Why the Insurance Company You Choose matters

Choose The BestHas this question ever crossed your mind: Most insurance companies offer essentially the same products and services so why does it matter which one I choose? It does matter. Just because they sell the same products does not mean that there are no differences between providers. There are, and they are important.

The most important thing you want from your provider is dependability. It is critically important that when you need help or to have a claim paid, your insurance company will be there for you. That is not always the case. Choose a carrier with a proven track record of making payments in a timely manner and in full.

The best policy is worthless if the provider does not have the financial strength to meet its obligations. Not all companies are rated the same in terms of their ability to pay claims. Find out which ones have the highest financial ratings and choose one of them.

How frustrating is it when you urgently need to talk to an agent or other representative of the company about your coverage or an accident that just occurred and all you get is a machine to talk to? You leave messages, wait for a return call, and none comes. Some insurance companies pride themselves on accessibility for the client. This is a sign of a quality company.

Some insurance companies are in business solely to maximize shareholder profits. For others, the goal is providing quality service to its clients while making a fair profit. Which one do you want to represent your interests?

These are legitimate differences between insurance providers. You can educate yourself about them at numerous website that are devoted to providing factual information about these issues.

Texas Homeowners Insurance Requirements

Texas has certain rules for insurance companies that provide homeowners insurance, but it has no laws requiring the homeowner to actually carry insurance. However, any Texas homeowner who has a mortgage will be required to carry Texas homeowners insurance.

Whether you are required to carry insurance by your mortgage company or elect to carry insurance because someone told you it is the prudent thing to do really does not matter. Knowing the types of available coverages and why it is smart to carry homeowners insurance will make you a better educated consumer.

Liability Insurance

This type of coverage protects you up to the limits of your policy for any liability you might incur if someone injures themselves while inside your house or on your property. While not every claim is legitimate, there are many that are. If someone does get seriously hurt and requires extensive medical care, the cost for treatment can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, if not much more. Being that your house is the biggest — or one of the biggest assets you own — it is prudent to transfer the risk to a much more financially capable insurance company than try to self-insure against any possible contingency.

Dwelling Coverage

This very important part of a Texas homeowners insurance policy covers the many perils that can befall a home. It typically covers damage or destruction from such perils as fire and lightening, smoke, explosions, theft, sudden and accidental water damage, and windstorms. A separate rider may be required for Texas residents who live on the hurricane-prone Gulf coast. A few of the perils not normally covered in a standard Texas homeowners policy, but for which coverage can be had for an additional premium, are damage or destruction from floods, earthquakes, termites, and losses to a house that is unoccupied for more than 60 days.

Contents

This coverage takes care of your personal property such as furniture, clothing, appliances, and electronics kept inside your home. A general rule is that your homeowners policy will provide 50% of the dwelling coverage to protect the total amount of your personal property. If you have valuable collectibles, art, expensive jewelry and so forth, you can purchase additional coverage.

Tips for Shopping Cheaper Insurance in Texas

Get Best DealsDo you think it’s impossible to get cheaper insurance in Texas? Not so; you certainly can find cheaper insurance, but you have to know what you’re doing. Here are some tips to find insurance that’s as inexpensive as possible, but still gives you the coverage you need.

Comparison shop online

Decide what kind of policy you want and the type of coverage you need, then shop insurance companies online by doing an apples to apples comparison of similar policies. For example, if you’re shopping for auto insurance in Texas and you are looking for comprehensive coverage, you can look at similar policies from a variety of reputable companies and then choose the one with the coverage you want but with the lowest rates among the policies you are comparing. (Make sure when you do so that the company you are choosing to buy insurance from has a good reputation, good customer service, and has been around for a while. It’s no good to get a “bargain” insurance policy if you can’t get help or file a claim when you need to.)

Combine home and auto insurance policies

Most insurance companies will give you a price break if you “bundle” insurance policies together. For example, if you buy home and auto insurance policies from the same company, that company will generally give you a lower rate on each policy than it would if you were to buy the same policies separately.

Choose a higher deductible

For both home and auto insurance policies, it’s a good idea if you can to choose a higher deductible. For example, if you choose a $1,000 deductible on your auto insurance policy, you will pay much less in premiums for an insurance policy with only a $500 deductible. Similarly, raising the deductible on your home insurance policy will also give you lower premiums and likely will save you money over the long run.