insurance laws in california

Should You Have Insurance?

insurance laws in california

When you grow up, you start to realize all the things you weren’t taught about in school. For example insurance. All insurance, auto, house, and life, are all big giant mysteries. Don’t worry about feeling like you’re the only one who doesn’t understand how it works, a lot of people don’t. We don’t learn about it in school, so why is it even important?

Insurance provides us the means to survive an accident. Whether that’s a car accident, natural disaster, or death, insurance is there to help. The best way of explaining the general idea of insurance, is by thinking back to grade school. In school you more than likely had a best friend that you would do anything for and they would always have your back. Insurance is like your best friend who will always have your back, except with insurance you have to pay them.

If you’ve ever experienced a death in the family, you’ll understand the importance of life insurance. Life insurance is basically putting a value on someone’s life. Say there’s a married couple and the husband is the “bread winner” of the family, while the wife stays home and takes care of the kids. One day, the husband dies. The widow would be at a loss if it weren’t for her husband’s life insurance policy. His life insurance policy helps cover the funeral costs and other expenses. Some life insurance policies are big enough where the widow wouldn’t have to worry about working.

Car insurance is mandatory unless you’re sitting on a pile of gold. In California it’s not illegal to live without it. Under California law, according to Department of Motorized Vehicles, you must have financial means to cover any costs related to accidents. California law requires proof of your ability to pay or cover the costs. This essentially means that you don’t need insurance but you also have to be able to pay up to $30,000 in possible damages. Unless you have an extra $30,000 laying around, you’re probably going to need car insurance.

House/Renters insurance is a practical must if you’re not living at home anymore. It’s especially necessary when you live in a place that is earthquake prone. While the state of California doesn’t require homeowners insurance, or renters insurance, you’re probably still required to have it by someone. Your bank who you financed your home may require it. Your landlord may require it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have either. You’ll be surprised at what home/renters insurance could include.

If you feel overwhelmed by it all, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just remember that whenever you don’t understand an insurance policy, ask the insurance provider for more information. Understanding what is covered, who is covered, and how they’re covered can make being an adult much easier.

how to keep your home safe

How to Keep Your Home Safe

how to keep your home safe

In an article written by Matthew Wilson for Property Guard Master, Wilson cites that in the United States alone there is a home intrusion every thirteen seconds. Furthermore, there are an astounding 2.5 million home burglaries reported each year. Of those 2.5 million home burglaries, 60% of them happen between the hours of 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Despite these staggering numbers, only 13% of burglaries end in an arrest.

Did you know that 87% of burglaries are considered preventable? So how do you help prevent such home invasions? We’ve got some suggestions. We know it can be tempting to post about an upcoming vacation, but don’t. It can be hard to know exactly who is viewing your posts and you don’t want the wrong person finding out that your house is going to be empty for a prolonged period of time.

It is also a good idea to have a security system installed in your home. Only 17% of houses in the United States have a security system even though this could be a big deterrent for an intruder. If you can’t afford a security system, be sure every door is equipped with a deadbolt lock and that you do not hide any spare keys outside of your home.

If you do go on vacation, or have a crazy work schedule, it is important to make it seem as though your home is being lived in. If you’re heading out on vacation, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your newspaper and mail each day so that it does not pile up on your porch or in your mailbox. You should also consider leaving a light on in a few rooms in your home so when night time comes around it appears as though someone is there. It’s also smart to keep your bushes and shrubs trimmed so it looks like someone is regularly doing yard maintenance.

As hard as it may be, it’s important to always be one step ahead of a possible intruder. By following these tips above and being aware of what is going on in and around your neighborhood you can help prevent an intrusion.

staying safe on social media

5 Tips for Protecting Yourself While Enjoying Social Media

staying safe on social media

Social media is a huge part of most of our lives. Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter not only can we easily stay in touch with friends and family, but can also learn of community events, help develop a fledgling business, and more.

The downside to social media is that it provides another avenue for danger to enter your life. It seems like every few days, there’s another news story about how social media was used to target someone, either for bullying or break-ins. It’s enough to make anyone seriously consider deleting all of their social media accounts.

You’ll be pleased to know that as long as your careful and follow these tips, you can continue to enjoy your favorite social media sites and also keep you and your family safe.

Don’t Post Vacation Updates/Pictures Until you Get Home

Sure, you’re getting great photos of you vacation and you can’t wait to start showing them off to your friends and family, but hold off for a few days. Wait until you get home before loading everything onto your social media accounts. By not talking about your vacation until you get home, you don’t accidentally alert a would be burglar that your home is empty and vulnerable. The same is true for checking into events and businesses, just wait until your home.

Avoid Public Hot Spots

Ninety-five percent of the people who use public hotspots are good people, but there are a few that use these hotspots to hack into computers and steal a great deal of information, including the passwords to your social media account. Once they have the password, they can use it to create all sorts of havoc. If you have to use a public hot spot, make sure you log out of any site that requires a password.

Know Who You’re Associating With

When you get a friend request or suddenly have someone contacting you a lot through social media accounts, take some time to explore that person’s profile. If it has very little information and none that would indicate you have anything in common with the person, block them right away. These types of empty accounts are created by people who intend to steal your personal information and your friend’s lists so they can hack into even more accounts.

Take Care When Following or Posting Links

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access social media accounts is by posting faulty links. Each time one of these links is opened or shared, the hacker becomes a bigger, and more sinister, online presence. The best way to protect yourself from these types of predators is by only posting links that were created by a trusted source.

Update Your Passwords

Even if you only suspect that your account has been hacked or you get a report that a friend’s account has been hacked, you need to change you password. It’s the single best way to protect yourself. Make sure the password is a strong one that uses a mix of upper/lower case letters and numbers.

safe biking in california

Safe Biking in California

safe biking in california

Deciding to ride your bike wherever you need to go instead of taking your car is always a great idea. Not only is this choice better for the environment, it’s also a great way to stay in shape. Unfortunately, deciding to hop on your bike rather than into your car is risky. In 2016 840 cyclists were killed and in 2015, insurance companies dealt with 467,000 bicycle related injuries.

The best way to don’t become one of these statistics is by making safety your number one priority.

Increase your Visibility

One of the reasons so many cyclists are struck by cars is because the cyclist is hard to see. Attaching a few more reflectors and some flashing lights to your bike dramatically increase the odds of you making it home safely after your ride. You should also wear bright clothing that has reflective strips woven into the material. The brighter you are, the easier it is for passing motorists to see you coming.

If you’re biking at night, stick to well-lit areas.

Chose a Safe Route

Before hopping on your bike, grab a map and really think about what the safest route is. Look for routes that allow you to ride on some of the great California bike pats that exist all over the state. Try to avoid any areas that are heavily trafficked. It’s smarter to take a route that adds extra time to your commute than to run the risk of a car/bicycle collision.

Use Hand Signals

Hand signals are as important to cyclists as blinkers are to drivers. They let everyone know what move you’re about to do, which allows everyone around you to drive defensively. Using the hand signals might seem strange for a few days, but it won’t be long before it becomes second nature.

Be Aware of You Surroundings

Don’t assume that drivers are going to look out for you. You need to be aware of where they are and how they’re driving. If one is getting to close or doesn’t appear to know that you’re on the bike, you need to take defensive measures. The sooner you act, the greater the odds are that you’ll make it home in one piece.

Wear a Helmet

Your helmet is a huge safety tool. Not only does it protect you from head injuries if you fall off your bike, but also softens blows from things like low hanging tree limbs. Having a helmet on if you’re in an accident decreases the odds of you losing conciseness and increases the odds of you being able to make decisions that help you get out of the way of falling debris, oncoming traffic, and other dangers after you’ve fallen from your bike.

Stay safe and happy cycling!

how to handle cyberbullying

Handling a Cyberbully

how to handle cyberbullying

Bullying has always been a problem, but prior to the creation of the internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, most bullying was done by someone the victim knew. That’s no longer the case. These days, you can be bullied by someone you’ve never met, who lives on the other side of the world, and all because you dared state your opinion about something on your social media account.

If you’re a victim of cyberbullying, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

Shut Down Your Computer

One of the best things you can do when it comes to a cyberbully is shutting down your computer, or at the very least logging of your social media accounts for a little while. This put space between you and the person who is trying to bully you. In many cases, when a victim doesn’t respond to the cyberbully, the person loses interest and looks for a more interesting victim. When you log back into your accounts, you can delete bullying comments and move on with your life.

Save Some Screenshots

If ignoring the cyberbully doesn’t cause them to go away, you should avoid engaging with them, but you should also click screen shots of all their comments. If the situation escalates, these screen shots can be used to build a case against the cyberbully. Make sure you save the screenshots so that even if your computer crashes, the screenshots will survive. Most experts recommend saving them to both a cloud storage system and an external drive.

Contact the Police

Cyberbullying is a serious matter. In an increasing number of cases, getting the bully to quit has involved police involvement. Indicators that it’s time to stop dealing with the situation on your own and that you need to contact the police include when threats of physical violence are being made or when despite your best efforts, the harassment simply doesn’t stop. According to data collected by the Cyberbullying Research Center, approximately 82% of police officers feel that cyberbullying is a serious offense that requires police involvement.

Don’t give any indication that you’re contacting law enforcement. Simply hand over all the evidence you’ve collected and let the cyberbully be surprised when the police, arrest warrant in hand, knock on their door. Any bullying that goes on between the time you contact the police and the cyberbully is arrested will strengthen your case.

california underage drinking laws

The Truth about Underage Drinking

california underage drinking laws

It’s almost time for school to begin, which means summer vacations are over and families across the state are heading back home for the new school year. The start of a new school year also marks the reunification of friends after a summer spent apart. If you’re the parent of a teenager, then chances are you know that when teenagers get around one another, rules can be broken.

As Friday night high school football games begin and the weather cools off, teenagers across the state will begin looking for ways to entertain themselves on the weekends. For some, this could mean bowling, going to the movies, or working out. For others, it could be house parties. Without jumping to conclusions or stereotyping, many times, teenagers use house parties as a means to illegally consume alcohol.

As a parent, it is your job to guide your children into making smart and responsible decisions. In California, consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal. Such as many other states around the country, California has very strict and specific laws in place that prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from consuming or being in possession of alcohol.

Read below to learn more about these general underage drinking laws.

  • It is illegal for a minor to be in possession of alcohol in a public space. If convicted, a person may face a fine of $250 and be required to complete community service.
  • The state of California has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If an underage driver is caught with a blood-alcohol level of .01 or higher, they will be charged with a violation of California’s zero-tolerance policy. As consequence, they could be fined and lose their driving privileges for a year or more.
  • In addition to the law mentioned above, an underage driver will be charged with a DUI if they are driving or operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .05 or higher.

The items mentioned above are just a few examples of California’s underage drinking laws. However, there are also laws regarding contributing to the delinquency of a minor. As a parent or a person in general, you could be charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor if you are caught providing underage children alcohol. A minor can also be charged with this if they are caught providing alcohol to someone underage.

When it comes to underage drinking, just don’t. As a parent, it is never too early to begin having open conversations with your child about the consequences of consuming alcohol illegally. We want to ensure your children are equipped with the knowledge and power to make the right decisions.

online kids safety

What Are Your Kids Doing This Summer?

online kids safety

Summer is here and schools have let out for the year. Children are excited as they get to experience a bit of freedom for the next few months. However, parents might be approaching the break with a bit of apprehension. How are they supposed to keep their children entertained for the next few months while maintaining a proper work schedule?

Juggling kids and a job is not an easy task, but it can be done. Some parents may have kids who are old enough to take care of themselves during the work day. While this is nice, don’t forget to keep in touch with them. They still need an adult’s guidance from time to time.

In today’s modern world, it is easier than ever for kids to get ahold of material that may not be appropriate for younger audiences. It is very important for parents to monitor what their children are doing when they are online. Doing so can keep them from finding inappropriate content and ensure that they are behaving themselves online.

Aside from the online world, there is still the physical world to worry about this summer.

Some tips for ensuring your child’s safety this summer include:

  • Establishing a trusted network with other adults, such as neighbors and parents of your child’s friends. This can help keep you informed should anything come up, and give you someone you can rely on for help.
  • Getting to know your kid’s friends. By doing this, you will be able to see what kind of influence these friends might be having on your child.
  • Keeping snacks at home. This one is simple, but effective. By keeping plenty of snacks at home, you ensure that your child will regularly return to the house in order to find something to munch on.
  • Talking with your kids. You should set aside some time every day to talk with your child. This will help keep you in the loop and build a relationship with the child.

Summer break is finally here, and you can bet that your kids are excited. Your kid may be old enough to be on his or her own, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. Make sure that you keep in touch with them throughout the entire summer to ensure their safety and well being.

rialto bail bonds

3 Tips to Increase Your Credit Score

how to increase credit score

It’s a situation no one ever wants to be in, but it’s one that you may face in your lifetime.

Picture this: You’ve just been arrested, you’ve been booked and given a bail amount, and you’ve called someone for assistance. Now, you sit and wait in a holding cell while a loved one contacts a bail agent to help obtain your freedom. However, there’s a problem. The bail agency cannot issue a bond because, after running a credit report, their credit score isn’t high enough.

This is a serious problem because now you’re forced to sit in jail and wait until your court appearance. However, this is an avoidable problem. The answer is simple – keep your credit score up so that you never have to worry about it being too low to be approved. But what exactly is a good credit score? There is no right answer, however, according to Experian a credit score can range between 300 and 850. See below for an in-depth look at the credit score breakdown, courtesy of Experian.

experian credit score chart

In order to help ensure you and your loved ones have a good enough credit score to be approved for a bail bond, a home, or anything in between, we’ve compiled a list of three steps you can take starting today.

    1. Pay your bills on time – According to Credit Karma, one of the most important things lenders care about is the likelihood you are going to pay them back. This is determined through your history of paying your bills on time. By paying all of your bills on time you show lenders that you’re reliable and will uphold your end of the bargain.

    2. Pay off your debt – In order to grant you a loan, lenders want to ensure that you have enough room in your monthly expenses to be able to afford another bill. Be sure to pay down your current debt as quickly as possible so you have room for unexpected necessities.

    3. Don’t open too many credit cards at the same time – When you open a new line of credit, it creates a “hard line” on your credit report which stays there for two years. This could create a negative effect on your credit report.

If you’re looking to increase your credit score, it’s important to know what your score is. There are a lot of free websites that will allow you to check it for free, utilize them. Keep in mind that improving your credit score takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll want to ensure that you follow these three tips every month and develop good financial habits.

Healthy Choices That Can Make a Big Difference

Healthy Choices That Can Make a Big Difference

Healthy Choices That Can Make a Big Difference

Lifestyle changes take time. That’s why New Year Resolutions don’t always work out. You have to start building a habit for several weeks until it becomes a lifestyle change. Just like you can’t expect to lose ten pounds over night, you can’t expect to change your life overnight. Typically a habit is formed after two weeks. For example, if you continuously drink a glass of water every morning for two weeks straight, it should become a habit, though that doesn’t make them permanent. Habits can still be broken and changed.

Some small changes that you can start making right now to improve your overall health include:

  • Start your days with protein
  • Get moving
  • Focus on can, not can’t
  • Drink more water
  • Be your greatest cheerleader
  • Forget the scale
  • Sit down to eat
  • Cut out unhealthy choices gradually

These small changes were inspired from RealSimple.com, a website dedicated to helping people live a happy life. Each suggested tip might help you take steps towards your healthy goals. Once you start improving your health with these small steps you’ll start to see big change.

Tax Season Is Here

Tax Season Is Here

Tax Season Is Here

The new year is already a month old now that January has come and gone. This means we are truly entering into tax season. Businesses are handing out tax forms to their employees, and people are gathering all of the paperwork that they are going to need. It’s time for everyone to sit down and fill out some paperwork for the government. How exciting!

Most people aren’t very excited about this time of the year. It means extra work filling out dull paperwork, or paying someone to fill it out for you. Sometimes, you can get some money back from the government, other times you end up owing them money. All the while, you are hoping you filled everything out properly so you do not get audited.

This year, taxes are due to be completed by Tuesday April 17th. If you fail to file your taxes by then, you can miss out on any money that might be owed to you. However, if you owe money on taxes, you can face a failure to file fee. The fee is 5% of your unpaid tax bill every month that the balance remains unpaid.


If a person repeatedly fails to file their taxes for a number of years, they could face criminal charges. They will also receive a visit from the IRS if their unpaid taxes equal more than $25,000. This is why it is a good idea to pay your taxes on time.


Sure, filing tax returns may not be the most exciting thing in the world to do, but it can be very nice when that extra bit of money comes in. plus filing taxes doesn’t take that long if you just commit to doing it. Better to do that then wind up on the IRS’s bad side.