Category Archives: Dallas

This is what grocery stores used to look like. We loved the color yellow back in the old days.

Service Like It Used To Be

Service like it used to be.

You check yourself out at the grocery store; you at least bag your own groceries. You check yourself in at the airport at a kiosk.  You get your own drinks at fast food joints. You pump your own gas. You even have to get your own shoes off of the wall at sporting goods stores.  Things weren’t always this way.

This is what grocery stores used to look like. We loved the color yellow back in the old days.
This is what grocery stores used to look like. We loved the color yellow back in the old days.

You probably don’t remember, but there was a time when people had professionals the counted on to be experts in their field; retirement planners, Insurance agents, travel agents, even bankers. Sadly, those days seem to be long gone in many fields, unless you have a lot of money to invest or spend – except in one remaining industry; insurance. Specifically, the kind of insurance we do here in our Dallas headquarters; auto insurance and home insurance.

 

I’m sure we all see the commercials, “Call or go online today to get your home insurance quote” or go online for your fast and free auto insurance quote.” They practically shout at you that IT SHOULD BE CHEAP!.  Do you know what makes it cheap? There are no insurance agents. These companies count on you to do the job of a licensed insurance agent and choose the proper coverage for yourself without the guidance of an experienced professional.

Usually cheap insurance is advertised by cartoon characters.
Usually cheap insurance is advertised by cartoon characters.

 

I can tell you that when that happens we see awful coverage, because car insurance and home insurance aren’t best approached as a commodity that must be as cheap as possible. When it comes to auto insurance or house insurance the guidance of a professional insurance agent will help you get the best insurance value, with the lowest possible premium.

 

Inexpensive insurance is different from cheap insurance though; inexpensive insurance can properly cover your assets. Cheap insurance usually covers the over driver better than they cover their own insurance clients.

 

Why? When you work with a licensed independent insurance agent (like we are here at The Phoenix Insurance) you get a lot for your money. Our agents are trained to get you the best insurance value for your dollar. Since we are independent insurance agents, we have the ability to look at your needs with a different perspective than most. We make sure that you pay the least amount of money you have to  for your home insurance, and your car insurance, and even for your umbrella insurance. When we shop multiple companies for our insurance clients, we try to find the best fit for them. Every company has a client that they give the absolute lowest insurance rates to, and we are able to find that company for our auto insurance and home insurance clients over and over.

The best part? We do it painlessly. Our reviews show it. We believe that when you buy car insurance or home insurance that it should be easy; that’s why you hired a professional. Every step of the way, from your initial quote to cancellation of your old insurance is handled by our staff to make the process as easy as possible for our clients. We are insurance advisers. We don’t sell anything.

 

Give us a call today and find out what service used to be. We’ll spoil you for anyone else.

5 Things You Need To Do If You Have A Car Accident

It happened again; One of my Dallas friends who is also an auto insurance client called me late last night, frantic, asking how being involved in an auto accident was going to effect his car insurance rates. As usual, I asked if he had the other party’s insurance info, and as usual, the answer was “the police officer got it”. I will answer his question here first; in general, an accident is not going to have an immediate effect on your car insurance rates. You have insurance to protect against the financial hardship an auto accident can bring, so don’t worry about a minor fender bender. It may be emotionally draining, but it shouldn’t be a financial hardship – that’s why you have insurance.

Now for the important part of this blog post. What do you need to do if you have had an accident. All of these steps are if no one is hurt. Obviously tend to people first.

  1. Pull off of the road if at all possible.  This is the first thing you should do. If both of your cars can move, pull out of traffic to exchange information. It’s safer than sitting in traffic trying to have a conversation, and has less of an impact on traffic.  How many times have you sat in 20 extra minutes of traffic because two people got into an accident and were busy chatting and trading information while rush hour traffic snarled up around them? Don’t be that guy.
  2. YOU get the other driver’s Information. This is the big one – most people I talk to say “well, the police got their car insurance information and put it on the report.” That’s no good, because the information may not be correct, and also, you don’t get a copy of that police report immediately. It may take a week for the report to be availaible to you so you can start the calims process with the other insured’s company. MAke sure you take a photo of their ID card, their DL, and their car.
  3. If at all possible, call the claim in to their company immediately. Why wait? If you let the other driver drive away from a car accident, memories fade, and the whole idea of whose fault it is starts to shift. When you call the insurance company 2 days after an accident, suddenly the driver who was saying “I’m so sorry, it’s my fault” at the scene of an accident is pretty sure that this was all your fault, and that there is no way their company is paying.
  4. Don’t count on them paying to fix your car out of pocket. This happens a lot; people don’t want to “get their insurance involved” and offer to pay to fix your car on their own. This rarely works out well, but if you are inclined to give it a shot,get their car insurance information first. In my experience, the repair cost is always higher than they can affor or understand, and you end up going through insurance anyway. Save yourself some hassle and just get the insurance information anyway.
  5. If there are any witnesses, YOU gather their information. People rarely stop for a minor fender bender, but if there are any witnesses, get their information yourself. Your auto insurance company is going to want that info, and once again, if it is locked up or incorrect on the police report, then having a witness is of zero value to you. Get their name and phone number, and if you can, even record their statement to submit to your insurance company. Have them state their name, telephoine number, and the current date and time at the beginning f your recording.

These are the basic things you should do in the event of an auto accident to make sure you have all of the information nescessary to ensure an good outcome with the insurance companies. In addition to having all of this information, you should take a few minutes to go over your insurance once a year to ensure that you are protected correctly, and that you are not missing any coverage on your auto insurance. At The Phoenix Insurance we actively check your policy every year at renewal and ensure that you are not paying any more for your auto insurance than you need to – and that lower cost doesn’t mean lower protection.

 

 

Six Things to Know When You Are Moving to Dallas

So your company has seen the light and has decided to relocate to Dallas, Texas. Welcome! We are very friendly people here, and in that spirit, I’d like to give you some things to know as you move to Dallas from wherever it is you are coming from.

1. The people here are very friendly. It’s unnerving to some arrivals from different places, because many people are not as open and willing to talk as your standard North Texan. In line at the bank, at Whataburger (something else you need to learn about) and just about anywhere. To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr., “We say grace, and we say Ma’am” here in Dallas, despite being such a big, cosmopolitan city. Texans are nice people, and Dallasites seem to be the nicest of the group.

Pickup trucks are a thing too.
Pickup trucks are a thing too.

2. “Dallas” can mean a lot of places.  The city limits of the city of Dallas stretch quite a ways, but as we continue to grow, the boundaries of the city really become blurs – there are houses and neighborhoods stretching all the way from Desoto in the South nearly up to Mckinney in the north. We have hip places both in and outside city limits, vast stretches of houses and apartments; any way you like to live can be accomplished in the Dallas area. Be assured that you are not moving here alone – nearly 1000 people a day move to Texas, and quite a few of them land here in the metroplex.

Dallas is a big place.
Dallas is a big place.

3. Traffic is a thing here in Dallas. I remember the days when they first finished construction on Central Epressway, and traffic flowed like a river. Then those thousand people a day started moving in, and roads got considerably more crowded. If traffic is moving fast, then be ready to battle your way where you need to go, and if it’s moving slow, it is stopped. That’s on the highways though – most people who commute in Dallas have several “back routes” to work that help them avoid traffic. We used to plan 30 minutes to get anywhere; now it’s more like 45.  When you add in the constant construction, it looks like no matter what, traffic is here to stay.

Oh yeah, construction doesnt help.
This photo was taken at 10 am.

4. Insurance is expensive in Dallas. Back in 2014, Dallas had the 13th highest auto insurance rates in the nation.  I couldn’t find a more recent list, but I assume that we have made our way up on the list. We have been selling insurance for many years in the Dallas area, and prices certainly aren’t going down, and prices are always a shock when people move here. Home insurance is also pricey, mostly because we have pretty damaging hail storms in the spring and tornados in the winter. That being said, even if the rates are higher, the cost of living in Dallas is well below the national average, so it works out. The best way to pay the least for insurance is to contact an independent agent – hopefully The Phoenix Insurance, as we are the highest rated agency by customers in Dallas.

5. Speaking of living, we do it. It’s not all rodeos here. Nightlife, street tacos, patio afternoons, theme parks, botanical gardens, zoos, art  – if you want it, it’s here. We are home to many funky neighborhoods where you can get artisinal foods, trails where you can take a jog and have a pit stop for a beer, and shopping centers where you can buy your Prada and Gucci. We are dog friendly at most places, so bring them by when you get lunch on a patio on a Sunday afternoon. Go have a spa day, or just take in a game at one of the many major and minor league sports teams in the area. on top of all the things that are always happening, we are lucky enough to have Epic Jared in town – who does things like throw the worlds largest Nerf battle at AT&T Stadium. There is always something cool going on around here, despite the hot weather.

This was the scene at Jareds Nerf Battle at Cowboys Stadium.
This was the scene at Jareds Nerf Battle at Cowboys Stadium.

6. It is hot here. For a while. Generally, starting toward the end of June, someone starts to dial up the thermostat and doesn’t turn it back down until mid October or early September. I don’t know the difference between “dry heat” and what we have, but it’s awful. It’s ok though, because everything everywhere is air conditioned. We spend time in our cars and buildings once the heat turns on, and in the pool, though it’s not really that refreshing when the water is 85 degrees from the sun. (Here is a side piece of advice – always make freinds with your neighbors that have pools.) We tough the heat out though, because fall is awesome, and spring sometimes lasts long enough to fool us into thinking we won’t have a bad summer.

They are still refreshing, even if warm.
They are still refreshing, even if warm.

I am really just scratching the surface of things you need to know to relocate to the Dallas area, but to sum it all up, Dallas is an awesome place to be, and we are happy to have you. Go grab a gas station Taco and take it to the park we built on top of the highway, and just revel in being a Dallasite – you made it!