Texas Insurance Recommendations

Texas requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance coverage, which covers bodily injury to people involved in auto accidents with your vehicle. This state requires somewhat higher minimum coverage when compared to other U.S. states. In Texas, you must have liability coverage to pay up to $30,000 of medical expenses for each injured person, with a combined total coverage per accident of $60,000 for everyone who was injured.

Drivers also need a minimum of $25,000 protection for property damage, including replacing the other driver’s auto, if necessary. With the costs of medical care and automobiles, this minimum coverage will be insufficient for many Texas drivers. Understand that injured persons, requiring medical expenses that exceed your limits, can sue you for the difference, which can put your other assets (home, boat, bank accounts, etc.) at risk of loss.

Remember, your property damage coverage will pay for the other driver’s car, if you were at fault, but it will not repair your vehicle. You need to add collision coverage to repair your damaged auto. Your medical bills are likewise not covered unless you add Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to pay your medical costs if you are injured.

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage should always be active to protect your home and/or personal property for covered losses. Pay particular attention to coverage for natural disasters (wind, lightning, water) as some policies exclude coverage for "acts of God," as they are sometimes called.

Having minimum coverage is budget-friendly and better than nothing. However, you should consider buying the most extensive coverage you can afford, as large losses can be calamities to your entire financial health.

Can I Change Insurance Companies Before my Renewal

In Texas, it is easy to change insurance companies before your renewal. If your circumstances change or if you buy a different car, it is a perfect time to re-evaluate you insurance policy. Today, you can find an independent insurance agent who will compare quotes from all of the major providers and make sure you are getting the best deal on your insurance. It is important to look over your policy at least every six months to a year to make sure you have the coverage you need and that you are not paying too much money.

The first thing you will need to do is contact your new insurance provider. Once you have discussed all of the options and decided that you want to change companies, you will need to contact the old provider. Inform the company that you are planning to switch to a new insurance provider and cancel your current policy. Depending on how much time you have left before your renewal, you may get a refund for money you have already paid.

Before you change insurance companies, make sure you are covered by the new provider. You do not want to find yourself without insurance coverage in Texas. It only takes a few minutes to ask your independent agent to compare quotes online today.

Finding Kind

CISD and the City of Coppell present the documentary Finding Kind. This powerful film is part of the Kind Campaign, a movement that brings awareness and healing to the effects of meanness within “girl world.”

The free screening will be hosted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in the Coppell Middle School West Auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. For more information about the movie, visit www.KindCampaign.com.

Secure Your Smartphone

Here is some great information from LegalShield.com…

6 Legal Tips to Secure Your Smartphone

The number of Americans using smartphones is rising dramatically. As smartphone speed and technology improve, individuals are using their phone to access personal information. Many users now access and manage business and personal email as well as banking and other financial data from their phone. This can make a hacked or stolen phone a one-stop shop for would-be thieves and scammers. These tips will help protect personal information on your phone.

  1. Set a screen lock and password for your phone. Leaving your phone without a password is asking for trouble.
  2. Enable the remote location feature on your phone. This may help you track a lost or stolen phone. Not all phones have this feature built in, but there are apps available for purchase. Some will allow you to remove personal information from your phone after it has been stolen.
  3. Only allow your phone to join trusted networks. Scammers sometimes set up fake wireless networks in public places to lure users into joining the network. This may allow the scammer to track any data to and from your phone.
  4. Update your phone’s software. Software updates frequently include security patches. Failing to update your phones software may leave you vulnerable to hackers.
  5. Do not “jail-break” your phone. The practice of “jail-breaking” a phone involves opening up the operating system to applications that were not designed to work on it. This will make your phone vulnerable to hackers.
  6. Only download well-reviewed and tested applications. Some apps may include malicious software designed to capture your personal information.

Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

In today’s economy people are struggling to pay all of their bills. If you are considering letting your insurance lapse in Texas, think about another alternative. There are ways you can temporarily lower your insurance costs. If you currently carry full coverage on your older, paid off vehicle – save money by cutting back to liability insurance. If you have a low deductible on your homeowners insurance, raise the amount and it could save you hundreds of dollars each year.

While working with an independent insurance agent, you can find the answers to all of your questions. These agents can compare quotes from multiple providers to find the lowest rates possible. You should review your insurance policy every six months or at least every year to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. It is easy to save money by making a few adjustments in your policy and still maintaining coverage.

You can also lower your insurance bill by asking for discounts. If you have more than one car, you should be getting a multiple car discount. If you have not had any accidents recently – this should also save you money. If you combine your home and auto insurance with the same company, this also qualifies for a savings. Your knowledgable independent agent will help you save money on insurance and give you peace of mind.

Coppell Residents Write Relationship-Preserving Book

Coppell residents, John and LaNelia Ramette, have written a book about things that might get said during a crisis, but may not be appropriate. Say What?! Blurts That Hurt proposes relationship-preserving alternatives to well meaning but inappropriate “blurts” across a wide spectrum of today’s most challenging conversational situations. Check out their website at http://saywhatbooks.mobi/

Am I Liable for an Uninvited Guest on My Property?

In the State of Texas, you are liable for injuries other people sustain while on your property. In the past, that generally applied to individuals you invited over as guests of your home. However, there are many occasions in which individuals may come to your home for reasons other than visiting with you as a guest. For example, if you hold a garage sale, you will have a bevy of people visit your home in a matter of a few hours. Other examples include visits from door-to-door salesmen, trick-or-treaters and even trespassers.

Fortunately, Texas homeowner’s insurance policies cover unintentional injuries of others sustained on your property. For example, if your neighbor’s daughter trips over a garden hose in your yard and breaks her arm, your homeowner’s insurance will cover medical expenses related to the injury up to a specified limit in your policy.

If you believe that your Texas homeowner’s insurance policy does not provide enough liability and injury protection to protect you from potential lawsuits, you may want to shop around for a different homeowner’s insurance policy or invest in an umbrella policy. Umbrella coverage is purchased in additional increments of $1 million, which pays once your primary homeowner’s insurance thresholds are met. The umbrella policy can stretch to provide benefits not only for liability damages, but also for costs incurred to your property and its contents due to a qualifying event.