Are Your Personal Belongings Covered?

Have you ever wondered what your personal insurance covers? You’d be surprised to know that your homeowners insurance can cover quite a lot that most people probably don’t even know about. Being that I’m located in deep South Texas, we will focus on homeowners insurance in brownsville tx due to the fact that since it shares the border with Mexico and the many cases of extreme weather from season to season, we feel it would the best way to show case what Texas homeowners insurance can provide it’s residents.

Like many of the homeowners policies you find across the country, Homeowners insurance in Texas has it’s exclusions and inclusions as well. Most people, particularly those who have limited education or knowledge industry, don’t realize that such hazards as flood (which in essence is a policy in itself), and for those counties that reside in areas prone to hurricanes, windstorm and hail is also covered in a separate policy.

Personal items are also covered within a homeowners policy but again, people who do not ask the proper questions on their coverages are completely unaware of what their insurance can offer them when it comes to their asset protection. Take, for example, wedding rings. Most people spend thousands of dollars on bridal wedding rings and many consumers are unaware that their homeowners policy has coverage for jewelry aside from personal belongings. You can also add an additional insurance rider to cover a specific amount in case your wedding rings are of an extremely high value. We have met couples in recent years who actually filed claims on their homeowners policies when it was realized that a diamond ring went missing. Who knew?

Now jewelry isn’t the only personal items that can or are covered by your homeowners policy, virtually, anything you deem of high value can be added specifically to your policy to provide that additional protection you are seeking. Let’s take purses in our case. Since we provide some of the highest quality purses on the market, your policy allows for you to place that particular item (your purse) as a specific named article on your policy. You do have to follow some of the guidelines that are in place, such as exact item value, bar code or serial number (if it has one), pictures, etc.. Anything that can prove the worth of the purse or whatever item you are having named on your policy.



Is all that necessary, you ask… Yes it is! At the time of a claim (we sincerely hope you don’t have to file one) all the information you provided about the item in question is utilized to help cover that particular item. Your policy can either replace it with the exact like and quality, or if your insurance company deems it appropriate, they can simply pay the replacement cost of the item as if you were purchasing it anew!

So don’t underestimate the power of your homeowners insurance policy and it’s usefulness in protecting your valuable personal belongings other than just your home. We always recommend you meet with your agent at least once a year to review your coverages and to determine if more or less is needed, depending on your situation.

Until next time!


After the Storm

Recently, Texas has been the victim of many severe and countless storms going back as far a 2 months. Flooding has been a big problem in many areas particularly on the east side of the state. Other portions of the state have seen heavy rain and many instances of damaging wind along with some hail and even areas that have had tornados touch down, too.

The southern part of the state of Texas has been frequently hit with the ‘storms” almost on a weekly basis. The area most recently hit and seeing much damage is the Rio Grande Valley that stretches from Mission all the way down to the tip of Texas, also known as Brownsville, Tx.

These damaging winds and hail have caused many homeowners to examine and review the conditions of their roofs. And in some cases, roof repair or replacement has been needed. So now homeowners are in search of the best roofers in brownsville tx to help meet those needs.

But before you go on and select the first person on the list, make sure you do your due diligence first. Make sure you get at least 3 different proposals and check the credentials with the state of Texas as contractors, regardless of the what type, have to be registered.

I know it seems a bit harsh to take those necessary steps especially when your roof has been recently damaged. But, if you don’t want to lose your hard earned money or money received from your insurance, then due diligence is necessary.

It has been far too many times that people have been swindled by Brownsville roofers claiming to be legitimate especially in the time of need. Just watch the local news and you’ll be surprised to see that it happens more often than not even during non-critical times.

Aside from price, make sure that your newly hired roofer uses quality materials and tools. Insist on this and don’t allow them to talk you into saving money by using lower quality materials.

Your roofing shingles should be warrantied for at least 25-30 years, no less. This is necessary as with the south Texas sun, cheap shingles can wear out in 10 years or less. Saving money is important to all of us but if you repair your roof with low quality materials, expect to replace it again in a few years. By that time, the money spent will most likely have equaled what you would have spent the first time by using the best products on the market. Go figure!

So for those of you reading this post, if you happen to live in the area that has been recently affected by these storms, take the necessary steps to avoid getting swindled by someone claiming to do roofing jobs. The internet is a great place to find information but many times, this information can be misleading.

By doing some quick research, I found a roofer who not only had good reviews but is local, and uses nothing but the best quality materials and their have an awesome youtube video which is posted below this paragraph. Good luck!


Shipping First Class or Coach?

Have you ever wondered what the process is when transporting your goods or services? Particularly speaking, women’s high end purses from Coach? There are many ways manufacturers get this down and there are freight forwarders in Brownsville Tx that specialize in handling these types of high end shipments especially when transporting across the border into Mexico.

Many of these forwarding companies run logistics to ensure the best way of transporting your goods in the most efficient and safest way possible. With so many violent instances happing across the border, it’s critical to make sure your shipment is in good hands and at all times. Your forwarding company of choice must make the right decision to either ship your freight by truck, ship, or by air utilizing special transport planes. It also helps if your forwarding company has specialized contacts in the region you are shipping to. 

Another important aspect of shipping into a foreign country is your forwarders contacts or shipping points. You must ask yourself, are they well connected at your destination and did they provide the right level of storage and security for your shipment. Many of the forwarders you begin to work with provide storage services for your shipment and depending if your freight is fragile or not, needs refrigeration or not, your forwarder will definitely or must definitely meet and suit your needs. If you run into a forwarder that works more as a broker, then I would recommend you simply skip them and search for one that actually provides warehousing as you don’t want too many hands fixating on your shipment.

Your freight forwarder must also maintain constant contact with you, in my opinion, giving you regular updates on the progress of your shipment and who exactly is handling your items. They must also take charge in taking your shipment to market if that’s what your needs are. Too many times I’ve heard of freight reaching it’s destination and just sitting in a warehouse as no real destination plans were made. So if your products need to go to market and you are relying on your forwarder to provide plans to get your shipment to your vendors, then make sure that’s disclosed and discussed at your initial interview with your shipper.

Depending on where you are shipping to, you don’t always have to use the suggested method of transportation your forwarder recommends. If you feel you’ve had a much better experience utilizing transportation by truck versus by air or sea, then do so. Generally speaking, the only time that you are limited by transportation means is when you are literally shipping overseas so your overall options are limited. Even so, transportation through the continent can also be done by air or sea but it really depends on your needs and how fast you really need to get your shipment to where it needs to be. If you are on a tight deadline, then definitely air would be the way to go but a fair warning, be prepared to pay more upfront costs for air delivery. Most companies and manufacturers prefer shipping by truck but after speaking with some local business owners, that type of delivery can take longer because of all the checkpoints and the fact that many drivers work alone and are only allowed a certain number of daily driving hours per state, so delays are generally obvious.

All in all, due your due diligence when making a shipping decision because the wrong decision can not only cost you money, but it can also cost you your product in the end, so choose wisely.

Carpets and Photography

General photography has had it’s place in business for many years and for many years to come. It has come to the point where it is not only about the person anymore, but about taking the right shot at the right angle and at the right moment to capture the image of the overall business. That’s when I thought I saw it all.

The Brownsville carpet cleaning business is a fierce one at that with businesses trying their best to win over every client with a price war. But one company took a different approach to winning business. Rather than posting on sites like Craigslist, or Angie’s List, Brownsville Carpet Cleaners decided to move along the lines of capturing their audience with a well informed website and most importantly, top quality images to enhance their style. These images were taken by local photographer, James Hord, and utilized in such a way that it really reflects upon the business as a top quality carpet cleaning business. After spending a few minutes speaking with the owner of the carpet cleaners, I realized that he was tired of engaging in a price war that resulted in people looking for the cheapest price and disregarding the true value of a competent business.

In fact, since moving away from such websites, as I previously mentioned, he says that business has improved and they’ve become more profitable than before. He believes that rather than scraping for work at the bottom of the barrel, he now prefers and attracts clients who use him for the skills he possesses and that of his employees as well. Combining that with great reviews from social media and a budgeted online paid ad campaign, business just couldn’t be better.

So by the looks of it, cheaper isn’t always better, at least that’s the way I see it and I would much prefer to pay a higher price for someone who is not here today and gone tomorrow, but rather, here today and tomorrow, and the day after that. There have been too many instances of people getting “screwed” by fly by night “business owners” who have no real clue of what they’re doing, they just see it as a way to make quick cash.

You can bet that you will always receive the highest level of professionalism from the folks at Brownsville Carpet Cleaners and they guarantee their work. They may not be the cheapest in town but talk to any one of their clients and you will see that they are well worth every penny. They do a variety of cleaning services such as upholstery cleaning, rug cleaning, and even focus on cleaning for allergy relief, how great is that!

So the next time your residential or commercial carpet needs a good cleaning or you just want relief from those allergens trapped in your home, call the experts at Brownsville carpet cleaners.

I didn’t know…

I really wasn’t aware until recently how competitive Brownsville photographers have come to be. I guess that it is so for any industry or market, but i was just simply amazed at the lengths many of the local photographers would go to beat out their competition.

It seems that most self-employed people will generally talk down about their competitors no matter how big or small that competitor generally is and in truth, I fully understand as if I were in their shoes, I would most likely do the same. Still, the more I look at it from an outsider’s perspective, there are other ways to gain a new client rather than talking down on your competitors.

Case in point, another business function I attended recently brought in small business owners from all industries and walks of life. I actually made friends with a few of them and exchanged emails, but like at many events, you will run into those people who are just full of negativity and try their best to make others look bad. I’ve been touching on the topic of photography in my last posts and will continue the topic here as I found it so amusing for the owner of supposedly a very prestigious photography studio to be so rudely speaking bad about his competitors instead of telling these potential clients (including me) why his photographer studio stands above the rest.

When he was finally finished with his “bashing” of his competitors, I asked him directly “What makes your studio better than that of your competitors?”. Basically, in a nutshell, he pretty much described his operation in a way that pretty much equalizes what his competitors do, so he really didn’t make himself stand out above the rest, go figure!

It surprises me each time I meet people like this and I realize why it is they tend to struggle more than the others. And to my surprise, as the business meeting went on, I got to meet other business owners who were obviously very successful in their respective markets and you know what, neither one of those successful business owners spoke bad or bashed any of their competitors. In fact, they gave credit to their competitors for their success today. In their opinion, it was the fact that their competitors spoke to badly about them that drew potential clients to them. After all, if someone it badmouthing another but yet, that “other” is doing very well, it makes one curious as to why they are still successful. In the end, the company or business that gives the customer the treatment and satisfaction that they are looking for, that business will almost always win that client.

So as you can see, it doesn’t pay to “bash” another company, business, or person; instead, look at yourself and show people the best part of you in every manner.

From the Heart…

On my previous post, I talked about photography, namely, the skills of one James Hord, who in my opinion, is probably one of the more talented photographers in the Brownsville, TX area. Many of you read my post and contacted me personally via email to discuss this opinion that I have on Mr. Hord. And rather than replying individually to each of you, I'd rather just put my opinions here for all to view.

I've been to various functions that utilize photographers and I've been fortunate enough to have met many of these popular photographers in Brownsville, TX , however, after looking at many of the event photographs that were taken, my wife and I can plainly see that many of these so-called "photographers" do this on a part-time perspective, which is all good. After all, I myself, like many others, do side projects with the purpose of driving in a little extra income on the side. Now what I do on the side is really no one's business but my belief is that if you ARE going to provide a service and want to get paid for it, then do it with the intention of delivering the highest level of quality possible!

How many of these photographers can say that they truly have a passion or the "heart" for photography? Not many! And unfortunately it shows in their work.

Why is James Hord different?

Well let's begin with the fact that after "interviewing" him at my last meeting with him, I found that he really does this type of professional photography "full time" and not on the side as many others do. Full time you ask? Yes, he actually provides for his family by utilizing his photography skills and i all honesty, when you meet and speak with him, you can tell in his words and see the passion in his eyes that he truly does have a special place in his heart for photography.

Now I'm sure you're saying to yourself "that doesn't prove much" but how many other photographers are sought after by companies willing to pay for him/her to do their headshots for company Presidents, VPs, CEOs, Doctors, get the point. At this point in time, he has literally stopped taking appointments for your traditional weddings and stuff and has turned his dedication to photography for business professionals... how cool is that!

In closing, I just have to say to all those who sent me those emails, that if you want to see true art at its best when it comes to photography, check out James Hord first before you comment anything else.

Photography, the Lost Art..

I attended a wedding recently of a good friend of my wife's and boy, the couple went all out for their reception. I guess being that it was their first marriage, they decided to go all out. Amongst all the beautiful decorations and music, I noticed something else that caught my attention. There was this gentleman walking around the couple with a camera so I figured, wedding photographer, right? Well, as it turns out, yes, he was hired to do all the photography for the couple. Now, I'm going to fast forward here a bit as I don't want to bore you with too many photography details.

About a couple of weeks later, after the couple returned from their honeymoon, my wife and I were invited to their apartment to "hang out" for a while. One of the highlights of the visit was, of course, the wedding pictures the couple had received while they were away. Yes, there were many pictures of the activities going on at the wedding reception, but what really caught my attention was the close ups of the couple. These close ups are more commonly known as head shots. When I asked the couple about this photographer, they were shocked to believe that I've never heard of James Hord, the best photographer in Brownsville, TX . Reality is, I hadn't until then.

Once I began looking at the "head shots" he had taken of the couple, I began to notice the elegance of the images he had taken. It was subtle but yet drew my eyes to the image. There were even headshots taken in black and white which, in my opinion, looked so much nicer that the full color photos. I got his card from the couple and saw he has a website, so naturally, I decided to pay him a visit.

I was greatly impressed with pictures he had displayed on his website and he didn't "flood" the site with a whole bunch of pictures like so many other photography sites do, but selected a series of photos that really displayed his professionalism and creativity. And I noticed (to no surprise) that he announces his specialty as being "Head Shot Photography for Professional". I was impressed at the variety of people utilizing his services, from doctors to lawyers, ballet dancers to fitness instructors, the images were so very impressive. Upon further reading through his website, I learned that he has been doing this kind of work for over 20 years, which is a lot more than what other photographers in his area have posted. He goes on to explain how lighting, backgrounds, and a whole bucket of other factors have to be utilized to capture the essence of a great head shot. I didn't realize that so much was needed to produce such a result, but then again, it shouldn't surprise me.

Now don't get me wrong, he does display photos of kids playing, group photos, etc., so he is really well rounded in photography. But in my opinion, head shot photography is the cream of the crop and I would highly recommend any profession to utilize head shots for their profile and/or their business. So the next time you are in Brownsville, TX, and in the market for some new photography, give James Hord a call and see what he can do for you.