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Securing Auto Insurance

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Auto Insurance is essential! Our library of articles is here to be your roadmap. Explore everything from coverage types to choosing the right policy.

What is Auto Insurance?

Understand your car and what it covers

Hitting the gas on your car feels freeing, but the thought of navigating auto insurance can leave you feeling stuck at a red light. UHCU Insurance Services is here to shed light on the intricacies of insurance, ensuring you cruise with confidence towards financial security.

Your Insurance Shield

Imagine auto insurance as a trusty shield, protecting you against financial disasters if the unexpected happens on the road. It's a contract between you and your insurance company, where you pay a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as outlined in your policy.

This shield covers three main areas:

  • Property: damage to or theft of your beloved car.
  • Liability: legal costs if you injure someone or damage their property while driving.
  • Medical: medical expenses, and in some cases, even lost wages and funeral costs.

Personal auto liability coverage is mandated by most U.S. states, and laws vary. Auto insurance coverages are priced individually (a la carte) to let you customize coverage amounts to suit your exact needs and budget.

Policies are generally issued for six-month or one-year timeframes and are usually renewable. The insurance company sends a notice when it’s time to renew the policy and pay your premium. Most auto insurance companies will prorate your premium if you decide to cancel/switch insurance providers before your renewal date. This means you don’t always have to wait until your renewal date to make changes to your policy or switch providers. Be sure to review your policy details as it relates to cancellation before making any final decisions.

Who's Covered? And When?

Your auto policy will cover you and other family members on your policy. In the event that someone not listed on your policy is driving your car with your permission, your insurance may still provide coverage, depending on the specific terms of your policy.

Personal auto insurance will also not provide coverage if you use your car to provide transportation to others through a ride-sharing service Uber or Lyft with your personal policy, unless you invest in specific ride-sharing coverage.


Is auto insurance coverage mandatory?

Laws vary across states, but most require these essential layers of protection:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: Pays for injuries or death you cause while driving up to the limit selected on the property damage liability.
  • Property Damage Liability: Covers damage your car inflicts on other vehicles or property.


Many states also mandate:

  • Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses for you and your passengers, PIP can even cover non-medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Your financial superhero when the other driver lacks insurance or enough coverage.

Beyond the Basics: Tailoring Your Coverage to Your Needs

While the bare minimum protects others, it might not shield your own car. That's where optional coverage comes in, like:

  • Collision: Reimburses you for your car's battle wounds after a collision, whether it's a friendly tree hug or a fender-to-fender tango with another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive: Think fire, floods, theft, hailstorms, even falling asteroids (because hey, stranger things have happened)! This covers damage from events beyond your control.
  • Glass Coverage: Cracked windshield got you feeling down? This optional add-on covers those inevitable glass mishaps.

 

Loan/Lease payoff: Bridging the Value Gap

Collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it—and new cars depreciate quickly. So, if your car gets totaled or stolen, the insurance payout might not cover your loan balance. That's where gap insurance swoops in, closing the financial gap between your car's worth and what you owe (can be subject to a limit). Remember, for leased vehicles, gap coverage is usually included in your lease payments.

UHCU Insurance Services: Your Auto Insurance Navigator

Choosing the right car insurance might feel like deciphering an ancient text, but fear not! UHCU Insurance Services is here to guide you through the process. We offer flexible options, competitive rates, and expert advice to help you find the perfect coverage for your needs and budget. So, stop stressing about insurance and start enjoying the open road with complete peace of mind.

Ready to find the right policy for you and your car? Give UHCU Insurance Services a call at 512.435.4555 or get a quote online.


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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.
 

 

What is Covered By an Auto Insurance Policy?

Understand the coverage for your car

Hitting the open road feels liberating, but it's crucial to be prepared for the unexpected. And that's where your trusty auto insurance policy comes in – your financial guardian angel in case of fender benders, stolen vehicles and natural disasters. But with all those confusing terms and coverages thrown around, navigating the world of car insurance can feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow drivers! This blog will peel back the layers and dissect the six essential coverages of an auto insurance policy, empowering you to choose the shield that keeps you cruising confidently.

Note that each type of coverage is priced separately, so there is variability in policy limits and pricing.

The six types of car policies:

1. Bodily Injury Liability: The Shield for Others
Bodily injury liability coverage applies to injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder, cause to someone else. Thankfully, bodily injury liability coverage steps in, helping you cover the cost of medical bills and legal fees if someone gets hurt due to your driving. Think of it as a financial airbag for the other driver and their passengers. You and family members listed on the policy are also covered when driving someone else’s car with their permission.

2. Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Patching Yourself Up
Accidents happen, and whether it's you or your passengers who get banged up, PIP comes to the rescue. This coverage helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and even funeral costs arising from an accident involving your car.

3. Property Damage Liability: Protecting the World Around You
Whoops, you accidentally scraped your neighbor's mailbox while parallel parking. It happens! No worries, property damage liability has your back. This coverage compensates for any damage your car inflicts on other people's property, whether it's another car, a fence, or even a prized lawn gnome.

4. Collision: Your Car's Guardian Angel
This policy takes the sting out of bumps and bruises for your own car. Collision coverage swoops in and covers the cost of repairs, even if you're the one who hit the pothole (we've all been there!). Whether you're at fault or not, collision coverage reimburses you for repairs, minus a deductible. Think of it as a magic eraser for your car's battle scars.

5. Comprehensive: When Disaster Strikes (and it's Not Your Fault)
Comprehensive coverage has your back, protecting against not just hailstorms but also fire, floods, vandalism, theft, and even those rogue deer encounters. It's like an umbrella for your car, shielding it from the unexpected.

6. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: When Others Don't Pull Their Weight
Let's say you get hit by a driver who's either uninsured or doesn't have enough insurance to cover the damage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage acts as your superhero, stepping in to cover your medical bills and car repairs. It's like a safety net to protect you from those who haven't prepared for the road ahead.

Remember, these are just six types of coverages. Your specific needs might differ, so it's always best to consult with a trusted insurance agent. UHCU Insurance Services agents can help you navigate the maze of options and find the perfect protection for your driving adventures. Choose your coverage, and hit the road with confidence, knowing you're financially prepared for whatever twists and turns life throws at you! Get a quote online today or call 512.435.4555 and let’s get an auto insurance policy started for you! 

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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.

8 Auto Insurance Myths

Confused about auto insurance? You're not alone. Many myths and misconceptions swirl around this essential protection, leading to costly coverage gaps or overspending. At UHCU Insurance Services, we're committed to helping you make informed decisions about your car insurance. So, let's debunk some common myths and ensure you're getting the right coverage at the right price:

Myth 1: The color of your car affects your premium.
Nope! Your car's color doesn't affect your premium. Insurers care more about your driving record, car type, and safety features than the shade it comes in.

Myth 2: Older drivers pay more for insurance.
Actually, the opposite can be true! Many insurers offer discounts for experienced drivers, especially those who complete defensive driving courses. Retirees and those driving less may also qualify for lower rates.

Myth 3: Your credit score doesn't matter for insurance.
Think again! A good credit score can translate to lower insurance rates, as it indicates responsible financial management.

Myth 4: Basic insurance covers everything.
Not quite. Comprehensive and collision coverage are crucial for protecting your car from theft, vandalism, and other perils beyond accidents.

Myth 5: Minimum coverage is enough.
While it's legal, the minimum often isn't enough to cover significant accident costs. Consider higher liability limits to protect your assets.

Myth 6: Another driver's insurance covers them in your car.
Usually, the car owner's insurance is primary. Make sure you understand your policy and inform your insurer if others will drive your car regularly.

Myth 7: Soldiers pay more for insurance.
On the contrary, active military members and veterans often qualify for auto insurance discounts. Be sure to inquire and shop around for the best deals.

Myth 8: Personal insurance covers business use.
If you use your car for work, you need business insurance. Personal coverage won't protect you in these situations.

Remember, having the right auto insurance is crucial for financial protection and peace of mind. At UHCU Insurance Services, we offer competitive auto insurance rates and personalized guidance to help you choose the coverage that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more and get a quote!

Don't let auto insurance myths hold you back. Choose UHCU Insurance Services for the coverage you deserve.

 

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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.

Don't Get Blindsided: Understanding Auto Policy Cancellation vs. Nonrenewal

Ever wondered why your auto insurance might not be renewed? It's a scenario that raises eyebrows and questions. At UHCU Insurance Services, we believe navigating the twists and turns of insurance shouldn't leave you in a tailspin. So, buckle up as we untangle the difference between cancellation and non-renewal, helping you keep your car cruising smoothly.

Cancellation: When Your Insurer Says "Nope."
Think of cancellation as an emergency stop. Insurance companies can only slam the brakes on an active policy for a few specific reasons:

  • Missed payments: Your premium is like gas – your coverage sputters out without it.
  • Fraud or misrepresentations: Honesty is the best policy, even on applications. Misrepresenting information can lead to a cancelled contract.
  • License woes: A suspended or revoked license means you're no longer qualified to drive, and therefore, to be insured.

Non-Renewal: Time to Re-evaluate Routes
Unlike cancellation, non-renewal happens at the end of your policy term. It's like reaching a natural intersection where both you and your insurer can decide to go your separate ways. Here's the catch:

  • You can call it quits too: You're not stuck in the same policy forever! If you find a better deal or your needs change, you can shop for a new policy.
  • Insurers can say "so long": Just like you, your insurer can choose not to renew your policy for various reasons, some personal and some not:
    • Market changes: Maybe they're adjusting their focus or scaling back in your area.
    • Risky behavior: Driving under the influence or racking up violations throws up a big red flag.

Navigating the Roadblocks: Know Your Rights
If you receive a non-renewal notice, don't get left at the curb! You have options:

  • Seek clarification: Contact your insurer's consumer affairs department for a detailed explanation of their decision.
  • Appeal the verdict: If you feel the non-renewal is unfair, file a complaint with your state insurance department.

UHCU Insurance Services: Your Partner on the Insurance Journey
Remember, non-renewal doesn't necessarily mean higher premiums at other companies. Be honest, be informed, and be proactive. At UHCU Insurance Services, we're always here to help you navigate the road to secure and affordable auto insurance.

Have questions? Give UHCU Insurance Services a call at 512.435.4555. Ready to find the right policy for you and your car? Get a quote online now!

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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.

Does Filing an Auto Insurance Claim Mean Higher Premiums?

Hit a bump in the road with your car? While accidents happen, navigating the aftermath, especially when insurance is involved, can feel like a winding road. One question that often pops up: "Will my auto insurance premiums increase after filing a claim?"

Driving Record: The Foundation of Your Rates
Your driving record serves as the foundation for your insurance premium. Think of it as a risk assessment – the safer your driving history, the more stable your rates. Claims and moving violations, unfortunately, paint a different picture, potentially prompting your insurer to re-evaluate your risk profile.

Claims and Premium Adjustments: What to Expect
When you file a claim that's primarily your fault and exceeds a certain amount, your insurer might re-evaluate your rates. Similar to a GPS recalculating after a wrong turn, they'll adjust your premium based on the updated risk assessment. But remember, these adjustments usually stay on your record for around three years.

Beyond Claims: What Raises Red Flags
While claims deserve attention, a single incident often isn't the deal-breaker. Insurance companies consider the overall picture. A history of reckless driving or frequent accidents could send up red flags, potentially leading to policy non-renewal in extreme cases. Drunk driving offenses are particularly frowned upon and can result in swift cancellation from most insurers.

Should You Report an Accident? The Importance of Honesty
Holding back on reporting an accident, even a minor one, can be tempting if you fear higher premiums. But remember, not reporting can lead to bigger problems down the road. If someone involved decides to sue you later, your lack of reporting can make it difficult for your insurer to defend you. Worse, it could even jeopardize your coverage altogether.

The Bottom Line: Knowledge is Power
While bumps in the road and the ensuing claims can sometimes lead to bumps in your premium, understanding the process empowers you to navigate the situation confidently. Remember, open communication with your insurance company is key. At UHCU Insurance Services, we believe in transparent and supportive relationships. If you have questions or concerns about your auto insurance, don't hesitate to reach out – we're here to help you smooth out the ride.

Ready to find the right policy for you and your car? Give UHCU Insurance Services a call at 512.435.4555 or get a quote online.
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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.

Step-by-Step Guide: Hail Damage Next Steps

A recent hailstorm caused widespread damage to homes and cars in our community. If your home or car was damaged in the storm, you may be wondering what to do next.

Here is a step-by-step guide to filing an insurance claim:
  1. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will be able to walk you through the claims process and answer any questions you have.
  2. Take photos and videos of the damage. This will help to document the extent of the damage and support your claim.
  3. Gather information from neighbors. If other homes or cars in your area were damaged, get their contact information. This can be helpful if your insurance company tries to deny your claim.
  4. Know your deductible. This is the amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  5. Ask your insurance company about coverage limits. There may be a limit to the amount of money your insurance company will pay for repairs.
  6. Get everything in writing. Once you have agreed to a settlement with your insurance company, get it in writing. This will help to protect your rights if there are any problems down the road.
UHCU offers options that can help you recover from hail damage, including:
  • Auto loans: If your car was damaged in the storm, we can offer financing for a replacement vehicle.
  • Home loans: We can help you finance the cost of repairing your home after a hailstorm.
Learn about the benefits when choosing UHCU:
  • Competitive interest rates: UHCU offers competitive interest rates on all loans.
  • Flexible terms: We can work with you to find a loan term that fits your budget.
  • No prepayment penalties: UHCU does not charge prepayment penalties, so you can pay off your loan early if you are able.

Contact UHCU today at 512.435.4444 to learn more about how we can help you recover from the hail storm. We offer a variety of loans and financial services to help you get back on your feet.

What are Insurance Scores and Do They Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Ever wondered why your friend with a "clean driving record" pays more for auto insurance than you? It might have something to do with insurance scores. But what exactly are they, and how do they impact your rates?

Insurance scores, also known as credit-based insurance scores, are numerical ratings based partially or entirely on your credit history. Insurance companies use these scores, along with other factors, to assess your risk as a driver and determine your auto insurance premium. However, it's important to note that:

  • Not all companies use insurance scores: Each insurance provider employs its own unique underwriting process, and some may not consider your credit history at all.
  • It's just one piece of the puzzle: Aside from your credit score, factors like your driving record, vehicle type, and even your location play a significant role in determining your premium.

Does having a good credit score guarantee lower insurance rates?

While good credit can lead to lower premiums, it's not always the case. Remember this:

  • Potential for Savings: In some cases, good credit scores have resulted in lower premiums for individuals.
  • Not a Universal Factor: Credit score isn't considered in every instance. Sometimes it had no impact on the final premium.
  • The Bigger Picture: Remember, your driving record, vehicle details, and even location play significant roles in determining your rates.

So, while insurance scores can be a factor, don't let them hold you back! At UHCU Insurance Services, we offer:

  • Competitive Rates: We work hard to secure affordable coverage options, regardless of their credit score.
  • Personalized Quotes: Get a free, personalized quote from UHCU Insurance Services that reflects your unique situation, not just a single number.

Ready to find the right auto insurance for you? Contact UHCU Insurance Services today at 512.435.4555 or click here! We'll help you navigate the world of insurance scores and find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.

What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?

Ever wonder what factors determine the cost of your auto insurance? The answer lies in the varying factors that insurance companies use to determine your individual risk profile and, ultimately, your premium price. Don't worry, we're here to shed light on the most common determinants of your auto insurance cost.

The Key Factors:

  • Your Driving Record: A clean driving history is like a gold star, earning you lower premiums. Conversely, accidents and violations can bump your rate up. New drivers, due to limited experience, may also pay more.
  • Mileage Matters: The more you drive, the higher the risk of accidents, so frequent commuters or work-related drivers can expect higher premiums. 
  • Location, Location, Location: Urban jungles bring higher crime and accident rates, translating to higher premiums compared to rural areas. Secure parking and anti-theft features can offer some savings.
  • Beyond the Basics: Depending on your state, factors like medical costs, litigation frequency, and even weather trends can influence your premium.

Personal Profile:

  • Age & Experience: Seasoned drivers, typically having fewer accidents, enjoy lower premiums than young drivers, especially teenagers.
  • Gender Matters (But Not That Much): Statistically, women tend to pay less due to lower accident rates and severity. However, the gap is narrowing as driving habits evolve.
  • Your Car's Story: The cost, safety features, theft risk, and repair costs of your car all play a role. High-performance vehicles or those with poor safety records can mean higher premiums.
  • Credit Score & Insurance Score: Similar to your credit score, your insurance score predicts your claim likelihood and cost. A good score translates to lower premiums.
  • Never Race or Religion: Insurance companies cannot use race or religion to set rates.


Coverage Choices:

  • Limits & Deductibles: The amount of coverage you choose (liability, collision, etc.) and your deductible (the amount you pay before insurance kicks in) directly impact your premium.
  • Customization Counts: Optional coverages like rental car reimbursement or roadside assistance add to your premium but can be valuable depending on your needs.

Understanding these factors empowers you to make informed choices about your auto insurance. Remember, UHCU Insurance Services is here to help! Talk to our friendly representatives to get a personalized quote and explore ways to optimize your coverage and potentially save money.
Give UHCU Insurance Services a call at 512.435.4555 or get a quote online.

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UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is a Credit Union Service Organization. Business conducted with UHCU Insurance Services, LLC is separate and distinct from any business conducted with United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union. Insurance products offered by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC are not (i) deposits of United Heritage Credit Union, its parent Credit Union or its partner Alloy Insurance Partners, therefore are not protected by the NCUA and are not exclusive to Credit Union members and (ii) an obligation of or guaranteed by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC, its parent Credit Union or its partner and may be subject to risk. UHCU Insurance Services offers coverage for Texas residents only. Any insurance required as a condition of an extension of credit by United Heritage Credit Union need not be purchased from UHCU Insurance Services, LLC and may be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the member’s choice.