New Years Eve Party Tips in Bremerton, Washington

New Year’s Eve Party Tips & Things to Consider in the New Year

New Years Eve Party Tips in Bremerton, WashingtonMany people prefer to host a New Year’s Eve party instead of going out to celebrate. If you plan to gather with friends and family at your house, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to being a host.

Watch how much alcohol you are serving your guests

Not only should you be aware of how much you are serving your guests, but you should also be aware of who is driving home. It’s always best to have a designated driver if your guests plan to leave your home the same night as the party. If you over-serve alcohol & a guest drives home & gets into a car accident, you could be found liable for the damages. Instead of risking an accident, call an Uber, Lyft, or local taxi service to ensure they get home safely.

Do you have any tripping hazards or icy walkways?

Did you know you could be liable if someone injures themselves on your property? If someone trips over an object outside or slips on your walkway, you could be responsible to pay for any medical bills that may accrue from the injury.

Is it time to review your insurance policies in the New Year?

If you have experienced life changes, reach out to your insurance carrier about reviewing your current insurance coverage. Life changes should be a good time to review or update your policy.

For example, if you recently remodeled your home, be sure to relay this to your agent. This is important for your home insurance policy. If your home ever experiences significant damage, your home may not be covered at the correct amount if you failed to tell your insurance carrier of major remodeling updates.

If you find yourself driving less, you may want to make an update to your auto insurance policy. Teen drivers can also impact your auto insurance coverage. If your teen is going to start driving in 2023, talk to your agent about getting your teen added to your policy.

Life insurance also should be updated if you are getting married, divorced, having children, retiring, etc. There may be certain years where you want more insurance coverage or certain years where you need less coverage. Our agents are here to provide you with professional advice so you have the right coverage at the right time for your unique situation.

Lastly, if your insurance premiums have increased significantly, reach out to us. While insurance premiums have been up across the board this year, we may still be able to help match you with a different carrier at a more affordable price. We’ll shop all our carriers & can provide you with options to choose from.

Wishing you and your family the happiest New Year.

lowering your risk for theft this holiday season in Bremerton, Washington

Lower Your Risk for Theft This Holiday Season

lowering your risk for theft this holiday season in Bremerton, WashingtonThe holiday season tends to see some of the biggest crime waves throughout the year. Here are some things to be aware of when it comes to lowering your risk for theft this holiday season.

Vehicle Break-ins:

Nobody wants to have their vehicle broken into. Not only does it cause a major inconvenience, but it feels violating & you could have valuables stolen out of your vehicle. To lower your risk of a break-in, always follow these tips.

  • Never leave valuables in your car. There are many scenarios where you may have valuables in your car, whether for a short period or a long period. If you are out doing holiday shopping, store items in your trunk or cover them so they are not exposed. If you are parking your vehicle outside overnight or for an extended period, always remove valuables from your car. When parking for an extended period, you are at a higher risk for a break-in. Even if your vehicle was broken into, at least you can say you didn’t have anything for the burglar to take.
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. This could prevent thieves from breaking in if they think they could be caught on a security camera.
  • Always lock your car. Get in the habit of locking your car each time you get out of your vehicle. Unlocked doors gives prowlers a free look to see what is inside & a locked car can sometimes prevent valuables from being stolen.

If I had valuables stolen out of my vehicle, does my auto insurance policy provide coverage?

The short answer is no. Comprehensive coverage on an auto insurance policy will provide you with coverage if your vehicle is stolen. Items stolen from inside your vehicle are typically not covered.

Mail Theft:

Many people receive gifts in the mail during the holidays. Gift cards and cash can often be found in holiday cards & thieves may be out lurking in your mailbox hoping to score your gift. Here are a few tips to always remember this holiday season regarding your mail.

  • Get in the habit of picking up your mail daily, even if you have a locked mailbox. Prowlers can still break into your mailbox if they see mail sitting there.
  • If you plan to be gone for an extended period, hold your mail. This can be done online for free with USPS.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to pick up your mail.
  • Don’t place cash, check, or gift cards in your outgoing mail. Did you know a thief can easily use your checking account number on your check to steal your identity? If you can, take outgoing mail to a drop-off location.

Doorstep Theft & Home Security:

Many people do more online shopping during the holidays which means more packages getting delivered to your doorstep. Thieves are aware of this. Follow these tips to lower your risk of theft at your home:

  • Track all your packages. If you see a package is getting delivered on a day you will not be home, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to grab it for you.
  • Ship packages to a different location. This could be your work or friend or family member’s home where someone will be around to pick up the package for you.
  • If your delivery provider has the option to pick it up at their distribution center, consider this option if you will not be home.
  • If you can provide a message to your delivery provider, consider asking him or her to leave your package in a specific location at your house that is not visible to thieves.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season! If you have any questions about your insurance policy, please contact our agency.

Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter in Bremerton, Washington

Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter

Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter in Bremerton, WashingtonAs the temperature continues to drop this time of year, humans aren’t the only ones seeking warmer areas to rest. Mice, rats, and other rodents move indoors this time of year to nest as well as look for more food sources that may be stored. It is your responsibility to protect your house from rodent damage as damages caused by rodents or other animals is not covered by an insurance policy.

What types of damage can rodents cause?

Rodents that nest in crawl spaces under a home can wreak havoc on your insulation as well as any items that you may store in there. They will make bedding out of anything soft including pulling down your insulation, shredding up paper, cardboard, and fabric so if you store things in your crawl space, be sure they’re in a sealed plastic bin so the rodent can’t chew or scratch its way through.

Urine & Droppings: Mice and rats can make a smelly mess. The adage that says don’t go to the bathroom where you sleep isn’t true for mice and rats. They don’t seem to mind and if your home has a rodent problem, you’ll see (and often smell) droppings on everything.

How did a rodent get into my house?

Rodents are crafty and will burrow under a home and enter through a dirt floor (like in a crawl space) or they can squeeze through cracks in a foundation, a broken window, or gaps around the home such as exterior boards. Once inside, they can squeeze up into your walls and make their way all the way around your home. Rats often make their way up into attics. If you have a rat in your attic, you’ll likely hear it scurry around.

Preventative Steps to Protect Your Home from Rodent Damage

To protect your home, do a visual inspection for any obvious places a rodent could squeeze in. If your home has a crawlspace, look for vents around the foundation and inspect those as oftentimes, the screens that keep things out become damaged and allow for room to get in.

Never store food in your garage or crawl space. Food will attract rodents. If you do store food, make sure it is in air-tight containers.

How do you get rid of rodents in a house?

Unfortunately, the only way to get a rodent out of a home is to trap it. There are a variety of traps available but beware of using any that contain poison if you have children or animals in your own home. Additionally, poison traps can leave a dead animal in an area you can’t reach, leading to a stinky problem for quite some time. Consider calling a professional or even using humane traps to remove the rodents.

Before you trap, be sure you’ve remedied the entry point. Because the problem will quickly return if you haven’t solved the entry point issue.

Will my insurance pay to repair rodent damage?

No, rodent damage is not typically covered by a home insurance policy because this type of damage occurred over an extended period of time. Rodents can take months or years to create noticeable damage, but by then it is too late and the damages you couldn’t see are extensive. Your best option is to call several crawl space cleanout or insulation companies. They can give you a quote to fix the damage as well as seal up your crawl space to avoid future issues.

Take care of your home and your home will take care of you. If you’re needing a quote on a great insurance policy to help protect it, give us a call. We represent the top-rated insurance companies and can give you multiple options for coverage as well as pricing.