Tire Maintenance – Understanding Your Tires

Tires take a lot of heavy damage every single day. Unlike the rest of your vehicle, your tires need special attention. Keeping them maintained is essential to making sure your car stays on the road. The independent insurance agents at Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, TX would like to offer you some advice about how to maintain your tires.

Check Your Tires Regularly

You’ll need to do regular tire checks to keep you safe before heading out on the road. At least once a month you should check to make sure your tire pressure is correct. Over-inflated tires could cause the tire to wear out faster, mainly in the center of the tire’s tread. Alternatively, having too little pressure in the tire can cause the tread to wear on the outside.

When looking at the tread, you should notice whether it is erratic or on one side. If it is erratic, then you may need to have one or more of your wheels balanced. If the tread is worn on one side, then you should have your tires realigned.

What to Look for While Driving

When you are driving, you should listen to your tires. If you hear a thumping noise or feel vibrations coming from your tires as you drive, your tires are probably out of balance. In addition, if you notice that your car begins to pull to one side, one or more of your tires on that side may be damaged. Make an appointment with your local auto repair shop to have it repaired. Driving with damaged tires can ultimately begin to do internal damage to your vehicle.

Stop by Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, TX to get information about how to maintain your tires and also learn about getting car insurance for your vehicle.

Galvanized Plumbing

Water damage claims are one of the most common kinds of home insurance claims. In fact, many home insurance carriers will decline to insure homes with the old galvanized plumbing, which is still commonly found in homes built before about 1985 which have not been updated.

Why do only a small proportion of insurance carriers accept this old kind of plumbing? Well, it all comes down to risk, of course. Galvanized plumbing is prone to corrosion, and statistically it is much more likely to cause an expensive home insurance claim when compared to more modern PVC piping.

Unless you have a very high value home, the chances are that your insurance company will carry out an exterior only inspection when agreeing to insure your home. So they won’t know if your plumbing is galvanized or not – it is up to you to tell your agent when you are purchasing your policy. If you’re with a carrier who doesn’t accept galvanized plumbing, and you have a water damage claim from a burst pipe, your insurance carrier may deny your claim.

This is one reason why it is very important to contact an independent agent who will work with you to select the right kind of policy for your home. But don’t worry – the licensed agents at Memorial Insurance will ask you all the right questions to make sure you are correctly covered!

Depreciation Heartache! ACV vs Replacement Cost

When it comes to insurance, there are many common pitfalls for the unwary. Let’s examine one of these today: Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost.

Actual Cash Value: In this case, if you have a claim, your insurance company will pay you the amount of your claim minus depreciation. Imagine that you have a 25-year composition roof on your home which you installed 10 years ago at a cost of $10,000. If your roof is destroyed and needs replacing, how much will you get from your insurance company? The short answer is: not enough! Your roof’s expected lifespan is 25 years, meaning it depreciates in value 4% each year, to end with a theoretical value of zero after 25 years. In this example, your 10 year old roof has therefore lost 40% of its value by the time the hurricane hits, meaning the maximum available payout under an ACV policy is $6,000. But your financial pain doesn’t end there – you also have to take into account your deductible. So if your home is insured for $200,000 and you have a 2% wind/hail deductible, you will be paying $4,000 out of pocket before your insurance company pays even one cent. Keeping up? Therefore the total payout you’ll get from the insurance company will be the $6,000 Actual Cash Value of your roof, minus your $4,000 deductible, making a grand total of $2,000 ……. just a fraction of what you will have to pay to replace your roof.

Replacement Cost: This is a much better option. Your insurance company will pay whatever it takes to REPLACE your roof to the same standard as the one that was destroyed. There is no depreciation – all you pay out of pocket is your deductible. So in this case, you would receive a lot more money from the insurance company.

Moral of the story? Now you can see why Memorial Insurance always offers Replacement Cost policies, and low deductibles! Whichever insurance agent you use, always make sure the magic words Replacement Cost are on your homeowners insurance policy! Replacement Cost is not limited to the structure of the house itself – it can apply to personal property too, usually as an optional endorsement for a small extra cost. Reputable agents should always offer Replacement Cost – for both the dwelling and the contents – as standard, but beware unscrupulous agents who may try and sell you an ACV policy to save a little premium. It’s just not worth it!