If you own a car and it’s more than 10 years old, it’s generally not a good idea to get comprehensive coverage. Simple liability coverage will do and it’s a lot cheaper for a car that isn’t worth replacing at face value.
However, there are significant benefits to comprehensive coverage if your car is new enough to make it worth your while. These include:
The ability to cover for risks not included in accident or liability coverage
All auto insurance covers for at least liability, and accident insurance covers you in the event you’re in an accident such that you can replace your vehicle if need be. However, comprehensive cover also covers you for damage not related to accidents, like vandalism, theft, weather damage, and so on. Again, if your car is newer than 10 years old, it’s a good idea to have this type of coverage so that you can easily repair or replace your car without a lot of extra out-of-pocket costs and inconvenience.
Automatic rental car insurance coverage
Many comprehensive policies have clauses in them whereby any car you rent for vacation will automatically be covered by your insurance. Check to make sure whether or not your insurance gives you this coverage. If it does, you shouldn’t have to buy separate insurance for your rental car.
Access to a loaner car if yours is being repaired
If your car is damaged such that it needs to be fixed and will be out of commission for a while, comprehensive coverage often covers you for a loaner vehicle that you can use while yours is being repaired. This has a couple of benefits. Number one, you’re not stranded without a car while yours is being repaired, and number two, you’re not out the costs of renting a car yourself while you wait for yours to come back to you.
The rates you will pay for auto insurance in Texas depend primarily on your personal profile and the risk category that fits you best. If you are on a tight budget and need to buy car insurance in Texas, the following are a few tips and things to know about getting the most mileage out of Texas car insurance.
Profiling for Risk
When a car insurance company in Texas assesses the risk to insure an individual, they look at a number of different categories and how well you fit into each. You are judged based on age, gender, where you live, the type of car you drive, your marital status, accident history, overall driving record, how many miles you drive each year and even your credit score.
The Best Rates
To understand how premiums are determined, it is helpful to identify the situation in which one would pay the lowest premium. Typically, the ideal candidate for the best rates and coverage would be a female that is married, over 25 and living in a rural area. She would drive an older, not very expensive car and not drive more than 10,000 miles per year. She would have an impeccable driving record with no moving violations and have no chargeable accidents on her record. To complete the profile, the applicant would have an excellent credit or FICO score of 700 or more.
How Can the Average Guy Get a Better Rate?
Suppose you do not fit neatly into the above categories? Can you still get a lower premium on your Texas auto insurance? You can always choose a higher deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage to shave a few dollars off your monthly premium. Paying your premium in full will save you the extra installment charges and sometimes give you an additional discount. Lowering your high limit coverage may also be an option to explore. Sometimes you can get discounts for driving a car with extra safety and anti-theft features like airbags, ABS brakes and an alarm. If you bundle two or more policies or insure two or more cars with the same insurance company, you may also get a discount. Finally, insurance companies like to reward loyal customers. As long as your insurance company has competitive rates, it pays to stay with them over the years and not switch back and forth among different insurers.
If you’re a Texas homeowner and you’re in the market for homeowners insurance, there are several things you’ll want to look for when you shop. These include:
Make sure you know what your home and possessions are worth, and then buy a policy to match
When you buy your homeowners policy, make sure you buy for replacement value, not for current market value. That includes not only your home’s structure, but all of your possessions within, as well.
Take a look at the reputation of the insurer
Although a cheap policy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good policy, beware. Most good insurers charge a fair rate based upon your risk and other factors. When you are pricing homeowners policies, choose your policy based upon the reputation of the insurer first; is there good customer service? Does the insurer get high marks from customers for its ability to service claims fairly and promptly? Is the company financially stable, in that it’s been around for a while and will most certainly have the money to pay on your claim in the event you do have to file one? A “cheap” policy is fine, but it’s going to do you no good at all if you can’t collect on it in the event of disaster.
Again, the cost of your policy should not be your first concern when you are looking for an insurer, but you can absolutely comparison shop online between similar insurers (all with good reputations, stellar, prompt customer service, company stability, and so on) and then choose the least expensive policy from among those offered. Insurers do differ in the way they price policies, so it is very possible to save money and still obtain a good quality policy from an established and reputable company at the same time.
People that own high mileage cars and do not have car payments are not required to carry comprehensive insurance coverage, but they are required to carry liability auto insurance.
Why Do You Need Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance is required by state law and is administered through the state insurance commission. Each state has its own minimum requirements as to the amount of coverage you need to carry. Liability coverage does not cover you, but it covers others who may be injured or whose property may be damaged in an auto accident that was your fault. States require you to carry both bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage to protect other drivers and their passengers that occupy the same roads as you.
Should You Buy Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage protects the covered party up to the amount of the coverage for such things as vandalism, theft and damage from falling or flying debris. It can pay for a broken windshield or it can pay if your car is stolen. When you have an older car with high mileage, the car may only be worth a few thousand dollars or even less. If something happens to the car, the most you can get back from the insurance company is the Blue Book value of the vehicle. In most cases, the additional premium cost makes it a poor investment to carry comprehensive insurance on a high-mileage, low-value vehicle.
Liability, Yes; Comprehensive, Maybe
The difference between needing and requiring insurance may be subtle, but there is a definite difference. You may need coverage because you do not want to assume any risk, or you may be required to buy coverage because it is mandated by state law. Coverage that you are required to purchase protects others, while coverage you are not required to purchase protects you. Comprehensive coverage is not mandatory and liability coverage is. It is up to the individual to decide whether to purchase “optional” insurance on a high mileage, paid-off car.
Insurance is something everybody needs but nobody wants to use. Insurance protects us from both life’s unexpected problems and occurrences as well as events that we can foresee. If you were to sit down and pick the brain of a Texas insurance agent, these are some of the questions you might ask.
Why Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?
You need homeowners insurance to protect against substantial loss of your personal or real property and also to cover any claims that might be filed by someone that is injured while on your property. Damage or destruction from fire, flood or other causes can run into the tens of thousands and most people do not have the means to self-insure against that possibility. If you have a mortgage, the lender will insist that you have adequate coverage to protect their interests in the property.
Why Do I Need Automobile Insurance?
If you live in Texas and want to drive a vehicle, the law requires you to buy insurance. Insurance is required by every driver to protect other drivers and passenger in the event that you were the cause of an accident with injuries or property damage.
Is Life Insurance Really Necessary?
It depends on your personal situation. If you are single and do not have a family or any dependents, you probably do not need life insurance. The purpose of life insurance is not to protect the insured, but rather the named beneficiaries of the policy. If you have a wife and maybe a few young children, you would want to provide for them financially in the event of your demise.
How much Life Insurance Do I Need?
There is no set formula, but generally speaking, you should have about 10 times your annual income. If you make $50,000 per year, you should buy a half million dollar life insurance policy.
No one likes paying homeowners insurance. No one likes paying any kind of insurance premium, actually. But when disaster strikes, insurance is awfully nice to have.
When you bought your home, the odds are good that you took out a homeowners insurance policy, too. That’s because mortgage lenders require that borrowers take out insurance policies before they’ll lend them money. Unless you bought your house with cash, then you’ve been paying homeowners insurance premiums as you’ve paid off your mortgage loan.
But what happens when you finally do pay off your mortgage loan? Can you then jettison those homeowners insurance premiums? It may be tempting. After all, those insurance premiums are rarely cheap. But dropping your homeowners insurance after you’ve paid off your home loan could throw your finances into disarray.
What if your home is destroyed by fire after your drop your homeowners insurance policy? What if a burglar breaks in and nabs your jewelry, electronics and other most valuable possessions? If you don’t have a homeowners insurance policy, you’ll have to cover the costs of repairs and stolen merchandise yourself. If your entire house is destroyed, you’ll have to come up with the funds to build a new one.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from evaluating your homeowners insurance policy once you’ve paid off your mortgage loan. You might want to scale back your coverage somewhat, a move that would reduce the size of your premium. You may also want to increase your deductibles, which would also lower your premium.
Insurance is never a fun buy. You purchase it with the hope that you’ll never have to use it. But if disaster does hit, insurance policies can act as financial lifesavers. If your home is destroyed, for instance, your homeowners insurance policy will provide you with the funds to rebuild a new residence.
Everyone wants to save money in today’s weak economy. But don’t make the mistake of dumping your homeowners insurance policy. The savings of such a move simply aren’t worth the financial risk.
What do you do when you have a brand new or nearly new car and want to keep it in pristine condition. Normally, the best thing to do is to keep it protected by parking it in a covered garage. If a garage is not an option, you can still protect your car using one of these options:
Buy a Tarp
You can buy a vinyl or plastic tarp that will completely cover your car while it is parked outside your home. A tarp will afford you a good amount of protection from weather elements, such as rain or sleet, and also protect your car’s finish from air pollutants and other contaminants that can land on your car. Be sure to cover your car completely and fasten it securely so it can not fly away with the wind.
Where You Park
As much as you might like to park close to your front door, do not do so if it means parking under a tree that tends to drop sappy residue filled leaves. The mess is awfully difficult to clean off of your hood. You should also try to park in a well lit area that will discourage those that may be up to no good from targeting your car.
When you must keep your car outdoors it becomes an easier target for vandalism or theft. Having a good alarm will certainly send vandals and thieves scurrying away so your car will not be as likely to be damaged or stolen.
Wash it More Often
Cars kept outdoors tend to get dirty more easily. While it is not critical to have a clean car, it will make your car look better and may actually extend the useful life of the vehicle. Don’t forget to give it a nice wax job at least once or twice a year.
There are many questions to ask a Texas insurance agent before you purchase any kind of insurance. When you are purchasing an automobile insurance policy, you want to make sure that you ask all the questions you can to ensure you’re getting the right coverage. Below, you will find a list of the things that are most important for you to ask about Texas car insurance policies:
- How much coverage do I need? Many states have a minimum amount of insurance that you have to carry; it is important to know these minimums so that you are getting the right coverage.
- Do I need any other optional coverages, or what optional coverages do you offer? This way you can learn about the other types of coverage and why you might want to have them.
- Does my credit history have anything to do with my policy amount? Many insurance companies can give you a discount if you have an excellent credit history, but they can also make you pay more if you have a bad credit history. It’s important to ask this question so that you know what to expect.
- What types of discounts am I eligible for? Some Texas insurance companies will offer discounts for safe driving history, a safe car, an alarm system, being married and being over the age of 25.
- How do claims work, and will my policy be non-renewed if I get into an accident or get a ticket? You want to make sure that you know the process of filing a claim and if they punish drivers for accidents or tickets. This way, you can plan ahead.
Asking these questions prior to purchasing your policy will help you to find the perfect Texas insurance company for you.
If you’re looking for cheap homeowners insurance Texas, take a look at the home-building materials of which your house is made before you buy.
Buy a home made of high-quality materials
If you’re building, make sure the builder you choose uses only high-quality materials that have good safety ratings. (Avoid the "Chinese drywall" syndrome, in other words, where cheap materials make for substandard homes and even health problems for inhabitants; they’ll also make you lose your insurance coverage.) If you’re buying a home that’s already built, have the home thoroughly inspected and make sure it’s well-built with good quality materials before you plop down your hard-earned cash.
Go green wherever you can
When you compare Texas insurance companies, look for one that will give tax breaks for using "green" materials like bamboo flooring in your home. Check with your builder and your insurance company to see what "green" characteristics you should look for to give you a better deal on Texas homeowner insurance.
Stay away from super-expensive materials and opt for "inexpensive but sturdy" instead
Whether you are buying or building, think "good quality and sturdy" when it comes to materials, but keep the price tag down. For example, a sturdy brick exterior for your home is likely going to have a favorable impact on your insurance rate, but marble or granite countertops in the kitchen are going to spike insurance rates. That’s because marble or granite countertops are very expensive to replace if you need to file a claim. Therefore, choose sturdy and inexpensive materials whenever possible, for the best Texas insurance rates.
If your state does not require medical coverage, then you are probably weighing the pros and cons of adding medical to your current insurance policy. Depending on your situation, like the type of transportation that you use, medical coverage may be a very wise move – the added cost is another factor. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t cut and dry; there are several key variables that should factor into your decision.
- High risk mode of transportation. Sporty cars, like convertibles and motorcycles are two of the riskiest vehicle types to drive, with motorcycles at the top. An accident in either one is more likely to result in severe injury, which makes medical coverage a worthwhile purchase.
- Frequent passengers. If you frequently have at least one passenger riding with you, then you should consider adding medical coverage to your policy. While your passenger may have his or her own medical plan, it may not cover all hospital bills in the case of an accident – which leaves you eating the extra costs out of pocket.
- Your existing health plan. Comprehensive medical coverage is typically not beneficial if you already have a good medical plan; you will essentially pay for the same thing twice.
However, the type of auto insurance you already pay for will also dictate whether or not medical is a necessity. For instance, some policies are set up so that they only pay out for medical after all the other funds are used, which can end up costing you more money in the long run. The best way to determine what the best type of medical insurance is for your situation is to contact a qualified agent to counsel you – just make sure you do your research first so that you are both on the same page.