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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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Check Out These Tips to Help Keep You Well Hydrated All Summer Long

Find out what you need to know about staying well hydrated.

Water is a primary component to life. Humans are primarily made up of water and therefore need water to survive. When our water consumption falls short, we become dehydrated. While losing a little water is normal, dehydration can have serious health effects. It’s especially important to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Ensure that you stay well hydrated with these tips.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables.

In addition to drinking water, eating fruits and vegetable which have a high-water content can help to hydrate you. While it’s not a replacement for drink water, eating produce can help to keep you better hydrated.

Remind Yourself to Drink Throughout the Day.

It’s important to drink water throughout the day. However, often we forget to drink. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you and set a reminder to drink water. That way you can stay well hydrated. Additionally, drinking a glass of water with your meals can help you to remember to stay hydrated.

Avoid Dehydrating Beverages.

When it comes to staying hydrated, it’s important to avoid beverages that dehydrate you. Drinking alcohol dehydrates you significantly. Stick to drink water so that you can prevent dehydration. Get creative to prevent water from getting boring by adding fruits and vegetables like lemon, mint, or cucumber to your water to help give it more flavor.

Drink Up Before Exercising.

When exercising it’s especially important that you stay hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after exercise so that you can keep yourself well hydrated.

Ensure that you stay hydrated all summer long to stay healthy. 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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Determine What You Need to Know About Going Green with These Resources for Your Business

Find out what you need to know about helping your business go green with these resources.

When it comes to your business, your business practices are important. From ensuring that you deliver on all your products and services to ensuring that your employees are safe on the job, there’s lots to consider. However, it’s also important to pay attention to how you use resources. Going green can benefit your business. However, finding ways to implement such practices can be difficult. Get assistance when you decide to go green with these resources.

Energy Star.

When it comes to using energy wisely, the ENERGY STAR program through the environmental protection agency (EPA) offers knowledge to help you go green. Using energy efficient practices your business can save energy and money.

SBA Guide.

When it comes to your small business, the Small Business Administration offers a wealth of knowledge to help you with all elements of your business. However, they can be especially helpful when it comes to going green. Check out their green business guide to help you implement environmentally sustainable practices into your workplace.

Energy.gov

When it comes to helping your business implement green business practices, it’s important that you have the necessary tools to implement them. The better buildings program through Energy.gov can help to give suggestions to help make your commercial property more energy efficient. Check out their programs to help your business save energy and save money.

When it comes to your business, it’s important that you have the tools that you need to help your business thrive. Check out these resources to help you go green and invest in the right business 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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Auto Insurance Rates Increase? Find Out What You Need to Know About Why Rates Change

Determine what you need to know about auto insurance rates and how they increase.  

Protecting your car with the right auto insurance is a must. You need the proper coverage so that you’re well protected in the event of an accident. However, once you pick the perfect policy, it’s important to keep in mind that your rates may change. Check out these common reasons why your auto insurance rates increase.

Quotes vs. Premiums.

In some instances, an insurance quote may increase when it comes to purchasing a policy. There are various reasons that may cause such an occurrence. The two most common reasons for a change in a quote occur when there’s been missing information or if the information provided at the time of the quote was inaccurate. Either case could be responsible for an increase in your rates.

Traffic Accidents & Violations.

When it comes to your auto insurance rates could be effected by your driving habits. If you’re often involved in traffic accidents of if you’ve received too many traffic tickets, your auto insurance rates will likely increase. Be aware of this scenario so that you’re better apt to anticipate changes in your auto insurance rates.

Relocating.

When you move to a new place, it may have an effect on your auto insurance rates. In an area with higher risk, your auto insurance rates will rise. Keep in mind that this situation may occur when making a move. That way you can prepare for any increases in your coverage.

More Expensive Vehicle.

New technology may help to make driving easier. However, it may increase your auto insurance rates. Fixing the latest technology when involved in an accident is more expensive than ever. Be prepared for an auto insurance rate increase with more expensive cars on the road.

When it comes to your car, it’s important that you have the tools that you need to keep it well protected. Invest in the right auto insurance so that you’re covered. 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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Keep Your Boat in Great Shape All Season Long with These Tips

Use this checklist to help keep your boat in great condition all summer long.

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to spend time on the water. From taking a relaxing cruise on the lake to sailing down the California coast, there are many ways in which you can use your boat this season. However, it’s important that you have the tools that you need to keep your boat safe. Check out this boating maintenance checklist so that you have smooth sailing all summer long.

Fuel Systems.

When traveling on your boat, it’s important that you ensure that your fueling systems are functioning properly. That way you’re better apt to avoid any issues while you’re out on open water. Ensure that there are no leaks, that the engine is in great shape, and that there’s no rust or contamination in the engine or fuel tanks.

Safety Equipment.

While you hope never to use such equipment, it’s important that you have the right safety equipment ready to go in case of an emergency. Ensure that there are no tripping or slipping hazards and that there are plenty of lifejackets handy (at least one for each person).

Navigation Equipment.

When it comes your safety on the water, it’s important that you’re able to navigate as accurately as possible. Before using your boat through the summer, ensure that all the navigation equipment is ready to go.

Fire Safety.

Just because you’re on the water doesn’t mean that you’re free from fire hazards. Ensure that you check the boat’s electrical systems and keep the necessary fire safety equipment onboard. That way you can access the right tools in the event of a disaster.

Stay up on your boating maintenance so that you can enjoy your boat all summer. Protect your boat with the right boat 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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Easy to Make Patriotic Fruit Parfaits for All Your Fourth of July Festivities

Celebrate the Fourth of July with this red, white, and blue parfait.

Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate. Whether you choose to watch the fireworks or host a barbecue, celebrate the Fourth of July with a patriotic treat. This delicious, yet healthful fruit parfait is the perfect way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Here’s what you need to get started.

Ingredients:

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup blueberries

1 cup heavy cream

10 oz. angel food cake

2 cup strawberries

½ cup shredded coconut

Start by making a blueberry compote. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, then add in the lemon juice and the blueberries. Stir until well mixed and the desired consistency is reached. Then turn off the heat and let it cool.

Using the heavy cream, make whipped cream. Using a large bowl and a mixer, make the cream and fold the whipped cream into the blueberry mixture.

Prepare the dishes in which you’re planning to serve the parfait. Begin layering starting with the angel food cake at the bottom. Then add strawberries on top then add the blueberry mixture. Continue with the pattern, until the container is full.

Once the parfaits have been made, cover and refrigerate overnight. Once it’s been refrigerated, then garnish with the shredded coconut. Serve and enjoy with your family and friends.

Use this parfait recipe to help you celebrate Independence Day. Have a Happy Fourth of July and celebrate your independence and freedoms with the right protection. 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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4th of July Safety Tips

Check out these Fourth of July safety tips!

Happy Independence Day! From backyard barbecues to patriotic fireworks, the Fourth of July is filled with summertime fun and celebration. However, it’s important to have fun safely. Check out these Fourth of July safety tips to ensure your celebration goes off without a hitch.

Barbecue Safety.

  • Use the grill outside and keep it away from anything flammable.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the grill. From curious kids to sudden bursts of flames, there’s a lot that could go wrong if not properly attended to. Never leave the barbecue while grilling.
  • Clean the grill regularly. Grease and fat drippings can build up on the grill and increase your risk for a fire.

Pool Safety.

  • Establish the rules of the pool. No running, no diving, no roughhousing, and no swimming alone.
  • Always keep watch around the pool and keep a flotation device nearby at all times.
  • Kids are curious, and drains are dangerous. Keep kids away from any drains or pipes to avoid any accidents.

Firework Safety.

  • Only use fireworks outside and with an adult present. Only ever light one firework at a time, and keep your distance.
  • After using fireworks, dispose of them properly. Wait for the firework to cool and then soak it in water before disposing of it in the trash.
  • Check to see if fireworks are legal where you live. Additionally, dry conditions can increase the risk of starting a fire. Check to see the fire danger in your area before using fireworks.
  • Be mindful of your pets. The loud noise can be scary for unsuspecting cats and dogs. Startled animals may run away from home. Keep your animals safe and secure to prevent any accidents.

Avoid any mishaps with these Fourth of July safety tips. Protect your home, talk to the professional team at Kosich Insurance to determine your homeowners insurance policy today.

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