Flood Insurance Lakewood, WA

Protection for a Rainy Day: Flood Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Typically when we think of things like wildfires or snowstorms, we confine them to seasons. Not all natural disasters are season specific and events like massive rainstorms can occur with the right conditions any time of year. Keeping a flood insurance policy, even if you are not in a high-risk area may be a good idea.

The definition of a flood can be tricky as most people associate a flood with a large body of water overflowing wreaking havoc throughout an area, but floods come in many different shapes and sizes. In terms of flood insurance, any water that comes into your home from an outside source (not a burst pipe, sewer back-up, etc.) may be considered a flood. There are easy ways to find out if you are in a high-risk area for floods and what is covered under a flood insurance policy in Lakewood, Washington.

The ins-and-outs of flood insurance in Washington:

 

  • What is a flood: As previously stated, in terms of insurance, a flood is typically water from an outside source coming into your home or business that is not a result of a burst pipe, sewer back-up or other excluded events.  Localized flooding in your home can occur when outside drains become clogged with leaves or debris, when a water main breaks or a storm surge comes ashore from a tropical storm or hurricane. High-risk areas include those living at or below sea-level, those living within the flood plain of a river or those who live in areas that get monsoon-like storm conditions. These areas may be high-risk, but flooding can occur in any neighborhood.
  • Flood Insurance: Purchasing flood insurance can be done through your local independent insurance agency, but it is all federally insured by FEMA. Based on historical trends and flood maps, high-risk areas are determined as those that “have a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage,” according to Floodsmart.gov. A flood insurance premium is based on several factors, like flood risk area, age of the home, number of floors and the amount of coverage you decide upon. The typical policy in a lower-risk can be as low as $129 per year and will go up from there depending on the risk. It should be noted that after purchasing a flood insurance policy, there is a 30-day waiting period, so if you are considering purchasing flood insurance, the sooner the process is started the better.
  • What is covered: Flood damage to a home is costly. Depending on the area of the home taking on water, the costs can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Carpets may need to be replaced or cleaned, dry wall replaced, appliances, furniture and the list goes on. If the flood is severe enough the home may need to be assessed for structural or electrical damage.

If you think you may need flood insurance, talk to your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, WA. Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington can guide you through purchasing a flood insurance policy and offers additional lines of insurance like home insurance and 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 other insurance products they offer.

 

Auto Insurance Lakewood, WA

Fact or Fiction: Five Auto Insurance Myths in Lakewood, WA

Let’s face it; auto insurance can be confusing, especially when it comes to insuring new vehicles. When trying to look up information surrounding auto insurance in Lakewood, WA, the internet can be full of myths and misinformation. If you are trying to disseminate fact from fiction the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can help. We have compiled some common insurance myths and facts; we like to think of it as our own insurance version of Mythbusters.

Five auto insurance myths in Washington:

  • Color: Have you always wanted a red car, but never did because you thought it might drive up your auto insurance premium in Lakewood, WA? Not true. Insurance premiums factor in the make/model, age and power of the vehicle. Premiums are also based on the person being insured. The cost of the vehicle can also influence the price of the premium, as more expensive the car usually the more expensive it is to repair if it is damaged in an accident.
  • Mature Drivers: Heard that once you enter your ‘golden years’ your auto insurance premiums will increase? Not necessarily. Your local, independent insurance agent can assist you with senior discounts or get you resources for defensive driving courses which can also lead to a discount.
  • Optional Coverages: Basic auto insurance Lakewood, WA will cover theft or weather-related damage. Claims such as these are only covered under comprehensive coverage. Most car loans require that you carry both comprehensive and collision as these protect the vehicle fully. If your car is getting older and worth less than $1000, you may want to opt-out of these coverages, but you will want to talk this over with your agent before dropping these coverages completely.
  • Loaning your vehicle: Does your best friend need to borrow your car for the day or leaving your mom the car to pick up the kids from school? If they get in an accident, their insurance will cover it, right? Wrong. Typically insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. However, that is not always the case. Rules and regulations for this specific instance vary by state, so you will need to clarify with your insurance agent before you loan out your vehicle. Additionally someone who has regular access to your vehicle, like a roommate or spouse, should be added to your auto insurance policy to prevent a messy claims process should they be involved in an accident while driving your vehicle.
  • Personal v. Business: Your vehicle is covered under your personal auto insurance policy whether you are using it for pleasure or business. Not entirely accurate. If you are using your vehicle often for business, purposes, a business auto policy may help protect your vehicle more thoroughly. If you are not self-employed but use your personal vehicle for work, make sure you covered by your employer’s commercial auto policy.

While these are the most common myths associated with auto insurance, others are out there.  Your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, Washington can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your auto insurance policy. The local, independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can assist you with adding or amending an existing policy or setting you up with a new policy. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about auto insurance or the other insurance products they offer like classic car or home insurance.

Wildfire Insurance Lakewood, WA

Don’t get burned: Wildfire Insurance and a comprehensive Homeowner’s Insurance policy

The heat of the summer is celebrated with sunglasses, board shorts and boating, and while it can be quite warm, the summer season is just downright pleasant in Lakewood, Washington. But the summer heat does come at a cost. Summer is also fire season and each year millions of acres across the country are burned. It is not just forests or brush plains that are destroyed, homes and businesses that get in the fire’s path are consumed as well. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires burned more than 9.3 million acres around the country in 2012. The 2013 fire season has started off with destructive blazes in California, Colorado, Alaska and Arizona.

While many natural disasters like floods or earthquakes require a special insurance policy, Wildfire Insurance is generally covered under the comprehensive portion of a homeowner’s insurance policy. The price of the policy may be higher if you live in an area that is prone to yearly fires. Wildfires are both friend and foe, as they are needed to clear out overgrowth and dead trees. A charred forest allows for new growth trees and helps reduce the risk of another fire occurring in the exact same area during the summer months.

Washington wildfire facts:

  • The spark: Most wildfires start from lightning strikes. The dry foliage and hot winds provide the perfect setting for a fire to ignite. Wildfires can also start from simple mistakes like forgetting to completely douse a campfire or a spark from the backfire of a motorcycle or RV. Even if it is an accident, a person who is found negligent in starting a wildfire may be liable to pay restitution, which can be millions of dollars. Having a personal umbrella policy may help you pay some of those restitution costs.
  • Fighting fire with fire: Through a multi-tiered effort of local and federal agencies, firefighters try to starve a wildfire by creating a perimeter. Firefighters burn the wildfire’s food source, dry vegetation, it hopes that the wildfire will become more manageable, easier to put out with air drops of water. There is a risk however, burning a perimeter may result in another uncontrolled fire if the conditions are just right. But the same principle that firefighters use to try and control the growth of a wildfire could help prevent a significant wildfire insurance claim.
  • Prevention starts at home: Helping protect your home from wildfire damage starts in your yard. If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, you will want to create a perimeter around your home that is free of debris and flammable materials. Keeping things like sheds and wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home helps reduce the chances of a fire jumping from one structure to the next. Remove a wildfires fuel source by pruning trees and removing dead or dying plants. There are also several websites that can show you how to fire proof your yard like Readyforwildfire.org and U.S. Fire Administration.

Take the time to learn about wildfire danger in your area and to prep your home against the threat of wildfires. Talk to your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, WA to ensure that wildfire insurance is included in the comprehensive section for your homeowner’s insurance policy. Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington can guide you through your homeowner’s insurance policy and add additional coverages like flood insurance and 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 information.

 

RV Insurance Lakewood, WA

Is your RV insurance in Lakewood, WA right for your travel style?

You are enjoying your family road trip or living full time in your RV. Seeing the country one highway at a time and making lasting family memories. The last thing you want is an accident or lawsuit that will take up valuable time and resources. Taking the proper precautions like making sure you have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and have the appropriate RV insurance in Lakewood, WA can go a long way to keeping your family safe and giving you peace of mind while you are enjoying all your RV has to offer.

Primary RV insurance policies in Washington:

 

Full Timers Coverage: Do reside primarily in your RV? Whether is it is permanently parked or you roam across the country, an RV insurance Full Timers Coverage policy helps protect your RV like homeowner’s insurance.

  • Liability coverage if you are responsible for an accident on your property
  • Medical payments for an accident for which you are responsible
  • Coverage if your property is damaged or stolen
  • Contents of a storage shed near your property

Vacation Liability: Your local, independent insurance agency in Lakewood, Washington can assist you with an RV insurance vacation liability policy for your RV. When vacationing, there are certain situations that you may not have control over when your RV is parked:

  • Injury of a third-party by equipment owned by you or around your RV
  • Injuries to a third-party by an animal under your care
  • A fire caused by sparks from a campfire, vehicle back-fire, etc.

The most important think to know about a Vacation Liability policy is that it covers events while your RV is parked, not while it is moving.

There are many options out there when looking to cover your RV and your local independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can help you navigate your options to find the best coverage for your needs. They can also assist with an ATV policy for your other summer toys. Whatever your insurance needs, talk to the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington.  Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle!  You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the other valuable insurance products they offer.

Personal Umbrella Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Personal Umbrella Insurance in Lakewood, WA – Party Protection

Summer is a great time to throw parties. BBQs, birthdays, Fourth of July celebrations or just for no reason at all, the summer is when it happens. From the cleaning, the shopping and the food preparation, a lot of thought gets put into the needs and comfort of your guests. While there are many things that may cross your mind in regards to your party, it may not occur that if the party does not go according to plan and someone is injured or gets sick that the hosts of the party could be held liable.

In the event that someone gets injured at a gathering you throw at your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy in Lakewood, Washington may cover the injured party’s medical bills or damages to a certain dollar amount. Having an extra bit of protection like a personal umbrella insurance policy in Lakewood, WA may help in these situations, as it can also help with a legal defense if you are sued for an injury or death that occurs on your property or when your guest leaves (too much alcohol).

Personal Umbrella insurance in Washington:

 

  • Unforeseen events: Most parties go off without a hitch, no problems, and no injuries. Every so often something goes awry. It can be as simple as a sprained ankle from slipping off the porch steps to food poisoning from improperly refrigerated potato salad to a DUI or alcohol poisoning. If the party where the injury took place occurred at your home and you are deemed negligent, you may be responsible for paying damages to those injured parties and a personal umbrella insurance policy in Lakewood, WA may help you minimize the out-of-pocket costs to you.
  • Intoxication: Depending on the laws in your city/state, a person who consumed alcohol at your party and injures someone else as a result of a DUI crash could hold you liable to pay the victim damages. There are a few ways to mitigate your liability: hiring a third-party to tend bar, like a catering company. These companies are responsible for having their own insurance and it is a lot easier for them to stop serving alcohol to an intoxicated person; they know all the signs to look for. If you are not able to hire an outside party to handle the liquor at your party, stick with only a few options for adult beverages like wine and beer. Having multiple types of liquor may increase the risk of someone having too much to drink.
  • A little prep: Before you have your party, take the time to make sure that your yard (or party area) is free of uneven patches of ground, mounds and holes. Make sure that entryways are clear of tripping hazards and that low hanging lights are high enough that tall heads won’t get tangled up. Taking a few extra steps may help ensure that your party is safe and fun.

If you plan on taking advantage of the summer weather by throwing a party, make sure you have all the protection you need. If you have any questions about what a personal umbrella insurance policy may cover or what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers in terms of fire, property damage or personal injury liability, your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, WA can assist you.  The local, independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can assist you with examining an existing policy or setting you up with a new policy. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about personal umbrella or the other insurance products they offer like auto insurance.

Disaster preparedness kits in Lakewood, WA

Basic home disaster preparedness kit in Lakewood, WA

No one wants to think that they may be stuck in their home during a natural disaster, but the reality is natural disasters happen in every state in our country. During a natural disaster, keeping your family safe and comfortable is a top priority and having a disaster preparedness kit will help you.

A disaster preparedness kit for your home in Washington should include these basics:

Food and Water:

  • Two week supply of bottled water
  • Two week supply of non-perishable food like crackers, protein bars, dried fruit, etc.
  • Infant food and formula
  • Pet food
  • Utensils and plates for each person

Shelter and Comfort:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Sleeping bags for each person
  • Emergency blankets
  • Battery operated or hand crank radio
  • Emergency locator beacon
  • Multipurpose tool, such as a Leatherman
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Hand warmers
  • Battery-operated cell phone charger
  • List of emergency numbers (including emergency contacts, insurance agent)
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance cards, IDs, home inventory lists, etc.
  • Books, toys or other entertainment items for children
  • Extra clothing/shoes for inclement weather
  • A first aid kit (make sure this kit has antiseptic, bandages, small scissors, aspirin or ibuprofen, hot and cold compresses)
  • “Help” or “Assistance Needed” sign
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal sanitizing wipes
  • Surgical masks and gloves
  • Air horn or whistle
  • Necessary medications

Safety and Hygiene:

Of course you can add additional items to your disaster preparedness kit depending on the needs of your family. Store your disaster preparedness kit in an easily accessible area, make sure you check your kit often and update it as things expire. For more information about disaster kits, please visit Ready.gov.

We hope that you never need to use your disaster preparedness kit, but we hope that it will help get you and your family through the stress of a natural disaster. If a natural disaster does occur in our area, once your family is safe, call your insurance agent at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington as soon as possible. They can help you get the claims process started. Whatever your insurance needs, the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can help. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle!  You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the other valuable insurance products they offer like earthquake or flood insurance

Boat Insurance Lakewood, WA

Will your boat insurance in Lakewood, WA keep you afloat?

The sun is shining, the water is warm and boating season is upon us. By now you’ve probably prepped the boat, made sure your boating license is valid and planned outings with family and friends, but have you looked at your boat insurance? There are many coverage options available in Lakewood, WA, and using a local, independent agent guarantees that you will have many coverage options, so you can pick a policy that suits your needs before heading out to the water.

The 411 on boat insurance in Washington:

  • Bundling: It may not be possible to bundle your boat insurance with an existing policy, like homeowner’s insurance, as there may be restrictions on the type of boat you own. In order to fit under a homeowner’s insurance policy, boats may need to be under a certain length and under a certain price point.  There is a down side to having your boat covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy: specialized coverages may be limited or not available.
  • Specialized Coverages: These types of coverages can include On-Water Towing, helpful when your boat runs out of gas or has a mechanical issue mid-outing. Fuel Spill and Wreckage Removal may help keep you covered in the event your boat leaks fuel or if there is an accident; otherwise you may be on the hook for clean-up expenses. You may also want to consider Uninsured Boater coverage. Just like Uninsured Motorist coverage for your car or truck, this may help with expenses if your boat is hit or damaged by another boater without proper boat insurance coverage. Specialized Coverages may also include Personal Effects coverage.
  • Travel: Planning to sail your boat to the Bahamas? Can we go with you? Whether you are sailing your boat to a sunny tropical locale or sailing her on a tranquil lake in Canada, you need to make sure that your boat insurance covers travel outside your state and country. Some insurance plans may cover waterways in the continental U.S., but may not cover international waters or may only cover a boat in international water within a certain mile radius from the U.S. coast. Check with your agent to see if your plan coverages international travel.
  • Replacement: We hope that you never have to replace your boat due to an accident. In order to avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses to replace your boat, make sure that you have the appropriate replacement coverage in place long before you hit the water. There are two options for replacement coverage: Total Loss Replacement and Agreed Value coverage. Total Loss Replacement is just that, a replacement of your boat. However this type of coverage may not be offered by all insurance carriers, more likely than not the carrier will provide Agreed Value coverage. This is the value of your boat, agreed upon by you and your agent before you sign the policy.

There are many options out there when looking for boat insurance in Lakewood, Washington and your local independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can help you navigate your options to find the best coverage for your needs. They can also assist with a personal watercraft policy for your other water-traveling toys. Whatever your insurance needs, talk to the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle!  You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the other valuable insurance products they offer.

Auto Insurance Premiums in Lakewood, WA

Auto Insurance Premiums in Lakewood, WA – What to know

You get a bill every month (or every six months depending on your preference) for your auto insurance premiums in Lakewood, WA. Your policy details what is covered and what is not. What it may not detail is how the policy cost was determined. There are many factors that go into an individual auto policy price and likely, no two auto policies are the same since the factors largely depend on the insured driver.

Auto insurance premiums in Washington may be determined by:

  • Driving History: The most obvious factor is your driving history. Drivers that have accumulated many accidents and tickets typically pay more than those who don’t. Same goes for freshly minted drivers (of any age) and those who have not had insurance for an extended period of time regardless of the circumstance. While some of the factors cannot be mitigated, a few can. Staying alert and following the rules of the road can reduce the likelihood of accidents or tickets, thus potentially reducing the cost of your auto insurance premiums in Lakewood, WA.
  • Age: Age is one of those factors that cannot be helped. The younger you are, they higher risk you are considered. While society considers you an adult between 18 and 21, the insurance industry considers you an adult at the age of 25 which is when insurance premiums tend to drop a bit for the matured driver. Another factor you can’t change? Your gender. In the great battle of the sexes, women take the lead on this one as they tend to be safer drivers as a whole. Women tend to take fewer risks when driving, giving females an advantage when it comes to insurance premiums as they tend to pay less than their male counterparts.
  • Location: Do you live in an area that is prone to car prowls or do you live a significant distance away from work? These are factors that will figure into your auto insurance premiums in Lakewood, WA. Statistically, the more you are on the road, the greater the likelihood that an accident may occur. So if you commute a long way to work (notice on your insurance application they ask you the distance from home to work?) you may incur a higher auto insurance premiums than someone who lives within a few miles of their workplace.
  • Make/Model: While that little red sports car is a tempting buy, you will likely end up paying more for your auto insurance premiums than say a family sedan. Not that you should be discouraged from buying the sports car of your dreams, just make sure you talk to your insurance agent prior to your purchase so you can be aware of the potential rate change.
  • Type of Insurance Plan: Did you go for the “platinum” insurance package? You know the one: maximum coverage and a low deductible? A lower deductible means a higher upfront policy rate. Drivers who opt for the minimum coverages required by law in their state and a higher deductible may pay less for their policy. Make sure you ask your agent about your state’s required insurance coverages!
  • Credit : A final factor that determines auto insurance premiums? A credit score. This is kind of a sensitive subject as there are some states like California that forbid the use of a credit information for an insurance policy. A credit score is used to assess risk, the thought being the higher the credit score the lower the risk, but that is not always the case. An overall driving history is the best indicator of risk, regardless of a credit score. You can check with your agent to see if your state allows the use of a credit score in determining insurance policies.

There you have it folks. There are so many factors that influence the cost of auto insurance premiums in Lakewood, WA. Since most policies renew every six months, the cost fluctuates each time depending on your situation. Make sure you let your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, Washington know if you purchased a new car, had an accident or ticket, or if you changed your name (marriage, divorce, etc.). The local, independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA can assist you with adding or amending an existing policy or setting you up with a new policy. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about auto insurance or the other insurance products they offer like classic car or home insurance.

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