James Zander & Associates
For All Your Insurance Needs since 1983
 
Group & Individual Health, Commercial & Personal Insurance, Bonds
 
Issue 21                                                                               June 2012
   
Featured Article: 
 
O.P.I.C.
 The Office of Public Insurance Counsel

for the State of TX

In This Issue
Featured Article
Insurance Company Updates
Angie's List
Final Word
TX Office of Public Insurance Counsel
The Many types of home security available
Top Safe Cars for 2011-12
Claim Phone Numbers
 
Michael 52KB
Michael P Herzog
Director of Personal
Insurance Lines   

P  - 214.269.3033
Fax 214.269.3043

 

Our Personal Lines Insurance Carriers:

 

Alfa - Auto

American Risk - Home & Landlord

CHUBB - Auto & High Value Home, Yachts

Firemans Fund -Auto & High Value Home, Yachts

Frontier - Home & Landlord

Infinity - Auto

Kemper - Auto & Home

Progressive - Auto, Motorcycle, Boat 

Safeco - Auto, Home, Landlord, Motorcyle, Boat

The Hartford - Auto & Home 

Travelers - Auto & Home, renters, condo, boat

Insurance Company Updates:
 
 Safeco News
 - Mobile devices app.
- 1 year auto policy in addition to the 6 month auto policy - paperless billing and SAVE A TREE
- Condo and renters policies in June 2010
-New iPhone app now available
 
 Travelers News
 - Has free auto accident application for i-Phone that anyone can use.
New: 1 year auto policy in addition to the standard 6 month policy.
- New: Has a "Green Home" rebuild upgrade with 5% discount if you currently have a "Green" home.
- Now allows "Defensive Driving" Credit when info is put in the system.
- New: Customer access to bills at My Travelers 

The Hartford News
- Celebrates 200 years in business !!!
- New Mobile phone app: Click
- New reconstruction cost calculator for home policies

Progressive
News
-New -Education Rating
-New -Good Student discount
-New -Minor child discount
-New - Options for coverage
-New -Violation leniency for preferred clients
-New Boat Limits up to 350K for boats < 10 years old
-New motorcycle discount for active members of the Harly Owners Group (HOG)
-New Anti-Lock Brake Discount for qualifying motorcycles
-New RV customers can now get a Homeowners discount.
-New RV customers can now choose up to a $5K deductible for comp/collsion
 
 
Haggerty News
- Now allows for "Guarenteed Value"
Angie's List

 

If you would like to post a review of the insurance products and services at James Zander & Associates, please go to the following link, register for Angie's List (membership is NOT required) and then search for our company name to post a review. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to post your thoughts

 

I hope you enjoyed this  newsletter.  Please remember to email any insurance questions you have and I will put the questions and answers in future issues. 
P - 214.269.3033     Fax - 214.269.3043
Greetings!       
 
I hope you enjoy this new addition at James Zander & Associates and that you receive some valuable information regarding insurance. I know insurance is usually a very boring subject, so I will keep general articles and news of our insurance carriers short and sweet. 
 
If you have any questions regarding personal insurance (home,auto, umbrella, motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, etc) please send me an email with it.  I will put the question and answer in next month's newsletter. MPH

 

TX Office of Public Insurance Counsel  

(OPIC)

By Michael Herzog, Licensed Agent,

James Zander & Associates Insurance

 

The main focus of this article is to help you to navigate through the OPIC website so that you, as a consumer of home and auto insurance products, can gain a better understanding of your home and auto insurance policies and also to compare them to any quotes you are receiving when shopping your insurance.

 

The best way to start is to take out your declaration pages for your home/auto/condo/renters policy that you want to review, then click on the link below to OPIC. You will need to have your declaration pages with you so that you can ensure that you are looking up the right insurance carrier so that you can compare coverage on your policies with coverage that is available.

 

click here > O P I C   You should now be at the OPIC website for the State of Texas.

 

This website is very EASY to use as it is straightforward and intuitive to navigate, which makes it very consumer friendly. However, please understand that because we are dealing with insurance policies (forms) that are being marketed by the name brands (Travelers, Hartford, Safeco, Kemper, CHUBB, etc...) but are actually sometimes written on paper by other companies, it is not always easy to figure out which company is actually "writing" your policy, nor what policy you actually have.

 

And sometimes, If you have a policy that you took out many years ago, it is also possible that the policy you are covered under is no longer being sold/marketed and might no longer be on the auto or home list on the OPIC website. So, there might be challenges to finding which policy you have on the website, but hopefully you will find it and then see all the information which will help you in the end.

 

Once you enter the OPIC website, there are 8 tabs that you will be able to click on which will bring you to different areas of the website to use. Please be sure you click on the "HOME" to start off. Whichever tab you are in should highlight in "BLUE". Once you click on the "HOME" tab, there will be a dropdown with 5 headings: "Agency Information", "The Public Counsel", "Compact with Texans", "Agency Reports", and "Employment Opportunities". Please click on and review each one as you like. The "HOME" tab discusses the all around functioning of the OPIC, what It's mission is, who runs it, etc...

 

The next tab, "COMPARE POLICIES" is really where the meat is for our purposes. There are 5 sections to go to under this tab: "Comparing Insurance Coverage", "Automobile", "Homeowners", "Condominium" and "Renters/Tenants". This is where you get to learn more about your home or auto policy and as it relates to perhaps another policy you are considering switching to. Read about Comparing Insurance Coverage and then continue down and choose the coverage you want review first.

 

Let's start off by comparing a homeowner policy, because this is the best use of this website. In order for you to review your current homeowner policy, you will need to get it out and find where it tells you the insuring company for your policy.

 

So, click on "Compare Homeowners Policies" and then read the four points on using this comparison tool and continue to the first dropdown to choose the insurance "Company" you are with. Refer to your homeowner's policy declaration pages and find where it states the name of your insuring company. Safeco would be Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana. Travelers would be Travelers Home and Marine Insuracne Company, Hartford would be Sentinel Insurance Co and Kemper would be Unitrin Safeguard Insurance Company.   Then, once you choose the company that is insuring you, another dropdown box will appear with the policy options for you to choose from. If there are multiple policy options and you cannot figure out which policy you have, you should call your agent or company up to assist you.

  

Once you choose the companies you want to compare (you can choose up to four companies and/or policies), hit the button that is titled "Select Coverages". The next page already has all the "Coverages" selected. My suggestion is to leave all the "Coverage" boxes marked, but if you don't want to see the comparison of some but not all Coverage, click on the downward arrow at the Category level and then all of those checked under that category will uncheck. Then once you decide on the "Coverages", go the top or bottom and click on "SHOW COMPARISON".

 

 

You will be able to print off the resulting comparison which you can then use to compare your policy with the coverage that OPIC says your policy offers or to shop your policies with other quotes.

 

Please do the same comparison for auto, condo and renters/tenants to be sure you are getting the best policy you can with the necessary endorsements.

 

Handy Links for Homeowners 

  

www.howstuffworks.com - This link will help you find answers to almost anything, including home repair.  Click on it and put in a question on home plumbing and see what pops up.

 

www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pyfff/smkalarm.html - This link will take you to a fairly child-like looking webpage put out by the U.S. Fire Administraion which is under the umbrella of F.E.M.A.  It discusses Fire Alarms from simple smoke detectors to Fire Alarm Systems and how important they are. 

  

www.alarm.org - This link will bring you to a website for the Electronic Security Association (ESA - started in 1948) and has facts about how to best protect your home from burglary and also lists devices that you can look at to gain information on those devices.

 

www.nfpa.org - This link will take you to the National Fire Protection Association where there is a multitude of information to help homeowners from Codes and Standards to Safety Information to Training and many other catagories.

 

Top Safe Cars for 2011 - 2012
 
If you are contemplating buying a new car this year, or have an interest to see how your car rates for Crash-Worthiness, please click on the link and you can check on the ratings for all the cars that the IIHS has tested this past year:      Crash Worthiness
 
This website also has info on Booster Seat ratings for children and how best to keep your kids safe in a car crashes.
Personal Lines Claim Phone Numbers

 

 Below are claim phone numbers for our Personal Lines Carriers and the links will talk you right to the carriers claim area on their website.

 

 If  you are sure the claim should be reported, then please call the claim number directly so that the insurance company can ask all the relevant questions they have.  You should have your policy number handy if possible, when calling.

 

If you are unsure if you should file a claim please call me to discuss.

 
Alfa Insurance Claim: 877.384.7466
American Risk Claim:   866.711.1979
CHUBB Claim:  800.252.4670

Fireman's Fund Claim:  888.347.3428

Frontier/Wellington Claim: 800.447.6465

Infinity Claim:  800.334.1661

Kemper Claim: 888.252.2799

Progressive Claim:  877.776.2436

Safeco Claim:  800.332.3226

The Hartford Claim: 800.236.0398

Travelers Claim:  800.238.6208

 

 

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