Blown Tires and Auto Insurance Rates

Blown tires in San Antonio, TX can be a frustrating and difficult situation to manage, particularly if they cause accidents. We at Access Insurance Services have seen these types of accidents impact the lives of many of our clients and want to make sure that you understand how your rates may be affected.

Insurance Covers Damage Caused By Blowouts

When your tire blows, there is a good chance that you might get into an accident or suffer from damage to the vehicle. In this instance, your insurance will pay for any damage this incident causes, including other cars. However, the tire itself won’t be paid for by the provider.

This lack of coverage is due to the fact that blown tires are typically considered an avoidable situation and due to the driver failing to take due caution in maintaining them. However, if somebody blows your tire – such as a vandal – with a knife, you can get insurance coverage for the tire.

Rates May Increase

If you get into an accident caused by blown tires, there is a chance that your rate may increase. Insurance companies consider this type of accident to be the driver’s fault, as mentioned above and may hold it against the driver when it happens.

The chance of increasing rates will vary depending on your company and the type of policy that your purchase. Some companies are more forgiving of such situations while others will almost always increase their rates. Make sure that you fully understand your policy before making a claim.

Find a Policy That Works

If you live in San Antonio, TX and are worried about blown tires affecting your insurance rates, please contact us at Access Insurance Services to find a policy that is right for you. Our professionals will work hard to narrow down your options and find the most appropriate coverage for your car.

Tips for Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy

We go through our lives signing paper after paper, and many times, we don’t even know what we’re signing. From privacy policies to waivers and more, we often fail to take the time to read through the fine print of paperwork to have a good understanding of what we’re signing for. When it comes to auto insurance, though, this is not something you want to take lightly. It is very important that you understand what you’re purchasing and the type of coverage you will receive should you have to make a claim. Access Insurance Services serving the San Antonio, TX area wants you to have a clear understanding of your policy and that’s why we are here to offer two tips for understanding your auto insurance policy. 

Read Through the Entire Policy

There’s a good chance your auto insurance policy is actually several pages long. This is why you should set aside an extended period of time to read through it. It will likely take you anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more to actually read through all parts, but once you do, you can rest easy knowing you have a better understanding of the coverage you have. Even better, you may learn about parts of your policy that you were unaware of. 

Speak With Your Agent

The best way to get a better understanding of your auto insurance policy is to speak with your agent. Your insurance agent can explain any unfamiliar terms and will provide you with a crystal clear picture of what your coverage does and does not entail. This person can serve as a go-to resource for any and all of your questions and concerns. 

Contact Us Now

To learn more about auto insurance and how to understand your policy, contact Access Insurance Services serving the San Antonio, TX area. 

Everything You Need to Know About Reporting Your Car Stolen

There is nothing more frightening, frustrating or stressful than coming outside of your home in San Antonio, TX or walking to the parking lot after work, only to find your car has been stolen.  Unfortunately, people experience this type of tragedy everywhere, regardless of how safe your neighborhood is or how secure a parking lot is-car theft happens all across the country. Here are a few tips on how to handle the process of reporting a stolen car, which may make the situation a little less frustrating.

Was it Really Stolen?

Once you have become aware that your vehicle is missing, the first thing to do is consider all other possibilities before filing a police report and making an insurance claim. For example, check for any parking signs that may indicate you accidentally parked in an illegal spot and your vehicle has gotten towed. Contact friends and family to ask if they borrowed the vehicle and if you have a loan on your vehicle that is in default, contact the loan company to make sure it wasn’t repossessed. Once you have determined there is no other reason for your vehicle to be missing, contact the police and file a police report.

Insurance Coverage for Stolen Vehicles

It is important to know that in order to have insurance coverage for a stolen vehicle, you must have comprehensive coverage of your insurance policy. In most states, if a vehicle is stolen from your personal property, you will not be able to file the claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy-you must have comprehensive coverage on your automobile policy.

Insurance Claims Process

The most important thing to do before contacting your insurance company is filing a police report. As soon as you file the police report, contact your insurance provider. In most situations, there will be a waiting period (usually 30 days) before the claim is paid, in order to see if the vehicle is recovered. Also keep in mind that comprehensive coverage typically doesn’t cover the personal items stolen out of a vehicle, such as a phone, jewelry or computers.

Automobile thefts are taken extremely serious at insurance companies. This type of situation is investigated closely by an adjuster in order to ensure there is no fraud. It is important to keep in mind that filing a fraudulent auto theft insurance claim is a serious crime.

Residents of San Antonio, TX that want to review or upgrade their current automobile insurance should contact Access Insurance Services.

How You Can Save On Auto Insurance By Paying Your Premium Up Front

For some vehicle owners, auto insurance can be confusing. Many do not realize that they can save money by taking certain actions and coverages when selecting their insurance. One of the many ways you can save money on your premiums is by paying for your coverage up front for six months or even a year rather than breaking it up over each individual month.

Why Pay Up Front?

If you pay your insurance premiums up front, you don’t have to pay the additional finance charges that are tacked on to your policy over the months that you are covered. This means that you stand to see substantial savings. Although this may not be ideal for every person, it is one of the options that can help you lower your insurance costs. Consult your insurance agent to find out exactly how much you can save by selecting this payment option.

Get Help Making A Decision

If you are unsure whether or not you should pay your premiums up front or spread them out over each month, you should consult your insurance agent. There may be other benefits to paying up front beside cheaper premiums. It always helps to do business with a professional agent that takes pride in having a high level of customer service. If you are looking for a reputable insurance agent with your best interests at heart, and live in or around the San Antonio, Tx area, you should consult Access Insurance Services.

People who live in and around the San Antonio, TX area can rely on the insurance products of Access Insurance Services. They can help you make informed decisions that fit your lifestyle and save you money. Call or stop by today to speak with a helpful representative.

Are Your Friends Covered by Your Auto Insurance?

One of the scenarios that you may not consider very often when you’re picking out auto insurance is what exactly happens if you need to let someone else use your car. It’s relatively common for your friends or relatives to ask to borrow it to make a quick trip, or they may need to drive it if there’s some type of emergency where you’re unable to drive. Access Insurance Services wants the people of San Antonio, TX to know more about how this works before they hand over the keys. 

When You’re Definitely Covered

When you first sign up for coverage, you’re usually asked if you want to name someone else on the policy. The insurance company will ask you to consider the person or people who are most likely to need to drive your car in the future. In this case, your auto insurance will give the named person driving the same benefits that you receive from your own policy. Before the insurance company does this, they check the driving records of the person who is named, so they feel completely confident in extending coverage to them too.  

When It Depends 

If someone who isn’t named on the policy drives the car, then your insurance may or may not cover them. Normally, the policy is to use your insurance as the primary source of coverage, which means that you’re liable if there’s some sort of problem. If your friend or relative has auto insurance under their own name, then their insurance company may cover part of the damages as well.

Sometimes you will need to have someone else drive your car, so it’s important to have all the facts. Call Access Insurance Services to find out more about how our policies work for the people in San Antonio, TX today. 

5 Things to Do When You’re In a Fender Bender

You do everything you can to avoid being in a San Antonio, TX traffic accident, but the fact is you’ll probably be involved in one at some point in your busy life. It’s a stressful moment, to see your car dinged, scratched and dented. But with some helpful tips from Access Insurance Services, you’ll be able to get your car fixed and back on the road as soon as possible.

  1. Are You Okay? After the impact, take a deep breath.  Are you hurt? If your neck, head, back, or chest aches, wait for medical attention to arrive. You could be injured worse than you think.
  2. Call the Police: If nobody is hurt, place a non-emergency call to the local authorities to file a report. If it’s just a fender bender, don’t call 911 unless the other driver is visibly angry and threatening. A police report helps to speed up the insurance process. An officer can provide an objective point of view and help you stay safe in a stressful situation.
  3. Take Pictures: Your smart phone is your friend. Snap images of your car, the other car, the intersection and any traffic signs like speed limits, stop lights, and yield. If the other driver allows, even take a picture of them. It can help you remember who was driving when you fill out paperwork.
  4. Exchange Information: Make sure to provide your name, driver’s license, and insurance information to the police officer and the other driver. Copy down or take a picture of their license plate.
  5. Call Your Insurance Company: The faster you report the incident, the faster you can have the damage appraised on your vehicle, receive a check and get it all fixed.

For more tips on how to make the most out of your San Antonio, TX auto insurance, give your agent at Access Insurance Services a call today.

Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers

Statistics show that more than 2,200 teens are fatally injured in car crashes every year in San Antonio, TX and all along America’s highways. Believe it or not, those deaths don’t come from DUI, driving too fast, or talking on cell phones. The number one reason for the deaths of many of these teens can be put down to the fact that they are inexperienced. Remember, the one person who can get through to your teen and teach them safety when driving is you. Access Insurance Services has compiled a couple of tips to help you encourage your teen to be a safe driver

Talk to Your Teen

It’s extremely important to sit down and talk to your teen driver way before they are old enough to drive. No matter how much practice your teen has, when they get out on the road alone, most of that goes out the window. Talking to your teen and telling him/her there will be consequences for breaking the rules you set down for driving privileges is the first step towards keeping your teen safe behind the wheel. 

Make Your Teen Sign a Driving Agreement 

Many teens, like many adults, learn visually. Sitting down to talk to your teen is important, but typing up a written agreement can very well make the rules clearer to them. Type up your rules for driving, print them out, and have your teen driver sign the agreement. Make sure you put the consequences of breaking even one of those rules on the agreement as well. 

Remember, you are the number one barrier between your inexperienced teen driver and disaster. All it takes is one second and once they are gone to can’t get them back. The experts at Access Insurance Services in San Antonio, TX are here to help. 

How Your Credit Score Impacts Your Car Insurance Rate

One question you may have wondered is, does your credit score impact car insurance rates? The short answer is yes if you live in San Antonio TX. The relationship between credit scores and car insurances rates is a little more complicated.

Factors

There are multiple risk factors that impact your insurance rate including driving record, gender, age, model of car, where it’s parked at night and credit score. Using credit scores to set insurances rates has been around for over 20-years. A 2003 study conducted by the McCombs School of Business at UT-Austin and a 2007 study performed by the Federal Trade Commission found that there is statistically a correlation between a client’s credit score and the amount they cost the insurance company.

The UT-Austin study analyzed 175,647 random individuals and determined the lower the credit score, the higher probability of loss on a policy. The FTC study determined that credit-based insurance scores are excellent risk predictors in that scores predict the number of claims filed and total cost. Therefore, high-risk consumers pay higher premiums and low-risk pay lower premiums. Insurance companies do not use the traditional score in which clients are accustomed. Instead, they create their own score using Experian or FICO ratings.

Cost Mitigation

Using your credit score as a factor for insurance rate is legal in all states except California, Hawaii and Massachusetts The simple answer to mitigate costs is improve your credit history by paying bills on-time. Regularly check your credit report to ensure there aren’t any errors that could be dragging down your credit rating. Additionally, there are insurance companies that weigh credit score as less of a factor than others, such as Access Insurance Services. Call them today to determine your automobile insurance rate, regardless of your credit rating.

5 Tips to Cutting Auto Insurance Costs While Retaining Adequate Coverage

If you must cut back on auto insurance due to a tight budget, look for ways that won’t compromise your coverage. The following tips from Access Insurance Services in San Antonio, TX, can help you reduce auto insurance costs and still retain adequate coverage.

Raise Your Deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you pay when filing a claim before your insurance steps in. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance costs. If you have financial reserves that could be earmarked for auto repair if necessary, you could increase your deductible to save money on your premium.

Bundle Your Home and Auto Insurance

Purchasing your home and auto insurance or insurance for multiple vehicles from the same company could qualify you for a discount on your premiums. Your Access Insurance Services agent in San Antonio, TX, can give you greater insight into saving money by bundling your insurance.    

Comparison Shop for Lower Prices

Car insurance prices vary from company to company. By shopping around, you may find the coverage you desire at a lower price. Be leery, however, of compromising quality service for cheap insurance prices as what you save in coverage could backfire on you when you file a claim.    

Reduce Coverage for Older Vehicles

If you drive an older vehicle, consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage to reduce your insurance costs. Neither of these are cost effective for older vehicles due to value depreciation. You can still retain liability coverage to cover third party injuries and property damage as well as personal injury protection, if you desire, to cover your own injuries in the event of an accident that you cause.

Raise Your Credit Score

Insurers often use your credit score to determine the cost of your auto insurance. A good credit score could result in your paying a lower premium. If your credit score is low, look for ways to raise it before renewing your auto insurance.  

 

Preparing for a Road Trip

You are out in the middle of nowhere with the car full of your family. Those of us who work at Access Insurance Services in San Antonio, TX know how really big the state of Texas is because we travel around it constantly.

Going on a road trip can be fun and exciting. It can also be a disaster if you are not well prepared.

Here are some tips on what to take along for an extended road trip:

Got kids? Video Games are Your Newest, Best Friend.

The good news is that you will fall in love with the amazing addictive qualities of video games. Make sure your kid(s) has a laptop that can play the newest hottest video games. Get the new releases right before going on the road trip. Make sure there is an adaptor to recharge the laptop batteries from what used to be called a "cigarette" lighter in the vehicle and now is more appropriately called a utility outlet. The main thing is, you do not want your kid to run out of battery power while playing the video games. Make sure they use a quality set of over-the-ear headphones that block all the sound. If you need to communicate with your kid, you will have to tap them on the knee. You will appreciate the many hours of bliss while your kid plays an addictive video game.

Emergency and First Aid Supplies

Buy a large cooler and fill it with three days of emergency supplies. Make sure you have three days of water. Take along a first aid kit and a water purifier. The water purifier will allow you to clean and drink any found water or use the water from the radiator in an extreme emergency. Texas has deserts that will kill people both in the winter and in the summer.

Spare Auto Repair Parts

Have an extra supply of all the possible things that can break. Check the spare tire and carry a fast inflate air can with tire repair solution inside. Have an extra set of belts, spark plugs, enough oil for an oil change, an air filter, a gas filter, spare fuses, and lamps.

Summary

If you take along these things you will have a wonderful road trip, even if you encounter a challenge or an emergency. Be sure to check with your agent at Access Insurance Services in San Antonio, TX and let them know what states you will be traveling to and if you plan to cross the border to drive into Mexico in order to make sure you have adequate auto insurance coverage.