Archives for Texas

Celebrating Cinco de MayoTexas and Mexico have a long history together, from Spanish colonies in both places in the late 1600s, through the Texas Revolutionary War against Mexico, to the current $41 billion per year in Texas exports to Mexico.

So it’s no surprise that in Texas any major “celebration of Mexican heritage and pride” is celebrated widely.

It may be a surprise to you, though, that while Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862, it’s NOT Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16. Given the long and rich history Texas and Mexico share, though, it probably should not be surprising that the victorious commander of The Battle of Puebla, Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, was born in Goliad in 1829.

Cinco de Mayo is primarily a regional holiday celebrated only in the city and state of Puebla, and “is a holiday that is virtually ignored in Mexico”.

You Never Know What Will Catch Fire

The Battle of Puebla was a relatively insignificant event. The French forces were beaten back, but they did capture Puebla only a year later. It’s not even a national holiday in Mexico. Yet on this day each year millions of people, of Mexican heritage and not, will celebrate the day in the United States.

What has caught fire with your clients? Are you trying different ideas? The only way to know what will work is to test many options. When one does catch fire – run with it! Next thing you know you may have a surprise holiday of your own.

What has surprised you? What has resonated with your clients that you didn’t really expect? Share your experience in the comments.

Texas Flag with BuildingOn March 2, 1836, Texas earned its freedom from Mexico – becoming an independent nation.

The independence came after the Battle of San Jacinto, thanks to the victory of General Sam Houston and his men. That battle followed the stand at the Alamo, where Colonel William Barret Travis and his men valiantly tried to hold off a force many times their size.

Before his death at the Alamo, Colonel Travis sent one last letter, that read in part:

I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch … If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country— Victory or Death.

Because of that spirit the words “Remember the Alamo” still carry enormous weight for millions of Texans. What we do matters, the end result matters, but why we do it and how we do it matters too.

At iMGA we’re proud to be Texans, proud of our heritage and independence, and proud to work with great independent agents across the state. Especially today we wanted to take just a moment to say so.

 

image courtesy of imagesbywestfall

The AlamoOn the morning of March 6, 1836  General Antonio López de Santa Anna‘s overwhelming Mexican army force of around 2000 attacked the 200 or so Texians holding the Alamo. None of the Texians survived – including Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and William B. Travis.

It was a pyrrhic victory for Santa Anna, though. Not only did he lose a reported 600 of his 2,000 soldiers in the battle, he fired up the resolve of the Texas settlers, causing volunteers to flock to the Texan army.

Less than two months later Sam Houston would command the forces at the Battle of San Jacinto that would decimate the Mexican army and lead to the capture Santa Anna.

Prominent among the battle cries at the Battle of San Jacinto was “Remember the Alamo!”.

Two weeks earlier, Lt. Colonel William B. Travis at just 26 years old, had written asking for reinforcements. The letter said:

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-

Fellow Citizens & compatriots-

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country – 

Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis.

Lt. Col.comdt.

P. S.  The Lord is on our side – When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn – We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

Travis Letter

 

For an extra special experience, listen to this 1968 recording of Willie Nelson reading the Travis letter.

 

 

Victory is Seldom Predictable

And success rarely comes in a straight line.  Even after their losses the Mexican army outnumbered the Texian forces by almost six to one. Santa Ana assumed those numbers and the defeat at the Alamo would quash the rebellion. We now know it had the opposite effect. But at the time things had to look very bleak.

The Texians had no guarantee of victory, but if they’d given up then they’d have had a guarantee of failure. Thank God they didn’t give up.

The next time things seem bleak and you’ve been beaten down and the odds seem impossibly stacked against you – Remember the Alamo!

Emancipation ProclamationToday marks the anniversary of the June 19, 1865 reading of “General Order No. 3” by Union General Gordon Granger to the people gathered near Galveston’s Ashton Villa. The order read in part:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Officially named a state holiday in Texas in 1980, Juneteenth is now recognized in 42 other states and the District of Columbia.

We all have good reason to celebrate the end of the blight of slavery and the huge leap forward for freedom and liberty that Juneteenth commemorates.

We also have an important lesson to learn from Juneteenth, though.

For while June 19, 1865 was the date of the reading of the General Order, the Emancipation Proclamation had actually been signed by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and had taken effect January 1, 1863, and it had said:

“…all persons held as slaves… are, and henceforward shall be free….and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.”

Yet it took almost 18 more months before the slaves in Galveston heard the word and celebrated in the streets.

So at least one of the lessons we can take from this is that in life, and in business, nothing is finished until it’s well communicated.

That’s why we at iMGA endeavor to always communicate in an open, transparent, straightforward and clear manner with all our employees, vendors, agents and customers. We know we’re far from perfect, but it’s a goal worth striving toward, and on this day especially we’re reminded of just how important it is.

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:

The AlamoOn the morning of March 6, 1836  General Antonio López de Santa Anna‘s overwhelming Mexican army force of around 2000 attacked the 200 or so Texians holding the Alamo. None of the Texians survived.

It was a pyrrhic victory for Santa Anna, though. Not only did he lose a reported 600 of his 2,000 soldiers in the battle, he fired up the resolve of the Texas settlers, causing volunteers to flock to the Texan army.

Only two months later Sam Houston would command the forces at the Battle of San Jacinto that would decimate the Mexican army and lead to the capture Santa Anna.

Prominent among the battle cries at the Battle of San Jacinto was “Remember the Alamo!”.

Two weeks earlier, Lt. Colonel William B. Travis at just 26 years old, had written asking for reinforcements. The letter said:

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-

Fellow Citizens & compatriots-

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country –

Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis.

Lt. Col.comdt.

P. S.  The Lord is on our side – When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn – We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

Travis Letter

For the first time in the 177 years since it was written, this letter has returned to the Alamo where it will be on display in a special exhibit until March 7.

For an extra special experience, listen to this 1968 recording of Willie Nelson reading the Travis letter.

 

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!

Gonzales Flag

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Susan E Adams

The Texas Revolution began this day in 1835 when the Mexican army tried (and failed) to take the cannon from the people of Gonzales.

Today the Gonzales flag still stands as an emblem of freedom and liberty.

May the people of Texas always stand up for each other.

Thanks to great input from our agents we are happy to announce iMGA’s new Longhorn Renters program, designed to meet the needs of Texas renters.

Just some of the highlights of the program include:

  • Apartments, homes and mobile homes eligible
  • Up to $50,000 contents coverage
  • Theft coverage included
  • A low $500 deductible for most perils
  • $0 deductible for covered fire and lightning losses!
  • $100,000 liability/$1,000 medical payments limits
  • Liability only policies available
  • No credit check
  • Entire state eligible
  • Policy term from 1-12 months
  • Up to 8 payments
  • Optional additional insured coverage available
  • Discounts for seniors, fire and burglar alarms, and claims free history
  • From start to bound policy in just minutes

Log in today to review the Renters Program Summary or begin a quote.

If you’re not already an iMGA agent and need an excellent Renters, Homeowners, Dwelling, Vacant and MobileHome program to offer your clients, contact us today.

The Longhorn Dwelling product makes quoting any Texas dwelling policy very easy. Whether your client needs a TDP1, TDP1 Plus, or TDP3 you can quickly get a quote using the same easy process.

To ensure you get our best possible price for your client, though, be sure to add the details on any dwelling improvements. A dwelling built in 1950 whose heating was completely updated in 2005 will get a much better price than the same dwelling with no updates.

With the ability to cover properties of to 100 acres, any protection class, up to $550,000 value and a monthly pay option, the Longhorn dwelling program can meet many of your clients’ needs quickly and easily.

Learn more about the Longhorn dwelling program.

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