Friday, January 15, 2016

Essential Winter Driving Tips

Now that we're in the grips of a particularly wet, cold winter, it's important to remember that it poses many driving challenges. Western Washington has lots of hills and steep grades, which cause treacherous driving conditions when combined with cold temperatures. Please slow down in these conditions!

Water from our frequent rains can turn to ice, and a thin layer on the roadway that can't be seen -- aptly named 'black ice' -- can, without warning, cause your vehicle to slide out of control. Since drivers don't see the danger, they're usually driving faster than the conditions allow.

Then, when we get even a thin layer of snow, roads quickly turn hazardous! Combining hilly roads with a lack of snow-removal equipment, snow gets packed down and becomes icy. Since drivers in Western Washington don't get much practice at driving in the snow and ice, you end up with a serious traffic problem!

But, you can make it through unscathed by adhering to a few important winter driving tips!

Top 10 Driving Tips:

1. Winterize your vehicle - Check your battery, front and rear defrosters, fill up the washer fluid and antifreeze, inflate your tires to the correct pressure, and keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid frozen fuel lines.

2. Clear your windshield - Never pour hot water over the windows to melt the ice and snow. This will typically shatter the windshield. Use a plastic scraper to avoid scratching the glass and use the front and rear defrosters to melt the ice. Avoid using your windshield wipers until after all the ice and snow have been removed.

3. Don't just clear your windshield - Don't forget to clear all of the other windows, as well as the roof, hood, mirrors, headlights and tail lights, license plates and the exhaust pipe. This will prevent accumulated ice and snow from becoming an airborne hazard for other drivers.

4. Keep a survival kit in the car - Blankets, water-proof boots and gloves, hats, and any necessary medications should be carried in the car. Keep a small shovel, jumper cables, and something that could be used for traction (e.g. cat litter, sand, etc.) in the car as well.

5. Test your limits in a safe environment - Take your car to a familiar, empty parking lot near your home after a rain, snow or ice storm. Practice emergency stops and turning at a safe speed. Be sure and watch out for light posts, curbs and parking barriers to avoid any damage to your vehicle.

6. Warm up the car the right way - To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, never attempt to warm up your car in an enclosed area. Even when outside, be sure to clear your exhaust pipe before running your car.

7. Pump your brakes at the right time - If your vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), you should depress the brake pedal completely and keep it depressed. The ABS will rapidly pump the brakes for you in most situations if at least one wheel is still turning. If all four wheels have stopped turning and the vehicle is still sliding on ice, you should pump your brakes as the ABS has failed.

8. Drive in the existing tracks - To help traction, try to stay within the pathway already dug by other vehicles' wheels. If you end up stuck, remember to keep your wheels as straight as possible and don't just continue spinning your tires. Spread sand or cat litter around your tires and along the path you plan on taking. In a pinch, you can also use your floor mats for traction.

9. Don't turn while braking or accelerating - In rain, snow and ice, attempt to slow down before a turn and accelerate slowly after the wheel has already turned.

10. Catch a skid - If you do start skidding, stay calm! Don't slam on the brakes, don't hit the gas pedal. Turn your wheel smoothly in the direction that you intend to travel. You should be able to regain control of the vehicle once it has slowed enough to regain traction. Don't turn the wheel too much, a little goes a long way and you don't want to be pointed in a dangerous direction if traction returns suddenly.

Whatever your predicament, SAV-ON Insurance Agencies is there to help. We'll work with your insurance company to make sure you get back on the road again as soon as possible! Call for a free rate quote today at 888-867-2866.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It's Easy! Earn Rewards for Referring Your Friends and Family to SAV-ON Insurance!

Oksana Tserger of Everett (far right) was our 2015 Grand Prize winner of a 32" HD TV!
We want more great clients like YOU! That's why we have our Referral Rewards program at SAV-ON. There are three ways to win, and you qualify simply by referring someone to us for a free rate quote!

Here's how it works...

Every time you send a friend or family member to our agency for a rate quote on any type of insurance, we give you two lottery tickets, whether they end up getting a policy or not.

In addition, your name is entered for our monthly drawing of a $50 gift certificate at a local restaurant. At the end of each month, one name is drawn and the winner is notified.

Finally, all entries from the previous 12 months are entered into our Grand Prize drawing for a 32" HD TV. At the end of November, a winner is drawn from the entries and is notified to come to our nearest office and pick up their new TV just in time for Christmas!

There is no purchase required, and you need not be present to win.

It's a simple as that! We can't wait to send you a reward! Refer someone today and get qualified for all the prizes! Call us at 888-867-2866 or go to the SAV-ON website for details.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Buying Insurance

Insurance can be a tricky purchase.  Auto lienholder happy?  Check.  Mortgage lender happy?  Check. Life insurance policy in force? Check.

But this simply isn't enough!  Some things on your insurance policy deserve a little more attention.  As an insurance agency,  here are some of the BIGGEST coverage mistakes we’ve seen.

Mistake #1:  Buying Only The Required State Minimum Liability Insurance

Every state has a minimum amount of liability insurance that is required in order to drive.  But it’s typically nowhere near enough coverage!  Choosing only the minimum liability insurance could leave you open to a lawsuit, garnished wages, or potentially losing an asset, like your home.

Discuss different liability amounts with your SAV-ON agent to see what is necessary based on your income, net worth, and liabilities.  (Thankfully, it won’t near as much as you might think!) 

Mistake #2: Not Insuring Your Home For Replacement Cost

Many people think they only need enough coverage to insure their home for the amount they paid for it.  Not true!  You need to be insured for the amount of money it would cost to REPLACE your home.

If a fire or tornado destroyed the house, you would need insurance to replace it.  The total cost could be tens of thousands more than the house would have sold for on the housing market.  If you’re currently only insured for the cash value of your home, you could be at risk! 

Mistake #3: Buying Life Insurance Through Work

Most people tell us that they have life insurance through work and aren’t interested in purchasing their own coverage.  This is also a mistake.

The problem?  The majority of us don’t stay at jobs for 30 years anymore.  And if you develop health issues and leave your current employer… you might not be able to get coverage again, or at a much higher premium!

When you purchase your own life insurance (which is extremely affordable), you are covered no matter where you work or what health problems you might develop in the future.  It’s the smarter choice!

Mistake #4: Buying The Cheapest Policy

It’s tempting to shop for insurance and just pick whatever is the cheapest, but it’s usually not the best idea.

First you want to make sure that you’re buying from a reputable company.  You want a solid insurance carrier that you can trust to pay your claims. 

And you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Does the cheaper policy only insure your home for cash value instead of replacement cost (like mistake #2)? Does one company exclude water leaks but another cover them?  Big details can be hidden in the small print!

Mistake #5: Not Using An Agent

Best way to avoid ALL of these mistakes?  Work with an insurance agent! 

We know all about insurance and can find the right coverage for your specific situation.  We’ll make sure your liability limits are high enough, that your home will be replaced after a loss, that you won’t lose your life insurance when you change jobs, and that you aren’t buying an inadequate policy that doesn’t protect you.

Call SAV-ON today at 888-867-2866 for a quote, and get peace of mind knowing you've got the right coverage at the best price!