nothing evokes the”good old days” like Sonic and classic cars. As usual, we were tooling around town in our antique milk truck, looking for a place where our classic insurance clients were hanging out. The Paloma Sonic Sock Hop was full of our friends, and we made some new friends there as well!
As Independent Insurance Agents, We sincerely believe that we are the best way to shop for any type of property insurance. Home insurance, auto insurance, and even motorcycle and boat insurance. Why an independent agent? We are authorized to represent many different companies in order to give our clients plenty of options when it comes to their property and liability insurance. So what companies are we authorized to sell?
Homeowners of America
Texas Fair Plan
This is not a static list, as we are always seeking out new insurance companies in order to give our clients even more choices. Contact your insurance consultant today, and take a look at how your current insurance rate stacks up against one of our many insurance companies.
McKinney, Texas put on a great car show on the 4th of July, 2015. As usual we ran into lots of classic car insurance customers, and even some modern collectible car insurance customers. We love going to shows, and nothing makes your heart swell with American Pride on Independence Day more than an incredible lineup of (mostly) American steel.
The last time we got together, I tried to explain how the deductible works, and some things that you should consider when choosing a property deductible. I’ll wait if you want to go back and read it again. Go ahead. Done? Good. Now that you have chosen how much deductible you are going to pay in the event of a loss, we can talk about when to use them.
We will start with the easier of the two – your auto insurance. I want to start the restof this article by saying this; you pay for insurance to protect your things. Sometimes, a claim just needs to be made. With auto insurance, mist claims are worthwhile, because you have had an accident. The only claims we caution clients to consider avoiding are windshield chip claims. While they won’t raise your rates directly, they can be problematic if we need to quote your policy with other companies. Unless your windshield is broken, it is best to pay for the chip repair yourself. With other claims, my personal rule of thumb is to consider the payout – if you have a $500 deductible, do you really need to make a $600 claim? Those types of claims are pretty rare on auto policies, due to the rising cost of auto repairs. Also, remember that most car insurance policies now come with some form of roadside assistance, and if you have to use that service, it does not count as a claim.
The big question you should ask yourself when it comes to homeowner’s insurance claims is whether or not the claim is “worth it” or not. Just like with auto insurance, if you have an $1100 claim and a $1000 home insurance deductible, it’s probably not “Worth it” to make a claim. Most home insurance policies here in Texas have a 1% wind and hail deductible, so if you are in a $130,000 home, then you probably have a $1300 deductible. However, a hail claim doesn’t “count against you” for rate purposes. A water claim or a burglary claim, on the other hand, will increase your rates, so it’s imperative to consider what the claim is worth before you call the insurance company. Your first call should be to our office to chat with one of our consultants about your claim.
In fact, we even have a “claims advocate” here at The Phoenix Insurance to help guide you through the claims process. Hopefully, you will never need the advocate’s help, but if you have a claim and have any questions, concerns, or needs, he is here to help you understand the claims process, and make it a smooth one. Whether you have had an auto accident or a water claim on your home, our claims advocate is here to help you get made whole again as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Car collecting and car shows are really a great family hobby. Everyone can enjoy going out to a show of like minded people, and admiring the work and love they put into either making their car their own, or restoring a tired old car to its former glory. This Mesquite show was a great place to meet up with several of our classic car insurance clients.
Eventually, no matter how careful you are, just about everyone makes some sort of insurance claim. If we are lucky, the only kind of insurance claim we will end up with on our “permanent record” if that time our family makes a claim on our life insurance policy. That one, unfortunately, I cannot help you with – I don’t sell life insurance, and I sure as heck don’t know what happens when you shuffle off this mortal coil. Maybe I can’t help with that, but I can help you understand your property claims a little better so that if or when you make a claim, you won’t wish that death was an option.
I want to start of by putting this right out front – I am not here to tell you that you should not make a claim. You pay for insurance to protect you and your stuff, and that’s what it’s there for. That being said, if you want to be able to make a claim anytime, anywhere, for anything, then be prepared to pay for the privilege. It’s not that the companies don’t want to pay you, or that they want to get all their money back right away – it’s just that you need to understand that insurance is for a disaster. While it may seem like a disaster that your sister in law spilled her red wine on your white carpet, it’s not something you want to claim on your homeowners insurance.
First, I will explain deductibles. The deductible is the amount of the claim you must pay for yourself. Auto insurance deductibles generally range between $0 and $1000. Sure, you can go higher, but if you do that, your car had better be worth quite a bit of money. Most clients in our insurance agency generally carry a $500 deductible. We find that to be generally the best value, insurance wise. Most times, the savings in premium switching between $500 and $1000 is pretty negligible, and not enough to make the higher deductible worthwhile. Be sure to go over your deductible options with your insurance agent, but be smart. If your car is worth $2000 and you carry a $1000 deductible, you are saving a few dollars but losing most of the value of your car in the event of an accident. Yes, getting $1000 is better than a kick in the teeth, but on a car of that value, the price of a $100 deductible isn’t going to be very high, so maximize your return, should something happen. Likewise, if you have a brand new S class Mercedes, then maybe going with the $100 deductible isn’t the best way to spend your money. Presumably, you are doing alright, and a $1000 deductible on your very expensive car isn’t going to put you on the street.
Home insurance deductibles are a bit different, and are generally a percentage of the insured value of your home, at least here in Texas. For most clients, 1% is the sweet spot, premium wise. Be sure to discuss the options with your agent though, as sometimes a fixed dollar amount deductible can be purchased. $500 – $1000 – it’s your decision to make, ultimately. I would advise you to choose as high a deductible on your home as you can afford, and in the next blog post, I will explain why. Making a claim can be a big decision, and one you should not take lightly. I will explain that as well in the next insurance blog post.
Every year we look forward to the Autorama show here in Dallas – it’s one of the best times, because it’s such an intimate show – we know most of the exhibitors (and do insurance for quite a few of them) and we get to hang around custom cars that are the best in the nation. Here a few pictures of our favorites.