Advice and information from the Texas Department of Insurance

My car was destroyed! Now what?

Has your car been declared a total loss after an accident or flood? Here are some answers to questions you might be asking yourself.

What does “totalized” mean? Your insurance company compares the value of your car with the cost of repairing it. If the repair costs are roughly equal to or greater than the value of the car, he will likely consider the car to be totaled.

What if I think my car is worth more? If you think your car is worth more than the insurance company offers, you can try negotiating. Be ready to show what a car like yours would sell for in your area:

Get quotes from used car dealers.

Check prices online and search for local listings for similar vehicles.

Document any special features or custom parts of your car.

Can I repair my car instead? To keep your car, quickly inform your insurer. The company will subtract the salvage value of the car from the amount it planned to pay you. The car may also be given a salvage title, which could make it more difficult to insure or sell later.

Is your house ready for your vacation?

Planning a trip out of town? Before you leave, take the time to make your home as safe as possible:

Set timers on interior lights. Criminals are looking for easy targets. Use a timer on a few lights to make someone feel like they’re home. Also, don’t let newspapers or mail pile up. Make sure valuables are not visible to anyone looking through the windows, and don’t leave a key outside.

Don’t post on social media. It is wise not to post online that you are away, even if you think that only your friends and family can see your social media updates.

Lock doors and windows. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Before you leave, take a tour of the house to make sure everything is locked.

Unplug televisions and computers. This is Texas. So you never know when an electrical storm may cause a power surge. To protect expensive electronics, unplug them or plug them into a surge protector.

Turn off the main water supply to your home. Even a minor leak can cause significant damage if no one is home to catch it.

After your wedding, look for insurance savings

If you are getting married, we cannot help you find a caterer or group.

But this insurance checklist could help you save money:

Renters Insurance: The average Texas tenant insurance policy costs around $ 20 per month. It’s an affordable way to protect your wedding gifts. Coverage will pay to replace items damaged by a burst hose, fire, or other cause. It will also cover personal items stolen from your home or car.

Auto Insurance Policies: Combining your auto insurance policies can save you money. Most insurance companies offer a discount if you cover more than one vehicle. In addition, the rates are generally lower if you are married.

Health coverage: You have options. If both of you are covered by the job, compare the fonts. You may offer better benefits, a lower deductible, or a lower cost to add a dependent. Check if there is a deadline to add a spouse.

Life Insurance: Life insurance helps your spouse and family maintain their standard of living after your death. Consider how much income should be replaced to help with child care, your mortgage, and other debts.

A question about insurance? Call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439 or visit

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