If you are planning to live in Bexar County, find out if your property is affected by calling your insurance agent or looking your area up at the Bexar Regional Watershed Management website at

— Earthquake Insurance
Earthquakes are rare in Texas, but if you want the coverage, you can pay for it with a separate policy that won’t be expensive.

— Extra Coverage (Endorsements)
You can pay extra for more coverage to cover additional items that are not in your policy. This can include items, such as special art collections, computer equipment, jewelry or camera equipment.

— Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance
This is designed to protect you against a catastrophic lawsuit or judgment. It provides expanded coverage and increases the amount of your liability protection beyond the basic coverage provided under your homeowners policy. To decide whether it’s necessary, discuss it with your agent or insurance company.

While you may have a flawless driving record, it only takes the action of one careless driver to cause you bodily injury and also destroy your automobile. It’s also the law in Texas that a person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state unless financial responsibility is established for that vehicle, which means auto insurance is necessary. Learn more in this section as well as auto insurance basics, the eight basic types of coverage available, insuring teen drivers and what to do when an accident occurs.

— Shopping for Auto Insurance
Rates vary widely among companies, so it pays to shop around. Following are some tips to help you find the best deal for your money:
  • Decide before shopping what coverages you need.
  • Consider choosing a higher deductible, which is the amount you must pay before the insurance company will pay. Higher deductibles will lower your premium, but you’ll have to pay more out of your own pocket if you have a claim.
  • Get price quotes from several companies. Make sure the quotes are for the same coverages.
  • When getting a price quote or applying for insurance, answer questions truthfully. Wrong information can result in an incorrect price quote or could lead to a denial or cancellation of coverage.
  • Ask your agent whether you qualify for any discounts the company might offer.
  • Consider factors other than price, including a company’s financial rating, complaint index and license status. The financial rating indicates a company’s financial strength and stability, and the complaint index is an indication of its customer service. Buy only from licensed companies and agents. It is against the law to sell insurance without a license in Texas.

You can learn more about a company, including its license status, complaint history and financial rating from an independent rating organization, by calling the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line at (800) 252-3439 or by visiting

— Auto Insurance 101
Auto insurance pays for damages, injuries and other losses specifically covered by your policy. Coverages can vary by policy and company. Read your policy carefully to know exactly what it covers. Pay special attention to the exclusions section, which lists the things your policy doesn’t cover. The front page of your policy is called the declarations, or “deck,” page. It contains useful information, such as the exact name of your insurance company, your policy number and the amount of each of your coverages and deductibles.

Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to be able to pay for the automobile accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses. It does not pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries. You must have at least the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state’s financial-responsibility law.

The current minimum liability limits increased in January 2012, to $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called 30/60/25 coverage.

Because of car prices and the high cost of medical care, the minimum amounts might not be enough if you cause an accident. If your liability limits are too low to pay for all of the other driver’s costs, the driver may sue you to collect the difference. To protect yourself financially, consider buying more than the basic limits.

— Proof of Financial Responsibility
When you buy an auto insurance policy, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. You will have to show proof of insurance in the following instances:
  • You are asked for it by a law enforcement officer.
  • You have an accident.
  • You register your car or renew its registration.
  • You obtain or renew your driver’s license.
  • You get your car inspected.

There are severe legal penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility laws. A first conviction will result in a fine between $175 and $350. Subsequent convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license and impoundment of your automobile.

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