It's Cold Outside....
How to keep your home warm and safe with regular chimney maintenance
Lighting a fire on a cold night or turning on the furnace is a great way to stay warm. Although these appliances can provide ambiance and relaxation, you may not be thinking about how your home’s chimney can expose you to the risks of carbon monoxide buildup and fire. Usually, only fireplaces are associated with chimneys. However, other common appliances—such as furnaces and water heaters—also require outdoor chimneys, which are commonly called vents. All of these chimneys function similarly, and they require regular maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly.
Without regular maintenance, your chimneys can become damaged or obstructed by a buildup of creosote—an oily, black residue that is highly combustible and can block ventilation. Your chimneys should be inspected every year, preferably before winter sets in:
Q: What do I need to do if I get into an accident?
A: Get to a safe location, exchange information with the other parties, take pictures, obtain license plate information of other vehicle and then report the claim to your insurance company.
Q: What do i need to know about my deductible?
A: your deductible applies to YOUR car in the event of a covered loss, and it applies mainly to collision and comprehensive coverages and does not apply to liability or medical coverages.
Q: What are the different insurance options?
A: There are several insurance options, starting from the basic state required coverage and several additional coverages. Some of these coverages are briefly outlined here:
A: The answer to this question is always “it depends”. On one hand, there is a certain level of coverage that is required to satisfy state regulations, however if you do not carry enough coverage, your assets will be at risk. Talk to your agent about the best options for protecting your assets.
Q: What if i get locked out of my car? Does my insurance cover that?
A: Yes! if you have towing coverage, then you should be covered for all towing and labor charges including those pesky times when you lock your keys in your car. Check with your agent to see if your policy covers this.
Q:Am I still covered if I make modifications to my vehicle?
A: As always, it depends. Most policies only cover factory parts, or you are only covered up to $1,000 for any after market parts on your vehicle. Ask your agent how this affects your vehicle and how you can get additional coverages to protect your vehicle.
Why are you interested in insurance?
I am interested in insurance because it is a unique industry in which we can help individuals protect the assets that they spent their entire lives accumulating. People often tend to ignore insurance because it little to no room for financial gain. I feel it is important to educate people on the importance of protecting their assets before accumulating more wealth in order to ensure stability in their lives. This leaves me with a purpose of being able to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them prepare for the unexpected and avoiding the financial disasters than can occur from a lack of protection.
Tell me a little about your experience?
My experience starts at a very young age. I grew up in a family of Insurance agents (parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins, etc.) that have taught me the importance of protecting yourself from uncontrollable circumstances. Hearing about claims at the dinner table or just hanging around my parent’s office after school allowed me to listen and hear many different circumstances to where insurance was helpful to people and even some to where certain coverages were declined, leading to disastrous financial implications. Nearing the end of high school I took my insurance licensing test and passed as probably one of the youngest insurance agents ever. I spent some summers working in my mother’s office and learning the ins and outs while attending college. I later attended Westmont College and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business. I spent some time working in a Post office, at a Financial Advising Firm as an intern, and even in outside sales. Eventually, I felt a desire to come back and continue working in the insurance industry. I have been a full-time employee at TWFG Insurance Services since March of 2015, I have learned so much from great teachers and been able to advise many clients on the best way I think to minimize their risk of loss. I look forward to continuing to learn the rest of my life and pass that knowledge down to others who can truly benefit from it
What is your role at the office?
My role at the office is mainly as a producer. I work with mostly personal lines clients and write the new business that comes through our office. I also spend time servicing customers who need to make policy changes and am especially good at finding insurance for hard to place risks such as properties in Tahoe or high value properties that many insurance companies will not accept according to their guidelines. I also like to think that I am a student here as well since I am always learning from the best in the industry and am continuing my insurance education as I am on the path to obtaining my Charted Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) designation over the next year
What are your hobbies?
I love to play sports such as rugby, football, baseball and even love weight lifting. I also am very interested in world’s space exploration and love cutting edge science achievements that get posted in Popular Science magazines or news online. I also love spending time with my new wife Amanda and going on date nights with her when we have the opportunity.
What is one thing you want your customers to know?
If there is one thing I want my customers to know about me is that I am a Second Degree Blackbelt. The reason I say this is because it is a sign of honor, commitment and dedication to excellence that is very hard to achieve. Having this can show them that I will be committed to their situation and have a degree of honor to uphold when working in society and with my clients.
Anything else that you want to share?
Lastly, I want to say that I am very thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and will continue to make my friends and family proud of who I have become and developed into as a young man. I hope to continue to grow and pass a legacy of strong character down to my friends, family and others I meet as the years go on.
Rose Morales has been serving customers in the Insurance business for almost 18 years. Rose got her start in Insurance in 1998 after working at Orchard Supply for several years as an assistant secretary. Rose had decided that she wanted to make a career change and applied to work in an office run by our very own Cindy Bartlett, who at the time was working for Allstate Insurance Company. In 2011, when Cindy left Allstate to join Mark at TWFG Insurance Services, Rose joined her. At TWFG rose is both and agent and a customer service representative. Since making the move over to TWFG with Cindy, Rose has particularly enjoyed the added flexibility of being able to offer her customers a wide range of policies and coverage from the several different insurance companies that they have appointments with. Rose says that after several years of servicing a policy for a customer they begin to feel like family and it is nice to be able to have lots of flexible options for them when those life changes occur, like hesitantly adding a teenage driver to an auto policy for the first time.
When she isn’t helping customers with their policies, Rose is helping stray kitties find homes. Rose volunteers for Purrfect Cat Rescue, a local cat rescue that works to reduce the number of stray and abandoned cats in Fremont, Newark and Union City. If you visit rose in the office you are sure to catch a glimpse of her adorable kitten calendar, but if you don’t see the calendar, you’ll definitely see the pictures of her adorable grandson who is her top priority.
So if you want to see pictures of cute cats, kids or just be greeted with a warm smile and a wealth of knowledge in insurance, stop by our office to say hello to Rose. She’s a customer service expert and would be happy to help you find the best policy for your needs. Did we mention she speaks Spanish?
Luci is one of our newer team members, who joined the team at the Flack-Bartlett Insurance Agency on April 24th of last year. When she started, Luci was new to the world of insurance, but she brought to the team a range of experience in customer service from working in home care support to shop management and reception. Luci is trained in all aspects of the office, but her work is mostly geared towards excellent customer service, handling mortgage changes and cancellations. Luci says that she enjoys working at the Flack-Bartlett Insurance Agency because, “it allows me to use both my relational side and my analytical side to help customers”.
Something that Luci would like her customers to know is that she is here to help. With her extensive customer service background as well as a great team of coworkers by her side, she is confident that she is able to meet her customers insurance needs.
Her supervisors say that Luci loves challenges, is very respectful and a real team player. Luci is not afraid of taking on any challenge; even eating chocolate covered worms with her boss.
When she isn’t at the office, Luci enjoys anything crafty from painting and drawing to sewing, scrapbooking and DIY projects. She also enjoys the outdoors hiking, camping and fishing.