Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elderly Drivers a Possible Danger on the Road Too

Back in 2005, Boston Senator Brian A. Joyce attempted to pass Senate Bill 1914, aka an Act to Promote Safe Driving. But in the end there was very little support. No audience attended the legislation in October for Joyce's bill, but there were many people at a hearing the same month for stricter teen driving standards.

Although teen driving is an issue, Joyce sees the issues with elderly driving too.
In 2001, AAA found in a study that drivers over 65 were 25 percent more likely to get in an accident than middle-aged drivers. Seniors were more prone to intersection crashes and can have troubles making left turns, driving in heavy traffic or at night.

Seniors have the second highest crash death rate per mile next to teenagers, according to AAA. The association’s Web site projects that by 2020, there will be more than 40 million licensed drivers over 65 in the United States, up from 18.9 million in 2000.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Party Photos

Some photos from our Christmas party compiled by our very own Jose Terrazas. Thanks Jose!

Olive Way Closed For Tunnel Preparation

Wondering why the Olive Way exit has been closed for months?

The long-awaited light rail is underway! U-Link (University Link) will connect downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, and the University of Washington.

Then in early 2011, tunnels will be created working south from Capitol Hill. When the Pine St. area is reached, the ground under I-5 will need to be prepared.

The Olive Way exit will be closed for approximately one year.

Get all the details on

Thursday, December 10, 2009

15 Tips to Shopping Online, Securely this Holiday

  1. Make sure you have installed and updated antivirus, anti-malware and personal firewall software on your computer. Your operating system and Internet browser should be updated with the latest security
  2. Only shop on secure sites. To see if a Web site is secure, look for “https” in the address bar. Also, there’s usually a small yellow padlock logo at the right of your Web browser address bar. If you double-click on the lock, a digital certificate of the Web site will appear. It’s a good idea to review these certificates on the sites that you are not familiar with.
  3. Make sure that you enter the correct URL. There are cases where hackers have purchased misspelled domains.
  4. Shopping Web sites have no reason to ask for your Social Security number, or passwords to your e-mail or bank accounts as part of the buying process. Never provide them.
  5. If you suspect a Web site is not what it claims, leave it immediately. Do not click any buttons on the site, run any content or download any software.
  6. Use different “strong” passwords (those that are more secure) for online retailers and your personal e-mail accounts. A strong password is composed of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and symbols. For example, a password like “3dogz$$!” is a better option than “1006.” The longer and more unique the password the better, but make sure it’s also something you can remember.
  7. Before purchasing anything on a Web site, read site reviews or blog comments by other people. Use sites such as or (Google shopping) for comparing prices and to read users’ reviews of the retail Web site.
  8. Retailers may try to lure you into saving your personal information on their Web site in return for more convenience or better deals. Don’t do it. So
    many Web sites have had their customer databases breached by identity thieves lately that it’s just not worth the risk.
  9. Read each Web site’s return and privacy policy before making your purchase.
  10. Be aware of phishing e-mail scams that include Web site links advertising incredible deals. Rather than clicking on them, type the link of known sites by
    hand into your browser.
  11. Use credit cards for online purchases, not debit cards. That’s because debit cards automatically deduct money from your bank account. Try to use cards with low credit limits to minimize the damage in case someone steals your information to take over the account. Or, use a “one-time” credit card number from payment processors such as PayPal.
  12. Do not send your payment information via regular e-mail; these communications are not secure.
  13. As a general rule, uncheck boxes advertising “additional offers.” These services are sometimes offered for a low initial fee that later increases to a
    high, recurring charge on your credit card.
  14. Save records of all your purchases either in an electronic document or on paper.
  15. Don’t forget to power off your computer completely
    when you are finished using it.

10 Auto Winterizing Tips

CarMax's automotive service technicians offer these ten winterizing tips:

  1. Check your anti-freeze. The best ratio of anti-freeze to water is 50/50. The No. 1 cause of engine-related breakdowns is cooling system failure. To prevent those breakdowns, have your cooling system flushed every two years.

  2. Replace your windshield wiper blades twice a year. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with freeze resistant wiper fluid (plain water and standard windshield washer fluid will freeze) and keep an extra gallon in the trunk.

  3. Check your battery. If the battery is more than three years old, have a technician test its capacity. Have the alternator tested at the same time. Make sure the battery terminal ends are corrosion-free.

  4. Check your tire pressure. Check the pressure when the tires are cold, and set the pressure to the car manufacturer's recommendations for your specific tires. When the weather turns cold, the air inside the tire will contract and the pressure will drop.

  5. Look at the tread depth on your tires. Put a penny headfirst between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln's hair, it's time to replace the tire.

  6. Check your spare tire. Make sure it has the proper air pressure and tread depth and that all the proper tire-changing equipment is in the vehicle.

  7. Make sure your lights, heater and defrosters are working properly.

  8. Check all rubber hoses and belts to ensure they are not damaged. Coolant hoses wear from the inside out. Inspect for heavy cracks or chunking in the belts. Alternatively, have a professional inspect all hoses and belts.

  9. Have your car's brake system checked. If you haven't had the system inspected in the last six months, have this performed.

  10. Assemble a winter emergency kit for the trunk of your vehicle. It should include a blanket, extra boots and gloves, an ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, flares, a small snow shovel, a flashlight, kitty litter (for traction when stuck in snow) and bottled water.
    "It's a good idea to have a full gas tank," Damon said. "You never know when you will be caught in a storm or need to change routes."

Along with following these tips, it's also important to read your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules. Not only will these tips keep you safe in the winter months but they can also improve your vehicle's mileage while also preventing future repairs down the road.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Only 1-in-4 Have Flood Coverage

With only 1-in-4 homes covered in the Green River Valley, WA area, insurance commissioner Mike Kriedler is urging residents to purchase now, especially with the 30 day waiting period.

“Recent work on the Howard Hanson Dam has lowered the risk of catastrophic flooding in the valley. That’s the good news,” Kreidler said. “But the risk of flooding is still significantly higher than normal. Getting this relatively low-cost coverage can protect against major losses.”

FEMA will be revising their flood zone in the Green River Valley and these maps will likely broaden the area considered high-risk. These new maps take effect in September 2010.

Many don't realize that renter's can get contents-only coverage starting at only $39 for the year. However, we are suggesting that they consider building coverage too in case the building does not have a master policy for flood.

Kriedler adds, “renters shouldn’t assume that their apartment owner’s insurance will cover their losses, because it generally doesn’t,” said Kreidler. “A flooded apartment can easily lead to thousands of dollars in damages. Renters have to protect themselves, too.”

Log on to our website: for a quick quote or call us 1-888-867-2866.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PEMCO Addresses Car Maintenance

PEMCO Insurance issued a news release today, December 1, that shows Washingtonian drivers understand changing their oil and filter can prevent costly breakdowns. The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, conducted by FBK Research, shows that 53% said changing the oil and filter is the single most important step they can take, more important than regular tune-ups, changing air filters, changing the transmission fluid, back-flushing the radiator, or responding to the check-engine light. PEMCO’s network of auto shops agrees.

Thank you PEMCO

Monday, November 30, 2009

FREE Santa Photos!

Come in for your FREE photo with Santa. Please bring a donation for Northwest Harvest (non-perishable food items or monetary donations). Limit one per family please.

Hosted by SAV-ON Insurance
22815 Pacific Hwy S
Des Moines WA 98198
Sunday, December 13th
11am and 2pm

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Protecting Your Stored or Classic Vehicle Against Mice

What’s the best way to keep mice out of my car while in storage during the winter?

First, try to store your car in a location that is free of rodents. Second, remain vigilant in visiting, cleaning, and running your vehicle as often as possible. Many collectors suggest surrounding the outside of the car with mothballs placed a few inches apart. Mice hate the smell and usually will not walk through this "barrier." And just to be safe, consider putting shaved pieces of Irish Spring soap on foil or in small open containers inside the vehicle. The odor from the soap is less objectionable than that from the mothballs, but will still help you deter the rodents. You can also consider one of the electronic deterrent devices available for your garage, but the ultimate protection may just be a "car cocoon" device (, which completely encloses the vehicle and can assist with controlling moisture as well.

Thank you to Hagerty Insurance Company

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Donate to Local Charities by Voting

Our friends over at McClain Insurance have done something extra special this year! Vote for your favorite local charity and PEMCO NW Profile.

Check out their website to place your vote. They will donate $2 for every vote among 8 fantastic charities until December 15th.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flood: Get The Facts

Living in a low-risk flood area doesn't guarantee no or little flooding. Just like living in a high-risk area doesn't always mean that there will be a lot of flooding! But either way, flooding damage will almost always mean a lot of damage...and we know a lot of damage means a high cost of repairs.

In 2008, flood damage in the United States exceeded $1.8 billion with paid flood insurance claims averaging $27,974.

Flooding destroys your walls, floors, furniture, electrical system...and your savings! And the effects of a flood will remain long after the water is gone.

Heavy rains, clogged or inadequate drainage systems, and broken water mains can cause flooding putting your home and belongings at risk. Flood insurance is the only way to protect yourself from the financial devastation that even a small amount of water can cause. Don't take it from us, use's interactive tool to find out what a little or a LOT of water can do to your home!

And then contact us!!
Call: 1-888-867-2866
Request Flood Insurance Quote

Friday, November 20, 2009

Construction in Des Moines

Midway Sewer District and Highline Water District will be replacing about 2 miles of under-sized and aging water mains in an area between Pacific Hwy South and 20th Ave S between S 248th St and S. 252nd St. Also, all sewer mains and laterals in approximately the same location will be replaced to improve system reliability and reduce inflow and infiltration into the sewer system. After replacements, all affected roads will be resurfaced with new pavement.

Construction is anticipated to be completed late this year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FYI, Homeowners Policies DO NOT Cover Flooding

Your regular homeowners policy does not cover flooding. But a flood insurance policy does.
  • Flooding is the #1 natural disaster.
  • Flood damage is not covered by most homeowners insurance policies.
  • 25% of flood claims are filed by people living in low-to-moderate risk areas.
  • In high-risk areas, 1 in 4 homes will experience a flood over the course of a 30-year mortgage.
  • Only 2 inches of water in your home can cost $7,800 or more in damage. (Can you guess what 1 foot would be? Find out the cost with this interactive tool from
  • Disaster assistance- if it's available- is usually a loan you must repay with interest.
  • Flood insurance is mandatory if you live in a high-risk area and have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. Check with your lender for details.

Aren't those enough reasons to protect yourself from flood?
If you haven't already, now is the time. Call us 1-888-867-2866, e-mail us, or request a flood quote from the web today.

Flood insurance rates are all federally regulated by FEMA which means, it's the same cost anywhere you go. So why not shop with the Agency that cares, the agency you trust?

Remember, all flood insurance policies have a standard 30 day waiting period!

Thanks to

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans & Military Personnel? Enter CARSTAR's Contest!

All veterans & military personnel are invited to come in to Bob Bjorneby’s CARSTAR Federal Way Collision & place their name in an appreciation drawing for gift certificate for dinner at the Space Needle and one night’s accommodation at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle.

No Purchase Necessary
(must show military ID or proof)

Drawing to be held November 30th, 2009.

Note: this drawing is being held in partnership with Federal Way, Des Moines and Kent CARSTAR stores. CARSTAR employees and immediate family members are not eligible.

Bob Bjorneby's CARSTAR Federal Way Collision
1750 So. 327th St
Federal Way WA 98003
Phone : 253-874-9330

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chance of Flooding Decreased, Residents Jubilant but Vigilant

Sandbags are lined up around the Green River to prepare for potential flooding.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been working hard to make secure adjustments and repairs on the Howard Hanson Dam and good news arrived last Friday...the chances of flooding have been lowered from a 1 in 3 chance to a 1 in 25 chance!

Since January, they've pumped a half a million gallons into the damaged abutment to hold back water during days of heavy rain. This last Thursday, Corps of Engineers Col. Anthony Wright said that it is, indeed, doing it's job. The grout bonded with earthen materials to slow seepage enough that he was able to increase the capacity of the reservoir behind the dam of about 33% to about 50% of its normal capacity.
Therefore, reducing the risk of causing forced flooding in the Auburn valley region to about 1 in 25 with an overall risk of 1 in 33 with the sandbags and other security features to be installed.

Col. Wright maintains, however, that if we again experience Pineapple Express (a series of storms carrying heavy moisture from the subtropics) like we did in January, he would have to cause flooding by releasing water from the dam.

The new numbers are are fantastic improvement, but residents are still staying on guard.

King County Executive Kurt Triplett stated "the new percentage sounds great, but the reality is we had just that type of storm event 10 months ago. I'm definitely going to be sleeping easier..., but we're not out of the woods."

When the dam is fully restored with a concrete wall built within the abutment, there will only be a 1 in 140 chance of flooding. This could be 3 to 5 years away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Radars and Gauges to Fight Flooding

More rain gauges and an experimental weather sensor will be installed in the Green River basin to help boost the odds that federal officials can predict which storms might lead to flooding.

These systems, which are already used in California, measure water vapors in the air and wind speed and direction several miles above Earth's surface. Forecasters may be able to use this information to better predict whether impending storms will have enough rainfall to cause flooding within 24 hours in advance.

The new rain sensors are not foolproof, though, Colman said. They are still experimental, and one of the weather service's most difficult tasks, technologically, is gauging how much rain will fall during a given storm.

"But if before we were calling for 2-4 inches of rain and this lets us refine that to say 2-3 inches ... even removing that bit of uncertainty will be helpful," Colman said.

Thank you to Seattle Times.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

H1N1 Tips

Here's a great e-mail regarding Swine Flu...if you haven't gotten it, it's going around! (The e-mail, not the flu :))

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you need to eat or bathe).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt).
H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to #3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga "asanas" to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (i.e. citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.
Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Friday, October 30, 2009

SAV-ON Halloween Contest Update

Our original Dopey was out sick, but we had a great stand Kid's Club Secretary, Donny!

When the Evil Queen found out where Snow White was hiding, she came to drop off an apple.
Careful Snow White!


The Des Moines office as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first place, the "Best Costume" trophy, and pizza next week!

The Kent office won 2nd place, the "Most Original" trophy and will also be enjoying pizza next week.

And Normand in our Lynnwood office gets a consolation prize for his awesome rendition of Jack Sparrow; a McDonald's Big Mac Meal!!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween! For tips on trick or treating, check out our latest newsletter.

Halloween Office Contest!

In the spirit of Halloween, 3 offices compete for the pizza lunch!
Which is your favorite??

Kent Office

Des Moines Office

Lynnwood Office

Bellevue Office
Freeze, POLICE! .... Somebody isn't insured with SAV-ON ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homeowners, Time to Winterize!

Conduct a Roof Inspection: A professional roof inspection can identify roof damage while it still costs hundreds, instead of thousands, of dollars to fix. This inspection should also tell you the condition of your attic ventilation, key in preventing the formation of destructive ice dams. If you simply can't come up with the $200-$300 fee, at the very least conduct your own visual inspection to look for signs of wear-and-tear.

Make it Green: The most energy-efficient roof really depends on your location. Metal roofing works best for warmer climates, but an upgrade to roof insulation is universally green and a great idea before winter hits.

Clean your Gutters: Probably the most common and least neglected task of the bunch, don't take your gutter cleaning for granted. Proper cleaning involves more than just throwing easy-to-reach leaves out of the channel. Flush your downspouts and keep an eye out for any signs of gutter deterioration.

Make it Green: Retrofit your gutters to collect rainwater and snow melt next spring and summer to aid your lawn irrigation.

Insulate and Seal Windows: If you don't already have double-pane windows, it's time to jump on the bandwagon. With heating costs, few home improvements pay for themselves as quickly as replacement windows. If you simply can't afford it, use thick plastic covers or blankets to help out in the meantime. And regardless of the number of panes, take a look at your window frame. It may need new sealant.

Make it Green: Truly green windows are more than just double-paned. Different glazes will allow you to use daylighting techniques, and window treatments will allow you to block the heat gain of next summer's mid-afternoon sun.

Seal and Inspect Doors: Some homeowners pay so much attention to their windows that they forget their doors. Take a look at your entry door for air leaks and use weatherstripping to help seal the joints. Take a look at your garage door, too, for both insulation and home security value.

Make it Green: A new wood door for the entry, garage, or both will increase your home's curb appeal and it's insulating R-value simultaneously.

Evaluate the Furnace/Heating System: This one has a ton of upside. Catching problems with your heating system before winter hits almost always saves a bunch of money and will give you some time to plan for a replacement system, if necessary. If nothing else, at least change the filter, no matter the age or condition of your system.

Make it Green: For replacement systems, start with the big ideas first. Get an estimate for geothermal heating and cooling. If that doesn't pan out, take a look at split-system heat pumps or furnaces with an Energy Star label.

Winterize Your Landscaping: Just because you'll be spending most of the winter indoors doesn't mean all your maintenance is on the home itself. Properly close your swimming pool, winterize your sprinkler system, and prepare your garden for next year's planting.

Make it Green: Take the winter to grade your personal landscaping conservation practices. Is it time to start composting? How much water would you save with a fully-automated sprinkler system? Is there a good spot to plant a new tree in the spring?

Miscellaneous and Emergency Preparation: For most homes, winter means the looming possibility of snow and/or ice storms. A back-up generator is a great idea, but still no substitute for an emergency kit, complete with food and water, a reliable radio, and first-aid kit. Investing in a snow blower isn't a bad idea, either, especially for older homeowners who are vulnerable to heart problems.

Make it Green: Don't worry about saving the planet, until you've first saved yourself and your loved ones. Still, a back-up generator will, among other things, help make sure plumbing lines don't freeze and burst. After all, burst pipes harm both your household and your local environment.

Thanks to

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flood Insurance, Time is Running Out!

For people that wait too long for a flood insurance policy, you may be in for a rude awakening when companies stop offering it!
With the high volume of policies being issued, companies are starting to see that they could be in for some catastrophic financial losses.

Attention homeowners, renters, & mobile owners! Flood is not included in your regular policy. Flood works a little differently and we're always here to explain how flood coverage, exclusions, and deductibles work.

It's also VERY important to remember that there is a 30 day waiting period for flood policies. Which essentially means that if you take out your policy on 10/20/09, your policy will not go into effect until 11/20/09. Any flood occurring before that date will not be covered.

So just call us or e-mail us for a quote TODAY! You will be surprised at how inexpensive flood coverage can be.

For Flood Quotes & Questions
E-mail: or call 1-888-867-2866

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Career Changes & Children Likely to Prompt Women to Purchase a Car

For women, purchasing a car can often be triggered by major life events, particularly changes in employment and family, according to a recent survey conducted for CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars.

Sixty percent of women surveyed indicated that a change in their career, whether it was a new job (37 percent) or retirement (23 percent), would be most likely to initiate the purchase of a vehicle. However, for women between the ages of 18 and 34, forty-one percent responded more likely to purchase a car when they become pregnant or welcomed another child into the family, a similar percentage as those surveyed who chose “new job” in the same age group.

“Many personal factors affect women shopping for a car,” said Donna Wassel, Southwest region vice president of CarMax. “Changes in family and employment create an opportunity to evaluate your current driving situation. If a car purchase is right for you, shopping at a no-hassle, no-haggle car retailer such as CarMax can make the experience a fun and enjoyable one.”

The following are the results of the recent poll that asked women: Of the following life events, which is most likely to prompt you to purchase a car?

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax. The national sample consisted of more than 500 U.S. women, aged 18 and older who were interviewed online August 17 through August 19, 2009.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Holiday Hosts Need a Personal Umbrella

Nearly 29 million American s will plan to host a party between Halloween and the Super Bowl. More importantly, over 21 million of those party hosts do not have Personal Umbrella Insurance, leaving them open to lawsuits and potential financial ruin.

If a party guest drinks, drives and causes an accident, the hosts can be held responsible. The high dollar value of jury awards combined with skyrocketing health care costs means one lawsuit can easily exceed the liability limits provided by the average homeowner policy.

SAV-ON has multiple companies which offer Personal Umbrella policies to cover you in the event of such a claim.

Call us today at 1-888-867-2866, e-mail, or request a Quik Quote!
For only 50 cents a day, you won't regret it!

Thank you to Mutual Insurance Company!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Energy Efficiency Improvements Tax Incentive

The $8,000 New Home Buyer Tax Credit (along with the Cash-for-Clunkers) may have dominated the headlines recently, but some energy efficiency Tax Credits offered by the federal government could be even more useful for the average homeowner. You may be eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of materials (up to $1,500) for certain products purchased between January 1, 2009 and December 31st, 2010.

Click below for the rating specifications for eligible energy efficiency products or request the document from us:

Thanks to Prudential

Friday, October 2, 2009

PEMCO news release offers water-damage tips

PEMCO Insurance issued a news release October 1, that reveals Washington residents’ perceptions of the most-frequent causes of homeowner claims. The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, conducted by FBK Research, shows that only 14% of people correctly identified water leaks as the leading cause of homeowner claims, while more than one-fourth incorrectly believe bad weather causes most claims. The news release also offers tips on how to prevent common leaks, such as with ice-makers, dishwashers, washing-machine hoses, and outdoor faucets.

CarMax Advises How to Avoid Flood-Damaged Cars

In the wake of recent flooding, CarMax, Inc., (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, is advising consumers on how to avoid purchasing flood-damaged vehicles.

"Consumers should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try to sell salvaged and flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle history," said Jason Day, Atlanta region vice president of purchasing for CarMax.
Flood-damaged cars that are not structurally or mechanically sound could be repaired, re-titled, and sold to unsuspecting buyers."

CarMax’s purchasing team offers these ten tips for identifying a vehicle with possible flood damage. If any of these signs are identified, ask further questions to determine if flood damage occurred:

  • Check for a moldy smell inside the car and feel the carpet for dampness
  • Be suspicious of an older car with a brand new interior or carpeting
  • Check for rust under the brake or gas pedals
  • Look for dirt or rust under the dashboard and floor mats
  • Inspect the bolts and screws under the seats for evidence of rust
  • Check the undercarriage for excessive rust
  • Check inside the trunk under the carpet and in the spare tire well area for rust, dirt or sand
  • Look for corrosion, water marks, or a thin brown line on the exterior of the vehicle
  • Check to see if the electrical system works
  • Check the VIN number with AutoCheck or Carfax to see whether a flood claim has been filed or a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Buying a Car is a Hassle For Women

    Buying a car is a hassle for women, according to a recent poll conducted for CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars.
    When asked about their last car buying experience, a fourth of the women who responded felt a quick and effortless transaction was most missing, according to a new survey of more than 500 women. Fair, low pricing and having a trustworthy salesperson were also cited as the other top factors missing when buying a vehicle.

    “Now more than ever, women want a car buying experience that is straightforward and fair,” says Donna Wassel, Southwest regional vice president of CarMax. “Finding a car retailer with low, no haggle pricing that offers an easy transaction with integrity can help take away the hassle.”

    The following are the results of the recent poll that asked women: Thinking about the last time that you bought a car, which of the following was most missing?

    Results of the Survey
    A quick, effortless transaction - 25%
    A fair trade-in value - 19%
    A trustworthy salesperson - 15%
    Low, fair pricing - 13%
    A reasonable finance rate - 13%
    Respect - 2%
    I have never bought a car - 13%

    CarMax offers the following tips for women car shoppers:

    1. Go online to research vehicle types, makes, models, options, features, and prices. Visit websites such as to search thousands of cars, see actual prices, view multiple photos, obtain vehicle history reports, read customer reviews and more.
    2. Print out fact sheets or information about the vehicles you are interested in, and have them ready when you step onto the lot.
    3. If you plan on selling your car, bring key paperwork items with you, including title and registration for your current vehicle, your driver’s license, and insurance card.
    4. If you have been pre-approved for a car loan, bring the approval letter with you.
    5. Find a car retailer and salesperson you like and trust by asking friends and family for referrals.
    6. Try a retailer that offers no-haggle prices and a la carte pricing on each part of the car buying transaction – the vehicle price, the extended service plan, the trade-in, and the financing.
    7. Think about selling your car separately from your car purchase. You can bring your car to CarMax for an appraisal – it’s fast, free and convenient.
    8. Have confidence in your car shopping abilities. You have done your research and are prepared to make a smart car buying decision.
    9. Do not hesitate to ask lots of questions—as many as you need so that you understand exactly what you are paying for.
    10. Be prepared to walk away if you are unhappy with your car buying experience.

    The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax. The national sample consisted of more than 500 U.S. women, aged 18 and older who were interviewed online August 17 through August 19, 2009.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Seattle: Best Fall Destination

    MSN named Seattle as one of the 14 best Fall destinations!

    It’s true that Seattle gets rainier in the fall, but it’s still an enchanting city to visit in autumn; be sure to leaf-peep in the Washington Park Arboretum. If it does rain, Seattle’s renowned arts scene has plenty to keep you occupied, with fall openings in theater, opera and fine art. Also delightful: Hotel rates are down 20 percent this fall from a year ago, while airfares have dropped 13 percent. (MSN)

    Take a stroll through Discovery Park or hike Mount Rainier! Whatever your fancy, see the top 10 Best Seattle Park Attractions for more fun jaunts this Seattle Fall!

    One that didn't make the list (and a personal favorite of mine), is the somewhat hidden Parsons Gardens (see photo) located on Queen Anne hill on the corner of 7th Ave. W and W Highland Dr.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Flood Resources

    The time will soon be here when the Green River will likely flood. Now is the time to prepare (and to purchase flood insurance!)

    The following are some helpful websites if the day comes. SAV-ON will continue to update on the flood watch and provide information or tips as necessary.

    Want more details on the Green River flooding? Read our prior post 4 Major Seattle Cities at Flood Risk

    FEMA Map Service Center
    Plug in your address and view a map for flood zone information.

    King County iMAP Interactive Mapping Tool
    More user friendly but limited to King County residents. Choose Stormwater from the drop down box and get detailed information regarding flood risk. Most detailed but longest to load. You can also use the Parcel Viewer version which is quicker but requires your parcel number.

    FEMA Map Viewer
    Plug in your address and view a map for flood zone ifnormation! Very user friendly and provides information for the entire country.

    How To Prepare For a Flood
    Quick information from King County and a few resource websites and phone numbers.

    Important Phone Numbers for Flooding (King County)
    Important phone numbers and resources regarding flood information. Limited to King County.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Are You At Risk For Flooding?

    How do I get a copy of the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) map for my area?

    Call the FEMA Map Service Center at 1-800-358-9616. If you are looking for information regarding a specific piece of property it is important to know the community number and panel number. Less specific maps for counties, cities or towns do not require this information. Each map is $.50 and each order is $2.50 for shipping and handling.


    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Unemployment Rate Rises Again

    The unemployment rate has risen back to 9.2% here in Washington State after seeing a drop in rates in July, to 8.9%, (originally calcuated at 9.1%).

    Washington lost about 8000 agricultural jobs last month after gaining 11,800 but the biggest decline was seen in professional and business services with a loss of 2500 jobs.

    Retail trade and education and health services were also down 2400 and 1800 jobs, respectively, but government saw growth of 1800 new jobs, leisure and hospitality with 800, transportation, warehousing, and utilities, up 700, and construction with a gain of 200 jobs.

    Economists say that the small gain in construction is a first since January 2008.

    More than 319,000 people in Washington are still looking for work according to the Employment Security Department.

    Last year at this time, Washington's unemployment rate was 5.4%. The state lost 126,100 jobs from August 2008 to August 2009, a 4.2 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined by 4.3 percent over the past year.

    However, Washington state's unemployment rate is lower than the national rate, which was 9.7% for August.

    Thank you to KIRO News

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    New Spanish Commercial Airs this Month!

    Our latest commercial to air this month on a few Spanish channels. Here's the sneak peek! Marque ya!

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Uncovering the Common Cold

    With Summer going strong, the word "cold" may not be what you expected to see this month...Did you know that getting a cold is actually quite common, even in warm weather? Whether they hit you in Winter or Summer, colds are such an exhausting fact of life that we can't help but wonder: why haven't they come up with a cure?

    Well, the most common answer is that there is no cure available, but the reality is that what we term a "cold" may refer to any one of hundreds of different varieties of disease. Some are contagious viruses, some are infections and some are influenza (the flu).

    Since it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the source, here are some helpful tips for you...

    What DOES NOT cause a cold:

    Being cold--no proof that winter or cold or rain makes us more susceptible to getting a cold.

    What MAY cause a cold:

    Lack of sleep. In many tests it has been shown that those with less than 7 hours of sleep were more likely to catch a cold.

    Lack of Vitamin D. There have been studies that show that colds can be associated with low levels of Vitamin D.


    Well, none actually.

    There are plenty of drugs and cures that aim to make you feel better but these medicines treat your symptoms to make them less noticeable.

    There is no known medicine that can reduce the length of an infection.

    Antibiotics have no effect on a common cold.

    The best thing to do is to wash your hands frequently and to avoid those who knowingly have a cold. The virus often comes in through your nose and eyes, so avoid touching your face as much as possible.

    All of us here at Sav-on Insurance Agencies wish you and your family continued health.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    PEMCO news release addresses politeness while driving

    PEMCO Insurance issued a news release today, September 10, that reveals Washington drivers’ perceptions of how polite – or aggressive – their fellow motorists are. The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, conducted by FBK Research, shows that women drivers consider themselves more polite, male drivers consider themselves more aggressive, and Western Washington drivers consider themselves slightly more polite than do Eastern Washington drivers. Also, it's amusing to note that all drivers see themselves as more polite than "the other guy," saying they witness other drivers being erratic or rude nearly 10 times as often.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Fake Air Bags Lead to Death

    A lengthy KIRO Team 7 Investigation exposes a widespread, dishonest and deadly secret: You may not know if your car really has airbags until it's too late.
    Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne discovers something no federal or state agency has ever attempted: how often phony airbags play a role in killing drivers.

    Vik Lim is the Van Gogh of fake airbags. Our undercover investigation discovered his shop specializes in repairing wrecked car interiors, cutting out previously deployed airbags, then gluing the shells back together.

    Read the remainder of this shocking article, Fake Air Bags, Fatal Consequences

    When are Booster Seats Required?

    "Age 4 to 8, unless they're 4-feet 9 inches tall," State Patrol Trooper Cliff Pratt said. "Anything 4 feet 9 inches or taller should be in a safety belt."

    In a booster seat, the "shoulder belt should cross the shoulder and the chest," Pratt said. "It should never be under the child or behind the back. The lap belt should rest low across the lap or upper thigh area, not across the stomach."

    RCW section 46.61.687 has more details, available here.

    Thank you to the Seattle PI's "Seattle 911"

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    SAV-ON Proudly Sponsors Youth Sports Teams

    SAV-ON is proud to support the local community and youth sports teams. Enjoy the team photos!

    Co-Owner Rick Devitte proudly stands alongside the Des Moines Bulldogs Basketball team!

    The Des Moines Dragons Baseball team are all smiles!

    In addition to being active in the community, all 6 SAV-ON locations offer Northwest Harvest drop boxes all year round! Thanks to the Kent office for recently donating another full box!

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Media Event Announces Solar Pie Project

    Elected officials and news reporters will be at PEMCO tomorrow, Sept. 2, for a lunchtime media event announcing our support of Solar Pie, a local not-for-profit that teamed with our Real Estate department to install solar panels on PEMCO’s Home Office roof. The event takes place in PEMCO’s parking lot directly across Harrison Street from our loading dock.

    During the event, we’ll “unveil” new information on our rooftop time and temperature sign. In addition to showing time and temperature, during daylight hours the sign will also show kilowatts being generated, while at night you’ll see reductions in carbon emissions made possible by the solar panels. Web surfers will be able to track the data at, and a new webpage on will summarize the Solar Pie project.

    PEMCO is playing a support role in this project. Our purpose is to help Solar Pie’s principals, Carolyn and Scott Sherwood, educate the public that solar energy works, even in cloudy Seattle. The PEMCO Seattle Solar Pie Project is made possible by our Real Estate department; Seattle-based contractor McKinstry, project managers; and Seattle City Light and the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, regulatory oversight. For more information, check out the recent Seattle Times article:

    This post was made possible on the behalf of Jon Osterberg, PEMCO marketing communications manager, 206-628-4019.

    Survey Shows Support in Banning Texting While Driving

    Data suggests legislation alone will not solve the problem

    Columbus, Ohio — Nationwide Insurance today released the results of its new On Your Side® survey, which found that 8 in 10 Americans surveyed this month say they would support legislation restricting cell phone use while driving. The survey, conducted Aug. 5-9, 2009, by Harris Interactive, reports that 80 percent of Americans favor a ban on texting while driving, while two thirds favor a ban on cell phone calls, and more than half say they would support a ban on cell phone use altogether. Earlier this summer, Nationwide announced its support of the concept of a national ban on texting while driving to help curb crashes and reduce auto insurance claims.

    The survey results are being announced as hundreds of highway traffic safety advocates and officials are convening at the Governors Highway Safety Association’s annual conference in Savannah, Ga., to discuss driving while distracted (DWD) and other highway safety issues. This meeting is taking place in advance of a presidential summit on DWD that is scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Washington, DC.

    “In recent months, the debate about the dangers of DWD has intensified as more and more states consider taking legislative action,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s Safety Officer. “The survey results confirm that there is strong public support for banning texting while driving. It also provides insight into support for additional restrictions policymakers may want to consider.”

    Public support for DWD legislation
    The results of the new survey show there are varying degrees of support for different types of restrictions. Overall, the survey found that 8 in 10 drivers support some type of cell phone usage restriction.
  • The majority of respondents say they are supportive of laws restricting any type of cell phone use while driving.
  • 80 percent of respondents support a ban on text messaging while driving.
  • 80 percent of respondents support a ban on e-mailing while driving.
  • Two thirds (67 percent) of respondents say they are supportive of laws restricting phone calls while driving.
  • Of those who support some type of cell phone usage restriction, nearly 3 in 4 believe the law should apply to all drivers, not just specific groups.

    Regional differences
    In geographic regions where one would expect to find higher cell phone usage and more multitasking lifestyles, support for a ban was high. The majority of respondents in the west and northeast regions say they would support a ban on any type of cell phone use while driving.

    Generational differences
    While it’s not surprising that older generations are supportive of bans, even members of Generations X (ages 33-44) and Y (ages 21-32), who are more likely to use cell phones, are supportive of laws – particularly those banning text messaging and e-mailing. Three fourths of Generation X and Y respondents favor these restrictions.

    The overwhelming support for legislation may be driven by increased public recognition of the dangers associated with DWD. In 2008, Nationwide’s DWD survey revealed that 45 percent of respondents had been hit or nearly hit by another driver using a cell phone.

    Need for education
    According to the survey released today, respondents say they are witnessing a growth in distracted driving behavior on the roads, underscoring the importance of public education to raise awareness about this dangerous practice.
  • More than half of respondents say they see more drivers using cell phones while driving than they did 12 months ago.
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents say that when they drive, they always or often see other drivers using cell phones.

    The importance of technology
    “The new information in this survey also indicates that many drivers are either in denial about their DWD habits or resistant to changing their behavior,” said Windsor. “This suggests that legislation may not be enough to eliminate distracted driving and highlights the need for a technological solution that can prevent cell phone usage in moving vehicles while still allowing people to stay connected.”

    Drivers in denial
    Nearly half (49 percent) of drivers say a law restricting use of cell phones would not change their behavior because they don’t currently use cell phones while driving.
  • When you compare this statistic to Nationwide’s 2008 DWD survey, which revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers admit to talking on their cell phone while driving, it may be the case that some drivers are either in denial or too embarrassed to admit their DWD problem.

    Resistance to new laws
    In the new survey, four out of five respondents (82 percent) who admit to using their cell phones while driving say their behavior would change if cell phone usage were restricted by law.
  • However, 18 percent of respondents who admit to using their cell phones while driving say they would continue to do so regardless of a change in law, with Generation Y most likely to resist the change (26 percent).

    Further evidence that a technological solution is needed comes from Nationwide’s 2008 DWD survey. This study found that 43 percent of drivers believe technological advances that prevent cell phones from working in a moving vehicle would be the most effective solution to DWD.

    Nationwide’s commitment to reducing DWD
    Nationwide is committed to helping customers protect what matters most and that is why the company recently stated its support of the concept of a national ban on texting while driving. In addition to saving lives, fewer DWD related crashes could also result in lower insurance costs for consumers.

    “DWD impacts all of us in one form or another and Nationwide will continue to raise public awareness about this important issue,” said Windsor. “By working closely with legislators, public safety officials and other key stakeholders we can arrive at real-world solutions to this problem and help make the roads a safer place.”

    Survey methodology
    This survey was conducted by Harris Interactive via its National QuorumSM telephone omnibus service. This study was conducted by telephone within the United States between Aug. 5-9, 2009 among a nationwide cross section of 1,008 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The results for the overall sample have a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent certainty.
  • Monday, August 31, 2009

    High-Tech Speed Traps Online In Bellevue

    BELLEVUE, Wash. -- As nearly 17,000 students started school in Bellevue Monday, new high-tech speed traps went online.

    Drivers will see the new cameras and warning signs as they approach Lake Hills and Stevenson elementary schools.

    The sign surrounded with flashing lights gives drivers about 150 feet to slow down to the 20 mph school zone speed.

    For the first 30 days, drivers who violate the speed zone during school start and release hours will get a warning. After the transition period, drivers caught on camera will be fined with a $124 ticket.

    The Bellevue City Council's web site emphasizes that the council will be reviewing the cameras' performance every six months.

    The City Council approved the pilot program early last April.

    From KIRO Online

    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    PEMCO: Texting While Driving Rate Up

    PEMCO Insurance issued a news release, August 25, that reveals more Washingtonians are texting while driving. The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, conducted by FBK Research, shows that of those who use electronic devices, more of them – 18% – admit to reading or sending text messages while driving than in February 2008, when only 6% said they did so. Ironically, the same poll found that increasing numbers of drivers are concerned that texting while driving is a dangerous distraction.

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Des Moines Office Wins Prestigious Award

    SAV-ON Insurance has been selected for the 2009 Best of Des Moines Award in the Insurance Agents category by the U.S. Commerce Association.

    Each year, the US Commerce Association (USCA) identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

    Thank you to our wonderful clients and others that made this award possible. We will continue to strive for the most excellent service and provide to families and individuals in need in our local community.

    US Commerce Association Website

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    WA Unemployment Rate Decreased in July

    Are we seeing a change in our economic status? Washington State saw an unemployment rate decrease this last month at 9.1%, down from 9.2% in June. A small gain...but in the right direction!

    We gained 4000 new non-agricultural jobs last month. The last time we had a gain in jobs was in November 2008.

    Washington is below the national unemployment rate of 9.4% (July) but still, more than 315,850 people are currently unemployed and seeking work in this state alone.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Mileage is Top Reason for Depreciation

    An online survey by CarMax, Inc found that most Americans see mileage as the top reason for depreciation, even over an accident. Other major reasons were frame damage and not keeping up with regular maintenance, which was chosen more by women than men.

    The results of the survey:
    Vehicle mileage - 33%
    Accident or frame damage - 24%
    Keeping up with regular maintenance - 22%
    Current market data - 12%
    Flood damage - 7%
    Title issues - 2%

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    Ohio City, 10,000 Tickets in a Month

    Installation of 10 new traffic cameras has led to a whopping 10,000 tickets issued in Heath, Ohio in just a 4 week period.

    To make matters worse, the turn around time on the mailed citations is such a long period of time that many of the offenders unknowingly racked up quite a few more tickets in the meantime. And then, to challenge a ticket, a $100 bond must be posted. So essentially, the offender has paid the ticket hoping to get refunded after their hearing.

    The 10,000 citations would mean $830,000 in revenue for the city, but it's likely many of the tickets will be dropped.

    Some have stated the Redflex traffic cameras are just too sensitive. A huge possibility seeing as how Redflex takes a portion of the ticket earnings.

    The Redflex website boasts "the longest consistently-operating company in the photo enforcement industry."

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    4 Steps to Take in Emergency Situations

    The main thing is staying calm...and follow these 4 steps in an emergency situation!
    1. Assess the situation. Is your loved one bleeding or did he have a blow to the head, a fall, or an allergic reaction? Is he experiencing any symptom specifically related to his illness? What were you both doing just prior to the emergency? Is he responsive? Are his pupils enlarged and are they the same size? Was there a complaint of pain or anything else relevant? What is different or unusual about your loved one? “Observe, observe, observe,” says Guerra in anticipation of calling 911.

    2. Call 911. Do this when you have the even slightest hint that your loved one is facing a life-threatening emergency. “A call to 911 is the best thing in any emergency,” says Guerra. Do not attempt to take anyone with a potentially serious problem to the hospital yourself; instead, call 911 immediately. Give the 911 operator as much information as you can, so that emergency personnel can be fully prepared to assist your loved one when they arrive, says Guerra. It's crucial to accurately describe the situation and speak slowly and clearly when talking with the 911 operator. Mention any pre-existing conditions, such as a history of heart attack, diabetes, a bleeding disorder, or asthma.

    3. Loosen any tight clothing. Make sure your loved one has nothing constricting the airways, like a restrictive shirt or tie, and keep them in a comfortable position while you wait for help.

    4. Comfort and communicate. Talk to your loved one until 911 arrives. Guerra recommends that you keep your loved one awake by talking to them, but don’t encourage them to talk. Take slow, deep breaths to help yourself stay calm as well.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Blue Angels I-90 Closures

    It's that time of year again when the Blue Angels take flight. The following is the I-90 Floating Bridge closure schedule:

    Thursday - July 30th
    First closure: 9:45am - 12:00pm
    Second closure: 1:15pm - 2:30pm

    Friday - July 31st
    12:45pm - 2:40pm
    (practice show)

    Saturday - August 1st
    12:45pm - 2:40pm
    (full show)

    Sunday - August 2nd
    12:45pm - 2:40pm
    (full show)

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Insurance Myth: You've Got Insurance To Pay EVERY Claim

    Insurance Myth: Insurance is there to pay for every claim or accident...
    Truth: Insurance is meant for catastrophic losses.

    Small claims and accidents that could have been paid out of pocket will usually come back to haunt you in the form of higher premiums...or worse, non-renewal. This is something that is prevalent with homeowners policies and Preferred auto companies.

    Also, a lower deductible may make it possible for you can make more claims-- but you pay the price. Literally. If you can pay for the loss or damage without a financial hardship then pay it.

    Something to keep in mind...depending on your policy, you may not have the coverage to pay your claim! For example, you're driving down a rural road and hit a deer; you don't have comprehensive or collision coverage and there's considerable damage to your vehicle. In this case, you're out of luck.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Unsecured Load Causes Crash on I-90

    A bucket in the road caused a car to swerve starting a chain reaction of collisions ultimately leaving 5 vehicles and a semi truck in a big wreck.

    The collision blocked 2 westbound lanes of I-90 from about 3:40pm to 6:30pm yesterday.

    30 minutes after the collision, medics and rescue crews were were still working to remove drivers and passengers from vehicles. 6 people were transported to Harborview Medical Center, none had serious injuries.

    A pickup involved in the accident spilled about 20 gallons of paint on the roadway and a storm drain. The Department of Ecology is looking into the spilled paint.

    Driver Hung Upside Down in Vehicle Overnight

    A Kirkland driver was found this morning hanging upside down in his vehicle overnight after a high speed chase.

    Police say they witnessed the driver run a red light and then fled police reaching speeds over 100 MPH. The driver flipped the car and crashed traveling on I-405.

    Police believe alcohol was a factor.

    Thank you to KIRO.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Earthquake Preparedness: What To Do Before an Earthquake

    Check for earthquake hazards
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves and store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.
  • Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

    Identify safe places indoors and outdoors
  • Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.
  • Against an inside wall.
  • Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
  • In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.

    Have disaster supplies on hand
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Emergency food and water.
  • Nonelectric can opener.
  • Essential medicines.
  • Cash and credit cards.
  • Sturdy shoes.

    Make sure the whole family knows the plan
  • Make sure children know how to call 911 and how to tune into emergency radio broadcasts
  • Teach family members how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity
  • Have an earthquake drill
  • Have a plan to reunite after a disaster if family is separated
  • Have an out of state family member or friend as an emergency contact in case local friends and family are not reachable due to the disaster

    Thank you to FEMA
  • Monday, July 6, 2009

    New Laws Protect Tenants Against Forclosed Homes

    Tenants across the country are being forced to leave the homes they rent due to foreclosure.

    According to the Seattle Times, "The number of foreclosures on all types of houses in the state is up nearly 50 percent from a year ago and rising, driven by unemployment and a weak housing market." A national group estimates that a whopping 40% of these foreclosed homes are rented.

    But new state and federal laws are to be enacted to protect tenants who find themselves in this situation.

    Prior to the new law, tenants who were told they had to move due to foreclosure had just 20 days after the sale to move out-- however many moved in just a few days in fear of losing their possessions. And what's more is that the owner was not required to provide notice before they filed an eviction lawsuit.

    The new federal law which went into effect May 20th requires tenants to continue to pay rent until 90 days after the sale of the foreclosed home or until the end of their existing lease, whichever is longer.

    The new state law which goes into effect July 26th doesn't require tenants to pay rent to the new owner, does not require the owner to honor the existing lease, and tenants must move out within 60 days of being notified of the sale.

    Although generally, federal law trumps state law. But experts say in cases where the laws conflict, the provision that provides tenants the greatest protection should apply.

    A total of 23,705 homes foreclosed in Washington State in 2007, up 27.95% from 2006.

    June: Graduate Results

    We moved 40 people from high risk rates to low-cost Preferred rates this last month through our Exclusive Graduate Department. That brings us to a total of 259 for the year!

    Our top savers this last month... (These savings are per 6 month terms!)
  • Ben O - Enumclaw - $937
  • Maria A - Seattle - $773
  • Richard S - SeaTac - $734
  • Robert T - Seattle - $698
  • David D - Kent - $697
  • Robert L - of Orting - $578
  • Patricia K - Tacoma - $544
  • Jaime D - Kent - $510
  • Kathleen C - Edmonds - $499
  • Anatoliy V - Tacoma - $424
  • Kathleen C - Edmonds - $499
  • Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Kid's Club Carnival CANCELED

    Unfortunately, the Kid's Club Carnival has been canceled. But we plan to have this next year.

    Donations to Northwest Harvest are still encouraged at any of our office locations. This last quarter we raised a monetary donation of $282.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Celebrating the 4th: Local Firework Shows

    Like last year, many cities are banning fireworks within city limits. But this doesn't mean you can't enjoy the displays! See the full list of local fireworks shows and displays.

    City: Bellevue -
    Event: Symetra Family Fourth
    Place: Bellevue Downtown Park
    Date: July 4th
    Time: 6:00 p.m. to late evening Radio simulcast on 94.1 KMPS & 106.1 Kiss FM
    City: Burien -
    Event: 4th of July Family Days (No Fireworks)
    Place: Downtown Burien S.W. 153rd Street
    Date: July 4th
    Time: 3:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    City: Des Moines -
    Event: Fireworks Over Des Moines
    Place: Des Moines Marina, 22307 Dock Ave S.
    Date: July 4th
    Time: 10:00 p.m.

    City: Kent -
    Event: 4th of July Splash, Fireworks Display
    Place: Lake Meridian Park
    Date: July 4th
    Time: noon - late evening fireworks at dusk

    City: Kirkland -
    Event: 4th of July Celebration
    Place: Marina Park
    Date: July 4th
    Time: 10 p.m.

    City: Lacey -
    Event: 43rd Annual 3rd of July Fireworks Spectacular
    Place: South Sound Center
    Date: July 3rd
    Time: 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. fireworks at 10:15p.m.

    City: Lynnwood -
    Event: Star Spangled Celebration
    Place: Lynnwood High School Athletic Complex
    Date: July 4th Time: 6 - 10:15 p.m.

    City: Renton -
    Event: Fabulous Fourth of July
    Place: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
    Date: July 4th
    Time: Events mid morning to 9:30 p.m. fireworks 10:00 p.m.

    City: Seattle -
    Event: Family 4th at Lake Union
    Place: Gas Works Park
    Date: July 4th
    Time: Noon through late evening (televised KING 5, simulcast on, JACK 96.5 FM, or KZOK 102.5 FM)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    Growth of Washington Population Slows

    The annual population growth rate in Washington state has fallen .09%, according to the Office of Financial Management (OFM). And population gains due to migration have dropped from 81,000 in 2006 to 39,00 in 2009, according to Theresa Lowe, Washington's chief demographer.

    “The continued housing contraction nationwide and poor economic conditions appear to be limiting the mobility of the population usually influenced by labor market opportunities,” Lowe said. “Many job seekers are finding it difficult to sell their homes or to relocate to accept employment at the price of paying two mortgages for an extended period.”

    Immigration rates have also lowered with many permanent residents and situational immigrants returning home.

    The population of Washington’s cities and towns totaled 4,115,700 on April 1, 2009, a growth of more than half a million people since the 2000 census count, reported OFM.

    Thank you to KIRO

    Vacant Duplex Erupts in Flames

    A Federal Way, WA duplex left vacant due to foreclosure has erupted in flames for the second time in 2 days.

    Officials stated when the firefighters arrived early this morning, flames were emerging visibly from multiple rooms on the second floor.

    The home was boarded up Monday after the first fire.

    Firefighters are investigating.

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    44 Citations in Clark County Crackdown

    Police issued 44 driving citations during last weekend’s extra patrols aimed at speeders and impaired drivers.

    Of the 44, three were cited on suspicion of driving under the influence, eight for speeding, one for aggressive driving and the remaining number for a variety of violations, said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

    The patrols took place in Clark County, WA on Friday and Saturday as part of a statewide emphasis dubbed "X52" and initiated by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

    The added patrols take place every week in a different part of the state and are paid for by grant money from the safety commission. The grant money covers overtime.

    Thank you to Columbian News

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Hagerty Insurance Co. Announces its Top 10 Most Unusual Collector Cars

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (May 2009) – For more than a decade, the nation’s largest collector car insurance agency has issued policies on some of the greatest and most valuable cars in the world. But from time to time they also receive a request that may prompt them to say: “You Want To Insure What?”

    “When we first set out to insure collector vehicles, we intentionally didn’t want to discriminate and limit ourselves,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance Agency. “But we never anticipated how broad the collector category really is or how many unique and cool vehicles there really are out there. It’s never dull. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    “Top Ten Quirkiest, Coolest and Most Unusual Collector Cars.”

    1. Wienermobile - Invented in 1936 by Carl Mayer, the “Wienermobile” was created to travel across the country as a “traveling billboard” to advertise the Oscar Meyer brand name. Today, college graduates compete for the prestigious position of Hot Dogger so they can travel the nation to various events and promotions in the Wienermobile.

    2. Pumpkin Chucker/Old Fire Truck – This vintage fire truck can shoot pumpkins ¼ mile in any direction you point it. The 25-foot long barrel makes garaging an issue, but it certainly keeps unwanted trespassers at bay.

    3. The Big Red Phone car - This 1975 VW Beetle was transformed into exactly what it sounds like – a big, red telephone. Complete with a keypad, receiver and matching owner/mascot, this car is not easy to miss.

    4. Star Wars Land Speeder - Used by Lucas Films, the hovering vehicle made its first appearance during Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The dirty, beat up land speeder was Luke Skywalker’s alternate mode of transportation when his T-16 skyhopper was in the repair shop.

    5. Cinderella’s Carriage – This carriage evolved from a mere pumpkin and was hauled by a couple of mice-turned-horses. Pretty unbelievable you say? Well, it happened and it needed insurance, so Hagerty gave it the best coverage a budding princess would ever desire. No word on whether elusive glass slipper coverage is next on their list.

    6. Corvette Station Wagon – What do you get when you cross a truly iconic American sports car with a grocery getter? Apparently, you get what is most commonly referred to as a 1954 Commemorative Sport Wagon. Quite the oxymoron, but a conversation starter.

    7. German Panzer Tank – Think you feel safe in your big, American SUV? This military vehicle can only hit up to 25 mph even on the flattest surfaces, but you’ll never have the problem of getting stuck in traffic.

    8. Velorex Oskar 3-wheel car – This 3-wheel, Czechoslovakian, vinyl-covered mini car enjoyed quite a long production run. It was produced from 1953 to 1971 in a town named Hradec Kralove.

    9. 1985 Owosso Pulse – This futuristic looking vehicle is one of just 347 Pulses ever built. The “Autocycle,” as it’s commonly referred to, appeared in the film Back To the Future Part II.

    10. 1974 Dodge Clown Car – Want to be the funniest neighbor on the block? Park this in your driveway.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    June 14th: Flag Day -- Exchange Your Old Flag Free

    Last year we had an extremely successful flag drive sponsored by PEMCO. Anyone was invited to bring in their old flag to have it exchanged for a new flag at no cost. The worn flags would be properly disposed of by the American Legion.

    Flag day is here again on June 14th and Claudia McClain will be running the drive. The drive is being promoted by Stubbs on KMPS and PEMCO will again be sponsoring the drive.

    To exchange your tattered flag free of cost-- stop by Friday, June 12th at McClain Insurance Services:
    10410 19th Ave SE Ste 101
    Everett, WA 98208

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Burien Arson Causes Injuries 5 and Kills 2

    A deliberately set fire destroyed an 8-unit apartment building in Burien and quickly spread to 2 adjacent apartment buildings.

    The fire killed 3 people-- a mentally disabled man with limited vision, an elderly gentleman, his 8-year-old grandson.

    Many have turned to Red Cross or churches for immediate needs but soon will be placed with someone else to get back on their feet.

    Like most of the residents and neighbors affected by the fire, Gina Popich didn't carry renters insurance but keeps her chin up that she, her husband, and 2-year-old son will get resettled soon.

    They lost all their belongings in the fire, including her wedding ring and hundreds of dollars of texts books which she required for the classes she attended at night, while working days at Allied Waste.

    The buildings had smoke alarms but did not have sprinklers. A total of 31 people are homeless.

    The fire is being investigated by King County Fire Investigators and the Major Crimes Unit of the Sheriff's Office. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible. Anyone with information about the arson can call the Sheriff's Office at 206-296-3311.

    Thank you to Seattle Times.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Insurance Fraud on the Rise, Costing Everyone Higher Premiums

    The National Insurance Crime Bureau found a sharp increase in "questionable insurance claims" with the current economy. Insurance fraud is costing Northwest Households about $300 per year in higher premiums.

    Seattle NICB investigator, Scott Wagner, says so far this year vehicle arson is up 27% nationwide. In many cases, he's found that vehicle owners are behind on their payments so they torch it and call it stolen. "The car ends up burning and the insurance company ends up finding out that they're four months behind on their payments," said Wagner.

    In another example, Wagner shows a surveillance video of a woman pulling her S.U.V. into a Seattle restaurant parking lot. The video seems innocent enough, until she walks away from her car - forever. "She parked her car, set her alarm and then left and reported it stolen," said Wagner.

    According to the NICB, in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of last year, vehicle owner give-ups are up 24 percent.

    Darrin Sanger with the Northwest Insurance Council calls insurance fraud a crime against everyone. He says that's because in the end all of us pay in the form of higher premiums. "When someone commits insurance fraud they're not just stealing from insurance companies," said Sanger, "They're stealing from fellow customers."

    A recent study from the NICB shows property/casualty insurance fraud costs Americans nearly $30 billion each year.

    The Northwest Insurance Council offers a reward for citizens who help investigators track down people who've committed insurance fraud.

    Thank you to

    Flood Insurance: When is it Important?

    There are many factors to look at when deciding whether or not to purchase flood insurance but two important things to consider are where you live and the geographic risks for flooding. Common risks for flooding are tropical storms, hurricanes, spring thaw, heavy rains, levees and dams, flash floods, coastal threats and new developments/construction.

    Surely, most everyone understands the devastating effects of flooding and the costs; astronomical! So we are providing a great website for you to use while making your decision regarding the purchase of flood insurance. This website can answer many questions for you. We highly recommend that you access it and read through:

    One thing many people do not realize is their homeowners insurance does not cover most aspects of flooding. For those of you who live in the Kent Valley, WA area we strongly suggest reading the following article: Howard Hanson Dam issues could complicate next rainy season.

    Here at SAV-ON, we feel knowledge is power and very important when making life changing decisions! We encourage you to read up and be prepared or ask an agent! You can call us toll-free 1-888-867-2866 or e-mail

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Identity Theft: Is your information at risk?

    It can happen to anyone. You pull up to the drive thru window at your bank and find out from the teller that your account is overdrawn. Or maybe you receive a credit card statement with numerous charges you know you didn’t make. Or, worse still, your loan application is denied because your credit score which, up to 3 months ago was perfect is now in the high risk category. You feel blind-sided and frustrated. You are a victim of identity theft.

    Even if you think you’ve taken the necessary precautions to safeguard your identity and personal information you could be at risk! Identity theft is when someone obtains personal or financial information about you with the intent to commit fraud. The scariest part is that everyone is at risk. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because you think no one would want your personal information or that you are not in a high risk group.

    In 2003 over 300,000 people in the United States had their identities or personal information stolen. And that number has increased steadily every year. Some sources report that identity fraud or theft has cost companies and individuals $50 billion in the past 5 years. It is estimated that one in six people will have their personal information stolen this year. These are scary numbers and need to be taken seriously, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself from becoming victim to the fastest growing crime of the decade.

    How does someone steal your personal information?
    Most of us are pretty trusting people. We hold ourselves to a certain standard of behavior and we expect that others will too. Most of us think that stealing is wrong and we wouldn’t dream of trying to open a bank account or apply for a credit card with fake information. Unfortunately for us, there are people out there who not only want to steal your information; they want to assume your financial identity.

    These identity thieves can be big time professionals in the business of forging identity papers for illegal immigrants or other criminals or they can be small time con-artists trying to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Either way there are many ways a thief can obtain information about you. They can sift through your recycle bin, your garbage, your mail, and sometimes even hack into your computer to get your passwords and log-in Id’s.

    We’ve become easy targets for identity thieves through our use of technology. Today we don’t think twice about Internet banking or shopping, but one careless move could put us at risk. It may be convenient to bank or shop online, but more and more identity theft is happening in the cyber world and that places anyone who uses a computer in jeopardy.

    How can you protect yourself from identity theft?
    The good news is that protecting yourself from identity theft is simple and there are many effective ways to protect your financial and personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
    • Keep your vital records like bank statements, birth certificates, social security numbers and other personal information in a safe place. Using a locking file cabinet or fire safe is one way to protect your records at home. Either of these solutions is economical when you consider the cost and inconvenience of losing your identity.
    • Consider leasing a safe deposit box at your bank. The fees are usually low and if you have an account already some of the fees might be waived. A safe deposit box is the place to keep your will, or power of attorney, or other important records.
    • Be sure that your mailbox is lockable. Statistics show that having your mail delivered to a locked mail box discourages thieves. If you can’t have your mail delivered to a locked box at your home consider using a post office box. The cost is small and you’ll feel more secure knowing that your mail and your personal information is not at risk.
    • And while we’re talking about mail; be sure to shred any mail that has your name, address, account numbers, or other personal information on it. Especially if it’s an offer for credit, home loans, or bank services. These documents are gold to a thief and need to be shredded immediately if you aren’t going to take advantage of the offer. A shredder for your home or office is an inexpensive alternative to hiring a document shredding company for your business.
    • Use common sense when you shop or bank online. Never shop with a vendor that doesn’t offer a secure payment method. Never respond to emails that ask for personal information, even if they appear to be from your bank or financial institution. And never give out your passwords or log-in information.

    Protecting yourself from identity thieves might seem like too much trouble or too much work, but once you get in the habit of taking these few steps you’ll rest secure knowing that you’ve done everything you could to protect yourself. Don’t become another statistic; take the appropriate steps to protect your personal information today. There are many resources available to you. Check with your bank or financial institution on their policies regarding identity theft. Visit the bookstore or library for information on what steps you can take at home. Contact the Better Business Bureau or your local Chamber of Commerce to see what information they might have on how you can fight identity theft and of course you can visit the many sites online. One good website is;

    Get more free tips and reports!

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    King County Home Values Continue To Drop

    Seattle area home prices dropped 16.4% in March compared to last year at the same time according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

    Just between February 09 and March 09 home prices dropped 2%.

    In July 2008, research for the National Housing Federation claimed the downturn would be over by 2010 with home prices rising 25% in the 5 years following. It predicts a rise of 5.2 per cent in 2012 and 9 per cent in each of the following two years.

    Thank you to KIRO.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    New SR 519 Construction

    WSDOT is improving connections for traffic heading to the Port of Seattle terminals, Colman Dock ferry terminal, central waterfront area and sports stadiums and destinations in Seattle's SODO neighborhood. SR 519 improvements will separate car, freight, pedestrian and rail traffic to help improve mobility, pedestrian safety and reduce the risk of collisions. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by June 2010, in time for the start of construction to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct between S Holgate and S King streets.

    Closure Information:
    -Royal Brougham Way is closed to through traffic between Occidental Avenue and Fourth Avenue on non-event days until further notice.
    -Third Avenue S. will be fully closed until early spring 2010.
    See weekly WSDOT closure information.

    Thank you to WSDOT. See all the details on the new SR 519 Construction here.

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Your Local Farmers Market

    Spring has not quite sprung in Seattle but it's still a perfect time to hit you local Farmers Market. Not only is the produce and fresh flowers appealing to the eye and palate, it's easy on the wallet too!

    According to the U-District Farmers Market website, Stacy Jones' 2008 fall quarter statistics class conducted a price comparison study between the U-District Farmers Market, Whole Foods and QFC. They summarized their report:
    "According to the FDA, the average family should spend about $330 a month on groceries. At the Farmers Market, $330 will get you 152.25 pounds of organic produce; at Whole Foods you can get 131.80 pounds, and at QFC a mere 118.6 pounds for the same $330. I.e., the average price per pound is lowest at the farmers market."

    A few Seattle Farmers Markets:
    • University District - Saturdays, 9am - 2pm, Year-round!
    • West Seattle - Sundays, 10am - 2pm, Year-round!
    • Broadway - Sundays, 11am - 3pm, May 10 - December 20
    • Columbia City - Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm, April 29 - October 21
    • Phinney - Fridays, 3pm - 7pm, May 29 - October 2
    • Lake City - Thursdays, 3pm - 7pm, June 4 - October 29
    • Magnolia - Saturdays, 10am - 2pm, May 23 - October 10

    See full list of Washington State Farmers Market locations