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Insurance tips: What to know before you buy. How to use it.

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Use our tips to get the best deal on insurance, protect yourself from fraud, and learn what to do when you have a problem.

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TDI expert staff member

How to get help with an insurance issue or file a complaint

We can answer insurance questions, help with problems, and explain how to file a complaint against an insurance company or agent. We’ve also got tips that can help you save money, understand your policy, and know your rights.

Do you have enough insurance coverage to pay for home or car repairs?

Do you have enough insurance coverage to pay for home or car repairs?

With the cost of nearly everything increasing, it’s a good time to look at your insurance to be sure you have enough auto and home coverage.

Man grilling food outside with his family sitting at a table in the background.

Grill tips for your next tailgate or cookout

There’s nothing more Texan than burgers and barbecue on a summer day. Follow these tips to make sure your cookout is a safe one.

wooden blocks with the letters P, M, and I on a dark background.

What is private mortgage insurance? Learn why you might need it.

Private mortgage insurance protects your lender if you stop making mortgage payments.

Outdoor burning: What to know before you light the match

Outdoor burning: What to know before you light the match

Most wildfires start with someone being careless. Make sure you know when you can burn outdoors and how to do so safely.

Texas gets more tornadoes than any other state most years. Your first priority is to make sure your family is safe when a tornado threatens. There are also steps you can take to prepare your home for these dangerous storms.

Are you prepared for a tornado? Here’s how to protect your home

Texas gets more tornadoes than any other state. When a tornado is coming, your only priority should be to get to a safe place. But there are things you can do ahead of time to prepare your home for these dangerous storms.

Funeral

How to avoid scams after the death of a loved one

When it comes to making a quick buck, scammers don’t care who they victimize. We’ve compiled a list of common scams to avoid.

Thermometer

How to stay safe in the summer heat

Summers in Texas can be scorchers. Prepare your house and your family to be ready for the next heat wave.

House

How to save on home and car insurance by staying safe

You can save money on your house and car insurance by deterring criminals and preventing accidents.

Text on image: Surety bonds

Home building or renovation worries? Ask your contractor to buy a surety bond.

Building or renovating a house can be exciting and expensive. And you might be nervous thinking about everything that could go wrong. Asking your contractor to buy a surety bond could give you peace of mind.

Two scams aimed at older adults and how to avoid them

How to avoid scams aimed at older adults

When it comes to making a quick buck, scammers don’t care who they victimize. Here are two common scams that target older adults and tips to help avoid them.

Red car

Ask for discounts to lower your auto insurance premium amount

Getting discounts is a great way to save on your auto insurance. Your company should sign you up for the discounts you qualify for, but it never hurts to ask about them and make sure. Companies don’t always offer the same discounts, but here are some common types you might get.

Two cups of hot cocoa.

How to make your house winter ready

Before settling in for winter, prepare the inside and outside of your home.

Frozen pipe

Winter storms: Tips for preparing your house and pipes

How to protect your home and property in freezing weather.

Is your home policy up for renewal? Here’s what to look for.

Is your home policy up for renewal? Here’s what to look for.

Did you ignore that email or letter about renewing your homeowners insurance? Read it to make sure you’re not being overcharged or getting less coverage than you need.

Medicare scams

How to avoid Medicare scams during open enrollment

Four million Texans can buy, switch, or drop plans during the Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7. And you can bet scammers will be on the prowl. Use our tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Delivering packages? What to know about auto insurance

Delivering packages? What to know about auto insurance

If you’ve turned restaurant or package delivery into a side hustle or a full-time job, make sure you have the right auto insurance coverage. Here’s what to ask.

Woman packing folded clothes into box.

Do I need insurance to run a daycare in my home?

Do you run a small daycare out of your home? If you do, or you’re thinking about starting one, here’s what you need to know about insurance.

road sign showing carpool lane

Does my auto insurance cover my carpool in an accident?

Will your auto insurance cover an accident if you’re in a carpool? Ask these four questions to find out.

Were you in an accident caused by the other driver?

How to keep your dogs, cats, and other pets safe from fire

Pet safety in fires; tips to keep dogs, cats and pets safe from fire.

Adding a teen driver to your insurance policy?

Adding a teen driver to your insurance policy?

If there’s a new teen driver in your household, you need to insure them. Adding a teen driver to your policy can be expensive, so check with your agent or insurance company first. They’ll help you find discounts and other ways to save money. Here’s what you need to know.

Baseball cards

Collectibles: Why you may need extra insurance coverage

A standard homeowners or renters insurance policy may not cover collectibles and rare items. We explain how to insure them.

How can I avoid scams when I buy a used vehicle?

How can I avoid scams when I buy a used vehicle?

With many used car and truck sales taking place on an app or online, a lot can go wrong. Here are tips for avoiding auto scams.

Smoke detector with house and blueprints

Smoke alarms: Where to put them, how often to replace batteries

Nearly all alarm failures are caused by missing or dead batteries. A working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a home fire in half.

Carbon monoxide alarm

How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning at home

Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer. See why you need to get and maintain detectors in your home.

What your home insurance policy won't cover

Five things your home policy won’t cover

Your home policy pays for damages from fire, tornadoes, hailstorms, and theft. But it doesn’t pay for repairs caused by other issues. Here are five things it doesn’t cover.

Should I call an ambulance? If I have to use one, how can I save money?

How to protect yourself from social media identity theft

If you use social media, you could be a target for identity theft. You can buy identity theft insurance – or it might be included in your homeowners or renters policy. But taking simple steps to protect your social media accounts can help you avoid most scams.

Should I call an ambulance? If I have to use one, how can I save money?

When should I call an ambulance, and how can I save money when I do?

An ambulance ride can be expensive, especially if the ambulance service isn’t in your health plan network. Here are some things to consider ahead of time.

Woman packing folded clothes into box.

What insurance do I need to run a business from home?

Running a home business? Your home policy may not cover all the equipment you rely on or injuries to your employees and customers. Here’s what you need to know.

Is mold covered?

When are water damage and mold covered by insurance?

Water damage to your home can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. Here’s what you need to know about your insurance coverage and how to prevent more damage.

What you need to know about telehealth

How to protect your family from a home fire

A home fire can be devastating. The good news is most fires are preventable. Here are simple steps you can take to protect your family from fire.

What you need to know about auto theft and insurance

Auto theft and insurance: How to protect your ride

Common sense prevention can help keep your vehicle and the things in it safer. But what happens if thieves break in or steal your ride? Here’s what you need to know.

Man holding bill, looking frustrated

How to avoid the most common insurance mistakes

Avoid these big mistakes to save money and get the coverage you need.

Does insurance cover ATVs and golf carts?

Does insurance cover ATVs and golf carts?

Many Texans use small vehicles to get around for work and play. Maybe you use an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) when you go hunting or a golf cart for short trips in your neighborhood.

A couple sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace.

What to know about winter fire safety

The holidays often come with wintry weather. Whether you’re celebrating or trying to keep warm, keep these fire safety tips in mind. They can save lives and protect your property.

Space heater

Space heater safety: Tips to prevent fires

A space heater can be a cost-effective way to stay warm, but it can also be a fire hazard. In the last few years, several fatal fires in Texas were started by space heaters. Here are tips for keeping your family safe.

What you need to know about telehealth

What you need to know about telehealth

Not sure if an illness or injury is serious? Can't get a same-day appointment with your doctor? Telehealth might be a good option for you. Telehealth includes all the ways you can interact with a medical professional without being in the same room. Here’s what you need to know.

Flooded home

Flood insurance: Why you need a policy

If it can rain, it can flood. And your home insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage. To make sure your property is covered, you’ll need a separate flood policy.

A portable generator

Using a generator? Stay safe from carbon monoxide

If you lose power, having a portable generator can be a life saver. But if you don’t use your generator properly, it can be deadly.

A family gathered around architectural plans.

How to escape from a house fire

Would your family know what to do if they woke up to the sound of an alarm with smoke all around? You need a fire escape plan to get everyone out quickly and safely.

Life insurance policy with calculator, glasses and pen

Can I sell my life insurance policy?

A life insurance policy, whether it’s a term life or whole life policy, is your personal property. You can sell it just as you would anything else you own, but there are some things to consider.

Save on insurance

How to save money on insurance and health care

These six suggestions can help you trim your insurance costs and stretch your budget.

Man in military uniform working on a laptop to find a job in insurance. He seems impressed with TDI’s website.

Help for military members and spouses who work in insurance

The Texas Department of Insurance is offering a helping hand to those serving our country. Here are some incentives Texas offers insurance professionals in the military:

Claims

Will my premium go up if I file a claim?

It depends on the type of claim and how many you file. But, yes, your home and auto premiums can go up if you file claims. You could also lose any discounts you’re getting for being claim free.

Could usage-based insurance save you money?

How you drive could save you money on car insurance

Many auto insurance companies offer policies that adjust what you pay based on how much you drive or how well you drive. Here are some things to know when deciding if this type of policy is right for you.

Cooking safety tips

Home insurance policies: All risk or named peril

Learn about the differences between all-risk policies and named perils policies in homeowners insurance.

Be ready for wildfire

Wildfire risks: Projects to help you protect your home

There are several simple steps you can take to protect your home from a wildfire. Make each of these a weekend project, and you’ll be ready in no time.

7 things you should do before hurricane season

Hurricane season: How to prepare your home and property

Hurricane season begins June 1. Is your home ready? Here’s what you need to know before the next storm heads your way.

Cooking safety tips

How to prevent kitchen fires with our cooking safety tips

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Follow these tips to stay safe.

A form called “employee benefits package.” The form could include health, life, and disability insurance information.

Thinking about a new job? Don’t forget the insurance.

Whether you’ve landed the job of your dreams or you’re ready for a career change, don’t forget to think about how changing jobs could affect your insurance.

Two cars parked outside a home. Auto and home insurance agent sitting at a desk.

How do I find an insurance agent?

Whether you’re buying a policy for the first time or shopping for a better deal, choosing an agent or company can seem overwhelming. But we can help.

I need health insurance right away. What are my options?

Need health insurance? How to find a new health plan now.

Most insurance companies only sell health plans during an open enrollment period that starts in November. There are other options if you need health insurance.

How to save money at the doctor

How to save money at the doctor

Asking a few questions about your health insurance and knowing your options can protect your wallet after a doctor’s visit.

How Texas protects consumers from surprise medical bills

How consumers are protected from surprise medical bills

Patients get surprise medical bills if they get care outside their health plan’s network without realizing it. For example, you will probably pick a surgeon in your plan’s network. But you may not be asked about the anesthesiologist. State and federal laws protect patients from surprise medical bills.

Roof

Is it OK for a contractor to waive my deductible?

No. A deductible is part of your home insurance policy. It’s illegal for contractors to waive your deductible or help you avoid paying it.

Winter driving.

Five winter driving safety tips to keep your family safe

Even in Texas, winter weather can turn your daily commute into an icy obstacle course. These tips can help you stay safe if you take to the road in the cold.

CLUE report

How to get a CLUE about your claims history

Wondering how much it will cost to insure that home you’re thinking of buying? Or why you’re paying more for home insurance than your neighbor? You may want to check the property’s history of insurance claims.

What is title insurance?

What is title insurance? Why do I need it for my new house?

Title insurance protects you from problems with an ownership title when you buy real estate. These may be problems that existed before the purchase, such as: (1) unpaid property taxes, (2) fraud or forgery of previous paperwork, or (3) a spouse or unknown heir who claims they own the property.

Video: Does My Insurance Policy Cover That?

Home insurance: What you need to know before buying a policy

If you’re shopping for home insurance, here are five questions you should ask about every policy you consider.

RV parked at a campground with fire pit in view. Unseen driver inside probably reading about RV fire safety tips.

How to keep your family safe in your RV

RVs, motorhomes, and campers can help you feel at home when you’re on the road. But because you can use them for living as well as traveling, there are unique fire safety issues to keep in mind.

Home policies: Replacement cost or actual cash value?

Home policies: Replacement cost or actual cash value?

Most home insurance policies pay to repair or replace your damaged home and items based on current costs. This allows you to rebuild, make repairs, and replace things with items similar to your damaged items. This is called replacement cost coverage.

Man in hospital bed visiting with a doctor

Health insurance: 5 things you may not know

Traditional health insurance, the kind you get through your employer or buy on Healthcare.gov, covers a wide range of services if you get sick or hurt. This is called major medical or comprehensive health insurance.

Do you have enough home insurance?

Do you have enough home insurance?

Could you rebuild if a tornado or fire destroys your home? Some experts say half of all homes may not have enough insurance. Here are tips to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

Do I need to buy insurance when I rent a car?

Do I need to buy insurance when I rent a car?

Some rental car companies will offer to sell you insurance when you rent a car on vacation. Should you buy it? Here’s what you need to know before you pay for their coverage.

Are you keeping valuable treasures in a self-storage unit?

Do I need insurance for my self-storage unit?

If you keep furniture, collectibles, or valuables in a self-storage unit, you may want to buy extra insurance for them. Here are some tips on insuring belongings you don’t keep at home.

Here are some common questions about gap insurance.

What is uninsured motorist coverage, and do I really need it?

It’s bad enough when you’re in a car wreck. But it can be much worse if the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can help.

Here are some common questions about gap insurance.

Do you need gap insurance for your car? How does it work?

Maybe, but only if your car is worth less than what you owe on your car loan. Here are some common questions about gap insurance.

A car fire can strike suddenly and be deadly.

Car fires: What to do in an emergency and how to prevent one

Collisions and mechanical failures cause most car fires. Passenger compartment fires are less common but can be more frightening. Here’s what to do if your car is on fire, and tips for preventing fires.

What you need to know about short-term health plans

Your health plan can help you quit smoking or lose weight

If you’re trying to quit smoking or lose weight, your health plan may be able to help. Most health plans in Texas have tools and programs to help your reach those goals. Here are tips for the most common health goals.

Insurance agent reviewing a form with a middle-aged couple. The agent looks like he enjoys his job in insurance.

Careers in insurance: How to become an insurance agent or adjuster

Considering a career in insurance? You’ll need to get an agent or adjuster license. Here are some tips for getting a license and starting a career.

Person getting ready to ride an electric scooter they rented. They are wondering, “Do I need insurance for a scooter?”

Electric scooter insurance: What to know before you hop on

Electric scooter rentals are popular in Texas’ big cities and near college campuses. If you’ve been using one or want to try it, here’s what you need to know about scooters and insurance.

How to get help with a mental health issue

How to get help with a mental health issue

If your health plan covers mental health issues, the law requires it to give the same level of benefits, such as the number of office visits, as it does for a physical illness or injury. This is known as mental health parity. Here’s what else you should know about parity and getting help.

Explanation of benefits

Understanding an explanation of benefits

Going to the doctor can be hard on your mailbox. One of the many documents you’ll get after a health care visit is an explanation of benefits, often called an EOB. What is it, and why is it important?

Apartment exit

How to check for apartment fire safety

You found an apartment or high-rise in your price range and the location is great. When you’re checking out the space, take a few minutes to check the fire safety features. And make sure you learn the building evacuation plan.

Working with an insurance adjuster

Working with an insurance adjuster

When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company’s adjuster probably will be the person you deal with most often. Understanding the adjuster’s role and your options can help the claims process go more smoothly.

How your credit score can affect your insurance rates

How your credit score can affect your insurance rates

Most insurance companies use your credit history to help them decide whether to sell you insurance and how much it will cost. Here’s what you should know about your credit and how it can affect your insurance.

Were you in an accident caused by the other driver?

Were you in a wreck? Tips for auto insurance claims

Were you in a wreck? We explain what to do at the scene and after you get home.

Lightning storm over city

Thunderstorms: How to protect yourself from lightning

If you hear thunder, find shelter fast. Lightning strikes kill more Americans than hurricanes most years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Here are some tips for staying safe in a thunderstorm.

A home inventory: Why you need it and how to do it

A home inventory: Why you need it and how to do it

Having a detailed home inventory is important if you ever need to make an insurance claim. Here are four things to know about making a home inventory.

Life insurance

Do you need life insurance?

Think about your age, your financial situation, and if you have people who depend on your income. If you do decide to shop for life insurance, here are some things to consider.

Insurance and your roof: What to know when buying a policy or filing a claim

Insurance and your roof: What to know when buying a policy or filing a claim

Your roof is the first line of defense against severe weather. In Texas, a roof can take a beating from the weather, so here’s what you need to know when you buy a home insurance policy, file a claim, or replace your roof.

Shopping for auto insurance is like shopping for any major item.

Shopping for auto insurance: What to know before you buy a policy

Shopping for auto insurance is like shopping for any major item. It's a good idea to shop around to find the policy that best meets your needs and budget.

10 steps to find the right homeowners insurance

Tips to help you shop for homeowners insurance

Shopping for insurance is like shopping for any major item. It's a good idea to shop around to find the policy that best meets your needs and pocketbook.

Photo of a home damaged by Hurricane Harvey

What if my insurance isn't paying enough?

If you believe your insurance company didn’t pay enough to cover your damages or unfairly denied your claim, you have options. Click on the type of policy to learn more. You can also call our Help Line at 800-252-3439, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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How to pick the right Medicare plan

Most people need to enroll in Medicare through Social Security when they turn 65. It can be a confusing process, but knowing some key facts can help you decide on the best plan.

Flooded car

Beware of buying flood-damaged vehicles

Once an engine gets waterlogged, it’s almost impossible to ever make it right. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous sellers will buy these salvage cars at auction and resell them to unsuspecting buyers across the state and nation. Here’s what to do if that used car deal looks too good to be true.

Do your repairs need a windstorm inspection?

What you need to know about windstorm inspections

If you live along the Texas coast, your property must meet certain building standards to get a windstorm insurance policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Here are some things to keep in mind for new construction, repairs, or renovations.

Flooded car

Flooded cars: What to know about insurance claims and repairs

Here are answers to some common questions if your car was flooded.

Photo of a homeowners claim form

How do I file a homeowners insurance claim?

For most people, their home is their biggest investment. When it’s damaged, you want to make sure it’s repaired properly and quickly. Understanding the claims process will help ensure that you get the full value from your homeowners insurance policy.

What to know about deductibles

What to know about deductibles

Here are some things to know about deductibles when deciding what policy to buy.

Man inspecting home

How to avoid contracting scams

Out-of-town scam artists may be the first to arrive at your front door after a disaster. To protect what you invest in repairs, hire local contractors, get written bids, and check references. Use these tips to avoid problems.

Back to school insurance tips – college edition

Insurance tips – college edition

Whether you’re an entering freshman or about to wrap up your senior year, it pays to make sure your insurance needs are in order. Here are some things to consider.

Fireworks

How to stay safe when using fireworks

Fireworks are a big part of many holiday celebrations, but they also can be dangerous. For the best and safest experience, look for a professional show in your community. Here's what you need to know about using fireworks.

Woman with a backpack looking at a map she’s holding. Before she booked her trip, she googled, “Do I need travel insurance?”

Travel insurance: What does it cover and when do you need it?

Not all travel insurance is the same. Some policies only cover certain kinds of trip cancellations. Here are some questions to help you decide if you need travel insurance and what kind of policy will work best for your trip.

Summer is the time for getting the most out of your swimming pool.

Does homeowners insurance cover swimming pools?

Summer is the time for getting the most out of your swimming pool. Take a minute to review your homeowners insurance to make sure your pool is fully covered.

A boat to fish and ski tied to a dock. The owner is thinking about buying boat insurance for liability coverage.

Do you need boat insurance?

If your summer plans include boating, make sure you know what’s covered and what isn’t.

If you’re preparing to be a new parent, don’t forget to consider your changing insurance needs.

Welcoming a child to the family? Don’t forget the insurance.

Bringing a child into your life can be joyous, but it’s also hectic. Here are some tips to help you get your insurance in order. Diaper changing is on you.

Here’s what you need to know about identity theft insurance and how to protect yourself.

What to know about identity theft insurance

Victims of identity theft can be left with a bad credit record that can take months to correct. Here’s what you need to know about identity theft insurance and how to protect yourself.

man looking at ride-sharing app on phone

Ride sharing: 3 questions to ask

Ride-sharing services are popular and convenient, but here are three questions to ask before giving or requesting a ride.

Doctor with baby boy

My car was totaled! Now what?

If your car is declared a total loss after an accident, you may be wondering about your options. Here are answers to three common questions.

New Year's Tips

Make the most of your annual insurance review

Hey, we know reviewing your insurance isn't the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but it beats cleaning out the garage. Here are some tips to get you started.

Telemedicine

Four ways of getting health care to avoid big bills

Did you wake up with a sore throat but can’t get an appointment with your doctor? You have several options to get the care you need – and avoid a big bill later.

Renting amusement rides: 5 tips for a safe event

Renting amusement rides: 5 tips for a safe event

Rides like inflatables, rock walls, mobile mechanical rides, mechanical bulls, and trackless trains can provide your guests hours of amusement. Before renting an amusement ride, check out our five tips to help you have a safe event.

A person riding a motorcycle on a road. Do motorcycles need to be insured?

Do I need insurance for a motorcycle or moped?

Yes. The state of Texas requires all drivers – including motorcyclists – to prove financial responsibility for any accidents they may cause. In most cases this means buying a basic liability insurance policy.

Three women sitting at desks and studying

What agents need to know about continuing ed

Continuing education keeps you informed and helps you better serve Texas consumers. Stay current with your requirements to avoid penalties.

Father in military hugging his daughter goodbye

Deploying? 5 things to know about your insurance

If you’re in the military, it’s a good idea to ask your insurance agent about possible deployment issues before you buy a policy. If you’re getting ready to deploy, here are some things to keep in mind.

5 questions to ask when buying pet insurance

5 questions to ask when buying pet insurance

Pet insurance can help cover the cost of expensive vet bills if your dog, cat, or other pet is injured or gets sick. Here’s what to ask when looking at plans.

Renters insurance agreement

Renters insurance: What does it cover and how much does it cost?

Your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your personal items, but renters insurance is usually very affordable.

Seven dangling percentage signs. Tips to find insurance at the best price.

How to shop smart for insurance

Shopping for insurance can be a confusing maze of jargon, polices, and prices. We have a few tips to help you get the protection you need at the best price.

Home Sharing: 3 questions to ask

Renting out your home? Check your insurance

If you rent out your house, a room in your house, or rides in your car, there’s a good chance your personal insurance policy won’t cover any damage or injuries.