1. Can I get a driver's license if I don't have an auto insurance policy?
No. All applicants for a Texas driver's license must show proof of insurance to get a driver's license. You'll have to show proof of insurance regardless of whether you're getting a driver's license for the first time, renewing your driver's license, or getting a Texas driver's license after moving from another state.
2.How are auto insurance rates determined?
In general, companies base their rates on their estimate of the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident. Statistics show that younger drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than older, more experienced drivers. Therefore, rates for younger drivers will usually be more expensive. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy, the kind of car you drive will also affect your rates.
3. How do insurance companies decide what kind of risk I might pose for an accident?
Each company evaluates risk differently. All companies generally use some type of formula that considers a variety of "risk factors." These factors include: Driving History, Age, Gender, Lifestyle (married, single, children, etc), and Credit history.
4. How can I lower my premium?
The best way to lower your premium is to be a safe driver. Insurance Companies offer the best rates to drivers without accidents, speeding tickets, and other traffic violations. Also, ask about discounts. Insurance companies may offer discounts if you make good grades in school or drive a car with safety and anti-theft features.
5. If I have an accident while driving a friend's car, will my policy pay?
In most cases, the vehicle owner's insurance pays for losses, regardless of who was driving. This means that if you're in a wreck while driving a friend's car, your friend's policy will usually pay. Your insurance policy would pay any remaining amount that exceeds your friend's policy limits. If your friend does not have insurance and you're involved in an accident while driving his or her car, your policy will pay.
Wondering why your homeowner's insurance premium continues to rise... This might have something to do with it.
Insurance claims resulting from hail storm damage increased 84% in 2012 from their 2010 level, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2010, there were 467,602 hail damage claims filed. This number increased to 689,267 in 2011 and to 861,597 in 2012 - an overall increase of 84% from 2010 to 2012.
The claims activity follows the hail storm activity as posted on the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Texas was the state with the most hail storm events with 557, 741 and 795, respectively.
Property and liability: Most insurance policies will cover both property and liability. This means that your insurance will cover property damage or loss as well as anything that may happen on your property for which you are liable, such as injury or death. Most homeowner policies will have you pay for both property and liability insurance under a single premium, so you don't have to worry about separate payments to your insurance company.
Cost of home insurance: The cost of your home insurance depends on many factors, but it is primarily determined by what it would cost to replace your house. There are many other factors that could affect the cost, too. How likely it is that your home could be damaged or destroyed will also heavily affect your cost. If your home is in a high-risk area for floods or other disasters, your premium likely will be higher, unless that kind of coverage is excluded. Homes built to withstand earthquakes, near fire stations, or in low-risk areas are frequently less expensive to insure.
Disasters: Certain types of disasters that could damage or destroy your home, such as floods or earthquakes, may or may not be included in your insurance policy. As a homeowner, you'll want to look into what is and is not covered and consider the disasters that could affect your home. Read the exclusions section of any policy you are considering to determine what might not be included in your policy. Additional insurance can usually be purchased to cover certain disasters, and you may want to purchase additional policies to cover these risks if your home is susceptible to them.
Types of policies and coverage: Several types of home insurance policies are available, and most range between an HO1 and HO8 policy. The differences between policies consist primarily of what coverage they offer. A basic HO1, for example, covers against 11 listed perils, but an HO2 protects against 17. There are types of policies to cover condominiums and older homes. Research the types of policies and coverage to determine which is best for you and your home.
Loan approval: Most home loans require you to purchase homeowners' insurance to be approved for the loan. The insurance protects the bank if anything were to happen to the home and protects you as well. If your home is destroyed in a manner covered under your policy, your homeowners' insurance would cover the cost of the home, which could then be used to cover the mortgage on the home.
Here is an Important Tip: Never cut corners on your homeowner's insurance. Do yourself a favor and get fully covered. When you've had an unfortunate event occur and you need to call upon your coverage, you're already going to have enough to deal with than having to worry about is your insurance going to be enough to cover all of your expenses. Why not get the best coverage possible? Having the extra coverage is not very costly, typically only a few extra dollars a month. It is definitely worth the peace of mind.
Last Tip:To get the best possible rate and coverage, consult with an Independent Insurance Agent - NOT a representative of one specific company. Independent Agents are like mortgage brokers, they can shop around the insurance market to provide you with the best possible policy at the best price.
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.