Auto Insurance Texas

The Lone Star state is a big place, and driving ever so popular. Texas mandates registration of auto insurance for all vehicle owners with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Traffic citations for driving without insurance in the state, can receive a fine of up to $350 for a first-time offense. The minimum level of auto insurance coverage is liability, to protect a driver from costs related to harm of another driver as result of an accident.

Required Auto Insurance Coverage

Depending on a driver’s record, and license classification, the minimum auto insurance carriage is liability. Drivers in Texas must have liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage at the minimum limits of:

  • $25,000 property damage coverage per incident
  • $30,000 liability for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per incident

Optional Auto Insurance Coverage

Before signing on to auto insurance coverage, drivers in Texas can supplement liability insurance with the following options:

  • Auto rental
  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Customized parts replacement
  • Medical expenses
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (bodily injury)
  • Uninsured motorist insurance (property damage)
  • Towing and repair labor

When working with an insurance agent, get more value for money on a policy with a discount for driver affiliation membership, or good student driving record. Combined insurance agreements may also cover auto indemnity at a lower rate. Factors such as age, claim history, model of car, credit score, and prior driving history while insured may impact total insurance premium price. If a driver has been classified as a risk as result of DWIs or traffic citations on their record by the Texas State DMV, auto insurance premiums will be higher.

To find out more about auto insurance in Texas, and to obtain a quote, contact InsureUS in Cypress TX.

Don’t drink, drive and Snapchat

The worst possible New Year’s decisions probably don’t seem so terrible at the time.

Drinking and driving — the safety scourge of New Year — gets a lot of press for good reason. That one decision can change your life or even end it.

However, a new spike in traffic related deaths tells experts something else is going on in cars these days. Something deadly: Technology.

In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths rose 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“This is a crisis that needs to be addressed now,” Mark R. Rosekind, the head of the agency, told the New York Times.

Safety officials aren’t alone in their concern. The insurance industry is also convinced that using phones and apps on phones, tablets or laptops, is the biggest cause of the rise in road fatalities,

Robert Gordon, a senior vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said in an interview with the New York Times.

When the first examples of tech-distracted driving became obvious a decade ago, the problem was driving while trying to make phone calls or text on a phone.

Response to this problem was to make new cars Bluetooth friendly so that drivers would not have to take their hands off the wheel. Instead, their phones would work right from their cars.

And that has worked well. So well, that now there are a host of apps that also work very well through the car. Result? More Internet use than ever and, possibly, more distraction than ever, as drivers concentrate on podcasts, social media, navigation, and more.

Three questions to identify fake debt collectors

Debt collection scammers abound and can cause massive problems once they get you to pay them or reveal personal information.

But you can identify an actual debt collector with three simple questions, according to thesimpledollar.com:

1. What is the name, address, and phone number of the company you are calling from?

They ought to be able to tell you that, after all. Once answered, tell them to send you a validation notice. Don’t discuss the bill.

2. What is the name and address of the debtor you are trying to reach?

Legitimate debt collectors will know that. If the information they give is wrong, do not correct them. Tell them to send a validation notice to the address on file. Then hang up.

3. What are the last four digits of the debtor’s social security number?

Trick question. Legit debt collectors won’t answer this because it violates the law.

New Year’s budget resolution? – Try zero-sum budgeting

If your goal is to make 2017, a better financial year, try Zero-Sum Budgeting, a simple idea that can bring big results.

According to FamilyFinancier.com, Zero-Sum Budgeting revolves around two main ideas: Budgeting to zero and paying for next month’s expenses with this month’s income.

What is budgeting to zero?

* Budgeting to zero means spending every single dollar on a specific goal.
* You could have goals like paying a bill, savings toward a holiday or adding to an investment.
* Over time you can identify overspending in one or multiple categories and make adjustments. Slowly you can create a reliable growth in savings.

How to Pay for Next Month’s Expenses Today

The second main goal for the zero-sum method is to pay for the month ahead with the current month’s income. This allows for two benefits:

* No issues paying bills on time
* Safety net of at least one month’s income in case of emergency accomplishing these two goals would put someone far ahead of the average American. According to a recent Federal Reserve survey, 46 percent of Americans said that they would have to borrow or sell something to pay for a $400 emergency. Given this reality, paying bills a month ahead can take time unless a person already has savings. Once accomplished, this goal can provide substantial financial security and peace of mind.

Tips for Implementing the Zero-sum BudgetStart with your monthly bank statement in hand. Make a list of spending categories. Assign expenditures to one of these categories. This helps you see what you actually spend and where. Now, decide where you can cut spending and where you can add spending, to suit goals such as paying off bills. Make sure every single dollar you bring in has a ‘home’ in your budget. A few recommendations for someone trying this, or any other, budgeting method:

* Use an app, tool, or spreadsheet to help stay organized and accurate. This makes the process so much easier.
* Find an accountability partner.
* If overspending is a problem, roll with the punches and work to get back on track.