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Briefs                                    Volume3 Issue 1

Stop and Think Before Purchasing Insurance Online
O    nline shopping has become an American pastime,               Buying insurance online could endanger your personal

     and can be an exciting adventure. For nearly every-        security. You will be required to fill out long forms pro-
one, it is enjoyable to receive surprising new packages         viding personal information about you and your family,
and offers in the mail. But would you want your insur-          including social security numbers and personal property
ance coverage to be a surprise? You may want to ask             information. The forms are sent over the Internet where
yourself some essential questions before making the deci-       there is a risk that they may fall into the wrong hands,
sion to buy insurance online:                                   especially if the online company does not take proper se-
 • What questions should I be asking before making the          curity precautions. Furthermore, how will you verify that
   purchase?                                                    the insurance company you select is legitimate? Despite
                                                                the fact that one must have a license to sell insurance,

 • Am I certain about exactly what coverages I need?
                                                                there is no license required to establish a website that is
 • Have I researched the insurance company, and are             designed to sell insurance online.
   they legitimate?
 • Will the personal information I provide online be secure?      After studying insurance information such as your state
                                                                insurance regulations, coverages you will require, and
 • Will there be real savings in both time and money by
                                                                the security and legitimacy of an online company, you
   making an on-line purchase?
                                                                obviously will not be saving much time in making an
                                     When buying insur-         online purchase. And, there is no guarantee that you will
                                  ance, it is important to be   save money either. It may be convenient for the insurance
                                  confident about exactly       company since they will not have to meet with you, but
                                  what coverages you need.      they will still need to provide you the proper coverage
                                  Since insurance varies        for the dollar amount of protection you need.
                                  widely from state to state,
                                                                  An insurance purchase should take place only after
                                  it is necessary to have a
                                                                careful consideration, and should not include surprises.
                                  knowledgeable resource
                                                                The decision to shop online may result in uncertainty
                                  that understands your

                                                                about what you really get. Selecting a professional agent
                                  individual needs. If you
                                                                to prepare a personal insurance policy is a more reason-
                                  need to file a claim, you
                                                                able choice. When you work with an independent insur-
want to be certain that the insurance you purchase will
                                                                ance agent, you receive the benefit of their expertise and
protect you. If you make the decision to use an online
                                                                their industry knowledge. An independent insurance
company that does not personally involve themselves
                                                                agent will help you get the protection you need based on
with your insurance needs, you run the risk of being left
                                                                your individual requirements, rather than taking a one-
without coverage. Take the time to ask questions. Addi-
                                                                size-fits-all approach.
tionally, an online insurance company should be asking
questions of you, to ensure they are recommending the
proper coverage.

Welcome to the Interstate Insurance Agency Newsletter!
It is with great satisfaction that we bring this newsletter to you. In this issue and in
coming months, we will discuss pertinent insurance topics which may affect you and
your family. We sincerely hope that you will find this newsletter informative and please
do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or needs.

                                             Interstate Insurance Agency
                                  18820 Aurora Ave N. #104A • Shoreline, WA 98133
                                (206) 542-3195 • (425) 745-1463 • 1 (888) 542-3195
                                       Your Trusted Neighborhood Agency!
John’s Corner
  Is it 2010 already? That was fast. Happy New Year everyone!
  As most of you know, we started a referral rewards program
back in 2008. It’s been very successful and we THANK YOU for
that. Without you, it doesn’t happen so this year we’re taking it to
another level. Here it is:

       Who else wants to WIN a 32” FLAT SCREEN TV??!!

             This year we’re giving away not 1 but 2
                     FLAT SCREEN TV’s!!!!!!!

           You REFER – We REWARD!

   Our business is built on satisfied clients and your referrals are our
lifeline. We could give our advertising dollars to the yellow pages, bill-
boards, radio ads, etc., but we rather give them to you, because…YOU
are the best advertising we can get!
              The 2010 Interstate Insurance Great Giveaway!!!

  It’s easy:
  Tell a friend, relative, neighbor or associate about Interstate Insurance Agency. When they call us for a quote and tell
  us you sent them (don’t worry, we’ll ask), YOU WIN:

  1 complimentary gift card from Safeway or Starbucks, AND

  1 chance to win the GRAND PRIZE – a 32” FLAT SCREEN TV!

  Here’s how it works: We’ll keep track of all of your referrals from Dec. 1st 2009 thru May 31st, 2010. In June
  we’ll conduct a random drawing and the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will have a 32” Flat Screen TV
  delivered immediately!!

  Then we’ll do it again in December for all referrals from June 1st, 2010 thru November 30th, 2010 and this time
  the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will have a 32” Flat Screen TV delivered to their home in time for the
  The more you refer, the greater your chances of winning.
  Thank you for talking about Interstate Insurance Agency!
   Rules and Conditions Apply

“Information contained in this newsletter about product offerings, services, or benefits is illustrative and general in description, and is not intended to
be relied on as complete information. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, we do not warranty the accu-
racy of the information. Therefore, information should be relied upon only when coordinated with professional tax and legal advice. ”
What Every Consumer Should Know
About Fireplace Safety
S   itting around a cozy, warm fire can be a wonderful ex-
    perience for a family. But that experience can quickly
turn to tragedy if you don’t follow some simple do’s and
don’ts of fireplace safety.                                   • Never use gasoline, kerosene or lighter fluid to start a
   There are several steps you should take before ever            fire. Burn only dry, seasoned hardwood.
lighting a fire:                                              • Never light a fire with anything other than long-
• Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and                   stemmed matches.
    cleaned annually. Both should be properly vented and        If you have a small, self-contained fire you can use a
    free of any blockage.                                     Class ABC extinguisher to put it out. Your local fire de-

• Put a guard on top of your chimney to keep out birds        partment can train you how to use it properly. Whenever
    and small animals. The guard will also shield sparks      extinguishing a fire, be sure to keep your back to a safe
    that could set your roof on fire.                         exit so that you can escape if necessary.
• Keep newspapers, magazines, rugs                                                           If a large fire breaks out, act
    and carpeting a safe distance away                                                    immediately because smoke
    from the fireplace.                                                                   and flames will spread quickly.
• Remove any holiday decorations                                                          You and your family should
    from the fireplace and mantle be-                                                     leave the house at once. Don’t

    fore lighting a fire. Decorations can                                                 stop to call the fire department
    easily ignite.                                                                        and don’t try to extinguish the
                                                                                          fire yourself. Fumes overcome
• Teach children to stay away from                                                        most victims long before flames
    the fireplace.                                                                        do. If you must go through the
• Be sure that an adult is in the room                                                    smoke to escape, get down on
    at all times when a fire is burning.                                                  your hands and knees on the
• Keep a fire extinguisher handy in                                                       floor and crawl with your body
    case of an emergency.                                                                 as low to the floor as possible.
                                                                                          Keep your head about 12-24
   There are also some things you
                                                                                          inches above the floor. After
should never do when you light a fire:
                                                                                          you and your family are safely
• Never burn charcoal in your fire-                                                       out of the house, call the fire
    place because it produces carbon                                                      department from a neighbor’s
    monoxide, which is deadly.                                                            home.

• Never light a fire without enclosing                                                       To ensure your family’s safety,
    the fireplace’s opening with glass                                                    conduct periodic fire drills.
    doors or a sturdy screen. This will prevent sparks from   Know your safest escape route and be sure you and
    escaping that could ignite curtains or furniture.         your family have a designated meeting place outside the
• Never close the flue while a fire is still smoldering       house. And finally, practice crawling out of a room so
    because it could result in a build up of carbon monox-    that everyone knows exactly what to do if the need ever
    ide.                                                      arises.

                                         We LOVE Referrals!

                              Many thanks to all of you for your recent referrals.
    Tekeste Abraham                Carrie Bergeson                       Cindi Oneal                 Edward Zaic, III
     John Gasperini                Graham O’Toole                        Kevin Guttu                  Bruce Hazen
      Sokhom Long                  Pacifico Marcelo                      Dean Noble                   Betty O’Bryan
       David Oziel                 Karlynn Peterson                  Savintha Ranaweera                Mark Ryan
     Ytbarek Tesfaye                Wayne Truong                           Les Wall                   Eric Whitelaw

                                        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
                                   You REFER – We REWARD!

  Congratulations to Mark and Sherri Ryan! Winner of our 2009 32” flat screen TV! We rewarded every refer-
ral with a gift card, gave away 3 $50 Visa cards and ended it with the TV drawing. We hope you enjoy the TV Mark,
Sherri, Sam and Alex!
  Also, congrats to Kevin Guttu, winner
of our $50 Visa Card Giveaway! A little
Christmas money Kevin, but a big “Thank

  The 2009 program was such a success
that we’re doing it again in 2010! But
this time we’re taking it to another level.
We’re giving away not one, but two (2),
YES, two! flat screens TV’s! See inside for

  Thank you ALL for your referrals!!! It’s
how we stay in business.

   Mark, Sherri and Alex Ryan along
   with Camra, Jerry and John.
                                              CO         Insurance Briefs

                                              Your Trusted Neighborhood Agency!
                                                           Shoreline, WA 98133
                                                           18820 Aurora Ave N. #104A
                                                       Interstate Insurance Agency
                                                                                       excluded by the rental agree-
                                                                                                            ment collision damage waiver.
                                                                                                            The PAP may also exclude cer-
                                                                                                            tain drivers or may apply only to
                                                                                                            designated individuals. The col-
                                                                                                            lision damage waiver will prob-
                                                                                                            ably also only apply to certain
                                                                                                            individuals, but operators for
                                                                                                            which no PAP coverage is avail-
                                                                                                            able may be protected under
                                                                                                            the rental agreement by adding
                                                                                                            them as designated drivers.

                                                                                                               The PAP will typically include
is not bound by the terms of your policy, and it may opt
        ound     th                                                                                         a deductible in the range of
to complete the repairs immediately. This would result in
           e     r                                                              $100-$500 or more. In addition, payment for damage to a
your not being covered because you didn’t comply with
               g                                                                rental car may result in a significant premium increase be-
the terms of the policy.                                                        cause of surcharges or loss of credits. Having a collision
                                                                                damage waiver will protect you from paying increased
   The rental agreement may require immediate reim-
bursement for damages. Without the waiver, they could
charge your credit card. This can create a significant debt
and put you over your credit limit.

“Information contained in this newsletter about product offerings, services, or benefits is illustrative and general in description, and is not intended to
be relied on as complete information. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, we do not warranty the accu-
racy of the information. Therefore, information should be relied upon only when coordinated with professional tax and legal advice. ”
Why Just One Speeding Ticket May Significantly
Increase Your Auto Insurance Rates
M       ost drivers drive faster than posted speed limits,
        at least now and then, and many speed every time
they get behind the wheel. It does not seem to matter
that average speed limits across the country are higher
now than they were a decade ago. Whatever the speed                     exceeded 90 mph or 15 mph above any speed limit.
                                                                                                                  y sp
                                                                                                                 ny spe
limit is, a substantial percentage of drivers are going to              Extreme speeding is considered reckless driving, a
                                                                                                                less dr
                                                                                                               kless drivi
push beyond it; whether it’s because they are running                   major violation. Even a first-time citation can more than
late, because they are not paying attention to their speed,             double your insurance rates.
because they have a new sports car or because they just                 Speeding may also affect insurance rates other than for
                                                                                                      surance              t       fo
plain enjoy driving fast, and so on. Clearly, there are not          auto insurance. Insurance companies may look at your
                                                                                                    ompanies                 yo

enough highway patrol officers to give speeding tickets to            driving record when deciding whether you’re a high-
all those who speed, which means that the odds always                risk customer and could charge you higher rates for life,
                                                                                               d                                lif
favor the speeder in terms of not getting caught and                 health, disability or long-term care insurance.
                                                                                              ng-term       insur
                                                                                            On average, auto insurance rates
   Until they do have a speeding ticket,                                                  are expected to rise by 6% in 2004,
most drivers give little thought to how                                                   following an estimated 8.5% increase
this may affect their auto insurance                    Until they do have a              in 2003, according to the Insurance In-
rates. They may be in for an unpleas-                                                                           The
                                                                                          formation Institute. T average annual
ant surprise. To the cost of the ticket            speeding ticket, most drivers cost for auto insurance is estimated to

itself may be added an even more                     give little thought to how           be $898 this year, up $51 from 2003.
expensive increase in their auto insur-                                                   Avoiding speeding can keep your costs
ance rates. In cases of extreme speed-               this may affect their auto
                                                                          eir au          from going up even more.
ing, a driver’s cost for auto insurance                   insurance rates.
could double even on a first offense.
   Why do insurers often raise rates
after only one speeding ticket? It’s
simple. Numerous studies by highway safety experts     perts
show that “the faster you go, the more deadly it is,”
says Jeanne Salvatore, spokeswoman for the Insur-he
ance Information Institute, an industry trade group.
“There’s a higher possibility you’re going to cause a
lot of damage to people or property.”    y.”
   If you’re cited for speeding, your insurer may
                                    our       urer ma

tack a temporary surcharge on your policy for three
years. At one large auto insurer, the surcharge may
raise your rate by up to 26% the first year, then will
gradually decline and disappear after three years, as
long as you have no more moving violations.
   The size and duration of the increase varies de
                     uration                          de-
pending on several factors, including:
• Your driving record and your relationship with the
                ng                    relationshi                       Once upon a time in the ancient past-at least 30 years
    insurance company. Some insurers waive the surcharge
           ance ompany.           insurer wa                         ago, anyway-there was a series of public service ads on
    if the customer has had a long relationship with the
         e                             relat
                                       rela                          television and radio with the overall message, “Speed

    company and previously had a clean driving history.
      ompany                            c
                                        cl                           kills.” One showed a clock and then a car speedometer
                                                                     pushing up past 65: “Don’t try to catch this hand [the
• Where you live. Insurance is regulated by the states,
                                                                     clock] with this one [the speedometer],” the announcer
    and different states have different laws regarding rate
                                                                     advised. In other words, it might be better to be late than
    increases. Some states don’t allow insurers to impose a
       creases. Som           do
                                                                     dead or seriously injured. It’s been a long time since
    surcharge for first-time speeding tickets, while others
          harge      fi
                                                                     there was a public campaign aimed at getting America’s
    require insurers to raise rates for some speeding viola-
                                                                     drivers to slow down and save lives. But that doesn’t
    tions. For example, a single male driver who lives in
                                                                     mean speeding is any safer. Speeders are still more likely
    Phoenix and receives one speeding ticket will experi-
                                                                     to have accidents injuring themselves and/or others than
    ence an average rate increase of 16%, but the same
                                                                     drivers who obey speed limits. An increase in insurance
    driver will pay no more if he lives in Philadelphia.
                                                                     rates caused by speeding is troublesome, but even worse
• How much you were exceeding the speed limit. An                    is the increased risk of death or serious injury.
    analysis by USA TODAY found that 10% of ticketed
    drivers in 2002 were “extreme speeders”-drivers who
Remaining Under the Radar
with Your Homeowner’s Coverage
I  f you contact your insurance company to verify cover-
   age for a particular claim, it goes on your record. Even
if you call your agent directly, they might be obligated to
                                                                  • Stay with the same insurer indefinitely. You’ll build up
                                                                     a track record, and your insurer might refrain from
                                                                     canceling your policy if you do have a claim.
inform the insurer of your inquiry. Too many inquiries,                                                        ho
                                                                  • If you purchase a house, check into a homeowner’s
even if you never file a claim, can jeopardize your policy.                                                  anks   th
                                                                     policy before your closing date. Thanks to the Compre-
Too many claims, regardless of their size, can result in             hensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE), there is a
                                                                                                      hange (CLU       t
non-renewal at the end of your policy’s term.                        database of insurance claims that inform an insurer if
   Here are several ways to stay under the radar with your           a particular house has ever been subject to a claim. If
insurance company:                                                   previous claims were paid on the house, you’ll have a

• Don’t file for small claims. When property damage oc-               hard time obtaining coverage, even if you’ve personally
                                                                                            overage,                  pers
    curs, get estimates first before calling your insurer or          never filed a claim. Furthermore, any insurance you’ll
                                                                                          .                              yo
    agent. Pay for small repairs yourself, if possible.              find will be more expensive than standard rates.
                                                                                       e                           rates
• Consolidate coverage. Have your homeowner’s and                    At the same time, if you’ve filed claims before and
                                                                                   ime,     ou’ve       cla
    auto insurance with the same company. The insurer             purchase a new home, you could be denied a policy, not
    might think twice about canceling if you’re likely to         because of the house, but because of your own claims
                                                                             f                              y
    pull the other coverage and move elsewhere.                   history.
• Increase your deductible. If you heed the earlier advice           Call your state’s insurance commission to ask about
                                                                        ll                        commiss

    and don’t intend to file for small claims, save the mon-       state regulations concerning non-renewal or cancella-
                                                                    ate                           non-r
    ey you’re spending on a policy with a $250 deductible         tion. A few states have laws that prevent an insurer from
                                                                    on.                          th
    and raise it to $500 or even $1000.                           refusing to renew your policy for claims caused by acts of
• Insure your home for its replacement cost, instead of
    the balance of the mortgage, and save money. Approxi-
    mately 25 percent of your mortgage represents the cost
                                                        he c
    of the land. If your home burns to the ground, you’ll
    still have the land.

                                                                  Insurance Briefs

                                                              Charleston , WV 25301
                                                              1206 Kanawha Blvd. E
                               Mountain State Insurance Agency, Inc