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Auto Insurance

someone handing over keys to new car

Consider these factors when deciding between a new and used car.

If you are shopping for a car, then you might not know if you should go new or used.  While your budget will certainly affect your decision, this isn’t the only factor to consider.  Weigh these other considerations to help you make your car buying decision.

  • Insurance Costs

Insuring a brand-new car is typically more expensive than insuring a used vehicle.  This is because new cars are more costly to repair or replace.  However, keep in mind that buying an older used car will not necessarily save you money on insurance.  Because older cars do not have updated safety features and tend to be less reliable, they are more likely to be stolen or involved in an accident.  These risks translate into higher insurance costs.  Generally, buying a used car that’s only a few years old is the best way to maximize your auto insurance savings.

  • Technology

New cars come equipped with the newest in driving and safety technology.  For instance, new cars will have things like automatic braking, blind spot monitors, backup cameras, GPS, and other updated features that used cars may not offer.  If you want the newest tech to enhance your driving experience and your safety, then investing in a brand-new car is the way to go.

  • Reliability and Maintenance

When purchasing a car, reliability is one of the most important things to consider.  Brand-new cars will naturally be more reliable and have fewer maintenance issues than older, used cars.  As a general rule, the older the car, the less reliable it will be.  If you are planning on buying a used car, it’s vital to get a vehicle history report and have it inspected by a mechanic.  Taking these steps will ensure that the car you are buying has been well maintained and has not experienced issues in the past.

  • Your Image

For some people, a car is a status symbol.  If impressing your peers, co-workers, friends, or loved ones is a priority for you, then a new car is your best option.  However, it’s important that you do not base your car-buying decision on your image alone.  There are many other factors (namely your budget), that should take precedence over your desire to impress others.

These are some of the factors to consider when deciding between a new or used vehicle.  No matter what decision you make, your new ride needs the protection that only the right auto insurance can offer.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

man driving

What to know about your auto insurance before lending out your car.

When you let a friend borrow your car, you might assume that their auto insurance will be the primary coverage.  However, in most states, including the state of Texas, this isn’t usually the case.  This is because insurance laws dictate that auto insurance follows the vehicle rather than the driver.  So, before you lend out your car so freely, here are some of the things you need to consider about your coverage.

Because the car owner is financially responsible for the damages caused by their vehicle, it’s important that you know your coverage limits before you lend out your car.  In some cases, your auto insurance policy may impose lower coverage limits when your car is being operated by a driver not listed on your policy.  Additionally, there are some instances in which your insurance will not cover another driver at all.  For example, if you regularly lend your car out to someone who is not a member of your household or if you lend your car out for business purposes, then your auto policy might deny the driver coverage.

If you frequently lend your car to someone that you do not live with, then you should add this person onto your auto insurance policy as an additional insured.  You should also take this step if you are lending your car out for an extended period of time.  This way, you can ensure that the driver has the coverage that they need.

This is how insurance works when you lend out your car.  Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

two badly damaged cars after an accident

How to manage a total loss vehicle claim.

If you’ve gotten into an accident and your insurer has declared your car a total loss, you may not know what to do next.  To ensure that your claims process proceeds smoothly and quickly as possible, here are some of the steps that you should take.

  • Hand Over Your Car Title

Your car title is needed to process a total loss claim, so it’s important that you know where this document is.  If you cannot find your title, then file for a lost title at the DMV as soon as possible so you can officially begin the claims process.

  • Figure Out How Much Your Car is Worth

Do some research to get a general idea of how much your car is currently worth.  Use resources like Kelly Blue Book to see what they value your make and model at.  You should also look at similar vehicle listings in your area.  This research should give you a good idea of what your insurer will value your car at.

  • Find Out How Much You Owe Your Lender

If you have a loan tut on the vehicle, then check to see how much you still owe.  This will help you prepare in the event that your loan amount is higher than your car’s current value.  If your loan exceeds your car’s value, then your insurance settlement will go to your lender, and you will be responsible for paying the remaining loan amount on your own.

  • Finish Paperwork ASAP

Total loss claims require a lot of paperwork.  For instance, you and your insurer will have to come to a written agreement on the value of your car.  You will also have to sign ownership of the vehicle over to your insurer so they can process your claim and pay the settlement to you or your lender.  Prompt completion of this paperwork will help you put the ordeal behind you as soon as possible.

These are some of the steps that you should take to manage a total loss vehicle claim.  Are you looking for the right insurance to cover you if your car is declared a total loss?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

teen adjusting her rearview mirror

Here are some of the safe driving lessons you should pass onto your teen.

If you are teaching your teen how to drive, then you want to pass on the habits and skills that will make then the safest driver possible.  When it comes to driving safely, it’s important to go back to the basics.  Here are some of the safe driving lessons you should teach your teen.

Never Drink and Drive

While this goes without saying, your teen should never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  You should also remind your child that it is their responsibility to never get into a car operated by someone who has been drinking or doing drugs.

Always Wear Your Seatbelt

When teaching your teen how to drive, you should emphasize the importance of always wearing their seatbelt, even for short trips.  Not only will their seatbelt save their life in an accident, but it will also ensure that they are not pulled over and issued a ticket.

Stay Vigilant

Many drivers, not just teens, become less vigilant as they get more comfortable behind the wheel.  However, failing to scan your area, use your mirrors, and check your blind spots could mean missing a serious driving hazard.  When teaching your teen how to drive, show them how to stay vigilant when they are changing lanes, turning, and even when stopped.

These are just a few of the safe driving lessons you should pass onto your teen.  Want another way to keep your kid safe behind the wheel?  The make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

How Do Your Driving Habits Affect Your Auto Insurance?

Which driving habits affect my car coverage?

When your auto insurer determines your premiums, they will take various factors into account.  One of the things they will consider is your driving habits.  But how does our behavior behind the wheel affect your coverage costs?  Here’s what you need to know.

  • Driving Frequency and Distance

Two of the things that auto insurers will consider is how often you use your car and how far you tend to drive on average.  In general, the more often and the further you drive, the more expensive your auto insurance will be.  This is because the more you use your car, the higher your risk of getting into an auto accident.  On the plus side, if you don’t drive regularly, then your insurance rates will be on the lower side.

  • Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a broad category that encompasses many bad driving behaviors.  For instance, if you have a documented history of speeding, DUIs, distracted driving (for instance, driving while using your cell phone), or other traffic violations then, you are considered a high-risk driver.  This risk will translate into higher insurance costs because insurers deem you more likely to get into an accident or receive another moving violation.

  • Accidents

Your insurer will also look into your driving record to see if you have a history of auto accidents.  If the accidents you have been involved in were minor and you were not at fault, then this likely won’t affect your insurance rates.  However, if you were involved in a major accident that resulted in serious property damage, injury, or even death, then this could indicate that you are a high-risk driver.  This, in turn, will raise your auto insurance rates.

These are some of the driving habits that will affect your auto insurance rates.  Do you have further questions regarding your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Making These Car Insurance Mistakes Will Cost You

These common insurance missteps could be costly.

For those inexperienced with the insurance industry, managing their auto insurance can be a challenging experience.  Unfortunately, this inexperience can lead to some costly insurance mistakes.  Here are some of the most common car insurance mistakes that you should avoid if you do not want to increase your coverage costs.

  • Lying or Omitting Information When Applying for Insurance

While telling a little white lie or concealing certain pieces of information from your insurer might not seem like a major deal, this actually constitutes insurance fraud.  If you get caught lying, then you may experience an increase in your auto insurance rates.  In some cases, your deception can actually result in an insurer denying you coverage.  If this should happen, then you would be flagged as high-risk, making it extremely difficult to find an insurer willing to cover you at an affordable rate.

  • Failing to Use Discounts

Finally, if you are not applying for every discount that you qualify for, then you are overpaying for your auto insurance.  This is why it’s so important to do some research and learn about all the discounts that you may have access to.  You may be surprised to find out that you are eligible for considerable auto insurance savings.

These are some of the costly auto insurance mistakes that you should be sure to avoid.  Do you have additional questions regarding your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with your auto insurance today.

Driving Safety Suggestions for Teens

Parents, here are some of the safe driving behaviors that you should pass onto your teen drivers.

While the idea of your teen behind the wheel probably worries you, you can’t always be there to hold their hand and keep them safe. However, when you are first teaching your teen how to drive, there are some habits you can pass onto them to ensure they are practicing safe driving behaviors. Here are some of the driving safety suggestions that you should pass along.

  • Be Defensive, Not Aggressive

First things first, teach your teen to drive defensively. For instance, they should always obey the speed limit, leave plenty of space between their car and the car in front of them, and scan their entire vicinity frequently. Teaching your teen responsible driving habits will ensure that they don’t become one of those reckless drivers who speed, tailgate, and weave in and out of traffic without regard for their safety or the safety of others.

  • Keep Your Phone Out of Sight

Before settling behind the wheel, teach your child to set their phone to silent and store it somewhere out of their immediate sight. This will prevent them from getting distracted by an incoming text, call, or another type of notification. This will ensure that their focus remains on the road and, therefore, reduce the chances of them getting into a distracted driving accident.

  • No Distracting Passengers

While your teen is probably eager to drive around all their best friends, it’s important to put your foot down on this subject. Because teens are inexperienced, they need to focus all of their attention on the task of driving. However, when they have friends in the car, they are more likely to get distracted by the conversation or the fun antics of their passengers. This, in turn, can make your teen more likely to make unsafe driving decisions or completely take their eyes off the road. Not only does this pose a danger to your child, but it also puts their friends and anyone else on the road at risk. To prevent a major accident, be strict about the no passenger rule for your teen.

Here are some of the safe driving tips you should pass along to your teen driver. Want another way to keep your teen safe while they are behind the wheel? Make sure that you have the right auto insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

Suggestions for Shopping for Your First Auto Insurance Policy

Knowing these things will make first-time car insurance shopping a little easier.

If you are looking to secure your first-ever car insurance policy, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. With all the different carriers and coverage options out there, it can seem impossible to find the right policy to meet your needs and budget. To make the process of securing car coverage a little easier, here are some of the things you should know.

Your State’s Insurance Requirements

Almost every state has some minimum level of auto insurance that drivers are required to carry. It’s important to know your state’s minimums before you select an auto policy so you can ensure that the coverage option you select is meeting your legal requirements. For a breakdown of Texas’s auto insurance requirements, please click here.

Recommended Coverages

While state insurance minimums are a good place to start, drivers are recommended to carry coverage that extends beyond legal minimums. This is because, in an accident, insurance minimums will only cover a portion of your costs, leaving you to take care of the rest on your own. To ensure that you have the comprehensive protection you need, you are recommended to carry the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Personal property liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical payments
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist

Reducing Your Rates

Finally, once you start receiving auto insurance quotes, you might feel like your rates are set in stone. However, there are some things you can do to cut them down a bit. For instance, make sure you are using all of the discounts that you qualify for. Additionally, you can save by bundling your auto insurance with your other existing insurance policies. Finally, you can save in the long run by keeping your driving record clean. The fewer accidents and traffic violations on your record, the more your rates will drop.

These are some of the things you should know when securing your first-ever auto insurance policy. Do you have additional questions regarding your car coverage? If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in America

Is your car one of the most stolen vehicles in the country?

According to data released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), older car models are favored by car thieves. The vulnerability of older cars is likely due to their lack of anti-theft technologies. Popular brands such as Honda topped the list of stolen vehicles due to the high resale value of their parts. Interested to see if your car made the list? Refer to this list of the top ten most stolen cars over the past year.

1) Honda Civic

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1998 (6,707)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 45,062

2) Honda Accord

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1997 (6,301)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 43,764

3) Ford Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2006 (3,151)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 35,105

4) Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2004 (1,970)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 30,058

5) Toyota Camry

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (1,100)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 17,278

6) Nissan Altima

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,450)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 13,358

7) Toyota Corolla

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,012)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,337

8) Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2001 (1,242)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,004

9) GMC Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (957)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 10,865

10) Chevrolet Impala

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2008 (991)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 9,487

If your car made the list, make sure you are taking additional precautions to prevent your car from being stolen.  One of the best ways to keep your vehicle safe is by securing the proper auto insurance protections.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.