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McClain Insurance Response to COVID-19

Committed to serving you while keeping our "social distance"

mcclain insurance agency everett wa coronavirus

Clients and friends of McClain Insurance,

On March 12, many of us heard Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement of community strategies and social distancing plans to minimize COVID-19 exposure, particularly in counties it hardest by the virus. This includes Snohomish County, where our office is located.

In his emergency proclamation, Governor Inslee strongly recommended employers should maximize teleworking options. City of Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin also called up local employers to encourage teleworking for all staff for whom it is feasible to do so.

Based on these recommendations, all McClain Insurance team members will work from home as coronavirus continues to impact Western Washington. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team, their families, and the clients and community who support our agency.

We are also canceling all work travel to insurance industry conferences and events for the foreseeable future.

Although our physical office may be closed, our team is committed to serving the clients and community members who count on us with the same level of care you’ve come to expect.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to put our phone number in your cell phone contacts: (425) 379-9200. Please call or text us anytime you have a question about your insurance protection, need assistance with a policy change, or experience a claim. We are here to help.

Our entire team is monitoring phone calls, text messages, and emails during our normal business hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is our expectation that when a client calls they will speak with a live person on our team, text messages are responded to within five minutes, and emails are responded to within two hours.

How to Contact Us 

Here is a full list of the ways you can communicate with our team during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Call our office phone number at (425) 379-9200
  • Text our office phone number at (425) 379-9200
  • Email an agent directly, or email our team at team@autohomeboat.com
  • Schedule a phone appointment on our calendars via our online scheduling tool
  • Send a secure message through our website

Please be aware we are temporarily stopping all scheduled in-person and walk-in appointments.

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this unprecedented time. We appreciate your support of our local, independent business!

Our Emergency Response Plan

Thankfully, McClain Insurance has a comprehensive and constantly-evolving emergency response plan. As professional insurance agents and advocates, we have an obligation to be there for our clients when they need us most. We take this responsibility very seriously.

We first tested our emergency response plan during Snowmageddon 2019, an unprecedented winter storm that delivered more than 25” of snow in many areas of Western Washington.

After the snow melted, we reevaluated our disaster plan. To make it easier for agents to work remotely, we invested in a VoIP phone system that uses the internet, rather than a regular landline or mobile network, to make phone calls. This technology allows our team to answer calls to our office anywhere in the world, providing the same experience to our clients no matter where our team members are located.

In addition, we assembled a portable technology emergency kit for each team member to keep at home. If a disaster strikes outside business hours, this will allow every team member to efficiently service our clients from home or wherever they may evacuate to.

After adding these enhancements, we also practiced our plan by allowing team members to work remotely as they would in an emergency situation. Not only did these trial runs help us further refine our emergency response plans, but it ensured every team member was comfortable using our remote technologies.

What You Can Expect From Us

Currently, all McClain Insurance team members are telecommuting to ensure the safety of themselves, their families, and our community. The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to monitor our response in the days and weeks ahead.

Although our physical office may be closed, our team is committed to serving the clients and community members who count on us.

We plan to keep our normal business hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Should You Experience a Claim

If you experience a claim during the global coronavirus pandemic, we are here to help.

Our team will do our best to advise you on next steps, and we will connect you to the proper claims department so your family can be taken care of promptly.

What You Can Do to Prepare

Our goal is to help keep our team, clients, and community healthy and ensure we’re doing as much as possible to manage and minimize the spread of COVID-19. We hope you and your family stay well throughout this crisis.

We understand and share the fear many of you face. It’s difficult to cope with the uncertainty of school closures, changes in work situations, and social distancing.

Disasters like coronavirus don’t plan ahead, but you can. We’re using this emergency as a reminder to evaluate our family’s disaster preparedness plans and emergency kits.

Every family should have a thought-out emergency plan that takes into account all types of disasters, including situations like the current coronavirus pandemic. This weekend, we encourage you to spend an hour with your family evaluating and updating your emergency plan.

If you don’t have a disaster preparedness plan, now is the time to make one.

Next, work on building your home emergency kit. Your home emergency kit should take into account all the essentials – food, water, shelter, warmth, and safety – you need to shelter in place during and after a disaster.

The Washington State Emergency Management Division recommends stocking enough resources to survive on your own for two weeks. Be sure to take into account the special needs of your household, including children and pets.

For a complete list of emergency preparedness resources from McClain Insurance, click here. 

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3 Reasons Why Renters Insurance is More Important than Netflix

Renters insurance protects your stuff, your friends, and your independence

I imagine I am in a similar situation to many millennials. Every month, I pay rent while looking at the Western Washington housing market wondering if home ownership will ever be attainable for me.

In trying to save up for future expenses – potentially a pet, wedding, or house – I had to take a hard look at what is and isn’t essential so I can have the funds for my wants. 

My monthly budget has a few categories, most of which boil down to the things I need to live – food, water, housing, transportation – and things that enhance my life, like entertainment, new clothes, and other wants.

Where does renters insurance fit into these categories?

My apartment complex requires renters insurance, so logically it could fit under the needs section with housing. But what about if it wasn’t required?  

In Washington state, renters insurance costs as little as $15 a month – less than the cost of Netflix’s Premium Plan. But if my landlord didn’t require tenant insurance, would I choose streaming TV shows and movies or an insurance policy as one of my few life-enhancing expenses?

A little bit about me: I like instant gratification. Unless something gives me an immediate benefit, I generally don’t like paying for it. I’ll also be the first to admit I get many hours of entertainment from streaming services, including Netflix. 

But what does renters insurance do for me? What does renters insurance even cover? Do I really need renters insurance? Before I became a licensed insurance agent at McClain Insurance, these were questions I couldn’t quite answer. 

Now I know that while renters insurance doesn’t provide over 125 million hours of content, it is a better monthly expense than Netflix. Here are three reasons why renters insurance is more important for millennials to have than Netflix:

netflix renters insurance property coverage

Reason #1: Renters Insurance Protects Your Stuff

Unlike a streaming subscription, renters insurance protects your TV, sofa, blankets, and popcorn bowl, along with all the other personal belongings that help enhance your quality of life. This includes everything from electronics to kitchenware. 

The McClain Insurance team recommends a single person has at least $35,000 in personal property coverage for their personal belongings.  If you live with a partner or significant other, the McClain Insurance team recommends a minimum of $50,000 in property coverage for your apartment’s contents. 

This may seem excessive, but most of us amass our possessions slowly over time. What would it cost to replace everything at once?

I cannot even begin to know how many books, socks, or board games I have, let alone how much everything together would cost to replace new.

(Note: not all renters insurance policies are created equally, and oftentimes you get what you pay for. Inexpensive, stripped-down renters insurance policies may provide what’s called “actual cash value coverage.” That’s insurance lingo for whatever the depreciated, actual cash value of your property is at the time of loss – i.e. the value for which the property could be sold. If you have a decades-old hand-me-down couch, you’ll receive a minimal payout. This is why it’s so important to work with a licensed agent who can explain what you’re covered for  and what you’re not. Contact us so we can help customize a policy that’s right for you)

Thankfully, if my laptop is stolen from my car or my furniture is destroyed in a water leak, renters insurance will help get me back to normal. 

renters insurance liability entertaining friends

Reason #2: Renters Insurance Protects Your Finances

Renters insurance helps protect your assets, including

If you’re like me and enjoy entertaining friends, renters insurance is a must. Nothing ruins a party faster than someone getting hurt. If it happens because they stepped on that stray LEGO block or because their sleeve caught on fire from the scented candle in the bathroom, your renter’s policy can help pay for their medical expenses  and any resulting liability if you were negligent for their injuries.  

If your cooking adventures set the house on fire, your bathtub floods your neighbor’s unit, or your dog bites the mail person and you don’t have insurance, you will be held liable, and they will try to sue you for as much as possible to make it right. I don’t know about you, but my budget couldn’t handle a sudden mutithousand-dollar expenseAny savings I had for a pet, a wedding, or house would be devastated. I probably would end up needing to take out loans to pay off the expenses, sending me into a cycle of debt. Forget about the life enhancing aspect of the budget, something like this would put me in survival mode and likely would have me looking to my parents hoping they haven’t finished turning my old bedroom into an office. With renters insurance, if I am sued or held liable the policy has $500,000 in liability coverage, which is far more than I could pull together in short notice. 

renters insurance living expenses dog

Reason #3: Renters Insurance Protects Your Independence

While many people share their Netflix account with family and friends, with renters insurance you won’t have to move in with them. If water is coming in from an upstairs neighbor or the fire alarm goes off leaving you standing on the Everett sidewalk in your pajamas your renters insurance will help with a place to stay while the damage repair gets underway. Renters insurance means you don’t need to move back in with mom and dad or set up a GoFundMe to help replace your lost belongings. You can still visit your friends and family, but you won’t lose your independence so you can still try to find a way to watch your favorite shows that they hate. 

Renters insurance is firmly in the need to live section of my budget, not the life enhancing section. The same can’t be said for Netflix. Contact us if you have any questions about renting and insurance. We are here to help! 

 

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Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries When Springing Forward

You have just 120 seconds to escape a burning home

smoke alarm change battery everett wa

On Sunday, March 8, it’s time to spring forward and set your clocks ahead one hour to mark the beginning of daylight saving time. It’s also time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

This reminder is fresh on our minds after McClain Insurance community member Chuck H. wrote to us with the following advice:

Dear Claudia,

After living through the experience of a water leak in my home, I learned some invaluable lessons. It made me reassess household emergency plans, and I found out many things I didn’t know. I thought after 70 years I knew everything!

I have some advice to pass on to other clients. Smoke alarms have saved many lives, but I think we have become so used to them we sort of take them for granted. I did not know smoke alarms need to be tested once a month. I know it’s not convenient, but if it saves a family member is it that big of a chore?

If a smoke alarm doesn’t test out according to the manufacturer’s test procedure, replace it! Smoke alarms also need to be replaced every 10 years. Keep a household log so you know when it’s time to do so. 

Smoke alarms have become much more sophisticated and accurate, which is a good thing. They are also a lot more sensitive and vulnerable to malfunction if they are exposed to some household cleaners and chemicals in the air. 

Due to the water leak, I had to have our hardwood floors sanded and re-stained. When the flooring crew came in and hung plastic dust barriers up, I specifically asked them if they needed to cover the smoke alarms. They told me no.

We moved out of the house and came back four days later after the staining/finishing fumes had left. The floors looked beautiful! Oddly enough that evening our smoke alarm (which has a voice feature) started saying to test the alarm. We did and it went through its test. All seemed okay. A few hours later the same message went off. My wife decided it must be due to low batteries, so she changed them out. Half an hour later we received the same warning again.

We decided to call the electrician who had installed the smoke/carbon monoxide alarms about two years ago. We told him what happened and he advised us the alarm was malfunctioning and to get another one. He said fumes from re-finishing the floors made the alarm stop working. 

 Amazingly, after reading the general maintenance section on the new alarm I found out that even hairspray in the air can make it malfunction. Be aware of this, and don’t take that piece of plastic for granted.

Again: Now is the time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.  Also, make a calendar reminder to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly. If the lights are not working something is wrong and you need to replace it. You may SAVE A FAMILY MEMBER!

Regards, 

Chuck H., client since 2008 

Thank you, Chuck, for reminding us that a working smoke alarm could mean the difference between life and death.

house fire smoke alarm everett wa

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Fire is fast.  According to Underwriters Laboratories, homes burn much quicker than they used to. About 30 years ago, you had up to 17 minutes to escape a burning home. Today, with the prevalence of synthetic materials in homes, you have about 120 seconds. In just five minutes, a residence can be completely engulfed in flames. 

Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can escape a burning home quickly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms
  • More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

This is why it’s important not only to have a smoke alarm but to maintain it, too.

daylight savings test smoke detectors

Test Smoke Alarms and Change Batteries Regularly

The USFA advises smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year.

We recommend changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms during daylight savings time. This makes it easy to remember to change your batteries every year.

How to Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries 

How do you change batteries in your smoke alarms? Luckily, it’s easy to do and takes just a few minutes.  Here’s how:

  • Remove the cover or body of the smoke detector. Gently pry the cover open or unclip the body of the detector from its base with a slight twisting motion. Inside, you will find three main parts: the sensing chamber, a loud horn, and a battery (and in some cases, house voltage power source).
  • Replace the battery. Unclip the old battery from its holder. Most detectors utilize a 9-volt battery—use a brand new lithium 9-volt battery as a replacement. Be sure the male and female terminals are properly oriented and connect soundly with the base.
  • Close the cover or replace the body. Snap the cover shut or lock the body of the smoke detector back into its base
  • Test the smoke detector. Press the test button on the surface of the smoke detector to make sure the battery is working. When the button is pressed, the smoke detector should beep or chirp.

What You Need to Know About Smoke Alarms 

According to USFA, smoke alarms fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms are more responsive to flaming fires, like a grease fire on a stove. Photoelectric are more responsive to smoldering fires, like one caused by a discarded cigarette. Since no one can predict what type of fire might start in their home, the USFA recommends that every home and place where people sleep have:

  • Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms. OR
  • Dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.

There are also smoke alarms for people with hearing loss. These alarms may have strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to alert those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

smoke alarms bedroom home everett

You need a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement.  Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.

All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month by pushing the test button. Replace batteries at least once a year.

Smoke alarms models usually have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years and need to be replaced after that time.

If your smoke alarm goes off while you are cooking, congratulations! This means it’s working! No matter how tempting it may be, do not disconnect the smoke alarm or remove the batteries. You may forget to replace them.

Claim Your Insurance Discount 

After your smoke alarm is installed and working, you may be eligible for a discount on your home or renters insurance policy. Many insurance companies give discounts for protective devices like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, water detection devices, and burglar alarms.

To claim your insurance discount,  give us a call at (425) 379-9200 or click here. We are here to help!

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Safeco Agent for the Future Award McClain Insurance Big Brothers Big Sisters Snohomish County

 

Everett, Wash. (January 22, 2019) — McClain Insurance in Everett has been named the 2019 Northwest Region Agent for the Future by Safeco Insurance. As part of the award, Safeco pledged $5,000 to the nonprofit of the agency’s choice. McClain Insurance chose Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County to receive this grant and donated an additional $5,000 to the organization.

McClain Insurance is the only agency in Safeco Insurance’s Northwest Region, which is comprised of more than 1,800 agencies across five states, to receive the 2019 Agent for the Future Award. It recognized McClain Insurance for its commitment to innovation, growth, and advancement.

“McClain Insurance is thrilled to be honored with the Agent for the Future Award from Safeco Insurance. We are dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of our clients through technologies like texting and our agency app, making it easy for clients to do business with us. We are excited that this focus is being recognized,” said Claudia McClain.

In addition to the $10,000 donation, McClain Insurance also named BBBS a 2020 McClain Insurance Community Champion, which recognizes individuals and organizations working to make Snohomish County a better place.

McClain Insurance has supported BBBS for more than eight years through various sponsorships and our Share the Good Referral Program. Agency Vice President Nick Pembroke also volunteers as a reading club leader through BBBS’ Kids Book Club program.

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About McClain Insurance

McClain Insurance Services is a nationally-acclaimed insurance agency in Everett, Wash. Since opening in 1977, our mission has been simple and clear: to help clients re-establish their lives as quickly and as completely as possible after a loss.

We advise clients on all their personal insurance needs, including homeowners and renters insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. We can also assist with insuring more unique family needs, including electric bicycles, VRBO and other vacation rental properties, and in-home businesses.

As independent insurance agents, we partner with the Pacific Northwest’s best insurance companies. This allows us to offer choices to every client.

To learn more about McClain Insurance Services and our team of licensed insurance advisors, visit our websites: www.autohomeboat.com and www.quakequotes.com.

About Agent for the Future

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Safeco Insurance believe in the enduring value of independent agents, and the Agent for the Future™ platform was born out of that belief. Agent for the Future exists to help independent insurance agents succeed and thrive now and into the future. On the Agent for the Future website, you’ll find original research, actionable insights from insurance experts, and case studies highlighting the tactics winning agents are using to grow and thrive.

For more information about Agent for the Future, visit www.AgentForTheFuture.com.

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Winter weather conditions can cause a homeowner’s worst nightmare — frozen pipes!

When water freezes, it expands by about 9%. This causes increased pressure in your home’s pipes, which can lead to pipes cracking or bursting. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing significant damage.

frozen pipe insurance washington

Does homeowners insurance cover frozen pipes?

Yes and no.

Most home insurance policies cover “sudden and accidental” discharge of water from a plumbing source. Damage caused by frozen pipes usually qualifies as “sudden and accidental.” This assumes you use reasonable care to maintain heat in your home and/or shut off your home’s water supply during a period when your house is unoccupied.

The coverage provided by most Washington and Oregon homeowners insurance policies includes:

  • The cost to access the burst pipe, such as tearing out a wall
  • Necessary repairs to your damaged property, including drying out wet carpets
  • The cost to repair and restore the wall once the pipe has been fixed
  • Additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to the extent of the damage

Homeowners insurance policies do not cover the cost to repair the section of broken pipe.

5 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Preventing frozen pipes is easier – and cheaper – than fixing the damage they cause. Protect your pipes before cold weather arrives with these five easy tips:

frozen pipe insurance claim everett wa
Protect Outdoor Water Sources

Remove garden hoses from outdoor water faucets. Faucets are unable to drain properly when a hose is attached, which can lead to faucets freezing and breaking. After hoses are removed, cover all exterior faucets. Faucet covers are inexpensive, easy to install, and can be reused year after year.

Some homes also have water shut-off values that allow you to turn off water to outside faucets. If your home has an exterior shut off valve, turn off the water and drain pipes prior to installing faucet covers.

Insulate Pipes

Insulate pipes near your crawlspace, attic, and the exterior walls of your home. This is where the chance of freezing is greatest. Pipes can be insulated in a number of ways, including using snap-on foam insulation or UL-approved heat tape. Be sure to follow manufacturers’ installation instructions.

Turn Up the Thermostat

Keep your home heated to 55°F or higher even when you are sleeping or out of town. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around undersink plumbing.

Leave Water Running

Turn on hot and cold faucets near the exterior walls of your home and allow a small trickle of water to run overnight. This keeps water moving through your pipes and will relieve pressure should they freeze. Stagnant water freezes easier than running water.

Turn Off Water Supply and Drain System

If you will be away from home for an extended period, turn off the main water supply to your house and drain the pipes. We recommend this for those with secondary or vacation homes in cold areas. Agent Ashley Abrams has personal experience with this. The pipes in her cabin in Leavenworth, Washington, froze the one time someone forgot to drain them.

frozen pipe insurance claim

What Should I do if My Pipes Freeze?

Before attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, open the faucet the pipe runs to. This will allow water to flow through the pipe and relieve any built-up pressure.

Apply heat to the frozen pipe with a heat gun or hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, then work your way toward the coldest section of pipe. Never attempt to thaw a frozen pipe using an open flame.

If you’re unable to locate or access the section of frozen pipe, call a plumber for assistance.

What Should I do if a Frozen Pipe Bursts?

This is a worst-case scenario. If a frozen pipe bursts, turn off your water supply immediately to prevent additional damage. Then, call a water restoration company. Professional water restoration companies have the equipment necessary to dry out your home and minimize further damage.

In the Everett, Washington, area, we recommend Alpine Cleaning & Restoration and ServiceMaster.

Finally, call your local, independent insurance agent – like McClain Insurance. Your agent can explain what your insurance policy covers and assist in turning in a claim if necessary.

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What If I Get Pulled Over While Using My Cell Phone?

Heads Up, Drivers: Washington's E-DUI Law is Now Being Enforced

Q: What if I get pulled over while using my cell phone?
A: You’ll receive an E-DUI ticket, which can impact your insurance premium

Washington’s Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (E-DUI) law went into effect on July 23, 2017, making it illegal for Washington drivers to use hand-held electronic devices while driving. This includes all cell phones, tablets, laptops, and video games. Washington E-DUI tickets go on your driving record and are reported to your insurance provider similar to how a speeding ticket is reported.

Most law enforcement agencies gave drivers a six month grace period to adjust to the new law.  According to Q13 Fox, Washington State Patrol alone issued nearly 7,000 warnings to drivers during the grace period.

Although the Washington E-DUI law has been in effect for more than two years now, distracted driving is still far too common. Just today, KOMO 4 News reported that a Washington State Patrol sergeant in SeaTac found a driver playing Pokemon Go simultaneously on eight ( yes, eight!) cell phones. Thankfully no one was injured, but this isn’t always the case.

Washington State Distracted Driving Statistics
  • 30% of crash fatalities in Washington state are due to distracted driving.
  • 23% of serious crashes in Washington state are due to distracted driving.
  • Drivers are 3 times more likely to be in a crash when talking on a phone.
  • 70% of observed distracted drivers were using their cell phones

We cannot stress enough: E-DUI tickets are reported to your insurance company, just like speeding tickets. This means your car insurance premium can – and likely will – increase if you receive an E-DUI ticket.

Earlier this summer, McClain Insurance agent Ann Franklin counseled a client whose car insurance premium increased by more than $1,000 a year due to an E-DUI ticket.  This is in addition to the cost of the E-DUI ticket itself, which increases with each violation:

  • First E-DUI ticket: $136
  • Second E-DUI ticket (within 5 years): $234

Why is the Washington E-DUI law necessary? According to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities from distracted driving increased 32% from 2014 to 2015, and one in four crashes involved cell phone use just prior to the crash. As independent insurance agents, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in claims due to distracted driving, particularly rear-end accidents. This leads to rate increases for everyone.

Here’s what you to know about Washington’s E-DUI law, which made it illegal for drivers to use cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices while driving.

No hand-held cell phone use while driving: 

  • Even when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light
  • No typing messages or accessing information
  • No watching videos or using cameras

You CAN use your device if you are:

  • Hands-free (such as using Bluetooth) and can start use by a single touch or swipe without holding the phone
  • Parked or out-of-the-flow of traffic, including in a ferry line
  • Starting your GPS or music before you drive
  • Contacting emergency services

Regardless of how you feel about Washington’s E-DUI law, McClain Insurance hopes to keep you safe and violation-free! To that end, we are offering free air vent mounted phone holders that will help you comply with Washington state’s “one finger/one swipe” requirement. Please stop by our office in Everett, Washington, anytime to pick up as many phone cradles as needed, while supplies last. We hope that this will keep you and your family safe and compliant with Washington’s E-DUI law.

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McClain Insurance Named Safeco Change Agent

McClain Insurance one of two agencies nationwide to receive this recognition

 

McClain Insurance Safeco Change Agent

Safeco Change Agent check presentation. Pictured from left to right: McClain Insurance Founder Claudia McClain, Safeco Insurance Western Washington Territory Manager Abigail Roosendaal, and Everett Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Kay Fantin.

EVERETT, Wash. (June 6, 2019) — Safeco Insurance is pleased to announce that McClain Insurance has been named a 2019 Safeco Change Agent and has been awarded $2,000 to donate to Everett Public Schools Foundation (EPSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building community support and invest resources to inspire innovation, excellence, and achievement for all learners in the Everett Public Schools.

The Safeco Change Agent program recognizes independent agents who have made a difference through their volunteer efforts with local nonprofits in the areas of animal welfare, community safety, food insecurity, supporting troops and veterans, and education. Safeco acknowledges that small, everyday steps can have a big impact on local communities.

Every August, the McClain Insurance team participates in Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive benefiting the Everett Public Schools Foundation. This helps collects new backpacks and school supplies to help low-income students, who make up 38.5% of the Everett Public Schools district. This August, the EPSF needs to supply and fill a record-breaking 1,920 backpacks. The awarded $2,000 funds will be matched with another $2,000 donation from McClain Insurance. This $4,000 combined donation will help to purchase needed backpacks and supplies this year that will be filled with pens, pencils, binders, notebooks, highlighters and more that will best prepare the students for the coming school year.

To increase the efforts for their drive, the EPSF has partnered with Supply All Kids, a local nonprofit who provides pre-assembled school supply kits and backpacks, that can be ordered online and directly delivered to EPSF’s warehouse for distribution. To give a backpack today, please visit: https://supplyallkids.com/#/donate/epsf

Based on the social media attention their charitable efforts garnered related to education, McClain Insurance was one of only two winners selected nationwide for a Safeco Change Agent award. Agencies were selected by submitting photos of their volunteerism, from which 10 finalists were chosen by Safeco. A Safeco Change Agent Facebook album was then created on the Safeco Insurance page and the public was invited to vote. The two agencies who received the most likes and comments on their photos were recognized nationally as a Safeco Change Agent.

“The Safeco Change Agent program recognizes agents’ passion projects to support causes and organizations that are meaningful to them,” said Abigail Roosendaal, Safeco Insurance Western Washington Territory Manager. “These independent agents serve as trusted advisors to help people protect what matters most while impacting their local communities.”

For more information about the Safeco Change Agent program and how independent agents give back and make a difference in their local communities visit https://www.safeco.com/agents-community and https://www.facebook.com/SafecoInsurance/.

 

About Safeco Insurance

In business since 1923, Safeco Insurance sells personal automobile, homeowners, and specialty products through a network of more than 10,000 independent insurance agencies throughout the United States. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2017 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual is ranked 68th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2017 revenue.

For more information about Safeco Insurance, go to www.Safeco.com.

 

About McClain Insurance Services

We strive to provide the best possible service to you. All our agents work closely together and each member of our professional team is ready to help you with all your insurance questions. To learn more, please visit https://www.autohomeboat.com.

 

About Everett Public Schools Foundation

The Everett Public Schools Foundation builds community support and invests resources to inspire innovation, excellence, and achievement for all learners in the Everett Public Schools. To learn more or to get involved today, please visit https://www.everettsd.org/epsf.

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McClain Insurance Earns Safeco Awards

Agency Founder Claudia McClain and Vice President Nick Pembroke Receive Top Honors

Nick Pembroke McClain Insurance Safeco Award

McClain Insurance Vice President Nick Pembroke receives the S.O.A.R. Award from Safeco Insurance Territory Manager Abby Roosendaal.

Nick Pembroke Earns Safeco Outstanding Agent Recognition (S.O.A.R.) Award

McClain Insurance Vice President Nick Pembroke received the Safeco Insurance Outstanding Agent Recognition (S.O.A.R.) Award for 2018. The S.O.A.R Award acknowledges Nick’s diligence, integrity, and passion for excellence.

“We feel honored that once again, Safeco recognized Nick’s commitment to providing expert guidance to our clients, his commitment to customer service, and his overall exemplary representation of Safeco,” says Claudia McClain, founder of McClain Insurance.

This is the second year Nick received this prestigious award. Only a select group of independent insurance agents in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska were given this honor by Safeco Insurance.

Safeco Insurance Agent Everett WA McClain

Safeco Insurance Recognizes McClain Insurance for Exceptional Performance

Safeco Insurance has recognized McClain Insurance again as a Safeco Elite Agent for 2018 based upon outstanding performance and partnership. Fewer than 10% of independent insurance agencies countrywide that sell Safeco personal lines products receive this distinguished honor.

Achieving status as a Safeco Elite Agent is a reflection of an agency’s success and its commitment to serving clients as a trusted advisor.

“We are honored to be a Safeco Elite Agent,” says Claudia. “McClain Insurance has represented Safeco Insurance since 2004, and we take pride in our strong working relationship and our shared commitment to helping our customers protect what matters most to them.”

Claudia McClain Receives Safeco Award of Excellence for Superior Underwriting Skill

Safeco Insurance also selected Claudia McClain to receive their Award of Excellence. Fewer than 5% of insurance agents across the country who sell Safeco Insurance personal lines policies receive this prestigious honor.

“I strive to provide our clients with the insurance protection they need at the right price,” said Claudia. “Safeco shares that same value, and we are thrilled that we been recognized with one of the company’s top honors.”

To receive a Safeco Award of Excellence, an insurance agent must have a strong relationship with Safeco and superior underwriting skills.

“Outstanding underwriting and strong partnerships benefit our clients,” said Claudia. “Because Safeco Insurance supports independent insurance agents as trusted advisors, I am honored to have been selected for the Award of Excellence.”

The McClain Insurance team takes pride in our commitment to being there when you need us most. Stop by, email, or call to let us know how we can help!

McClain Insurance is located at 10410 19th Ave SE, Everett. We can be reached at (425) 379-9200 or team@autohomeboat.com.

 

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Boating season kicks off May 4, and if you’re a true Pacific Northwesterner you may have already taken your boat out once or twice this spring.

Whether you sail the San Juans or cruise Lake Washington, it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance protection for your vessel. Here are some common boat insurance questions our northwest neighbors ask us:

Does my home insurance policy cover my boat? 

It’s a common belief among Washington boat owners that their home insurance will extend to cover their boat. While there is a small grain of truth to this statement, it could cost you big money if you rely on it.

Homeowners policies extend limited coverage to some very small boats, generally up to a maximum of $1,000 – $1,500.

If you own a boat with a motor, we always recommend purchasing a stand-alone boat insurance policy. The same is true for personal watercraft like jet skis and wave runners.

What does boat insurance cover? 

A Washington state boat insurance policy is very similar to auto insurance in terms of the coverage it provides. Both policies provide liability and property damage coverage in case of an accident.

Depending on your insurance company and policy, this may include the following:

  • Property damage to your boat and/or marine equipment, including the hull, machinery, fittings, furnishings, and permanently attached equipment
  • Loss of your boat due to theft, fire, or another covered peril
  • Liability incurred by your boat hitting another boat, a dock, or a swimmer
  • Medical expenses for injury to you and passengers as a result of a boating accident
  • Injury to you or your passengers caused by a negligent uninsured boater

Insurance rates vary depending on the size, type, and value of your boat, as well as the waters you intend to sail.

Rates also vary depending on whether you opt to protect your boat based on Actual Cash Value or Agreed Value.

Actual Cash Value protects your boat based on its market value at the time of loss, which may include a deduction for depreciation of the boat’s value according to its age or condition.

If you protect your vessel based on Agreed Value, you have declared the boat’s value at the time you purchase the insurance policy. In case of a total loss, you will receive the agreed-upon insured amount without a deduction for depreciation.

What happens if my boat is damaged in transit?

It doesn’t matter if you tow your boat one mile to the nearest boat launch or 100 miles to the best fishing grounds – accidents happen. While in transit, the liability protection on the car insurance policy of the towing vehicle will extend to cover damage or injury to others that is done by your towed boat and/or trailer, if you are negligent.

(This is a good reason to check your auto liability limits to make sure that they are adequate!)

However, in case of an accident, damage to your boat and trailer would only be covered by your boat insurance policy, if you have one.

How does boat insurance protect my passengers? 

Most boat insurance policies provide liability and medical payment coverage for the people that are aboard your boat, or that you are towing on water-skis, wakeboards, or innertubes, as long as you aren’t participating in a competition.

Is boat insurance required in Washington state?

Although there is no law requiring Washington boat owners carry insurance, if you moor your boat at a marina you may be required to show them proof of insurance.

Because of the proximity to other boats and the potential for a loss on your boat (such as a fire) to affect to other boats or the dock, most marinas require proof of at least $500,0000 liability protection before they’ll rent you moorage space.

Check with your marina for more information, ancontact the McClain Insurance team for hassle-free boat insurance.

 

 

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Snohomish Everett WA water insurance claim

Snowmageddon 2019 brought record-breaking snowfall to Western Washington. It also brought an ice dam to my roof, causing serious water damage to the first and second stories of my home Snohomish.

Yes — insurance agents have claims, too.

Here are my honest thoughts on my claims process:

 

Water Main Shut Off Insurance Claim

Take Preventative Steps Now

According to my insurance company, Safeco Insurance, one in 50 homes file a water-related claim every year. This makes water damage the second most frequently filed homeowners insurance claim (wind damage being the first – something we also see in Western Washington).

Thankfully, homeowners can prevent most types of water damage. Here are some steps you can take now:

  • Know where your home’s water main shut-off is. Even minor leaks can cause major problems, so if you suspect a leak you’ll want to turn off your water supply right away. This will help prevent further damage. If you would like a free “water main shut off tag” like the one above, please call or text our office at (425) 379-9200.
  • Check your appliances. According to Safeco, they’re the most common source of water leaks in homes. Check the water-using appliances in your home at least once a year, paying special attention to the hoses that come with your washer, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Appliance hoses break down over time, so carefully look for kinks and cracks, and replace if needed. Consider using reinforced hoses, too. Hoses with steel braiding or mesh won’t hold up forever, but they’re a lot stronger than standard rubber or plastic hoses.
  • Consider installing water sensors. These can alert you to a leak or other water problem soon after it occurs. There are sophisticated sensors that can send messages to your smartphone, but even an inexpensive water sensor that sounds a local alarm when it detects a leak is better than nothing.

Although these precautions wouldn’t have prevented or stopped my water leak, these are smart steps you can – and should – take.

 

Water restoration insurance claim everett wa

Thank you Alpine Restoration for coming to the rescue. Here they are parked outside my home.

Stop Additional Damage 

After realizing we had a serious water problem, I immediately called Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, a family-owned restoration company in Everett.  If water isn’t cleaned up quickly it can cause more damage and lead to mold growth, so time is of the essence.

The restoration professionals at Alpine worked to identify the source of water (my roof) and start the drying process.

Alpine Restoration Water Insurance Claim Everett

Consult Your Insurance Agent

I’m a third-generation insurance agent who has worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years. I still consulted my team at McClain Insurance prior to turning in a claim.

Although claims adjusters determine whether a loss is covered or not, your insurance agent can help you decipher policy language, explain your coverage, and help you decide when you should file a claim.

I have a $1,000 deductible on my homeowners policy with Safeco, so I knew I didn’t want to turn in a claim until I was sure the loss would exceed that amount. After I realized how extensive the damage was, my colleague Laura Paradis called Safeco on my behalf and connected me with a claims representative within minutes.

water insurance claim home snohomish wa
Embrace Technology

Technology allows insurance companies to communicate quickly and efficiently throughout the claims process. Embrace it.

I chose to receive text message updates from Safeco, which allowed me to receive my claim number and adjuster’s contact information within minutes of reporting my claim. I receive more in-depth claims updates by email, and I can check the status of my claim 24/7 online or on Safeco’s app.

Partner With Your Adjuster

Just as our team partners with you to find the best insurance coverage to fit your needs, your claims adjuster is your partner throughout the claims process. He or she is on your side—really!

Due to the severity of our snowstorm, I have a team of two claims adjusters assigned my loss – a “desk adjuster” who works inside the office and a catastrophe adjuster who flew in from Indianapolis to help inspect damages. They worked together to coordinate payment of water restoration work and schedule repair contractors.  

My claim is still open and ongoing, so I’ll continue to update this as the claim proceeds. Stay tuned! 

 

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