Archives for homeowners

Seven years ago today iMGA issued our very first policy. Now, tens of thousands of customers later, we’re ready to begin our best year yet by far. For us, and our agents, seven is really turning out to be a lucky number.

Our Homeowners, Dwelling, MobileHome, Renters and Vacant non-admitted products have been refined and offer the broadest range of coverage options in the market. With these products iMGA agents are now able to provide their customers the absolutely unique People and Pets accidental death coverage. Full details on People and Pets – with up to $75,000 in additional coverage – is available on our agent dashboard. Just log in and follow the People and Pets Endorsement link.

Agents in most of Texas are now also able to offer their customers great new admitted Homeowners, Dwelling, MobileHome and Vacant product alternatives through iMGA.

Our incredible team has built strong relationships and deep experience servicing the needs of independent agents across Texas over these past seven years, and we’d all love to put that experience and expertise to work to serve you.

If you’re already appointed with iMGA, please take a moment to quote a customer with us. If you’re not, please contact us to learn more about what we have to offer and how we might work together.

At least 6 killed, dozens hurt and over 100 homes damaged in Granbury tornadoes

Granbury Tornado With Water 2013-05-15

Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said at a press conference this morning that all six people who died were adults, although he did not release their names or other details.

He said 37 others were known to be injured, and around 110 homes damaged or destroyed. Sheriff Deeds said the death count could rise as seven people remain unaccounted for and nearby rural areas had not been searched thoroughly. But he did not expect anyone else to be found in the rubble.

At iMGA we are honored to be able to help restore people’s belongings after severe weather events. But every spring we are reminded that:

  • Nature is an awesome, powerful and unpredictable force, and
  • Some losses simply cannot be replaced.

We are proud to provide insurance for thousands of Texas homeowners and we work every day to live up to the trust placed in us by our agents and customers, but we often wish we could do even more. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Granbury, and all the others who have been and will be affected by severe weather.

Some video from Granbury:

We love talking to you, our valued agents, but we know sometimes you just need a change made to a policy as quickly as possible.

So we’ve made it so you can do the most common changes whenever you need.

For example, on a Dwelling policy you can do a Non-Money endorsement or an Agent Money Endorsement by selecting Actions/Modify Policy. On the bottom of the Policy detail page you will see two buttons:

Endorsement Buttons

The Non-Money endorsement lets you change the Bill To, Pay By, Insured Name and information, Mailing Address and Additional Interest/Mortgagee information.

Non-Money Endorsement

The Agent Money endorsement lets you change the age of the roof, the Other Structures limit and the Dwelling Update information. Simply select the dwelling you want to modify:

Agent Money Endorsement Intro

Then add or correct the information:

Agent Money Endorsement Detail

You can change all the same information on a Homeowners and MobileHome policy also.

On Renters policies you can add or delete Additional Insureds or make changes to Additional Insured name and address.

This is just another small part of how we work hard to make things as easy as possible for our agents.

Of course you can grow your agency by finding new customers or by adding new markets.

But the easiest and fastest way to grow your agency is to increase the number of products you provide for your existing customers. The sale is easier because you already have a relationship, plus studies have shown that customers with multiple policies stay with you longer. This multiplies your growth over time.

Fortunately as an iMGA agent you have a wide range of products to meet multiple needs for your clients:

  • Homeowners – HOA, HOA+ and HOB options to cover a wide range of home values, ages and conditions.
  • MobileHome – Specialty coverage for clients whether inside a mobile home park or not.
  • Dwelling – TDP1, TDP1+ and TDP3 policies for owner and tenant-occupied dwellings.
  • Vacant Dwelling – A specific option for hard-to-place vacant homes.
  • Renters – Contents and Liability coverages for insureds who don’t yet own a home.
  • Umbrella – Up to $5 million in primary and/or $5 million excess coverage for clients with the need to protect a wide range of assets.

All iMGA products focus on being EASY to use, with instant online binding, payment and document and flexible direct bill options. So as an iMGA agent you can focus on making sure you’re offering all your clients all the protection they need and growing your agency quickly in the process.

If you’re an agent who is not already working with us and would like a to grow your agency by offering a Texas Personal Property program that includes cutting-edge Renters, Dwelling, Vacant, MobileHome, HOA/HOA+/HOB and Umbrella products, just tell us a little about yourself.

Daniel Schwarcz, a University of Minnesota Law School associate professor and the author of an 88-page study scheduled to be published early next year in the University of Chicago Law Review, says homeowners policies differ “radically with respect to numerous important coverage provisions.”

Professor Schwarcz found that “all five companies with substantially less generous policies” use captive agents (like State Farm, Allstate and Farmers) but “two of the three carriers providing the most generous policy forms use independent agents”.

The study concluded that consumers are most likely to be harmed by potential differences in homeowners coverage “if those consumers do not have access to an intermediary that is informed about these differences.”  Also that “Captive agents… are substantially more likely than independent agents” to be unable or unwilling to offer consumers coverage alternatives.

In other words, it’s really important to have a good independent agent.

At iMGA we couldn’t agree more. We’re proud to offer fantastic coverage options most companies don’t, but that’s not helpful without great independent agents who care enough about their clients to make sure those clients are well covered.

Fortunately we have those – spread all over Texas.

Consumers: Find a great agent to work with on insurance for you home or rental dwelling.

Agents: Work with a company that appreciates the value you bring to your clients.

At iMGA we are dedicated to offering Texas property owners coverage options they cannot get anywhere else.

We’re proud to continue that tradition today by announcing that our Texas Elite homeowners insurance product now offers:

A $500 deductible option!

Companies all over Texas, large and small, are requiring 1% minimum deductibles and rolling insureds to those deductibles without offering insureds any choice in the matter.

IMGA’s Texas Elite policies in all of the state except Tier 1 and Tier 2 will have an option that is particularly helpful for those on a fixed income or tight budget who want to minimize the out of pocket cost of any claim they might have in the future.

If you are an independent agent who’d like to work with a market that understands Texas and isn’t afraid to be different, complete the form on this page.

If you would like to get a homeowners insurance quote from an independent agent near you that offers iMGA products, please visit our find an agent page.

At iMGA we’re not like most insurance operations. We’re not stuffy, we don’t take our selves too seriously, we live by a unique code that would make most of our competitors cringe.

We know that the most important differences are the ones that make our agents’ lives easier, though.

That’s why we recently added a feature to all our San Antonio Indemnity Company underwritten HOA, HOA+, TDP1, TDP3 and MobileHome policies that will help the fantastic independent agents that represent iMGA really stand out against any competitor.

All the above new policies effective and issued 8/15 and later automatically include Equipment Breakdown Coverage!

What is Equipment Breakdown Coverage?

Equipment Breakdown coverage adds coverage for the perils of mechanical or electrical breakdown to the policy, with its own separate $500 deductible.

What Kinds of Items are Covered?

If it uses electricity, it’s most likely covered. Here are just a few examples:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Home Security Systems
  • Air Conditioners
  • Heat Pumps and Furnaces
  • Hot Water Heaters
  • Swimming Pool Systems
  • Well and Irrigation Systems

How can I learn more?

You or your customers can go to the iMGA Equipment Breakdown page and click on the “Learn more about Equipment Breakdown coverage” link to see an fun, interactive, detailed demonstration of the many things in a home that are covered. We encourage you to share this link with anyone in your agency or any of your clients that has any questions at all.

Want to know even more? Login to and follow the links on the welcome page to download three different brochures/handouts you can print or email to your clients.

Mike Gibbs, our Director of Personal Lines, has prepared this comparison of the coverage differences between the Texas and ISO Homeowners policy forms. The comparison is available in four different versions:

  1. Homeowners Comparison Presentation with Notes
  2. Homeowners Comparison Detail with Notes
  3. Homeowners Property Coverage Comparison Table
  4. Homeowners Liability Coverage Comparison Table

Clearly it’s important to work with professionals who really understand Texas property to avoid potential pitfalls that can come from the many differences between the policies. Fortunately we happen to have those. 🙂

As we are seeing all too clearly this Spring, wild fires are a very real risk for Texas Homeowners. More than 840 fires have consumed almost 1.5 million acres just this year (this and other facts to follow throughout this post are provided by the incredible team at the Texas Forest Service).

Fortunately, steps can be taken to prevent and/or limit losses. Property owners taking proactive actions combined with a coordinated state response have saved more than 5,600 structures. Unfortunately another 400 dwellings were not able to be saved, and lives were lost.

If your home is in any area affected by these wild fires, we strongly encourage you to educate yourself on the important steps you can take to protect yourself and your property.

There are many things you can do, but the Top 3 things to do to protect yourself and your property are:

  1. Prepare your property. Keep the area around your house clear of combustible materials, keep your lawn well mowed and shrubs and trees pruned and away from your home.
  2. Prepare your family. Develop and agree on an evacuation plan, including what you’ll do if you’re separated. Have medicines, important documents and irreplaceable memorabilia easily accessible and ready to go if needed.
  3. Leave when it’s time. None of your property is worth the loss of your life. Many wild fire related deaths come from last-minute evacuations. If ordered, leave – don’t delay!

Obviously this is only scratching the surface of what you should know if you’re in an affected area. Use the resources available from the Texas Forest Service, Firewise and the American Red Cross, among others.

And to all the brave firefighters working to save people’s lives and property across Texas – you have our sincere gratitude.

Texas weather is VERY hard to predict. In the middle of winter it might be 75 degrees one day and 25 the next. It’s completely normal to have a really nice March that somehow also includes a hard freeze late in the month.

Frozen Roof DamageTexas homeowners need to take precautions to minimize their losses due to freezes. With deductibles that easily exceed $1,000 and the high cost of repairing or replacing damage pipes, building walls and/or floors and contents lost to damage from the water, it’s in everyone’s interest to take preventive actions. Even more important, though, is that many policies don’t cover freezing damage claims. As a professional insurance advisor it’s important that every Texas independent agent know and explain clearly to their customers what is and is not covered.

This isn’t always as easy as it seems. As independent agents you’re able to offer multiple products from many different carriers, each with different optional coverages. This means dozens of potential combinations.

iMGA products offer a range of coverage for freezing or water damage:

  • The Basic HO-A policy does not provide any coverage for water damage or freezing.
  • Our Non-Admitted HOA+ covers freezing and resulting water damage as long as the originating point for the break is above the slab, foundation or surface of the ground (whichever is applicable).
  • Our Admitted HOA+ and our Non-Admitted HOB cover freezing and resulting water damage regardless of the originating point for the break.
  • With iMGA if freezing and resulting water damage is covered there is no sub-limit for the coverage – it’s available up to the applicable building and contents limits.

As you can see, there are a wide range of options. Your other carriers will have even more variations, including what limits may apply if any coverage is available. They may even be using completely different forms. Not everyone will want, need or be able to obtain the most coverage available. The important thing is that you understand the options and communicate them clearly to your clients.

Of course it’s also important they take precautions. Texas weather is, above all, unpredictable and avoiding a potential claim altogether is still the best possible solution.

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