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 ISU Insurance Solutions Group agent today the discounts that may be available to you. For more information about ISU Insurance Solutions Group in Woodinville, Washington or the insurance products we offer like home insurance and RV insurance, visit our insurance website 24/7.

Boats and Yachts: Do you know the difference?

It is fairly easy to tell the difference between a car and a truck or a motorcycle and a moped, but when it comes to boats and yachts, differences may not be as evident. In insurance terms, the differences between a boat and a yacht are very clear.

How are boats and yachts defined in Washington?

  • Boats: A boat is generally defined as a vessel under 26 feet in length. This can include speed boats, fishing boats (for recreational purposes) and classic or antique boats. Standard boat insurance policies can include physical damage coverage, liability coverage, personal property coverage and towing and assistance coverage. Many of the policies are yearly policies so there is no need to be concerned about your boat when it is moored or in a dry dock for the winter months. Boat insurance policies often include limits on navigational areas or be an agreed value policy which means you and the insurance carrier will agree upon a set value of worth for the boat before a policy is drafted. This may help recoup costs in the event the boat is lost or damaged beyond repair. A basic boat insurance may not include extra coverage for uninsured/underinsured boater coverage or coverage for fuel spills, but a yacht insurance policy may include those items. So, when insuring a boat, be sure to ask your agent about these coverages because most times, they can be added.
  • Yachts: A yacht is defined as a vessel over 26 feet in length and used for mostly personal or recreation purposes. Yacht insurance tends to be more inclusive than your standard boat insurance policy. Those extras that you may pay more for in boat policy, like fuel spill coverage, towing and additional personal property coverage, may be generally included in your yacht insurance policy. There are also custom coverage options that may be available just for yacht insurance. Custom coverages may include additional hurricane protection if you are sailing or docking in an area during hurricane season. It may also include an option to extend or create a custom navigation area as most standard boat insurance policies only offer coverage the extends 75 miles past the U.S., Canadian or Mexican coastline. If your yacht includes a dinghy, there is a coverage option for that as well, though it may be limited to anything under 16 feet in length.

Whether you are considering purchasing a boat or a yacht or wondering which category your current sea-faring vessel falls, the insurance experts at ISG Insurance Solutions Group Woodinville in Woodinville, WA can assist you with all your boating insurance needs. ISG Insurance Solutions Group Woodinville agents can also assist you with insuring other items like your autos, homes or adding a personal umbrella insurance policy for additional protection beyond your auto and home insurance policies. Whatever your insurance needs, let ISG Insurance Solutions Group Woodinville help. Visit their website 24/7 for more information about the agency or the insurance products they offer.

Summer fire safety tips

At some point this summer, you will most likely use fire for something. Whether it be a camp fire, fireworks or a grill, the potential for both fun and hazards is present. We put together a few fire safety tips for using fire (and its byproducts) safely and responsibly.

Fire Safety Washington:

  • Campfires:  Make sure that your campfire is well contained, either in a pit or surrounded by rocks and the area around and above it is free of flammable material. Watch sparks and shifts in the fire to ensure that the flames stay within the pit. Be sure to extinguish your fire prior to sleep and when you depart the camp site. Having a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy is a very good idea. If a forest or brush fire should start, you’ll want to contact the authorities (in many cases a camping host) immediately.
  • Fireworks: Whether you are shooting off fireworks in your neighborhood or at a campground (make sure this is within the confines of the campground rules), you should be prepared for anything. When lighting fireworks, make sure that there is nothing flammable around your area and keep fireworks away from houses and other structures. Keep a bucket of sand available to dispose of used fireworks and never throw used fireworks directly into the garbage as they could spark a fire. Make sure to keep a hose, water bucket or fire extinguisher in the event a rogue fireworks sparks a blaze. Should a fire occur dial 911 immediately.
  • BBQs: Barbequing is a summer pastime. Whether you prefer a charcoal or gas grill, you should take some safety precautions. Never grill too close to a dwelling wall or under an awning or porch, the heat from the grill could cause a spark. If you are storing a grill close to a dwelling, make sure the grill is completely cooled before putting it in place. When using a charcoal grill, closely follow the direction on the lighter fluid as large flames could start a fire and injure anyone standing too close.
  • Other causes: BBQs, fireworks and campfires are not the only catalysts when it comes to fires. Sparks from ATVs, motorcycles, RVs and cars can start fires with the driver never knowing. Making sure your regular and off-road vehicles are in good repair may help prevent a random spark from starting a blaze.

According to the National Parks Service, “As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans.” What it doesn’t mention: if you start a fire you may be liable for any restitution and damage costs, which could result in you being responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Using proper safety techniques and having the right amount insurance may help cover some of those costs in the event you are found liable or negligent in a fire. Talk to your Woodinville, WA ISU Insurance Solutions Group agent about how your home insurance policy may help protect you should you start a fire on your property or on a neighbor’s property. Having a personal umbrella policy may help reduce damage costs from an exhausted home insurance policy or negligence from a fire started away from your home. Ask your ISU Insurance Solutions Group agent what may be right for your situation and budget. You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 to see what other insurance products we offer like boat or flood insurance. We hope you have a safe summer!