August 2019

August 01, 2019


Fall is a great time for campfires and backyard bonfires. Here's how to stay safe (and avoid insurance claims) while you roast your marshmallows.

Contain it. Establish a safe zone for your fire that prevents it from spreading. Create a ring of rocks on the outside of the bonfire area. Clear away any grass and leaves around the bonfire, creating a 10-foot circle of dirt around the fire. To further establish this dirt-only zone, dig a hole two feet across and six inches deep for your bonfire, then pile dirt around this pit.

Extinguish it. Never leave a fire unattended. When the bonfire party is over, make sure the fire is completely out. To ensure it is extinguished, douse the fire with water, then stir the embers to make sure everything gets wet. Scrape any partially burned logs to remove hot embers, then mix the ashes and embers with some dirt. Before you leave the area, everything should be cool to the touch, including the ring of rocks.

Plan it. Before you light a bonfire, consider the environment. Check the National Weather Service for Fire Weather Warnings. If there is a Red Flag Warning, consider postponing your bonfire. Other conditions to watch for are dry air (low humidity, which increases the risk of wildfires) and high winds, which can quickly blow embers and ashes onto flammable objects.

Prevent it. Whether you use a portable pit or build a stone ring in your yard, make sure the bonfire is situated at a safe distance from your home. Keep in mind that embers can travel a significant distance from the source. Before you light the fire, take the necessary precautions so you remain safe and won't have to worry about an insurance issue resulting from your bonfire.


Do you know the limit on your homeowners' insurance policy? Every policy has a limit, which is the maximum amount of payout you can receive for a claim.

Most homeowner policies today are written with Replacement Cost terms. This means the insurance carrier will pay the full replacement cost for damages, even if the item being replaced has depreciated.

For example, if you need to replace your computer, and a new one costs $1,000, your Replacement Cost policy will cover this entire cost. It does not take into consideration the depreciated value of your two-year-old computer, which may now only be worth around $500. Since it costs $1,000 to replace it, the Replacement Cost coverage provides the full amount. When it comes to homes, this Replacement Cost can get tricky.

If your house suffers significant damage and you need to completely rebuild, you might hit the limit of your Replacement Cost policy before you reach the full cost of rebuilding your home. If this happens, you might not be able to afford the repairs, even though you have homeowners insurance coverage.

This is where extended Replacement Cost policies come into play.

With this coverage in place, the homeowner policy will pay up to a certain percentage over the policy limit if extra funds are needed to fully replace your home.

These policies are commonly written at 120 to 125 percent of the stated limit of the basic coverage. Some of the better policies will cover up to 200%. This may be necessary to rebuild the house in a catastrophe, like a wildfire. During these times, construction cost soar because of the law of supply and demand.

Do you need this coverage? This will depend on a variety of factors, including the value of your home, current construction and material costs, and the limit of your policy.

Feel free to contact us for a quick review of your coverage to determine if this policy would be in your best interest.

Partner Mark Jennings holds newly born grandson, Jude Austin McKay Fraser. Born on 8/19/2019, the baby boy was 7lbs 9oz. Mark's son and advisor Ryan Jennings beams with pride.

Roasted Apple Fall Salad

Here's a fresh addition to your warm fall meal.  

Serves 8


  • 4 medium Fuji or Gala apples, quartered and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 package baby spinach 
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples, olive oil, nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon on a baking sheet and toss to coat evenly. Roast 20-30 minutes or until tender. Remove and cool completely. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until blended. Place spinach in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing, roasted apples, cheese, cranberries, and pecans. Serve immediately.

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just send us an email and submit your answer.

A European superstition states that a guest who leaves his/her napkin on the chair will what?

First 10 responders will be entered into drawing for 3 Starbuck's gift cards.
Last month's winners were:

Emalee Mann

Amy Lopez



Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on the subject of travel: 

It’s easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.

Art Buchwald

Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

Jerry Seinfeld

When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

Airplane law

We’re lost, but we’re making good time.

Yogi Berra

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.


He who hesitates is not only lost, but several miles from the next freeway exit.

Nowlan’s Theory

The average tourist wants to go to places where there are no tourists.

Sam Ewing


“Barbara takes care of any claim, coverage change, addition or subtraction so quickly and responded to my needs so fast that I used to miss her replies and phone calls. I’ve been with other insurance companies and you know what it feels like to reach out for something you need. I always felt like “Oh man, this is going to take some time, so I better get the ball rolling now so I can get a phone call or an email back by tomorrow or at least within the week”. So you make the call and or send the email and you wait. Not with Central Valley. Barbara has always taken care of me so quickly and so efficiently every time, making sure I get exactly what I need. It’s such a comfort to know that my family is take care of that way- like family.”

Matt Morgan


Piloting commercial airplanes is a male-dominated business. And while barely 6% of all commercial pilots in the world are women, Captain Wendy Rexon and her daughter, First Officer Kelly Rexon, are a dynamic duo in the Delta cockpit.

With widespread coverage in the news and social media, this mother-and-daughter team are an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. According to Wendy, there's a shortage of women pilots simply because of lack of awareness.

The International Society of Women Airline Pilots reports that of the 130,000 airline pilots around the globe, only 4,000 are women. And of that number, only about 450 are captains. But as the demand for pilots grows, the likelihood of more women entering the field grows too. Indeed, Wendy's other daughter, Kate, is a Delta pilot too.

Wendy has been flying since she was 16, and when her daughters showed an interest, both she and her husband encouraged it. For the entire family, it seems to be a dream come true.

Obviously, there's a lot of flight-school training required to make the grade, but a bachelor's degree in a related field is all that's necessary for acceptance to a top-notch flight school. Once there, a student receives ground training and flight training and can usually acquire the necessary hours of flying to become a real airline pilot in about four years.

Wendy is a vocal and enthusiastic advocate for more women in the cockpit. Her husband is an American Airlines pilot, so the whole family is flying high. Wendy calls it "the family business."