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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Texas Financial Responsibility Law: Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Limits have Increased

(October 2010)

Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to be able to pay for the auto accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance.

Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses. It does not pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries.

The minimum coverage amount required by the state’s financial responsibility law is $25,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

The limits will increase on January 1, 2011, to $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Financial Responsibility
Financial responsibility is the ability to pay for any accidents you cause. The state’s Transportation Code lists various ways for drivers to establish financial responsibility. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance.

Violating the Law
There are severe penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility law. A first conviction will result in a fine between $175 and $350. Subsequent convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license, and impoundment of your automobile.

When you obtain an auto insurance policy, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. You will need this card to show proof of insurance when you
are asked for it by a law enforcement officer have an accident register your car or renew its registration obtain or renew your driver’s license get your car inspected.

TexasSure is a vehicle insurance verification system that allows law enforcement, county tax officials, and vehicle inspectors to confirm whether a vehicle in Texas has personal auto liability insurance coverage. This means, for example, that a law enforcement officer can electronically confirm during a traffic stop whether a registered vehicle has insurance in effect.

TexasSure will help reduce the number of uninsured vehicles in Texas. An estimated $4 million vehicles – one in five – on Texas roads are uninsured. The program should also prevent motorists from avoiding the law by using counterfeit proof of insurance cards or canceling cards after they’re used for a registration or inspection.

For more information, visit the TexasSure website

Obtaining Auto Insurance
Contact an insurance company or agent in your area to buy auto insurance. In addition to liability insurance required by law, you can also purchase additional coverages to cover yourself and your property.

Rates vary widely among companies, so it pays to shop around. Make sure you get quotes from several companies and agents before you buy.

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) provides several helpful publications and web resources to help you shop:

Texas has a Consumer Bill of Rights for auto insurance. Your insurance company must send you a copy with your policy. Read it to understand your rights and responsibilities under Texas law.

Having Trouble Finding Insurance
If a company turns you down, keep shopping. Companies have different criteria for accepting drivers for coverage.

If you’ve been rejected by two insurance companies, you might be able to buy basic liability insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). TAIPA doesn’t provide collision or comprehensive coverage or higher liability limits than the law requires. You can add personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

For TAIPA coverage, contact an agent who will submit your application to TAIPA. TAIPA will then assign you a company to collect your premium and pay your claim.

A licensed insurance agent must submit your application to TAIPA. TAIPA will assign you a company that will collect your premium and pay your claims. The company will provide coverage for up to three years. Call TAIPA for more information,

444-4441 in Austin

Help with an Insurance Complaint
If you have an insurance-related complaint, first try to resolve the problem with the company. Complaints often result from misunderstandings and can be worked out by discussing your issues with the company. Most companies in Texas have toll-free numbers for customer assistance. Read your policy to find out how to contact the company.

Texas has a Consumer Bill of Rights for auto insurance. Your insurance company must send you a copy with your policy. Read it to understand your rights under Texas law.

If you're unable to resolve your issue by talking with the company, file a complaint with TDI.

Read about TDI’s consumer complaints process in the Helping You With Your Insurance Complaint publication. You may also e-mail, mail, or fax your complaint along with copies of your supporting documents to

Texas Department of Insurance
Consumer Protection Program (MC 111-1A)
P.O. Box 149091
Austin, TX 78714-9091
Fax: 512-475-1771

For More Information or Assistance
For answers to general insurance questions or for information on filing an insurance-related complaint, call the Consumer Help Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central time, Monday-Friday, or visit our website

463-6515 in Austin

For printed copies of consumer publications, call the 24-hour Publications Order Line

1-800-599-SHOP (7467)
305-7211 in Austin

Help us prevent insurance fraud. To report suspected fraud, call our toll-free Fraud Hot Line


To report suspected arson or suspicious activity involving fires, call the State Fire Marshal’s 24-hour Arson Hot Line

1-877-4FIRE45 (434-7345)

The information in this publication is current as of the revision date. Changes in laws and agency administrative rules made after the revision date may affect the content. View current information on our website. TDI distributes this publication for educational purposes only. This publication is not an endorsement by TDI of any service, product, or company.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oak Forest Elementary School Fall Festival

Farmers Agent, David Lorms, and Customer Service Representatives Rebeccas Molnar and Weldon Anderson participated at the Oak Forest Elementary School Fall Festival on November 13th. Information on Home, Driving and Bicycle safety was distributed as well as Child Identification Kits.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Durnham Elementary School Fall Festival 2010

On Saturday October 30, 2010, Farmers Agent David Lorms participated at the Durnham Elementary School Fall Festival, handing out driving, bicycle and home safey information, along with fire and educational coloring books. In addition, Child Protection Kits were distributed to help parents keep vital information on their children in one place should the child go missing. Local police were on hand to make fingerprints in the kits as well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Renters Insurance Coverage

Standard Coverage Optional Coverages
At Farmers we realize that your belongings are just as important as a homeowner's belongings. Our renters policy provides coverage for your household contents and personal belongings.

Furthermore, in the event someone is injured at your place, you could be held legally liable for the injury. Our renters policy provides personal liability coverage should this ever occur.

As a Farmers customer you have access to HelpPoint, a unique claims service that has been recognized by JD Power three years in a row for providing an "outstanding customer service experience." You can call HelpPoint® for immediate assistance, 24/7, free of charge.

Best of all, you get a Farmers agent who can answer your questions about the policy and its coverages, discounts you may qualify for and deductibles you may choose. Most importantly, your Farmers agent can help you choose the coverage you want with flexible payment terms you can live with.

Standard Coverage:
Your Possessions
You choose the amount of coverage based on the property you own.
Personal property is covered anywhere in the world.
Coverage is on a named-peril basis, which means that only losses resulting from causes listed in the policy are covered (subject to exclusions).

Pays when you're legally liable for someone else's bodily injury or property damage resulting from an accident, negligent acts by you or qualified household members (on or off premises) and the acts of your pets.
Includes costs to resolve claims or defend lawsuits brought against you.

Medical Payments
Pays medical costs for people injured at your residence (other than residents of your household), regardless of liability.

Additional Living Expenses
Covers additional living expenses if a covered loss makes your living quarters uninhabitable. Coverage is based on a percentage of the amount of insurance you choose for your personal property.

Optional Coverage:
Scheduled and unscheduled coverage of important valuables is available.

Replacement CostContents replacement cost is available to pay for the cost of repairing or replacing lost or damaged items without deducting for their depreciation.

Identity ShieldSMState-of-the-art assistance in the resolution of identity theft events, advocacy services relating to the prevention of identity theft and replacement of certain important documents.