Uninsured motorist coverage in Lakewood, WA

I Got Hit By Someone Who Doesn’t Have Insurance – Now What?

Uninsured motorist coverage in Lakewood, WAAccording to a recent study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, approximately one out of every 8 drivers in the United States are uninsured. That’s a staggering figure when you think about your chances of being struck by one.  So, what can you do to protect yourself from an uninsured driver?

The good news is there is a line of insurance coverage specifically for uninsured motorists, called (you guessed it) Uninsured Motorist Property Damage & Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage. This is an optional coverage that is available to most drivers. Let’s take a closer look at these coverages and see how they work.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (commonly referred to as UMPD) pays for losses incurred to your vehicle when it is hit by an uninsured motorist. This coverage may also pay for damages associated with a hit and run driver.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (commonly referred to as UMBI or UM) pays for your medical expenses when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. UMBI may also cover your passengers who are in your vehicle during a covered loss.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM)

Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays for injuries such as medical expenses, lost wages and settlements from a driver who is at-fault and does not carry enough insurance to cover your losses.

You should also carefully deliberate the amount of insurance coverage that you need. Available options, limits and coverages vary by state. Each state has different requirements and laws when it comes to uninsured motorist insurance. Be sure to ask an agent in our office about these coverages if you’d like them. Contact us!

Prevent Rodents and Rodent Damage in Lakewood, WA

A Rodent Made a Nest In My Car and Caused Damage – Is it Covered?

Prevent Rodents and Rodent Damage in Lakewood, WAAs cooler weather approaches at night or you park your car outside during the winter months, chances are that sooner or later a rodent will find its way inside of your warm vehicle. Rodents like rats, mice and even squirrels can make their way up inside of your engine compartment to stay warm. After all, it is toasty and warm inside there and you left the vehicle in the driveway overnight.

Rodents can do major damage to vehicles. In fact, some of the more common reported damages include chewed wiring, chewed up upholstery (used to make nests) and rodent feces.

If your vehicle is damaged by a rodent you’ll want to review your insurance policy to see if there is a “rodent clause.” Comprehensive insurance coverage is your best bet for getting rodent damages covered, however, some insurance companies define animal damages in comprehensive coverage as “collision with an animal” and have a specific clause that excludes rodent damages such as chewed wiring etc. The best course of action is to ask your insurance agent when you purchase your policy, or if you already have a policy in place to ask them about it. If dealing with rodents is something you think you may have to deal with, selecting the appropriate company as well as the appropriate coverage can make all the difference.

If you have questions about your auto insurance or want a quote, contact Insurance Unlimited. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.

Flood Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Are You Prepared For a Disaster?

September Represents National Preparedness Month

Flood Insurance in Lakewood, WAAre you prepared for a disaster? Recent articles online, in the newspaper and commercials on televisions remind us that disasters are just a moment away. It is easy to think that’s a good reminder, yet fail to act on our preparedness. The fact is: disasters happen. It’s best to learn the skills & be prepared.

Ready.gov does a great job at summarizing how to prepare for disasters and teaches simple skills you should have that could help you or your loved ones if a disaster strikes.

What’s Your Plan?

Discuss the following questions with your friends, family or household to determine your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

After determining your plan, practice it!

What Life Saving Skills Do You Have?

There are a wide variety of skills you should have that can save a life. Here are a few to target.

  • Learn first aid & CPR.
  • Own a fire extinguisher, know where it’s located & most importantly, understand how to use it.
  • Know how to shut off your water, electricity & natural gas.

Do You Understand Your Insurance Coverage?

Yes, having insurance is your first step to protection, but do you know exactly what you are covered for? Did you know flood damage to a home is the most common disaster a household can face? If your home floods, are you covered? If you do not understand the details of your insurance coverage, call our office!

Are You Saving For an Emergency?

We all know the concept of saving for a rainy day, but the question is, are you doing it?

  • Have a savings account and contribute to it monthly if possible.
  • Consider owning a safe in your home & keeping cash in it. During a disaster, ATM’s or credit cards may not work.
  • Store all important personal, household & medical information in your safe (or a place you’ll remember).

Examples:

  • passport or photo ID
  • birth certificate
  • social security cards,
  • marriage or divorce license
  • military ID & military discharge record
  • pet ID tags
  • pet microchip info & proof of pet ownership
  • insurance policies
  • lease or rental agreement
  • mortgage or real estate deeds of trust
  • immunization records
  • medication list or other medical information a physician may need

If you want a detailed document of everything you would need to prepare for a disaster or emergency, print this form out & follow the checklist.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn the skills & know what to do before a disaster strikes.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or want a quote for flood insurance, contact Insurance Unlimited. Our agents will shop to find the best insurance for your specific needs.

How to prevent mail theft in Lakewood, WA

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Mail Theft

How to prevent mail theft in Lakewood, WAMail theft is an unfortunate reality in most of the country. Thieves drive around during the mid-day and night time looking for mail that has not yet been picked up. What are they looking for? Gift cards, credit card applications, and utility bills – pretty much anything that would allow them to steal your identity.

Take these steps to avoid being the victim of mail theft:

  1. Get a locking mailbox

This is one of the easiest steps you can take and also the most effective. While the cost of a locking mailbox varies (usually starting around $80) it can be enough of a deterrent to stop theft. If you live in a community with other neighbors, consider getting together with other neighbors and purchasing a community box. If a neighbor is handy, they can easily install the mailbox. One quick tip, be sure to check for postal service approved mailboxes. It usually requires some minor paperwork.

  1. Pick up mail frequently

Make it a habit to routinely pick up the mail as close to delivery time as possible. Most of us work throughout the day, so grab it on the way in from work. Do your best to not leave mail in the box until the next day.

  1. Avoid using the red flag

If there is one “red flag” (pun) for thieves, it is using your outgoing mailbox’s red flag. Simply waiting until the time the mailman is coming or even better, bringing your outgoing mail to work (with your postage paid already of course). This will ensure a secured delivery.

  1. Have a neighbor help you out from time-to-time

Do you know you have something valuable coming in the mail? Perhaps it is your birthday or around the holidays. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail for you. Since the USPS is now delivering for Amazon on Sundays, if you have a small package coming, be sure to check your mailbox on Sundays for special deliveries.

Do you have other ideas about how mail theft could be avoided? Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

For answers to your insurance questions, contact Insurance Unlimited. We represent the top insurance carriers for home or renters insurance and can find the best coverage for your needs today.

Insurance options for your college student in Lakewood, WA

Insurance Options For Your Child Before They Leave for College

Insurance options for your college student in Lakewood, WAAttending college is an exciting time for your child. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to major in or figuring the finances, there are a lot of decisions to think about. Before your child leaves the nest, here are three things to consider when it comes to having the right insurance policy.

1.) Auto Insurance Policy

  • If they are taking their car to college, be sure to update their auto insurance policy. This can easily be taken care of by reaching out to your insurance agent! You’ll want to ensure your child is protected if they get into an accident or experience theft. If your child is attending college out of state, talk with us to see if anything changes on their auto insurance policy.
  • Not taking a car? We suggest still keeping them on your auto insurance policy if they plan to drive when they return home for a visit or in the event they need to borrow a friend’s car on campus.
  • Ask for discounts. See if your child qualifies for any additional discounts.
    • Discounts may include:
      • Good student discount
      • Distant-student discount.
      • Pay in full discount
      • Safe driver discount
      • Data tracking discount

2.) Educate On Liability

College is an amazing social and learning experience. Be sure your child understands the serious consequences of drinking and driving, buying alcohol for kids underage or the other risks that are associated with drugs and alcohol. One poor decision could impact the rest of their life.

3.) If worried about theft while living off-campus, invest in a renters insurance policy.

  • If your child owns valuable items like laptops, televisions, printers, cameras or other expensive items, invest in a renters insurance policy.
  • Construct a full inventory of your child’s items that include model and serial numbers.
  • If your child is living with roommates, remember each child needs their own policy.
  • A renters insurance policy offers more than just covering your property. It can provide important liability coverage.

If my child experiences theft, will I be fully reimbursed?

This is where actual cash value and replacement insurance coverage comes into play. 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. Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. So, if your child had wear and tear on an expensive electronic device, your insurance would pay out the cost of the electronic minus the depreciation. Talk to your agent for clarification.

Whether it’s changing your child’s auto insurance or investing in renters insurance, let our local experts at Insurance Unlimited help you find the best insurance to fit your needs. For more information about Insurance Unlimited, visit our website or get a quote online.

How to throw a great BBQ party in Lakewood, WA

How to Throw a Great BBQ Party

How to throw a great BBQ party in Lakewood, WASummertime is one of the most popular seasons to BBQ with friends and family. Whether it’s grilling at your local park or in your backyard, gathering with friends and family on a sunny day always is a memorable event. What makes a BBQ party great? We give simple suggestions of how to create a party you and your guests will remember!

Create a Signature Drink 

  • Whether a great cocktail for the adults or fresh squeezed lemonade for kids, creating a signature drink for your BBQ party adds fun to the environment. Making one signature cocktail is much less work than playing bartender throughout the entire day. Think: sangria, mimosas, margaritas or Moscow mules. Many times you can make big pitchers to lessen the work load.

Prep in Pieces 

  • Instead of trying to do it all in one day, strategically plan to prep in pieces. Have one day where you just go to the grocery store. The next day, chop and prep your produce or make a side dish that can sit in the refrigerator overnight. On the day of your BBQ, setup your table or decorations.

Simple Entertainment 

  • One of the most simple forms of entertainment at a party is good music. Pick out a playlist or stream Pandora through your outdoor or bluetooth speaker. If you want to provide more entertainment, create an outdoor game competition like ladder golf, bocci ball, volleyball or corn hole. Squirt guns, a football/soccer ball or arts & crafts are easy to keep kids busy for hours.

Pick a Theme 

  • Theme parties can be even more memorable! Plus, you can match your food to your theme. If you don’t want to cook all of the food yourself and prefer a potluck style, give suggestions to your guests so they know exactly what to bring to fit your theme.

Buy Plastic Containers 

  • Obviously BBQs with plastic silverware and plates work great for easy cleanup but what about providing plastic take away containers for your guests? Especially if you have a lot of food leftover, plastic containers are a great way to share your food for another day. This also saves space in your own refrigerator! Ask your guests, “what food can I send you home with?”

While throwing a great BBQ party can make for great memories for you and your guests, being properly insured for any unexpected liabilities is also important. The good news is that umbrella insurance policies are relatively inexpensive. Contact an agent at our office for your personalized umbrella insurance quote today.

Rental Car Insurance Lakewood, WA

Do I Need to Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

Rental Car Insurance Lakewood, WAWhen you are on vacation renting a car, you will most likely be asked if you want to purchase insurance for the car. Sometimes purchasing that insurance policy is needed, but other times you may already be covered with your own auto insurance policy. Some individuals even have insurance benefits through their credit cards.

Auto Insurance

Do you need to buy their rental car insurance coverage? Before going on vacation, reach out to your licensed agent with questions regarding your auto policy. An auto insurance policy can be unique to the driver. Many times, if you have collision, comprehensive and liability coverage on your auto policy, this would cover your rental car too as a temporary replacement vehicle. If you find you’re only covered for a specific amount, contact your credit card company to see if they can fill the gap.

Rental car insurance options can include: liability, personal accident, collision damage, personal effects coverage. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Liability: Insurance coverage if you damage another car, property and medical bills for the other party if you’re found liable for the accident.

Personal Accident: Coverage for accidental death, medical expenses and ambulatory costs of you and your household members in the vehicle.

Collision Damage: Coverage to repair the rental car in the event you are involved in an accident.

Personal Effects: Insurance that covers personal items lost or damaged such as cell phones, purses and computers.

Roadside Assistance: Coverage for roadside incidents such as lost keys, lockouts, fuel outages and flat tires.

Always check with your licensed agent to review your policy BEFORE going on your vacation to ensure you know what coverage options you may or may not need. Furthermore, be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the insurance policy you’re purchasing if you decide to buy coverage from the rental agency.

Knowing the details of your insurance policy can help you fully understand your coverage, give you peace of mind, as well as save you money.

If you have questions about your insurance, call the insurance agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. in Lakewood, WA. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or commercial Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

Road Trip Essentials from Insurance Unlimited

Going on a Road Trip This Summer? Consider Packing These 15 Items.

Road Trip Essentials from Insurance UnlimitedSummer time is a great time to go on a road trip! Whether you are exploring a National Park, traveling through a state or going across the country, being on the road is memorable. Road trips are fun, but you want to be sure you are prepared for any unfortunate bumps in the road that can occur. It can be as simple as storing a few essentials in your trunk to get you out of jam.

Here are some things to keep in your car at all times:

1.) First Aid Kit

Even if you aren’t going on a road trip, this is nice to have in your trunk at all times. It might come in handy for you or someone else in need.

2.) Flashlight

This is another thing to always keep in your car, especially if you find yourself driving at night time often.

3.) License, Registration, a Copy of Your Car Insurance and Car Manual

Again, this should always be in your car stored in your glove box.

4.) Jumper Cables

Nobody wants to wake up to a dead car battery. Jumper cables can fall into the “always have in my car” category. It’s much easier than trying to hunt one down when you are in a pinch.

5.) Snacks

This can’t be stressed enough! Even if you plan to be on the road for long hours, consider packing meals in a cooler. You can always stop at a rest stop to picnic if you want to stretch your legs. If you aren’t packing a cooler, pack snacks that don’t require refrigeration like dried fruit, nuts, jerky, fruit, bars, etc.

6.) Water Bottle

Having extra water in your vehicle during summer can literally save your life if you become stranded on a hot day in a remote location.

7.) Phone Charger

If your car only has one outlet for a phone charger, consider getting a USB plug that can charge multiple devices at once. If you have a few outlets, pack a few cords! Portable chargers can come in handy too.

8.) Polarized Sunglasses

Driving in the sun is always best with polarized sunglasses.

9.) Wet Wipes & Napkins

Wet wipes and napkins are always nice for keeping your hands & face clean or cleaning up a spill in your car.

10.) Trash Bag

Keep your car clean from your snacks and other garbage with a simple trash bag. You could place things in a small can or just have a bag.

11.) Paper and Pen

Great for taking notes or writing down important information on your road trip.

12.) Blanket and Pillow

This may be nice for those long hours in the car! A blanket and pillow can add comfort to your drive.

13.) Sunscreen

Even if you aren’t outside, wearing sunscreen while driving is important for those sunny days.

14.) Cash

This works nice if you find yourself needing to pay to park or buying from businesses that only accept cash for payment.

15.) Entertainment

Especially if you are traveling with kids, being in the car for long hours can be exhausting! Think of electronics, activity or coloring books, small toys, play games like I Spy, the alphabet or license plate game.

For adults, consider podcasts or audiobooks, trivia cards or an app, word search or just a really good music playlist!

Regardless of what you do pack in your car, enjoy the American Road Trip! Be sure to get plenty of rest along the way and enjoy America’s roadside attractions.

If you have questions about your insurance, call the insurance agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. in Lakewood, WA. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or commercial Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

Lakewood, WA local insurance agency

6 Benefits of Working with a Local Insurance Agency

Lakewood, WA local insurance agencyA local insurance agent listens to your needs then finds a customized insurance policy that fits those needs. When looking for insurance, consider your local, independent insurance agents in Lakewood. We do more than just provide you with a great insurance policy. Because we live in a “need it now” society, instant quotes for auto insurance, home insurance and more seem attractive. However, these instant quotes don’t guarantee you are getting the best insurance rates and coverage for your situation. Here are some ways a local insurance agent can help you:

Professional Advice

Not sure how much coverage you need to protect your home or confused about what line of insurance you need to protect your small business? Local insurance agents not only want what’s best for you but we’ll provide our professional guidance as well. We’ll listen to your needs, strive to not only educate you on what you are and aren’t covered for, but also counsel you on what insurance company best fits you. Because we represent multiple insurance companies, you get choice.

Did you insurance increase? We can help.

If you have insurance through a direct carrier and you notice your car insurance increases by $300 the following year, you might be thinking it’s time to change carriers.  While your insurance may increase with a local insurance agent, all you have to do is reach out to your agent via email or phone. We’ll shop our many insurance carriers to find the best coverage for your needs & budget. Our agency works to save you time and money by working with pre-selected insurance companies and acting on your behalf to fit you into the right insurance program.

Guidance with how to deal with a claim.

Being involved in an insurance claim can be a hassle, but we can assist you throughout the entire process to make it easier on you. By simply calling us, you’ll quickly learn how to settle your claim and be made whole again.

Build a Relationship

Just like you have built trust with your doctor or dentist, we want the same type of relationship with helping you with your insurance. We strive to build that same trust when it comes to needing insurance guidance or saving you time & money. To us, you’re not just a customer, you’re a valued client who needs to be properly protected.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Your lifestyle and needs change over time and we are here to assist you with all of life’s changes. Whether you’re looking to start a business, going from renting to owning a home or needing to insure your new classic car vehicle, we are here to help with all your insurance needs.

We Can Do It All

Since we offer many lines of insurance, we can cover all your needs. Plus, when you bundle insurance policies, it may qualify you to save additional money. Get your home, car, boat and business insurance all under one roof to make it easy for you.

If you are looking to find a local insurance agent in Lakewood, WA for your auto, home or business insurance, call Insurance Unlimited. We look forward to earning your business and will strive to create a lasting relationship.

For all current clients who know a friend or family member who would benefit from working with a local insurance agency, simply contact us to refer a friend.

Liability Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Swimming Pool Liability

Liability Insurance in Lakewood, WAHaving a swimming pool on your property is a luxury and takes a lot of maintenance, but oh is it worth it on a hot summer day! If you have kids, the swimming pool seems to be their favorite hangout place with their friends. While owing a swimming pool can be a fun experience if you’re willing to maintain it, it also carries a unique insurance liability risk.

Swimming pools carry many risks of injury. To limit your exposure setting strict rules around the pool for safety can greatly reduce the chances of injury occurring. Follow these safety tips when and around a pool:

  1. Supervision – children should never be left unattended around a swimming pool. If your children and friends want to use the pool require an adult be present at all times. If your children’s friends are wanting to use the pool and you can’t watch, ask another parent to supervise.
  2. Require walking – Water and concrete is slippery. Reduce the chances of a slip and fall injury by making sure everyone around the pool walks and doesn’t run.
  3. No Glass Around Pool Rule – Glass can fall into the pool or around the deck and make for a dangerous situation.
  4. Regularly Inspect – inspect the items used in and around a pool like the diving board, slide or flotation equipment.
  5. Fence & Lock the Pool – Most insurance companies will require a fence of at least four feet be present around a pool.
  6. Teach your children how to swim and pool safety – prevention is key. Teaching your kids how to swim as well as to avoid things in pools and spas like drains can reduce the risk.
  7. Install an alarm – You can install an alarm that detects when someone enters the pool.
  8. Protect your pets – Animals are attracted to water, especially on a hot day. Keep your pool area secured from pets when you’re not using it to ensure they don’t fall in.

Pools and spas are a lot of fun! By following proper safety precautions you can have a lot of great memories and your kids can have a lot of fun! Enjoy your pools responsibly. If you have questions on pool requirements for insurance purposes, we have answers. Our licensed agents can help ensure your property is insurable and that you are properly covered in the event you have a claim.

If you have other questions about your home, auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. in Lakewood, WA. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or commercial Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.