Have you ever looked at your policy and it made no sense? Or have you been on the phone with the agent and didn’t know how to answer all their questions? Insurance terminology can be rather confusing. However, it’s one of the most important things you need to understand to ensure you are fully protected. Here is a Mom’s Guide to Understanding Insurance from Jennifer Alameda, at JK Insurance Agency.
There is property damage and liability coverage when you are at fault. You also need to carry uninsured motorist to protect yourself.
- Are you adequately covered? When looking at your automobile policy, make sure the property damage coverage would be enough to replace your car and the other party’s car, if you caused the accident. I often see that people carry $25,000 in property damage. At one time, that was probably enough, but no longer so. Driving around North Texas, I rarely see a car that is under 25,000. If I only carried 25,000 and I hit a car valued at 35,000 and it was totaled, I would be responsible for the difference. Have your agent review exactly how much coverage you have in each scenario.
- Do you need extras like towing and rental car coverage and is it worth it? Most people don’t carry this as an attempt to save money. Have your agent quote it with and without. You can then decide for the nominal increase in premiums if it is worth it. I always recommend this for my clients.
- How much should the deductible be? $250, $500 or $1000. It really depends on your situation. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. I encourage my safe drivers that have a savings account to go with the higher deductible and lower their premium. But there are cases when a lower deductible is preferred. Your agent can walk you through the scenarios and see what is the best fit for you. Ask them to run the quote both ways and compare.
- For the underinsured or uninsured motorist, have your agent explain how this works with the coverage you select.
Policies are a little easier to understand. You have property coverage for your home, your possessions and you have liability insurance in case something happens to someone at your home.
- Your dwelling coverage should be enough to rebuild your house in a total loss. It doesn’t have to be insured at the price you paid for it. Some houses in our area are selling for much higher prices due to demand. Speak to your agent about what is reasonable.
- Your personal property is normally covered at a percentage of what your house is worth. If you have additional valuables (jewelry, collector items, etc) these should be added separately as an endorsement.
- Most policies I have seen have $300,000 in liability coverage. If you feel you need more, you can add it, or explore an umbrella policy.
- In Texas, insurance companies do not offer foundation coverage caused by shifting of the soil. If you have a pipe burst in your foundation, then it would be covered. But if the earth shifts and your foundation cracks, it is not covered by insurance.
A few last tips….
- If you bundle your home and auto, most companies will offer you additional discounts.
- Shop around! Your independent agents have access to various carriers and compare quotes.
- Ask questions! If you don’t understand something about your coverage or have a question about what you need or don’t need, talk to your agent.
- Protect yourself! If you are not properly insured, it can cost you.
Jennifer has created a great offer for Plano Moms. For any Plano Mom who purchases a policy, you will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! The offer is good until August of 2017. She offers free no obligation quotes for all clients.
Jennifer Alameda, Agent JK Insurance
Check out her listing in the Plano Mom’s directory. Follow them on Facebook too!