Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance --- It’s Like Having To Eat Your Vegetables

Let’s face it.

Nobody likes to eat their vegetables. At least all of them. But we eat them because we have to, and ultimately, because it’s in our best interest to do so.

Same thing with auto insurance. We don’t really like paying the premiums and maintaining the coverage. But we do it because we have to (it’s illegal in some states NOT to have it!) and because ultimately, it’s in our best interest to do so.
Were you ever spoon-fed veggies as a little kid? Remember the game where someone made patterns in the air with the spoon before landing the plane, or the spoon, or whatever you called it, in your mouth?

Think of AmeriFirst as the trusted friend who’s holding that spoon. Not that you need to be spoon-fed, but with all of the options for auto insurance out there (not to mention varying premiums), you need someone to make sure you are getting the coverage that’s in your best interest. All of it. But without an aftertaste.

Each State has laws that require drivers to maintain specific limits of liability insurance.

This is why you need AmeriFirst.

Texas allows for several types of coverage, providing car owners and drivers with varying degrees of legal protection and financial reimbursement. You want AmeriFirst. Trust us. Because not all policies are created equal.

We can help you compare policies and rate quotes to determine which auto insurance policy will provide you with the right coverage and financial protection at the right price. And whether you want us to spoon-feed you those pesky, necessary vegetables, or just make it easier for you to compare quotes online, we are here for you.

But You Need To Know….

…that basic Liability insurance doesn't cover medical care you may require, or any of the repair costs or replacement of your damaged or destroyed vehicle. Which would really stink if you needed any of the above and couldn’t pay out-of-pocket.

Even worse, the maximum amount of coverage provided by the minimum basic coverage may not be enough to cover the expenses of repairing or replacing the other driver’s car. Or any medical expenses over $30,000.

By limiting the amount of coverage you purchase, you may be at risk for being sued if you are unable to cover these overage expenses out-of-pocket

Fines For Violating Financial Responsibility Laws

If you violate the Financial Responsibility law by failing to have an auto insurance policy with at least the minimum liability insurance coverage, you will be subject to a range of penalties.

  • First Offense: Fine between $175 and $350 (Ouch!)

  • Additional Offenses: Fine between $350 and $1,000 (Double ouch!)

  • You can have your driver’s license suspended (Yikes!)

  • The state can impound your car (OMG!)

Liability Coverage

While no one ever wants to admit an accident is their fault, sometimes it is what it is. Which is why the State laws mandate that every driver carry Liability Insurance on their vehicle. There’s even a law – the Texas Financial Responsibility law – that establishes the minimum liability coverage a driver must have in order to comply with Texas’ coverage standards.

Minimum basic coverage is referred to as 30/60/25:

  • Coverage up to $30,000 to cover medical costs of each injured person in the other driver’s vehicle

  • Payment of no more than $60,000 per accident

  • Coverage up to $25,000 in property damage

Liability coverage, in addition to medical costs, may also provide other drivers or passengers with compensation for lost wage, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses if the accident results in death. It may also cover the cost of car rental while damaged car(s) are being repaired. Liability insurance also pays for any court-awarded punitive damages. Should you be arrested because of the accident, it also pays $250 towards a bail charge. If you were to be sued by the other driver, liability insurance will also cover the cost of your legal fees.

We Aren’t Making This Stuff Up

Liability insurance isn’t just a good idea. It’s the law. It's so serious that there are some major consequences to not being able to show proof of Liability insurance:

  • You cannot renew or apply for a driver's license.

  • You cannot renew or apply for a new vehicle registration sticker.

  • You cannot get the state-required car inspection without showing your "proof-of-insurance" card.

  • You are also legally required to show your "proof-of-insurance" card anytime you have an accident, or when requested to do so by a police officer.

Oh, But It Gets Worse!

For violating the Financial Responsibility law and not having a driver's license, you may be fined as much as $2,000 and/or be sentenced to 6 months (180 days) in jail. Penalties are even steeper if you cause an accident resulting in serious injury or death. In that case, you could be fined up to $4,000 and/or sentenced to a year in jail.

Liability Insurance is really for your own good and protection. Think of it as the Brussel Sprouts of insurance policies.

Comprehensive Coverage

Life happens. And with life comes hail, fire, falling object, theft, and vandalism. So if your car is damaged by any of the above, or anything other than a collision, you can relax if you have a Comprehensive coverage on your policy. If your car is stolen, you must file a police report in order to collect payment from your insurance policy. (But who wouldn’t file a police report in this circumstance, right?)

Collision Coverage

When you purchase a car, new or pre-owned, most lenders will not allow you to take possession of a car without first showing proof of both a Comprehensive and a Collision auto insurance policy. Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing or replacing your car. The maximum amount you receive from the insurance policy is the car’s current cash value, less the amount of your deductible. A Collision insurance policy provides coverage to protect your vehicle when driven by you or your family member, and anyone driving with your permission (unless otherwise stated of course).

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

An insurance agency must extend an offer of $2,500 (minimum) in personal injury protection (PIP) to you when you purchase your policy. It covers the cost of medical bills for you and your passengers, and even pays a percentage of an insured person's lost wages. Higher limits are available for an increase in the premium. If you decide you don't want to accept the PIP coverage, you must indicate your refusal in writing. It’s kinda a big deal that you get the opportunity to accept or decline this coverage.

Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist Protection

Even though it’s against the law to not carry a basic Liability insurance policy, many folks do not. So what can you do to protect yourself against Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists? Purchase Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.

If you are involved in a hit and run accident or an accident caused by a driver with either no insurance or very limited coverage, UM/UIM coverage pays for your expenses related to the accident. This type of policy extends coverage to personal property that was damaged during the accident.

Note: Regarding personal property, there is a mandatory $250 deductible for a UM/UIM insurance policy.

This type of insurance pays for bodily injury and property damage. There is no deductible for bodily injury with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance policy.

It provides coverage for medical expenses, pain and suffering, partial or permanent disability, disfigurement, and loss of wages due to injuries.

Property damage coverage with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist policy is designed to reimburse you for the cost of car repairs, auto rental fees, and personal property damaged in an accident. This coverage extends to family members, authorized drivers, and passengers.

As with personal injury protection, your insurance company is legally required to offer you UM/UIM coverage and it may only be refused if done so in writing. Again, this is kinda a big deal.

 

Every Good Website Includes Terms To Know

  • Named Driver - A named driver provision means that the auto insurance policy only extends coverage to drivers who are named on the policy.

  • Excluded Driver- Your policy may include an endorsement that excludes specific people from coverage.

  • Business Use - An auto insurance policy may have a provision that excludes coverage when you use your car for business purposes, such as making deliveries. This means that you aren't covered for anything that happens while you are using the car for business purposes.

  • Racing - Another common limitation may extend to racing. This means that your insurance won't cover anything that happens to you or your car if you are involved in a racing activity.

  • Intentional Acts - This means that any damage that you (or others who are insured as drivers on your policy) incur because of intentional behavior is excluded from coverage.

Whew! That just about covers it. But it’s still so much to take in. That’s why you need AmeriFirst. Let us help you figure this all out. Remember, it’s like eating your vegetables. You really have no choice! But we can make it easier, and we can help you choose your favorites!