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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Reducing Health Insurance Costs in Texas

Health insurance is one of the biggest expenses for many families in Texas. People who have kids can expect to pay nearly one thousand dollars a month for the best coverage. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce your health insurance costs in Texas. One of the best ways to do so is by living a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of early death. In order to select the best coverage, it is vital to have some background knowledge on insurance as a whole. Here are several tips for anyone who is wanting to reduce their health insurance costs in Texas.

Healthy Lifestyle

There are many people in Texas who are living an unhealthy lifestyle. This can increase health insurance costs in several ways. Over the long term, a person who is not living a healthy lifestyle is going to have to go to the doctor more than someone who is healthy. Many health insurance plans will give discounts to their members who are living a healthy lifestyle. One of the most common discounts given to health insurance members is the non-smoking discount. Simply by not smoking, a person can save several hundred dollars per year on their health insurance. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is wanting to decrease their health insurance costs overall. Some health insurance plans will also offer discounts to members who eat a healthy diet and exercise. Not only is this a great way to increase overall health levels, but this will also help to reduce annual health insurance costs.

High Deductible Plans

Another way to reduce the amount of money paid every month into a health insurance policy is to choose a higher deductible plan. This can be a risky decision for several reasons. The higher the deductible is on a policy, the more the out of pocket costs will be when a person has to go to the doctor. A person who is relatively health may choose this type of plan in order to save money on the premiums that they pay every month. A premium is the monthly amount that must be paid in to a policy in order to have access to the benefits. The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums will be on a policy.

Choosing a Plan

One of the biggest factors in choosing a health insurance plan is the cost. However, there are also other things to keep in mind when it comes to health insurance. Choosing the cheapest plan can sometimes cost the most money over the long term. For example, if a person has a high deductible plan and is injured in a car accident, it can cost ten thousand dollars or more to pay for the medical services. Having health insurance can protect against catastrophic injuries that are costly in terms of financial and physical pain. Always keep the long term in mind when choosing a health insurance plan. Some plans have a savings account that can be paid into tax-free in order to save up money to pay for health related expenses.

Final Thoughts

Health insurance is a vital investment for anyone. However, it is also one of the largest monthly expenses for many people. The cost of medical care in the state of Texas continues to increase. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce your health insurance costs in the state of Texas. Living a healthy lifestyle and shopping around for coverage are just two examples of how to reduce health insurance costs.

Homeowners Insurance in Texas

Typically, homeowners have to be concerned about the age of a home, the condition of the plumbing, roofing and electrical, weather related disasters or if the property has a pool when applying for homeowners insurance in Texas. Insurance companies take all of these things into consideration before approving a homeowners insurance policy in Texas. However, there is one more item that insurance companies take very seriously when approving a policy. Your dog!

Dogs can Affect Homeowners Insurance in Texas

Most of us would be shocked to learn that our homeowners insurance in Texas could be affected by the breed of our dog. Yes, it really is true. You see, insurance companies are very concerned with anything that could possibly pose a liability when considering your home for coverage.

The Humane Society estimates that there are a little more than 77 million dogs with owners in the United States. That is about one dog for every three homes. Consequently, because of the large numbers, insurance companies have to consider the possibility of dog bites when approving homeowners insurance in Texas.

According to the CDC, there are approximately 4.5 million people bitten by dogs yearly. These bites account for about 800,000 emergency room visits yearly. Insurance companies pay out just about $29,000 per dog bite claim.

Because of the serious issues surrounding dog bites, insurance companies can turn down homeowners for homeowners insurance in Texas and other states. In some cases, you may not be turned down for insurance, but you might have to pay much higher rates to get insurance.

Banning Dog Breeds

Because of so many dog bites, some states have even taken to banning certain dog breeds, however, Texas isn’t one of them.

However, you may come up against higher liability insurance rates or not be approved for homeowners insurance in Texas if your pooch is on the list of bad breeds:

• Wolf Hybrid
• Pit Bull
• Doberman
• Rottweiler
• German Shepard
• Chow Chow
• Siberian Husky

Interestingly, the list changes from year to year based on the number of dog bites reported for specific breeds each year.

Insurance Companies and Dogs

You may be able to resolve pet issues with insurance companies by retraining your pet, sending it to dog obedience school, muzzling your dog, putting up “Beware of Dog” signs or installing fencing.

Normally, neutering or spaying a dog tends to make them less aggressive. Socializing dogs helps to reduce their fears of strangers and may prevent a dog-biting incident.

Because each insurance company may have a different approach or policy concerning dogs, you need to discuss your dog situation carefully with your agent to resolve dog issues.

Tips for Finding Homeowners Insurance in Texas With a Dog

The first thing you should do if your insurance company has a problem with your dog is to find out if the problem is the breed or another concern.

Often, a company may approve your homeowners insurance in Texas if you have a letter from your veterinarian or a dog obedience certificate. In some instances, you may be able to arrange for a home visit with your agent to meet the dog and show that it doesn’t represent a threat to visitors.

In some cases, you may be able to purchase a separate umbrella policy for your homeowners insurance in Texas to provide the necessary liability protection.

If you can’t come to terms with your existing insurance company, check out dog friendly insurance companies like Fireman’s, Liberty Mutual or Nationwide that don’t discriminate based on dog breeds.

Changing insurance companies, retraining your dog, or buying a separate liability policy to cover your dog are all viable options for getting homeowners insurance in Texas with a dog.

Cheap Auto Insurance Texas

Auto insurance is an interesting financial product because it is so closely tied to personal safety. It is in the best interests of both the insurance company and you, the driver, to put you in as safe a car as possible. Auto insurance rates drop when you use safer cars with better safety features. Recent innovations in car technology have generated savings for the lucky owners who own the new cars that benefit from the advances in safety. However, a new technology that is still on the horizon could affect the entire fleet of Texas and America, delivering a vast increase in safety and, therefore, cheaper auto insurance.
It’s called vehicular communications. Technology like OnStar that lets cars communicate with a central hub have been around for several years, and more recently, the capability to push a wireless signal to a car has allowed moving vehicles to maintain an Internet connection. The next step is vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V. V2V works to overcome one of the most persistent and dangerous aspects of driving: no driver can monitor all of the cars around them all of the time. They can only look in one direction at a time, and there are always blind spots. Whether it’s navigating back roads or cruising Texas highways, traffic consists of thousands of independent drivers with only limited information about their surroundings.
The promise of V2V is that cars will be able to communicate wirelessly with one another. Unlike wireless Internet, this is not just for entertainment or GPS. Instead, the goal is to allow every car to have detailed information about all of the surrounding cars. Each car transmits its position, speed, whether or not it has its turn indicator on, and other information. That way, every car on the highway will “see” every other car. The net effect will be very similar to existing collision detection technology, but with more detail and more information delivered to the driver. Cars could even transmit information about construction zones, downed trees, and other obstacles up the line to other drivers who have yet to encounter them.
The ability to have full 360 monitoring of all surrounding cars would itself be an amazing leap forward, but there’s even more that V2V could do. For example, by integrating the car’s GPS unit to the V2V network, each car could transmit its destination to a central computer, which would use the trip data for every car on the road to create the safest and fastest routes for everyone. This would use the most accurate local traffic information possible by collecting the location of nearby cars. The next step would be to add in automation. Right now, Tesla’s high-end Model S has an Autopilot feature that can drive itself on any highway, regardless of curves or traffic. Imagine the possibilities of that kind of feature deployed to every car and combined with centrally-guided V2V. It would create an automated fleet of cars that can all drive themselves to their destination and maintain a safe distance and speed the whole time. No human input would be needed. The idea of eliminating human error from driving, even if it was only highway driving, is appealing from a safety perspective. Fatigue, intoxication, and inattention would become far less likely to lead to a crash. The corresponding drop in traffic fatalities would trigger a corresponding drop in auto insurance rates.
The potential of V2V is one of the more exciting elements of car technology. While it’s mostly conceptual at this point, the promise of reducing accidents through inter-car communication will deliver safety and cheaper auto insurance.