Allied Insurance and Alaska USA
Sound Consumer | March 2002
PCC teams with Allied to bring members auto and home insurance at competitive rates
PCC has teamed with Gales Creek Insurance Services (GCIS), a Portland insurance brokerage, to develop a relationship with Allied Insurance that could save PCC members money. Members of PCC who insure both their auto and home with Allied may receive up to 20% in discounts.
PCC turned to GCIS to find the best insurance provider for its members because the company has been PCC's insurance broker for the past 22 years. GCIS asked for bids from a number of companies. When the bids were in, Allied was the clear choice, in part because it provides earthquake insurance, an important coverage for West Coast residents. And, in addition to regular auto insurance, Allied offers a variety of insurance products such as RV, boat and renters insurance.
Another advantage of Allied is that it has available umbrella insurance for up to $5 million for about $120 per million. Umbrella insurance allows for rare occasions when a member may require coverage far above what his primary insurance provides. Jeffrey Lang, CEO of GCIS, explains the importance of umbrella insurance today: "As home prices escalate in the Seattle area, even people who live lightly could have up to a million dollars in assets."
Recent changes in the insurance industry mean that insurance providers are denying more and more people coverage. As a PCC member, even if you do not have a good driving record, Allied may have an insurance plan for you.
The discounts you may receive from Allied, which received an A+ Superior rating from insurance information source A.M. Best, is just another advantage that your PCC membership provides. Call 800-982-0756 for a free quote.
Alaska USA brings co-op spirit to banking
by Marika McElroy
Where credit (union) is due
PCC members long have enjoyed the benefits of a partner cooperative called Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. For those who don't know about PCC's partnership with Alaska USA, now is a good time to catch up.
Alaska USA subscribes to the same cooperative member-owned ethos that defines PCC. Unlike commercial banks, Alaska USA is member-owned and operates on a not-for-profit basis. This means that the credit union's earnings return to its members in the form of free and low-cost services and deposit and loan rates that Alaska USA says are more competitive than those offered by many larger banks.
"Commercial banks are for-profit operations. They have paid boards of directors," says Ray Parkhurst, Alaska USA's market development officer. "Our board of directors is made up of members who volunteer their time."
Alaska USA members reap many benefits, from free checking (with direct deposit) to 24-hour account access either over the phone or online. Here are a few more perks that credit union members enjoy:
- Free Visa® check cards
- The ability to transfer funds, order checks, download applications and apply for loans online.
- No charge from Alaska USA for use of other banks' ATM machines (although some banks charge a fee for use of their machines).
- Visa credit cards with exceptionally low fixed rates (10.5 percent for gold cards) and no annual fee for members who have a checking account or mortgage with Alaska USA.
- Home equity lines of credit with no annual fee.
- Loan rates that generally are lower than commercial bank rates.
With branches in Downtown Seattle, Northgate, West Seattle, Southcenter, Kent and Oak Harbor, the credit union is accessible for PCC shoppers all around the region. The Kent branch, as well as the new Northgate and West Seattle locations, flout conventional "banker's hours," staying open seven days a week to serve members.
Stop into your local Alaska USA branch, pick up a brochure at a PCC store Co-op Information Center, or visit the credit union online at www.alaskausa.org to learn more about becoming a part of this member-owned institution.