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What to consider when getting car insurance

Don’t be surprised by your policy when the time comes to use it! We checked in with the Texas Department of Insurance to see how drivers can prepare for the worst.

DALLAS — It’s probably not something you want to think about, but you should familiarize yourself with your insurance policy just in case you get in a car wreck and have to deal with it after. 

Like one viewer who wrote into us, they were surprised their premium went up after being involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, despite having protection for that very situation.  

We spoke with Ben Gonzales from the Texas Department of Insurance, who says even if it goes up, that protection is still worth having.

“That will help pay your car repairs and any medical bills, if you get into a wreck with an uninsured driver,” he said. “Even if the person that hits you had insurance, if they just had the bare minimum, it still might not be enough if you had an expensive vehicle, or you need some extensive medical care.”

Texas state law requires anyone on the road to be responsible for accidents they cause, but there are so many that drive without insurance. 

At last check there were more than 2.5 million registered vehicles that did not have a matching insurance policy. That’s about one in every 10 cars on the road!

Before you rush to file a claim, Gonzales says to consider this: 

“A lot of people have high deductibles to control their premium. But if the amount of damage to your car is about the same as your deductible or a little bit more, it probably doesn’t make sense to file a claim in those cases, because you’ll end up paying more in the long run at renewal,” he said. 

Another good piece of advice for anyone, he says is something a lot of us don’t do enough of – every couple of years, shop around for better prices. 

“Auto insurance rates are rising right now at renewal times because of inflation and cars being expensive and more difficult to repair.”

Our expert says you should get quotes from several companies and make sure you’re comparing the same kind of coverage.

And don’t forget to ask about those safe driving discounts too. 

As always, if you have a traffic concern in your area, you can email us here.

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