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How to Maximize Your Brakes

Try out these tips to help your car’s brakes last longer.

Many drivers wonder when they need to repair and replace their car’s brakes.  However, there is no hard rule when it come’s to brakes.  Ultimately, how often you need to inspect your brakes depends on your driving habits and the driving conditions your car faces.  If you feel that you replace your brakes too frequently, then try out these tips to extend the lifetime of your brakes.

1) Slow Down

The faster you are going, the more strain you are putting on our brakes when you want to stop.  Oftentimes, there is no real need for drivers to drive as quickly as they are.  So, to preserve your car’s brakes, avoid speeding and follow the posted speed limit.  Reducing your speed will add hundreds of thousand of miles to the lifetime of your brakes.

2) Don’t Ride Your Brakes

Some drivers have a tendency to ride their brakes to keep their car moving at a constant speed.  In fact, some drivers even apply their brakes at the same time they are trying to accelerate.  If you are guilty of this, then be aware that you are placing extreme stress on your brakes.  Simply refraining from such bad habits will increase both the effectiveness and lifetime of your brakes.

3) Coast

Another easy way to reduce the strain on your brakes is by cruising along.  If you know that you have an impending stop, then take your foot off the accelerator and let the momentum of the vehicle carry you forward.  This will gradually reduce your speed and, as a result, reduce the stress on your brakes when you use them to stop.

4) Change Your Brake Fluid

Finally, your brake fluid needs to be changed every two years or so.  Over time, water can enter you brake fluid resulting in corrosion.  By replacing your brake fluid, you can preserve your braking system and ensure that your brakes will continue to work as effectively as possible.

Making sure that your brakes are operating properly is an important part of safe driving.  Want another way to stay safe while you’re on the road?  Then make sure that you have the right auto insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to fit your needs, contact the team at Kosich Insurance.  Serving Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and cities throughout California, we are ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.

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Prepare Your Home While You’re Away on a Winter Vacation

From repelling rodents to reviewing your home insurance in Clearlake, California, take these precautions to protect your home while you’re away.

Whether you’re trying to escape the cold or just heading out to meet up with family, many people take vacations during the winter months.  If you’re planning on going away this season, then make sure that you prepare your home for your absence.  From unplugging appliances to reviewing you home insurance in Clearlake, California, here are a few things you should do to protect your home.

Keep Rodents Away

During the colder months, rodents like to sneak their way into homes to stay warm and have easy access to food.  To keep rats and mice from infiltrating your home while you’re away, make sure that you seal any non-perishable food items in airtight containers with lids.  Additionally, give your kitchen a thorough cleaning, making sure to remove any traces of food that might attract rodents.

Unplug Appliances

Even if you aren’t using them, appliances that are plugged in are still consuming energy.  This of course translates into a higher energy bill.  To avoid unnecessary energy usage while you’re away, make sure you unplug all unnecessary appliances.  For instance, you should be save to unplug your televisions, washer and dryer, and lamps.

Invest in a Security System

You might want to consider investing in a home security system while you’re away.  Having a security system in place will protect your home against the threats posed by burglars, vandals, and squatters.  Additionally, if you choose a security system that offers 24-hour fire watch, then you can protect your home from the risk of fire as well.

Review Your Home Insurance

Finally, it’s important to make sure your home is protected even while you’re away.  Before you set off on your vacation, make sure your review your homeowners insurance policy.  Check to make sure that your home has adequate coverage to protect it from bad weather, thieves, and vandals.  Knowing that your home has the proper insurance protections in place will give you peace of mind while you’re on vacation.

Take these steps to adequately protect your home while you’re away.  If you have any questions about your home insurance in Clearlake, California, then trust the experts at Kosich Insurance.  Serving Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and communities throughout California, contact us for assistance with all your insurance needs.

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Tips for Nighttime Driving

Try out these safety tips for nighttime driving.

During the winter months, the days get shorter and the nights longer.  This means that many people find themselves driving at night more frequently.  While you might consider driving in the dark little more than an annoyance, it’s important to remember that nighttime driving does have its own dangers.  To protect yourself and other drivers around you, consider these safety tips for nighttime driving.

Use Your Lights Correctly

While this may seem like a no brainer, it’s important to use your lights when driving in the dark.  Switching on your headlights will help you see and will ensure that other drivers see you.  If you are driving in urban or heavily populated areas, then refrain from using your high beams.  The bright lights could blind oncoming traffic.  If you are in a rural or unlit area, then you should be safe to use your high beams.  Just be sure to switch your high beams off when your see a car approaching.

Drive Defensively

Because your visibility is reduced at night, it’s important that you drive more carefully and defensively.  Drive more slowly, leave a greater distance between your car and the car in front of you, and be more vigilant about your surroundings.  Driving more defensively will give you adequate time to react to traffic hazards and could help you avoid getting into a collision.

Be Well Rested

Finally, it’s important to make sure that you are well-rested before setting off on a drive.  When it gets dark, our bodies naturally prepare us for sleep.  As a result, this can leave you feeling sluggish and drowsy.  To avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, make sure that you are well-rested.  Additionally, caffeinated drinks can also help you feel more alert.  If you find yourself dozing off as you drive, pull over and rest.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Protect yourself and other drivers by taking these safety tips for nighttime driving.  Want another way to stay safe on the road?  The make sure you have the right auto insurance to address your needs.  To find the best policies for you, turn to the professionals at Kosich Insurance.  Serving Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and communities throughout California, contact us to get covered today.

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Participate in Small Business Saturday

Learn how you can get involved this Small Business Saturday on November 25th .

Small Business Saturday is a retail holiday that falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  The event, originally hosted by American Express, was designed to encourage holiday shoppers to support some of their local small businesses.  Small businesses are the heart of the local and national economy, so it’s important that everyone do their part to make sure American small businesses continue to survive.  Whether you are a small business owner or a customer, find out how you can get involved this Small Business Saturday.

Small Businesses

If you are a business owner participating in Small Business Saturday, then here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Create promotional materials– The first thing you should do is create promotional materials announcing your business’s participation in Small Business Saturday. You can go onto American Express’s website and make these advertisements for free.
  • Announce on social media– Another great way to prepare for Small Business Saturday is by posting about your business’s participation on social media. If your business doesn’t already have a Facebook page or Twitter account, then now is an excellent time to make one.  Use the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday, #shopsmall, and #smallbusiness in your promotional posts.
  • Throw a special event– Finally, a great way to generate interest in your business is by holding a special in-store event for customers on Small Business Saturday. Hold a sale, offer seasonal refreshments, or offer small gifts with every purchase.  These are all ways to get customers walking through your doors!

Customers

If you are a customer, then make sure you do your part by supporting local small businesses.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Support online– You can help small businesses by sharing your support for Small Business Saturday online and on social media. This is a great way to reach out to your friends and followers and encourage them to support local businesses in their area.
  • Patronize other small businesses– Retail stores aren’t the only small businesses that need your support this Small Business Saturday. Make sure other small businesses are feeling the love by visiting independent cafes, eating at locally-owned restaurants, and making an appointment at an independent salon.  Patronizing these small businesses are a great way to support your local community.

With these tips, everyone can get involved this Small Business Saturday!  If you are a small business owner, then make sure you have the right insurance protection to keep your business safe.  To find the right commercial policy for you, trust the experts at Kosich Insurance.   Our dedicated team works to serve the insurance needs of everyone in Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and throughout California.  Contact us to get covered today!

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Easy Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

Try out these easy Thanksgiving road trip tips to make your holiday travels go more smoothly.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving means taking a road trip to meet up with family and friends.  If you’re travelling this Thanksgiving, make sure your drive is relaxing and stress-free.  Try out these easy Thanksgiving road trip tips to make Thanksgiving travels a much more pleasant experience.

1) Keep it clean

If you’re going to spend an extended period of time in your car, then make sure your car is a pleasant environment to be in.  Clean up clutter, wipe down sticky surfaces, and try to freshen things up with a festive air freshener.  As you continue your travels, try to keep your car as clean as possible.  This means discarding trash and wiping down surfaces as you go in order to maintain an enjoyable travelling atmosphere.

2) Be prepared

Before you set out on your road trip, make sure you are prepared for an emergency situation.  This means having a first aid kit, maps, extra changes of clothes, and other emergency provisions in your car.  Don’t let emergencies catch you by surprise, anticipate that things will go awry and plan for these imagined scenarios.

3) Set a schedule

Another thing you should do before setting out on the road is making sure that you have a schedule.  If you are embarking on a multiple day drive, then plan for how many hours of driving you will do a day.  Be reasonable about your estimations.  For instance, planning to drive for 12 hours a day isn’t doable for most people.  So, plan your breaks and schedule where you will stay overnight.  This will help you feel more comfortable and less rushed when you do start your road trip.

4) Have entertainment

The long hours spent in a car can be dreadfully tedious.  That’s why it’s important to have some entertainment plans.  Bringing along a collection of your favorite music to sing along to can definitely help ease the boredom.  Additionally, listening to an audiobook can also help you pass the time.  Finally, if you’re travelling with kids, then consider in investing in a portable Blu-Ray player, or make sure they have their devices preloaded with games and movies.  Staying entertained will help everyone in the car keep their cool.

Try out these easy Thanksgiving road trip tips to make your drive a breeze.  Want another way to make things easy for yourself?  Then trust the experts at Kosich Insurance for help with your insurance.  Our dedicated team is ready to provide hassle-free assistance for all your insurance needs.  Serving Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and communities throughout California, contact us to get started today.

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Biggest Threats to Your Business’s Bottom Line

Watch out for these financial threats to your business’s bottom line.

If you’re a business owner, then you know how important it is to protect your bottom line.  That’s why it’s vital to minimize the financial risks that your business faces.  If you are concerned about your business’s bottom line, then learn about these common threats that you should watch out for.

One of the biggest threats to your business’s bottom line is overspending.  Generally, businesses tend to overspend in two areas: marketing and hiring.  In regards to marketing, businesses will often invest in costly advertising campaigns without first conducting the necessary market research.  As a result, businesses overestimate the impact that the campaign will have and they end up spend more on the campaign than they should.  It’s the same with hiring.  Many businesses overestimate the demand their business will experience and they end up hiring too many employees.  To avoid overspending in these two areas, make sure you are conducting research that allows you to make accurate predictions and judgements.

Another major financial threat to small businesses is legal threats.  Lawsuits can come from anywhere; from a disgruntled employee to a vengeful customer.  Unfortunately, small businesses are disproportionally targeted for legal action because they are more likely to settle out of court.  Whether you decide to settle or pursue a lawsuit, the financial costs can be staggering.  You can reduce the number of suits filed against your company by investing in a training program for your team.  However, even the best training program cannot prevent every liability.  The best way to protect your business’s bottom line from legal costs is to invest in a comprehensive commercial liability policy.

Don’t let your business suffer from costly financial issues.  Protect your bottom line by watching out for these threats.  Also, make sure your business has the commercial insurance it needs.  To find the right coverage for your needs, trust the experts at Kosich Insurance.  Serving Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and areas throughout California, contact us to get covered today.

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How to Clean Your Gutters for Fall

Cleaning your gutters is an important part of fall home maintenance.  Learn how to properly clean your gutters today!

When fall hits, leaves start to rain down.  While beautiful, these leaves can mean clogged gutters and downspouts.  Failing to maintain your gutters could result in damaged gutters, flooding, and, in some cases, damage your home’s foundation.  Keep your house in tip-top condition this fall by learning how to clean out your gutters.

Safety First

Though cleaning out your gutters is a relatively simple task, it does have some dangers.  Cleaning your gutters requires you to use a ladder, so make sure you don’t attempt this task when its windy or raining.  Additionally, you should never use a ladder when you’re alone.  So, before you start, make sure someone knows where you are and checks on you occasionally.

Tools

Again, cleaning your gutters is a fairly straight-forward process.  To complete this task you’ll only need a few tools including:

-ladder

-tarp

-bucket

-work gloves

-hose with nozzle attachment

-screwdriver (optional)

 

Process

To begin, place your ladder near the downspout and spread a tarp beneath the section of gutter you will be working on.  The tarp will collect any falling debris and help keep things neat.  Next, climb up your ladder and have someone hand you the empty bucket.  If possible, secure the bucket to the ladder so you don’t have to worry about it falling while you clean.  Then, using a gloved hand, remove the leaves and other debris from your gutter and deposit it into the bucket.  Continue this for the rest of your gutter until you remove all the large debris.  For smaller litter, use the hose the flush out your gutter and downspout.  Finally, if you brought a screwdriver, check for any loose sections of gutter and tighten them completely.

If you run into any trouble or discover any damage while you’re completing this task, then contact a licensed professional.  Don’t attempt any risky behaviors; your safety is always a top priority.

Use this method to clean out your gutters and prepare your home for the rain ahead.  Remember, another way to make sure your home is protected for anything that comes its way is having the right insurance policy.  For help finding the right home insurance, trust the experts at Kosich Insurance.  Our dedicated team works to serve the insurance needs of everyone in Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and throughout California.  Contact us to get covered today!

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How Dangerous is Distracted Driving?

Learn the facts about distracted driving.

For many drivers, quickly checking your navigation system or hurriedly sipping from a water bottle might not seem like a big deal.  However, both these scenarios are instances of distracted driving and can place the driver, their passengers, and anyone sharing the road in serious danger.  It is your responsibility to understand what distracted driving is and to take steps to avoid putting yourself and those around you at risk.

Distracted driving isn’t just limited to talking on the phone or reading and sending texts.  In fact, there are many activities such as eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, speaking to passengers, reading, and so on that qualify as distracted driving.  According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), there are three types of distractions.  Manual distractions occur when you move your hands away from the wheel, visual distractions are those when you take your eyes off the road, and cognitive distractions are when you aren’t mentally focused on the task of driving.

Studies have shown that driving while talking on your cellphone is nearly as dangerous as drunk driving, while texting and driving is twice as dangerous as drunk driving.  The NHTSA reports that in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured as a result of distracted drivers.

While young and inexperienced drivers are most at risk for distracted driving accidents, distracted driving is a serious danger that drivers of all ages and skill level need to be aware of.  It is important to remember that distracted driving doesn’t simply imperil the driver, it also places passengers and innocent bystanders at risk.

It is up to drivers to make sure that they are driving safely and it is the responsibility of passengers to avoid distracting their driver.  Help keep the roads safe and don’t forget to contact the professionals at Kosich Insurance for help finding the best insurance policies.  Make sure you have the right coverage for your lifestyle in Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and throughout California.

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Football is Back! Celebrate with This Fun Tailgating Recipe

 

 

It’s finally football season!  Get back in the game with these tasty treats.

When September hits, it’s time to get your tailgate on!  Even if you don’t tailgate, celebrate the first game of the season with some delicious eats.  Round up your buddies, grab a drink, and get ready to ring in football season with this fun and easy recipe.

Field Goal Guacamole and Touchdown Tortilla Chips

For the Guacamole

Ingredients

3 avocados

2 roma tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

1 bunch cilantro (roughly chopped)

1 lime (juiced)

1 jalapeño (seeded and finely chopped)

Salt

Black pepper

Cumin

Directions

  1. Seed the tomatoes and dice them. Dice the onion into slightly smaller pieces than the tomato.  Set aside.
  2. Remove the pits and mash the avocados. Add the lime juice to help break down the avocado and make it smooth.
  3. Mix tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño into the avocado mash. Add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
  4. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry.
  5. Serve in a chilled bowl and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

For the Chips

Ingredients

Premade corn tortillas

Oil for frying (vegetable oil recommended)

1 Tbsp. Seasoned salt

1/2 tsp Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  1. Fill a pot or skillet with high sides about halfway with oil. Turn the burner to medium heat and wait until the oil reaches a temperature of 350°F.
  2. While the oil is heating, cut the tortillas into triangles and mix the salt and spices together.
  3. Fry the chips until golden brown, make sure not too add too many chips at a time. This could drop the temperature of the oil and make for soggy chips.
  4. Place chips onto a paper towel-lined tray to drain, and sprinkle on spice mixture while the chips are still hot.
  5. Serve alongside guacamole.

Follow this recipe for a delicious tailgate and remember to stay safe this football season!

Contact the professionals at Kosich Insurance for help finding the best insurance policies.  Make sure you have the right coverage for your lifestyle in Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and throughout California.

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Find Out What You Need to Know About Recycling These Household Items

Check out these household items that you can recycle.

Recycling is important. When it comes to the environment, the less we use and the more resourceful we are, the better. While many of us recycle paper, cans, and glass, there are lots of items that you’re able to recycle. When it comes to recycling, there are lots of household items that you’re able to dispose of responsibly. Check out these common household items that you can recycle.

Batteries.

We use batteries for all sorts of things. From flashlights to smoke detectors, when it’s time to toss the batteries, it’s important that you dispose of them properly. In fact, in some states it’s illegal to throw away batteries in the trash. Dispose of them properly by recycling them at designated battery recycling centers.

Linens.

Donating old blankets and clothes that are in good condition to charity is a great way to give back and help to minimize waste. However, sometimes linens are so far gone that tossing them may seem like the only answer. Try using them as cleaning rags instead. Additionally, some fabrics can be taken to a recycling plant to be recycled.

Books.

While it’s often a good idea to donate old books so that other book lovers can enjoy them, sometimes books are beyond repair. Since books are made of paper, you’re able to recycle them. However, be careful with the book spine, these require special recycling procedures.

There are lots of things that you can recycle to help minimize how much you waste. When it comes to your home, take the time to recycle and to invest in the right homeowners insurance. Contact the professionals at Kosich Insurance for help finding the best insurance policies. Make sure you have the right coverage for your lifestyle in Clearlake, Lafayette, Ukiah, and throughout California.

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