Take Care of Those in Need

Hey. One of my passions is taking in dogs and/or cats. We used to live in the country and we always seemed to have dogs/cats show up at the house. We always gave them food and water and most of the time they would fill their bellies and move on. Then there were times when we were chosen and they would move in. I believe people would bring the pets out to the country and dump them. How anyone could do this is beyond me. They think because they are animals they can survive in the wild. These animals have been domesticated for our pleasure. So they look to us to take care of them. All of the pets we have were discarded by their previous owners.

I see pictures, videos and read stories on how people have mistreated these animals and it is disgusting. I have no sympathy for these people. I pray karma will catch up with them one day. Every night when I go home and look into the eyes of our Terrier, I am unable to wrap my head around someone abusing this little guy. He has the sweetest look on his face and is always happy to see us. Whoever had him did a number on him emotionally. I best describe his condition as OCD-ish. We also had a Yorkie, who we lost October 25,2015, to complications due to Cushings. We found out after we adopted her she had come from a puppy mill. She was thrown out because she no longer would produce. This little girl had an eye missing, both rear hips were bad, rear knees were bad and had only 3 teeth. Even with all of the physical issues she was a sweet and emotionally strong little girl. She helped our other Terrier overcome some of his emotional issues. We miss our little girl terribly.

This world sure would be a better place if we showed a little compassion toward our fellow humans and animals. I know the chances of this happening are slim and none in my lifetime. We have had many pets and the ones that have left us I miss everyday. I pray one day we meet up again. I feel we should look after those who cannot defend themselves. This goes for pets, children and the elderly. If you see any of them being mistreated please say or do something to stop the madness.

I see this going on in my line of business. People taking advantage of others who do not know or understand. Especially if the people have immigrated recently to this country. A young women told us that she was told she could not cancel her auto insurance policy because it is a contract. This is not an accurate statement. They are also financially being abused by some of these insurance companies. They fee them to death ¬†every time they speak to an agent. A gentleman told me that anytime he went into a store to make a payment that no one in the store could find his policy. There was only one agent who worked there who had access to his policy so if this agent wasn’t present he was out of luck. What kind of crazy stuff is that?

Bottom line is that everyone should be treated with respect no matter how they dress, what their economic status is, what they look like, how they speak. You get the idea. Just treat people with common courtesy. Is that so much to ask? If we can be nice to at least one person a day, maybe, just maybe, in time we can all get along and coexist.

Take care and peace to all.

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Autumn Tips Courtesy of Pronto Insurance of Denton

Here are some Autumn tips to help keep you and your family safe during the season. Daylight savings ends on November 6,2016.

  • Inspect and replace the windshield wipers if they are dry and cracked. If you have a SUV don’t forget the rear wiper.
  • Inspect the tires, condition and tire pressures. Refer to the owner’s manual for the proper tire pressure settings. Don’t forget to check the spare tire.
  • Check and top off the fluid levels for the vehicle which includes engine oil, transmission oil, coolant/antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, power steering and brake fluid.
  • Check the condition of the battery. Clean the battery terminals and add distilled water to the battery if applicable.
  • Check and replace the engine air filter and the cabin air filter if applicable.
  • Check the operation of all the smoke detectors and replace the batteries when we move the clocks back when daylight savings ends.
  • Check the operation of the house heating system before the temperatures drop.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, near flammable items or on an unsteady surface.
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not warm your house with a gas range or an open oven door, this can lead to toxic air that is not safe to breathe.
  • Get a flu shot. The vaccine can protect against severe complications from the flu.
  • Wash your hands. Use hot water, soap and wash for at least 30 seconds.
  • If you do get sick stay home from work. There is no reason to spread it among your coworkers.
  • If you have outdoor pets, make sure that are fed plenty of food and have access to fresh non-frozen water.

Hopefully these tips were helpful. Tis the season for traveling, this would be a good time to review your auto insurance. Give us a call (940.218.6706) for a free quote to see if we can put money back in your pocket for the holiday season. Have a wonderful day and be safe.

What you should know about prohibited discrimination

Hey. Sharing some more information from TDI’s site.

PROTECTED CLASSES. An insurance company cannot discriminate against you by refusing to insure you; limiting the amount, extent or kind of coverage available to you; charging you a different rate for the same coverage; or refusing to renew your policy:
 

  • because of race, color, religion or national origin; or
  • unless justified by actual or anticipated loss experience, because of age, gender, marital status, geographic location or disability or partial disability.

UNDERWRITING GUIDELINES. Underwriting guidelines may not be unfairly discriminatory and must be based on sound actuarial principles.

EQUAL TREATMENT. Unless based on sound actuarial principles, an insurance company may not treat you differently from other individuals of the same class and essentially the same hazard. If you sustain economic damages as a result of such unfair discrimination, you have the right to sue that insurance company in Travis County District Court.

If your suit prevails, you may recover economic damages, court costs and attorney and necessary expert witness fees. If the court finds the insurance company knowingly violated your rights, it may award up to an additional $25,000 per claimant.

You must bring the suit on or before the second anniversary of the date you were denied insurance or the unfair act occurred to the date you reasonably should have discovered the occurrence of the unfair act. If the court determines your suit was groundless and you brought the lawsuit in bad faith or brought it for the purposes of harassment, you will be required to pay the insurance company’s court costs and attorney fees.

I hope you find this information helpful. Have a wonderful day and be safe out there.

What you should know when you file a claim

I want to share some more information from the Consumer Bill of Rights from the Texas Department of Insurance. What you should know when you file a claim.

  • FAIR TREATMENT. You have the right to be treated fairly and honestly when you make a claim. If you believe an insurance company has treated you unfairly, call the Department of Insurance at 1-800-252-3439 (512-463-6515 in Austin) or download a complaint form from the TDI website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov. You can complete a complaint form on-line via the internet or fax it to TDI at 512-475-1771.
  • SETTLEMENT OFFER. You have the right to reject any settlement amount, including any unfair valuation, offered by the insurance company. If you reject a settlement offer, your options include continuing to negotiate with the insurer or pursuing legal remedies, such as mediation, arbitration or filing a lawsuit.
  • EXPLANATION OF CLAIM DENIAL. Your insurance company must tell you in writing your claim or part of your claim was denied.
  • TIME FRAMES FOR CLAIM PROCESSING AND PAYMENT.¬†When you file a claim on your policy, you have the right to have your claim processed and paid promptly. If the insurance company fails to meet required claims processing and payment deadlines, you have the right to collect 18 percent annual interest and attorney’s fees in addition to your claim amount.
  • Generally, within 15 calendar days, your insurance company must acknowledge receipt of your claim and request any additional information reasonably related to your claim. Within 15 business days after receipt of all requested information, the company must approve or deny your claim in writing. The law allows the insurance company to extend this deadline up to 45 days if it notifies you that more time is needed and tells you why.
  • After notifying you that your claim is approved, your insurance company must pay the claim within five business days. If your claim results from a weather-related catastrophe or other major natural disaster as defined by TDI, these claims handling deadlines are extended for an additional 15 days.
  • CHOICE OF REPAIR SHOP AND REPLACEMENT PARTS. You have the right to choose the repair shop and replacement parts for your vehicle. An insurance company may not specify the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier or condition of parts or products used to repair your automobile. The insurance company must provide you notice of the above requirements as follows:
  • claims submitted by telephone – written notice within three business days or immediate verbal notice, followed by written notice within 15 days.
  • claims submitted in person – immediate written notice at the time you present your vehicle to an insurer or an insurance adjuster or other person in connection with a claim for damage repair
  • claims submitted in writing – written notice must be provided within three business days of the insurance company’s receipt of the notice.
  • DEDUCTIBLE RECOVERY. If another person is liable for damage to your auto and you filed a claim and paid a deductible on your own policy, your insurance company must make a reasonable and diligent effort to recover the deductible from that person within twelve months from the date your claim is paid. If not, your company must:
  • authorize you, at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, to pursue your own collection efforts, or
  • refund your deductible
  • NOTICE OF LIABILITY CLAIM SETTLEMENT. Your insurance company must notify you if it intends to pay a liability claim against your policy. The company must notify you in writing of an initial offer to compromise or settle a claim against you no later than the 10th day after the offer is made. The company must notify you in writing of any settlement of a claim against you no later than the 30th day after the date of the settlement.
  • INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED FOR CLAIM PROCESSING.You have the right to refuse to provide your insurance company with information that does not relate to your claim. In addition, you may refuse to provide your federal income tax records unless your insurer gets a court order or your claim involves lost income or a fire loss.

I hope this information is helpful in the event you have to file a claim. Have a wonderful day and be safe out there.

Can you cancel your auto insurance?

Happy Hump Day!!! The Texas Department of Insurance oversees the insurance industry. They have on their website, tdi.texas.gov, Consumer Bill of Rights for personal automobile insurance. The article I want to touch on today is #15 Policyholder’s Right to Cancel. It states:

  • You have the right to cancel your policy at any time and receive a refund of the remaining premium. The refund will be paid to you unless your premium was financed through a premium finance company. In that case, the refund will be paid to the premium finance company to reduce the amount you owe on your loan.

I bring this up because I had a consumer come in yesterday for an automobile quote. We worked up a quote for her and she was pleased with the numbers. Her current policy ends soon but she wants to make a change now. She contacted her insurance company and expressed her desire to cancel. She was told that she could not cancel because she was locked into a contract with them and she would have to wait till the policy was up for renewal. Needless to say she was upset. I advised her of what article 15 says and provided the website so she could verify. She is moving forward on cancelling her policy with them.

This is not the first time we have seen this. It seems they are targeting people who have moved here from another country or a minority in this country. Why do they find it necessary to take advantage of these people. They work hard for their money and deserve to be treated fairly. I feel they do this to meet their quota and do not care what is in the best interest of the consumer. I do not want to be taken advantage of so I will not take advantage of a consumer to make a sale. If I cannot do it right I will not do it. I believe in providing as much information as possible so the consumer can make an informed decision. If I am fortunate enough to make the sale great, if not at least I have provided the consumer with information they did not have before walking in the store.

I hope this is helpful. Never be afraid to ask questions. The agent should be happy to answer all your questions. If you ever get an uneasy feeling when talking to an agent, follow your gut feeling. Have a great day and be safe out there.

Seatbelts, yes or no?

Good morning. I came across a sad statistic for the state of Texas in the year 2015 that I would like to share. According to the Texas Department of Transportation “of all the persons killed in vehicles where the restraint usage was applicable and usage was known in 2015, 40.3% were reported as not restrained when the fatal crash occurred”. It is sad to think that 40.3% of the people driving are not buckled in. It just takes a few seconds to “click it”. Those few seconds could be the difference between life and death. Please be safe.