Whether you’re fresh out of high school or college, moving to the Dallas area or settling into a new apartment or rental home, chances are your landlord will either require or “strongly suggest” that you purchase renters insurance. While this might seem like an unnecessary expense, renters insurance can be the difference between you having to go out of pocket thousands of dollars or not.
Unlike homeowner policies, your landlord (whether it’s an apartment or home) likely has an insurance policy on the actual structure that you live in. This policy covers their high dollar investment: the actual building itself, while not providing coverage for your actual physical belongings or coverage for liability that comes as a result of an act that you’re found negligent for. Think about it like this: your furniture, clothing, basic electronic devices, kitchen equipment etc. is not likely covered by your landlords insurance, and as a result if a fire or tornado destroys your house or apartment those items wouldn’t be replaced by insurance.
Another thing to think about, especially if you like to have people over, is the liability aspect that renters insurance provides. If someone is injured at your home or apartment and you’re found negligent for their injuries, you could be on the hook to pay for whatever damages they’re awarded. Typically, with renters insurance, you can add $300,000 of liability protection for just a few dollars per year.
All in all, renters insurance is an extremely affordable way to protect not only your personal belongings but also your future earnings in the event a liability judgement was placed against you. Your Dallas insurance agency, Lewis Family Insurance Group, can provide you with a number of options for renters insurance, many of which run less than 50 cents a day.
Call us at 214-666-8103for more information or to get your Dallas renters insurance policy started.
Nobody wants to get involved in an auto accident. They’re dangerous and costly, but if you do get involved in a wreck it’s important to know some of the basic steps you need to take to make sure that your interests are best looked out for. These six tips are in no way the only things that need to be done, but following these suggestions can give you a good foundation to keep a bad situation from turning into a terrible situation. If the time ever comes where you find yourself in an accident, never hesitate to call our Dallas insurance agency and we will do whatever we can to assist you.
1) Safely STOP!
Don’t block traffic if at all possible, but even after a minor accident you should move to the side of the road, a parking lot, shoulder or any other are that can keep you, your passengers and other drivers safe.
2) Assess yourself and your passengers for injuries
It’s not uncommon to feel just a little “shaken up” after an auto accident, and you don’t end up realizing that you’re injured until hours or even days later. This is partially because of the rush of adrenaline running through your body, and you entering survival mode thereby ignoring potential injuries. Make use that you are not injured first, then check on your passengers. Assuming everyone else is okay, you can choose to check on the other drivers if necessary.
3) Call 911/Local Police
Regardless of the gravity of the accident, it’s always in your best interest (especially if someone is injured) to reach out to the authorities. Firstly because they can provide potentially life saving medical care, but also because having a police report can go a long way in making sure that your claim is handled properly.
4) Take Pictures
Thank goodness for smartphones! After you’ve checked for injuries, moved to a safe space, and notified the authorities it’s time to get your Android or iPhone and snap a number of photos of the accident, including any potential injuries that you or your passengers have.
5) Exchange information with the other driver.
This is an extremely important step, as not having the correct and accurate information can be the difference in a claim going smoothly or becoming a total nightmare. Make sure to get the other parties name, address, phone number, drivers license, make, model and license plate number. Additionally, you can take pictures of these documents as well as taking a picture of their current insurance card (check to make sure that it is current and not expired)
6) Notify your Dallas auto insurance agent as soon as possible!
You pay premiums ever month for your auto insurance in Dallas and hope you never have to use it, but when you’re involved in an accident is when those payments pay off (for a lake of a better phrase). Notifying your agent is the first step in making sure the claims process is handled in the right way. The team at our Dallas office will talk through the incident with you and provide guidance of next steps so you can make proper and informed decisions on how to proceed.
If the time ever comes that you're in an accident, or want to prepare for if it does, the Lewis Family Insurance Group is prepared to help. Feel free to give us a call at 214-666-8103 and we can discuss an insurance policy that's best for you!
With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the American economy, many families are finding themselves looking for ways to “trim the fat” in their monthly household budgets to make up for the loss of a job, reduced hours or general economic uncertainty.
Our family is no stranger to these economic uncertainties and we’ve had to find ways to tighten our belts here at our Dallas insurance agency. Hopefully the tips below can help inspire you to also look for ways to save money.
1) Review your bank statements, and make a budget
This one probably seems simple, but many of the most frugal people I know don’t do this for some reason. Without knowing how much you’re spending and where you’re spending it, finding ways to save will become exceedingly difficult. There are a number of templates online to use for your monthly budget, but a simple spreadsheet should do the trick.
2) Cook your meals at home
Again, a simple solution that can be easier said than done. In our house, with a 2 year old, it can be hard to get done with work, pick up Jack from daycare, get home, take the dog for a walk, cook dinner, pick up the clutter around the house, get Jack a bath and dressed and ready for bed without sacrificing somewhere. Usually, the easiest option is to just cut out the “cook dinner” part of the equation and grab some food out. The problem, aside from the fact that cooking your food at home is generally healthier, is that those “just this one time” fast food dinners quickly become a $30-$40 habit that eats into your monthly budget. By taking the time to prepare a menu for the week, shop for that menu and prep on the weekendings anything that can be done ahead of time you not only save money, but you also control the food that goes into your body which can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
3) Assess your cable, phone, internet and electric providers
I was shocked when I called our cell phone provider and found out that we could save $25 a month and not lose any of the features of our service just by switching to a newer plan. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to find out that you can keep the same service (or better) and save money.
4) Remove high interest debt when you can
Nothing kills a budget faster than seeing that you’re paying 15 or 16% interest every month on that credit card you love to swipe. By consolidating debt into a single payment with a lower interest rate, or (a better option) taking the savings you’re finding elsewhere to pay down that debt you’re putting yourself in a position to give your dollars more buying power instead of letting them get eaten up by interest payments.
5) Take a “staycation” instead this year
With travel restrictions due to Covid this might even be difficult, but the idea is sound regardless. I know that it’s fun to take the whole family on a big (expensive) vacation, even if it’s stressful at times, but the cost of vacations are only going up and wages seem to be flatlining for a lot of people. Instead, take a look at the areas within a few hours from where you live to find out if you can make great memories without traveling half-way across the country. Our family visits a small town on the Texas/Louisiana border a couple times a year and every time we’re there we find new and interesting things to do. Not to mention, it’s incredibly affordable!
6) Review and bundle your insurance
You knew this one was coming, right? But in all seriousness reviewing and bundling your insurance can provide a great deal of savings when you’re looking to improve your finances. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should cut coverage. Insurance, unlike those 423 gigs of data you have unused on your cell phone plan, isn’t something that should be reduced just in the sake of saving money. Instead, you’re better off looking at adjusting deductibles, taking advantage of multiple policy discounts and doing a full review with your Dallas insurance agency, the Lewis Family Insurance Group. But even if you’re not with our agency and don't have any intention of switching to LFIG, one of our licensed Texas insurance agents can provide you with the knowledge necessary to take back to your current agent, ask the right questions and make informed decisions.
There are a lot of ways to save money other than the six that we’ve listed in this blog post. Maybe some of these will work for you, maybe they’re all things that you just can’t bring yourself to do. Either way, the most important thing is having an understanding of where your money is coming from and where it is going. Once you get a grasp of that, you can start taking steps to put that money to work for you so it can grow. And, when you get to that point, make sure to reach out to a financial planner or wealth manager so you can make the best, most informed decisions.
If our insurance agency can ever be of help please do not hesitate to call our North Dallas office or send us an email. We look forward to helping you in any way that we can.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to auto insurance, and when looking for auto insurance in Dallas it can be even more confusing because of all of the options available. Below we’re going to list out some of the different types of coverage available on an auto insurance policy so that you can make a more informed decision the next time you’re evaluating your options.
Liability (Bodily Injury/Property Damage)
Liability is the foundation of all auto insurance. This is the coverage that would pay to repair the other person’s vehicle and/or bodily injury if you were involved in an accident where you were found at fault. Liability insurance is also the only coverage that is effectively mandated by the State of Texas for you to carry. The minimum limits required are 30/60/25; however, our Texas insurance agency always suggests that you carry higher liability limits because: 1) the premium difference is often only a few dollars a year and 2) if you don’t have enough liability insurance in the event of an accident where you’re at fault and a person is seriously injured and the $30,000 per person coverage for bodily injury is exceeded from their medical bills, you could find yourself having to pay the remainder out of pocket or even have a judgement placed against you and future earnings garnished to pay for the accident that you caused.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
With Texas having one of the largest populations of uninsured drivers this coverage is there to protect you and your passengers for injuries and or damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident caused by someone else who has little or no insurance at all. This coverage is optional but can provide great piece of mind when it comes to protecting your family, passengers and vehicle.
Sometimes called “other than collision” this coverage typically covers your vehicle in the event of fire, theft, natural disaster, collision with a vehicle, etc. It can also cover you in the event that your vehicle is stolen (happening more and more often lately) or even vandalized. This coverage often contains a deductible (such as $500 or $1000) that you are responsible for paying before the insurance company provides coverage.
Collision coverage, also normally required if your vehicle is leased or financed, pays for damage to your vehicle when you are at fault. An example would be if you rear ended someone and your front bumper needed to be replaced. If you were found at fault in this instance your car would be repaired using the collision coverage, if applicable, and would pay out after the deductible is satisfied.
Medical Coverage/Personal Injury Protection
These coverages often help pay for medical expenses for you or your passengers. Medical coverage and personal injury protection are optional coverages, but our Dallas insurance agency offers them to each and every client because they are often inexpensive and can provide additional coverage that your current health insurance policy does not cover. There are specifics you need to know when selecting this coverage so reach out to our agency and we can discuss which one, if either, is right for you.
Towing/Labor and Roadside Assistance Coverage
Pretty self-explanatory, this coverage can provide 24/7 assistance if you need a tow, lock your keys into your car, get a flat tire or if your battery dies. There are instances when this coverage is covered automatically, but your LFIG agent will discuss in more detail what is covered under your policy for towing/labor and roadside assistance.
Rental Car Reimbursement/Loss of Use
If your car is involved in an accident and you need to rent a vehicle this coverage can help you cover car rental cost other cost of transportation (such as paying for a rideshare service, train pass or bus tickets). This coverage can often be on a reimbursement provision, meaning you pay and then are reimbursed by the insurance company, and often has a maximum amount it will pay out.
This post is merely an overview of the coverages provided by the auto insurance companies we represent at Lewis Family Insurance Group. Each carrier has different specifics to their policies and some cover certain things in different ways. If your curious about the coverages you currently have, whether they’re sufficient or interested in making sure you’re getting the best coverage for the best rate, then feel free to call us at 214-666-8103 and we can perform a comprehensive review of your policy.
When I first started telling my friends and family that I was starting an independent insurance agency in Dallas the question I got asked most often was: “Why not just start a XYZ agency.” What they were meaning was, why don’t I start an insurance agency under the banner of one of the three large insurance companies (in the insurance industry we call that being captive).
It’s a good question, but the answer is simple. When you work for one of the “big three” insurance companies as an agency owner you start and end the day with one hand tied behind your back. You can only quote and offer their product to your clients and prospects, you have corporate suits breathing down your neck forcing you to push products that might not be the right ones for your clients and most importantly you work for the company, not the client.
That’s not the way I wanted to operate, and when opening an insurance agency in Texas I knew that I only wanted to answer to one person: the client.
The good news is we have access to dozens of insurance carriers which gives us the flexibility to find you best possible coverage at a fair price.
When you work with a “captive” insurance agency, if you want a quote for auto insurance they’ll give you the monthly price and that’s it. You don't have the option to shop multiple carriers, no opportunity to find the best rate and coverage. With the Lewis Family Insurance Group we give you multiple coverage and pricing options so you can make the decision that best fits your current situation and budget.
Additionally, because we’re a family run business, we don’t have to go up the chain if we want something to get done. Our direct access to the insurance carriers gives us the ability to quickly get answers to your claims and coverages questions as well as advance notice of discount and pricing changes. We work for you, not a faceless corporation.
Finding an insurance agency in Dallas isn’t hard. Throw a rock and you’ll find someone who is wearing a poorly fitted, cheap suit who will try and twist your arm to buy their product because they have sales goals they have to meet. Finding an insurance agency in Dallas that puts your needs first, however, isn’t so easy. The Lewis Family Insurance Group is dedicated to making sure that our clients' needs are always addressed in a timely, respectful and easy to understand way.
If you’re tired of paying for insurance and not knowing what exactly you’re paying for, tired of getting calls, emails and texts from an agent that you don’t know (learn more about us here) then feel free to get in touch and we’ll help guide you through the process of switching to the Lewis Family Insurance Group.
Also, if you're looking for a free resource to find and compare local insurance experts by state, zip or product type, visit: http://www.insuranceagencylinkdirectory.com/