Holiday Theft Protection lakewood, WA

Holiday Theft Protection: Beware of thieves!

During the holiday season, most of us are focused on family gatherings, good food and giving back. What we may not be thinking about are the thefts that rise during the holidays.  Homes are burgled, car’s contents stolen and identities thieved. There are a few ways that you can help protect yourselves from thieves this holiday season.

Holiday theft protection in Washington:

  • Your home: With all those extra presents sitting around the house, your home can become a target. As soon as you bring the new purchases into your home, take photos and write down serial numbers of your items. Keeping the receipt will also help if you need to file a home insurance claim due to theft. Don’t advertise on social media that you will be/are traveling during the holidays. If you are travelling, let your neighbors and postman know. Your neighbors may be able to lend a watchful eye and perhaps collect any mail or packages that could accumulate on your doorstep. Nothing says “we aren’t home” like a week’s worth of mail or a stoop full of boxes.
  • Your car: If you plan on having a marathon shopping day, do not leave your purchases where they can be seen. This applies to the car trip home as well.  If you are planning to make stops, lock your purchases in the trunk and disable the trunk release. That may help deter thieves looking for a quick score. You should never store purchases in your vehicle for an extended period of time. Auto insurance does not cover items that are not a part of your vehicle. For example, if your car was broken into and a wallet and stereo were stolen you may be reimbursed for the stereo but may not be covered for the wallet. Personal possessions are likely omitted from your car insurance coverage.
  • Your identity: We’ve talked about identity theft before, but during the holidays, this type of theft could be quite common. Make sure when you are out and about to keep a close watch on your wallet or purse. Keep records of your cards and recent transactions and checking your billing statements often to spot any discrepancies. If you do a lot online shopping, make sure to verify that the sites you purchase from are reputable and have good security. Sites that are https:// secured or Norton or Google verified are a great place to start. If you do notice a fraudulent charge or suspect your identity has been stolen, be sure to alert your bank and in some cases, your insurance agent (as home insurance can sometimes cover identity theft), immediately.

With these holiday theft protection tips, keeping your home, car and identity safe during the holidays (and the rest of the year) doesn’t have to be hard work! Talk to your local, Lakewood, WA insurance agent to see if your home insurance offers protection against identity theft. Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can also assist you with scheduling major purchases like jewelry, art or collectibles to your home insurance and make sure that your vehicle is covered in case of theft or vandalism. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about the other insurance products they offer like personal umbrella insurance.

Winterizing your vehicle Lakewood, WA

Winterizing your vehicle: Where to start

Going outside during the winter months can be a production. You may need gloves, a hat, a heavy coat, boots and maybe more depending on the weather. Your car, the vehicle you rely on to get you to and from home and work, needs some winter prep as well. While you can’t put a coat on your car, you can do some simple winterizing to help ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly and help keep you safe in the cold and inclement weather.

Winterizing your vehicle in Washington:

  • The Basics: There are a few things that your car should have during the winter: an emergency kit that contains: bottled water, energy bars or other non-perishable food, first aid supplies, gloves, a blanket, road flares, a “Help” sign and a flashlight are just a few things that make up a great emergency kit. Should your vehicle stop working and you are stranded, this kit could keep you safe and comfortable.
  • Sight and Traction: It is crucial to be able to see where you are going at all times while on the road. If your line of sight is blocked due to rain, snow or debris, you could be in danger of an accident. Before the weather turns poor, replace your windshield wipers and check to make sure that your defroster is in working order. Snow tires and chains are an option for areas that see snowfall. Plan ahead and make an appointment early to get your snow tires on (once snow tire use is permitted by law) because once the first snow falls, tire centers tend to get much busier.
  • Under the hood: Before your car is truly ready for winter, there are a few more things you should consider. When was the last time you changed your battery? Typically, batteries have a three to five year lifespan, however the winter months can be quite hard on them. The pull of defrosters and heaters may cause an older battery to fail, leaving you stranded. Replacing your battery in the fall before the weather turns is a safe bet. Check all fluids, like oil, anti-freeze/coolant. Anything that is low, should be topped off and/or changed. This is also a great time to do a visual check for leaks. Speaking of topping off, it is best practice to keep a full to mostly full gas tank during the cold months.  Due to the daily temperature fluctuations in the winter time, condensation can form on the inside of a gas tank. If that happens, water can get into the fuel lines, potentially freezing, blocking the line and causing damage.

Help keep yourself and others safe on the road this season by winterizing your vehicle. A few extra tasks could help save you from an accident, auto damage and a costly insurance claim. A change of season is also a great time to look at your insurance coverage. If you need to update or change your auto insurance policy, let the experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA know! They can also assist you with other types of coverage like year-round motorcycle insurance and more. Visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about the insurance products they offer.

College Lakewood, WA

College students: Updating your auto insurance

College is an exciting place. New experiences, friends and knowledge await wherever you go.  Before the fun starts, there are some decisions that need to be made: Will you live on or off campus? Will you work while in school and will you be taking your vehicle with you? Check with your school first, as some colleges and universities do not allow freshman to have vehicles on-campus. You should also consider the cost of a parking permit and remember that parking lots are not the friendliest or secure places for vehicles that are not driven that often. When it comes to your auto insurance, talk to your agent as there are many factors that could influence the price of your premium.

College students and auto insurance Washington:

  • Location: Where you attend school matters when it comes to your auto insurance. Are you attending school more than 100 miles from home? Will you be living in a dorm or off-campus? Parking in a garage or on the street. All of these factors will influence the price of your auto insurance premium. If you are leaving your vehicle with your parents while away at school and will not have regular access to your vehicle, you may be eligible for a distant student discount.
  • Coverage: If you plan on attending a school in a different state, ask your insurance agent if you insurance coverage limits are enough. The legal insurance requirements in your state may be insufficient for the legal requirements where you attend school. If you don’t have underinsured motorist coverage (UMPD/UIM), it may be worth considering as cars tend to get dinged, scratched and hit in large parking lots.
  • Theft: While college can be filled with great experiences, there can be some bad with the good. Break-ins and thefts can occur at your dorm, apartment and car. Renter’s insurance may help to help recoup costs for thefts that occur in your dorm or apartment. An auto insurance policy may cover the physical damage to your vehicle like a broken or smashed window, however there a no provisions for the loss of personal property like laptops, cell phones, etc. It is important to remember that valuables should not be left in unattended vehicles.

There are several discounts that could be available to students as they go through school like a good student discount or multi-policy discount. For all your insurance needs, talk to the insurance experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA. No matter where you are attending school, they can assist you with making sure your auto insurance policy has you completely covered. They can also assist with setting up a renter’s insurance policy for your dorm or apartment. For more information about Insurance Unlimited, Inc., or the insurance products they offer, visit their insurance website 24/7.

traveling Lakewood, WA

Traveling with dogs – Buckle up your pup!

Getting out on the open road with the family can be a great summer pastime. Whether your road trip takes you to a national park, a beach or to visit family, it can be a great opportunity to bond as a family that includes your dogs too! Loading Fido up in the family vehicle doesn’t have to be stressful and making your dog comfortable in the car can be quite easy.

Traveling with dogs in Washington:

  • Safety: Safety truly comes first at all times when riding in a vehicle – this goes for people and pets. An unsecured dog wandering the vehicle can be a distraction and a hazard. Large dogs can bump the driver, causing them to swerve and small dogs can get underfoot, under a gas pedal or brake pedal. Securing your dog may also help keep them safe in the event you are in an auto accident. There are many options for securing your dog in a vehicle. There are car seats that have an interior harness to secure the pup and a place to secure the car seat to a seatbelt, minimizing the risk of the car seat bouncing around. Another option is a harness that attaches directly to the seatbelt. This allows the dog some free movement, but it is restricted to a small area. Then there are barrier options, like a crater or a seat barrier. When purchasing a travel crate, make sure the dog has plenty of room to stretch and is not too cramped. A seat barrier works well for SUVs and hatchbacks.
  • Entertainment: Just like the people in the car, your dogs will need some entertainment as well. Bring along favorite toys, chews and treats may go a long way to keep a bored dog from barking, jumping and perhaps trying to eat the interior of your vehicle. Don’t forget to bring spill-proof water and food containers!
  • Take a break: Get out and stretch your legs and your pup’s! Leaving the vehicle and giving your dog a little room to run (search for off-leash dog parks along your route) can go a long way to eliminating a carsickness or boredom in a dog. It also gives them a chance to use the “facilities” in an outdoor setting versus your vehicle.
  • Destination: Make sure that your destination is pet-friendly. If you are staying in a hotel or vacation rental, ask about their pet policies ahead of time, it is also helpful to locate the closest emergency vet, just in case.

Taking steps to ensure that everyone on your road trip is happy and safe will lead to less stress overall. In some states, if you have a Progressive auto insurance policy, you may have Pet Injury coverage, which helps cover vet expenses (up to $1000) if your pup is injured as a result of an auto accident. Before you head out on the open road, check the details of your auto insurance coverage with your Insurance Unlimited, Inc., agent in Lakewood, WA. They can assist you with amending an existing policy or setting up a new policy. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the other products they offer like boat insurance or motorcycle insurance.

Auto Insurance Discounts Lakewood, WA

Auto Insurance Discounts – Do you qualify?

We have all heard the auto insurance commercials talking about the discounts this insurer or that insurer offers. 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 most common auto insurance discounts below. Could you be saving money with these discounts?

Auto insurance discounts in Washington:

  • Multi-policy: Bundling multiple polices like auto insurance, 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!

While most of these discounts are small, a few added together could amount to some real savings. Be sure to speak with your Insurance Unlimited agent today the discounts that may be available to you. For more information about Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, Washington or the insurance products we offer like home insurance and RV insurance, visit our insurance website 24/7.

 

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.

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.

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.

Gap Insurance Lakewood, WA

Closing the Gap: What is Gap Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Congratulations, you just bought a new (or new to you) car! You were able to afford a down payment and now you are the proud owner of a new car and a monthly car payment. But, what happens if your car becomes involved in an accident and you owe more than your car is worth?

Imagine this scenario: While out enjoying your new car, you hydroplane and hit a guardrail damaging your new vehicle beyond repair. The insurance company is telling you that your new car is a total loss. While you may not be able to drive the vehicle, you are still responsible for the loan associated with vehicle. If you have gap insurance in Lakewood, WA, you may be only responsible for your deductible.

How gap insurance in Washington works:

What is depreciation:  Vehicles, especially new vehicles, begin to depreciate as soon as you drive them off the dealer lot. Depreciation can be quite surprising and is not necessarily tied to the base cost of the vehicle. Due to wear-and-tear, fluctuating market conditions and a number of other factors, depreciation in the first year is the steepest. Even with proper care and maintenance and no accidents, a vehicle will continue to depreciate. Even though the value of the vehicle will go down each year, the amount you owe on the vehicle will not. Depreciation will vary between make and model but here is a baseline comparison:

Year Vehicle Style Base price Depreciation year one
2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i sedan $21,295 $3,069
2013 Honda Civic Base sedan $22,715 $4,406
2013 BMW 328i sedan $34,900 $5,198
2013 Ford F-150 $28,595 $5,915
2013 Toyota 4Runner $37,155 $6,380

 *Figures courtesy of automobilemag.com

Why gap insurance: In the unfortunate event that your vehicle is totaled, and it is an event covered under your current auto insurance policy, your insurer may pay the actual cash value of the vehicle, which may be significantly less than the outstanding vehicle loan. In that case, you would still be responsible for the remaining balance between the loan and the insurance payout, which could be thousands of dollars. If you choose to purchase gap insurance in Lakewood, Washington, your insurance company would cover the remaining balance between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the remaining loan balance, typically up to 25 percent, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.

Options for gap insurance: There are two options for purchasing gap insurance in Lakewood, WA. It can be purchased from the dealership or through an insurance agent. If you choose to purchase gap insurance through the dealership you purchase your vehicle from, the gap insurance will be built into your loan. The average price for gap insurance from a dealership is around $1,000, but add interest and taxes and it can add up to much more. If you choose to purchase gap insurance from an insurance agent, on average it would add less than $10 per month to a policy! There may be certain stipulations associated with a gap insurance policy:

  • The loan may need to be through a financial institution rather than an individual
  • Your current auto insurance policy may need to include Collision and Comprehensive coverage
  • Your claim may need to be a covered Collision and Comprehensive coverage event
  • Your vehicle may need to be determined as a total loss

Before you purchase a new vehicle, make sure to check with your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, Washington to see how you can add gap insurance to your new vehicle 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.