group I Keller Williams Heritage
o: 210-920-0447 I c: 210-823-5568
7701 Broadway, Ste 104 I San Antonio, TX 78209
Tadd@MomentumGrouptx.com I www.MomentumGrouptx.com

Thank you, Tadd, for this incredible information!

EIA Insider: Playing Catch-Up

We wanted to take this moment to catch you up on what’s been happening around EIA since we launched our new website. We want to make sure you’ve checked out the Client Center and our new Live Chat feature. We have a couple of new team members, so be sure to introduce yourself by checking out their bios. We are wrapping up our latest community fundraiser for CISSA’s Stuff the Bus and are blown away by your support. Keep reading on for more!

New Website

How are you enjoying the new website? Have you checked it out yet? We are very excited about the Client Center. You can view your insurance policies, print your insurance ID cards, update your information, and download documents. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please click HERE to login and find all of your information.

We just launched our Live Chat feature that will be available for a few hours a day every week. When the chat is offline, you can still submit your question(s) for a quick response! You can find that feature located on the bottom right corner of our website on every page.

New Faces

We are happy to welcome Michael McGruder and Pam Guillen to the EIA Family. Please take a moment to get to know them by clicking on their picture.

Stuff the Bus

Thank you to everyone who helped support our Stuff the Bus Fundraiser. We exceeded our goal by over $250! There is still time to donate. The fundraiser closes on August 31, 2021. CISSA’s goal was to raise $225,000 this year and we are so happy to help that happen. Click on the image below to still donate today!

Referral Winners – May/June

Don’t forget: For every referral you send to us, your name is entered in to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card for that month! You can catch up on our last 2 winners below! Thank you for trusting Ellis Insurance Agency – We love our clients! Stay tuned for July’s winner!

May Referral Winner!
June Referral Winner!

Labor Day Hours

We will be closed on Monday, September 6th in observance of Labor Day. We will reopen on Tuesday, September 7th at 9 a.m. We hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thank you for choosing Ellis Insurance Agency – We love our clients!

How Old Is Your Roof?

When it comes to your roof, age matters at claim time.

Over the past several years, with increasing hail and wind storms, insurance companies have begun to automatically assign a Roof Schedule for roofs that are 15 years and older with Actual Cash Value (ACV) coverage instead of the recommended Replacement Cost Value (RCV) coverage.  In many instances, a lower premium may result, but you could get caught without sufficient financial resources when it comes to loss.

What’s the difference between ACV and RCV?

ACV: Your insurance company will pay the actual cash value of your roof at the time of a covered loss. This means the actual cash value minus your deductible amount minus the depreciation cost according to the age of your roof. Generally, the older your roof, the higher the amount depreciate or not covered under your policy.

RCV: Your insurance company will pay the replacement cost value of your roof at the time of a covered loss. This means the replacement cost value minus your deductible. There is no deduction for depreciation under the RCV valuation method.

In conclusion, the older the roof, the more deducted for depreciation. Do you know how old your roof is? If you know that your roof is 15 years or older, please let us know, we can tell you if your roof is covered at Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost Value.  If you have updated your roof, please let us know so we can add that to your policy.  This could be the difference in saving thousands of dollars in the case of wind or hail damage.

Please watch the video below for more information!

CISSA Stuff the Bus 2021

We are so excited to support CISSA Stuff the Bus for our 6th year in a row!

Ellis Insurance Agency is proud to support Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive for over 6 years! The goal of the campaign is to help under served students throughout Bexar County get the tools they need to succeed in school and in life. Since COVID-19, CISSA (Communities in Schools San Antonio) is trying to raise $225,000 in lieu of school supply donations this year. Please help us reach our goal of $500 which can supply half a classroom!

Why is Stuff the Bus important?

The Communities In Schools’ (CIS) Stuff The Bus School Supply Drive is one of city’s largest school supply drives that serves thousands of under-served students and families. Many of these families are below the poverty line and cannot afford all the supplies their children need to start their school year. The funds raised through this event will be given to about 150 CIS partnering schools (elementary-high school) across 12 school districts to purchase supplies for any student in need at that campus. The Stuff The Bus School Supply Drive helps to alleviate the stress of back-to-school expenses and allows students to focus on their education with the tools they need to be successful.

What can your donation provide?

Want to donate?

Please visit our personal fundraising page where we are trying to raise $500 by clicking HERE.

Thank you for your support and continued trust in Ellis Insurance Agency.

New Website, Who Dis?

See what’s new, what’s updated, and what will stay the same.

We are excited to announce the launch of our long-awaited, user-friendly, and updated website! Let’s discuss all the new features + how mobile and tablet – friendly it is below:

Home Page

Our Home Page features a quick “Get A Quote” tab with a drop-down menu of all the different insurance we write. You can easily access any of our social media sites (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube) from the top left corner as well as “Email An Agent” or “Call” if you are using a mobile-friendly device. As you scroll down, you can learn more about different Personal and Commercial Insurance by clicking directly on the featured image. Underneath all of that, you can learn about Ellis Insurance Agency and see all the insurance carriers who we work with. We hope you like it so far!

Our Agency

When you click the Our Agency tab, you will find personal information About Us – how EIA got started, you can Meet The Team, check our our Community Involvement, see our Local Partners, and read Testimonials from our clients.


You will find all of the different types of Insurance we write, as well as good information about each, under the Insurance tab. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just ask! We might be able to help guide you for even more specific insurance like Food Truck, Ride-Share, Pet insurance, and more!

Customer Service

This is one of our most FAVORITE new features. The Client Center. This was designed specifically for YOU. You can login to the Client Center with the email you have under your policy(s) with EIA to access your information. Do you need to make an update to your info? You can do that right here in the Client Center! Don’t worry – before anything is solidified, your agent will receive a request for what you changed/updated or what you are looking for, and will contact you. You can also download documents, request ID cards, view your insurance policies, and more. Sound cool? Try it out by clicking HERE!

We also have a Contact Your Carrier page where you can find updated contact information for every carrier we write with.

Get A Quote, Blog, and Contact US

Get a FREE quote instantly by clicking on any of the type of Insurances listed under Get A Quote tab.

You can easily access our Blog and see what Ellis Insurance Agency is up to! We will feature our Referral Winners, EIA Insider updates, and more under our EIA Blog.

Find all of our contact information and where we are located by clicking Contact Us.

We hope you love the new website as much as we do. We are in the Business to Help People, so please let us know if you have any comments or changes you’d like to see!