TXINS February E-News: Is Your Auto Policy Up to Speed With Your Life?, Grandma’s Moving In!, Agency Happenings, and More!

Is Your Auto Policy Up to Speed With Your Life?

Life happens at the speed of…well, life. Situations change and before you know it, the auto policy you had last year may not be the best fit for you this year. If you’ve experience a major life change, such as the ones we’ve listed below, be sure to notify us so we can review your current policy and make sure you are protecting what matters most.

Marriage

Marriage impacts everything from your living arrangement to your taxes. But what might surprise you is that it also affects car insurance.

When to Combine Policies: If you and your spouse have good driving records and no recent gaps in coverage, chances are you’ll save more overall by combining policies than by keeping individual ones.

When Not to Combine Policies: If one of you has a poor driving record, separate policies could end up costing you less. Often times, combining a low-risk driver’s policy with a high-risk driver’s will likely increase the low-risk driver’s car insurance rates. It’s still best to contact your agent to let them know your situation and let them run quotes to determine which scenario will offer you the best protection and price.

Divorce

During a divorce, it’s understandable that something as relatively minor as car insurance can be overlooked. But it’s important to update your policy to ensure your coverage is right for your new situation.

Adding and Removing Vehicles: Divvying up the vehicles during a divorce can mean big changes for your policy. If you and your ex shared a policy and you plan to keep it in your name, you need to remove your ex as a driver and any vehicle(s) he/she is taking. The title of the car should be in the insured person’s name. If the vehicle is changing owners, the named owner of the car on title must be changed as well. Be prepared that when you call to remove an ex, the agency must receive an acknowledgement from the person being removed before the change is submitted. The agency has to be fair to both parties and offer insurance to the ex before being dropped without their knowledge.

How it Affects Your Premium: You might lose certain discounts such as multi-car but you might also pick up new ones. Driving records are also a major pricing factor. Your rate may decrease if your ex has a poor driving record.

Moving: If you move, update your address to ensure an accurate rate. Your new zip code might alter your car insurance premium. For example, if you move to an urban area with a high risk of theft, your rates might go up to account for increased risk. You might also see a rate increase if your new hometown has a greater risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. But moving can also sway your rate in the other direction. If you’re heading from the city to a rural area with less crime, or to a city with good public transportation you might see a drop in your premium.

Insuring Your Kids: If you and your ex have teenage drivers, it’s important to decide whose policy to list them. Most insurers require all drivers in your household to be listed on a parent or guardian’s policy unless they have their own coverage. The teen driver should be listed on the policy where he or she lives or whatever is considered their permanent address.

Teen Drivers

Our kids don’t stay little forever. One day they are riding their Hot Wheel up and down the driveway and the next they are getting their driver’s license and experiencing the freedom of the open road. Before you let them out of the door, make sure they have the right auto insurance in place.

Adding a Teen Driver to Your Policy

Possible pros:

  • Your policy’s coverages, limits, and deductibles will apply to your teen. You can customize your teen’s car-protecting coverages, like comprehensive and collision.
  • Discounts such as good grades and driver’s education training can help offset the potential cost of adding an inexperienced driver.

Possible cons:

  • According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teen drivers have 3 times as many car accidents per mile as drivers 20 and older. Adding a teen driver can increase what your premium.
  • If your child causes an accident or gets multiple moving violations, you might experience rate increase. You might also have to pay out of pocket for damage your teen causes that exceed your coverage amounts.

Additionally, when shopping for a vehicle for your new teen driver, give your agent a call and ask what type of vehicles are lower in rates or have them do a quote comparison of the vehicles you are considering. Knowing your insurance rate before purchasing that new car will help aid in those decisions.

Children in College

You might think that if your student goes away to school and doesn’t take a car, you can drop him from your auto policy and save some extra money. But what if he comes back during breaks and wants the car to visit friends? Or, what if he is asked to be the “designated driver” one evening?

If your student doesn’t take a car to school, we recommend that you keep him listed on the policy for a number of reasons:

  • He’ll be fully protected if he returns home for a weekend visit and wants to drive.
  • He will have protection when he’s driving a friend’s car and if that vehicle isn’t adequately insured.
  • He’ll be fully protected if he’s hit by a car while walking or bicycling, or while being a passenger in somebody else’s car.
  • Keeping him on your auto policy maintains continuous insurance coverage, which may be beneficial when he gets his own auto insurance policy.

If your student takes a car to school, she can still remain on your auto policy. In fact, she should, since it is usually much more expensive for young divers and students to have their own policy. Be sure to notify us about the new garaging address. It may save you money, particularly if your student attends college in a less populated area.

  • Full-time college students can usually remain covered on their parents’ auto policy if their primary address is the parents’ house, even if they attend college out of state. Make sure that the policy meets the minimum auto liability requirements for that state.
  • If your student owns the vehicle and holds the title, they’ll need their own auto policy.

 

TXINS’ standard for liability and uninsured motorists or underinsured motorists is $100,000/300,000/100,000. This is to protect you should you be involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault, and in case the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured. Vehicles are getting more and more expensive and state limits won’t cover all of the damage incurred. Make sure you have enough coverage in place to fully protect you in case of an accident.

Remember to notify us of any life changes that may affect your current auto policy. Any change, large or small, can make a big difference in your coverage and liability.

We Are Here for You 

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority. That’s a promise.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Meet the TXINS TeamNancy Novosad Pfeil

Nancy Novosad Pfeil has been with TXINS for 10 years. She is extremely knowledgeable in Personal Lines and is seen as the “go-to gal” for advice and guidance. Nancy has a warm and giving personality and is quick to lend a hand if help is needed. She is an incredible inner strength and we grow more thankful for her each and every day.

To learn more about Nancy, please click here.

The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • Russ Taylor and Jill Costa will be attending the Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association’s “Best Little Trade Show in Texas” in Mesquite, TX on Feb. 6-7 at the Mesquite Rodeo Center. If you’re in the area, stop by Booth #334 to say hello and learn how TXINS can help your nursery “bloom” with success.
  • The Traditions Crop Department had a fantastic turnout at their annual Spring Update Meeting dinner, held at Mikeska’s BBQ on Jan. 21. Approximately 100 clients were in attendance, where they were able to meet the Traditions staff and learn about what’s new in Crop Insurance for 2015.
  • Paula Mazoch, Lindsey Farris, and Celeste Clark from the Personal Lines Department recently earned their Texas Independent Insurance Adviser (TIIA) designations through the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT). We are so proud of them for pursuing additional training to better serve our clients. Congrats ladies!
  • Kara Wood, Marcie Ramm, and Mr. Sorrel attended the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet on January 29. Kara Wood is the current Chamber Ambassador Co-Chair and was one of the award presenters of the evening.
  • Jeff Copeland attended the Dallas Safari Club Convention Jan 15-18 in Dallas, visiting with vendors and guests about TXINS’ Outdoor Insurance. If you would like more information on Outdoor Insurance, please contact Jeff at jeff@txins.com.
  • The deadline to sign up for health care coverage for 2015 is February 15. Contact our Life and Health Department today to learn more.
Cassidy Bird and Bebo Bogan had a great time at the 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, held at the Disneyland Hotel in January. Not only did they enjoy meeting beekeepers from all over the United States, but they had a great time “goofing” around with some of their favorite Disney friends.

Dear TXINS:

My mother is moving in with our family next month. She will be driving my car to run errands and such. Do I need to add her to my auto policy?  – Tammy R., Georgetown, TX

Dear Tammy:

Yes, if she is driving your insured car, your mother definitely needs to be added to your policy. Anyone who lives in your house and drives your insured vehicle must be listed on your policy. It’s a common misconception that auto insurance follows a driver, but in reality, it follows a car. And ultimately, you may be legally and financially responsible for the car and its drivers should there be an accident.

If you do not add a your mother to your current auto policy and she happens to wreck your car, your insurance may not cover it. If she is a regular driver of your car and is not listed on your policy, your carrier may deem this as a non-disclosure or misrepresentation of information and opt not to cover the accident. So it’s better to be safe than sorry!

The good news is that we can help you add your mom to your policy. Just give us a call at 800-541-9849 and we’ll make sure we have you (and your mom) covered!

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

Did You Know?

– February 9-15 is Random Acts of Kindness Week where people perform small acts of kindness to help others. Need a little inspiration? Check out this great website for more info!

– Mardi Gras starts on February 17. Traveling to Louisiana to party? Check out these handy Mardi Gras survival tips from our friends in the Big Easy.

– Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one you love by enjoying a few of these delicious love-inspired recipes. They are sure to fill your heart and your stomach!

– February 19 is the Chinese New Year. The year 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. People born under this sign are said to be tender, polite, clever, and kindhearted.

Teen Drivers and Insurance Rates

Teen drivers are among the most likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions. The CDC reports that 16 to 19 year old drivers are the group most frequently injured in car accidents. This is due in part to driver-inexperience and in part to distractions and careless behavior. When you add a teen driver to your insurance, you can expect your rates to rise.

If your child has the opportunity to enroll in a defensive driving course, encourage doing so. Not only will these courses provide the tools and knowledge needed to be a safe and defensive driver, course completion can also lead to discounts on your insurance rates. Additionally, some insurance providers will offer discounts to teens who get good grades in school or who go away to college but leave their cars at home during the school year.

We LOVE Referrals!

Congrats to Michael Kelling of Brenham, TX, our January Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals Michael! Good luck in our end of the year drawing happening in December!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 3, 2015.)

Texas Pride Trivia Contest

During the period of the Republic of Texas, the capital of Texas moved around quite a bit. But on February 19, 1846 Austin officially became the state capital of our beloved Lone Star State.

In all, 8 different cities were named as the capital of Texas during the years 1836-1845. Can you name 3 of them? Email Kara Wood with your answer. If you’re one of the first 5 people to answer correctly, you’ll win a full-sized Texas flag.

Show your spirit, Texas!
What Our Clients Are Saying About Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.:The staff of Texas Insurance is always there to help if you have a problem. – Marguerite Popp, El Campo

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