My personal home and car insurance renews in March. Every February I receive several letters from other Dallas area agents offering to save me money on my car and home insurance. None of them know I’m an independent agent. The savings they offer are tantalizing. There’s only one small catch; none of the offers I’ve ever received were real.
These sweetheart deals are designed to get you to call and receive a legitimate quote. That process seems more like a bait and switch and I’ve never liked that approach. These offers typically fall down in a couple of key areas on both the home and car insurance:
On the home insurance side the most common practices are:
- Inaccurate replacement cost: I’ve received quotes with the amount of coverage on our home that equaled as little as $65 a square foot. It’s pretty close to impossible to rebuild a home in the Dallas / Fort Worth area (or anywhere else in Texas) for that amount. To do that takes about $90 a square foot or more.
- Missing coverage: I’ve received quotes that only covered a fire loss, left out coverage for water leaks, and one that even excluded hail coverage. That’s not much of an insurance policy!
- Wrong form type: One of the quotes I received this year had an annual premium of $325. It was for a rental property, not an owner occupied home. What steams me is the average person doesn’t know the difference.
- High deductibles: Most Texas home policies carry a 1% deductible on wind / hail as well as other perils (water leaks, hail, fire, etc.). Some of the quotes I received had deductibles ranging from 2% to 5%.
On the car insurance side, the most common practices are:
- Liability only coverage: There are times when a car has reached an age that carrying full coverage on it is not a good financial move. Liability only coverage protects the other person if you’re at fault in an accident, but it’s not great for you if someone hits you or a tree falls on your car.
- Bare bones coverage: Texas state minimum level insurance is 30/60/25. If you have that level, you’ll be legit with the state, but you’ll be potentially up a creek if you hit a brand new Taurus, Accord, or Camry, let alone a Lexus, BMW or Cadillac.
- High deductibles: Car insurance deductibles will vary by insurance company from $250 to $1,000 for comprehensive and collision deductibles. In the quotes I received, they were mostly $1,000. Most people I insure carry $500 deductibles.
- Missing options: Almost all the quotes I received did not have medical coverage or personal injury protection. None of them contained towing / road side assistance or rental car coverage.
I personally find these types of offerings misleading and offensive. Our agency doesn’t use this type of practice. We continue to build our agency through referrals and helping people with real quotes who want to compare what they have with what we offer. If they have a better deal with their current insurance, we tell them to stay put and we’ll circle back with them next year.
There is true savings available.
- We saved a couple in Allen, Texas $1,600 a year on their home and car insurance
- We also saved a Dallas couple over $2,000 a year on their car and renters insurance
- In both cases, we provided equal or better coverage with reputable carriers
It does pay to compare, but make sure what you’re being offered is the real deal. Have a question or comment you’d like to share? Post it in the comments section of our blog or on our Facebook and Google + pages. We’d love to hear what you think! And if you’d like to have us review your Texas insurance, we’d be honored. Check out the quote links on our website.