Protecting Your Home: How to Spot Contractor Fraud
When it comes to home repairs or renovations, finding a trustworthy contractor is paramount. Hiring a contractor is a significant decision for any homeowner. Not only does it involve entrusting someone with your home, but it also entails financial investments that can have long-lasting implications. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals out there looking to take advantage.

Warning signs. Key indicators to look out for are: unusually low bids, excessive up-front payment requests, and a lack of proper licensing and insurance. If a contractor approaches you about damage you aren’t aware of, asks you to pay up front and requires you to pay in cash, these are all big red flags that suggest you should take your business elsewhere.

Verifying credentials and reputation. When looking for a new contractor, you need to verify a potential candidate’s credentials and reputation. For example, you should always conduct background checks, including checking for licenses, certifications and insurance coverage.

During the work. If you’ve already hired someone and they are continually finding new problems to work on, aren’t paying suppliers or begin repairs before your insurer inspects your damages, the chances are they are committing contractor fraud. 

What next? If you think your contractor is trying to scam you, start documenting your concerns immediately and hold on to any paperwork between the two of you, then contact your state contractor licensing authority. One powerful tool is having the right insurance coverage. Get in touch with us today to see what insurance is right for you.
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Home Network Security: Keeping Your Digital Haven Safe
In today's interconnected world, our homes are not only filled with physical possessions but also with a digital ecosystem. With the increasing number of smart devices and online activities, it's essential to prioritize home network security. In this article, we will explore the importance of safeguarding your digital haven and how insurance can play a vital role in mitigating potential risks.

Understanding home network security. Home network security refers to the measures taken to protect your connected devices and data from unauthorized access and cyber threats. It encompasses various aspects such as securing Wi-Fi networks, implementing strong passwords, updating software regularly and being vigilant against phishing attempts and malware. Maintaining a secure home network is not just about protecting your personal information and digital assets; it also safeguards your financial well-being. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in your network to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, leading to financial losses, identity theft and other serious consequences.

The role of insurance in digital protection. While practicing good cybersecurity habits is crucial, having insurance coverage adds an extra layer of protection. Consider exploring specialized home cyber insurance policies designed to address the evolving digital risks homeowners face. Evaluate different policy options to ensure they align with your specific requirements. Look for coverage that includes reimbursement for financial losses, legal expenses, credit monitoring services and professional assistance in the event of a cyber incident.

Stay safe online. Stay updated on the latest cybersecurity best practices and educate yourself and your family about online risks. Regularly update your devices and use unique, strong passwords for each online account. Set up a guest network for your visitors, make use of your router firewall and turn off your network when you go on vacation.

Not sure if cyber insurance is right for you? Get in touch with us for a friendly chat.
Referral Rewards Drawing Winner

Client Ginni Lippire (left) and Office Manager Barbara Swanson display the booty for Ginni winning the 2nd Quarter Referral Rewards drawing. To learn how you can be a winner go to:

Above Maribel Olivera and Ryan Jennings draw the winning ticket for the 2nd quarter Referral Rewards drawing.

Chilled Lettuce Wraps

2 tablespoons fish sauce
5 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1.5 pounds ground chicken breast
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
12 lettuce cups (Bibb lettuce)

In small bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar, then set aside. Heat skillet over medium heat and add oil. Sauté shallots, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until softened. Then add ground chicken and continue cooking while breaking up any lumps until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat and add sauce mixture. Allow mixture to cool and then refrigerate for at least one hour. (Can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to two days.)

Stir in cilantro and onion before serving. Serve in lettuce cups with extra wedges of lime.
Serves 6.

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