June 2019

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Car Insurance

You need coverage for your car. But what kind of insurance should you get, and how much coverage do you need? As you consider auto insurance policies, ask yourself the following questions to determine the best coverage for your vehicle.

Who? Will you be the only one driving your car? If you share the vehicle with others, such as a spouse or a teen driver, you'll need to list them on your policy.

What? What type of vehicle do you drive? The year, make, and model of your car affect the price of insurance. Some types of cars require special policies, and others may be eligible for discounts due to strong safety records.

When? How often do you drive your car, and how far do you usually drive it? Your policy should reflect your typical use of the vehicle. If you rarely drive it, you may want to consider mileage-based insurance.

Where? Do you park your car on the street or in a garage? Do you drive your car in harsh environments or smooth conditions? Consider the risks your vehicle faces as you weigh your options for coverage.

Why? Why do you need coverage? Do you simply want to fulfill state legal requirements? Do you love your car and want to keep it scratch-free? Do you have a lease that requires specific coverage? The reason for your coverage should guide your policy choice.

How? How do you want to pay for your auto insurance? Monthly? Biannually? Consider your payment options, which may provide different benefits or discounts. You can also choose a higher deductible to lower your premium. Contact our office to review your options and determine the best coverage for you and your vehicle.

5 Natural Disaster Facts You Probably Don't Know

Do natural disasters pose a threat to your home? It's unlikely your home is completely free of risk. Consider the following National Geographic disaster facts that affect homeowners worldwide each season.

Tornado fact: Tornadoes occur most often between March and July, during the hours from 4 to 9 p.m. Tornado winds can whip up to 300 mph. That's twice as fast as hurricane winds. These powerful twisters can quickly destroy homes in their path.

Lightning fact: A lightning flash can heat the air around it to five times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Contrary to popular belief, lightning can (and does) strike the same place twice. Rods and other materials such as plumbing and gutters can ground homes and offer protection from lightning.

Hurricane fact: Hurricanes cause "storm surges" when winds push ocean water onshore. These can reach heights of 20 feet and can cover several miles of inland territory.

Flooding and storm surges are two of the most threatening aspects of hurricanes. These storms can also generate tornadoes. Forecasts and evacuations are the best defense against the destruction of hurricanes.

Earthquake fact: Typically, a magnitude 8 earthquake hits somewhere every year.

Earthquakes claim the lives of 10,000 people annually; a majority of these tragedies are due to collapsing buildings. These disasters can also lead to other incidents, such as fires, tsunamis, and floods, that add to the destruction.

Wildfire fact: Four out of five wildfires are started by humans.

Every year, between four and five million acres of US land is cleared by wildfires. These infernos can move up to 14 mph, burning up everything in their path. Depending on your location, your property may be at risk for one or more of these incidents each season. Do you have the proper coverage?

Homeowners insurance can provide the protection you need. Reach out to our office to review your coverage. We'll ensure you have the policies in place to help you recover if disaster strikes in your area.

Shoot Pics Like a Pro on Your Next Vacation

Vacations call for mementos. We want to document every sunset, every dive off the dock, and every roasted marshmallow with a photo. And not just any photo, but a photo that perfectly captures the golden glow, wide smiles, and lush landscapes. This summer, make it your goal to take vacation photos that are frame-worthy. For iPhone shooters and SLR slingers alike, these tips will help take your snapshots from blah to beautiful.

Get high, get low. When you shoot every picture from the same angle, things start to get boring. Experiment with shooting from different angles and heights for more unique perspectives.

Capture candids. The best photos usually aren't posed. Instead of wrangling the family to sit still for a picture, snap away as they're building sandcastles, eating ice cream, and running out of the water. You'll capture the sincerest expressions and memories.

Get up close and personal. Don't be afraid to shoot close-ups - of food, details, faces, and more. This is especially true for smartphone cameras, which can produce dull images when the shot is too long.

Share the camera. The shoemaker's son always goes barefoot, and the photographer always goes unphotographed. Make sure you pass the camera to someone else once in a while to capture your presence on the trip.

Use the right apps. Simple edits, when appropriate, can transform your images. You don't have to be a Photoshop pro; phone apps like VSCO and Afterlight come with photographer-approved tools for adjusting brightness, cropping, and reducing shadows.

Chilled Lettuce Wraps

Tired of the same old sandwiches and hot dogs? Here's something fresh and flavorful for your next picnic.

Serves 6 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
2 lettuce cups (Bibb lettuce) Directions

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar; then set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Sauté shallots, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened. Then add the ground chicken and continue cooking while breaking up any lumps and 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 leaves with extra wedges of lime.

Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on pictures:
Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
Walt Disney

Wherever there are words, let there be pictures.
Chris Riddell

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.
Robert Capa

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
Henry Ward Beecher

The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?
Pablo Picasso

Objects in pictures should so be arranged as by their very position to tell their own story. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.
Just send us an email and submit your answer.

What hide was first used to cover baseballs in 1975?

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

Last month's winners were:
Sandra PerryPeter EstesMayra Mendoza

Good Words for Barbara Swanson

"Best most informative agent I have ever had the pleasure to meet."
John Tashjian