The importance of maintaining your brakes

From a safety standpoint, your brakes are likely the most important part of your vehicle. Sudden brake failure while on the road can result in a catastrophic accident that can cause thousands of dollars in damage and possible horrific injuries and even death to you or your passengers. How can you tell if your brakes need repairing? Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA is pleased to explain.

Clearly, if your check brake light comes on brake failure is likely imminent. The safest thing to do in that case is to pull over to the side of the road and call an auto club like AAA to give you a tow to the nearest service center.

Noises that occur when you brake are also a sign of brake trouble. A grinding noise, for instance, is a sign of worn brake pads. You might also have low brake fluid. If your vehicle pulls to one side when you brake, you may have a stuck caliper. The caliber is the part of your brake assembly to which the brake pad is attached.

Warped rotors can cause unusual vibrations when you brake. Brake rotors are the part that your brake pads clamp down on when you apply the brake.

If you brake pedal goes all the way to the floor before your vehicle begins to slow down, you likely have a problem with the brake line, such as a leak.

If any of these situations occur, you need to take your vehicle in to have the brakes repaired as soon as possible. One way to prevent brake problems on the road is to have them checked during scheduled maintenance.

For any questions concerning auto insurance, feel free to contact Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA.

 

RV Insurance Basics

What is an RV?

A recreational vehicle or RV is a class of vehicle used for recreational activities. This can include trailers, campers, and motorhomes. There are three classes. Class A are vehicles up to 75-feet long similar to a luxury bus or motor coach. Class B vehicles are camper vans and travel trailers. Class C vehicles have an extended camper over the driving cab.

Finding the right insurance to go with your specific RV is what the Hart Insurance agents in Federal Way, WA do. Contact them for additional information to have your RV insured.

What Does RV Insurance Cover?

  • Collision – helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

  • Comprehensive – if your RV is involved in an incident that causes damage to the vehicle, but it has not been in an accident, comprehensive insurance will cover it. For example, if your RV is damaged by vandalism, fire, or theft, you’ll be covered.

Liability Insurance Coverage

  • Bodily injury – if you cause injuries to someone and they have medical bills as a result, you would have to pay the bills. With bodily liability coverage, your insurance would take over.

  • Property damage – if you are deemed to be at fault when there is an accident involving your RV, you could be protected from paying out large amounts of money out-of-pocket.

  • Lawsuits – if you are sued by a driver from an accident you caused, the cost for legal expenses could be covered.

Enjoy your time in your RV while you travel around the world. It will be easier than you think once you have the right kind of insurance coverage. Call the independent insurance agents in Federal Way, WA at Hart Insurance to get you started with your RV insurance coverage.

What happens if I don’t have boat insurance?

For people in the Federal Way, WA area, nothing is quite as nice as spending an afternoon on their very own boat. When you own a boat, you can have many great experiences, but also need to make sure that you are properly protecting your asset. One of the best ways to do this today is through a boat insurance policy. If you do not have boat insurance, a number of different things could occur. 

No Coverage for Losses

One of the biggest issues with not having boat insurance is that you will not receive any coverage for losses that you incur. When you have a boat insurance policy, you will receive coverage for a variety of losses including theft, boat accident damage, weather damage, or even vandalism. Since replacing or repairing a boat can be very expensive, having this type of coverage in place could prove to be quite advantageous. 

Lack of Liability Protection

An added benefit of having boat insurance is that you will receive liability protection. While boating is a generally safe activity, mistakes and accidents do happen from time to time. If you are at fault during one of these accidents, you could be held liable. Since the costs of a liability lawsuit and judgment can be significant, it is important that you have boat insurance in place to protect you from liability. 

If you have a boat in the Federal Way, WA area, it is very important that you keep it properly covered by insurance. When you are shopping for a new boat insurance policy, you should contact the team at Hart Insurance. The professionals at Hart Insurance are aware of the importance of carrying boat insurance and can ensure that you have the right coverage for your situation. 

Why would a normal person need an umbrella policy?

Certainly, everyone has different needs when it comes to insurance. But you don’t want to find out when it’s too late that a certain kind of policy could have prevented a disaster in your life. 

Insurance is about protecting yourself based on the individual risks you face. If you live in Federal Way, WA, you probably have basic insurance for where you live and for your automobile through Hart Insurance. Most people don’t think twice about the limits on their policies, because even the minimum sounds like a lot.

A $1 Million Umbrella Policy Could Actually Benefit Almost Anyone

You might be thinking that you don’t own $1 million worth of assets, even if you pooled everything together and auctioned it off to the highest bidders. But if you end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, whoever wins against you can get more than that.

As long as you still have the potential to earn money, you may end up being required to pay a very large judgment until it is paid off. You may be able to file bankruptcy at some point or discharge the judgment through another means, but that would mean destroying your own credit in order to get ours from under the judgment. A judgment can get large quickly, especially when there are not just damages but legal fees attached.

An Umbrella Policy Is Surprisingly Affordable

Your umbrella policy will not kick in until your other policies are exhausted. Because of that, umbrella policies are surprisingly inexpensive. You can get a large amount of coverage for a comparatively small amount of money.

If you are in Federal Way, WA and are considering whether you have enough protection, don’t hesitate to call Hart Insurance for a free quote.

Tips to Keep Pets Healthy During the Winter

Whether your pet enjoys the winter or they would rather curl up under a cozy blanket, the cold Federal Way, WA winters can be as rough on pets as it is on humans. When it comes to your pets, winter can be a dangerous time of the year. Here are three tips to keep your pet safe and healthy this winter.

Visit the Vet

It is especially important to take your pet to the vet for a checkup before the cold sets in. Having an exam before the temperatures drop will ensure your pet is healthy as well as give you an opportunity to talk with the vet about health and safety precautions for your pet during the winter, especially senior pets. At the same time, you schedule the vet appointment, be sure to contact Hart Insurance to update your pet insurance.

Avoid Long Exposure to the Cold

You’ll have to take your dog out for daily exercise and to use the bathroom, but it is important to not leave them exposed to the cold for long periods of time. Just like humans, exposure to freezing temperatures can lead to hyperthermia in pets as well. Be sure to cover your pet’s pads with socks to protect them from the ice and salt and if possible consider putting a sweater on your pet before going outside.

Protect Against Harmful Chemicals

With winter comes a higher risk of coming in contact with harmful toxins, including antifreeze. Be sure to keep pets off the driveway and out of the garage where there may be spots of antifreeze and/or other chemicals that may be fatal for your pet. A good tip to protect their paws from salt and ice melt products on the sidewalks is to apply petroleum jelly on their paws before going out. If you suspect your pet may have ingested harmful toxins, such as antifreeze, it is important to seek emergency treatment for the vet.

Pets need protection from extreme temperatures, which includes providing them with a warm, dry and draft-free shelter, plenty of food and a lot of clean water. Be sure to take precautions any time the temperature drops below freezing and keep in mind that if it’s too cold for you to go out, it’s probably too cold for your pet as well.

Residents of Federal Way, WA interested in learning more information about pet insurance should contact Hart Insurance.

Get the best value for your insurance without changing companies.

Changing companies is time-consuming and may not be your best option. Here are some reasons why.

Customers who stay with the same company have a statistically lower chance of turning in a claim. Therefore your insurance score will be lower after you change companies. A lower insurance score means a higher price.

You will lose any accident forgiveness credits if you change to a new company. Many companies offer accident forgiveness after three to five years. If you have an accident that is your fault, you won’t be charged the usual surcharge.

Companies value customer loyalty. Staying with a company for many years may cause the company to keep your insurance instead of canceling you if you have a couple of claims.

So how do you get the best value for your insurance? A better solution to save costs without switching companies is to review your policies yearly or whenever you experience a lifestyle change. Here at Hart Insurance, we have a comprehensive checklist that we will review with you.

Deductibles—A higher deductible means a lower price because you share more of the cost of a claim with the insurance company. If you haven’t had a claim for many years, your odds of having a claim are lower than average. Maybe you are handy and can fix small things. Why spend the extra money for a low deductible if you are unlikely to use it?

Credits— Each company offers different credits, so ask your agent to make sure you are getting all of the credits you deserve. Consider installing a telematics device in your car. It will track your driving habits for a period of time for up to 30% discount! Some companies give a discount just for you agreeing to install it.

Home value—Your home value will usually have a built-in inflation guard to be sure that your home value keeps up with inflation. With your policy review, be sure to have your agent recalculate your home value to be sure it isn’t too high or too low.

How Often Should You Review Your Commercial Insurance Policy?

Business owners in Federal Way, WA should review their commercial insurance coverage once every few years or if major changes occur in the size of their business or if equipment has recently been upgraded. The agents at Hart Insurance understand that businesses change over time and that reviewing a commercial policy is necessary to prevent financial loss. 

Unexpected Growth

Unexpected growth in terms of increased inventory and production can indicate that a review of your current commercial policy is needed to maintain financial security. A review may show areas where too much coverage is costly, while not enough coverage could lead to heavy financial losses if an event were to occur that made it impossible to maintain normal operations. An increase in orders due to new equipment or the introduction of a new product is also a sign of growth that should be evaluated.

Equipment and Assets

Replacing old equipment that is outdated or no longer works properly means an insurance review is necessary. New equipment is an investment in the business that needs to be protected. An increase in inventory or the materials that are needed for production are assets that can be extremely expensive to replace. Protecting them with the right type of insurance is essential.

Reviewing your commercial insurance policy should be considered if you have recently updated your equipment or experienced any type of growth. The agents at Hart Insurance are available to help business owners in the Federal Way, WA area go over their existing policies to determine if they are sufficient to protect their business from financial loss. Call and schedule your commercial insurance evaluation today!

 

4 reasons why you need umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance offers you coverage over and above your existing insurance policy. It affords you that extra protection if a lawsuit is filed against you. Sometimes, expensive legal suits could exhaust your current coverage option leaving you exposed to financial uncertainties. That’s where your umbrella insurance coverage comes in handy. At Hart insurance, we write umbrella insurance for Federal Way, WA and surrounding areas.  Our coverage options across all our policies are tailored to afford you the ideal coverage that meets all your insurance needs.

Here are 4 reasons why you need umbrella insurance,

Extra auto liability insurance protection

If you are sued after a motor accident, and the court finds you culpable, it will order that you pay damages to the aggrieved party. In some instances, your auto liability insurance may be exhausted in a bid to cover the litigation fees plus the damages. Devoid of an umbrella insurance coverage, you might be compelled to set the difference from your personal funds. However, with an umbrella insurance coverage, you can easily top up the difference.

Extra home liability insurance coverage

A standard home insurance policy will include a liability insurance coverage that will protect you against legal suits leveled against you. However, if it is exhausted, the umbrella insurance coverage option steps in to cover the difference.

Peace of mind

With an umbrella insurance coverage in place, you can always rest assured knowing that there is an extra help if you exhaust your primary limits.

Saves you money

The extra out of pocket costs accrued after an initial limit is exhausted will dent your financial stability. With an umbrella insurance cover, you can save on such costs and keep your liquidity intact.

At Hart Insurance, we would like to get you covered today. Contact us and speak to one of our agents about an umbrella insurance coverage. You can use our online estimation tool for a free estimate of your coverage options.

Tips for Saving Money on RV Insurance

No one likes paying full price for anything and that even includes how much you are paying for your RV insurance. Even though it is something that you need to have, that does not mean that you need to pay a lot of money in order to have it. In fact, there are a lot of ways that you can actually save money on RV insurance. Here at Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA, we want to help you get the most out of your money when it comes to your insurance needs so we recommend these tips for saving money.

  • Stick with the minimum coverage you need. You do not need to have more coverage than is necessary unless you have a very expensive RV. Start with a policy that meets the minimum requirements then go from there with saving.
  • Ask for discounts. There are a lot of discounts available in the world today and you are not doing yourself any favors by not asking for them. Explore every possible discount and sign up for those that you qualify for.
  • Look at higher deductibles. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. Just make sure you can afford the deductible you sign up for.

These are just a few of the tips that we have up our sleeve but there are even more ways to save that we can help you with. we can also get you started on the right foot with saving by starting you out with a lower policy premium and then working on lowering it more. Be sure to reach out to us here at Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA, today so we can run a free quote for you and then help you save even more on your RV insurance.

Three Tips to Prep Your Boat for Summer

One of the great joys of living Federal Way, WA, is having access to water. If you’re among the plethora of boat owners in the area, you’re probably chomping at the bit for warmer weather and the aquatic fun that comes with it. While you’re still waiting, there’s plenty to do to get the boat ready. That’s why Hart Insurance has this simple checklist to help you get started.

Clean

This is a big chore. You want to clean the hull, deck, and topside. A healthy coat of wax is essential. Engines and motors also need a good maintenance run. Scrubbing every inch of the boat is pretty much the only way to ensure you have defeated any mold, mildew or corrosive buildups during the offseason.

Inspect

The obvious starting point is with the hull. Especially if your boat stays dry during the winter, you want to be sure it’s leak-free before taking it to water. Anything essential needs a proper check. Sails, safety equipment, drains, windows and hatches are all on the list. Since every boat is different, you should spend the time to make an exhaustive inspection checklist. Every effort you spend in preparation will save you great pains once you’re on the water.

Replace

For starters, you want to replace any supplies and tools that have gone missing or suffered damage since the last time your boat saw action. First on the list is safety equipment. Resupply your first aid kit, and make sure you have adequate life preservers and other safety devices. From there, get to replacing anything that didn’t pass your inspection. Lastly, make sure you’re properly stocked for the scope of your voyages. Joy trips around the bay obviously require fewer supplies than extended journeys.

Last but not least, you want to double check your insurance. Federal Way, WA, is home to plenty of insurers, so make sure the folks at Hart Insurance have taken the time to optimize your coverage.