April 2019

Staff Amber Thomas and Jacque Sa draw the winning ticket for our 1st quarter Client Referral Rewards drawing. The winner was Mark Logee from North Fork, CA. Mark wins the $250 cash gift and chose Valley Children's Hospital for the $100 gift to charity.

Thanks for your referrals, Mark!

What Is Gap Insurance, and Do I Need It?

Have you ever purchased a brand-new car? It had that new-car smell. The odometer readout was near zero. The paint was bright and shiny. You were excited to drive off the lot and put the first miles on your untainted vehicle.

Guess what else happened as you drove off that lot? The vehicle started depreciating. According to Kelley Blue Book, most cars lose about 20% of their value in the first year.

This rapid depreciation could pose a problem for insurance claims. If your initial deposit on the car was small, the loan amount that you owe may be higher than the value of the car.

If your vehicle suffers extensive damage or is totaled in its early years (before you have paid down that loan), your insurance coverage may not provide enough to pay off the vehicle. Why? A standard auto policy typically covers the depreciated value of the car. In other words, it will pay what the car is currently worth on the market when you make your claim.

If this amount is less than what you owe on the car, gap insurance comes into play. It will cover this difference (the gap).

This extra coverage can be helpful in several circumstances.

  • Long-term financing: If you financed a vehicle for 60 months or longer, you might need gap insurance to provide adequate coverage.
  • Leasing: If you lease a vehicle, gap insurance is often required as part of the lease agreement.
  • Lost value: Some cars depreciate faster than others. If your model depreciates faster than average, gap insurance could prove useful.
  • Low down payment: If you put less than 20% down on the vehicle, this insurance will help cover the gap between the value and the balance of your loan that will most likely exist for a while.

Are you unsure whether you need gap insurance? Contact our office to review your current auto policy and determine whether this coverage makes sense for you and your vehicle.

Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 6

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small container of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 420 degrees.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven and sauté onion, carrots, and celery until softened. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms start to soften. Add flour and stir to coat everything, then gradually add chicken stock while scraping the bottom. Add chicken and herbs. Season to taste. Simmer until thickened.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter and milk. Stir to combine. Drop biscuits by rounded tablespoons on top of the pot pie. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Animal Invasion: Are you covered?

Your dog ate your couch. Birds destroyed your gutter. A family of racoons overran your garage.

Will your homeowners insurance cover these animal invasions?

Yes and no. Here's the scoop:

  • Infestation: If your home suffers damage at the hands (or legs) of insects, rodents, or vermin, the cost probably won't be covered by your homeowners insurance. Whatever damage these unwanted guests cause, including nesting and infestation, is not usually covered. However, this varies by policy, so be sure to check with your insurance agent to confirm.

  • Destruction: If your personal property is destroyed by an animal, this usually does not fall under your homeowners policy coverage. If the animal damages the property itself, this is probably covered. So, if a bear breaks into your garage and mauls your tools, you might be on your own to replace your saw, but the damage Mr. Grizzly caused to the garage door should be covered.

  • Liability: Coverage for damages caused by pets varies based on where the damage occurs. If your cute kitten ruins your new loveseat, you'll have to hold Fluffy responsible. Your insurance company probably won't pay for that. But if you bring Fido to your friends' house and he eats their loveseat, the liability portion of your policy will kick in and cover this damage.

Do you have concerns about potential animal-related damages? Let us help you review your policies and determine what specific coverage is best for you and available in your area.

How to Handle a Love-Hate Relationship with the Gym

A trip to the fitness center can be a daunting experience. All those machines designed to burn calories and tone muscles, and all those sleek, toned, hard bodies, can be quite intimidating. For newbies, it's hard to know where or how to begin. Here are some tips to help you get started at the gym.

  • Go with a buddy: A friend can turn a trip to the gym into a social experience and help ease the jitters. Hit the gym together when it is less crowded. When it's not as busy, people won't be waiting in line for your machine and you won't feel like all eyes are on you.

  • Ask for help: An experienced trainer or coach can familiarize you with the equipment, offer encouragement, and instruct you on proper technique. A professional personal trainer can work with you to develop an individual program that addresses your fitness goals.

  • Accessorize appropriately: Buy a good, sturdy pair of athletic shoes and consider splurging on some workout outfits. Use earbuds to block out ambient noise and provide music that you enjoy listening to while you exercise.

  • Join a class: There are many options to choose from: Zumba, barre, yoga, CrossFit, tai chi, Pilates, tone 'n sculpt, boot camp, and more. You're sure to find something that suits your style and fitness level. Classes are motivational and a great way to make friends.

Set goals and build on them incrementally. Allow yourself to bask in the progress you make each time you go to the gym.

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just click the button below and submit your answer.

Which animal has the largest brain?

First 10 responders will be entered into drawing for 3 Starbuck's gift cards.

Last month's winners were:

Raina McNamara Christine Anderson Cindy Kemp

Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on creativity.

Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.

Ken Robinson

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.

Brené Brown

Negativity is the enemy of creativity.

David Lynch

It’s impossible to explain creativity. It’s like asking a bird, “How do you fly?” You just do.

Eric Jerome Dickey

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.

Bill Moyers