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Why You Should Avoid Riding Scooters in Texas

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard scooters zooming around streets and sidewalks downtown. The most visible e-scooter startup, Bird, is now valued at close to a billion dollars and is expanding into major metro areas across the entire United States. Scooter rental companies are especially popular on college campuses.

Despite their popularity, e-scooters are not without controversy among motorists, pedestrians, insurance agencies, and attorneys. There are very few statewide regulations in place for e-scooters. Instead, at the local level, cities are grappling with how to handle scooter rental providers. Some have even banned the service and ordered scooter rideshare operators to cease and desist!

Electric Scooter Rentals in Texas

Electric scooters are trendy, popular with young adults and ridership is growing throughout Texas. Two major operators, Bird Rides and LimeBike have a significant presence in all major metro areas and several universities. Despite all the benefits of using a scooter for transportation, their terms of use can leave you vulnerable as a rider.

If you cause an accident, if you are injured or if someone injures you while using an e-scooter, be prepared to pay out of pocket for damage. An extreme, but recent example? In September 2018 in Dallas, a 24 year old LimeBike rider died from his injuries. There are still unknown details, but if his death was truly caused from a scooter accident, it would be the first case for rideshare startups.

Recent Developments of Scooter Rideshare in Texas

Lubbock: In the Lubbock region, Bird initiated their business without a license.

Austin: E-scooter companies began operations in Austin and had to be banned for some time.

Dallas: Bird and LimeBikes are now regulated to public streets, with license and age requirements.

Houston: May be a proving ground for various competing operations.

Are Riders Covered for Scooter Rentals?

NO INSURANCE COVERAGE is likely for most individuals.

  • If you have a homeowner’s policy realize it doesn’t cover motor driven vehicles. The reason you purchased home insurance was to protect against claims on your house and belongings.
  • If you have an auto insurance policy, realize it only covers “owned vehicles”.
  • If you happen to have an Umbrella Liability policy, some do cover “non-owned scooters.” However, you should ask an insurance agent and review your policy for confirmation.

For a rideshare rental such as Bird or LimeBikes, terms of service state that “you are solely responsible for damages to the scooter and injuries and damages to third parties and their property.”

This is far different from other rideshare companies involving cars such as Uber and Lyft. As a passenger of Uber and Lyft, you could be covered for bodily injury under a $1 million liability policy.

WALK, run, drive, use a bus, call a Cab, bike, arrange an Uber. DON’T rent a scooter without realizing the risks. Or buy your own scooter/moped for transportation.

Insurance Coverage for Scooters, Mopeds, Hoverboards, etc.

hoverboard

  • Electric scooters are a unique class of vehicles in Texas that do not require a special license. This would include the Hoverboard, Onewheel, Airwheel and other personal mobility devices. If you are driving a scooter on the road, liability insurance is strongly recommended, although not required state-wide. It’s affordable and starts at $75 a year with Progressive.
  • An electric bike can travel at speeds of no more than 20 mph, does not require a drivers license and insurance is optional.
  • A moped is a motor-powered vehicle that cannot travel faster than 30 MPH in 1 mile. Mopeds require a special motorcycle driver’s license and insurance is required.

At Hettler Insurance, we work with you to find the best policy at the best price for all types of insurance. Contact us today and give us the opportunity to find the best coverage for your motorized scooter or e-scooter, no matter what your demands may be.

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Hettler Insurance Agency Adds 8th Carrier for Auto Insurance

auto insurance carriersAgency is Authorized to Sell Mercury Insurance as an Independent Agent

We are pleased to announce HIA is able to quote Mercury Insurance in Texas for all drivers. This brings our total number of carriers to eight including Progressive, Safeco, Travelers and more!

As an independent agency, Hettler allows for comparison shopping for auto insurance. Why settle for a single policy from one carrier, when you can receive multiple quotes?

Everyone’s needs are different for auto insurance and every driver has a unique record, history and habits. Whether you are a student at Texas Tech concerned with bundling renters and car insurance or a family with an umbrella policy for the home and multiple vehicles. Hettler’s agents will listen to your criteria and generate a better policy.

Why Mercury Insurance

Hettler partnered with Mercury as it one of the fastest growing carriers in North America. In California where it is based, Mercury is the fourth largest automobile insurance carrier. Likewise, Hettler Insurance Agency was approved as an authorized agent for our growth in Lubbock, TX.

For 50 years, Mercury Insurance has provided homeowners, renters, condo, auto insurance, umbrella and business auto insurance policies. Mercury also provides mechanical breakdown protection. An extended vehicle warranty provides many roadside assistance features for an aging vehicle.

Mercury offers basic insurance policies that are affordable and include liability, collision and comprehensive, personal injury protection and underinsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

For many drivers with Hettler Insurance Agency, Mercury will be the lowest cost option. Call today to evaluate your policy and get a quote from 8 insurance carriers through Hettler!

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A Guide to Auto Insurance with Mario Kart

LakituWhen Lakitu counts down the start of every Mario Kart race, players don’t know if they’re in for rainbows, banana peels or haunted planks. Driving in real life is just as unpredictable as Mario Kart, although with bigger consequences.

Whether you’re a student about to get your driver’s license or a parent that remembers the original Super Mario Kart on SNES, let us guide you on auto insurance with multiple references to the iconic game.

Most people would rather play Mario Kart than study an auto insurance policy. But lessons learned from the time-honored Nintendo game can help us better understand a subject that some people find a bit dry, and also emphasize its importance!

Mandatory Coverage

Real Mario KartNearly every state except New Hampshire requires car owners to carry a minimum amount of coverage.

Every other state requires liability insurance, think of it as having green shells around your vehicle. If you’re at fault in an accident, liability insurance will pay to repair or replace another driver’s car and cover their medical expenses.

The minimum amount of insurance for Texas drivers is 30/60/25, or $30,000 per injured person up to $60,000 per accident, plus $25,000 for property damage. Note that state minimums may fall far short of covering bodily injury. Would you rather have a single green shell or three green shells surrounding your vehicle?

You can opt to carry more. It’s recommended to carry higher insurance if driving with multiple passengers or a newer vehicle.

Road Range

In Mario Kart, battles with other drivers are part of the game, just don’t do it in real life! Let’s say you are cut off by another driver on Toad’s Turnpike. Afterwards, you tailgate too closely and eventually get in an accident by rear ending the driver in front. Your car has thousands in damage, but realize, it won’t be covered by your insurance policy. Road rage isn’t a valid cause and your claim will be denied. In addition, rear end collisions almost always end in some fault of the driver.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

What if you’re responsibly driving when you are sideswiped by a driver without insurance? If you have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, your insurance company will take care of the costs. Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t required in Texas, but it’s smart to add it to your auto policy. According to Insurance Journal, 13 percent of all US motorists were uninsured in 2015. Maine was the most responsible wariostate, with only 4.5 percent driving without auto insurance. The worst? Florida at 26.7 percent! Other top five baddies included Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee. At 14.1 % uninsured, Texas was in the middle.

So what kind of nefarious creep drives around without insurance? We’re pretty sure Wario and Bowser are shirking their responsibility. So if you see a guy with a pink nose and pointy ears wearing purple overalls, well, we recommend giving him a lot of space on the road.

No Fault Laws

Twelve states currently have no-fault insurance laws. This means that instead of determining which driver caused an accident, each party tries to recover damages through their own insurance company. However, the other driver might still sue you.Bo-Omb

So imagine that Peach and Toad just collided. If the Mushroom Kingdom has no-fault insurance laws, investigators will never have to investigate whether the accident was caused by Toad throwing a Bob-omb or because Peach let a Blooper fly.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is usually optional. Although if you’re leasing a vehicle, it can be required by the lender.

If your car is relatively new, you’ll want to have adequate collision coverage to cover the cost of it being repaired or replaced. If your car is very old, the amount you pay in collision coverage may quickly surpass the blue book value of your junker.

After an accident, your insurer decides whether your car can be fixed or must be totaled. If totaled, you only get your car’s current value, minus depreciation. So if you’re driving a 25 year-old car, give collision coverage a pass. Unless it’s a collectible. Say you got your hands on the Magikruiser – which, you’ll remember, is the world record holder on Sherbet Land. For sure you would shell out for collision insurance.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive goes much farther than collision, as the name suggests. This type of coverage comes in handy if your car’s finish is damaged by giant jewels or gold coins, you suffer from vandalism, your car catches on fire, or it slips on a banana peel cruelly thrown down by your nemesis.

Glass Coverage

Speaking of those jewels and giant gold coins, have you looked into glass coverage to replace your windshield?

Preparing for an Unknown Course

Even after playing a Mario Kart course multiple times, the game is unpredictable because drivers are unpredictable.

Sometimes you can’t see what insurance needs your future will bring. Lightening could strike your car 4 times in a single race or you could fall off the course on Rainbow Road!Q Box

Work with an independent insurance agent to help you prepare for threats to the life and liberty of your automobile. No matter what is revealed in an Item Box, we are ready to protect your car and your health!

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Wildfire Season in West Texas

Wildfire Risk & Getting Insurance

Texas is second only to California as the state most at risk for wildfire, according to analytics company CoreLogic. At least 715,300 Texas residences are at high or extreme risk of wildfire.

A dry environment goes hand in hand with wildfire. West Texas and the Panhandle are receiving less rainfall each year, earning long term drought status. There is a high risk of wildfire affecting Lubbock and surrounding communities during certain months of the year.

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Insurance for House Flippers

When you’re buying a house to flip or completely do a gut job, you have different insurance concerns than a house you buy to live in long-term. Many investors forget about the insurance component of a deal when they’re in the heat of the moment and focused on the potential of the property. Whoa, slow down. When is the best time to call your insurer? Before you sign the paperwork!

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Consider This When Buying a House to Flip in Texas

TV shows make flipping houses look fun and easy. Can you really make a lot of money doing this? Yes, it is possible. But only if you have the right skills, knowledge and timing. Choose the wrong fixer upper, and you could lose your entire investment.

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The Future of Auto Insurance

Twenty years ago, insurers could never have predicted today’s landscape. The rise of the internet, adoption of electric cars and the prospect of more and more data are becoming a reality. How will changes under the hood and technology affect auto insurance in the future?

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Hettler Insurance Agency, Inc. Celebrates 25 Years in Lubbock

Building a Better Insurance Agency

A quarter-century is a long time in the insurance world. Ron Hettler, owner of Hettler Insurance Agency in Lubbock, has weathered many changes.

“What is most remarkable is a realization that we’ve insured individuals born in three different centuries,” Hettler said. “Generations of families and businesses have counted on HIA. It’s what keeps us motivated for the future.”

As the company celebrates 25 years in business, Mr. Hettler is both proud and grateful that his family and staff, have been able to consistently serve their community.

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Open Enrollment 2018 and the Future of Health Insurance

No one, not Congress, the president or even your insurance agent knows definitively what will happen to health insurance. However, this much we know, the Affordable Care Act was not repealed for 2018. After several attempts, it is still the law, although it has changed significantly.

What happens next? How will open enrollment affect Texans and Lubbock residents? What does a death spiral of the health insurance marketplace look like? These are all questions we hope to answer in a moment of severe uncertainty in America.

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Company Information

Hettler Insurance Agency
Ron Hettler

4432 S Loop 289
Lubbock, TX 79414

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