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Understanding Deductibles 101!

Understanding Deductibles 101!

If you are a home or vehicle owner, you are likely an insurance policy holder! Monthly insurance costs can certainly add up, but they are necessary to ensure that you will be protected in the case of an accident! When you purchase a policy from an insurance carrier, you typically set a deductible amount that you will be expected to pay before the insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower you monthly payments! Before settling on an insurance policy, it is crucial to completely understand your deductible.

When you set your deductible, you can choose to either deduct a percentage of the insured amount, or set a dollar amount. If you choose to set your deductible at $300, and you experience a loss of $900, then you will be responsible to pay $300 while your insurance carrier compensates you for $600. If you use a percentage deductible, such as 2%, and you have $10,000 of insurance, your deductible would be $200.

Depending on where you live, your carrier may require that you set your deductible high. It is important to remember that you must be able to afford your deductible in the case that you need to make a repair. Also, keep in mind that if you need to file a liability claim, your deductible will not apply! Its use is more for property damage. Your deductible will be explained on the declaration page of your insurance policy.

If you are interested in further insurance advice from a qualified and experienced agent, please contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services, located in Thousand Oaks! We are one of the top independently owned full-service insurance agencies in the state, and take pride in our excellent individualized customer service. Give us a call with any insurance inquiries you may have, and we will gladly administer the insurance counsel you need!

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Which States Can You Cruise With Peace of Mind?

Which States Can You Cruise With Peace of Mind?

Rather than providing you with a fearful list of how dangerous certain states are for driving, we have decided to evaluate the roads with an alternative perspective. In determining the least dangerous states for driving, we took a look at the age in which motorists can obtain their driver’s license, police presence, and population. When it comes to safe driving, you must determine where the safest drivers live. Gathered is a list of the least dangerous states for drivers, some of which may surprise you:

  • Massachusetts – There are a variety of factors that go into the safety ranking of this New England state. For one, young drivers are not granted their learners permits until they turn 16 years old. Additionally, there is a heavy presence of police on the Massachusetts roads and the second lowest ranking of fatal car accidents.
  • New York – This one may surprise you, but the congested population makes it almost impossible to speed. Yes, driving on the New York roads may be overwhelming if you have not lived there all your life, but it is ranked as one of the safest states for drivers.
  • New Jersey- Similarly, the congested roadways in New Jersey provide a safer driving environment.
  • Virginia – This state is actually ranked one of the safest states for driving, across multiple fronts. Many attribute Virginia’s safe rankings due to the fact that the state government controls the roadways, as opposed to each individual county authority.
  • Utah – Perhaps Utah’s safety ranking and minimal alcohol-impaired driving fatalities can be attributed to 62% of its population belonging to the Mormon Church.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California auto insurance needs. Whether you are living in one of the safest states or more dangerous states for driving, we will go above and beyond to provide you with an auto insurance policy that maximizes your security on the streets.

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10 Insurance Myths Debunked

10 Insurance Myths Debunked

While everyone knows at least a little something about insurance, there can often be a lot of confusion from person to person about the particular details. Men and women alike believe some insurance myths. Here are 10 insurance myths we would like to clear up!

You should buy insurance coverage for your house based on its real estate market value.
• In reality, you should buy coverage based on the cost for materials and labor that it would take to reconstruct the house.

Red cars cost more to insure because they are speeding ticket magnets.
• Car color actually does not have that great of an effect on your insurance rates.

If you cause a crash with extensive damage to others, your auto insurance company can cancel you without warning.
• Usually, if an insurer wants to drop an account, they have to wait until the policy period is up.

Small cars are cheaper to insure.
• Small and mid-size SUV’s and minivans actually tend to be the cheapest to insure. Small cars are largely chosen by inexperienced drivers due to this myth and thus are more expensive to insure.

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) allows health insurance companies to base their rates on existing medical conditions.
• In reality, it is the opposite. It prohibits health insurers from basing rates on pre-existing conditions.

Comprehensive auto insurance covers everything.
• It only covers narrow portions of possible problems like theft, storm damage, vandalism, and animal collisions.

Thieves steal new cars more often than older ones.
• Thieves actually steal older cars because it is more lucrative to steal them.

If a friend borrows my car and crashes it, their insurance will pay for the damage.
• If it is your car, it is your insurance that is responsible even if someone else is driving.

Obamacare requires you to take the health insurance plan offered by your employer.
• It requires you to buy health insurance but it does not dictate where you have to get it.

Out-of-state tickets cannot follow you home.
• Regardless of where you get a ticket, you are responsible for the fees associated with it.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California insurance needs. Do not let the various insurance myths confuse you. Let them keep you covered with a policy specifically personalized, just for you.

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Useful Information About Daylight Saving Time As We Prepare To Fall Back

Useful Information About Daylight Saving Time As We Prepare To Fall Back

We all know that twice a year, we change our clocks backwards and forwards. It can be stressful and an added thing to remember in your busy schedule. Even though we do it every year, many people do not know why we have Daylight Saving Time. Here is some useful information about Daylight Saving Time to answer any questions you may have.

What is Daylight Saving Time for?
Daylight Saving Time’s purpose is to give us more daylight. By changing the clocks when the days start to get shorter or longer, we effectively move an hour of daylight from the morning hours to the evening. While it may seem unnecessary or annoying to those of us that do not care when the sun is out, it is particularly useful for farmers and other people who can only really work when it is light.

Which one is which?
There is a common saying to help remember which way we change the clocks and when. “Spring forward and Fall back.” In the spring we turn the clocks forward an hour earlier, essentially losing an hour of sleep in the first few days while our internal clocks adjust. In the fall we turn the clocks back an hour, gaining back that hour, and getting that amazing extra hour of sleep those first few days.

When in the morning are you supposed to change the clocks?
In the United States, you are supposed to change your clocks whichever way at 2:00 am local time. They do this to minimize the disruption to your daily life. If you do not plan on waking up at or staying up until 2:00 am it can be easier for you to change your clocks before you go to bed. Essentially, in the spring, your clock will spring forward from 1:59 am to 3:00 am; in fall, the clocks fall back from 1:59 am to 1:00 am.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all your California insurance needs.

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Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Trick or Treating Safety Tips

While you may think that safety will not be a problem while trick or treating in Thousand Oaks, there is an overwhelming number of people who partake in dangerous activities on the roads during Halloween weekend. Following the basic safety precautions is the only way to ensure safety during this hectic time where partygoers may choose to drive intoxicated. Gathered are some important Halloween safety tips so that you and your family can trick or treat safely:

  • Even if it will ruin the scariness of their black monster costume, it is important that each child is wearing something bright so that they can be seen in the dark. We recommend placing reflective tape on the backs of costumes so that they can still be spooky from the front!
  • Each child trick or treating should have a flashlight on them and extra batteries in case of an emergency. If you can, try to invest in head beam light so that they will not be tempted to put the light down.
  • Plan your trick or treating route in advance. Tired children are not very enjoyable to deal with. Avoid unnecessary paths and obstacles by planning your route in advance.
  • Even if your child begs to wear heels to perfect their princess costume, make sure that they either wear comfortable shoes or pack an extra pair. Failing to do this will result in a long piggy back ride.
  • Most importantly, always look both ways before crossing the street and be extra aware of your surroundings.

Happy Halloween! We encourage you to celebrate safely and responsibly so that this holiday can remain memorable for the right reasons! Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California insurance needs. We understand the importance of receiving peace of mind knowing every member of your family is adequately protected, and will go above and beyond to ensure that protection.

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Protecting Your Business With Disaster Insurance Policies

Protecting Your Business With Disaster Insurance Policies

Business owners have a responsibility to go above and beyond to protect their business. Without the proper insurance policies in place, you leave your business vulnerable to disaster and harm. While you may think that as a business owner you do not have to think about insurance for disasters, many organizations have experienced financial ruin after being hit with a major disaster. Forty nine structures were destroyed in the March 2014 Washington State Landslide. This revelation increases the importance of obtaining the right insurance for disasters now to protect your business from all possible perils.

  • Landslide Insurance: Experts recommend that everyone obtain landslide insurance protection, even if heavy rainfall is not a common weather condition of your location. There are a variety of factors that can cause a landslide, meaning you must safeguard your assets.
  • Earthquake Insurance: As a California business, you must obtain earthquake insurance. Earthquakes can hit at any given moment, stressing the importance of seeking this protection. Your earthquake insurance policy will allow you to rebuild and recover if a shake affects your business operations.
  • Flood Insurance: Without flood insurance, you leave your business vulnerable to financial ruin. Floods are notorious for leaving millions of dollars of damages in their wake. It is important for business owners to realize that flood insurance policies do not go into effect until 30 days after they are purchased.
  • Hurricane/Windstorm Insurance: Depending on the force of the winds, windstorms and hurricanes can leave hundreds to millions of dollars in damages. The uncertainty of these storms increases the importance of having this vital insurance policy.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: This is one of the most important insurance policies a business can obtain, as it allows you time and money to rebuild and recover after a disaster. Without this insurance policy, your organization would be forced to survive without lost income coverage.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California business insurance needs. We will go above and beyond to safeguard your business from a variety of common perils.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, meaning it is to go above and beyond to spread awareness! When it comes to spreading awareness, we must do everything in our power to educate and promote the movement in all realms of our lives. Pink October is a movement to make everything on the internet pink during the month of October. The NFL already participates by switching out their usual cleats for pink ones!

The Pink October movement is not sponsored by any corporations, rather, it is an individual movement that you can participate in by helping encourage others to make their websites and social media pages pink for the month of October! Simply changing your profile picture to the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon can help! Likewise, displaying the pink ribbon of awareness on your car with a magnet or on your blazer at work can stir interest and raise awareness.

In addition to the Pink October movement, we encourage you to educate those around you of the importance of partaking in smart preventative habits. Breast cancer does not discriminate, meaning both men and women are susceptible to breast cancer. Everyone should conduct a self-exam every month or two. If you have never had a breast exam, it is recommended that you visit your doctor and have the doctor perform a professional one on you. During the exam, ask them to show you how to conduct a self-exam. A major part of early detection is being able to identify any unusual lumps or differences in your body.

We recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourage you to sport the pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon during the entire month! Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California insurance needs. We will go above and beyond to protect every part of your life.

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5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

If you are one of the many homeowners who has not completed their fall home maintenance tasks yet, there is no better time than now to get started! Temperatures have finally begun to dwindle down, making these tasks less of a hassle. Gathered are 5 home fall maintenance tips so that you can prepare your home before the rain, hopefully, arrives:

  1. If you do not want your home to flood once the rain arrives, it is important that you clean your gutters and downspouts. These areas fill with leaves and debris, making it impossible for water to pass through efficiently. If you want to avoid a flood, be sure to clean these areas.
  2. If you will be using your heating system or fireplace to keep you warm as the temperatures continue to drop, it is important that you have your fireplace cleaned and have maintenance conducted on your heating system. The only way these systems can keep you warm and safe is if they are properly maintained.
  3. Speaking of staying warm, if you plan on using your heating system during the winter, you must go around your home and fix any holes, gaps, or cracks in the weather stripping and caulking of your windows and doors. This will ensure that hot air is efficiently being circulated inside your home, rather than outside.
  4. If you have some cracks or chips in the exterior paint of your home, now is the perfect time to go around and touch up with paint! The weather will allow the paint to settle smoothly.
  5. A fun task to add to your fall home maintenance checklist is to put away the summer toys and bring out the fall decorations. Bring out the cozy blankets for your couch so that you can cuddle up after a long day of work and spell your pumpkin scented candle burning throughout the home.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks for all of your California homeowners’ insurance needs. We will go above and beyond to ensure your home’s security.

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What You Need To Know About Insuring A Used Car

What You Need To Know About Insuring A Used Car

Whether you are looking to purchase a pre-owned vehicle for your new teen driver or looking for an older secondary vehicle, it is important that you obtain the necessary auto insurance coverage. Used cars are insured differently than new cars. Gathered are some helpful tips to guide you through the process of insuring your new, used vehicle:

  • Since you will not need as much collision and comprehensive coverage for your older vehicle, you will save a little on auto insurance in this category. However, your liability limits will likely remain stagnant whether you choose to go for a used car or a new car because you are still a liability risk. Old and new cars cause the same damage when they are involved in an accident.
  • Before you finalize any transactions, be sure to check the vehicle make and model’s history. Are they involved in a lot of car accidents? Are they extremely safe? The vehicle’s history will make an impact on how much you pay to insure your used car.
  • Next, it is time to evaluate the driving history of the particular car you are looking to insure. Check how many accidents it has been involved in and whether or not it has undergone extreme repairs. You will also want to find out why the vehicle is up for sale in the first place. Did the last owner simply want a new car, or were they having reoccurring issues with the vehicle? This will determine how your insurance company calculates a premium.
  • Most importantly, be sure to maintain a clean driving record. Each accident you are involved in and each traffic ticket you receive will highly affect your auto insurance premium.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance for all of your auto insurance needs. Located in Thousand Oaks, California, we can help provide your used car with sufficient coverage.

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Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

As a homeowner, it is imperative that you know exactly what is, and what is not covered under the standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Many homeowners wrongly assume that all of their possessions are covered under their policy, however, chances are your most valuable items are not. Insuring your jewelry is not as easy as renewing your homeowners’ insurance policy. Your most valuable items may benefit from being scheduled.

Scheduled items receive additional protection, and provide a homeowner with a variety of benefits. Scheduled personal property coverage acts as an endorsement to your standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Any of your lost, stolen, or damaged scheduled items will receive coverage. One of the most exciting perks of having your valuables scheduled is that you will receive coverage even if you accidently misplace a scheduled item. No matter what the cause of the damage or loss, your insurance company allows you to file a claim. You may want to consider having your fine art, furs, fire arms, expensive jewelry, collectibles, and antiques scheduled under an endorsement.

Scheduled items are replaced at replacement cost. Typically, the standard homeowners’ insurance policy replaces damaged items at actual cash value, accounting for depreciation. With replacement cost, your scheduled items will be replaced at the value they were appraised at. That is why your insurance company will require you to seek a professional appraisal for each scheduled item. Once you obtain an appraisal, you will need to have it approved by your insurance company. Also important to note, scheduled items do not involve a deductible. Your elevated premium will compensate for the lack of a deductible.

Contact Weeks & Associates Insurance for all of your homeowners’ insurance needs. Located in Thousand Oaks, California, we can help protect your most valuable items with scheduled personal property coverage.

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