Thank you for Visiting
Thank you for visiting TXINSURANCEPRO.COM. If you reached this page, then you either filled out a form on this site or you watched one of my YouTube videos. Either way, thanks for visiting. Numerous paths exist for those that are interested in the insurance world. Whether you want to be an agent, entrepreneur, customer service representative, property adjuster, or auto adjuster; the insurance world is truly vast. I guess that’s why so many interested people ask, “What’s next? I want more information?”
Quite frankly, I find answering that question to be the most difficult one of all. As a result, I generally respond with the following question:
What do you want to do in the insurance world?
If your goal is to own a traditional captive agency like State Farm or Allstate, most agents start by choosing between careers in Property Casualty and Life Health Insurance. (Many captives require their agents to obtain both P&C and LAH General Lines licenses.) While the Texas general lines insurance licenses have their lesser cousins, , let’s start by talking about General lines first. Where we go from there is up to you.
If you figure that part out, that’s half the battle. Each license type has it’s Pros and Cons. You have to choose which is best.
Property & Casualty
I won’t get too technical with my descriptions because I’m hoping you already know what you want to sell or who you want to work for. Property & Casualty (P&C for short) is the type of license you’ll need if you selling or servicing auto, home, umbrella, business, or commercial auto insurance. Consider this the insurance where you insure your “Things” and the liability associated with your things. When you think of insurance, most people’s first response is a P&C insurance product.
Life and Health
Unlike P&C, most people forget about life and health insurance; with the exception of health insurance and medicare. The life and health world also has benefits that are worth considering. However, because of misconceptions and general public ignorance, life & health is usually offered sold by the agent versus shopped for by consumer. Since agent initiated sales are generally more difficult, new agents tend to shy away from this side of the world. Regardless, Life and Health products are extremely necessary and valuable. Choosing this world could lead to more difficult sales but higher average commissions. So the choice is yours.
I chose a license type. What’s next?
After choosing a license type, you need to get a license. In order to do that in Texas, you only need to pass the test, get fingerprinted, fill out the application, and apply online or by mail. There’s a catch.
Insurance Pre-licensing Test Prep Classes are a must!
If insurance made sense to everyone, there would be no need for insurance agents. Since most people either misunderstand their policies and make poor coverage choices when left to their own understanding, we need agents. As a result, I always suggest taking some sort of test prep course. It’s easier to pass the test if you get help. Here are a few exam prep organizations that I’m in the process of reviewing for publication
- Texas Insurance Training
- Insurance School of Texas
- Texas Insurance Training Academy
I am in the process of reviewing each of these schools for the 2017-2018 insurance licensing comparison and review. Some schools offer a pass guaranty, while others offer online and classroom service, while others are simply lower prices than their competition. Let us know below if you’re interested to get a copy of “David’s dummy’s guide Insurance training school in Texas”.
After studying, pass the test and apply
After studying, with one of the pre-licensing schools above, your confidence level should be high enough to pass your licensing exam. To do so, you’ll need to visit Pearson Vue Insurance to schedule your licensing exam at an approved testing center. If you get a 70 or better on the test you’re studying for, you pass. Then it’s on to your fingerprints.
Just like you have to schedule your licensing exam, you also have to schedule a time get fingerprints through Identogo.com. Once that’s done, complete the individual insurance license application in paper found here or visit Sircon.com to apply for your license online.
As a side note, the state of Texas requires that you are appointed by either another experienced General Lines agent, agency, or insurance company to get a license in Texas. Without that appointment, your license could be denied for lack of appointment. If this changes, we will update you.
That’s it, your license is on the way
After you complete the steps above, your license should arrive in 3 to 4 weeks depended upon the workload and depended upon how you answer the application questions. There you have it! More information than just, the basic stuff you see. Do you have additional questions? Are you looking for appointments, insurance carriers, a job, or other opportunities? If I can answer your questions, comment below.
We are working on a a number of additional things that you may be interested in.
- Evening Licensing Test Prep
- Flash Card Simulators
- Licensing Class Discounts
If any of these things interest you, feel free to add into the comments as well. I truly appreciate your visit and feedback.
SCROLL DOWN TO ADD COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS! THANKS FOR VISITING.
Speaking from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t believe real estate investors take the builder’s risk policy seriously enough. I can imagine conversations go something like this, “I hate to purchase insurance, because I never file claims,” or “I’ll just get the minimum I need and the cheapest rate because they don’t want to pay…” Does that sound familiar?
If you’re like most real estate investors, you’ve at least thought it. That’s no crime. To most rational human beings, saving money on insurance is more important that eating their next meal. Then again, you’re a real estate investor. You’re not normal. But why should it be different for your real estate rehab and renovation projects?
I understand your perspective as an investor. I know the statistics for the Dallas area. Supply is down. Demand is up. Labor costs are up by 18%. Now add insurance. With ever tightening margins in an even tighter market, the Texas real estate investor must reduce expenses whenever and wherever possible. When you’re looking at your builder’s risk expense and cost, consider the following case. This is a real case, this is my case.
I purchased a property in Plano last year. When I purchased the property, the roof was in good condition. I was going to focus on the remainder of the home. My budget included work repairing everything from the foundation and plumbing up to and including the fascia and soffit. We closed the property in late February and began construction right away. Everything looked good until April and May hit.
Springs storms came. With those spring storms came several storms with hail. The sizes of hail ranged from marble size, to golf ball sized, and even baseball sized hail. Luckily, my house did not have any skylights. I could only as fortunate as my neighbors. Much to my chagrin, that didn’t matter. Our roof looked as if nature had batting practice and used our roof as a backstop.
We needed a new roof and I didn’t have the extra cash or financing to replace the roof. My partner (and dad) reminded me that we had this builders risk policy and it should cover some of our losses. He then asked, “Will it cover wind and hail damage?”
Suddenly, the light bulb turned on. I also began to worry. What if I clicked the wrong button,” and “Did I properly write the coverage?” were just a few of the questions that went through my head. That’s very strange considering that I’m the insurance agent. That worries last until the moment I called my builders risk claims department.
The insurance company I used has an 800# claims department as well as the ability to report via agent. I called them directly as the insured. After things settled down, I identified myself as the agent. The company assigned a claims adjuster within 24 hours and advised me to look for a phone call from the claims adjuster.
A few days later, the claims adjuster arrived and thoroughly examined the property. He was reasonable in his examination and evaluation. However, I had to do a few things. He wanted me to prove that I was not going to replace the roof anyway. The insurance company will not replace your roof or damage if the damage was scheduled to be completed anyway. In that case, you would be profiting on the loss. This is why they ask you the property cost, renovation costs, and final cost and value.
I provided the adjuster with my original scope of work documents, budgets, and estimates to prove I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on the insurance company. As a result, I received a large enough claims settlement to replace my roof. In this case, the odds were in my favor. Perhaps this will help you if you’re investing in real estate.
As I look out my window and see the February rains, I realize this could happen on my next real estate project. The weather in North Texas in unpredictable. Builders risk insurance is the easiest way to protect your real estate projects. In my case, my project was a small $300,000 project. Regardless of the size, the rules are the same. A small premium, properly structured, can protect your business from financial loss. Carefully the consider, coverage and policy with the same regard
Have you been searching for life insurance for a child? In researching the topic term life insurance for children, I noticed there are few options available to today’s consumer. Either you have to get a whole life insurance policy or the policy has to be a term rider dependent upon the parent having life insurance. In my opinion, the most common options seem to be fundamentally flawed.
What if the parent is uninsurable for some reason? What if a parent can’t afford to purchase life insurance for some reason? The lack of child term life insurance options surprised me. But when you think about it, it makes sense why there are no options. Look no further than the economics of selling life insurance for children.
In fact, a brief internet search search yielded the following January 2016 Forbes article, Barbara Marquand quoted financial advisor Joseph Alfonso as saying, “I struggle with thinking of reasons why it would make sense,” and Rutherford Asset Planning’s CEO, Keith Amburgey, as saying” A smarter financial move than buying life insurance is to stash money into an emergency fund, which could be tapped for any type of crisis.”
In all of my insurance agent sleuthing, regarding life insurance for kids, I found that 99.9% of the insurance and financial services professionals vacillate between the following schools of thought:
- purchasing life insurance for children is bad, invest your money elsewhere.
- it’s a good idea but look for strings attached like high premiums and dependency on parents policies.
- Grandparents like it because they know they should have purchased it when they were younger
In reality, like any insurance policy, no answer is absolute. What approach is the right approach? Are financial planners right? Is investing every extra penny the right thing to do?
Let’s face it, the odds of childhood deaths are so extremely low, it makes it hard for insurance companies to set a fair premium without over-charging. The economics of selling standalone term life insurance policies for children say, its’ too cheap. Monthly payments are too costly unless its a whole life policy. On the other side, insurance companies can ill afford to pay agent commissions on a term life policy for kids.
As a result, generally you can only get life insurance on a child if either the parent has a policy, or you purchase a whole life policy. Fortunately for me, I have that advantage over the typical journalist. As a licensed insurance agent, I have friends that sell life insurance. As a result, we can dive a little deeper into the world of life insurance and find the hidden gems.
Forbes should have interviewed David Walker
David Walker is a general agent and Branch Manager for Catholic Life Insurance Company. In our conversation, he told me that his company has a novel approach to the problems associated with providing life insurance for kids. Their policy, is called a “Just for Kids” and it features a standalone term life insurance policy for children between the ages of 14 days and 16 years old.
Child term life no brainer
I’m going to make a bold statement and say that this by far is the lowest cost life insurance you can get for a child. This policy answers the affordability questions posed by financial planners. At the same time, this is truly a standalone children’s term life policy. When I say there are no strings attached, the price says it all. Catholic Life’s Just for Kids policy only costs $100 for a $10,000 or $200 for a $20,000 policy.
If there was one catch, I would say that you have to pay it in full. So, imagine this, you have a newborn child or grandchild and you want to make sure they get life insurance. While your financial planners tell you not to buy it, it will cost too much, you can now tell them you can get a convertible policy from a 117 year old insurance company issued in just a few days and for a one-time payment of $100 and get coverage until age 22. What do you think your financial planner is going to say? If he’s smart he’d tell you to call Catholic Life Insurance.
How to get a Just for Kids policy
In our discussions, Walker stated that the policy has a one page application with a few questions. So getting a policy is as simple as filling out the application and sending it in with a $100 payment. Policies are usually issued within a few days. From there, based on location, policies are either mailed or delivered by a local agent.
The Just for Kids term policy is a full blown term life insurance policy. As a result, like the more expensive industry standard policies, this policy is also convertible (up to 5 times the face amount of $10,000 or $20,000) to any other Catholic Life Insurance product at age 22 without evidence of insurability.
As a result of these guarantees, Walker says that both parents and grandparents love the policy. “Not having to worry about paying a monthly premium for a child removes a lot of stress especially for new parents that can’t afford a lot of insurance…” As for grandparents, Walker says that grandparents love the one time payment. For a retired parent or grand parent that doesn’t want ongoing payments. The Just for Kids solves an tremendous problem in the quest to insure children.
A class by itself
This policy Catholic Life Just For kids term life insurance policy is truly in a class by itself. In my research to confirm that this is the only policy of its kind, I found one other company that does this. At three times the cost with fewer benefits and limited coverage for deaths before age 5, the policy was not worth mentioning.
Founded in 1901, Catholic Life Insurance provides a full portfolio of life insurance policies backed by over $1.1 billion in assets with $2 billion in policy premiums in force. Let’s just say, this company isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Because the company is a Fraternal, premium dollars go back into local communities through scholarships and community activities.
On the downside, Catholic Life only operates in the Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Unless you live in one of these states, you’re out of luck. Maybe that’s why so many insurance and financial services professionals have no clue this policy exists.
In the end, there’s no right or wrong answer, whether you go with the $100 life insurance policy, the policy equity index policy, or the whether you invest your money. It’s up to you.
For Inquiries about the Catholic Life Just For Kids, click here to request more life insurance information.
How does your auto insurance compare to the what’s available? Let’s face it, if you’re like most people, you want great rates; right? The problem is that reality is far different in many cases. In order to make sure you get the right rates, and the best protection, we explore your options and compare your policy to the competition.
The Office of Public Insurance Counsel has a comparison tool to help you understand the categories you should consider. This tool will help you understand why company X can advertise with a cartoon character and offer low rates. Coverage matters most. Let’s look at a few differences, that way you understand why this is true.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Coverage under liability applies to injuries and damage to property caused by you or another covered driver. In this case, you are legally liability for causing an accident. It may surprise you to find that there are a few noticeable differences between covered drivers on Texas Auto policies.
A good example is the way insurance companies handle liability claims on Temporary Substitute Vehicles. This could be a rental car, or it could be a car borrowed from a friend while on a trip. Some companies cover a temporary substitute auto for any reason in which you are liability. Other companies limit this coverage to cases involving breakdowns, repair, loss, or destruction. So no coverage on the trip.
Liability Permissive Drivers
Coverage for drivers that have permission is another place in which some insurance policies differ. Odds are, if you purchased your car insurance from a place that offers a 1 month or 3 month auto insurance policy, you could have a coverage gap. Some insurance policies only cover drivers that are listed in the policy; while unlisted drivers have no coverage, even in emergency cases.
How can you tell if you have exclusions or reduced coverage for unlisted drivers? Get your ID card and look for the wording that doesn’t look right. Texas insurance companies are required to list excluded drivers on your ID Card.
Uninsured Motorist and Personal Injury Protection
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will reimburse you, or a covered driver if hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for reasonable medical related expenses as well as lost income. These protect you, personally. Quite frankly, this is where many consumers cut corners. Before, you get worried, check your most recent declarations page or renewal.
If you notice the words “rejected”, “refused”, or “not covered”, then you probably signed or initialed something in writing. That’s the only way to remove UM and PIP. Now you have to ask yourself, “If I am injured in an accident, how much cash do I have saved?” Without UM and PIP, you could wind up paying the first $5000 in medical expenses out of pocket. Ahem, remember your Obamacare deductible?
In the end, the lowest rate is not always the best rate. Coverage matters most. Financial protection should is more than just getting it cheap and fast. If you’re like most people, you want coverage when it matters. Regardless of the type of car insurance, the pennies you save on the month premium, could cost you thousands after a claim. 30 days prior to your next renewal, review your coverage and your company. If you’re paying for car insurance, get the biggest bang for your buck and with the coverage you need and deserve.
The Texas Department of Insurance recently published the following facts about auto insurance. Since each company is a little different, I thought it would be a good idea to expand on the video from an insurance agent perspective.
Mexico doesn’t accept U.S. auto insurance
Yes, believe it or not, our neighbors to the South have very different rules when it comes to insurance. As a result, your auto insurance will have very limited coverage (if any) when you cross into Mexico. As a result, I normally suggest finding a company located near the boarder if you’re looking to drive into Mexico. Even if your Texas auto insurance policy says it will cover within so many miles of the U.S. – Mexico Boarder, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make a mistake here, not only could you wind up paying for a claim out of your pocket, but you could also wind up in a Mexican jail.
Going green could save green.
Many insurance companies now offer a number of “Green” incentives. If you go paperless, companies like Progressive will offer a discount for using their online services. Also, if you rideshare, walk, or bike to work, the reduced commute could also result in lower rates. Always discuss daily commutes and annual mileage when looking at your rates.
While driving less is a traditional means for saving money on car insurance, insurance companies are now getting a little more innovative. Thanks to technology, car insurance companies have begun using devices to collect data on driver habits. As a result, companies like Progressive and Safeco have introduced programs that provide immediate discounts in exchange for a little work on your part. The next time you’re shopping for car insurance, you may want to ask whether your company offers additional discounts through electronic means as well.
Don’t feel rushed to sign a release after an accident
Under Texas Law, an insurance company that accepts liability (or fault) must promptly pay your claim. The insurance policy prohibits them from doing otherwise. As a claimant, you are not required to sign a liability waiver in order to receive damages. If you feel that you are being pressured to sign a release in order to get paid by an insurance company, you should advise claims adjuster that it is unlawful to pressure a claimant into signing a release after a claim.
You Pick the repair shop
After a car accident, it is in the best interest of all parties involved to quickly settle your claim. Keep in mind that you still have consumer rights; even if the other person’s insurance company is paying damages. While many car insurance providers have a network of claims and repair facilities, where you get repairs is up to you. Keep in mind that an insurance company can only suggest or provide you a list of authorized facilities. Regardless of who you choose, the repairs should be done in a manner that correctly repairs all damage caused in your accident or occurrence.
You can challenge the settlement offer.
Let’s give the insurance company the benefit of the doubt here. The person adjusting your claim and offering a settlement is a human. If they make a mistake or offer you too little for your settlement, you have the right to challenge the company’s offer.
While challenging the initial claims settlement offer if within your rights, that right comes at a cost. In order to challenge an offer, you will have to hire your own appraiser. Also, you’ll have to pay half the costs associated with the independent reviewer. Before going through this step, contact the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line at 800-252-3439.
Texas Department of Insurance recently published an article regarding flood insurance. Keep in mind that your home owners insurance policy does not cover damage from flood. TDI suggests the following tips when deciding if you need flood insurance in Texas.
Tip #1: Determine your level of flood risk.
By visiting the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, you can determine whether you’re in a low, moderate, or high risk flood zone. This gives you an idea of whether you’re at risk to flood according the government’s latest data. As an insurance agent, we can obtain this data through one of our many flood insurance providers. Our software interfaces with NFIP databases as a part of the rating process. Making it easy to simultaneously get zone determinations and rates.
Tip# 2: Buy it before you need it.
With the exception of lender required flood insurance, flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. Treat flood insurance like a credit, get it before you need it.
Tip #3: Average Cost
Before you do the normal consumer thing and call around to different agents, here’s a tidbit that will save you time. If you’re like most people, saving time is also saving money. According to TDI, the average flood insurance policy costs around $700 per year. The cost is based on a number of factors including home value, flood zone determination, deductibles, and other factors.
Tip #4: Where to get flood insurance?
Luckily, we have that covered. If you need coverage, you can start by filling out the form below. From there, we will contact you to get the ball rolling.
Recently, I received a request from a real estate agent and friend. She wondered why I turned away quotes from real estate agents and Realtors looking for lower rates (namingly her). After explaining that giving me a name and an address is not enough information to get a quote, she responded with the following:
If Realtors and loan officers calling you quotes, that’s a good thing; don’t you think so? Sometimes (quotes), work for their clients and sometime the quotes do not work for their clients.
My main goal is to get the lowest insurance for my clients and an insurance quote is too high it won’t work for DTI which means have to fine cheaper quote to fit for his DTI so they can get an approval.
I do not understand what the problems is getting quotes from you. The numbers got to work for an individual borrower in order for borrower to get an approval. You can always change the policy on next renewal; can’t you?
How long does it take to rebuild a home that has the wrong insurance?
My response to her question was candid. Unfortunately, it takes less than a year to burn a house down and gets sued by the insured for failing to properly cover them at the time of closing. I’ve witnessed too many instances where doing what you request leads to financial devastation. It is important to understand that things happen and when you JUST get a LOW RATE. Your clients should expect and deserve better.
When I realtor or a loan officer sells a home, they get their commission and move on. When I sell a home, I marry the customer and deal with the late night calls. As a result, make sure to I look out for 3 parties on every transaction. Not only do I write policies, but I protect my client, my agency, and the insurance company relationships. If I fail to properly protect my client, many people get hurt. Ultimately, I find that good protection always trumps lows rates.
Remember the 2012 Tornadoes in Lancaster, TX
This reminds of a story. A church member that told me my rate was too high. She purchased a house for the loan amount, which was well below the actual replacement cost. Unfortunately, she was one of the poor folks caught in the Lancaster Tornado. Her $60k policy was enough to pay off the loan and satisfy the lender, but the level of coverage kept her from getting her home properly rebuilt. As a result, she had to worry about whether she could get assistance from local charities, the state of Texas, and FEMA.
Getting the right homeowners insurance protection is everything!
Understanding this makes it I make a policy to only offer policies that will allow me the ability to sleep during a storm rather than worry about whether one of my clients is missing coverage. If the margins are that tight for your clients, then I may not be a good fit for your clients. If they want protection, then I am the agent for them.
If you are like most Texans, then your homeowners and auto insurance rates have probably increased recently; leaving you to wonder why. If you want a scapegoat, then look no further than our wonderful Texas weather. According to a recent article published in PropertyCasualty360, “…hail storms frequently cause severe property damage…every state is susceptible to hail…” In fact, the State Farm, one of the nation’s largest auto and home insurers reported paid losses of more than $3.9 billion to its policyholders in 2012 alone.[tagline style=”boxed” effect=”bg3″][modal id=”4530″ style=”body” classes=”button primary big right” footer=]Get a Quote[/modal]
Homeowners Insurance Quotes
Call 214-717-4326 or click here to start your online rate indication.[/tagline]
Texas leads all states with 47,000 hail claims in 2012. Now take State Farm’s alarming statistics and combine them with the Texas Department of Insurance statistics and you will notice an alarming trend.[note style=”white”] According to the Texas department of Insurance, hailstorms accounted for $1.7 billion in statewide-insured losses in 2011. For residents in the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex, the number are even more shocking. The Dallas-Fort Worth area accounts for $1.2 billion of the state’s total hail losses. [/note]
For those of you living in Dallas and Fort Worth, you may find your home insurance rates going up at a faster rate. Due to their sheer size and market share, larger companies like State Farm, Allstate, and Farmers will more than likely continue their trends of rate increases coupled with policy limitations.
Expect continued rate actions
As of 2013, Texas insurance consumers should expect a trend of rate increases and policy changes from home insurance providers. In fact, a number of current and former Farmers policyholders have provided us with copies of their new policies. We noticed rate increases on many policies and increased wind and hail deductibles on most. In the cases we examined, Farmers wind & hail deductibles increased from 1% to 1.5% on some and 2.0% on others. That means for a home with $100,000 dwelling protection limit, their wind & hail deductible increased from $1,000.00 (1%) to 1,500.00 or $2,000.00.
Following weather trends, State Farm has also taken rate increases in excess of 20% for many Dallas and Fort Worth residents. Citing their profitable 2012 results, consumer advocates continue urging Texas’ largest home insurer to roll back their rate increases from December 2012. While advocates make valid points about State Farm’s overall profit of 14.4 percent, removing investment returns could paint a different picture of State Farm’s financial position relative to the Texas market. Look for State Farm to continue their trends of higher rates and renewed focus on making underwriting profits over investment profits.
Rounding out the Texas 3, Allstate had a relatively quiet 2012. The good hands folks continue flying below the radar and out of the site of consumer advocates. According to PropertyCasulaty360.com, Allstate’s 9.8 percent increase from March 2012 continues to be their most recent and significant change to Texas homeowners. In 2012, Allstate rolled out their new “House & Home” insurance policy in many states. According the Insurance Journal, Allstate CEO Thomas J. Wilson stated that their new policy will help the company properly price roofs in particular. The roll out is scheduled to continue in phases from 2012 to 2014. When information comes available about changes to their Texas policy, we will post that information online.
Take Control of Your Insurance
As insurance companies step away from their reliance on investment returns and return to their underwriting roots, Texas insurance rate increase could be around for a while. Texas consumers looking to take control of their insurance policies should begin by looking at insurance holistically rather than in silos. Shopping for home at one place while shopping for auto protection at another will yield less than desirable rates in most castes. We compiled these tips to help you get the best rate on homeowners insurance.
Consider Package Pricing
Insurance shoppers will find rate increases more common on policies where no auto discount exists. When shopping for insurance, shop your auto and home together. A good home insurance claim history combined with a good driving record could reduce premiums by as much as 30%. If you are married to Geico or Progressive, expect limited home insurance coverage and options at best.
Maximize Home Discounts
Carrier additional discounts many of the following including: Gated Community, green home, impact resistant roofing, home systems renovations within 10 years, having home alarms and smoke detectors, and remaining claims free. As companies continue making changes to their policies, expect the discounts to change as well. Always ask the agent to review coverage discounts. It helps.
Use Independent Insurance Agents
Using an independent agent or broker can open the door to many insurance carriers that you may have never heard. A state as large as Texas is home to dozens of home insurance companies that want your business. Independent agents often have relationships with more than 1 home insurance provider making the job of finding coverage much easier. Instead of getting one quote per phone call or email, and independent agents can provide you with several quotes from multiple A rated carriers admitted Texas carriers.
Many people think of buying a cheap car insurance policy because it is another bill you have to pay to drive. Often it is because the value in protection has never been fully explained. Those who actively search terms like “cheap car insurance in Dallas” get just that; cheap coverage, cheap service, and an over-all sub-par experience.
For years, I purchased liability only insurance policies. I figured that auto insurance was just something I needed to get my car on the road. Inspection, registration; If it involved paperwork, it was all the same. I understood to an extent, after years of watching insurance commercials, that there is a certain degree of protection. The understanding was if I ever get in a wreck “they” would take care of it as long as I pay them monthly. Ah, the feeling of bliss resulting from naive ignorance was like a cloud that carried my car through the streets of Dallas.
Insurance guidance came at a time when I least expected it, almost by accident. I was a young manager in training at a popular jewelry store closing down for the night with another associate. He was much older and had dreams of opening his own business. He had explained to me that his auto insurance would pay ten thousand dollars if he was hurt in a car accident. I did not believe him at first.
I asked myself, “Why hadn’t I heard of this magical coverage that pays for my injuries?” Then he told me everybody (insurance companies) in Texas has to offer that coverage. He also said that I should ask for that coverage and see what happens.
A couple of months later I am on the hunt for cheap insurance again. Because my cheap car insurance was never cheap enough; and rates continued increasing (as they always seem to just like minimum wage and the cost of living). Except this time, I went into the cheap $39 per month car insurance office armed with one question in mind, “How can I get that extra $10,000 PIP option?”
My quest to get the cheap liability policy led me to a room with a half-assembled motorcycle, a worn-out futon for waiting guests, and a window unit that loosely fits into a cutout in the wall that separates 2 offices. At least there was a beautiful woman with a thick accent in front of the computer waiting eagerly to take my money.
As we go through the auto insurance application process, I realize that her insurance advice was simply to initial here, here, there, sign here, and give me your money. Before signing “here”, I asked about the ten thousand dollar coverage question. The beautiful woman sighed and showed me the paragraph which I initialed stating that the agent explained PIP and I fully understand PIP coverage, but I chose to reject it. (Remember, all I did was initial there!)
“OK, what is $10,000 pip?” I asked. She might have properly explained the coverage, but the words got trapped in the accent. At the time I didn’t mind. Interestingly enough, she made it clear that my monthly insurance would increase by adding personal injury protection. At that point in my life, it was all I needed to know to make that decision. Ignorance wins again. Good thing I wasn’t injured in an accident.
Unfortunately this is all too common in the insurance industry. Some agents treat car insurance policies like the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” rule. If the customer doesn’t ask you for it, don’t tell them about it. This results in consumers being grossly uninformed and underinsured. Agents like this believe that since a consumer asked for the cheapest insurance policy, they must want to reject c overages like personal injury protection, no questions asked.
The truth is that as a consumer, the right company will give you a good rate for your liability auto insurance and personal injury protection. As a consumer, it is your right to ask questions regarding coverage. Purchasing auto insurance just because it is cheap could cost you money in the long run. Learn from me, before you initial there, and sign here, ask your insurance representative the following question, “What do you mean by cheap car insurance, and why is it so inexpensive?”