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Alta Vista Insurance Agency

2585 Pio Pico Dr, Suite 100
Carlsbad, CA 92008

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Going On Vacation? 10 Tips To Prepare & Protect Your Home

The season for a sunny vacation is on the way! If you plan on leaving your home unattended for more than 24 hours, consider these tips.

1) Turn off your water

This one only applies if you are not hiring a house sitter. We have heard many stories of our insureds coming home to two weeks of water build-up and months of rebuilding they need to start.

2) Stop newspaper delivery

A pile of yellowing newspapers on the doorstep is a movie cliché for a home that’s unoccupied. Stopping the newspaper when you leave town for a while is an easy detail to forget and one that will make you a sure target. If you’re still reading newsprint, make sure you stop service when you leave on vacation.

3) Keep eyes on your property

Even if you stop newspaper delivery and mail service, there are still some gotchas that can make it obvious that you’re not around. How about those fliers that peddlers leave on your doorknob, or those periodic yellow page book deliveries? Because you can’t plan for every contingency, have someone in the area check your house periodically. Whether it’s a neighbor or relative, nothing beats having a person check the premises every day or two while you’re gone. Hey, while they’re there, they can water the petunias.

4) Make your home look lived in

An occupied home looks lived in. Lights go on and off, and cars come and go. When you’re away, everything stops. To help create the illusion that the residence is still occupied, invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. If you can get a neighbor to take out your garbage and put the cans back after the garbage pickup, it’s another way to send the message that everything is proceeding normally at your house.

5) Keep landscape trimmed

If you’re a diligent homeowner who mows his lawn every week, and things start to look overgrown and neglected, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that you’re not around. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time, hire someone to take care of the landscaping chores in your absence.

6) Hire a house sitter

The best way to make sure your house is safe while you’re gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a tidy and conscientious relative who’ll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you’re away. This can be a pricey option, but it’s a solution that touches all the bases.

7) Don’t project your moves

Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Your blog isn’t the best place to announce that you’ll be away from home for a month. Being aware of who’s around when you discuss your trip in restaurants and even at work isn’t a great idea either. Make sure your children are discrete , too. No one is saying that you should be suspicious of everyone you meet, but even a chance remark has the potential to lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences. The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes.

8) Pull the plug on electronics

Disconnecting the power to some of your electronics, like your desktop computer, coffee pot and television can save you money while you’re gone and eliminate the worry that you’ve accidentally left them on by mistake. Turning off your garage door is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote. Oh, and don’t leave a portable GPS in your car when you use long-term parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.

9) Hold your mail

When you’re leaving for more than a couple of days, call your local post office to stop mail delivery until you get back. They can hold mail from three to 30 days. In many locations, you can even submit a stop mail request online. Just enter your address and stop and start dates. This is a free feature courtesy of your friendly United States Postal Service. #murica

10) Install added security features

Installing a home security system or even just exterior lights that run on timers is a good way to ramp up security around the old homestead and make your house safer whether you’re around or not. One of the nice things about these features is that they’re working when you’re awake, asleep, on vacation or hosting an outdoor barbecue. They fade into the background as far as you’re concerned, but still make your property less attractive to opportunistic thieves.

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Buying a home in SoCal? Is your insurance agency dragging its feet?

When you buy a home, so many services are needed: home inspection, pest control, escrow, and on and on. Sometimes home owner’s insurance gets pushed to the back of your mind, but it’s necessary in order to mortgage a home. Here in Southern California, home owner’s insurance has become especially tricky; the San Diego wildfires of 2008 have prompted some insurance companies to dramatically increased the premium and even consider some areas uninsurable. Some of the bigger agencies such as State Farm and Allstate are not issuing new policies in certain zip codes. And when you’re on a tight deadline, any delay in getting insurance can be extra costly. But some qualified, well-rated, albeit smaller insurance companies are willing to work in these areas. Alta Vista Insurance Agency has built relationships with mortgage companies, escrow services, and real estate brokers here in our community to help home buyers achieve a successful close of escrow. If you’ve discovered that your insurance provider won’t produce a certificate of insurance in a timely manner, call us–we will get it done. When the timeline is tight and you’re looking to close, we do what it takes to get you what you need. Learn more » 

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Contents Insurance

Many homeowners wonder if their homeowners insurance covers contents. Our answer is yes! As a part of your homeowners insurance, your policy provides protection for all of your personal property and contents. Your Kemper policy also has replacement cost on your contents, which is very important. This insures all of your belongings for full replacement value than the depreciated value of the items. If you have any target items such as jewelry, artwork, antiques, etc. these particular items should be added as scheduled personal property. We can always add coverage to the policy. Contact us if you have any questions!

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What 4 Things are INCREASING your Homeowners Insurance?

To ensure you keep your insurance costs down, and your home safe, here are four things you should stay away from:

  1. Keep your house looking PRISTINE! Keeping up your maintenance will keep your homeowners insurance down! If your house isn’t maintenance, your insurance could increase rapidly or even be CANCELLED!
  2. It’s all about location! Fires are a hazard especially in California. Your insurance rates could increase if you are too far away from a fire station or a fire hydrant. If you aren’t locate near one of those, make sure you are close to a reliable water source incase of an emergency.
  3. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. You may not know it, but SWIMMING POOLS and TRAMPOLINES increase your insurance rates! Over 90.000 hospital visits are reported annually because of trampolines. What most homeowners don’t realize is that a trampoline can cause serious spinal and brain damage. Swimming pools claim over 1000 lives a year! So, before you invest in these items, be sure to think twice!
  4. A man’s best friend could easily turn in to mans biggest foe. Although soft and cuddly, not all dogs are good to own. Dogs such as Dobermans, Great Danes. German shepherds, Siberian huskies and other so called “dangerous and violent breeds” could make you insurance skyrocket. Be sure to buy a dog that is friendly to every part of the household!
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California Home Insurance

Alta Vista Insurance – Your source for California home insurance.

At Alta Vista Insurance, we believe you should be able to create a customized policy for home insurance. California home insurance is a specialty of our knowledgeable agents.

If you own your home, you may not be required to hold home insurance but if you have a mortgage, your lending institution will most likely require home insurance. California home insurance policies include many options, so Alta Vista Insurance is committed to easing the selection process for you.

A basic California home insurance policy will cover the following:

  • The structure of your home
  • Replacement costs
  • Personal possessions (up to a set limit)
  • Living expenses in case of a disaster
  • Liability

You can purchase supplemental homeowners insurance including:

  • Valuable Articles/Floater policies (i.e. Jewelry Insurance)
  • Flood policies
  • Earthquake policies
  • Umbrella policies (additional liability)
  • Animal Liability (liability issues due to household pets)

At Alta Vista Insurance, we understand that choosing the most suitable California home insurancecan be overwhelming. Don’t stress out -our friendly agents are always on call to advise you.

Give us a call with any questions you have regarding California home insurance.

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Personal Insurance Solutions

At this point of the process, we are ready to look at different insurance solutions that best meet your needs. Some insurance agents only work with one insurance company. They only have of one insurance product to offer you. The problem with that strategy is that if the only tool you have is a hammer, then all the problems you face look like nails.


The cornerstone of home’s protection is a homeowners policy. Homeowners insurance policies typically cover fire. In California the standard homeowners insurance also covers wind and burst pipes. However, most homeowners insurance policies don’t offer protection for external flood, earthquake, landslide or water seepage. When insuring your property, it is very important to have a comprehensive needs based analysis conversation.


The typical car insurance policy covers your liability, which protects you from lawsuites. Personal injury insures you if someone else is injured by your vehicle. Property Damage protects other vehicles and others property if you cause damage with your vehicle. Comprehensive protects your vehicle from damage other than collision, for example theft and vandalism. Collision protects your auto if it is damaged in an accident.


The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has made a lot of changes to the health insurance landscape. Covered California is the new marketplace for people living in California, looking for coverage through We are authorized certified insurance agents with Covered California. Whether you are looking for individual insurance, or you want to protect your entire family, we can craft a health insurance solution for todays environment that protects your household. For our clients over age 65 we also offer Medi-gap medicare supplement plans, and medicare advantage plans.


Assessing the need for life insurance can be challenging. Do you need life insurance? Should you buy term or permanant insurance? Do you need to only have life insurance for a specific peroid of time, or do you have a need for life insurance for your entire life?


We work with dozens of insurance companies because we are always looking for the best deal for you, our clients. We try to be more diverse in our product offering. By being independent, and not beholden to any one insurance company, we are able to make the best recommendation to you based on what best fits your needs, not the insurance company.

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