Seattle – It may be Time to Update your Insurance

Over the course of a year, people often have many life changes. Some great, some small and some relate directly to your insurance. Do you know when you should call your insurance agent and let them know that (blank) has changed?

Updating your insurance policies in Washington:

  • Auto Insurance: Did you purchase a new (or new to you vehicle) or are you planning on it? Updating your insurance agent with these details will mean that your vehicle is properly insured should an accident occur. It is often required to show proof of insurance when purchasing a new vehicle, so letting your agent know ahead of time may save you a headache. Let your agent know if you move or if your commute is further or shorter. This may affect your insurance policy as premiums can be influenced by your zip code.
  • Home Insurance: If you move or add elements to your home like a pool or trampoline, you should let your agent know. Are you planning on making home improvements after the New Year? Let your agent know! Not only can some improvements increase the value of your home, but you may need permits or a licensed and bonded contractor. Your agent may be able to assist you with that process. The beginning of the year is also a great time to assess your home insurance, schedule collectibles or other valuables to your policy and explore the need for additional insurance like flood or personal umbrella insurance.
  • Personal Details: There are so many of life’s great moments that your insurance agent will be involved. Your agent should be in the know if you get married, grow your family, have a teen driver or send a child off to college. There are crucial updates to your insurance policy that need to happen in many of these scenarios. Your agent can also assist you should your child need renter’s insurance for their dorm or living situation while at college.

Your insurance agent is more than just that, they can help you navigate the complicated insurance waters and help make updating your insurance policies a breeze. Let the local, independent insurance experts at Secord Agency in Seattle, WA assist you with your insurance needs. Whether it be updating an auto policy, getting your college-bound child set with a renter’s policy or making sure that you have additional home coverage with a personal umbrella policy, Secord Agency is here to help. Visit their insurance website24/7 for more information about wide range of personal insurance products they offer.

Holiday Theft Protection in Seattle, WA | Secord Insurance Agency in Seattle, Washington

During the holiday season, most of us are focused on family gatherings, good food and giving back. What we may not be thinking about are the thefts that rise during the holidays.  Homes are burgled, car’s contents stolen and identities thieved. There are a few ways that you can help protect yourselves from thieves this holiday season.

Holiday theft protection in Washington:

  • Your home: With all those extra presents sitting around the house, your home can become a target. As soon as you bring the new purchases into your home, take photos and write down serial numbers of your items. Keeping the receipt will also help if you need to file a home insurance claim due to theft. Don’t advertise on social media that you will be/are traveling during the holidays. If you are travelling, let your neighbors and postman know. Your neighbors may be able to lend a watchful eye and perhaps collect any mail or packages that could accumulate on your doorstep. Nothing says “we aren’t home” like a week’s worth of mail or a stoop full of boxes.
  • Your car: If you plan on having a marathon shopping day, do not leave your purchases where they can be seen. This applies to the car trip home as well.  If you are planning to make stops, lock your purchases in the trunk and disable the trunk release. That may help deter thieves looking for a quick score. You should never store purchases in your vehicle for an extended period of time. Auto insurance does not cover items that are not a part of your vehicle. For example, if your car was broken into and a wallet and stereo were stolen you may be reimbursed for the stereo but may not be covered for the wallet. Personal possessions are likely omitted from your car insurance coverage.
  • Your identity: We’ve talked about identity theft before, but during the holidays, this type of theft could be quite common. Make sure when you are out and about to keep a close watch on your wallet or purse. Keep records of your cards and recent transactions and checking your billing statements often to spot any discrepancies. If you do a lot online shopping, make sure to verify that the sites you purchase from are reputable and have good security. Sites that are https:// secured or Norton or Google verified are a great place to start. If you do notice a fraudulent charge or suspect your identity has been stolen, be sure to alert your bank and in some cases, your insurance agent (as home insurance can sometimes cover identity theft), immediately.

With these holiday theft protection tips, keeping your home, car and identity safe during the holidays (and the rest of the year) doesn’t have to be hard work! Talk to your local, Seattle, WA insurance agent to see if your home insurance offers protection against identity theft. Secord Agency can also assist you with scheduling major purchases like jewelry, art or collectibles to your home insurance and make sure that your vehicle is covered in case of theft or vandalism. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about the other insurance products they offer like personal umbrella insurance.

Holiday Safety Issues in Seattle, WA – Secord Agency

Planning on hosting a Thanksgiving feast this year? While you are busy getting the ingredients, décor and all the last minute details put together, don’t forget to think about some of the safety issues that surround hosting a gathering.

Holiday Safety Issues in Washington:

  • The food: No bones about it, Thanksgiving usually includes a lot of food. Food prep safety is very important when dealing with the main event: the turkey. Unless you have purchased a fresh turkey (lucky you!) you will have to unthaw your turkey which can take quite a while. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, the two best – and safest – methods for unthawing a turkey is in the fridge with a temperature of 40 degrees or below. To unthaw a turkey with this method, you will need to allow 24 hours for every four to five pounds of bird. The other option is a cold water bath in the sink, for which you should allow 30 minutes per pound of bird to achieve total defrost. For either of these methods, you will need to make sure that your work/storage space for the turkey is cleaned and sanitized. Make sure to wash your hands well after handling raw meat, as you could spread bacteria like salmonella to other dishes on your table. If you plan on stuffing your turkey with dressing, make sure that the internal temperature of your dressing reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to help ensure safety. Your turkey should also be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the best spots to check the turkey’s internal temperature are the thick portions of the breast, thigh and wing. After your feast has been consumed, take special care to ensure your food is cooled and put away properly as according to the Centers for Disease Control food poisoning spikes during the holidays.
  • The Party: There are so many elements that go into a fun Thanksgiving celebration. Whether your gathering includes lots of décor, watching football or enjoying some spirits, there are a few things that you should be aware of when hosting guests. No one wants to think that a guest will be injured at their gathering, but it can be an unfortunate reality for some. There are a few things that you can do to help mitigate the chance that one of your guests will be injured during your gathering. Make sure that all décor is out of range for tripping. This may mean rearranging furniture or removing floor-based décor items. If you plan on having open flames during your celebration, take special care to make sure that flames are away from areas where they can be easily knocked over or catch other décor items on fire.

We hope that your Thanksgiving feast goes off without any holiday safety issues and everyone makes it home safely with full bellies. Before your celebration, talk to your Seattle, WA insurance agent, Secord Agency.  Your local insurance experts at Secord Agency can assist you with ensuring that your home insurance policy includes coverage for fires and liability. You can also increase your liability protection with a personal umbrella insurance policy, just ask your agent if your situation may benefit from a policy like this. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to see about the other insurance products they sell.