Dos and Don’ts of Filing an Auto Insurance Claim

Things can get pretty stressful following a collision. To ensure you are properly compensated, you want to ensure that you correctly file an auto insurance claim with your Austin, TX insurance company. Here are a few dos and don’ts to follow from Southwest Insurance Center.

Do Document Absolutely Everything

No matter whether you think it is relevant or not, take note of it. Your insurer can use what is necessary and put aside the rest. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, the scene of the accident, the road, the weather, obstructions, etc. Don’t forget to take down eyewitness information. Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured.

Don’t Throw Away Your Receipts

After an accident, you will be out money for medical expenses, auto repairs, property repairs, and a variety of other expenses. Make certain that you keep the receipts (or at least copies of them) of anything you pay for. More often than not, these expenses are refundable, but you will need to provide proof of these costs to your insurer.

Do File Your Claim ASAP

It is important to understand that the claims process needs to get started as soon as possible, which means you need to file your auto insurance claim at your very earliest convenience following the accident. In fact, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of your insurer, as most insurance policies will require that you file within a certain time period—typically within 24 hours.

If you need help filing your auto insurance claim, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Southwest Insurance Center. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have and guide you through the claims filing process. Alternatively, if you are looking for auto insurance in Austin, TX, let us help you assess your individual needs and provide you with an auto insurance quote.

Auto Insurance Coverage Options

When you buy a car in Austin, TX, one of the first things you need to do is insure it. This is a legal requirement that helps protect you and other people. However, are you aware of what your coverage options are? You need to understand the different types of auto coverage before selecting one. That is why, here at Southwest Insurance Center, we take you through the different types of auto insurance coverages in the market.

Bodily Injury Liability

This coverage cautions you financially if you cause an accident and people are injured. The coverage will help pay for the medical treatment of the injured party, preventing you from paying out of pocket.

Property Damage Liability

This type of liability helps pay for any damage to other people’s property caused by your car. This includes vehicles, fences, businesses, etc. Any damage to your vehicle after an accident is not covered by this policy.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage protects you against financial loss when your car is exposed to risks like theft, natural disasters, vandalism, and collision with an animal. The policy will help cover the repairs or to replace your vehicle.

Collision Coverage

This type of auto insurance helps cover the expenses of repairing your vehicle after you hit another car or object. For instance, if you hit your fence as you reverse, the insurance company will help pay for the repairs.

Uninsured/ Underinsured Auto Coverage

If you are involved in an accident, and the driver at fault lacks adequate insurance or is uninsured, this coverage helps with the repair expenses. In addition, if you have been injured, the coverage will take care of the medical costs.

One of the major benefits of having insurance in Austin, TX is that you do not get into a financial loss if anything happens. Therefore, if you are still wondering whether coverage is right for you, you can reach out to us at Southwest Insurance Center. We understand that insurance can be confusing for first-timers, so we will help you find the right coverage.

How to Deal with Aggressive Drivers on the Road

Regardless of how careful you are when you slide behind the wheel of your vehicle, an accident can be caused by an aggressive driver in Austin, TX. You can control the way others drive, although you can control the way you decide to drive. You can also make the decision as to how you will approach these drivers, such as staying as far away from these motorists as possible. Southwest Insurance Center wants to share some tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers on the road.

Keep an Eye on the Road

More often than not, an aggressive driver can be spotted from afar. They may be following extremely close to other vehicles, or they may be weaving in and out of the traffic. By spotting them before they get too close, you can deal with them more efficiently.

For example, you may switch lanes so they have plenty of room to get around you, or you may increase or decrease your speed to either reduce or increase a gap they may try to weave through. In either instance, it can help prevent the risk of a serious collision.

Avoid Engaging with the Other Motorist

It isn’t uncommon for aggressive drivers to engage in behavior trying to provoke reactions from other drivers. They may get in front of you and break hard, or they may make obscene gestures at you. While you may be extremely agitated at this driver, it is important to avoid escalating the situation. Breathe deeply, stay calm, and remain focused on your surroundings. Never engage with aggressive drivers, regardless of how upset you may be.

Leave Ample Space Between You and Other Vehicles

When there is any kind of change in the traffic around you, you need sufficient time to respond. To ensure this is possible, you want plenty of space around your vehicle. This helps to prevent accidents, especially if another driver decides to cut in front of you suddenly. If someone is tailgating you, change lanes. If a driver cuts in front of you, slow down to leave more space between your vehicle and theirs.

One of the best ways to protect yourself on Austin, TX roads is by ensuring you have the proper auto insurance. If you need help securing the right insurance coverage, contact us at Southwest Insurance Center.

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.

Why Do I Need Auto Insurance in Austin?

Drivers in Austin, TX should maintain a personal auto insurance plan for many reasons. As a Texas resident, you know how busy the roads are and how much traffic there is on a daily basis. An auto insurance policy protects you as a driver anytime you’re on the road.

Southwest Insurance Center can not stress enough the importance of having a full coverage auto insurance policy. It’s the peace of mind you need anytime you get in the car, whether you’re headed out on your morning commute, to the grocery store, on a long road trip, or anywhere in between. 

Not only does auto insurance protect you from other drivers, but it also provides liability coverage if you’re in an accident and you are at fault. If anyone is injured in the accident, liability coverage will typically cover the costs of their medical bills.

An accident is already traumatic enough, but trying to come up with large sums of money to pay for damage or repair to a vehicle along with medical bills is not a situation you want to be in. If you can avoid it entirely by purchasing a full coverage auto insurance plan, be proactive and save yourself the headache.

Not to mention auto insurance is required by law in Austin, TX and most states in the country. Your insurance policy may cover additional features like rental cars, which can be a great benefit if you travel. 

If you aren’t sure about the coverage you need or want to shop around for better options, reach out to Southwest Insurance Center today. We have a team of agents ready to help you find the best plan for your driving needs and for reassurance that you’re safe on the road. 

What to look for in auto insurance

Auto insurance is of the utmost importance, but the important facts can often be overlooked in order to find the cheapest price possible. Below you can find some information on what to look for in auto insurance, so you can make sure you make the right choice. 

Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX is proud to offer auto insurance plans to Texas residents. They work with several providers to provide the best possible options for you and your car.

Insurance in Texas

Auto insurance requires different specifications in different states. Therefore, it is crucial you get insurance suitable to the policies set out in Texas state laws. For example, Texans need liability insurance that covers damage to vehicles and persons. 


The area you live in is important when collecting quotes for auto insurance. The reason for this is that certain areas are more prone to car break-ins or other car-related crimes. 

Parking rates

While you can’t insure in order to get the best parking rates, the parking rates in your area can still be important when looking for insurance quotes. However, the car-related crime rates in your area influence where someone wants to park, which makes the difference between street parking and parking in car parks, which then affects insurance rates.

At Southwest Insurance Center you will be provided with several quotes, so you will know that the final price you land on is accurate for your car and location. If you want to get auto insurance or receive a quote, call Southwest Insurance Center today.

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Auto Insurance

As an auto driver within Austin, TX, it is essential to have the right coverage before getting behind the wheel. This means avoiding common mistakes that numerous drivers make when purchasing auto insurance. Below, Southwest Insurance Center takes you through some red flags to avoid during your next purchase.

Getting Insufficient Coverage

Numerous drivers are likely to get the mandatory covers and forego optional coverage to reduce their premiums. While compulsory policies will likely protect 3rd party injuries and property damage, the costs of vehicle destruction and treatment costs will not be covered. This leaves you with out-of-pocket expenses that you may not have bargained for, leading to a long-term financial burden. Ensure that you get sufficient coverage to protect yourself and your passengers in the event of an emergency.

Failure to Understand the Various Auto Insurance Policies

Auto insurance policies come in different forms, with each catering to specific requirements. If you need coverage for impact accidents, collision coverage will be your go-to, while non-impact accidents are taken care of by comprehensive coverage. Other examples of policies include medical payments coverage that caters to your treatment expenses and uninsured coverage that protects you when an uninsured motorist hits you. Before signing up for any cover, ensure that you understand what each cover deals with.

Failure to Disclose All Information

Insurance providers rely on transparency to provide auto insurance, which allows you to enjoy various covers. Make it a point to disclose all required information, such as your car usage and the drivers likely to use your car. If, for instance, you have teenage drivers, inform your providers to help you get ideal coverage for risk-prone parties. Failure to do so could lead to out-of-pocket costs or leave you without cover.

Wherever your needs lie, make it a point to call Southwest Insurance Center today. We will help you get customized coverage for your Austin, TX drives.

What Does Personal Auto Insurance Cover?

As a Texas driver, you are required to carry auto insurance. Fortunately, your choices, when it comes to auto insurance, are many. Aside from the state auto insurance minimums, or the legal requirements that must be met, you have many choices and perhaps additional requirements that you may need to meet. However, these decisions can best be made with the help of a  Southwest Insurance Center team member. Our Austin, TX agents are here to serve you.

Personal Auto Insurance Coverage 

Fortunately, personal auto insurance coverage affords Texas drivers a wealth of different coverage options that can be tailored to their unique situation. For example, if you are leasing your car or have a car loan, you may be required by your lender to carry full auto insurance or comprehensive auto insurance. This type of coverage not only covers liability for property damage and bodily injury to others, but it covers your car as well. This is protection for the lender in the event that something happens to your car before it’s paid off. This ensures that the lender will receive financial compensation for the car. 

Other Considerations…

Best yet, if you own your car outright, but still want to purchase additional coverage, you can. Perhaps you want to purchase coverage beyond the state minimum requirements or additional coverage in the event that your car is totaled. Personal auto insurance affords Texas drivers many options that can be tailored to fit their unique situation. However, the guidance of a Southwest Insurance Center agent can be beneficial when it comes to making decisions about your personal auto insurance coverage. Give us a call. We’re here to answer questions and guide the decision-making process. We can make recommendations regarding liability, medical payment coverage, comprehensive, and collision coverage. 

Auto Insurance Requirements in Austin, TX

There is quite a bit that is worth knowing about auto insurance in every state. If you live in the city of Austin TX, you can consult with the professionals at Southwest Insurance Center to see if they will answer your questions and provide you with options.

In the state of Texas, you are required to show proof that you are able to pay for the accidents you would cause. Most of the time, drivers will fulfill this requirement by purchasing auto liability insurance. Liability insurance covers repairs and replacements that are needed for the other driver’s vehicle. It will also pay the expenses that the others incur medically when you happen to be at fault in an auto accident.

You need liability coverage in most cases. In Texas, you will need to have a minimum of $30,000 of coverage that will cover injuries per person and up to $60,000 for each accident. You also need $25,000 of insurance coverage that is payable for property damage. You can also think about purchasing additional liability coverage, and there are other types of coverage as well. These include comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, personal injury protection coverage, medical payments coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, and towing and labor coverage. You will need collision and comprehensive coverage as well if you still owe money on your vehicle.

When you purchase coverage, it will typically cover you, your family members, and anyone else who is driving your vehicle with your permission. Of course, you should talk to your agent to see if anyone is excluded, since it may differ from policy to policy.

If you drive a car in Austin, TX, you should contact the professionals at Southwest Insurance Center to see how they can help you with auto insurance coverage. They will be able to answer any questions that you might have and perhaps even steer you towards the insurance plan that is right for you.

Required Personal Auto Insurance in Texas

Personal auto insurance is a different type than commercial auto insurance. It is insurance for a vehicle that you use for personal reasons, not for work. It includes commuting to and from work, but it excludes commercial activities done with your vehicle. If you need personal auto insurance for your vehicle, contact us at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX to talk about your auto insurance needs.

Coverage for Bodily Injury

In Texas, you must be covered for any bodily injury that you cause to others if you are at fault for an accident. This coverage, called bodily injury or death liability, must meet the mandatory minimum for the amount of coverage for one person who is injured or killed in an accident that you cause. There is another, higher, minimum for the total bodily injury or death caused by the entire accident. 

Coverage for Property Damage

Accidents often cause property damage. If you are at fault for an accident, you are responsible for paying for the damage to a car, building, or other property that the accident causes. Texas requires you to have property damage liability coverage in a specific amount to cover these costs. The amount of coverage required by the state is relatively low, however, and many people choose to expand this coverage so that they aren’t in danger of having to pay out of pocket. 

Get Your Required Auto Insurance

Your personal auto insurance must cover the state minimums, but you can also raise them as you see fit to better cover the costs associated with an accident you cause. If you are interested in auto insurance, call us at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX to make an appointment to talk to an agent about this coverage.