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Different types of insurance and their purposes

Tags: , , , , Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Life Insurance

Since the future cannot be predicted, it’s better to get it insured. There are different insurance policies, which you can choose according to your needs and urgency.

Types of insurance policies

All insurance policies are important since they are for the things you possess and don’t want to lose. So you should get them insured. Some of the most important insurance policies are cited below:

1. Life insurance

This policy ensures the family members of a sole bread earner financial security after his death. When you are the only person who has all the responsibility of your family, it’s always important to go for life insurance policy. This way, part of your premium is put into savings account so that money is not a problem in the future

2. Health insurance

This is also an important insurance policy that pays for all the treatments and medications if you are seriously injured. Suppose you are involved in an accident and don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay for the treatment from the money you have saved. If you don’t have the money required, you may fall in medical debt and the hospital may stop your treatment. It’s better to have a health insurance to ensure you a secured and healthy life.

3. Property insurance

This insurance policy ensures the property you own. This is also very important as you spend a good amount of money on the things you possess and so it’s only natural that you should have property insurance. This policy provides coverage against fire, earthquake, vandalism, etc. This insurance policy protects your assets which can be business or your personal property. Usually homeowners policy covers for most of the personal property.

4. Auto insurance

If you own a car or a vehicle, it’s important that you have auto insurance. This policy covers the cost of the damage caused to the vehicle and you in an accident. It also pays for the damage the other party incurs in an accident. This insurance policy also covers your vehicle from the damage caused by natural calamities and robbery, vandalism, etc.

The above list gives you an insight of the most important insurance policies you should go for.

Brainless Tips to Saving on Car Insurance

Tags: , , , , , , , Auto Insurance

With over 10 years in the insurance industry, I notice that everyone wants to save money on the things they have to buy like car insurance. In fact, companies like GEICO, Allstate, and Progressive, have made the phrase, “save money on your car insurance”, a household phrase.

As an insurance agent, I can say with all certainty that everyone that drives a car falls into two following categories:

A. People that think they pay too much for their car insurance.

B. People that think their car insurance rates are just fine.

So if you fall into one of these two categories, I’ve come up with 10 brainless tipsi that will help you save money on your car insurance.

1. Shop Early. Most people don’t realize it, but shopping at the last minute actually costs you about 10% on the average. Typically, insurance companies give lower rates to people who shop at least 7 to 10 days ahead of their policy start date. In car insurance, the early bird really gets the worm!

2. Know Your Coverage. Generally, insurance companies offer lower rates based on the type of coverage you carry with your current insurance company. Also, that shows a level of responsibility.

3. Compare Rates with an independent agent. Independent insurance agents can shop several insurance companies for you.

4. Tell the whole truth. Really? Did you think you could get away with hiding a ticket or an accident? Now insurance agents and insurance companies can run your driving record as soon as you talk to them, but that costs time and money. Giving the agent your driving record up front will save the agent time and you money.

5. Keep a Clean Record. Face it. The better your driving record, the better quotes you’ll get. This goes for everyone. Drivers that require SR-22 filings are typically classified as high risk drivers. So slow down and stopping drinking you speed demon!

6. Carry higher coverage now for lower prices later. Many insurance companies give better rates for people with higher liability limits because they are grouped with good drivers. With these same companies bad drivers typically carry minimum coverage. Which do you prefer, the good driver group rates or the bad driver group rates?

7. Give the whole story. If you have more than one car, make sure and get a quote on ALL of your cars. Insurance companies always like numbers higher than 1. It will save you money with the multi-car and package discounts when you insure your 2 cars and your home with your 2 policies.

8. Ask for Education and Occupation discounts. Everyone knows that if a young student earns a B average in school, he can get a discount. Did you know that adults with college degrees can get discounts, and teachers get really good rates too?

9. Carpool. If you have a long drive to work, it might pay to carpool. By lowering the number of miles you put on your car, you also lower your insurance. Generally, if you drive less than 7500 miles per year you will get a lower rate.

10. If all else fails, get a horse. If none of these ideas work, then you may be a good candidate for a horse. Typically most people can save money with these tips. If none of them help you, then you may need a little intensive work.

Get connected to an independent insurance agent online by visiting Texas Insurance Pro.

Locate the Best Auto Insurance Company

Tags: , , , , Auto Insurance

Everybody would love to have the “best” when it comes to just about anything and this should be especially true when it comes to car insurance companies. Consumers must take a moment to understand what makes up an ideal carrier before they can locate one and they must also realize that a good insurer for them may not be the right one for another individual. So if a friend or loved one refers you to a particular coverage provider that they are satisfied with it is a good idea to consider their recommendation, but the chances are that another carrier may be a better option.

In order for an individual to find the best auto insurance companythey must understand their needs and what they expect out of a carrier. There are a wide variety of companies out there to choose from and finding the right one will take narrowing down things such as price range, types of coverage and the limits desired. Many consumers decide to purchase the minimum coverage required by their state so pretty much any insurer will be able to offer the product that they are looking for since states usually do not allow a provider to sell policies that do not meet the requirements of the law, but if an individual is in need of more protection then the number of companies to choose from will begin to narrow down.

Finding the Best Car Insurance Companies

Before a motorist can find the ideal carrier they must determine what they are shopping for; as mentioned above some individuals will need more coverage than what the state requires. As an example, if a person lives in a state that follows the Financial Responsibility law then they will have a minimum limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage that must be purchased; not all companies will offer higher limits, therefore these companies will not be right for someone who needs more liability protection and can be eliminated them from their search.

The next thing that makes up a good insurer, and I am sure most will agree is cheap rates; if a person can get a quality product at a low price then all the better. It has been said over and over again by every consumer guide and state department of insurance, but it is absolutely true that finding the right coverage from the right company is best achieved by comparison shopping. When comparing the prices of companies it is very important that the same amount of coverage is compared with each company to ensure that a proper comparison is being conducted; comparing based on different levels of protection will only provide quotes which cannot be compared since prices will be based on different products.

After finding some good prices for the product desired do not make a haste decision and purchase the cheapest one, there is still a couple of steps to take to find the right company. Out of the cheapest rates found take a look into the companies offering them. The Texas Department of Insurance suggests to check licensing status, financial strength and complaint index; following these steps can help find the best company and avoid insurers who are not financially sound, unlicensed or lack good customer service.

Flood Insurance Program Extended by Congress

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Homeowners Insurance

Home owners looking for flood insurance received a little good news from the U.S. Congress.  Congress temporarily extended funding for the National Flood Insurance Program.  President Barack Obama signed it into law late on March 2.  Funding was extened until March 28.

According to a statement released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “Without funding, the NFIP could not write new policies or renew existing policies for property owners, or pay claims.  The delay in the extension also meant “short-term problems” for property owners waiting to close on a property within a Special Flood Hazard Zone.”

The NFIP is important because standard homeowners policies do not cover the flooding.  For more information on Flood Insurance,  visit www.floodsmart.gov or contact our offices at 214-717-4326.

Putting auto companies to work for you

Tags: , , , , , Auto Insurance

Car insurance may be one of the last things that comes to mind when you think about saving time, but the insurance company you choose can actually have a big impact on your time should trouble strike.

If you’re in an accident that results in a claim, you could spend days handling the claims/repair process yourself.  With concierge claims service, the days of getting 3 claims estimates are over.  Auto insurance and technology now make it possible to provide a higher level of claims satisfaction.  The next time you have an auto accident, you might find the insurance company’s claims department inside your local body shop.

That’s one reason it’s a good idea to check out insurance options that can save you time. For instance, the concierge-level of claims service offered by companies like Progressive and Travelers provide a level of claims service that ensures minimum time disruption. Using a company’s concierge services means you can tow your car or have it dropped off at an approved  facilities offering this service.  As a result you get your claim handled, rental car, and claims guaranty at one place.

Here’s how the insurance claims process works with one company:

You can call or go online to report a claim—anytime of the day or night—and schedule an appointment to bring the vehicle to a nearby facility offering the concierge-level of claims service.

In about 15 minutes, you’re in a rental car (if included on your policy) with assurance that you’ll receive updates from your claims representative.  In many cases, your car’s repair is handled and supervised by your insurance company.

Your claims representative prepares a repair estimate and contacts an auto body shop that has met strict quality requirements. Progressive and the shop reach an agreement on the cost of the repairs and the shop trans-ports the vehicle to the facility to begin repairs.

After the insurance company is satisfied with the repairs, you are called to pick up your car. You inspect the repairs and, if satisfied, drive off with a guarantee on those repairs for as long as you own the vehicle.

Throughout the process, you receive updates via phone or online. For more information, visit www.txinsurancepro.com.

Did You Know?

An auto claims option from a company with authorized concierge facilities takes 15 minutes to complete. With the concierge-level of claims service, customers simply drop off a damaged vehicle at a participating facility. A claims representative handles the process from that point on.

Tips for North Texas to Save money on your Auto Insurance and Home Insurance

Tags: , , , , , , , , Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance

Saving money on your auto insurance and home insurance can seem to be a difficult task. Many websites state that they can help you save money on your auto insurance, but you quickly realize that they’re just a site trying to sell your information to another company. Be careful when you shop your car insurance because identity theft is prevalent in today’s society. So instead of going to a website that sends your information to a bunch of different agents, you can start here and get a quote right away.

Most auto insurance and home insurance companies offer discounts for seatbelts, safety features like airbags, and anti log brakes. Everyone knows that if you insure your auto insurance and home insurance in a package, you can lower your insurance rates.

As an insurance agent, we can offer a few additional tips to lower your auto and home insurance payment. The bottom line is that it pays to know what discounts to ask for when you’re shopping for auto insurance and home insurance. The following tips will help you better shop your auto insurance and home insurance:

  1. Always look for package deals first. Some companies offer multi-policy discounts or account credits which can lower your rate by as much a 30%. Texas Auto Insurance and Home Insurance companies want more account business to balance their portfolios.
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute. When you receive your renewal statement in the mail, start shopping then. Now companies are giving discounts if you shop early and make your decision at least a week or two ahead of time. If you wait until the last minute, that could cost you 10% on your rates.
  3. Carry more than the state minimum coverage. Auto insurance companies are now giving discounts and lower rates for having higher limits before your switch your insurance.
  4. Consider Increasing your Deductible. If your deductible is $250, raising it to $500 could decrease your premiums. Also many Texas auto insurance companies are now offering “decreasing” or “diminishing” deductible options as an addition to their standard auto insurance policy. So if you have a good driving record with a $500 diminishing deductible, odds are that your first auto insurance claim will have a lower deductible than you expect.
  5. Keep up with your home maintenance. Typically, our home insurance increases as our homes get older. Did you know that if you’ve had your roof replaced because of a hail storm you may get a discount on your home insurance? By keeping up with the plumbing, electrical, air conditioning and roofing, you may save money on your home insurance by reporting these things.

Our website is different than other websites. We save you money on your car insurance and home insurance because we are actually insurance agents and we represent many Texas Insurance companies. It pays to shop your auto insurance and home insurance with an independent agent that will look for the packages that will give you the lowest rates. Also by going directly to the company, we cut out the hassle of making and receiving a bunch of phone calls. Once we enter your information, we get several auto insurance quotes and several home insurance quotes instantly.

All of our auto insurance carriers are A-rated Texas Auto Insurance companies. Those companies include Safeco, Progressive, The Hartford, Travelers and more.

We also represent many home owners insurance companies as well. Since you can choose from The Hartford, Travelers, ASI Lloyds, and Kemper for your home insurance you can be sure that you’re getting the best deal with the least amount of hassle.

So the next time and auto insurance company or home insurance company tells you that they can give you the lowest rate, ask them home many companies they represent. If they only have one or two auto insurance or home insurance companies, and they don’t ask you about your home renovations then they might not be giving you the best rates on your auto or home insurance. If that is the case, call us at 214-717-4326 or click here, and we will shop your auto insurance and home insurance and find the best package for you.

How much life insurance do I need?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Life Insurance

2222040_scaled_175x116In most cases, if you have no dependents and have enough money to pay your final expenses, you don’t need any life insurance.

If you want to create an inheritance or make a charitable contribution, buy enough life insurance to achieve those goals.

If you have dependents, buy enough life insurance so that, when combined with other sources of income, it will replace the income you now generate for them, plus enough to offset any additional expenses they will incur to replace services you provide (for a simple example, if you do your own taxes, the survivors might have to hire a professional tax preparer). Also, your family might need extra money to make some changes after you die. For example, they may want to relocate, or your spouse may need to go back to school to be in a better position to help support the family.

You should also plan to replace “hidden income” that would be lost at death. Hidden income is income that you receive through your employment but that isn’t part of your gross wages. It includes things like your employer’s subsidy of your health insurance premium, the matching contribution to your 401(k) plan, and many other “perks,” large and small. This is an often-overlooked insurance need: the cost of replacing just your health insurance and retirement contributions could be the equivalent of $2,000 per month or more.

Of course, you should also plan for expenses that arise at death. These include the funeral costs, taxes and administrative costs associated with “winding up” an estate and passing property to heirs. At a minimum, plan for $15,000.

Other sources of income

Most families have some sources of post-death income besides life insurance. The most common source is Social Security survivors’ benefits.

Social Security survivors’ benefits can be substantial. For example, for a 35-year-old person who was earning a $36,000 salary at death, maximum Social Security survivors’ monthly income benefits for a spouse and two children under age 18 could be about $2,400 per month, and this amount would increase each year to match inflation. (It drops slightly when the survivors are a spouse and one child under 18, and stops completely when there are no children under 18. Also, the surviving spouse’s benefit would be reduced if he or she earns income over a certain limit.)

Many also have life insurance through an employer plan, and some from another affiliation, such as through an association they belong to or a credit card. If you have a vested pension benefit, it might have a death component. Although these sources might provide a lot of income, they rarely provide enough. And it probably isn’t wise to count on death benefits that are connected with a particular job, since you might die after switching to a different job, or while you are unemployed.

A multiple of salary?

Many pundits recommend buying life insurance equal to a multiple of your salary. For example, one financial advice columnist recommends buying insurance equal to 20 times your salary before taxes. She chose 20 because, if the benefit is invested in bonds that pay 5 percent interest, it would produce an amount equal to your salary at death, so the survivors could live off the interest and wouldn’t have to “invade” the principal.

However, this simplistic formula implicitly assumes no inflation and assumes that one could assemble a bond portfolio that, after expenses, would provide a 5 percent interest stream every year. But assuming inflation is 3 percent per year, the purchasing power of a gross income of $50,000 would drop to about $38,300 in the 10th year. To avoid this income drop-off, the survivors would have to “invade” the principal each year. And if they did, they would run out of money in the 16th year.

The “multiple of salary” approach also ignores other sources of income, such as those mentioned previously.

A simple example

Suppose a surviving spouse didn’t work and had two children, ages 4 and 1, in her care. Suppose her deceased husband earned $36,000 at death and was covered by Social Security but had no other death benefits or life insurance. Assume the surviving spouse is 36.

Assume that the deceased spent $6,000 from income on his own living expenses and the cost of working. Assume, for simplicity, that the deceased performed services for the family (such as property maintenance, income tax and other financial management, and occasional child care) for which the survivors will need to pay $6,000 per year. Assume that the survivors will have to buy health insurance to replace the coverage the deceased had at work, and that this will cost $12,000 per year.

Taken together, the survivors will need to replace the equivalent of $48,000 of income, adjusted each year for an assumed 4 percent inflation.

Thanks to Social Security, the survivors would need life insurance to replace only about $1,700 per month of lost wage income (adjusted for inflation) for 14 years until the older child reaches 18; Social Security would provide the rest. The survivors would need life insurance to replace about $2,100 per month (adjusted for inflation) for three more years when the non-working surviving spouse has only one child under 18 in her care.

The life insurance amount needed today to provide the $1,700 and $2,100 monthly amounts is roughly $360,000. Adding $15,000 for funeral and other final expenses brings the minimum life insurance needed for the example to $375,000.

What’s left out?

The example leaves out some potentially significant unmet financial needs, such as

  • The surviving spouse will have no income from Social Security from age 53 until 60 unless the deceased buys additional life insurance to cover this period. It could be assumed that the surviving spouse will obtain a job at or before this time, but she could also become disabled or otherwise unable to work. If life insurance were bought for this period, the additional amount of insurance needed would be about $335,000.
  • Some people like to plan to use life insurance to pay off the home mortgage at the primary income earner’s death, so that the survivors are less likely to face the threat of losing their home. If life insurance were bought for this goal, the additional amount of insurance needed is the amount of the unpaid balance on the mortgage.
  • Some people like to provide money to pay to send their children to college out of their life insurance. We may assume that each child will attend a public college for four years and will need $15,000 per year. However, college costs have been rising faster than inflation for many decades, and this trend is unlikely to slow down. If life insurance were bought for this goal, the additional amount of insurance needed would be about $200,000.
  • In the example, no money is planned for the surviving spouse’s retirement, except for what the spouse would be entitled to receive from Social Security (about $1,200 per month). It could be assumed that the surviving spouse will obtain a job and will either participate in an employer’s retirement plan or save with an IRA, but she could also become disabled or otherwise unable to work. If life insurance were bought to provide the equivalent of $4000 per month starting at age 60 until 65 and $3,000 per month from 65 on (because at 65 Medicare will make carrying private health insurance unnecessary), the additional amount of insurance needed would be about $465,000.

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