Why Landlord Insurance is Important

If you are a property owner and have rented or leased your property to tenants, then you know how important it is to have landlord insurance. However, newbies to the real estate market may have no idea why landlord insurance is important. With that being said, below are a just a few reasons why landlord insurance is so important — whether you just started renting out a property, have been renting it out for years, or are thinking about renting a piece of property to someone.

  • Safeguarding Against Disaster: You can never predict when something is going to happen to your home, whether it be your own or your rental property. You can obtain landlord insurance that will cover the home in the event of a flood, fire, or other devastating events.
  • Personal Belongings: While the home likely won’t have many of your own personal belongings since you aren’t the one living there, you may have furnished the home or provided appliances to the tenant upon move-in. Landlord insurance will cover anything you furnished in the rental property for tenants.
  • Covering Your Own Butt: Believe it or not, there are little things in the property that could result in your tenant being injured. For example, a light fixture may not have been completely tightened and could spark a disaster for you, resulting in your tenant being hurt. Landlord insurance can cover your tenant’s injury.
  • Landlord Insurance vs. Other Insurances: Not all insurances are created equal. Homeowner’s insurance would likely result in you paying too much for your premiums. In addition, having the wrong policy on a property rental could result in your policy being canceled. It is important to have a landlord policy for insuring your rental property.

Liability Insurance – Why What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

If you lack liability insurance, it can cost you money and possibly your assets and livelihood. Liability insurance is important for all homeowners, business owners and vehicle owners to carry to protect against damage and injury claims that might easily occur. Even in the best of situations, accidents happen. Should someone slip and fall at your home or business location and become injured, you are liable for paying for medical care, emotional trauma and other expenses. If negligence is evident, the damage awards levied by a court jury could be astronomical.

There are many accidents that can happen just from acts of nature. Fires, tornadoes, storm damage, hail, snow, ice and earthquakes may be covered by general property insurance. Accidents that involve harm to people usually fall into the area of liability. If someone is injured because property is not well-maintained or if a hazardous area is left unrepaired and unmarked, there may be cause for a lawsuit for negligent responsibility. Liability insurance is the safeguard against these actions.

If a key man dies and a company cannot fulfill contractual obligations, there could be claims for lack of performance or errors and omissions. There is specific business liability insurance that includes protection for these situations. Professional liability insurance should be carried by all business persons, even individual contractors. An umbrella insurance policy acts like gap insurance and can address other types of liability not covered under other policies.

Employers need to have general liability and insurances like workers’ compensation, a business owner’s policy (BOP) and employment practice liability insurance. Employees may become dissatisfied and claim for sexual harassment, incursion on privacy, discrimination and other acts. A good liability policy is well worth the cost in relation to potential damages and expenses that arise in legal actions against business owners. For complete information about liability insurance, contact your local agent.

Recommended Insurance Coverage

It is recommended that you get at least the state minimum auto insurance coverage. But there are many other options for those who want to be more protected as well.

  • Roadside assistance can be helpful if you are in an accident or if your vehicle breaks down. This is normally not much more expensive to add to your policy.
  • Gap Insurance is a type of insurance that will pay off the remaining balance owed on your new vehicle if it is involved in an accident that totals your car beyond repair.
  • Rental car coverage can make you able to keep going to work by having the use of a car while your car is being repaired after an accident or if your car is stolen or broken down.
  • Collision and Comprehensive coverage can help provide more coverage for theft, damages, and medical bills if you are in an accident.
  • You can also purchase additional PIP and SUM insurance to help protect your family if they are injured or if you are injured and unable to work or pay for medical bills.

It is also recommended that if you have more than one type of vehicle, such as a motorcycle, boat or RV, that you add them to your policy. If you rent or own a home you can purchase homeowner’s or renter’s insurance through your insurance company as well. Bundling these services together, even with life insurance as well, can help you save a lot of money on your car insurance policy and help keep your entire life protected.

Now that you know what is recommended, you can make a smart decision about your car insurance. This way, you and your family — and any party you might injure in an accident — will be covered. You will also save money and be following the laws of your state regarding auto insurance policies.

Why You Should Shop Insurance before Leasing or Financing

Shop to Secure Your FinanceAt the very least, it is a good idea to shop insurance before leasing or financing a vehicle so that you are familiar with typical coverage requirements and caveats about working with dealer financing and leasing practices. It is essential that you fully understand what will be required insurance coverage if you are leasing or using dealer financing. Often, you can get a much better deal by obtaining your own insurance coverage prior to signing any lease or finance agreement.

Even though dealers are required to disclose all terms of their leases and finance contracts, if you do your homework before you step into the dealership, you will have a better grip on the facts and realities of your insurance coverage. Do not get caught up in the drama and excitement of purchasing or leasing a vehicle and sign a contract you do not understand. This is a common mistake that can cost you a great deal over time.

Insurance coverage for leased vehicles is different than that required for a vehicle that is being purchased through financing. Take your time and do not rush into a deal no matter what the salesperson says. You have the right to think before you sign a contract, and you also have every right to take that contract to your own insurer and find out if they have a better deal or other recommendations. There are two old sayings: “act in haste, repent at leisure” and “buyer beware.” These words of wisdom are still true and apply to many things, including the purchase of insurance, leases and financing.

Shop around for insurance before leasing or financing a vehicle. You have options to use your own insurance company; why not get the best possible deal on insurance as well as on the vehicle? The first move is yours.

Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

Save Where PossibleIn today’s economy, most people do not have the means to waste any extra money they may have. When it comes to insurance, most people do not buy more insurance than they think they need. The state may require coverage. Lenders may require coverage and you may want a certain level of coverage. The more coverage you want, the more it will cost. There are several reasons and several ways that you can temporarily lower insurance costs.

Reasons for Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

  • Lost Job or Need Money: If you suddenly find yourself in a severe cash deficit and need to cut back on all of your expenses because you lost your job or for any other reason, you may want to temporarily cut back on optional insurance coverage.
  • Coverage is Not Needed for an Extended Period of Time: Perhaps you are in the military and have been ordered to spend the next year overseas. Why pay for auto insurance when your paid off car is just going to be sitting in a garage for a year. You can cancel your insurance and then reinstate it when you are ready to start driving again.
  • Your Car is Inoperable: The engine has stopped working and it will take $2,000 to repair. Being on a very tight budget, it will take you months to fix. Since you can not drive the car anyway, you may as well cancel the insurance until the car is once again able to be driven.

Ways of Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

  • Cut Back on Coverage: While it might be nice to have full coverage, you are only required to have a certain amount of coverage for both automobile and homeowners insurance.
  • Cancel Some Optional Insurance: There is no law that says you must carry life insurance. Many other types of insurance might be considered non-essential. If you are having financial problems, you can temporarily cut back on some insurance premiums until you can get back on your feet. Be careful not to cancel insurance that is based on your physical condition or age (health or life) as it may be difficult or more expensive to reinstate or get the same type of coverage in the future.

Understand Your Texas Insurance Options

Understanding Policy OptionsWith your Texas insurance options, whether for homeowners or auto insurance, you want the best coverage at the lowest cost. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to lower costs and avoid unnecessary coverage while still being fully protected.

Auto insurance

Should you carry collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to liability insurance?

That depends. If you’re driving car that’s older than 10 years old, it’s generally a good idea to carry just liability insurance. With older cars, you’ll generally pay more for premiums than the repairs or replacement are actually worth, hence the advice to carry only liability insurance. With newer cars, however, it’s worth the cost of the premiums to repair or replace your car in the event of accident or damage because the premium payments are still less expensive to you than if you were to replace or repair your car out of pocket.

Homeowners insurance

There are different types of homeowners insurance. If you are a renter or a condo owner, you may not need to pay for structural insurance, because this will be covered by your landlord or by your association. Check to determine what coverage you’ll be specifically responsible for. In general, you’ll need to pay for personal possessions’ coverage (the contents of your apartment or condo), while the landlord or association will have separate coverage for the structure.

If you own your own home, you’ll need homeowners insurance to cover you for loss or damage of the structure and your possessions. You’ll also need liability coverage to protect you in the event someone is injured on your property. If someone is injured on your property, the insurance company will pay medical and legal costs associated with the incident and may also provide you legal assistance to fight these allegations in court if you choose to do so. (Different policies will have different protections in this regard, so check your policy to determine exact coverage.)

Comparing Texas Insurance Quotes Online

Texas Insurance - Compare and then BuyWhen comparing Texas Insurance quotes online, you can either go to individual Texas insurance company websites and request a quote there, or you can go to insurance sites that offer quotes from a number of different insurers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

Getting Quotes from Individual Insurance Company Sites

Choosing to receive quotes from individual insurance company websites will be more time consuming than going to a broader website that gives you access to multiple Texas auto insurance companies. The advantage of going this route, however, is that you get to select as many or as few companies that you want to get quotes from, as opposed to the multi-company site that actually selects three or four insurers to give you quotes. Also, you can pick and choose from the hundreds, if not thousands, of Texas insurance companies that offer auto insurance, instead of only choosing from the limited number of insurance companies the other type of site represents.

Insurance Quotes from a Multi-Company Website

The main advantage of getting online quotes this way is that you have access to a number of insurance companies in one convenient place and do not have to do a lot of hunting around to find different insurance companies to compare. In addition to saving you a lot of time, most of these sites offer quotes from the biggest and best known Texas insurers so you are getting a sample from the top echelon of auto insurers.

How Do You Compare Two Different Insurance Companies and the Policies They Offer?

Like anything else, you have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. You must ask for a quote with the exact same coverage to find out who has the best price. However, even this can be a little deceptive as some companies do not tell you about certain discounts you might be eligible for unless you ask them specifically for those rate reductions.

The Most Important Thing to Do

Get familiar with as many companies’ policies as possible. The more you learn and understand about auto insurance, the more likely you will be able to make the right decision when it comes time to purchase a policy. Do not hesitate to ask questions. As the customer, you have the right and responsibility to be as informed as possible.

Price versus Coverage – A Balancing Act

Price Versus CoverageWhen it is time to renew or purchase insurance, one of the most important things to do is to get the best coverage for the money. This may seem like a balancing act because there is a direct relationship between the two. Increased coverage usually means a higher price, and vice versa. There are a few options that affect both price and coverage, such as a deductible amount. Higher deductibles normally result in lower premiums because the insurer is liable for a lesser amount of damages.

Balancing price versus coverage is one reason why it is best to shop around for insurance to make sure you are getting the best price possible without sacrificing coverage. Consult with your insurance agent to discover which type of coverage is best for your home or vehicle. Ask about additional discounts that may apply, such as your membership in a fraternal organization. Find out if any improvements you intend to make to a home would lower rates.

Lower Home Insurance Rates with Improvements

  1. Install security features, such as closed circuit surveillance, dead-bolt locks, smoke alarms and burglar alarms.
  2. Upgrade the home heating and air conditioning appliances.
  3. Do repairs and regular maintenance. A new roof or windows may be an improvement that lowers your rates.

If you can lower rates by making improvements, it adds to the value of the home. This may require additional overall coverage, but balanced against the savings in rates, you may be able to get better coverage for the same price or at a lower rate than without improvements.

Like all other important purchases, price versus coverage becomes a balancing act. Quality equals better coverage while savings equals lower rates. Find the mid-point where you have all the coverage needed at the best possible price. Work closely with a trusted insurance agent to find that happy medium.

How Do I Shop for the Best Deal for Insurance in Texas?

Shopping for Insurance in TexasAre you in the market for insurance? If you are like most people, you probably would like to find great coverage at a very reasonable rate. With hundreds and even thousands of insurance companies to choose from, just how do you shop for the best deal for insurance in Texas.

Narrow the Field by the Type of Insurance You Need

While there are so many different insurance companies out there, you can narrow the field down quite a bit, depending on the particular type of insurance you are looking to buy. Many of the larger insurance companies do offer a wide line of insurance products but others specialize in only one or two different types of insurance. If you are looking for Texas homeowners insurance, there might only be five or ten really excellent companies to select from while if you are looking for good Texas auto insurance the field to choose from might be 50 or more. Other insurance, such as life insurance, health insurance or disability insurance, may also be limited to certain insurance companies.

Defining Your Coverage Needs

Some insurance companies offer better rates on certain types of optional coverage that you may want to purchase. For example, in Texas, you are required by law to carry a certain amount of liability insurance, but you are not required to carry comprehensive, collision, uninsured or underinsured, medical payments or towing reimbursement insurance. If you want to purchase some or all of these additional types of coverage, you may find some fairly wide differences in premiums depending on which insurance company you select.

Ask for Recommendations from Your Family and Friends

Sometimes, the easiest and best ways to find the best deals on Texas insurance products is simply to ask your family or friends who they have their insurance with and whether or not they are happy with their coverage. An honest opinion from someone you trust is usually a good starting point for at least narrowing the field down to a few different candidates. If you get an overwhelming consensus of one particular company, you can feel pretty safe choosing that company.

Types of Texas Liability Insurance

Reach The Minimum RequirementsLiability insurance coverage: What it is, and what it does

In Texas, if you drive a car you are required to have at least liability insurance coverage. This is so that if you’re deemed at fault in an accident, you can cover the other party’s damages without risking complete financial ruin for yourself. Minimum requirements for Texas liability insurance are $30,000 per injured person or a total of $60,000 per accident. Property damage liability coverage must be carried to at least a minimum of $25,000. This is often known as 30/60/25 coverage.

Two different types of liability insurance coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage

Liability insurance coverage is of two different types. The first is bodily injury liability coverage. With bodily injury liability insurance coverage, your insurance will cover the other party’s bodily injury costs to whatever level you have established in your policy, which is $30,000 per person or $60,000 per accident minimum. What this means is that if you’re at fault in an accident for the other person’s injuries, your insurance policy will cover the cost of those injuries up to the level carried. Examples of the costs liability insurance covers are any medical costs related to injuries suffered by the other party, compensation for wages lost as a result of the accident, and, in worst case scenarios, funeral expenses for parties killed in the accident.

Property damage liability coverage

Property damage liability is the second type of liability insurance coverage required by Texas state law. Property damage includes the repair or replacement of any vehicles, landscaping, buildings, or other property that is damaged as a result of an accident you’re deemed at fault in. If you’re deemed at fault in an accident, your insurance will cover you for property damage based upon the amounts you have established in your policy, which is at least a minimum of $25,000.