One of the best things about living in California is the gorgeous climate. It makes getting out and enjoying the outdoors an everyday occurrence. Considering how much water is available to residents in the state, combining your outdoor adventures with a boat, jet ski or wave runner brings a whole new level of fun to your life. Before you make arrangements to put your watercraft to good use, though, you need to make sure that you are covered in the event of an accident.
California Watercraft Laws
Each person who is on board a watercraft must be wearing a life jacket that has been approved by the Coast Guard. The approved types are Types I, II, III and V. Operating a personal watercraft such as a jet ski is prohibited between sunset and sunrise even if the craft is outfitted with the correct navigational lights. Only individuals that are aged 16 and older can operate a boat that is more than 15 horsepower unsupervised. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can do so under the direct supervision of a person who is over the age of 18. There are also specific stipulations against negligent and unsafe behavior while operating a watercraft.
Insuring Your Watercraft
It is safe to assume that you need specialized insurance for your watercraft before you take it out to play. Rather than simply purchasing a cookie cutter insurance plan, however, work closely with your insurance agent to craft a customized insurance package that meets your unique needs. In most cases, this insurance plan will include liability in case you accidentally damage someone else’s property or cause injury to another person. Collusion and comprehensive insurance is also a standard addition and protects your own boat and other watercraft in the event that it is damaged.
Riding ATVs with your buddies or family combines the thrill of the great outdoors with the power of a four wheeling machine. Insurance protects your investment if it’s damaged or stolen, and some riding clubs require insurance before they’ll allow you to join. Lower your ATV insurance premiums with seven tips.
1. Buy a utility model. Sporty models or ATVS with bells and whistles look and ride nice, but they may cost more to insure. Utility models are often economical to insure. Likewise, keep in mind that the ATV’s mileage, condition and age also affect your premium.
2. Take a safety course. Most ATV dealers offer safety courses that include a book test and riding instruction. Your insurance company may reward you and anyone who shares your machine for knowing how to navigate your ATV safely in all terrains.
3. Maintain a clean driving record. Your insurance premium stays low when you operate the ATV safely and only on grounds where you have permission to ride legally.
4. Store your ATV safely. Locking your toy in the garage and installing an anti-theft device on it can reduce your insurance costs.
5. Compare policies. Different insurance companies offer different deductibles, coverage options and rates, so take your time and comparison shop.
6. Use one company for all your insurance needs. Most companies give you a discount when you combine, home, auto and ATV insurance.
7. File claims only when you have to. You pay for insurance so that you can file a claim if you have to, but don’t file for every little damage or your premium will rise.
If you love riding your ATV, make sure it’s properly insured. Then, use these seven tips to obtain a lower premium. Call us today for additional information on how we can help you find the affordable ATV insurance coverage you need.
Since 1984, Monterey County has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This participation, as well as the continued compliance with federal regulations, allows county residents to purchase flood insurance. Even if your business is far from any form of water such as rivers or creeks, it could still be affected by the intricate system of drainage improvements and facilities that the county maintains in an effort to protect its residents and their properties.
If you wish to relocate your business to an area that lies within the 100 year floodplain as determined by Monterey County engineers, or build within that area, federal regulations mandate that you purchase flood insurance in order to take advantage of any federally backed financial assistance for doing so. Even if you are not planning to move your business and you are happily ensconced in your current location, purchasing flood insurance is a wise business decision.
Weather Conditions Warranted Protection
Businesses that are not located within the flood plain are still at risk for being damaged due to flooding. Weather occurrences such as El Nino, for example, can cause extreme amounts of water to be dumped in areas that are ill-equipped to deal with such an onslaught of weather. Weaken structural supports like building foundations, or even elements of the property itself such as hills, can allow water to breech the boundaries of your business and cause flooding.
Industrial Accidents Pose a Concern
Water main breaks are incidences that do not occur often but the results can be devastating if you have not prepared for the possibility prior to it occurring. Not only will you need to be concerned with paying for the costs of replacing your damaged inventory and property out of your own pocket, you might struggle with losing sales from your customers during this period of time.
Flood insurance is a way to gain peace of mind that allows you to rest easier at night. Knowing that your business – and its assets – are protected in the event of an unexpected flood is a smart business move for the longevity of your company.
Despite the explosive growth of online identity theft, the great majority of personal information is stolen or lost in other ways, according to one recent study.
A nationwide survey of claims data by Travelers insurance company found that nearly three in four cases of identity fraud (73%) did not involve cyber-crime. According to Travelers, such stolen or misplaced items as wallets and pocketbooks were the most common known causes of these claims. The theft of drivers licenses, Social Security cards, or other forms of personal identification ranked second. Burglaries ranked third, followed by cyber breaches, including Internet scams and old-fashioned forgeries.
To protect yourself against all varieties of identity theft, experts recommend these guidelines:
- Check your monthly financial statements to detect any suspicious activity (in case you find any discrepancy, contact the financial institution immediately).
- Carry only essential credit cards
- Keep critical documents in a secure place
- Avoid scams by not disclosing personal information if you receive an unsolicited request
- Shred old bills and financial statements
- Store purses and wallets in a safe place
- Never print account information on an outgoing mail envelope
- Be careful about sharing personal information on social media
- Ask for a free report annually from the national credit reporting agencies.
You might also consider purchasing Identity theft insurance. Many policies provide coverage for lost or stolen funds; long distance calls to resolve, report, or discuss the fraud; the cost of notarizing fraud affidavits, certified mail, or other documents needed to restore compromised credit; loan re-application fees due to incorrect credit information; and attorney fees (if pre-approved).
For more information, please get in touch with our agency.
Roughly 374,000 fires occur in homes across the U.S. each year, 54% of them occur in the winter. Protect your home and family from being a statistic when you create a fire emergency plan. It helps you stay safe as you recognize Child Safety Protection.
1. Discuss Fire Safety Tips
Obviously, you want to extinguish candles, cigarettes and other open flames immediately. You also need to supervise meal prep in the kitchen to ensure nothing catches on fire. However, did you know that fabric can be flammable when it lies near the heater? Teach your family to prevent these and other fire hazards.
2. Hang Smoke Detectors
To ensure everyone can safely escape a fire, place smoke detectors on every floor of your home where you can hear them day and night. Since smoke rises, place them on the ceiling or high on the walls.
3. Locate Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers need to be accessible. Place one in the kitchen under the sink or in the pantry. Other smart locations include near the entrance and exit doors and at least one on each floor. Once they’re securely attached to the wall, ensure your adult and teen family members know how to use them.
4. Choose the Exits
Your home’s layout determines where you can safely exit. In each room, choose two door or window exits that assist your family in safely escaping a house fire. If you have a second story, store an escape ladder near the window, and make sure you know how to use it properly.
5. Designate an Outdoor Meeting Spot
Whether your family meets at a neighbor’s house or a tree across the street, designate an outdoor base camp. Call 911 from this spot after everyone safely escapes the fire.
6. Practice the Plan
Even the best fire emergency plan will be ineffective if your family members don’t know what to do when a fire starts. Test the fire alarms and teach your kids what they sound like. Then, practice escaping out of the nearest exit and meeting at your designated spot.
Your family’s fire emergency plan can keep you safe as you recognize Child Safety Protection Month. Additionally, talk to your insurance agent and ensure you have adequate home insurance for your house and possessions. Insurance won’t prevent fires, but it will give you peace of mind this month and year round.
The holidays are upon us and alcohol will be flowing at company parties throughout the land. Beware! If an employee or guest gets inebriated at a social function sponsored by your business and then injures another person, you could be held liable.
Consider this scenario: After polishing off four eggnogs in an hour at the company’s Christmas party, one of your workers toddles off to his car. The employee almost makes it home when he runs a red light and T-bones a car. The car is damaged and injures the driver. The driver then sues your business for negligence in allowing the employee to drive home although he was clearly “under the influence” at the company party.
What’s more, under state and local “social host” laws, your business might face a fine or even imprisonment for continuing to serve alcohol to an adult who is legally drunk.
Under your comprehensive general liability policy is a clause for host liquor liability. The insurance company will pick up the tab for property damage and bodily injuries, up to “each occurrence” or “general aggregate” limits for the CGL. This coverage will also pay for court costs, legal fees, and other expenses – and these payments will not apply to the limits.
Be sure not to confuse host liquor liability insurance with Liquor Liability coverage, which protects businesses that manufacture, serve, or sell alcoholic beverages (such as liquor stores, bars, and taverns) against claims for injuries caused by intoxicated customers. If you’re in one of these businesses, you’ll need both types of policy.
To learn more, feel free to get in touch with our agency at any time.