Hurricane Season began June 1. Galveston Insurance Associates (GIA), an Independent Insurance Agency since 1892, asks “Are you ready?”
With hurricane season in full swing, it’s important that everyone, individuals and businesses alike, take time to prepare now, and GIA can help you today.
Founded in 1892, GIA continues to be locally owned and operated, not following the recent trends of other insurance agencies being purchased by a bank or other insurance agency.
“We know our clients and our community. We will always stay locally owned and operated because that’s what allows us to build strong relationships,” said Garry P. Kaufman, president of GIA.
GIA, voted Galveston County’s Best Insurance Agency in 2010 and 2011, has been the agent of choice for families and businesses for 121 years. GIA is the oldest agency in the county and largest on Galveston Island, providing reliable, quality insurance products and service to their customers throughout the State of Texas.
Being an independent insurance agency provides GIA with access to many of the best insurance companies, allowing the agency to shop the insurance market for its customers. Long-term agent to many of its customers, GIA provides coverage for multiple generations of families as well as businesses that range from sole proprietors first putting out their “Open for Business” signs to well established companies with multiple locations and hundreds of employees.
GIA has dedicated departments for Personal, Business, Life and Health and Financial Services. These departments are staffed with licensed, accredited Account Managers and Sales personnel who are committed to serving the insurance needs of their customers.
When you contact GIA, your call is answered by someone in a local office, not another state or country. As members of the community, GIA staff understands the different coverages that are needed to protect homes and businesses in the Coastal area. For example, the agency is one of the largest writers of windstorm and flood insurance in the State. When you are talking about taking care of your most valued assets, that experience is important.
Speaking of wind and flood, are you aware of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? In 2012, Congress voted to reauthorize the Program through Sept. 30, 2017. That is a big improvement over the past few years when there were multiple lapses and last-minute extensions. But, with that extension comes changes. For instance, annual premium rates can now be increased up to 20%. And, minimum deductibles will be higher. Properties built before Dec. 31, 1974 (pre-firm) have been receiving subsidized premiums, meaning they were lower than they should have been. Effective Jan. 1. 2013, actuarial rates based on estimates of what future losses might be by looking at historical loss experience, are being phased in for certain properties which were built before Dec. 31, 1974 including residential properties that are not the primary residence of an individual and homes with severe repetitive losses.
Flood insurance rate maps are being revised which will result in some properties going into higher-risk zones while others will be in lower-risk zones. Projected effective dates for the new maps in Galveston County begin in August 2013. Contact GIA for more details on the NFIP changes.
GIA’s Associates invite you to contact them today for an Asset Analysis and start receiving the benefits of having all of your policies with an Independent Insurance Agent who is committed to service before and after the storm. Whether you live and work on the Island or Mainland, GIA has a location to serve you. They have two convenient offices, on Galveston Island at 6025 Heards Lane and in Friendswood at 1102B South Friendswood Drive — next to Stevenson Park and the Friendswood Chamber of Commerce. GIA can also be contacted by phone at 409-740-1251 or 281-442-1892. Or, visit their website at www.gia-tx.com.