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2585 Pio Pico Dr, Suite 100
Carlsbad, CA 92008

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As Fire Season Heats Up California Already Sees Largest Recorded Fire in History


A plane drops fire retardant on a burning hillside as the Holy fire continues to burn in the Cleveland National Forest near Corona, Calif. on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Firefighters are working in rugged terrain amid scorching temperatures that have prompted warnings about excessive heat and extreme fire danger for much of the region. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

California is not off to a good start as we begin an extraordinarily dangerous fire season. We have already seen two of the largest fires in recorded history;  the Mendocino Complex Fire and the Carr Fire in Shasta County, make their mark in the last few weeks.  

Now, the Holy Fire in Orange County, which started on Monday, has burned more than 9615 acres and is only 5% contained as of this morning’s update from the U.S. Forest Service. About 20,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders. 

There are 17 large fires burning in California and firefighters are working around the clock. More the 13,000 firefighters and 2300 members of the National Guard have joined the firefighting effort. 

Let’s take a moment to recognize all the men and women that are putting their lives in danger every day to keep us safe from wildfires. We appreciate everything you do.

California is using every resource available. According to the New York Times article, California Fire Now the Largest in State History: ‘People Are on Edge’, There are roughly 5,300 full-time firefighters with Cal Fire, who, along with 1,700 seasonal firefighters throughout the state, are often the first to the front lines of the state’s wildfires. The state also relies on thousands of federal firefighters based in California who respond to fires in national parks and forests. And there are 3,500 inmate firefighters who live in camps throughout the state and are routinely called up — nearly 2,000 were deployed on Tuesday.  

According to Marti Witter, a fire ecologist with the National Park Service,

“As large as our firefighting resources are, they’re limited, and we’re rapidly approaching the limits of what our personnel can handle. Everyone’s in the air, everyone’s on the ground, and the fire’s just getting bigger. So it’s pretty extreme.”

For all the latest fire updates and evacuation orders refer to Cal Fire. They have a great interactive map that tells you the locations of all the fires burning in California. You can check out their site here:  

CAL Fire

Since we are already experiencing a high fire season you need to make sure your home is secure and you have a plan. The best resources in the state are provided by CAL Fire. They have an amazing program for all homeowners: Ready, Set, Go!. Being Ready for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space and hardening homes with fire resistant building materials. Be Set by creating a Wildfire Action Plan with your family. Finally, be prepared to Go and evacuate your home. Leave early, before it’s too late.

Thanh Nguyen with the SoCal Team One Fire Management Team suggested having a packed bag ready to go.

“Even if you’re miles away, you want to be prepared if you’re near the fire area or in an environment that can burn,”

It is also important to create your wildfire action plan. Your Wildfire Action Plan must be prepared, and familiar to all members of your household well in advance of a wildfire. Also, prepare your own emergency supply kit. Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate. Plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Each person should have a readily accessible emergency supply kit. Backpacks work great for storing these items (except food and water) and are quick to grab. Storing food and water in a tub or chest on wheels will make it easier to transport. Keep it light enough to be able to lift it into your car.  

All of this information can be found at This is a great resource for California residents to learn more about wildfires and how they can take preventative measures and be prepared in the event of a wildfire. They have interactive maps, brochures, instructional videos and links to available resources and more.

You can download the brochures for their Ready, Set, Go! program here.




Want a property specialist to conduct a full fire insurance review for you or your client? Setup a needs based analysis with Alta Vista Insurance and we’ll do a full risk review through our ART of risk management. 

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3 Things Home Buyers Need to Know About Insurance

Before purchasing a home there many variables to consider. One thing you want to be sure about is your protection for your assets. Here are a few things for first-time home buyers to consider when they reach the insurance inquiry stage in their real estate purchase.

1) Compare multiple insurance companies

Compare coverage, price and financial stability. You are not required to buy from a particular insurance company, however you want an insurance company that is stable and responsive when handling claims. Shop for value, not price. Customer service and ease of doing business are key when selecting an insurance company that is right for you.

Your mortgage lender can, and probably will, require you to have homeowners insurance.You aren’t required to buy from a particular insurance company. Instead, compare coverage, price and customer reviews. Be sure you get the right type and amount of coverage. Shop for value, not necessarily rock-bottom price. Since you’ll mainly deal with insurance companies during times of disaster, make sure the company you choose has great customer service reviews.

Home insurance is not as hotly price-competitive as auto insurance, but you can still save from hundreds to more than $1,000 a year in premiums by shopping around. About 9 percent of our survey respondents had switched insurers in the previous three years, mostly because they got a better price from their new carrier. And those who switched for a better price were just as satisfied with their later claim payments as those who stayed put. Residents of California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and other states whose insurance departments publish rate comparisons for standardized coverage can zero in on the lowest-priced insurers and then contact them for custom quotes. If your state doesn’t offer such guidance, contact an independent agent who sells insurance from multiple carriers.

2) Set up your payment out of Escrow, and use an Impound Account

If you’re like most homeowners, you’ll tack monthly insurance payments onto your mortgage check. The lender will pay your insurance premiums (usually your property taxes, too) out of your escrow account. Lenders prefer this option because it lets them know your insurance premiums are being paid, and their investment is well protected. Most likely, you’ll need to pay for one year of insurance at closing. Bring information about the insurance policy you have chosen and the money to cover the first year’s premium.

3) Look at Bundling and Saving

Consider buying your homeowners and auto coverage from the same company for as much as a 30 percent savings. Discounts are also available if you add more policies, like a motorcycle, watercraft, or personal umbrella. If you experience a significant loss, like a fire or storm, that is covered by your homeowner policy and have other policies that are affected, like an auto or motorcycle, the carrier may waive all deductibles after the home policy deductible is paid. Contact me and we can conduct a needs based analysis to identify your possible exposures and ways you can maximize your insurance protection while reducing your out of pocket expenses.

Purchasing a new home in California? Click here to get more information!

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5 Insurance Tips For Your New Digs

Your property insurance specialist, Raymond, has the answers to 5 key questions for those seeking to best protect their lifestyle by insuring their home.

(Psst…If you like the looks of Raymond and would rather watch the

video version of this article, click the button!)

 Watch the Video!


1. Okay, Raymond, what is covered by a California Homeowner’s Policy?

Your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will cover you for catastrophic losses and sudden and accidental occurrences. Some examples would be wildfire, lightning, or if a pipe bursts in the home.

2. What is not covered?

Among other things, earthquakes and floods are not covered. These require a separate policy. Ask your insurance agent about getting coverage for these unusual circumstances today.

3. How much coverage do I need?

On your standard homeowner’s insurance policy, you are insured for the reconstruction cost of your home, not for the market value of the home or land. Need more coverage? Talk with your insurance agency today to discuss options.

4. What about my contents?

Contents are covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy but check with your agent to ensure you’re covered for the replacement cost of your dwelling and contents. Fortunately for the insured, no depreciation is considered in the replacement of contents. Let’s say you purchased a couch ten years ago. You will be insured for the replacement of a couch of the same original value without depreciation.

What about my high value items?

For high value items like jewelry, fur, art, etc. there are sub limits on the insurance policy. You will need to add Scheduled Personal Property to your policy. Scheduled personal property is an additional insurance policy for valuable items.  Scheduling requires an appraisal. Schedule those to ensure the meaningful items in your home are fully protected.

5. In the event of legal trouble, am I covered?

Watch our video to learn more!

Some of the things you can learn in the video are:

  • How to get the absolute best insurance agent taking care of you and your home
  • The complete list of top insurance need-to-knows when buying a new home in California
    • including answers to questions like: “In the event of legal trouble, am I covered?”

…and a few more insightful tips from our expert.

Click for clarity on one of the most important aspects of owning and taking care of a home.

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Property Claims and Your Real Estate Transaction

When your clients buy a home, are they purchasing the dreamy future they hope for, free from property claims?

Would you like to know early on (before you put in heaps of effort) how to avoid issues with your real estate transaction?

Wouldn’t you like to give your clients peace of mind?

Alta Vista Insurance provides our real estate partners with one thing that limits complications during and after the sale.

Click Here for Smoother Transactions

For uninformed home-buyers, future property

claims can tack on an unexpected and

unavoidable price tag.

Because a home’s future relates to its past, requesting a free CLUE© report from Alta Vista Insurance Agency will save you and your clients time, money, and worry. Sellers can authorize the release of a C.L.U.E. report as part of the negotiations for the home purchase.

What is it?

C.L.U.E., the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is a loss history information exchange provided by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Inc. Insurance companies access and use prior loss information in the underwriting process through it. Think of it as “the cloud of claims.”

Where is the information from?

Each month, participating insurers submit loss information to the C.L.U.E. information exchange, which is loaded to the C.L.U.E. database. When you or your insurance company receive a C.L.U.E. report, it includes all losses accessed by the search criteria that were reported to us within seven years of the date of the request. Home warranty claims are not included on a C.L.U.E. report.

How to read the CLUE© report

  1. First, look for claims associated with the address your client is looking at. The report can sometimes show claims filed on another location owned or occupied by the seller. So if the owner has a palace in Pakistan and a town home in Carlsbad, check the address. The sandstorm is definitely unconnected to the Carlsbad address.
  2. Beware of claims frequency rather than severity. Frequent claims indicate a potential ongoing problem your client could inherit. Water losses, mold, fires occurring in the home (not wildfire), and theft or burglary. These types of losses could indicate morale hazards or the home could be in a questionable area.


Buyers and sellers need to be aware of how changing guidelines can affect them when purchasing new insurance or when selling their home. Effective this year, many admitted insurance carriers will decline a risk if there has been a significant water loss (inside water damage, not weather-related) on the property within the last 3-5 years. This would include damage exceeding $2,500. Be aware that typically, losses follow the homeowner who filed the claim, impacting their cost of insurance or insurability when moving to a new location. However, some claims losses in the past cause new homeowners to inherit high insurance costs. Due to the rise in frequency and extensive costs resulting from water damage claims more and more companies are looking at water losses in new business and declining.

In these situations, your client’s insurance costs will go up, potentially making or breaking their willingness to move forward on the purchase.

The cost of the damage is important and can indicate the severity of the incident and the amount paid by the insurance company for the loss. Accidents happen. Just because a property has been impacted by a large claim or series of claims does not mean your client should avoid buying that house. Review the report together and request a disclosure from the sellers about how the claims were resolved. Were all repairs completed and was everything built back to code? Was the home replaced with like kind and quality?

Talk to your insurance agent about the loss(es) that were filed, how the insurance companies handled the claims and how this will impact insurance for the home moving forward.

Call us today as we have access to specialty markets and will find a solution to insurance issues like these.

A smoother real estate transaction is always possible when you partner with Alta Vista Insurance.


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We’re the key to making your real estate transactions run smoothly!

Real estate agents have a lot of contacts.

Normally, they refer their clients to a preferred mortgage adviser. They also have a preferred escrow company representative they use for all of their transactions. Same goes for the home warranty company and the title insurance representative. One thing missing from a lot of real estate advisers’ business plan, however, is an insurance adviser.

By incorporating an independent insurance adviser into their business plan, real estate agents can close more transactions throughout the year.

Also, they can ensure those transactions run smoothly and efficiently so their clients are able to close escrow on time and have a pleasant experience through the buying process.

Real estate agents sell more than property; they sell lifestyles.

By incorporating home warranty, escrow, mortgage, and insurance into an integrated business plan, real estate agents can offer their clients the concierge-level service they expect.

At Alta Vista Insurance Agency, we specialize in real estate transactions. We’re focused on the actual transaction and understand the deadlines and the challenges that need to be overcome to help the client close escrow successfully. Along with the mortgage company and the escrow company, we all work together as a cohesive unit behind the scenes for the real estate agent to make sure their clients go through escrow smoothly and efficiently, and that they’re satisfied with the level of service they receive.

Go to our website today to get started in our real estate process where you and your client gain access to a FREE CLUE© report, and we ensure you’re getting the lowest rate and highest quality service.  

Real Estate Agents, Click Here!

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Check out our partner spotlight in San Diego Real Producers Magazine!

In April our agency was featured in San Diego Real Producers Magazine as their partner spotlight. It was a lot of fun! The article gave us a chance to tell our story. We are so gracious for the opportunity to work with some of the top producers in the real estate industry helping them reach new heights with their businesses! Huge thanks to Jessie Wright, Zach Cohen, and Sterling Photo.

For those of you that didn’t get a chance to see our article in San Diego Real Producers Magazine, here is a link to the full article San Diego Real Producers Magazine Partner Spotlight.

“We’re taking a different approach when it comes to insurance… fully embedding ourselves in the real estate industry so we can help our partners.”

“Our marketing message to business partners is ‘let us show you ways that we as an agency can help grow your business and close your transactions. By adding us to your affiliate network, we’re going to be able to help you get more opportunities.”

“We’ve taken on a slogan, ‘Helping You Reach New Heights.’

By shifting the focal point to how he can help our partners achieve their own business goals and build their customer relationships, Seth has helped Alta Vista Insurance build their referral network, leverage more consistent business relationships and continue to grow. As Seth explains,

“it’s not about us. It’s about how we can help you.”

Looking to find out how we can help you protect and grow your real estate business?

Learn how we can bring massive value to your brand.

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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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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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Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance could well be one of the most important coverages you buy when it comes to protecting the future of your business. But to fully enjoy its benefits, you have to understand the parameters of the coverage. How does this differ from other business insurance solutions?

Commercial property insurance is designed to protect:

  • Your building or office
  • Your inventory
  • Any outdoor signage
  • Landscaping and fencing
  • Additional structures

Alta Vista Insurance stands ready to help you and your business thrive. To learn more about the details, rates, and exclusions of Commercial Property Insurance, feel free to speak to any of our knowledgeable agents today.

Contact us now.

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