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