Friday, October 31, 2014

Fire Safety For Your Home During the Winter

It's still fall, but with winter arriving soon, now is the time to get your house and family safely protected against the cold winter temperatures. With more time spent indoors and the heater on there's a greater chance of a fire.  Below are some ideas for preventing fires and saving money, too.

Furnace Maintenance

Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year. When the weather is the coldest -- and the furnace is being run the hardest -- is when it inevitably will decide to quit working! Then trying to get a repairman out for service is difficult, since the demand, and the cost, is the high. When you have a long wait in bone-chilling temperatures, you'll wish you had done this earlier.

Chimneys and Fireplaces

Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected. Built up creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires! Occasionally critters will make nests in a flue and end up blocking the flow of air up the chimney. In addition, make sure the damper is tight and working properly, so the expensive heated air isn't going up the chimney (along with your money!).

Check the condition of your fireplace screen. If it is in poor condition, sparks from a fire can jump onto furniture or carpeting and start a fire. Get a covered metal container ready to dispose of ashes, and keep it at least 10 feet from your home. Ashes can smolder for hours and ignite flammable materials near it. Never dump ashes into a paper bag or onto a newspaper for disposal.

Now is the time to stock up on dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood stove. Once the wind starts howling and the temperatures drop, it's more difficult to find and more expensive.

Fire safety is important. Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it. Go over fireplace rules and restrictions with your kids. It may look like fun, but they need to have a healthy respect for fire. You should never leave a young child alone near a fire for any reason!

Portable Heaters

If you use a portable heater for warmth, make sure the electrical cord is fully insulated and it has an automatic shut-off. Keep heaters at least three feet away form anything that can burn (like bedding). Never try to heat your home with a gas barbeque grill. The fumes it gives off are odorless and can sicken or even kill people! Even wood stoves need to be properly ventilated to the outside, or they can produce lethal gasses.

Finally, test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they're in good working condition. They are your first line of defense in the event of a problem, and can save you and your family's lives!

Follow these tips and your home will be safe this winter. If you're concerned about protecting your belongings, give us a call at 888-867-2866 to review you home insurance policy today!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Insurance: It's Protection for Your Finances, Your Family and Your Future

There are many aspects to successful financial plans.  Most include a family budget, emergency savings, retirement savings, and…insurance!

Let's review the important parts of your insurance financial plan:

Protect Your Stuff

This is what we think of first when it comes to insurance. Fixing your car after an accident and replacing your belongings after a fire. When you review your financial plan, you want to make sure that all of your valuable assets are protected here.  Cars, homes, high-priced jewelry or artwork, boats, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs, etc.  Protect it all and make sure that the deductible is reasonable and that you have full replacement cost coverage. (We would be happy to explain all the details. Just call us!) In the event something is damaged, lost or stolen, you will be extremely happy you took the time to do this.

Protect Your Money

Liability insurance is a misunderstood coverage, but it's extremely important. When you are held responsible for an accident, your assets and money are at risk!  What if your teenager caused an accident and you were sued?  What if you caused a major accident and didn't have enough liability coverage?  Adequate insurance can make sure this doesn't happen!

We look at how much you have to protect (total assets) and create a plan to cover it all. This may also involve an umbrella policy, which adds to the coverage you have, protecting your assets from a major claim against you that your regular insurance won't cover. It is only pennies a day, but is worth its weight in gold!

Protect Your Family 


You can protect all of your belongings, but the ultimate way to protect your family is with good life and disability insurance.  If something happens to you, you don't have to worry about your family being protected.  You can plan to pay off debt, pay for college, or anything else that is important to you.  But, don't put this off. The younger you are when you take out the policy, the lower the premiums. Call us today to get a free quote!

All of this might seem like a lot for think about, but it doesn't have to be.  With a great insurance agent, you can meet once a year and trust that all of these things are taken care of.  Why not take a few minutes to schedule an insurance financial planning review with one of our agents?  Call us at 888-867-2866 today! 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Get Your Home Ready for a Cool, Rainy Fall

After a long, warm summer, the temperatures are beginning to drop in Western Washington. That means wet, rainy weather isn't far behind. Now is the time to get those home maintenance chores done before the rains begin.

Here are some simple tasks that you can perform now, before it gets too wet:

Check Gutters and Downspouts -  Take a few minutes to make sure your gutters are clear.  With rain and falling leaves, gutters and downspouts will be working overtime.  By making sure they’re clear now, you’ll avoid water damage later on. It's a good idea to remove your downspouts to make sure they're not blocked with debris. Even if your gutters are clear, a clogged downspout will cause rainwater to back up and spill down the side of your house. This can cause siding damage and wear away the ground along your foundation. By making sure everything is clear now, you'll save yourself a big bill later.

Clean The Dryer Vent - Lint accumulating in the dryer vent can cause a house fire.  A couple of times per year, unplug the dryer and thoroughly vacuum the area around the dryer vent and hose.  Remember to check the outside vent too! 

Gather Firewood - Will you be burning a wood stove or fireplace this winter?  Start gathering up firewood now and save yourself from the task when it’s cold outside. By harvesting wood when it's still dry, and storing in a dry area, the wood will be easier to light and you'll have less smoky fires this winter.

Get Ready For Autumn - Now is a great time to start planting some fall flowers.  Mums make a great addition to your front porch! 

Rid Your Home of Allergens - As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, people spend more time indoors. Many people suffer from allergies due to dust mites.  But there are ways to rid your home of the dust without spending all day cleaning. Look for where dust lurks. Use a damp cloth to clean all window blinds and fan blades once a month. If you have carpet, make it a priority to vacuum on a regular basis.  These things will get rid of dust and prevent allergies.

Save On Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your belongings.  To make sure you have the best coverage, call us at 888-867-2866 today for a free, no obligation quote.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Driver Safety Report: Seattle and Tacoma Drivers are Accident Prone and Getting Worse

An insurance company just released its 10th annual "America's Best Drivers Report", and it isn't good news for the Seattle/Tacoma area. Out of 200 top cities ranked for "safest driving city", Seattle ranked 173rd and Tacoma was only slightly better, coming in at 153rd.

Could it be all the hills in the city? San Francisco, a notoriously hilly city, came in 190th for safety and an even-worse 192nd in rainy or snowy conditions.

The safest cities to drive are Fort Collins, Colorado and Brownsville, Texas. Even in rain and snow conditions -- and Fort Collins gets plenty of it -- that city is ranked second for safest driving in the entire U.S.

In addition, Seattle drivers can expect to get in an accident once every 7.4 years, and the relative accident likelihood is a whopping 36% compared to the national average!

Tacoma drivers fare only slightly better, getting in an accident on an average of every 7.8 years, and having a 28.6% likelihood of getting in an accident compared to the national average.

Both Seattle and Tacoma have slipped in the safety rankings in the last couple of years, Seattle falling from 160th in 2013 to 173rd, and Tacoma from 144th to 153rd.

The report takes into account population, city density and weather conditions in its rankings. In fact, many of the cities in the top 20 are from Midwest, where heavy rain and snow is a factor much of the year.

The best advice for becoming a safer city in which to drive? Slow down, be alert at all times, and don't text or talk while on the road.

Make sure you're covered in the event you're involved in an accident, whether it's your fault or not. Call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 for a free policy review. If you're one of the 36% that has an accident, you want to be adequately covered!

Source: Allstate's 2014 America's Best Drivers Report

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Back to School" Insurance

As August ends, it's time to start thinking about going back to school! What does that have to do with insurance? More than you think! Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Good Grades - Do you have a teenage driver in the house (or one soon to be)? Many policies allow discounted rates for students with good grades. Don't forget to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students, too.

Driver Training - There are different discounts available for Drivers Education
classes. We can review all the options and let you know which discounts will impact you the most.

Moving To The Dorm - Is your college student living in a dorm this semester? Your homeowners insurance may cover their belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage. Find out more by calling your friendly SAV-ON agent.

Remember, any claims are subject to your deductible, which is usually higher on home policies! Let us review your policy to check for the specific amounts of coverage included.

Moving To An Apartment - Let's say your college student has graduated from the dorms and moved on to an apartment of their own. In this case, your homeowners insurance would not cover their belongings and they would need their own renters insurance policy.

Renters Insurance is very affordable and covers all of the contents of the property. It also provides liability insurance if someone were injured in the property or if the student caused a fire, etc. By making sure they are properly insured, you are also protecting yourself.

Call SAV-ON Insurance Today. We're Here to Help!

We work hard to make sure all of our clients have the right coverage at all times. The fastest and easiest way to make sure your student is receiving all the discounts they qualify for and that their belongings are covered when they are in college is to schedule a review! Call  888-867-2866 to review your policy and situation and we'll make sure all of your questions are answered.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Insurance Claim Hassle? We're Here to Help!

Insurance claims can be a stressful process.  At SAV-ON, we've worked with many clients after car accidents, home fires, storm damage, and burglaries. Because it's about a loss or other horrible occurrence, insurance claims are tied to the most stressful events in our lives.

That's why it's extremely important that you work with an agent and a company that you trust.

After an insurance claim, you will work with an adjustor to evaluate your loss. Depending on the type of claim, they will examine the property and gather more information.  You will then be offered a settlement and the process will begin to restore your loss.

So what happens if things don't go smoothly at first?  Maybe you don't agree on the amount or can't get the right documentation?

That's where SAV-ON comes in.

Our job, as your agency, is to also be your advocate.  Our office goes to work to help you communicate with your adjustor if there is a problem.  That means that when you need help, we're there. With 50 years of experience, we know how to work with adjustors to get you a reasonable settlement.

Yes, sometimes you can get cheaper rates with unknown companies.  And you might enjoy being able to buy online without talking to an agent. If nothing ever happens, and you never have a claim, then you may save a few dollars.

But when it comes down to those stressful moments when something unfortunate has occurred and you aren't getting a fair shake from your insurance adjustor, it's great to have someone on your side.

If you live anywhere in Washington, call SAV-ON Insurance Agencies today at 888-867-2866 and let us help you get the insurance you need, at a great price. And, should you ever need to make a claim, you will be able to count on us to help you through it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Insurance Tips When Planning Your Vacation

It’s getting warmer, schools are out, and everyone has summer vacation on the brain!  But, before you load up the car and head out, here are a few insurance tips before you take off.

First, contact the post office and put a hold on your mail.  You can do the same for your newspaper service, too. These are often big indicators that a homeowner is out of town and will be a target for thieves.  This is an easy way to help keep your home protected while you're away! 

Consider putting a few lights in your home on a timer to further give the illusion that someone is home.  Outdoor security lights are also a great option.

Do you have a neighbor who you trust?  Let them know of your plans, share your emergency contact number, and consider leaving a spare key just in case.

Imagine that a big thunderstorm hits while you’re out of town.  It knocks out power or even causes a tree in your yard to fall.  Your neighbor can make sure that your freezer is back on when the power is restored, or verify that there aren’t any leaks in the roof from the storm damage!  This can help prevent unhappy surprises when you get home.


What about once you’re on the road?

The biggest tip we share with our clients is to avoid leaving valuables in the car! 

Many people believe that their belongings are covered by car insurance, but that is not the case.  The only coverage for your luggage, computer, etc. would be on your homeowners insurance, and it’s subject to your deductible! So, if you can't take it with you when you leave the car, the best idea is to hide the items in a trunk, or at least park in a well-lit area that has foot traffic all the time. A thief wants to have as easy a time as possible. No witnesses, no lighting to call attention to his crime. If he can see it,  he can easily get in and steal it.

Have questions about your Homeowners Insurance?  Give SAV-ON a call anytime at 888-867-2866 to discuss your policy or to get a quote!