Your car is watching you–and that might be good news.

Your auto insurance rates could soon be set based on how you, personally, drive–not on your statistical risk.
General Motors Co. (GM) has launched an auto insurance program with its OnStar subsidiary to match data on driving patterns and usage to insurance costs. Tesla and Ford have also announced initiatives, according to Claims Journal.
Right now, insurance companies use criteria such as age, gender, neighborhood and/or credit scores to set insurance prices. Consumer advocates have found this unfair because a good driver could live in a neighborhood that is unsafe and have a lower credit score.
Statistically, a teenage boy is the world’s worst auto insurance risk and insurance rates reflect this. But with usage-based insurance pricing, even a teenage boy might be able to demonstrate he is a good risk.
The mechanism of future insurance pricing will come from telematics–devices that collect real-time information on driving patterns and use. According to JD Power, demand for insurance based on telematics has increased during the pandemic as customers, working from home, thought they could save money on insurance.
What that could mean for good drivers and drivers who don’t drive much is lower rates. Bad drivers would get higher rates. Depending on how the technology is deployed, drivers might get real-time feedback about how they are doing, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). That could be like having a permanent back-seat driver who is always right. But drivers do respond when they have incentives to drive better, according to iii.org.
A study by Willis Towers Watson showed that, in commercial fleets monitored by telematics, crash rates fell by 80 percent.
But will drivers have privacy concerns, or will they resent having their every driving move monitored? Another survey by Willis Towers Watson suggests not. Resistance to the idea of cars monitoring driving is low, about seven percent.
GM will use data from its on-board concierge service, OnStar. The service helps drivers in emergencies and with navigation, but it also collects data on driving patterns. It takes special note of hard braking and acceleration.
Tesla’s initiative hasn’t yet launched.
Ford Motor Company has teamed up with Allstate Corporation to allow customers to share driving data.
GM says its OnStar program has provided the company with more data from connected vehicles than any other carmaker, as quoted in Claims Journal.
The company’s insurance offer will start in Arizona and use braking, acceleration, and general usage data to help set insurance rates. The program is set to expand nationwide using more data, including tire pressure, lane keeping and automated braking. More use of connected car data could be used if regulatory hurdles can be overcome.

Consider assets when buying auto insurance

We’re inundated with car insurance ads at every turn, each pledging better rates or more personal service. But aside from knowing what your premium is, do you know what your coverage is and whether you have enough?
Your policy will cover liability, bodily injury liability (BIL), property damage, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision and comprehensive.
Many states require a minimum amount of coverage, but you probably want to consider insuring for more. Medical bills can add up to many thousands in a hurry, and you don’t want to be on the hook.
Liability packages often have three numbers, like 100/300/100. This refers to the amount of coverage for bodily injury per person (100k), per accident (300k), and property damage (100k). Individuals with higher net worths may want to boost the first two.
The Wall Street Journal says a good rule of thumb is to get coverage for an amount equal to the total value of your assets (house, car, savings, and investments). Those could be seized to cover repairs or medical expenses otherwise.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is also vitally important. This pays for damage to your car and passenger injuries caused by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have liability insurance, or a hit-and-run driver. Consumer Reports suggests buying the same limits as on your liability insurance.
Remember also to sign up for the highest deductible you can afford, which will reduce your premiums.

Are you uninsured or under-insured?

Life comes at you fast. In your youth at the peak of your health, in middle age, at the height of responsibility, what if an accident or illness took you off the family map? We all know it can happen and few think it will.
As a matter of fact, about 40 percent of people have no life insurance at all. Of the people with life insurance, about half are underinsured.
But the cold fact remains: What happens to your family if you die? Will they be able to afford the house? How will their lifestyle change? Who will support the family? How will they support the family?
Life insurance answers many of those questions — and it answers them affordably.
The least expensive form of life insurance — term insurance — is very inexpensive. A healthy 30-year-old can get $250,000 of insurance for about $15 per month. The earlier you buy term insurance, the less expensive it is and many policies don’t even require a health check.
Many people have life coverage at work, but this should be reviewed because it may not be enough. Primary breadwinners should have coverage equal to six to 10 times their annual incomes. Term policies usually cover only your working life.
Whole life is another kind of life insurance. Unlike term policies, it covers you for life, as long as you make payments. It also has the benefit of building cash value. Although most experts say it shouldn’t be considered an investment, if you get a big policy at a young enough age, and keep it until retirement, you could have a nice nest egg to tap into at retirement. Whole life policies can also be cashed in by your Power of Attorney for some part of the face value if you enter a nursing home, for example. It could be considered a small inheritance. Whole life policies usually require a medical exam and are unlikely to cover smokers.
Many websites compare costs of life insurance options.

What auto insurance options are offered for Texas drivers

In Texas, the law requires all motorists to show proof of financial responsibility if they are involved in an accident while driving. This minimum coverage includes liability auto insurance which will pay to repair the other driver’s car if you cause an accident. It also pays the medical bills and some other expenses of the other driver and his or her passengers. You must have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person and up to a total of $60,000 per accident. You must also have at least $25,000 of coverage for property damage. This is called 30/60/25 coverage.

Many drivers in Texas also carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage which means if you are involved in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance or they don’t have enough insurance to cover your medical bills and car repair bills, this policy will kick in and cover you. It also covers your vehicle if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident and do not know who the other driver is.

You may also ask for more auto insurance coverage, such as collision insurance. This pays to repair or replace your vehicle after a crash no matter whose fault it is and comprehensive auto insurance pays to replace your car if it is stolen or damaged by some kind of disaster, such as a fire, flood, or vandalism. Personal injury Protection coverage and medical payments coverage are similar and will pay you and your passengers’ medical bills. Personal injury protection also pays you for things like lost wages and other non-medical costs if you are involved in a crash.

There are many add-ons to insurance policies that you can obtain, such as towing and labor coverage to get your vehicle fixed when it is undrivable and rental reimbursement coverage that allows you to pay for a rental car if your vehicle is stolen or while it’s being repaired after an accident.

Enlisting the help of an experienced and knowledgeable insurance agent is the best way to find out which auto insurance coverages you need for you and your situation. The insurance agents at InsureUS in Cypress, TX are ready to serve you and all of your auto insurance needs. Call for an appointment today!

How to make the most of your gas mileage

Whether you drive a big truck or a small car, everyone can benefit from making the most of their gas mileage. Sometimes, people think they’re doing everything they can to get good gas mileage, but they may not realize there a few tweaks here and there that could make a big difference. Especially in the summer when you might be going on road trips near Cypress, TX, you’ll want to do your best to get good gas mileage, so continue reading to learn some tips from InsureUS.

  1. Stay within the speed limit

  2. Avoid rooftop cargo boxes; haul cargo behind your vehicle and remove rooftop boxes when not in use

  3. Clean out your vehicle, and don’t haul around extra weight

  4. Don’t let your vehicle idle for more than ten seconds

  5. Take advantage of cruise control

  6. Drive sensibly; avoid sudden stops and starts, and don’t accelerate when you will soon need to slow down

  7. Regularly check and maintain your engine

  8. Keep your tires at the correct pressure for your vehicle; check them often, especially in extreme temperatures

  9. Use the oil that is recommended for your vehicle

  10. Combine trips and plan stops so you don’t backtrack

Simply making a few of these suggested changes can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy, and if you make an effort to change in many areas, you will start to see a big change. Another great way to save when you have a vehicle is by making sure you have the correct auto insurance for your needs. Talk to an insurance agent at InsureUS near Cypress, TX today if you have any questions about your policy.

How getting married affects car insurance

This blog explores how getting married affects car insurance rates and coverage. In addition to lessening the likelihood of developing dementia or heart disease, getting married can lower your car insurance premiums. Insurance companies love statistics and statistics show that married couples simply have fewer car accidents. No one knows for certain the why behind this. Theories abound. The theories include married people drive less and they’re more stable and less risky. One study conducted in New Zealand drivers who never-married had twice the car accident risk of married drivers. For this reason, getting married usually results in a discount on auto insurance – even for males younger than 25 who normally get stuck with the highest premiums. To maximize your benefits, discuss your plan with your InsureUS representative in Cypress, TX. They can help you determine which method works best for lowering your rates. You could:

  • combine auto insurance policies,
  • add your spouse as a secondary driver,
  • add your spouse’s vehicle to your policy,
  • not add your spouse at all.

That last one may seem confusing, but if your spouse has a poor driving record, for example, a DUI or speeding ticket, adding them negatively affects your policy. Also, don’t combine if one of you recently experienced a gap in insurance coverage. A divorce results in the loss of these discounts.

We’re not saying run out and get married to lower your car insurance but do come talk to us at InsureUS in Cypress, TX a few weeks before or after your wedding. Also, come chat if you don’t already have combined or multi-policy car insurance and already married.

How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need?

Here in Cypress, TX, you need to make sure that you at least have the minimum required auto insurance as dictated by state laws. However, here at InsureUS, we know that this amount is not always the best indicator of determining exactly how much you need in coverage. There are several things to consider when you are getting auto insurance and ways to lower the cost as long as you have the minimum coverage required by law. 

The first thing that you want to consider when you are determining how much auto insurance you need for your vehicle is the cost to replace or repair your vehicle. If you have a vehicle that is a new model or even one that is a bit more expensive than your average vehicle, you want to at least have coverage that can replace your vehicle if it were to be totaled or to repair it if you are in an accident. Next, you want to make sure that you can cover the deductible on the coverage. You should think about the deductible amount and make sure that you can pay that at the drop of a hat. If you cannot, you may want to lower the deductible on your coverage. If you can, you may want to increase the deductible for as much as you can pay for out of pocket because this will lower your monthly amount. 

If you are in the market for auto insurance and want to make sure you get the right amount above the minimum requirements, be sure to reach out to us here at InsureUS, serving Cypress, TX. We will make sure that you get the policy that meets your needs and also fits well within your budget and law. 

 Searching for the best car loan rate 

Average interest rates on new car loans rose to 5.2 percent in February, and many consumers are not taking advantage of several ways to lower their rates and save money in the long run,according to USA Today.

While the market rate had fallen to as low as 3.9 percent at the end of 2012, analysts are forecasting that rates are headed higher. Only 31.6 percent of those that leased or bought a new car in 2015 even tried lowering their rates through negotiation or searching for financing elsewhere.

Many buyers tend to focus solely on the monthly payment when shopping for a new car. They pay less attention to the interest rate and overall length of the loan. With this in mind, car dealers are likely to extend loan terms out as long as possible.

The average loan is three months longer now than five years ago.

Rather than accepting whatever rates the car dealership offers, it pays for consumers to take time to shop around for a better rate elsewhere, as tough competition can lead to better deals, according to Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. As an example, a $35,000 car loan with 7 percent APR will cost $3,800 more than a loan with 3 percent APR over five years.

Different dealerships will have different networks of lenders that might offer better terms.

Also, local credit unions, which have been moving into the auto loan market in recent years, can often provide excellent rates to members.

Sometimes the absolute best interest rate does not make the best deal.

Special promotional rates of 1.9 percent or even zero percent often mean forgoing same-as-cash incentives on specific new cars. When adding that money to the total loan amount, the overall costs could end up being more substantial in the long run than those with a much higher interest rate.

Full coverage vs. liability auto insurance: Which do you need?

There are some in society who are more than self-reliant and financially stable. Such persons are typically millionaires and can pay out thousands at the drop of a hat if they are involved in an at-fault accident. The rest of humanity, or at least those drivers in the United States, need an auto indemnity plan that covers costs associated with incidents on the road. InsureUs is your number one choice when you need car assurance in Cypress, TX, but what type of plan should you choose?

The Pros and Cons of Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is typically recognized as the bare minimum. The coverage ensures that your portion of financial responsibility is paid out in the instance of an accident. A liability plan does not, however, provide you with much protection. You cannot claim damage to your vehicle if you run down a stop sign. You can, however, expect the insurance agency to pay for costs associated with replacing the sign. Liability insurance comes at an economical rate, which is why many drivers are attracted to the option. Consumers financing cars typically do not have the choice to select liability coverage. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Full Coverage

Full coverage insurance is often the number one choice for new car owners in Cypress, TX. This plan usually comes with comprehensive and collision options that pay for everything from damages caused by inclement weather to vandalism. You can rest assured, in most cases, knowing that your car is covered regardless of whether a tree falls on it or a runaway animal cage puts a dent in your driver’s side door. Full coverage is the ideal choice when you want complete peace of mind. 

While there is always the option to go for the cheaper alternative, choosing full coverage is the better option when you want to make sure that you are insured. InsureUS can help you discover the best plan for your financial situation. 

Facts to teach your new teen driver

Teen drivers are inexperienced, usually distracted, and impulsive, statistics show.

That’s every single teenager, from the A student to the wild child.

That won’t come as news to the insurance industry, which charges high rates for teen drivers. But, teens might not know the dangers of their own inexperience. Parents who are teaching their kids to drive might point out some sad truths.

First, teens have a lot of car accidents and car accidents kill.

Of all age groups, 16-year-olds have the highest crash rates, and a full third of all deaths among 13- to 19-year-olds are likely to occur in a car crash. In fact, more than 3,000 people die in car accidents every single day.

Second, teens are unusually distracted behind the wheel.

According to dosomething.org, more than half of teen drivers admit they use a phone while driving.

More worrisome is that texting can take eyes off the road for almost five seconds — a lot of time for something to go wrong. Car and Driver Magazine did a study on this and found texting while driving had the same effect as driving drunk.

Teens must learn to leave their phones unanswered while driving. That’s a lesson adults can learn too since 27 percent of adults have read or sent a text message while driving.

Third, driving around teen friends can be deadly. Fatality rates increase with each extra passengers in the car. It’s dangerous for the driver and for the teen rider. Fewer than half of teens say they would speak up if the driver was scaring them.

Teens must also recognize that their inexperience can get them into trouble. Driving in poor conditions such as snow, fog, or rain can be dangerous and teens must give the task their complete attention.