Friday, December 6, 2013

How To Protect Your Belongings This Holiday Season

The holidays have officially arrived! And for many of us that means shopping, gifting, decorating, partying and traveling. And a whole lot of it!

Insurance agents are always on the lookout for things that might put our clients at risk. That’s why we wanted to share a few quick reminders this month to help you avoid any potential claim situations. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, you sure don't need to encounter any of these disasters!

Be careful with a live Christmas tree. Real trees are beautiful,  but can be hazardous. Water your tree daily and turn the lights off at night and when you won’t be home to avoid a house fire. A dry tree can explode into flames and cause a lot of damage.

Don’t leave gifts in your car! A lot of people don’t realize that items in their car are NOT covered by auto insurance. While property off-premises is covered by home and renters insurance, it is typically subject to a much higher deductible. If you must leave anything in the car, put it in the trunk and lock the doors.

Traveling out of town? Don’t make it too obvious! Leave lights on in the house, stop your mail, and leave your number with a trustworthy neighbor who will keep an eye on your home. Posting your out-of-town trip on social media such as Facebook and Twitter is only inviting trouble, since it's an open invitation for a burglar.

• Make sure to keep an updated insurance card in your car when you travel. Not only is it good to have if you get pulled over, since failure to produce it can result in a fine, but all the information you need is in one place if you were to have a claim.

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

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

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why is Insurance so Important?

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

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

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

No, it's much more than that. Insurance is there to make sure that if the worst happens, you can recover from it. It might not be easy, but we’re here to ease the financial burden after your house burns down or a loved one passes away. Will that cut-rate insurance company that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising be there for you? Will they care?

All of those TV commercials that just tell you to find the cheapest rate are completely wrong! Of course, no one wants to pay more then they have to, but it’s not the most important part of the equation. Quality coverage, and people who will be there for you when you have a problem; that's what's important.

At SAV-ON Insurance Agencies, we care about our customers. We are a local company who is compassionate about the people in our communities, and we are dedicated to improving the lives of our clients through education and understanding. Our customers aren't just another number, they're our neighbors.

Rather than looking for a cheap bare-bones policy, take the time to interview and meet with a local agent. See who is looking for the best coverage and truly meeting your needs while keeping the rate affordable. Ask the agent how they handle claims and if they do annual policy reviews. You'll find that at SAV-ON we take good care of our customers.

This Thanksgiving, our agency is extremely thankful for all of our wonderful clients. If you need a local agent to look out for your most prized possessions, give us a call at 888-867-2866 today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Scary Fact: Vehicle Vandalism Claims Nearly Double on Halloween

At Halloween, while you're concentrating on what costume to wear, how much candy you should buy and where the kids will go trick-or-treating, you should also be concerned about where you can safely park your car that day so it doesn't get damaged by vandalism!

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has found that Halloween is indeed a scary night for automobile owners in the U.S., with nearly twice as many vehicle vandalism claims as a typical day, and it is considerably worse than any other day of the year compared to the other major holidays.

The HLDI examined insurance claims for vandalism made under comprehensive coverage from 2008 through 2012. Claims such as slashed tires or smashed windows. Data was supplied by 28 companies representing more than two-thirds of the insurance market for private passenger vehicles. The average number of claims per day was 692, and the average cost per claim was $1,528. That's a total average daily cost of more than $1 million per day. And Halloween is nearly double that, approaching $2 million in vandalism claims throughout the country!

Halloween had the highest average number of claims for any of the year with 1,253. The other high-claims days were the Fourth of July, with 987, and New Year's Day, with 944.

The HLDI also found that, holidays aside, vandalism seems to occur more often on weekends and in the summer. Weekdays all had an average or below-average number of claims. In a monthly comparison, claims were highest in July, followed by August and June.

So, while you're handing out candy and enjoying all the creative costumes, keep an eye on your vehicle if it's parked outside. You don't want to be one of the unlucky ones who get "treated" to vandalism.

Source: PEMCO Insurance and the Highway Loss Data Institute

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Let Halloween Get Scary...Make Sure Your Home is Safe for Trick-or-Treaters

It's October and that means that Halloween is on its way!

Here at SAV-ON Insurance we love any excuse to celebrate, but Halloween is an especially fun time around the offices. However, we wouldn't be a good insurance agent if we didn't give a few good liability tips too.

You've heard most Halloween advice over and over, but it bears repeating:

   • Pack a flashlight for when it gets dark.

   • Put reflective tape on children's costumes.

   • Check the kid's candy before letting them eat any.

But what about the risks at your home?

Your homeowners insurance covers you if someone is injured on your property. But there are a few things you can do to prevent accidents before they happen!

1. Change outdoor light bulbs. Is your porch light burned out? What about lights along pathways? Good lightning will help prevent children (and adults) from tripping and injuring themselves.

2. Clear hazards. Tree limbs in your yard? A hole you've been meaning to fill? Loose or worn steps? These are all potential hazards that could cause an injury and subject you to a liability claim. Clean them up before you have people trick-or-treating at your home!

3. No open flames. While candle-filled pumpkins are fun to make, they can be dangerous, too. If you use any open flame candles, make sure they are up high and away from any loose costume pieces. Many costumes aren't flame retardant, and can burst into flames easily.

And the easiest way to protect yourself? Make sure you have plenty of liability insurance! Call SAV-ON Insurance today at 888-867-2866 to schedule a free review and detailed explanation of how we can keep your home and family protected.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Getting Life Insurance is Easy and Affordable!

  September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. You’ll probably see TV commercials and magazine articles talking about why this coverage is so important. And you probably already know it’s important. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve got your policy set up yet!

  The Life Foundation says that only 62% of people who believe they need life insurance, actually have it. And even those that have it only carry enough to replace their income for 3.6 years. If you have young children to support, that is simply not enough time. If you're skipping life coverage all together, then you are putting your family's well being at risk.

  So why do people wait too long to purchase life insurance? The Life Foundation also says that 86% of Americans say they haven't purchased it because it's "too expensive”, yet overestimate the cost by more than 2 times!

  Life Insurance rates are based on a number of factors, including age, health conditions, and smoking status. By not smoking and purchasing when you're younger, you can save substantial money. In fact, many term life policies are less than $50 per month!

  Don't delay! Call the office at 888-867-2866 and set up an appointment with our life insurance specialist. Bring information on your annual income, as well as any debts (like your mortgage). We’ll give an accurate picture of how much coverage you need as well as different ways to make it affordable.

Now Get Life Insurance Online!

  For those who want a quick, online method of getting life insurance, SAV-ON is proud to announce a new partnership with EQUOTE to provide an easy-to-use online platform that requires no medical exam. It's the simplest and quickest process in the industry!

  Go to to find out more about EQUOTE, or call us at 888-867-2866 to set up an appointment.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Riding Your Bike: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Summer's warm, dry weather brings out bicyclists in droves. Not only is it good exercise, fun and eco-friendly, but with the price of gas, it is very economical, too. However, without good equipment, proper attire and a high level of alertness, it can be dangerous, especially when sharing the road with automobiles.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 630 deaths and 51,000 reported injuries from bicycle accidents in the United States in 2009. 

Bicycle Accident Statistics

• Collisions with vehicles account for a third of all bicycle accidents resulting in injuries and deaths.
• A bicyclist is killed every six hours in the United States.
• About one million children are injured in bicycle accidents annually.
• 75% of serious injuries and fatalities from bicycle accidents are due to head injuries.

Cars and bicycles have a tenuous relationship on the road. Drivers are focused on looking out for other cars and trucks on the road, and don't always see bicycles. In addition, bicyclists are slower than cars, and can be overtaken before the driver realizes they are there. This can result in accidents -- and the bicyclist almost always comes out the loser in this scenario.

While bicyclists enjoy the same privileges as drivers on non-freeway roadways, they also have the same responsibilities. Stopping at red lights, stop signs, and yielding; signaling all turns; not exceeding the posted speed limit; using the right side of the street and not the sidewalk; and paying attention to the traffic all around them.

In Washington state, bicyclists can ride side-by-side, but only two abreast.  If the road has a wide shoulder, use it, but if the curb lane has no shoulder it's best to stay to the left in the far right lane so drivers can more easily see you. Ride in the same direction as traffic and wear proper clothing (bright, flashy and reflective). If riding at night, have a white headlight and a red taillight that are functioning properly. These all help drivers see -- and avoid -- you.

Even though Washington state doesn't require bicyclists to wear approved helmets, the city of Seattle and King County require it. For a complete list of cities that require bike helmets to be worn, go to:

What to Do After a Bike/Car Crash

 If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by a car, take these steps:

• Remain calm and non-confrontational.
• Call the police and insist that the officer files a police report. In the event that an officer does not respond, go to a police station and file an accident report within 72 hours of the incident.
• Get the driver’s insurance information, address, phone number and license plate number.
• Get the name, phone number and address of every witness.
• Have your bike thoroughly inspected by a reputable bike shop.
• If you have a cell phone camera, take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, your bike and all other involved vehicles.

Sources:; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Time to Get "Back-to-School" Insurance

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

girl going back to school

Good Grades - Do you have a teenage driver in the house (or one on the way)? Many policies allow discounts for students with good grades. Give us a call at 888-867-2866 to see what documentation is needed for your policy. And don't forget to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students, too.

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

Moving To The Dorm - Is your college student living in the dorm this semester? Your homeowners insurance may cover their belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage. Remember, any claims would be subject to your deductible which is usually higher on home policies! Let us review your policy to check for the specifics amounts of coverage included.

Moving To An Apartment
- Let's say your college student has graduated from the dorms and moved on to an apartment. In this case, your homeowners insurance would not cover their belongings and they would need their own renters insurance policy. Renters insurance is very affordable and covers all of the contents of the property. It also provides liability insurance if someone were injured in the property or if the student caused a fire, etc. By making sure they are properly insured, you are also protecting yourself.

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Save on Your Auto Insurance!

Looking for ways to keep your auto insurance premiums manageable? 10 ways you can save on your insurance without sacrificing coverage.

1. Driving Record
Your driving record plays a big role in how much you pay for insurance. By keeping a clean record for 3-5 years, you can save hundreds of dollars! Be a cautious driver, don't speed, and you'll lower your premiums.

Save Money on Your Car Insurance!

2. Defensive Driving Course
Defensive driving courses are an easy way to achieve an extra discount. They can also help keep a ticket from showing up and messing up your clean driving record. Make sure to call us before taking the class if you're using it for a discount so we can verify that your policy qualifies.

3. Anti-Theft Devices
Installing an alarm or other anti-theft device can lower premiums on your vehicle. Make sure to discuss all features with us, sometimes even power locks and a remote can count!

4. Your Credit Score
While insurance uses a different formula then the credit bureaus, your credit still affects the rate you pay. Good credit can save you hundreds (even thousands) on your premiums! Make sure to review your report on a regular basis and have any mistakes corrected.

5. Where You Live
Rural areas pay less for insurance than the big cities do. It's all about risk and with a large population, there is more chance for an accident. Therefore, where you choose to live can impact your rates. Consider visiting with us before purchasing a home if you're concerned about the costs (it is based on the zip code).

6. Type of Vehicle
The vehicle you choose to purchase also makes a difference! Some vehicles cost a lot more to repair than others, which drives up their rates. Easy way to avoid buying a money-sucker? Call us first and let us quote the vehicle before you sign on the dotted line.

7. How Often -- and Far -- You Drive
If you take public transportation and only drive on the weekend, you'll pay less than someone with a long commute. Make sure to review your annual mileage and daily commutes with us (especially if they change) so that you can receive the extra savings.

8. Raise Your Deductible
A higher deductible (your out of pocket cost in a claim) means a lower monthly rate. If you have $1,000 in savings and could afford to use it if you had an accident, then you'll save on your insurance cost by having a $1000 deductible instead of a $250. We can help you review the costs and benefits in your specific situation.

9. Your Agent
And the best way to save? Work with a local agent! You'll get the coverage you need plus you'll have an advocate working on your behalf to find the best rate, all the discounts, and an easy explanation of any gaps in your coverage. It's the #1 to control your risk, maximize your savings, and protect your family.

10. Call SAV-ON Insurance
We want to be your agent. Call us at 888-867-2866 to discuss your policy today. Our goal is to save you money! As an agency, we have more than 30 insurance companies to choose from in getting you the best rate out there.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required in All Homes -- and They Could Save Your Life!

As of January 1, 2013, Washington state law requires that all single-family residences, apartments, condominiums, hotels and motels have properly operating carbon monoxide alarms installed. These devices, about the size of most smoke detectors, will emit an alarm if even a small amount of carbon monoxide is detected in the air.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas that can make a person sick -- or kill them -- in a matter of minutes. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas, and many victims may not know it until it's too late, especially if they are asleep. Entire families have perished due to a CO leak in the middle of the night.

In fact, carbon monoxide poisoning has killed more than 1,000 Washington residents between 1990 and 2005. After the windstorm the Puget Sound region experienced in December 2006, over 300 people were treated for CO poisoning, and eight people died.

CO poisoning typically occurs with the use of charcoal or gas grills indoors, since some people, in an attempt to heat their homes during a power outage, bring barbeque grills inside to provide warmth. This should never be done, as the byproduct of burning is carbon monoxide, and without proper ventilation, it is deadly. Attached garages and poorly maintained fireplaces can also be the cause of poisoning, as well as improperly vented fuel-burning appliances, such as wood or pellet stoves.

While all dwellings are required to have these devices installed, owner-occupied single-family residences that were legally occupied before July 26, 2009, are not required to have carbon monoxide alarms until they are sold.

CO alarms must be located in the immediate vicinity of each bedroom or sleeping area, and on each level of the residence. This ensures that if CO gas is detected, the alarm will wake people out of their sleep, before the poisoning takes effect.

If at any time while in your home you suddenly feel faint, light-headed, get a headache or become nauseous, it may be CO poisoning. Make sure to open a window for ventilation and get outside as quickly as possible. If there are other people in the house, make sure to wake them, if necessary, and get them out of the house immediately. Then call 9-1-1. This deadly gas will eventually cause the victim to lose consciousness, and if the poisoning isn't stopped, eventually die. Children, due to their smaller size, are extremely vulnerable to CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide alarms are available at most hardware stores, and can also be purchased online. The cost is typically around $25 - $35. Combination CO/Smoke detectors are also available. It's a small price to pay to save lives.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Northwest Drivers Who Hit Parked Cars Don't Always Leave Notes

Many motorists don't leave proper contact information.
A surprising PEMCO Insurance poll found that motorists in Oregon are worse than Washington drivers when it comes to leaving contact information after hitting an unoccupied car. Almost half (47%) of Portland drivers surveyed admitted to leaving the scene without leaving any contact information!

Seattle motorists, on the other hand, said they left notes two-thirds (67%) of the time when they were responsible for damage to a parked car.

In addition to hitting parked cars and driving away without leaving a note, most drivers in both states responded that they've been involved in an accident at least once, and men are significantly more likely than women to be involved in an accident, no matter who was at fault. The poll also found that 62% of Washington men admitted to be at fault in an accident, whereas 51% of women admitted to being to blame.

For those involved in an accident, Washington motorists again proved to be more proactive. PEMCO's poll revealed that 56% of Washington drivers called 911 following the accident, while only 39% of Oregon drivers did.

While it's important to take photos of the accident scene to document the situation, only one-quarter of drivers say they did. Younger drivers were much more likely to take pictures of the collision than older drivers. Nearly half (49%) of Washington drivers under 35 took the photos, while 52% of young Portland drivers did.

Drivers in Portland must immediately notify law enforcement of the accident if damages total more than $1,500, according to Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In Washington, drivers must notify the Washington State Patrol if vehicle damage exceeds $700 – but drivers have up to three days to file a report.

Proper things to do if you are involved in an accident:
• Stop and determine if anyone is injured. If needed, call 911 for help.
• If it can be done safely, move your vehicle to the side of the road. 

• Exchange contact and insurance information, but don’t discuss responsibility for the accident.
• Take photos of the damage.
• Report the accident to the local police.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Technology: Blind Drivers in the Future?

Technology has made incredible advancements in improving a driver's experience behind the wheel. GPS systems, voice-activated directions, Google map displays, and back-end and side sensors that warn of pending collisions or accidents and brake appropriately are just a few of the recent innovations by car makers that make driving easier. But, now there's talk about someday allowing totally blind people to drive.

How far will it -- or should it -- take us? There are currently cars that can do simple things like parallel park themselves, but soon there may be automobiles capable of driving themselves, based on GPS, laser, radar and three-dimensional data. Cars that can do smaller functions, such as control a car in traffic jams, keep you inside lane markings or auto-park, are already on the road or about to come to market courtesy of Toyota, Mercedes, BMW and others. Recently, Google has had success getting laws passed in Florida, California and Nevada allowing the the testing of automated cars, with no drivers in them. But, these have been limited to controlled situations, and constantly overseen by engineers and technicians.

While advancing technology is marvelous, there are many times when a sighted driver needs to take control during an 'unplanned episode', like swerving to avoid an animal or another automobile. Would a sightless person sitting in a moving car in traffic be an insurance and liability nightmare? A blind person, trusting his or her car to be able to respond to a road hazard or pending collision while they are sitting there helpless to assist, could prove to be disastrous -- or even deadly. What if it involved the injury or death to a pedestrian, because the computer didn't recognize the danger and the driver couldn't see it? The result would be undoubtedly be a huge lawsuit and maybe even criminal charges. Who would be at fault, the blind person sitting behind the wheel, who trusted the technology, or the car manufacturer?

Currently, there are more than 15,000 visually-impaired people allowed to drive in the U.S. using a special lens system called "bioptic driving". The car is equipped with a main lens for a wide road view, and a telescopic attachment for close-up details such as reading street signs.

While visual aids for visually-impaired drivers is one thing, having a blind person behind the wheel of a car, with all that can go wrong on the roads and highways, is a potential disaster. Computers and technology is amazing, but as everyone knows, they can crash or freeze up without warning. What happens when the blind person needs to take over manually after the system goes down while heading down a busy highway at 60 or 70 mph? It's a scary thought, but that technology is not far away.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time for Some Financial Spring Cleaning

Spring has officially arrived. And with warmer temperatures and longer days, you might have been feeling the urge to do some spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning finances insurance review

But before you wear yourself out shampooing all the carpets, think about what you can do to clean up your finances first! Here are four great places to start...

1. Organize your tax records. You’ve probably recently filed your taxes and have everything fresh on your mind. Make sure you have copies of all the important documents labeled and filed properly. Think about your tax experience this year. Were there records you should have kept or important details you were missing? Get prepared for next year now! You’ll be thankful that you did when next year’s taxes roll around.

2. Check your credit report. It’s great to get in the habit of regularly reviewing your credit report. Credit scores can impact everything from your interest rates to job offers to insurance rates! It’s also estimated that most credit reports have some kind of error on them. Check out to request a free copy of your report each year.

3. Review your budget. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to save money or pay off debt, then now is a great time to check your progress. The year is 1/4 over. Have you made progress? Revisit your current budget and adjust as needed to keep moving forward.

4. Review your insurance. Your insurance needs can change pretty often. You change jobs, get married, buy a new house, have a baby, or buy an expensive toy (like a boat). All of these things can trigger changes in your insurance! That’s why it is critical that you establish a relationship with a local agent and set aside time to review your coverage.

Give us a call at 888-867-2866 to schedule a phone or office consultation. We’ll review all of your policies and help you get the best coverage for the best price.

What other things do you include in your own financial “spring cleaning”? Tell us in the comments below!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Prepare Now For Any Spring Storms and Floods

March and April is that time of year when severe storms can cause flooding and downed trees, resulting in the loss of power or damage to your home and property. While you can’t
avoid strong thunderstorms, there are ways to prepare in advance to keep your family
and belongings safe. Here are a few tips to help you plan.
Be prepared in the event of a flood!

Gather emergency supplies. It is recommended that every family have a minimum of
three day’s supply of food and water. Throw in a battery powered radio, extra
flashlights, and extra batteries, too.

Create a Family Emergency Plan. Teach your children where to go to seek shelter in
case of a tornado or flash flood,  and how to contact you if you aren’t together at the time of the storm.

Know if you live in a flood prone area. Remember, it takes 30 days to issue a flood
insurance policy!
If you need flood insurance, now is the time to get it started.

Know how to shut off utilities, including power, water, and gas to your home. Put the
tools you need in your emergency supply kit.

Find out what your homeowners insurance covers. It is important to understand what is
covered and what your deductibles are in case of damage. Set up a free consultation
and annual review with SAV-ON Insurance Agencies to learn about all of your polices.

Overall, the best way to protect your family is by having the right insurance and taking
extra precautions during storms. If you have any question, give us a call at 888-867-2866.
Our goal is to help you protect your family.