Coastal Guidelines for Auto Insurance

Coastal guidelines for auto insurance in Texas really aren’t any different than those for inland insurance. The only "must" in regard to coastal auto insurance is that you have to carry liability insurance if you own and drive a car. If you don’t, you can be subject to fines; by your third offense, you can pay up to $1,000 in fines, and can eventually lose your license if the problem continues.

Comprehensive insurance is another type of car insurance that can be important to you if you live on the coast. This insurance is different than liability insurance. It’s not always advised, but may be a wise addition to your auto coverage.

Comprehensive Insurance May Be Important If You Live On the Coast

Comprehensive insurance covers you in the event of non-accident damage that happens to your car. This type of insurance isn’t generally advised if your car is more than 10 years old, because premiums are expensive. However, it’s useful to pay them regardless if your car is newer than 10 years old. That’s because comprehensive insurance covers you for non-accident damage to your car, such as hurricane damage from high winds or water, which can happen if you live on the coast. Comprehensive insurance will cover you for the cost of repair or replacement to your car with this type of damage, up to the current value of the car.

Comprehensive insurance can be important if you live inland, as well. That’s because non-accident damage not necessarily related to coastal living can still occur and damage your car. Damage or loss caused by non-hurricane relates to tree branches falling, hail, and simple bad weather. Other, "non-weather" circumstances like theft or vandalism are also covered by comprehensive insurance.

In short, if you have a car that’s less than 10 years old — such that your ability to repair or replace your car at current value is necessary — AND it is worth the cost of these premiums, it’s a good idea to get comprehensive insurance. That’s true whether you live on the coast or not. Decide whether or not your car is worth the expense, and then act accordingly.

Tailored Home Insurance for Homeowners

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to buying homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners can tailor their insurance policies to provide the right amount of coverage and the right type of coverage that best suits them. Following are some situations where you might need different coverage than that provided in a standard homeowners policy.

High-Value Items

If you happen to be fortunate enough to own an original Andy Warhol painting or a collection of very expensive jewelry, you may want to buy an additional endorsement that will cover loss or damage to those very expensive items. A typical homeowner’s policy covers personal property like furniture and electronics but does not cover collectibles, rare coins or other items with an unusually high value.

Special Circumstances

You may need to purchase additional coverage if you have such features as a built in swimming pool, a custom fence or one or more additional out buildings on your property. Some municipalities also require you to carry extra liability insurance if you have a pet that might be considered a danger or menace to the community.

A Vacant House

If you are no longer occupying your house because you have moved and been unable to sell your old house or for any other reason, you might not want to carry the full coverage you would probably need if you were still living in the house. Most insurers will offer you separate coverage options that you can decide to accept or decline as you evaluate your overall needs for the vacant property.

Other Possibilities

Coverage for water damage that is not normally covered under a basic policy can be very important if your pipes burst and you wind up with two feet of water in your home. This coverage is not to be confused with flood coverage which also requires a separate policy and protects you from the intrusion of water into your home from an outside source, such as a heavy rain storm or an overflowing river.

Don’t Forget the Broker

It can be very frustrating trying to decide which insurance company you should use when it is time to buy insurance. There are so many insurance companies out there that it is hard to know which one is best. While you can try to do some investigation yourself, you never know if you have failed to find the best deal for the type of coverage you need. If you want some good, professional help finding the right type and amount of coverage at a fair price, don’t forget the broker.

What Are the Qualifications of a Broker?

A broker is a professional who has the knowledge and training required to explain and sell various insurance products. To receive a broker’s license — certifying that someone is qualified to sell certain lines of insurance — one must take and pass an exam administered by the state. Brokers must keep abreast of the latest changes in the insurance industry and may even attend classes or seminars from time to time to familiarize themselves with the newest insurance products

What Can a Broker Do for Me?

First of all, a broker is there to help facilitate the process of acquiring the proper type of insurance for each individual client. They are able to clearly and concisely explain all terminology and also point out the advantages or disadvantages of different types and levels of coverage. If you want to be sure you have the proper amount of insurance for your particular situation, ask a broker.

A broker can also help find you the best deal on insurance by comparing several different insurers for the rates they offer, discounts, and overall record when it comes to customer service and paying claims. Brokers can save a customer both time and money while assuring them that they are getting the proper coverage for their needs.

Texas Car Insurance Requirements

If you are going to drive in Texas, you better know the law. When it comes to having Texas automobile insurance coverage, anyone in the Lone Star State that gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle must have a state mandated minimum amount of liability coverage. Like most other states, Texas holds the party that is determined to have been the cause of an accident responsible for paying for the damages they caused to the other party. That includes both bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

What Are the State Minimum Requirements?

In common insurance jargon, the state of Texas requires minimum liability coverage of 30/60/25. Translated to everyday language, that means the insurance company will pay up to $30,000 for each injured person or $60,000 for all injuries suffered in a single accident. They will also pay up to $25,000 for property damage per accident. As stated earlier, your coverage pays for the damage you caused to another person or persons and their vehicle in an accident where you were found to be at fault.

What Exactly Does Liability Insurance Cover?

In an accident that was the insured party’s fault, liability insurance covers up to the limits of the policy the following:

  • Bodily Damage – Medical bills, funeral bills, ost wages, and pain and suffering
  • Property Damage – The cost to repair or replace the other car
  • Car Rental – The cost of a rental car while the other vehicle is repaired
  • Punitive Damages – Any court ordered punitive damages

Who is Covered By Liability Insurance?

The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident is held responsible. He or she can be you, your spouse, your child or anyone living in your home and related to you by blood, marriage or adoption. Other people covered include your in-laws and any licensed driver whom you have given permission to drive your car. To be sure of exactly who is covered under your liability coverage, check the declaration page of your Texas automobile insurance policy.