News

Preventing Damage from Water Heaters

Preventing Damage from Water Heaters

Water damage from a broken or leaky water heater can be expensive and may not be covered by your insurance. Regular maintenance may help prevent a broken or leaky water heater. You may be able to do it yourself, or you can hire a plumber. For info on hiring a plumber,...

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Know Your Coverage: EHBs and Mandated Health Benefits

Know Your Coverage: EHBs and Mandated Health Benefits

Health benefits are regulated by both the federal government and individual state governments. The federal government requires that individual and small group plans cover certain Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). Federal Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) EHBs are...

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Decoding Residential Property Deductibles

Decoding Residential Property Deductibles

What is a deductible? A deductible is an amount the insurance company subtracts from your payment for damages caused by a covered loss. It is the amount you will be expected to pay if you repair or replace damaged property. You can find your deductible amounts on your...

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5 Things To Do Before Buying a Used Car

5 Things To Do Before Buying a Used Car

The National Crime Insurance Bureau (NICB) offers VINCheck, a “free lookup service to the public to assist in determining if a car has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by participating NICB member insurance...

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Cheap Ways to Save Big on Claims

Cheap Ways to Save Big on Claims

Damage from storms can be expensive — the average Hurricane Harvey residential property insurance claim was $13,000 and average flood insurance claim was $121,000 (TDI). However, it doesn’t have to cost much to help protect your home against storm damage. The better...

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How to Prepare for Spring Storms

How to Prepare for Spring Storms

Spring weather in Texas is unpredictable and Texans are likely to experience extreme weather events, including tornadoes, hailstorms, hurricanes, and wildfires. Here are some important tips to help you protect yourself, your family, and your property from injury or...

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Know Your Coverage: Usage-Based Insurance (UBI)

Know Your Coverage: Usage-Based Insurance (UBI)

Are you driving less? Retirement or other lifestyle and career changes can lead to less driving. Additionally, more employees are working from home due to COVID-19, which reduces commuting. For some, working from home may continue even as we get through the pandemic....

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Recovering from Winter Weather

Recovering from Winter Weather

This is a difficult time for many Texans and the last thing you probably want to deal with is filing an insurance claim for your home or car. We hope this information makes the claim filing process a little easier. Once you and your loved ones are safe, here are some...

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Don’t Borrow Trouble: Know What’s Covered

Don’t Borrow Trouble: Know What’s Covered

Did you know that even if you have permission to drive a borrowed car or give permission to someone to drive your car, your auto policy may not provide coverage? Consider this before you borrow trouble. Here are some common situations that may not be covered:  You...

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Know Your Coverage: Telemedicine

Know Your Coverage: Telemedicine

What is telemedicine?  Telemedicine or telehealth is an increasingly popular way of getting health care because it allows people to get care without traveling to a doctor’s office or hospital. Telemedicine is a way of receiving medical care without actually traveling...

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OPIC’s 2020 Achievements

OPIC’s 2020 Achievements

OPIC worked hard for consumers this year, analyzing over 1,400 rules, rates, and policy forms. We are a small, 10-person agency, but we did big things in 2020. We saved Texas consumers over $85 million this year alone. Here are some of our biggest achievements of...

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Know Your Coverage: Trees

Know Your Coverage: Trees

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and other storms frequently cause trees to fall, which can result in property damage. Falling trees can damage homes, vehicles, or other property. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with damage from trees.As soon as possible, take...

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Recovering from Hurricane Delta

Recovering from Hurricane Delta

Hurricane Resources If you’ve evacuated during Hurricane Delta, be careful as you’re returning home. Here are some resources you may need while you’re on the road home: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)'s DriveTexas highway map for updated road conditions...

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Recovering from Hurricane Laura

Recovering from Hurricane Laura

Returning Home After Hurricane Laura Be careful as you’re returning home after Hurricane Laura. Here are some resources you may need while you’re on the road home: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)'s DriveTexas highway map for updated road conditions and...

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5 Important Things To Do Before a Storm Hits

5 Important Things To Do Before a Storm Hits

Before a storm hits, make sure you know the right resources to get up-to-date weather information. You can: Subscribe to national weather alerts. Download FEMA app real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for...

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Resources for Business Owners During COVID-19

Resources for Business Owners During COVID-19

OPIC understands this is a difficult time for Texans. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic raises several insurance questions for small business owners. We hope that the following information will help with some of those questions.Insurance The Texas Department of...

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How to Reduce Your Wildfire Risk

How to Reduce Your Wildfire Risk

A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires are often caused by humans or lightning and can happen anywhere at any time. Wildfire risk increases during periods of little rain and high winds. According...

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Know Your Coverage: Roadside Assistance

Know Your Coverage: Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance helps you when your vehicle breaks down. Some companies automatically include this coverage, but it is often an optional coverage that can be added to your auto policy. It is important to understand what roadside assistance coverage you have and...

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OPIC’s 2019 Achievements

OPIC’s 2019 Achievements

OPIC has been working hard for consumers this year, analyzing over 2,100 rules, rates, and policy forms. We are a small, 10-person agency, but we did big things in 2019, saving Texas consumers over $41 million. Here are some of our biggest achievements: Negotiated an...

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Understanding PIP vs Med-Pay

Understanding PIP vs Med-Pay

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (Med-Pay) are auto coverages that pay regardless of who is at fault in an accident. While these coverages have some things in common, they are different. Here are some of the key differences:Personal Injury...

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What is Surplus Lines Insurance?

What is Surplus Lines Insurance?

Most property and casualty insurance policies in Texas are sold by insurance companies licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). These companies make up what is called the “authorized” or “admitted” market. TDI reviews most of the rates and policies that...

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Avoid Contractor Fraud After a Disaster

Avoid Contractor Fraud After a Disaster

After a tornado or storm, you may need to hire a contractor to fix damage to your home. It’s important to be aware of common contracting scams that occur after disasters, and how to go about the rebuilding process safely. Here’s our biggest tips to think about when...

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OPIC Staff Shop Their Policies

OPIC Staff Shop Their Policies

OPIC always encourages consumers to shop around for insurance, so we took our own advice and did the same. OPIC staff recently shopped for our own policies to see if we could get a better deal on our insurance. Our goal was to save money without losing coverage....

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What You Need to Know About Medical Codes

What You Need to Know About Medical Codes

What Are Medical Codes? Medical codes are the way doctors and other healthcare professionals describe medical diagnoses and treatments. These codes are important for understanding how medical billing works and can affect what you pay and what is covered under your...

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Know Your Coverage: Air Ambulances

Know Your Coverage: Air Ambulances

What is an air ambulance? Air ambulances are medical transport aircraft such as helicopters or airplanes that take patients to medical facilities. Like regular ground ambulances, air ambulances have medical equipment, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians. An...

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5 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

5 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

1. Shop Around Prices can vary, so it often pays to shop around. Check out our Policy Comparison Tool and HelpInsure.com to compare coverages and sample rates. Remember to never shop for an insurance policy on price alone!   2. Higher Deductibles A deductible is...

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Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season lasts from June until November. Hurricanes can’t be prevented, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings from damage.   Before a Hurricane Plan your evacuation route and create an emergency...

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What You Need to Know About Preauthorization

What You Need to Know About Preauthorization

What is Preauthorization? Health plans may require your doctor to get approval before they will pay for certain medical treatments. This process of advance approval is called preauthorization. Timelines for PreauthorizationWhen a health plan gets a request from a...

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Are You Prepared for Tornado Season?

Are You Prepared for Tornado Season?

Tornado season is upon us. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Texas had 92 tornado events last year that affected 69 counties and equaled over $12 million in property damage. Tornadoes can’t be prevented, but there are steps you...

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How to Create a Home Inventory

How to Create a Home Inventory

A home inventory is a detailed list of items in your house that you make in the case of theft or damage. Creating a list can be time consuming, but it is better to do so now rather than trying to make one from memory later. A home inventory list can help you: Buy the...

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Are You Prepared for Hail Season?

Are You Prepared for Hail Season?

Hail causes around $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year. In 2020, Texas had the most wind/hail losses in the U.S. – with 601 hail events (Insurance Information Institute). While hail storms can’t be prevented, there are steps you can take to help...

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What is a Dec Page?

What is a Dec Page?

A declarations page, often called a “dec page,” can be found in the front of your policy. The dec page summarizes your policy and coverages, limits and deductibles, and the dates your policy is effective. Auto insurance dec pages also list the insured vehicles and...

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OPIC’s 2018 Achievements

OPIC’s 2018 Achievements

We’ve been working hard for consumers this year. Here are just some of our biggest 2018 achievements:   Reviewed, analyzed, and intervened in approximately 1,500 rate, rule, and form filings. Advocated for lower auto and homeowners insurance rates and fees,...

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6 Winter Fire Safety Tips

6 Winter Fire Safety Tips

Home fires occur more in winter than during any other season. These tips will help you take precautions and ensure your home is safe and free of insurance claims this winter!

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Understanding the Basics of Long-Term Care Insurance

Understanding the Basics of Long-Term Care Insurance

If you or a loved one cannot live independently, the costs of personal care can be very high. Long-term care insurance can help pay for the costs of personal care, but it’s important to understand how it is different from health insurance and when it can be...

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Cyber Insurance: Tips to Lower Your Risk & Recover from Harm

Cyber Insurance: Tips to Lower Your Risk & Recover from Harm

Because we rely on the internet more and more for both business and personal tasks, the risk of our smart devices getting hacked and personal info being stolen or misused increases. Almost every day it seems there is another data breach, scam, or virus. Cyber...

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Consider Buying HOA Loss Assessment Coverage

Consider Buying HOA Loss Assessment Coverage

Many Texas property owners must join a homeowners association (“HOA”). Condos often require HOA membership, and many single-family subdivisions now have them, too. HOA members have to pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly dues. These dues usually pay for taking care of...

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Buyer Beware: Not All Auto Policies Are the Same

Buyer Beware: Not All Auto Policies Are the Same

Be sure you know who and what is covered under any insurance policy you consider buying. Not all auto policies are the same. Since insurance policies can be very different, it is important to read all of your policy and ask questions to make sure you get the coverage...

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Health Insurance Works Differently in Emergencies!

Health Insurance Works Differently in Emergencies!

Emergency care can vary in price and services depending on where you go. You can save time and money and get the care you need if you know: the differences between emergency room (ER) facilities and urgent care centers, and how to get info about your insurance...

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Understanding Your Homeowners Deductible

Understanding Your Homeowners Deductible

What is a  Homeowners Deductible? A homeowners deductible is the portion of a covered loss you must pay before your insurance company pays for any of the loss. Typically, your insurance company will simply subtract the deductible from the total amount of your claim,...

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