Not all insurance companies and policies are alike, and the minimum limits are frequently insufficient to pay for the damages sustained by my clients.
Here are some ways to save money.
First, filing your first claim from an at-fault accident no longer guarantees that your rate will go up. Some insurers offer an “accident forgiveness” benefit, for which they’ll go easy on your first claim. Ask your insurer whether it offers such a service and whether you qualify. Also, filing under your Personal Injury Protection or other no fault provisions of your policy will not increase your premiums, contrary to popular belief.
If you’re a good driver with a clean record, you’ll pay less for car insurance than others. This can make a considerable difference. If you’re a “high-risk” driver laden with tickets and/or accidents, you can expect to pay at least 15% more than a good driver on average. If your policy costs you $1,500, that’s an extra $225 per year. Having a good credit score can also help your chances of getting a good deal.
Some insurers (and even some credit unions and other financial firms) now cover repairs to your car. These policies offer benefits beyond your car’s regular warranty; they can pay to fix just about every kind of mechanical problem, not just the drive train or major systems, and the policies apply to work done at a wide variety of shops, not just at a dealer. Older cars with more mileage may not qualify, though. If this costly coverage seems like more than you can afford, consider another option: just pretend to yourself that you are buying it and put the cost of the premiums aside in a special account. Then, if you run into costly repairs, you’ll have some money ready to pay for them. If not, you can keep the money — perhaps to help pay for your next car or truck.
You probably know that certain vehicles will be more expensive to insure than others. High-priced ones with steep maintenance fees, or frequently stolen models, will doubtlessly command a premium. It pays to consider this when you’re shopping for your next vehicle. Ask your agent. It’s also a good reason to shop around for the best insurance rate. Even given your particular make, model, and year, insurers can vary widely in the premiums they charge. A few extra phone calls or online quotes could save you several hundred dollars a year.
Finally, consider buying some “gap insurance” to protect yourself, in the event that what your insurer will pay for your totaled car won’t be enough to pay what you owe on it. Imagine that you take out a car loan to buy a $30,000 vehicle. If it’s totaled later, when it’s only worth $20,000, and you still owe $25,000 on it, you’ll still have to cough up $5,000 beyond what your insurer pays you — in addition to the cost of a new car.
Texas statutes require that a signed rejection of certain coverage’s be provided, or those coverage’s has to be paid. I immediately write a letter to my client’s carrier when I am hired, and always force the insurance carrier to provide a signed rejection for my clients, even when they try to evade my request. There have been at least 10 cases when I made companies pay my clients insurance benefits – including one last week — even though my clients had never even purchased coverage’s! Needless to say, they were ecstatic to receive this money.
If you’ve been in a wreck, please contact my office by phone at 817-885-8000 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation. I will take the time to personally meet with you and explain the whole process including all the ways I can get you money, many of which you may not have even known were available to you.