Why Motorcyclists Love Texas

Whether as a fuel-efficient way to cover ground in our large state or as a lifestyle, motorcycle riding is extremely popular in the Lone Star State. At Ellis Insurance Agency, our San Antonio, TX motorcycle insurance clients appreciate our passion for the activity. But what exactly makes riding in Texas so enjoyable? The answers are all around us.

Why Motorcyclists Love Texas

Interesting and Scenic Roadways

Texas is filled with places to venture out for a weekend or a week. There’s the Big Bend Region, Hill Country, Twisted Sisters, and a range of sprawling cities and interesting small towns.

Expansive Open Roads

Sometimes it is nice just to hit the open highway, and few states offer more expansive roads than Texas. Whether traveling in a pack, with that special someone, or solo, you can get away from it all in Texas.

Motorcycling-Friendly Weather

For the most part, you can enjoy riding a motorcycle for more months in Texas. This adds value to riding in the state.

A Vibrant Biking Community

It is easy to join a fun run or charity ride on just about any weekend. There are plenty of places where Texas bikers can gather and enjoy the activity and fellowship together.

Rider-Friendly Laws

Texas is considered biker-friendly, with no specific laws against lane-splitting and lenient helmet laws. As long as bikers respect other drivers and the rules of the road, they should have no problems enjoying their two-wheel adventures.

Ready To Begin Your Texas Adventure? Get Motorcycle Insurance Today!

If you own or are considering purchasing a motorcycle in the San Antonio, TX area, Ellis Insurance Agency can help with the appropriate coverage for your bike. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote. We look forward to assisting you.

EIA Newsletter – June/July 2023

We officially made it to Summer! (Although, here in Texas, it’s felt like Summer for a couple months)

Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? Read on to understand home replacement costs, meet June’s Commercial Spotlight and our referral program winners!

Understanding Home Replacement Costs

Home insurance is based on the cost to rebuild and replace your home, not its market value.
While market value is the amount your home is worth on the housing market, your home insurance coverage limit is based on the estimated cost to rebuild your home: the cost to repair, rebuild or replace what you had before, using materials of similar type and quality.

  • What is replacement cost?
    Replacement cost is the amount it would take to repair, replace, or rebuild your home at current prices of construction materials and labor. When you insure your home for its estimated replacement cost, you help to ensure you have the coverage you need to repair or rebuild if it is damaged by a covered loss.
  • What is market value?
    Market value is the amount your home is worth on the housing market.
  • Why is the coverage limit of my home higher or lower than the home’s market value?
    Your home insurance amounts are based on its estimated replacement cost, or the cost to rebuild. Not the amount it would sell for on the housing market.
  • Why are many policyholders seeing increases in their coverage limits in 2022?
    Coverage limits need to keep up with rising inflation. This is an industry-wide issue. Many factors are considered when estimating your coverage – one of these factors is reconstruction costs. Reconstruction costs have risen steadily since our last assessment.

*Visual and information provided by Traveler’s Insurance

June Commercial Spotlight

Our June commercial spotlight was Texas D-Willie’s Smokehouse! DeeWillie’s BBQ has been serving the San Antonio and surrounding areas for the last 3 years. Be sure to check out San’s Antonio’s “BEST” BBQ and country breakfast at all of their locations!

Meet Drake!

Drake is part of our awesome Data Support team! We have thoroughly enjoyed having him join our team as well as the amazing support he brings to EIA!

Learn more about him by visiting our Meet Our Team page!

April/May EIA Referral Winners

Did you know that for every referral you send to us, your name is entered in for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card for that month? Yes! It’s true! We are so thankful for our clients and appreciate your referrals and reviews. Had a good experience? Let us know! Thank you to our 2023 April and May client referral winners:

  • Irma Rodriguez
  • Bradley Evans

We appreciate you being part of our EIA family and will always strive to give you the best service!

The Positives of Boat Insurance

There are positives to getting boat insurance in San Antonio, TX and other locations throughout Texas. Few states in the US require boat owners to have boat insurance, but Texas is not one of those states. The option, however, is available to boat owners as it has many beneficial factors. 

The primary benefits cover the repairs or replacement if something happens to the boat. It all depends on what is underwritten within the policy.

The Various Benefits

Any damages covered in the policy of boat insurance can call the boat a total loss if the damages exceed the boat’s value. The entire book value of the boat may be compensated when filing a claim minus the deductible. That payment can go towards getting a new boat.

Other benefits can pay for repairs on the boat if something breaks or is damaged. The insurance company considers the book value, and the balance after the deductible goes to the repair payment. The third benefit that the underwriters may have in a clause is to pay the total agreed-upon capped value at the time of the insurance purchase. Likewise, this may cover either the repair or replacement of the boat. 

Let Ellis Insurance Agency Assist You

The positives come with knowing that the boat is covered if damage or an accident happens. Owning a boat is a favored luxury for boating and fishing. When something happens, and it stops you from these hobbies, you want to know that you can get back out on the water as soon as possible. 

Here at Ellis Insurance Agency, we create an environment filled with knowledge to assist you in getting the proper coverage in San Antonio, TX and surrounding areas. Once we know the book value of the boat, we can take it from there. Contact us today!  

When does umbrella insurance kick in?

Umbrella insurance from Ellis Insurance Agency is a type of extra liability coverage that can provide additional protection when your existing auto or home insurance policies here in the San Antonio, TX area don’t cover the full extent of a liability claim.

When does umbrella insurance kick in?

It can kick in when the amount you are liable for exceeds the limits of your existing insurance policies, protecting you from potential financial ruin. 

It’s important to remember that umbrella insurance does not replace any other policies you may have. It’s designed to supplement and extend the limits of your existing auto, home, and other liability policies, helping you protect yourself from claims that exceed those limits. 

When it comes to knowing when umbrella insurance kicks in, there isn’t a single answer since it depends on various factors such as the policy limits of your existing coverage and claims made against you. Generally speaking, if there is a claim made against you resulting in damages greater than what your existing policies cover, umbrella insurance will cover any remaining costs up to its limit. 

Umbrella insurance can be an essential layer of additional protection for those who need more coverage than their existing policy provides. However, it’s important to speak with an experienced and licensed insurance agent who can help you determine what type and how much umbrella coverage is right for you.

Reach Out To Us

For more information or to find a policy that is right for you, give us at Ellis Insurance Agency a call today. We are proud to serve the San Antonio, TX area and would be happy to help you find a policy that meets both your needs and your budget. So call us today!

Insurance Audit

Receiving a notice of an audit can sometimes cause a business owner stress; although, that’s not the intention. An audit is performed to ensure you have the appropriate premium for your exposure, or the thing for which you have insurance. Your initial deposit premium was based on your best estimate of the auditable exposure (payroll, sales, etc.). Insurance companies use a Premium Auditor at the end of the policy period to compare the “actual” auditable exposure against your “estimated” amount.

What is an Insurance Audit?

An insurance audit examines your business’ payroll or gross annual sales and risk exposure. An audit makes sure you’re paying the correct amount for insurance.

What happens in an Insurance Audit?

The word “audit” may sound stressful, but don’t panic. At the beginning of the year, you pay a certain amount for coverage. If you’re asked to go through an audit at the end of the year, an auditor, hired from the insurance company, reviews your business’ payroll and other documents to determine if the premium you paid was accurate.

An audit looks at some or the following:

  • Your business’ gross annual sales
  • Job duties of employees and independent contractors
  • Changes from the prior year
  • Your annual payroll to W2 and 1099 workers

Depending on the audit results, you could have additional premium due because you needed more coverage, so you’ll have to pay the difference.

Preparing for a Premium Audit

Having the necessary documents and information can make for a smooth audit. Some documents you may need include:

  • Payroll (for your W2 and 1099 workers)
  • Certificates of insurance (for your 1099 workers or a waiver signed from them)
  • Tax documents
  • Subcontractor or independent contractor documents

Do I have to do an Insurance Audit?

Insurance companies may perform an insurance audit at the end of the year for:

  • General liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial property insurance

If you’re notified of an insurance audit it’s important to send your insurance company any documents or information they ask for. Completing an insurance audit, or any type of insurance audit ensures you’re paying for the right amount for coverage.

Be aware that if you don’t complete an insurance audit, your insurer can:

  • Charge a premium increase. In some cases, this can be a significant amount.
  • Cancel your policy, leaving you without coverage.
  • Report you to a collection agency if there’s a balance due on your premium and you don’t pay it.

Learn More About Audits and Coverage

Choosing the right policy and coverages is important and can help you run a successful business.  Insurance is backed by years of experience and know every business owner has unique needs. Our specialists are here to help you every step of the way. So, if you need help completing an insurance audit or have any other questions, we’ve got your back.

EIA Newsletter – April/May 2023

April showers bring May flowers! We are flying through this year and it’s not slowing down. So let’s SPRING right into this months news. Read on to learn more about increasing auto rates, this months Commercial Spotlight and our referral program and winners!

Rising Auto Rates

As most of you know, auto rates have been increasing. There are several reasons for the rising rates – from inflation to distracted driving, supply chain blockages to labor shortages. Let’s talk about the 4 major trends driving up auto rates.

  • Supply and Demand. The supply of New vehicles is low due to shortage of raw materials and chips. The demand for Used vehicles is high and with rising prices, it’s causing total loss payouts.
  • Parts and Technology. The supply of auto parts is down globally, while the cost to repair cars is up. More advanced technology is a big factor.
  • Labor shortages and costs. The amount of skilled auto technicians is decreasing. It’s difficult to hire, train, and retain people. The auto body repair costs are increasing and with the labor shortages, prices are rising.
  • Healthcare and Large Verdicts. Bodily injury claims are rising and big jury payouts are also a major factor.

To learn more about these rising auto rates and what you can do, click HERE. Thank you to Travelers Insurance for breaking it down and if you have any questions about how YOU can save, please contact your Ellis Insurance Agent today!

April Commercial Spotlight

Our April commercial spotlight was Garage Experts of San Antonio. Garage Experts offer professional solutions for your garage from floor coating to cabinets and organization! Their business is locally owned and operated, while backed by the nationally respected GarageExperts® brand with over a decade of experience. Their team offers professional solutions designed for your garage that are backed by a Lifetime Warranty. You can get a FREE quote by visiting their website and finding the closest location to you.

Welcome Back, Mary!

We are excited to announce that Mary Postel has re-joined our team! If you don’t know Mary already, you can learn more about her by clicking HERE. She is one of our Client Service and Sales Consultants and excited to be back with our team and family at Ellis Insurance Agency. Welcome back!

EIA Referral Program and Reviews

Did you know that for every referral you send to us, your name is entered in for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card for that month? Yes! It’s true! We are so thankful for our clients and appreciate your referrals and reviews. Had a good experience? Let us know! Thank you to our 2023 client referrals we’ve had so far…

  • January Winner: Debra Galvan
  • February Winner: Shannelle Roy
  • March Winner: Jo Garcia

We appreciate you being part of our EIA family and will always strive to give you the best service!

Three things you’ll like about having flood insurance

Purchasing flood insurance is important so that you can protect your finances. We at Ellis Insurance Agency offer flood insurance to those who own a home in San Antonio, TX. 

Homeowners can benefit in numerous ways when they invest in flood insurance.

The following are three things you’ll like about having flood insurance.

Being less stressed out about possible flood damage.

Not carrying adequate flood insurance is stressful. If your area experiences flooding, you’ll be worried that your home will be severely damaged. Without flood insurance, this could be a huge financial setback that has a significant negative impact on your future. 

When you’re carrying flood insurance, you experience less stress about flooding and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your property is covered. 

Avoiding financial loss if there is a large flood in your area

Flooding can wreak havoc on a home. Flood damage can often be so severe that it makes it so that a home is no longer safe to live in.

Flood insurance is an important investment that will help to minimize the financial consequences you face if your home becomes damaged or destroyed by flooding. 

Meeting the requirements of your mortgage lender

Some homeowners are required to carry flood insurance. If you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, your mortgage lender probably requires you to purchase a flood insurance policy. 

You’ll need to carry flood insurance until you pay off your mortgage loan if your lender requires flood insurance coverage. 

Reach Out To Us

Let us answer your flood insurance questions at Ellis Insurance Agency. We can protect your home in San Antonio, TX by offering you a flood insurance policy that meets your needs. Get in touch with us today to get a quote on a policy. 

EIA Newsletter – March 2023

Spring is finally here! We hope you all have had a fun and safe first quarter of the year! Read on to find out the safest vehicles for your teen, our Commercial Spotlight of the month, and how you can help CISSA by purchasing Fiesta medals.

The Best Vehicles for Your Teen

The IIHS and Consumer Reports team up every year to put together a list of safe vehicles for teen drivers. Whether you are looking for a new or used vehicle, this list will help you compare safety, affordability, and reliability. You can find the link here: https://www.iihs.org/ratings/safe-vehicles-for-teens

Safeco also has a useful “Parent Teen Contract” that you can download HERE. This is helpful when parents are looking for advice about how to set expectations with young drivers. Print this contract, go over it together, and make a copy for your teen to keep!

We care about the safety of you and your family and hope you find both of these useful when the time comes for your teen to start driving.

March Commercial Spotlight – GarageExperts of SA

Whether you’re looking to extend the life of your concrete floor or reclaim your space from clutter, GarageExperts® of San Antonio is ready to transform your garage with our proprietary Garage FX® epoxy and polyaspartic flooring systems, custom-made cabinets, and organizational solutions. Our business is locally owned and operated, while backed by the nationally respected GarageExperts® brand with over a decade of experience. Our team offers professional solutions designed for your garage that are backed by our lifetime warranty.*

Get your FREE estimate and learn more about Garage Experts by visiting their website.

*Information taken from their website

Communities in Schools San Antonio (CISSA)

Communities In Schools San Antonio (CISSA) are selling Fiesta Medals to support their mission to break down barriers so that every student can access the resources and opportunities that unlock their fullest potential! Visit cissa.org/donate to purchase a Fiesta medal or make a tax-deductible donation to CISSA today!

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

Tips to make your condo more energy efficient

Energy efficiency is a great way to save money on your monthly bills and help the environment at the same time. Making your San Antonio, TX area condo more energy-efficient can be as simple as changing a few habits or making a small investment in energy-efficient home appliances and fixtures. Here are a few tips from us at Ellis Insurance Agency to get you started.

Tips to make your condo more energy efficient

1. Install LED light bulbs, which use less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Not only do LED lights last up to 25 times longer, but they also save around 75 percent of the electricity used by traditional incandescent bulbs. 

2. Invest in energy-efficient windows and doors. These products will help keep air from escaping or entering your home, which will reduce energy costs. Additionally, if you opt for double-paned windows, you’ll have better temperature control throughout the year. 

3. Make sure all of your appliances are ENERGY STAR certified. This certification indicates that an appliance has been tested for energy efficiency and meets certain criteria set forth by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

4. Use power strips to control electricity flow in your condo and switch them off when not in use. Doing so will prevent any electronics from drawing unnecessary power (known as “phantom loads”), which will help you save money on your electric bill each month! 

Give Us A Call

By following these tips, you can start making your condo more energy-efficient today! For more energy-saving tips, or if you want to review your insurance policy, give us at Ellis Insurance Agency a call today. We are proud to serve the San Antonio, TX area and would be happy to help you find a policy that meets your needs and your budget.

EIA Newsletter – February 2023

Can you believe we are almost through February? We hope you all had a wonderful month. Read on to learn about how your roof’s age can affect your insurance, winter storm conditions in Texas, meet our Data Support team, learn about ChildSafe’s Cardboard Kids, and our newest Commercial Spotlight (they’re our neighbors)!

How Roof Age Affects Insurance

Your roof is the first line of defense between your home and environmental hazards such as hail, wind and more. It can also very pricey to repair or replace. Because of this, your roof is an important factor in determining your homeowner insurance rate. Here are some roof factors that can affect your insurance:

Roof’s Age:

Newer roof = lower rate. Older roof = more susceptible to damage, thus making it riskier to insure. Most insurance companies favor roofs that are 15 years or newer but, depending on material, older roofs may be eligible for homeowners insurance coverage at replacement cost. Talk to your agent. Your policy may be written on an actual cash value instead of replacement cost or your policy may be written with coverage for the roof excluded.

Roof’s Shape:

The shape of your roof may or may not have have an impact on your insurance, depending on your insurance carrier’s needs for their rating. Certain roof shapes can withstand weather better. The 3 main roof shapes are:

  • Hip Roof. This angles down on all four sides, making insurance providers happy as the likelihood for damage is less.
  • Gable Roof. This has two slopes on each side, but the roof line at the front and back of the house stop at a point. While they don’t typically hold water and debris, they are susceptible to wind damage.
  • Flat Roof. No slope at all. A flat roof may pool water, which can cause damage to the roof in the long run. 

Roof’s Material:

The material of the roof can play a part in determining its insurability because some materials are more durable (and more expensive to repair or replace) than others. Common roof materials: 

  • Wood
    Wood roofs are hard to insure because they are not fireproof unless a fire retardant has been applied. Wood shingles are typically least favored by insurance companies. 
  • Metal
    A metal roof is the most durable and fire resistant of the roof types, making this a fan-favorite with most insurance providers. 
  • Asphalt
    Affordable, durable against most elements, and long-lasting, the asphalt roof is the most used roof material. A con to this popular roofing material is they may decay easier than metal or slate. 
  • Slate or Tile
    Similar to metal, slate or tile roofs are low maintenance and usually hold strong against rotting, insects, debris, and fire. However, unlike a metal roof, slate and tile may be more prone to cracking.

Can you use home insurance for your roof?

If you’re hoping to use your homeowners insurance to get a new roof, you need to know how the coverage works. Your homeowners policy will detail the coverage you have for your roof, but typically a homeowners policy will cover repairing or replacing a roof only if the damage was done by a covered peril (ex. fire, hail, windstorm, etc.). If your roof is old and it’s time to get a new one, it’s your responsibility to handle. Your home insurance will not cover it. Additionally, it is your duty as a homeowner to take care of the roof and replace any decaying or damaged shingles. 

Winter Storm Conditions in Texas

It is best to avoid being on the roads and to stay indoors during a winter storm.  Here are some quick safety precautions and tips to take into consideration:

If you have to drive, tread carefully…

·     Elevated surfaces, such as bridges and overpasses, will likely be the first to become slick and hazardous as temperatures hover around or below freezing.

·     Keep gas in the tank at least half full to prevent gas line freeze.

·     As outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure you have the right tire pressure based on the owner’s manual before driving in cold weather.

·     Be sure you have a good spare tire and emergency tire repair equipment in the car.

·     Make certain your wipers are working and there is sufficient wiper fluid.

·     Have on hand: ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, sand/kitty litter, flashlight, batteries, warning devices, blankets, cell phone, and charger.

While at home, precaution prevails…

·     For your furnace, inspect your air filter to ensure it is clean.

·     If using a portable heater, ensure that the cord and plug are not worn or damaged before turning it on. Also, make sure the heater is shut off before leaving the house or going to bed.

·     During very cold weather, letting a faucet trickle can reduce the pressure on the pipes that can build up between the faucet and any blockage from ice.

·     Opening cabinet doors lets warm air reach water lines under faucets.

·     Warm frozen pipes with a hair dryer. Move slowly and evenly, without aiming the nozzle over one spot.

·     Run faucets and flush toilets a couple of times overnight to move standing water in both inbound and outbound pipes.

We’d like to thank Kemper Personal Insurance for these great tips!

Meet Maxx and Matthew!

Maxx and Matthew are our awesome Data Support team! Maxx focuses on Commercial Lines while Matthew helps with data entry for our personal lines accounts. We have thoroughly enjoyed having them join our team as well as the amazing support they bring the team at EIA! Learn more about them by visiting our Meet Our Team page!

ChildSafe Cardboard Kids Campaign

ChildSafe’s Cardboard Kids Campaign aims to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect. Every year, ChildSafe distributes thousands of cardboard kids for our children and families to decorate. Each cardboard kid represents one of the thousands of children that are abused and/or neglected every year. On April 6th, “Reveal Day”, ChildSafe encourages everyone to “reveal” their Cardboard Kid creations! Cardboard kids are also a sign for those who need help and need someone safe to talk to. We have supported ChildSafe and this cause for several years as ChildSafe is the only child advocacy center in Bexar County. This campaigns starts a conversation that everyone should be a part of. Find out where you can pick up your own Cardboard Kids starting in March by clicking HERE.

Check out some of our creations from years past!

February Commercial Spotlight

This month we featured our very own neighbors, Eurasian Auto Repair of San Antonio. Eurasian specializes in European, Asian, and other domestic vehicles. They offer services from auto repair, auto maintenance, tires, and more! With two locations across San Antonio, they are sure to meet your car needs. Be sure to check out their website for weekly and monthly discounts as they know luxury brand cars can get expensive. Check out our friends, neighbors, and commercial clients HERE!

As always, thank you for trusting Ellis Insurance Agency with all your insurance needs. We look forward to Spring ahead!