Three frequently asked questions about auto insurance in Washington

Choosing the right auto insurance policy is important to protect yourself financially as a motorist in Washington State. At Western Insurance Associates, we offer auto insurance policies to drivers in Spokane, WA.

The following are three frequently asked questions about auto insurance in Washington.

How do I purchase auto insurance?

Nowadays, the easiest way to purchase auto insurance is on the Internet. You can get quotes on the Internet for various policies. You can also select your policy online and purchase your policy through the website of the insurance provider you choose to purchase auto coverage from.

It’s also possible to purchase auto insurance over the phone. You can call up an insurance provider in your area and get a quote over the phone. Then, you can make your first payment on the policy in question over the phone.

Do I have to purchase auto insurance?

In Washington and in most states, acquiring auto insurance coverage is legally required if you want to drive. You need to purchase an auto insurance policy that meets some basic liability requirements.

What does auto insurance cover?

A basic auto insurance policy will cover liability expenses. This means that basic coverage pays for the costs of any damage you cause to the property of other parties.

You can choose to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage additionally if you so desire. Collision coverage covers the costs of damages to your own vehicle in an accident. Comprehensive coverage covers the costs of damages from fire, vandalism, and more.

Do you have more questions about auto insurance? Let us help you find the answers you’re looking for regarding auto insurance in Spokane, WA. Contact us at Western Insurance Associates today.

When to Shop Around For New Auto Insurance

Like many insurance products, auto insurance needs can change with time. Understanding when these needs change and adjusting your auto insurance accordingly is a great way to save yourself money and make sure you are always sufficiently covered. At Western Insurance Associates, serving Spokane, WA we take pride in educating our clients and future clients concerning their insurance needs. Keep reading to find out how you can know when it’s time to shop around for new auto insurance.

How to Know Your Insurance Needs Have Changed

Usually, your insurance needs will change along with big life changes. For instance, when changes in your marital status take place it will affect your insurance needs. When a child comes of age for driving, that can also have an effect on your insurance coverage and needs. Purchasing new vehicles and even just aging will all have an effect on your insurance coverage. The best way to know if your insurance needs have changed is to sit down with an insurance representative and discuss your current situation. This way you can be sure you are sufficiently covered while also making sure you are not paying for products or services you do not need. 

Dangers of Being Improperly Insured

It is very important that you evaluate your insurance needs periodically so that you can avoid being improperly insured. Being improperly insured will put you and your family at risk. Not only will there be an increased risk of financial liability should you have an accident, but there could also be legal risks involved if your auto insurance is not in order. 

If you would like to learn more about auto insurance, please contact our friendly staff today at Western Insurance Associates, serving Spokane, WA. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you make the best insurance choices possible. 

What Legal Fees Can Auto Insurance Pay?

In Spokane, WA, your auto insurance provider will provide coverage for some basic legal fees, but this coverage is restricted to specific circumstances.

Essentially, your insurance provider will pay the legal fees and hire a lawyer on your behalf if you’re being sued, and by that we mean if you’re being sued over something that is not excluded, and if you’ve paid your premiums on time. If you’re being sued over a car accident for personal injuries, then that’s a personal injury lawsuit, and that’s what your insurance is there to protect you against in the first place. If you want to sue someone, on the other hand, you’re on your own.

And you might not be defended by your insurer if:

  • You didn’t let your insurer know about the accident in a timely manner.
  • You caused a car accident on purpose.
  • The damages exceed your policy limits.

Most lawsuits you’re going to face as a result of a car accident fall well within the boundaries of what your insurance company is willing to pay for. They’re not here for criminal defense or to wield as your litigation financiers for suing people, and they can’t offer you much help if you haven’t paid your premiums. But if you are being sued over a car accident and your policy is still active, your insurer probably has your back.

If you are still looking to get covered in Spokane, WA, get in touch with us at Western Insurance Associates by email, call us, or stop by the offices. At Western Insurance Associates, we will compare several providers to provide you with quotes and get you a good deal on an excellent policy so that you can drive safely.

3 Things to Remember If You Want to Prevent Car Theft

Crime can occur at any place and at almost any time. Car theft is one of the most common forms of criminal activity. To reduce your risk of theft, the agents at Western Insurance Associates offers Fairfield and Spokane, WA residents helpful tips on keeping their car safe and secure. There are several things you can do to make your vehicle harder to steal. 

Don’t Leave Valuables Out in Plain Sight

Don’t leave anything of value laying on your seats or dash. Valuable items that are left in plain sight are often the first things that will attract a thief to your vehicle. Put items in the glove box, console or under the seat where they can’t be seen.

Always Lock Your Doors

Always roll up your windows and lock your car doors. If you aren’t sure, check your trunk as well. An unlocked door is an open invitation for someone to break into your vehicle and take whatever they find inside. It’s also an opportunity for them to try and steal your car.

Don’t Park on the Street

Always park in your driveway or in your garage. If you find that you have to park on the street, always park as close to a street light as possible. Car thieves won’t try to break into a vehicle if they can easily be seen by passers-by.

If you’re near Spokane, WA, visit the agents at Western Insurance Associates. If you are concerned about car theft or have experienced a break-in in the past, ask the agents for a few tips to keep your vehicle safe. They have the answers to your questions and will assist you in keeping your vehicle as safe and secure as possible. 

How to Prepare for Winter Driving

Winter driving in Washington can be stressful due to slick, icy roads. If you must drive this holiday season, take precautions by preparing your vehicle (and yourself) for safe winter driving. These tips from Western Insurance Associates of Spokane, WA can help you drive safely during the winter holidays.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Winterize your vehicle in preparation for cold weather driving by checking the following:

  • Battery – An old battery could easily give out during freezing temperatures, leaving you stranded by the side of the road. If your battery is old, buy a new one to ensure you don’t lose power in the middle of a storm.
  • Tires – Like previous tip, upgrade old, worn tires by purchasing a set of quality all-weather or winter tires for cold weather driving. Check your tire pressure regularly during winter as pressure tends to drop in cold weather.
  • Windshield Wipers – Make sure your wipers are working correctly and can clear snow from the windshield, so you have visibility while driving. 
  • Emergency Kit – Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times in case you get stranded.

Winter Driving Tips

  • Always check the weather forecast before hitting the road. If conditions look bad, avoid driving. Your safety is more important than holiday partying.
  • Share all travel plans with a friend or relative, so someone knows where to find you if you get lost or stranded.
  • Drive slower during winter for greater control on icy roads. Make gentler turns and stops and increase the distance between you and the driver you’re following to avoid a crash if they brake suddenly. If you start to skid, steer into the skid to make it easier to correct your position once you have regained traction.

It’s also important to have excellent auto insurance protection against holiday accidents. To update your auto insurance coverage, call or visit Western Insurance Associates in Spokane, WA.

How Much Auto Insurance Do I Really Need?

Living in Spokane, WA, you really do need a car. Whether you’re actively looking for a new car or just dreaming, it never hurts to have a good plan to manage your auto insurance as well. One of the most common questions asked at Western Insurance Associates is, “How much coverage do I really need?” Here’s the definitive answer.

State Minimums

Washington, like other states, has rules for how little insurance you’re allowed to carry. It comes in five categories. The first is bodily injury liability, and you need to have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Next is property damage which has to total $10,000 in coverage. Underinsured motorist injury coverage will look familiar: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Underinsured property damage has the same limit as the other property damage liability ($10,000), but it is a different category. Lastly, basic personal injury protection has to meet a minimum of $10,000.

If your policy has these minimums, you’re good. The most common time people end up being underinsured is when they move to a new state, so always be mindful of that.

Sufficient Coverage

Still, there’s a difference between legal compliance and sufficient coverage. A lot of people have answers to this old question, but it’s ultimately pretty simple. You need an insurance policy that covers enough for you to still be driving after a collision. If you’re a billionaire who can just replace any vehicle, state minimums are fine. If you’re not quite so affluent, you need to consider how much you can really afford to spend on a replacement vehicle. Make sure the insurance covers the rest.

Once you know how much insurance you need, the rest is a matter of finding ways to get the pricing right. There are plenty of tricks and tips to help you do that, and a chat with your Western Insurance Associates agent will get you started down that road. They’ve been serving the Spokane area long enough. They know how to help.