Insurance Agency Austin, Tx • Home Insurance • Business Insurance • Life Insurance • Auto Insurance •

Frequently Ask Questions About Insurance

Many of the same customer concerns repeatedly come up, so in order to make it more convenient for you to find the answers you’re searching for, I have put together a list of comprehensive FAQ’s right here on my Web site.


  • What if I let someone else drive my vehicle and they get into an accident?
    Generally speaking, insurance goes with the vehicle. For example, if you have an accident while driving someone else’s vehicle, the owner’s insurance would first, be applied toward damages to the vehicle. Your Auto insurance would also generally apply in the event that the owner of the vehicle had no Auto insurance or did not have enough auto insurance to pay for the damages. Personal Injury Protection, which varies from state-to-state, covers the individual under their individual policy. For example, if my friend is driving my vehicle and gets hurt in an accident, my Auto insurance will cover the damages caused to my vehicle, but their Auto insurance will cover injuries caused to their person.
  • What do I do if I am in a car accident?
    First and most importantly, make sure that you and that everyone else is okay and get help for the injured. The next crucial step is to make sure to notify the police so that they can file a report. The police report is the most accurate and court relevant information available. Keep a notebook in your vehicle for taking down important information. Make sure to get names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license number, license plate number, car make and model numbers, witness phone numbers, etc. The more information that you can gather, the better. Also, if you or passengers are injured, make sure to save all medical bills and receipts.
  • What do I do if my car breaks down?
    If your car breaks down, your first priority is the safety of the people inside the car.
    • Never get out of a broken down car to make a repair or examine damage. Move the vehicle to a safe place such as a wide shoulder or a designated emergency lane.
    • If you can’t drive the vehicle, stay in the car and wait for help. Use your cell phone to get help or wait for help.
    • Remember to put on your hazard lights. Once you are in a safe place, mark your location with flares or triangles.
    • In the case of a blowout or a flat tire, move the vehicle to a safe place before you attempt a repair – even if it means destroying the wheel getting there.
    Cold weather suggestion: Always carry a warm blanket in your trunk in case you must wait for help in freezing temperatures. Also carry a shovel and sand in the event your car is stuck in the snow. Do not try to dig yourself out unless your car is in a safe place. At the moment of crisis call your insurance carrier for assistance when you need it most.
  • Will my policy be canceled if I get into an accident?
    Being in an accident will not generally cause your policy to be canceled. Depending on the circumstances, it may result in a non-renewal of your policy. After the facts of the situation are reviewed, you may be required to pay a higher premium for your policy upon renewal.
  • Am I insured if I am driving someone else’s vehicle?
    Generally speaking, the insurance goes with the vehicle. For example, if you have an accident while driving someone else’s car, the owner’s insurance would apply first toward damages. Your Auto insurance would generally apply in the event the owner of the vehicle had no Auto insurance or did not have enough Auto insurance to pay the damages. For specific information and guidance about your coverage, please contact us at any time.
  • Do I have insurance if I am renting a vehicle?
    Car rental companies charge daily fees for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage (which means their insurance will pay for all damages covered in your rental agreement). Rental car coverage under a private passenger policy varies state-by-state. In some states, your current Auto insurance coverage may already provide adequate coverage protection for you, even if you are renting a vehicle. So, you may want to contact your agent prior to renting a vehicle just to check into which coverage you currently have. Please feel free to contact us to review your current coverage or to talk about adding coverage to your current policy.
  • The word “a lot” is subjective but unfortunately your premiums more than likely will go up. Because insurance is based on risk factors, and traffic violations like speeding attribute to being “higher” risk, your premiums will more than likely increase. Additionally, your premium may go up depending on the severity of the accident. Please contact us at any time if you have questions or further concerns about your premiums. I am always glad to help.

Homeowners and Renters

  • What if my home is burglarized?
    Here are a few tips to help if you should encounter such a situation:
    • If you suspect a burglar is still in the house, don’t go in! Go to a neighbor’s house to call the police.
    • Wait until the police arrive before you enter and begin to take an inventory of what is missing. Don’t touch anything. The police may dust for fingerprints.
    • Provide police with whatever information they require. Ask the investigating officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report. Make sure you write down the names and badge numbers of the police officers.
    If you saw the burglar, you will be asked to provide a description which will include:
    • Height
    • Build
    • Clothing
    • Hair/eye color
    • Hair/beard style
    • Distinctive markings
    Once the police have finished the investigation, make your own inspection. Use a Home Inventory Checklist to check for missing items, otherwise you may not discover the full extent of the theft until days or even months after the burglary. At the moment of crisis call your insurance carrier for assistance when you need it most.
  • If I add safety features to my home can I get discount on my insurance?
    Carriers premium discounts for taking precautionary measures. Protective devices such as alarm systems, deadbolt locks, local burglar alarms and central station burglar alarms all qualify for discounts but these discounts do vary by state. Contact us today to go over which discounts you may qualify for.
  • What happens if I have a fire in my home or my home is completely destroyed in a fire?
    The first step in being prepared for a fire, is to have a family evacuation plan. Plan a safe rendezvous point for you and your family in the event that you are separated during a fire. Check out our tips for evacuating your home.
    • Do not return to your home until officials declare it is safe to do so.
    • Notify our office. Make sure your representative knows where to contact you.
    • Make a detailed list of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Use pictures to help assess the damages.
    • Keep all receipts. Don’t rush into signing repair contracts.
    • As soon as you and your family are safe, call the claims department for assistance when you need it most.
    We also provide the following tips for surviving a fire in your home:
    • Make sure all family members know how to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
    • Have at least two exits from every room in your home. Invest in fire escape ladders for upstairs bedrooms.
    • Go through a practice drill every six months. With the whole family, practice what to do in a fire emergency.
    • Assign a tree or other landmark where family members can meet after they escape the burning house.
    • Teach children never to go back in the house. Train them not to hide from fire under beds, in closets or other places where rescuers cannot easily find them.
  • What if someone has an accident on my property or my pet bites someone?
    The Insurance Institute estimates that up to one-third of homeowner liability claims are for dog attacks. What to do:
    • Make sure the injured person gets prompt medical attention.
    • Exchange names, addresses, and phone numbers.
    • Tell the person who was bitten to save medical receipts. Assure them that your agent will contact them.
    • Call your agent. Provide the information about the incident, the name and phone number of the victim and have your policy number on hand.
    • Report the dog bite to your local animal control center.
    • At the moment of crisis call the claims department for assistance when you need it most.
    If you own a dog:
    • Spay or neuter your dog to reduce aggressive tendencies.
    • Never leave infants or young children alone with the dog.
    • Do not play aggressive games, like wrestling, with your dog.
    • Teach children basic safety guidelines around the dog and review them frequently.
    If you are threatened by a dog:
    • Remain motionless. Do not run or scream.
    • If knocked down by the dog, lie still, cover your face and neck and remain in a ball.
    • If bitten by the dog, immediately report the bite.
    • Report stray dogs or dogs showing unusual behavior to your local animal control center.
  • What if my home is damaged in a storm?
    What to do before the storm:
    • Make sure you have a record of your personal property.
    • Keep important papers safe. Keep photo copies of your important personal and financial papers in a safe place away from your home.
    • Preserve your photos. Store negatives in a safe place away from the house or make copies and do the same.
    • Look around and assess the risks to your home. For instance, trimming tall trees near your house will prevent them from falling during a storm and causing damage.
    • If tornados are a threat, consider building a safe room within your house.
    What to do after the storm:
    • Check people around you for injuries. Begin first aid or seek help if necessary.
    • When you go outside, watch out for downed power lines.
    • Beware of fire hazards such as broken gas lines.
    • Make temporary repairs to prevent loss from rain, wind, or looting. Keep all receipts for work done on your property.
    • Avoid using electrical appliances that have been exposed to water until they’ve been checked by a technician.
    • Notify your agent as soon as possible. Make sure your agent knows where to contact you.
    Take pictures and use a Home Inventory List to help your assess the damage. At the moment of crisis call the claims department for assistance when you need it most.
  • What do I do if a flood has destroyed my home?
    Every year, people’s lives across the United States are disrupted by floods. It can be a very difficult period of time but flood insurance puts you in control. You can buy Flood Insurance no matter where you live; in High, Low or Moderate risk areas. Buying a Flood Insurance policy is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and reduce the cost of flooding disaster for your family or business. Contact your agent today for more information on Flood Insurance. You can take specific steps today to prepare for a flood tomorrow:
    • Itemize all personal property including furnishing, clothing and valuables. Keep your photographs, videotapes and important papers in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box.
    • Keep a portable radio, flashlights with extra batteries in working order.
    • Keep your car’s gas tank at least half full. Gasoline pumps will not work if electricity is cut off because of a flood.
    • Buy flood insurance because it can mean the difference between financial devastation and a fresh start after a flood. Contact you Agent for more details.
    Flood recovery
    • Prior to entering a building, check for structural damage. Make sure it is not in danger of collapse.
    • Upon entering the building, do not use an open flame as a source of light, since gas may still be trapped inside. Always use a flashlight.
    • Cover broken windows and holes in the roof or walls to prevent further weather damage.
    • Contact your Agent immediately to begin claim processing.
    At the moment of crisis call the claims department for assistance when you need it most.
  • What if my home is wrecked in an earthquake?
    • Check to be sure that no one in the family is injured. Start first aid immediately if needed.
    • Be prepared for aftershocks following an earthquake.
    • Put on shoes with heavy soles to protect your feet. Check utility lines and appliances for damage. If you smell gas, open the windows and turn off the main gas valve.
    • Clean up flammable liquids inside the buildings.
    • Check to see that sewage lines are intact and working before flushing toilets.
    • Take pictures of damaged property and keep notes. You can keep a disposable camera with your earthquake kit.
    • Notify your agent. Make sure your representative knows where to contact you.
    • At the moment of crisis call the claims department for assistance when you need it most.
  • What if I become a victim of identity theft?
    Here are steps you can take now to stop thieves from stealing your good name:
    1. Do not give out personal information, such as account or credit card numbers, on the phone or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact. Identity thieves could pose as bank officials, Internet providers or credit card company representatives. Remember: Those with a right to this information (such as your bank) should already have it and shouldn’t need to request it over the phone.
    2. Report lost or stolen checks immediately and properly store canceled checks. Examine new checks to be sure that none were stolen during shipment, and store them in a safe and secure location. Destroy unused financial solicitations before discarding them, and tear up other financial documents such as statements or receipts before discarding them.
    3. Guard your automated teller machine (ATM) number, and treat your receipts with care. Leaving them behind or throwing them in the trash could leave them vulnerable to thieves, who could use them to access your accounts.
    4. Make sure your mailbox is secure, and promptly remove mail after delivery. Identity thieves often raid mailboxes to obtain credit card offers and financial statements.
    5. Contact the major credit-reporting companies at least annually to review their file. A copy of their credit report is available for a small fee.
    The three major credit bureaus are:
    • Equifax: (800) 685-1111
    • TransUnion: (800) 916-8800
    • Experian: (888) 397-3742
    Steps to Report Identity Theft:
    • Contact your bank or credit union to protect your accounts.
    • Contact your credit card suppliers.
    • Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline: (800) 269-0271.
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Hotline: (877) IDTHEFT or (877) 438-4338.
    • Contact your agent to inquire if you included coverage to file a claim against your Identity Fraud Expense coverage endorsement.
  • What if a pipe bursts and water flows all over the place?
    Typically, Homeowners insurance covers you for accidental discharge of water from a plumbing system. It’s a good safety precaution to check your plumbing and heating systems once a year. Contact us today to verify your current coverage limits for this valuable protection.


  • What happens to all of my assets if I die?
    Life insurance death benefits are distributed to the named beneficiaries of the policy. However, for distribution of your assets, it’s important to create a living will in order to tell the probate court judge who should receive your belongings. This also helps to speed-up the process; without a living will, probate could take an extended amount of time, and be significantly more expensive.
  • What if I become disabled and unable to work?
    Disability can occur for a number of different reasons and affect a number of different circumstances. If you are injured on the job you may be eligible for worker’s compensation, but you should check to see which coverage options your employer provides. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 53 % of those who are at least 40 years of age, will experience a long-lasting disability (90 days or more).
    • Social Security can be drawn on in the case of a disability but is usually reserved for disabilities that will last for longer than 1 year. Additionally, however, disability insurance can be purchased. Disability Insurance protects against financial losses that occur due to an injury or illness. If you have more questions about Disability insurance please contact us at any time. I can help you decide whether it is currently a part of your policy and if it is an option that you should consider.
    Disclaimer: We do not endorse Web sites, claims, or services made by outside parties as they are separate entities and operate separately from our companies.
  • What if I lose my job?
    Here are some tips to help you prepare: It’s a good idea for everyone to have the equivalent of at least three months salary put away, should the unexpected happen. If you have a mortgage to pay each month, you should consider getting Mortgage Protection Life Insurance to ensure your payments are made. Turn a negative experience into a positive one: Make it a learning experience! Take advantage of this opportunity to develop new job skills. Education loans can help make it financially feasible for you go back to school and acquire new skills to stay competitive. Use this experience and your ability to cope with change as a strength, when interviewing with prospective employers. You’ll have a lot to offer them. Many employers are looking for people who can deal with change – not dwell on the negative but have the ability to move with the times.


  • Do I need to cover my building if I rent?
    Essentially renting a building for business is not all that different than if you were to rent an apartment. You still need coverage for all of your personal belongings and assets; essentially you need coverage for all of your office supplies and business assets. So, everything apart from the bricks and mortar of the building you are in should be part of your Business insurance policy. Please contact us at any time for questions about your current coverage or to obtain Business insurance coverage.
  • Which policy is best for my business?
    There are many different variables for determining the best insurance products for a business. The insurance needs of a software company, for example, are far different than the needs of a car rental company. It’s best to speak with an agent to review your overall business situation and to go over coverage options that are best for your business. Contact us to learn more.


  • Do I need as much Liability Coverage on my motorcycle as I do on my automobile?
    Yes. Even though you are on a motorcycle, there can still be significant bodily injuries or damages caused by the accident.
  • My motorcycle clothing and helmets are expensive, are they covered?
    Your Motorcycle policy may include coverage for your apparel, safety equipment, and add-on options. So yes they are included under your Motorcycle policy depending on which coverage option you select. Check with your agent to review your current policy coverage and to discuss which coverage options best meet your needs.

Recreational Vehicles

  • Are modifications that I make to my vehicles covered?
    Generally speaking, modifications made to your recreational vehicles are not covered. It’s always best to contact your agent to learn which options are available and to what extent your rec. vehicles are covered. Contact us today to learn how I can provide coverage for your recreational vehicles or to help you review your current coverage.
  • What types of coverage do I need?
    Although there are a variety of options for covering your recreational vehicles, it is always best to contact your agent regarding which coverage options are the best for you. It is important, however, to consider liability coverage as costs involving liability can be quite extensive. Contact us today to learn more, to review your current policy, or to insure a recent purchase.

Specialty Products

  • What if my RV breaks down, do I have towing coverage?
    You will more than likely have to check your policy to make sure that it includes towing coverage. We have a program designed especially for towing your RV in the case that it breaks down. Please contact us today to learn more.
  • What type of coverage do I need for a travel trailer?
    You should check with your agent to decide which protection best fits the insurance needs for your travel trailer, but you should know that liability follows the insurance/Auto policy of the vehicle that is pulling the trailer. Please contact us today to learn more about specific insurance requirements, coverage options, and questions.