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!

Insurance Health Check

Are you one of the millions of people making a New Year’s Resolution to improve your health this January? While you’re at it, why not check the health of your insurance, too? The following three tips may come in handy!

  1. Update your agent: Changed your phone number or email address? Make sure your insurance agent is aware. We may need to contact you if we get an alert from your insurance carrier about your policy. Also, if we’ve got your up-to-date information, we can proactively call you ahead of your renewal and let you know of any pending increases, and find you a lower-priced policy in plenty of time.
  2. Check your coverages: Make sure your auto insurance has high enough limits, and check you have uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage. Maybe you’ve purchased a rental property – is it included on your umbrella insurance? How about that jet ski – is it covered? Give your insurance agent a call, we’d be more than happy to run a policy health check.
  3. Review your billing information: If you’re set up on automatic draft, make sure the billing information is current. Your credit score will not thank you if a payment is declined! Similarly, make sure your insurance agent is aware if your mortgage details have changed. That way, we can process your renewal in plenty of time without you having to worry about a lapse in coverage.

Independent Insurance Agent vs. Buying Directly Online

In the past, you didn’t have many options for buying home insurance, but those days are well and truly over. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll be getting bombarded every year with “too good to be true” offers in the mail, and every insurance company under the sun will be popping up on your Facebook sidebar as renewal date approaches.

Not only are there more options these days, but there are more ways to buy insurance, from a plethora of local agents, to companies offering direct quotes online in a matter of minutes.

It’s true, there are companies out there who will give you a real life quote for your home with just a few clicks of your mouse. So is this the way of the future? Could it really be the best course of action to just go online and buy the cheapest policy you can find, direct from the insurer?

It’s tempting, but before proceeding, ask yourself the following question: am I an insurance expert? If the answer is yes, go ahead and click away to see what is on offer.

However, if you don’t know your water backup endorsement from your water damage coverage, or your personal liability from your personal injury, then you need to get an independent insurance agent in your corner. Independent agents such as Memorial Insurance have access to many different markets and can find you a homeowners’ insurance product that suits your home, location, and budget.

Often, you will save money by relying on an agent’s expertise, compared to going directly to an online insurer and running the risk of buying coverage you don’t need, or not buying coverage you do.

When you’re in the market for a toaster, by all means go online and get it from the cheapest outlet you can find. After all, a toaster is the same wherever you buy it. The same can definitely NOT be said about insurance. This is why independent agents like Memorial Insurance are here to stay, fighting your corner and helping you navigate the insurance minefield to find the most suitable policy for your needs.

Photo credit: Franchise Opportunities .

Less Premium, More Coverage …. GO LEAN with your insurance today!

With insurance, you get what you pay for. This is fine up to a point …. but what if the things you’re paying for include hefty marketing budgets, national TV advertising, huge numbers of offices and thousands of staff? State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate and other major national carriers spend millions of dollars each year to make you think of them when you’re in the market for insurance.

If you hate the idea of your premium being spent on annoying TV jingles, you’ll be delighted to know that there are alternatives. In Houston, there are plenty of insurance carriers who offer low premiums, high coverages, and excellent customer and claims service …. but you have never heard of them. They don’t run expensive office networks, and they certainly don’t advertise on TV. In fact, they won’t even pop up on your Facebook feed, and in some cases you would even struggle to find them on Google unless you know exactly where to look.

But don’t be put off. All insurance companies are rated for their financial stability, and the amount of cash they have in reserve to pay claims. The highest available rating for insurance carriers is with A M Best. State Farm, Nationwide, and Allstate are all examples of A M Best rated companies …. but so are City National, Occidental, and Universal. The latter three companies are lean insurers that are long-established, financially stable, and use their money to pay claims, not advertising. They sell their products only through independent agents and don’t have an office network to support. By the way, did I mention that Memorial Insurance writes business with all three of these companies? (and many more besides!).

Another point to consider is that the big names often don’t have the best coverages. You’ll want to see the magic words “replacement cost” on your policy. You also need comprehensive water coverages (for water backup, slow seepage/leakage, and foundation coverage).

So, why not send us your current declarations page from State Farm, Nationwide, or Allstate? We’ll be happy to give you an honest, no-obligation assessment of what you’ve got covered, and if you like, give you an “apples to apples” quote with our carriers for comparison. Why pay more to get less? GO LEAN with your insurance today!

How to File a Claim

We are slap bang in the middle of hurricane season, and while there are no storms on the Texas horizon – yet! – it definitely pays to be prepared with the phone number for your insurance company’s claims department.

Updated claims numbers for all our carriers are listed below. Before picking up the phone, make sure:

1) That what you are claiming for is covered by your insurance policy, and ….
2) That the amount of the claim is likely to exceed your deductible (if in doubt, get an estimate from a contractor)

Above all, remember that your account manager at Memorial Insurance Agency is here to help you. If you have any doubts about whether to file a claim, call us FIRST!

Good luck and fingers crossed for the rest of hurricane season!

COMPANY NAME CLAIMS#
AIG 1-888-760-9195
Allstate 1-800 ALLSTATE
ASI 1-866-274-5677
ASI FLOOD 1-866-274-5677
Bankers 1-800-765-9700
BRISTOL WEST 1-800-274-7865
Centauri 1-866-215-7574
CHUBB 1-800-252-4670
CYPRESS TEXAS 1-877-560-5224
Federated National 1-800-293-2532
FIDELITY NATIONAL 1-800-220-1351
FIDELITY FLOOD 1-800-725-9472
FOREMOST 1-800-527-3907
GeoVera 1-800-631-6478
GMAC 1-800-468-3466
Gulfstream 1-866-485-3005
HARTFORD 1-800-243-5860
Homeowners of America 1-866-407-9896
IMPERIAL 1-800-325-1088
Infinity 1-800-334-1661
Lighthouse 1-877-852-0606
Maison 1-844-962-4766
MERCURY 1-800-503-3724
MetLife 1-800-422-4272
Mission Select 1-800-233-2160
National General 1-800-325-1088
NFS Edge Flood 1-888-281-0684
Occidental 1-800-780-8423
Pillar 1-800-780-8423
PROGRESSIVE 1-800-776-4737
SAFECO 1-800-332-3226
State Auto 1-800-766-1853
Swyfft 1-855-542-0917
Texas Fair Plan 1-800-979-6440
TWIA 1-800-788-8247
TRAVELERS 1-800-252-4633
UNITRIN 1-800-777-8467
Universal North America 1-866-999-0898
UPC 1-888-256-3378
Velocity Risk 1-844-878-2567
WELLINGTON 1-800-447-6465
Wilshire 1-800-780-8423
Wright Flood 1-800-725-9472