Friday, December 29, 2017

What is Liability Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Have you ever looked at your insurance policy and wondered just exactly what it is you are paying for?
  
Everyone knows that they are legally required to carry liability insurance.  But many people don’t really understand what that means or how it works.  

In simple terms, liability insurance pays to fix damage that you cause to someone else.  

Auto Insurance Liability Coverage

On your auto insurance policy, this is split into three pieces.  Here is an example:

Bodily Injury:  50/100
Personal Property: 50

Let’s say that this was your coverage amount and you hit another car in an accident.  Your insurance would pay up to $50,000 per person for injuries, up to a maximum of $100,000 per accident.  And it would pay up to $50,000 in property damage to fix the other car.  

Remember, liability only covers the person that you hit.  It doesn’t cover your vehicle or anyone inside your car.  

There are many different amounts of liability coverage.  We work directly with our clients to determine how much you need.  This will vary based on factors like how many assets you have, your income, and home's value.  

Not having enough liability insurance is one of the biggest financial mistakes you can make!  Carrying only the Washington state minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 property damage, could leave you open to a lawsuit.  Think about those cars you’ve seen on the road worth easily over $40,000!  If you don’t have enough property damage coverage, then you are at risk.  

Homeowners Liability Coverage

There is also liability coverage on your homeowners or renters insurance.  It pays if someone is injured on your property due to your negligence.  One common example is a dog bite.  This is another time when it’s good to have enough liability insurance!


Hopefully this clears up any questions you have about how liability insurance works.  If you need help determining the right amount of coverage for your family, give SAV-ON a call at 888-867-2866 for a no obligation review and quote.  


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

9 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Looking for ways to keep your auto insurance premiums manageable?  Here are 9 ways you can save on your insurance (without sacrificing coverage.)

1. Your 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.  

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 than 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 contacting SAV-ON before purchasing a home if you’re concerned about the costs (it is based on your zip code).


6. Your 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 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 $1,000 deductible instead of $250. We can help you review the costs and benefits in your specific situation.

9. Your Insurance 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 way to control your risk, maximize your savings, and protect your family.


SAV-ON wants to be your agent! Call us at 888-867-2866 to discuss your policy today, or schedule an appointment online at www.sav-on.com!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Someone Broke Into My Car and Stole Personal Items; Is It Covered By My Auto Insurance?

Today we’d like to answer a question we hear all the time - “Are my personal belongings covered if someone breaks into my car?”
Unfortunately, they typically are NOT covered!  Your auto insurance covers your car from damage and accidents, but not the items left inside from theft.
This happens a lot during the holidays, when people are out shopping and put gifts in their car between stops. Thieves roam parking lots and parking garages, knowing that busy shoppers often leave their just-purchased gifts in their car. Many times the result is a broken windshield and stolen items.
There are still ways to protect yourself.  
First, and most obvious, is to avoid keeping expensive items in your car in the first place.  This includes things like your laptop, iPad, and any new gifts. Also, if you're not taking your purse with you, hide it in a locked trunk or some other out-of-sight area.  You're just asking for someone to break into your car when you have nice things (or money and credit cards) on display, and it only takes seconds for them to get them!
If you’re out shopping, always keep your doors locked and hide items away in the trunk.  
But this isn’t always possible; some vehicles don't have trunks and, in other cases, some items are too large to fit in the trunk.  So you also want to make sure you’re covered by carrying renters or homeowners insurance for your personal belongings.  These policies include a certain amount of coverage for property off premises.  These are subject to your deductible, so make sure to discuss this with your SAV-ON agent to see what kind of coverage you currently have. 

With a little bit of prevention and good insurance, you’ve won’t have to worry about items being stolen from your car.  Have questions?  Give SAV-On a call at 888-867-2866 to discuss them anytime!  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why You Need Renters Insurance

If you are just moving into a new apartment, or already renting a home or apartment and don't have renters insurance, it’s time to learn more about it!

Homeowners insurance covers the house itself and the items inside.  But if you don’t own the home, you don’t need insurance to cover it.  All you need is coverage for your actual personal belongings.

It might not seem like a lot, but all those little items add up!  When you think about the cost to replace your furniture, dishes, sheets, clothes, books, and everything else filling up your home, it’s probably a lot more than you thought.  

Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect what you’ve worked hard to acquire.  And it’s probably a lot cheaper than you’d expect!  In fact, many times the discount you receive on your auto insurance for having multiple policies can almost pay for the entire renters policy! 

Renters Insurance will cover personal belongings within your home as well as a limited amount of property off premises (such as items in a storage building) or your laptop when it’s in the car.  

It also includes important liability coverage.  If you accidentally cause a fire that burns down the property, your insurance pays the landlord to replace it (protecting you from a damaging lawsuit).  In fact, many landlords now require that tenants carry a certain amount of liability insurance before they approve the lease.  


So if you’re renting, it’s time to look at protecting your valuables.  Give us a call today and ask for a no obligation quote on renters renters insurance.  

And don’t forget to find out how much you’ll save on your auto insurance too! With more than one policy with us you can qualify for big savings with a multi-policy discount!

Call SAV-ON Insurance today at 888-867-2866 to find out more.

Monday, October 23, 2017

How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?

Unfortunately, you’ve been involved in an accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but you’re at fault. Right away you naturally wonder how this will affect your insurance premiums. 

We hear questions like this a lot.  Tickets and accidents usually cause spikes in your car insurance rates and no one wants that. 

The good news is that they eventually drop off and your rate goes back down; the bad news is that it typically takes 3 years for that to happen. 

SAV-ON’s 'Goal Date' Program to the Rescue!

With SAV-ON’s 'Goal Date' program, we’ll get you back to lower cost preferred rates faster than anyone! We’ll work with you, and as soon as you qualify for reduced rates, we’ll let you know and get you saving again! No other insurance agency has this program.

If you get a ticket, you may be able to avoid having a surcharge on your policy by taking a defensive driving course and getting the ticket removed.  This will depend on your past record and what the court offers, but it is a good option!

Reduce Premiums with a Multi-Policy Discount

If your rates do go up, make sure you are taking advantage of all other discounts to offset the increase.  Bring all of your insurance to SAV-ON so you take advantage of our generous multi-policy discounts.  

Another option is to raise your deductible for a while so you pay more out-of-pocket in an accident, but get a lower monthly rate.  

Have questions?  We're always available to help! Just give SAV-ON Insurance a call at 888-867-2866 and schedule a free review to see what is available and how we can keep your rates manageable even after an accident. 


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to be More Likable During a Job Interview

Here are some do's and don'ts for being a likable candidate:
1. Be respectful when offering your critique. For example, you might be asked to look at a company's website and offer your opinion about it. If you hate how the site looks and feels, remember that the person who asked the question may be he one who designed the website. Instead of saying, "your site is terrible," you might say instead, "I can see what you are trying to do here, but there are some things I could focus on to improve it."
2. Show up on time. Think of your interview as a time when you model the behavior you will exhibit after you are hired. No boss wants to be ready for a meeting and have key people keep him or her waiting to begin.
As a sign of respect, you must honor your commitment to be at every business meeting without wasting other people's time. If you are driving to an interview and aren't familiar with exactly where you are going, it's best to make a dry run the day before to see traffic patterns and how long it will take you to get there.
3. Show up prepared. It is a good idea when you are having an in-person interview to proactively ask the person who is inviting you into the company what topics will be covered and what materials the person or interview panel might want to see.
If you will be giving a presentation, make certain that if you bring it on a laptop or thumb drive, you save it in multiple formats (such as PowerPoint and PDF), in case there is a computer glitch.
4. Avoid overconfidence. Well-seasoned human resources staff and recruiters are experts at making you feel welcome and comfortable. They may say some flattering things as a part of their job of assembling a pool of highly-interested and motivated candidates. And, truth be told, they likely are impressed with you, or else you wouldn't be invited for the interview.
Don't assume from any of this that you are a lock for the job. Friendliness and compliments do not constitute a job offer, and other candidates are probably receiving similar messages. So, don't be lulled into complacency. The people interviewing you should be friendly, but they aren't your friends yet.
5. Make friends with the receptionist. The people who greet you at the door and usher you to a seat while you are waiting to be called into your interview are often quizzed about your words and behavior with them. Avoid saying anything to them you wouldn't want the CEO to hear. Your interview begins when you push the door open to the office, and it's important to act professionally at every moment.

6. Speak with your interviewers, not at them. Remember that your interview is a structured conversation. While you may have a whole song-and-dance prepared and messages you are convinced you must convey, slow down and listen. People can easily tell when you are spouting out a canned response to a question. Moreover, they get annoyed when you are off point in your responses to their questions.
Good luck with your interview!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Teen Drivers and Marijuana: A Dangerous Trend

A growing number of teen drivers don’t see smoking marijuana as a problem. A recent study found that nearly one in five (19%) admit to driving after smoking the drug. Only 13% reported driving under the influence of alcohol.

With the legalization of marijuana in Washington state, many teens think it’s “no big deal” to smoke a joint or eat marijuana-laced candy or brownies, since it’s "only" considered a recreational drug.

A study of nearly 2,300 11th and 12th graders across the U.S., commissioned by an insurance company and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) found that 70% of teens now say marijuana use is “very” or “extremely” distracting to their driving abilities, down from 78% in 2009.


These and other surveys reflect a “dangerous trend toward the acceptance of marijuana and other substances compared to our study of teens conducted just two years ago,” says Stephen Wallace, senior advisor for policy, research and education at SADD.


The new study's findings are disturbing "both in terms of the increased use of marijuana and from the perspective that many think this is not a danger," Wallace says.


Among teens who have driven after using marijuana, more than one third (36%) say it presents no distraction when operating a vehicle, while only in five (19%) say alcohol is no distraction.


As 18-year-old who drove after getting high explains, "When you're high, you're supposed to be relaxed. But when you're driving, you technically can't be. I went numb! I wasn't sure if I was pressing the gas or the brakes or if I was moving at all. It was really intense, and the colors from the cars and the headlights were all blurring."


In fact, a recent review in medical journal BMJ found that high drivers are twice as likely to get in a serious accident than sober drivers, debunking anecdotal evidence and prior research to the contrary.


Even though marijuana is legal in Washington, penalties for DUI pertain to marijuana use, and THC, the drug in marijuana, can stay in a person’s system for up to two weeks. In addition, in Washington, where it was legalized, you must be 21 years old to legally partake.


Complicating matters further, the federal government still considers pot to be an illegal drug, and most businesses have a zero tolerance for drug use. An employee who is drug tested could be fired immediately, depending on the company’s drug policy.


If you are convicted of a DUI, you will lose your drivers license, get fined and be sentenced to jail time. If your employer tests you and you're high, you may lose your job. Is it worth the risk?


Sources: USA Today, Teen Vogue, KIRO TV