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Car Thefts in Washington

Any vehicle is subject to some degree of being vulnerable to theft, but most thieves will steal makes and models that they are familiar with and that are the easiest to steal.

Owners of certain models (and years) of cars may have a higher chance of not finding their car parked in the same spot they left it in. Car jackings in the last few years have been on the rise.

The most commonly stolen vehicles in Washington state are:

  • 1992 Honda Accord
  • 1995 and 1998 Honda Civic
  • 1995 Acura Integra
  • 2006 Ford Pickup
  • 1990 and 1991 Toyota Camry
  • 1996 Subaru Legacy

If you own one of these vehicles you can take extra measures to make sure your car won’t get stolen. You can instal anti-theft devices, alarms and tracking devices. Not only will these help deter thieves, you may also qualify for a discount on your car insurance too!

Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween! Time to dress up and party. We at Vern Fonk wish you a happy, safe holiday and hope you have a great weekend. Please remember to drive safely and always use a designated driver.

Most car accidents happen around the holidays. The weather is typically worse than any other time of the year, and there are more parties involving alcohol. Please stay safe, drive defensively and never drive drunk.

Our clients always dress to impress on Halloween, and we love seeing their hilarious costumes on social media and in person.

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.21.00 AMIf you’re not sure what to be this Halloween, check out some of the wacky outfits we’ve used in our past commercials, and you may be inspired:

Vern Fonk Youtube Channel

Temperature Rising

summerIs your car ready for the high summer temperatures?  We all get so excited for summer, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, but do you take the time to check your car out and get it ready for the extremes you’ll be putting it through?  It seems like most people in our area take road trips and generally use their car more in the summer because we all want to enjoy the sunshine while it’s here.  Here are a few tips you can use to make sure your car is in tip top condition:

  • Check all the hoses and belts - Hoses and belts can crack and wear down over time. They are what keep the moving parts of your engine running and if one breaks it can take out an entire system. Make sure they are looking good and attached properly.
  • Check your fluids - Fluids are what make everything run smoothly. Check your engine oil level, antifreeze and coolants, windshield fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Overheating is a major issue for most cars in the summer and keeping your vehicle hydrated with the right fluids is key to making sure that doesn’t happen to you.
  • Inspect your tires - Most people think good tread on your tires is just important in the winter. This is very wrong. Tires should be inspected for even tread wear and bald spots and bulges. The correct tire pressure is also important. During the summer more tires are seen blown out on the side of the highway because of people neglecting to take care of them.

These are just a few of the things you can do to protect your car from the heat this year. Remember to drive safely, stay calm and don’t give in to road rage. Having the right auto insurance policy will help ease your mind, especially one that has extra towing or roadside assistance coverage. Call a Vern Fonk Car Insurance agent today for a fast free car insurance quote.

Midlife Crisis Cars

Are you or someone you know feeling a little uneasy about your age? Many people would call the quest to find something that makes you feel young again a midlife crisis. There are many things people do to feel young (dye their hair, buy new clothes, etc) but the most popular, and perhaps most public way to do it is to buy a fancy fast new car or motorcycle.

Here are some of the best cars and motorcycles you could get if you’re going through a midlife crisis:

Chevy Corvette Stingray Convertible
The Corvette is the mother of all “mid life crisis cars”. The curves and lines on the body of the car is provocative and the car packs a punch of power. The convertible option allows you to check out the scenery and allow the wind to blow through whatever hair you may have left on your head.

BMW M5
The BMW M5 is fast! 560 horsepower gets you moving with little effort. This car still keeps it looking professional and still holds passengers as a 4 door sedan. The interior is roomy and the trunk is fairly large.

Factory Five 1933 Hot Rod
If you’ve got extra time on your hands this is the car for you. Get in your garage and build this beauty with your own hands. Not only will this ride help you feel like you’ve accomplished something when you get it to work, you’ll look super cool rolling down the street in this classic beauty.

Ferrari California T
If money isn’t an issue, the Ferrari is the ultimate dream car for any middle aged human. The starting price of $200k can set you back a bit, but nothing says you’ve arrived like a Ferrari.

There are so many other cool (and fast) cars out there to help you fill the void in your life!  If you’ve found the car of your dreams, get it! Then call us, we’ll help you find the cheapest auto insurance to help you afford that sweet ride!

After Accident Checklist

accidentLet’s say you’ve been in a car accident, big or small, what do you do first? Car accidents can get pretty chaotic, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. Following the basic steps lined out below can help make filing your insurance claim fun as smoothly as possible.

Safety first. Before thinking about car insurance, take a minute to make sure everyone involved is safe. If there are any injuries call an ambulance immediately. Make sure your cars are out of harms way, and if they are still running, move them off to the shoulder or a safe area. Stay calm, getting upset can only make the situation worse.

Get off the Road. If the accident is a minor fender bender it is okay to move the cars off to the side of the road. If your vehicle will not move, or it will cause further damage to move it, leave it where it is and get to a safer area. Once you’re in a safe area it is okay to start gathering information from the other driver.

Get the driver’s information. Speak to the other driver involved in the accident. Make sure they are okay, but be careful what you say.  Admitting fault and other parts of your conversation could be used against you when insurance companies get involved. Your car insurance company will need the other driver’s information to start processing your claim.  Here are some of the key things about the other driver to write down somewhere:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Year, Make Model of their Vehicle and their License Plate Number
  • Their Insurance Company Name and Policy Number

It can also be helpful to take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, their vehicle, the location where it happened and a picture of the people involved with the accident.  If the accident was larger and there were other “witnesses” to the accident, get their information if possible too.  If there was a police officer involved with the accident get their information and the police report number if applicable.

Beautiful happy woman driving her car in the eveningAfter you have gathered all the information you should be able to start the claim process. Call your insurance company immediately and start your claim.  With the right car insurance policy, filing a claim should be pretty fast and easy. Your insurance agent should be able to help you figure everything out and get you back on the road soon.

 

Outerspace Coverage

Alien 3We’ve all watched movies and TV shows where aliens invade and try to take over. They usually end up in a huge battle where explosions and chaos are everywhere. The aftermath is typically a good outcome for earth, but they’re left with a huge mess to clean up. Destroyed buildings and cars everywhere.

Most of us don’t fear alien invasions on a daily basis. The idea does some very far fetched and impossible. There is, however, a more realistic threat from outer space than many don’t realize, and it happens more often than you think it would. Meteors have fallen out of the sky and caused damage to homes, buildings and cars. Every year it is estimated that 78 thousand tons fall into earths atmosphere.

meteor_1414384cAs we saw with a small town in Russia, a large meteor struck the earth and caused property damage totaling over $44 million. So you may ask yourself, would my home and car be covered if this were to happen in my neighborhood?

Most Americans with good home owner’s insurance policies can relax. Most homeowner’s policies cover “falling objects”, which would include meteorites. The amount of coverage depends on the limits you have agreed to in your policy.

What about my car? Well, that all depends on your comprehensive insurance amounts in your car insurance policy. Most comprehensive policies cover damage caused by meteors or other falling objects, but of course you’ll have to pay your deductible.

So are you prepared for outer space attacks on earth? Talk to an experienced car insurance and homeowner’s insurance agent at Vern Fonk today to make sure your home and car are covered for all of the unexpected.

Wash Winter Away

snow4Spring is here! This past winter was a doozy. Harsh temperatures combined with record rainfall did a number on the streets and cars of Washington and Oregon. Potholes became wider and deeper, while the salt that layered the roads for the icy temperatures stuck to our cars like glue. Now that the worst is behind us, it’s time to get our cars back to normal.

The salt that is laid on the streets to combat icy conditions can damage your car if left on for too long. It can eat away at the undercarriage without you even knowing it. Washing your car regularly can help avoid this issue. Make sure you pay extra attention to the underside of your vehicle to ensure it has been fully washed as well. A good, high-quality wax treatment is also a good idea to seal your fresh wash and protect the finish of your car throughout the upcoming months.

Take the time to inspect your car’s battery. Salt can and dirt can find their way up into the engine area and create a layer of residue on your battery. Keep your vehicle’s battery in tip-top shape by taking a rag and some mild cleaner to it every 3 months or so.

It’s time to change out your winter tires. As soon as the snow season ends, it’s a good idea to retire the winter studded tires for the season and put back on the regular, all-weather tires.

Change out your wiper blades. Snow, ice, salt and dirt can wear wiper blades down quickly. Change them out for fresh ones so you’ll be prepared for the summer storms that the Pacific Northwest is known for.

Before summer hits, check your auto insurance policy for any discounts. Call a local Vern Fonk Insurance Agent today to see how you can save money on your car insurance rates. It’ll only take a few minutes and you could end up saving hundreds of dollars on car insurance.

Is Your Car Insurance The Right One For You?

Finding the right car insurance policy is very important. Not all policies are created equal. Sometimes you won’t know if you’re in the right car insurance policy until it is too late, and there has been an accident. Staying on top of the ball and reviewing your auto insurance policy regularly is a step in the right direction towards car insurance bliss.

Ask your friends and family members what car insurance company they go through. For some this is a no brainer, but others don’t ever think to ask. If you feel you can trust your family and friends, and they happen to like the insurance company they’re with, you may like them too! Also, check social media sites and blogs to read reviews and complaints about each company when shopping around. Research the companies you have narrowed your choices down to and see if you can find advice on specific agents to see.

If you are in the process of shopping around, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. As we said before, not all policies are the same, but when comparing prices make sure the policies you are comparing are similar. Make sure the policies are for the same amount of time, coverage amounts, and have the same add ons.

If good, friendly service is important to you, find a local agent that can be your go-to man/woman to get the job done. They’ll be able to take care of all your questions and personalize your policy.

As always, talk with an experienced agent. Vern Fonk works with hundreds of local and national car insurance companies to find our clients the best rates and the best coverage. Give us a call today!

Bieber DUI and Drag Racing?

Celebrities (especially young ones) make mistakes just like the rest of us. Their mistakes are just way more public than ours would be.

beiber1-250x250It was only a matter of time until our beloved Justin Bieber got busted. Wether you were wishing for this to finally happen or are heart broken, Biebs was arrested on January 23rd, 2014 for a DUI and also for drag racing. Hopefully this arrest will slap some sense into the teenage heart throb and install some more faith in his “Beliebers”.

Justin was racing his yellow Lamborghini in Miami against a red Ferrari in a Miami residential area.  He was pulled over for going around 60 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Biebs was apparently not cooperating with the police when they searched him. He failed the sobriety test, and was taken in for a DUI charge.

Needless to say, Justin’s car insurance rates will surely spike. He’s already had a few run ins with the law and also a few at fault accidents.  Fortunately for him he has options, if he chooses the right insurance company. Obviously his Lamborghini isn’t on the cheaper side of the scale when it comes to insurance, but even someone with a driving history like Bieber can get a good insurance policy if they go to Vern Fonk Insurance in Washington and Oregon.

Winter Driving Tips

Car on Snow-Covered RoadDriving in the winter can get crazy, especially around the holidays. Traffic, especially in the Northwest, get especially congested around Christmas. 2013 has proven to be one of the craziest winter weather years across the nation. Extreme temperatures can hit at any time leaving the roads dangerous for even the most experienced drivers.

Keeping your family, yourself and your car safe should be your #1 priority while navigating the slippery winter roads. As we posted before, taking care of your vehicle can save you a lot of worry and even prevent accidents. Take your car in for a tune up before every winter season.

Your car’s breaks are one of the most important feature to helping you stop quickly and safely. If you know you’re slipping and you don’t have antilock breaks, pump your breaks to get traction if you find that your car is slipping.

snow5The best advice to winter drivers is to keep a safe distance between them and the cars in front of them. Even if you are very confident in winter conditions, other drivers might not be so experienced, so giving yourself some room to make calculated driving decisions is very important if something were to happen. Keep at least a 10 second buffer in front of your car, this way if you hit some black ice you’ll have more time to react and make a good route to get to safety.

As the scouts say, “Be Prepared”. Keep an emergency kit in your car, and keep your gas tank full. Also, make sure your car insurance policy covers your car and your inhabitants from accidents. Having a good auto insurance policy is important all year round, but it is especially important in the winter, when most accidents happen.