What Are the Benefits of Taking a Defensive Driving Course?

Defensive driving courses aren’t just for teenagers who are just learning to drive. The agents at Memorial Insurance Agency have the answers you need about these types of classes. Residents in Houston, TX who choose to take a defensive driving course can reap the rewards and turn a copy of their completion certificate into their insurance agent.

Refreshes What You May Have Forgotten

Defensive driving courses are designed for anyone who needs to learn (or re-learn) the basics of defensive driving. If you have been driving for several years, there may be a few tips or tricks you may have forgotten. Everyone can benefit from taking an updated defensive driving course every few years. 

Provides You With Updated Information

Defensive driving courses are revised and updated every year or two. This ensures that the information being taught is as current as possible. This can include changes in the laws that have to do with speed limits or school zones. Laws vary from state to state so taking a defensive driving course is beneficial if you move to another state.

Might Make You Eligible for a Discount on Your Insurance Premiums

Successfully completing a defensive driving course may also make you eligible for a discount on your auto insurance premium. If you have questions about any of these benefits contact the agents of Memorial Insurance Agency. The agents are highly trained and can assist residents of Houston, TX in finding the answers they need about defensive driving courses. They may also be able to tell you where you can find these types of classes online so you don’t have to visit your local DMV.

Make Sure Your Auto Policy’s Replacement Coverage is Adequate for Your Needs

Today’s cars are lasting longer than ever, and while this is a great way to maximize your investment in your vehicle, your insurance policy may not be providing the coverage you need. As your car ages and experiences more wear and tear, it will be worthless money. If you are insuring the present value of your car or truck, you may be in for a rude awakening if something catastrophic happens to your vehicle. The team at Memorial Insurance Agency is here to help our friends and neighbors in the greater Houston, TX area get the coverage they need.

What You Need to Know About Replacement Coverage

When your vehicle is determined to be a total loss, whether due to theft, damage, or collision, your policy may not have the coverage that you need.

  • There may be a wide variance between the present value of your vehicle and its replacement value. If your policy is only adequate for the current value of your car, you may be left paying out-of-pocket to replace it.
  • You may not be able to get any money at all for your totaled car. There are situations when you won’t be able to sell your current vehicle due to extreme damage or theft.
  • The current coverage amount included in your auto policy may not be sufficient for you to purchase the type of vehicle you need. If your car is totaled, your policy may not have the level of protection you need.

Want to find out more about your replacement coverage options in the greater Houston, TX area? Call or stop by the Memorial Insurance Agency today and speak with one of our helpful agents about the policy options that are right for you.

Understanding Your Car Insurance Coverage

In Houston, TX, you are required to carry a certain amount of auto insurance. Do you really know what that entails? Memorial Insurance Agency would like to break it down for you so you can have a better understanding of what having car insurance means for you.

Types of Auto Coverage

You can have different and specific types of coverage. It’s really based on your needs. If you work out of your home and don’t drive very often, you may need only the basic coverage. If you travel every day to work or school, you may need additional coverage.

Liability Insurance Policies

Because we don’t know the future, liability insurance is there to cover any accidents that may arise.

Bodily injury liability — pays the individuals that are injured if you cause or are found to be at fault for an accident.

Property damage liability — is used for the cost of damages related to another person’s property if you cause damage to their property while in control of your vehicle. This can include a house, mailbox, building, or other property that is damaged.

Optional Insurance Coverage for Your Vehicle

Collision coverage — is used in instances where you are involved in a vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-object crash. It helps to cover the cost of your vehicle’s damages.

Comprehensive coverage — is to be paid if your vehicle is stolen or damaged. The damage cannot be caused by a collision. For example, if someone vandalizes your van or steals it, you could use comprehensive coverage to have your vehicle replaced.

To find out the specifics of what is covered in your policy, you will need to talk with the experts at Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, TX. We can also help you add coverage or begin a new policy.

5 Reasons Young Drivers Pay More

Auto insurance premiums for young drivers can be heart-attack-inducing. More than a few parents must have been forced to choose between using their savings for their child’s college fees, or for their auto insurance. But why exactly are teen drivers such an expensive proposition for insurance companies?

  1. Young Drivers Are An Unknown Risk: Insurance calculations partly base their calculations on a driver’s prior history. Teens are an unknown quantity because they only just started driving. Therefore, insurance carriers assume the worst-case scenario when assessing premiums. It’s up to the young driver to maintain a clean driving record for the first few years and then premiums will start to come down.
  2. Young Drivers Have More Accidents: A fact of life is that young drivers have more accidents than older ones. This is supported by a large amount of data gathered over many years. Insurance is a risk pool where everyone must pay for the accidents of others – therefore it is not surprising that younger drivers are expected to pay a higher proportion of the costs!
  3. Young Drivers Are Less Experienced: It takes a long time to build good driving skills, especially when handling emergency situations. Defensive, risk-averse driving is something that takes many years to master. Young drivers tend to misjudge situations on the road, and are more prone to panic or over-correct.
  4. Young Drivers Are More Prone To Distracted Driving: Ever seen a young person NOT using a cellphone?! Take a moment to observe other drivers on the road (but obviously not while you are driving!). It is hardly surprising that distracted driving contributes to an ever-increasing percentage of serious accidents among young drivers.
  5. Young Drivers Are Crazier Drivers: Science supports the assertion that teen drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. High-risk driving on the highway is not an attractive prospect for insurers. Young men are especially likely to speed, tailgate, and have an overly inflated opinion of their own driving skills.

One of the best ways to save money is to shop your auto insurance with a range of different providers. At Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, Texas, we have a wide range of options to choose from – give us a call for a quote today.

Hit-and-Run: Does Your Auto Insurance Policy Cover You?

Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident can be scary and frustrating. If you are involved in an automobile accident, you are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other driver. But if a driver takes off instead of stopping, your head may be swirling with questions. Here at Memorial Insurance Agency, serving the greater Houston, TX area, we are often asked if auto insurance offers coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident. You may be covered only if you carry one of these two types of policies. 

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage will cover both your vehicle and any injuries you or your passengers may sustain if a driver hits you and fails to stop. Your insurance company often requires that you report the accident to the appropriate authorities in order to provide coverage for a hit-and-run accident. Additionally, you are typically required to pay the deductible, even if the accident was not your fault, unless the hit-and-run driver is found. 

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

Collision coverage does more than provide coverage for hit-and-run drivers. Unfortunately, not every driver needs the coverages it provides. If you are looking to simply protect against uninsured or hit-and-run drivers, some insurance companies offer a coverage called uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage coverage. This type of insurance will protect you against a driver who does not have insurance, does not have enough insurance coverage to cover the damage they caused and/or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. 

Unfortunately, not every auto insurance policy type provides any or ample coverage if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. This is why it is so important to ensure that you have the best auto insurance policy for your needs. Here at Memorial Insurance Agency, serving the greater Houston, TX area, we will help you select the best type of auto insurance policy for you. Call us now to learn more. 

Road Rage and Auto Insurance

Want to know why “road rage” is not covered by many auto insurance policies? The simple answer is that property damage or liability claims resulting from aggressive driving are not considered to be accidental, but rather, an avoidable consequence of risky behavior.

Even if you’re feeling calm, you don’t want to become part of someone else’s auto accident as a result of their bad driving choices. The following tips may save your bacon on Houston’s high-octane highways:

  1. Stay far away: Slow down or change lanes to leave as much space between you and the offending driver as possible. If you are being tailgated, move aside to reduce the chance of being run into from behind if you are forced to brake sharply.
  2. Note the vehicle details: Pull over and report the aggressive driver to the police. Remember – do not make a call on your cell phone while driving!
  3. Don’t use hand gestures: A middle-finger salute could quickly escalate the situation out of hand if the other driver is already feeling angry, aggressive, or upset.
  4. Don’t confront another driver: In a moment of madness, it may be tempting to follow the person who just cut you off, force them off the road, and teach them a lesson using a tire iron or firearm. Don’t do this.
  5. Practice empathy: Maybe the aggressive driver is running late for work, or just had an argument with his wife. Perhaps the slow driver is lost, or has a mechanical issue with his vehicle. At some point, everyone has been one of those drivers – try not to take the bad driving of others personally.

Stay safe on those crazy roads and if you need auto insurance advice, call your friends at Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston, Texas!

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For Auto Insurance

When it comes to auto insurance in Houston, “honesty is the best policy”. Leave out important information on your application, and you could end up incorrectly insured – which is a scenario you may come to regret if you are involved in an auto accident.

Full disclosure applies not only to new business, but to renewals as well. Your account manager at Memorial Insurance Agency will review all your policies with you on an annual basis, as part of our service. Those discussions often revolve around premium, liability limits, and deductibles – but it is also important to let us know if you have made any major life changes, changed your garaging address, vehicle use, or added a household member of driving age. So please make sure you mention all relevant information to your agent!

CLICK HERE for a full rundown of the things you need to consider!

Latest Happenings at MIA!

Our Director of Operations, Dominic Le Croissette, with other real estate professionals at Sweet Bribery in The Heights.

What has the team at Memorial Insurance Agency in Houston been doing recently?

Last week, we sponsored a fantastic Champagne Floats event for real estate professionals at Sweet Bribery in The Heights. It was great to see such a big turnout of realtors, mortgage brokers, and other people involved in the flourishing Houston real estate market.

Our team continues to go from strength to strength! The new arrivals on our production team, Shannon Broll and Kevin Feehery, are really proving their expertise when it comes to writing home insurance, auto insurance, and flood insurance policies. It’s great to have them both on board!

And finally ….. our customer service manager, Denise Martinez, is leading by example with her awesome service to her clients – check out this lovely, heartfelt thank you letter from one of her customers.

Have a great weekend everyone!

4 Reasons to Get a QUALITY Auto Insurance Policy

Some people think auto insurance is all about price. Those people get the cheapest possible policy because – obviously – no one wants to pay more for insurance than they have to, right?

Wrong! While, naturally, price is a major consideration when it comes to choosing car insurance, it is by no means the only consideration. Here are four excellent reasons to spend a little extra for a quality policy:

  1. You get higher coverages: The difference in price between state minimum liability limits (30/60 in Texas), and something a lot better, is often surprisingly small. It makes sense to spend just a few extra dollars each month, for the peace of mind that you have enough coverage in the insurance to pay for an accident. So, you should pick the 100/300 limits as an absolute minimum. Many “cheap” auto insurance companies offer only the lowest coverage limits, which won’t go far if you’re involved in a crash with a Lexus or a Tesla – and especially if someone gets injured. Guess who they come after for the money, once your insurance limits have been exhausted? Yes, that’s right: you, and everything you own.
  2. You get broader coverages: Let’s say your son or daughter is home from college for a few weeks, or your friend desperately needs to borrow your vehicle. You don’t want to have to add them to your policy, just so they can have occasional use of your car. Quality auto insurance policies, such as those offered by Safeco, Travelers or Progressive, cover anyone to drive your car with your permission. Cheap policies offer no coverage for any driver except those named on the policy.
  3. You get a high-quality claims service: If you’re ever involved in an accident, the last thing you need is a lot of hassle to get your car towed or repaired. The top auto insurance companies have a fast, efficient claims service, and they work with networks of high-quality repair shops. So you’ll be back on the road in no time, and with the minimum of heartache.
  4. You can lock in to a rate for 12 months: Safeco, Travelers, Progressive and other high-quality auto insurance carriers lock in your premium for an entire year. Most cheap auto insurance companies, including Geico, offer only 6-month policies. You don’t have to be a genius to guess what might happen when insurance companies have the opportunity to increase your rates after six months!

Give your agent at Memorial Insurance a call today, and we’ll be happy to explain your current coverages, or offer a comparative quote with a quality auto insurance carrier. Safe driving!