Unraveling Car Insurance Urban Legends

There are many commonly held beliefs that get passed on from person to person regarding car insurance. While some of these beliefs have been around for decades, it does not mean they are necessarily true. Luckily, the experts at InsureUS, serving residents in Cypress, TX, are here to help.  We have put together a quick list of some commonly held beliefs about car insurance that are not true. 

The Color of Your Car Matters

A myth has been circulating for years that red colored cars cost more money to insure. This myth has probably started with the conception that most sports cars are red. Because sports cars are fast and the owners can be reckless, the idea is then that ANY red car will see a hike in premium. The truth of the matter is that most insurance companies will not even ask what color car you have. Companies are more concerned with knowing the year, model, engine size, and safety features the car may have.

Speeding Sports Cars

The idea that sports cars cost more to insure because the drivers of them typically get more speeding tickets is completely false. In a survey conducted, the majority of speeding tickets are dished out to people driving sedans or SUVs. In fact, on the list of the top ten cars that receive speeding tickets, there was only one sports car mentioned. Insurance rates are determined by driver history, the type of car and the features the car possesses.

Thieves

Another commonly held misconception is that car thieves only want to steal new cars. While a new car may look enticing to a potential burglar, the truth is that older cars are typically stolen more often. This is because people are holding on to their cars longer and older stolen cars can be sold for parts. If you are expecting your insurance premiums to go down because you have an older car think again! There are many other factors that come into play when determining your car insurance premium. 

Luckily, if you are located in Cypress, TX, the experts at InsureUS are here to help.  We are available to answer any questions you may have to get you on the path to understanding the truth about car insurance. 

Stop Bad Driving Habits

Bad driving habits can result in injuries to you as well as cause significant damage to your vehicle. The independent agents in Cypress, TX at InsureUS would like to inform you on ways you can stop bad driving habits in order to keep you and your vehicle in good condition.

Riding on “E”

Lately, gas prices have soared, so you want to wait until it’s absolutely necessary to fill up the tank. This may cost you more in the long run. By letting your tank completely empty before a refill, you’re risking damaging your fuel pump. You could also end up with residue or sediment in the gas tank. Any residue could clog the fuel injector and cause further engine issues.

Accelerating and Stopping too Fast

You may have the urge to speed off after the light changes, but doing this could damage your car. If you speed up and then stop quickly, this could also cause unnecessary car trouble. By revving the engine, you’re essentially burning more fuel than you need to. In addition, stopping hard can cause extreme wear on your braking system as well as burn the rubber on your tires.

Driving Without a Seatbelt

By simply wearing a seatbelt, you may be able to prevent a considerable amount of bodily injury. In a collision, your seatbelt is meant to keep you from crashing into the steering wheel and windshield. Although airbags are also a helpful preventative measure, they are designed to work in tandem with seatbelt in order to minimize impact to the driver and the passengers.

You can ask the independent agents at InsureUS other ways in which you can stop bad driving habits. They service the Cypress, TX area and can help you with your current or new auto insurance policies.

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.

Tips for Avoiding Car Accidents This Holiday Season

When winter hits in Cypress, TX, more auto accidents occur. This is because roads are slick from rain and ice, it gets dark earlier, affecting visibility, and more people are preoccupied with holiday thoughts in their heads. However, just because accidents are more likely to occur during this timeframe doesn’t mean you can’t do things to prevent them. Here are a few tips for avoiding car accidents this holiday season.

Stick to Routes You Are Familiar With

Believe it or not, but you are more likely to be involved in a car accident if you are driving on roads or routes you are not familiar with. As such, when you are out driving this holiday season, stick to roads that you are familiar with to avoid an accident.

Pull Your Emergency Brake if You Are Sliding on Ice

You can’t always avoid icy roads. But if your car starts to slip on a patch of ice, hitting quickly on the brakes can cause you to slide even more, which can cause an accident. Instead, pull up on the emergency brake to attempt to stop your car faster. Keep this tip in mind, so you don’t panic if this happens to you.

Never Drink and Drive

The last way to avoid car accidents this holiday season is never to drink and drive. While it may be legal to drive after having a drink or two, your reflexes are drastically slowed when you drink even a single drink. This can cause an accident to occur. Simply avoid drinking and driving to reduce the likelihood you will be in an auto accident.

Avoiding car accidents not only helps to keep you and your family safe, but it can help to keep your auto insurance premiums affordable. If you are looking to price out auto insurance policies, contact InsureUS, serving the Cypress, TX area today. We can help you with all of your auto insurance needs, regardless of whether you have accidents or not. Give us a call today to get started.

What to say, and not to say, after a car wreck

Alex Glenn at NerdWallet, a personal finance site, says you should never say these things after being involved in a car crash:

“I’m fine.” Soft tissue injuries take time to show up. Let your doctor decide if you’re fine.

“Whiplash.” Even if you have it, the word throws up scamming red flags with your insurer.

“Sorry.” Writing in USA Today, Glenn recommends keeping quiet instead. Saying the word could imply you think the crash was your fault.

“Sure, record me.” You can refuse to have a statement recorded at the scene. Know exactly what you want to say before agreeing to it.

Answer questions honestly but stick to the facts. In all circumstances, tell the truth. But don’t offer uncalled-for details. After a wreck they’re hard to remember, and you don’t know all the details yourself.

“Many customers can’t recall specifics,” says Jason Lundberg, a San Francisco attorney specializing in vehicle accidents. “Trying to give precise details can lead to a false recount. Instead of specifics, providing estimates is a good way to cooperate.”

Never assume the blame at the accident scene. Fault is rarely cut and dried, and your interpretation is just that, an interpretation.

“Most accidents are caused by both parties,” Lundberg says. “Sometimes 50-50, sometimes 90-10. Investigations may reveal there is something the other driver could have done to avoid the accident.”

Getting compensated for damages, injuries. Any injury claims that aren’t documented by your doctor won’t be considered.

Getting your vehicle repaired is more straightforward. Get three estimates, but beware of the one that is significantly lower than the other two because the estimator probably missed something.

Behind the wheel … CAUTION!

The National Safety Council cites many reasons for the big increase in traffic deaths during 2015.

In spite of all the safety features on today’s cars, the number of traffic deaths in the United States rose l8 percent in 2015 over 2014 figures, the largest year-to-year percentage increase in a half-century, according to preliminary estimates by the National Safety Council.

About 38,000 people were killed on U.S. roads, and 4.4 million people were seriously injured, the council said. That would make 2015 the deadliest driving year since 2008.

Council experts say a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates were among key factors that put more people on the road. Add to that cheaper gas prices, which were down by 28 percent from 2014 and encouraged many drivers to take road trips.

The Transportation Department estimated that there was a 3.5 percent increase in the number of miles driven by motorists in the U.S. in 2015.

They are all legitimate reasons for that deadly year, but as you read them, two factors stand out:

* All of those circumstances still exist this year, and those death and injury causes could be even higher. There are probably more drivers than ever on the road, and each driver could be more involved in road trips.

* In 2016, the only thing that could be much better is you! Armed with these 2015 statistics and progressions, you could decide to be a more attentive and careful driver in the cities and on the Interstates.

Tips for Staying Calm While Driving

Driving can be nerve wracking but it does not have to raise your blood pressure. Though dealing with other drivers, road hazards, and anything that may end up getting in your way can stress you out while driving, this does not have to be the case. There are ways that you can calm yourself down while driving to keep yourself and other drivers safe.

For starters, music has the ability to calm down even the most frantic person. Try finding a radio station you love, a cd you like to listen to, or even music that is on your phone. Either playing music all the time while you drive or just when you are feeling a bit overwhelmed can help reduce your stress and can help make your trip that much easier and more relaxed.

Breathe, it helps. It may sound funny but deep breathing while driving can reduce stress and can help you to work through any road rage that may be bubbling up. Try some great deep breathing exercises to help reduce your overall stress levels and to help calm you down while driving. Believe it or not, this can reduce overall stress as well as very particular stress that may be associated with an incident while driving.

Pulling over when you are feeling particularly peeved or irritated while driving can do a few things. First off, it can remove you from the other drivers that are making you feel annoyed or angry. It can also give you time to yourself to reflect, and it can give you time to calm down. Pulling over is a wonderful way to destress and get back in the game to be the safest driver you can be. InsureUS wants you to be the best driver you can be so calm down while driving.  

SUV sales are set to pass those of the family sedan

Small sport-utility vehicles are becoming family favorites. Families say the ride is great, it gets good gas mileage and it has plenty of room in the back.

Buyers are willing to pay more for a sport-utility vehicle than they would for a sedan. The family sedan’s decades of dominance are coming to an end, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. They say there has been a shift in taste across the board.

Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com says, “The compact SUV is very similar to a midsize car, only taller with more cargo capacity.”

Safety group to review how it rates cars on safety

U.S. regulators are revising the process of assigning safety ratings to new vehicles. It proposes to require more crash-avoidance technologies to achieve a perfect score. And they will update requirements for crash-test dummies that assess performance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing revision of current ratings from a single score of 1 to 5 into a multifaceted scorecard that includes the score on crash-avoidance systems and a mark for pedestrian safety.

The move signals a strategic shift for the auto-safety industry from simply measuring what happens to vehicles during collisions to how well vehicles can avoid accidents in the first place.

New ratings will gauge a vehicle’s use of nine advanced technologies, such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning. It could encourage manufacturers to turn often-optional but highly profitable safety systems into standard technology. It would also increase the average price of a new car.

New test dummies have improved sensors to better predict injuries.

NHSTA will include a new frontal-oblique crash test to address what they describe as a type of angled crash “that continues to result in death and serious injuries despite seat belt use, air bags and crashworthy structures.”

“The 5-Star ratings have set the bar on safety since it began in 1978, and today we are raising that bar,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

SUVs turned 2015 into the best sales year ever

In 2015, automakers sold 17.47 million vehicles, according to Autodata. It bested what Kelly Blue Book reported as the previous record of 17.35 million in 2000.

Low gas prices, cheap credit, low unemployment, high consumer confidence and good weather brought a rush of buyers into showrooms in December.

Consumers continued their flight from less-lucrative cars into crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickups amid low gasoline prices.

At 13.9 percent of market share, the small SUV segment is now the largest category of vehicles in the United States. It is followed by small cars and midsize cars at 13.7 percent each, according to Kelly Blue Book.

Quoted in USA Today, AutoTrader.com analyst Michelle Krebs said, “There’s no end in sight to those trends.”

In December, General Motors had a 5.7 percent increase in sales, Ford Motor saw an 8.3 percent boost, and Fiat Chrysler sales rose 12.6 percent, according to Autodata.

Tesla Motors doubled sales during the month and sold 23,650 of its luxury electric cars in the U.S. for the year.

Among Asian makers, Toyota saw a 10.3 percent increase for the month, but it posted only a 5.3 percent increase for the year.

Honda was at 9.9 percent, and Nissan at 8.7 percent.