In this episode our agent, Seth Arruda talks about some of the serious effects of inflation and construction costs on property insurance. The cost of building has risen and we’re seeing that reflected in new construction, but it can also effect the cost to rebuild, especially after a large catastrophic wildfire.
Update: lumber prices have come down recently but that doesn’t mean they will return to pre-pandemic prices. Also the with inflation and with the additional higher costs involved in building those costs are being passed down to the consumer.
So let’s dive into how the rising costs of building materials and inflation are effecting replacement cost and being properly insured to value.
Want to look at a plan for your personal or commercial insurance? Schedule an appointment!
Expertise.com scored 65 agencies in Vista, California and selected the top 8 for 2021!
Recognition as a subject matter expert in homeowners insurance in San Diego, California shows how dedicated we are to helping our clients protect their lifestyles and their most valuable assets, their homes. So, when Alta Vista Insurance was selected as one of the top 8 personal lines insurance agencies in Vista, California for homeowners insurance by expertise.com we were very excited to be recognized for the amazing service we provide to our San Diego community and throughout California.
Our goal is to be an expert in real estate asset protection in San Diego, California. Focusing on property insurance is one of the cornerstones of our clients’ asset portfolios and that’s where we shine. Providing the proper education about the importance of financial protection gives our clients a solid foundation to build wealth and achieve financial freedom. Partner that with a subject matter expert that specializes in personal insurance like homeowners insurance, auto insurance, landlord insurance, flood insurance and earthquake insurance along with commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers compensation, and cyber liability insurance in California and you have a healthy ecosystem to protect your personal and commercial assets.
This is another feather in our cap and award to put on our mantel. The last two years, 2019 and 2020 Alta Vista Insurance was selected as Agency For The Future with Safeco Insurance and Liberty Mutual!
“This group includes some of the most innovative agencies in the entire independent agent channel. While they are all unique – each with their own distinct value proposition, customer focus and company culture – what they have most in common is in just how prepared they were to tackle the challenges of 2020 head on. They quickly adapted to the changing market conditions brought about by the pandemic, fully embraced digital to ensure the customer experienced remained strong, and continued to cultivate great corporate cultures to keep their teams engaged.”
-Tyler Asher, President of independent agency distribution for Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance.
The “proof is in the pudding”. I could go on and on and tell you all about the great work we do for our clients but it’s better to hear their stories. Check out some our client testimonials on our Google Business Page.
As an independent agency here in Vista, California since 1978, we’re no stranger to the neighborhood. Ever since then we’ve focused on personal and commercial property in San Diego, California working with real estate investors, property owners, homeowners, and new home buyers to give them the right plan to protect their lifestyles. We also focus efforts on helping other strategic partners in San Diego, California grow their businesses through our expertise and knowledge as an insurance guide to help them reach new heights in their businesses and provide their clients with a personal risk manager. We form long lasting relationships throughout Vista, California and all of San Diego with real estate agents, commercial real estate agents, property managers, mortgage lenders, bankers, CPA’s and attorneys.
We work strategically with business partners, especially real estate agents, to help those individuals grow their businesses, save time, and save money. One of our main focuses is to help agents close their transactions smoothly and on time and provide their clients with the proper protection they need for their lifestyles so they can live their best life. Insurance is a relationship business. Our goal is to build long lasting relationships with our clients, business partners, and our community.”
Expertise.com based their selections on a number of different criteria. They also looked at our online presence and social proof. They even took the time to test our strengthens with their surprise “mystery shopper” calls to ensure their list of insurance agencies are of the highest quality. Let’s just say, we passed with flying colors! Our staff was friendly, accommodating and answered all questions about bundling personal insurance and available discounts. Their selection criteria consists of five major categories.
Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.
Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.
Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.
Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.
Recognition and awards tell a story that we’re doing things right and putting our clients in San Diego, California first and we’re just getting started. Leveraging technology and our systems to create a seamless positive customer experience is a big focus as we look at new ways to meet the needs of our customers in the 21st century. We’re using more video and social media to educate our clients throughout the customer journey. Text messaging alerts and automation to keep clients informed about policy notifications and upcoming renewals has been a great addition to our client experience. During COVID-19 we’re able to reach our customers through virtual meetings using Microsoft Teams and book appointments using our online virtual calendar. If you’re looking for a better insurance experience and a personal guide to keep you informed about how to protect your lifestyle, we’d like to welcome you to Alta Vista Insurance.
Renters insurance is a type of policy designed for a property you are renting that provides protection in the event of a sudden or accidental occurrence known as a covered peril. These policies protect your tenants in the event of a loss and include three key benefits: coverage for the person, their belongings and stuff, and additional living expenses. The coverage in the policy is referred to as personal liability, personal property, and loss of use.
In California, not everything is covered under renters insurance, so we’ll show you how each plan can be tailored accordingly to fit your tenant’s lifestyle.
Here’s a great resource you can provide to your tenants to educate them about the importance of renters insurance.
1. Does Renters Insurance Protect Landlords in California?
With renters insurance, landlords can protect themselves and their business against liability from tenant’s negligence. It can also protect you from additional costs due to natural disasters or other occurrences. When your tenants carry renters insurance, they protect themselves and it can add an additional layer of protection which can lead to fewer claims filed.
2. What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
We talked about the three key coverages that renters insurance includes: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Personal property will cover your contents and belongings inside the property from a covered peril. Things like clothing, furniture, appliances owned by the tenant, and electronics up to the limits of the policy. In California, a good recommendation is including replacement cost coverage for personal property. This provides full replacement for your tenants’ contents and belongings. Without replacements cost, personal property would be covered on an “actual cash value” basis, which could lead to tenant complaints. Liability is the second most important coverage on a renters policy and is overlooked in most cases. In the event of an accident like a slip and fall or personal injury matter like slander liability coverage will pay for claims that arise if a tenant is found responsible or liable for the injuries. It can also cover accidental damage to someone else’s property caused by a tenant.
This can help landlords and property owners reduce claims to their commercial property insurance and reduce out of pocket expense to their business. Another great reason to require renters insurance from your tenants.
The third coverage is loss of use. This will cover any additional living expenses for your tenant if their unit is damaged and needs repair. Things like, a stay at a hotel, or the cost to sign a temporary lease while the repairs are being completed. In California, it can also cover additional living expenses if your tenants are in a mandatory evacuation zone due to a catastrophic wildfire.
Fires are a common peril and can happen due to many different reasons. Whether it’s a kitchen fire, a faulty wire, neighbors negligence, or even a wildfire the damage that is caused can devastate a home or apartment building. Some renters insurance plans will cover fires if your tenant is negligible, like if they forgot to blow out a candle or left the stove on. Between the fire and smoke damage your building could cost more to repair than you think.
Water claims are the number one cause of loss in California and a huge pain point for landlords, especially when you own a building with multiple stories or units that share walls with each other. If a pipe bursts behind the walls it can cause major damage to the building and the interior, like your tenants belongings or furniture. Your landlord insurance covers your structure from water damage that is sudden or accidental and renters insurance covers your tenants “stuff” inside their unit.
Earthquakes and Floods
In California earthquakes and floods are catastrophic perils that require separate policies. When we say flood, we’re talking about outside water due to storm surge or rising water, like a tsunami. Earthquakes and seismic activity can cause total losses to buildings and force tenants out of their homes without a place to live. Tenants can also purchase coverage to protect themselves from these natural disasters separate from their standard renters policy. Your landlord insurance will cover your building but it will not cover any property owned by the tenant. That is why renters insurance is a must for your tenants and their policy will cover their belongings and in most cases replace them. Renters insurance with these additions gives landlords and tenants peace of mind that they can recover from a large natural disaster, like an earthquake or flood.
Having a safe home environment is important to your tenants. Living in an area with security is an important factor when choosing a place to rent. Proper basic protective devices like deadbolts, locks on windows, and even burglar alarms can deter break ins and theft which can reduce damage to the building and filing claims. In the event of a theft, renters insurance can help your tenants replace the items that were stolen. Make sure your tenants document the loss with the proper authorities, that way the renter’s insurance company will pay claims for theft to their property. Tenants can also purchase special coverage for valuable items like jewelry, artwork, guns, and antiques.
Tenants can be sued for a number of reasons due to their own negligence. A slip and fall accident by a guest or if a tenant is responsible for damaging someone else’s property can lead to liability claims that can be costly and stressful. Requiring renters insurance for your tenants in California can mitigate claims for the landlord if their tenants are responsible for damages or if guests are injured and seeking payment for their pain and suffering.
3. How Renters Insurance Protects Landlords
Rising Cost of Insurance
I think we’ve made good case for making renters insurance a requirement for tenants. It offers many benefits to renters to help them protect themselves while giving landlords another tool to protect their real estate investment. When landlords file claims it can lead to higher insurance premiums and in some cases your policy can be non-renewed if there is a frequency of multiple claims. Requiring tenants to provide renters insurance to protect themselves can reduce your exposure to claims and prevent rising insurance costs.
When landlords require renters insurance from their tenants, it creates an additional layer of protection against liability and additional fees due to catastrophic natural disasters, like wildfires in California, and sudden or accidental occurrences.
Managing risk exposures while reducing out of pocket expenses is very important when reviewing your real estate investment portfolio. If you own an investment property you should be working with an agent that specializes in helping landlords and real estate investors stay informed about potential exposures to their business and protect their real estate investments. Hiring a risk manager like Alta Vista Insurance is a sound business strategy to help you be financially protected, build wealth, and achieve financial freedom.
To book an appointment to talk about your investment property click the link here and let us help you create a plan to protect your real estate portfolio.
Morgan is out the studio. In this episode, my agent, Mark Lamb joins me with Edward Hull from Carlsbad Tax Services, a local tax firm in Carlsbad, California.
We dive into some of President, Joe Biden’s new proposed tax plans and a few different tax strategies that business owners, property owners, and high income earners can take advantage of to keep more money in their pockets.
This is an episode you don’t want to miss!
For the latest up to date tax information contact Carlsbad Tax services and click the button below.
Morgan and Seth are talking investment properties! In this episode they talk about getting into real estate investing, the advantages of buying a multi-family property as a smart first choice, and the best way to insure these types of real estate assets.
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or real estate investor, it’s important to understand how to be financially protected. Click the video above and watch this episode!
To get a quote for your investment property or if you have a portfolio of properties and need an agent that understands how to properly protect those types of real estate assets in California. Click below and schedule a consultation to talk about making a plan.
Morgan and Seth talk about the crazy week the stock market experienced with the GameStop short squeeze, retail investors and the market manipulation, the real estate market in Southern California and how to protect those assets and why real estate continues to be a healthy and strong investment strategy.
Don’t miss this episode and make sure you like, comment, and subscribe because we love doing this!
We started a podcast! This is not your regular insurance podcast.
Since we’re in the business of protecting our client’s real estate assets, we thought it would be valuable to talk about real estate as a primary investment strategy, how to build wealth through real estate, and the best way to protect those assets.
We also talk about current events and how they relate to investing and talk to subject matter experts in the industry to hear their stories and give us some guidance on best practices so you can be financially protected, build wealth, and live your best life. We also have some fun along the way!
Check it out! Time for the call to action! Like, comment, subscribe!
I’m embarking on a new journey this year. Over the last thirteen years I’ve helped homeowners, new home buyers, and real estate investors in California protect their lifestyles and stay out of harms way so they can keep their assets in their pockets.
Very early on I saw the importance of being a problem solver and educating my clients so they could make the right decisions about their insurance protection. It sounds sexy, but it’s not. In fact, most people when you say the word “insurance” they immediately check out and look for the nearest exit.
WHY? I get it. Insurance is boring. Most consumers have no interest in it, until something happens in their life that changes their perception of what insurance actually does and the value it brings.
Insurance is a great tool and when used properly it can create a strong foundation to protect your income, your family, and your health.
I have said before,
the foundation to building wealth starts with financial protection. Understanding how to protect what you already have is one of the primary concepts to achieve financial freedom.
Many of these ideas have to do with the proper mindset. Mindset is everything. Without the right mindset you end up “running for the hills” when someone talks about insurance.
This is where the industry and many of my peers underdeliver. They constantly focus on price and the cost of insurance and overlook the importance of the proper protection. They do consumers a huge disservice by focusing so much of their time and resources on lowering the cost to squeeze every dollar out of the policy that it loses its value. And when the time comes when you need it the most the coverage doesn’t protect your lifestyle.
That is my goal as a personal risk manager. I want to change your mindset and the way you look at insurance. I want to invite you into a story where all your assets are protected, you have peace of mind, and you have the proper plan to achieve financial freedom.
Starting with a plan to be financially protected is the part of the story where we begin our journey. Insurance agents play an important role in guiding their clients in the right direction so they can make educated decisions about the proper protection they desire. That is very valuable to consumers seeking to protect their assets and their real estate investments.
In California, having an insurance agent that works closely with your real estate agent, CPA, and CFP creates a healthy ecosystem of “subject matter experts” that provide holistic solutions to their client’s problems.
Want to learn the benefits of adding a personal risk manager to your team?
And as your needs change they play an intricate role guiding you through different stages of life making sure you stay on the right path to building wealth through real estate.
No matter where you are on your journey through life it’s always best practice to educate yourself on the best way to protect yourself, your family, your income, and your health and well being. You don’t need a million dollars in the bank to start learning how to be financially protected and build wealth.
So let’s start making insurance exciting! Well, maybe not. How about we start with changing the mindset when it comes to insurance. This year I want to lay a foundation starting with some basic strategies that you can implement right now to help you create a plan for you and your family.
Whether you’re buying your first home in California or adding another investment property to your portfolio, this information will help you understand exactly how to protect your lifestyle.
Personal Insurance Protecting Your Home
I’m going to start with some basic tips on how to help you get the best value out of your homeowners insurance in California. These are benefits you can include if you own a home or you’re a first time home buyer!
Make sure your home in California is insured to value and your policy has extended dwelling replacement coverage. Replacement cost is a MUST. Your home has to be insured up to the replacement cost of the structure. How much would it cost to rebuild? That’s replacement cost or insurance to value. I recommend a minimum of 150% extended dwelling replacement. That will come into play if the cost of materials increase or labor costs increase after a covered peril.
Loss of Use. If you have a claim and you cannot live in your home while the repairs are being completed, you need additional living expense coverage. If you have a total loss from a fire you could be displaced from your home up to 1-2 years. This is why having adequate loss of use limits for your lifestyle are critical. Most people overlook this coverage and most agents will reduce this type of coverage to lower the rate. Purchase the maximum amount of loss of use that is available from your insurance company. In California, you can activate this coverage if your home is in a mandatory evacuation zone. Lodging, food, gas, and transportation costs can be covered under additional living expenses.
Liability for your residence premises. If you’re sued due to negligence this will keep your assets in your pockets. In some cases, this coverage can be activated for personal injury as well. Remember, you don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. If you live in California, your property is one of your most valuable assets. You should purchase at least $500,000 in liability on your homeowners policy. Some insurance companies are offering up to $1 Million limits.
PRO TIP: I would also purchase a personal umbrella policy. This is a separate policy you can purchase that provides an additional layer of protection for your assets. It will cover your home, autos, toys, and rental properties and provide you with legal defense in case of a large lawsuit.
Some of my peers say insurance is like defense and if you played sports defense was never very glamourous. But, a good defensive strategy always wins championships. That’s how I want you to start thinking about your insurance protection. As a defensive strategy to help you win so you can live your best life.
Summer holidays like the fourth of July are American made for celebrating our freedom and grilling with family and friends. I know this year’s fourth of July seems overshadowed by the current state of affairs, but I still believe this is the greatest country on Earth and we all have the right to stand up for what we believe in.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
No one says America like the fictitious character from NBC’s hit show, Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson. He’s become a cultural icon and a satirical metaphor for a libertarian and has some classic “one-liners”. Here, Ron show us his Ultimate American burger recipe in perfect Ron Swanson fashion.
“Turkey can never beat cow, Chris.”
Grilling in the summer is a pastime for many that brings us together. The smell of charcoal and sunscreen bring back memories spending long summer days at the beach enjoying a cheeseburger on a white bun with a little bit of ketchup. And a hint of sand.
For those of us firing up the grille this fourth of July looking for a simple recipe for a backyard burger, look no further. Gourmet burgers serve their purpose, but nothing beats a good hamburger cooked on a charcoal grill in someone’s backyard on the fourth of July. A hamburger on a bun with ketchup and mustard gets my vote everyday.
Here’s a recipe from actor Nick Offerman that will save you time preparing but still have you looking like a grille master.
You can read the full article in Entertainment News here.
Even if Offerman’s not a Swanson-level specialist on red meat, he does have a taste for burgers. Here, he shares his own tips for a burger that’ll put a Quarter Pounder to shame.
1. What’s Your Beef?
“You start with getting the best ground beef you can, with a nice lean-to-fat ratio,” Offerman says. “The lean is delicious, but the fat is an important binder.” Mix in a few raw eggs to help the patties stick together.
2. Don’t Mince Words
Mince garlic instead! Sauté the garlic and some chopped onion in oil, and then mix that into the ground beef. Add a little salt and pepper, and maybe some grated Parmesan cheese or Gruyère “if [you’re] feeling hedonistic.”
3. Get Grilled
“Keep the patties thick, and grill medium-rare over charcoal. “I don’t think I’ve ever used a grill fueled by gas,” he says. “There’s something about the primitive nature of charcoal, of real fire.”
4. Top It Off
“Depending on how gluttonous I’m feeling, the max I’ll go with is Gruyère or cheddar on the burger and bacon and a fried egg,” Offerman says. “That’s if I’m planning to go chop down a tree that day.”
However you celebrate your Independence Day, we hope you have a safe and happy fourth of July.
California Department of Insurance Orders All Insurance Companies to Offer Relief Refunds
In these rapidly changing times one thing remains constant, protecting your lifestyle. Taking care of our clients, our employees and our community is our top priority. I am proud to see that our industry is taking the necessary steps to provide financial relief to consumers and business owners throughout California. Since the shelter in place order many consumers and businesses have been doing their part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Now, the insurance companies are providing a little more relief from paying insurance premiums for specific lines of business. We’ll breakdown the latest bulletins from the Department of Insurance highlighting which types of policies are getting relief refunds. It’s important to contact your agent or insurance company and inquire about the steps each company is taking to implement their refunds to policyholders.
According to the Department of Insurance’s Bulletin 2020-3, to protect consumers and to provide consistent direction to the insurance industry regarding misclassifications of risk resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and to address certain issues raised in CFC’s petition, Commissioner Lara hereby orders insurers to make an initial premium refund for the months of March and April to all adversely impacted
California policyholders in the following lines of insurance, as quickly as practicable, but in any event no later than 120 days after the date of this Bulletin:
Private passenger automobile insurance
Commercial automobile insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance
Commercial multiple peril insurance
Commercial liability insurance
Medical malpractice insurance
Any other line of coverage where the measures of risk have become substantially
overstated as a result of the pandemic.
Commissioner Lara grants each insurer reasonable flexibility in determining how best to quickly and fairly accomplish the refund of premium to policyholders. Insurers may comply with the premium refund order by providing a premium credit, reduction, return of premium, or other appropriate premium adjustment.
It’s important to check with your individual insurance company to inquire about their method of premium adjustment.
Read the full bulletin from The CA Department of Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara
California Department of Insurance Requirement to Accept, Forward, Acknowledge, and Fairly Investigate All Business Interruption Insurance Claims Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Business Interruption insurance is an optional coverage that may be purchased as part of a comprehensive multi-peril commercial policy, business owners’ policy, or on a stand-alone basis. Many small and large California businesses purchase Business Interruption insurance to protect against the loss of income and other losses caused by an interruption to the normal operations of the business.
The California Department of Insurance (Department) continues to encourage businesses to review their policies, including policy exclusions, coverage limits, and applicable deductibles, and contact their insurance companies to determine what their policies cover as each insurance policy is different and the coverage varies. However, despite the Department’s on-going guidance to businesses statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has received numerous complaints from businesses, public officials, and other stakeholders asserting that certain insurers, agents, brokers, and insurance company representatives are attempting to dissuade policyholders from filing a notice of claim under its Business Interruption insurance coverage, or refusing to open and investigate these claims upon receipt of a notice of claim.
Therefore, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara finds it necessary to issue this Notice to ensure that all agents, brokers, insurance companies, and other licensees accept, forward, acknowledge, and fairly investigate all business interruption insurance claims submitted by businesses.
After conducting a thorough, fair, and objective investigation of the claim, the insurer must accept or deny the claim, in whole or in part, immediately, but in no event more than 40 days after receipt of the proof of claim. The amount of the claim accepted or denied by the insurer must be clearly documented in the claim file unless the claim has been denied in its entirety. (Regulations, section 2695.7(b).)
If you’re a business owner that has been physically impacted by COVID-19, we highly recommend reviewing your policy along with any exclusions, coverage limits, deductibles and endorsements and contact your insurance company to determine if there is appropriate coverage provided.
Stay healthy and safe. Practice social distancing, wear a mask when entering retail establishments, and wash your hands. Everyone is doing their part to flatten the curve. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to assists families, local businesses, and their communities. Thank you for being a part of Alta Vista Insurance.