April 2018

Drive Safe: These Safety Measures Can Reduce Accidents

The nation’s roadways see more than six million motor vehicle crashes annually, and the most recent information indicates there were more than 37,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016.

Fortunately, car manufacturers continue to improve safety features to help lower these numbers. Drivers, too, can take steps to reduce their risk of accidents and increase highway safety. These efforts can also keep claims to a minimum and insurance costs low. Consider the following top safety measures to make your driving experience safer and more affordable:

Focus: Distracted driving, which includes operating a cell phone, eating, or talking while driving, accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle crashes in 2015. And a February 2018 AAA report found that drowsy drivers accounted for almost 10% of all crashes. Decrease your risk of an accident: leave texting, conversations, lunch, and naps outside the car.

Seatbelts: These lifesaving devices have become standard practice for many drivers and passengers, but not all. Take a moment to click it on. Seatbelts are worth wearing; they saved more than 14,500 lives in 2016.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC): This vehicle feature is designed to control engine power and brakes to prevent accidents and rollovers. ESC saved more than 7,000 lives between 2011 and 2015. All vehicles manufactured since 2012 are required to have ESC.

This feature and other innovations are making vehicles safer each year. If you’re considering a vehicle purchase, don’t overlook the safety features newer cars can provide. They can make your drive safer, and may even reduce your insurance premiums.

Scott Matthews Draws Winner

Scott Matthews, Territory Sales Consultant for Encompass Insurance Company draws the winning ticket for our 1st Quarter Client Referral Rewards drawing. The winner was Priscilla Gomez from Salinas. She wins a $250 cash reward and has directed the $100 charity donation to Grace Tabernacle Church in Salinas.

Priscilla Gomez proudly displays her rewards from the 1st Quarter Client Referral Rewards drawing.

Thank You Priscilla for your business and referrals!

Orzo Salad with Spring Peas and Fresh Herbs

Serves 6

  • 1 1/4 cups (8 oz.) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, reserved
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh peas, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (e.g., mint, chives, parsley)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Prepare orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, shallots, garlic, thyme, mustard, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking while gradually pouring in olive oil. Set aside.

Drain the orzo and place in a large bowl. Fold in the dressing and cool, then cover and chill for 1 to 48 hours.

Before serving, toss the orzo with the peas, herb mixture, zest, and almonds. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if necessary.

Insurance-Speak: Industry Terms Explained Here

Every industry has its own lingo. Are you familiar with the language of insurance? Consumers frequently encounter common insurance terms, but many are unsure how to define them.

Following are a few of the most common definitions. Becoming familiar with these will help you navigate insurance purchases, questions, and claims.

  • Actual cash value: This form of insurance provides coverage equal to the value of your damaged property less the depreciation.
  • Adjuster: This individual evaluates losses to help settle claims.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This portion of your auto insurance covers any damage to your car that is not related to a vehicle collision, including damage from events such as fire, vandalism, and theft.
  • Deductible: Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your policy kicks in to cover the rest of the claim. If you set a higher deductible, you can pay a lower premium.
  • Depreciation: Over time, your property decreases in value due to wear and tear. This decrease in value is called depreciation.
  • Exclusion: An exclusion highlights certain risks or specific types of damage or acts that won’t be covered under your policy.
  • Liability: Liability insurance protects you if you become legally responsible for personal injury or damage to another person’s property.
  • Premium: This is the price of your insurance policy. It is typically paid annually, semi-annually, or monthly.
  • Replacement value: This coverage provides the amount you need to replace damaged property with a new item, regardless of the damaged item’s depreciated value.
  • Rider: Also referred to as an endorsement, this agreement expands or limits the benefits of a policy.

Underwriting: This is the process by which an insurance company reviews a policy application and sets the appropriate premium for coverage.

Ryan Jennings

Ryan was very helpful and efficient as we decided between insurance policies. We appreciate his help and honesty!

Emalee Stowers

Maribel Castro

Maribel quickly responds to all my questions and is very knowledgeable about the products.

Annmarie Hofer

Barbara Swanson

Barbara shopped around for my husband and I. She gave me options and was super patient with me.

Christina Buma Crawford

Debbie Vargas

From the start, Debbie was very kind and got straight to business. She got us a quote within minutes and gladly answered all my questions. Only been with your agency for one month and have already referred you to many friends and family. I love that you are all so caring and always have time to answer our questions.

Joel Reynoso

Scott Bosler

Scott is taking good care of us and is being kept informed along the way. He has also been coaching us in the process. They did total our car yesterday and are now in the process of determining its “value”. Once I hear what that looks like I will be talking with Scott on next steps.

Steve Ford

Mark Jennings

Central Valley Insurance treats me like a friend… not just another client. My questions and concerns are addressed immediately and if Mark is not sure of the information, he does call you back! Thank the lord someone in this business does call you back when they say they will. Going the extra mile does not even begin to describe how Central Valley works. Thank you so much for everything.

Marilyn Thomas