Washington’s Insurance Commissioner issued an emergency order in March prohibiting all insurance companies from using credit history to determine premiums or coverage eligibility for personal autos, motorcycles, RVs, homes, mobile homes, condos, and renters for renewals sent out after June 20, 2021.

For the past 20 years, insurance companies have been able to use a person’s credit history as part of their individual scoring process to price policies. Credit history has proven to be a strong indicator of future claims and, thus, has been used to lower premiums for many people.

Premiums at renewal can go up or down for various reasons. Removal of the use of credit will have an impact on almost everyone’s premiums. For many people, insurance companies are able to use credit to provide an extra discount to their insurance premium. So, without the use of credit, their premiums can increase. For others, their premiums will go down as the result of this change.

The Insurance Commissioner’s emergency rule required insurance companies to take credit out of their pricing model without making any other changes. Insurance companies are now in the process of filing with the Insurance Commissioner additional changes to these pricing models to ensure they are accurate and fair. You should be aware that the price for your insurance policy will probably change again next year because of these additional adjustments.

As an independent agent, we represent numerous high quality insurance companies so we can help find you the right policy at the right price to protect you and your family.

Teen Driver Insurance Spokane, Washington

Teen Driver Insurance Spokane, WashingtonAccording to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death of teenagers from 15-19 years old in the United States is auto accidents. In order to decrease these numbers, it’s important for parents to sit down with their children to discuss the dangers of driving.

The National Teen Safety Week goal is to make teens aware of the “5 to Drive” Rules.

Keep in mind, in order for your teenagers to be following these five rules, parents need to be leading by example. If you aren’t following the rules yourself, your teenager won’t take these steps seriously. Educate your teen on the importance of each rule. Give real life scenarios and grim statistics so they understand why the “5 to Drive” is so crucial to follow.  

Alcohol

We all know not to drink and drive, but be sure to continue these conversations with your teen. It’s also important to discuss the major consequences of getting into an accident when alcohol is involved such as jail time, a loss of driver’s license and fines. If your teen happens to be in a situation involving alcohol, make a deal that you will pick them up to prevent the dangers of drinking and driving.

Seatbelts

This is such a simple habit to stay safe and it’s the best way to protect yourself! According to NHTSA, 64 percent of all young passengers and teen drivers who didn’t wear a seatbelt died in a motor vehicle accident. Train your teenager to buckle up every single time they get into a vehicle until it becomes a habit!

Texting

We all know the dangers of texting while driving. Distracted driving accidents continue to increase in deaths per year. Coach your teen to put their cell phone away before getting behind the wheel or let the passenger take care of any urgent texting.

Speeding

Teenage drivers learn in driver’s education that every time their speed doubles, their stopping distance quadruples. Be sure to continue this conversation to help them follow the speed limit. In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

Extra Passengers

The more passengers in your teenager’s vehicle, the more risk of a fatal crash. Some states prohibit any passengers from riding in your teenager’s car for a certain period. Check your State’s GDL law to see what your teenage driver needs to follow.

Remember, you will make the biggest impact on your teen’s safety behind the wheel. Show you care about their safety and take about the dangers of driving. Most importantly, follow the five rules yourself. With continued education, you’ll shape your teenager into a responsible driver.

If you are shopping for teen driver insurance, contact Legacy Insurance. We can provide several quotes and explain your options.

Commercial Auto Insurance Agent Spokane, Washington

Commercial Auto Insurance Agent Spokane, WashingtonWhen many people think of a commercial auto insurance policy, they may think of big vehicles such as semi-trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks, etc. However, there are many variations of vehicles that would qualify for a commercial auto insurance policy.

How to Determine If You Need a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

If you are using your vehicle or your employer’s vehicle for business purposes, you need a commercial auto insurance policy or endorsement. For instance, many people are working in the gig economy in jobs such as delivering food with your own vehicle or doing rideshare. It is important you have the right insurance coverage. If you do get into an accident where you are making a food delivery and damage your vehicle or someone else’s property, your standard personal car insurance policy will likely not cover you. Contact our agents with any questions you may have.

Here is a quick reference to help you determine if you need a commercial auto insurance policy:

  1. Using your vehicle to carry business equipment
  2. Freight transportation
  3. Towing vehicles
  4. Delivering food or goods (Amazon drivers, food delivery drivers, newspaper delivery)
  5. Using your vehicle to chauffeur people (Uber or Lyft Drivers, taxi service)
  6. Transporting material

How Is A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy Different Than My Personal Auto Insurance?

Since your vehicle is being used for business purposes, there are different risks that need to be insured. Additionally, the rating system used by companies is entirely different than a personal auto policy.  Each commercial policy needs vary, so have a discussion with your agent to discuss your specific policy limits. For business owners with many vehicles to insure, business auto fleet policies are available. Additionally, consider adding a commercial umbrella policy above and beyond your standard commercial auto policy to protect your business from a catastrophic vehicle accident claim.

How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

Just like your personal auto insurance policy, a commercial auto insurance policy is rated on many factors. Here are a few common examples of what could determine your insurance rate.

  • Driving records
  • Driver age
  • Credit history
  • The size & type of your vehicle
  • The number of vehicles you are insuring
  • What you plan to transport

Not Sure What Kind of Coverage You Need for Your Business?

That is where we can help.  Our agents can help determine what type of coverage will be the best fit for your specific needs. If you plan to use your vehicle for business and personal purposes, we can help you determine an appropriate type of policy. If you are only looking to cover your vehicle for business use, we can help find you the best rate. We will explain all of your options so you understand your policy. Get a free commercial auto insurance quote by calling or emailing us.

Contractor Insurance Spokane, Washington

Contractor Insurance Spokane, WashingtonIf you’re an experienced home remodeler, you’ve probably come across contractors who are willing to offer better pricing for cash deals or who are reluctant to provide you with a service contract. Did you know that you can be held liable for hiring a contractor who does not carry the right insurance and causes damages or injuries to another person or even one of their own workers? Saving a few dollars on your remodel can end up costing you thousands so follow these tips to avoid an insurance disaster.

  1. Look for obvious red flags: Getting multiple quotes for the job is a great idea, but did you find a contractor who will do the work for ½ as much as the next guy? How is this possible? When you’re inviting a contractor to your home, be sure to ask them for credentials before they come over to give you a bid. Following these steps can save you from theft, liability and even money.
  2. Ask for references: If you found a great contractor and you like him/her, ask them if they have a website or if there is someone who has had work done by them recently that you can talk to. If a contractor is proud of the work they do, they should have several references for you to call. It is okay to ask for reference and most people expect it. Most small businesses survive off of word-of-mouth advertising, so don’t be shy.
  3. Utilize the internet to look up their license: Contractors are required to have a license to perform work. You can utilize your states resources to find these contractors. An internet search will provide you with some quick references. You can even make your job quicker by asking them to provide you with a copy of their license or number.
  4. Active License, Insurance & Bond: Ask the contractor for a copy of their license as well as documentation of their insurance and bond. Note: Check the dates on the license as well as the insurance to ensure they’re currently in force or active.
  5. Get specific: Not only is it important to protect your insurance from a scam, but ensure your pocketbook doesn’t get taken for a ride too. Ask questions like, “Is this an estimate or a final bid?” “Does this estimate include parts and labor?” “Can I see where you’re buying the products beforehand?” The more questions you ask, the better you will feel and the more the contractor will understand that you’re educated on this process.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these products do:

  1. License: A license to do business means that contractor has met local guidelines and qualification standards to work in their field. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in shoddy work or dangerous results such as with an electrician.
  2. Insurance: Contractors need two types of insurance really.
    1. General Liability Insurance: This will protect you from damages that the contractor causes such as a ladder falling through a window, causing a fire or overspray onto a neighboring house during some painting.
    2. Workers Compensation Insurance: This insurance will protect the contractor if one of his employees is injured on the job while on your property. If the contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, your homeowners insurance policy might be asked to pay that workers claim.
  3. Bonds: A bond acts as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work they’ve been asked to do. For instance, say your pay a contractor to do a job and he never gets the permits or doesn’t pay a subcontractor – collecting from his bond can help cover these costs.

Hiring a contractor this way can be a great option to bringing some new changes to your home. It is possible to really save money on these services, but just using some simple, quick research and asking the right questions can save you a bundle as well as a headache.