Monday, July 9, 2018

What To Do When Your House is Vacant

Vacant homes pose a higher risk for vandalism or damage.
Selling your home can be a stressful process, especially when it doesn't move quickly.  With a new job looming or some other matter that requires you to move right away, you may have no choice but to leave the home vacant for a short time until it sells. 

The problem?  Vacant homes fall under different insurance rules and can leave you at risk.  Homes are typically considered vacant when the utilities are shut off and/or furniture has been removed.

Insurance companies view a vacant home as a higher risk.  There are more opportunities for vandalism and no one living there to protect the home from fire or storm damage. 

So what should you do when moving?

First, you need to talk to your SAV-ON insurance agent and get the details on your policy.  Since policies vary by state and insurance company, there is no single right answer. 

Explain the situation to your agent.  Ask what coverage is included and what is excluded (specifically for vandalism).  And find out what changes can be made to protect your home.

Selling a home doesn't always follow a quick timeline.  If you're facing the possibility of leaving your home vacant, contact SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 and find out how to best protect yourself and your property.  We love to help our customers!


Friday, May 18, 2018

It's Time to Insure Your RV, Boats and Motorcycles for Summer Fun

Summer is on its way.  Before we know it there will be Memorial Day barbecues and long weekends at the lake or at some campground in the Cascades.

That's why now is a great time to review insurance coverage on all of your summer toys.  Read below for things to consider (and review with SAV-ON) before the big items come out of winter storage.

RVs - Your motorhome or travel trailer needs insurance coverage, especially if you'll be driving or pulling it around this year.  Even if you don't have a loan on your RV, you will want it covered for theft or damage.  Whether they are parked on a lake lot for the season or driving across the country, we offer several RV policies to fit your needs.  Just call us for a quote.

Boats - The same thing goes for your boats and jet skis.  You've made a big investment and it's important to protect them.  Not only should you worry about damage to your boat, but also make sure you have the proper amount of liability coverage. In Washington state, you will also need to make sure you have a Boater's License card, since it is required for everyone born after 1955. And don’t forget your life jackets!

Motorcycles - Ready to hit the road for a long drive?  Remember to brush up on your safety skills and always wear a helmet.  Don’t forget to make sure your motorcycle has liability coverage just like your vehicle!  We can help you determine what coverage you need. 

Swimming Pool - If you own a pool, then you need extra liability coverage including a Personal Umbrella Policy.  Why?  Because there is a lot more risk of someone being injured when you have a pool.  Don’t skimp on your coverage and make sure you have the pool area secured and safe. 

Summer is a lot more fun when you know that your high-priced recreational items are properly insured and protected.  Take 15 minutes to call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 for a quote or to review your current coverage. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

April has arrived and brought spring with it (finally)!  With the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures, there is no better time than now to get focused on home maintenance and spring cleaning.  Here are a few things you can do in April to protect (and organize) your home.  

Check For Damage - Winter can be really hard on your home.  A quick inspection around your property can reveal a lot of home improvement projects!  Look for any damage to your roof or outdoor window screens and doors.  Make note of chipped paint or areas that are in need of general maintenance.  Decide what you can do yourself and what will require a professional. 

Spring Clean - Now it’s time to tackle the inside of your home.  Start working on clearing out and donating unused items (think tax deduction next year!)  This could be the perfect time to take inventory of any high-value items that need to be documented for your insurance, like guns, artwork, and jewelry.  Take photos or make a quick video of those items and store it in a secure (and fire-proof) location.  

Many cities have hazardous material events, where you can bring in old batteries, computers, and other difficult-to-dispose-of equipment and materials. Contact your city hall and find out when they will be having this event, then load up your car or truck with all those items and get rid of them!

Clean up the Outside - Grab a rake and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that has found its resting place in your yard. Put down some fertilizer to get your dormant grass greened up for the season. Rent a pressure washer and clean up all the dirt and grime that has built up on your concrete driveway and sidewalks.

Organize Your Tax Documents - You probably just finished your taxes in the past few weeks.  Were all of your documents easy to locate?  What could make the process even easier next year?  Update your filing system or schedule a meeting with your accountant and get prepared now, while your taxes are still fresh in your mind.

Car Maintenance - April is Car Care Month.  If you’ve been putting off an oil change or a tune-up, get it scheduled now.  Your car will run better and maintain it’s value longer! If you have snow tires on your car, get them switched out with your regular tires. It's also a good idea to replace worn tires in the spring, so you're ready for summer travel.

Spruce Up Your Porch - How does your front porch look these days?  Could it use a little extra care?  Buy a new welcome mat, plant a pot of flowers, and make sure you can easily read your house numbers.  


Get Great Homeowners Insurance - The best way to protect your home?  Having the right amount of insurance!  Let SAV-ON Insurance give you a no-obligation review of your current policy.  Call to 888-867-2866 or go to www.sav-on.com to schedule your appointment today.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Protect Your Family During Severe Spring Weather

While winter is finally loosening its grip on the Pacific Northwest, March can still pack a punch! You've undoubtedly heard the saying, "March comes in like a lion, and leaves like a lamb". While that isn't always true, there's a good reason why March is known as Severe Weather Preparation Month.

Spring arrives soon, but before then spring storms can blow in quickly and and cause lots of damage. Is your family prepared?

First things first, make sure you have designated a safe place to go to if the weather gets bad.  It could be a basement, closet, or room with no windows or outside walls.  Make sure this space is cleared out enough that you could easily get your family inside if needed.  (You don’t want to be clearing out the closet if there is a tornado!)

Next, put together a small emergency kit.  What would you need if the power was out?  Consider putting in flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, and plenty of water.  (Don’t forget supplies for your pets too!)

Flooding

If it's flooding you're concerned about, there are steps to take to stay safe:

• Listen to the radio or television for information.

• Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.

• Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you need to evacuate: Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moivng or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.  If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.

Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.

Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone contacts, including the phone number for SAV-ON Insurance!  You could even save a note in your phone with your policy numbers too, since you may not be able to search for them during the storm.


While we can’t prevent bad weather, it’s always great to be as prepared as possible. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, call SAV-ON at 888-867-2866 about obtaining flood insurance. If you end up with flood damage, you will be glad you did!

Take care of your family first and know that we’ll be there to protect your belongings.  


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Insurance Tips When You 'Tie the Knot'

February is all about love.  In fact, it is estimated that as many as 4 million people will get engaged on Valentine’s Day!  

And with all of that love and wedding planning in the air, it can be hard to think about the boring parts of a marriage.  

So I want to make it easy for you.  Here are a few things you need to think about in regards to your insurance policies when you 'tie the knot'.

Combine your auto insurance policies.  If you both own a vehicle, the easiest thing to do is combine your policies by adding your spouse and their vehicle to your policy.  We can take care of this in just a few minutes!

Make sure you and your spouse are listed on every policy.  You both need to be on the homeowners or renters insurance so you can get assistance if needed.  Do all of them at the same time and you won’t have to worry about it again.

And if you combine your auto and homeowners or renters insurance with the same company, you can save even more with a multi-policy discount!

Schedule an overall review.  When you combine two households you will obviously have more belongings!  Speak with your agent and verify that you have enough content and liability insurance to cover any new assets.  

Purchase life insurance.  It’s your honeymoon and you don’t want to think about death, but now is the time to get this very important coverage in place.  It doesn’t cost much and will give you peace of mind that the person you love will be taken care of in the future.  It’s really the very best gift you can give to those you love.  

The best part of this?  It doesn’t have to be hard!  In fact, one short appointment with SAV-ON can take care of every item on the list.  Give us a call today at 888-867-2866 or go online to www.sav-on.com to schedule a review with one of our friendly agents!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pay Off Your Debt in 2018

The New Year is only a few weeks old, and a lot of people are busy making good on their annual goals and resolutions. For many, improving their finances is at the top of the list.

Getting out of debt can be a big and almost overwhelming goal.  It’s not a fast process and it takes a lot of dedication, but it is worth it in the end!

So where do you begin?

First start by getting an accurate picture of where you stand.  Gather up all of your recent debt statements.  This includes credit cards, car loans, student loans, any personal loans or other big ticket items, and your mortgage.

Run your credit report.  You can request a free copy ever year at www.annualcreditreport.com from all three credit bureaus.  This is a great time to check for any mistakes and make sure that every debt on your credit report is included in your list.

Make a debt payoff plan. Create a spreadsheet with all of your debt information.  Include the name of the debt, total balance, interest rate, and minimum payment.

Now figure out what order you want to attack your debt. Some organize them from lowest to highest balance, while others prefer to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.  

Whatever you decide, here’s the trick: Once you payoff your first debt, combine that payment with the second debt.  Now you’re paying a lot more then the minimum and it just keeps growing as you go!

Look for ways to keep throwing money at your payoff.  Sell unused items around the house, have a yard sale, clip coupons, or get a part-time job.  Just do whatever it takes to keep your momentum up! 

Get the whole family involved.  Make getting out of debt a family goal!  Put your payoff on the fridge and count down.  Let the kids help with the family budget.  When everyone understands what you’re working toward, they’ll be more likely to cooperate when the budget is tight. 

And how can you find a few extra dollars toward your debt payoff?  Save on your monthly insurance costs!

SAV-ON can help! Call us at 888-867-2866 for a quote on your auto, home, business, and life insurance today.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Year - The Perfect Time to Get Organized!

Make A Home Inventory

January is all about getting organized, right?  So what better time to document what you own in case you were to suffer a serious insurance loss (like a fire).  

Grab your cell phone and make a short video of each room in your home, focusing on big ticket items.  Many times it’s difficult for our clients to remember every little possession after the shock of a large claim.  Make sure to save the video to your hard drive or the Cloud, so it will not accidentally get deleted from your phone! You’ll be glad you took the time to make the videos if you ever need them.

Deep Clean Your Dryer Vent

A large percentage of home fires begin in the clothes dryer!  Lint builds up in the vent and hose, which can spark a fire.  Unhook the hose and vacuum the area well on a regular basis to keep your home protected.

Organize Your Warranties

Do you have a big pile of warranties, product documents, and receipts stuffed in your desk drawer?  Do you even own those items anymore?  These days, many owners manuals can be found online without taking up valuable drawer storage.  
Also consider scanning and keeping a digital file of your receipts and warranties for easy storage and retrieval if needed.  

Check Your Circuit Breakers

How often do you actually look in the breaker box?  Open it up and make sure the labels are correct and readable.  Also stash a spare flashlight (with working batteries) close by in case of a power outage.

Gather Your Tax Documents

It won’t be long until you’re filing your 2017 taxes.  Start gathering up all the documents you or your accountant will need.  If you find you need a copy of your insurance policies or premiums, call SAV-ON at 888-867-2866 and we’ll be happy to help!  

Know Your Deductibles

When was the last time you reviewed your deductibles?  This is what you would pay out of pocket in the event of an insurance claim.  It’s a good idea to keep this amount in your savings account so it’s available when you need it.  

Feel free to give us a call @ 888-867-2866 or go to www.sav-on.com. We can setup an appointment to review all of your insurance policies in detail.  
January is a great time to get organized for the new year!  Let us know if we can help in any way!  

Happy New Year!