39 episodes

The Texas Insurance Podcast is a podcast about the state of insurance in our great state of Texas. We’ll be speaking with experts to pass information along to you about the things you need to know. Subscribe so you don’t miss out on this important information. https://www.tdi.texas.gov

The Texas Insurance Podcast Texas Department of Insurance

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The Texas Insurance Podcast is a podcast about the state of insurance in our great state of Texas. We’ll be speaking with experts to pass information along to you about the things you need to know. Subscribe so you don’t miss out on this important information. https://www.tdi.texas.gov

    When should you start preparing for hurricane season?

    When should you start preparing for hurricane season?

    With the start of hurricane season around the corner on June 1, now is the time to review your insurance and prepare your house and your family for hurricanes.

    When is the peak of hurricane season?

    Texas typically gets its biggest hurricanes in August and September, with August being the peak month. Hurricanes have also formed as early as May. 

    When should I start worrying about a storm turning into a hurricane? 

    Pay attention to the weather during hurricane season. Some hurricanes develop farther out and give us more time to prepare. But others – like Hurricane Humberto in 2007 – can develop and make landfall in as little as 24 hours.  

    What can I do now to prepare for hurricane season? 

    You can start building your storm kit. Gather enough water, nonperishable food, medicine, batteries, pet food, and other supplies to ride out a storm. If you think you’ll evacuate, look at evacuation routes and which roads you’ll take to get to safety.  

    Why do I need a storm kit? 

    As a storm approaches, people rush to the store for supplies. If you’ve bought yours ahead of time, you don’t have to be in the scramble. Once a storm hits, you’ll have what you need to either evacuate or be home for a few days. 

    Also prepare a kit for your car. Think about what you’d take with you if you’re on the road for a couple of days. 

    What can I do to prepare my house for a hurricane? 

    In the days and hours before a hurricane, get your house ready by: 

    Boarding up windows. Taping isn’t good enough. 

    Securing loose outdoor items, like patio furniture. 

    Trimming trees. 

    Putting important documents in a sealed container and storing them off the ground. 

    Should I review my insurance before a hurricane? 

    Yes, review your insurance to know your coverages, deductibles, and if you have coverage to live elsewhere if you can’t stay in your home during repairs. Also know if you have flood insurance. Most home policies don’t cover floods. Ask your company or agent if you’d like to get flood insurance 

    • 16 min
    What insurance do you need for water damage?

    What insurance do you need for water damage?

    Just a couple of inches of unwanted water in your house can cause extensive and expensive damage. Most home and renters insurance policies cover water damage—if the water comes from inside the house. 

    What’s the difference between water damage and flood damage? 

    Flood damage is caused by water from a rainstorm or a body of water that suddenly rises over a dry area and into your house.  

    Water damage in your house comes from pipes, water heaters, washing machines, refrigerators, and other devices that hold water. 

    What does “sudden and accidental” mean? 

    Most home policies say they cover “sudden and accidental” water damage. That means a water leak or overflow that happens suddenly, and accidentally. It’s not a leak that’s been dripping for a long time. If you notice a leak that’s caused damage, file a claim right away with your insurance company. 

    Are water leaks from fish tanks covered by home policies? 

    Not usually. Home policies cover plumbing and appliances, but not fish tanks or water tanks you use for drinking water. If you want to insure a fish tank, talk to your insurance agent or company. 

    Are mold and mildew covered by home policies? 

    Mold is covered if it’s on something that your home policy would replace. If mold is on walls, for example, your policy will pay to have that torn out and replaced.  

    Home policies don’t cover mold remediation, which is when a company comes into your house and finds and removes mold. If you want coverage for possible future mold remediation, talk to your insurance agent or company. 

    Should I make repairs if I have water damage in my house? 

    Make enough repairs to keep the damage from getting worse. If a window breaks or there’s a hole in your roof and water is getting in, cover the window or roof with boards or tarps. Keep your receipts too because your insurance company should reimburse you. 

    What other tips do you have if I get water damage? 

    Take pictures of the damage. Your company will ask for them. 

    Don’t make permanent repairs until an adjuster has seen the damage and said it’s OK. 

    • 11 min
    Who should have flood insurance?

    Who should have flood insurance?

    As we turn the corner into spring, it’s time to think about rain showers and flooding. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage from flooding.

    Who should consider flood insurance?

    Everyone, according to FEMA. Everyone is at some risk of a flood damaging their home and property. Developers might build a neighborhood in a place where bayous or wetlands would have soaked up rainwater. And a heavy, prolonged rainstorm– like we saw with Hurricane Harvey – could stall over a city, causing flooding where it might not normally flood.

    Will someone tell me if I need flood insurance?

    Not necessarily. If you have a mortgage and you live in a flood hazard area, your lender might require you to have flood insurance. If not, it’s up to you to ask your insurance agent for flood insurance.

    Do I need flood insurance if I’m not in a flood hazard area?

    FEMA says 40% of the flood claims are for homes outside flood hazard areas.

    What’s the risk of not having flood insurance?

    The risk is the possibility a flood will damage your house and contents and you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. One inch of rain in your home can cause about $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance
    doesn’t pay for flood damage.

    Won’t FEMA help me if my home floods and I don’t have insurance?

    If storm damage is declared a disaster by the president, FEMA might offer financial assistance. The average disaster assistance check is about $4,000. The average flood claim is about $115,000. Disaster assistance isn’t meant to completely fix your home.

    How do I get flood insurance?

    Ask your homeowners insurance agent or company. If they don’t sell flood insurance, go to Floodsmart.gov to find a flood insurance agent. You can buy up to $250,000 in flood coverage to repair your home. Renters can also get flood insurance on their personal property.

    You have to wait 30 days after purchase for your flood policy to take
    effect. So don’t wait until a storm is on the way to shop.

    Hurricane season: How to prepare your home and property

    • 14 min
    Tips for filing an insurance claim

    Tips for filing an insurance claim

    Understand the process of filing an auto or home claim to help make the experience less stressful.

    When should I file a home or auto claim? 

    As soon as you can. You’ll want to talk to the company while the accident or incident is fresh in your mind. If you’re not sure you want to file a claim, you can still call your company and discuss your options. Ask how much your deductible is to help you decide if you should file a claim. 

    What is a deductible? 

    A deductible is the money you must pay if you file a claim. You’ll pay for car or home repairs up to your deductible, then the company pays anything over that up to your policy limits. 

    What should I do when I call the insurance company to file a claim? 

    Write down the time you called the company, who you talked to, and your adjuster’s name. Make a list of the documents or information the company asks you to gather. 

    What should I do right after a car accident? 

    Move your car and yourself to a safe location. 

    Take pictures of the accident scene, including your car, the other cars involved, street signs, and anything you hit, like trees or buildings. 

    Take pictures of the other driver’s insurance information, driver’s license, and license plate. 

    Get the name and phone number of any witnesses. 

    What should I do after my house is damaged? 

    Write down the date and time you first saw the damage. Also note what the weather was like at the time. 

    Take pictures of any damage to your house. 

    Protect your house from more damage. For example, cover broken windows or put a tarp on a roof hole. Don’t make permanent repairs until your company says it’s OK. 

    Save your receipts for temporary repairs. Your company might pay you back. 

    When will I get paid for my claim? 

    A company should tell you if it accepted or denied your claim within 15 days of getting all the information it needs. They can take up to 45 days if they need more time; they’ll let you know if they do. 
    After the company accepts your claim, it has five days to pay you. 
    If you have a loan on your house, the company may send the payment to your mortgage company. The mortgage company must contact you within 10 days to release the money for repairs. 

    00:00 How to file an insurance claim
    00:38 When should you file a home or auto claim?
    01:33 What is a deductible?
    02:32 What should you do when I call the insurance company to file a claim?
    03:27 What should you do right after a car accident?
    05:13 What should you do after my house is damaged?
    06:55 How long does the insurance company have to make a decision on a claim?
    07:37 Can you choose your own repair shop or contractor when you file an insurance claim?
    10:01 When will you get paid for a claim?
    11:42 For insurance claim questions call 800-252-3439 or visit https://www.tdi.texas.gov

    • 11 min
    Ways to save on car insurance

    Ways to save on car insurance

    If you need an auto insurance policy, use our tips to shop.

    What are some factors that affect insurance costs?

    Some factors are riskier driving, weather events, and inflation. Inflation causes auto parts and repairs to cost more.

    What should I do if my auto policy price increases?

    First, ask your company if they offer any discounts you’re not getting. They might have discounts if you haven’t filed any claims or if a driver on your policy is a student with good grades.

    Why did my auto premium go up more than my neighbor’s?

    Insurance companies consider multiple factors when they decide your premium. They include the type of car you drive, where you live, how much you drive, and your driving record. If you have a more expensive car or have been in more car accidents, for example, your rate will be higher than your neighbor’s.

    What are some car insurance shopping tips?

    Shop around. Call several companies to ask for prices.
    Consider an independent agent. They can shop for you and give you quotes from several companies.
    Consider raising your deductible to save money on your premium. Just know you might have to pay more up front if you file a claim.
    Look at your coverages. If you have another car in the family to drive in an emergency, you can think about dropping rental car coverage.

    00:00 How to lower your car insurance costs
    00:40 When should you shop for car insurance?
    01:25 What are some factors that affect car insurance costs?
    02:27 What should I do if my car insurance price increases?
    03:29 Why did my auto premium go up more than my neighbor’s?
    04:11 What are some car insurance shopping tips?
    05:02 How does changing your deductible affect your car insurance?
    06:44 For car insurance questions call 800-252-3439 or visit https://www.tdi.texas.gov

    • 6 min
    Smart health insurance tips you need to know

    Smart health insurance tips you need to know

    Finding a new health plan can be challenging. We have tips to make it easier.

    How do I get a health insurance plan?

    Most people get health insurance in one of four ways:

    1.     Ask your employer if they offer a health plan for employees.

    2.     Ask your spouse’s employer if you can join their plan.

    3.     Stay on your parent’s plan until you’re 26.

    4.     Buy a plan through an insurance company, HMO, or on HealthCare.gov.

    How do I choose health insurance?

    Start by looking at the benefits. Those are the health care
    services and treatments the plan covers. If you have medical or mental health
    issues, you want to be sure the plan pays for those.

    Also look at the cost. Ask about the premium, copay, coinsurance,
    and deductible. Those are the costs you’ll pay for your care.

    Finally, make sure the plan lets you see your doctors and
    specialists. Some plans use networks of doctors, so you want to ask if your
    doctors are in the network.

    What other tips do you have to find health

    Shop around. If you went to HealthCare.gov to look for a plan last
    year, look again. New plans join every year, so there might be more plans. And,
    again, check your plans to see if you can see your doctors and if the plan
    covers the prescriptions you take.

    How can I avoid health insurance fraud?

    Watch out for these red flags:

    ·       An agent is pressuring or hurrying you to buy a plan.

    ·       An agent calls you out of the blue without you asking for a call.

    ·      Anyone asks for your personal information, banking information, Social Security number, Medicare number.

    ·      The price of the health plan is very low.

    What deadlines do I need to know about?

    Open enrollment is the time of the year when you can shop for a new
    health plan or change plans. If you want coverage to start January 1, buy a
    plan by December 15. If you want coverage to start February 1, buy a plan by
    January 15.


    00:00 Top tips to choose the right health insurance plan
    0042 Where can you shop for a health insurance plan?
    01:32 How do you choose the right health plan?
    02:45 Can you shop around for a health insurance plan?
    03:33 How can you prevent health insurance scams?
    04:28 What is health insurance open enrollment?
    04:52 What is health insurance special enrollment?
    05:20 Visit TDI's health insurance shopping guide at https://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/health-insurance-shopping-guide.html
    05:49 If you have health insurance questions, call 800-252-3439 or visit https://www.tdi.texas.gov

    Health care coverage guide

    Four ways of getting health care to avoid big billsHow to save money on insurance and health careHealth insurance: 5 things you may not know

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Jennifer Tisdale ,

Always informative!

And I always learn something new.

NicklausLouis ,

So knowledgeable!

So many great tips and insights on this podcast! It has become a must listen. I’ve used things I’ve learned to make sure I have the right coverage on my car and home.

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