Before Your Spring Road Trip, Get RV Insurance

Before Your Spring Road Trip, Get RV Insurance

Spring is here and it is time to dust off the old RV to get it ready for the spring trips across the country. You make it a big event every year for the family, as you visit national monuments and outdoor wonders that help educate the kids while entertaining the spouse. Yet before you travel down the road, you need to have RV insurance in case of unexpected mishaps.

RV insurance provides numerous protections for people who use their RV on occasion or are full time RVers. Types of coverage provided in policies include:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage liability
  • Comprehensive and collision
  • Vacation liability
  • Trailer coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection

RV insurance can cover different types of RVs including motor homes, toy haulers, pop-ups, fifth wheels and travel trailers. So get the protection you need for your spring travels as you see the sights.

For more information about personal and business insurance in California or Idaho, please contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services located in Thousand Oaks, CA at 805-497-6607 and in Coeur d’Alene, ID at 208-765-1140.


Show your Support for National Autism Awareness Month

Show your Support for National Autism Awareness Month

Numbers are up, and about 1 in every 50 children is diagnosed with autism. National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM) has been celebrated in April since the 1970s. The month of April is used to promote education, concern and awareness of autism.

National Autism Awareness Month is celebrated by local events and activities through affiliates of the autism society. If you are unable to attend the local events, online events and activities are also held during the month. In addition, there are presidential and congressional declarations that are held throughout the month of April promoting the awareness of autism.

There are many ways in which you can do your part and show your awareness of autism. One simple way you show your awareness is by posting the National Autism Awareness Month logo badge on your blog, Facebook profile, Twitter page, LinkedIn profile or any other social media platform. There are even ways to customize the NAAM logo in a way that can promote your own business as well. Found on the Autism Society webpage is a downloadable tool kit filled with visual and content resources that can help you celebrate National Autism Awareness Month. Also found through the Autism Society website is the e-newsletter, Autism Matters. Sign up to receive updates and share your ideas on how to improve the autism community.

Show your support for people living with autism by wearing your Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon, if not only for the month of April, but year-round. Wearing the Puzzle Ribbon or posting a badge on your blog, Facebook profile or car, can help educate those around you who are not aware of the autism community.

You can also contact your representatives at both the state and federal levels to encourage them to “Vote 4 Autism” and make a difference.

This April, do your part to make yourself and your community aware and educated about autism and show your support for National Autism Awareness Month.

Contact Steve Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, located in Thousand Oaks, for all of your insurance needs.


Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders

Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders

People often choose motorcycles over cars because they are fuel efficient, cheaper and more enjoyable, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stresses the importance of remembering that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash. The risk is not only for young riders, but also for older riders who have decided to take up the free road after years of taking a break. When deciding to take up riding, it is important to take into consideration these helpful tips from more experienced riders:

  • Pick a bike for your experience level. Choose one where you can comfortably rest both feet flat on the ground with handlebars and controls that are easy to reach. Check the weight of the bike, if it feels too heavy, then it probably is.
  • Invest in antilock brakes. Antilock brakes can make a positive outcome of a life or death situation. Antilock brakes allow the rider to retain steering control in any emergency situations, especially in compromising weather conditions.
  •  Practice, practice practice. Taking a motorcycle safety course will not only teach you the basics, but will also teach you advanced techniques on how to handle an emergency situation as well. Practice not only makes riding safer, but it can also save you money. Some motorcycle insurance companies offer discounts for taking a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course.
  • Wear the right gear and pick the safest helmet. All functions of the body are controlled by the brain, so it is important to protect it. Old-school riders miss the days before helmet requirements but the fact is, those riding without a helmet are more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than those who don’t. It is best to invest in a full-face helmet, but it is equally important to remember to replace your helmet every five years or sooner.
  • Watch for road hazards and try to avoid riding your bike in bad weather conditions. No matter what the weather is, be sure to keep your eye on the road, distractions to a minimum and observe all of your surroundings for a safe, enjoyable ride.

Contact Steve Weeks & Associates Insurance Services to answer any of your insurance or motorcycle insurance needs today.


Spring Cleaning your Vehicle

Spring Cleaning your Vehicle

Spring is here which means it is time to do some spring cleaning. Many people focus mainly on the home but it is important to spring clean your vehicle as well. Follow these helpful tips each spring to keep your car in tip top shape for the new season:

  • Check your engine air filters and cabin air filters. Air filters can become clogged with pollen, so it is important to replace when necessary to ensure your vehicle is performing at its best.
  • Remove leaves and debris from the cowl screen and crevices. The place where the hood and windshield meet is called the cowl screen. Leaves left here can break down and clog the evaporator drain so it is important to clean this out. It is important to do this regularly as to avoid rusting which calls for much more costly repairs.
  • Wash your car regularly. The acidity in tree sap and bird droppings as well as insect splater can cause damage to the paint of your vehicle. Washing your car regularly and using a protective wax coat a couple times a year can protect your car.
  • Dry your car with a soft, clean shammy. Dry wiping with a paper towel or any other paper product may scratch the paint of your car. Use the appropriate, mild soap to wash your car and be sure to use a soft, clean shammy to wipe it dry.
  • Check the tire pressure. Changes in the weather may cause the air in your tires to expand, meaning you may need to let some air out to meet the proper pressure levels.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, for all of your auto insurance needs in the Thousand Oaks and Southern California areas.


Preventing Workers Compensation Fraud

Preventing Workers Compensation Fraud

Owning a business is very demanding, but it is important to partake in some of these precautionary measures to prevent workers’ compensation fraud.

  • Install a video surveillance system. The presence of cameras tends to reduce crime as it is and the ability to go back and see the accident occur helps reduce the chances of workers compensation fraud right on the spot.
  • Consider drug testing employees. Drug users are more likely to file fraudulent claims and ignore workplace safety rules.
  • Promote your workplace as fraud-free. Define and explain workers’ compensation to your employees and be sure to emphasize the legal consequences of fraudulent workers’ compensation claims. It is important to also advise employees that they are able to file an anonymous fraud claim.
  • Prioritize workplace safety with flyers, posters, newsletters and monthly meetings. Safer environments make fraudulent workers’ compensation claims less likely. During these meetings, it is important notify employees of the step-by-step process to take if you or one of your co-workers is injured.
  • Most importantly, your business insurance comes with a special investigation unit (SIU), which is implemented to investigate any doubtful claims. This investigation unit is intended to prevent any fraudulent claims from damaging your business.
  • Improve your hiring practices. Run more thorough background checks and be sure to look for any red flags indicating previous fraud convictions or accusations. Some of the red flags include:
    • Child support lien
    • Criminal record
    • Exaggerated details of a previous incident
    • Skeptical work history – look for “job jumpers”

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services to talk one of our specialists about preventing workers’ compensation fraud in your workplace.


Budgeting your gas for your road trip this spring break

Budgeting your gas for your road trip this spring break

Spring break is a time for letting loose and enjoying yourself, often on a road trip. Consider these helpful maintenance tips for budgeting your gas on your spring break this year:

  • Pre-trip maintenance can help improve your gas mileage because low tire pressure and dirty air filters often reduce the mileage your car receives. Get your car serviced a week before your road trip to avoid any unexpected obstacles.
  • Estimate costs based on how many gallons of gas you’ll need from the beginning of your trip to your destination. Next, you can check the gas prices along the way and calculate which locations you are most likely to stop at during your road trip. Your auto insurance specialist may provide you with a fuel finding service that can help you calculate the exact dollar amount you will spend.
  • Ease off the pedal. Flooring the gas at green lights and exceeding the speed limit reduce the mileage of your car. Therefore, try to stay at a steady speed during your road trip to save gas and improve the mileage of your car. Consider using cruise control for the majority of your road trip.

Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, located in Thousand Oaks, can help you with all of your auto insurance needs. If you’re located in Southern California and would like an appointment or a quote, contact us.


Spring Cleaning Preparation Tips

Spring is on the way, and for many people, that means that it is getting close to the time when the whole house is turned upside down and scrubbed until it sparkles. Before you start spring cleaning, use these homeownersSpring cleaning tips to make sure that you are prepared. Having everything ready before you get started means that you will be able to clean and organize uninterrupted by random trips to the store to retrieve items that you missed.

1. Cleaning supplies. Make sure that you have the appropriate cleaning supplies before you start. You will probably want glass cleaner, wood cleaner, and an all-purpose cleaner.

2. Bags and boxes. When emptying closets and decluttering the house, a good supply of large plastic trash bags is essential. You will be able to stuff unwanted clothing in the bags, and you may also want some boxes to hold oddly shaped household items. Once an item goes into the donation bag or box, don’t let anyone fish it back out.

3. Equipment. Do you need to rent a carpet cleaner? Will you need a ladder to reach ceiling fans or the tops of cabinets? Is your vacuum cleaner working properly? Don’t waste valuable time finding these items on cleaning day. Have them at your house the night before.

4. Rags and Paper Towels. Paper towels are good for icky, disgusting messes in the bathroom, but a good supply of old rags will clean better and hold up under vigorous scrubbing. Rags are also more environmentally friendly since they can be washed and reused.

5. Pails and buckets. You may want two sizes of pails for cleaning. A large bucket will be perfect for mopping. A smaller bucket will be easier to handle on a ladder when you are cleaning the ceiling fans, and it is handier for cleaning baseboards.

If updating your homeowners insurance policy is on your spring cleaning list, contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks today!


Kid-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Events

The Conejo Valley area offers some great family-friendly events for St. Patrick’s Day, here are a couple of fun-filled options:St Patrick's Day in Thousand Oaks

Leprechaun Gold Hunt

This event takes place at two different times and places on March 17, 2014. The first one happens at 10:00AM at Legacy Park in Malibu, and the second one starts at 4:00PM at the Thousand Oaks Community Center in Thousand Oaks. Both feature Lucky the Leprechaun, who has hidden pots of “gold.” Whoever finds a pot gets a prize. Other kid-centric entertainment will also be offered at both locations.

Malibu Dude Ranch

If a quick vacation is more your style, try taking a drive to the Malibu Dude Ranch for its St. Patrick’s Day Weekend special. Horseback riding, a shooting range, and more are available. Take the Ranch up on its Kid’s Special to get a free stay for one child under 12 with an accompanying paid adult.

To find out more about your insurance needs, please contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks.


Three Tips for Keeping Your Best — and Most Ambitious — Employees

How can a business keep its most valued employees satisfied and on the job? TLNT, gleaned these employee retention tips from some of the nation’s most intense and demanding industries:Group of business people.

1) Make longevity a factor in hiring. Face it, some high performance workers will be restless and move on to new challenges. If you want your investment in training to pay off over a number of years, look for applicants with resumes that show some long-term employment.

2) Hire for today and tomorrow. You may need someone to fill a present role, but the most effective employees want careers, not just jobs. When you add staff members, consider what they could bring to the business five or ten years down the line, and structure their roles accordingly.

3) Ask your employees what they need. Sometimes, the key to keeping a good employee is simply to ask. Let the staff member tell you what it will take to retain his or her services. This may take some negotiations, of course, based on your business strategy and capabilities.

Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, located in Thousand Oaks, provides expert advice for your business insurance needs. If you’re located in Southern California and have questions about business or workers compensation coverage, contact us.


For Young Drivers, the Right Car Is a Safe Car

Thousand Oaks Auto InsuranceAre you responsible for a teen driver? The powerful car your teen dreams about would probably cause you some sleepless nights. These tips can help you make a reliable, safe choice when car buying for a beginner:

1) Look for a car with up-to-date safety technology. Today’s vehicles come with airbags, anti-lock brakes and vehicle stability systems. Older used cars may be missing some of these features.

2) Check vehicle model safety records, many of which can be found online. Choosing a car model with a low accident rate not only keeps driver and passengers safe, but could mean a lower insurance premium.

3) If you select a used car, ask to see the maintenance and repair records. A check of online car accident records can also help. A well-cared for car is less likely to break down on the road, while a car that has been damaged in a previous accident may have hidden stability or structural problems.

4) After making a purchase, teach your teen to keep the car in safe running condition with oil changes, tire pressure checks, brake inspections, and other routine maintenance.

Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, located in Thousand Oaks, can help you with all of your auto insurance needs. If you’re located in Southern California and would like an appointment or a quote, contact us.