Step Onto the Road: Safety Tips for New Drivers

For the new teen driver, here are a few safety tips that will serve you from the first time you get behind the wheel until you’re ready to take on Mario Andretti in a speed trial.

Scout the Path

Most of our driving takes place from frequent destinations. Before you take a trip on your own, have an experienced driver show you the best line to follow. It also helps to research your local area for any particularly tricky traps created by poor urban planning.

Know Your Vehicle

Take the time to learn the particulars of your car before you take it out on the real road. The best way to do this is to find a practice track to get a feel for the acceleration, braking, turning, and so forth.

Remove Distractions

Phones, tablets, and other digital devices are great to have on hand in case your car breaks down or you get into an accident, but you don’t want them drawing your eye off the road. Tuck yours somewhere safe and out of sight, and don’t bring it back out until you are parked.

Don’t Drive While Tired or Impaired

Not getting behind the wheel while inebriated from alcohol or drugs is a fairly common sense proposal, but your reaction time and senses can be just as dangerous. A driver who is dozing off to slumber or overcome by a sneezing fit can suffer a momentary loss of control that might lead to an accident.

Always Have Insurance

Accidents can find anyone, even with impeccable attention to the road and proper driving technique, and the only protection against the damage to property and person is automobile insurance. If you (or your parents) don’t have insurance or are looking for a better provider, contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc for a quote.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Car

So you’ve decided to go for a different vehicle, but you don’t want to pay the higher prices on a new car. Used cars do offer valuable options while also allowing you to save money along the way. Before buying a used car, there are a few different variables you need to consider. As long as you do this, you should land an excellent car for a great price. When you purchase the vehicle, whether you live around Pismo Beach, CA or anywhere else in the region, just give Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc a call. We can help make sure you have the right coverage for your vehicle. 

Dealer vs. Private Seller

With a private seller you receive a better price but with a dealer you’ll have an establishment facility with a provided warranty and often financing. Due to this, you need to consider what is really best for you and your budget. If you want a car for a few hundred to a thousand dollars, going the private selling might be the way to go, but anything higher than that and a dealership simply provides peace of mind. 


Mileage of the vehicle does matter. While the make, model and year play a part in how important mileage is, always consider it. If a vehicle seems to have a lower price tag than what it should, it likely either has high mileage or there’s something else wrong with it. 

Kelly Blue Book

Know what the vehicle is valued at before going in. KBB gives you an overall estimate as to what the used vehicle should sell for. This can help in your negotiations for the vehicle. 

Number of Owners

If a used car has had a large number of owners, that usually means it runs into problems. A solid car is not going to have a half dozen owners. This might be a clear sign there’s an issue. 

Homeowners’ Spring Cleaning Tips

The arrival of Spring offers the perfect opportunity for some home maintenance and spring cleaning. It is always wise to use preventive measures to help maintain your property and home the whole year. Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc., serving Pismo Beach, CA offers a few suggestions to help make this spring a safe one.

Outside your home:

  • Repair uneven, broken or cracked walkways and driveways to avoid falls
  • Trim all bushes and trees so they’re safely away from utility wires
  • Cut down any dead trees on your property
  • Clean out all downspouts and gutters to avoid debris accumulation
  • Store all gas and oil for tools and lawn equipment in a locked, vented area

Inside your home:

  • Use fluorescent bulbs instead of high-intensity bulbs. 
  • Make sure that all the light bulbs in your fixtures are the right wattage suggested by the manufacturer
  • Inspect all smoke detectors, and make sure that you have a detector on every floor. Change batteries annually, and test them every month
  • Remove all lint, dust, and fabric material from under your dryer and in the dryer exhaust duct 
  • Replace or clean your furnace filter
  • Make sure you check the water heater for corrosion and leaks
  • Make sure a professional inspects the air conditioning system like the manufacturer recommends
  • Fill and have accessible a fire extinguisher, and check it to make sure it is ready for operation and filled
  • Make sure your extension cords, fuse boxes, and outlets aren’t overloaded. Check for potential fire hazards such as loose fitting plugs or frayed wires.

Finally, Don’t get caught without the level of homeowners insurance coverage you need. Contact us at Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc. today to learn about more ways to protect your home and your family. 

Watch Out Pismo! Avoiding Bicyclists on the Road

You don’t need fear bicyclists on the road, even though the consequences of an accident can be dire. It’s entirely possible to practice smart safety on the road if you follow these suggestions.

Ditching the Distractions 

Our radios, phones and conversations seem to take center stage when we’re driving, which leads to countless avoidable incidents on the road. If it hasn’t rained for a while or if our windows are fogged up, we may not take the necessary precautions which jeopardizes our visibility and increases our odds of losing control of the car — and potentially hitting a cyclist. Simply being aware of this can be enough to train yourself to be a better driver. Or you can consider doing something more drastic like putting your phone in the trunk or committing to leave a few minutes early so you have time to warm up your car. Pismo Beach can get a lot of fog, so you don’t want to compromise your drive to work by not being able to see out the window. Sometimes you need to do something out of the ordinary to help drive the point home, and you should do it now before there’s a problem. Doing so can mean that bicyclists and you stay safer on the road. 

A Safer Experience for Everyone

Having the right insurance can also put everyone at ease when you’re on the road. At Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc we can help you determine what type of coverage will safeguard against every type of event you may encounter. Being able replace what you’ve lost is a priceless comfort when something unexpected occurs. We serve Pismo Beach, CA so give us a call today for a quote or simply to talk to one of our agents. 

Better Safe Than Sorry

A disaster isn’t going to avoid you just because you’re not ready. That’s why it’s best to prepare in advance even if a severe weather event isn’t expected in your area. Truly when it comes to disasters, it’s better to be safe than sorry, even if it does inconvenience you for space in your home. 

1. Lighting 

At any point in time, your electric may go out from a storm or from somebody running into a pole with their vehicle. It may even be from an issue with your circuit breaker. You don’t want to be searching around in the dark for a flashlight or candle that doesn’t have a designated spot. For this reason, you should have a flashlight or battery-operated lantern in a specific spot where you’ll know where it is in case of a total power failure. Have a pack or two of batteries on hand beside the flashlights. You may want to place a battery operated light in every area of your house where you or a family member will more than likely go to during a power failure. 

2. First Aid Kit

You should always have a first aid kit in your home that has the necessary medical supplies for burns, cuts, skin tears and stings. You can opt to create your own by purchasing the essentials like baking soda, band aids, gauze, alcohol prep pads and antibiotic ointment. You could also opt to purchase a premade kit that doesn’t require you to find a variety of healthcare items when one with the same items is available for you to purchase without hassle. 

3. Food and Water

You should have a supply of food and water that gets you through at least three days. All food items should be non-perishable.

Be safe rather than sorry by having insurance in case of a disaster. Contact Neff & Associates Insurance Services today. 

Reduce the Chances of Motorcycle Theft While on a Road Trip

As a motorcycle owner, the last thing you ever want to experience is walking out of a restaurant, hotel or even your home and find your bike is nowhere to be seen. It is a stomach-sinking feeling. At Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, we not only offer motorcycle insurance, but want to make sure you never have to deal with having to deal with your bike stolen, either in Pismo Beach or anywhere else you might travel. 

Out of Sight

When parking for the night, keep it as out of sight as possible. Naturally, you won’t have garage access or anything like that, but don’t just park it readily visible to anyone who drives by the hotel. Additionally, a bike cover is a nice investment. It blends in with the night and almost camouflages it. 

Lock it Down

Make sure to lock your motorcycle down when inside. Even if you are just stopping for lunch it only takes a few minutes for skilled motorcycle thieves to steal a bike. By locking it down, those looking to lift a bike will be more inclined to leave yours alone. A lock helps secure the wheel to a stationary object. If at all possible, have the lock elevated in the air, as this makes it more difficult to break it open with blunt force. 

Pick the Security Camera

Don’t just park your bike between cars, as this gives thieves cover to steal your bike. Instead, park it in the open and make sure you are by a security camera. Motorcycle thieves do not want to be spotted, and having a camera above head makes it less likely that someone will even attempt to touch your bike, let alone go and steal it. 

Three Tips to Maximize the Life of Your Car

So much money goes into your car that you want it to last as long as possible. These three tips will keep your car running so you can spend less on maintenance, new cars and higher insurance premiums.

Keep up With Maintenance

First and foremost, follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. You already know that you need to stay on top of oil changes and fluid maintenance, but many car owners forget about fuel filters, radiator flushes, timing belts and transmission flushes. While this feels like a lot of maintenance to track, none of the items on the list need service as frequently as the oil filter, so it really isn’t that much. Timing belts, for instance, usually only need to be changed once over the life of a car. That makes it easy to forget, so review the maintenance schedule every now and then if you really want your car to last.

Improve Your Driving

All of those tips you’ve heard about defensive driving will help you avoid accidents, keeping you safe and saving you money. You might not realize it, but those techniques also prolong the life of your car. Aggressive and fast driving create substantially more wear on a vehicle, so if you want the most mileage before you have to see a dealer, slow down and drive carefully. In general, the lower you can keep your average RPMs the better your engine will do. Additionally, if you have a manual transmission, smoother shifting is sure to minimize engine and transmission stress.

Master the Elements

Nature is not kind to you vehicle, and there are two major elements that will harm it the most: sun and snow. Excessive exposure to sunlight will rot exposed rubber, fade paint and generally make life difficult. The obvious solution is to park in the shade as much as possible, but if you can’t, stay on top of rotating your tires and replacing rubber hoses and parts in the engine. Snow and ice are hard on the car, but the real danger comes from salt. If you live in a region where roads are regularly salted, the key to protecting your car is to wash it. Obviously you have to strategize around the cold, so your best bet is a car wash that does not recycle water. Wash your car regularly during the snowy months and the salt damage will be kept at bay.

You can further protect your car with good insurance coverage. Check out Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc to see how you can get better protection for less money.

How To Remodel A Rental In Pismo Beach

Renting can be a great opportunity to live in different properties in Pismo Beach before you know what you want to buy. Unfortunately, rentals are not your own, therefore you cannot remodel to the full extent you may otherwise desire. There are a few ways that you can remodel, no matter what.

Determine your budget for remodeling. The more money you have, the easier it will be to remodel the level you desire.

Have a serious talk with your landlord to find out what you are able to do. The landlord may not care what you want to do as long it’s going to look aesthetically pleasing and you are going to front the costs. Review your leasing agreement as well as the local laws to determine what should be covered by the landlord. For example, if the floors are in bad repair, it may be the responsibility of the landlord to replace them.

Start with a few basic changes that can improve appearance that you can always set back to the way they were when you move out. This includes lighting, changing out the drawer pulls, and more. You may be able to apply fresh coat of paint to the walls, and always repaint before you move out.

You may be able to use stick on tiles for the floors as well as to create a fun backsplash. You may also be able to use a wall-mounted rack in order to get them out of the cabinets to give you more space. Consider a few different shelving systems as well.

If you’re renting, Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc. can help you to find a policy to provide you with peace of mind in Pismo Beach. Call now and let us get quotes to ensure you get affordable coverage.


Why Independent Insurance Agents Matter

When you need insurance – be it home, auto, business or life, you can get it wherever you want. You can get it wherever is quickest. Right? Wrong. By doing this, you are costing yourself quality customer service, significant amount of money and adequate protection. Buying any type of insurance is not like heading to the grocery store to purchase a gallon of milk or a load of bread. Insurance is your home’s, car’s, business’s or family’s safety net. It is not a purchase that should be treated lightly.

Where to Purchase Insurance?

With all of that being said, should you go online and purchase your insurance? Unlikely. This is because you don’t receive any direction or assistance from a qualified insurance professional, so how do you know you’re making the best decision? If you go to a captive agent, then you aren’t going to be able to receive quotes so that you compare one quote to another to ensure you’re getting the best possible bang for your bank. This is because this particular type of agent sells insurance for a single company.

Where Do You Go Then?

Luckily, you get all of that and a whole lot more by selecting to do business with an independent insurance agent. These agents represent multiple insurance companies and perform research in order to ensure that you receive the best service, coverage and price.

In the end, independent insurance agents, like Neff & Associates Insurance Services Inc, are strong, savvy and adaptable. We are willing to do what it takes to make you – their customer – happy because your happiness and satisfaction is the key to our success.

Top Power Outage Essentials

Power outages are more than just an inconvenience, they can change your way of life for hours or even days. Neff & Associates Insurance Services, Inc wants to help you prepare in case of an outage in the Pismo Beach, CA area.

Light Sources

Keep flashlights in several convenient locations within your home. Also, keep a few battery-operated lanterns on hand. These will provide more light than a handheld flashlight. Candles make a suitable source of light in a pinch, but battery-powered light sources are much safer.


Keep a small battery-operated radio around in case the power fails; this way you can continue to receive updates on the outage. Be sure to keep plenty of batteries around to power your radio and flashlights.

Washing/Bathroom Facilities

If you have a well or septic system, you will need to get creative during an outage. Stock plenty of water—not only for drinking but also for washing and using the restroom. Homeowners with well pumps and septic systems will not be able to run water or flush toilets when the power is out. A good stock of water jugs will get you through an outage, and pouring water into a toilet will force it to flush when there is no power to your well pump.


Keep food on hand that has a significant shelf life and can be eaten with minimal preparation. Protein bars, canned tuna, beans, peanut butter, crackers, and dehydrated fruits can each help provide the carbs, fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins to keep your energy up during the outage.

For more information on how to prepare for a power outage or to find out which types of losses due to an outage may be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy, call Neff & Associates Insurance Services, Inc today.