How Big Does a Boat Have to be to be Registered in Washington?

Washington residents who enjoy spending time on the water need to know the rules that apply to insuring and registering their boat or watercraft. The agents at Western Insurance Associates in Spokane, WA can help you determine whether or not you will have to register your boat before putting it in the water.

Canoes, Kayaks, and Other Non-Motorized Vessels

Any vessel that is not propelled by a motor or a sail will not have to be registered with the state of Washington. If you self-propel the vessel with an oar or paddle, you can use it on almost any waterway in the state.

16 Feet or Less, 10 HP or Smaller

Boats that measure less than 16 feet in length and have a motor that produces less than 10 horsepower do not have to be registered if they are being used in state or non-federal waterways.

Registered in Another State

You can use a boat that is registered in another state without registering it in Washington. If a boat is brought in from another state it will only be legal for 60 days. After that, the registration must be transferred to Washington. You must have proper documentation with you at all times. This is normally a card that states the name of the owner and where the state in which the boat is registered.

At Western Insurance Associates, Washington residents can talk to a reputable agent and learn everything they need to know before taking to the water. Having your boat properly registered and insure is essential if you want to remain in compliance with state laws. Talk to your agent in Spokane, WA today!

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. 

Types of individuals and businesses that may benefit from umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance is a unique type of coverage that is not for everyone. Still, it may benefit certain individuals who have high liabilities and large amounts of personal or business property. Western Insurance Associates provides umbrella coverage to clients in the Spokane, WA area and throughout the state. 

Business owners

Business owners can benefit from large amounts of coverage in several situations. For example, companies that specialize in transportation may have large fleets of vehicles on the roads at all times. If these vehicles are transporting goods or susceptible to large scale losses, it may be best to cover them under an umbrella policy. Some businesses may also have a large inventory or special equipment that is extremely valuable. A typical insurance policy may not be robust enough to cover everything that can potentially happen to these expensive items if they are destroyed or stolen.

Wealthy and high net worth individuals

When someone owns a large amount of real estate or luxury items that are in their personal collection, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not provide nearly enough coverage to protect them. An umbrella policy may provide thousands or millions of dollars of additional coverage beyond standard homeowners or auto insurance to protect these investments. The upfront costs of the policy can result in substantial savings if a wealthy individual ever has to deal with an emergency that destroys their home, possessions, or cars. 

Speak with someone who can provide more info about umbrella insurance

To learn more about if you will benefit from an umbrella policy, speak with an agent at Western Insurance Associates. We serve the Spokane, WA area with superior insurance coverage and unparalleled customer service. 

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.

Why do I need an umbrella policy

Living in Spokane, WA, you know the benefit of an umbrella when it rains. An umbrella insurance policy does for your assets what an umbrella does for your hair and clothes, it protects them. Western Insurance Associates has a knowledgeable staff to explain the benefits of an umbrella insurance policy and why everyone with any assets needs one.

You need an umbrella policy if you own a home or a car. An umbrella policy is additional liability coverage above and beyond what is provided by the liability portion of your home or auto insurance. Liability coverage may be something that you don’t think a lot about but it is important. It protects you against lawsuits that may be filed against you. If you are in an automobile accident or someone is hurt at your home you can be sued for damages and medical expenses. Owning a dog is also something that makes an umbrella policy a good idea. 

Not only would these types of events result in legal fees but it can also involve a judgment against you. Judgments can be very high and if they exceed the liability on your policy, you are responsible for the additional amount unless you have umbrella insurance. Typically umbrella insurance is between one and five million dollars. If you don’t have umbrella insurance, you could be forced to sell your assets and your wages could be garnished for years to come. A horrible prospect to consider. 

An umbrella policy can give you peace of mind. If you have assets, it is something that you really need to consider. Why not call our office in Spokane, WA and talk to the experienced team at Western Insurance Associates about what umbrella insurance can do for you. You will be surprised at how affordable this important coverage is. 


3 Benefits of Having Recreational Insurance

Recreational insurance covers a variety of recreational vehicles, including campers, ATVs, jet skis, and off-road bikes. At Western Insurance Associates, the agents understand the importance of having the right type of insurance policy in place when you are on vacation or hitting the trails. Fairfield and Spokane, WA residents who own recreational vehicles need to make sure they are adequately insured.

Protects Your Investment

Having recreational insurance on your motor home, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles are essential if you want to protect your investment. Replacing a recreational vehicle of any kind after an accident can be costly. The right type of insurance protects your investment.

Covers Your Liability Costs

Recreational insurance also covers any liability you may suffer if an accident occurs. This can include medical expenses if a passenger is injured. If you are leasing or renting a motor home, your recreational insurance will cover damages if an accident occurs while it is in your possession.

Protects Personal Property

There are times when a property is damaged due to an accident involving a recreational vehicle. Recreational insurance can be used to cover this type of damage, as well. It’s important to talk to your agent to find out what types of damage are covered and how much coverage you may need to be fully protected.

Residents who live in Spokane, WA, and the surrounding areas are encouraged to call the agents of Western Insurance Associates to find out more about recreational insurance and its many benefits. Not having the right coverage can quickly put a damper on your fun if an accident should occur. Call and speak to an agent today to make sure you are fully covered before you take off on your next adventure.

How Can You Get Renters Insurance to Cover All Your Belongings?

Often when people are renting an apartment or space, they don’t consider the need for renter’s insurance. If your possessions and belongings are lost, stolen, or get damaged while renting, they will need to be insured to receive compensation on their loss. The landlord may have a policy in place, but this only covers the actual property. You can get personal renters insurance to know that your possessions are protected. 

If someone is injured in the apartment or dwelling, a liability claim that might happen can be covered by this type of insurance up to limits set in the policy. Western Insurance Associates has agents in Spokane, WA that can work with you and help you understand insurance matters.

Are Belongings Covered?

Renters insurance will cover loss of possessions from fire, vandalism, theft, and other incidents. Discussing how much coverage you need for what you own with an agent will help you determine the best policy and limit for your situation. A comprehensive policy will cover more than a basic renters insurance policy.

Other Types of Coverage

Personal liability and incidents where medical bills happen, like someone being injured in your apartment, are where renters insurance can help. If your dwelling is made uninhabitable, renters insurance covers expenses like temporary housing and food. The benefits of having this type of insurance are abundant.

If you are a renter and are interested in coverage, Western Insurance Associates agents can talk with you about your options for renter’s insurance. The agents at Wester Insurance Associates in Spokane, WA have experience with this type of coverage and will be happy to find you a reliable policy. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our agents.


What Boat Insurance Covers

In the Spokane, WA area, boating is a favorite pastime with families and friends.  To protect their investment and everyone on it, it’s important to ensure that it is adequately protected in a variety of situations.  While most people are familiar with auto and home insurance policies, boat policies differ and are specific to maritime hazards.  The team of agents at Western Insurance Associates are the pros in boating insurance policies.  They are ready to answer your questions.

When someone acquires a new boat, they may mistakenly believe that it will be covered by their home insurance policy.  In some cases, particularly with smaller vessels, this may be true but the general rule is that it is not.  That’s why its important to talk with your agent before you set out on the water.  For yachts and larger vessels, particularly where it will head into international waters, the right coverage makes a big difference. 

In general terms, boat policies will provide liability coverage, as well as, physical damage.  Liability protection covers the owner in the event anyone is injured while on the boat or there is an accident.  Physical damage addresses any damage to the boat or its mechanical equipment.  It can also address such events as weather/wind damage or vandalism.  Even if the boat is only used seasonally, it’s recommended that coverage be maintained throughout the year.  Your agent will offer two policy options:  agreed value or actual cash value.  With agreed value, the policy will reimburse based on an amount defined in the policy.  Actual cash value is defined as the boat’s true value including depreciation.  Additional coverage is available for uninsured boaters and any personal possession on the boat. 

In the Spokane, WA area, the team at Western Insurance Associates is ready to help you get the coverage you need for your boat.  Call and visit them today!

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.

3 Tips for Buying Umbrella Insurance in Spokane, WA

Umbrella insurance is extra coverage you can add to your existing insurance policies. For example, you can add umbrella insurance to your homeowners insurance to cover any events that your policy may not cover. If you have a dog, for example, and it bites a neighborhood kid, the parents may decide to sue. Rather than dip into your savings or 401k for funds to cover litigation, you can use your umbrella insurance to help cover costs. This is just one of many scenarios that could happen unexpectedly and for which you will be grateful to have umbrella insurance. To learn more about acquiring this all-important policy and save money in the process, keep reading. 

1. Compare Quotes

When shopping for an insurance policy, it’s vital to compare several quotes. This way, you can find the best coverage for your particular needs. The team at Western Insurance Associates will help you comb over each quote and find the right one at the right price.

2. Bundle Your Policies

An easy way to save money on a new umbrella insurance policy is to bundle it with your other policies. You probably have auto insurance, life insurance, and homeowners insurance. When you bundle all your policies under one insurance company they will reward you with lower premiums.

3. Work with a Reputable Agent

Agents know the insurance business. They are able to point out differences in policies and help you find the best price for your needs. Working with a reputable agent will guarantee you get the best umbrella insurance policy.

To learn more about umbrella insurance, contact the team at Western Insurance Associates, serving the Spokane, WA area.