How do I choose an insurance company?
There are many insurance companies, so choosing between them can be a challenge. Here are the main points to keep in mind when selecting an insurance company:
Back to TopHow long will a traffic citation stay on my driving record?
Not every company is licensed to operate in each state. As a general rule, you should buy from a company licensed in your state, because then can you rely on your state insurance department to help if there’s a problem. To find out which companies are licensed in your state, contact the state insurance department.
Many companies sell insurance policies and prices vary greatly from one to another, so it really pays to let us shop around for you. Your state insurance department may publish a guide that shows what insurers charge for different policies in various parts of your state.
- Financial Solidity
You buy insurance to protect you financially and provide peace of mind. Select a company that is likely to be financially sound for many years, by using ratings from independent rating agencies.
Your insurance company and its representatives should answer your questions and handle your claims fairly, efficiently and quickly. You can get a feel for whether this is the case by talking to other customers who have used a particular company or agent. You may also want to check a national claims database to see what complaint information it has on a company. Also, your state insurance department will be able to tell you if the insurance company you are considering doing business with had many consumer complaints about its service relative to the number of policies it sold.
You should feel comfortable with your insurance purchase, whether you buy it from a local agent, directly from the company over the phone, or over the Internet. Make sure that the agent or company will be easy to reach if you have a question or need to file a claim.
A citation that remains on your driving record for 3 years unless you take defensive driving or get approved for 6 months deferred probabtion. If you take defensive driving or get approved for deferred then it will not go on your driving record at all. Back to TopHow long will an at-fault accident stay on my driving record?
Most auto insurance companies surcharge for at-fault accidents up to 5 years. Some only surcharge for 3 years. The companies that surcharge for 5 years however will not surcharge as critical after the accident becomes 3 years old.Back to TopWhat should I do before I file a claim?
Typically in the event of a loss it is best to contact your companies claims center to file your claim because if we file your claim the claims center will still have to call you getting your story which can further delay the process. However, we are here for you to give advice in the event of a loss to let you know your options.Back to TopWhat is my insurance score vs credit score?
The difference between your credit score and your insurance score is substantial, and it is worth knowing. Your credit score is a number that represents your overall credit worthiness. It encompasses everything you have ever done credit-wise, from your very first credit card to the bills that you pay and rental history. Think of it like your permanent financial record. Whether you are buying a house, applying for a department store charge card or looking to purchase car insurance, your credit score will factor into all decisions. Your insurance score, on the other hand, is based in part on your credit score, but it involves much more pertaining to your insurance history. Take a few moments to learn the difference between the two and how they both affect your insurability.
In order to be approved for auto insurance, information is required that will give the insurer an idea of your history. Aside from demographical information like age, gender, income, etc.—all of which factor into the equation that determines your rates—what is most important to insurers is your insurance score. This is a number that takes many things into consideration: your credit score, the number of car insurance claims you have made, DMV points and your timeliness with payments, to name a few. Insurers use this score in part to determine whether or not they should take on the risk of insuring you.
Credit Score vs. Insurance Score
Your credit score is to car insurance what your SATs are to college admission. It does not necessarily decide your fate, but it is seriously considered. People with bad credit are still able to get car insurance, just like students who scored lower on the SATs get into college, but they may not receive the best rate possible. Credit scores help to determine the insurance score of a customer. If a person’s credit is on the low end, it may reduce the insurance score. If that same person, however, has never made a claim on their insurance, never received a traffic citation and always pays their bills on time, those facts will positively influence the insurance score.
How to Improve Your Score
The best way to improve your credit score is to become credit worthy again. Taking out a small loan or credit card and paying bills on time is a great way to begin to improve your credit. Likewise, changing your driving habits, paying a premium upfront and making no claims on your insurance can help to rebuild your insurance score. These numbers do not reflect you personally; rather, they reflect the risk you pose to companies considering taking it on, whether it is for a credit card or for car insurance.
Don’t think that a credit score is the same thing as an insurance score. They are mutually related, though, and one can affect the other. You should strive to have the highest possible score for both types. If you do, you will be eligible for more favorable rates and be looked upon by either the insurance company or the credit company as more worthy of risk.Back to TopWhy is my credit factored into my insurance rate?
Insurance companies have traditionally used many factors in determining how much of a risk you are to get into an accident or incur losses resulting in claims.
For example, insurers will look at your driving record and how long you've been driving when you seek auto insurance. Likewise, when you apply for homeowners insurance, they'll look at the age, size, and construction of your home.
Back to TopHow do insurance companies look at my credit?
Through the years insurers have found a person's credit information to be a highly accurate predictor of risk, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit organization supported by the property and casualty insurance business.
While insurers look at the same factors as lenders, they weigh each factor differently.
"The biggest difference is that insurance risk scores look for stability, but credit risk scores look for a reliable pattern," Craig Watts, a spokesperson for Fair, Isaac, and Co., whose insurance risk scores are used by about 300 insurers nationwide.
Insurance companies typically weigh the factors as follows, according to FIC:
- 30 percent: How much you owe. This typically evaluates how many accounts you have, how many have balances, and how much is owed on existing loans.
- 15 percent: Length of credit history. Usually the longer your credit history, the better your score on this section.
- 10 percent: New credit. If you've opened a lot of new accounts in a short period of time, your score will be lower. The system also takes into account how long it's been since you've opened an account. And if you had a bumpy period followed by a strong payment history, it will be considered favorably.
- 35 percent: Payment history. You'll score high here if you make your payments on time and you don't have any bankruptcies, foreclosures, liens, or the like. If you have made late payments in the past, your score will reflect how frequently you were late and how late you were - in the eyes of insurance companies 90 days is viewed as much riskier than 60 days.
- 10 percent: Types of credit. This will factor in your credit mix - retail accounts, installment loans, credit cards, finance companies, etc.
"Insurance scores are also more interested in how regularly you pay than in how much you already owe," Watts said.
Credit scoring is usually an advantage for those who have stellar credit histories because it can mean lower rates. It can also be advantageous to those who have a good history but may have filed claims in the past.
If you have a wobbly credit history, you can work on cleaning it up by:
- Requesting a copy of your report and making sure it's accurate.
- Keeping your balances low.
- Paying off your debt.
- Making payments on time.
- Refraining from opening new accounts.
- Re-establishing credit if you've had problems in the past - but do so responsibly.
- Contacting a legitimate credit counselor, like Consumer Credit Counseling Services.
- Knowing that closing an account doesn't wipe it from your credit history.
And if your credit score has bumped up your insurance rates or if you're looking for ways to reduce how much you pay for homeowners insurance, you can begin by shopping around and comparing rates. You can also lower your premiums by raising your deductible amounts.Back to TopWhat types of companies do you represent?
We represent standard and non-standard carrier's that allow us to help everyone wether you have a bad driving record, to needing an SR-22 or have an excellent record. We also provide homeowners coverage for all types of homes ranging from new to old and even high value. Our commerical carrier's can provide coverage for any type of auto or business industry. Give us a call for a quote to see for yourself!Back to TopShould I buy Uninsured Motorists coverage and Underinsured Motorists coverage?
While these are optional coverages in Texas, it's a good idea to buy them since more and more people are driving without insurance these days. For example, if you are injured as a result of an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance, Uninsured Motorists (UM) coverage will pay for your medical and hospital bills and other related expenses. If you have health insurance, some of these expenses may be covered, but you would still be responsible for deductibles and co-payments. And, of course, if you have no health insurance coverage or have selected a high deductible plan (also called catastrophic health insurance), you will be responsible for all or most of your expenses.Underinsured Motorists (UIM) Coverage works the same way. If you are injured by a driver who has insurance, but your injuries are greater than the amount of insurance they purchased, your own policy will pay your unpaid medical bills up to the amount of UIM coverage you chose to purchase (minus the amount the other driver's insurance pays). Don't forget about Uninsured Motorists Property Damage (UMPD) coverage. This coverage pays for your car if it's damaged by an uninsured driver and you have not purchased Collision coverage for your own car.Back to TopDoes my auto insurance cover a rental car?
Many auto insurance companies will extend liability coverage to a non-owned vehicle when rented for personal use. However, restrictions may apply. Similarly, there may be restrictions to the coverage offered by the rental car company. Before taking your next trip, contact your insurance company to ensure that a restriction does not ruin your family vacation.Back to TopHow I can save money on auto insurance with a young driver?
Let’s not beat around the bush, a young driver's car insurance is not going to be cheap. It may seem unfair when you’ve just passed your test and saved up to buy your first car, but car insurance prices are set according to risk, and statistics show that younger drivers are more likely to have an accident than older, more experienced drivers.
Young driver car insurance is considered a high risk not just because of the driver’s age, but because they are new to driving and have little on-the-road experience. Statistics show that young drivers have more accidents than older drivers, and that you are more likely to have an accident in the first two years of passing your test than at any other time.
Higher instances of theft, fire and vandalism also contribute to the high risk level associated with young driver car insurance.
To manage the cost of young driver car insurance, choose a car with a smaller engine. Some carrier's give a discount for a safety driving course certificate and good grades with a 3.0 GPA. Contact us for more details on how we could help you save some money. Back to TopWhat should I do when my child goes away to college with their car and is still listed on my auto policy?
This is a very common scenario and may be viewed differently by different insurance companies but in most cases all you would need to do is change the garaging address on your auto policy for that specific car your child is driving. Back to Top