Insurance Pro-tip

Moving to Texas: Car Edition

Howdy y’all – Bienvenidos a Texas!

Since you’re moving to Texas and new here, we thought we would offer some help in getting you set up to drive around in that vehicle you brought with you.

First things, first: you need a new auto insurance policy.  That’s right, you’ll need to replace the policy you had prior to moving to Texas with one that meets Texas’ minimum limits of liability.  Contact a local independent insurance agent to review your options and advice on how to get properly protected.

Tips on searching for a insurance agent:

    • Google: “independent auto insurance agent near me”
    • Skip all the google paid ads at the top of the page
    • Look for a, local, highly-rated insurance agent that specializes in auto and home insurance who represents top-rated carriers
    • Read the agency’s reviews and responses from the agency
    • Poke around their website, call and ask questions to make sure they fit what you’re looking for in trusted advisor
    • When you’re comfortable, request a quote.

Next, you need to have your out-of-state vehicle inspected to make sure it’s safe to drive.  You can visit any Official Inspection Station to get your vehicle inspected. Here’s where to find them.

Bring proof of your new Texas insurance policy and $7 to pay the annual inspection fee.  Pass or fail, you’ll need to pay the fee.  You can review the inspection criteria here.

Last, you’ll need to mosey on down to your local County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office with a copy of your insurance ID card, your PASSED Vehicle Inspection Report and proof of vehicle ownership (previous state’s inspection or title) and your state-issued ID and registration fee (varies).  You can locate your nearest tax assessor’s office here

You have to fill out the Application for Texas Title/Registration even if you’re keeping your previous state’s title.  Here’s the link to the form, for your convenience.

You should complete these next steps within 30 days of making Texas your new home

Hope this makes the process just a little easier for you.

We’re happy to have you!  Thanks for helping to make Texas roads safe.

Many of our insurance partners are offering customers premium refunds or policy credits in light of the “shelter-in-place” orders in Texas.  Because our Core Values include: Advocacy, we wanted to provide a breakdown of how each carrier is applying the credit/refund you will receive.

In the table below, you’ll find a list of carriers and how they will handle relief.

Carrier

Relief

Safeco

Amount: 15% refund of April and May’s premium payment. 

 

How: Refunds will be automatically returned to insured’s most recent method of payment.  Example: If paid-in-full, Safeco will mail out refund check. If you paid $150 each month for a total of $300 x 15% = $45 refund

When: Once Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), refunds will be sent.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the refund.  See company press release here.


Progressive  

Amount: 20% premium credit for April and May’s premium payment.

 

How: Personal auto customers with an active policy on 4/30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May.  Customers with an active policy on 5/31, will be credited 20% of their May’s premium in June.

 

When: As noted above, pending TDI approval.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the premium credit.  See company press release here.


Nationwide  

Amount: A one-time premium refund of $50 per personal auto policies active as of 3/31.

 

How: Refunds will be automatically returned to insured’s most recent method of payment.  If paid-in-full, Nationwide will mail out refund check.

 

When: Pending TDI approval.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the refund.  See company press release here.


Kemper Personal Insurance  

Amount: 15% premium credit for April and May’s premium payment.

 

How: Personal auto customers with an active policy on 4/30 will be credited 15% of their April premiums in May.  Customers with an active policy on 5/31, will be credited 15% of their May’s premium in June.

 

When: As noted above, pending TDI approval.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the premium credit.  See company press release here.


MetLife  

Amount: 20% premium credit for April and May’s premium payment.

 

How: Personal auto customers with an active policy on 4/30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May.  Customers with an active policy on 5/31, will be credited 20% of their May’s premium in June.

 

When: As noted above, pending TDI approval.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the premium credit.  See company press release here.


Travelers  

Amount: 15% refund of April and May’s premium payment. 

 

How: Refunds will be automatically returned to insured’s most recent method of payment.  If paid-in-full, Travelers will mail out refund check. Example: If you paid $150 each month for a total of $300 x 15% = $45 refund

When: Once Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), refunds will be sent.

More info: Customer’s don’t need to do anything to receive the refund.  See company press release here.

 

If you don’t see your insurance provider listed above, reach out to us and we can help find you the information.

Most carriers are going to see a highly profitable year.  Some will keep that all to themselves and others will become very aggressive in their rates.

If you don’t already have a strong relationship with your insurance agent, give us a call, shoot us a text or DM on the socials.  Now is a great time to review your current auto coverage and pricing.

If you love your current agent, give them a call to discuss opportunities to improve your current situation.

There is some good news today for small business owners.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by the house and signed into law by the President.  In it, small business who are negatively impacted by the current state of affairs, can find some relief.

Here’s is a breakdown of how it can help you as a small business, get back to work, pay the bills, keep your team employed and curve some of the effects to your bottom line.

How it works:

  • First, you should know that some or all of the loan is forgivable if certain criteria are met.
  • No personal guarantee or collateral will be required.
  • You’ll be asked for a good faith certification that states the loan is necessary to support continuing your business operations.
  • You are going to use the money to pay rent/mortgage, utility bills, retain workers and maintain payroll.

Eligibility:

  • Small business with less than 500 employees or otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
  • 501(c)3 with less than 500 employees
  • 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard
  • Sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, contractors, are eligible for the loan if you meet certain criteria.

You can borrow:

  • up to 2.5x your average monthly payroll cost, not to exceed $10 million
  • The payroll cost (for 1099 AND W2 employees) is considered to be: salary, wage, commission, cash tips, vacation leave, FMLA, sick leave, group health benefits, including insurance premiums, retirement benefit and local/state unemployment tax
  • What is EXCLUDED from payroll cost: Any employees salary over $100K/year pro-rated for the period 2/15 through 6/30, payroll taxes, income tax, any compensation for an employee whose principal residence is out the US

Requirements for Loan Forgiveness:

  • The amount eligible to be forgiven can be equal to the amount you spend in an 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan for the following:
    • payroll costs (as described above)
    • Interest on a Mortgage loan incurred ordinary to the business
    • Rent for business
    • Utilities (electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone or internet)
    • Tipped wages which includes additional wages paid to the employee
  • Your loan forgiveness can be reduced if you reduce the number of employees or reduce you payroll cost greater than 25%
  • If you’ve already laid off employees or furloughed employees, you can bring them back by 6/30 to avoid a reduction in loan forgiveness.

Get back to work:

  • Bring your employees back and let them help make your business better! This is a perfect opportunity to help to your team members shine!  There is obviously going to be more downtime than you’re used to seeing, so invest in your team and bring out their abilities to benefit the business as a whole.
    • Allow them the creative leeway to help advertise your business. You know that kid on your team who is or has the potential to be a social media influencer?  Get them to build a campaign for your business on social media, NOW.  So, when things return to normal, you can implement the plan.
    • Have a server who is tech savvy? Allow them to look at ways to improve your technology. Investigate new or innovative ways that allow you and your business to function better and become efficient.  Bring on new software that might improve your business long-term.
    • Have someone on your team who wants the chance to make in management? Start training them now.  Let them shadow you to learn what you do.  Give them something to be in charge of and send them off.
    • You never know where you’ll find your rising star. That kid that you invest in today, won’t forget what you did for them tomorrow.  You won’t regret it.

We hope this has been helpful for you and that it gives you just a little bit of hope for surviving this tough season.  We’re here with you and in it till then end.  Please share this info with anyone you might know who could benefit for it.

 

You can apply for the COVID-19 Relief Loan Program through LiftFund by clicking the link here.

Leal Insurance Services, LLC is a full-service, independent insurance agency offering: auto, home and business insurance.  We’re located in San Antonio, Texas serving all of Texas.  Our mission is to enhance the insurance experience for our clients through Listening, Education and Advocacy of Local community.  Request a quote here.

Please talk with your CPA or tax professional for tax implications.  This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to imply or express insurance coverage of any kind.

Source: https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/federal-small-business-stimulus-aid-programs-guide