March 2021

How Landscaping Can Lower Your Premium

You can add beauty and value to your property with properly maintained landscaping, while poorly maintained or neglected landscaping can decrease both. Landscaping can have the same effect on your premiums. Here are some ways landscaping can lower premiums.

Trim your trees. Cutting and trimming your trees can lower your insurance premiums by reducing the risk to your property and others around you. Branches that are too close to your home can destroy roofs, damage siding and break windows. Dead branches pose a risk if they fall. They could cause property damage or personal injury.

Stop burglars. Landscaping can lower risk and thus potentially lower your insurance premiums by being a well-placed barrier to entry to your home. Trees or bushes in the right place, such as in front of easily accessible windows or other entry points, can serve as an effective barrier to thieves. Eliminate hiding places by keeping large bushes and trees neatly trimmed.

Watch the water. Landscaping can help lower your insurance premiums by acting as an effective barrier to floods and water damage. Place the right amount and kind of landscaping (such as trees, flowers and grass that crave and absorb water) so it does not reach any part of the structure and cause water damage that can then take thousands of dollars and months to repair. Avoiding such risks can potentially lower your homeowners insurance premium. Similarly, make sure the land is graded properly so that water can drain from it. Think about drainage, or better yet, consult with a professional with experience in land grading whenever you add or remove landscaping to protect your property from disaster.

Contacting our office today can help you make the right decisions so your landscaping choices not only improve the outside of your home but makes sense for your bottom line as well.
Other safety features like warning systems and anti-lock brakes can help reduce the likelihood of a crash and further reduce the likelihood of claims.

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just send us an email and submit your answer.

How many times can glass be recycled? 

Last month's winners were:
BLarry Jognson
Christina Schwarzwalter
Mayra Mendoza

White Bean & Tuna Salad

For when you don't feel like cooking, this healthy protein-packed salad is perfect for a light meal in warmer weather.

Serves 4

Ingredients

• 2 6-oz. cans tuna packed in oil
• 2 bunches watercress, tough stems removed and leaves chopped (about 2 quarts)
• 2 15-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon drained capers
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
• finely chopped parsley to garnish (optional)

Place tuna (with oil), watercress, beans, red onion, capers, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.

Note: The oil in the tuna counts as part of the dressing. If there is less than 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil per can, add extra oil to make up the difference.
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As we continue to social isolate, working from home (WFH) life can start to feel overwhelming. I’ve put together a helpful guide to help you bust some bad habits and help you become your most productive self.

Restoring Biodiversity: Tiny Forests Have Mighty Impactr

When it comes to boosting biodiversity and creating green spaces, the West has taken inspiration from the East. Utilizing the methods of one of Japan's most respected botanists, organizations in Europe are creating tiny forests that thrive amidst urban landscapes.

Holland's Tiny Forest Initiative and Urban Forests, based in France and Belgium, have taken a sustainable leaf out of Akira Miyawaki's book to create small but mighty woodlands in their local areas. In 1970, Miyawaki discovered that the trees around his homeland's religious shrines tended to be native species, but he later found that only 0.06 percent of Japanese forests were made up of indigenous trees.

In response, he pioneered a method of restoring native forests on deforested or degraded plots of land. The Miyawaki Method created more than 1,700 forests throughout Asia, a staggering 96.7 percent of which developed resilient ecosystems in less than 10 years.

The method serves as a blueprint for volunteers in Europe, who plant clusters of indigenous seedlings that grow to become fully fledged and biodiverse ecosystems. Even in areas as small as a tennis court, these tiny forests restore soil, preserve water and air quality and attract flora and fauna. Since these small green spaces grow 10 times faster and are 30 times denser and 100 times more biodiverse than a conventional plantation, they are a sustainable way to combat climate change, foot by foot.

The small-scale patches of greenery aren't just pleasant spots for insects and small mammals but for people, too, often serving as meeting places for local communities.
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5 Things You Didn't Know Were Covered by Auto Insurance
When it comes to fender benders, keyed cars and windshields damaged by stray rocks, you know your auto insurance policy has you covered. But did you know that your policy may also cover more unusual circumstances? Below are four such circumstances.

When rodents make your car their new home: Rodents can decide to make a new residence under your hood. This can lead to interfering with the operation of your vehicle. Especially if your vehicle is parked for a lengthy period of time, you should check to see if you have an "other than collision" clause that covers any rodent-created damage.

When potholes cause issues: Pothole accidents are categorized as collisions by many auto insurance policies. If so, the damage caused by a run-in with a pothole will be covered by your policy.

When your child's car seat is part of an accident: During crashes, various parts of your vehicle can be impacted in a severe manner. One less obvious point of impact may be your child's car seat. After an accident, it may be damaged, and it's a good idea to replace it. Your auto insurance policy may cover the cost of replacement.

When your furry friend needs care: Dogs love their owners' cars, and if your dog is ever injured as a result of an accident, your auto insurance may cover the vet bills.

When you miss work due to a car accident injury: Your policy may cover a portion of your lost income.

If you experience any of these issues, call or email our office to determine whether your policy covers them.