How to prevent identity theft in Coppell, TX?

Having your identity stolen is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can have and it’s something we hope will never happen to us. Even in places like DFW and Coppell, identity theft is fast becoming one of the most prevalent crimes out there. Not only is it easy for criminals to commit identity theft, it doesn’t help that there’s a vast amount of personal information that’s easily available to criminals. By the time you discover your identity’s been stolen, the damage has already been done.

How Can I Prevent Identity Theft?

You can’t completely prevent identity theft, but you can make yourself less of a target. Here are a few tips that can help you reduce your risk of being an identity theft victim in Texas:

  • Make sure your Social Security card is kept somewhere safe. Only bring it along with you if you need it.
  • Collect your mail as soon as it arrives in your mailbox. Consider a post office box if you can’t be there to pick up your mail immediately.
  • Always shred documents that contain personal or financial information.
  • Be wary of phone calls or e-mail correspondence with companies you’ve never done business with.
  • Never click on links found within your e-mails. Verify the validity of the link and copy/paste it into the address bar instead.
  • Keep your credit card and debit card receipts in a safe place until you’re ready to shred them. Go through each receipt at the end of the month, tally up your expenses and compare those to your current balances.
  • Never give out your banking information online via e-mail or through unfamiliar and unverified links.

Give us a call to speak to an independent agent about other ways to prevent ID theft, as well as to find out more about the benefits of having home insurance.

What Does Replacement Cost Coverage Mean on my Home Insurance Policy?

Regardless of whether you are living in Coppell, elsewhere in the DFW area, or anywhere else in the state of Texas, you have several options as to the extent of insurance coverage you get with a home insurance policy. Your independent agent will educate you regarding the different types of home insurance you can get for your Texas home. We will help you see where and how you might benefit from having coverage that includes replacement cost rather as opposed to actual cash value coverage for your property. Named Perils Home Insurance A named perils home insurance policy will only cover you for damages that are related to things that are specifically named in the policy. Because you get substantially less coverage with this type of home insurance, you will pay less for your policy. All Risk Home Insurance All risk is the most comprehensive type of home insurance you can get. It is designed to provide you with coverage for everything. Any exemptions must be clearly stated in the policy. Comprehensive protection is significantly more expensive, but in the long run, it can wind up saving you money. If you opt for a higher deductible, the rates for your coverage in Coppell, the DFW metroplex or elsewhere will be lower. Understanding the Meaning of Replacement Cost Texas homeowners and renters can choose between replacement cost or actual cash value for their property. Replacement cost is significantly more expensive, but it will pay for the cost of replacing your personal property — or your home as long as the damage was caused by something that is covered. The essential difference between actual cash value and replacement cost coverage is that a policy that only reimburses you for actual cash value will consider what you paid for the damaged property. Since things depreciate over time and with use, a home insurance policy that only covers the actual cash value of things will deduct depreciation for however long you’ve owned the item(s.) If your home was totally destroyed, as long as the cause of that devastation is covered under your home insurance plan in Coppell, DFW or anywhere else in Texas, and you opted to insure your home and its contents for replacement cost, you would get the full cost of replacing the home and its contents from your insurance company. You could easily afford to rebuild your home, something you couldn’t do if you opted for actual cash value.

Should I buy insurance when renting a car?

One of the most common questions that is asked of an insurance agent is “Should I buy insurance when renting a car?” The car rental agency will often try to talk you into an additional policy when you rent the car. The agents are trained to make it seem like you need to purchase this insurance or you will not be covered if you have an accident in the rental car. This is not always the case.

It may be that you are already covered for a rental car with your normal auto insurance policy. Read through your current policy and find out if it includes coverage for these situations. If you are covered with this policy, you do not need to worry about paying for the coverage through the rental agency. Just make certain you inform them of your existing coverage and perhaps you will even need to give them your policy number.

Another way you could be covered is through a credit card. Some of the major cards include rental car insurance as a benefit for holding the card. This is another case where you need to look through your documentation and find out if this is the case.

No matter what your situation, talking with your independent agent is always a good idea. If you are located in or around Coppell or DFW Texas, let our agents discuss your options with you. We can run a real-time scan of your insurance options and we may be able to find you a better rate or find a policy that includes benefits such as rental car insurance. Come in and experience our excellent customer service and our dedication to meeting your needs. Auto insurance does not have to be a hassle when you work with us!

What Should Homeowners Do After Wind Damage in Texas?

Whether you live in Coppell, elsewhere within the DFW Metroplex, or anywhere else in Texas, you are certainly aware of the intensity of Texas winds. Additionally, Coppell and the entire remainder of the DFW area, and much of the rest of Texas are located in the heart of tornado alley. This means that there is a greater likelihood that those living in this area will incur some sort of weather-related wind damage. It also means that there’s a very good possibility that a standard homeowners insurance policy – even one that has additional endorsements, may not cover wind damage to your property.

With the exception of homes within the 14 counties along the Texas Gulf Coast that are most likely to incur flood or wind damage from hurricanes, most Texas homeowners insurance policies will cover windstorm and hail damage.

Things to Do to Be Prepared for Storm-Related or Other Wind Damage

A few simple tips will make the process of dealing with the aftermath of wind damage a lot easier. The things you do to prepare yourself will help you when dealing with your homeowners insurance company.

  • Keep an inventory of all of your property and personal possessions. The Texas Department of Insurance website has a checklist you can download and print, or you can create one for yourself. Go through each room and list the items in there.

  • Make sure you have all of your insurance cards and any documents related to your policy. Be sure you fully understand exactly what your policy covers. Keep all of this information in a safe place

  • Be sure you know the monetary limits of your policy, and whether or not you insured your property and possessions for actual cash value or replacement value.

When you call or go to see your independent agent to report wind damage to your property, be sure you have all of the paperwork with you. Unless you insured your property and possessions for replacement value, and unless your policy is an All Perils homeowners insurance policy, you may not have sufficient coverage to pay for wind damage to your home in the DFW area or Coppell, Texas.