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Spring has sprung!
 
501 South 2nd Street  Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-2112
Don't forget to spring forward for daylight saving time Sunday, March 10!

Time for a tune-up
 
     Does spring have you itching to get your motorcycle out of storage and start prepping it for riding weather? You are not alone; thousands of other riders will be doing the same thing around the Northwest will be doing the same thing. Before you go riding off into the sunset, you need to make sure that your bike is roadworthy: translation-safe.
  
   Whether it is your first time prepping your bike or you are a seasoned pro, here are a few things to remember before you ride.
  • The Power: Not horse power, battery power. When a vehicle is dormant for an extended period of time, the battery can die. Purchasing a battery charger will help maintain the life of your battery.
  • The Fluids: Did you give your bike a fresh oil change before you pa
  • rked it for the season? If not, give it a change and also check for any leaks that may have unexpectedly sprung.
  • The Fuel: There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to the gas tank. Some top off the tank just before the season and other drain it.  Either way, it may be safe to have a clean, drained tank prior to hitting the road for the first time.  This gives you the opportunity to check for rust or dents in the tank.
  • The Forget-me-nots: Just like your car, your bike’s brake (pads and fluids) need to be check and changed if necessary.  Changing brake fluid can be tricky (one air pocket and they cease to function), so taking your bike into a professional may be a safe bet.  Also, be sure to check tire tread and pressure.  Tires that are under or over inflated and tires that have little to no tread can result in an inability to brake quickly or result in an accident.
  • The Gear: Not only do you need to maintain your bike, you need to maintain your protective gear. Make sure your gear is in top condition before you suit up, that means no tears, cracks, dents on your gear.  Check to make sure that your protective clothing fits properly, gear that is too tight or too loose may not provide proper protection.
     Last, but certainly not least, make sure that your insurance is up-to-date.  Keeping your motorcycle insured all year round means that you will have protection theft, as you would with a scheduled comprehensive plan, but if you feel the itch to break out the bike on a warm March day and across Deception Pass, a year-round plan will keep you protected. Ask your agent today about bundling your motorcycle insurance with your current policy.  Happy trails!
 

Comic Con has landed

     Emerald City Comic Con, that magical time of year when the Greater Seattle area is inundated with superheroes, super-fans and super-celebrities (Sir Patrick Stewart! Christopher Lloyd! Carrie Fisher!). Not that Seattle is any stranger to superheroes, we have our own Phoenix Jones, but ECCC brings childhood fantasy to reality for the first three days in March this year.  

           

     It is not just about comic books, many genres of sci-fi, fantasy and video games are represented.  The show itself is set-up tradeshow style with artists and merchandise spread throughout the Washington State Convention Center.  Celebrities are available for autograph signing and photo-ops for a fee (no autograph fee for Wil Wheaton) and some, like Felicia Day “Warrior Queen Goddess of All Nerds”, are even giving presentations.  If you want an autograph or photo it’s wise to budget your time and money. Lines can be long and fees can be upwards of $75 for autograph and $85 for a photo.
     Speaking of presentations, there are plenty to take in this year.  The panels range from “Breaking into comics the Marvel way”  to “The Official West Coast “Fables” panel” to “I can be a geek and feminine” and of course “Karaoke Hero.” There is something for everyone at ECCC: costume contests, burlesque show, a book club meeting and speed dating!
     Find a treasure you think is priceless; want to protect it from theft or damage? You can schedule collectibles, like classic comics or action figures to an existing insurance policy.  You will need a receipt of purchase or an appraisal to provide valuation.  Have questions? Ask your agent about scheduling collectibles, art or jewelry today!
Blooming soon...

    Spring is just around the corner and you know what they say, spring showers bring spring flowers.  The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival will get under way April 1 to April 30, with blooming depending on Mother Nature.
     The Tulip Festival not only brings beauty to the valley, it also brings in tourists and flower enthusiasts from all over Washington and British Columbia.  A welcome boon to local shops and restaurants, tourists can take in all the local favorites in La Conner, Mount Vernon, Burlington and the surrounding areas. 
     There is one problem that comes with the Tulip Festival: traffic. From surface streets to I-5, traffic can get pretty hairy during the festival. During occurrences of heavy traffic, we may forget to be the polite and courteous we usually are. 
     Fret not; here are some helpful tips to keep you calm and collected during your potentially rough commute and some reminders of the rules of the road.
  • Know the speed limits; driving too fast (or slow) can earn you a ticket.  Beware of construction zones and school zones as speeding through these areas can result in heftier fines.
  • Wear your seatbelt! Even if you are making a quick trip close to home or work, for your safety and the safety of other, buckle up.
  • When exiting the freeway, the law dictates that you do not begin your deceleration until you reach the ramp.
  • When stopped at a stop sign (if you and another vehicle arrive at the same time) the person to your left has the right of way.
  • Cell phones and driving do not mix well.  Texting and using a cell phone without a hands-free while driving is against the law.  If you are not able to use a hands-free or pull over safely to check your phone, please wait until you can.
     Even when following the rules and driving cautiously sometimes accidents do happen.  These tips will be helpful when filing a claim:
  • Take photos of everything.  The position of your vehicle, the other party’s vehicle and the surrounding areas.  Photos of other party’s driver’s license and insurance card would be helpful, but you can just write that information down.  Do not forget to exchange phone numbers!
  • Contact your agent immediately to start the claims process.  Be sure to relay all necessary information.
  • Call law enforcement if necessary and file the necessary police reports.
Drive safely!
Curious about earthquake coverage?
   
      The Pacific Northwest is full of Mother Nature's gifts, but there are some potential risks we face: earthquakes.  There are two different types of earthquake insurance policies: Comprehensive and Standard.
  • A Comprehensive plan covers your dwelling, its scheduled contents and can pay for some additional living expenses.
  • A Standard plan covers your dwelling and a limited amount of the contents inside the dwelling.
     Each plan is tailored specifically for your situation, please let us know if you have any questions or would like a quote!
Need Flood Insurance?   
      The Northwest is pretty soggy this time of year. Ensure your home is protected with a flood insurance policy! We can provide you with a quick quote. To learn more about flood insurance, visit our website by clicking here

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