Do Texas Drivers Need To Carry Underinsured Motorist Auto Insurance?

In Austin, TX, the minimum requirements for auto insurance are fairly lax. You are required to carry basic liability, meaning property and personal injury coverage, but beyond that, everything is pretty much at your discretion. Some states require you to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, but Texas is not one of them.

You may be required to buy more than the legal minimum by your lender if you are still paying your car off. Most lenders will at least require that you carry comprehensive and collision so that the car itself is paid for if it is totaled. Some lenders may require additional insurance to be carried, including underinsured motorist insurance, but you are at least going to be buying comprehensive and collision with more lenders than not.

Once the car is paid off, you are free to buy additional insurance or reduce your current coverage at your discretion, but as long as someone else has a stake in your car, they have a say in the insurance that you are carrying.

If you are still paying your car off, you may want to consider not only uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, but replacement and gap insurance, as well, to make sure that if something happens, you are not only totally covered for the loss but can get into a replacement car right away, as well.

Your lender has a say in how much insurance you should carry in Austin, TX, but not in where you can buy your insurance from. So get in touch with us at The Policy Source if you have any questions or are looking to get covered. You can call us, get in touch online, or drop by the Policy Source office and we’ll see what we can do to get you the protection you need.

What Are The Common Umbrella Insurance Exclusions?

Different umbrella insurance providers in Austin, TX will have different lists of exclusions for coverage. But, there are some that are fairly common, if not entirely uniform across all umbrella insurance companies. These will include the following:

  • Personal injury and property damages. This means for the policyholder. Umbrella insurance is mainly about liability, it’s there for you if you are sued for damages to someone else’s property. If your own car is totaled in an accident or if your commercial property burns down, you have your primary policies to cover the damages.
  • Certain dog breeds. The exact dog breeds not covered may vary from one provider to the next, but most will have some exclusions in place for dog bites and damages if your dog’s breed is on that list.
  • Intentional damages or criminal activity. If you get mad at a customer and throw a brick through their car window, you can’t really expect your insurer to have your back on that one. That sounds like a silly example, but we all have moments where we lose our temper, so you need to keep your cool and play above-board. Don’t assume that you can behave recklessly because you’re insured.
  • Certain instances of neglect. If you’re leaving loose wires hanging in your store’s bathroom for months on end, someone is going to get injured. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, the odds are not on your side in the long run. You need to do your part as a homeowner, as a motorist, and as a business owner if you want to ensure that your umbrella insurer has your back.
  • Uncovered motor vehicles. Your umbrella policy is there to provide additional coverage. So if you cause an accident without carrying the proper car insurance in the first place, they can’t help you.

Again, every insurer in Austin, TX will show you a different list of exclusions, so call and ask if you’re not sure. And if you’re still shopping around, get in touch with The Policy Source. The Policy Source is here to get you the coverage that’s right for you.

Why Renters Insurance is a Necessity

Is renters’ insurance a necessity?  Absolutely!  For a low premium, all of your possessions including furniture and electronics will be protected.   While renters don’t have the responsibility of insuring the building they live in, the apartment owner’s policy does not cover any of the contents of their apartments.  If your apartment building does not require you to have renters’ insurance, it’s still a good idea.  Our team at The Policy Source is ready to help you with quality coverage.  We work with renters throughout the Austin, TX area. They can discuss your coverage options so that you find the one that best suits your needs. 

With a renters’ insurance policy, everything in your apartment will be covered but there are additional benefits.  If your apartment building is damaged and you are unable to stay there, some policies will cover hotel and meal expenses for the period that you are gone.  It will also cover items that are damaged or stolen when you are away from home.  A laptop that is stolen while you are at the library will be covered, for instance.  The policy will also provide personal liability coverage in the event that someone is injured at the apartment due to your negligence.   

These are the reasons why renters’ insurance is a necessity.  Our agents at The Policy Source understand the needs of renters in the Austin, TX area.  We can help you understand your coverage options so that you can make the best decision for your life situation.  Protecting the meaningful things you have and the things you need to get through the day is important.  Taking time to inventory everything and consider insurance options take time but it’s worth it.  Review general information on our website then contact us.  We’re ready to help you protect your things.  Don’t wait until its too late!

Fixing Up An Old RV, When Do I Need To Get It Insured?

If you’re fixing up an old RV in Austin, TX, you don’t really need to worry about insurance until you’re ready to take it out on the road. When that day comes, you’ll want to go ahead and give The Policy Source a call or contact them through their website and get covered, but until then, if your RV is not leaving your property, you can leave it uninsured until you need it.

Going without insurance will leave you without any protection should your RV be damaged, so if you’re not going to buy any insurance just yet, keep it somewhere safe. But legally, if it’s still got a lot of work to be done on it before it’s road-worthy, then you’ve still got plenty of time before you have to start thinking about RV insurance.

Fixer-upper projects can be kind of tricky. You might think you’re ready to roll, only to find out there are a good three months of engine work ahead of you before you’re willing to take it any farther than sixty miles. You’ll probably need coverage before you’re ready to take your RV out on a cross-country trip, anyway. Before heading all the way to Florida, you might want to do a test-drive to Houston to see how it’s running, in which case it can’t hurt to get covered early.

When you are ready to hit the road and take a break from Austin, TX, get in touch with The Policy Source and see what they can do to keep you safe and secure on your trip across the state, country or wherever it is that you want to go in your home away from home.

3 Reasons Why Storage For Your Motorcycle Matters

Owning a motorcycle in Austin, TX is a luxury embraced by many residents. Whether they are used for luxury riding or daily commuters, storing them properly comes with many benefits. Below are the reasons why The Policy Source believes that storage for your motorcycle matters. 

Theft Protection

Motorcycles are often the victims of thefts, due to their size and accessibility. Because they are smaller than a car, if they are not properly stored at your residence, then they can be lifted onto a trailer and gone in a matter of minutes, even without the key. 

Damage Protection

Like automobiles, motorcycles can become damaged by the weather and the environment. Long-term exposure to the sun or excessive rain can cause exterior damage to the paint and pipes. With proper storage, the motorcycle is out of the elements and able to maintain its lifespan. This is especially critical for motorcycles that are not driven regularly and sit in the same spot for weeks on end. 

Tire Protection

Motorcycle tires are an important part of the bike. With constant exposure to the sun or being in unsavory environments where the temperature and pressure changes can be damaging to the tires. In order to maximize the mileage and performance of them, it is critical to store your bike. 

Garage, Shed or Storage Unit

Most Austin, TX residents choose to store their motorcycle on their property. Keeping it in the garage or in a motorcycle shed in the backyard allows you immediate access to your bike. If you do not drive your motorcycle regularly, then you should consider renting a storage space for it if you do not have space at your residence. 

Call us Today!

If you are interested in purchasing motorcycle insurance or upgrading your policy, call our agents at The Policy Source today for more information. 

 

Tips for Getting the Boat Ready for the Water

The first few months of the year are a great time to start prepping your boat for the water. Whether you’ve had the boat in storage during the winter or you’ve put it out on the water, it needs a maintenance check to ensure it’s safe out on the water for the rest of the year. Here at The Policy Source, we serve the Austin, TX region and surrounding areas, and we’d like to share two quick tips for getting the boat ready for fun in the sun this upcoming spring and summer.

Develop an Emergency Float Plan

With a float plan, you leave a document outlining characteristics of your boat, the name of all passengers on board including yourself, and a somewhat detailed itinerary of your trip. This way, if you were to go missing out on the water, the document can be presented to the appropriate personnel, and they will find it much easier to investigate your case. This is usually ideal when using the boat to go out on extremely large bodies of water in which you might not have access to any nearby help. You will, of course, need to update the document any time you take out new passengers or go out on a new watercraft.

Get Your Boat Inspected

One of the easiest ways to get your boat inspected for safety is to have the U.S. Coast Guard conduct the inspection. Did you know they will provide free assessments and even come to you to perform it? That’s right! It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Contact The Policy Source today serving the Austin, TX region and surrounding areas.

Is Umbrella Insurance A Good Idea For Cabin Rentals?

If you own a business renting out cabins to tourists and visitors, you need special insurance to protect you from personal liability or any accidents that may occur at the property. Traditionally, umbrella insurance is designed to protect a homeowner from personal liability. If you own a cabin rental business a different type of insurance is required.

Umbrella Protection vs. Vacation Rental Insurance

If you are shopping for insurance to cover a cabin for rental purposes, you need vacation rental insurance as opposed to umbrella insurance. Umbrella is for home use and vacation rental insurance covers a business venture renting a home or cabin to visitors. This type of coverage is designed to protect the business from liability and losses if there is an injury or accident on the property. To find what level of coverage is necessary, consult a licensed insurance agent with experience dealing with this type of policy. 

Working With An Agent

If you are considering renting a cabin, then you should find a top insurance agency with agents who are trained to work on policies such as this. If you have a cabin in or near Austin, TX, consult with The Policy Source to find out what options are available and what level of coverage is the best option for your needs. Their friendly agents are able to work with you closely to help outline current and future needs to give you peace of mind. 

Owning a cabin and renting to the public is considered a business venture and this requires special insurance coverage. Those who are planning to rent a cabin around the Austin, TX area should call or stop by The Police Source office to find out more about coverage. 

Is It Legal For a Teenager to Drive a Boat in Texas?

For many boat owners in Austin, TX, taking to the water is a family affair. Children are taught how to drive the family boat long before they are able to drive the family car. The agents at The Policy Source offer families with boats, insurance coverage they can count on to protect themselves from different types of financial loss. They can also answer questions about who can legally operate the boat and who is eligible to be covered by the boat insurance policy.

Age Requirements

In the state of Texas, children under the age of 13 can operate the family boat if they have someone over the age of 18 with them. If they are over the age of 13 and have completed the required Boater Education Course, they can drive the boat on their own as long as it is powered by a motor with less than 15 horsepower.

Boater Education Course

It is recommended that any person who is going to be operating a motorized watercraft take a Boater Education Course that is approved by the state of Texas. This ensures that the operator understands the laws that are used to keep everyone on the lake safe and that they know how to operate their own personal watercraft.

Residents of Austin, TX are encouraged to contact an agent at The Policy Source if they ever have any questions about boating safety or the laws concerning the age requirement for teenagers. The agents have the information you need and can help you find a Boater Education Course that is approved by the state of Texas. Call and talk to an agent today!

 

What is an Umbrella Insurance Policy

Umbrella policies are one type of insurance provided by The Policy Source in Austin, TX. Generally, an umbrella policy is liability coverage that is used when your underlying insurance policy’s liability limit is reached. It is designed to protect you from catastrophic claims that would be financially devastating. You can purchase umbrella insurance for your home or vehicle. 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance typically covers bodily and personal injury, property damage, and landlord liability. If you are in an accident and there’s a large amount of property damage or injury, you may be liable for the damage. If your auto policy has a property damage limit of $250,000 and the damage is $500,000, without an umbrella policy you would have to pay the other $250,000.

If you have assets, including a home, they could be seized to help cover the payment. Your wages could be garnished. 

Who Needs Umbrella Insurance?

If your assets exceed the liability limits on your home and auto policies, umbrella insurance is a good financial decision. You are more likely to be sued for large amounts if you have the financial resources to make it beneficial to the other party. However, even if you don’t have high-value assets you may want to consider an umbrella policy.

There are many incidents that could result in a judgment against you, and in many cases, the damages are left up to the judge’s discretion. Umbrella insurance is very affordable, so it’s a good idea for everyone to carry an umbrella policy. 

If you are wondering if you could benefit from the extra protection of an umbrella policy, contact The Policy Source in Austin, TX today. We will help you make an informed decision regarding an umbrella policy based on your unique situation. 

Is it Time to Get Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance makes sense for homeowners in the greater Austin, TX area and the team at The Policy Source is here to help you find the policy that is most appropriate for your needs. If you are uncertain why you may need to have a separate flood insurance policy, keep reading! It is always unfortunate to hear about a neighbor who has flood damage, and they don’t realize that their primary homeowner policy doesn’t provide the protection they need until it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you!

Find Out More About Flood Insurance Today

Flood insurance is required for many residents in our areas, but it is also helpful for those who live outside of the major flood zones. Insurance policy coverage often comes down to the cause of the damage when the company is determining if there is a covered event. There are a number of different water damage causes that are covered by typical homeowner’s policies, but in general, flood damage is not covered. If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family home is protected from damage caused by flooding and floodwaters, it’s time to look into a separate flood insurance policy. Don’t wait until it’s too late to discover that you don’t have the insurance you need! Our team is here to review your protection needs and help you find an appropriate insurance policy.

If you are in the greater Austin, TX area and want to learn more about the available flood insurance options, we are here to help! The team at The Policy Source has the information you need to make an appropriate decision about the right flood insurance policy for your needs. Call or stop by today to learn more!