Travel Time


Travel Time

Any time is a good time to travel. Sure, it depends on where you want to go and the weather season, but for most of us, everything from a quick getaway to an extended exotic vacation is something we love to do and can’t ever come soon enough.
You find the perfect location, plan your adventure, book the tickets, and upon check-out you are ask if you would like to purchase insurance to protect your trip.

Would you? Should you?

Often times not only do you wave goodbye to your family when departing for your vacation, but also to your insurance coverage – especially as soon as you leave the United States.
The most common items (deemed reasonable) covered by travel insurance include medical emergencies, visitor health insurance, delayed, lost, or stolen baggage, and trip cancellation/interruption (death, bodily injury, illness, disease, pregnancy complications, termination of employment, deployment, prohibition of travel to the destination, evacuation from the destination). Sometimes additional policies can be purchased for more specific needs such as pre-existing conditions, elective treatments or surgery, war, and terrorism. An added bonus of travel insurance is it is often there to help 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

So do you need it?

If you are a worrier, this might be a good way to give you peace of mind. If your trip is just a couple days domestically, you probably don’t need it. We gave you some of the pros and the type of coverage you can get, but there are also reason why you might decide not to get travel insurance. For example, you might already be covered on your current insurance, your credit card might already offer additional travel protection, or maybe you just aren’t worried about any type of loss. It all depends on the individual.

It is definitely worth the time to do some research about the coverage available and the health care services available at your destination. As always, it is better to be over-prepared.

Travel Without Worry
Travel Without Worry

New Year Update

As humans, people, consumers, etc… We love to constantly update our life status, as well as be up-to-date on the latest and greatest. It can be the newest cell phones, techno-gadgets, movies, and fashion – whatever. We like to appear to our social universe as being interesting, exciting, fresh, and new. It is a competition of who can post and update first or who can get the newest ‘it’ item. Nobody wants to finish last or be left behind. It is all about the update!

Do you know what else needs to be updated?
Your insurance policies.

The start of the year is always a good time to review all of your polices and make any necessary changes. However, it is almost entering the third month of the year – have no fear! There is still plenty of time to update, but don’t procrastinate.
I know a woman that updates her policies almost a dozen times per year. She is always reviewing coverage to ensure that it matches with her current coverage needs and lifestyle. Marriage, divorce, children, pets, change of job, business ownership, and health – all of these events create a change in insurance policies. She consistently updates, because she knows that as life goes through changes, the amount and type of coverage for each policy must also change.

Have you made any major purchases? Save your receipts and educate yourself on inflation and exchange rates (for items purchased overseas) and how those might affect the value of your items and the replacement value as well. On the other side, be aware of insured items that have potentially depreciated. You don’t want to be paying a ton of extra money for being over-insured.
Did you do any major home renovations? Added solar panels? Updated your security system? Yes – you need to update!

Don’t get discourage or confused and feel like you have to go at this alone. Yes, there is plenty of information you can find on the internet, but our recommendation is to contact your agent and allow them to assist. Updating isn’t a difficult process, but it is an important one that deserve a lot of attention to detail. The right changes can save you money – now and in the future.

NOW might be a good time to review and update all your policies and make sure everything is still in alignment with your lifestyle. Then you can be the first among your friends to brag and update your social status!

Update NOW!
Update NOW!

Out of This World Discovery Made by Alien Hunters! It’s Not What You Think!

Josh S anders, a 31 year-old resident of Los Angeles, and Marie Miller, a 29 year-old resident of Brentwood have been working as amateur alien hunters for the past five years. Their efforts to find proof that life on other planets or even the galaxy has turned up empty. That was until a recent trip in July.

S anders and Miller received a lead that there was possible proof that aliens existed somewhere along the beautiful and scenic Pacific Coast Highway. Packing up their car with tons of clothing, recording equipment, and top secret alien hunting gear, the alien hunters set out to see what proof they could find.

After several hours of driving, the duo encountered what appeared to be a r andom burst of light came out of a densely wooded area. S anders and Miller pulled the car to the side of the road and started to explore.

The dynamic duo is unsure what happened during that search or if aliens were ever found. Even to this day, they claim to have no memory of what happened.

Arriving back at their car several hours after leaving to explore the area, Miller immediately started showing signs of an odd looking rash. The rash appeared to be spreading over her back, legs, and arms. It even appeared that the rash was starting to spread out in some oddly shaped pattern that has never been seen before. Unable to account for what happened during that time, the duo immediately assumed the worst – the rash was a symptom of a rare alien based disease.

If this were the result of some r andom alien disease, it would explain why the duo could not remember a huge chunk of time.

The rash became so itchy and bothersome that S anders took Miller to the hospital. After running several tests, it was determined that a rare alien disease was not discovered. The discovery was that Miller apparently had a severe allergy to oak tree leaves.

While it may not have been the discovery the alien hunting duo was looking for, it can be helpful to them in the future. The couple credits this r andom discovery of oak wood allergies to the fact that Miller was able to obtain cost-effective health insurance.

If she had not happened to have the health insurance policy in place, she would have chosen to treat it at home and would never know just how dangerous oak wood leave could be. The alien hunting duo is even planning on listing health insurance as a requirement for future alien hunters, as you never know what health problems you may run into when hunting for aliens.

The alien hunting duo is not letting this near miss get them down. There are too many unanswered questions, such as what happened during that time in the woods, what caused the white light, and why did the rash appear in a shape of a pattern. These questions and much more will be explored by the alien hunting team in the future. Of course, both will be protected by health insurance in case something should happen again.

Why it is Important to Buy Full Coverage for your Car

Having your car fully insured is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being completely out of luck if you were to get into a crash and needed to buy a new car. Here are just a few of the many reasons why a comprehensive insurance policy might be the best coverage to have.

1. If you have a loan out on your car, it is probably required.

In nearly every case where a vehicle is financed, you are going to be required to have full coverage on the car. This is a rule to make sure that the financier is covered in case the car ends up getting destroyed. You will find that this is the rule almost all throughout California, and especially in a crowded area like LA. For the most part, a dealership or bank cannot come after you for any difference between what your insurance would pay, and what you still owe on the loan.

2. Need your car for work? Better have it fully insured.

Some people absolutely need a vehicle either to get to and from work, or for their work itself. If you don’t have full coverage on your car, and you end up causing an accident that is your fault, you may quickly find yourself without a way to get from point A to point B. With comprehensive insurance, you will at least get a check for the value of the car.

3. Be covered if someone hits you who is uninsured.

An uninsured driver can end up being your worst nightmare if you get into an accident that they cause. While you can almost always go to court with a civil case and win a judgement against them, there still exists the very real possibility that since they did not have car insurance, they may not have much in the way of other assets or cash. If they were to decalre bankruptcy, or they just had no way of paying you, you would be out of luck. With full coverage, you will at least get the value of your car, and most of your medical bills paid.

4. Don’t be a victim of a hit and run.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who, if they get into an accident, will do everything they can in order to skirt responsibility. Someone who majorly damages your car, but has their car relatively unscathed, may decide that they would rather not give you any information or wait around for the police. With only liability insurance, you are probably going to end up only getting the scrap value for your car. If you have full coverage, or a comprehensive plan, you will probably be covered.

While buying full coverage will be more expensive than just buying liability coverage, you should recognize that you will keep yourself better protected from the millions of drivers in Los Angeles, and you will be covering yourself in case your car gets destroyed in a fire, flood, or something else that isn’t necessarily an auto accident.

Who Are You Asking

Have you ever been in the middle of a discussion with someone, and then, out of the blue, they hit you with a question from left field? You know what I mean. This question is from left field for a couple of reasons. First of all, we were in the middle of a conversation that had nothing whatsoever to do with what you just asked me. I know some of you are thinking that I should be the last person in the world to complain about switching topics mid-stream. You may have a valid point, but I need you to stay focused.

The second reason that this question is from left field is because it is on a topic that have no knowledge of whatsoever. So, this person has broken the flow of a perfectly good conversation (a right reserved exclusively for me), to asked me a question I could not possibly answer. Okay, my mind is going a million miles an hour right now. I am thinking, “What are they up to?” Is this some type Jedi mind trick? The paranoid conspiracy theorist has emerged. So, I answer their question with a question: Who sent you? Good, I catch them off guard. They can’t respond, so I crank up the heat. Are you the guy that has been setting all of the brush fires in the state of California for years (For those who are new to reading my posts; I have a theory that the annual brush fires in California are the work of one man)? By now, the guy has forgotten the question he asked. He is on the defensive. Do I back off and give him time to recuperate? Of course not, that would be totally counterproductive. I turn up the heat.

Okay, right now everyone is going what in the world does this have to do with insurance in California? If I have told you once, I have told you a thous and times; let me do this. You read, and I write. That is the arrangement here. The connection between this story and Insurance in California, whether it is in Brentwood, Encino or Santa Monica, is that often in life things come out of left field with no warning. If you are not prepared to engage the unpredictable, it could literally derail your life.

If it’s okay with you, I am going to finish my story now. By the time I finished sending a barrage of question at this gentlemen, I could see that he was mentally dazed. He can’t even put together a complete sentence. I can tell that his pulse is racing and he is beginning to perspire. Let me ask you once more; do you think I relented? No, not even close. I could have said that I was just kidding. I could have given him a moment to explain why he felt the need to ask me that silly question in the first place, but that was not my objective. I had made up in my mind that I was going to teach him that despite what his second grade teacher told him, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Up Close and Personal

West Los Angeles could be a cool place to live. It wasn’t far from the Southern California coast or from the attractions of the city. Most of the time I really enjoyed it. The only tough part was my neighbors; it’s LA and most of the houses were built on top of each other. I eventually got used to being able to see into my neighbor’s kitchen and having them be able to see into mine but there were still times when I really wished we both had a little more privacy.

Tonight just happened to be one of those times. I was getting over a cold so instead of going out with my friends for the weekend, I’d just kind of hung around the house watching bad T.V. My sleeping schedule was off so there I was at one o’clock in the morning, wide awake and watching re-runs of Bewitched. During one of the commercials I decided I was hungry and got up to go scrounge in the kitchen for a snack.

That’s when the trouble started. I knew the guy next door had a new girlfriend and from a couple encounters I’d witnessed on his front porch I suspected they fought a lot. Tonight it seemed that suspicion was being confirmed. It was a summer evening and the windows were all open a crack. That made it really easy to hear the yelling from the kitchen next door. Though I couldn’t always hear what the guy said, I could certainly hear his girlfriend who was shouting at the top of her lungs. It seemed that she was accusing him of cheating on her and he seemed to be denying it.

Since the conversation next door was far more entertaining that anything I’d been watching on television, I sat down at the kitchen table with my carton of ice cream to listen. The more he denied her accusations, the angrier she would get and soon she was also blaming him for not making enough money and for wearing ugly clothes. It was getting a bit ridiculous. I was just getting a good chuckle out of her long-winded description of what really were a very ugly pair of shorts, (I’d seen him wearing them), when the argument suddenly turned violent. I could hear something shatter in their kitchen and alarmed, I jumped to my feet to look out the window. By the time I got there I could see that she’d gone outside into the very narrow side yard between our houses. She had something in her h ands but I couldn’t really tell what.

As it suddenly shattered the glass of the window beside me though, I was soon able to see it had been a DVD player.

“What the heck?” I shouted as I launched myself out the back door.

The girl had already stormed back inside but my neighbor was still st anding there by the fence.

“I may need to break up with her,” he stated bl andly as he stared at me.

“You think?” I replied sarcastically. “She just put your DVD player through my window.”

He shrugged. “Hope you have insurance,” he responded then turned and went back inside.

Like I said, most of the time West LA is a great place to live.

Don’t Touch That Butterfly

When I ended my last post we were discussing some of the weird facts about the state of California. We discussed the riparian brush rabbit in some depth. We even had the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject, the covert activity of one brush fire b andit. I am sure the authorities are all over that by now. Your days are numbered buddy.

It never ceases to amaze me how a blog about insurance can be so topically broad and yet still have impact. There are multitudinous topics that have both humor and depth, that need to be explored. Okay, everyone needs insurance. Honestly everyone is Los Angeles needs to be doubly insured. With that being said, who wants to read 500 words or more of me telling you how important it is to be insured? I didn’t think so. You do, however need to be reminded; at least at some subliminal level that insurance is important. Consider yourself reminded.

Normally, I am all over the place when it comes to making these posts, but today, I am thinking I have some subject matter that may take up the majority of my time with you. Did you know that in Pacific Grove thare is a law on the books that imposes a $500 fine for “molesting a butterfly” (their terminology, not mine)? That’s right; you can literally be fined $500 for physically harassing a butterfly. Help me underst and this. For those that actually like to allow butterflies to light on their h and or finger, you could be coughing up $500. You guys in Pacific Grove are taking your butterflies a little too serious for me.

Personally, the law would never directly impact me because I am not one to play with insects. As far as I’m concerned, we live in two different worlds; they don’t bother me and I will definitely not bother them. However, I know everyone is not like me.

I wonder what happened to make putting that law on the books necessary. I am sure that they were not up there just sitting around looking for laws to put on the books and someone said, hey, let’s charge people $500 for touching butterflies. Then again, who knows? Fines are a town’s number one revenue generator. The local people would know better, but someone from a place like Pacific Palisades will probably not be aware of the law and end up on the wrong end of a citation pad.

Alright, let’s take some time to wrap our heads around this for a minute. There is all kinds of violence going on (making health and life insurance very necessary) in the state, and this town is so bored that they literal post a law to their books that charges a person five big ones for touching a butterfly, you got to be kidding me.

I am actually thinking about contacting the mayor’s office in Pacific Grove and getting an official statement on what prompted the writing of that law. What kind of people do they have down there that makes them feel the need to protect the butterfly to such an extent? Right when I think I have California figured out.

You Don’t Say

Living in California with its elevated cost of living and the constant coping with natural disasters is a constant reminder to Californians of the need to protect their assets through properly and adequately insuring them. Everything from life to property must be adequately secured. No one wants to face the situations of catastrophe and loss, but it is a reality in the life of every human being. Failing to prepare for these inevitable moments in our lives leaves us in an even more vulnerable position.

Although the majority of my posts look to find humor in discussing the subject matter at h and, the bottom line is quite serious. Whether you are in the affluent areas of California, such as Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Bellaire, or you live in the more impecunious areas, such as Compton, South Central, etc., the fact remains that tragedy happens and no one is exempt. It is always best to be prepared.

With that being said, I have learned quite a bit about the state of California over the course of my many visits and short stays. For instance, are you aware that there are more turkeys raised in the state of California than any other state in the United States? Somehow, California is just not registering in mind as the turkey capital of America. I guess my first question would be, “What are you guys planning on doing with all those turkeys? Don’t answer that.

There is a county in California, Alpine Country, which literally has no ATM’s, high schools, banks, dentists, or traffic lights. How in the world is this place considered to be a county? What supports the economy around there? No ATM’s and no traffic lights, I know what that means. It means that we don’t like strangers; we don’t even want your money, just keep right on moving.

What in the world is a riparian brush rabbit? That actually sounds kind of scary, almost pre-historic. This particular species of rabbit is said to reside in Caswell State Park. If I am correct, that is a total of about 255 acres. I often wonder how animals tend to remain within sightless boundaries. One thing I can say is that I don’t think that I will be visiting Caswell State Park anytime soon; not until I learn a little bit more about this riparian brush rabbit.

Okay, how many of you know where this is leading. That’s right; I am concerned that this poor animal may become extinct. Not because it is confined to such a small area, relatively speaking, but because with a name like brush rabbit, they are bound to become victims of the notorious brush fire b andit. For those of you who are reading my posts for the first time, you are not aware of my personal theory concerning the annual brush fires in California. It is a theory of mine that one person could be behind all of the fires. Admittedly, this is the result of the combination of too much time on my h ands and an overactive imagination.

Maybe we will talk more about this next time around; or maybe not. No telling what will be on my mind by then.

So Not True

You know it can be easy to pigeonhole people. People tend to stereotype other people, it is a natural tendency. This is not something that humans like to admit about themselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. I used to have this impression of people in California, especially those people who lived in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Movies, magazines, and TV commercials portrayed Californians as stuck up and unapproachable. How many people know that I should not have allowed the media to influence my impression on anything?

Well, here I am with this notion of all these stuck up people. I mean, who else but stuck up people could live in towns with names like Brentwood Hills and Pacific Palisades, except stuck up people. Needless to say, my first trip (as an adult) to Los Angeles was quite interesting. I got off the plane with an attitude. Who do these people think they are? In Texas, what we call uppity people really chap our hides. That means stuck up people draw our ire. So, I am in Los Angeles giving everybody, including the cab driver, attitude.

After a while of engaging people I realized, hey, these are some pretty cool and laid back people. Are there some people that are walking around believing that the world revolves around them? Yes, but there are narcissists in every geographical location. Here I am eyeballing and mean mugging (looking angry) everyone, with no cause. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that everyone deserves a chance to express who they are as a person before someone develops an opinion about them. I can’t imagine what the people that I encountered on that day was thinking about me, but it could not have been too good.

There is one thing that the media was not off on when it comes to Los Angeles, and that is its shopping and fashion influence. You can spend a lot of money very fast in LA. I know that I have. You can buy clothes, jewelry, art and so much more. This is where we talk about insurance real quick. How many know that when you buy nice things there are people who are motivated to relieve you of those nice things without remuneration? With all of the multitudinous trips that I have take to California, I have had several occasions in which some rather expensive items came up missing out of my room. When I notified the hotel manager of the incident and the cost involved, he had me file a formal complaint and in a reasonable time, I was reimbursed for my loss. The thing is the hotel did not have to pay me out of their own pockets (yes, I know that the hotel does not have pockets, work with me here), but they filed a claim on my behalf with their insurance company. It is important to have insurance that can cover all of the contingencies in which you are at risk for loss.

As far as the person who took my property, shame on you. Every time that I am in Los Angeles, I think about looking you up. One day my friend, one day.

This is Ridiculous

I am not from California, but I love the State and its diversity of cultures and regions. Being from Texas, I know what it feels like to drive for nearly and entire day, but still be in the same state. In fact, it was a driving trip to Los Angeles from Houston that brought me to the reality that driving out of state is for the birds. They have perfectly good airplanes for things just like this. It took more than 17 hours just to get from Houston to El Paso. That’s ridiculous. You can drive from Houston to Atlanta in 13 hours. As usual I am getting a little off course here, but those of you that know me, that is not that unusual.

As I was saying, you can drive forever and still be in Texas. There are only three states that you can experience something like that; Alaska, Texas, and California. California, however, is the only state in which the scenery and the culture changes so quickly and so drastically. Both, Alaska and Texas are extremely beautiful, but much of the drive through Texas is dry country. A drive up the coastline of California is simply extraordinary. I literally love California. There is one issue; however. The cost of living is totally ridiculous. When you compare the cost of living in California to the cost of living in Texas, the differences are astronomical. No wonder there are so many people from Los Angeles living in Texas.

If you know me, you also know that I am not going to be satisfied with simply expressing my concerns over the disparity in the cost of living between these two states, right? I need to know who in the world is determining this cost of living thing. I know that there is some economist somewhere that is going to chime in and give all of these different economic variables and formulas that contribute to the disparity in the cost of living in different geographical locations. Honestly, I’m not trying to hear it. Plus, I have my own theory about economists. By the way, where were you when the last California brush fire was started (inside joke with publisher)?

For what I paid for my little apartment is Marina Del Rey, I could buy a couple of houses in Houston. Let’s not even discuss places like Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Santa Monica. Man, if there is ever a group of people who need insurance, it is the people in California. There are some people that believe that they cannot not afford insurance, the people in California cannot afford not to have insurance.

Anyway, we still haven’t gotten to the answer to my question. Who in the world determines the cost of living? Does anyone have a phone number or email for this person? He probably does not even live in California. Then again, maybe he lives in wine country. There is something going on in wine country. I have not figured it out yet, but give me a little time and I will definitely figure it out.

For those of you that may be sitting there scratching your head, trying to figure out where you got lost in this discussion, don’t worry, it’s not you.