March 2020

How to Estimate the Value of Your Possessions

In each of our homes lies a treasure trove of possessions. Some are utilitarian with high monetary value, such as a refrigerator, but have little emotional pull. On the other hand, there may be items handed down from past generations that would likely stir great emotions but have low market value to others. Many would value their possessions based on their attachment to them, but is that how it works when you're shopping for homeowners insurance or renters insurance? Below are a few ways to estimate the value of your possessions before negotiating your insurance policy.

Calculating the value of your possessions

It's not easy to calculate the value of your possessions, but using a few easy strategies, you can be well on your way to determining the amount of insurance coverage that is right for you.

1. Walk around your home or apartment and take photos or video of everything you'd like to insure.
2. Make a list of everything you have photo or video proof of, and begin to estimate each item's worth:
For items with receipts, take photos of the receipts and any warranties.
For expensive possessions like furniture or electronics, getting the model name or number and date of purchase is crucial.
3. For clothes, shoes, nonelectronic household items, and any other household possessions, calculate the value you estimate these all to be worth.
4. Add each group together, and that is the estimated value of your possessions.

How much insurance do you need?

Most good homeowners/renters polices have replacement cost for personal property, which means you're entitled to a settlement based on what the property would cost new. And they have a fraction of the dwelling coverage built in. For example, good policies typically pay up to 70% of the dwelling limit if you own your home. There are limits on certain types of personal policy. If you're a renter you can choose the limit, but be sure not to skimp on coverage.

Don't hesitate to reach out so you've got as much information as you need to make a decision that's best for you.

How to Make the Most of Your Spring Cleaning

The first spring clean of the year is a golden opportunity to refresh, renew, and rejuvenate not only our surroundings but also our own inner sense of well-being. Don't know where to start? Take note of these handy hints to help tackle your big 2020 spruce-up with a spring in your step.

Create a plan of action for each room/area in your house. From there, home in on specific jobs and make a list to break things down into easily manageable chunks. It'll be incredibly satisfying as you check off each job!

In your kitchen, pay extra attention to overlooked areas, like the microwave, oven, sink, fridge, pots and pans, and that often-forgotten junk drawer. If you like to keep things eco-friendly, citrus can go a long way: rub a slice of lemon on your cutting boards to help get rid of tough stains.

In the bathroom, delegate your time between machine-washing shower curtains (just be sure to use the gentle cycle), decluttering and getting rid of make-up, ointments, and medicines, and refreshing shower drains and grouting. Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to grout and scrub with an old toothbrush. Afterwards, spray the grout with white vinegar and water, and let the mixture bubble for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Don't forget to refresh your bedding. Pillows should be replaced every one or two years (depending on their quality), while comforters need a deep clean at least twice a year.

When you finish your spring clean, remember to clean your tools and stock up on cleaning supplies so your next cleaning job is efficient and easy. Vacuums, brooms, dryers, and dishwashers deserve your attention too!

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just email us and submit your answer.

When is the next Chinese Year of the Dog? 

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

Last month's winners were:

Shelly Weststeyn
Sabrina-Amanda Quair
Mayra Mendoza

Good Words for Our Staff

"The customer service and insurance options are amazing! My agent Ryan, is fantastic! He is very responsive and helpful! He definitely always goes the extra mile! I would 100% recommend Central Valley Insurance to everyone!"
Ty Kirby

"Ryan Jennings is always super friendly & makes himself available. He takes his time, answering all your questions, being patient & thorough. Ryan went as far as to do a line by line break down for me in comparison of their price/ coverage vs. their competitors. He was honest in discussing what another agency might offer better and/or cheaper and I am really happy that I found an insurance agent that I know I can trust; one who will take care of me & all of my concerns. I feel like a valued customer & I appreciate the great consistent customer service that I get every time!!"
Kyle Bean

The staff is so friendly and always prompt. They are patient with any questions and always willing to help.
Clayton Allison

Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on the topic of dogs:

Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.

Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.
Emily Dickinson

The dogs with the loudest bark are the ones that are most afraid.
Norman Reedus

Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Alexander Pope

I've seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.
John Steinbeck

Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans.
John Grogan

Meet Two Women Changing the World, One Life at a Time

As the season of New Year's resolutions gives way to a rapidly unfolding new year and decade, optimism may waver in the face of the political, economic, and environmental challenges that humanity faces.

This March, Women's History Month is a welcome and inspiring reminder that there are those who seek to make the world a better place, starting with their very own communities. The following fierce females show that no matter how small the positive action, its ripple effects change and enrich many lives.

Chicagoan Shante Elliott grew up as a ward of the state until she was adopted at age 13. Armed with firsthand experience of the challenges youngsters face in the foster care system, Elliott launched TasselTurn, a platform that uses technology to boost educational attainment for foster teens. TasselTurn pairs at-risk kids with "virtual coaches" (graduate students and young professionals) who ensure their mentees graduate and go on to attend college or find jobs.

Fellow L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth 2019 honoree Brittany Schiavone launched Brittany's Baskets of Hope in 2014. Drawing on her own experiences as a woman with Down's syndrome, the Huntington-based nonprofit offers support and guidance to those welcoming babies with Down's syndrome into their lives. Since 2016, she has delivered 750 homemade baskets containing informational books, baby essentials, and gifts to families across 48 states.

Not only are these women working to change lives, they are single-handedly changing the narrative around foster kids and Down's syndrome, shaping history as they boldly go forward into the future.