The waiving deductible practices of some contractors has been a widespread issue throughout Texas and other states. Policyholders are duped into fraudulent insurance claims with promise of “rebates, deductible waivers, and credits” for their business. Most commonly done in the roofing industry, shady “deductible eaters” (contractors who have been knowingly breaking the law) are cannibalizing reputable contractors with promises of a “free” roof. Their practices are illegal but ignored due to an improperly worded doctrine developed in 1986 in attempt to stop fraudulent practices.
The revised House Bill 2102 signed last month by Governor Abbott is designed to combat the devastating effects of roofing fraud. It clearly states that contractors are violating the law if they pay, rebate, credit, or decline to charge or collect a deductible. Insurance companies may ask for reasonable proof of payment which are: canceled check, money order receipt, credit card statement or an executed installment plan. If there is not a proof of payment for the deductible, the insurance company can then refuse to pay the replacement cost hold-back. The new law also imposes a Class B misdemeanor offense of 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for both the violating contractor and/or the policyholder.
This important legislation will both protect Texas consumers from illegal fraud schemes and ensure that reputable contractors are on an even level playing field in competitive business.
Umbrella insurance provides extra liability coverage that can help protect assets, such as your home, car and boat. It also helps cover defense costs, attorney fees and other charges associated with lawsuits.
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Whether it's a serious car accident involving pricey medical bills or an incident on your property, you can quickly find yourself responsible for damages that exceed the limits on your auto, homeowners or boat policies.
An Umbrella Insurance Can Provide:
An extra $1 million to $10 million of liability coverage, which can help protect assets such as your home, car and boat.
Coverage for claims like libel, slander, defamation of character and invasion of privacy.
It also helps cover defense costs, attorney fees and other charges associated with lawsuits.
This coverage also extends to international occurrences.
An umbrella policy is a valuable addition to any auto, homeowners or other policy for extended personal liability protection.
In today's world, anyone can get hit with a lawsuit. That's why it's more important than ever to consider an added layer of protection for your assets – and your peace of mind.
So, your son or daughter is gearing up to leave for college in a few weeks... Have you thought about insurance and if he or she is covered while at school?
Let's tackle this question: Your homeowners insurance will generally cover them if they are living in a dorm. They will have the same liability limits as if they were in your home, but the coverage for their belongings may be limited to 10% of your total possessions coverage (the rules vary by insurer). Many homeowners insurance policies cover possessions up to 70% of the home-coverage limits -- so if you have a $200,000 homeowners insurance policy, you’d have up to $140,000 in coverage for your possessions in your home, and up to $14,000 in coverage for items that are off-premises, such as in a dorm room. Add up the value of your student’s things and make sure you have enough coverage -- you may want to buy some extra coverage if they have an expensive computer system and other valuable electronics.
However if your student is going to live in an off-campus apartment, your homeowner's insurance policy will more than likely not extend coverage. In that case, it’s a good idea to buy a separate renters’ insurance policy. Renters’ coverage is surprisingly inexpensive -- generally just $125 to $250 per year, which would cover all of the student’s possessions and provide $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. If your student has roommates, each one should get his own renters’ insurance policy, which will cover his own possessions and liability.
Most renters’ policies will also pay the extra cost to live somewhere else temporarily if your student needs to move out for a while if the apartment is damaged. And both homeowners and renters’ policies will cover your student’s laptop or other items if they are stolen while they are away from their dorm or apartment. For example, a laptop stolen at the school library would be covered.
Lastly, make sure and let your insurance agent know that your student is going away to college even if he does not take a car to school. If he goes to school more than 100 or 150 miles away from your home and doesn’t take a car, you could get a big discount on your auto insurance premiums but still have coverage for him when he comes home for holidays and vacations, or if he borrows a car while away at school. If he does take a car, his premiums may rise or fall depending on the location of the college, where he’s parking his car, and how many claims the insurer has had to pay in that area. Also, be sure to let your insurer know if your student gets good grades -- many insurers continue to offer a discount on car insurance premiums for students who maintain a B average or better in college.
From our offices in Weatherford, Texas, we serve clients anywhere in the State of Texas, though the following areas are geographically closest to us: the counties of Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Johnson, Parker and Hood and the cities of Arlington, Bedford, Brock, Burleson, Cleburne, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Decatur, Euless, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Grapevine, Hurst, Keller, Mansfield, Millsap, Mineral Wells, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Watauga, Weatherford, and White Settlement.