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Summertime Car Care

The Pacific Northwest has experienced one of the best weathered summers in history, and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna stop anytime soon. Preparing your home and wardrobe for the heat is second nature for most of us, but many of us forget to get our cars ready for the extreme weather.

summer The heat, dust and constant traffic can really put your car through the ringer this time of year. Preparing your car can help you avoid breakdowns and costly repairs.

Some of the basics for preparing your vehicle for the heat are:

Cooling System Check: Overheating is your cars worst nightmare in the summer months. It’s the cause for most breakdowns in high temperatures. Take your car into a technician and have them check the system and flush it out. Ideally, cooling systems should be flushed and refilled every 2 years.

Oil Check/Change: Change your oil! Did you know you should change your oil depending on the season? Some oil types are better in hot temperatures. A fully filled oil tank helps your car run smoother all around.

Tire Check: Get your tires rotated and check the air pressure often. In high temperatures, your tires are at a greater risk for blowing out. Having the right alignment and pressure will help extend the life of your tires.

Update Your Auto Insurance Policy: Check out your car insurance policy. Does it need to be adjusted? Do you have the right coverages? Ask your agent if you need to make changes.

Mobile Home Insurance

Do you own a mobile home or RV? Finding the right insurance plan can be difficult. Vern Fonk in Washington and Oregon is proud to help residents find affordable options for RV insurance and mobile home insurance.

Vern Fonk has partnered with companies that can help provide Washington mobile home insurance and Washington RV insurance. We are connected with over 20 different insurance companies to help you find the best available rates.

Protect your assets and get a mobile home insurance policy that can help cover you if something were to happen. Fire, theft and windstorms can be extremely dangerous and expensive, a good insurance policy can help you stay covered and save you thousands of dollars in an emergency situation.

Mobile home insurance can protect you in 4 ways:

  1. Helps you repair/replace or get cash value for your mobile home (depending on age)
  2. Helps you replace your personal property (inside) if it is destroyed, stolen or damaged
  3. Helps cover the cost of lawyer fees and medical bills if someone were to get injured while on/in your property
  4. Helps cover the cost of additional living expenses if you had to leave your home for claimable reasons


Know Your Coverages

Do you know what your car insurance policy actually covers? What is insured and what is not? It’s important to understand the coverage types are available and what you’re paying for.

Here is a brief description of some of the major coverages and what they’re all about:

Property Damage Liability - This coverage type covers claims for property that your vehicle damages in a accident. This type of coverage is required in almost every US state.

Comprehensive - This coverage type covers physical damage done to your vehicle from fire, vandalism, theft, wind, flood, and other accidents not resulting from a car crash.

Collision - This coverage type covers physical damage done to your vehicle from a car accident.

Bodily Injury Liability - This coverage type covers medical and legal costs if your car injures or kills someone.

Uninsured Motorist Protection - This coverage types helps cover you if the person at fault in the accident is uninsured or under insured. This can also help pay for damage due to a hit-and-run.

These are the most basic types of coverage and most policies include all of them, but at different amounts. Make sure you go over your policy with a professional that can help you determine if you’ll be covered in an accident or disaster.

Common Mistakes When Buying Homeowners Insurance

Buying homeowners insurance in Washington and Oregon can be confusing. Even if you’ve done it before, mistakes can happen, especially if you buy in a rush if you’re closing on your mortgage. It isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things to look out for and to do when shopping around.

Don’t Stop After the First Quote
It’s likely that you didn’t purchase the first home that you saw, you had to check out other comparable houses and weight the pros and cons. This should be the same process for shopping homeowner’s insurance quotes.

Compare apples to apples. Make sure the coverage amounts you are comparing are similar if you’re choosing based on price. Even if you’ve been with the same insurance provider for years, calling around for quotes is s a wise idea.

Use the Right Dwelling Coverage Numbers
Dwelling coverage is what helps covert he cost of repair or rebuild to your home if it is damaged by fire, wind, hail or other covered disasters. The dwelling coverage should be set high enough to rebuild your entire home – from the ground up.

The dwelling coverage amount might not be the same number as what you paid for your home. Building costs may have increased in your area and that could cause the number to be higher. The amount could be lower as well, as you wouldn’t have to purchase another piece of land to rebuild your home on.

Using the right calculators to come up with your dwelling coverage amount can help you narrow the right number down. They typically take your zip code and square footage to come up with a comparable range to work with.

Too High or Low Deductible
You should be able to afford the deductible on your homeowners insurance policy at any time. You never know when a disaster may strike, and you can rest assured if you have enough to cover it.

If your deductible is too low, you may be paying a high monthly premium. Generally speaking, the higher your deductible amount is the lower your premium will be. You know your financial situation better than anyone, and budgeting for these expenses properly is important.

If you have questions about buying a Homeowner’s Insurance policy for your family, call Vern Fonk today for a hassle free quote.

More Insurance FAQs

We recently wrote about Insurance Frequently Asked Questions and have come up with some more:

Does my credit score effect my insurance rate?
Not at Vern Fonk! We work with at least 9 different insurance companies that don’t discriminate based off of your credit score. If your score isn’t perfect, let us show you how you can get a great rate on your insurance.

What type of coverage covers damages done to my vehicle?
This depends on how the damage was caused. It can be either covered by comprehensive coverage or collision insurance.

If your car was in an accident with another vehicle or physical property it would be covered by collision insurance.

If the damaged was caused by a fallen tree, animal, fire, or if it was stolen or vandalized, a comprehensive policy would cover these damages.

Am I out of luck if I have too many tickets or accidents on my record?
Absolutely not! Vern Fonk works with over 20 different insurance companies that work with “high risk” clients. If you were turned away or quoted astronomical rates with the larger insurance companies, give us a call and we’ll get you an insurance policy you can afford.

Auto Insurance Coverages

Figuring out all the industry jargon when shopping for car insurance can be frustrating.  Knowing the limits of each category can only help you if you understand what they each mean.  The auto insurance agents at Vern Fonk are ready to help you determine just how much coverage you may need on your car insurance. We’re ready to help you understand exactly what you’re paying for and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Here are the most common types of coverages you’ll find on a typical car insurance policy:

Collision Insurance Coverage

Collision coverage helps pay for repairs and replacement to your car if your accident is at fault and involves another car, crashing into another object or rolling over.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

This type of coverage helps pay for repairs and replacement to your car if it has been damaged due to something that is not accident related. This may include fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, animals (hitting on the road), and natural disasters.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage

This type of coverage is the most common coverage and comes on just about every policy. The “liability” part of this coverage means “responsibility” and refers to both covering the bodily injury damage caused to people in the crash and the property damage damage done to vehicles in the crash. So basically, it helps pay for expenses for medical bills and property damage if you are at fault in an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It has been reported that about 1 in every 7 drivers on the road are uninsured in the US. An accident with an uninsured driver can result in costs that aren’t covered by your basic liability insurance coverage on your policy. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in. It can help with costs associated with accidents with uninsured drivers. It’s an added protection that can help you make sure you don’t get stuck with the bill. This coverage can cover bodily injury or property damage or both.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (aka PIP) helps pay for medical expenses, income loss and benefits for yourself and members of your household in the case of accidental injury or death. This can include lost wages due to injury, medical bills and other collateral costs.

These are just some of the basic coverages that many policies will cover. Speak with a Vern Fonk car insurance specialist in Washington or Oregon today to figure out how much coverage you should have on your vehicle and on yourself.


Is Renter’s Insurance Worth It?

If you’re a renter in Washington or Oregon, you need a good renter’s insurance policy.  Renter’s insurance seems to be something that every renter thinks about, but procrastinates getting it until it is too late.

If you add up all of the belongings in your home, whether it’s an apartment, condo, townhome or house, the total can easily reach in the thousands. Electronics, jewelry, furniture, appliances, and everything else can be extremely expensive to replace, especially if a lot of it needs to be done all at once.

Think about it – how much are your computer, television, couch, jewelry, clothes or other valuables actually worth? Spending only a few bucks a month to cover these possessions is a wise thing to do.

What does rental insurance cover? We’ve broken down the main instances/situations that most rental insurance companies will cover:

  • Explosions
  • Fire or Lighting damage
  • Aircraft and vehicles
  • Heavy snow, ice or sleet
  • Theft
  • Windstorm / hail
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Malicious mischief
  • Water discharge from plumbing and appliances
  • Frozen plumbing

Theft and vandalism is more likely to happen in apartment buildings and townhomes than in regular single family households. If you live in a highly populated area, it is a good idea to get covered for theft.

Call a Vern Fonk Insurance agency near you today to get a great renter’s insurance policy that can help you have peace of mind throughout your days in the Pacific Northwest.

Temperature Rising

summerIs your car ready for the high summer temperatures?  We all get so excited for summer, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, but do you take the time to check your car out and get it ready for the extremes you’ll be putting it through?  It seems like most people in our area take road trips and generally use their car more in the summer because we all want to enjoy the sunshine while it’s here.  Here are a few tips you can use to make sure your car is in tip top condition:

  • Check all the hoses and belts - Hoses and belts can crack and wear down over time. They are what keep the moving parts of your engine running and if one breaks it can take out an entire system. Make sure they are looking good and attached properly.
  • Check your fluids - Fluids are what make everything run smoothly. Check your engine oil level, antifreeze and coolants, windshield fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Overheating is a major issue for most cars in the summer and keeping your vehicle hydrated with the right fluids is key to making sure that doesn’t happen to you.
  • Inspect your tires - Most people think good tread on your tires is just important in the winter. This is very wrong. Tires should be inspected for even tread wear and bald spots and bulges. The correct tire pressure is also important. During the summer more tires are seen blown out on the side of the highway because of people neglecting to take care of them.

These are just a few of the things you can do to protect your car from the heat this year. Remember to drive safely, stay calm and don’t give in to road rage. Having the right auto insurance policy will help ease your mind, especially one that has extra towing or roadside assistance coverage. Call a Vern Fonk Car Insurance agent today for a fast free car insurance quote.

Small Accidents Can Equal Big Consequences

Every business, whether large or small, needs to have a good business insurance policy. Business insurance can help you from going out of business when you least expect it.

Accidents happen. There’s just no way around it. This is especially true at the workplace. No matter how many safety seminars yourself and your employees attend, things can and will go wrong at some time or another. Most of the time the accidents are relatively small and easy to fix, but sometimes they can turn out to be a lot larger than they started out as. Check out this workplace fail video we found:

Can you imagine the amount of money this accident cost the company, not to mention the cleanup after a mess like this? We pray they had a good insurance company to help them get back on track.

After purchasing a well rounded business insurance policy it is important to still practice and review basic safety principles. Holding regular safety meetings is something most successful businesses have in common, and it couldn’t hurt to have procedures in place for such accidents.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is a common term you’ll hear in the auto insurance world. It is one of the most misunderstood terms in the industry. This type of coverage actually doesn’t cover your injuries from a car accident, it helps cover you from the financial burden.

An example to illustrate this would be if you were at fault in an accident that resulted in the death or injury of any other person involved. Bodily injury liability coverage would protect you against the financial responsibility of medical bills, which can add up quickly. It would help pay for the person’s bills and help you avoid going bankrupt.

The typical state minimum for bodily injury liability coverage is $100k/$500k.  This means that it will cover one person’s costs up to $100k, but if there are multiple people involved it will go to a maximum of $500k together.  So the smaller amount covers one person per claim and the larger is for everyone involved int he accident that is injured.

The higher your coverage amounts are for bodily injury liability, the more expensive your premium will be. Having larger limits can be very helpful as these days medical bills can add up quickly. If your coverage limits are reached, and there are still medical bills to pay, the injured person can sue you for the rest of the costs.

If you have any questions about bodily injury liability coverage call Vern Fonk today. We’re the Northwest’s experts in auto insurance.