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7 Things To Look For When Shopping For A Car

7 Things To Look For When Shopping For A Car

As your high school and college students head back to class this fall, you may be on the look out for a safe car for them to use. Not only do vehicles vary in size and color, but there are also important safety differences. Some vehicles are just safer than others. Consider the following safety features when shopping for a new or used car:

SIZE
Physics dictates that larger and heavier cars are safer. Pay attention to the weight of the car to opt for greater safety.

ON THE ROAD EXPERIENCE
High performance cars can tempt you to drive fast. Consider this if you have teenage drivers that will be using the car.

GOOD STRUCTURAL DESIGN
Ask the dealer about a car’s safety cage. Some brands are better known for their safety than others.

RESTRAINTS
Seatbelts, airbags and head restraints are standard on most new cars. Remember to consider this if buying used or vintage cars.

AYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS
Also standard on most new cars. Make sure you know how to turn them on before driving off the lot.

ANTI-LOCK BREAKS
Standard on most new cars, but remember to consider this if you’re purchasing a used or vintage car.

CRASHWORTHINESS RATING
Find your comfort zone. Check highwaysafety.org to find out how the cars you’re considering rate.

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You’re not imagining it…

You’re not imagining it…

If you are wondering if things are costing more than they did last year, you are not imagining it! Along with the woes of the economy, insurance companies are also having to make adjustments in what business they are accepting and how they can recover some major losses. There are many carriers changing the way they do business in California.

Why is full coverage auto insurance so much more than I remember? During the first year of the pandemic, most insurance companies offered a 15% reduction in auto insurance because drivers were staying home and driving less. Unfortunately, many allowed their coverage to lapse all together, leaving the insurance carriers without as much collected premium to cover losses. Now that many are back on the road, accidents are on the rise, carriers are short staffed and customer satisfaction is spiraling. Many well known carriers are asking for 6 months premiums to be paid up front instead of monthly installments and some are asking for larger premium commitments up front than ever before.

Did your home owners premium increase? It probably did! For homeowners, the replacement cost of your home definitely increased in the past year, and that will drive your premium up. Building costs, supply chain issues and labor shortages mean that if there is a significant loss in your home, it will cost the insurance company more than last year to make you whole, and they are passing that on to you! Check your statement for replacement cost or dwelling value and compare it to previous years.

If you have questions about your coverage or want to see if there is better pricing available don’t hesitate to reach out, we’re here to help!

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Get ready for wildfire season

Get ready for wildfire season

California is facing another dry year and the state is bracing for an intense wildfire season.

Over 73% of California remains in Extreme Drought, with over 37 million Californians in a drought area. As dry conditions continue to persist, it’s not a matter of if but when a wildfire will be heading your way.

Tips for staying prepared during fire season:

CREATE DEFENSIBLE SPACE AROUND YOUR HOME
Defensible space is the required space between your home and the wildland area that helps to create a buffer to slow the spread of wildfires to a structure. It also protects your home from inciting due to direct flames or radiant heat.

MORE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY SAFER DURING WILDFIRE SEASON:
• Remove dead vegetation from plants and lower branches from tall trees.
• Keep the gutters, roof and outdoor spaces free of debris like leaves and twigs.
• Clear out window screens and attic vents.
• Move firewood at least 30 feet from the house.
• Use roofing materials with a Class A fire rating (the highest).
• Install metal angle flashing at the edge of the roof.
• Box-in eaves that have an open construction (i.e., where rafter tails are visible).
• Install metal flashing where wood decking meets the siding (if the siding is combustible).
• Replace single-pane windows with multi-pane, tempered glass windows with screens.

PUT TOGETHER AN EMERGENCY KIT
Have your emergency kit ready and make sure to include:
• Important documents or possessions
• Medications
• N95 masks
• A first aid kit
• Water and food to take with you
• Tools including a flashlight, batteries, manual can opener, portable chargers for your phone/devices
• Don’t forget to prep for your pets as well with extra water, food, bowls.

Be sure to sign up for local warning system notifications. You can do that by visiting the County’s Ready San Diego page here.

MORE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY SAFER DURING WILDFIRE SEASON
• Remove dead vegetation from plants and lower branches from tall trees.
• Keep the gutters, roof and outdoor spaces free of debris like leaves and twigs.
• Clear out window screens and attic vents.
• Move firewood at least 30 feet from the house.
• Use roofing materials with a Class A fire rating (the highest).
• Install metal angle flashing at the edge of the roof.
• Box-in eaves that have an open construction (i.e., where rafter tails are visible).
• Install metal flashing where wood decking meets the siding (if the siding is combustible).
• Replace single-pane windows with multi-pane, tempered glass windows with screens.


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Where to Watch Fireworks in North County

Where to Watch Fireworks in North County

From concerts to carnivals there are plenty of family-friendly places to close out the long weekend with a fireworks in North County. Check out our top picks…

City of Vista
Independence Day Celebration at 1200 Vale Terrace Drive
Brengle Terrace ParK
Free
9 pm

Escondido July 4th Fireworks at Grape Day Park
321 N Broadway
Free
9 pm

Lakehouse Hotel San Marcos
1105 La Bonita Dr
Free
10 am Carnival
9 pm Fireworks

Legoland Red White and Boom
1 Legoland Drive
Cost of admission
9 pm

Oceanside fireworks at SoCal Soccer Complex at El Corazon
3302 Senior Center Dr
Free
9 pm

Poway Fourth of July fireworks at Poway High School Stadium
15500 Espola Road
Free
9 pm

San Diego County Fair at Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Cost of admission

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5 Great Road Trips from San Diego

5 Great Road Trips from San Diego

If you’re ready to break free of staying at home we’ve got you covered with 5 great road trips to some of Southern California’s best outdoor playgrounds. There’s a little something for everyone here from wine tasting to rock climbing and hot springs to snow shoeing, and best of all these are all less than 4 hours from San Diego.

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY

TOP THINGS TO DO:
Each of the towns in the Santa Ynez Valley has something fun and unique to offer. Solvang is known for its Danish architecture, giant windmills and incredible baked goods. If you’re a wine lover check out Los Olivos for tasting rooms, cute boutiques and galleries or embrace your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) in Wild West themed Santa Ynez. Once you get into the countryside you can explore local vineyards, hiking and biking trails or get go boating on Lake Cachuma.

DRIVING TIME
About 3 hours and 45 minutes


IDYLLWILD

TOP THINGS TO DO:
Idyllwild is the gateway to Mount San Jacinto State Park. Outdoor activities are popular here so bring your mountain bikes and discover scenic rides for bikers of all skill levels. You can also go bouldering or rock climbing and there are dozens of hiking trails of varying lengths and skill levels. Also be sure to check out the town of Idyllwild for great food, boutiques and galleries.

DRIVING TIME
About 2 hours


BIG BEAR LAKE

TOP THINGS TO DO:
Visit in the warm weather months to enjoy fishing, hiking, and mountain biking or rent a boat and get out onto the water. In the winter, enjoy some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in the state. You can also enjoy tubing or go snowshoe hikeing to enjoy the winter wonderland scenery

DRIVING TIME:
About 3 hours


PALM SPRINGS

TOP THINGS TO DO:
Palm Springs is known for its fabulous resorts, spas, and golf courses. It is the ultimate relaxation destination, with lots of outdoor activities, but lots of art, museums, shopping, and dining as well. Be sure to check out the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for panoramic views from Mt. San Jacinto and take a soak at Desert Hot Springs.

DRIVING TIME:
About 2 hours


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

TOP THINGS TO DO:
Bouldering and hiking are the most popular activities in Joshua Tree. There are hikes for every skill level, from short and scenic nature trails to harder hikes that take you to mountain peaks. While experienced climbers can have a blast scaling the vertical rock faces in the park, amateurs can have fun scrambling up large boulders. Check out the scenery from Keys View at sunset, and once night falls you’ll find a number of quiet spots for stargazing.

DRIVING TIME:
About 2 hours and 30 minutes


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How an insurance agent can save you time, money and stress so you can get back to the things that matter

How an insurance agent can save you time, money and stress so you can get back to the things that matter

Buying insurance is just about the last thing that most of us want to do. It’s complicated, takes a long time and you’re never quite sure that you’re getting the coverage you need or the best price. This is where an independent agent, who is licensed to sell insurance products for multiple companies, shines. Using an agent is like having a personal assistant to help you buy insurance.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that that you have the best coverage at the most affordable price. Working with a trusted, experienced insurance agent who knows and understands your personal situation and needs can help guide you in the right direction. They’re able to look through dozens of companies and policy options to make sure you have the coverage you need and make sure you understand your policy service options before making a final decision.

An agent can also help you review your coverage regularly to make sure your coverage is up to date and reflects any big life changes. Here are 5 reasons to choose an independent agent:

1. They give you options – Independent agents represent many different insurance companies so they can offer you a variety of coverage options and price points. Agents use their connections and knowledge of the market to find you a better value for your insurance dollar than you might find searching on your own. Your agent is going to do the shopping while you do the saving.

2. They are licensed experts – A good agent can explain the complexities of insurance in terms and help you make smart decisions. They make work hard to understand their customers’ insurance needs and match them with the insurance carrier best equipped to meet those needs at a price the customer can afford. Seek the advice of a licensed insurance professional is the best way to be certain that your car, your home, and business are properly protected.

3. They are your advocate – If you have questions about a claim, miss a payment or need to change your coverage, your agent is your advocate and works with the insurance company on your behalf.

4. They are your neighbor – Independent agents are your neighbors…they are a part of the community where you live, and understand the ins and out of the neighborhood. Your agent is likely very involved in the community, sponsoring youth sports teams, shopping at local businesses, supporting local schools, and participating in community groups and events.

5. They want to be your agent for a lifetime – Your agent is invested in your success and there to help you through all the changes in your life. Whether that means going from renting an apartment to buying a home, starting a business, getting married, renovating your home, adding a teen driver to your auto policy, or looking to cover that retirement condo.

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