Will my auto insurance really go up if I get a ticket?

Austin, TX is a great place to drive because you can miss out on so much if you don’t have a way to get from place to place any time you like. At Southwest Insurance Center, we help make sure our clients have the auto insurance coverage they need in case they are ever involved in an accident. 

One problem with Texas, though, is that it can be tempting to go fast to cover those long distances quickly. Unfortunately, that can cost you, not just because of the traffic tickets but because you may find your insurance premiums go up after you receive too many points.

Points in Texas

Every time you get a moving violation on your driving record, the Texas Department of Public Safety will assess points. Your driving privileges can be suspended if you get too many points, and the points stay on for three years unless you take an approved class to have them taken off your record. 

This turns into a vicious circle for some people, because they may be tempted to drive while suspended and get more violations.

Higher Insurance Rates

Speeding is associated with accidents, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that even one ticket could cause your insurance rates to go up. In a metro area like Austin, TX, that could translate into hundreds of dollars a year you don’t want to be spending because you made a mistake and got points on your driving record. Since the points stay on for three years, that adds up to a lot of money.

At  Southwest Insurance Center, we understand how difficult it can be to find the best price insurance. We help all our clients to find competitive policies and encourage them to keep their records clean. If you have any questions or want to get a free quote, call Southwest Insurance Center today.

3 Reasons You Need Auto Insurance Today

Purchasing an auto insurance policy is a vital element of being a licensed motorist. For residents of Austin, TX, The following is an overview of three reasons you need auto insurance today.

It’s the Law

First off, one of the top reasons you need auto insurance is because it’s the law. No matter how good of a driver you may be, the law requires that every driver and vehicle has coverage. Purchase your policy today to ensure you are covered even if you get pulled over by authorities.

Accidents Happen

Additionally, accidents do happen. Although many of us hope we never have any serious incidents while behind the wheel, these things are often out of our control. Purchase an auto insurance policy to avoid potentially costly accidents, which, without coverage, could cost you hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars. 

Natural Disasters

Lastly, given that the Austin, TX area is no stranger to natural disasters, purchasing a premium auto insurance policy can help protect you and your car. By purchasing sufficient coverage, you and your vehicle will be covered even if a worst case scenario occurs that is totally out of your control. 

Overall, for responsible residents of Austin, Texas, Southwest Insurance Center is an excellent place to purchase auto insurance coverage. Offering friendly customer service from a wide variety of well-trained professionals, call, stop by, or email today to find out how you can start your auto policy ASAP and maybe even save yourself some money. If you are driving without insurance, you are putting you and your loved ones at risk each and every time you get behind the wheel. Don’t take this risk. Contact your friends at Southwest Insurance center today!.

In Austin, TX, When is Full Coverage Auto Insurance Required?

Residents who live in the Austin, TX area have several options available to them when it comes to auto insurance. Many are unsure of what type of insurance will best suit their needs. The agents of Southwest Insurance Center can answer a variety of questions you may have when it comes to how much insurance you need and what type of policy will provide you with that amount of coverage. Comprehensive or full coverage is not always needed. By discussing your options with your agent, they will be able to find a policy that meets your needs and will still remain within your budget. 

Comprehensive insurance, otherwise known as full coverage, covers a wide variety of damages, including injuries to individuals in the vehicle. Full coverage insurance is required by many lending agencies as long as there is a loan on the vehicle. Once the loan is paid off, the owner can choose any insurance policy they like. When choosing an insurance policy, you need to take into consideration the book value or replacement cost of your vehicle and insure it accordingly. If the vehicle is ten years old or older, it may be more cost-effective to opt for collision coverage. 

The agents of Southwest Insurance Center can offer sound advice to residents who live in the Austin, TX area. If you need answers to your insurance questions or are looking to have your existing policy updated or reviewed. Call their office and discuss your options. While it is important to know how much insurance your state requires you to carry, it is also important to know the value of your vehicle and what it will take to replace it. Call Southwest Insurance Center to find discuss your policy options. 

3 Tips for Buying Auto Insurance in Austin, TX

Austin, TX has beautiful year round weather that gets car drivers up and out of the house.  If you own a vehicle in Austin, then you’ll want to have the best auto insurance policy for the best price.  Read on to learn about three tips to help you achieve that. 

1.  Know Your Driver Profile

What kind of driver are you?  Full-time?  Part-time?  How far do you typically drive? What is your age?  The answers to all of these questions will directly influence which policy you choose and how much your pay for it.  Go over these with an agent and then they can match up companies offer the best policies for your driver profile.  

2.  Ask about Discounts

Most insurance companies offer particular discounts for drivers. For example, senior citizen discounts are often available. Some insurance companies will even reward you for a good driving record.  When it is time to sit down and compare quotes, the company with the best discounts may be the right one for you.  

3. Work with a Reputable Agent

When it comes to getting auto insurance in Austin, TX, it’s important to with work with an agent that has outstanding references.  Read reviews about the agency and/or ask for references that you can contact.  If other customers are happy with the agency then chances are you will be too.  

At Southwest Insurance Center we have the reputable agents you are looking for.  Our team has a proven track record of happy customers and we’d love to add you to list.  Call Southwest Insurance Center today to speak with a member of our team about getting an auto insurance policy in Austin, TX.  

All You Need To Know About The Differences Between Premium and Regular Gas

When you are filling up your gas tank, you have likely noticed that there is more than one option for gas. While many people know that they have other options for gas, they usually do not know the basic differences between premium and regular gas. Before counting premium gas out when you are filling up your tank, take some time to learn the basic differences so you can make an educated decision about your gas. Continue reading to learn some and contact us at Southwest Insurance Center for all of your auto insurance needs.

  • Make sure you know whether or not you can use premium gas in your vehicle. Some cars cannot handle premium gas so if you cannot even use premium gas in your car, then you do not need to consider it no matter what. You could run the risk of doing a lot more harm than good to the engine of your vehicle. You can find this information in your car’s manual.
  • If you have an older car that is having some engine issues, you may want to use premium gas a few times to see if it can help the issue. Premium gas can clear up some if the crud and gunk in the engine and may even fix the issue for you.
  • For cars that can use premium gas, it is a great option because it has additives in it that will keep your engine valves clean as well as the engine injectors. This can help you save money on maintenance costs over the long term and can even allow your engine to have a longer life than if you were to use regular gas. It can help you take better care of your vehicle with these additives. 

Avoid Driving Distractions

It can be very expensive to pay for an auto accident that is your fault. Help yourself by avoiding distractions while you are driving. Distractions can endanger the lives of you, your passengers, and other motorists. The Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX lists several ways to keep your attention on the road, so you can keep your money in your wallet.

Put Your Cell Phone Away

Unless there is an emergency, your cell phone should be kept out of sight. Your destination is not too far away and you will be able to answer that text or phone call shortly. Pull over if you need to chat or if it is an emergency call. In Austin, TX, it is against the law to talk or text while driving. You are able to use a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth or a headset. If you get caught with a handheld device, you could receive a fined up to $500.

Sleep is for Beds

You work hard and sometimes you cannot avoid being tired after a long day. You should not drive while you are drowsy, especially if you are going to be on the road for a long time. Pull over and take a quick nap or find a roadside motel. Avoid getting behind the wheel. If you nod off or fall asleep, you could easily injure yourself and others.

Avoid Eating in the Car

Taking that quick trip to a fast food place is easy, but eating in the car is messy. When you spill something hot or ice cold, you could jump, lose control, and crash into the vehicle in front of you. Leave a few minutes earlier and wait until you get to your destination before enjoying that burger and fries.

Stop by the Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX. Their independent insurance agents can offer you advice on creating a policy for your new or used vehicle.

Hit-And-Run Drivers and Uninsured Motorist Insurance

All you need to drive in Texas is a valid driver’s license and mandatory minimum liability insurance, but that isn’t going to help you if you’re in a crash that was the fault of a hit-and-run driver. You might not know it, but if you have uninsured motorist insurance, it’s likely that you’re covered when a hit-and-run driver causes an accident. Uninsured motorist insurance is optional.  Here at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX were always going to recommend it to you. It generally operates to cover you, any members of your family and your passengers for the following types of damages if you’re in an accident that was the fault of an uninsured driver:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earnings
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Vehicle repairs and rental
  • Replacement of damaged contents

You’re covered up to the amount of the policy limits that you purchased, and most insurance companies even provide coverage in the event that you or an additional insured person under your policy is injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist through the fault of a hit-and-run driver. If you’re riding on minimum liability coverage, you can buy uninsured motorist insurance with a limit of $25,000. If you’re at a higher liability limit, you should buy it at that amount.

The other advantage of uninsured motorist coverage is that it almost always includes underinsured motorist coverage. If  you’re riding on $50,000 of uninsured motorist insurance, and you’re hit by a driver with minimum coverage, you can make a claim for excess damages.

About one out of every nine drivers around you is uninsured, and many others are underinsured.  Protect yourself and your family. For uninsured motorist coverage in or around Austin, TX  contact Southwest Insurance Center at 512-280-6100.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways To Avoid Fender Bender Fraud

Accidents are a fact of life but it is a mistake to fall victim of fender bender fraud if you are in an accident. At some times, it is easy to give the other driver the benefit of the doubt, especially if it seems as though it actually was an accident. However, if you do not take the right precautions, you may become the victim of something much bigger and end up paying more out of pocket in the long run. Follow these rules when you are involved in a fender bender so you can protect yourself on the roads.

  • Take note of the accident and how it happened. Take pictures of everything you can think of while you are there. This includes both of the vehicles, the damage, the license plates, their driver’s license, and even the area of the road where it occurred. 
  • Always contact the police so you can get a police report. The police office that comes to the scene of the accident will serve as an impartial observer in the case that the other driver tries to change their story or pin the accident on you. 
  • Always be truthful from the beginning. If the case does go to court, then by staying truthful, you are more likely to not become a victim of fender bender fraud. 
  • Make sure you get their insurance information and make the claim as soon as possible after the accident. Share their information with your insurance agency so you can get everything handled as soon as possible.
  • If there are injuries from the accident, encourage everyone to go to the emergency room for evaluation.

Following these steps will help you to better protect yourself on the roads in the case of an accident and contact Southwest Insurance Center for all of your insurance needs. 

3 Tips for Avoiding Fender Bender Fraud

If you’ve ever been involved in an auto accident, you know just how scary the situation can be. But how do you know who you can trust and how do you keep yourself from being a victim of fraud? Here are three tips for avoiding fender bender fraud to consider.

Tip #1: Don’t Immediately Say It Was Your Fault

After an accident, it can be very easy to apologize or claim that the accident was your fault. This can lead the other party into thinking he or she has a right to inflate physical damage and injuries—a common example of insurance fraud. Instead, you can simply apologize for the inconvenience of the situation, but be sure to let the insurance companies really determine who is responsible.

Tip #2: Write It Down

As soon as you are safely able to do so, write down a full account of what happened in the incident. By doing this while your memory is fresh, you can help ensure you get the facts as clear and concise as possible. If the police department will respond, having a copy of their final report will also be helpful. Having this information ready if the other party tries to claim damages can be incredibly helpful in the effort to prove your case.

Tip #3: Never Walk Away from an Accident without Exchanging Information

Many people believe that if they get into a minor accident where there is no damage that they do not need to exchange information or take photos of the other vehicle. This is wrong and ultimately very dangerous. If a third-party decides later to fraudulently file suit for property damage or injury, you could be liable simply because the burden of proof is on you. By ensuring you get this information right away, you can help protect yourself if the situation ever goes any farther.

Do you have the right auto insurance coverage to suit your needs? Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team at Southwest Insurance Center for your no-obligation policy quote.

Save Gas and Save Money With These Tips

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Everyone loves to save money on gas. Unfortunately, simply finding the gas station with the cheapest price is not always enough. Gas prices fluctuate so much that it is best to incorporate some gas saving ideas into your daily routine. Follow these tips to get started.

  1. Drive safely. Driving with extra caution can really help you save money on gas. By quickly accelerating and braking harder, you are using more gas than you need to. In fact, these actions can lower your fuel efficiency by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city. Take some time while driving and save some money on your gas. 
  2. Remove any excess weight. The more items you have in your vehicle, the more gas it will take to get it from point A to point B. If you have a lot of stuff in your trunk, take an afternoon to remove some of the items that you do not need in there. Your wallet will thank you when you go farther on a tank of gas. 
  3. Get a newer model car. The newer cars have more efficiency. In fact, every year, the fuel efficiency gets better than before. You do not need to have a new car every year but if you have an older car, you may want to consider an upgrade. This is especially true if your vehicle is over 10 years old. 

Saving money on gas is great but you also need to have good auto insurance. Contact Southwest Insurance Center serving Austin, TX to take a look at your current policy or find you a new one. Save on gas with these tips and save on insurance by finding a better option.