Monday, November 9, 2015

Why You Need Renters Insurance

You finally moved out! Your new apartment or rental house is awesome, and you feel pretty good about living on your own. But, even though you don't own, you need to protect your belongings.  It’s time to learn more about renters insurance! 

Homeowners insurance covers the house itself and the items inside. 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, laptop, phone, 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 will approve the lease. 

So if you’re renting, it’s time to look at protecting your valuables.  Give SAV-ON a call today at 888-867-2866 and ask for a no-obligation quote on renters insurance.  And, while you're at it, find out how much you’ll save on your auto insurance, too!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Choose the Best Auto Insurance Deductible

When quoting auto insurance for clients, we frequently discuss how to choose the right deductible.  We thought it would be a good idea to take a few minutes to share this information here on our website too!

What is a Deductible?

A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket when you have a claim.  If you have a $500 collision deductible and have an accident, then you would pay $500 towards repairing your vehicle and your insurance would cover the rest.

The deductible you choose directly relates to the amount of money you spend on premiums each month.  The higher the deductible ($250, $500 or $1,000), the lower your monthly cost. 

So How Do You Choose? 

Cheaper price or lower out-of-pocket expense?

First, look at your emergency savings.  Do you have enough cash available to cover a higher deductible if you needed to pay it?  If the answer is no, then you’re better off paying a little extra each month.

Compare the cost savings.  When we run a quote, we can show you several different options.  Ask your agent to run the premium based on several different deductibles so you can see the actual dollar cost savings.

You can always change your mind.  If you’re short on cash now, but know you could afford more out-of-pocket next year, you’re always able to change.  Keep your deductible in a comfortable range and you’ll always be well protected! 

Questions? Call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 for more information and a personalized quote. We're here to help!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

'Back to School' Insurance

School supplies and clothes have been purchased and schools are in session in most cases. If you're heading off to college, it's coming up quickly.  What does that have to do with insurance? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Good Grades - Many policies allow discounts for students with good grades. It's important  to keep those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students too.

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

Moving To The Dorm - If you're in college, will you be living in the dorm this semester? Your parent's homeowners Insurance may cover your belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage. Discuss this coverage with your parents, and if they need clarification, call us.

Remember, any claims would be subject to the deductible which is usually higher on home policies! Have your parents contact us for a policy review to check for the specific amounts of coverage included.

Moving To An Apartment - If you have recently graduated and from the dorms to an apartment, your parent's homeowners Insurance will not cover your 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 someone caused a fire, etc. By making sure you are properly insured, your parents are also protecting themselves from any liability.

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Affordable Car Insurance for Teenagers

Do you have a teenage driver (or one soon to be)?  Back-to-school time is a great opportunity to think about car insurance savings!

Having a teenage driver can be stressful.  You worry, first and foremost, about their safety and then about the costs.  And there are a lot of costs!  Things like purchasing an additional vehicle, getting licensed, and paying more -- in some cases, considerably more -- for insurance are just a few. 

Fortunately, you still have options.

First, you want to think about the vehicle your teen will be driving.  Premiums are higher on vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays to fix your vehicle after an accident.  When you have a car that has only liability insurance (which pays only for damage your driver does to someone else’s car), you pay a lot less.

Don't Buy New. If you are purchasing a car for your teen and need to watch your budget, consider buying an older reliable model for cash that will not require comprehensive and collision coverage.  We can help you weigh the cost and the risk to see if it is a good option for you.

Look for Discounts. You also want to take advantage of all available discounts.  These vary by policy but typically include a discount for driver's education and one for having good grades.  With school starting soon, it's a great time to setup an incentive plan with your teenager to make sure they keep those grades up and your premiums low!

Put Them on Your Policy. Putting them on your insurance policy will raise your rates, but will keep it lower than if they have their own policy. If you're paying their insurance, this will save money. If, on the other hand, you're having them pay for their own insurance, then have them pay you the difference between what you were paying before and what you now have to pay. This keeps your rates the same and teaches your teen some responsibility, too. They'll drive more carefully when it will cost them, too.

Still have questions?  Call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 to review your current policy and look for ways to help you manage the cost of having a teenage driver.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

5 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Are you tired of paying too much for auto insurance?  No one wants to pay more than they have to!  That’s why it’s important to know what savings and discounts are available.  Here are a few things to discuss with your agent at your next review.

1. Is Your Driving Record Accurate?

Tickets, accidents, and claims will raise your rates!  That’s why it’s important to make sure your motor vehicle report is accurate.  Ask your agent if anything showed on your record and make sure that the information is correct.

2. Take A Defensive Driving Class

Have you taken a defensive driving course in the past? Let us know. You may qualify for a discount!

Don’t forget about driver’s ed classes for teenagers, too. Just get a copy of the completion certificate for your records. Many of these discounts apply for several years and give substantial savings. We have information local driver's education classes. Call us today and we can recommend some.

3. Increase Your Deductibles

The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket after an accident (or for hail damage, etc.) The higher that out-of-pocket amount, the lower your monthly premium!

So if you are currently carrying $100 or $250 deductibles, consider raising them to $500 and keeping a little extra in your savings account.  You could save a lot each month while still being protected from any major damage.  We can give you prices for a range of deductibles to help you decide.

4. Find The Best Payment Options

Depending on your individual policy, we may be able to offer various discounts for paying your policy premium in full or putting it on a monthly bank draft.

While $3-4 a month might not seem like much, over time it really adds up!

5. Stay Accident- and Ticket-Free!

A clean driving record is rewarded by discount rates. Slow down, obey all traffic laws, and watch out for the other guy. SAV-ON is dedicated to moving drivers from high-risk to preferred rates through our Smart Drivers Program.

Call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866 for more information on this cost-saving program. We've helped many drivers cut their premiums in half or even more!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

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 recent 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 Liberty Mutual Insurance 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, 36% say it presents no distraction when operating a vehicle. But other teens have experienced the negative effects of driving after smoking pot.

"It was the scariest thing ever." That's how 16-year-old Ashley, a high school junior in Nevada, describes her experience driving high. It was the first time she had ever smoked pot, and the friend she was with pressured her to drive home. "My vision kept going in and out, and I couldn't focus," she continues. "It was so hard, and we didn't get very far."

As 18-year-old Madelyn 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 breaks 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, if you are convicted of a DUI, whether it's from alcohol or pot, you will lose your drivers license, get fined and be sentenced to jail time. It's also on your record forever. Is it worth the risk?

Sources: USA Today, Teen Vogue, KIRO TV

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Auto Theft is a Big Problem. Are You Protected?

There were nearly 700,000 motor vehicle thefts nationwide in 2013. Although 2014 showed a slight decrease, it continues to be a real problem. It is estimated that $4.5 billion is lost on motor vehicle thefts.

According to the FBI, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds!
Making the problem more aggravating is that for every 10 vehicle thefts, only slightly more than half (56%) are recovered, and about one is successfully prosecuted!  In 2012, for example, only 11.9 percent of auto thefts were cleared, either by arrests or by exceptional means, compared with 20.4 percent for arson and 19.0 percent for all property crimes. To make matters worse, many of the vehicles recovered are damaged or destroyed. Source: Insurance Information Institute

Be careful where you park your car, and what you leave in it. If you don't have a garage, make sure to have motion lights that will deter a would-be thief. When you're not at home, park in a well-lit area, and always lock your car. A survey of American drivers conducted in April 2007 on behalf of the National Insurance Crime Bureau found:
  • One-third admit they have left their car while it was running, which makes the vehicle an easy target for theft.
  • 47% don't always park in a well-lit area.
  • 40% don't hide their valuables. In fact, nearly half leave mail in their vehicle, a quarter have left a purse or wallet, and almost a third have left bank statements, all of which can put them at risk for identity theft.

It Costs You!

Although 75% of respondents know that there are costs associated with vehicle theft in addition to paying the insurance deductible and the cost of replacing the vehicle that are not covered by insurance, virtually none knew that there are additional costs such as:
  • Insurance premium increases
  • The cost of time spent dealing with police
  • Vehicle rental costs
  • Cost of time off from work.  
The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.

Make Sure You're Adequately Protected!

Auto theft is covered by the optional comprehensive coverage on an auto policy. Without it you're on your own if your car gets stolen or vandalized. Don't take that chance! You can choose from a range of deductibles that will affect your premiums. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your rates will be. SAV-ON Insurance agents are happy to help you figure out the best rate for your vehicle and save you money, too. Call us today at 888-867-2866 for a free estimate, or come in to any of our offices.