I Quit Smoking Last Month. Can I Get a Nonsmoker’s Rate for Life Insurance in San Antonio, Texas?

When you quit smoking, it means that you will have fewer health risks and that your risk of death is much lower. The problem when you are looking at life insurance in San Antonio, Texas is that you may not qualify for the nonsmoker’s rate until you have quit for an extended period of time. In most cases, one month is not long enough to qualify.

Read the Application Carefully

When you are looking at life insurance in Bexar County or Comal County, the application will give you the specific details about who is considered a nonsmoker. For example, the application may say that a nonsmoker is an individual who has not smoked a cigarette for at least one year.

The exact amount of time before you can consider yourself a nonsmoker on an application for life insurance may vary between companies, but it is usually at least one to three years after you quit.

Asking for Discounts

If you have quit smoking, then you may be able to get a discount on your rate even if you are not yet considered a nonsmoker. Instead of applying for coverage alone, talk to an independent agent and ask for advice. An agent can find insurers who might be willing to provide a reduced rate because you have quit smoking. Discounts and options may vary, so you will need to discuss the options with an agent and read through the policy details before you decide on the best insurer for your goals.

Even if you quit smoking, it does not mean that you are able to qualify for a nonsmoker’s rate. Fortunately, you still have options to help bring down your premium. Give us a call to talk to an agent for more information.

Can I Claim my Insurance Company if I Meet with an Accident on the Job or While Driving my Company Vehicle?

When you get into an accident while you are driving a company car for work in San Antonio, Texas, you may assume that your personal insurance will pay for your injuries. In general, if you are driving for your job or using a company car in Bexar County or Comal County, then your personal policy is not the appropriate insurer to charge for the damages.

Business Policies

If you are injured while driving for your job, then your employer’s commercial insurance policy should cover the cost of your injuries and the damages to the vehicle. Your employer is liable for the accident as long as you were not driving for personal reasons or you are in a company vehicle.

Every employee who operates a company vehicle or who is driving for the company is covered under the business insurance policy. The appropriate insurance company to pay for the damages in the situation is the commercial insurer.

Impact on Personal Coverage

Although your insurer may not be required to pay for the accident, you may still see an increase in your premium after the accident if you were the individual who caused the situation. Accidents are reported on your driving record, so an insurer may still increase your premium because your driving record and historical data is showing a higher risk when compared to the period before the incident occurred.

It may seem difficult to determine the appropriate solution after you get into an accident on the road, but your employer’s policy should have protection for you and other drivers. Your personal insurer may not provide any protection as long as you are on the job at the time of the accident. If you want to learn more, contact us to speak to an independent agent.

Difference Between Cancellation and Non-Renewal of Homeowners Insurance in San Antonio, Texas

As an independent agent providing insurance coverage to homeowners in Comal County, Bexar County and the San Antonio Texas area, we often answer questions from confused homeowners who don’t understand their rights as homeowners, and what insurance companies can legitimately do when it comes to cancellation or non-renewal of home insurance policies.

Cancellation and Non-Renewal are two entirely different things. We think it is essential that you be as well-informed as possible, and that you know your rights and recourse.

Understanding CLUE

CLUE is an acronym for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It is an archive of records of insurance claims for both people and houses regardless of whom the owner was, for the past seven years. The law only allows companies to report information on filed claims. Federal law protects homeowners by allowing them to challenge falsely reported information.

If an insurance company uses a CLUE report to deny you coverage (either through cancellation or non-renewal,) you are entitled to a free copy of the report from LexisNexis Personal Reports. Before calling to ask for the report, look for the denial number on the letter you got from your insurance provider, or call your company to get that number.

Cancellation

Cancellation happens if your coverage stops before the policy’s expiration date. It doesn’t matter whether you start the cancellation, or your insurance company does it. In either case, the company has to refund your unearned premium – the amount of money you paid in advance for premiums, and did not get. If your annual premium is $600, and the policy is canceled after a month, your insurance company has to give you back $550.

If an insurance company intends to cancel your policy, the law requires the company to contact you in writing no less than 10 days before cancellation. A company can only cancel your policy if you fail to show evidence of a risk for which there is no record of an earlier claim, within 60 days of issuing the policy. If the company decides to cancel the policy more than 60 days after date the policy went into effect, they must give you 30 days advance notice – in writing. The only legitimate reasons for canceling a policy more than 60 days after it starts are fraud, non-payment of your premiums, and evidence of an increased risk.

Non-Renewal

Non-renewal happens when the company refuses to renew your policy once it expires. Texas law requires the company to send you written confirmation of their intention not to renew the policy, at least 30 days before the policy expires. If the company fails to inform you at least that far in advance, they have to renew the policy if you ask them to do so.

Reasons for Non-Renewal

If you neglect the home and it falls into disrepair, or it is in very bad shape, regardless of the reason it got that way, the company can give you an ultimatum as a condition of renewal. That ultimatum is usually a time limit for making those repairs.

If the home is in bad shape because of damages or a loss that is covered by your policy, the company has to pay for any repairs, minus the amount of your deductible. If the repairs are the result of normal wear and tear, or deterioration from age, you are responsible for the entire cost.

Another legitimate reason for non-renewal would be a situation where you file three or more claims in 3 years or less, for situations that aren’t related to weather catastrophes. Before a company can opt not to renew your homeowners insurance because of non-weather related claims, however, they must contact you AFTER the second claim, issuing a warning. If the company fails to issue that written warning after you file a second non-weather-related claim, the have to renew your policy.

Your insurance company cannot legally use the first two appliance claims to decide how many non-weather claims they will allow, as a defense for non-renewal. The company cannot legally refuse to renew your policy because you file a claim for a non-covered loss. If you do file a claim for a non-covered loss, or if you file more than two non-weather-related claims the previous year, the company can issue a surcharge, or an additional premium as a condition of renewal.

Adding A Learner Driver To An Existing Auto Insurance Policy

Emotions can range from pride to absolute trepidation when your young teen, or a new driver, gets behind the wheel of a car. Teen and new drivers have the highest rate of accidents in the country. The moment your children start driving, you need to add them to your existing auto insurance policy or buy a new policy to cover them. You’ll need to add anyone who has access to drive your car to your police — including new drivers.

Graduated Drivers License

According to Texas graduated drivers license rules, a learner driver who is under 18 must hold an instructional permit for six months. After that, they move on, or graduate, to a provisional permit. During the first six months of the provisional permit stage, the new driver can operate a vehicle between 5:00 AM and midnight only. They also can have only one non-family who is under 21 years old in the car with them. With these rules, the Texas laws ease young drivers into the responsibility of driving. You must do your part and make sure young drivers who have access to your car also have adequate insurance coverage.

Non-Restricted License

Once new drivers pass all phases of the GDL program, they can obtain a non-restricted license. They now have the freedom to take on the roads and highways throughout San Antonio, Texas or anywhere in the country. This is still a crucial time for new drivers, and accident rates are high because these drivers are still inexperienced. If you are a resident of Bexar County, Comal County or live anywhere in San Antonio, Texas, contact us to speak with an independent agent. We’ll work with you and make sure your young driver has the appropriate insurance coverage.