September 2018

How to Avoid H2O Headaches

Act fast to keep common problems from turning into serious disasters.

  • pipe: Shut off the individual valve (located under a sink or behind a washing machine) and start cleaning right away. Call a plumber, then use mops, buckets and a wet/dry vac before help arrives. Check the area over the next few weeks to make sure there are no signs of mold or dampness. Regularly inspect the hoses connected to your shutoff valves and replace every 3-5 years. Opt for stainless steel-wrapped options, which last longer than rubber ones.
  • Leaking roof: Walk around every room and look up to determine where leak is and is and it’s in more than one spot. Be on the lookout for drips, water stains, marks or mold. Often damage is caused by fallen branches, storms, or hail. Once it’s safe to head to the roof, securing the area with a tarp is the best short-term fix until damages can be assessed and fixed. Inspect once a year (fall is the best time) to see if there are loose, missing, or damaged shingles or if moss is growing.
  • Flooded basement: Most people in our area don’t have a basement. If you do and it is flooded, before anything else turn off your circuit breaker– if it is not in the basement. (If it is down there, you’ll need to call an electrician before getting to work). Drain as much water as you can with a sump pump,a wet/dry vac, or mop and towels.then dry the area with a dehumidifier and fans to prevent mold. Make sure to check on areas that don’t get a lot of daily traffic, like crawl spaces and the area under stairs.

Worth Quoting

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

We owe a lot to Thomas Edison – if it wasn’t for him, we’d be watching television by candlelight.
– Milton Berle

Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.
– Woody Allen

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
– Groucho Marx

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.
– David Frost

Television is chewing gum for the eyes.
– Frank Lloyd Wright

Nothing is really real unless it happens on television.
– Daniel J. Boorstin

Dijon Chicken Pasta

This simple but delicious dish can easily become a go-to recipe – perfect for fall evenings filled with activities.
Serves 6
1 pound short pasta (such as ziti or penne)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast
2 cups quartered mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté shallots until translucent. Lower heat and add cream and mustard, stirring until combined. Add chicken and mushrooms and gently heat through.

Add the cooked pasta and spinach and toss until leaves are just wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Good Words for Maribel’s Service

Good Words for Maribel’s Service

“Maribel has everything under control. She’s the best at what she does. She is outstanding and goes out of her way to make customers happy.”

Matt Hardy

Good Words for Barbara’s Service

Good Words for Barbara’s Service

“Barbara, she is the best! Thank you for everything!”

Warren & Carol Botkin

What Ingredients Go into My Auto Insurance Cost?

It’s not a secret family recipe, but your auto insurance cost does include three unique ingredients: you, your car, and your coverage. These three factors combined determine the risk and cost that shape your premium.

You: Your insurance carrier considers your driving record, age, and gender. Those with clean driving records generally pay lower premiums. As for age and gender, statistics show that women get into fewer accidents and younger, inexperienced drivers get into more. As a result, adolescent males typically pay higher premiums than 30-something females.

Your car: What is the price tag on your vehicle? Will it be expensive to repair if damaged? Some cars cost more to repair than others. How much you drive your car also matters. The more you’re on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. Similarly, where you drive the vehicle also affects your coverage cost. Highly populated areas experience more fender benders and theft.

Your coverage: The final ingredient is the amount and type of coverage you prefer. While some coverage is mandatory in certain regions, you typically have a lot of say about how this ingredient is mixed into the recipe. Many coverages, such as collision and comprehensive, are optional. You can also decide what level of deductible to carry on your policy. The decisions you make about coverage will affect the final total of your premium.

Right now it seems as though all California companies are increasing auto insurance rates to offset the rising claim costs. Now is a good time to consult with your insurance advisor to make sure you’re getting the kind of protection you need at the lowest possible cost..

How Much Homeowner’s Insurance Do I Need?

Your home is worth $300,000 in the real estate market. Does that mean you should have $300K in homeowner’s insurance coverage?

Not necessarily. When determining the amount of homeowner’s coverage you should have, several factors come into play. You should consider each of these as you work with your insurance agent to set up your policy.

The Structure: What will it cost to rebuild your home if disaster strikes?

To calculate this figure, multiply your square footage by per-square-foot building costs in your area. Your insurance agent can help provide these figures. As you calculate, keep in mind the style of your home, the type of materials used, the features and upgrades, and any additions you have made since initial construction.

The Codes: Have building codes changed since the construction of your home was completed?

If you have to rebuild, you may need to adhere to new codes, which can require additional expense. If you suspect this might be the case, consider adding an endorsement to your policy that allows funds for bringing your house up to code.

The Possessions: Don’t forget everything inside your home. You’ll need coverage to replace your personal property as well. Conduct an inventory of your belongings. This will help you estimate the cost of replacement, and the record will be helpful to have on file if you ever need to make a claim.

The Liability: Homeowner’s insurance also covers your liability as a property owner.

If you are sued due to bodily injury (your dog bites a neighbor) or need to repair property damage (your child’s baseball shatters the neighbor’s window), your liability insurance will cover the associated costs.

Most policies provide from $300,000-$500,000 in limits. And we strongly advise you consider a personal low-cost umbrella policy that can provide $1,000,000 or more above those limits.