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If you open the travel section of your local newspaper, you will likely find an article on rental car claims.  Individual stories include complaints about hidden fine print, inadequately prepared damage slips, falsely attributed damage reports, and, ultimately, a bill — often months after the car has been returned.

 

Need proof?  Check out these articles in the Everett Herald, The Seattle Times, and the Travel Troubleshooter.

If you need to rent a car, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Insist on detailed damage reports and take pictures 

One of the most frequent complaints about rental car companies is that employees dismiss damage report slips as ‘unnecessary’ or give vague answers to ‘not worry.’

When renting a car, always insist on detailed damage report slips at check-out and at check-in.  In addition, use your smartphone to take pictures or video of the vehicle from all angles (don’t forget the interior and the car’s mileage, and don’t hesitate to hold your phone under the front and rear bumpers to snap a picture of what’s below.

The more ‘proof’ you have of the car’s condition, the more material you’ll have in case you need it.  Hold on to your documentation for at least a year after you return the car:  Rental car companies, often, aren’t known for their ‘promptness’ in submitting claims.

2.  Your car insurance doesn’t automatically extend to cover a rental car

You may have heard that your auto insurance policy will extend to cover a rental car.  While this might be true for some policies, it can also leave you with serious gaps.

The bottom line is:  Don’t rely on your personal car insurance to cover a rental vehicle. 

3. Purchase the rental car company’s Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) 

You will be offered the option to purchase a “Loss Damage Waiver” (LDW) from the rental car company. If purchased, this waiver relieves you from financial liability for the loss of, or damage to the rental car.  We recommend that you purchase the LDW when you rent a car.

 

 

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We just received word from The Herald that McClain Insurance Services has been named a “Readers’ Choice” in two categories!

 

Earlier this year in April, the Everett Herald invited readers and residents to help determine the best in local business.  Countless voters submitted their favorite stores, restaurants and service providers.  McClain Insurance emerged as the winner among 21 nominated insurance agencies, earning the title “Best Insurance Agency.”

Not only that.  Among all regional employers, McClain Insurance was also named “Best Place to Work.”

 

This wouldn’t be possible without your support!  Many thanks to all who participated and cast their vote for us…  We couldn’t do it without you.  Without doubt, if there was a “Best Local Community” award, it would have to go to Everett’s residents!

Thank you.

 

 

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Do you remember the movie “Mary Poppins”?  It was one of my childhood favorites!

In the movie, Mary Poppins is hired to care for two upper-class children who have successfully managed to scare away at least a half-dozen nannies in record time.  Not so Mary Poppins!  She wins the siblings’ hearts, and teaches them (and their father) an important life lesson:  Don’t take life too seriously!  A little imagination and play go a long way in making everyday chores fun.

Among Mary Poppins’ most exciting activities are her outings:  She takes her little proteges into the pictures of a street artist, on a fox hunt, to a ceiling dinner party, and on a walk across the city roofs.  Fun stuff!  But not from an insurance standpoint…

When it comes to childcare, there are two common option for parents: Daycare or in-home nanny.

Insurance for a daycare mom:

Luckily, one of our clients who runs a daycare called us before using her personal car to take ‘her’ daycare kids to school or on outings…

You see, your personal auto insurance policy does not cover you if you use your car “to transport persons or deliver property for compensation of any kind.”.   Whether you use your car to deliver pizza, mail, or newspapers… or whether you transport children (that you’re paid to watch) to and from parks and museums – it comes down to the fact that your car is now an essential and compensated part of your job.

In the case of our nanny, the transport of her daycare kids was incidental to other parts of her job, for which she might receive a single “fee.” But since the legal language in a personal auto policy contract clearly excludes transporting people or products for compensation, and she is being paid for her services which include the transport, she runs the risk of having a claim denied because of the contractual language.

(Note:  Shared expense car pools are specifically exempted from this language.  So, this exclusion doesn’t impact parents who share driving duty to swimming or dance lessons with another parent, or just reimburse for gasoline expenses.)

Insurance contract language does vary from company to company, and state to state.  If you are in a situation where you really need to transport persons or products in your personal vehicle, please be sure to talk to your insurance agent to find out the right solution for you.  The best advice may be to purchase a commerical auto policy with high liability limits.  Yes, this may cost more, but it would assure that your insurance coverage is there when you need it.

Things are a little bit different if you’re hiring a nanny for the summer.

Insurance for an in-home nanny:

It’s not uncommon for working parents to hire a college student or a young neighbor to watch their kids during summer break.  But if driving kids to and from activities is an inherent part of your kids’ summer, be careful about your transportation arrangements!

Never let your nanny drive her own car to transport your children.  If transportation is a must, opt to provide a vehicle for your caretaker’s use while getting everybody to where they need to be.

Keep in mind these important steps:  

1.  If you provide a car for your nanny, be sure to list the vehicle and your nanny as a permissive driver on your insurance policy. (This may require that you temporarily pay higher car insurance rates for a younger operator on your policy.  However, you don’t want to risk the alternative: no coverage for your children, nanny or vehicle in case of an accident.)

2.  Do not allow your sitter to drive her own car to transport your children.  Insurance coverage may not extend.  Even if it does, your nanny’s coverage may not be as broad as yours. And since she/he is acting on your behalf, you will also be sued in a serious accident.

3. Be sure to brief your nanny on your safe-driver rules:  No texting or talking, required seat belts for everybody, obeying the law, and avoiding distractions can be life-saving basics.  You may consider drafting a Safe Driver Contract or even the installation of a tracking device in your car.

 

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About McClain Insurance Services    |    www.AutoHomeBoat.com

McClain Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency located in Everett, WA. The agency has represented quality insurance companies (including PEMCO, Safeco, Travelers and Progressive) since 1977.

Independent agents work with you to customize an insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. They can help with all your personal insurance needs: Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Umbrella, Earthquake, Flood, Boat, Motorcycle and RV Insurance.

McClain Insurance Services is a Trusted Choice agency and a member of the Independent Agents Association of America, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and the BBB. They are also Charter Members of NSACE – National Society of Agents for Consumer Education.  McClain Insurance is a Washington State Corporations for Communities Award Winner and IIABW Agency of the Year 2013.

 

 

 

 

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Are you enjoying the warm weather and sunny skies this time of year?  July, so far, has presented itself with glorious summer days! Capris and flip flops are standard attire and most kids enjoy the long careless days of school break.

But some students in our neighborhood dread the thought of going back to school in a couple of months. Why?

Because for them, capris and flip flops continue to be the standard attire, even if the weather cools down.  Pants that are outgrown have to make do because the family has no money to buy new ones.  And for footwear, it’s either tennis shoes with the toes curled under, or flip flops that offer space, but not warmth.

 

Thousands of children in Snohomish County own only one outfit, and often attend school with no socks or underwear.   The stress and embarrassment of not having the right clothes can negatively affect that child’s self esteem and impact their ability to learn.

Operation School Bell, the Everett Assistance League’s oldest and largest philantrophic program, has set out to make a change:  By providing clothing, shoes and hygiene kits, they help students feel good about themselves and start the school year off right.

Children from 14 school districts in Snohomish County are invited to participate in ‘Operation School Bell.‘  The organization arranges for transportation to stores, and stands by with volunteer personal assistants to help children and teens pick out a new wardrobe.

NOW is the time to support this great cause!  You can help a young student take a step towards success in life, simply by referring a friend to McClain Insurance Services for an insurance review.

For each referral, we will make a $25 donation to Operation School Bell.

Please click here to learn more about our Referral Rewards Program.

 

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About McClain Insurance Services    |    www.AutoHomeBoat.com

McClain Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency located in Everett, WA. The agency has represented quality insurance companies (including PEMCO, Safeco, Travelers and Progressive) since 1977.

Independent agents work with you to customize an insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. They can help with all your personal insurance needs: Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Umbrella, Earthquake, Flood, Boat, Motorcycle and RV Insurance.

McClain Insurance Services is a Trusted Choice agency and a member of the Independent Agents Association of America, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and the BBB. They are also Charter Members of NSACE – National Society of Agents for Consumer Education.  McClain Insurance is a Washington State Corporations for Communities Award Winner and IIABW Agency of the Year 2013.

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Do you like to watch movies?  But hate to miss out on a beautiful summer evening outside?  Well – we have the perfect match for you to satisfy both wishes!

Join the McClain Insurance team and PEMCO WALLY Van as we kick off Everett’s Summer Outdoor Movie Series “Cinema Under The Stars” on Friday, July 11, 2014  -7:30pm at Thornton A. Sullivan Park on Silver Lake with the movie “Frozen.”

McClain Insurance Services has been a long-time sponsor of “Cinema.”  The annual night out at the movies has become a McClain team favorite:  “From finding movie-themed gifts for the kids, to taking photos of guests and handing out personalized free souvenirs on the spot (thanks to the PEMCO WALLY team) – Cinema is one of the highlights of our summer!” says Claudia McClain, owner and principal of McClain Insurance Services.

“Since my children were small, the summer programs that the City of Everett puts on for local families have grown exponentially.  I love seeing all these opportunities for fun and entertainment in our community!  McClain Insurance is a proud supporter of Cinema!”

 

Don’t miss out on your free “Frozen” – themed gift and photo (only available at opening night!)  Join PEMCO and the McClain Insurance team on Friday, July 11!  Pre-show entertainment starts at 7:30pm, movie starts at dusk.

Then, come back for more “Cinema” shows:

Friday, July 18:          Despicable Me 2

Friday, July 25:          Iron Man 3

Friday, August 1:        The LEGO Movie

Friday, August 8:        Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Friday, August 15:      The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

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Recently, we had the privilege to welcome a teen from Cocoon House to our office as part of “Take Your Kids to Work Day.”  (Traditionally, this day is scheduled annually for the fourth Thursday in April to encourage schools, parents and students to offer a first glimpse at a working career.)

For many children, this is a great way to spend time with mom or dad while getting a first-hand look at what they are doing all day, and learning what it means to “have a job.”

For Cocoon House residents, it’s different.  Cocoon House serves as Snohomish County’s only resource exclusively serving homeless and at-risk youth.  By providing outreach, housing and prevention, Cocoon House helps students set and pursue goals in life.  Often, the encouragement to finish High School is the start.

But for these homeless youth who lost contact with their families, “Take Your Kids to Work Day” is much harder to implement.

That’s why we were thrilled when a Cocoon House representative contacted us about hosting a young student for a day.  McClain Insurance has been a supporter of Cocoon House for many years as part of our agency’s Referral Rewards Program, and we were looking forward to making a more personal connection!

We had a great time sharing our office and passing on what we know and cherish about our industry.  Our most important piece of advice?  Let’s put it this way:

 

Shoot for the moon.
Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

We hope that we were able to pass on our passion for protecting what matters to people.

Thank you, J. – it was such a pleasure to have you!

 

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My Oh My, there are lots of activities happening at our favorite ball park – and the AquaSox season hasn’t even officially started yet!  We picked 5 events to get your baseball fever started.  Visit www.AquaSox.com for more AquaSox fun throughout the season!

1. AquaSox Kids Club

Register your young fan with the AquaSox Kids Club for only $12 and enjoy:

– Upper Box Tickets to EVERY 2014 Sunday AquaSox Game
– Discount on 2014 Baseball Camp
– Exclusive AquaSox Kids Club Shirt
– Win the chance to throw a VIP pitch
– First in line for Kids Run the Bases
– Other deals and opportunities throughout the year

For more information, please click here.

2. AquaSox Opening Day

Celebrate 30 years of Everett AquaSox and help the “Frogs” kick off the 2014 Season in style! Get your tickets today for the home opener game against the Hillsboro Hops, collect your free magnet season schedule, and stay for the fireworks.  Please click here for details.

3. Fathers Day

Take your dad out for a special Fathers Day BBQ (yes, it’s All-You-Can-Eat) and AquaSox ballgame this Fathers Day!  What a great way to honor the man who raised you.  THANK YOU to all the wonderful dads out there, and Happy Father’s Day! Please click here for more info.

4. Family Overnight on June 28

Take your family out to the ballgame — and then spend the night! Enjoy the game against the Spokane Indians with a free Hot Dog dinner, then munch on popcorn as you watch an outdoor movie on the big videoboard before curling up in your sleeping bag on the play field-turned-campground. Ready? Register today!

5. Baseball Camp

Kids aged 6-12 can learn from the pros at the AquaSox Baseball Camp – August 19-21, 2104, 9am-12:30pm. The camp teaches baseball basics and includes a ticket to the 8/21 game, camp shirt, autograph session and daily lunch.  Register before July 1, 2014 and enjoy the early bird special of $150 per camper. Learn more about it here!

Have a Happy AquaSox Summer! Go Frogs!

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In honor of Flag Day on June 14th, McClain Insurance is hosting the annual Flag Exchange Program.  Our clients and neighbors are invited to stop by our office (10410 19th Ave SE in Everett, WA – just South of Costco) during the week of June 9 – 13, 2014 and exchange worn and faded flags for a free new stars and stripes.

It’s just our way to say THANK YOU to our community, to those who fight and have fought to protect our freedom, and to honor our beautiful country! Let us fly some bright red, white and blue colors in our neighborhoods this summer!

As you raise your new flag, why not take a quiz and test yourself (and your kiddos) on their flag trivia?  Brush up your flag knowledge in time for Flag Day and the Fourth of July, then share it at the next backyard barbecue!

US Flag Trivia

  1. When the flag is folded, what is its final shape and how many folds does it take to get there?
  2. What day is Flag Day?
  3. The US Flag has several nick names… List three of them.
  4. On what holiday does the flag fly on half-mast until noon, then full mast from noon to sunset?
  5. What’s the furthest place the flag has traveled to?
  6. How many stars and stripes are on the Stars and Stripes?
  7. How should a worn flag be retired?
  8. Who cut the American Flag into pieces and was even honored for doing it?
  9. What is a vexillologist?
  10. What does “Shipwreck” Kelly have to do with flags?

Did you know them all?  Please scroll down for the answers.

  1. The flag is folded 13 times, into a triangle.
  2. Flag Day is on June 14th.  The holiday was developed by a school teacher and signed into law in 1949.
  3. Stars and Stripes, Star-Spangled Banner, Old Glory
  4. On Memorial Day
  5. To the moon.
  6. 13 Stripes to represent the 13 original colonies, and 50 Stars to represent the 50 States.
  7. If a flag is worn beyond repair, it may be retired respectfully by burning it.  This is part of a special ceremony that is held by American Legions, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
  8. Robert Peary cut the flag into pieces and left them scattered at the North Pole.
  9. A vexillogist is an expert in the history and study of flags.
  10. “Shipwreck” Kelly was famous for ‘flagpole-sitting’, a popular activitiy in the 1920’s.  Kelly once set a record by spending 49 days sitting on one flag pole.

 

 

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Almost 3 years ago, McClain Insurance Agent, Nick, and his wife Meghan were excited and nervous to welcome their baby daughter into the world.  And, as they’ll both confirm, one of the most important things they did to prepare for her arrival was to find and join a local PEPS Group.

PEPS (short for Program for Early Parent Support) is a King / Snohomish County non-profit organization that supports, informs and connects young parents with other local families.

Each 12-week program brings brings parents together under the leadership of trained volunteers.  Together, families share the joys and challenges of parenthood, develop confidence in their own abilities, and provide immediate and personal support and resources.

Many of the PEPS friendships that have been forged over colicky babies and sleepless nights last well into the children’s teen years and give parents an effective sounding board and peer encouragement to raise well-adjusted adults.

Nick and his family still love to get together with their PEPS people. “We can’t imagine life without them!  The connections we’ve made are so important to us.  With a few years of parenting under our belts, we now get together outside of PEPS for backyard barbecues, playdates at the park, or camping trips.  It truly takes a village to raise children, and PEPS is our village!”

Whether you’re expecting your first baby or already have a little one; whether you’re looking to go back to work and need daycare resources or are simply looking for a babysitter for a night  – click here to check out this great organization.


This month, you can help support PEPS with McClain Insurance Services!  Simply refer a friend to us for an Insurance Policy Review. For every referral, we will make a $25 donation to PEPS!

Please click here to learn more about our Referral Rewards Program.

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About McClain Insurance Services    |    www.AutoHomeBoat.com

McClain Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency located in Everett, WA. The agency has represented quality insurance companies (including PEMCO, Safeco, Travelers and Progressive) since 1977.

Independent agents work with you to customize an insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. They can help with all your personal insurance needs: Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Umbrella, Earthquake, Flood, Boat, Motorcycle and RV Insurance.

McClain Insurance Services is a Trusted Choice agency and a member of the Independent Agents Association of America, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and the BBB. They are also Charter Members of NSACE – National Society of Agents for Consumer Education.  McClain Insurance is a Washington State Corporations for Communities Award Winner and IIABW Agency of the Year 2013.

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If you’ve been looking to replace your faded US flag for the summer holidays, look no more!  Local independent insurance agency, McClain Insurance Services can help!  For the sixth year, local residents have the opportunity to retire worn flags in exchange for a bright new stars and stripes.

McClain Insurance will host the annual

Flag Exchange program on June 9th – 13th, 2014 from 9am – 5pm.

The McClain Insurance office is located at 10410 19th Ave SE in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Everett, just South of Costco.

Citizens are invited to stop by and exchange their flag.

“We started this program in 2008 in honor of Flag Day as an effort to serve our community.  Hundreds of Snohomish County residents have taken us up on the offer to exchange their flag.  We’ve learned that one of the biggest concerns for our neighbors is not necessarily the acquisition of a new flag, but rather, the knowledge that there will be a proper ceremony for the retired flag,” notes Claudia McClain, the owner of McClain Insurance Services.

“We are glad that we can help with this concern,” says McClain.  “It’s the least we can do! Our deepest thanks and appreciation go out to those who serve and have fought in defense of our country and freedom!”

Retired flags will be respectfully disposed of in a ceremony held by the Boy Scouts of America.

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McClain Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency located in Everett, WA. The agency has represented a number of regional and national insurance companies (including PEMCO, Safeco, Travelers and Progressive) since 1977.  McClain Insurance Services offers great insurance options to customers in Snohomish County and Washington.  Between our convenient full-service website and our team of licensed, professional brokers make insurance shopping personal, easy, quick and hassle-free.

Independent agents work with you to customize an insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. They can help with all your personal insurance needs: Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Umbrella, Earthquake, Flood, Boat, Motorcycle and RV Insurance.

McClain Insurance Services is a Trusted Choice agency and a member of the Independent Agents Association of America, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County, and the BBB. They are also Charter Members of NSACE – National Society of Agents for Consumer Education. McClain Insurance is a Washington State Corporations for Communities Award Winner and IIABW Agency of the Year 2013.

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