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What Determines My Car Insurance Rates?




 

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What if My Dog Bites Someone, Will My Homeowner Policy Help?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA
Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

Let’s discuss your dog biting someone.

Does your dog biting someone get covered by your Homeowners Policy?

Dog bites can be simple or dangerous. Dogs can do some very severe damage. Over 4 million people are bitten ever year.

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So if your dog bites someone will your be covered by homeowners insurance? Well it depends…

In general you need to start with the exclusions of your policy.

Review your policy or call your insurance agent. If your dog biting someone is not excluded it may be covered. But, you may also need to look to see if your breed of dog is excluded, or if your dog is excluded due to past history.

Even if your dog is not on the excluded list, nor exempt due to a history of bites. This question is more law related than insurance related. So, you need to review your policy, talk to your agent, and perhaps your attorney to be truly clear on this coverage question.

As far as breed exclusions go, your insurance company writes their own policy and chooses based on all their policyholders not just your dog. Some people suggest that you not disclose your dog or breed to the insurance company, and that they may still pay they claim.

I would not agree with that advice. I dont think that is good advice. They certainly will take that into account when claim time comes. Not only do you run the risk of they claim being denied, but also your policy would likely be looking at a “non-renewal”.

Its always important you discuss all pets and other risks you have with your insurance agent. Not all companies regard dogs the same way. Ours have no issues with any breeds, but rather not have polices with homes with a dog bite history.


Keeping Your Insurance Up to Date

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

We’re going to talk about keeping your insurance up to date.

I’m here to discuss with you tips and tidbits about homeowner’s insurance.

As you’ve been in the house for one, two, three years, you accumulate more stuff. You might do some new things, like finish a basement, add on a new room, put up a new garage of some sort.

Make sure you keep your insurance agent informed of these changes and these additions to your home as your coverage may need to change to accommodate those things.

A common mistake most people do is make changes to their home, or beautify their home or do something added to their home, and don’t alert their insurance agent. And then when they have a loss, it’s hard for the insurance agent to substantiate, or to prove that they did these things, because he or she was not made aware of those things.

Up date your insurance

It’s very important to make sure that your agent is aware of those things. And it might be a simple, “Hey, I did some things to the house. Could you      come by and take a few pictures?” The agent would love to come by, take a few pictures, add them to your file to make sure that you are properly  insured.

And to alert you of things and say, “You know what? I think we might need a little bit more coverage on that garage now, since you went from a one car  to a two car garage.” Or in the case, if you went from a garage that is attached to the house to another detached structure on your property. Because  some homeowner’s policies don’t cover that unless it is listed.

Again, it is very important to keep your insurance up to date. I’ll recommend at least every eighteen months to visit with your insurance professional  to go over things to make sure that your insurance is up to date.

 


What Should I Have in My Car for Safety?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

I’m here to talk about things you should have in your car for safety

Drinkable Water.  You can use if for the cars cooling system if you need, too.

A usable spare tire, the tire pressure should be checked from time to time.

Prepackaged, non spoiling food will certainly come in handy from time to time. Some suggest a food that also can be burned if you are into the whole burn you food thing — I’ve seen Fritos suggested as a combo food and source of heat! (Probably smells bad while burning)

You would be surprised how handy a plastic tarp and blanket will be.   Married? Your wife wants a small blanket to go into the movies (try me), this is not a “preppers” article, but I will not deny that a magnesium fire kit will eventually get used in your car.

Try to remember the 3 F’s.   Fire, Food, and Fort (ha ha..Shelter) And of course, every vehicle and driver checklist should include Common Sense.

A couple things that really should be in your toolbox or truck kit include:

  • A good set of Jumper Cables.
  • A spare quart of oil — for added security.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Flares will help rescuers see you.

Many good Roadside Rescue kits are compete with many of these including a simple first aid kit.  Your Insurance Policy won’t likely score you any discounts, but the added security will work in your favor, as you motor down any street.

I also keep a few hand warmers, too.

 

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A first aid kit will be vital if someone is hurt in an accident. A really complete first aid kit included the stuff for application of a leg splint.  Even if you cannot do this, some dentist or veterinarian, nurse or doctor will be pleased knowing you have any first aid kit at an accident with injuries.

There are a few items that are best kept in reach of the driver as you travel.  I recommend my customers have a security flashlight close at hand.  Of course, a copy of their auto insurance card.  There is no need to search for the huge auto insurance policy, a simple liability card, or whatever the law requires, to deal with an accident with damages or with injuries should be handy.

Having these items in you Auto will not make your car insurance policy premiums any better.  However having a checklist and the right options should offer you more security in many situations.

By the way,  an umbrella or disposable parka should not be left behind.


Why does my credit score affect my insurance rate?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

Credit scoring’s being used in your insurance rates!

Calculations since the mid 80’s or so, when it first came out, people didn’t understand why. But underwriters, have concluded that people with better credit are better drivers. People with better credit, tend to take better care of their homes. They reward these drivers and homeowners with lower prices that go with the lower risk.

Agree or not consumer reports are used in insurance. And most people understand that those credit scores are indicative of something, right? So if you pay your bills on time, you have better credit. If you pay your bills better, you have better credit. If you get a bankruptcy, your credit is worse. If you pay your bills slow, your credit gets worse.

Improve your Credit … Improve your rate.

Me, I have a story with my credit. My credit used to be horrible. I mean, bad. I’ll admit now… that and at the time… I was far less careful ( and sane) behind the wheel. I’ll tell you now… I wasn’t as careful about the things that I owned.

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I wasn’t quite as mature. My credit score showed it just like my lifestyle. So, I’ll admit that I was a bigger risk to my insurance carrier. But as time goes by, and I got older, now I’m a business owner with good credit. And you know what?? I’m a better driver, and I take better care of my house and look out for ways to make is safer to be around me…

Credit is not the only factor, though.

All the other factors are still being taken into account like:

  • The type of car I drive
  • My drivers record
  • The cost to replace my home
  • The numbers of traffic tickets I may have
  • How many claims I’ve filled

These things still effect your cost too..

But if I have all those things the same…

If I continued to drive the way I did back then… I’d get in a lot more wrecks.

But really, how much of your credit goes into your insurance score? Amazingly, not all of it.

And changing your insurance does NOT affect your credit or purchases.

 Now if your credit is sunk is your insurance terrible too?

Your insurance score does not include all of your credit report. So, your insurance score might not quite be as bad as you think. Also, your “insurance score” improves more quickly than your credit.

Also, two people who have very similar credit scores may have different insurance scores.

Improving your credit and you credit scoring:

If you have a wobbly credit history, you can work on cleaning it up by:

  • Requesting a copy of your report and making sure it’s accurate.
  • Keeping your balances low.
  • Paying off your debt.
  • Making payments on time.
  • Refraining from opening new accounts.

 Like it or not, credit scoring is used for insurance.

Not all of your credit report is used for insurance. And if your credit is getting better. Your insurance score is getting better too.

for more information on credit scores, click here.

Hoped this help explain how your credit score effects your insurance.

 

David Offutt

 

 

 

 


The roofer said I have a bad roof. Should I file a claim?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

Do you need a New Roof?

This question causes a lot of confusion and roofs quite frankly cause a lot of confusion. Here’s the thing. A roofer is kind of like a chiropractor — every time a chiropractor sees you there is something wrong with your back.

The Chiropractor and the roofer agree, your roof is as bad as your back. The chiropractor gets paid when your back is bad. The roofer gets paid when you get a new roof.

A lot of times these out of town (storm chasers) roofers come into town for a storm and they work from house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood to get everybody to file a claim. Everybody that really does have damage gets a new roof and he sells some roofs. Works out for everybody so far right?

This really doesn’t work does it?

Wrong. This only works for the people who really did have the roof damage, may have been from a previous storm. The folks that really didn’t have enough roof damage for a roof get a claim  against them or the insurance counts the claim against them even though there’s zero pay out and so now you have a claiming issue. Also, when the roofer says you need a new roof and the insurance company disagrees, you really don’t know who to side with.

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You don’t know who’s right.

I mean do you really need a new roof? Was your roofer right and your insurance company was wrong? Or was the insurance company right when they said there was really no damage. And the roofer was wrong. It’s hard to say on these things.

It happens all the time.

I’ve seen this a dozen times and in these cases usually what I recommend is we go out and do a second inspection. Have it looked at again, have fresh eyes from a different roofing company — have a second roofer come out and look at and a completely different claims handler come out and look at it from the insurance company as well. Get fresh eyes on all.

And when we do we all show up. I come out on these as well and I’ve never seen one where we all go up there and we don’t agree on the way down. And so my recommendation is in these cases that we all go up together, me, your insurance agent, your roofer, the second roofer, the new claims handler and what I also do is I asked everybody while we’re there what we’re doing.

The downside on this is it leaves an uncomfortable feeling for the client and puts the roofer in a bad light and it causes a lot more extra work for everybody involved. Then a lot more confusion because everybody wants a new roof, right? But really why do you want a new roof, I mean do you — but do you really want a new roof when there’s nothing wrong with your roof? Most people don’t, they just want to know up front. 

I recommend that when you think you have hail damage, even if all the houses around you have had their roofs replaced, unless your roofs are all exactly the same age and you got hit from the same angle and — it’s hard to say that everybody in the neighborhood needs a new roof. My recommendation is to have a roofer you know, like and trust working with you. If you don’t have one call me, I’ll help you get one.

Hoped this helped explain when you need a roof!

David Offutt

 


Do I Really Need an Insurance Agent?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

With today’s technology do you really need an Insurance Agent?

Ads for insurance are all over the, you guessed it – World Wide Web, aka the “Internet”. 

But, can you really buy insurance, online? The government got in the insurance business lately and all the king horses and all the kings men couldn’t get the web site to…. (I’m not doing this)

I’m here to talk to you about Homeowners insurance and the internet.

Back before World Wide Web, you had to telephone the local insurance agent to get a quote, but now with all the techie stuff, you can do it from your bunny slippers.

Some sources waste a lot of ink telling people that they should take a lot of time and learn all the ways to shop for insurance. Then go with their agent once you know what you want. Who’s supposed to be the expert here?

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Confused? I don’t blame you. I can’t understand most other insurance agents and I’m trained. Most agents speak in technical insurance jargon. It’s like a secret code, they have a different word for EVERYTHING.

Well, I know that my clients understand their policy when they leave my office. Heck, I wrote the book on “Understanding Insurance in Simple English” but even then the subject is dry.

Many of my clients buy insurance from me, because they know that I understand it. Will do it right, and when a claim comes they’ll be able to blame me if it goes wrong. Not all, but many, even call and thank me when they took my advice because everything came out better than they thought.

Most my clients meet with us for about 30 minutes. People that buy online spend hours trying to compare quotes, and still admit coming away not understanding anything other than the price.

Let’s say you have an insurance agent in the family. Say your brother got in the business, you would buy your insurance with them right? Sure you would, because they are family. Now, I have clients that have family in the insurance business, but they know that I have their best interest at heart.

When, I go to my brother with medical questions, he tells me in Simple English what I am supposed to do. I don’t want to understand medicine, but I do want good health.
So do you want to work hard spending hours trying to learn insurance or work smart and give me a call.

I’ll even give you a copy of my book!

 


What if Someone Hits My Car?

Fort Worth Homeowner Insurance, Fort Worth Auto Insurance, Fort Worth Car Insurance,Fort Worth Life Insurance,fort Worth Business Insurance, Fort Worth Commercial insurance
4528 W. Vickery Blvd Ste 100
P.O. Box:
Fort Worth
TX
76107
USA

What do I do if someone hits my car?

What do I do if someone hits me and it was unavoidable… whose fault is it?

Let’s say in this case, it’s someone else’s fault and they hit you with their car. For example, they hit the back-end of your car with the front-end of their car. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?

But, does it seem straightforward to you? So let’s say for example, you’re driving down the road and someone has no lights on, no tail lights, and they’re parked illegally in the middle of the road and you hit their car.

No way you could have avoided it, right? So is it your fault… or theirs for being unsafely parked in the road?

Did you know in this case it’s your fault for hitting them?

  •  Regardless of the fact they had no lights,
  •  Regardless of the fact they left their car there,

Technically, by Texas law, when you rear-end someone, it’s still your fault.

The same is true when someone hits you. If they hit you with the back of their car or the front of their car, almost always, it’s considered the person’s fault who hit you.

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So, do I file a claim with my own insurance company?

You could, but you may not want to do it.

There are a couple cases when you want to but for starters, you’re going to go ahead and file a claim with the insurance company of the people that damaged your car, because it was their fault.

But technically, the insurance company’s job is to pay for things when bad things happen. And normally they are paying on someone behalf. In this case, if someone hits you, it’s the insurance company’s responsibility to pay you the damages of their client. All those things are, by the way, should be covered by the other drivers’ policy.

If you hit someone else, they will contact your insurance company to pay them in Your Behalf.

So someone did hit me, what should I do next?

So if someone hits you, you want to get the insurance information for their insurance policy. You’re going to want to make a photocopy of their driver’s license with your phone, take a picture of their car, take a picture of the license plates, take a picture of what happened.

Get out of danger. You want to get away from the accident. In many places its not legal to stay in traffic if your car is movable. If it’s unsafe move your cars off, or to the side, of the road while you trade information with them .

Remember, the whole time you’re spending out there fighting with somebody about whose fault it was, there are drivers driving by who don’t expect people in the street. And you don’t want to be one of those people that wasn’t expected to be in the street, am I right?
calling the other person’s insurance company … what happens next.

So, you are home and now you want to get the ball rolling… You’re going to file a claim because it’s that insurance company’s responsibility. So here’s what happens…

So you call on the phone and you file a report and they start a claim. They’ll probably give you a claim number. Then from there, what you can expect is within maybe a couple days, the insurance company should give you a call.

Somebody should call you from their insurance company and ask, from your standpoint, what happened. They’re going to go back, talk to their insured and see if the insured will agree that they hit the rear-end of your car. They must now make a “Liability Determination” from what they understand. That is jargon for what they understand happened, and their interpretation of the policy and the law. For example, if the guy that hit you admits it was his mistake – its simple, they should take responsibility.

After all, the claims adjustor understand the rules. They should then help you get a rent car, take care of your car, any pain, any suffering, any chiropractor bills, etc.

 

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