Archive | Disasters

High Wildfire-Risk Homes in California May Have New Rules

The Woolsey Fire. The Thomas Fire. The Camp Fire. The entire town of Paradise, California was consumed by flames last fall, with almost 14,000 homes destroyed and 85 people killed, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in the last 100 years.

Over the last few years, California has seen some increasingly deadly wildfires, and they have spurred lawmakers to consider regulations that would tighten local governments’ requirements for new housing developments in high-risk areas. Continue Reading →

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Travelers Reports Most Expensive Cause of Damage is Fire

Last week, we talked about the most frequent reasons for insurance claims. This week, we’re reporting on the most expensive causes of damage.

Those of us in the west, especially California, are no strangers to the destructive force of fire, and this year we are breaking records–even though we thought we’d done that last year. And we did. But weather is getting worse, not better, with drier, hotter conditions making wildfires harder to fight and stronger than ever. Continue Reading →

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Fire Season is Here. What Should You Do to Protect Yourself?

It’s the beginning of July, yet fire season seems to have come early, while in 2017, it stayed longer. What Californian can forget the Thomas Fire that raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for several weeks last December, destroying over 440 square miles, 1,000 homes and structures, and many people’s lives. It could have killed more people, yet thanks to the emergency services, only two fatalities were reported. The cost to California firefighters is over $702 million, but the cost of the damage is over $2 billion.

Just a month ago, a fire raged through Aliso Canyon, burning over 175 acres in just a few days. Luckily, no structures or homes were damaged. Continue Reading →

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Insurance for Spring Break

Where are your kids heading for Spring Break? The older ones, in their teens and early twenties, may be taking off for a beach vacation to Miami or Cabo. A well-deserved break from school, fun with friends on the beach– what could go wrong? Unfortunately, a few things.

Even the most responsible of young adults might find themselves in a dangerous or tricky situation, when surrounded by large groups of young students, ocean activities, and alcohol. Spring Break travel insurance can provide important medical, airfare, and trip interruption coverage. Continue Reading →

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What is “Acts of God” Insurance?

These trees are not your friends…if they fall and cause damage.

For this post, we’ll start with a trivia question:

Which of these circumstances would be covered by insurance as an “act of God”? (Read to the end to find your answer!)

  1. Lighting striking and burning down multiple houses
  2. Fire set by an arsonist

Sometimes as much as you can try to prepare for the unpreparable, natural disasters– so-called “acts of God”– strike us unawares and unprepared. Fire, lightning, floods, and earthquakes– all might strike at a moments notice, and leave us with a crushed roof or burned down home. A Louisiana court (a state faced with its fair share of natural disasters) gave this definition of an act of God: Continue Reading →

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Flood Insurance For El Nino–Was It Worth the Money?

el nino waves

El Niño may have brought big waves, but no rain for drought-ravaged Southern California.

Whatever happened to the promised El Niño? It’s already the end of May (and no April showers)– did we just miss it on its way through? Unfortunately, no. El Niño seems to have passed right over the dry and thirsty dusts of California. The looming threat of the 2016 El Niño had been predicted to reach levels such as the storms in 1997 and ‘98 which left Californians with $883 million damages statewide. Not only frustrating to our drought-stricken state, many residents of California spent their winter scrambling in preparation for the big storms– purchasing everything from rain boots to flood insurance. Now, we stand with our rain boots dry and in-hand, with a flood insurance policy we don’t seem to need. Continue Reading →

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Flood Insurance with El Niño — Why You Need It


In our drought-plagued state, rain is something of a novelty; out come the coats, scarves and boots as we enthusiastically embrace the “winter season.” The ideal of rain aligns with scampering through puddles, the kids twirling under the droplets with umbrellas; curling up by the fire with a good book and a cup of coffee as the rain patters on the roof.

As lovely as these images are, El Niño brings another dimension to the winter months of December and January. Southern California hasn’t experienced El Niño since 1997; the conditions of which led to more than $30 billion in damages worldwide. This El Niño in particular is forecasted to feature the strongest storms ever recorded. Continue Reading →

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Water, Fire and Mold Damage: When to Call the Professionals


It’s something we all dread hearing—the sound of water running when you haven’t turned anything on. No one’s taking a shower. There’s no laundry load in the wash. So what is making that noise? And your worst fears are confirmed—you have a slab leak, a burst pipe or a overenthusiastic diswasher that has flooded your kitchen.

A water leak or flood can be devastating to the contents of your home or business. But sadly, the damage doesn’t end there. If you don’t get the property cleaned properly, you’re likely to have mold. And mold remediation is usually three times more expensive than water damage clean up. And, with all the wildfires in California right now, fire damage is a very real and terrifying possibility. Continue Reading →

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Is It Time To Ditch the Lawn for Artificial Grass?

Do you want a lawn as beautiful and perfect as this? ©

Do you want a lawn as beautiful and perfect as this? Go synthetic.

The drought is real. We’ve had mandatory water restrictions placed on us by the California Governor, who directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement 25 percent reductions in the use of potable (read: drinkable) water. So how are we going to do it?

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that 30 percent of the 26 billion gallons of water consumed daily in the United States is used outdoors, mainly for irrigation. Do you realize that the typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water each year? That’s not counting any rainwater! There are many ways to re-landscape your yard to replace your lawn, but if you have children or pets, you might miss that expanse of green. Continue Reading →

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