6 Important Winter Tips for First Time Homeowners

When you buy your first home in Mesa, AZ it can be very exciting, but you also need to make sure you’re taking care of it the right way. As winter approaches, you have to make sure your new house is prepared for the weather, since even Mesa can get cold. Here are six tips to follow when you’re getting your house ready for cold weather.

1. Check out your furnace

Your furnace or other heating system has to be ready for the cold weather. It needs to work properly, and it also needs to be safe. If you’re not sure how to maintain it, or if it needs repairs, it’s important to hire a professional to take a look and make any changes or adjustments necessary.

2. Build your emergency kit

You should have food and water for everyone in your household for a few days, including your pets. Medications are also important to have, along with a battery powered radio and warm clothing and blankets.

3. Fix any stairs, railings, and walkways

Any outdoor spaces can be even more dangerous when there’s snow and ice. Making sure everything is solid and strong helps reduce the risk of injuries.

4. Prep your pipes

Wrapping pipes to protect them from freezing is important. Cloth works, or you can buy special foam covers that go over outdoor faucets and fit over pipes.

5. Be prepared for power outages

If the power’s out for a while and it’s cold, you need to be able to stay warm in your home. Planning ahead brings peace of mind and a higher level of comfort.

6. Make sure your insurance is up to date.

With a home owners policy through Lifetime Investments, you can protect your Mesa , AZ home and your financial health if something does happen to go wrong during the winter months.

The Importance of Independent Insurance Agents

Mesa, Arizona’s independent insurance agents at Lifetime Investments, LLC provide coverage for the entire Maricopa County. Independent insurance agents have substantial relationships with a myriad of high quality insurance companies. If you need additional coverage or you are a first timer, an independent agency may be the right stop for you.

Independent insurance agents can research a wide selection of insurance companies to give you a varied amount of choices. Captive agents do not have access to different companies, they can only offer you policies through their company. Because they are independent, Lifetime Investments, LLC agents can analyze your needs and give you choices from multiple insurance companies. They are able to dedicate their time and expertise to show you each policy and go over the coverage in detail. One of the benefits of selecting an independent insurance agency is that they can compare options. If you are on a budget, the agent will not try to lower your premium by reducing your coverage, which is not in your best interest. The independent agent will compile a more in-depth record that includes the coverage you need at the price you can afford.

Whether you need one insurance policy or multiple ones, Independent agents are there to help you. They can give you personalized attention if you need claim information for auto, home, and business solutions. The agents can be made available if you need to ask questions concerning your policy or changes to your coverage.

Lifetime Investments, LLC is an independent insurance agency that has relationships with countless insurance businesses. They will be able to offer competitive prices, services, and coverage on home, auto, commercial, and specialty insurance.

Commercial Insurance and Why You Need It


Regardless of business type, size, or location, small businesses need insurance. In addition to insuring business assets, small-business owners are also protecting their personal assets and their reputation. As well, many states require small businesses to carry certain coverage, and for some businesses (such as building contractors), even customers may want proof of insurance coverage.

If you’ve previously passed on coverage because of the price, think again. You’re risking bigger costs if your business is found liable for a large loss.

Your agent can help you navigate the various coverage options available. But your first step is to decide what you want covered, what you need protection against, what losses and risks your customers face, and what risks or losses your employees face.

Small business insurance consists of three main components: liability insurance; coverage for property and buildings; and coverage for business equipment and other contents. The following are some types of available coverage:

Employer’s liability insurance AKA Workers Compensation

Legally, businesses with more than one employee must carry this coverage. It provides protection for costs incurred (including damages and legal fees) if an employee becomes injured or ill as a result of his or her job.

Public liability insurance:

If your business regularly comes into contact with the public, this provides protection in the event that they or their property are injured or harmed in some way. This is essential if customers visit your business premises.

Professional indemnity insurance:

Mistakes causing financial harm to a customer or client can happen in a number of professions. Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this covers claims or legal costs incurred if this transpires.

Key man insurance:

If an employee vital to your company’s success dies or is seriously injured and unable to work, key man insurance helps cover what the loss of this individual would cost your business. A coverage amount is decided before a policy is purchased by determining potential losses stemming from that employee’s absence (say your top salesman is injured). This may be hard to quantify, and the amount you’ve settled on may be insufficient, but at least there’s something there to compensate for the loss.

Business interruption insurance:

If a disaster causes you to shut your doors for an extended period of time, the loss could sink your business. This policy will allow you to return to original operation levels.

Commercial vehicle insurance:

If you or your employees drive company vehicles, this is required by law. The right coverage depends on the vehicles, and how often and how they’re used.

Insurance for property and buildings:

Business property damages and losses due to fire, lightning, riot, explosions, malicious damage, storms or floods, or vehicle damage is covered by most commercial policies.

Business contents insurance:

As seen, your property and building coverage for physical locations provides protection for buildings themselves—not their contents. This covers content losses inside your building and includes anything that would fall out if you turned it upside down.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years



10 Insurance Terms You Must Understand

Jan Vitale Arizona Independent Life Insurance AgentIn a virtual world, your commercial insurance policy can seem like just so much more boring paperwork. However, if you’re a business owner, get over it; it’s essential you read and completely understand your policy, however boring. To get you to that place, here are some common – and important – business insurance terms you need to know:

Actual Cash Value (ACV): This refers to the cost of replacing destroyed or damaged property with like or similar property. However, depreciation is taken into account, so whatever the insurer pays to replace the property will have deductions for depreciation. For example, a surround-sound system installed in your restaurant 10 years ago is destroyed in an electrical fire. Your insurance would pay an amount to replace it with a similar or like item, less any depreciation value to account for value lost over a decade. If you have high-value items such as electronics, artwork, or antiques, consider replacement cost coverage, which allows a higher claim payout, because it doesn’t deduct for depreciation.

Act of God: These are naturally occurring perils over which policyholders have no control, such as earthquakes, devastating windstorms, typhoons, or similar events.

Aggregate Limit: An aggregate limit is the maximum amount you can receive for a specified period of time. For example, you may have an aggregate limit of $200,000 for one year, which would mean that regardless of how many separate claims you make, once your policy pays out that amount for the year, it won’t pay more. Some policies have general aggregate limits, meaning the total amount your insurer will ever pay, regardless of how many claims.

Exclusion: These are “named provisions” that specifically identify items that aren’t covered, including losses occurring from specified actions or issues.

All-Risk Policy: This policy will pay for losses regardless of the reason the loss occurred with the exception of specific policy exclusions.

Named Perils Policy: The exact opposite of an “all-risk” policy, “named perils” specifically defines what causes of loss will be covered. Usually, these include vandalism, fire, or acts of nature. This policy provides coverage ONLY for events listed in the policy

Valued policy: Also referred to as an “agreed amount” policy, this states that an event resulting in a complete and total loss will be covered up to a specific, pre-determined amount as stated in the policy.

Endorsements: These are provisions added to a policy that provide extra coverage, alter a policy in some way to account for special coverage needs, or define exclusions or inclusions. Often referred to as “riders”, they can be thought of as amendments to policies.

Real Property: This refers to things such as the land or items permanently affixed or attached to it: sheds, detached garages, permanent fixtures like fences, and sometimes heavy machinery and equipment.

Personal Property: Personal property is different from real property in that personal property is easy to relocate. If you turned your building upside down, anything that falls out is considered personal property, such as furniture, computers, and office equipment.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years



How To Improve Your Winter Driving Skills

Thumb Butte ArizonaOver the holidays, as you drive throughout the snowy parts that CAN be found throughout Arizona – such as the beautiful image of Thumb Butte – you are likely going to encounter various harsh driving conditions. You want to make sure that you know how to maximize your best driving skills throughout the winter months so that you can avoid an accident. Every year, more than 500,000 accidents take place around the roads because of the weather, and knowing more safety tips can help to keep you safer.

There is much you can do to improve your driving skills. There are first some supplies you want for your car:

  • Snow tires
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Hat/gloves

Each of these are going to have their own purpose. Snow tires will provide you with more traction while the other items can remain in your car should you need them if broken down.

It is also important to be on alert at all times. The US Department of Transportation has estimated that approximately 80% of collisions can be avoided by being more alert. Look for obstacles up ahead instead of looking at the car in front of you only. Obstacles can be patches of ice, animals crossing the road, or cars broken down on the side of the road.

You also need to look at your following distance. It can take 10 times more space to brake in the snow and ice. This means if the car in front of you slams on their brakes, you want to have the space to brake without plowing into the back of them.

Be cautious, create a space around your car as you drive, and have the necessary supplies.

Call and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents at Lifetime Investments. We look forward to answering questions you have, showing you how to improve winter driving skills, and more.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years