How to Create the Ultimate Road Trip

Tips on Creating The Ultimate Road Trip

How to Create the Ultimate Road TripDuring the pandemic, many individuals may not feel comfortable getting on an airplane. However, many still want to travel. Perhaps a road trip can be the answer. Road trips allow you to see what is between your home and destination, something that hopping on a plane doesn’t, but it is essential to have the best plan in place before you hit the road.

First off, where do you want to go?

This is the most important question. Start with your end destination. For example, say someone who lives in Washington State wants to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Start with your basic questions:

  • How much time can I spend on the road?
  • How long will it take to get to my end destination?
  • What are my route options?
  • What am I interested in seeing?
  • Is everything open that I am interested in seeing?
  • Do I want to rent a car or use my own car?

Once you answer those questions, you can begin your planning.

Grab the basics for your vehicle

It doesn’t matter if you are renting a car or using your own, it is good to have the basics in the car for your road trip.

  • Flashlight
  • Food and water
  • Owner’s manual
  • Spare tire & roadside kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Small trash bag

Adding comfort to your road trip

Comfort can come in many ways. From wearing comfortable clothes & shoes to having snacks. We will share below some items that can bring comfort to a long drive.

  • Good music playlist. Whether you create it on your phone or pack a bunch of CDs, music makes a comfortable drive. Not a music fan? What about an audio book?
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Obviously this is more important than ever with COVID-19, but having access to clean hands brings comfort.
  • Sometimes you will come across a vendor who only accepts cash. Sometimes there are tolls you have to pass that require cash. This is always good to have on hand.
  • Snacks – pack your favorites!
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cooler – this allows you to bring a variety of food choices. Especially if you don’t want to eat out every meal, packing your own meals brings safety and routine to your diet.
  • Pillow
  • Camera & camera charger (unless you use your phone for photos!)

Another common question – if I am renting a car, do I need to purchase their insurance policy?

This choice is up to you. Your auto insurance coverage would cover anything on your rental car that is covered on your personal car. Comprehensive and collision insurance is a required coverage on rental cars. If your current auto insurance coverage does not have comprehensive and collision coverage, you will need to purchase that coverage. Also, consider roadside assistance if you plan to be in an area unfamiliar to you.

What else should I know about creating the best road trip?

This may sound silly, but keep your head up and enjoy the scenery. If you are sitting in the passenger seat, it is easy to scroll through your phone instead, but sometimes the gems along the route are better than the destination.

Also, it may be fun to keep a journal of all the details of your trip. Especially if you are a fan of scrapbooking your trips, you’ll remember all the little memories that may be easy to forget.

Lastly, do some research. If you are a foodie, research the best places to eat on your route. Whether it is a simple Google search or looking at Yelp, it is easy to find tasty food.

If you have any questions about your existing auto insurance or RV insurance coverage, please contact us before you hit the road. Safe travels and enjoy the open road.

Pay Per Mile Insurance Beaverton, OR

Learn How Pay Per Mile Coverage is Calculated

Pay Per Mile Insurance Beaverton, ORThe auto insurance industry landscape is changing as more companies embrace emerging technology. No longer are auto insurance rates based solely on your age, marital status, where you live, or the number of violations that you have. Instead, some companies are also basing their rating structures on how you drive, when you drive, and even where you drive. These models are often called Usage Based Insurance (UBI) or Pay-Per-Mile Insurance (PPMI) programs. And the adoption rates of these new rating variables varies across insurance companies. Some base their rates almost entirely on these new metrics whereas others have been slower to shift from traditional rating structures. Details regarding the type of data collected and the methods of data collection for these new programs are below:

Type of Data Collected:

Most insurance companies collect a wide range of data for their UBI programs. Some of the most common of these variables include the following:

  • Hard Brakes/Hard Acceleration: Hard braking or fast accelerations are signs of aggressive driving which data suggests increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Maintaining assured clear distance with the cars ahead of you and accelerating smoothly are ways to ensure this variable doesn’t increase your premium.
  • When You’re Driving Data suggests that between midnight and 4am are the riskiest times to be on the road. So, if possible, avoid late night driving when participating in a UBI program.
  • How Much You’re Driving, The more you’re on the road, the higher the chances that you’ll be involved in an accident. Those with low annual miles tend to get the most favorable rates from UBI programs.

Data Collection Methods

You might be wondering how insurance companies even get access to your driving behavior data. There are two primary data collection methods:

  • Proprietary Apps – Some insurance companies have created their own proprietary app which customers download to their phones for purposes of recording driving behavior. The app uses the technology embedded in the phone to collect hard brakes, GPS, date/time, etc and then wirelessly sends that data to the insurance company.
  • Plug-In Devices –  Every car manufactured since 1996 has an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port which allows for real-time monitoring of the vehicle. Some insurance companies have created a device that a customer can plug into this port. The device then collects the vehicle information and wirelessly sends that data to the company.

The best way to determine whether a UBI program is best for you is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Auto Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.

Should I have winter tires or all-season tires for my vehicle

Winter Tires vs All-Season Tires – Which Type of Tire Should You Choose?

Should I have winter tires or all-season tires for my vehicleWinter driving brings a whole new element of risk to the road. Driver’s concentration and a car’s integrity are continuously put to the test in frigid weather. Making the decision to change your tires at the right time will keep you safe and will help you to avoid accidents in winter weather. If you live in a seasonal state, then most agree that it’s best to have two sets of tires for your vehicle: a set of all-season tires and a set of winter tires.

What are winter tires?

Winter tires are engineered to perform best on icy roads in sub-zero temperatures. The tread compound is specifically designed to allow for better traction when stopping. This tread gives the tires a better grip on icy roads.

In fact, on average, winter tires can reduce stopping distance by up to 25% on slippery roads – that can mean the difference between stopping well before the car in front of you and a rear-end collision.

What about all-season tires?

Some people, however, argue that all-season tires are just as capable and safe as winter tires considering their name and from experience. But all-season tires have two considerable compositional downfalls when it comes to driving in icy, snowy, or slippery conditions. 

In order to be more durable, all-season tires are designed using a harder and longer-wearing rubber compound than is used in winter tires. This specialized rubber stiffens as temperatures drop, which results in a loss of tire flexibility. The less flexible a tire is, the worse its grip on the road. Moreover, when compared to winter tires, they simply have less surface contact with the ground which results in decreased traction.

How do different sets of tires affect auto insurance policy rates?

Very few insurance companies offer a discount for winter tire use. So switching from all-season tires to winter tires won’t have a direct impact on your auto insurance premiums. However, winter tires have a better chance of keeping you from an accident in cold weather conditions. Avoiding accidents will help to keep your auto insurance rates low.

While winter tires won’t prevent all auto accidents, they certainly lower your driving risk and tend to perform better in snowy conditions than all-season tires. As a result, you can expect a safer winter driving experience which will ultimately result in lower insurance premiums for you in the long run.

If you have questions about auto insurance rates, please call one of our authorized insurance agents. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Auto Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple auto insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.

Insurance for your jewelry

Do I Need to Insure My Jewelry?

Insurance for your jewelryJewelry is often one of the most valuable belongings in your home and, for this reason, it’s something you may want to consider insuring. Most pieces of jewelry can be fragile, easily lost, and they are among the first items stolen during burglaries. But most people still fail to insure expensive pieces of jewelry with high sentimental values.

Below is some general information to help you understand how much jewelry insurance can cost and the different ways that you can purchase insurance for some of your most precious belongings.

Homeowner Insurance

One common way to insure jewelry is on a homeowner’s insurance policy. Usually adding your jewelry to your home insurance will cost you extra. Homeowners insurance rates will vary based on the amount of coverage you choose for your home, the location, age, and condition of your home, and other factors like your marital status and even your credit score.

Most home policies don’t automatically cover your jewelry. You’ll need to ask for an endorsement to your policy to cover your jewelry. And, as jewelry is a high-value item and is often stolen or lost, you’ll see a separate amount of coverage for it on your policy.

The cost of jewelry insurance can vary but typically it’s between 1% – 5% of the total value of your jewelry collection.

The different home insurance coverage options

When it comes to comparing home insurance, there are many different options to choose from. Some of the most common options that you will want to consider when taking out a policy include:

  • HO-3 Insurance – This is the most popular type of insurance and, if you have a mortgage, you are often required to have at a minimum this level of coverage.

This type of policy will cover any damage to your home, apart from any exclusions in the policy, which might be events such as floods or earthquakes.

As for the coverage for your belongings, this policy is commonly referred to as a Named Peril policy. On an HO-3 policy, your belongings will only be covered for events listed in your policy. Also, you typically will only be reimbursed for the actual cash value of your belongings rather than the true replacement cost.

  • HO-5 Insurance – If you are looking for more holistic coverage, then this type of policy provides more extensive coverage than an HO-3 policy.

HO-5 insurance provides the same amount of protection for your home as an HO-3 policy. But for your belongings, HO-5 is commonly referred to as an Open Peril policy. This means that rather than only covering your belongings for perils that are named in the policy, your belongings will be covered for everything unless a peril is specifically excluded in the policy.

An HO-5 policy will also reimburse you for replacing your belongings if lost or stolen rather than only providing the actual cash value of your property.

The best way to get more information on jewelry insurance is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Jewelry Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple jewelry insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.

Seven tips for getting organized in 2021

Looking to get organized this year? We share some easy tips!

Five Things To Consider This Winter That Can Impact Your Insurance, Beaverton, ORIt’s the New Year and like many people this time of year, resolutions are being made. If you are looking to be tidier or organized in 2021, we have some tips for you!

Create your checklist

First off, what areas of your home need to be more organized? Do you finally want tackle your junk drawers? Organize your bathroom or closet? Or finally donate or dump items in your garage? Create your to-do checklist of the areas you want to tackle.

Start with one thing at a time

After reviewing your checklist, evaluate what you want to tackle first. If you have 10 or more areas you want to organize in your home, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Therefore, it is best to begin with one project at a time. Perhaps starting with your quickest or easiest project might be the best start. Getting the quickest project done can give you momentum and motivation to tackle the next area on your list. If your list is long, break up your tasks over the course of several days or weeks.

Time Blocks

Time blocks can work great for keeping you on task. Dedicating a specific time to clean or organize can be very beneficial. When your time is up, you’ll feel productive and motivated for the next time block you set aside to clean or organize. EX: I am organizing from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Starting with a time block allows you to get started on the project vs. feeling overwhelmed as if the project will take all day to complete and then continuing to put it off.

Give everything a home

While many areas of your home may already have a home such as your dishes cabinet, silverware and Tupperware, other drawers in your home may collect all sorts of items together in one area. Assess areas of your house that could be more organized and determine a home for each item. Even if your junk drawer stores many miscellaneous items, you can organize your drawer with bins.

10 minute power clean

It’s amazing what can happen when you set your mind to cleaning or organizing for 10 minutes. First off, how much can you get done in 10 minutes? You may find yourself moving fast just to see what you can accomplish in such a short time frame. On another positive note, when the timer goes off, you may just continue cleaning if you have more time. A 10 minute power clean may be all you need to jumpstart your motivation to get things done around the house.

If you live with others, give everyone a job

When you live with multiple people, it is easy for your house to become a disaster quick. When it is time to clean, give everyone a job duty and set your time block. It might even be helpful to give household members weekly chores that they are always in charge of. EX: taking out the garbage/recycle or un-loading the dishes.

Practice putting things away immediately

How easy is it for dishes to pile into the sink? Or for clothes to become your new carpet? When you practice putting things away immediately, it not only saves you time when it comes to deep cleaning your home, but it allows you to feel more tidy in the moment.

While we can’t clean or organize your home for you, we can help you find affordable home, renters or condo insurance. Contact our agency for a free quote or even a re-quote if you are shopping for new insurance. We will provide quotes from many of our carriers and show you a side by side comparison of options to choose from.

Four ways to lower your risk for an insurance claim in the winter

Five Things To Consider This Winter That Can Impact Your Insurance

Liability Risks That Can Impact Your Insurance in the Winter Beaverton, ORAvoiding Frozen Pipes

When the temperatures drop in the winter, there is a possibility that your water pipes could freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, there is a chance that a pipe could burst, which could cause major damage to your home. To avoid this from happening, install frost-proof hose bibs, find and wrap exposed water pipes and keep garage doors closed.

Driving in the snow and ice

Auto accidents during the winter are often related to slick roads and driving in poor weather conditions. Whether you live in a climate that gets yearly snow and icy roads or you are traveling to a climate that does, every driver should have the knowledge for driving in these conditions.

A few things to consider:

  1. If your vehicle starts to slide on the road, take your foot off the gas until you regain traction. While it can be natural to want to slam on your brakes, try not to do this.
  2. Make sure your vehicle has plenty of windshield washer fluid. The last thing you want to do is run out of fluid on muddy, frozen roads, and have it impact your visibility.
  3. Always check weather conditions. If conditions are bad and you still have to make your trip, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. This allows you to drive slower as well as give yourself more distance between other cards on the road.

Liability concerns regarding ice or tripping hazards in your driveway

With more people doing home delivery for groceries, gifts and other necessities during the pandemic it is important to keep your delivery area clear of hazards. Avoid being held liable for a slip and fall injury claim by keeping your driveway and stairs clear of hazards for your delivery drivers. Keep extension cords tucked safely away, make sure steps and driveways are free of ice and slippery surfaces are scrubbed clean. A huge thank you to delivery drivers everywhere.

Review your policy

Life changes, so should your insurance policy. If you need an agent to review your current insurance policy, reach out to us! There are many scenarios where an update to your insurance policy may be necessary. Items such as a kitchen remodels, a big-ticket purchase like jewelry, art, collectibles or antiques or if you are driving less to name a few. If you are shopping prices or want to change your coverage, reach out to us. We can shop all our insurance carriers and help you find a policy that suits your budget and coverage requirements. We will always explain your coverage options too.

Watching for rodents

Rodent damage isn’t always covered by your home insurance policy. Rodents are always looking for a warm place during the winter months and likely would prefer to enter your home if given the opportunity.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Cover all holes and gaps in your crawlspace by checking your screens and access panels.
  2. Never store food in your garage or crawlspace. Also, leave your pet food in a safe place. It can be stored high on racks or in an airtight container.

If you suspect a rodent may be in your crawlspace, consider calling a professional to come out and look.

When to Update Your Home Insurance Policy in Beaverton, Oregon

Three Home Insurance Topics To Discuss With Your Independent Agent

When to Update Your Home Insurance Policy in Beaverton, OregonOwning a home is a great way to build wealth and give your family a place to build memories. Insuring your home correctly is important to protect your investment and your family’s well-being. Today we will go over three things to discuss with your insurance agent regarding your home insurance policy.

  1. You remodeled.

A new bathroom, a custom kitchen, hardwood floors or a new outdoor living space all add value to your home. Not only are they improving the function and livability of your space, but you have increased the replacement cost of your home. By discussing these changes with your insurance agent, they can run a replacement cost estimator and ensure that the changes you have made still fit your current policy. They can easily adjust your existing policy to ensure your new features are covered in the event of a catastrophic loss to your home.

  1. You changed mortgage companies

Do you ever wonder why you never see an actual bill for your home insurance? It is likely because your mortgagee is paying it. Homes that are financed are required to carry insurance, which is why your mortgage company pays the bill, then includes it in your monthly mortgage payment (typically listed as “escrow” on your bill). If you change mortgage companies, be sure to contact your insurance agent and let them know who the new company is. This way, your home insurance company will not have a skipped payment. Insuring your largest investment is serious business and a lapse in coverage can be catastrophic. If you refinance or receive a notice that the lender is changing, send a quick email to your agent informing them of the change.

  1. Your home insurance premium seems out of line

If it has been a while since you shopped your home insurance, you may be wondering if your current home insurance company is the most cost-effective solution and that the coverages you originally had are still the best for you. Because we are an independent insurance agency, we represent many of the top-rated insurance companies. We can compare coverages, pricing, and deductibles side-by-side so you can review what you have now and what other companies offer. This way, you know your asset is properly insured with the right coverage for you. Nothing you do not need and certainly everything you do need!

A home insurance review can take just a few minutes of your time but save you a huge headache down the road. If you would like to review your coverage with one of our agents, simply call and schedule a time. We might even have a new company who offers specialized coverages that would suite your needs better at this time.

Insurance Advertising Trends

Insurance Advertising Trends

Insurance Advertising TrendsWhen did commercials become interesting and funny? Watching TV has become more about how entertaining the commercials are versus the sports we happen to be watching, like a big football game.

Advertising is big business and insurance advertising represents one of the biggest spenders. In fact, the three largest insurance companies spent a combined 1.62 billion dollars on advertising in 2019, according to statista.com.

Today, we will look at some of the trends that insurance companies have had over the past decade or so.

Market Position

One of the most common trends with insurance advertising has been insurance companies touting their size as if that is an indication of their good products. The advertisements often say they are the biggest insurer of certain products like commercial truck, motorcycle, auto or home insurance to name a few. While size is important for investors, there are many regional companies who offer great insurance products and have financial stability. As an independent insurance agent, we offer many great regional choices as well as large industry leaders so you can choose the right company for you.

Humor

There are some hilarious insurance commercials. However, it seems like the funniest ones have absolutely nothing to do with insurance! The truth of the matter is insurance is serious business, but when it comes to attracting new customers, the best commercials are the ones lacking seriousness.

Fear

Slow motion car accidents, houses burning, burglary, teen drivers killed in accidents… Insurance is meant to protect you from accidents and devastating property damage or injury. It is no wonder that some insurance commercials aim to incite fear to get consumers to act claiming they can protect you from these things. While in fact no insurance company can protect you from the dangers of driving or a devastating flood from occurring, they can however protect you from the financial losses that are incurred because of these life-altering events.

Claims Scenarios

When it comes down to it, when you purchase an insurance policy, you are paying for financial protection and claims assistance. Many insurance companies today advertise purely on the fact that they covered certain scenarios or claims that occurred. Some of these are scenarios are humorous and others are quite serious.

When it comes to your insurance, most companies you can choose will provide you with exactly what they say – insurance coverage for catastrophic events in your life. While most of us will have to endure an insurance claim at some point in our lifetimes, the best we can do for you is fit you with an insurance company that truly meets your needs the best and offers you and your family the auto, home or business insurance you require.

Chances are we offer more than one of the insurance companies you have seen on TV and we can provide you with a quote on them as well as many other great insurance companies. Contact us and we will provide several quotes for vehicle insurance, property insurance and more!

How to keep truckers healthier on the road

Tips for Truckers to Stay Healthy on The Road

How to keep truckers healthier on the roadMaintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially during these challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, is very important for every truck driver in America. Here are four ways to stay healthy on the road.

  • Choose More Nutrient Dense Meals

There are a few ways to do this.

First, start packing your own meals.

Packing your own meals will not only save you time and money, but it can also help save you calories. Instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on what you should eat more of. Food choices such as vegetables, fruit and other higher fiber snacks and meals is a great start. Want to pack your own meals? Consider buying a cooler that acts as a refrigerator for your truck. All you have to do is simply plug it into the accessory plug.

If you are dining out, consider choosing meals that are vegetable dense. Skip the fried food if you can or look up the calories on a restaurant’s website. All these things can help.

Again, instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on eating what you should be eating more of. So, if you have the mindset of eating as many vegetables, fruit and other higher fiber meals, you are off to a great start.

  • Move Your Body

Driving = sitting for hours and hours on end. Many truck drivers may experience easy weight gain from lack of movement as well as high calorie food choices. So, find a way to move your body as much as you can. Ideas: dedicate 30 minutes of walking, make a habit of doing body weight strength exercises such as pushups or squats outside of your truck, or even find time to hit the gym. Any effort in moving your body is positive.

  • Follow Good Hand Hygiene

We all know the importance of good hand hygiene with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wash your hands often, but also wash your hands well. Experts say washing your hands for 20+ seconds and thoroughly washing between your fingers, on top of your hands or scrubbing the tips of your fingers is all beneficially.

  • Get Quality Sleep

There are many ways to get quality sleep, but the first step is making sleep a priority. Shoot for 7 hours a night. How can you get good, restful sleep? Create a dark environment, consider a white noise machine or wear ear plugs to block out noise, limit caffeine intake 5 hours before bedtime, limit or avoid nicotine and other stimulants and lastly, make sure you have a good pillow!

While we can’t keep you healthy or make your lunch, we can help answer your questions about insurance. Contact us by calling us, emailing us or filling out a quote form through our website. We look forward to earning your business!

How to Lower Your Risk for a Collision

Active Deer Season & How to Lower Your Risk for a Collision

How to Lower Your Risk for a Collision Did you know that there is an increased chance of hitting a deer from October to December? Yes, this is considered deer season so it’s important to keep an extra eye out for deer this time of year.

Being informed is key to staying safe on the road. We’ll go over a few things to help lower your chances of hitting wildlife while driving this time of year.

When Should You Be Most Alert?

While wildlife can show up any time, you should be extra cautious around dawn and dusk when animals are most active. If you are driving on the highway or even in rural areas, keep a close eye on each side of the road since that is where many animals will be. If you are driving with someone in the car, ask your passenger to help you watch out for wildlife.

If an Animal Jumps Out in Front of You, Should You Swerve or Brake?

Always hit the brakes. While it is natural to want to swerve to avoid hitting the animal, you will want to hit the brakes, hold onto the wheel and stay in your lane as best as you can. Swerving while driving fast can increase your risk for an injury or car accident.

If I do hit an animal, am I covered?

First, you will need to know a few details of your current auto insurance coverage. Comprehensive and collision insurance can provide you with insurance coverage. Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle when you make contact with an animal while driving. It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you decided to swerve, missed the deer or animal and strike a tree then you could be covered by collision insurance on your auto policy. Because every insurance carrier is different, their claims department will handle it with the coverage they feel is most fitting to the situation.

Interesting fact

What states have shown the most auto insurance claims for deer or wildlife collisions? West Virginia, Iowa and Pennsylvania had the highest November claim frequency according to Highway Loss Data Institute.

If you have questions about your current auto or vehicle insurance coverage, reach out to our agency. We can go over your current coverage, re-quote you for a better rate, or simply answer any questions you have about auto insurance.