You may have wondered why your insurance carrier does things a certain way.
Insurance For Texans has helped hundreds of homeowners with their insurance and we've picked up on answers to questions that could otherwise be seen as industry "secrets" on how carriers operate.
We like to share this information, better yet, we like to tell you just how we came to know it!
Buckle up and get ready for five things your insurance carrier may not want you to know, but that your friendly, local, independent insurance agent is more than happy to divulge.
1. Calling the 1-800 Number to ask about a "potential" claim can result in your carrier recording it as a claim
What? You just called to get an answer to your question. You get your question answered, but now you have a claim status working against you on your record.
Why would you care?
Premiums for one. This "claim" can have a major effect if you try to switch carriers. Or, the current carrier with the 1-800 number may charge you more for their "help". This could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars you don't want to spend.
This takes about three to five years for this claim to roll off your report. You don't want a simple question to cost you money. That's just not right.
2. A 15 year old roof or more will shift your policy to actual cash value instead of replacement cost
Hail is not an "if" but a "when" in North Texas. Your home and maybe your auto and quite possibly you will get hit by hail at some point. It's a facet of life.
When a home ages, the claim to repair or recover a roof increases with it. Many insurance carriers have reworked their polices to not offer full replacement of your roof if it reaches the 15 or 20+ year mark.
What will they provide? They will reimburse a depreciated amount factored by taking the age of your roof into consideration.
That's small potatoes when it comes to reimbursing for a Texas-sized hailstorm. Before applying your John Hancock to the dotted line, know this difference and know the age of your roof. It could mean a large expense for you.
3. You will not be covered for a sewer line backup between your foundation and the sewer main in the street if you don't have an endorsement
There's not much else more gross than a sewer, and when one backs up into your home, that's grosser than gross. Roots growing in the soil of Texas homes cause issues with sewer lines, causing backup issues of epic proportions.
Having an endorsement on your policy helps to alleviate the situation. You've already got a stinky mess on your hands and you don't want it to get worse.
Insurance for Texans can add a simple endorsement to your home insurance policy to avoid this.
4. Small claims are big problems that can keep you tied to your insurance company for the next 3 to 5 years
When your lawnmower hit the rock that hit your window that caused you to file a claim to repair it, you didn't realized the $300 payout would go on your CLUE report.
This logged information in a central database of insurance claim information has your name on it and now insurance carriers can track this activity for the next 3 to 5 years.
When you get a rate increase and want to shop, carriers will know you had a claim within the last 12-18 months.
This may mean carriers will block your access to their policies until a 3-year period of time passes.
Congratulations! You're now married to your insurance carrier for that timeframe.
Is that $300 claim payout worth it now as your rates have increased with no recourse? Maybe not so much.
5. Credit score makes a difference on price
A solid credit score can make a huge difference and save you dollars regarding your insurance. There, we've said it. Not many people like to say it, but it's true.
Insurance For Texans has provided thousand of quotes for home insurance across Texas, including right here in Grapevine.
We've seen rates vary on the same property depending on the credit score of the individual purchasing the policy.
Carriers want clients who pay their bills and if they see that's been an issue, they want you to pay for that risk, not them.
Keep your credit score clean as possible and you'll see benefits of better pricing.
Insurance in Texas can get Tricky. Here's a quick list on how to handle it like a Texan
- If you have questions, make sure you work with an agent that gets you answers without it penalizing you in the form of a claim
- If you want access to insurance policy options and flexibility, work with an agent who functions as a broker
- If you expect to have small claims, have a savings account handy to take care of repairs instead of filing a claim
- If you want to save money on insurance and other purchases, stay up-to-date on your bills