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.

 

How much driving does my classic car insurance allow?

You finally finished rebuilding your dream car. It’s a beauty, a classic, and you’re going to show it off at every classic car show you can find near Federal Way, WA. You also want to show it off by cruising in it. You need to obtain the right insurance from Hart Insurance then because you can drive it all you like under a regular auto insurance policy, but a classic car policy limits the amount of driving you can do.

A classic car policy often costs less than standard auto coverage. It covers the full replacement value of your vehicle though if that becomes necessary. A typical auto policy provides inadequate coverage to repair or replace a damaged classic car that would require genuine and hard-to-find parts.

One of the reasons underwriters can afford to do that is that the policy covers much less driving. Classic car policies even specify that you cannot use the vehicle on a day-to-day basis nor as your secondary car.

A classic car insurance policy allows you to drive to and from car shows, in occasional parades and at other similar, periodic events.

Classic car insurance provides vehicles 25 years old or more special protection. The policy treats them like rare art or sentimental collectibles. Not only can you not drive it often, you can’t park it outside. Most policies require you to park it inside a private garage, storage unit or pole barn. You’ll also need to have had a clean driving record with at least three years of no alcohol-related offenses, speeding tickets and/or reckless driving.

Visit Hart Insurance in Federal Way, WA to learn more about what classic car insurance can offer you. Show us pictures of your baby. We’ll ooh and ah and make sure you have the right coverage to protect your restoration work.

Using Life Insurance for Estate Planning in Federal Way, WA

Life insurance serves as a source of support, education funding, death tax and expense coverage, funding for disposition of a business and even for a survivor’s retirement. This is what makes it so important to understand how you can use life insurance as part of your estate planning. Feel free to reach out to your Hart Insurance agent in Federal Way, WA with any questions and concerns you may have.

Life Insurance as Part of Your Estate

If you have a smaller estate, insurance ownership isn’t a significant tax-savings device. Here, your life insurance goals should be to take care of any beneficiaries who are financially dependent on you. However, if your estate is worth $2 million, life insurance is essential for tax savings.

Planning Objectives for Insurance

Life insurance is used in estate planning to pay off any debts, support your dependents and even to accumulate wealth. You can get term life insurance that covers you up to a certain milestone, such as your children finishing their education or the retirement of your spouse. However, many choose permanent insurance, typically whole life insurance, due to its flexibility in terms of building wealth.

Unlike term insurance, permanent life insurance policies do not expire. Consider your family’s needs and consult with your insurance agent to meet your specific goals. Here are the two categories of permanent insurance.

Whole life insurance. Use this for long-term goals, consistent premiums and wealth accumulation.
Universal life insurance. Use this for flexible premiums, death benefits and savings.

Types of Life Insurance Trust Arrangements

There are two types of life insurance trusts that can help preserve your wealth when your gone.
Revocable Life Insurance Trust. The trust is the beneficiary in your life insurance policy, and you keep the right to terminate the trust as well as maintain ownership rights. It’s recommended if you have a young family of modest means but substantial life insurance.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. This policy excludes life insurance from the estate when the first spouse dies. Your spouse can be the beneficiary without having power over the principal, subject to approval by the trustees.

 

 

Reasons Umbrella Insurance is the Best Out There

There are a lot of different insurance policies that are available in the market and it is a good idea to have the right policies to meet your needs. One type of insurance policy that is not as well known or used in the market is something known as umbrella insurance. Here at Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA, we know that umbrella insurance is one of the best types of policies you can have above and beyond your standard policies and these are just a few reasons why:

  • It covers a lot of different things. Because it is a policy that will cover things like your home, vehicle, and even your personal liability, it is known as an umbrella insurance policy. Plus, it will cover all of these things at once. 
  • It covers above and beyond what your standard policies cover. Basically, umbrella insurance policies kick in when your other insurance policies are maxed out. It covers what they don’t and provides you with even more protection than other policies can provide. 
  • It is a great value for what you get in return. Because it covers so many different things at a bundled cost, it comes with great value. Not to mention, it provides you with the peace of mind you want when you have a home or a vehicle that is worth more than your standard policy can cover.

If you are in need of more coverage than your standard types of insurance policies can provide to you, then it is time to consider an umbrella insurance policy. It is a great way to get more coverage that is all-encompassing and one of the best policies you can buy. Contact us at Hart Insurance, serving Federal Way, WA, today to get started. 

A Simple Understanding of Umbrella Insurance

There is a good chance that you have heard of umbrella insurance before. But there is also a good chance that you don’t understand exactly what this type of insurance is. Fortunately, we have taken the time to help you gain a better understanding of what this insurance is and whether or not you should invest in it. 

What is umbrella insurance?

When you are trying to understand umbrella insurance, you should view it as an extra form of liability insurance. It is designed to help provide protection for you from major claims and lawsuits. In doing this, it provides protection for your assets. How does it do this? There are two main ways, and they are as follows:

  • It extends the coverage of your original liability coverage. It can provide additional coverage for a variety of policies, including auto and homeowners policies. When the coverage of these policies has been exhausted, the umbrella coverage will kick in. 
  • It provides coverage for certain types of claims that may not be covered under certain policies, including those related to a false arrest and libel/slander. 

Do you need umbrella insurance?

To help you decide if you need to invest in umbrella insurance, you should first understand that this type of investment is beneficial for everyone. And while many people are under the impression that umbrella insurance is only for the wealthy, it should be recognized that this type of insurance is actually quite affordable. The best way to determine whether or not you need to invest in it is by speaking with a qualified insurance agent who can assess your exact insurance needs. 

To learn more about umbrella insurance, please contact Hart Insurance serving the Federal Way, WA area. 

 

 

What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?

Businesses large and small have exposures that can cripple them financially, making it important to mitigate risks using commercial insurance. This policy provides different protections depending on a company’s location and the insurance provider. Some common areas of coverage and their significance to ongoing operations are listed below.

Business Loss

Commercial insurance generally protects companies from losses associated with specific types of property damage, misappropriation of assets, accidents and business interruptions, among other types of financially challenging situations. The insurance is designed to minimize the losses companies incur, allowing businesses to recover and continue operations. Given the complex operating environments for all types of businesses, insurance coverage is a necessity.  

Common risks covered by commercial insurance include:

-Theft

-General Liability

-Worker Injury

-Property Damage

Who Needs Coverage?

Most businesses benefit from carrying commercial insurance, even if the business is being run out of the owner’s home. It’s important to consult with a qualified commercial insurance agent to get an idea of coverage options, given one’s business type and potential threats. Even small businesses are susceptible to lawsuits and claims. An owner’s personal assets may be at stake if the business doesn’t have liability protection because it’s a sole proprietorship or a general partnership.

For home-based businesses, many insurance providers offer a rider option for regular homeowner policies. This adds an extra layer of coverage that will help owners sleep a little easier at night because they have a hedge against financial ruin.

For additional information on commercial insurance in Federal Way, WA, please contact Hart Insurance. Businesses have inherent risks that need mitigation. Commercial insurance has the power to protect companies from financial ruin attributable to routine operations. 

Are Your Assets Covered? Umbrella Insurance Basics

Like any smart homeowner and driver, you have determined the best homeowners and automobile insurance policies to cover your yourself against losses due to theft, damage, injury, fire, and other natural disasters. But, are your assets really protected in the event that a major calamity or unforeseen event occurs which threatens your financial security? Umbrella insurance is a type of liability insurance which supplements your basic auto, homeowners or rental insurance policy limits. An umbrella policy has a much higher coverage limit than that goes above and beyond your basic coverage.

How Does An Umbrella Insurance Policy Protect My Assets?

An umbrella insurance policy protects your assets from claims stemming from an event in which you are determined to be responsible for excessive property damage or bodily injury, above your basic policy limits. If another party sues you, it will pay for any damages you’re found legally responsible for up to the policy’s limits An umbrella insurance policy can also protect your assets by helping cover false arrest, libel, slander and legal fees. An umbrella policy will kick in and pay once your basic homeowner or automobile liability limits have been exhausted or if the claim isn’t covered by the basic liability coverage.

Why Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?

If you are found liable for a loss, injury, damage or other events, your Federal Way WA home, car, checking and savings accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and even future income can be considered an asset. If you are sued for a large amount and don’t have enough liability insurance to cover the costs, your assets can be up for grabs. Purchasing an umbrella policy can help you prevent financial ruin in the event of a major accident or damage you are responsible for.

How Much Umbrella Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Everyone has a different situation and has different insurance needs. However, when considering your coverage limits, remember the following three things:

  • Your Risks – What are your risks as a homeowner? What are the risks of your work commute? Do you engage in any potentially dangerous activities that put you or others in danger?
  • The Value of Your Assets – The more assets you have, the higher your umbrella policy’s limits will need to be to protect your property, savings and retirement funds, stocks and bonds, and possessions.
  • Potential Loss of Future Income – Are you on track for a future high-paying career? Even money you haven’t earned yet can be considered an asset in a serious lawsuit.

For more information about how to protect your assets with umbrella insurance, talk with an agent at Hart Insurance today.  Our Federal Way, WA insurance experts at Hart Insurance will help you determine your specific risk factors and help you find a policy that meets your specific needs and budget.

Boating and the Law:  How Insurance Projects You

You have insurance to protect your home and automobile for damage and liability considerations. In the same way, you need boat or marine insurance to protect you when you head out onto the water. However, boat insurance doesn’t work in the same way as other policies. The professionals at Hart Insurance understand the special needs that residents in the Federal Way, WA area have and are always ready to help you understand the coverage options that are available. 

Boat insurance is important to maintain during the time that you own a boat. It doesn’t matter if your boat spends a great deal of time in the driveway or out on the water, there are risks that always present themselves. In some cases, smaller boats may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance but you will need to talk with your agent to ensure this. 

Boat insurance policies typically have two types of coverage:  liability and physical damage. Liability coverage protects you if you are deemed liable for an accident where someone or their property is damaged.  In these cases, the injured party has the legal right to sue you. Without appropriate liability coverage, your assets are at risk. Physical damage coverage protects the boat and its mechanical elements. It can also protect against storm damage and vandalism. Damage reimbursement will be outlined in the policy.  Some provide “Agreed Value” which outlines an amount in the policy. “Cash Value” in a policy means that the boat’s depreciation will be factored into the reimbursement. 

Every boat and owner’s situation is different. It is important to talk with your agent at Hart Insurance. Boat owners in the Federal Way, WA area can visit their website for information then call to get fast, appropriate coverage today!

When Do You Need Classic Car Versus Regular Auto Insurance on a Vehicle?

At Hart Insurance, serving the greater Federal Way, WA area, we are often asked by car owners when they need regular auto insurance versus classic car insurance. Sometimes it is obvious, such as when you have a restored classic automobile or a new car. Other times, there is a fine line between a regular older car and an unrestored classic car. Here are a few of the signs that you may need classic car insurance over regular auto insurance. 

The Car is Worth More than Blue Book Value

One of the signs that you need classic car insurance rather than regular auto insurance is that the value of the car is worth significantly more than the Blue Book value of the car. If your car has value based on its demand with collectors, you likely need classic car insurance rather than regular auto insurance. 

You Rarely Drive the Car

Another sign that you may need classic car insurance rather than auto insurance is that you rarely drive the car, aside from to and from car show events. If your car is older and you participate in class car shows or parades, but don’t use the car for much else, classic car insurance may be the better choice for you. 

The Age

Generally speaking, any car that is 10 years or older can be deemed a classic car. Any car that is 25 years or older can be deemed an antique car. As such, your car must meet these age restrictions in order to be able to obtain the right type of insurance on the automobile. However, age alone should not be the deciding factor when determining whether to get classic car versus regular auto insurance. The other two factors, plus the age, should help you decide. 

If you currently have regular auto insurance on your car, but need classic car insurance, let Hart Insurance, serving the greater Federal Way, WA area, help. Contact us today to get started on a classic car auto insurance policy or to obtain a free quote. 

Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

Preventing water damage to your home in Federal Way, WA is a lot cheaper than repairs from water damage.  The core that holds your house together is the foundation, and the foundation is the one area that most often is damaged by water.  The damage that causes weakness in the foundation, leads to weakness of the home structure.  Here are some easy strategies to prevent water damage to your home.

One of the most important places to start is the drainage system.  Make sure the water has pathways away from your home.  Do this by keeping the gutters clean, make sure the downspouts are designed to direct water 5 – 10 feet away from your home, and your yard should be sloped at least 6 inches from the foundation.  These items work to keep the water away from the foundation where it can lead to cracked masonry and damp conditions. 

If your home has a sump pump, it should regularly be tested to make certain it stays in good working condition.  It is not working well; a heavy storm could flood the basement or crawl space and lead to wet conditions.  Check for home water leaks that may result in mold, mildew, and rotting, soggy wood where termites and carpenter ants love to take up residence.  Having the roof inspected yearly to have any loose or damaged shingles repaired is important to keep damage from the top-side.  Finally, examine the outer walls of your home, especially after the winter months, for cracks or other openings that need to be repaired or caulked to keep moisture out.

Hart Insurance

Hart Insurance provides homeowners insurance in the Federal Way, WA area.  Contact a Hart agent today so we can help you explore your flood insurance options.