Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Olympia, WAFull coverage has different meanings to different people. When most people refer to full coverage they’re referring to a mix of insurance coverages to protect their vehicle.  That being said, there is no such thing as “full coverage” just a combination of coverage options that will protect your vehicle as well as others on the road. Let’s look at this closer.

Some coverages such as Bodily Injury and Property Damage (also known as liability insurance) are required by law.  You can choose just how much liability insurance to carry, but at a minimum, this is required by your state law in order to drive your vehicle.

Other coverages such as Collision, Comprehensive, Personal Injury (PIP), MedPay, Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) are optional coverages in most states. Some states do have laws that also require UM/UIM and PIP/MedPay be purchased.

So, the choice really becomes, “How much insurance do you want?” Deciding on how much insurance you want or need is a combination of factors that only you can decide. A licensed insurance agent can help you decide on what options may be best for your situation, your budget and your needs, but ultimately, the choice is yours to decide.

Contact Cross Insurance Agency for an auto insurance quote or a review of your current policy. We strive to make sure all of our clients have the proper coverage for their needs.

Uninsured motorist coverage in Olympia, WAAccording to a recent study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, approximately one out of every 8 drivers in the United States are uninsured. That’s a staggering figure when you think about your chances of being struck by one.  So, what can you do to protect yourself from an uninsured driver?

The good news is there is a line of insurance coverage specifically for uninsured motorists, called (you guessed it) Uninsured Motorist Property Damage & Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage. This is an optional coverage that is available to most drivers. Let’s take a closer look at these coverages and see how they work.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (commonly referred to as UMPD) pays for losses incurred to your vehicle when it is hit by an uninsured motorist. This coverage may also pay for damages associated with a hit and run driver.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (commonly referred to as UMBI or UM) pays for your medical expenses when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. UMBI may also cover your passengers who are in your vehicle during a covered loss.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM)

Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays for injuries such as medical expenses, lost wages and settlements from a driver who is at-fault and does not carry enough insurance to cover your losses.

You should also carefully deliberate the amount of insurance coverage that you need. Available options, limits and coverages vary by state. Each state has different requirements and laws when it comes to uninsured motorist insurance. Be sure to ask an agent in our office about these coverages if you’d like them.

What to do if you're in a car accident in Olympia, WABeing in an accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these important steps will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.

Safely park your vehicle: If you happen to be driving when the accident occurs, safely pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. If possible, carefully write down the license plate and description of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. If you are reporting a hit and run, this information will aid police in locating the driver. In the event of a hit and run it most likely happens when your vehicle is unattended. If you return to your vehicle to find damage, look for clues to help you prove your case, i.e. Security cameras.

Assess any Injuries: If someone is injured, take care of their immediate needs and quickly call 911. It is typical to be jittery after such an event so catch your breath too.

Call police: Once you’re safely parked, you should call the police to file a report, especially if another party is involved. It’s important to always have documentation of how the accident happened. Some people want to settle the claim without going through insurance, but this comes with risks. The other driver may not live up to their word and without contacting the police, it turns into a he said, she said scenario.

Exchange Information: Exchanging insurance ID cards is always recommended. Be sure to have their name and phone number too. It’s simple to take a picture with your phone. Be sure to include the car’s license plate number, year, make and model too.

Take pictures/Gather any witness information: If you have a witness who wants to share their side of the story, jot down their phone number and name. Your insurance company will want to talk with any witness to the accident. Taking pictures also gives your insurance company more details on the damage of your vehicle.

Call your insurance company: Sometimes even though vehicles collide, the damages may be limited, so you’ll want to take a close look and determine if you want to pursue a claim or get an estimate first before calling your insurance company. If someone was injured or if you have major damage, it’s always best to call your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company can assist you with your claim so if you have taken pictures and provided all the information above, your claim can be settled quicker.

While we hope you never have to experience a car accident, being prepared will help you tackle the unfortunate situation.

If you have questions about your auto insurance, call the insurance agents at Cross Insurance Agency. We have locations throughout Washington State in Olympia, Centralia, Vancouver, Tacoma and Marysville. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.

Gap Insurance in Olympia, WAWhile buying a home tends to appreciate in value overtime, buying a vehicle is the opposite. Especially if you are buying a brand new vehicle, the moment you drive off the car dealership’s lot, your vehicle has already depreciated in value. For many vehicles, the more expensive the purchase, the faster the depreciation. New vehicles offer more safety features and conveniences, so we understand why people like them.

If you are financing or leasing a vehicle, you may benefit from Gap Insurance.

Imagine this scenario: While out enjoying your new car, you hydroplane and hit a guardrail damaging your new vehicle beyond repair. The insurance company is telling you that your new car is a total loss. If your car is totaled, that means it will cost more to repair it than the car is actually worth because of depreciation.

Gap insurance acts as additional car insurance coverage that will pay off your loan if your car is totaled or you owe more than your car’s new depreciated value. This coverage is usually limited to 25{da5271d7a1766f221ac35c013f1865b5eb7c6ddff3ebc54411621cbd24b96cb1} of your vehicles actual cash value at the time of loss. Check with an agent about specifics for your company. 

What does your car insurance cover if you’re in an accident?

When you lease or finance a car, many lenders require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on your vehicle until you have paid off your car. If your vehicle was totaled, your insurance company will only pay what it is worth, not what you owe. This is what creates a gap between your current loan balance and what your car is actually valued at today.

Is gap insurance for you?

It depends how much you owe on your vehicle & if you could afford to pay the difference if your car was totaled. Let’s say you bought your car for $20,000. Over the course of your ownership, it’s now valued at $13,000. You currently owe $17,000 on your loan but were recently in an accident where your vehicle was totaled. Could you pay for the $4,000 difference out of pocket? Keep in mind, if you bought a luxury car, they can lose as much as 60{da5271d7a1766f221ac35c013f1865b5eb7c6ddff3ebc54411621cbd24b96cb1} of its value over the course of five years. You may have an even bigger gap between your loan balance and current value of your vehicle.

Options for gap insurance: There are two options for purchasing gap insurance.

  • It can be purchased from the dealership or through an insurance agent. If you choose to purchase gap insurance through the dealership you purchase your vehicle from, the gap insurance will be built into your loan. The average price for gap insurance from a dealership is around $1,000, but add interest and taxes and it can add up to much more.
  • If you choose to purchase gap insurance from an insurance agent, on average it would add less than $10 per month to a policy! There may be certain stipulations associated with a gap insurance policy:
  • The loan may need to be through a financial institution rather than an individual.
  • Your current auto insurance policy may need to include Collision and Comprehensive coverage.
  • Your claim may need to be a covered Collision and Comprehensive coverage event.
  • Your vehicle may need to be determined as a total loss.

Before you purchase a new vehicle, make sure to check with your licensed insurance agent in to see how you can add gap insurance to your new vehicle policy.

The local, independent agents at Cross Insurance Agency can assist you with adding or amending an existing policy or setting you up with a new policy. Our years of insurance experience can save you a bundle. You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 to learn more about auto insurance or the other insurance products they offer like classic car or home insurance.

Car Insurance in Olympia, WAWe’re flooded daily with insurance commercials claiming that shopping with them will get you the lowest insurance premiums of any company out there. Saving money on your insurance is important, but the lowest insurance premiums are usually accompanied by the lowest insurance coverage.

Determining what insurance coverages you need is something that only a qualified local insurance agent can help you decide. We care more about you being covered adequately than simply giving you the cheapest premiums.

Do you need the auto insurance coverages below? Discuss with us & we’ll help determine what makes the most sense for your personal needs.

Collision Coverage: protection for your car from damage whether at-fault or not. Premiums weigh heavily on the value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: pays for damage to your vehicle from things such as contact with an animal, fire, theft or vandalism.

Medical Payments: Commonly known as MedPay or PIP, this covers medical bills as a direct results of an accident regardless of fault.

Uninsured Motorist: Coverage for being involved with an uninsured driver. Both physical damage (your car) and bodily injury are offered.

Underinsured Motorist: Coverage to help cover a gap from a motorist who has insurance, but not enough to cover the loss.

When deciding on what coverage options to have, take these situations into account:

Scenario 1: You purchase a low cost, low coverage liability policy with only $25,000 in Property Damage. You rear-end a new, two week old Toyota Camry totaling the vehicle. The Camry’s replacement cost is $35,000. You have to pay $10,000 out of pocket.

Scenario 2: You are t-boned by an uninsured motorist and have extensive medical bills in excess of $50,000. You do not have uninsured motorist coverage or personal health insurance and your auto medical payments only cover the first $10,000. You have to take the uninsured driver to court to pay your $40,000 in medical bills, in the meantime, you’re responsible for the $40,000 in bills.

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a new home, auto, boat or motorcycle insurance policy if you want the lowest insurance premiums you should be aware that you’re usually lowering the amount of insurance coverage you have. Depending on your situation, this may not be a wise decision because it puts your financial future at risk by carrying low limits. As always, reach out to our insurance agency with any questions.

Insurance for College Students in Olympia, WAAttending college is an exciting time for your child. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to major in or figuring the finances, there are a lot of decisions to think about. Before your child leaves the nest, here are three things to consider when it comes to having the right insurance policy.

1.) Auto Insurance Policy

  • If they are taking their car to college, be sure to update their auto insurance policy. This can easily be taken care of by reaching out to your insurance agent! You’ll want to ensure your child is protected if they get into an accident or experience theft. If your child is attending college out of state, talk with us to see if anything changes on their auto insurance policy.
  • Not taking a car? We suggest still keeping them on your auto insurance policy if they plan to drive when they return home for a visit or in the event they need to borrow a friend’s car on campus.
  • Ask for discounts. See if your child qualifies for any additional discounts.
    • Discounts may include:
      • Good student discount
      • Distant-student discount.
      • Pay in full discount
      • Safe driver discount
      • Data tracking discount

2.) Educate On Liability

College is an amazing social and learning experience. Be sure your child understands the serious consequences of drinking and driving, buying alcohol for kids underage or the other risks that are associated with drugs and alcohol. One poor decision could impact the rest of their life.

3.) If worried about theft while living off-campus, invest in a renters insurance policy.

  • If your child owns valuable items like laptops, televisions, printers, cameras or other expensive items, invest in a renters insurance policy.
  • Construct a full inventory of your child’s items that include model and serial numbers.
  • If your child is living with roommates, remember each child needs their own policy.
  • A renters insurance policy offers more than just covering your property. It can provide important liability coverage.

If my child experiences theft, will I be fully reimbursed?

This is where actual cash value and replacement insurance coverage comes into play. Replacement cost is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. So, if your child had wear and tear on an expensive electronic device, your insurance would pay out the cost of the electronic minus the depreciation. Talk to your agent for clarification.

Whether it’s changing your child’s auto insurance or investing in renters insurance, let our local experts at Cross Insurance Agency help you find the best insurance to fit your needs. For more information about Cross Insurance Agency, visit our website.

Teen Driver Insurance Policy in Olympia, WAFor your teen, learning how to drive is one of the most exciting times of their lives. Finally, a means to freedom so they think. We all remember the excitement of getting our driver’s permit, then our driver’s license. While your teen driving has its benefits, it also comes with a great amount of responsibility. Reminding your child that driving is a privilege and not a right can help them to remain in control and not distracted while driving.

For you, it is important to understand when to add your teen driver to your insurance policy.  While each state requirements vary, in most cases your auto insurance policy will cover your permitted driver until they acquire their driver’s license. At that point, you’ll want to add them as a driver to the insurance policy even if they do not have their own vehicle.

Avoiding adding your teen driver to the policy is not only against your insurance policy language, but can lead to a dreaded claims denial if your teen is involved in an accident and it is determined you purposefully avoided adding them. Be sure to contact your agent to discuss your options and determine when the best time to add the driver to your policy is.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Some carriers offer Good Student Discounts if your student keeps their grades up.
  • If your teen child is doing delivery as a job such as pizza delivery or newspapers, this requires a special commercial policy.
  • Even if your rates go up because your child is on your insurance policy, if they have their own vehicle this could net you a multi-vehicle discount on your policy.
  • Having your teen on their own policy will likely lead to higher premiums.

Keeping your teen safe on the road is your number one priority. Keeping your family insured with the right coverage is ours. If you have a teen driver in the household, be sure to contact our agency to discuss what options might be right for your situation.

If you have questions about your auto insurance, call the insurance agents at Cross Insurance Agency. We have locations throughout Washington State in Olympia, Centralia, Vancouver, Tacoma and Marysville. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.

Car Insurance Olympia, WAWe bet you’ve wondered how car insurance premiums are calculated. Do you ever have discussions with friends of similar age and driving history and find you’re all paying very different premiums for what would appear to be similar coverage?

Insurance premiums are based off of many factors, all of which play a role in your total premium for your auto insurance. A single difference of any of these can give dramatically different outcomes. Some factors insurance companies use to calculate premium can include:

  • Gender, age & marital status
  • What’s your past driving history?
  • What’s your claim history?
  • Your Zip Code where the vehicle is garaged
  • Your credit score
  • How many miles you commute
  • Will you or do you have other policies with the same insurance carrier such as home or renters insurance?
  • Are you currently insured?
  • What types of overage do you want? What limits?
  • What limits did you have on your previous insurance policy?
  • Type and age of vehicle being driven (think safety equipment)

Insurance companies do their best to determine a premium for your situation and calculate a premium that will be profitable for them. It may surprise you to know that many insurance companies try to earn just a few cents on each dollar of premium they collect.

While it is impossible to guess what you are going to be paying each year, you can improve your odds of getting a great rate and terrific coverage by calling a local independent insurance agent. Cross Insurance Agency represents multiple insurance companies, so we can provide you with comparison quotes from several of the top insurance companies in Washington.

If  you have questions about your car insurance, contact Cross Insurance Agency. We have locations throughout Washington State in Olympia, Centralia, Vancouver, Tacoma and Marysville. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.

Car Insurance in Olympia, WAMany of you may have noticed that the auto insurance industry seems to be continually increasing premiums. While Cross Insurance Agency represents many of the top insurance companies in the country and we can quote you with several companies, the trend for premiums is up. There are many reasons why this is happening and it is important for you to understand.

  • There are more new cars on the market that are expensive to repair.
  • The technology in vehicles today is much more expensive to replace than it used to be.
  • More people are driving. In 2015, miles driven increased 3.5{da5271d7a1766f221ac35c013f1865b5eb7c6ddff3ebc54411621cbd24b96cb1} which is the most annual increase in 25 years.
  • Drivers are increasingly distracted. One out of four car crashes involve cell phone use.
  • Medical payments are increasing due to the complexity of the health insurance industry.
  • Claims severity (payments) overall is increasing.

Is there anything that you can do to control your costs?

Yes, contact us so we can shop for you!

Unfortunately insurance premiums are pooled. The premiums are calculated off of risks and data from other drivers just like you. Age, gender, zip code, vehicle driven and driving history are just some of the factors that determine your premium. Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best rates.

  • Review your coverage and determine if it is the correct coverage for your current situation
  • Review discounts you may be eligible for with your current carrier
  • If it isn’t already, consider bundling your insurance coverage (home, auto, specialty insurance)

If you have specific questions about your auto insurance coverage, remember to reach out to our agency. As an independent insurance agent, we can review your coverage and ensure you’re current carrier is still the best carrier for your situation.

If you have questions about your auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Cross Insurance Agency. We have locations throughout Washington State in Olympia, Centralia, Vancouver, Tacoma and Marysville. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. We live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so we can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out our website, 24/7.