Tag Archives: Texas Auto Insurance

Back To School Driving Tips

School is back in session! The summer is over, and we are heading straight into a new school year. Back to school means there are more drivers on the road than usual during your morning commute. Most will purposely take alternate routes during the school year to avoid the additional slow down time. However, if you are dropping off a kiddo, there isn’t any other choice. Here are our Back to School Driving tips from TXDOT.GOV to help make the commute a little easier and avoid fines.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones, and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.

Take this tip very seriously. Don’t be the parent that completely forgot you entered a school zone and up getting a ticket for being on the phone. Check your city requirements- as some city ordinances have banned cell phone use while driving altogether.  

  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.

Even when you think there aren’t any police officers around, they’re there!  

  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.

This is a hard one to follow, especially at the beginning of the school year. The pickup and drop-off line will get better. It always starts out rocky, but the process does get smoother. Avoid parking down the road and encouraging your schooler to meet you elsewhere. Your tax dollars pay for the cross guard and the necessary crosswalk to ensure your child’s safety, utilize it.

  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.

We all know how dreadful it is to be stuck behind a school bus as they make each stop, but remember it is unlawful to pass a school bus when they have their flashing lights on.

  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Be cautious of that Wilding!

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Remember these safety tips as you approach a school zone. Don’t end up in a situation that could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines and possibly injure someone. School is just beginning, and we wish everyone a great and safe year!

Your Local Independent Agent,

Al Boenker Insurance

For more information visit thanksal.com

Follow us on our social media for additional tips @thanksal Instagram and Facebook 

Recreational Vehicles Insurance 101

Recreational vehicles summer

Recreational vehicles, boats and watercraft just give you all the summer feels. And now that school is out, vacation and travel are on everyone’s summer list.

However, with all good things, we must prepare for the not so pleasant. And knowing the amount and type of coverage you have in case of an accident can give some peace of mind.

So what kinds of insurance coverages do you need? Here is quick break down on coverages for the different type of vehicles.

Boat

There are widely different coverages for different styles of vehicles. The most standard coverages you are going to seek is for:

  • Physical damage (motor, vessel, anchors, and onboard equipment)
  • Liability (in case your boat injurers someone else or their property)
  • Additional coverages can be offered for storage, fishing equipment, and personal items stored on board.
Motor Home/Recreational Vehicles (RV)

Your motorhome or Recreational Vehicle (RV) is more than just a vehicle and needs more than just standard auto insurance. Recreational vehicles coverages include:

  • Comprehensive and collision- this protects from direct damage, accidental loss, collision, fire, smoke, flood, wind, theft, fallen debris, and lightning.
  • Coverage for attachments such as awnings and antennas.
  • Additional coverages including, towing, total loss replacement, emergency lodging in case your rig is being repaired to campsite liability.
5th Wheel

Your auto policy doesn’t cover your haul like you may think. Here are some standard coverages your 5th wheel will need.

  • Comprehensive and collision- this protects from direct damage, accidental loss, collision, fire, smoke, flood, wind, theft, fallen debris, and lightning.
  • Coverage for attachments such as awnings and antennas.
  • Additional coverages including, towing, total loss replacement, emergency lodging in case your rig is being repaired to campsite liability.

5th wheels have similar coverage to your motorhome or recreational vehicles but due to its attachment style, there can be different needs.

Personal Watercraft

PWC insurance helps ensure you and your personal watercraft against accidents, vandalism, and liability. Typical coverages include:

  • Collison, theft, fire, vandalism, water damage, and storm damage. Your standard coverage is meant to ensure risk to the PWC and owner.
  • Expanded coverages include medical bills, full replacement cost, towing and roadside assistance.
Off-Road Vehicles

ATV’s are a guaranteed fun time! However, protecting yourself cannot be guaranteed. Off-road vehicles are considered to be a little more dangerous and in return protect against accidents, injury, and theft. Here are the standard coverages offered to ATV’s.

  • Liability Coverage- covers the cost of bodily injury and property damage.
  • Collision- will assist in paying for damages to the machine after an accident.
  • Comprehensive and under/uninsured motorist are additional coverages. It can cover you from theft, vandalism and weather damage.

As you can see, there are several different coverages and possibilities that you might need. Each recreational vehicle has different parameters and restrictions.

The best choice to determine the right amount of coverage is to speak with your Al Boenker Insurance agent. Their expertise and knowledge will help you determine the value of your recreational vehicle and its content, and help make you make the best-informed decision. Being informed is empowering!

Now take your knowledge and have a safe and fun summer! For more information visit thanksal.com.

Why is it mandatory to have car insurance in Texas?

Being a Texan come with rights and responsibilities. One of them is to follow the law for your safety and all citizens. If you’re a driver -or a new one- and live in Texas, keep reading. This is substantial for you.

What is the purpose of auto insurance?

Most states require auto insurance for a simple reason: the law knows -based on statistics- each driver is likely to get involved in a car accident throughout their life, and most of which could not afford the outcome for themselves let alone, another party.

Additionally, causing a car accident without any insurance will affect your financial situation while you’ll try to cover the total cost for you and the other driver. Besides, could run into legal troubles to do not follow the rules.

Which kind of coverage do you need to have at minimum? 

You can get a policy that fits your needs, but at minimum,  you need liability coverage. This policy protects a third party if you collide with them. It can pay any necessary medical bills and other expenses. 

Texas laws require 30/60/25 coverage.

What does this mean? 

* $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person

* $60,000 per accident

* $25,000 of coverage for property damage

In short words, it doesn’t protect you or pay for your damages. That’s why it’s important to consider additional coverage that protects your car, your health, and your passengers.

In Texas, around 20% of people are uninsured and it’s a dangerous number because liability coverage doesn’t protect you from them. If they are at fault in a car accident they couldn’t pay you.

Types of insurance coverage in Texas

Liability coverage

Is the minimum required by law and it only brings protection to the other driver  if you are at fault in a car accident. But if the damages exceed the 30/60/25 amount you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket or you may struggle with a lawsuit.

Collision coverage

Repair or replace your car after an accident. It works if you hit an inanimate object like lampposts. 

Comprehensive coverage

Protects you against things that are out of human control things like fire, flood, vandalism or deer accidents.

Learn more about what is comprehensive coverage

Medical payments coverage

It’s about your well-being. It pays for you and your passengers’ medical bills in case of a car accident.

Uninsured coverage

Can pay for a hit and run accident or if you are hit by an uninsured driver.

Rental reimbursement coverage

Pays for a rental vehicle if your car is stolen or repaired after an accident.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance

What happen if you don’t have auto insurance in Texas? 

Think twice before take lightly this requirement. The fines for uninsured drivers are expensive, more than a policy. 

The first offense could cost between $175 and $350, subsequent offenses could be fines up to $1,000, license suspension, and policies could take your car and your driver license and recover one of them it’s most expensive and complicated than you think.

What are the benefits of car insurance in Texas?

It’s not only necessary to follow the law, but car insurance could also help you in a variety of ways. Let’s say you’re an excellent driver but most people aren’t, right? Be honest, even when you’re driving at least once you thought that. 

Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2018 there’s no day without car accidents on Texas roads. That’s a shocking fact and proof everyone is susceptible to get involved in this situation. 

1. Financial Liability 

Will you burn your money? When you don’t have auto insurance it seems like that. Auto insurance gives you financial support to repair all the damages occured during  a car accident. When you’re covered it’s like a deal between you and your insurance company.

In a car accident you may only need to pay your deductible and your insurance company may pay for the rest of the damages. Without, you might pay for all your losses and that could affect your financial situation for several years.

2. May cover you from a lawsuit 

Auto insurance gives you the benefit to potentially avoid lawsuits and get involved in that complicated process. They can provide you with lawyers and take care of you and your situation.

3. You can recover your losses and damages

Depends on your type of coverage (like comprehensive or collision) you don’t need to worry about damages or a total loss of your car. 

4. Protect you from paying medical costs 

Car damages and losses hurt but nothing is more important than your well-being. There are types of coverages that protect you and your passenger in a car accident by paying for your medical bills. 

Keep reading -> 5 reasons why you need car insurance

What is the most important part of car insurance?

Type of coverage

Be sure you’re getting the right policy for your needs. If you have sons you need to have special coverage for that or if you want your car for uber service you may need separate coverage for that. 

Deductible

It’s what you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance company pays for their part. Each company has a minimum required deductible but you can increase it depending on how much you can pay. 

The higher deductible, the lower premium and cost of your insurance. That sounds great but remember you’ll need a lot of money out of pocket after an accident. The thing about car insurance is to be covered  in case of an accident. So, consider it! 

You’re the person who decides how much you can pay now  instead of how much you want to pay later.

Premium

The cost of your insurance policy can be determined by your age, location, health, driver behavior, type of  job and things like that. You can pay annual, basis-annual or monthly.

Your premium is also determined by your type of coverage. The more security you want, the more you’ll pay. 

how does deductible impact your premium car insurance in texas

Exclusions

Look at the contract and see what is covered and what isn’t. It’s very important to clarify this point before signing the deal. Some policies could cover some natural disasters but not all or if you are in another country driving your car, damages caused intentionally by yourself or belongings inside your car.

Conditions

Contracts always include rights and responsibilities for the stakeholders and an insurance contract isn’t an exception. Look what your responsibilities and obligations are as an insured driver and what the insurance agent’s duties , in a nutshell, to avoid misunderstanding when you need the insurance coverage service. 

There’s no reason to feel afraid when we talk about auto insurance. You might think at the beginning insurance coverage is expensive but how much does peace of mine cost? It’s worthy. 

Keep in mind what you need and look for the best rate for your budget. Driving without protection is a risky decision and may infringe your legal and financial situation.

Deer Car Accidents in Texas: how to avoid it and what to do after

 

Recent data from Highway Loss Data Institute of Insurance, claims from 2006 through 2018 the number of deer-related accidents increases in November.

Numbers are wary but you still have time to get informed and see how you can avoid a deer-vehicle collision. In addition, what can we do if you or a friend end up in that situation?

Continue reading Deer Car Accidents in Texas: how to avoid it and what to do after

 

Recent data from Highway Loss Data Institute of Insurance, claims from 2006 through 2018 the number of deer-related accidents increases in November.

Numbers are wary but you still have time to get informed and see how you can avoid a deer-vehicle collision. In addition, what can we do if you or a friend end up in that situation?

Continue reading Deer Car Accidents in Texas: how to avoid it and what to do after

Home Warranty vs. Home Owner Insurance


Image source: hscwarranty.com

 

Buying a new home is one of the most joyous times in your life. It’s a huge milestone many dream of! However, as joyous as it is – the stress can easily pile up! From mortgage companies to home insurance, there are so many moving parts to the entire process. One thing that may not be on your mind is the damages your new home may one day face.

Repairing a roof from recent hail damage or replacing an outdated appliance- these are things that may come up. Depending on what needs to be repaired or replaced – and why – a home insurance or home warranty policy may offer protection. Both offer coverage but different types of protection. So, what’s the difference?

Home Warranty Insurance Covers the repair or replacement of broken appliances due to normal wear and tear. Examples include water heater, garage doors, air condition unit, dishwasher, and possible plumbing and electrical. A basic policy can range from $300-$500 a year. If a claim needs to be made the insured will call the warranty company which then sends a pre-approved contractor to inspect the damage. If the damages are covered, the homeowner will pay a $30-$50 deductible and the repair or replacement is taken care of and there are no additional charges. This process is very similar to an auto collision when there is damage and the adjuster comes out and accesses the damages, the deductible is paid, and repairs are made.

Home repairs can be costly. Replacing an entire water heater can cost up in the thousands. With your home warranty in place, you pay your deductible and the rest is taken care. The policy more than pays for its self in this situation. A home warranty policy is worth the while but is not required.

Some exclusions apply such as “covered under a manufacturer’s warranty” appliances. In this case, your contractor will help you determine if the appliance is still under manufacturer warranty.

Home Owners Insurance Covers theft of your belongings or if your home is damaged by fire. A standard policy helps pay for damage and repairs to your home or replace personal property during these types of events. However, homeowner’s insurance typically will not provide protection if, for instance, your air conditioner or other appliance breaks down or is defective.

 With your homeowner policy, you also get legal protection in case an accident occurs on your property.

It’s important to note that coverage limits will always apply. An Al Boenker Insurance Agent can help you determine whether you have enough protection in place should you experience a loss. Home warranty and homeowner offer different coverages that you may find beneficial- to determine what you might need talk with your agent today.  Give us a call @ 1-800-ThanksAl.