• 1930 E Rosemeade Pkwy Ste 215 Carrollton, TX 75007
  • 972-394-2000
Searching for a cheaper rate on your car and house insurance?
Here are some options to consider on house and auto insurance:

Insurers take a dim view of drivers operating their vehicles without insurance especially since in most states there are financial responsibility laws.  Even just a week or two of lapse in coverage could have an enormous effect on your premium.

The underwriting criteria will differ from company to company so it is an advantage for the independent agent to have as many companies from which to choose when there is a lapse discrepancy.  Some companies will make exceptions for the consumer that is innocent with no prior coverage, such as the person that has commuted for years on the bus line and not owned a vehicle.  Be prepared to pay 50% higher premiums if you have been without coverage for 30 days.

The following is a list of other items that some insurance companies consider when calculating the final insurance rate:

  • College Degree
  • Prior insurance company higher limits on Bodily Injury
  • Length of time with prior insurance company
  • Length of time at your current address
  • Homeownership
  • Companion policy discount
Insurance Information

Tickets

Your most recent 3 to 5 year driving record should be relatively clean of moving violations.  You need to think twice about pleading guilty and paying that fine for your next minor citation.  Most insurance companies will surcharge your car insurance policy for that violation for at least 3 years and some even 5 years.  Place a call to the local traffic court in the city where you received your ticket.

Ask how much it would cost to plead no contest and ask for deferred adjudication.  Generally the fine will be about 25% more than the guilty plea.  The benefit is that the ticket will not be charged to your driving history for the next six months and furthermore if you don’t receive another ticket during that six month period the ticket gets expunged as if it was never received.  On the other hand, if you receive another ticket in that six month period both tickets get charged to your record.

Another option that you have is a state approved defensive driver’s course.  Generally you attend an eight hour safety instruction course and upon completion you will be given a certificate that can be presented to the court for the waiver of the ticket.  You should always check with the court registrar for guidelines and time restraints.

Accidents

Insurance companies report all claims against your policy to CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) therefore think before you call your agent and ask him/her to file a claim on your policy.  It could be that your damage may just barely exceed the deductible.

If you are involved in a minor parking lot incident before you instruct the other person to call your company ask them to get an estimate to consider paying it yourself.  The surcharge on your policy for a minor incident is generally the same as for a major accident.  Most insurance companies surcharge your policy for 5 years; therefore it could cost you more than $1000 over a 5 year period of time.

Credits

Many people ask me “what does credit have to do with the rate that I am charged for my car or house insurance”?  All states except California have accepted data provided by insurance company research that validate that individual credit scoring has proven to be a strong indicator for future losses.

Whether or not you agree, your credit is a large percentage of your final rate.  The independent agent has a significant advantage over the captive agent that only can write insurance in one company.  Each insurance company has a different matrix when measuring an applicant for a final rate.  You have heard the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, one of our companies may be more forgiving of a part of your credit that other companies may regard as critical.

Sometimes a spouse may have better credit than the other so it is always to the applicant’s advantage to have an agent that is willing to go the extra mile and explore all of the avenues in the rating process.  The Mike Leonard agency will always treat your personal information with the greatest degree of privacy.

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