Archives for homeowners insurance

Hurricane Harvey FloodingWe’ve seen first hand in Texas how devastating floods can be. As an agent you know how important it is for your clients – even ones whose neighborhoods haven’t flooded in decades – to have good flood coverage.

Just as important, we’ve seen insureds without flood coverage sue their agents claiming that they were never presented with a Flood coverage quote – making for a big E&O exposure and claim.

iMGA is proud to provide you access to one of the best flood products on the market – one with dwelling limits up to $1 million, plus contents, other structures and loss of use coverage up to a total insured value of $2 million, a wide range of deductible choices, easy payment options and a 1 week or less waiting period.

But the best possible policy isn’t of any use if you can’t present the quote – and it won’t protect you if it isn’t presented.

So at iMGA we’ve now made it so on every iMGA Homeowners quote you can also get a Flood quote with almost zero extra effort. Simply review five extra questions and that’s it – you’ll get a Flood quote too! If your insured rejects that Flood coverage our system gives you a very clear rejection option that you can have them sign – protecting you in the case it turns out later they needed that coverage.

At iMGA we work very hard to make things as easy and useful for our agents as possible. If you’re an iMGA Texas independent insurance agent, quote a homeowners policy today. If not, start the process to become an agent.


Disclaimer: Is not currently available in the following counties:
Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Hardin, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Waller, Wharton, Willacy

Springtime in Texas is beautiful.

It can also be fearsome.

2016 was a particularly tough year for spring thunderstorms in Texas. San Antonio alone was hit by two major hailstorms last year. The first hammered the northern metro area April 12 with hail up to 4.5 inches in diameter, or the size of grapefruits.

A second hailstorm on April 25 swept through western parts of San Antonio and impacted some of the same locations. Some areas saw tennis ball or baseball-sized hail, though overall the storms were not as impactful as what San Antonio experienced in the first storm.

A supercell thunderstorm spread a long swath of damaging hail through north Texas on April 11 as it moved just to the north of Dallas-Fort Worth.

The town of Wylie, Texas, was especially hard hit with hail up to the size of softballs.

Nearly all of the windows in this Wylie, Texas, home were knocked out by the April 11 hailstorm. (Twitter/@WylieBear1)

So, enjoy Springtime in Texas, but also be prepared. If you’re an iMGA agent, make sure all your Dwelling, Homeowners, MobileHome, Renter and Vacant personal property insurance customers are properly covered.

If you’re not yet an iMGA agent, go ahead and start the process to become one now.


St. Patrick's Day Four Leaf CloverSt. Patrick’s Day – also known as the Feast of St. Patrick – celebrates and commemorates the life of the patron saint of Ireland.

Captured and sold into slavery in Ireland during the 5th century, St. Patrick escaped. Later he returned Ireland to bring a message of redemption and hope to his adopted homeland.

Kidnapping. Slavery. Forgiveness. National impact. It’s little wonder that his story and memory lives on 16 centuries later.

We don’t have a story that dramatic at iMGA, and we haven’t been around that long. We do, though, have a history of making it as easy as possible for Texas independent insurance agents to meet the Dwelling, Homeowners, MobileHome and Renters needs of their customers.

With our Admitted and Non-Admitted solutions we’re not working miracles or chasing out snakes, but we are providing coverage for hard-to-place risks and offering unique additional coverages like People and Pets.

So if you’re an iMGA agent with a challenging risk, give us a try. If you’re not, go ahead and start the process now.

Who knows, you might be extra lucky!

Texas Homeowners FormSome companies have a “take it or leave it” or “one size fits all” approach to everything they do. At iMGA we know your clients have unique situations that require a range of options.

We’re happy to provide a variety of Homeowners coverage policy forms to help you in meeting as many of those situations as possible. When quoting an iMGA policy you’ll be able to choose between offering an HOA, HOA+ or HOB policy.

Here are the main differences between those and some of the reasons you might choose one over the other:


The most basic coverage is provided by the HOA policy. Its coverages are on an Actual Cash Value for specific named perils and is the most appropriate policy for older dwellings or dwellings that do not qualify for some reason for Replacement Cost coverage, or for your clients who simply want the lowest cost option. The named perils covered by an HOA policy include:

  1. Fire and Lightning
  2. Sudden and Accidental Smoke
  3. Windstorm, Hurricane and Hail
  4. Explosion
  5. Aircraft and Vehicles (unless vehicle damage caused by insured or occupant)
  6. Vandalism and Malicious Mischief
  7. Riot and Civil Commotion
  8. Theft


Customers who do need or want and qualify for Replacement Cost coverage on their dwelling but do not qualify for an HOB (or wish to save some money by reducing some coverage) are ideally suited for an HOA+ (HOA Plus) policy. HOA+ policies cover a wider range of named perils than an HOA policy and generally cover the Dwelling for Replacement Cost (there are specific conditions under which the dwelling’s roof coverage might be reduced to Actual Cash Value, but those are the exception not the rule). The named perils covered by an HOA+ policy – subject to conditions, limitations and exclusions – are:

  1. Fire and Lightning
  2. Sudden and Accidental Smoke
  3. Windstorm, Hurricane and Hail
  4. Explosion
  5. Aircraft and Vehicles (unless vehicle damage caused by insured or occupant)
  6. Vandalism and Malicious Mischief
  7. Riot and Civil Commotion
  8. Theft
  9. Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water or Steam within a plumbing, heating or air conditioning system or household appliance
  10. Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning, or Bulging
  11. Vandalism and Malicious Mischief
  12. Vehicles owned or operated by an insured or by tenant
  13. Fall of trees or limbs
  14. Weight of Ice, Snow, or Sleet
  15. Freezing of plumbing
  16. Collapse (subsidence not covered)
  17. Landslide (subsidence not covered)
  18. Breakage of glass

iMGA HOA+ policies ALSO cover the following (subject to conditions, limitations and exclusions):

  1. Water backup
  2. Mold remediation
  3. Foundation damage


Customers who qualify for an HOB have the option of buying this broadest coverage policy (though they may not always choose to for cost reasons). The HOB policy generally provides replacement cost coverage on the Dwelling (there are specific conditions under which the dwelling’s roof coverage might be reduced to Actual Cash Value, but those are the exception not the rule). The HOB policy is an “open perils” policy, meaning its language is flipped around and instead of listing the specific perils that are covered, it lists only the things that are NOT covered.

The HOB policy (subject to its conditions, limitations and exclusions) protects your dwelling from all perils EXCEPT FOR:

  1. Earth Movement
  2. Ordinance or Law (some coverage may be provided in your policy)
  3. Water Damage (some coverage provided in your HOB policy)
  4. Power Failure
  5. Neglect
  6. War
  7. Nuclear Hazard
  8. Intentional Loss
  9. Government Action
  10. Mechanical Breakdown
  11. Collapse (some coverage may be provided in your policy)
  12. Patios, footings, floors, roofs, ceilings)
  13. Mold, Fungus, or Wet Rot (some coverage may be provided in your policy)
  14. Smog, Rust, & Corrosion
  15. Smoke from Agricultural Smudging & Industrial Operations
  16. Dispersal, Discharge, Seepage of Pollutants
  17. Animals own by Insured
  18. Birds, Vermin, Rodents, Insects
  19. Wear & Tear, Deterioration
  20. Settling, Shrinking, Bulging, or Expanding (of bulkheads, foundations, pavement)

iMGA HOB policies also provide specific limited coverage the following (subject to conditions, limitations and exclusions):

  1. Water backup
  2. Mold remediation
  3. Foundation damage

ALL iMGA Homeowners policies also add Personal Injury Liability coverage at no additional charge.

At iMGA we make it easy for you to customize our products to provide the best combination of coverage and price possible for your clients – and our friendly staff is available to answer any questions you may have.

If you’re a Central or West Texas insurance agent and need a market that really understands the Texas personal property market – contact us.

When Shirlene entered Don’s agency and asked for a homeowners policy it seemed like a straightforward request.

She didn’t need a lot of optional coverages, so she passed on many of those we offer, such as:

  • Increased Contents
  • Increased Other Structures
  • Increased Loss of Use
  • Business Personal Property
  • Home Based Business Liability
  • Increased Loss Assessment
  • Increased Liability and Medical Payments
  • Scheduled Residence Glass, Guns, and Personal Property

House Hit by TruckThankfully, though, the iMGA Texas Elite Homeowners policy automatically includes coverages many insureds wouldn’t think to request but sometimes really need, like*:

  • $5,000 for Building Laws and Ordinances
  • Up to $5,000 for Mold
  • Up to $5,000 for Water Back-up (on selected forms)
  • $2,500 Business Personal Property
  • $2,500 Firearms Theft
  • $1,000 Loss Assessment
  • $500 Bullion/Valuable Papers

In Shirlene’s case her house was hit by a truck and pushed out of alignment with the foundation. To make matters worse, a law was passed after her home was built requiring all homes have a larger crawlspace than hers has. Fortunately the $5,000 Building Laws coverage in the iMGA policy will help cover the extra cost caused by that new building code.

It just goes to show that you never know what might happen, and it’s important to place your clients with markets that care about providing the right coverage. Who knows when or why your clients will need it – but if you’ve provided it for them they’ll be very glad they trusted you.

Shirlene sure is.


If you are a Texas Independent Insurance Agent who doesn’t already do business with iMGA and you’d like the extra


*Of course like all insurance coverages, these may vary and are subject to the terms, conditions and limitations in the policy.

Juanita The CSRI met Juanita* three weeks ago.

Juanita is new to the insurance business. Young – still in her mid-20s – it’s the first non-retail job she’s had.

She has a bubbly personality, loves taking good care of customers and did very well on her insurance license exam. The agency where she works is one of the top auto agencies in their small town so she has already learned enough to be very comfortable with auto insurance issues and questions.

But they’ve been losing customers.

They haven’t had a good home insurance market. So every time a customer asked for a quote for renters policy or homeowners policy they ended up referring her to an agency down the street. Inevitably over time they lost those customers as the home insurance agents asked for a chance to quote the auto.

Juanita’s manager Rafael* found out about iMGA through another agent. He visited our website and liked what he saw there. He completed our online interest form, our system notified us of his interest and we quickly reached out.

When Rafael and I talked it was obvious that there was an excellent fit between his customers’ needs and iMGA’s products. He was easily able to complete the online new agent application and we had him set up the same day.

Because they were located in central Texas, it was easy for us to do an in person visit and train the staff on our products and underwriting guidelines that week. Juanita was, frankly, worried. How hard would it be for her to understand these new products? What questions might customers have that she couldn’t answer? Would she get the support she needed? How hard would it be to issue a policy?

You should have seen the look on her face the first time she went through a quote. She said “Is this all there is to it?” when it took her less than two minutes to complete the whole process.

She – and Rafael – especially loved how the system and printed application clearly explained the primary coverages and limitations so that she didn’t have to worry about missing those. She called into iMGA and one of our friendly underwriters made sure she got the answer she needed and felt comfortable calling any time. She wrote her first homeowners policy while I was in her office.

As Juanita’s confidence has grown she’s steadily increased the number of auto customers who she’s able to offer Homeowners, MobileHome, Dwelling and Renters coverage and their agency no longer has to refer those customers down the street.

Would You Like a Story That Ends This Well?

Yes, the process for signing up with iMGA can be this easy.

The process for quoting and issuing business with iMGA is absolutely this easy.

If you’d like to add more Easy to your life – and a strong range of Texas personal property products for your agency staff to offer to your customers – contact us.


*We’ve changed the names in this story to protect the innocent. 🙂

House With Other StructureWhat to Cover

Every client coming to you for homeowners insurance is aware of the need to cover their primary dwelling. But only good questioning by you will reveal the other things that they have that need coverage as well.

Fortunately iMGA systems guide you through the questions on some of those other things that might need special coverage, including:

  • Other Structures (outbuildings, storage sheds, etc.)
  • Business Personal Property
  • Computers
  • Scheduled Personal Property (engagement rings, jewelry and collectibles)
  • Farm and Ranch Equipment

How Much Coverage to Buy

Far too many people buy the amount of homeowners insurance needed to pay off their mortgage. But critical provisions of homeowners policies require that clients purchase the amount of insurance necessary to replace the home. That means the right amount of insurance could easily be  much more or less than the mortgage.

Fortunately, iMGA systems include a replacement cost calculator to help make sure that the coverage amount chosen when the policy is issued is within the needed range. Of course like any other tool it is highly dependent on what you input and the information that your insured has given you.

For example:

  • If there is an attached garage, those quote questions need to be answered correctly.
  • If the insured has finished out the garage as living space or done some other major addition then the square footage needs to be increased.
  • Also, the build quality can swing the valuation a large amount in either direction.

So make sure that you ask your insureds detailed questions about their property so that this critical decision can be made properly.

When to Update Coverage

According to, replacement costs have risen an average of 7% per year. That means the replacement cost of the average home has more than doubled in the last 11 years, and has a very high likelihood of being underinsured after only a few years.

If that’s not enough, homeowners frequently upgrade – remodel, put in a pool or addition, or make other changes that increase the value and replacement cost of the home.


Clients depend on you, their trusted advisor, to ensure these coverage decisions are made in an informed manner. At iMGA we work to make doing so as easy as possible for you.


If you’re a Texas insurance agent who would like to work with a company focused on helping make your job easier, let us know.


Independent insurance agents that represent iMGA are professionals that really understand their clients’ needs.

At iMGA we’ve worked hard to provide all the personal property solutions for those needs:

Homeowners Insurance

Texas House With Metal Roof

  • Small farms and ranches (up to 300 acres)
  • Older homes – even with replacement cost coverage (provided needed updates have been made)
  • Home based businesses
  • All protection classes
  • With or without credit scoring
  • Properties with pools, slides, diving boards, trampolines and pets (subject to certain restrictions of course)
  • Multi-policy discount if they have another policy with your agency
  • Discounts for new roofs, dwelling updates, hail resistive roofs, and much more

Rental Dwelling Insurance

Texas Style House With Metal Roof

  • With or without replacement cost coverage
  • With or without liability coverage
  • Discounts for new roofs, dwelling updates, hail resistive roofs, and much more

Owner-Occupied Dwelling Insurance

  • With optional theft coverage
  • With or without replacement cost coverage
  • Discounts for new roofs, dwelling updates, hail resistive roofs, and much more

Mobile Home With Golf Cart

MobileHome Insurance

  • With or without replacement cost coverage
  • All protection classes
  • Owner or tenant occupied
  • With or without liability coverage
  • Discounts for metal roofs

Apartment Building With Green Tile Roof

Renters Insurance

  • Homes or Apartments
  • Contents up to $50,000
  • Optional theft and replacement cost coverage

House With For Sale Sign

Vacant Dwelling Insurance

  • All protection classes
  • With or without liability coverage
  • With or without renovation coverage

All iMGA policies include

  • convenient direct bill payment plans (with up to 9 installments, depending on the product and term),
  • check, automatic recurring check and credit card payment options, and
  • instant policy issuance.

To learn more, log in. If you’re not already an iMGA agent, contact us.

IIABA PC Survey2011 may not have been a great year for the U.S. economy, but it was a very good year for Independent Agents and their carriers, according to a new report by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association.

After years of market contraction, all property‐casualty insurance premium lines grew in 2011. Independent agents and brokers (IAs) were well poised to capture their share of the market. Many regional and national IA carriers expanded their shares by double digits. Furthermore, overall IA share grew in several states and regional IAs outpaced market growth in many business lines nationwide.

The report also showed that homeowners market expanded by $3.1 billion in 2011, closing the year at $73.0 billion – a 4.5% increase over 2010. Independent agents have been making significant increases in homeowners insurance market share over the past six years, growing from 22% to 26% of the total market. Almost all of that increase in market share has come at the expense of the large captive agency companies.

Based on data from A.M. Best, the report also includes information on commercial insurance sales and market share, and is full of valuable information for any agency personnel interested in the big picture.

Nice Old House

Photo courtesy flickr user photophnatic

There are plenty of great older homes in Texas – homes that show lots of pride of ownership.

At iMGA we’re happy to insure older homes. In order to offer your clients with older homes the best possible quote be SURE to enter their update information.

Information about updates on plumbing, electrical, heating and the age of the roof can make a huge difference in the offer you can present your clients – sometimes changing the price by up to 50%!

Updates increase the value of the home, show pride of ownership and good maintenance practices – and significantly reduce the likelihood of losses.

So make sure you don’t leave a quote without double-checking the update information – and get us the update information on any renewals too!

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