Texas Auto Insurance Claims: Can You Get Your Own Mechanic After a Collision?

Yes, you can get your own mechanic after a collision, but sometimes it is better not to.

When you have been in a collision, you will want to get your car repaired. Some people don’t, and if you can still drive it that is something you may be considering. If the insurance company will pay for the damages, they may offer you a number of options when it comes to repairing shops. 

At Southwest Insurance Center, we want Austin, TX drivers to have safe and reliable vehicles on Texas roads.  Learn more about car repair options here.

Claims Process After an Accident

When you have had a car accident, the first thing to do when the accident scene is over is to call the insurance company. You will start the claims process then.

If you have collision insurance, you will fill out a form or submit one online. You will then make the decision about your car repair. 

The insurance company will likely recommend a car repair shop, and it may be different than your usual mechanic. You don’t have to say yes, but there are benefits to considering this.

Choosing the Insurance Company’s Repair Shop

You don’t have to get your car repaired at all. That alone is your decision. But if you do, working with the insurance company is a good idea. You won’t lose your insurance if you don’t.

It is a natural inclination to want to use your regular mechanic for everything, including a car accident. However, the insurance company will likely recommend one that they are familiar with working with.

Preferred companies with the insurance company are typically better rated and better priced. They are often more honest than the traditional mechanic as well because they will likely have more regulations in place than a corner shop mechanic. 

Their mechanic will also be in direct communication with them as well. This is going to help you with the claims process. Ultimately, the entire repair process is much faster than it would be if you went to your corner shop.

Get a Quote

When you have been in a car accident, there are enough overwhelming details to think about that the repair process will feel stressful. It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to select that mechanic. It’s easier though. At Southwest Insurance Center, we want Austin, TX drivers to have the best coverage and safe cars. Call us for a quote to update your Texas auto insurance policy today.

5 Tips for Preventing a Fire in Your Home

House fires account for thousands of deaths each year and billions of dollars in property damage annually. It only takes roughly 30 seconds for a very small flame to turn into a significant blaze. Therefore, it is important that Austin, TX homeowners be familiar with how to prevent a fire in their homes. Here are a few tips that the team at Southwest Insurance Center wants to share.

Test the Smoke Alarms

Once per month, you should take the time to test your smoke alarms with the simple push of a [test] button. If it doesn’t sound or the batteries are 10 years old, replace them. You may even want to ensure you have the appropriate number of fire alarms throughout the homes as advised by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Identify Potential Household Fire Hazards

Your home is full of fire hazards, probably more than you realize. While you can’t do much about the oven, other than not leaving it unattended, there are others you can locate and remove or evaluate.

If you use a toaster frequently, make sure to shake it out regularly to get the crumbs out, as they spark easily. Dust is commonly flammable, especially if there is a buildup around an electrical outlet. Make sure to unplug hair straighteners, curling irons, and the like, as they can reach high temperatures if left plugged in and on. Candles may smell great, but they are very dangerous if left where a child or pet could knock them over.

Practice Safe Candle Use

Speaking of candles, they are a common cause of home fires. In fact, they result in more than 20 home fires every single day. However, more than three-fourths of those fires are completely preventable. Make sure you are using candles safely.

Inspect the Sources of Heat

Your furnace should be professionally serviced each year to ensure it’s working properly. Because if it’s not, it could result in an unnecessary fire. If a space heater is being used in the home, keep it away from flammable items, furniture, curtains, etc. If you’re using a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned each year.

Store Combustible Materials Safely

It is imperative that any flammable materials are stored in a safe manner, which means away from the heat! Whether it is garden supplies, cleaning supplies, hairspray, or something else that is flammable, they should be kept in a cool, dark storage area. Kerosene, gasoline, and propane should be kept in their original containers outdoors.

Even with precautions in place, a fire may still occur. To ensure you are prepared and protected, make sure you have the proper home insurance. Contact us today to learn more. Southwest Insurance Center serves the Austin, TX area and can help you determine the proper amount and type of coverage for your situation.