Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Protect Your Belongings This Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing!  For many of us that means shopping, gifting, decorating, partying, and traveling.  And a whole lot of it!

Insurance agents are always on the look-out for things that might put our clients at risk.  That’s why we wanted to share a few quick reminders this month to make sure you avoid any potential claim situations or holiday disasters.

Properly Care for Live Christmas Trees

Be careful with a live Christmas tree.  Real trees are beautiful but can be hazardous as they dry out.  Water your tree daily to keep the needles from drying out. To avoid a house fire, make sure to turn the tree lights off when you go to bed in the evening or when you leave home. It only takes a minute or two for a dry Christmas tree to turn into a roaring inferno!

Holiday Shopping Precautions

When you're going from store to store trying to find just the right gift for Aunt Martha, don’t leave the other gifts in plain sight on the seat your car! A lot of people don’t realize that items in their car are NOT covered by auto insurance. And, while property off premises is covered by home and renters insurance, it is typically subject to a much higher deductible.  If you must leave anything in the car, put it in the trunk and lock the doors. In addition, if you have a car alarm, use it!

Holiday Travel

Traveling out of town?  Don’t make it too obvious!  Leave lights on in the house, stop your mail and newspaper, and leave your number with a trustworthy neighbor who will keep an eye on your home. Burglars know this time of the year there is a treasure trove of gifts in most homes, and will strike if they know nobody's home.

Proof of Insurance

Make sure to keep an updated insurance card in your car when you travel.  Not only is it important to have if you get pulled over, but all the information you need is in one place if you ever have to make a claim.

Protect Valuable Gifts and Jewelry

Did you receive some special jewelry for Christmas?  Make sure to call us!  We’ll review all of your options to make sure it is properly covered and protected. 

And most important? Have a safe and joy-filled holiday.

Merry Christmas from all of us at SAV-ON Insurance!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Home Maintenance Tasks

Now that the holidays are upon us, there is a lot of time spent in the kitchen. There's Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to cook, cookies and pies to bake, and lots of holiday treats to make! All that cooking can put a strain on your appliances and cookware, so it's a good idea to keep them in good shape so they perform for you.

 Maintain Large Appliances 

Appliances are a big long-term investment!  That’s why it’s important to take good care of them all year long.

Get Your Furnace Tuned Up

After a summer and fall where the furnace doesn't need to work very hard, the sudden drop in temperatures means your furnace is working overtime keeping your home warm. If it has any maintenance issues, this is probably when it will decide to stop working. At the same time, furnace repair businesses are being overwhelmed by calls for service when this happens, so you might end up shivering in the house for quite a while before a service tech can get to you. In addition, if you have your furnace serviced before it 'gives up the ghost', it could end up being less costly. Not only do furnace repair firms charge a premium when the demand is high, but the furnace might cause additional damage as its parts breakdown and damage other parts of the appliance.

Check the Refrigerator

Your refrigerator is a great place to start.  Accumulating dust can make your fridge cooling system less efficient. To prevent trouble, regularly pull the fridge away from the wall and clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner.  It’s also a good idea to dust and clean the front lower grill.  This five-minute task can add years of service to your refrigerator! Check around the refrigerator to make sure you're not leaking coolant. And make sure the doors close tight and the seals aren't cracked or loose. If refrigerated air is escaping it forces your refrigerator to continually run and wear out prematurely.

Clean The Oven & Stove Drip Pan

Next move on to your stove.  It’s another appliance that needs a good regular cleaning to keep it working well. After the holidays are over, it's a good time to clean the dried food that has spilled over onto the floor of the oven. Many ovens have a self cleaning feature that will do the hard work for you.

The only problem?  It can take a while to run the cleaning feature and it usually smells pretty bad while it’s running.  Save this task for a nice day and open up the windows to keep it well ventilated.  Check your stove manual for instructions  and take a few minutes to clean the burners, too. 

Have Problem Trees Trimmed

Cold, rainy weather has arrived. Have you noticed any large branches hanging over onto your roof?  Get them trimmed as soon as possible.  In the Northwest it's not unusual for the constant rain to mix with a cold front and cause a big ice storm. The ice clings to branches, weighing them down. This can cause the branches to break onto your roof or car, leading to more damage and insurance claims. 

Save on Home Insurance

Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your home and belongings.  To make sure you have the best coverage, call SAV-ON today at 888-867-2866 for a free, no-obligation quote. And have a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Are the Most Important Reasons for Having Insurance?

Thanksgiving has almost arrived. This is the time of year when we sit back and reflect on all the things that we are thankful for. What immediately comes to mind?

For most of us it’s things like our family, our home, and our good health. And guess what they have in common? All of these things are what insurance protects!

That’s why it is so important to us that our clients have excellent insurance coverage. It’s not just about having an ID card in your car so you don’t get a ticket or fulfilling your mortgage company’s minimum loan requirements. It's about family.

Insurance is there to make sure that if the worst happens, you or your family can recover from it. It might not be easy, but we’re here to ease the financial burden after your car is wrecked in an accident, your house burns down, or a loved one passes away.

All of those TV commercials that just tell you to find the cheapest rate are completely wrong! Cheapest isn't always the best. Of course, no one wants to pay more then they have to, but it’s not the most important part of the equation. When something goes wrong, you need local agents who will help you through this stressful time. Right away. Because they care.

Rather than looking for a cheap bare-bones policy that will do you no good if you need to use it, take the time to interview and meet with one of our friendly local agents. See who is looking for the best coverage and truly meeting your needs while keeping the rates affordable. When you're shopping around, ask about how they handle claims and if they do annual policy reviews. That's something we pride ourselves on!

This Thanksgiving, SAV-ON Insurance Agencies is extremely thankful for all of our wonderful clients. If you need a local agent to look out for your most prized possessions, or you just have an insurance question, we'd love to help.

Give us a call at 888-867-2866 for a free no-obligation quote.

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