Slow & Steady Wins the Race

With the onslaught of frost covered windshields & lowering temperatures, I thought it might be a good time to remind ourselves of some  simple, yet life-savings tips for safe winter driving…

  • On icy roads you should leave at least 3 times more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Keep your headlights, break lights, and windshield wipers clear of snow or slush buildup.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses. While other roadways may not be frozen, the cold air traveling beneath these areas leave them exposed and slick.
  • If your rear wheels skid: remove your foot from the accelerator & steer in the direction you want your front wheels to go, if you have standard breaks pump them gently – whereas if you have anti-lock breaks (ABS) apply steady pressure and you’ll feel the breaks pulse themselves.
  • If your front wheels skid: remove your foot from the accelerator and shift into neutral. Steer in the direction you’d like to go and as your wheels skid sideways they will gain traction and slow.
  • If you get stuck: do not spin your wheels, instead try turning your wheel side to side, pushing snow out of the way.  Often times pouring sand, kitty litter, salt, or gravel in the path of your wheels it will add the needed traction,
  • Most importantly, drive cautiously! Even four wheel drive vehicles can encounter issues on icy roads.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com

joshw@bell-anderson.com

Are You Covered Against Cyber Liability?

We wanted to take a moment to share a recent King 5 article with respects to a hacking theft totalling nearly $500,000 that occurred to the City of Burlington – a neighbor of ours here in the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Burlington-still-figuring-out-how-hackers-stole-nearly-500000-174865251.html

 Based on the information provided within the article, this is an infraction that could be considered either a theft claim, or a claim on the cities standalone Cyber Liability Policy, both policies that we’re very familiar with here at Bell-Anderson Insurance. Most cyber liability policies will also include a sub-limit for public relations to help get out in front of these type situations before they are discovered by the media. With these types of crimes evolving everyday, now is the ideal time to take a look at your existing policy to make sure you have the coverage necessary for the worst case scenario.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com

joshw@bell-anderson.com

Something wicked this way comes…

Fall is here for the moment but it won’t be long before Jack Frost is knocking on our doors & windows with his frigid winds, freezes, and higher electricity bills. Here are some simple tips for winterizing your home & in turn, cutting down on unnecessary heating expenses.

  • Make or purchase a “draft snake” to place in front of doors.
  • Change your furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow & increase the energy needed.
  • Turn off exterior water spigots, draining & storing hoses.
  • Lower your water heater setting from 140° to 120°
  • Install plastic on any older windows. Window Insulation Kits can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  • Insulate your pipes. This can help lower the chance of frozen pipes, as well as energy costs.
  • If your current furnace is an older one, upgrading to an “Energy Star Certified” unit can make a world of difference – not to mention the federal tax credits offered for purchasing an efficient unit for your home.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com

joshw@bell-anderson.com

 

OUCH!

           The cost of dog bite claims rose a whopping 53.4 percent from 2003 to 2011 according to the Insurance Information Institute.  With this costly increase, it’s more important than ever for homeowners to take the necessary steps to limit their financial exposure.

          In many cases, dog owners are covered to an extent from canine-inflicted injuries with a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, before adopting, rescuing or buying a dog, it’s always best to check with your insurance agent to see if the breed you are planning on adopting can be covered. Some breeds pose a higher risk of injuring someone and many companies exclude them from coverage. Some dog owners consider obtaining an umbrella policy to add additional liability coverage to the underlying limit carried on their homeowners policy. Dog bites and attacks can cause serious damage and can result in very expensive jury awards and court settlements. Umbrella policies not only provide an extra level of protection, but they are also relatively affordable. For example, increasing your coverage to $1 million-dollars with a personal umbrella policy usually costs no more than $100 -$300 per year!

          There are other steps a dog owner or prospective dog owner can take to prevent problems as well. To reduce the chances of a dog biting someone, the Insurance Information Institute recommends considering the following steps:

  • Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household and neighborhood
  • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a home with an infant or toddler. A dog with a history of aggression is inappropriate in a household with children
  • Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful of or apprehensive about a dog. If a child is or seems fearful or apprehensive, delay acquiring a dog. Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog
  • Have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are NOT neutered
  • Socialize your dog so it knows how to act with other people and animals
  • Teach children to refrain from disturbing a dog that is eating or sleeping
  • Play non-aggressive games with your dog, such as “go fetch.” Playing aggressive games like “tug-of-war” can encourage inappropriate behavior
  • Avoid exposing your dog to new situations in which you are unsure of its response
  • Never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears threatening
  • Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors

          Owning a dog is a great experience for millions of families. Taking simple precautions to prevent aggressive actions, and consulting with an agent to ensure you have the right coverage, will help you continue to enjoy your pet for years to come. 

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com

joshw@bell-anderson.com

Roundabout Etiquette

While many other countries and cultures have used the roundabout philosophy for traffic management since as early as the 1700’s, they’re still a rather new concept for those of us here in the US. The first roundabouts/traffic circles didn’t start appearing on our roadways until the 90’s (1990’s that is) – but in just over 22 years the fad has spread and we’re now the proud owners of over 3,000 of the things – with 77+ of those located in Carmel, Indiania alone!

And, while all of us like to pretend that we know exactly how to utilize a roundabout, the reality is that very few of us know the actual guidelines for properly entering & exiting the traffic circle. So, in hopes of preventing a few fender benders, and cases of road rage, I’ve listed below some of the most commonly misunderstood (read: ignored) rules of roundabout etiquette.

  • Do not stop in the roundabout.
  • Do not change lanes in the roundabout.
  • Do not drive next too (attempt to pass) large trucks in the roundabout.
  • If an emergency vehicle approaches, pull to the right before entering the roundabout. If already in the roundabout, continue to your exit, then pull to the right.
  • ALWAYS use your turn signal when exiting the roundabout!
  • In a 2 lane roundabout: The right lane can be used for turning right, or going straight ahead. The left lane is used for going straight, making a left turn, or making a u-turn.
  • Most of all, remember to smile at your fellow roundabout-ers & remain aware of pedestrians and bicyclists within the roundabout.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson

You’re Invited…

When: This Friday, September 7th, 1pm-5pm
Where: Our Office & Parking Lot (1873 Main Street – Ferndale, WA  98248)
What: Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting BBQ
Who: EVERYONE!!!
Why: The real question is, “Why Not?!?!”

       Come one, come all. If you’re in Whatcom County this Friday, please feel free to stop by our office & parking lot to help us celebrate the official grand opening & ribbon cutting for our office here in Ferndale!

       Based out of Renton, Bell-Anderson Insurance has been active in Washington since 1929, with 6 locations throughout the state, Ferndale being the most recent addition.

        There will be plenty of sunshine, Hempler hotdogs, and ice cold Pepsi to go around. Not to mention a live broadcast before the Ferndale Golden Eagle take on the Sehome Mariners (at home)by the guys of KPUG 1170am.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.
(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248
meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com
joshw@bell-anderson.com

Home Insurance 105: Tidbits, Knicks & Knacks or Expensive Tchotchkies

                With the increasing popularity of the hit television show hoarders, which is somehow able to evoke pity, sympathy, disgust, and sometime a little jealousy all at once, people are becoming more and more aware of the items they have in their homes. Whether we’re talking about your 100 year old Russian nesting doll collection, your grandfathers prize fly fishing set, or the demon troll statue that your senile great aunt saw and “instantly thought of you,” we all have personal belongings that are valuable – either emotionally or financially.

                It’s important when discussing your homeowners insurance policy with an agent/broker, to be sure that you carry not only replacement cost coverage for your everyday personal property (furniture, clothing, etc.) but also that you mention any items that may have a particular financial value attached to them. Such as those fine art pieces, guns, coin, stamps, the crown jewels or any other national treasures. With some items, usually those with a higher value, or jewelry pieces, your agent/broker will often require an appraisal to keep on file with your policy. This process is referred to as “scheduling,” and can be done specifically for individual items, or for a group of similar items, such as a collection of paintings or jewelry pieces.

                Scheduling items like this can ensure that when/if the worst case scenario were to occur, those high value items are covered and your interests will be fully protected.

If you ever have questions on your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance, or health insurance; don’t hesitate to give us a call, email, or visit our website and request free information. We’d love the opportunity to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need, at a price you can afford.

(360) 778.1200                      1873 Main Street #5 – Ferndale, WA  98248

meghant@bell-anderson.com       chrisw@bell-anderson.com        

joshw@bell-anderson.com