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.

Fall Dangers Lakewood, WA

Fall Dangers: Be alert!

Fall is one of our favorite seasons! The leaves, the cooler, shorter days and of course, pumpkin spice everything. There are some seasonal dangers associated with fall that can be quite hazardous if one is not prepared. Knowing what these dangers are and how to anticipate them can mean the difference between a lovely, relaxing fall and having to file a potentially costly insurance claim.

Seasonal Fall Dangers in Washington:

  • The Road: A drive to see the fall colors can be relaxing and enjoyable for all. You should be aware of changing weather conditions. Fall brings rain, wind and fog. Standing water on the roadways can create a slick, ice-like surface making it difficult to control the vehicle or hydroplane. If you happen to be in an area where leaves are falling, the leaves have a similar ice-like effect on the car. Another potential danger while in the car is fog. Fog can seemingly roll in from nowhere and impede your ability to see road hazards like traffic, debris, etc. For all these dangers, the best course of action is attentive driving. Reduce your speed, increase your following distance and stay alert to changing conditions.
  • The Wind: The winds returns, sometimes with a vengeance, during the fall. The wind can blow cars around the road and debris into the road, so during an episode of high winds, be alert to debris that may be entering the roadways. Trees and tree branches can also be a hazard. Trees that are diseased or branches that are low-hanging can become dislodged and cause massive amounts of damage to homes, garages and cars. The best way to try and stave off falling trees and branches is to trim all low-hanging branches that reside over dwellings. If your neighbors have tree branches that sit over your dwellings, work with them to get the branches removed. Also, if you suspect your trees to be diseased, have them inspected and removed.
  • The Water: A gentle fall rain can be soothing, but let’s be honest the rain in the fall tends to be more torrential. Fast moving storms can overwhelm storm drains (that could already be blocked with leaves or other debris) and the oversaturated ground cannot absorb the water resulting in large amounts of standing water or a flash flood. Remember that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover outside water entering your home due to rain or flood. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, having sandbags on hand in case of a storm could be the difference between just mopping off your front porch and filing a flood insurance claim.

With a little preparation, you may be able to avoid an unpleasant situation and a costly insurance claim. The insurance experts at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., in Lakewood, WA can assist you with setting up policies like auto insurance, home insurance and flood insurance. If you have questions about your current insurance policies or about the potential fall dangers in the Lakewood area, give your Insurance Unlimited, Inc., agent a call. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7!

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.