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Alta Vista Insurance Agency

1020 S Santa Fe Ave, Suite K
Vista, CA 92084

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Brunch with The Hartford at Beach Break Café

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.

The Hartford insures restaurants like Beach Break, and has competitive rates for workers compensation, general liability (slip and fall), and commercial property for your businesses building.

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!

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Community Service Day At San Diego Food Bank With Liberty Mutual

Fun serving our local community with San Diego Food Bank volunteers from left to right: Kahtija Popovic (Liberty Mutual) Seth Arruda, Beth Walls, Morgan Hege, Mark Lamb (Alta Vista) and Nancy Trejo (Safeco)

Giving Back Overview | LMG (libertymutualgroup.com) We had fun serving with our friends from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance for their annual Giving Back to the local community event!

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Morgan and Seth Podcast Episode 2

Episode 2

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!

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Fourth of July Festivities and the Ultimate Burger

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.”

-Barack Obama

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. 

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Coronavirus Insurance Relief

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


CA Dept of Insurance Bulletin 2020-3

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.


Business Interruption Insurance Claims Caused by the COVID-19

We’ve compiled a list of our insurance companies we represent and their claims department information. If you do not see your insurance company listed, refer to your current insurance policy. 

Liberty Mutual 

  • Small Business Claims 844-325-2467 
  • Mid/Large Business 800-362-0000

CIG 800-986-9974

Travelers 800-238-6225

Mercury 888- 313-6372

Nationwide 800-421-3535

Progressive 800-274-4499 

Safeco 800-332-3226

Encompass 800-588-7400 

Kemper 888-252-2799

Chubb 800-682-4822

American Modern 800-375-2075

First American Property and Casualty 800-348-3782

Mapfre 877-627-3735

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

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COVID-19 Relief and CARES Act Bulletin

In this challenging situation, we remain committed to our clients and doing everything we can to keep the lines of communication open. This is our first blog post about the coronavirus which includes a summary of resources to help our clients and local Southern California business owners navigate through these uncharted waters. There has been a ton of information that has been provided by many credible sources. We collected some of the top resources here for you to access. Here is some basic information on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020.  There’s also some new tax aids. We’ve provided some links for business aid loans through SBA and San Diego County.

Download The Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act provided by the US Small Business Administration.


Click Here

California Department of Insurance Bulletin April 3, 2020

Extension of Policyholder Deadlines that Impact Claims or Coverage Due to the current State of Emergency Caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak


Read Bulletin From CA DOI

Stimulus Checks

The Act has provided for certain middle to low income taxpayers to receive $1,200 per adult person and $500 per child (under 17). The key factor in determining whether you qualify for the check is what your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your household’s tax return.  This is line 7 on your 2018 form 1040 and line 8b on your 2019 form 1040. The limits are based on this AGI:

Single Filer          $75,000-$99,000

Married                $150,000-$198,000

Head Of Household   $112,500-$148,500

To receive a payment, there is generally no action you must take. As long as you have a valid social security number, the IRS will calculate your allotted stimulus check amount. You do not have to have filed your 2019 tax return yet. If there is no 2019 return, the IRS will go to 2018 filing. If you do not qualify based on 2018 or 2019 income but will in 2020, then you will receive the money as a credit when you file your 2020 return. If you end up making too much in 2020, then you will pay it back on your 2020 tax return. This money is an upfront credit. It is NOT taxable. All dependent children under 17 will earn the $500 no matter what your income level as parents is. Dependent children over 16 will not receive any money. The IRS estimates the checks to go out in 3-4 weeks. Taxpayers with a bank account on file with the IRS will have their checks automatically deposited. Others will have checks mailed to them.

See this Stimulus Calculator to see what amount, if any, you will receive.


Stimulus Calculator

San Diego County Rent Forgiveness:

Some local businesses can ask for rent relief. Please see
the site below to see if you qualify.


SD County Rent Forgiveness

Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

Phase II Relief Programs for Business Owners

This loan program through the SBA is for small businesses affected by the coronavirus in presidential and SBA declared disaster areas. This program provides loans up to $2,000,000 with 3.75% interest rates for profit businesses. Businesses can get loans to pay for payroll costs, accounts payable, rents, and other fixed debts. Customer Service number is 800-659-2955.

Apply directly to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela and select Economic Injury as your reason. 


Apply Now

Phase III Relief Programs Small Business Interruption Loans

NOTE: If you received a Phase II loan it may make you ineligible for this

This is a forgivable loan program through SBA 7(a)  lenders.  Eligible businesses (including sole proprietors and self-employed) with less than 500 employees. The business MUST have been substantially affected by COVID-19. The program will loan the lesser of $10 million or 2.5 of average total monthly payments (payroll, rent and debt) over the last year period. The money from the loan may be used for employee salaries, payroll support (up to $100,000 per employee) including costs related to health care benefits and sick and family leave, rent or mortgage payments, utilities and debt obligations incurred before the loan. This loan is eligible for forgiveness  (which will not be taxable) if the employer maintains continued payroll and other allowable costs for a covered period. In order to apply for this loan, please consult the banker in which your business has a relationship. The SBA will be overloaded and is reaching out to have banks help them through this process.

Other CARES Act Tax Incentives

Retirement Accounts:

  • If you are under 59 and a half you may withdraw up to $100,000 from your retirement plan or IRA without the 10% withdrawal penalty. You may put the monies back before year end for no tax consequences.
  • You can also borrow double the amount (up to $100,000) from your retirement accounts or 401k. 
  • Retirees can waive their required minimum distributions for 2020 so as not to take money out of the market.

Tax Credits:
Small businesses who pay employees sick leave for two weeks for quarantine or sick family member or children at home due to school closings or up to 3 months of family or medical leave for the same reasons. Contact your payroll service for the coding for this.
 
Payroll Tax Deferral:
If your business did not take advantage of the forgivable loan packages mentioned above, then you are eligible to delay payment of payroll taxes. (50% in December 2020 and 50% in December 2021)
 
Charitable Contributions:
There are 2 significant changes here. If you are a taxpayer that does not itemize, you may in 2020 get up to $300 deduction “above the line” plus your standard deduction. If you itemize the charitable contribution limits will be waived as long as it a direct gift to the charity.
 
Student Loan Payments:
Any federal student loan payments are suspended without further interest accrual until September 30, 2020.
Resource: Katherine M Thompson, CPA and Richard Dally  CPA, Dennis & Dennis LLP Phone (858)487-7232 Kathythompson@dennisanddennis.com

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Check out the top 65 gifts for Father’s Day




Even the grisliest of fathers need to shave. This Father’s Day, help him look sharp with a subscription to Harry’s. Boasting razors composed of top-of-the-line German blades and a collection of hydrating shaving gels and creams, Harry’s has everything Dad needs to complete his grooming regimen.

If the dad in your life is a diehard Apple fan, you can’t go wrong with an Apple Watch. From tracking his workout gains and monitoring his heart rate to making calls and sending texts, this gadget makes it easy for him to stay on top of it all.

 

 $399 at Apple.com




The Yeti Rambler Mug is ideal for the dad who loves roughing it, without compromising. Its stainless steel construction and double-wall vacuum insulation will ensure his brew stays icy cool until the last drop.

 

$29.99 at Yeti.com

Check out the full article here!


Full Article Here

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What to look for in an Insurance Agent

When picking an insurance agent it is important to know who your agent represents. Some insurance agents are what are called “captive” agents. Captive agents work for the company they represent. Some examples of companies captive insurance agents work for are AllstateState Farm, or Farmers. Captive agents are limited to only offering products to you that are offered by the company they work for, whether or not that product is the best solution for your unique situation.

An independent insurance agent works for you, not the insurance company. Independent agents are free to find a policy that best fits your needs no matter which insurance company is offering the coverage. Independent agents really do work for you, not the insurance company. They are free to offer multiple policy options side by side for you to review. When the insurance companies compete for your business, you win.

The agents at Alta Vista Insurance Agency are proud to be your local independent insurance agents. We are located in Vista California and strive to be a local independent resource for you, our clients. Our staff is your team, and we are here, ready, and able to provide responsive customer support to our neighbors throughout San Diego County. We primarily serve Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, and Poway. Please feel free to contact us for your insurance needs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can service your California insurance needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Sustainable Self-Improvement in the New Year

Gear Up for the New Y–No, for Today

Recently, I saw a piece of decor that said “I hope your troubles and worries last as long as your new years resolutions.” I laughed.

The trite and unsustainable nature of New Years resolutions make them difficult to take seriously and for me to write about. I know the likelihood of any of us keeping up with our emotions-driven and wind-swept vision of our healthiest, happiest self is slim at best and a blog post like this one has the opportunity to be as yawn-worthy as the rest. 

All sorts of concerns may come to your mind when it comes to new years resolutions–(most of my concerns are covered here, in a blog post from Medium). 

Concerns might include:  the problem of shame associated with missing the mark, unwisely viewing the start the year as the only opportunity to start a goal, setting goals you feel like you should accomplish rather than what you want to accomplish.

Assuming you’re looking for sustainable and healthy growth and possess a personal motivation and hopeful attitude about failure, please enjoy the following. 

We’ve compiled a group of quick starts on your biggest goals, because you’re awesome and have lots of both realized and unrealized potential, as well as areas of improvement and discovery awaiting you right now.

Hopefully, I do not seem overly enthusiastic but I truly hope you see the gold in you because it’s there.

We hope these ideas can encourage you to live an overall better life. May your resolve be to improve the quality of your life so you can share your days with others and help them.

So, without further ado, our compilation of resources to help you with some of the goals people often pursue:

This New Year I’d like to…

… exercise more. (Run or walk a 5k in San Diego or another city. Sign up today to hold yourself to it! Also, if you’re over 50 and wanting to get fit, here’s an article that will help you get fit!)

… try something new (COME SWING DANCING or go on Meetup and search for something you’ve always wanted to do, like Taiko drumming, motocross, knitting, or a Spanish meetup.)

spend time with friends and family (Take the kids out for ice cream and other adventures on the cheapstart a dinner club, put the kids’ games, dance shows, etc on the calendar and get there).

… save more money

… quit smoking (Gamify quitting with this app).

… learn how to rest and care for myself.

… read more (Book club it up. Access free audio books and ebooks on your phone, computer, or tablet through your librarySub our newsletter, we are always putting interesting articles together!)

Think, the starting line is always today, not January 1st (unless today is January 1st then this is a moot point).

Whatever your goal is, go get ’em, tiger.

Helping you reach new heights,

Alta Vista Insurance

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The Restorative Practice of Gratitude

As a kid and —let’s be honest—often even now, I tend to send out thank you cards later than propriety demands.

Frequently I’ll even write them and never get around to sending them.

…yeesh.

While this is not a good way to maintain friendships, it turns out even just doing that has a salutary effect on one’s mental health.

In “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain,” written by two Ph.Ds from Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, they quote a study done on 300 adults receiving mental health counseling at the university. Compared to those who didn’t write at all as part of their health regimen, or those who focused their writing on sorrowful topics, people “who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended.”

Here’s the kicker (and encouraging part for me):  even though only 23% of those who wrote thank you letters sent them, both the group of “senders” and “non-senders” still experienced greater positive emotions and longer-term, faster-acting effects on their mental health.

While I don’t advise writing a heartfelt thank-you note and not sending it, it’s noteworthy to recognize that the simple practice of being grateful and expressing it may actually improve health.

Sounds good, right?

Many of us have our parents to thank for teaching us about thank you notes. Unfortunately, because of that, they have the potential–for example, for me–to initially feel like a chore rather than a joy.

However, my response to this internal argument is two fold: they bless another person AND they affect your health positively. Booyah, I’m into it.

Thank you notes are not the only way to get the benefits of practicing gratitude, though. Whether written, verbal, or simply internal, practicing gratitude will likely affect you positively, during a season, which many will admit, is supposed to be all warm and fuzzy but really yields much anxiety and heartache for many.

Care for yourself this season by instituting small moments of gratitude through encouragement of others, in prayer, affirmations, and/or living mindful of things in life you enjoy and appreciate.

A new holiday is coming up, too, Giving Tuesday.

Check out the stories and get involved here!

Sources:

 

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