Camping Lakewood, WA

Do you know these camping basics?

A camping trip is one of the great adventures a person (or family) gets to have each summer. Our area is filled with great camping spots, some nestled in the woods some near streams and lakes, but most are great for meeting new friends. Preparing for this wonderful American tradition a camping trip can be challenging as you have to be ready for many different scenarios: wild animals, weather changes, illness, etc. Don’t fret, we are here to highlight some of the basic necessities one may need on a weekend camping trip.

Camping Basics in Washington:

  • Food:  Food and drink is a very important component of any trip. Most folks pack your standard camping fare like hot dogs, s’mores and plenty no-fuss ready to eat snacks. You’ll want to pack some energy bars, nuts, fruit and plenty of water if you plan on doing any physical activity as low blood sugar (and heat) can lead to dizziness and possibly fainting. Storing your food is also extremely important. Making sure all food is tightly sealed in containers will help keep pests and wild animals out of your campsite, you should also make sure that cold food stays cold to avoid food poisoning. Be sure to pack all food away in the evenings in a locked car away from any sleeping quarters as bears and other wild animals may enter camp looking for a snack.
  • Weather: Be prepared for all kinds of weather and be aware that it can change at any moment. Pack enough clothes to layer should it get chilly or rainy, hats and umbrellas for staying out of the sun and proper food gear for hiking or for swimming (including life jackets if you plan on using a canoe or raft). Being prepared for the weather also means being prepared for the pests warm weather brings. Mosquitoes and ticks can be an annoyance, but they can also cause health problems like West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Citronella candles (or torches) and repellant sprays can help protect against mosquitoes and ticks. For ticks, check yourself and your pets daily for ticks.  They prefer dark, warm areas like behind the knees, ears and inside the belly button. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some great tick prevention and removal tips.
  • Fires: Whether you are camping with a tent or in an RV or camper, you will most likely be starting a fire (in an approved fire pit) to cook food or just to enjoy. Make sure that your fire pit is well contained and the area around and above it is free of flammable material. Watch sparks and shifts in the fire to ensure that the flames stay within the pit. Having a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher hand is a very good idea. If a forest or brush fire should start, you’ll want to contact the authorities (in many cases a camping host) immediately. It is not just camp fires that can cause a forest or brush fire. Sparks from motorcycle, ATV or RV tail pipes can also cause a spontaneous fire. If you are bringing any of these “toys” along take to your insurance agent about a personal umbrella insurance policy, which could help mitigate damage and restitution costs if you were found liable or negligent for a brush or forest fire.
  • Cleanliness: Not just personal hygiene, but keeping your campsite clear of trip hazards, such as unused toys, firewood, ropes or other items that could cause a trip. Remember that you’re usually leasing a space of land to camp on, but this won’t stop others from walking through your site. Be sure they have a safe place to travel through and that you can’t be found liable for someone injuring themselves while being in or around your RV (should you be using an RV). You can protect yourself with vacation liability insurance coverage that is available with specialized RV policies such as those offered by Progressive Insurance.

At Insurance Unlimited, Inc., we want you to enjoy your summer camping trips. While we can’t assist you with building fires and setting up a campsite, we can help ensure that all your RVs, ATVs and motorcycles are insured with the right policy to fit your needs and budget. Give your Lakewood, WA Insurance Unlimited, Inc., agent a call and see the difference of working with an independent agent. You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 for more information about the other insurance products we sell, like home insurance or auto insurance.

Generator Safety Lakewood, WA

Generator Safety

At some point during this past winter, you may have lost power and depending on for how long, you may have gone and purchased a generator. Some purchase generators for the “just-in-case” scenario, while others use them for RVing or running a small shop. Regardless of why you have a backup generator, they can be a great tool for helping to keep warm and possibly running some small appliances or light fixtures (depending on the size of your generator.) There are some key safety issues that one should take into consideration when purchasing and using a portable generator during inclement weather or even while camping.

Generator Safety 101 in Washington:

  • Power: When trying to pick out a generator you need to consider what exactly it will be powering. For lighting, heat and appliances, there are specific wattages that need to be met. If the generator is not powerful enough to run these items, both the generator and the appliances, etc., could be damaged. A simple way to figure this out is to look at the generator “running/rated watts.” If the running watts on a generator lists it as 1500, then it can run up to 15 100 watt light bulbs. Some appliances such as fans have a starting surge. So, if a fan is 200 watts, but has a 600 watt power surge when you turn it on, you technically only have 900 watts left on your generator. If running other appliances, remember, 1kw = 1,000 watts, volts x amps = watts, so 3 amps at 120 volts = 360 watts.
  • Placement: You never want to use a generator indoors. Running a generator indoors is essentially like running car in a garage with the door closed. Generators release carbon monoxide (CO) and even in small doses that can be deadly. Installing a battery-operated CO monitor, like this, is a great way to help protect yourself from CO poisoning. The generator should be placed at least 25 ft. from the home or camper and should be in a cleared area. Generators can produce quite a bit of heat and could spark a fire in the right conditions, so if you’re out camping, ensure the area is free of debris. Be cautious when using a generator in wet conditions, a pop-up open air canopy could keep the generator dry. If the weather is wet, use covers on extension cords and remember to never touch electrical outlets or plugs with wet hands.
  • Powering the generator: Generators run on fuel, diesel, unleaded or 2 cycle depending on the type you purchase. When buying and storing fuel, only use approved containers. Every city has different regulations regarding the amount of fuel that can be stored in a residence and where it can be stored, check your local regulations or check with your local fire department for more information on fuel storage.
  • Making it permanent: You may decide that you like your generator so much that you want to make it a permanent fixture at your home in case of future power outages. In that case, you will want to contact a reputable electrician, as attaching a generator to your electrical system can be complicated. Never try to plug a generator directly into an electrical outlet, it could cause serious (expensive) damage to your home system.

Let your Insurance Unlimited agent know if you have a generator permanently attached to your home electrical system. You can also let your agent know if you have made any other upgrades to your home that could result in a home insurance discount, like a security system or an impact resistant roof. The insurance experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA are here to assist you with all of your insurance needs. Visit our insurance website 24/7 for more information about us or any of the insurance products we sell like RV insurance or renters insurance.

Hail damage Lakewood, WA

Does my home or auto insurance cover hail damage?

Spring and summer bring wonderful warm (sometimes hot) weather. With that warmer weather, the potential for thunder and hail storms increases. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the U.S. saw more than 5,450 hail related weather events in 2013. While thunderstorms may rattle your windows a bit, hail damage to your home and vehicles can be serious. There are a few ways you can prepare and protect yourself, your home and vehicles before a hail storm hits.

Hail Preparation in Washington:

  • What the hail: As defined from weather.com, hail is “Hail is precipitation in the form of a chunk of ice that can fall from a cumulonimbus cloud. Usually associated with multicell, supercell and cold front induced squall line thunderstorms, most hail falls from the central region of a cloud in a severe storm.“ Hail can range from small marble-sized pellets to the size of a softball. While hailstorms may come with little-to-no warning, being prepared ahead of time is the best defense against hailstorm.
  • Prepare your home: Your home is a large target for hail. Roofs can be severely damaged and if they are not in good repair, large enough hail could leave holes. Making sure that your roof is in good repair and all shingles/tiles are in place. This may help mitigate the hail damage to the roof should a large hailstorm sweep through your area. Windows are also at risk for damage. Hail (even small hail) can crack or shatter windows. Having storm shutters (or even regular shutters) help protect windows from large hail damage. A homeowner’s insurance policy with may cover the damage from hailstorms, however you should check with your insurance agent for limitations.
  • Preparing your vehicle: Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect your vehicles (RVs, cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) from hail damage. Damage to vehicles can range from small dents and dings to shattered windshields. The only real remedy is parking them undercover in a garage or carport. You can help reduce the cost of repair damage should your vehicle get dented in hailstorm with an auto insurance policy with comprehensive coverage. Your standard liability-only policy will not cover damage associated with hail damage. Of course, limitations and deductibles may apply.
  • Next steps: If your home or vehicle is damaged during a hailstorm, there are a few things that you should do.
    • Take photos of the damage.
    • Report the claim to your insurance carrier.
    • Temporarily mitigate your damages (cover the damage with a tarp, etc.). Your insurance carrier should follow up quickly and often can provide you with recommendations for contractors and auto repair shops.

While large hailstorms are not a common occurrence in Lakewood, WA, it is always good to be prepared. Ask the insurance experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., if your home and auto policy carry comprehensive coverage that can help protect you from inclement weather including coverage for hail damage. You can visit their insurance website 24/7 and your agent can also assist you with adding additional insurance policies like flood or earthquake.

auto maintenance Lakewood, WA

Simple Auto Maintenance: A how-to guide

When it comes to auto maintenance, there are some things that are best left to the professionals. While you may not be able to repair issues with your engine, transmission or other vital systems in your vehicle, you can perform some simple maintenance and save yourself at little bit of money!

Standard car maintenance you can do yourself in Washington:

  • Fluids: There are a number of fluids a car needs to keep running. Changing some of these fluids are as easy as filling up a reservoir, like water or antifreeze in your radiator or refilling your windshield washing fluid. Others, like changing your oil, can be a bit more time consuming. Before you embark on changing your own oil, make sure to read your cars maintenance manual to see what type of oil you need (synthetic, blend and the weight of the oil) and how often the manufacturer recommends the oil be changed. Oil and oil filters can be purchased from auto supply stores and even some one-stop-shopping retailers. You’ll also need to locate an oil disposal center. Some auto supply store will take used oil and dispose of it for free. While you are waiting for the oil to drain, you can also check your spark plugs! YouTube or websites like howstuffworks.com have great examples of how to change your plugs and what the condition of your old plugs may mean about the condition of your vehicle.
  • Tires: Tire maintenance is pretty simple and improperly maintained tires can affect your cars handling ability and gas mileage. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure level and having them rotated at a regular interval helps keep them in good condition. At some point though, you will get a flat tire. They usually happen at the most inopportune times, at night and while it’s raining. Tossing a spare tire on is actually fairly simple. You’ll need a jack, a tire iron and a container (or use your pocket) to keep track of the nuts/bolts that you will take off the deflating tire. You can often get all of this in a tire changing kit, if one is not included with your vehicle, which can be expensive upfront (typically between $100-$180) but cheaper than a tow. Once you’ve replaced the damaged tire with a spare, you can get yourself to a tire repair center to get the flat patched.
  • Brakes: Brakes in good working order are extremely important to your safety and the safety of others on the road. Brake pads can wear over time, which causes them to be less effective when slowing your car. If your brake pads wear too thin, an element on the back of the pad can come in contact with your rotor disc. Metal on metal grinding is never good and can result in having to replace the rotor (which could require the work of a professional). The average life span for brake pads is roughly 40,000 miles, however this can vary greatly depending on your driving style and your daily driving conditions. If you hear that telltale “squeak” of your brakes, it is time to give them a look. This is actually a built in “warning system” from your brake pads telling you they are running low. Your cars maintenance manual will let you know the type (size) of brake pad you need for the front and rear of your car. Changing out your brake pads requires you to remove the tire and the old pad. Other than that, it is fairly simple and can take under 20 minutes from start to finish per wheel. You should be cautious when breaking in new pads, it usually takes about 200 miles before the pads are working at “full strength.”
  • Keep it clean: Both the inside and outside of your vehicle should be regularly cleaned. Regular washings help keep dirt and other nasty stuff that can damage your paint, off your vehicle. A regular waxing can help extend the “shiny” look of your paint. Washing the exterior of your car on a regular basis also gives you the opportunity to check for dents, rock chips or damage that the layer of dirt was covering. Keeping the interior of your vehicle clean is not only sanitary, but it can diminish a safety hazard. Having things floating around your car like soda bottles, books, shoes, etc., can become projectiles and potentially dangerous if you are in a car accident. It is very easy to do a quick clean out, vacuum and wipe down of your interior when you clean the outside of your vehicle. A shiny car inside and out will put a smile on your face!

Another element of standard auto maintenance is a current auto insurance policy. Talk to the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA. Your local, independent insurance agents can walk you through your current auto insurance policy or assist with setting up a new policy. Because they live in the Lakewood area they can recommend auto repair shops should your vehicle need a professional. You can visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about auto insurance or to check the other insurance products they offer, like renters insurance.

Travel insurance lakewood, wa

It’s time to consider travel insurance

While booking a family vacation there are some important things you should plan for and we’d like to discuss an insurance topic that many people do not know about or elect to not purchase: travel insurance. This is not a product that we (or most insurance companies sell) so this is purely for educational purposes. We want you, our valued clients, to have the best time on your vacation even if something goes awry.

What does Travel Insurance cover?

Travel insurance usually has a few different tiers. Some companies offer simple plans that include airline ticket reimbursement if you have to miss your flight for an approved reason, others offer the “Cadillac” package of airline ticket reimbursement, medical insurance coverage, medical evacuation and trip cancellation. There are a smattering of other plans in-between. Deciding which plan is right for your trip will depend on a few factors: cost of the trip, location of the trip and the pre-existing/potential medical issues that could arise from someone covered under the plan. If you are traveling domestically, typically your health insurance should allow for in-or out-of-network medical care. If you are traveling internationally that can be whole different story. Check with your health insurance provider for information about international health insurance coverage. If you purchase a travel insurance plan, make sure to look at the fine print, up to percentages and dollar amounts regarding coverage.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Buying travel insurance is entirely up to you. If you are taking a quick weekend trip and don’t mind losing out on the experience and money if you have to cancel, then no need for insurance. However, if you are spending a substantial amount of money on a vacation, then having a travel insurance plan could help offset the cost if the trip is delayed or canceled. Missing a flight due to traffic can set off a chain of events that could cost a lot of money to fix. Consider Mother Nature; a nasty storm like the recent Polar Vortex grounded several flights for days or volcanic eruption, like the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 caused severe flights days in and out of Europe for weeks. While some airlines will work with you on flights delayed or canceled due to weather, some will not.

Where do I buy travel insurance?

Travel insurance can be purchased through many booking sites like Expedia and travel guide sites like Lonely Planet and Frommers often have links to reputable companies. If you are booking through a travel agency, ask your agent about travel insurance options.

We hope that wherever you head for vacation that you have a wonderful time and that you do not have to use the benefits of your travel insurance should you choose to purchase it! For all the other traveling you may do this year, in your boat or your RV, give the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA a call or visit our insurance website 24/7 for great insurance rates! Safe travels!

Identity Theft Lakewood, WA

Identity Theft: An Unfortunate Reality

It has been all over the news lately: data breaches at major retailers have been potentially compromising shoppers debit and credit cards. While your banking institutions and credit card issuers do offer some protection against fraudulent charges to your accounts, did you know that your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance plan may offer additional protection if your identity is stolen.

Identity Theft in Washington:

  • Keep an eye out: Even if you do not suspect your identity or credit cards have been potentially comprised, it is a good idea to regularly go over your statements to ensure all charges are accurate. Some credit card issuers will offer inexpensive credit monitoring from at least one of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you notice a fraudulent charge or an error on your credit report, you should immediately contact the appropriate agency (i.e., your credit card issuer, credit reporting agency, bank, etc.).
  • Extra Protection: In addition to your own diligence, your homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy can offer some extra protection. For a small yearly fee (typically less than $40 per year) your insurance policy may cover expenses related to court fees, loan reapplication fees (if denied due to identity theft), notary fees and more. Some insurance plans may also include access to an identity theft counselor, someone to assist with reporting fraudulent activity and to act as a liaison to the major credit report bureaus on your behalf. Identity theft plans will vary by carrier and state, so be sure to ask your Insurance Unlimited, Inc., agent about plans available in Washington.
  • Next steps: If you suspect that you have been a victim of credit card or identity theft, fill out a police report. This will be crucial as the next few agencies you will be contacting, your bank, credit card issuer and the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) will need a copy send to their fraud departments. You will also need to file an ID Theft Complaint and Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission. Any accounts or cards that are potentially compromised should be closed and new cards issued. Continue to monitor your credit reports and accounts.

The road to recovery from credit card and identity fraud can be long and expensive. Here at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington we hope it is something that you never have to experience on your own. If you are interested in learning more about adding identity theft protection to your existing home, condo or renters insurance plan contact us today. You can also visit our website 24/7 to learn about the other insurance products we offer.

Driving Faux-Pas Lakewood, WA

Top Driving Faux-Pas in Washington

We wanted to know what some of your biggest gripes about those other drivers you share the road with. After tallying our unofficial poll results, we compiled a list of bad habits behind the wheel.

  • Blinkers: Not using a blinker topped the list of annoyances on the road. Using a blinker allows other motorists to know where you intended to merge, turn or otherwise move. It gives your fellow commuters a chance to slow down to let you in/turn, etc. Not using a blinker and then moving your vehicle could cause those around you to slam on their brakes potentially causing an auto accident. We all forget every now and again, but make sure to use that blinker.
  • Merging: There were several gripes surrounding merging. Most agreed that not allowing other cars to merge into traffic was not very nice and also hazardous. Allowing traffic to flow onto the freeway may prevent an auto accident. Also on the merging gripe list is merging at a speed too slow or too fast could cause other drivers to react which could lead to an auto accident.
  • Aggressive drivers: In many states, driving aggressively can lead to a hefty ticket. Drivers who tailgate, weave in and out of traffic and speed excessively put not only themselves at risk, but other drivers, etc., around them as well.
  • Distracted drivers: These days there are many things that can distract you while driving a vehicle. Shushing kids, minding pets, texting or talking on cell phones, self-grooming, eating, drinking coffee and playing with the radio are all things that can distract you from your number one task – keeping your eyes on the road. Whether you are on a major interstate or a country road, it only takes a moment for a vehicle, animal, child or debris to get right into your path. If you are not paying attention to the road, your reaction time could be minimized and it could lead to an auto accident.
  • Share the road: Not only do we share the road with other drivers, we share the road with cyclists and pedestrians. In some areas cyclists have dedicated lanes, but they are afforded the same “right-of-way” privileges as pedestrians. When driving in an area frequented by cyclists and pedestrians, you need to be hyper-aware of your surroundings as they can seemingly pop out of “nowhere.” While the burden of an auto accident may fall to the vehicle, all parties have a duty and responsibility to look out for themselves and each other. Cyclists and pedestrians should make the direction they are heading clear, and cyclists should use the proper directional hand signals.

Driving is a privilege and requires the utmost responsibility when behind the wheel. We all have bad days when we are rushing to get to our destinations, mad at the driver in front of us or just in a daze. Snapping yourself out of those moods may help prevent an auto accident or injury. If an accident does occur, make sure to get the appropriate information from all parties involved and report the claim to your insurance carrier. If you have any questions about your auto insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to ask the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA. Your local, independent insurance agents can walk you through what may or may not be covered by your current auto insurance policy and help you decide if additional coverage is right for your situation. They can also assist you with a personal umbrella policy. You can visit their insurance website 24/7 for more details.

Replacement cost vs. Actual cash value Lakewood, WA

Replacement cost vs. Actual cash value – What does that mean?

An insurance policy’s usefulness is determined by the policy language used. Specific policy language determines what is covered, what is excluded and the amounts covered under the policy. Reviewing your insurance policy language every now and again may be helpful in the event of a claim, as you would have a better understanding of what may be covered.

Insurance policies are full of language and terms that may not be clear right off the bat. Many terms are specific to the industry and to the specific type of insurance that is being purchased. Two such terms are Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value. These terms can be a bit confusing to decipher between.

Replacement cost vs. Actual cash value in Washington:

  • Replacement cost is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Replacement costs are agreed upon by all parties before the insurance policy is finalized. If you have high-ticket items (jewelry, art, RV, boat, luxury vehicle or classic car) this may be the best type of coverage if you can afford it.
  • Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. For example, if you were in an auto accident and you had an actual cash value policy, your insurance would pay out the cost of the vehicle minus any depreciation, so if your vehicle is worth less than what you owe you would be responsible for paying that difference out of pocket, unless you had gap insurance. An actual cash value policy can put you in a tight spot if your items cost more to replace or repair than your policy pays out. Depreciation values for big ticket items like RVs or luxury cars can be quite large, so make sure that you have a nest egg and be prepared to pay some out-of-pocket for a loss if you have an actual cash value insurance policy.

No matter which policy type you choose, the local experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can answer any questions and walk you through the different types of scenarios to see which policy type is right for your situation. Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington can guide you through your homeowner’s insurance policy and more, like auto insurance. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know firsthand what your insurance needs might be. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the insurance products they offer.

Condo Insurance Lakewood, WA

“What does my condo insurance policy cover?”

Congratulations, you’ve purchased a condo!! Home ownership with little or no yard work. You can remodel your kitchen, paint the walls and enjoy your new space. During the purchasing process your agent probably told you that the homeowner’s association insures the building, the walls and the physical structure of your unit. What that insurance does not cover is the personal contents of your unit or any remodeled or upgraded areas within the unit.

Condo Insurance 101 in Washington:

  • Why do you need it: While your walls and building are covered in the event of destruction, your belongings and any upgrades are not. You are responsible for the physical contents, additions and upgrades in your unit. Condo insurance also provides liability coverage should a negligent act by you (fire, water damage, glass breakage, etc.) affect units other than your own. Say you left the bathtub running and it overflowed causing damage to the unit below. Your condo insurance would cover the damage to the unit below you as well as repair the damage to your unit, after a deductible. Pro tip: never leave your bathtub running unattended.
  • What may be covered: Like a renter’s insurance policy, your belongings are covered up to a certain dollar amount. Like a homeowner’s insurance policy you can add scheduled property like art, jewelry and other collectibles. A condo insurance policy also includes a negligence and liability portion in the event that you damage a unit other than your own, the common areas or if someone is injured in your unit. A condo insurance policy may also include reimbursements for living expenses if your condo is unlivable and needs to be repaired.

Having the proper amount of condo insurance coverage may help protect you from having to pay out of pocket for liability claims or damage to your unit. There are several options when it comes to the condo insurance you feel is appropriate for your needs and budget. Have questions? Talk to your local, independent insurance agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington can guide you through a condo insurance policy and add additional coverages like flood insurance or earthquake insurance. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know first-hand what your insurance needs might be.  You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the insurance products they offer.

Rental Car Coverage Lakewood, WA

What are my insurance options for rental car coverage?

You know (or should know) exactly what your auto insurance covers if you get into an accident with your vehicle. But what if you are driving a vehicle that is not yours, specifically what if you are driving a rental car? Whether it be for a business trip, vacation or just a loaner while your vehicle is in the shop, driving a rental car is an experience we all share. Does your auto insurance coverage extend to your rental car?

Auto Insurance Coverage for a Rental Car in Washington:

  • Your auto insurance: Liability coverage is required by law, though amounts vary by state. If you have collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on your primary vehicle insurance policy the coverage typically transfers to your rental car as long as all vehicles you own are insured. If you are involved in an auto accident in your rental car the damage should be covered under your Collision and Liability policy*. Typically this means any collision damage to your rental vehicle or property damages to another vehicle (if you are found to be at-fault) as well as any injuries sustained in the accident may be covered. Collision and Liability will not cover personal effects in your vehicle that may have been damaged in a collision.
  • Insurance from the rental company:  When you rent a vehicle, you are always asked if you would like to purchase rental car insurance. This decision is purely up to you. If you have Collision and Comprehensive insurance it may be a bit redundant, however if you don’t carry the coverage it will be required to be purchased from the rental company. Insurance from the rental company typically covers theft, vandalism and collision damage to the vehicle, though there may be excluded events like damage that occurs while driving under the influence. Each rental insurance terms will vary, so it is best to discuss what is covered and what is not with the specific rental company. In terms of liability coverage, the rental company insurance policy typically includes a one million dollar limit, however this can vary between companies. Insurance from the rental company is usually fairly inexpensive, typically starting in the $20 per day range.
  • Extra protection: A simple way to get extra insurance protection in the event you are found negligent or liable in an accident is to have a personal umbrella policy. A personal umbrella policy will often extend your coverage to a rental vehicle. Not used in cases for minor fender-benders, but if you are in a serious accident and an injured party has high medical bills, a personal umbrella policy could protect your assets.

*Every claim is unique. To ensure that you’re properly covered, it is requested that you speak with your insurance agent to ensure you have the right coverage in place and that that coverage will transfer to your rental vehicle.

Your auto insurance policy does likely offer limited coverage with a rental vehicle and for most folks that is enough coverage. If you plan on having personal items in your vehicle or will have your rental car for an extended period of time, having additional coverage from the rental car company may be a smart move. Find yourself needing a rental car? Talk to the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA. Your local, independent insurance agents can walk you through what may or may not be covered by your current auto insurance policy and help you decide if additional coverage is right for your situation. They can also assist you with a personal umbrella policy. You can visit their insurance website 24/7 for more details.