We Know Insurance

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses. For over 14 years we have provided exceptional customer service and comprehensive insurance coverage to our customers. As independent insurance agents in Austin, we offer a selection of insurance policies through trusted insurance companies such as, Travelers, Hartford, MetLife and Progressive. Our #1 priority is to provide each customer with insurance quotes representing the best value and the protection they need to safeguard their business and personal assets.

There Are Proven Ways To Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto Insurance

When it comes to purchasing auto insurance, having options can be a very important way to save money. Putting money back in your pocket is one of our primary goals.  We know and understand the auto insurance market.  This allows us to provide you with the best possible combination of pricing, coverage and service.

Auto insurance rates differ from company to company, so it really pays to have us shop your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RV and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles.

How to reduce your auto premium

There are many things you can do to keep your auto rates at the lowest level possible.

  1. Review your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent.
  2. Encourage your student driver to get the best grades possible. Most major insurance companies offer a discount for students in good academic standing.
  3. Select a safe car. Check out which cars are popular with thieves and avoid them. Also, the more expensive the car, the higher the premiums.
  4. Be a safe driver. The more accidents and tickets you have, the higher the premiums will be.
  5. Purchase a car with an alarm or LoJack. LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System provides car owners with peace of mind knowing that if their vehicle is stolen, they have the best chance of getting it back.
  6. Be loyal. Many auto insurance companies offer loyalty discounts if you stay with them over time.
  7. Check for other auto insurance discounts. These might include taking safe driver courses, senior discounts and more.

2017 Was A Tough Year For Many Insurance Companies

2018 is here, and 2017 is in the rear view mirror.  Last year we saw and experienced many hardships and disasters, but also hand many successes.  We hope 2018 brings you much happiness and success.  2017 was a year in which many entire communities were destroyed by storms and wildfires, 20 million or more people experienced an identity theft, and a number of women come forward describing their sexual harassment.

Here is a list of the top risk issues for 2017

Wildfires in California and Oregon – over $4 billion in damage

Storms in Texas, Florida, and the Northeast

Flooding in Texas, Oregon, and most of the Midwest

Identity theft and cyber breaches

An increase in sexual harassment claims

The continued evolution of driverless vehicles

The regulation of drones

Advances in home technology

Retention of key employees

The ability to attract quality workers

Terrorism

Random shootings

Over the next few months we will try to help you develop a clear plan on how to manage these risks. Please contact our office and we will be happy to help you identify what is important to you and then put together a plan to help you manage you risks most effetely.  Here are just two.

Identity Theft and Cyber Breaches

Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports.  This type of insurance will help you with certain kinds of expenses to aid you in restoring your credit. Cyber policies cover the liability arising from website media content as well as breach related property losses such as: (a) business interruption, (b) data loss/destruction, (c) computer fraud, (d) funds transfer loss, and (e) cyber extortion.  It can also provide notification and other services for a covered loss.

Harassment Claims

Your business must address this issue head on.  First, you need to secure employment practices liability insurance.  This insurance will offer defense and indemnification coverage should you be involved in an employment litigation.  Second, your business needs to have a clear anti-discrimination policy.  The policy should include reporting procedures and anti-whistleblower provisions.

 

 

Five Reasons an Independent Agent Is Better Than Online Insurance

A Personal Insurance Update

Buying insurance for your home, auto, or business is one of the most important decisions you can make.  Just ask the people of Houston, Texas.  Currently, independent agents are on the ground helping their clients finalize their claims so they can get back to their daily lives.

We understand what is important to consumers when it comes to securing insurance. These are the things people feel are important when it comes to purchasing insurance: *

Cost

Ease of obtaining coverage

Speed of obtaining coverage

Peace of mind that everything is covered

Security of personal data

*Source: Adam Bishop

Here is how we help you with each of these

Cost – Independent agents have access to more markets and have better relationships with insurers, thus affording better pricing options for you.

Ease of obtaining coverage—We actually do all the legwork for you. You will not be routed to a call center, placed on hold, and then talk to someone who may not even be licensed.

Speed – It is easy to call or meet with us. We live in your community.

Peace of mind – We make sure that you are covered for what you need to be covered for.

Security – We make sure all your personal information is secure.

See full article

Texas Business Insurance 101

Texas Business Insurance

The world is changing, and we understand the issues Texas businesses face every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top talent, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual business insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of liability coverage found in most business insurance programs.

Commercial Liability

Bodily Injury – Bodily injury to a third party.

Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).

Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.

Advertising Liability – Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander and invasion of privacy.

Products & Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products you sell or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.

Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.

Management Liability – This might include cyber, employment, and professional liability coverage. Directors and officers liability also might fall under this category.

Umbrella – Provides excess liability over primary auto and commercial liability policies.

Pollution – Coverage for accidental release of pollutants. 

Business Auto

Covers vehicles owned by the company for business use and can include comprehensive and collision

Risk is a factor for whatever business you are in. We provide business insurance solutions to help you manage your risk, which keeps you in business. Apple Insurance Specialists understands how the right insurance can protect you and your business from any unforeseen liabilities

Are You A High Risk Driver?

MF 3045443A “high-risk” driver is generally defined by the insurance companies as someone who has a higher risk of having an auto accident. Auto insurance companies often see high-risk drivers as undesirable, as they may end up costing a great deal in claims.

Why you may be defined as a high risk driver?

You have multiple accidents or tickets during a specific period of time.

You have a DUI.

You have a serious violation.

Any accident that results in a fatality.

Driving without a license.

Driving without insurance.

You drive an exotic car.

For whatever reason, your auto insurance has lapsed.

How to get auto insurance if you are considered high risk

You may need non-standard insurance.

SR-22 insurance for specific situations.

Allow your agent to shop auto insurance for you.

Determine what auto insurance discounts you may be eligible for.

Improve your driving skills.

Consider a lower risk car.

What to Do When There Is a Deer in Your Headlights

As the outdoor temperature gradually drops, animal activity and deer-vehicle accidents increase. Every year across the country, deer and other animals cause millions of dollars in vehicle damage as well as thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. Whether you are taking your family on a trip through the woods or just traveling on business, the following safety tips are intended to save your life and prevent accidents.

Drivers should review their auto insurance policies since not all policies cover damage caused by deer strikes. Comprehensive coverage is optional insurance but it does cover deer strikes. If you only have collision coverage or liability coverage, your insurance carrier will not cover damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an animal.

Actions to Consider

Heed the warning signs.  Posted warnings of deer and animal crossing are there for a reason.

Always drive at a safe speed.

Many animals move around at dusk and early morning.

Observe your surroundings. Actively scan the sides of the roads as you drive for any signs of wildlife.

September through January is a time when deer and elk are particularly active.

Deer and elk are herd animals, so if you see one, there may be more.

Don’t rely on vehicle-mounted whistles or reflectors to keep deer away from your vehicle. Studies show they are not effective.

Notify the local law enforcement agency if you have an accident with an animal.

Contact the local emergency services if anyone is injured.

If you have comprehensive coverage, deer accidents are covered.  However, if you swerve to avoid hitting the deer and hit another vehicle, that would be considered collision coverage, and is many times more expensive for your insurer and you.

We hope you never have to worry about hitting a deer or other animal.  Please slow down and be safe. Taking simple precautions can be the difference between having an accident with a deer, and almost having an accident with a deer.

 

Why Auto Insurance May Be The Most Important Financial Decision You Make

MF 3045443

Auto Insurance Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are five leading factors involved in auto accidents.

Drunk Driving: Crashes caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol (DUI) accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes. DUI crashes also cost the nation $49 billion dollars, an average cost of $158 dollars for every person in the U.S.  Including lost quality of life, these crashes were responsible for $199 billion dollars, or 23 percent of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Speeding: Crashes involving a speeding vehicle traveling over the posted speed limit, or too fast for conditions, accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $59 billion dollars in 2013.  This is an average cost of $191 dollars for every person in the U.S.

Distraction: Crashes involving a distracted driver accounted for 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $46 billion dollars in 2013.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $19 billion dollars in 2013.

Seatbelts: Seatbelt use prevented $69 billion dollars in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs. Conversely, preventable fatalities and injuries to unbelted occupants accounted for 5 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $14 billion dollars in 2013.

Auto Insurance Coverage

Having the right kind of auto insurance can protect you from serious financial loss.

Auto liability

Auto physical damage & collision

Uninsured motorist

Personal injury protection

Auto medical payments

 

The Latest Trends In Auto Liability

Red smart car.

Why You Need Texas Auto Insurance

Ok, we all know driving can be dangerous, but here are the latest statistics from the auto insurance carriers. You buy Texas auto insurance to protect yourself and or your business when you have an accident or claim.  When something bad happens you want your Texas auto insurance company to respond. When it comes to auto insurance, knowledge is power.

1. Here are some facts to help educate you about auto insurance.

2. Motorcycle accidents have increased over the past five years.

3. Auto fatalities are up 3.3%.

4. Distracted drivers cause 1 in 4 accidents.

5. Every day 1,000 people are injured by distracted drivers.

6. 900 people a year die, and nearly 2,000 are injured, as a result of vehicles running red lights.

7. Cell phone usage caused 21% of all fatal accidents.

8. Medical costs have risen over 4% in the last year.

9. The average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,073.

10. The average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $14,653.

Auto Insurance

Your auto insurance program should have the following:

Auto Liability – Bodily Injury Liability Coverage pays for medical damages and funeral expenses for any people injured or killed in an accident for which you were responsible.

Auto Property Damage – Covers damage you do to a third party.

Auto Physical Damage — Covers comprehensive and collision. Collision is designed to get your car repaired if you hit an object. Comprehensive Coverage covers your vehicle in the event of damage or loss from something other than a collision. This includes theft, vandalism, nature, animals.

Uninsured Motorist – This insurance pays in the event you are hit and injured by an uninsured motorist. Even though auto insurance is required, one in four drives does not carry any insurance.

Person Injury Protection – This coverage provides no fault coverage for passengers who are injured in your vehicles.

How can Apple Insurance Specialists best serve you? Call one of our experienced agents today at (512) 302-9111 and let us demonstrate our dedication to delivering the highest quality insurance policies and best customer care.

 

 

 

Is Our Sharing Economy Creating New Risks For You?

Cars Traffic

Uber, Airbnb and VRBO may increase your personal liability risk

We live in a digital world that now allows us to share everything from our car, bike, boat, apartment and even our home with total strangers. Smart phones, and the applications that can be added, offer many useful tools, but some of these things create new and increased auto liability for you. Before you decide to jump into the sharing economy consider the following:

Do these sharing sites have the ability to protect your confidential information? Many times you are giving your credit card information to companies that may not have the ability to protect it.

If you use Airbnb to sublease your apartment, you might check your lease. Many lease agreements have “no sublease” clauses that do not allow for this kind of activity. Also, some big cities are now actually considering outlawing the Airbnb services as it reduces hotel/motel taxes.

Uber offers a taxi service where individuals can offer rides to those who subscribe. Are you confident that these individuals have had proper background checks? Are they experienced drivers?  Do they have the correct insurance? Remember, even in states that have mandatory auto insurance laws, over 25% of drivers don’t have insurance.

Personal auto insurance issues should be considered if using your car for hire. There is a big difference in the auto insurance world between a car pool for work and being paid to deliver people.

If you rent your primary home to others, it may limit your personal insurance coverage. Call out office for a review.

The use of the new sharing economy will most likely continue and may be a good way to save money. However, if you have an uninsured claim, the cost may be much greater than the savings. Be aware that using these services may increase your risk of loss. The insurance industry will respond over time to the sharing economy, but in the meantime, there are limitations and restrictions in your current homeowner’s and personal auto insurance policies of which you need to be aware.

How can Apple Insurance Specialists best serve you? Call one of our experienced agents today at (512) 302-9111 and let us demonstrate our dedication to delivering the highest quality insurance policies and best customer care.