Auto Insurance Lakewood, WA

Steps to Take For Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Car Insurance Lakewood, WAWhen it comes to insurance, most people think of how they can save money first. We get it, insurance can be expensive! You want good coverage, but at an affordable cost. Being a local insurance agency, we provide many choices since we represent many top insurance carriers. Here are some tips when it comes to saving money on your car insurance.

Shopping for a new car? Consider shopping insurance first.

If you have a few cars in mind when shopping for a new vehicle, consider reaching out to your insurance agent to compare possible insurance cost between the vehicles. The rough estimate of insurance cost every year could sway which car you decide on.

Save when you bundle.

Insurance carriers tend to give great discounts when you bundle your auto insurance with your home/renters/other lines of insurance. Need to insure several vehicles? Multi-policy discounts could earn you some substantial savings. Ask your agent!

Don’t drive much? Seek a low mileage discount.

If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, ask your agent if you qualify for a discount.

Choose a higher deductible.

If your finances allow you to pay a higher deductible in the event you have a claim, you could save money by making this switch.

Ask your agent about other discounts. Do you qualify for any?

  • Paying your insurance coverage in full
  • Paperless option
  • Safe driver (accident free)
  • Electric or hybrid vehicle owner
  • Great credit score
  • Good student
  • Higher education
  • Advance quote

Did you experience a higher premium at renewal?

Reach out to your agent and ask to get a re-quoted on your policy. Since we can quote many top-rated insurance carriers, you can likely get same or similar coverage with a new carrier to save money. Life changes, so can your insurance company – but you don’t need to change your agent.

We do like to note that sometimes loyalty to the same company for 3+ years can be beneficial too. Over time, you could earn yourself a discount for every loyalty milestone you hit. Typically these rewards not only include a discount on the cost of your policy, they can sometimes include accident forgiveness!

If you have questions about your auto insurance, reach out to Insurance Unlimited. Our goal is to ensure you have the proper coverage.

Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Lakewood, WA

What is “Full Coverage” Auto Insurance?

Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Lakewood, WAFull coverage has different meanings to different people. When most people refer to full coverage they’re referring to a mix of insurance coverages to protect their vehicle.  That being said, there is no such thing as “full coverage” just a combination of coverage options that will protect your vehicle as well as others on the road. Let’s look at this closer.

Some coverages such as Bodily Injury and Property Damage (also known as liability insurance) are required by law.  You can choose just how much liability insurance to carry, but at a minimum, this is required by your state law in order to drive your vehicle.

Other coverages such as Collision, Comprehensive, Personal Injury (PIP), MedPay, Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) are optional coverages in most states. Some states do have laws that also require UM/UIM and PIP/MedPay be purchased.

So, the choice really becomes, “How much insurance do you want?” Deciding on how much insurance you want or need is a combination of factors that only you can decide. A licensed insurance agent can help you decide on what options may be best for your situation, your budget and your needs, but ultimately, the choice is yours to decide.

Contact Insurance Unlimited for an auto insurance quote or a review of your current policy. We strive to make sure all of our clients have the proper coverage for their needs.

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!

What to do if you're in a car accident in Lakewood, WA

What To Do If You Get Into a Car Accident

What to do if you're in a car accident in Lakewood, WABeing in an accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these important steps will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.

Safely park your vehicle: If you happen to be driving when the accident occurs, safely pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. If possible, carefully write down the license plate and description of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. If you are reporting a hit and run, this information will aid police in locating the driver. In the event of a hit and run it most likely happens when your vehicle is unattended. If you return to your vehicle to find damage, look for clues to help you prove your case, i.e. Security cameras.

Assess any Injuries: If someone is injured, take care of their immediate needs and quickly call 911. It is typical to be jittery after such an event so catch your breath too.

Call police: Once you’re safely parked, you should call the police to file a report, especially if another party is involved. It’s important to always have documentation of how the accident happened. Some people want to settle the claim without going through insurance, but this comes with risks. The other driver may not live up to their word and without contacting the police, it turns into a he said, she said scenario.

Exchange Information: Exchanging insurance ID cards is always recommended. Be sure to have their name and phone number too. It’s simple to take a picture with your phone. Be sure to include the car’s license plate number, year, make and model too.

Take pictures/Gather any witness information: If you have a witness who wants to share their side of the story, jot down their phone number and name. Your insurance company will want to talk with any witness to the accident. Taking pictures also gives your insurance company more details on the damage of your vehicle.

Call your insurance company: Sometimes even though vehicles collide, the damages may be limited, so you’ll want to take a close look and determine if you want to pursue a claim or get an estimate first before calling your insurance company. If someone was injured or if you have major damage, it’s always best to call your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company can assist you with your claim so if you have taken pictures and provided all the information above, your claim can be settled quicker.

While we hope you never have to experience a car accident, being prepared will help you tackle the unfortunate situation.

If you have questions about your auto 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.

5 tips to consider before switching insurance in Lakewood, WA

5 Things to Consider Before you Switch Your Insurance

Switching your insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year. But, make sure you consider these things before you make the switch.

5 tips to consider before switching insurance in Lakewood, WATip #1: Compare Apples to Apples

You’ve seen the commercials – “average savings of $500 a year for those who switched…” Absolutely you can save money. However, be sure that your new quote compares your current policy to the new policy – all coverages, driving records and vehicles the same. Any one thing can make a big difference. Many companies will try to lure you with great savings, but a CLUE report (comprehensive loss underwriting exchange – also known as your claims history) is not completed until after the application is submitted. Online companies are notorious for doing this.

Tip #2: Status Changed

If you’ve recently received a ticket or an accident, moved or purchased a new vehicle, have your current policy changes made prior to shopping. It is entirely possible that your new ride may get you some savings, or result in a price increase. In addition to this, if you’ve recently had a ticket fall off of your driving record, it would be worth calling the company to see if they can remove it now and save you some money for the remainder of your policy term. Regardless, if something changes, be sure to revert to tip #1.

Tip #3: Work with an Independent Insurance Agent

Independent insurance agents are discount detectives and have access to multiple companies. Even better, they know your current situation, history and can give you recommendations across many of their companies. They can compare rates between each of their carriers and let you know the benefits of each company.

Tip #4: Multi-Policy Discounts

When you’re looking for a new policy, be sure to take all things into consideration. You may be focused on your auto insurance, but if you have a package policy (multiple policies with the same carrier) you are likely getting discounts. If you move your auto insurance policy to another carrier, your home insurance may increase as much as 20% eliminating any saving you received. Take all of your policies into consideration. One additional item to consider here is if you have an umbrella policy, this is typically required to follow your home insurance policy. Some carrier require the home and auto to write the umbrella, so talk to you agent about your specific situation.

Tip #5: Your Relationship with your Agent

Knowing your insurance agent and having a business relationship with them is important. They are the ones who will go to bat for you in the event you have a claim or accident. Often times they can help you file that claim or give you recommendation on local companies to help fix your issue. If you have your insurance directly with the company handling your loss, you don’t get this representation. Having a local independent insurance agent is the way to go.

If you have 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.

Tips to Consider Before Renting a Moving Truck in Lakewood, WA

I’m Renting a Moving Truck. Do I Need to Buy Their Insurance?

Tips to Consider Before Renting a Moving Truck

Tips to Consider Before Renting a Moving Truck in Lakewood, WAEvery time you rent a moving truck, you are faced with the question, “do you want to buy insurance?”  The answer to needing insurance or not really depends solely on the size of the vehicle (in addition to what coverage you currently carry, of course) as well as whether or not it is even a vehicle.

The coverage that the rental car company is selling you is collision and comprehensive coverage and, since this vehicle is replacing your existing one temporarily your most standard auto policies will cover the usage of a temporary replacement vehicle usually up to 10,000 GVW. If a vehicle is over this GVW, it would be excluded from coverage. Additionally, if the cab is separated from the bed, this will also create an exclusion from coverage for most auto insurance policies.

Truck rental companies typically offer four types of coverage:

  1. Damage Waiver: covers you in case of damage to the truck. If you do not purchase this coverage, you are responsible for any and all damage to the vehicle, no matter what the cause. If you decide to decline this coverage, you may be responsible to pay the damages to the truck even if they are not your fault. Something to keep in mind is depending on the extent of the repairs, you may be held responsible for loss of use on the vehicle.
  2. Liability Coverage:  covers you in case you hit something or someone. Your auto policy may cover this, but please call us in advance before you rent a vehicle to make sure. Each company is different.
  3. Cargo Coverage: Your auto policy will NOT cover any cargo that you are carrying. Period. If you are moving valuables, you may consider this coverage, depending on the values. If you’re moving a mattress or other item that will likely not be damaged, it would probably be wise to save your money, but only you can decide.
  4. Personal Injury Protection: This is a no-fault insurance and can be used anytime you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, regardless of the motor vehicle you’re traveling in.

With anything, please feel free to call us with questions. This article is meant to be informative, but not a means of advice as every insurance company is a bit different and coverage varies greatly between each carrier. If you have questions about a rental vehicle, please contact our office and speak directly to a licensed agent to ensure that your situation is covered.

If you have 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.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Car Insurance Discounts – The Real Savings

How To Really Save Money on Car Insurance

How to Save Money on Car Insurance in Lakewood, WAFor years we have all been flooded with auto insurance commercials talking about various discounts offered in the insurance industry for auto insurance. There are the standard ones: multi-policy, multi-vehicle, etc., but there may be some other discounts that drivers are not aware of. We have compiled some of the additional insurance discounts offered by various insurance companies. Could you be saving money with these discounts? Be sure to ask your local insurance agent about special discounts that may apply to your specific situation.  These discounts vary by state, so it is best left to a local agent to let you know which ones apply.

Possible Auto insurance discounts in Washington:

  • Multi-policy: Bundling multiple polices like auto, home and boat with the same insurance carrier can save you some money.
  • Good or distant student: If your student keeps their grades above certain level (as designated by the insurer) they may be eligible for a good student discount. The insurance carrier will need proof, typically sending a transcript will suffice. If your student is attending college at a distant (typically more than 500 miles from home, but that varies by carrier) you may be eligible for a discount on the vehicle since it may not be driven as much.
  • Education level: Like an extension of the good student discount, drivers who hold advanced degrees, like a bachelor’s degree, may qualify for a discount.
  • Defensive Driver: Taking a carrier approved defensive driving course could earn you a discount on your auto insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent, as this type of discount may be limited to certain age groups.
  • Multi-vehicle: Like a multi-policy discount, insuring multiple vehicles with the same carrier may earn you a small discount.
  • Green vehicle: If you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle, you may be eligible for a discount. Ask your agent to see if your vehicle qualifies.
  • Anti-theft: Vehicles with anti-theft systems statically tend to be stolen less often, thus a lower risk. You may be entitled to a small discount if your vehicle meets the criteria.
  • Anti-lock brakes: The anti-lock brake feature is standard on almost all new vehicles. Check with your insurance agent to see if your carrier provides a discount for anti-lock brakes.
  • Safe driver (accident free): Many major insurance carriers will award safe driving discounts to drivers who have been accident free for a number of years. The criteria varies between insurance carriers.
  • Military: Active and veteran military members are often eligible for discounted auto insurance. Ask your insurance agent to see if you qualify.
  • Early quote/signing: If you are looking to change insurance carriers or upgrade your auto insurance, getting a quote (and signing up) before your current policy has expired may get you a discount. You may need to get a quote within a certain number of days prior to your policy expiration, so check with your agent.
  • Paid-in-full: You’ll see the discount reflected in the price when you are presented with your options for paying your auto insurance policy. Paying off the policy in full will cost you a little less than paying every month.
  • Paperless: Don’t want to get a paper statement? Great, you get a discount. Most major insurance carriers offer discounts for customers who choose to do automatic billing and receive emails rather than paper statements.
  • Loyalty: Sticking with your insurance carrier for three or more years could earn you a discount for every loyalty milestone you hit. Typically these rewards not only include a discount on the cost of your policy, they can sometimes include accident forgiveness!

If you have 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.

Protect Yourself from Uninsured Motorists in Lakewood, WA

How to Protect Yourself from Uninsured Motorists

Beware of the Uninsured Motorists!

Protect Yourself from Uninsured Motorists in Lakewood, WAUninsured drivers are a huge problem across the United States. Each year billions are paid out in uninsured motorists claims. Even though uninsured motorists have steadily declined over the past decade, some states still have one in four drivers driving without insurance. You can protect yourself with an insurance coverage called uninsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage (often times referred to as UM, UMPD or UMBI coverage) is required in some states, so check with your insurance agent it you already have this coverage. In other states, it is purely optional, but certainly a good idea to carry. If you’re injured or are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, this coverage will help protect you, get your vehicle repaired and can even pay your medical bills as well as act as insurance in case of a lawsuit if you’re badly injured.

Uninsured coverage comes in many forms, all meant to protect you in case you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. When reading these coverages, please keep in mind that the policies and laws vary by state.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury

This coverage may pay for damages when a covered person is injured and the person at fault for the accident does not have liability insurance.

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury

This coverage may pay for damages when a covered person is injured and the person at fault for the accident does not have enough liability insurance.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage

This coverage may pay for damages when a covered vehicle is damaged and the person at fault for the accident does not have liability insurance or does not have enough liability insurance.

UM coverage varies by state and according to law so if you’d like to learn more about UM coverage, simply contact your insurance agent to inquire.

If you have 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.

Rock Chip Claims in Lakewood, WA

Do Rock Chip Claims Impact My Insurance Rates? Our Insurance Agency Weighs In

Answers to Your Rock Chip Claims

Rock Chip Claims in Lakewood, WAWe’ve all seen the tents around claiming, “Free rock chip repair!” but clearly there is a hidden cost somewhere. Sure, the insurance companies will pay the people at the tent to inject an epoxy into the chip in hopes that it doesn’t run and turn into a non-repairable crack. After all, the insurance company clearly sees that $40 is better than the $250 to have the windshield replaced.

So the question is: Can a rock chip claim impact my insurance rates? Short answer is yes, it is possible.

Depending on your insurance company you may upset a delicate balance of claims loss. Most insurance companies use rating factors into their algorithms such as age, zip code and certainly previous losses. Some insurance companies claim that people who turn in multiple glass claims have an overall higher loss rate and cost them more money in future claims. Furthermore, it depends on how many claims you have over a certain period of time. For instance, if you file a theft claim, then you have a rock chip claim the next week, this may flag your policy for filing too many insurance claims over a certain period of time generating a rate increase. This happens because when you stop at a rock chip repair tent they will ask you for your policy number and turn in an insurance claim so they can get paid (if you have comprehensive insurance).

Not all insurance companies do this and telling which ones do and which ones don’t can be very difficult. Trust your local insurance agent to place you in the best place for your insurance needs. If you’re a heavy commuter and typically need a new windshield every year, perhaps your agent can determine what company they offer that is a bit more lenient about this than others. Some companies even offer zero deductible glass replacement. Regardless of your situation, always discuss your insurance options with your licensed insurance agent.

If you have 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.

Updating your insurance Lakewood,WA

Updating your insurance needs for the New Year

Over the course of a year, people often have many life changes. Some great, some small and some relate directly to your insurance. Do you know when you should call your insurance agent and let them know that (blank) has changed?

Updating your insurance in Washington:

  • Auto Insurance: Did you purchase a new (or new to you vehicle) or are you planning on it? Updating your insurance agent with these details will mean that your vehicle is properly insured should an accident occur. It is often required to show proof of insurance when purchasing a new vehicle, so letting your agent know ahead of time may save you a headache. Let your agent know if you move or if your commute is further or shorter. This may affect your insurance policy as premiums can be influenced by your zip code.
  • Home Insurance: If you move or add elements to your home like a pool or trampoline, you should let your agent know. Are you planning on making home improvements after the New Year? Let your agent know! Not only can some improvements increase the value of your home, but you may need permits or a licensed and bonded contractor. Your agent may be able to assist you with that process. The beginning of the year is also a great time to assess your home insurance, schedule collectibles or other valuables to your policy and explore the need for additional insurance like flood or personal umbrella insurance.
  • Personal Details: There are so many of life’s great moments that your insurance agent will be involved. Your agent should be in the know if you get married, grow your family, have a teen driver or send a child off to college. There are crucial updates to your insurance policy that need to happen in many of these scenarios. Your agent can also assist you should your child need renter’s insurance for their dorm or living situation while at college.

Your insurance agent is more than just that, they can help you navigate the complicated insurance waters and help make updating your insurance policies a breeze. Let the local, independent insurance experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA assist you with your insurance needs. Whether it be updating an auto policy, getting your college-bound child set with a renter’s policy or making sure that you have additional home coverage with a personal umbrella policy, Insurance Unlimited, Inc., is here to help. Visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about wide range of personal insurance products they offer.