Tips to Rejuvenate a Run-Down Patio on a Budget

Have you noticed your patio in Pismo Beach, CA looking a bit shabby lately? Here are a few super-easy ways to rejuvenate that patio even if you’re on a tight budget. 

  • Have pests taken over the patio due to debris blown in by the wind? After cleaning up the debris stop pests by replacing regular mulch with pine cones. Amazingly, these spiny cones deter pests and pets looking to dig.
  • Give that boring concrete a new look with some color. A little paint can bring color and fun! Create a fun pattern to mimic carpet, game boards like Twister, or mimic the appearance of an upscale stone patio.
  • Don’t pitch that rusty metal patio furniture. Give it a rust-busting makeover with a wire brush, sandpaper, or steel wool with a little vinegar to scrub it away. Then you can give it all a new paint job with some vibrant paint colors.
  • Build an easy mini fire pit to create a nice focal point for guests. It adds some fun and function. You can make a small pit with heat-resistant fire bricks, stacking them in two or three layers in a small circle on a stone slab. Tada! A small fire pit.
  • If your patio is cluttered with outdoor items, paint wooden crates in fun colors to organize and store these items. You can arrange them to appear interesting or add wheels to make them mobile.

Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc

We know Pismo Beach, CA is a great place to enjoy a patio in your home, and we want to make sure you have the right homeowner’s insurance to cover that home you love. Contact a Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc experienced agent today to review your home insurance options.

All About Putting Your Kid on Your Auto Insurance Policy

When it comes time for your teenager to start driving, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make sure he is insured. Most teenagers are part-time drivers and go on their parent’s auto insurance policy. Read on to learn the answers to common questions and concerns parents having when taking this big step.

When do I add my teen to my insurance policy?

As soon as he gets his learner’s permit, you should call your insurance company and add him to your policy.  

Will adding my teen to my auto insurance policy increase my rates?

Yes.  However, it is typically cheaper to add a teen to an existing parent policy than getting his own auto insurance policy.  

How can I save money when I add my teen to my auto insurance policy?  

There are more ways to save money on your auto insurance policy. Some of these include:

  • Insuring multiple vehicles with the same insurance company you may be able to get a discount.  
  • Bundling home owner’s insurance and other insurance policies with the same company.  
  • Driving safe, modest vehicles over sporty, expensive cars.  
  • Increasing your deductible amount.  

To learn more about adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy in Pismo Beach, CA, contact the expert insurance agents at Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc. You may be eligible for discounts you didn’t even know about, especially if your driving situation has changed or you have reached a certain age. To reach Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc serving Pismo Beach, CA, you can call us at 805-773-1710 and speak with one of our friendly agents.  


Does an Inground Pool Increase Home Insurance?

When people think about putting in an inground pool on their residential property, they often wonder how it will affect their home insurance. Truth is, it depends on the exact policy that a person has as to how an inground pool will impact it. This is why it is so important to speak with your insurance agent to learn how your policy will change if you add an inground pool to your property. 

Many home insurance policies will cover an inground pool, but adding this coverage will likely increase your premium. Depending on your insurance service provider, it may cause your policy premium to increase by 10 to 20 percent; this is why it is important to shop around for a good rate. Generally, it will add about $50 to your premium. Keep in mind, though, that some carriers look at an inground pool to be covered under replacement cost value or under personal property limit. 

Some insurance companies will consider an inground pool to be some type of external structure, meaning it is on the property but does not qualify as part of a policyholder’s personal property. If this is the case, the pool will need to be listed separately on the policy to ensure it has proper coverage. 

Claims related to inground pools are typically small in number because it takes a lot to damage these types of pools. The most general types of claims relating to swimming pools is some type of personal injury claim. 

If you would like more information on how an inground pool will affect your homeowners insurance, contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc serving the Pismo Beach, CA area. 

Drive Safely at Dawn and Dusk

In Pismo Beach, CA, you may be the early bird that catches the worm or like to stay after office hours to get things done. Those habits may catch you driving at dawn or dusk, which can be particularly hazardous. The street, other cars, pedestrians, and road marking may be shrouded in the dark of long shadows. But the sky may be bright from the sun, making it difficult for your eyes to adjust to the dark. You also risk looking at the sun directly, which may blind you to traffic.

Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc wants you to drive safely at these times by following these tips.

  • Before it gets dark, turn on your headlamps. When the sun hangs low in the sky, switch your headlights on. They’ll illuminate the things that are obscured by the shadows and they’ll make you more visible to approaching traffic. They’ll also encourage other drivers to start turning their lights on so you can see them.

  • Keep your headlights clean. They won’t be effective at their jobs if they’re dirty or cloudy. Make it a habit of giving them a good wipe before you start out in the morning. If they’re beginning to look a little unclear, use a headlight restoration kit that you can purchase online or at auto centers. They can minimize scratches and discoloration that can occur over the years.

  • Increase your following distance. Given the unusual lighting conditions, it may be more difficult for you to recognize and react to hazardous situations. Rather than remaining the usual three or four seconds behind the car in front, allow at least four seconds to allow you extra time to brake if necessary.

If you do get into an accident at dawn, dusk, or any other times, adequate insurance can protect you. Contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc to find out how.

Tips for Decorating Your Dining Room

When it comes to decorating your house on a budget, there are several tips for you to keep in mind. From shopping at thrift stores to going online and doing your shopping, there are more than enough strategies you can follow to help you save money. And best of all, when you take advantage of these strategies, you will be able to select from a vast selection of decorations. Let’s take a quick look at the best tips you can follow for decorating your dining room. 

What look are you going for?

You need to decide beforehand the type of look you are going for before you actually go shopping. For example, if you are wanting to achieve a Tuscan look, then it is helpful to know this as you are shopping both at brick and mortar stores or online. If you are shopping online, you can, of course, take advantage of keywords. When doing an online search for dining room decorations, type in the phrase ‘Tuscan dining room’ and this will give you a massive search results list of stores that sell this type of decoration. 

Select dining room furniture

Some furniture pieces are meant for living room areas while others are meant for dining rooms. This is why it is so important to select dining room furniture when you are wanting to decorate this area of your home. Dining room furniture is designed for the activities that take place in a dining room, so make sure you shop for this type of furniture when you start on your decoration endeavor. 

To learn more about decorating your dining room, as well as about home insurance, please contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc serving the Pismo Beach, CA area. 

Top Auto Insurance Myths

Auto insurance is one of those things that many people do not understand even if they think they do. In fact, there are many myths that people believe to be true. To help you distinguish between these myths, Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, serving Pismo Beach, CA, has complied a list of some of the most common ones.

Red Cars Cost More to Insure

Many people think that red cars are more expensive for auto insurance policies but the color of the car is not taken into account. The factors that are considered include the make, model, age, engine size, and body style of the car as well as the age, driving record, and credit history of the driver.

Your Car Will Be Paid For If Totaled

Many people think that if their car is totaled in an accident that the insurance policy will pay for it in full. However, this is not the case. Most policies will actually pay for the fair market value of the car. The fair market value takes into account the original cost of the car and then deducts depreciation. In many cases, this is not enough to pay for the entire balance of the vehicle and as the driver, you will be left paying for the remainder.

Your Rates Increase As You Age

This myth could not be further from the truth. As people get older, they tend to get cheaper rates because they are viewed as more mature drivers by the insurance companies. You may even be able to get additional discounts after age 55.

If you are looking for a great auto insurance policy, be sure to reach out to Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, serving Pismo Beach, CA, for a free quote and policy evaluation.

How sand and wind can hurt your car in Pismo Beach

If you’ve managed to secure yourself a cozy little home in Pismo Beach, CA, then you don’t need us to tell you that you lucked out, and you should do everything in your power to make sure you never have to leave. Real estate prices are only getting higher in California, and Pismo Beach is no exception. Everyone in the world wants to kick back on the beaches of the West Coast, but only a select few are lucky enough to do so.

That said, there are some downsides to living right on the beach. Namely, all that sand and wind can file away at your car like a power sander on an eggshell.

It’s a basic two-step process: The sand clings to your car, and the wind coming in from the ocean brushes it across the surface like a jagged, chipped nail file.

Here’s how you prevent it:

  1. Make sure to keep your car clean. If the sand isn’t allowed to sit, then it won’t be allowed to saw away at your car’s clear coat or the paint underneath.
  2. Blast your engine clean. It takes awhile for enough sand to collect inside the car to do any internal damage, but whenever you fill your tires, you might as well blow some air under the hood, too.
  3. Don’t park right at the beach if you can help it. Not only will this keep too much sand from collecting on your car, but it will also make it easier to leave without being blocked in.

You can get a policy through Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc that will take the wear and tear into account, but Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc can’t prevent the damage from taking place in the first place. If you live in Pismo Beach, CA, learn to manage sand and the wind.

Myths You Need to Know About Home Insurance

The internet has made finding information easier than ever. However, it has also made it easier for myths to spread and for some people to believe they are truths. When you are buying home insurance, you need to know what is a myth and what is fact. Here are three common home insurance myths and the truths surrounding them.

Floods Are Covered By Home Insurance

Floods are typically not covered by home insurance. They are typically excluded from coverage. However, this does not mean you cannot protect your home from a flood. If you are worried about flooding, you will want a supplemental or separate home flood insurance policy.

Mold is Covered By Home Insurance

Mold can cost thousands of dollars to remediate. Unfortunately, mold is not always covered by home insurance. If the mold is caused by a flood in your home, it is often excluded, just like a flood. However, if the mold is caused by something covered by home insurance, such as a leaky pipe, the mold will likely be covered. So in this case, there is some truth to this myth, but not all mold is covered.

You Get What You Paid for Your Items When You File a Home Insurance Claim

The last home insurance myth is that you will get what you paid if belongings in your home are damaged or are stolen. This is not the case. You will receive fair market value for the items. This means that if you paid $500 for a television two years ago, you might only receive $200 for the television, as that is all a two-year-old television may be worth. This helps to ensure you have the money to replace the item that is missing, without benefiting from the incident.

If you have any questions about home insurance policies, or you are in the market for a new policy, contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, serving the greater Pismo Beach, CA area. We can help to answer all of your questions and provide you with great insurance coverage. Call us now to get started.

How driver aid technology will decrease auto accidents

Even though the time when driverless cars will change the way we go from place to place is still in the future, driver aid technology is starting to make commuting safer than has been the case. According to Forbes, just $600 in new driver aid features could save the United States as much as $202 billion in accident costs every year.

You have doubtless seen some of these features advertised already. Blind spot warning systems ensure that you do not shift lanes into another car that you can’t see in your side mirror. Lane changing warnings make sure that you stay in your lane unless you consciously signal your intention to do move into another. Forward collision warning technology alerts you if you are about to cause a rear-end collision into a car ahead of you. All of these features are designed to mitigate against distracted driving.

Carnegie Mellon University just concluded a study suggesting that, if every car had these three simple systems, costing $600 per vehicle, the monetary savings are just the beginning. They could prevent or lessen the severity of 1.3 million crashes per year, including 133,000 that would result in injuries to drivers and passengers. 10,000 fatalities could be prevented every year.

The message from the study could not be clearer. If you buy a new car with driver aid features installed, you will be less likely to be in an auto accident and therefore less likely to be injured or killed on the road. Of course, even with new technology, sound driving habits and keeping your attention on the road are paramount.

For any questions you might have on auto insurance, feel free to contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc serving Pismo Beach, CA

Keeping Your House Safe While on Vacation

While you may imagine that most burglaries in Pismo Beach, CA take place under the cover of darkness, the fact is that most burglaries take place during the day, when people tend NOT to be home. If you’re on vacation, leaving your house unoccupied around the clock, it becomes even more of a target.

Criminals tend to watch certain neighborhoods and houses, looking for the perfect target.  For an unsuspecting family on vacation, an unprotected house is vulnerable to thieves. To avoid coming home to such a scenario, there are a few precautionary measures you can take.

1.  Hire a House Sitter

There are people who make careers out of house sitting in Pismo Beach CA. These people live in your house, take in your mail, set your security alarm, and many will even take care of your pets. The charge is typically a flat daily rate which is worth it for peace of mind and robbery prevention.

2.  Ask a Friend to Stay Over

If you can’t find a professional house sitter in your area who is available for your next vacation, ask a friend or family member to stay in your house. Have a nephew in college who could use the extra money? A friend who could use a change of scenery?  Reach out and see what kind of feedback you get.

3.  Ask Neighbors to Keep an Eye Out

If having someone stay at the property while you’re away doesn’t work out, ask a neighbor to grab your mail for you and to keep an eye on your house for anything out of the ordinary. Let them know you will gladly return the favor.

You work hard for your belongings. At Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, we work hard for you, too. Protect your property with excellent home insurance coverage. Our agents are ready to answer all of your questions at Neff & Associates Insurance Services today.