How to Protect Your Home and Property from Wildfires

How to protect your home from a wildfireWildfires occur every year and summer season is also known as fire season. Each year millions of acres across the country are scorched by both nature as well as human caused fire. By knowing how to minimize losses, human caused fires can drastically decrease with the proper education. Use these simple steps.

Equipment or toys can spark a wildland fire

Lawn mowers, weed-eaters, chain saws, welders, tractors, dirt bikes, and more can all cause sparks. Don’t mow dry grass or weeds. When you are maintaining your yard, avoid dry yard debris buildup.

If you are using a tractor, dirt bike or welder, avoid driving or using your welder near dry grass or brush.

Keeping your Home Safe from Wildfire Damage

Use fire-resistant building material for your home.

The roof and exterior surface need to be composed of non-combustible or fire resistant materials. This would include brick, stone, aluminum, tile, sheet iron, asphalt or slate. If your home is composed of wood or cedar, consider this a risk. Homes that are located in especially fire prone areas can escape damage by being entirely built of concrete and stone.

Maintain Your Roof

When your roof is filled with leaves, pine needles, branches, moss, you are increasing your risk for wildfire damage. Be sure to avoid letting these items collect on your roof.

Keep your Property Free of Dead Plants or Trees

Tree branches should be kept to a height of 15 feet.  Also, be sure tree branches aren’t near your chimney. If a branch is within 10 feet of the flue opening of the stove or chimney, remove it.

Keeping things like sheds and wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home helps reduce the chances of a fire jumping from one structure to the next.

It is important to understand the limits of your insurance policies as many natural disasters like floods or earthquakes require a special insurance policy while wildfires are generally covered under the comprehensive portion of a homeowner’s insurance policy. The price of the policy may be higher if you live in an area that is prone to yearly fires or if a fire station is far away.

If you have questions about your insurance, whether it is business insurance or truck insurance, contact our agency.

Springs Newsletter from Network Truck Insurance Services

You Are Essential – One Year and Counting

Thanks to our transportation networks, our nation has been able to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with the vaccine distribution, the trucking industry continues to help us get through this pandemic. No matter what you are hauling, you have played an essential role in keeping our country going. Thank you for your hard work during these difficult times.

Consider Downtime Coverage for Your Truck

If your truck is not on the road, you are not making any money. If your truck is involved in a covered loss, you can still get paid if your truck is not on the road. How is that? This coverage provides you with a payout each week that your truck is not on the road and is in the repair shop. To qualify you must meet three conditions:

  1. The insurance carrier gives the okay to repair the truck.
  2. The insured gives the repair facility the okay to repair.
  3. The vehicle is out of service for repair because of a covered loss and is in the custody of the repair facility.

Contact us to discuss this great coverage and to learn about certain restrictions and details. It is available as a part of other coverage, so be sure to inquire about your options.

Click here to get a free quote!

Is There Still a Driver Shortage? Why?

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a driver shortage. A few reasons include driver violations for drugs like marijuana and equipment repairs. If your truck is not on the road, you are not making any money.

The best way to protect your trucking business is to keep your fleet of vehicles well maintained.

Strong Growth Expected for the Trucking Industry

American Truck Associations are anticipating tonnage to increase by 25.6% by 2030. They are also predicting revenues will increase 53.8% over the next decade.

Tesla Semi-Truck Production

Back in November 2017, Tesla gave a presentation on their electric semi-trucks. Even though production has been delayed, they continue to examine many ways to improve their design. They are even looking into ways to create long haul trucking for a 800-1,000 kilometer range. Tesla is finally moving this project forward and has recently posted job listings to begin the production. Telsa is taking $20,000 refundable reservations to order a Semi now. The base price of a 300-mile range is $150,000 and a 500-mile range for $180,000.

REMINDER: Make Easy Requests Through Our Website

Did you know we can update your existing insurance policy through our website? Request insurance certificates, update drivers or vehicles with one click of a button.

Tips & Tricks on How to Cook Healthy Meals On A Road Trip

How to cook healthy meals on a long haul road tripDid you purchase a RV this past year or have you found you enjoy taking road trips? With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people invested in a RV, travel trailer or simply went camping more in order to safely travel & enjoy the beautiful outdoors. When you are taking a road trip or even preparing for a long haul in your semi truck, you do have to figure out how you plan to eat. Fast food and takeout from restaurants may be your first thought.

Have you ever considered that you can eat a great home-cooked meals on the road that doesn’t require much cooking at all? Of course, you can always make a grocery store run & cook just as you would cook a meal at home. But, this might mean buying all of the little things like spices, oils, etc.

In this blog, we share how to eat healthy on the road without having to spend too much time cooking. Plus, you might find you can get away with packing less.

Our basic cooking essentials – do you own the following items?

  • Portable Stove
  • Small Gas Barbeque
  • Pot, Pan or both
  • Water jug container (for cooking and cleaning pots/pans)
  • Soap/Sponge (for cleaning pots/pans)
  • Utensils and Paper Plates
  • Garbage Bag
  • Lighter
  • Propane Tank + an extra
  • A good cooler (if you are on a longer road trip, we love a cooler that can plug into your car!)
  • Ice Packs or Ice Bag

Having the following items above is a great start. They don’t take up too much space and provide you with everything you need to cook, eat & clean up afterwards.

Next, how can I prepare a delicious, healthy meal with minimal cooking?

Batch cook.

Batch cooking is simply preparing meals in your home before your trip. Choosing meals that freeze easy are key. Once you have cooked your meal at home, throw it into the freezer at least 24 hours before your trip. The day you are leaving for your trip, load it into your cooler frozen then layer on your ice packs to keep it cool. When it is time to cook, all you have to do is re-heat it using your portable stove or barbeque.

Some great food suggestions –

  • Frozen cooked burgers (turkey, beef or chicken)
  • Frozen Chili or other soup
  • Meat sauce / vegetable sauce
  • Frozen breakfast sausage links
  • Taco meat
  • Foil vegetables or entrees (prepare vegetables or entrees ahead of time & wrap in foil – simply place on your BBQ grill or unwrap and place into a pot or pan)
  • Frozen pizza slices

How to re-heat your meal? Either place your frozen burger on your barbeque or add your entrée into a pan or pot to re-heat on your portable stove. Within 10 minutes or so, you’ll have a tasty meal!

Other meals that don’t require much cooking –

  • Cold Sandwiches
  • Hot Dogs
  • Yogurt
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Snack foods like rice cakes, chips, pretzels, trail mix
  • Anything that requires boiled water such as oatmeal or noodles
  • Prepared meals you enjoy eating cold (tuna salad, other cold salads and entrees)
  • Raw fruit and vegetables

We hope you found new tips that can help you eat healthy while traveling on the road. While we can’t prepare your meals for you, we can ensure you have the best coverage for your truck insurance. Whether you are shopping around for the best rate or are looking to purchase different truck insurance coverage, we are here to help.

How to Determine The Right Insurance Carrier For You

How do I choose the right insurance company when there are so many to choose from?

How to determine the right insurance carrier for youWith such a large selection to choose from, it can be hard to know which insurance company is right for you. Many people revert to shopping based solely on price or they rely on recommendations from friends and family to evaluate which insurance company to go with. But your decision should be based on more than just cost or a recommendation from a loved one. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right insurance company for your needs without having to spend hours of research.

Rankings

The results of consumer surveys are easy to find online and often offer more reliable information than individual online reviews. These surveys are generally in-depth inquiries into specific sectors of a market. Those responding to the survey will be asked several questions about their satisfaction with the insurance company and how much they pay for their various policies. You can even get insights on the best insurance company for specific issues such as claims satisfaction, availability of discounts, or customer service. Consumer survey results are available for many types of insurance including auto, home, health, and life.

Financial Stability

If an insurance company is weak financially, then there could be issues with paying incoming claims. That’s especially a concern if there’s a natural disaster and the company is hit with a large number of claims in a short amount of time. Financial stability ratings are available online and it’s worth doing some homework, especially if you’re considering going with a smaller or lesser known insurance provider.

Payment Plans

Different insurance companies take a different approach to payments. It’s best to look for a company that offers multiple payment plans. Some of the more flexible insurance companies offer discounts for automatic withdrawals or paying the premium in full. Likewise, beware of companies that charge excessive fees with each monthly payment as those costs can add up over time.

Buying Online vs Purchasing From an Independent Agent 

There are many big-name insurance companies that saturate the media with advertisements and commercials touting how much you can save in very little time. But these companies are not always the best option. While you may see and hear a lot less about independent agents, they offer some unbeatable benefits. These insurance professionals will take the time to understand your personal insurance needs and offer advice on which insurance companies are best for you. Independent agents have access to multiple insurance companies and they can effectively shop around for a policy that matches precisely what you’re looking for.

The best way to get more information on the best insurance company for you is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Call Us Today For A Free Consultation

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Tips to Be a Safer Driver

Distracted Driving Awaress MonthApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 lives were lost from distracted driving accidents. This increased 10% from 2018.

What is considered distracted driving? Any time you cannot have 100% full attention to driving your vehicle is considered distracted driving. Behaviors can range from talking on the phone, texting, talking to a passenger in your vehicle, eating, brushing your hair, adjusting settings in your vehicle or playing with your vehicle’s GPS while driving your vehicle. Unfortunately, distracted driving is more common than it should be.

Take this month to practice safe driving by eliminating any of the previously mentioned behaviors while driving. This will not only make you a safer driver, but keeps other vehicles on the road safer too.

Cell Phone Use

Cell phone use can be one of the most dangerous behaviors while driving a vehicle. Sending a text message while driving can take your eyes off the road for several seconds. Talking on the phone also creates enough distraction while driving. Here are some things to consider practicing this month –

  • Keep your phone in the back seat when driving to avoid looking at it, texting or talking. You could also consider other areas of your car like your trunk or glove box. If the glove box is tempting, place farther away from you like the back seat or trunk.
  • There are options to put a do not disturb setting on your phone while driving. This can help eliminate the distraction.
  • Make phone calls or texts before or after driving your vehicle.
  • If you are riding with a passenger, let the passenger be in charge of your phone for calls or texts.

Be Aware of Other Distracted Driving Behaviors

Do you find yourself eating in the car often? Grooming? Frequently fiddling with your entertainment system? Reaching in the back seat dealing with children? If you are guilty of these behaviors, how can you work to eliminate them?

Be a Good Role Model

Especially if you are a parent to children, you should demonstrate how to be a safe driver. Children see what you do and can easily follow in your footsteps. Cell phone use can be one of the most dangerous behaviors so practice never using your cell phone while driving. If you do not have kids, keep others you love accountable. Not only demonstrate safe driving practices while you are behind the wheel, but call out any of their behaviors you feel are unsafe while in the passenger seat.

While our agents cannot teach out how to practice safe driving, we can shop to find you the best rate for your auto insurance. Call our office for a free auto insurance quote. We’ll shop our carriers and provide you with several quotes to choose from. We’ll explain your coverage options too.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

Long Haul Truck Insurance Roseville, CaliforniaAn insurance policy usefulness is determined by the policy language used. Specific policy language determines what is covered, what is excluded and the amounts covered under the policy. Reviewing your insurance policy language every now and again may be helpful in the event of a claim, as you would have a better understanding of what may be covered.

Insurance policies are full of language and terms that may not be clear right off the bat. Many terms are specific to the industry and to the specific type of insurance that is being purchased. Two such terms are Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value. These terms can be a bit confusing to decipher between.

Replacement cost vs. Actual cash value in California:

  • Replacement cost is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Replacement costs are agreed upon by all parties before the insurance policy is finalized. If you have high-ticket items (jewelry, art, RV, boat, luxury vehicle or classic car) this may be the best type of coverage if you can afford it.
  • Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. For example, if you were in an auto accident and you had an actual cash value policy, your insurance would pay out the cost of the vehicle minus any depreciation, so if your vehicle is worth less than what you owe you would be responsible for paying that difference out of pocket, unless you had gap insurance. An actual cash value policy can put you in a tight spot if your items cost more to replace or repair than your policy pays out. Depreciation values for big ticket items like RVs or luxury cars can be quite large, so make sure that you have a nest egg and be prepared to pay some out-of-pocket for a loss if you have an actual cash value insurance policy.

No matter which policy type you choose, the local experts at Network Truck Insurance Services can answer any questions and walk you through the different types of scenarios to see which policy type is right for your situation. Network Truck Insurance Services in Roseville, California can guide you through your homeowner’s insurance policy and more, like auto insurance or truck insurance.

Our years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and we live right in your area, so know first-hand what your insurance needs might be.  You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the insurance products we offer.

Tips on Creating The Ultimate Road Trip

Creating The Ultimate Road TripDuring the pandemic, many individuals may not feel comfortable getting on an airplane. However, many still want to travel. Perhaps a road trip can be the answer. Road trips allow you to see what is between your home and destination, something that hopping on a plane doesn’t, but it is essential to have the best plan in place before you hit the road.

First off, where do you want to go?

This is the most important question. Start with your end destination. For example, say someone who lives in Washington State wants to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Start with your basic questions:

  • How much time can I spend on the road?
  • How long will it take to get to my end destination?
  • What are my route options?
  • What am I interested in seeing?
  • Is everything open that I am interested in seeing?
  • Do I want to rent a car or use my own car?

Once you answer those questions, you can begin your planning.

Grab the basics for your vehicle

It doesn’t matter if you are renting a car or using your own, it is good to have the basics in the car for your road trip.

  • Flashlight
  • Food and water
  • Owner’s manual
  • Spare tire & roadside kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Small trash bag

Adding comfort to your road trip

Comfort can come in many ways. From wearing comfortable clothes & shoes to having snacks. We will share below some items that can bring comfort to a long drive.

  • Good music playlist. Whether you create it on your phone or pack a bunch of CDs, music makes a comfortable drive. Not a music fan? What about an audio book?
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Obviously this is more important than ever with COVID-19, but having access to clean hands brings comfort.
  • Sometimes you will come across a vendor who only accepts cash. Sometimes there are tolls you have to pass that require cash. This is always good to have on hand.
  • Snacks – pack your favorites!
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cooler – this allows you to bring a variety of food choices. Especially if you don’t want to eat out every meal, packing your own meals brings safety and routine to your diet.
  • Pillow
  • Camera & camera charger (unless you use your phone for photos!)

Another common question – if I am renting a car, do I need to purchase their insurance policy?

This choice is up to you. Your auto insurance coverage would cover anything on your rental car that is covered on your personal car. Comprehensive and collision insurance is a required coverage on rental cars. If your current auto insurance coverage does not have comprehensive and collision coverage, you will need to purchase that coverage. Also, consider roadside assistance if you plan to be in an area unfamiliar to you.

What else should I know about creating the best road trip?

This may sound silly, but keep your head up and enjoy the scenery. If you are sitting in the passenger seat, it is easy to scroll through your phone instead, but sometimes the gems along the route are better than the destination.

Also, it may be fun to keep a journal of all the details of your trip. Especially if you are a fan of scrapbooking your trips, you’ll remember all the little memories that may be easy to forget.

Lastly, do some research. If you are a foodie, research the best places to eat on your route. Whether it is a simple Google search or looking at Yelp, it is easy to find tasty food.

If you have any questions about your existing auto insurance, please contact us before you hit the road. Safe travels and enjoy the open road.

Learn How Pay Per Mile Coverage is Calculated

Pay Per Mile Coverage Roswell, CaliforniaThe auto insurance industry landscape is changing as more companies embrace emerging technology. No longer are auto insurance rates based solely on your age, marital status, where you live, or the number of violations that you have. Instead, some companies are also basing their rating structures on how you drive, when you drive, and even where you drive. These models are often called Usage Based Insurance (UBI) or Pay-Per-Mile Insurance (PPMI) programs. And the adoption rates of these new rating variables varies across insurance companies. Some base their rates almost entirely on these new metrics whereas others have been slower to shift from traditional rating structures. Details regarding the type of data collected and the methods of data collection for these new programs are below:

Type of Data Collected:

Most insurance companies collect a wide range of data for their UBI programs. Some of the most common of these variables include the following:

  • Hard Brakes/Hard Acceleration: Hard braking or fast accelerations are signs of aggressive driving which data suggests increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Maintaining assured clear distance with the cars ahead of you and accelerating smoothly are ways to ensure this variable doesn’t increase your premium.
  • When You’re Driving Data suggests that between midnight and 4am are the riskiest times to be on the road. So, if possible, avoid late night driving when participating in a UBI program.
  • How Much You’re Driving, The more you’re on the road, the higher the chances that you’ll be involved in an accident. Those with low annual miles tend to get the most favorable rates from UBI programs.

Data Collection Methods

You might be wondering how insurance companies even get access to your driving behavior data. There are two primary data collection methods:

  • Proprietary Apps – Some insurance companies have created their own proprietary app which customers download to their phones for purposes of recording driving behavior. The app uses the technology embedded in the phone to collect hard brakes, GPS, date/time, etc and then wirelessly sends that data to the insurance company.
  • Plug-In Devices –  Every car manufactured since 1996 has an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port which allows for real-time monitoring of the vehicle. Some insurance companies have created a device that a customer can plug into this port. The device then collects the vehicle information and wirelessly sends that data to the company.

The best way to determine whether a UBI program is best for you is to ask a licensed agent in our office. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Auto Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.

5 Simple Tips to Avoid Having Your Vehicle Stolen

Preventing Car Theft in Roseville, CaliforniaAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds in the United States. Having your vehicle stolen is not only a huge inconvenience, but it is also frightening and violating experience that can sometimes be avoided by taking certain precautions.

5 Tips to Avoid Your Car from Being Stolen:

  • At nighttime, always park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Thieves thrive in dark places where they can easily be hidden.
  • Keep the inside of your car clean and avoid leaving valuables exposed. Use your trunk if you are transporting valuables.
  • Always lock your car door and windows. The most basic tip of them all. Many people feel comfortable leaving their car unlocked while it’s parked at their home or other safe areas. Get in the habit of always locking your car to avoid any unexpected surprises.
  • Keep your spare key in your home, not under your car. Thieves tend to check for spare keys in common areas like under the car.
  • Invest in an alarm system or anti-theft device. The simplest form of protection is an anti-theft device like an alarm or a wheel locking device such as “The Club.”

While these tips can’t guarantee your car will never be stolen, protecting your assets in the event of a car theft can be as simple as having the right insurance policy. Investing in comprehensive coverage will cover the loss of car theft. Contact your licensed insurance agent at Network Truck Insurance Services to make sure you have this coverage is on your insurance policy.

Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires – Which Type of Tire Should You Have?

Choosing winter tires or all-season tires for your vehicle in Roseville, CAWinter driving brings a whole new element of risk to the road. Driver’s concentration and a car’s integrity are continuously put to the test in frigid weather. Making the decision to change your tires at the right time will keep you safe and will help you to avoid accidents in winter weather. If you live in a seasonal state, then most agree that it’s best to have two sets of tires for your vehicle: a set of all-season tires and a set of winter tires.

What are winter tires?

Winter tires are engineered to perform best on icy roads in sub-zero temperatures. The tread compound is specifically designed to allow for better traction when stopping. This tread gives the tires a better grip on icy roads.

In fact, on average, winter tires can reduce stopping distance by up to 25% on slippery roads – that can mean the difference between stopping well before the car in front of you and a rear-end collision.

What about all-season tires?

Some people, however, argue that all-season tires are just as capable and safe as winter tires considering their name and from experience. But all-season tires have two considerable compositional downfalls when it comes to driving in icy, snowy, or slippery conditions. 

In order to be more durable, all-season tires are designed using a harder and longer-wearing rubber compound than is used in winter tires. This specialized rubber stiffens as temperatures drop, which results in a loss of tire flexibility. The less flexible a tire is, the worse its grip on the road. Moreover, when compared to winter tires, they simply have less surface contact with the ground which results in decreased traction.

How do different sets of tires affect auto insurance policy rates?

Very few insurance companies offer a discount for winter tire use. So switching from all-season tires to winter tires won’t have a direct impact on your auto insurance premiums. However, winter tires have a better chance of keeping you from an accident in cold weather conditions. Avoiding accidents will help to keep your auto insurance rates low.

While winter tires won’t prevent all auto accidents, they certainly lower your driving risk and tend to perform better in snowy conditions than all-season tires. As a result, you can expect a safer winter driving experience which will ultimately result in lower insurance premiums for you in the long run.

If you have questions about auto insurance rates, please call one of our authorized insurance agents. We can assist you with assessing your insurance needs and provide you with some quotes from several of the top insurance companies.

Get A Quote For Your Auto Insurance Today

Our licensed staff is ready to help you get multiple auto insurance quotes. Because we’re an independent insurance agent we can shop from multiple insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price.