Vista, CA has continued to be a good place to be a small business owner. When you are a business owner here, you will enjoy a strong population base and economy. While there is a lot of demand for businesses here, there are always risks that come with running a company. A great way that you can mitigate these risks is by getting a commercial insurance plan as they benefit companies in various ways.
Why Commercial Insurance?
One of the top reasons to get a commercial insurance plan for your business is so you can cover your assets. Businesses today need to ensure they are properly protecting their core assets. One very effective way that this can be done is by getting the right insurance. If you have a commercial plan, it will provide support if you incur a loss due to theft, accident damage, or another covered claim.
Reduce the Risk of Being Named Liable
You should also consider getting a commercial insurance plan as it could help to reduce your risk of being liable for damages. There are always situations that present liability risks for small businesses. If you are found liable for an accident, the cost of damages can be significant. However, a commercial policy will offer the protection you need to cover these claims.
Get The Right Coverage Today
There are clear benefits that come with getting a commercial insurance policy. If you are looking for this coverage in the Vista, CA area, it would be helpful to call Alta Vista Insurance Agency. There are always big choices to make when looking for this coverage and Alta Vista Insurance Agency can help you build your ideal plan. We take a customized approach to help you assess your options and build a plan that will meet your needs.
As a commercial property owner, you want to make sure that your most valuable real estate assets in your portfolio are properly protected. But you also want to make sure that you’re complying with all of your insurance companies guidelines and maintaining your buildings so you can prevent future losses.
The California insurance marketplace has been experiencing unprecedent turmoil over the past few years. California insurance companies have suffered major losses over the last 5 years resulting in billions of dollars in damage due to the catastrophic wildfires and major water losses.
It’s caused many insurance companies to change their underwriting guidelines, increase their rates, no longer accept business in certain locations in the state, and go out of business. We call this a hard market in the insurance industry, and it could last for several years.
One of the best ways to prevent future losses and stay in compliance with your insurance company is to follow specific guidelines when maintaining your property which also mitigates future losses. We’ve gathered research with our top insurance companies to find out what the mandatory requirements are for commercial buildings in California and we’re going to share these tips with you so you can stay out of harm’s way and help prevent any future losses.
As a commercial real estate investor, the last thing you want is an insurance company to decide they no longer want to insure your building due to failing to meet the mandatory requirements, not providing proof of updates to your building, or being out of compliance with certain maintenance issues. If you receive documentation or a renewal questionnaire from your insurance company, return the information to them immediately. You can also give us a call or schedule an appointment with us, and we can review the possible exposures to your building. Here are some of the new mandatory requirements for commercial buildings in California.
Older buildings, built before 1990, may require data and documentation of upgrades to the electrical, plumbing, roofs, and heating.
If your building has Zinsco or Federal Pacific electrical panels and breakers, they need to be replaced. They are old and outdated and have been found to have a defective design that is prone to over-current and arcing, and do not meet underwriting standards anymore. Zinsco panels and breakers are no longer in production and replacement parts have been proven to be unreliable. The panels present an unacceptable life safety and fire hazard. Unfortunately, replacement of these panels is required with most insurance companies.
Installation of GFCI (ground gault circuit interrupter) receptacles must be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, garages, and on outdoor receptacles. As an alternative GFCI breakers can be installed in the electrical panels to provide protection for these circuits. Remember to consult an electrician to inspection the system and perform repairs that meet the local electrical codes.
Swimming pools need to be fenced and gated with self-locking gates. Gates should automatically close, latch and lock when released. Also, the handle and hardware must be ADA compliant. It must be of a proper height and have a handle on both sides of the gate. No round knobs should be installed.
Fire extinguishers in the building must be fully charged and in good condition. A fire extinguisher maintenance company must service and inspect all fire extinguishers on the property on an annual basis and the service tag should be attached to each unit. Also, there should be no cracked, broken, or missing glass in the fire extinguisher cases.
Railings need to be no less than 42” which is the minimum standard or the current building codes in CA. In the past five inch spacing was allowed, but no longer. Call us if you have questions about this. Make sure that all vertical railings on balconies and stairways are a minimum of 42”.
It’s recommended but not required to prevent water damage the pressure relief valves on the hot water heaters need to be plumbed so they water can exit the building. You can also install drain pains and pressure relief valves plumbed into the pans.
These are some of the new mandatory requirements insurance companies have implemented in California for placing new insurance business and at renewal of a commercial property insurance policy. Many insurers of commercial property in California are sending out renewal questionnaires and reinspecting buildings to make sure commercial property owners are complying with these new requirements. If they identify the building needs repairs, updates, or maintenance they will require the property owner to make the necessary changes to the building to continue coverage or place new business.
As a commercial property specialist, we want to make you are educated on these changes and you have the proper protection for your commercial real estate portfolio. If you have questions or need additional information, click the link below to schedule an appointment with one of our commercial agents.
We were excited to take a little trip to Beach Break Cafe Where we had lunch with Sandi Grigg, our carrier partner representative from The Hartford Insurance. We met to break bread and discuss business!
The food is really good at Beach Break Cafe. The coffee cake is home made, and really a special treat, I highly recommend it with any breakfast or lunch menu item, or just with a good cup of coffee. The portions are too big, even for me. I’m 6’5″ and 280 pounds!
For breakfast, if you like mexican food, I like the Huevos Rancheros with corn tortillias or the Chili Verde burrito (with extra verde sauce on the side!) and you won’t be disappointed with true Cali-mex style San Diego beach food.
Gary and Zell started Beach Break Cafe as a great local go to spot after surfing, fire fighting, or just a great place to meet with your friends and family down by the beach. The Beach Break is now in the 2nd generation of family ownership!
Homeowners you don’t want to miss this episode. I sat down with Ryan DeHart, owner of Pacific Coast Appliance to talk the basics of home appliance repair. Ryan shares his story about how he started in the appliance repair business and the challenges of starting a business during the pandemic. When one door closes another door opens and Pacific Coast Appliance flourished since most homeowners were, well…home.
I also learned some great tips homeowners can learn to help them properly maintain their appliances and things to look for if appliances need repair. Ryan is very knowledgeable about appliance repair. He takes the time to explain things in detail so you understand what goes wrong and how it can be fixed properly. This was a great conversation with a business owner that is passionate about his craft and helping people solve problems.
If you live in the San Diego area I highly recommend call Pacific Coast Appliance.
For service visit their website. Go to: https://www.pcarepair.com/
Ryan DeHart 619-333-0946 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for better homeowners insurance? Contact Alta Vista Insurance.
Home-based businesses are growing in popularity. Half of all businesses in the US are home-based and if you count businesses that don’t have employees, it goes over 60%. This brings with it many new challenges for businesses and it is more important than ever that you understand how commercial insurance can protect your business and how inadequate non-commercial insurance is. At Alta Vista Insurance Agency in Vista, CA, we understand business risk and how it can be mitigated with commercial insurance.
If your business is located in your home, you may think your home insurance offers you the coverage you need. It will supply some very basic coverage but not for anything that is particular to your business. While it might cover a computer, desk, and copier, it won’t cover any specialized tools or machinery relating to your specialized business. You also won’t have the coverage for the inventory and raw materials your business requires.
Commercial liability insurance
If you are meeting with clients or customers in your home and they are injured, your home insurance won’t cover them. If vendors come to your home, you also won’t be covered for any injury they sustain. Home liability insurance won’t cover any people who visit for business reasons, only personal reasons. An injury can lead to a legal suit and a judgment against you and it could be enough to torpedo your business for good without the right insurance.
Commercial auto insurance
If you are using your personal vehicle for business, you will not be covered if you have an accident where you are at fault. It is important to get commercial auto insurance for any vehicle you use for business purposes.
Contact Alta Vista Insurance Agency in Vista, CA when you are ready to discuss your commercial insurance needs.
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!
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.
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.
Commercial insurance is always a smart investment. This applies whether you’ve owned a company for the past 30 years by building it from the ground up or you’ve just entered the market as a business owner. No matter the industry your company operates in, it’s imperative to understand the risks you could potentially face and how to protect yourself from those risks. Here at the Alta Vista Insurance Agency, serving the Vista, CA area, we have helped thousands of business owners just like you with all of their commercial insurance needs. Here’s a quick look at one of the top reasons you need to consider commercial insurance as always being a smart investment.
You Might Get Sued
You can do all that you can to provide the utmost care and attention to your customers. You can even go out of your way to ensure they get the best customer service ever. However, if a customer chooses, you can get sued. Take, for example, that a customer comes onto your business premise and slips and gets injured. Do you have the monies to pay for the injured person’s medical expenses? Do you have monies to help cover any pain and suffering compensation owed to the injured person? With commercial insurance, you can rest assured that you will have a policy in place that protects you in this type of instance.
To understand how commercial insurance works and the type of policy you need, it is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified and experienced agent. Want to learn more now? Give us a call here at the Alta Vista Insurance Agency, serving the Vista, CA area.
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.