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.

How to Drive in the Snow and Ice in Lakewood, WA

The Best Strategies to Drive Safe in the Snow & On Ice

Winter Weather Driving Tips

How to Drive in the Snow and Ice in Lakewood, WAIt’s important for every driver to know how to drive in winter weather conditions. It can be challenging to drive in these conditions, but with the knowledge of the information below, you’ll know how to stay safe on the road.

  • Be sure your car has plenty of antifreeze. You do not want to run out while driving in poor weather conditions.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and that your wiper fluid remains full. Dirty roads can cover a windshield with dirt quickly impacting your visibility.
  • Keep control of your vehicle by not using your cruise control settings.
  • Pack the essentials in your car in case you get stuck. A flashlight, roadside visibility reflectors, a snow brush and ice scraper, jumper cables and a bag of sand to help with traction are all key items that can help you deal with winter weather.
  • Always check the road conditions before you leave on your trip. Once you know the weather conditions, be sure to leave earlier so you don’t have to feel rushed. Giving yourself the extra time allows you to drive at an appropriate and safe speed.
  • Brake appropriately on slippery surfaces. If you start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator until you regain traction. Many people want to slam on the brakes when they notice their car starting to skid.
  • Give yourself more distance between the car ahead of you. When the weather conditions are poor, you will need more space between the car ahead of you to stop.
  • Know where to be extra cautious. Bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas are likely to freeze first and can be extra slick.
  • To defrost your car, turn on your front and rear defrosters. Don’t use your windshield wipers. Once your car has warmed up slightly, use your plastic ice scrapers.

Knowledge is the first step to becoming a safe driver. Having the awareness and driving skills can help you stay safe in less than optimal weather conditions.

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.

 

What to do if a driving emergency occurs in Lakewood, WA

Would You Know What To Do In the Event You Have a Driving Emergency?

Insurance Unlimited discusses the four common driving emergencies and how to work through them.

What to do if a driving emergency occurs in Lakewood, WADriving hazards present themselves daily and can occur year-round in every state. But, would you know what to do in the event a driving hazard presented itself?

Wildlife: Hitting a deer in the roadway can be a traumatic experience, but it could also be deadly. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture cites as many as 2 million collisions with animals occur each year in the U.S. Prepare by following these steps:

  • Stay alert: if you are driving in rural areas, be aware that wildlife is always nearby and keep a lookout towards the sides of the road.
  • Don’t swerve: Swerving cannot only results in a worse injury and more severe accident, but your insurance company might find you at fault if you swerve to miss a deer and end up hitting a tree or guard rail. Keep your car pointed forward and hit the brakes!
  • Be more aware at night: Animals can become more active in the evenings and some travel in groups. If you see one, chances are there are more nearby. If there are two lanes, drive in the lane farthest away from the side of the road.

Blown Tires: A blown tire can be a startling experience, but knowing what to do in the event you have one can save you from an accident. Keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t slam on the brakes: Slamming on the brakes with a blown tire will only make matters worse because it will cause your vehicle to pull hard in the direction of the flat. Slowly pull to the side of the roadway, as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Work to maintain your steering: If a front tire blows, it can really cause the vehicle to pull. Do your best not to overreact to the sudden jolt and swerve the other way. This could cause your vehicle to lose control.
  • Place your blown tire and wheel under the car slightly when changing your tire: So many injuries occur when a jack is improperly used. Placing your tire under the car can save you from being crushed if a jack fails.

Bugs in the Car: We’ve all experienced the spider in the car!

  • Pull over: While a spider or bee in the vehicle can be alarming, you have to remember – it is probably more afraid of you than you are of it! Carefully pull over to the side of the road and let your unwanted passenger out.
  • Don’t let it take your eyes off the road: It can be tempting to try to swat at the insect or arachnid while driving, but don’t. It will only increase the chances of causing a more serious crash.

Black Ice: It is getting to that time of year when black ice can occur on roadways. If your vehicle begins to slide on ice, it is important to understand what to do:

  • Let off the gas: Many vehicle have stability control and will work to auto-correct the problem. Stop accelerating and let your car recover.
  • Let off the brake: Applying the brakes on ice can unfortunately make matters worse. Never slam the brakes on, but gently apply them.
  • Drive slowly: if you notice the temperature beginning to plunge, drive more slowly. Less accidents occur when drivers keep the speeds under 45 MPH during icy conditions.

While we can’t always be in the car with you to avoid hazards, we can help you with your auto and home insurance questions.

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 keep your teen safe on the road in Lakewood, WA

Five Things to Discuss With Your Teen Driver

How to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road

How to keep your teen safe on the road in Lakewood, WAThis week represents National Teen Driver Safety Week. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death of teenagers from 15-19 years old in the United States is auto accidents. In order to decrease these numbers, it’s important for parents to sit down with their children to discuss the dangers of driving.

The National Teen Safety Week goal is to make teens aware of the “5 to Drive” Rules.

Keep in mind, in order for your teenagers to be following these five rules, parents need to be leading by example. If you aren’t following the rules yourself, your teenager won’t take these steps seriously. Educate your teen on the importance of each rule. Give real life scenarios and grim statistics so they understand why the “5 to Drive” is so crucial to follow.  

Alcohol

We all know not to drink and drive, but be sure to continue these conversations with your teen. It’s also important to discuss the major consequences of getting into an accident when alcohol is involved such as jail time, a loss of driver’s license and fines. If your teen happens to be in a situation involving alcohol, make a deal that you will pick them up to prevent the dangers of drinking and driving.

Seatbelts

This is such a simple habit to stay safe and it’s the best way to protect yourself! According to NHTSA, 64 percent of all young passengers and teen drivers who didn’t wear a seatbelt died in a motor vehicle accident. Train your teenager to buckle up every single time they get into a vehicle until it becomes a habit!

Texting

We all know the dangers of texting while driving. Distracted driving accidents continue to increase in deaths per year. Coach your teen to put their cell phone away before getting behind the wheel or let the passenger take care of any urgent texting.

Speeding

Teenage drivers learn in driver’s education that every time their speed doubles, their stopping distance quadruples. Be sure to continue this conversation to help them follow the speed limit. In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

Extra Passengers

The more passengers in your teenager’s vehicle, the more risk of a fatal crash. Some states prohibit any passengers from riding in your teenager’s car for a certain period. Check your State’s GDL law to see what your teenage driver needs to follow.

Remember, you will make the biggest impact on your teen’s safety behind the wheel. Show you care about their safety and take about the dangers of driving. Most importantly, follow the five rules yourself. With continued education, you’ll shape your teenager into a responsible driver.

While we can’t keep your teen safe on the road, we can answer any questions related to your home to your auto or commercial Insurance. At Insurance Unlimited in Lakewood, WA, we live where you do and are an independent insurance agent. Therefore, we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our 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.

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.