Understanding Insurance Coverages

Understanding insurance coverages will help make choosing the right agent, coverage and company a breeze.  Austin Insurance Group is here to help you make sense of your insurance.

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Glossary of Common Insurance Terms – Glossary

Auto Insurance

The Texas Personal Auto Insurance Policy offers eight types of coverage. Each coverage only pays up to the dollar limit chosen for that coverage. Understanding insurance coverages, read more below.

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.

What does PIP auto insurance cover?
This is an optional car insurance coverage that covers medical expenses and, in many cases, lost wages. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because it pays out claims to anyone in the covered vehicle, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
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.
What does PIP stand for?  Personal Injury Protection – A feature of automobile insurance that covers the health care expenses associated with treating injuries sustained in a car accident.

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.

Homeowners Insurance

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.

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.


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