Guide to Filing a Home Insurance Claim

There are few insurance policies more important than your homeowner’s insurance policy because it protects what is likely your most expensive asset in property damage, theft, or other covered perils. If your home is damaged, you’ll want to first browse through the specifics of your policy to verify that the damage is going to be covered by the insurance company. This will also give you an opportunity to verify your deductible – what you’ll have to pay before the insurance company chips in – and how your payout is calculated. Once you have confirmed that the incident is covered, file a claim as soon as possible with your home insurance company. 

When you contact your home insurance company after filing a claim, you’ll speak with a claim professional that can verify your loss is covered by the policy and a ballpark estimate for the loss amount, along with answering your questions on how long the process will take and whether an estimate to repair the damage will be required. You’ll also be asked to fill out claim documents such as a proof-of-loss form that outlines what occurred, what you are claiming a loss on, and the estimated cost. When it comes to filing a claim, a few things are more important than documentation, so be sure that you take lots of photos, save any receipts, and do everything possible to preserve all proof of the loss you are claiming. Depending on the severity of the claim, an insurance adjuster may visit your home to assess the damage and confirm key details before reimbursement occurs. Once your claim is approved, the adjuster will send you an insurance payout that can be used for repairs or replacement. 

At Heydari Financial Group in Houston, TX, we are happy to support our customers through the claims process. Give us a call today to learn more. 

 

Common Auto Insurance Exclusions

Your auto insurance covers you when involved in accidents or when any risk listed in your policy comes knocking on your doors. Unfortunately, just like other insurance policies, your car insurance doesn’t cover all risks — it has exclusions and limitations that you need to know for two reasons. Firstly, knowing what your insurance doesn’t cover smoothens the claim process. Secondly, understanding your policy exclusions helps you know what "riders" or "endorsements" to purchase.

Need to learn more about your auto insurance exclusions? Keep scrolling as Heydari Financial Group of Houston, TX highlights common risks not covered by car insurance.

  • Excluded driver: If you have a high-risk driver in your household that hasn’t been included in your car insurance, your claim may not be honored if such drivers crash your vehicle.
  • Intentional acts: If you intentionally harm someone else or your car, any damage or medical claims arising from this act will likely be turned down by your insurer.
  • Medical benefits exclusions: MedPay pays for the medical expenses for you and your passengers when injured in an accident. However, this coverage won’t come into play when you suffer auto injuries during racing events, illegal activities, or using your car for commercial purposes.
  • Mechanical failure: When your engine or transmission starts acting up, your insurer won’t come to your rescue even if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Similarly, typical car insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear since it’s assumed you should take utmost care of your vehicle.
  • Unapproved modifications: If the modifications affect the stability and integrity of your car, any accidents resulting after such customizations will be voided by your insurer.

Need to learn more about auto insurance? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Heydari Financial Group for more information. You can also pop in our Houston, TX offices to speak to one of our sales agents.

Flood Insurance Myths to Be Aware Of

When it comes to insurance coverage, flood insurance is by far one of the most underrated and misunderstood. People tend to be confused as to how these types of insurance policies work and who actually needs them. Because of this confusion, it leaves many Houston, TX property owners inadequately protected. Heydari Financial Group wants to separate fact from fiction, so here are a few myths surrounding flood insurance coverage.

Flood Insurance Is Only Needed If You Live in Designated Flood Zones

Flood insurance is most certainly required if you live in a designated flood zone, but even when you don’t, flood insurance can prove to be beneficial. There is always some level of risk and liability related to flooding, regardless of where you live in the country. To some capacity, each of the 50 U.S. states are prone to flooding.

Home Insurance Protects You Against Flood Damage

Many people believe that their home insurance will protect them against flood damage, and because of this, these people have paid a substantial amount of money. A typical homeowners insurance policy excludes flood-related damage unless it is a result of a storm. Therefore, separate coverage for flood damage is necessary to ensure you are properly protected in the event of a flood.

Flood Insurance Covers All Associated Damage

While a lot of property and personal effects damage is covered with a flood insurance policy, there are certain restrictions. For instance, as a general rule, preventable damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold is not covered. Most of these policies also exclude damage that occurs to a vehicle or objects that are not within the insured structure. This can include decks, patios, fences, septic systems, and swimming pools.

If you need help in determining your individual flood risk in Houston, TX, contact our insurance team at Heydari Financial Group.

Texas Auto Insurance – Is Texas A No-Fault Auto Insurance State?

Driving in Texas?  There are things to be aware of when operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas that you may not encounter in other states.  Texas is known for its heavy thunderstorms and torrential rains, so flash floods are a distinct possibility in certain parts of Texas during a summer storm.  Those are just some of the situations to look out for, there are others such as who’s at fault during an accident?  You can purchase auto insurance at Heydari Financial Group in Houston, TX.

No-Fault Auto Insurance

There are 18 States which require PIP – No-Fault Auto Insurance coverage:  Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington State, and Texas.  PIP is known as Personal Injury Protection and is another name for No-Fault Insurance.

What’s So Special About These States?

No-Fault Auto Insurance States operate under the rules that there is no fault given in automobile accidents between two or more drivers.  In the case of an accident between two drivers, each insurance company would pay for the damages and liability to the other driver.  This way, both ends of coverage are covered in the case of an accident.  

Uninsured Drivers?

You can purchase uninsured drivers coverage to cover yourself in case you get into an accident with another driver and that other driver does not have auto insurance.  This scenario happens a lot more than you may think, so it’s always a good idea to protect yourself from any possible scenario that you may find yourself in.  

More Information

You can find more information about No-Fault Auto Insurance by contacting Heydari Financial Group in Houston, TX today!

Why flood insurance is so important

If you are a local resident, you may be familiar with flood insurance and how it works to protect you and your family. At Heydari Financial Group, we strive to inform all of our clients about the importance of this type of insurance. The greater Houston, TX area is no stranger to hurricanes and floods and the damage that they can cause. It’s important to be protected. 

The importance of flood insurance

Water damage is often treated differently by insurance companies due to the cause of the damage. For instance, a water main break on your street will likely fall under a different category than the damage caused by a flood or other severe weather. Because of this, many homeowners’ policies do not cover all types of water damage. 

Flood insurance can protect you from damage that would otherwise not be covered by your primary policy. This is information that not everyone understands, and it is an important topic to discuss with your local insurance agent. In fact, in some low-lying areas, flood insurance is required as part of your overall insurance put in place by your mortgage lender. Water damage can be very disruptive, but when you have the right coverage in place, you can reduce your stress level and get back to normal a lot sooner than if you didn’t have it!

Rely on Heydari Financial Group for all of your insurance needs

Houston, TX area residents can turn to us for all insurance needs, including flood insurance. Our agents are here to help! Call to make an appointment, or stop by our office today to learn more. 

Should You Rely on Life Insurance Provided by Work?

Many people think that the life insurance policies provided by work are enough to cover all their expenses, but this may not always be the case. In many cases, the life insurance offered by work is not the best plan.

Heydari Financial Group, which serves Houston, TX, understands that you want the best for your family. This means you want to find the best insurance for your family. These are some of the times when life insurance provided by work may not be enough.

Term Life Insurance May Not Be For You

In some cases, employers do not offer the kind of life insurance you want. They may instead offer term life insurance for a short period of time when you would rather have a whole life policy.

Life Insurance Value May Not Be Right

You may also find that the value of the life insurance policy is not appropriate for your family. It could be too low or too high based on your family’s needs, so you might pursue a different option.

You Want a Policy With Your Spouse

If you want to share a life insurance policy with your spouse, you may not be able to find the right policy through work. You may need to get a policy on your own so that you get the coverage your family would benefit from most.

Private Life Insurance Policies Could Be the Better Option

If you are interested in learning more about other insurance policies, now is a great time to learn more. Heydari Financial Group, which serves many people in Houston, TX, can help you understand which policy is right for you.

How commercial insurance can save a small business

The backbone of the American economy is small businesses. 99% of businesses are what is classified as small businesses, meaning less than 500 employees. Many small businesses are much smaller than that, with the average having 10 employees. The risks they face can cause them to go out of business if they don’t have a way to mitigate the dangers. Heydari Financial Group in Houston, TX offers businesses commercial insurance that helps them survive a variety of hazards. 

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property is the business version of home insurance. It protects your building if you own it, but if you are a renter, the protection it offers is still of great value. It covers your business equipment, the things you need to do business. Your machinery, office equipment, inventory, raw materials, and more. 

Commercial auto insurance

If your business owns a vehicle, it must be covered by commercial auto insurance. It is the law in Texas. If that vehicle is in an accident, it must be covered to protect others from a business-caused accident. Keeping your personal finances separate from your personal finances is always the best idea. 

Commercial liability insurance

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to being sued. If a customer is injured when visiting your business or by a product that you produce, you could find yourself involved in legal action. If you lose the legal action, you could have to pay a large settlement and have legal expenses. With commercial liability insurance, you will be covered for both the settlement and the legal fees up to the limit of your policy. It can save your business from having to close its doors. 

When you want to discuss commercial insurance, turn to Heydari Financial Group in Houston, TX for a good selection of carriers and the information you need to choose the right coverage. 

Do I Need Homeowners Insurance If I Rent Out My Home?

As a homeowner, you probably already have a homeowners insurance policy to protect your investment. However, basic homeowners policies do not cover all damages, especially those incurred while the home was rented out to someone else. Depending on how long the Houston, TX home is rented for and the situation, there may be some exceptions. Our experienced agents at Heydari Financial Group can advise you on what insurance you need while renting your home. 

Short-Term Rentals

If renting out your home is only short-term, such as a week or for a few weekends, your homeowners insurance needs may vary. The insurance company takes into consideration the length of time and specific circumstances the home is rented. Some insurance companies allow short-term rental and provide coverage if they have been notified in advance and the same tenant is renting the house. Other companies require short-term tenants to be added as a rider to your existing homeowners policy.

If you plan to have multiple tenants rent your home for short periods, the insurance company considers this a business and will not cover your property. For these home rentals, you need a business insurance policy, such as a hotel or bed and breakfast policy. 

Long-Term Rentals

A second home is a popular investment strategy, and many rent out their second homes. Renting out a second home as a source of income requires you to carry business insurance, such as landlord or rental dwelling policies. Your insurance agent will discuss risks with you and how long the home will be rented. This information helps determine what types of insurance policies are needed and how much coverage is required. 

Rental Insurance

Your business insurance policy covers the house’s structure and not your tenant’s belongings when renting out your home. However, some landlords require tenants to carry renters insurance to cover their possessions and any damage they may incur on your property. 

When renting out your Houston, TX home, call the experts at Heydari Financial Group for help purchasing the best insurance available for your needs. 

How to Avoid Car Insurance Lapse

As money gets tight, everyone starts looking for ways to cut back and save a little money. One option many consider is letting their car insurance in Houston, TX expire for just a short period. However, allowing car insurance to lapse is not the best idea because many other unexpected problems can occur when car insurance lapses. Call the experts at Heydari Financial Group to discuss the dangers of letting a car insurance lapse. 

Is Car Insurance Required in Texas? 

All car owners with a registered vehicle in Texas must satisfy the Texas Financial Responsibility Law and maintain proper car insurance. When pulled over, drivers must show proof of insurance and have their insurance card on them at all times. If stopped without insurance, drivers face a fine of up to $350 for the first time pulled over. In addition to penalties, repeat offenders not having proper insurance could face having their license revoked. 

How Do I Avoid a Lapse in Coverage? 

There are two main reasons car insurance gets canceled — multiple driving offenses and not paying the premiums. The best way to avoid a lapse in auto insurance coverage is to make the payments on time and maintain a clean driving record. If money is an issue, speak with an insurance provider to discuss discounts to help make premiums more affordable or shop around with other insurance companies for a cheaper rate. 

What Happens if My Car Insurance Lapses? 

Should an insurance policy lapse, call the insurance agent immediately to discuss options to get it reinstated. When a lapse in insurance happens, drivers face financial consequences, such as fees and penalties, and risk losing their license. Additionally, when an insurance policy lapses, there is a risk of paying higher premiums in the future.  

When owning a car in Houston, TX, it is imperative to do everything possible to maintain the required car insurance. For additional information or help with a lapse in your insurance, call our experts today at Heydari Financial Group. 

Do I Need Flood Insurance in Houston, TX

Before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, TX on August 25, 2017, no hurricane had damaged the city since 1961. Although conventional wisdom attributes hurricane damage to the high, sustained winds, flooding often causes longer-lasting, costlier damage due to the length of time required for the waters to recede so that debris cleanup and mold mitigation may begin. Nevertheless, home and business owners roll the dice without flood insurance, mistakenly thinking that their homeowner’s, renters’, or commercial insurance policies cover those contingencies.

Your Policy Coverage and Flood Damage

Homeowners’, renters’, and commercial insurance policies typically exclude flood damage, including losses from home business disruptions, mold formation, other issues. A single inch of floodwater could cost $25,000 in damages. Therefore, while saving a few dollars a month by not carrying flood insurance might seem tempting, the financial bite from a single heavy rain could haunt you later. A wiser decision? Speak with an agent at Heydari Financial Group to determine the correct coverage for your home, auto, and business.

The National Flood Insurance Program

Created after the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, the National Flood Insurance Program protects property owners — including business owners, homeowners, and renters — from flood damages. The program defines a flood as an area partially or completely underwater that normally remains dry, or two or more properties affected by mudflow, shoreline erosion, or an unusual amount of surface water runoff.

I Live Outside the Flood Zones

Floods happen everywhere. Additionally, flooding affects homes and businesses outside declared disaster areas. NFIP policies pay damages with or without a federal disaster declaration. Better yet, the NFIP provides $5000 advance payments before the insurance adjuster examines your property.

At Heydari Financial Group, we will happily assist you with determining the coverage needed for your peace of mind.