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.

Be Cautious Before Posting a Negative Review Online in Lakewood, WA

Exercise Diligence When Leaving an Online Review

A Negative Online Review Can Leave You Liable

Be Cautious Before Posting a Negative Review Online in Lakewood, WAEveryone today is connected in some way to social media. It can be by Facebook, Yelp, email or other internet outlets. When you write something, you leave your fingerprint for everyone to see. If you go to a restaurant, dentist, daycare or other business and have a bad experience, you might think of writing a bad review on the company’s Facebook page or Yelp. If you decide to do this, it is important to exercise caution about how you word your experience as recent cases have shown you can be sued for libel – even if you think the review was justified. This can be a very frightening situation and how on earth can you afford to pay attorney fees? What do you do?

If you have the right coverage on your homeowners insurance, you likely have protection for these personal offenses such as libel, slander or defamation of character. If you receive a lawsuit, you need to contact your homeowners insurance claim’s department right away. The claims department will defend you and pay for damages up to certain limits on your policy. If you want to be extra cautious, you can get an umbrella insurance policy that would give you coverage above and beyond your homeowners policy for attorney fees and any damages awarded. It is important to understand your home or renters insurance.

If you have questions about one of these policies, feel free to contact one of our licensed agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc. in Lakewood, WA. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or commercial Insurance. 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.

How to Prevent a Dog Bite Claim in Lakewood, WA

How to Protect Yourself from a Dog Bite Claim

A Guide to Preventing Dog Bite Claims

How to Prevent a Dog Bite Claim in Lakewood, WAAccording to the Insurance Information Institute, over $400 million a year is paid out for dog bite claims each year by insurance companies. While that may seem like a lot, there is an estimated $600 million that was excess over the home insurance policy limits. Protecting yourself with sufficient limits, as well as considering an umbrella insurance policy, could help you avoid any out-of-pocket expenses should your pooch bite someone.

Owning a dog can be and usually is a joyous union. Dogs can become aggravated or agitated by small children pulling their hair, tail or stepping on them. It is important to watch your pet and never leave a dog alone around small children. While a dog may be provoked, it is still your responsibility to ensure your pet does not bite someone. While most claims are from small bites and only require first aid, the lasting damage can still be severe such as nerve damage in hands or feet.

The Insurance Information Institute states that there are 3 kinds of laws regarding pet liability:

  1. Dog-bite statute: The dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes, even without provocation.
  2. “One-bite” rule: In some states, the owner is not held liable for the first bite the dog inflicts. Once an animal has demonstrated vicious behavior, such as biting or otherwise displaying a ‘vicious propensity’, the owner can be held liable. Some states have moved away from the one-bite rule and hold owners responsible for any injury, regardless of whether the animal has previously bitten someone.
  3. Negligence laws: The dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because he or she was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.

While it is important to understand your state laws regarding dog bite liability, the best course is prevention.

The Humane Society lists several ways to avoid being bitten by a dog. Because dogs can’t tell you what their thinking, it is important to watch the dogs body language. Some signs the dog may be uncomfortable include:

  • Stiff tail
  • Pulled back ears
  • Intense stare
  • Backing away
  • Dog is visibly injured
  • Don’t take toys away quickly

If someone asks if they may pet your dog, ask them politely to let the dog smell them first to ensure the dog is comfortable with it. If your dog reacts negatively to someone, it is okay to tell that person it isn’t a good idea.

We hope that your pup never bites someone, but unfortunately it does happen. Ensuring that your home insurance limits are sufficient and also carrying an excess liability policy called an umbrella insurance policy may help protect your pocketbook in the unfortunate event.

If you have questions about your home or renters 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.

Personal Umbrella Insurance in Lakewood, WA

Personal Umbrella Insurance in Lakewood, WA – Party Protection

Summer is a great time to throw parties. BBQs, birthdays, Fourth of July celebrations or just for no reason at all, the summer is when it happens. From the cleaning, the shopping and the food preparation, a lot of thought gets put into the needs and comfort of your guests. While there are many things that may cross your mind in regards to your party, it may not occur that if the party does not go according to plan and someone is injured or gets sick that the hosts of the party could be held liable.

In the event that someone gets injured at a gathering you throw at your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy in Lakewood, Washington may cover the injured party’s medical bills or damages to a certain dollar amount. Having an extra bit of protection like a personal umbrella insurance policy in Lakewood, WA may help in these situations, as it can also help with a legal defense if you are sued for an injury or death that occurs on your property or when your guest leaves (too much alcohol).

Personal Umbrella insurance in Washington:

 

  • Unforeseen events: Most parties go off without a hitch, no problems, and no injuries. Every so often something goes awry. It can be as simple as a sprained ankle from slipping off the porch steps to food poisoning from improperly refrigerated potato salad to a DUI or alcohol poisoning. If the party where the injury took place occurred at your home and you are deemed negligent, you may be responsible for paying damages to those injured parties and a personal umbrella insurance policy in Lakewood, WA may help you minimize the out-of-pocket costs to you.
  • Intoxication: Depending on the laws in your city/state, a person who consumed alcohol at your party and injures someone else as a result of a DUI crash could hold you liable to pay the victim damages. There are a few ways to mitigate your liability: hiring a third-party to tend bar, like a catering company. These companies are responsible for having their own insurance and it is a lot easier for them to stop serving alcohol to an intoxicated person; they know all the signs to look for. If you are not able to hire an outside party to handle the liquor at your party, stick with only a few options for adult beverages like wine and beer. Having multiple types of liquor may increase the risk of someone having too much to drink.
  • A little prep: Before you have your party, take the time to make sure that your yard (or party area) is free of uneven patches of ground, mounds and holes. Make sure that entryways are clear of tripping hazards and that low hanging lights are high enough that tall heads won’t get tangled up. Taking a few extra steps may help ensure that your party is safe and fun.

If you plan on taking advantage of the summer weather by throwing a party, make sure you have all the protection you need. If you have any questions about what a personal umbrella insurance policy may cover or what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers in terms of fire, property damage or personal injury liability, your licensed insurance agent in Lakewood, WA can assist you.  The local, independent agents at Insurance Unlimited, Inc., can assist you with examining 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 personal umbrella or the other insurance products they offer like auto insurance.