Auto Insurance

Information regarding auto insurance in Texas from your local agent, Austin Insurance Group.

How Does My Car Affect My Insurance Rates?

How does my car affect my Insurance Rates?

4 Reasons Your Car Makes Your Insurance Cost More

  1. Likelihood the vehicle will be stolen or vandalized.
  2. Cost to Repair the vehicle after collision. Significant safety features may protect a driver and passengers better, but the more safety features a car has, the more it costs to repair.
  3. Amount of injury or damage the vehicle can cause to others.  For instance a light car may not protect the driver or passengers as well as a heavier car in an accident.  Resulting in more injury claims.
  4. Likelihood people inside the vehicle will be injured in an accident.

Here’s a must-read for you:

10 hours. That’s how long (on average) people spend doing research before buying a new car, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive.

Save some time by reading our quick-reference guide to:

How does my car affect my insurance rate?

While you probably won’t choose a car solely based on how much it costs to insure, knowing this might help you make the final call.

(Tip: The only way to really be confident in your insurance costs, get quotes for each of the vehicles you are considering to find which one will be the least expensive to insure.)

Austin Insurance Group | Local Texas Auto Insurance Agent | (512)339-2901 | How Does My Car Affect My Insurance Rates?

Austin Insurance Group Local Texas Agent (512)339-2901

Understanding Insurance Quotes

Understanding Insurance Quotes

Austin Insurance Group provides homeowners insurance quotes, flood insurance, auto insurance and umbrella policies.  Understanding insurance quotes will help make choosing the right agent, coverage and company a breeze.

Understanding Insurance Quotes - Get a Quote

Homeowners Insurance Quote

There are two basic types of homeowners insurance policies – “named peril” and “all risk” policies. Named peril policies, such as the HO-A Plus form, will only cover the perils that are specified in the policy.  All risk policies, such as the HO-3 form, will cover everything that is not specifically excluded in your policy. If you compare the inclusions in a named perils policy side-by-side with the exclusions in an open perils policy, you’ll find that the two types provide basically the same level of protection with the exception of options and endorsements.  Two important ones are foundation coverage and water backup.

Austin Insurance Group will quote companies who provide both types of policies, however, we highly recommend “all risk” policies.

Flood Insurance

Floods are not covered under any home insurance policy.  Flood insurance is written as a separate policy and FEMA regulates the premiums.   If your home is in a flood zone, you will need to provide an elevation certificate in order to provide a quote.  Most mortgage companies will require flood insurance for homes in a flood zone, and they often have elevation certificates on hand.   If your home is not in a flood zone, there is a flat pricing structure.

Auto Insurance

The Texas Personal Auto Insurnace Policy offers eight types of coverage. Each coverage only pays up to the dollar limit chosen for that coverage.

Liability Coverage:  The current Texas state minimum for liability insurance is $30,000 per person / $60,000 per incident for bodily injury, along with $25,000 for property damage. This coverage pays for other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers that are covered under your policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: UM/UIM pays your expenses when an accident is caused by an uninsured motorist or an underinsured motorist driver whose liability limits were insufficient to cover your bills. It also pays for damages caused by a hit-and-run driver in accidents that are reported promptly to the police.

Medical Payments Coverage:  Medical payments insurance covers the cost of doctors, hospitals and funeral expenses for you and/or your passengers that are a result from an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage: PIP is basically medical payments coverage plus coverage for lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. PIP is automatically included in the Texas personal auto policy unless rejected in writing by the applicant.

Collision (Damage to Your Car) Coverage: Collision coverage pays for damage to your own auto that results from having an accident with another vehicle or object, regardless of fault. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, less your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours before it was damaged.

Comprehensive (Physical Damage Other than Collision) Coverage:  Comp coverage pays for damages that are caused by something other than a collision. This includes theft and vandalism, and disasters such as fire, flood, hail or hitting an animal. Like Collision, Comprehensive pays Actual cash value minus your deductible.

Towing and Labor Coverage:  Towing and Labor pays for towing charges when your auto can not be driven, plus it includes labor charges, like changing a tire, at the site of the disablement.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage:  Rental car coverage pays a set daily amount for a rental car if your car is stolen or is being repaired because of damage covered on your policy.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance provides added liability coverage beyond the liability on your home and auto insurance policies, usually in increments of $1 million, $2 million or $5 million. Umbrella insurance policies are typically tied to an auto policy,  but we can also quote umbrella coverage for customers who need a stand alone policy. Most companies require $250,000/$500,000 auto liability limits and $300,000 in liability on your home policy as underlying limits.   When you are involved in a liability claim that exceeds the limits on your underlying (auto or home) policies, that’s when the umbrella kicks in and pays up to the limit chosen.

Austin Insurance Group | Local Texas Auto Insurance Agent

(512)339-2901 | Understanding Insurance Quotes

Understanding Insurance Quotes

Austin Car Insurance

Austin Car Insurance

Shop Austin car insurance quotes, rates, policies and coverage with Austin Insurance Group and Progressive online in 6 minutes or less then buy 24/7. Austin auto insurance quotes are easy and only take a few minutes.

Compare Austin car insurance rates to find a policy that meets your needs. Get a free car insurance quote from Progressive now.

Our Austin car insurance policies include:

Terrific rates & discounts    Texas drivers spent an average of $854 a year on auto insurance in 2008, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. By choosing Progressive and Austin Insurance Group, you can protect yourself, your passengers and your car—and make sure you get the most for your money. Not only could you save hundreds on Austin car insurance just by switching to Progressive, you’ll get auto insurance discounts and free extras, too.

Austin car insurance coverage options    As you complete your Progressive quote, you can have us recommend Austin car insurance coverage for you, use the Name Your Price option if you’re shopping on a budget, or create a custom package. With Progressive behind you, you’ll be prepared for many unexpected situations on the road, from breakdowns to collisions.

24/7 claims & customer service With instant online and mobile access to your Progressive auto insurance policy, you can quickly and securely make a payment, update account information and more—anytime.

You can report an accident online, too, and with a Progressive auto insurance claims office right in Austin, we’ll be there to start your claim so you can get back on the road quickly.

For your repairs, you can choose one of our network shops or our concierge level of claims service, available through our Austin Service Center and we’ll guarantee your repairs for as long as you own or lease your car. Plus, with our concierge level of claims service, you’ll save time and effort by having us manage the entire repair process. You can also choose your favorite repair shop, if you prefer.

Quote & buy Austin TX car insurance today!

Resources: National Association of Insurance Commissioners


Auto Fire Damage. Does my auto insurance policy cover this?

Auto Fire Damage

Unfortunately, auto fire damage occurs more often than you might think.

To find out how your auto coverage applies in the case of auto fire damage, review your auto insurance coverage summary—which you can usually access online. Most insurers include coverage for car fire damage with your comprehensive coverage, which pays for vehicle damage that’s caused by something other than a collision less your deductible.

If you do have a vehicle that has been damaged by fire, and you have comprehensive coverage, contact your insurer immediately to report your claim. Your insurer will assess the damage and will help you rent a car, if your policy includes rental reimbursement coverage.   Make sure you know the amount of your deductible—what you pay out of pocket when you have a claim—and whether there are any additional costs. Your insurer can recommend a quality body shop for your repairs.

What to Do After Your Vehicle is Damaged by a Fire

If fire damages your vehicle, you should report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.

To get the process started have the following information available:

  • Contact information for any emergency agency that responded to the fire — If you are able to obtain a copy of the fire report, please have it available as well.
  • Information on injuries caused by the fire, or other damaged vehicles or property.
  • Information on recent repairs performed on the damaged vehicle.
  • A description of the damaged vehicle, including mileage, options, and upgrades.
  • A list of personal property damaged in the fire. Coverage for personal items varies from state to state, and your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide additional coverage for personal items destroyed in the fire.  If you do not have home or renters insurance, you can obtain a quote now.
  • Please include any finance or leasing company contact information and your account number, if applicable.

During the process of filing your claim, your claims examiner may require additional information regarding the damaged vehicle, such as:

  • Certificate of Title for the vehicle.
  • Service records and receipts.
  • Receipts for any upgrades or custom items installed in the damaged vehicle*.

If the damaged vehicle is financed or leased, make sure to report the fire to your finance or leasing company. To expedite your claim’s process, inform your finance or leasing company to discuss the case directly with your insurance company.

You may also be provided with a rental vehicle if you have rental coverage. Contact your claims examiner for more detailed information.

* Coverage for upgrades and custom items may be limited — your claims examiner can provide you with more information.

If you do not have comprehensive coverage but would like to know the cost for adding it to your insurance policy, by clicking this button you can start an instant quote with Progressive Insurance.

Austin Insurance Group | Local Texas Auto Insurance Agent | 512-339-2901 | Auto Fire Damage

Cutting Texas Car Insurance Costs

Cutting Texas Car Insurance Costs

Cutting Texas Car Insurance RatesThe following information outlines Texas’ rating system.  We offer tips on cutting Texas car insurance costs and we describe how your driving record affects your premium.

What are County Mutual Companies?

Most county mutuals specialize in high-risk drivers and generally charge more than other companies. Check your auto insurance policy’s Declarations page for the words county mutual.  If you and your covered family members have good driving records, you probably don’t belong in a county mutual and should shop for insurance coverage with a standard or preferred company that offers lower rates.

What are standard and preferred companies?

A preferred company usually offers the lowest rates.

A standard company’s rates are somewhat higher than a preferred company’s.

A high-risk company sells at high rates to drivers with poor driving records or other problems.  In Texas,  high-risk companies are likely to be a county mutual.

Many insurers actually are groups of companies.  An insurance group might consist of a preferred company, a standard company and a county mutual.

What factors affect my premium?

When a company applies their rates to your particular situation as a driver, the resulting total is your premium.  Several factors determine the premium you are quoted or ultimately charged:

  1. Your age and, for younger drivers, your marital status. Unmarried male drivers under 21 pay the highest rates.  Also, single men between 21 and 25 and unmarried women under 21, will pay higher rates.  On the other hand, drivers over 50 may get discounts from some companies.
  2. The county and zip code where you keep your auto.  Texas is divided into 52 rating territories.  Urban counties usually have more accidents and auto thefts, therefore they usually have higher rates than rural areas.
  3. Your auto.  Collision and comprehensive rates are highest for luxury cars, high-performance cars and sports cars.  Rates also reflect the fact that some cars damage more easily or cost more to repair than others.  On older, paid-for, lower-value cars, you should consider dropping collision insurance.  An insurer will not pay for repairs that cost more than the car’s value.  When repair costs exceed the car’s market value, the insurer will total the car and send you a check for its market value.
  4. How you use your auto.  Rates are higher for autos driven to  work or used in business than for cars used only for errands and pleasure trips.
  5. Your deductibles, if you have collision and comprehensive,  are your out-of-pocket share of the cost of a claim.  You can reduce your premium by raising your deductibles.
  6. Surcharges. Penalties are added for accidents and certain traffic violations.
  7. Discounts.  Some are required by the state, others are optional.  Ask your agent.
  8. Credit Scores.  Some companies also use credit scores.
  9. Other Factors.  These are among the top factors used to determine rates, but other factors may be considered as well.

How can I check out a company or agent?

A low rate is no bargain if you buy from a fraudulent company or agent.  To find information on auto insurance companies in Texas, call the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) at:
1-800-578-4677 in Austin, (512)463-6169.

The Texas Department of Insurance can tell you whether an agent or company is authorized to sell auto insurance in Texas.  They can also tell you a company’s complaint record and its letter grade from a  national financial rating service.

How does my driving record affect my premium?

  1. A good driving record can save you money. Preferred companies, which usually charge the lowest rates,  accept only applicants with good driving records.
  2. A good driving record can get you a discount from some companies when you renew your policy.  Ask your agent.
  3. Tickets and accidents can mean higher premiums if companies classify you as “high-risk.” You could end up in a county mutual or the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA), also known as the assigned risk plan.  TAIPA provides basic liability coverages for drivers rejected by at least two insurance companies. Motorists in the TAIPA pay higher surcharges and higher rates than other drivers, but sometimes less than drivers insured by county mutuals.
  4. Accidents or major driving offenses can add surcharges to your premium. Surcharges are mandatory and stay on your premium for three years.

Austin Insurance Group | Local Texas Auto Insurance Agent | 512-339-2901 | Cutting Texas Car Insurance Costs