Tag Archives: auto insurance

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.

 

 

Now is the time to shop your home and auto insurance if you live in North Texas.

If you are reading this article, odds are you live in the North Texas area. If you live in the North Texas area, you know that we have had significant storms in the area since December 26 of 2015. One tornado, two bad hail storms, and as of this writing, who knows what comes next.

 

A photo of hailstones from the first storm in the Dallas area in 2016.
A photo of hailstones from the first storm in the Dallas area in 2016.                      Photo credit: RC Graphic Designs.

So you are going to pay more for insurance. Everyone in the area is going to pay more for their home and auto insurance. All of the major companies have paid out enough in claims that they will have to raise rates (or as we say in the biz, “take rate”) over the next year. This isn’t great, obviously, but it presents an opportunity for you as a consumer. If you shop your home and auto insurance with an agency like us right now, you can lock in the lower rates that we can most likely find you, and you can lock them in for a year. That means that when your current company raises rates, it won’t affect you, and if/ when the new company rates go up, it won’t be until your renewal, which would be a year away if you buy today.

If you have not shopped your home and auto insurance for a long time, it will be harder to find a great deal if you wait until your current company raises your rates. Insurance companies don’t change rate mid policy, but they do at renewal. We represent so many different companies, it’s hard for us not to save someone coming from a Farmer’s or a State Farm insurance policy a good amount of money. Just yesterday we saved a former Farmer’s insurance client $4000 a year. That’s not the typical amount of savings, but it does happen.

Why not give us a call today and make sure you are in the right spot?  As insurance agents we are knowledgeable and honest. We would love it if you bought insurance from us, but we love it just as much when we find that you have a good deal and a good policy. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we always advise with the customer’s needs in mind – not our need to sell a policy.

Even if you didn’t make a claim, these storms will end up raising your rates. We can offer you a chance to pay less than you are now, AND insulate yourself against rising insurance rates in the Dallas area. Don’t you deserve to have the best insurance agent in Dallas? We think you do. Try us today by calling us at  877-717-4054.

5 Ways Your Insurance Protects You Around The Holidays

Every family has a holiday disaster that is terrible the first year, but as the years go on, retelling the story becomes a part of family tradition. Insurance isn’t festive, but it can come to the rescue of your festivities.

1. If you poison someone at dinner, the liability portion of your home insurance is there for you.This one is based on a true story; one year when we were up north for the holidays, we went to eat at Uncle Bill’s house for the big meal. As he always had, Uncle Bill stored the turkey outside on the porch until it was time to cook. However, that year there was an unnaturally warm afternoon, and the turkey thawed quickly and then froze again that evening. When the turkey was cooked and served, everyone (except for Uncle Bill) ended up in the hospital with food poisoning. That year we only had family members in attendance, and no one filed suit. However, if someone had decided to sue, the liability portion of his insurance would have covered him.

 

This is a bad idea.
This is a bad idea.

2. If someone steals the presents you have in your back seat, the “personal property off premises” coverage of your home insurance will cover you.

First, if you are shopping for gifts and making multiple stops, be sure to keep all of your purchases in the trunk of your car. However, if you drive an SUV, that’s obviously not an option. Unfortunately the holidays don’t just bring out the good in people, they also present an opportunity for thieving scumbags to break your window and steal all of the presents you have purchased. If that were to happen, those gifts would be covered by your home insurance (or renters insurance if you don’t own a home). I would still bring along a blanket to keep your purchases away from prying eyes, but your insurance is there for you should something terrible happen.

this is an awful thing to walk up on.
This is an awful thing to walk up on.
3. If your tree burns down your house, you are covered.Once again, I’m going to first give you some good advice; water your tree, check the wires on your lights for shorts, and never go old school on your tree by using candles for light. Sometimes however, even if you follow my advice, bad things can happen. If the worst happens and your tree catches fire, your home insurance is there for you with fire coverage – and if your house is burned, you will need a place to celebrate that doesn’t stink of smoke and firemen’s sweat. That’s where the additional living expense coverage comes in; you will obviously need a place to live while your home is being repaired. You won’t be celebrating at home, but you also won’t have to impose on Uncle Bill (and risk that turkey dinner).
Super Hardcore!
Super Hardcore!

4. If your party gets too rambunctious and someone gets hurt, you are covered.We have all been there; the party is bumping, the rug is rolled up, people are dancing, and then a scream as Aunt Josehine sprains her ankle and hits the floor. Luckily for you, your homeowner’s insurance includes “medical payments” coverage so you can rush her to the emergency room. The minimum coverage is $500, but more can be purchased if you are so inclined. I would certainly purchase more if you throw lots of parties – and if you have elderly aunts who like to cut a rug.

She'll also probably hit on that friend you invited over.
She’ll also probably hit on that friend you invited over.

5. That new car you put a bow on is automatically covered.This one isn’t actually covered on your homeowner’s insurance, but it is covered by your auto insurance. When you purchase a new vehicle, your auto insurance automatically extends to the new vehicle for 30 days. That way you don’t have to risk spoiling the surprise by adding the car in advance of giving it to the giftee. This coverage extension isn’t here just to prevent spoiling surprises, it’s to ensure that your new purchase is covered until you can get hold of your agent. This 30 day courtesy extension doesn’t just happen during the holidays either, it is available to protect you year round.

 

This IS a good idea.
This IS a good idea.

These are just five ways your homeowner’s (and auto) insurance protects you against disaster during the holidays. Obviously no one wants to rely on their insurance to save the holiday, but it is nice to know it’s there if a disaster should try to ruin the season. Here at The Phoenix, we wish you a very happy holiday, and hope that you don’t have to make a claim this time of year – but if you need to, we are here to help!

The Heights Church Car Show Richardson Texas

The Heights Church in Richardson, TX puts on an incredible car show every year, and this year (2015) was no different. A ton of our classic car insurance clients begged us to come hang out, and we are easy to convince. Check out this lineup! agreed value insurance allen best insurance austin ferrari insurance auto insurance dallas auto insurance frisco auto insurance garland auto insurance plano auto insurance richardson auto insurance southlake auto insurance best agent in dallas best insurance agent dallas best of dallas insurance boat insurance california insurance car collection insurance car collector insurance car insurance anna car insurance dallas car insurance frisco car insurance garland car insurance mckinney car insurance plano car insurance richardson car insurance southlake car insurance the colony Car insurance classc car insurance denver classic auto insurance allen classic car insurance allen classic car insurance colorado classic car insurance dallas classic car insurance plano classic car insurance polano classic car insurance pueblo classic car insurance dallas agent safeco dallas auto insurance dallas best insurance dallas boat insurance dallas boaters insurance dallas ferrari insurance dallas insurance auto dallas insurance car dallas top rated insurance dallas dallas's best insurance exotic car insurance allen exotic car insurance claifornia exotic car insurance colorado exotic car insurance dallas exotic car insurance richardson exotic car insurance southlake exotic car insurance specialist exotic car insurance texas exotic car insurance ferrari insurance dallas ferrari insurance fort worth auto insurance fort worth home insurance home insurance colorado home insurance dallas home insurance denver home insurance frisco home insurance loveland home insurance plano home insurance pueblo home insurance richardson home insurance homeonwers insurance denver homeowners insurance colorado homeowners insurance hot rod insurance houston's best insurance independent agent dallas insurance car collection insurance exotic car insurance exotic collection insurance professional dallas jetski insurance jewelry insurance lamborghini insurance dallas lamborghini insurance the woodlands lamborgini insurance houston landlord insurance largest agency dallas liability insurance mckinney homeonwers insurance motorcycle insurance off road insurance plano top insurance agent race car insurance race team insurance rat rod insurance renters insurance restoration insurance san diego classic car insurance specialist exotic car texas auto insurance texas boat insurance texas exotic car insurance umbrealla insuracne umbrealla insurance

Understanding Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Just as there are many types of cars, there are many different types of auto insurance policies, and many different ways to cover your car. For instance, most people don’t need to cover their “daily driver” car the same way they would cover their classic car or exotic auto. Let’s go over some different car insurance options together, so you go to bed smarter than you woke up this morning.

Usually, your every day car is covered by an actual cash value or “ACV” insurance policy. Most every day cars spend their lives both stuck in traffic and depreciating, so this is the most cost effective way to cover then on your insurance policy. ACV coverage means that you get paid the actual cash value of your car at the time of a loss. That means that you should reasonably be able to purchase another car of like kind should you have a claim. The one thing you should always consider is getting “gap” coverage if you are upside down on your auto loan. Lots of insurance companies offer it if you ask at time of purchase. Gap coverage covers the difference if you owe more than the ACV of your car.

The second type of coverage available to you is Stated Value coverage for your car. This type of policy allows you to tell the insurance company that your car is worth “X”, and then allows them to pay you up to that amount in the event of a loss. Yes, I said “up to”. That means that if the insurance company can make a case for paying you less than the value of your car, they will. We hear lots of people (and even some insurance agents) confuse stated value insurance with agreed value insurance – but in the simplest terms, and stated value policy just gives the insurance company a discussion point at claims time. It does not guarantee you the full value of your vehicle at the time of loss.

In order to guarantee the value of your vehicle at the time of loss, you must purchase an  “agreed value” insurance policy. Yes, you can get an agreed value policy on your daily driver car, if you choose to do so. However, the agreed value policy is usually intended for a collector car. Classic insurance., custom car insurance – even exotic car insurance is all written (or should be) on an agreed value insurance policy. Since agreed value policies are very specific in the coverage they offer, they are also very specific in their terms. Does your car qualify ? Are you interested in agreed value coverage? Then contact an insurance consultant today and discuss your needs.

See? Like I said, smarter than when you woke up this morning.

What Insurance Companies do We Represent

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?

Allstate Insurance

ASI Lloyds

Condon Skelly

Berkley Classics

Dairyland

Encompass

Foremost

GMAC

Grundy Insurance

Hagerty Insurance

Homeowners of America

Imperial Fire

Infinity

Kemper

Mendota

Metlife

Progressive

Republic Insurance

Safeco

American Modern

Texas Fair Plan

Travelers

The Hartford

Universal

Wellington

Chubb Insurance

 

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.

 

Gas Monkey Dallas Rotary Benefit Show

Gas Monkey are a great group of guys, and will allow any car club to meet in their lot. This time, they put on a car show to benefit the Rotary Club. As usual, lots of our classic car insurance clients were there. One of our insurance consultants attended and took these photos. agreed value insurance auto insurance best insurance agent dallas classic auto insurance colorado classic auto insurance dallas classic car insurance dallas classic car insurance texas custom car insurance custom insurance dallas auto insurance (2) dallas auto insurance dallas best insurance agent dallas car insurance dallas exotic car insurance dallas ferrari insurance Dallas home insurance dallas top rated insurance houston ferrari insurance insurance consultant dallas insurance consultant texas insurance king dallas insurance specialist dallas insurance specialist texas porsche insuranc ehouston porsche insurance california porsche insurance dallas porsche insurance property insurance dallas property insurance texas rat rod dallas rat rod insurance stated value insurance two kings dallas

The Top 5 Marketing Tricks Auto Insurance Companies Use to Hook You.

Can anyone read this thing? There are no numbers!

As I said in an earlier post, nothing is free in the insurance world. In addition, insurance companies tell you plenty of things that their market research has shown that you want to hear – but may not necessarily reflect the truth.

1. Offering you a “No Cancellation” guarantee. They don’t have to cancel your insurance to make you go away. If you have a series of accidents they won’t cancel you – but how long will you want to pay the higher and higher premiums they are giving you to make you go away?

2. Accident Forgiveness is not as simple as it sounds. They will forgive the “property damage” part of your accident if you have a fender bender – but if someone claims bodily injury, then that part of the claim will not be forgiven. Insurance companies generally don’t immediately surcharge you for an accident anyway, and if you are a good driver otherwise, you may never see an increase if you have one accident during your tenure with your insurance company.

They might not forgive this one, no matter what

3. We will waive your deductible for windshield chips! I’ve addressed this one once before, and that advice is still true. THERE IS NO FREE CAR REPAIR. Pay the $25 to fix the chip yourself and reap the benefits of lower premiums in the long run.

4. Name your own price.. I don’t even want to address this one, as it’s so ridiculous. You can always name your own price; just decide what kind of coverage you want. Want to pay nothing at all for insurance? Don’t have it! Want to pay less for your insurance? Don’t fall for crazy lies, instead call an independent agent.

5. “Guaranteed low price”. This is almost as patently ridiculous as “Name Your Price”. Maybe if you put this guarantee under your pillow at night, the “guarantee fairy” might come and leave you a quarter. No one can guarantee a low price, or any percentage of savings, or anything solid like that when it comes to insurance. Insurance pricing is not flexible, as it is based on statistics and facts. It can’t be discounted at a whim; coverage can be removed, but you can’t just lower the price to match someone else’s price. Insurance is not a TV.

Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside

So to sum this all up in a few words, DON’T FALL FOR MARKETING LIES. Marketing people will tell you anything that focus groups have told them you want to hear. Instead, be an informed consumer and seek out the truth. Most people want to save money on insurance, sure – but don’t let your desire trump your reason. The ads where they tell you all of these lies cost big money – and how do you think they make it?

That is you on the left, paying for State Farm's commercials