You may think that all auto insurance is equal, but there’s much more to it than just picking your limits for the standard coverage. If you’re in a unique situation, you must get the right coverage without paying too much. Your insurance agent is here to help.
Personal Auto Insurance
Even dealing with standard auto insurance can be difficult. You may not be sure exactly how much coverage you need or which options to select. It’s also hard to tell if going with the lowest quote will mean having a difficult time getting your claim approved if you ever need to use your insurance. That’s where your independent insurance agent helps.
Independent insurance agents work for you, not the insurance company. If you need help choosing the right coverage and comparing quotes, your insurance agent can give you a neutral perspective. Your insurance agent can also help you match up your auto insurance with your home insurance, umbrella insurance, and other insurance coverages so that you can meet your insurance needs while avoiding having to pay for duplicate coverage.
Car Insurance FAQs
How much auto insurance do I need in Texas?
The Texas minimum auto insurance requirements are designed to provide a small level of protection in the event you damage someone else’s property, or you cause harm to another person. In Texas, drivers need a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage and $25,000 per accident for Property Damage Liability Coverage.
What is the best deductible?
The best deductible is what you can afford to pay out of pocket when you file an auto insurance claim. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be, and vice versa. A higher deductible means your accepting a more significant portion of the risk yourself. It is best not to take on more risk than you can afford.
What is “full coverage?”
There is no such thing as “full coverage” insurance. Full coverage auto insurance is a term that is used to suggest you have chosen protection that goes beyond the minimum coverage required by your State. It typically includes collision and comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection or medical payment coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
How can I save money on my car insurance?
You can save money on your car insurance by avoiding moving violations, crashes, DUIs, and other incidents. By having a clean driving record, you may also qualify for a safe driver discount. Students may qualify for good student and student-away-at-school discounts. Your vehicle’s anti-theft devices and safety features may also provide more discounts. Paid-in-full, multi-car, and prior carrier discounts are also common.
How long does an auto accident affect my insurance?
A crash won’t impact your car insurance premiums forever. After about three to five years, your rates should recover. Exactly how long this takes will depend on the type of accident as well as the company you are insured with.
Is buying direct cheaper than buying through an agent?
Buying direct is not always cheaper than buying through an agent. You might think that cutting out the middleman would result in cheaper car insurance rates, but when it comes to insurance, this isn’t the case. In fact, an independent agent, one that represents many insurance companies, can often save you money.
What is the best auto insurance company?
The best auto insurance company differs per individual. No insurance company is objectively the best. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want the best customer service, the broadest coverage, or the lowest rates? Or maybe you have unique coverage or underwriting needs? An agent can help you compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the right policy for your situation.
What is the best or cheapest auto insurance rate?
The best or cheapest auto insurance rate can be found by comparison shopping. Compare premiums as well as differences in coverage. An independent insurance agent can help. They can provide options from multiple carriers, along with the expert guidance you need to make a smart choice.
How do I switch to a new auto insurance company?
You can switch to a new auto insurance company at any time, but to avoid overpaying or violating state law, you do need to watch out for a couple of things. Car insurance policies are often sold for coverage periods of six months or one year. In some cases, you may be charged a fee if you decide to cancel your insurance policy early. You may also be entitled to a refund for the unused portion of the premium. You also want to make sure you have continuous coverage to avoid a coverage gap.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI, another criminal traffic offense, a serious moving violation, or had your license suspended, you may be required to get an SR-22 certificate before being able to drive again. An SR-22 certificate is a form filed with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles certifying that you have the legally required insurance coverage. Because it is only needed after major violations that will lead to many auto insurance companies refusing to cover you, the companies that do issue the high-risk policies that you’ll likely be limited to are commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance.
The primary difference between SR-22 insurance and other auto insurance is the cost. Since it’s only issued to high-risk drivers, the rates are substantially higher due to the higher chance of the insurance company having to pay a claim. The insurance company also has to notify the state when you start and stop coverage. Once you meet all of the terms of your license reinstatement, you can switch from SR-22 insurance to standard auto insurance. If you maintain a safe driving record, your rates should gradually fall over time as your past violations age off of your reports.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you have a business of any size and use a vehicle in it, you need commercial auto insurance. Even if you already have personal auto insurance on the same vehicle, personal insurance stops at your commute. Personal coverage will almost always exclude anything that happens during the workday such as driving between clients, running business errands, or accidents or damage that occur on a job site. If you have company-owned vehicles, you will need to get commercial coverage in the name of the company and ensure that it covers any employees who will be driving.
Commercial auto insurance policies largely mirror personal auto insurance policies. Depending on the options you choose, you’ll have coverage for accident liability, theft, damage, roadside assistance, and more. The main difference is that your rates will vary based on the type of work you do and how you use your vehicles. You may also need special coverages for high-risk work or non-standard vehicles. If your company is just you using your personal vehicle, some auto insurance companies even offer combination policies that add commercial coverage to your existing policy.
No License Insurance
While it’s illegal to drive without a license, it’s also illegal to drive without insurance. Also, your assets are still at risk if you get sued for an accident. If you don’t have or aren’t able to get a valid driver’s license in Texas, some insurance companies will still cover you. The coverage works the same as for a licensed driver, and it won’t protect you from penalties for driving without a license. However, it will still give you peace of mind if you get into an accident or something happens to your car.
Foreign License Coverage
While Texas will accept a foreign license, many insurance companies won’t. Regardless of where your license is from, you must have valid insurance when you’re driving in Texas. Foreign license coverage will include at least the Texas minimum liability limits with options to add higher limits to protect your assets, coverage for theft and damage to your car, and other coverage options.
Mexico Auto Insurance
Mexico does not accept American auto insurance policies, and many American auto insurance companies exclude coverage in Mexico. By Mexican law, to drive in Mexico, you need auto insurance from an insurance company licensed in Mexico. You will have the same coverage options as any standard auto insurance policy, such as physical damage, theft, and liability coverage.
There are different policies available depending on whether you’re taking a one-time vacation or you regularly cross the border. As with other insurance, your rates will vary based on factors like how often you drive (in this case, within Mexico) and your driving record. Many American auto insurance companies have partnerships with Mexican companies, but you’re free to choose any provider.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
Finding specialized insurance can be difficult as there are fewer providers. It can also be harder to find a reasonable quote. To get help, work with your independent insurance agent. Castereno Insurance & Tax Service has locations in Abilene and Sweetwater, TX. Contact us now to get started.