August 2022

Extreme Climate Events forecasted in California
The other day I was going through my email when I read this message on CBS News website:

"A disastrous mega flood could bring more than 8 feet of water to parts of California, scientists say."

The message caused me to pause and think, "how can that be when just yesterday I read that 80% of the western United States was in a severe drought."

The article went on to say, devastating wildfires and droughts are not the only natural catastrophes that California will continue to face. According to new research published on Friday, a disastrous mega flood could bring so much water to some areas of the state that it could completely drown entire stop signs on a neighborhood street. 

Scientists say it's part of an investigation into a "plausible worst case scenario." Their research, published in Science Advances, focused on two extreme flooding scenarios: one based on recent historical climate data and another that's based on the projected climate for the end of this century, from 2081-2100. 

It's hard to imagine mega floods while we're in a severe drought. But scientists believe it is possible based on their studies and historical model, known as ArkHist.

So, having invested 45 years of my life in the insurance agency business, my thoughts turned to strategies for our clients to protect assets from such an event.

Here are some ideas for protecting assets if these mega floods were to occur.

1. Realize the possibility these mega floods can occur. Don't get caught off guard.
2. Consider buying a flood policy. Your home doesn't have to be in a flood zone to have one.
3. If the cost of flood insurance is a concern, arrange your insurance so that small losses are not covered (higher deductibles) and potential large losses (like floods) are covered.

Call us for a review to discuss this further and find out how it can fit in your budget.

Phil Oliver, Managing Partner
Quick Quiz
Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just click the button below and submit your answer.

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

The first hot air balloon passengers were animals. Which three animals?

Last month's winners were:
Brenda Mendoza
Sharon Battershell
Steve Foley
Good Words for Our Staff
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"You are family. I have received excellent advice and coverage from Mark and Barbara. I fell at home when I visit and both of them go out of their way to keep my rates down and provide the coverage I need. Mark also took time to come to my son’s funeral and helped close out a policy to help pay for it. His advise is always been proven tom be good forums. When we visit the office we feel welcome by every one."

Ernie R.

"Professional! Always on top of things! Friendly service."

Ginger S.
How a Claim Can Impact Your Annual Premium
Something happens to your home, maybe a tree falls onto the garage in a storm or a window breaks. If you can fix it yourself, would you rather do so or claim on your insurance and risk raising your premium? According to, depending on where you live, claiming on your insurance can raise your premium by about 20%. In some states, claiming can raise your costs by double digits, for example in Minnesota and Connecticut. It's not all doom and gloom. In Texas, insurers aren't allowed to raise your premium after your first claim.

Why is it so state dependent?
Apparently it all comes down to the weather! Well, maybe not everything, but the weather plays a big component. States where the increase is high usually have low claim rates to begin with, whereas in places like Florida, prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, the policies are usually quite expensive, then only bump a little bit.

So how do you know when to claim?
Sometimes it is in your best interest to file a claim. If the damage is catastrophic and will cost more than your deductible, it makes sense to file a claim. Sometimes it isn't for example if it will cost you more than if you choose to fix it yourself. Make sure you look at both scenarios and compare apples to apples. If you're still worrying about what you should and shouldn't claim, give us a call. We'll help you through the process.
Are You Considering a Standby Generator?
Standby generators are very useful, especially if you find yourself in an emergency without power. They also add value to your home, if selling is a possibility you're considering. But are they worth it to you and will they change your insurance policy? A standby generator is permanent. They are built to last and withstand weather that may knock your main line out. Because of this, finding a spot for them might be difficult. It lives on a block of concrete next to your house. Then, if your power goes out, you flick a switch and it's ready to go. What they are not is cheap. You're looking at a price range between $2,500 and a whopping $15,000.

Is it right for me?
A standby generator is its own insurance policy. You never know when the power might go out. If you live somewhere where outages and blackouts are common, or storms regularly restrict your day-to-day life, a standby generator seems like a good investment.

What you need to consider
Generators are sized according to wattage. How much will you need to power your home? Most generator suppliers will be able to survey your home and tell you the size you'll need. Next you'll need to think about what the generator will need to power. Lights? The refrigerator? Hot water? What is most important to you at the time of a crisis?

Calculate your costs
Have a think about what you'll need to put aside. Generators also run on fuel, so factor the fluctuation of fuel costs as a part of keeping it going. However, once it's set up you won't have to worry about being left in the dark again.

Cinnamon Apple Cake
This easy-to-prep dish will be a delicious addition to any summertime meal.

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups plain flour or all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar or granulated sugar
1 cup red apple, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Cinnamon topping
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking paper. In large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and sugar. Add chopped apple and stir briefly to combine. In separate bowl, add eggs, vanilla, yogurt and oil. Whisk briefly to break up egg yolks. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with wooden spoon until combined. Spoon batter into prepared tin. To make cinnamon topping, combine sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mix together and sprinkle over cake batter. Bake cake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve.

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