Shopping for Insurance? Reasons To Work With a Local Agent

Shopping for the best insurance rate in Dallas, Texas? Call Red Gorman Insurance It isn’t uncommon for people to type into a Google search bar, “best place to find car insurance” or “best insurance rate.” There are many ways to purchase an insurance policy but there are countless benefits of buying from an independent agent.

As an independent insurance agency, we want to explain why buying your insurance policy through a company like ours is always the best option.

First and foremost: Choice. 

We represent multiple, top-rated insurance companies. Some great local ones as well as some nationally recognized names. This means you get the best coverage and pricing from many of the best companies in your state. Our licensed agents will search our network of great companies to find you the best rate and coverage on your car, home or business insurance! One call to us can save you hours of time.

Secondly: Options.

We can discuss what coverage options we feel would be best for your specific needs. We can explain what happens when you have specific coverage options vs. not having the coverage options. We can shop your deductible and let you choose a lower or higher and show you the differences in your premium all with the click of a mouse. With this information you can make the choice on what works best for you. We always want to make sure you fully understand your options so you can make an informed choice on your insurance policy.

Thirdly: More discounts.

Being an independent insurance agent, we also will search for available discounts. Whether it is bundling multiple policies together or finding other ways to save you money, we understand saving money is important to all of our customers. We take pride in finding you discounts! If you are unhappy with your insurance price at renewal time, let us requote you with one of our other carriers.

Lastly, we’re local!

We work and live in your community. We are always a quick phone call or email away. If you need to add a vehicle, remove a vehicle, get a quick quote on a motorcycle or boat you’re interested in buying, or want to add umbrella insurance, we can help. You can get this information over the phone or we can email you options for you to review at your convenience.

Insurance can be confusing which is why the best place to find an insurance policy is through an independent insurance agent. We will answer your questions, provide you with many coverage choices and will find ways to make your insurance coverage affordable. Contact us by calling our office, requesting a quote through our website or simply emailing us.

Have You Made Home Improvements This Year? When To Contact Us.

Home Insurance Agency Dallas, TXMany people have used the COVID-19 pandemic to assess their current living situation. Whether it is finally getting to those home improvement projects, getting out in your yard or garden. Others felt inspired to make some major renovations to their homes. If you fall into this category, clearly you are not the only one making changes as you stood in line outside The Home Depot, Lowes or your local home & garden department store.

If you have made some significant updates to your home this year, it’s important to relay this information to your insurance agent.

Review the scenarios below and reach out to us if you have made any of the following changes:

  • Updated your kitchen or bathroom
  • Added square footage to your home
  • Built a detached structure such as a shop, garage or office
  • Made energy efficient improvements such as solar panels on your roof

Why Do I Need to Share This Information With My Agent?

Any major update you make to your home can impact the current value of your home. If you ever have to experience a home insurance claim, your insurance carrier has an idea how much it will cost to replace what has been damaged. As your agent, we want to make sure your home has an accurate value for your home insurance policy so you can be reimbursed at the appropriate value.

Has COVID-19 caused long term changes to your lifestyle?

With some major companies extending a work from home approach into the fall season or even the remainder of the year, some people may consider finding a way to work from home permanently. If this applies to you, you may want to create a designated home office to work from. Learn how to work from home effectively here.

If you are a small business owner who now is looking to work permanently from home, be sure to let your agent know. Some changes to your home insurance policy may be necessary.

If You Plan To Drive Less, Reach Out To Your Agent

Some people who mainly used their car to commute to and from work, may be finding they are barely using their vehicle. Reach out to your insurance agent to see if can qualify for any auto insurance discounts. Some insurance carriers can provide a discount to individuals who drive less than 10,000 miles a year.

Who Should Have a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy?

Commercial Auto Insurance Agency Dallas, TXWhen many people think of a commercial auto insurance policy, they may think of big vehicles such as semi-trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks, etc. However, there are many variations of vehicles that would qualify for a commercial auto insurance policy.

How to Determine If You Need a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

If you are using your vehicle or your employer’s vehicle for business purposes, you need a commercial auto insurance policy or endorsement. For instance, many people are working in the gig economy in jobs such as delivering food with your own vehicle or doing rideshare. It is important you have the right insurance coverage. If you do get into an accident where you are making a food delivery and damage your vehicle or someone else’s property, your standard personal car insurance policy will likely not cover you. Contact our agents with any questions you may have.

Here is a quick reference to help you determine if you need a commercial auto insurance policy:

  1. Using your vehicle to carry business equipment
  2. Freight transportation
  3. Towing vehicles
  4. Delivering food or goods (Amazon drivers, food delivery drivers, newspaper delivery)
  5. Using your vehicle to chauffeur people (Uber or Lyft Drivers, taxi service)
  6. Transporting material

How Is A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy Different Than My Personal Auto Insurance?

Since your vehicle is being used for business purposes, there are different risks that need to be insured. Additionally, the rating system used by companies is entirely different than a personal auto policy.  Each commercial policy needs vary, so have a discussion with your agent to discuss your specific policy limits. For business owners with many vehicles to insure, business auto fleet policies are available. Additionally, consider adding a commercial umbrella policy above and beyond your standard commercial auto policy to protect your business from a catastrophic vehicle accident claim.

How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

Just like your personal auto insurance policy, a commercial auto insurance policy is rated on many factors. Here are a few common examples of what could determine your insurance rate.

  • Driving records
  • Driver age
  • Credit history
  • The size & type of your vehicle
  • The number of vehicles you are insuring
  • What you plan to transport

Not Sure What Kind of Coverage You Need for Your Business?

That is where we can help.  Our agents can help determine what type of coverage will be the best fit for your specific needs. If you plan to use your vehicle for business and personal purposes, we can help you determine an appropriate type of policy. If you are only looking to cover your vehicle for business use, we can help find you the best rate. We will explain all of your options so you understand your policy. Get a free commercial auto insurance quote by calling or emailing us.

What You Need To Know About Classic Car Insurance

Classic Car Insurance Dallas, TXIf you are the lucky owner of a classic car, you can appreciate the uniqueness of the vehicle as well as cherish the nostalgia of owning it.

Classic car owners invest in classics for countless reasons. Some, purely because they like older cars versus new ones, others because they want it as an investment.  Regardless of why you choose to have a classic or antique vehicle, we’ll take you through what you need to know and understand about your insurance.

Classic Car Insurance – The basics.

Classic Car Insurance is different from a typical auto insurance policy because its premium is derived from being driven primarily on occasion, not as a daily driver. Some insurance companies specialize in insuring just classic cars and will ask you how often you drive the vehicle and how many miles per year you plan to put on it.

If you plan to use your vehicle for daily driving, you’re probably better off getting a normal auto insurance policy. In fact, many carriers will require that this be a secondary or occasional use vehicle in order to get a policy.

Classic Car Insurance – The Coverage

The biggest difference between a classic car policy and a standard car insurance policy is Agreed Value. Many carriers offer Agreed Value meaning you both “agree” on a value for the vehicle. For instance, if you have a 1965 Mustang, you can choose to insure it for $25,000. The insurance company then produces a price based off of your value. This Agreed Value is typically based off of the cars condition, improvements and other modifications or restorations. Not all 1965 Mustangs are worth $25,000 so your values can vary.

What Cars Qualify as “Classics?”

The definition of a Classic is constantly changing. In fact, some more modern vehicles may be considered classics because they’re “Day One Editions” or other limited production runs. The typical “20 years” doesn’t really apply anymore because not many model year 2000 vehicles are really classics. Your agent can help assist you in finding a policy that’s the right fit.

How Much Is Classic Car Insurance?

Classic Car Insurance is typically less expensive than the standard auto insurance policy. Because the vehicle isn’t driven every day and often time requires that the vehicle be stored inside of a garage – protected.

To find out what coverage might be right for your vehicle or to see if you qualify for a Classic Car Insurance Policy, contact our insurance agency. Our agents can help you identify savings as well as ensure you get the right coverage for your classic auto.

How to Lower Your Risk for Summer Insurance Claims

Insurance Agent Dallas, TXWith summer in full swing and some modified socially distant outdoor fun happening, we thought it would be a great time to discuss some common insurance claims that can occur during the summer months and how to protect yourself.

Home Break In

While many families are choosing to stay home this summer versus traveling, some individuals may still travel. If you plan to travel this summer, it is important to know a few things when it comes to keeping your home safe from burglary and theft while you are gone.

Technology – many people have invested in home security devices. This can be great to alert you of any motion detected at your home. These devices are inexpensive and easy for do-it-yourselfers to install themselves. From wireless security cameras to video recording doorbells, you have many choices in the home video surveillance category that did not exist a few years ago.

If you do not have a home security device, you could look to setup some lights on timers. This very inexpensive tool can act like you are home by leaving a light on in a specific room in your home. You can set a timer so the light is on during normal hours in the evening where you normally would be up. Use LED bulbs in your lamps to be efficient.

Friends/Family/Neighbors – If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, consider asking them to keep a watch on your home while you are away. It is always good to notify your close neighbors you know and trust that you’ll be gone so they can keep an eye out for strange activity around your property.  You can also ask a family member or friend to swing by your place for extended trips.

Avoid Posting Social Media While Away – We know many people want to post their vacation photos each day on their social media accounts. However, posting while you are gone does allow people to know you are not home giving potential burglars an easy opportunity to get to your stuff.

BBQ

With COVID-19 motivating more people to stay home this summer, you may find yourself doing a lot more barbecuing. Review these tips below to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk.

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Keep your grill clean to avoid a grease fire. It’s best to clean it before or after every use.
  • Smell for gas when you are barbecuing. The smell of gas could indicate a leak in your hose or connections.

Boating or Other Vehicle Accidents

The best advice we can give to avoid accidents to keep yourself distraction free while driving your boat, ATV or other vehicle. As a matter of fact, be a defensive driver. Not only should you be alert of your driving but the vehicles near you.

Chipped/Broken Windshields

More people may be on the road during the summer months and that can increase rock chips on your vehicle. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to avoid a rock chip, but there are some things to keep in mind to lower your risk of getting one. Keep your distance between the vehicles in front of you is our best advice. Tailgating increases your chances of a rock flying up and cracking your windshield. Also, be aware of the semi-trucks on the road as these large vehicles tend to kick up more road debris than the average vehicle.

Regardless of your plans this summer we hope you enjoy the summer season! If you have questions about your property insurance or would like more information about having an extra layer of insurance protection with an umbrella insurance policy, reach out to our agents. We are here to help.

Is Earthquake Insurance Required? Learn About The Coverage.

Earthquake Insurance Dallas, TXWe have all heard of earthquake insurance, but is it required to purchase if you own a home, condo or investment property? The answer is no. However, it is important to keep in mind that your standard home, condo or investment property insurance policy would not be cover you in the event your home was damaged from an earthquake. You would need a specialized insurance policy for earthquake coverage.

Well, what does my home insurance cover then?

Your home insurance policy covers you for many things! In the event your home is damaged from a fire, your policy provides coverage to fix the damage and can replace your personal belongings that were damaged.

If your home is damaged from wind, hail or lightning, you also have coverage.

Your home insurance policy also provides personal liability protection. This gives you coverage for scenarios like someone getting injured on your property or if your dog bites a neighbor. Your home insurance can cover the medical payments for the individual injured too.

Lastly, your home insurance can pay for expenses related to your home not being livable due to the damage. Therefore, the cost of a hotel, food and other living expenses you collect while your home is being repaired can be covered.

How much is earthquake insurance?

Like any insurance policy, it depends on many factors such as where you live, how old your home is, what type of home you own, etc. Talk to one of our agents about getting a free earthquake insurance quote. We can go over your options based on different coverages, then you can decide what policy may suit you best. This is always the best way to determine what earthquake insurance will cost since it is specific to the property being insured.

Know Your Disaster Plan

If an earthquake hits, do you know the safest spots in your home? For an earthquake specifically, where can you drop and cover in each room? Does everyone in your household also know where this is?

Other things that are important to know is how to shut off your utilities such as your gas, water or electricity. It may be important for every household member to know this information. Lastly, it’s important to always have a few emergency staples. Simple items like a fire extinguisher, flashlight, canned food, gloves, a blanket and water can all come in handy in the event a disaster hits.

While you can’t predict when an earthquake will strike, you can be prepared with an earthquake insurance policy as well as a home disaster plan. For an earthquake insurance quote, contact one of our agents.

I Am Moving, But Want To Keep My Current Home As An Investment Property

Investment Property Insurance Dallas, TXThe process of going from being a homeowner to a real estate investment/landlord is an exciting time. Not only are you working towards creating an extra revenue stream for your income, but you’re investing in what has historically been one of the best places – real estate!

When it comes to investing in real estate and being a landlord there is a lot to know and a lot to consider for liability purposes. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways to close the gaps with your insurance on your investment property.

Get a landlord insurance policy

Landlord insurance will insure your Dwelling/rental property as well as offer additional coverage for items stored at the property such as:

  • Additional buildings on premise such as sheds or garages
  • Equipment like tools, washing machines or other appliances used by tenant

In addition to property damage, landlords or rental property owners may also face legal ramifications for events that take place on the property they own. Having additional coverage for Legal Defense may help pay for legal fees from lawsuits like:

  • Libel or slander
  • Accidental Damage
  • Wrongful eviction

Get an umbrella policy, or consider increasing your liability limit on your umbrella policy

Being a landlord comes with an increased liability exposure. You can protect yourself with above and beyond insurance coverage in the form of an umbrella insurance policy to increase your liability limits that you purchase.

Think your liability limits are enough? Take this recent claim settlement:

A renter had notified the landlord that the boiler in the rental property was acting up and the landlord didn’t act quickly enough. Shortly after that call, a toddler severely scalded themselves and required months of painful skin grafts and therapy. The attorney settled with the landlord for the policy limits of $3 million.

Eliminate dangers around the property to limit your exposure

When you’d looking to eliminate liability exposures around a property, check some of these items:

  • Stair railings – check for loose or rotten railings inside and outside of the home
  • Trip hazards – walk the property and eliminate any large edges where someone could fall or trip
  • Swimming pools – if your property has a swimming pool, these pose major dangers to children. Be sure there is a fence with a self-closing gate that locks behind the person entering to stop curious neighborhood children or unattended children from entering the pool.

Owning investment property can be very rewarding, but do be aware of the additional risks there are. Fully eliminating your liability exposures is not ever a possibility, but mitigating your risk is. This is where we can help you come up with a comprehensive insurance package that protects you and your rental property. We would recommend scheduling a time to speak with one of our licensed agents to find you the right coverage and company for your rental property.

National Insurance Awareness Day – June 28th

Best Insurance Agency Dallas, TXConsider Sunday, June 28th a day to think about your current insurance policy. While this can be a good time to do annually at your renewal, you may have been thinking about your policy again since COVID-19 hit.

Reach out to your agent.

We can do an in depth review of your current insurance policy based off of your current situation. We can look for any gaps in coverage and explain in detail your limits and what it means.

  • Other things to think of – have you done any home remodeling or have items in your house appreciated? If so, make sure to let us know so your policy is up to date.
  • Will you be making any big changes that may affect the amount of insurance coverage you need?
  • Are you considering other insurance policies?
  • Are you car or home shopping?

Are you a business owner?

Has your business made any changes with added or removed staff, services, products, etc.? Have you moved your business to an at-home business? If so, reach out to us regarding an endorsement so you are covered. Out agents can review your business insurance policy. There are many ways to ensure your business is covered whether it’s through a business owner’s insurance policy, workers comp, cyber liability, general liability and many more options.

Safety measures for your business

Let June 28th be a reminder of all the safety measures your staff should be practicing while at work. This is something your team should do at least once a year. Have can you lower your risk for an injury at work?

Insurance gives you a great sense of security. Whether it’s protecting your assets or your loved ones, let us help you ensure you have the best coverage.

Why working with an Independent Insurance agent matter

Independent Insurance Agents represent multiple top-rated insurance companies. This gives you more choice in coverage, pricing, payment options and discounts when shopping for all of your insurance needs. Not only do independent agents represent better choices, coverage and pricing, they are also a part of your local community which means they understand the unique risks, challenges and companies who have the best pricing in your area.

When you’re looking for insurance for your car, home, business or other product, know that picking an independent insurance agent is the right choice. You’ll get comparative quotes so you can decide which company fits your insurance needs best.

What Should I Know About Dog Bite Insurance Claims?

Liability Insurance Dallas, TXAccording to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insures paid over $796.8 million as a result of 17,802 dog bite claims in 2019. We would like to briefly go over what happens if your dog were to bite someone and of course, how to prevent a dog bite claim.

What Would Happen If My Dog Bit Someone?

Homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy includes liability coverage which will likely cover you for the damages. Keep in mind, some insurance carriers do not offer liability coverage for specific dog breeds. They also may offer some, but limit the amount of coverage available. Talk to your agent about what breeds may not be covered. If you are not covered, you would have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by your dog. If your insurance provides coverage it is likely your insurance premium will increase at renewal or you could even be dropped from your insurance carrier.

How to Lower Your Risk for a Dog Bite Claim

Don’t ever assume your dog won’t bite someone.

You can have the sweetest dog on the planet, but you still can’t make the assumption that your dog won’t bite. Watching your dog’s behavior around strangers or even family and friends is crucial. Never leave your dog alone with children who might cause the dog to nip if harassed or injured.

If you adopt a pet, do your research

What should you know about your breed’s common behavior? Ask several questions with the adoption agency. Have they noticed specific behaviors you should be aware of? Understanding what triggers your dog’s aggression or what makes them uncomfortable can save you from a dog bite claim down the road.

Know The Signs Your Dog May Be Uncomfortable, Anxious or Aggressive

Dog bites are common in these scenarios. Dogs may react to such things as taking away their food or a toy or even touching them while eating.

  1. Aggressive
  • Stiff tail, intense stare, growling, hair up on back.
  1. Uncomfortable/anxious
  • Pulled back ears, tucked tail, no eye contact, lowered head or body

Get some training

Whether you are a dog owner or someone who doesn’t own a dog, being around a dog with good behavior is ideal. Obedience training can benefit any dog.

Socialize Your Dog

When your dog is around other dogs and people, it can help them work through any anxieties they may feel.

Be Extra Aware Around Children

This goes back to our number one answer, don’t assume your dog will never bite. If your dog is around children they aren’t familiar with, watch for signs of your dog being uncomfortable.

Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

This can help with a dog’s aggression.

Being a dog owner can bring so much happiness into your life. Use these tips to worry less about your dog biting a loved one or a stranger. For questions about your home or renters insurance policy and what coverages are available for dogs, contact us! We can go over your current policy or even find you a different insurance carrier who may be a more ideal fit for pet ownership.

How to Avoid Insurance Claims & Liabilities From Hiring Contractors

Contractor Insurance Dallas, TXIf you’re an experienced home remodeler, you’ve probably come across contractors who are willing to offer better pricing for cash deals or who are reluctant to provide you with a service contract. Did you know that you can be held liable for hiring a contractor who does not carry the right insurance and causes damages or injuries to another person or even one of their own workers? Saving a few dollars on your remodel can end up costing you thousands so follow these tips to avoid an insurance disaster.

  1. Look for obvious red flags: Getting multiple quotes for the job is a great idea, but did you find a contractor who will do the work for ½ as much as the next guy? How is this possible? When you’re inviting a contractor to your home, be sure to ask them for credentials before they come over to give you a bid. Following these steps can save you from theft, liability and even money.
  2. Ask for references: If you found a great contractor and you like him/her, ask them if they have a website or if there is someone who has had work done by them recently that you can talk to. If a contractor is proud of the work they do, they should have several references for you to call. It is okay to ask for reference and most people expect it. Most small businesses survive off of word-of-mouth advertising, so don’t be shy.
  3. Utilize the internet to look up their license: Contractors are required to have a license to perform work. You can utilize your states resources to find these contractors. An internet search will provide you with some quick references. You can even make your job quicker by asking them to provide you with a copy of their license or number.
  4. Active License, Insurance & Bond: Ask the contractor for a copy of their license as well as documentation of their insurance and bond. Note: Check the dates on the license as well as the insurance to ensure they’re currently in force or active.
  5. Get specific: Not only is it important to protect your insurance from a scam, but ensure your pocketbook doesn’t get taken for a ride too. Ask questions like, “Is this an estimate or a final bid?” “Does this estimate include parts and labor?” “Can I see where you’re buying the products beforehand?” The more questions you ask, the better you will feel and the more the contractor will understand that you’re educated on this process.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these products do:

  1. License: A license to do business means that contractor has met local guidelines and qualification standards to work in their field. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in shoddy work or dangerous results such as with an electrician.
  2. Insurance: Contractors need two types of insurance really.
    1. General Liability Insurance: This will protect you from damages that the contractor causes such as a ladder falling through a window, causing a fire or overspray onto a neighboring house during some painting.
    2. Workers Compensation Insurance: This insurance will protect the contractor if one of his employees is injured on the job while on your property. If the contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, your homeowners insurance policy might be asked to pay that workers claim.
  3. Bonds: A bond acts as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work they’ve been asked to do. For instance, say your pay a contractor to do a job and he never gets the permits or doesn’t pay a subcontractor – collecting from his bond can help cover these costs.

Hiring a contractor this way can be a great option to bringing some new changes to your home. It is possible to really save money on these services, but just using some simple, quick research and asking the right questions can save you a bundle as well as a headache.