Make a New Year’s Resolution to Check Your Insurance
The Insurance Council of Texas urges Texans to include checking your insurance coverages as one of your New Year’s resolutions. This may save you money if you can find a better rate, but may also put you in a better position to rebuild or replace your property in the event of a storm, auto accident, or other loss. You can do this by contacting their insurance agent or company to review your insurance policies and make sure your insurance needs keep up with any changes in your life, such as children learning to drive, or increasing value for your home or personal property.
“For most people one phone call can lead to finding the best insurance coverage and rates for your risks, and giving you the satisfaction that no matter what happens, you are better protected in the event of a loss,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “If there’s one state where you want to be sure you have the right type and amount of insurance coverage, it’s Texas.”
This because much of Texas is located within what’s known as “Tornado Alley” and the nation’s “Hail Belt.” In 2016, tornadoes and hail were responsible for more than $6 billion in insured losses for homes and vehicles in Texas. And it’s not only tornadoes and hails that causes billions of dollars in losses, Texas also has many areas that have experienced flooding in the last few years. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey’s 150 mph winds caused billions in windstorm damage and its record rainfall resulted in the destruction of more than 250,000 vehicles in Texas.
Fortunately, Texas has a competitive insurance market with more than 100 companies offering auto insurance which enables consumers to shop around and compare prices and coverages.
“All of our weather losses, our increasing number of traffic fatalities, rising costs for vehicle repairs and skyrocketing medical costs have played a role in applying pressure to the price of auto insurance rates,” said Hanna. “Raising deductibles and placing only liability coverage on older vehicles can result in an immediate savings.”
For homeowners insurance, consumers should make sure they have enough coverage to be able to rebuild their home if it is destroyed. In addition, conduct a home inventory by taking pictures or video of all of your personal property. This simple act can help make the claims process easier after a devastating claim.
The Insurance Council of Texas recommends that you ask your agent or company these questions when updating your auto and homeowner’s insurance.
Questions to Ask your Insurer
- How much can I save by raising my deductible on my auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance?
- Do I need full coverage on all my vehicles?
- Should I seek more liability coverage than the basic minimum that the state requires (30/60/25)?
- Do I qualify for any discounts for my auto or homeowners insurance?
- If my home is destroyed in a storm, how do I know that I will have enough coverage to rebuild it?
- What is the best way to create a home inventory?
- What do I do to make sure that all my jewelry and rifles are adequately insured?
- Should I consider purchasing flood insurance?
For additional information on purchasing auto insurance, turn to ICT’s website at https://www.insurancecouncil.org/auto/.