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Texas Car Insurance Guide

The Texas Department of Insurance has published a guide which gives basic information about car insurance in Texas and issues involving Texas automobile insurance.

The guide discusses the minimum limits required for auto liability insurance, proof of financial responsibility requirements, and penalties for driving without insurance. It also outlines auto insurance coverages including liability coverage, coverage for damage to your vehicle (collision and comprehensive), increased limits, medical payments coverage, personal injury protection coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, towing and labor coverage, and rental reimbursement coverage.

The guide also gives some tips regarding shopping for insurance, issues regarding young drivers, factors that affect your insurance rate, driving out of state, deductibles, what happens if you buy a car, what your lender may require if you owe money on a car, and many other issues about car insurance in Texas.

To access the guide, follow this link, Texas Department of Insurance – Auto insurance guide.

Since 1998, Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth Texas has been writing quality affordable auto insurance through multiple carriers. As an independent agent, we can look for the best rate for your car insurance. Affordable monthly premium payments are available. If you have questions about auto insurance or would like a free quote with no obligation, call us at (817) 626-3100 or visit our website at www.hemphillinsurance.com

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homeowners discounts

Discounts available for your homeowners insurance

Home Insurance premiums are going up these days in Texas.  You may see real savings, though, if you will take a few minutes to check around and make sure that you are getting all the discounts available.  Below is a brief discussion on discounts available for your homeowners insurance.  Not all discounts are offered by all homeowners insurance companies, but it pays to ask your insurance agent about all the available homeowners insurance discounts which ones they have available.

Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth, TX represents insurance companies which offer many or all of the homeowners insurance discounts discussed below.  We are happy to discuss them with you at no cost and no obligation. Call us at (817) 626-3100, or visit our homeowners page https://www.northsideinstx.com/home-insurance/

Alarm Discount

If you have a monitored burglar and/or fire alarm, you can get a discount off your premium.  Most Alarm companies will provide a certificate for you to give to your insurance agent to obtain the discount on your homeowners insurance.

Age of Roof Discount

If you have recently replaced your roof, let your agent know.  Some insurance companies offer a discount for newer roofs.

Newly Purchased Home Discount

If you are shopping for a home and getting insurance quotes, some insurance companies offer a discount on newly purchased homes.  Tell your agent if the quote you are getting is for a home you are just now buying.

Senior Discount

Many insurance companies offer a Senior Discount on their homeowners insurance policyholders.  If you are 60 or older, make sure to let your agent know.

Newer Home Discount

If your home is less than 10 years old, many insurance companies discount their rates.  If your home is less than 10 years old it pays to shop for a company that discounts their rates on newer homes.

Good Credit Discount

Many insurance carriers use credit as a component in their rating.  If you have good credit, you can see substantial savings with these insurance companies.  Ask your agent how your credit history effects your rate.

Companion Policy Discount

Some insurance companies offer substantial savings if you put both your homeowners insurance and auto insurance with them or through their agent.  Ask your agent if any additional discounts are available for placing both your home insurance and auto insurance with them.  The discount is also sometimes available when other lines of insurance are with the same insurance agent or insurance company such as a motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, or RV insurance.

Hail Resistant Roof Discount

Did you have a hail resistant roof?  If your roof complies with the Texas Department of Insurance requirements for Impact Resistant Roofing Credits, some insurance companies will discount your homeowners insurance rate.  There are 4 levels for this discount, and each insurance company establishes the amount of discount available for each level.   The roofing material must have passed the UL Standard 2218 test and be property labeled.  The Texas Department of Insurance also requires a certificate from your roofer, so make sure your roofer provides you with the form that is required.

The link below will take you to the Texas Department of Insurance web page with details about this credit:

Accredited Builder Discount

Some insurance companies offer extra discounts when newer homes which were built by a home builder with a good reputation.  If your home is less than 5 years old, ask if the home builder is on the insurance company’s list of accredited builders.  You may qualify for an extra discount

Discounts available for your homeowners insurance Read More »

What's covered on your homeowners insurance

Homeowners Insurance – Make sure you know what’s covered

 

Your home is a big investment.  Homeowners insurance protects you from financial loss to your home from a covered loss.   This article concerns owner occupied dwellings.  (If you are a renter, please check our blog post Renters Insurance for information on renters insurance.)

Make sure you get and read your homeowners policy. If you’re not sure about something, ask your agent. The discussion below concerns Texas homeowners policies only.

What types of property do Texas homeowners policies cover?

Most homeowners policies in Texas include the following coverages:

  • Dwelling pays if your house is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss.
  • Personal property pays if the items in your house (such as furniture, clothing, and appliances) are damaged, stolen, or destroyed.
  • Other structures pays to repair or rebuild structures not attached to your house, such as detached garages, storage sheds, and fences.
  • Loss of use pays your additional living expenses (housing, food, and other essential expenses) if you must temporarily move because of damage to your house from a covered loss. Your policy will pay either a percentage of the amount of your dwelling coverage (typically 10 to 20 percent) or for a specific period after the loss (such as 24 months).
  • Personal liability pays to defend you in court against lawsuits and provides coverage if you are found legally responsible for someone else’s injury or property damage.
  • Medical payments pays the medical bills of people hurt on your property. It might also pay for some injuries that happen away from your home, such as your dog biting someone at the park. A basic homeowners policy pays $500 in medical bills, but you may buy up to $5,000 in medical payments coverage

Remember,  insurance companies may exclude coverage for certain losses. Even the most comprehensive all-risk policy will exclude certain types of damage.

Is your home and/or personal property covered for actual cash value, or replacement cost?

Will your policy settle claims on replacement cost, or actual cash value basis?

See our article on the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost. Home Insurance – What is Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value.

What are the coverage limits on your Texas homeowners policy?

Review your policy declaration page to.  The declaration page states the maximum amounts available for a covered loss to your house and/or personal property.  Make sure you know what those limits are and if they are adequate.  Additionally, certain types of property will have sub-limits listed within the homeowners insurance contract.  Most policies place a small dollar limit amount for losses involving jewelry, watches, furs, money and securities and firearms.  This list is not all inclusive.  Make sure you read your policy so you are aware of what types of property have sub-limits and what those sub-limits are.

In some cases, the insurance company can increase the sub-limit for an additional premium or can schedule the valuable items individually for each item’s full value. Ask your agent.

What perils are covered on your Texas homeowners policy? 

 

Subject to the policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions, most homeowners policies cover damage caused by Fire and Lightning, Windstorm, Hail, Smoke, Explosion, Riot & Civil Commotion, damage caused by aircraft and vehicles, vandalism and theft.  (Not all policies are the same, so make sure you read your policy.)

Additional perils may be added such as damage caused by sudden and accidental discharge of water, falling objects, collapse from weight of ice or snow, as well as sewer backup, and damage caused by plumbing leaks within your foundation.  Read your policy to know which perils are covered.

Most policies do NOT cover (exclude) losses caused by:

Flooding
Earthquake
Termites, Insects, Rats & Mice
Freezing pipes while your dwelling is unoccupied.
Losses if your house is vacant for the number of days specified in your policy
Wear and Tear and Maintenance
Wind or hail damage to trees and shrubs
Mold
Water damage resulting from continuous and repeated seepage

Other exclusions, conditions and limitations may apply.  Make sure to read your policy.

You can buy Flood insurance on a separate policy written through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Northside Insurance has access to this program.  Call us at (817) 626-3100 for a flood insurance quote.

What is my deductible for a covered loss?

Deductibles are typically listed as a dollar amount and a percentage. The deductible is the amount you must pay before the insurance company will pay. For example, if you have a claim for $5,000 and a deductible of $1,000, the insurance company will automatically deduct $1,000 from the amount it will pay you.   In some cases you may have a different deductible amount depending on whether the loss is weather related or non-weather related.

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This article is only a very brief discussion of certain basic considerations regarding homeowners insurance.  Each homeowners needs and circumstances are different, so make sure your agent understands those needs.  Ask questions, and read your policy until you fully understand what’s cover and what’s not covered.

If you live in Fort Worth or the Greater North Texas region and would like to discuss your homeowners insurance, or obtain a free, no obligation quote, call us at (817) 626-3100 or visit our website at https://northsideinstx.com/.

Homeowners Insurance – Make sure you know what’s covered Read More »

motorcycle insurance

Motorcycle Insurance with Progressive – Fort Worth and North Texas

More insurance companies are competing for motorcycle insurance than ever before.  They are offering a wide variety of coverage options and discounts on their motorcycle insurance policies.  It pays to know your options.  Progressive is the #1 motorcycle insurance group in the nation.  Customers with Progressive Motorcycle policies can insure motorcycle cruisers, customs, sport bikes and street bikes, and they also can insure off-road dirt bikes, ATVs, Segways and more.

Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth Texas is a Progressive Authorized Independent Agent.  Call us for information on motorcycle insurance or for a motorcycle insurance quote.

Below is a brief summary of some coverage options and discounts available on Progressive motorcycle insurance for Texas and are not all inclusive.  These options and discounts are for only for Progressive Insurance Group motorcycle policies written in the state of Texas.  Other insurance companies may not offer the same coverage options or policy provisions.  This is only a brief summary.  Coverage options require an additional premium. Consult your agent concerning costs, eligibility, coverage provisions, exclusions, limitations and conditions which may apply.  Here is a link to the Progressive Website.  Progressive Motorcycle Policies are underwritten by the Progressive County Mutual Insurance Co. 6300 Wilson Mills Rd. Mayfield Village, OH 44143.

Coverage Options:

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD) –  BI/PD covers you if you’re at fault for an accident that injures another person or damages someone’s property, up to the limits you select.  The state of Texas requires this coverage for any motorcycle  you own and/or operate.  The state minimum limit is $30,000 per person for Bodily Injury with $60,000 per accident Bodily Injury and $25,000 per accident for Property Damage.  Higher limits are available.

Comprehensive and Collision –  This motorcycle insurance coverage pays to repair or replace your motorcycle if it’s stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. For each coverage, you select a deductible that you pay out of pocket. Subject to the policy provisions, the insurance company  pays for the remaining damage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)  – When the person at fault for an accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance, UM/UIM will cover your injuries and damages that the at-fault party is legally liable for, such as medical treatment and lost wages.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – PIP is a coverage in which the insurance company pays, within the specified limits, the medical, hospital and funeral expenses of the insured person.

Custom Parts and Equipment – When you purchase Comprehensive or Collision motorcycle insurance coverage, at least $3,000 of Accessory coverage for your custom parts and equipment is included on Texas Progressive County Mutual motorcycle policies for no additional premium.  Up to $30,000 of additional Accessory coverage can be purchased to cover custom parts that exceed the included value.

Roadside Assistance –  If your motorcycle breaks down, Roadside Assistance will pay to tow it to the nearest qualified repair facility. Roadside Assistance also covers the necessary labor costs at the place of breakdown when your motorcycle or off-road vehicle is disabled due to any of the following:

  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • Dead battery
  • Flat tire
  • Lockout
  • Insufficient supply of fuel, oil, water, or other fluids
  • Entrapment in snow, mud, water, or sand within 100 feet of the roadway

Available Discounts for Progressive County Mutual Insurance Co. Motorcycle Insurance – Texas *

Advance Quote Discount – when you get a quote at least one day prior to the policy effective date

Anti-lock Brake Discount – for bikes with anti-lock brakes

Home Ownership Discount –  for homeowners

Association Discount –  for active members of Harley Owners Group (HOG) or USAA

Multi-policy Discount – for policyholders with an auto, boat or RV policy already with Progressive

Safety Course Discount – for applicants who have completed an approved motorcycle safety course

Transfer Discount –  for applicants with prior continuous insurance.

LoJack Discount – on policy with collision and comprehensive when you subscribe to LoJack for your covered motorcycle.

Motorcycle Endorsement Discount – for applicants with a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.

Paid in Full Discount – for policies paid in full at time of application

Multi-Vehicle Discount – when you insure 2 or more motorcycles on the same policy..

* Discounts are subject to eligibility requirements.  Consult your agent for specific eligibility requirements.

Motorcycle Insurance with Progressive – Fort Worth and North Texas Read More »

home insurance illustration

Renters Insurance for Texas Home and Apartment Renters

Fires and natural disasters happen.  We’ve all seen the images on the evening news.  A fire or tornado devastates an apartment complex or neighborhood and in an instant a family’s possessions are gone, and they have no place to stay.

Renters Insurance is a surprisingly affordable way to protect your possessions for their replacement cost  and provide coverage for  your additional living expenses should a fire or natural disaster force you out of your home or apartment.  Renters Insurance also provides coverage for theft, and even provides personal liability protection.

Our carriers offer renters insurance policies that have special coverage options that grant replacement cost coverage on your personal belongings, and if you have special items like jewelry, you can add extra coverage for those high-value items that would be devastating to lose in a burglary, fire or tornado.  Our renters policies also provide important liability protection should a guest get injured in your apartment or rental unit.

Our renters insurance plans have a variety of discounts available, including discounts for paid in full, secured community, advance quoting, E-Policy, as well as discounts for bundling your renters policy with a Progressive Auto Insurance policy.

Northside insurance Agency in Fort Worth, Texas has been serving the insurance needs of North Texas since 1998.  If you would like more information about Renters Insurance or to obtain a fast, free, no obligation quote, call us at (817) 626-3100 or visit our website at www.hemphillinsurance.com.

Renters Insurance for Texas Home and Apartment Renters Read More »

family with children outside car

Why is my auto insurance renewal premium so high?

The renewal bill from the insurance company arrives, and lo and behold it’s a lot higher than last year’s.

What gives?

There are many reasons it may have increased, and it may be time to shop for a different insurance company. An independent insurance agent represents multiple insurance companies and programs so can shop for a better rate if the company you are currently with goes up. Northside Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agent serving Fort Worth and North Texas since 1998.

If your renewal premium went up it may pay to take a few minutes to talk to your current agent to see if there is anything that can be done. If you current agent can’t get the rate lower, it may be time to shop elsewhere. Below are a few reasons why your renewal may have gone up, and what you might do about it. If any of them apply to your situation, talk to your current agent and the agents you are getting quotes with.

Did you add a new vehicle recently?

Insurance companies use a variety of rating factors in order to establish the premium they charge you including charges specific to the year make and model of your automobile or truck. The insurance company that was cheaper when you had your old car, may not be the cheapest for your new vehicle. If your current carrier surcharges the model of vehicle you added, it’s time to check other insurance companies.

Did you have a accident, ticket, or insurance claim recently?

Most insurers will raise your rate if they pay a claim, and the increase can be substantial. Ask your current agent if he represents another insurance company who won’t surcharge your rate as much. The insurance company that had the best rate when you had no tickets or accidents is sometimes not going to be the cheapest if you have an accident. If your current agent does not have a better rate, it may pay to shop with another agent.

Did you add a young driver onto the policy recently?

Policies are rated based on the age and experience of the drivers. If you added a youthful driver to the policy recently, your rate may have gone way up. Insurance companies do not surcharge youthful drivers the same, however. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts to help get that high rate down on youthful operators. Ask your agent if your youthful operator qualifies for any of these discounts or statuses.

  • Good Student Discount – for young drivers attending school full-time that maintain good grades
  • Driver Training Discount – for young drivers who complete an approved driver training course
  • Occasional Operator Status – for young drivers who are not the primary operator of any vehicle.
  • Permit Rating – for young drivers who are not yet licensed but have their learners permit
  • Distant Student Status – for students away from home that only use the covered vehicles occasionally.

Did you move?

Auto insurance rates are based in part on where you live. Some insurance companies even have different rates among zip codes within the same town or county. The insurance company that offered you the lowest rate when you lived on the north side of town, may not have the lowest rate if you’ve moved to the south side. If you have moved recently to another town or another zip code, it may pay to shop.

Finally, the high rate may have nothing to do with you individually. it could be that your insurance company simply raised its rates due to claims or market experience. There are plenty of other insurance companies out there. Just because your current insurance company raised its rates doesn’t mean that another insurance company won’t offer you the same or a lower rate than you had. Most agents and companies offer free quotes. Take a few minutes and see if you can’t find a lower rate. Not all policies are the same however, so make sure you understand what coverage you have and what coverage is being offered, and make sure you deal with an agent you can trust.

Why is my auto insurance renewal premium so high? Read More »

Travelling to Mexico – You Need Mexico Trip Insurance

Now that the kids are out of school for summer vacation many people take time to travel to Mexico for fun and to visit family and friends.

If you are driving into Mexico, you need to Mexico Trip Insurance from a reputable Mexican domiciled carrier.

Your Texas auto policy provides NO coverage in Mexico unless endorsed.

Even if your Texas auto insurance policy shows a Mexico Coverage endorsement, it will be very limited. It will not provide coverage of any kind very far past the border and it will not be accepted by the Mexican Authorities even in the limited areas stated in the endorsement.

A Mexico Trip Insurance policy through Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth Texas will provide coverage through a reputable Mexico domiciled insurance carrier and will include Legal Assistance coverage.

We have a variety of programs and coverages available to provide liability coverage to third parties, collision and theft coverage for your vehicle, legal assistance and travel assistance.

Recent changes in Mexican Law have greatly increased caps on legal liability. It is highly recommended that you carry no a minimum of $300,000 in liability limits. Our carriers have these limits and higher at affordable rates. ,Medical Payments coverage for you and the people in your covered vehicle are available as well.

Many border towns offer Mexican insurance but by waiting to purchase later rather than sooner you run the risk of paying higher premiums and waiting in long lines. Be sure to plan ahead if you are traveling to Mexico by calling or coming by Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth Texas get a fast, free, no obligation quote for a Mexico trip insurance policy.

Policies are subject to underwriting, and your coverage will be subject to the conditions, limitations and exclusions in the policy.

Travelling to Mexico – You Need Mexico Trip Insurance Read More »

I Need Full Coverage Insurance – What Is It?

Full coverage?

At Northside Insurance in Fort Worth, TX, we get lots of calls and walk-ins for quotes for full coverage. What exactly is full coverage? Full coverage unfortunately doesn’t exit. Dealerships frequently ask their customers to ensure the vehicle they are purchasing is insured with full coverage. This is because they are interested in having their vehicle fully covered. The coverages they are referring to are physical damages covered under comprehensive and collision coverage. Purchasing those coverages doesn’t necessarily mean you are fully covered.

Be sure to review any quotes you receive before purchasing to ensure that you are purchasing coverages that best fit your needs. You may be under the impression that you are purchasing more coverage than you really are. If your policy is up for renewal it is also a good time to review your policy coverages and determine if you could forego certain coverages. If your vehicle is older you may decide to remove physical damage coverage. If you are looking to save some money you could always raise your deductible amount for some time.

Look at the link listed below for a more detailed look into what coverages best fit your needs.

Progressive – Answers – Full Coverage

I Need Full Coverage Insurance – What Is It? Read More »

Renters Insurance – Things to Know

Did you know?

If you are renting an apartment or house the property owner’s insurance will only pay to repair the building. Under their policy there is no coverage to repair or replace your belongings.

Renters insurance will pay to repair or replace your belongings that are damaged due to a covered peril or if they are stolen. A renters policy protects your belongings against things like fire, storms and theft. Renters insurance can also provide coverage for additional living expenses should you be unable to stay at your apartment or home after a fire or storm.

Additionally, many property owners and apartment complexes in Texas require their tenants to have renters insurance with liability coverage for the length of their lease.

Renters Insurance is affordable, and many plans are available for just a few dollars per month.

Click on this link Renters Insurance – Texas Department of Insurance to get some additional information about renters insurance and be sure to call Northside Insurance in Fort Worth Texas for a quote!

Call us at (817) 626-3100 or click the link below to request a Renters Insurance Quote.

Renters Insurance Quote

Renters Insurance – Things to Know Read More »

It’s Motorcycle Season – Is Your Insurance Up To Date

Spring weather is here and so is the time to get out that motorcycle that has been collecting dust in your garage. Is your motorcycle ready to go? I don’t just mean is it mechanically ready and all shined up ready for a spin. Did you make sure that your motorcycle insurance didn’t lapse? If it did make sure to call us, Northside Insurance Agency in Fort Worth Texas, your Progressive Authorized Independent Agent, to get a quote!

Progressive is the #1 motorcycle insurer!!!

Click on the link below to get a full rundown on motorcycle insurance and the type of coverage that fits you best. Be sure to give us a call when you are ready to buy that insurance policy for your motorcycle.

Motorcycle 101 with Progressive

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