Exceptions to who is to blame when hitting a car from behind

Most of the time you will be at fault if you hit a car from behind. Police often assume the person was driving too fast or was not paying attention and ticket the person at the back of the crash. Many people believe it is the law of the land. The Policy Source in Austin, TX explains a few of the exceptions.

What is the law concerning rear-ending another car?

Usually, these accidents are caused by someone following too closely, and they cannot stop when the car in front of them stops or slows down.  This could be because of distracted driving, following too close, or even intoxication. In Texas, you should stay one car length behind per 10 MPH. At 50 MPH you should be five car lengths behind the car in front of you.

How is liability determined?

Texas is an “at fault” state, which means the driver ruled responsible for the accident is responsible for all damages. Lawyers may challenge who was at fault if an accident were to go to court.

When is it not your fault?

It is not your fault if the other driver did something wrong that made you unable to stop on time. Here are some cases where you would not be at fault.

  • If a car pulls out in front of you and you are too close to avoid hitting it,
  • Swerving too close to you in traffic.
  • Brake checking or braking too suddenly.
  • No brake or tail lights
  • Not signaling when turning or changing lanes
  • Parked in the roadway
  • Stopped in the roadway with no lights flashing.

Give The Policy Source a call.

The Policy Source in Austin, TX can explain all your insurance options, and they would like to remind you to stay a safe distance behind other traffic on the highway.

How do you add your teen to your auto policy?

When your child reaches their teen years, they earn some exciting firsts. Among these include attaining their learner’s permit and their driver’s license. You will need to either add them to your auto insurance through Austin, TX’s The Policy Source when they begin driving or you will need to purchase them a policy.

The Better Option

You can choose either option depending on your situation and needs. If your teen will drive one of the existing family cars, you should put them on your policy. They need the same level of coverage as the other drivers.

On the other hand, if you purchase a used car for your teen, it might be better to get them their own policy. That’s especially true if they would drive an older model vehicle that would not need comprehensive or collision coverage. If you could easily afford another used car and it would cost the same as the deductible or close to it, you should purchase liability and bodily injury insurance to cover the vehicle.

When to Purchase a Policy

You should tell your insurance agent when your teen obtains their learner’s permit. Your agent will let you know if you need to add them to the policy then or if you can wait until they obtain the actual license. This depends on your policy and the underwriter’s rules.

Contact Austin, TX’s The Policy Source for more information on this type of policy and other ways to protect your teen driver. You can better prepare them for driving by having them take a defensive driving course or a high school driver’s education course.

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.

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!


Moving Beyond the Basics: Why Full Auto Insurance Coverage is Needed

In Texas, drivers are required by law to carry minimum liability insurance.  While this protects you if you cause an accident, it’s not enough coverage to financially protect your automobile.  While the lure of the low cost of minimum liability insurance is attractive, the amount of coverage that it provides is also limited.  At The Policy Source, serving the Austin, TX area, our agents can work with you to help you understand the auto insurance options that you have.  

When you are considering auto insurance, liability insurance is where most people start.  Know that liability insurance only pays for the repairs and medical expenses of the other person in an accident you caused.  It does not cover your repairs costs or medical expenses if you are injured.  Also, the policy will only pay out a certain amount.  If the injured person’s expenses exceed that amount or they decide to sue, you will be responsible for the overage.  For most people, this can be financially damaging.

Full coverage auto policies provide more protection for you.  Accidents happen every day.  The repair costs and medical costs associated with auto accidents, even minor ones, can be astronomical.  A comprehensive auto policy, however, will protect you financially every time that you hit the road.  At The Policy Source, agents spend time getting to know you and your family’s lifestyle.  Then they will outline your coverage options with the best prices available.  We know you’ll have questions and our agents are ready to answer them fully so that you understand the coverage you’re getting.  The website has information.  In the Austin, TX area, come by for more information and a quote.  The best time to get insurance is before you ever need it.

How Your Auto Insurance Will Change After Marriage

If you have a wedding coming up, no doubt you have plenty of planning and life changes to think about. Have you considered changes that will take place with your auto insurance? Married auto insurance is different than single auto insurance. Getting educated on those changes is the best way to make sure you get the best deals as you start your new life together.

Should We Combine Care Insurance?

Not everyone decides to combine their car insurance after marriage. However, there are some great reasons to do so. The first benefit is that you will only have one payment and one policy to keep track of. With everything changing in your life, you will want to simplify as much as possible. Combining insurance is a great way to do this.

Will We Get Discounts for Being Married?

Absolutely. Married people always get a better rate than singles. The statistics prove that married individuals have fewer accidents than single people. Insurance companies base their decisions on statistics such as these to determine if you are a good insurance risk or not.

Are There Any Other Discounts We Are Eligible For?

In addition to a married discount, you will also get a discount if you are putting multiple vehicles on a policy. This is a great way to save money, and a great reason to combine your insurance policies as soon as you tie the knot.

There is also usually the option to combine other types of insurance on the policy to snag even more discounts. If your new nuptials will be taking place alongside the purchase of a house or a new lease on a rental property, you can add your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance along with the auto insurance to get the best discounts possible.

If you want more information on how your new marriage will affect your insurance call one of our friendly representatives today at The Policy Source serving Austin, TX.

Are Student Discounts Available on Auto Insurance Policies in Austin, TX?

Student discounts for auto insurance are available throughout the United States as long as the student meets or exceeds certain eligibility requirements put in place by the insurance company and if they offer discounts. Not every insurance agency will offer the discounts.

The Policy Source serves residents throughout the Austin, TX area and can help parents and college students determine whether or not they are eligible for the student discount programs. Programs range from insurance company to insurance company so it is important to thoroughly review your options. 

High school and college students who are under the age of 25 years may be eligible for a student driver discount if they meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain a B average or higher
  • Maintain a 3.6 GPA out of a 4.0 or higher
  • Rank in the upper one-fifth of their class
  • Make the Dean’s list or are enrolled in the National Honor Society

The guidelines are slightly different from company to company. If you are wondering whether you or your student may qualify for a student discount, talk to your agent to have your policy reviewed and updated. 

At the Policy Source, residents who live in and around Austin, TX can call the office and discuss potential discount programs for students who are eligible. The agents can go over the student’s information and the family’s information to determine what type of discounts are available. The fact is student driver discounts can prove to be beneficial even after the student graduates, working to establish a good driving record that may make the driver eligible for even more later. Call the agents at the Policy Source if you live in the Austin, TX area to find out if your student qualifies for the student driver discount.

How Long Does an Accident Affect your Insurance Premiums

An accident is not something that anyone wants to deal with or that anyone wants to have to report to their insurance company. They are however an eventuality that some have to deal with. For those that live in the Austin, TX area, the agents with The Policy Source can help you find the right policy for you even if you have accidents on your record.

So the real question is how long do accidents affect your overall insurance premiums. The answer is a bit iffy. For those that have had an accident in the past, it all depends on when the accident happened, how severe it was, and the individual laws of your state. As the date of your accident gets further and further away, it becomes more and more likely that your accident is going to drop off of your record. This means that after a specified time, that is unique to your state, the accident will no longer show up on any searches that your insurance company makes.

For those that have gone for a specific amount of time without having an accident, it is more likely that the accident is no longer going to affect your driving record or your insurance premiums. For those that have had a very recent accident, dependent on how serious the accident was, your premiums are likely going to be higher than they would be if you had not had an accident. For the most part, an accident is going to raise premiums and in some cases, it might prompt the insurance agency to complete your claim then drop your coverage.

For those in the Austin, TX area, the agents with The Policy Store can help you find the right policy for you.  

Benefits of Having Full Coverage

When talking about auto insurance in Austin, TX, we have all heard the term full coverage.  What is it though?  In all actuality, it isn’t really a coverage by itself.  It is merely a phrase that is used to talk about a few coverage options that give you a good deal of protection in case something happens to your vehicle.  This can include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Liability is what will be used to pay for any sort of damages that you cause if you are the at-fault party in an accident.  Collision and comprehensive coverage are what will help you cover the cost or repairing or replacing your vehicle.

While this is a robust package full of protection, it still might not provide you with everything that you need.  This is why the term full coverage can often be misleading.

What it Might not Cover

Auto insurance companies typically offer other types of coverage that do not fall inside the domain of full coverage and it is worth considering many of them.  These can include things like:

  • Medical coverage – which can assist in paying for medical expenses for both you and your passengers when you are in an accident
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist – this assists in paying for bills that should have been paid for by the other party’s insurance but weren’t because they might have low limits or no insurance at all
  • Rental car – if you have a covered accident and need a rental car until your car is repaired or replaced, this can cover those expenses

Even though full coverage does give you good protection when it comes to liability and protecting your vehicle, you might still have some out of pocket expenses after you are involved in an accident.  Each state have different insurance laws so it is important that you call The Policy Source Insurance in Austin, TX so that we can give you the specific details for your specific circumstances.