Effective July 1st, the state of Washington will require an increase on their bonds. They will be going from $6,000 to $15,000 for the Specialty license and $12,000 to $30,000 for the General license.  

The state will mandate that as the contractor’s license renews, they will require an increase on their bond. Please note that the license renewal will typically not match up with the bond renewal dates in our system. If a contractor obtains their license before July 1st, the increase will not be required until the following license renewal.  

As temperatures continue to drop and winter sets in, it’s extremely important to protect your home from the cold. Here are seven essentials to ensure your home remains warm, cozy, and protected during the seasons.  

  1. Check and seal windows and doors  
  • Inspect window and door frames for areas where freezing air can get in, or warm air can get out. Seal any gaps or cracks with weatherstripping to prevent heat loss.  
  1. Add insulation  
  • Prevent your pipes from freezing and keep your house warmer by making sure your home has adequate insulation. 
  1. Protect pipes from freezing  
  • Insulate exposed pipes and be sure to increase water flow on especially cold nights to prevent freezing.  
  1. Clear gutters and downspouts  
  • Remove debris from gutters and ensure downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation.  
  1. Prepare for power outages  
  • Keep flashlights, batteries, and blankets on hand in case of power outages. Consider a backup generator to ensure essential appliances keep running during emergencies.  
  1. Winterize outdoor plumbing, guard your water pipes  
  • To keep outdoor plumbing fixtures from freezing, disconnect and store any garden hoses as the weather begins to turn cold. Then, shut off the water to your outdoor faucets, drain the lines, and insulate the hose bibs.  
  1. Inspect the roof  
  • Check for loose or damaged shingles on your roof. Address any issues to prevent leaks and ensure your home stays dry and warm.  

By implementing these precautions, you can safeguard your home against the brutal winter temperatures and enjoy a worry-free season.  

8 Items to Carry in Your Emergency Roadside Kit: 

Depending on the problem, having the proper tools can help get you back on the road as quickly and as safely as possible. You should tailor your kit to the type and condition of your vehicle, as well as the weather in which you’re typically driving 

  1. Cell Phone and charger 
  1. Flashlight with extra batteries 
  1. Jumper cables  
  1. Jack for changing tires 
  1. Nonperishable food  
  1. First aid kit  
  1. Bottled water  
  1. Blankets  

Valuable items, like jewelry or a new car, are likely prized possessions, and it’s important to get the right type of insurance and the right amount of coverage to protect them. With the holidays right around the corner, here are some tips for insuring high value items: 

Items should you consider insuring: 

  • Jewelry  
  • Vehicles  
  • Electronics 
  • Collectibles  
  • Musical Instruments  

Check what your policy covers 

Whether it’s homeowners, condo owners or renters’ insurance, check to see what the policy covers and what coverage limits are for valuables.  

Get your items appraised 

If unsure how much valuable items are worth, consider getting them appraised by a professional. An appraisal will help determine if an insurance policy’s coverage limits offer enough protection or if extra coverage is needed.  

Purchase an endorsement 

One good way to insure jewelry or other valuable items is to get a quote from a specialty insurer that covers fine jewelry and other valuables or purchase a scheduled personal property endorsement.  

Young drivers dream of getting their permits and hitting the open road, but their parents are usually not quite as excited. And for good reason – there’s a lot to think about when it comes to teen driving and staying safe on the roads. 

So, before you hand over the keys, learn more below about driving permit rules and what your teen can and can’t do with a permit. 

  1. Supervision and Safety: 
    • A learners permit places numerous restrictions on a new driver. The most important one being that you must be supervised by a licensed adult driver with at least 5 years of driving experience. The supervising driver must be in the front seat at all times.  
    • You cannot use a phone or a hands-free device while driving and all occupants MUST wear a seat belt.  
  1. Age and Education:  
    • The minimum age to receive your drivers permit in Washington State is 15 years old.  
    • You also must complete an approved driver training course if you wish to get your license before you turn 18.  
  1. Location and Time: 
    • You may drive on all public roadways: country roads, highways, city lanes, etc. There is also a nighttime driving restriction for those with their permit. They cannot drive between the hours of 1AM-5AM.  

It’s important to follow all of these rules in order to keep your new driver and everyone around them safe.  

As you may have heard in the news or received a notice of, Kemper Insurance is leaving the preferred auto and home business. This means they will no longer be issuing new policies for home or auto insurance (unless it is speciality auto) and existing policies will not be renewed. Kemper now will only be focusing on speciality auto, life and health insurance. Now what does this mean for you? If your home or car is covered by Kemper we will switch you over to the next best coverage before your current Kemper policy is cancelled. We will be in contact with all Kemper clients to discuss options so there is no need for any action on your side! We have got you covered!

August is typically when wildfire season for us here in Western Washington starts getting bad but don’t fret, there is help! With dryer conditions each year, making sure your home and property are adequately covered should be on the top of your mind… and ours! Remember to review your current policy and add special coverage to valuable items. Some ways to keep your property safe in the first place are by adding in a natural fire break between your home and surrounding property, making sure you have a working water pump close by to your home and by using fire resistant building materials on your home. We hope everyone has a safe end to the summer!

Especially for Washingtonians, earthquakes are something that are always kept in the back of our minds. On average the Puget Sound area experiences over 1,000 earthquakes each year. While they may not seem like an immediate threat, the unpredictability of them can bring on sudden, expensive costs. The best way to combat these costs is by being prepared with… earthquake insurance! Check out our website or give us a call to get a quote for earthquake insurance today! It’s better to be prepared than to be paying the consequences after the fact.

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner 1-800-562-6900

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce and Licensing Agency 206-842-3700

AMWINS 206-922-1800

Capital Premium Financing 800-767-0705

CBIC 888-825-2242

CNA Assurity 800-331-6053

Encompass 800-588-7400

Foremost 800-527-3907

Francis Dean 800-745-2409

GeoVera 800-859-8734

Hagerty 877-922-9701

Hartford 860-547-5000

IPFS 844-722-4092

Kemper 800-782-1020

L&I 360-902-6901

Metrofox 800-316-2075

National General 800-462-2123

Personal Umbrella 800-564-1799

Philadelphia 206-382-2631

Progressive 800-776-4737

Red Shield 800-527-7397

RT Specialty 888-867-1124

RLI 800-331-4929

Safeco 800-332-3226

Stillwater 855-712-4092

Travelers 800-842-5075

US Assure 800-713-1158