Curious about that collision-avoidance technology in cars these days?

In many of today’s advertisements, car companies are marketing innovative accident-avoidance technology in their cars, which includes instant (automatic) braking via detectable radars. According to an article by “Auto Guide”, “These systems work with a combination of lasers, radar or cameras, to detect objects in front of a vehicle. If a crash is deemed imminent, the vehicle will grab the brakes automatically to avoid a collision or at least mitigate the effect of the crash.” Even better, having such technology in your car will reduce your likelihood of car accidents, and ultimately keep your auto insurance premiums low.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ran a test of 19 new cars with front-crash avoidance systems to the test. 14 of the 19 cars earned a “Superior” rating, which are vehicles that have an auto brake system that can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests. 5 of the 19 cars earned an “Advanced” rating, which are vehicles that musthave auto brake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds by at least 5 mph.

Superior car models included: 2016 Acura ILX, MDX, RDX and RLX; 2016 BMW X3; 2015 Chrysler 300 and its twin, the 2015 Dodge Charger; 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (both Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Pre-Safe Brake equipped versions), CLA (both Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Distronic Plus equipped versions) and E-Class; and the 2016 Mazda 6 and CX-5.

Advanced car models were: 2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and 2015 Volkswagen Touareg. The BMW X3 is rated an Advanced with the camera-only system called City Braking Function, while adding the camera- and radar-based system bumps it up to Superior.

While most of these technologies belong to upscale cars, there are still more reasonable options. The Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Mazda6 and CX-5 are all better priced with superior braking systems.

Overall, this technology has been greatly on the rise. 27% of cars today offer some form of automatic braking, up from 12% in 2012.  There is also warning crash technology, which does not relate to the automatic braking, which is in more than 50% of all cars on the market today.

Sources: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/08/front-crash-prevention-systems-better-than-ever-iihs.html, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-issues-first-crash-avoidance-ratings-under-new-test-program-7-midsize-vehicles-earn-top-marks-for-front-crash-prevention

While the person behind the wheel plays the most important role in driving quality, these are nice luxuries that are worth investing in. For the safety of the passengers and yourself, consider investing in this technology for your next (or first) automobile. Plus, this technology can reduce your likelihood of paying higher auto insurance premiums and stay out of accidents more often. Overall, this is a long-term benefit, and while insurance is our specialty, we want you to have fun with your friends and family out on the road.

Questions, comments, concerns? Contact us at Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Eastern Washington Wildfires — What is going on?

The past couple weeks, wildfires have spread voraciously across eastern Washington State. Starting in Lake Chelan, the wildfires have killed three firefighters, and injured many. While many homeowners have been forced to leave their homes (level 3 evacuation = leave now), some refuse to lose their property and stand their ground. Even here in Seattle, we have witnessed the smoky haze that has blown over from the North Cascades.

The issue with the wildfires is how fast they are spreading. Currently, there are between 8-9 fires. On NPR this morning, only ~10% of the fires have been extinguished.

The other concern is the duration of these fires. Back on June 30th, we posted a blog regarding the wildfires in Eastern Washington. While fires were a large concern (this was when Washington experienced heat in the mid-90’s), they likely did not get sufficient suppression by the firefighters. Or, new fires have arisen since.

Either way, the latest winds have created hotter, more dynamic fire conditions. According to the Seattle Times, 630,000 acres have burned throughout Eastern Washington already. Most firefighters say the haze, smoke, and heat combination is do dreadful that they have to feel their way around.

Firefighters are employing new tactics, including creating fire lines that mark boundaries and “pre-soak” shrubbery to prevent fires from spreading any further. The fires have become so huge that Washington has called in the National Guard. National Guard Blackhawk helicopters have flown in fro Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Minnesota. The fires, however, have been so dense that helicopters have been unable to reach local operations bases, particularly in the Okanogan complex of five fires.

On Sunday, more robust winds have came through– 200 homes have been burned, more than 12,000 buildings are under threat, and the Okanogan complex of blazes has surpassed 244,000 acres, requiring over 1,000 firefighter personnel in that area alone.Currently, there is more than 1,000 miles of active fire in the Okanagan complex.

There are now ~700 members of the Washington national guard working with local firefighters to suppress the blaze.

Some other numbers:

  • The Carpenter Road fire in Stevens County grew to more than 35,000 acres. It is spreading to the Spokane Indian Reservation.
  • Firefighters are averaging 3 hours of sleep a night. Overall, the fire is turning into a marathon. Hopefully when winds die down and temperatures drop, the fires will dampen.

Another concern of the wildfires has come from spending.

Recently, Eastern Washington was granted $5.7 million to buy 10 new fire engines and hire crews. Lots of the US Forest Service budget, however, has been eaten up by firefighting expenses. According to the Seattle Times, in 2015, this year’s wildfire costs will consumer more than half the agency’s budget. Now, fire agencies are undergoing a practice called “fire borrowing”, in which the Forest Service is raiding other fire service programs to assist in the nearby fires. Overall, there has been over $73.6 million requested by the state Department of Natural Resources for total firefighting funding, $42.9 million requested for fire suppression, $20 million for forest health, and $10.7 million for budget for attack (crew/equipment).

Over 20 years, the cost of wildfires has increased drastically. According to the USDA, back in 1995, only 16% of the US Forest Service’s annual budget went to wildfires. Now in 2015, it is at 52%. In 2025, the projected percentage will be expected at 67%.

Source: The Seattle Times

We hope you have a fun (and safe) summer. Stay away from those wildfires, and we honor every firefighter who is sacrificing his life every day to save the homes and lives of many.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Running and the Runner’s High: Truth, or Myth?

Many of us have experienced running, either in the most glorious of times or in the worst of times. Running helps us get to places on time if we are late, it sometimes makes us feel better, and it overall seems to have positive effects on our lives.

Running can also be negatively viewed, being torturous exercise on the legs and body, hard on the knees, and does not always feel so good!

The question we must examine is if the runner’s high is real. In case you do not know what this feeling is, you can find it here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Runner’s-High

After examining a WebMD article, it states that while endorphins and the natural release of dopamine plays a slight role in this “high” feeling, the rhythmic aspect and duration of the run plays a larger role. Probably the biggest factor the author noted was the repetition of exercise. Chief science officer Cedric Bryant (PhD for the American Council on Exercise) states that by repeating running (or any other aerobic exercise) on a normal basis, you can perform in a repetitive rhythmic fashion, and that seems to produce the “high” effect.

Bryant continues:

“Whatever sport you choose, another piece of good news is that you don’t have to push your limits to reap a reward. The other thing that is encouraging is that workouts don’t have to be overly strenuous to produce this [high] effect,” “Most research has looked at running and cycling and so forth, but when you look at some of the studies that have been done in the clinical environment, the key is being active for 30 minutes or more at a moderate intensity level to see some of these beneficial psychological outcomes.”

Source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/runners-high-is-it-for-real?page=1

Overall, we can conclude that runner’s high is not necessarily a drug but more so the ACT of repeating physical movement on a standard basis.

Be good to yourself and get your runner’s high today! Weather in Seattle is looking ideal for the next 10 days (cloudy, cool(er)) to be outisde– so get out and have fun!

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Is Marshawn Lynch opening up?

It looks like Marshawn Lynch might be approaching his last year as a running back. Also known as Beast Mode, Lynch continues to perform better than ever, getting his longest touchdown run of his career last season (79 yard run, known as Beast Quake 2.0), and still performing as one of the top 5 tier running backs in the NFL for total rushing yards and average carry per rush.

Apart from Beast Mode’s sheer running skills and capabilities, one of his biggest pet peeves is the infiltration of the media. We all saw last season and the previous, cameras and reporters putting up microphones and not able to get a response. However, during the 2015 Super Bowl, we saw a little change when Skittles interviewed Marshawn Lynch:

Perhaps the interviewers asked clever and funny questions they were able to get responses from Beast Mode. But more likely, Skittles fuel the running back, and without them, he might not be with us today.

However, after this commercial, Conan O’ Brian was able to get Marshawn on his show several weeks later:

Even better, Conan set up a mini-end zone full of Skittles for Marshawn Lynch to jump into:

On a side note, Lynch did make a special appearance for a Japanese TV station in 2014, trying various Japanese candies:

Whether it was the Skittles, Conan, or clever interview tactics, Marshawn Lynch has undoubtedly opened up to the media since previous seasons. He enjoys spending time with the family, kicking back, and not dealing with a large audience. Ultimately, no one will determine what Lynch will do — if it’s all about that action, that is all that matters for Seahawk fans.

What do you think about Beast Mode and his recent openness to the media? You can let us know by contacting Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Summer, Seafair, and Clowns: All offered at your local insurance agency

Believe it or not, we are already more than halfway through August, and Summer is coming closer an end! The Seafair extravaganza has settled down, and boaters are trying to cherish their last water excursions on the lake. It surely does not feel like the end of summer with this warm weather, but if you haven’t noticed, lately, after 5pm, it has been rather chilly in Seattle!

Speaking of Seafair, we have our very own clown in the mix. For over 30 years, George Anderson Jr. has been participating with the Seattle Seafair Clowns. Although these clowns are known to be in Seafair, they also entertain thousands of guests at local parades, festivals, and concerts. This group is made entirely of volunteers, which undoubtedly portrays the passion of culture and entertainment among these participants.

According to “seafairclowns.org”, the group spends over 125 hours at Seafair alone to entertain guests. Travelling all over Seattle, they make extensive trips and efforts to make their presence known (just by looking at their online calendar from July, they range from 4-8 events a day during Seafair, lasting around 10+ hours a day!).

In addition to their local entertainment, the Seafair clowns participate in neighborhood community service. For those that cannot attend special events, the clowns make trips to hospitals, nursing homes, care centers, and charities just to brighten ones day.

The Seafair Clowns Foundation is a non-profit organization, and can always accept donations. You can show your support to this historic tradition by clicking the link below:

Source: http://www.seafairclowns.org/

At Magnolia Insurance, we are more than just asset protection. With busy lives outside of insurance, our agents know what it is like– especially with hectic schedules and inflexibility. Even with a day off, schedules can get out of control. If you ever need a break or happen to be walking past the village, feel free to stop by Magnolia Insurance – we would love to talk with you about anything, anytime.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Iwakuma and his No-no… Still a window of hope?

Two nights, history was witnessed in Safeco Field. Hisashi Iwakuma became the fourth pitcher in Mariner’s history to throw a no-hitter (the Mariners threw a combined no-hitter in 2012, but does not match up to the feat of a single thrower). Iwakuma stuck out seven while walking three, allowing the Mariners to beat the Orioles in a 3-0 shutout. Incredibly, Iwakuma did not feel pressured to throw a no-hitter until the ninth inning when 3B Kyle Seager made an amazing over the shoulder catch into foul territory. Mariner’s catcher Jesus Sucre felt the no-hit intensity by the seventh inning.

Not many, even Mariner’s skipper Lloyd McClendon expected Iwakuma to throw a no-hitter. Battling with constant injuries at age 34, Iwakuma did not seem healthy enough to accomplish this feat. Iwakuma also does not have a fireball fastball that stifles hitters; his off-speed, however, is just nasty.

But when we look to Iwakuma’s past, he was up in the ranks for the Cy-Young award two years ago. Iwakuma seems to have finally gotten everything together after this recovery period. Unfortunately, he is up for free agency at the end of this year.

After this spectacular performance, what does this mean for the pitching staff, the Mariners and the fans? For being almost 8 games under .500, it definitely says a lot. For true miracles to happen, events like these must occur. Iwakuma’s effort cannot go to waste; the Mariners must contribute from here on out to back his effort. Starting with an away game today at Fenway, the Mariners will have to win the series against the Red Sox, as well as most others from here on out in order to gain a spot in the Wild-Card Race. Thankfully, previous MLB Commissioner Bud Selig allowed the top two teams in each division to face-off in the playoffs. The Mariners might just have a chance moving forward.

According to The Seattle Times, 3 of the 5 key plays that turned the table was (1), with one out, Iwakuma walked the first batter in the eighth inning and fell behind on a 3-1 count to the next batter. Luckily this batter grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning.  (2) Kyle Seager racing over to the foul stands along the 3rd baseline, made a stunning over the shoulder catch, basket-style for one out in the ninth inning. (3) Oriole’s hitter Gerardo Parra hit a potential landing ball into-left-center; thankfully, Mariner’s center fielder Austin Jackson got a good read and caught the ball to seal the deal on Iwakuma’s no-hitter.

And now, for some unique fun facts about the Mariners and their no-hit history:

  • The M’s have had the last three no-hitters in the AL.
  • Accomplishing a no-hitter in the AL is commonly a tougher feat than the NL because of the designated hitters, who are very talented and skilled offensively. “There are no easy outs in the American league” quotes Lloyd McClendon.
  • Wednesday’s no-hitter was the second all-time by a Japanese-born pitcher in the MLB.
  • Safeco Field has seen four no-hitters in its history, including two perfect games. Chicago White Sox pitcher Phillip Humber was the other feat besides Felix Hernandez, who did it in the same year in 2012 at Safeco Field, against the Mariners.
  • For Hisashi Iwakuma, he is just getting started, he is just treating this majestic game as a stat– it was his first complete game, shutout, and no-hitter all in one.

Source: The Seattle Times

We would love to hear what you think about Iwakuma and the Mariners moving forward! Like always, you can call, message, or email us at Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Summer Options: Want a Boat?

As with most Seattle summers, boating is one of the most desirable things to do. Almost every day on Lake Washington you will see a boat going 25+ mph tugging a water skier, inter tuber, or just going for a booze cruise. Have you ever wondered: “Man I would really like to have a boat out here too!” We are here to answer that question.

To make a boating experience truly enjoyable, you should not need to worry about your safety and protection of others. In other words, similar to motor vehicles, investing in a boat demands insurance protection. Here are some things to consider when investing in boat insurance:

  • Navigation and Geography: How far will your boat travel on a day-to-day basis? What is your boat’s “coverage”? Some insurance plans vary on the amount of ground they allow a boat to travel.
  • Agreed Value Coverage: By having this insurance coverage, it maintains the value you bought the boat for (similar to cars, boats tend to depreciate in value over time), so if your boat happens to get stolen or vandalized, this policy will cover you boats full value, minus your personal deductible.
  • Liability Coverage: In case of an accident, boat liability covers other boaters or boats that get damaged if you are accused of causing the accident. Boating liability is an essential pillar of boat insurance, since it not only covers the physical restoration/replacement costs of over boats, but the property and assets of other boat passengers as well.
  • Medical Payment Coverage: Another pillar of boating insurance, medical payments cover the physical health and well-being of your passengers (if there is accident in your boat) and other boating passengers (if your boat caused accident in another boat– covers both personal and liability options).
  • Physical Damage Coverage: In case your boat watercraft, engine, seats, or other equipment in the boat gets stolen or damaged, this plan will replace it.
  • Uninsured/Under insured Boaters: Boat insurance is optional (but highly recommended!!!), and some boats are not covered/protected. Some boat insurance policies have uninsured watercraft protection, which protects you and your passengers if you are hit by an uninsured boat.
  • Fuel Spills/Sinking (S.O.S.!): Sometimes the worst can happen. If your boat engine leaks fuel into the water or starts to sink, this can cause very problematic legal and environmental issues. As a boat owner, you are lawfully required to clean up this mess. Make this job easy on yourself by opting for this insurance coverage (known as “Fuel Spill Liability” or “Wreckage Removal”).
  • Personal Asset Protection: Some boat insurance policies are so specific that it can even cover your smaller, personal assets that you have in the boat, such as jewelry, phones, wallets, clothes, swim equipment, and other small items. These limits can vary by state, so talk with your local insurance provider to find out this information.
  • Unattached Equipment Coverage: This plan protects items that are not physically attached to the boat, but are used mostly on the boat– water skis, inter tubes, fishing equipment, oars, and fire extinguishers are several examples of unattached equipment coverage.
  • Emergency Assistance: In case you boat breaks down in the middle of a body of water, this pays for emergency towing, fuel refills, loaned batteries, etc. Furthermore, this is the coverage for “disabled” boats.

While there are many options to choose from for boat insurance, the best ones to consider are those covering the health and safety of you, your boat, your passengers, other boats, and other boating passengers. More importantly, if you are investing in a boat, you can call us at Magnolia Insurance Agency, and we can get you to find the most suitable, appropriate, and affordable boat insurance coverage. Once the insurance is squared away, you can have as much fun as you want on the water– we have you covered!

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199