All posts in Personal Insurance

What is Best for You: Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?

What is Best for You: Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?

Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect your belongings. But does it?

Most homeowners could not replace their belongings and repair their home without the aid of home insurance. Should your home face a listed peril, such as damage from a thunderstorm, fire, hail, or natural disaster, you may be faced footing the bill to get your home back to your home-sweet-home status. This is a worst case situation for most homeowners!

Fortunately, if your home and belongings are lost in such an event, home insurance steps in to cover costs of replacement and repair! With this reliable safety net, your finances don’t have to be siphoned due to a hurricane or theft.

Within a homeowners insurance policy, homeowners can opt for Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost. But when it comes down to it, what is the difference?

More Bang for Your Buck
Payment based on the replacement cost of damaged or stolen property is usually the most favorable figure from a homeowner’s point of view. This is because it will compensate you for the actual cost of replacing property.

For example, should your high-end electric guitar be stolen, a replacement cost policy will reimburse you the full cost of replacing it with a new guitar of the same kind. The insurer will not take into consideration the fact that you played this guitar every day for the last two years, causing a considerable amount of wear and tear!

Cashing in the Value
Contrastingly, actual cash value (ACV), otherwise terms as market value, is the standard that insurance companies arguably prefer when reimbursing policyholders for their losses. Actual cash value is equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation.

In short, it represents the dollar amount you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it in the marketplace. In the case of the stolen guitar above, the insurance company would deduct depreciation and return you the difference.

Now that you know the difference, make sure that your home insurance covers your home and belongings in the best method to suit you. For a quality policy to match your needs and budget, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, serving Austin and neighboring cities in Texas today!


Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle, moped, scooter – whatever you drive, make sure it’s protected.

Now that summer is right around the corner, you may have been enjoying the summer sunshine from the seat of your motorcycle. Your beloved bike gets you from point A to point B, all while skipping through traffic jams and enjoying the local scenery!

But, before you set off on the open road on your motorcycle, you need to make sure that you have the right motorcycle insurance. It’s always a good idea to know the basics of coverage so that you know exactly what you are looking for in an insurance policy, and if additional coverage makes sense for you. You wouldn’t buy a car and not insure it, so why leave your bike exposed to damage and risk?

Here’s a breakdown of the type of coverage which you can typically choose:

Bodily injury liability – If you cause an accident in which someone in another vehicle or a pedestrian is hurt, this coverage can aid the medical expenses that would arise from the accident.

Property damage liability – If you are at fault in an accident that damages a person’s property, such as a vehicle or building, this coverage can help to pay for repairs or replacements.

Medical payments – Should you or your passenger get injured in an accident and need medical attention, you can expect the policy to pay for part or all of the medical costs.

Personal injury protection – Regardless of fault, this coverage can aid the costs resulting from an accident. This can include lost income, medical bills, funeral costs, and child care expenses.

Collision – If your beloved bike is damaged due to a collision with another bike, car, or structure, collision coverage can help pay for repairs to get your bike back on the road again.

Comprehensive – This covers damages and loss from theft, vandalism, hail and more!

Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury – Not every driver on the road is adequately insured – or insured at all. If you or your passenger get injured in an accident by this driver, this coverage can help pay for the damages and injuries when the driver’s insurance (or lack there of) cannot.

Roadside assistance coverage – This pays for things like towing and jumping the battery. Nothing should stand in your way of making it to your summertime plans, not even a flat tire!

If you have a specialized or custom bike, you may consider insuring these aspects of your bike!

Are you ready to secure the most reliable insurance policy for your motorcycle? At the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, we’re dedicated to securing each motorist with motorcycle insurance that they can rely on! Serving Austin and neighboring cities in Texas, visit us today!


Top Bad Driving Habits to Avoid

Top Bad Driving Habits to Avoid

Avoid accidents and damage by adopting a safer driving style.

As motorists get used to the roads, their Driver’s Ed safety skills can start to slip. However, speeding and rolling through stop signs is never safe, no matter how experienced you are. In the U.S., there are an average of 35,000 deaths a year resulting from traffic accidents. As we all know, accidents don’t just happen; they are caused. While our cars are getting smarter, this doesn’t mean that the driver has to think less.

Avoid these bad driving habits that you may have fallen into:

Forgetting to use your turn signals: Your indicators are your only way to communicate with other drivers. Failing to use them can cause a rear-end collision, or cause someone to pass you as you’re about to turn.

Rubbernecking: You all know who you are… Slowing down to look at crashes or construction is not only dangerous but can also contribute to a chain reaction of slowed traffic. Keep your eyes on the road ahead so that you can stay alert to closed lanes or police officers directing traffic.

Hogging the left lane: The left lane is supposed to be the passing lane. If you’re cruising well below the speed limit in this lane, you may provoke other cars who are driving faster to pass dangerously on the right.

Speeding: Flying down the road is a quick recipe that will land you on the receiving end of a speeding ticket or in a serious car accident. Sticking to the speed limit will remedy this!

Running yellow (or red!) lights: This dramatically increases your chance of a crash! If the light turns yellow before you reach the intersection, it’s best not to risk it.

Distracted driving: Avoid texting, making phone calls, shaving, putting your makeup on, eating, drinking, and juggling while driving! Anything that distracts your focus from the road should be avoided at all costs.

Driving too fast for weather conditions: It’s just rained. The roads are slick with oil and water, yet drivers still feel that reaching 70 mph on city streets is a good idea. It’s not! Slow down to avoid skidding, spinning, and causing an accident.

Now that you know what bad habits to ditch, be sure to secure your auto insurance policy! At the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, we’re dedicated to providing each motorist with car insurance that they can rely on! Serving Austin and neighboring cities in Texas, visit us today!


Baby Proof Your Home Before the Baby Arrives!

Baby Proof Your Home Before the Baby Arrives!

Prep your home for the upcoming arrival of your little bundle of joy.

If you’re a parent-to-be, you’re in a for an exciting time of life. Expecting the stork at any minute means that your life will change drastically. From 3 a.m. feedings to triple-tasking to making sure your child’s college fund grows along with them, your child will rapidly become your first priority.

So that your child doesn’t face daily household dangers (and you have less to do), put these tips into practice before bringing the little one home:

  • Keep long strings and cords tied up and out of reach.
  • Search your house for small items that can cause choking: dropped coins, buttons, flower petals, and trash.
  • Use anti-scald devices for faucets and showerheads. Lower your water settings and always test the water before dipping your baby in.
  • Install corner and edge bumpers for tables and other furniture to help prevent injuries from falls.
  • Add baby gates to rooms which may be dangerous for children (think basements, utility rooms) as well as at the top and the bottom of stairs.
  • Household plants can be toxic if ingested. Lift plants up from the floor and place them on a high shelf or ledge.
  • Replace all sockets with childproof sockets.
  • Remove all mouse traps in your home.
  • Anchor heavy furniture and appliances that could fall on young children.
  • Ensure that the baby monitor is working!

Before your bundle of joy arrives, take a moment to review your insurance coverages. Your homeowners insurance policy should be up to date with all of your new baby purchases, and your life insurance should ensure that your growing family has protection should you pass.

To ensure that your home and life policies are up to date with your life and family, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas today!


Home Insurance Coverage For Tree Damage

Home Insurance Coverage For Tree Damage

How your insurance company will deal with damage caused by a fallen tree.

Homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for damage that is caused to your house during a strong windstorm. However, do you know if your home insurance policy will also provide coverage if that windstorm causes a tree to fall on your house? Keep these tree damage and homeowners insurance considerations in mind to ensure that you have the right amount of protection.

If a tree falls on your house, or any other structure on your house, your homeowners insurance policy will kick in and provide coverage. Your home insurance policy will provide coverage for any personal belongings that were damaged as well as the structures, up to the limits of your policy.

If a neighbor’s tree falls on your house during a storm, filing an insurance claim can be a little more confusing. If the tree was healthy and well cared for, your own home insurance policy will take care of the damage. However, if you are able to prove that the tree as dead or diseased, your insurance company will most likely try to collect a payout from your neighbor’s homeowners policy through subrogation. If your insurer is successful and able to get a payout from the other company, you will be reimbursed for your deductible.

When it comes to the clean-up of the tree, most homeowners insurance policies will only provide coverage for debris removal if the debris is what actually caused the damage. If the tree fell on your property and did not cause any damage, you will be left paying for the clean-up on your own.

Contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas for all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure that you have the right amount of protection for any damage done during a storm.


What Home-Based Business Owners Need To Know About Car Insurance

What Home-Based Business Owners Need To Know About Car Insurance

Finding the right commercial auto insurance policy for your Austin, TX home business.

More and more people are starting their own home-based businesses, helping to change the way that the business world runs. Before you decide to open your own business at your house, it is important to make sure that you know what it means for your insurance coverage. Keep these commercial auto insurance for home businesses considerations in mind to ensure that you have the right amount of protection.

Many home-based business owners assume that their existing car insurance policy will provide coverage when they are using their car for business purposes. No matter if you are making deliveries or visiting clients, your current auto insurance policy will most likely not be able to provide any type of protection in case you are in an accident.

In some cases, you may be able to add a rider onto your existing auto insurance policy to provide coverage while using your car for work. However, this is typically only the case if you make the occasional delivery or client visit. If your vehicle is a vital part of your business, such as if you run a shuttle service, you will need a specific commercial auto insurance policy.

If you are trying to sneak by without telling your insurance company about your home-based business, you may find yourself in even more trouble. If you make a claim to your personal auto insurance company and they find out that you were using your vehicle for business purposes, they may deny your claim, which can mean you will have to cover all of the damages out of your own pocket. They may also cancel your policy, leaving you without any type of coverage.

To ensure that you have the right commercial auto insurance policy for your home based business, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas.


Safe Driving Tips For Fall Roads

Safe Driving Tips For Fall Roads

Use these tips to stay safe on the fall roads.

Even though winter is still a ways away, the outside temperatures are continuing to drop for fall, leading to certain driving hazards that you should be aware of. Keep these autumn driving safety tips in mind to ensure that you can safely enjoy the season.

  • Fallen leaves can be much more dangerous than most people think. Wet leaves can turn into slimy patches that can be just as slippery as ice. Even dry crunchy leaves can be dangerous, as your catalytic converter can easily ignite them on a warm fall day.
  • If you are driving during the early morning hours, make sure to watch out for frost patches on bridges and in shady sections of the road.
  • Fall is the most active time of year for deer, meaning they are much more likely to make their way onto the road. Use extra caution when driving through areas that have a lot of trees and be ready to stop to prevent an accident with a deer.
  • The changing fall temperatures increase the chance of foggy mornings and evenings. If you are driving in foggy conditions, make sure to slow down and keep your headlights on.
  • The early sunset can create a blinding glare on your drive home to work. Make sure to keep your windshield clean so that you can see through the glare.
  • Kids are back in school and many more people are taking their exercise routine outside to enjoy the weather. Use extra caution and look out for kids, runners, and bicyclists when you are driving.

Having the right auto insurance policy in place can help to ensure that you are covered from any peril that you encounter on fall roads. Contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas for all of your car insurance needs this season.