Tag Archives: family

Understanding Car Safety Ratings


Although newer vehicles are generally more expensive to insure than older ones, consumers can often get discounts if their new vehicles have the latest safety features. Advances in crash and accident avoidance technology mean that consumers who buy a new vehicle equipped with the latest safety features are often less likely to be seriously injured in a car crash.

Safety ratings are a function of two major factors: prevention—how well the vehicle is designed to prevent an accident—and, crashworthiness—how well the vehicle performs in a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks its Top Safety Picks based on good, acceptable, marginal or poor performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, and evaluations of seat / head restraints for protection against neck injuries during rear impacts. Crash tests are conducted on a half-dozen types of vehicles, including large cars, mid-sized cars, small cars, minivans, mid-size SUVs, and small SUVs. You can also visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for a full report on recalls and defects.

Currently, some of the top-rated safety features are:

  • Adaptive front airbags
  • Side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Knee airbags
  • Electronic stability control
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Brake assist
  • Tire pressure monitors
  • Back-up sensors
  • Park assist
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Smart headlights
  • Crash-alert systems (such as OnStar)
  • Built-in car seats

Technology is ever-improving, and, as time goes by, manufacturers and the government are standardizing these features. Doing your homework ahead of time and knowing what your options are can make the decision-making process smoother and get you into that new car faster!

Technology to Help Prevent Texting While Driving


The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that cell phone distractions while driving claim 6,000 lives and are the cause of 1.6 million crashes a year.

Today, distracted driving kills more people than drinking and driving, and research has shown that drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to use cell phones while driving.

So, what is being done to combat this epidemic? Educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving is important, but it clearly isn’t enough. What can we do? One place to start is technology, because technology can play a powerful role in helping to remind drivers to refrain from using their cell phones while they’re on the road. Here’s a look at three inventions designed to put an end to distracted driving.

1. The SMARTwheel

The SMARTwheel is a high-tech steering wheel cover that was designed by six New Hampshire teens with the goal of ending distracted driving.

The idea came about when 14-year-old T.J. Evarts noticed that his friends who had recently gotten their licenses were often using their phones while driving. Knowing how hazardous texting and driving is, Evarts set out to find a way to deter his friends…and the SMARTwheel was born.

The cover easily slips onto the steering wheel and tracks when a driver has both hands on the wheel. Removing one or both hands from the wheel triggers a buzzer and flashing lights. The device even records trip data and grades driving habits using a mobile app connected to smartphones through Bluetooth so parents can track their teen’s driving habits.

2. ParentBlocked

ParentBlocked is a smartphone app that allows parents to disable and control their children’s cell phones at certain times of the day through remote access.

The app was created by concerned single mom, Lisa Mullins, who worried that her teenage daughter would be too tempted to use her cell phone while driving.

It allows parents to approve downloads and pick and choose which features they want to manage – for example, parents can disable texting and social media sites when teens should be focused on other activities, like driving. PB Safe Driving Mode will automatically shut down cell phone functions if your teen is moving faster than 10 mph but still allow emergency calls.

3. Drivesafe.ly

DriveSafe.ly is a mobile app that eliminates reading and typing on smartphones by using iSpeech software. The app reads text messages and emails aloud and drivers are able to respond to messages through speech.

Tech entrepreneur and iSpeech founder Heath Ahrens is the creator of the hands-free app, which is compatible with Bluetooth and radio transmitters. It also comes with a customizable auto-response. These features keep drivers connected while reducing distractions and promoting safe driving.

Distracted driving takes lives and these apps can help make a difference. We encourage all parents to visit the Mercury Insurance Drive Safe Challenge website where they can find resources and tools to reinforce the message and encourage safe driving habits and behaviors. There is even a Drive Safe Agreement for parents and teen drivers to sign.


Local December Events Thousand Oaks CA

Local December Events You Don’t Want to Miss!

Check out these Ventura County festive fun events!

When it comes jolly holly holiday fun, Ventura County offers plenty of events to keep the family entertained and involved all the way through December! Whether you like to get festive from food, crafts, or a charity event, read on for a handful of local December happenings that will get you into the spirit of the Christmas season!

  • Winterfest Event in Oxnard
    Sat, Dec 5, 12 pm – 4 pm
    John’s Lutheran School, Oxnard
    This event is the perfect way to prepare for the Christmas season with family and friends! Bring the whole family down to play in the ‘snow’, visit Santa Claus, enjoy delicious food and beverages, play games, make crafts, and browse the local vendors’ booths! Don’t leave your little ones at home – this event has many activities for children in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade! Bag your carnival ticket by visiting the school in November!
  • Santa’s Village Holiday Carnival in Camarillo
    Sat, Dec 12, 9 am – 2 pm
    1605 Burnley St, Camarillo
    This carnival offers games, inflatables, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and local vendors with gifts and food to enjoy! Stick around for the special visit from Santa Claus! The 54th Annual Camarillo Christmas Parade will take place at 10 am, starting as Las Posas and Temple Avenue and ending at the Camarillo Community Center. It will host floats, bands, autos, and so much more!
  • Santa to the Sea Half Marathon, Relay & 5K in Oxnard
    Sun, Dec 13, 8 am – 12 pm
    Nyeland Acres to Channel Island Habor, Oxnard
    This 8th Annual event begins with the half marathon at the giant Santa located at 2801 Ventura Blvd, Oxnard and ends at Marine Emporium Landing in the Channel Islands Harbor. In addition to the marathon, there is a 5K race, 2-person relay and a kids 1K run. This event has been awarding scholarships to deserving locals since 2009. Partially funded by grants from the Gene Haas Foundation and the Oxnard College Foundation, approximately $122,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to 300 current Oxnard College students!

From Integrity First Insurance, we hope that you and the family have a great time getting festive in Ventura County, California! We ensure that you have the quality insurance coverage so that you can thoroughly enjoy the holiday season without a worry! Contact us in Thousand Oaks, California today!

Local Events For Fun This August

Enjoying The Last Month Of Summer In Thousand Oaks

August beginning is bittersweet. On the one hand, it signals that last month of summer. On the other, it brings plenty of fun opportunities to head out with your community and enjoy the waning season. Here are just a few events worth checking out in the comings month!

  • Concerts In The Park At Chumash Park: Over the summer, Sunday evenings offer you and your family the chance to enjoy great live music with your community. On Sunday, August 2nd, Fortunate Son, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band, will take the stage, followed the next week by Alley Cats, where music meets comedy. Both of these shows will start at 6:00 p.m. at Chumash Park, where there will also be a Kidszone for the younger ones.
  • Arroyo Creek Half Marathon, 5k, & 10k: Get ready to get moving on August 9th! This annual event features beautiful runs along the scenic Arroyo Creek bike path in Simi Valley. The mostly flat course makes this a great event for beginners while providing the opportunity for advanced runners to top their own personal records.
  • Concerts In The Park At Janss Marketplace: The summer concert series is in full swing at Janss Marketplace. Upcoming performers at this Wednesday night series include Copycats (August 5th), Zepidemic, a Led Zeppelin tribute band (August 12th), Grunge Monkeys (August 19th) and Space Oddity, a David Bowie tribute band (August 26th). Come out for the free music, great food, and weekly fun at 6:00 p.m.

We hope you have a great time at these fun local events around Thousand Oaks! For all of your insurance needs in Thousand Oaks, Conejo Valley, and the surrounding California area, contact Integrity First Insurance today. As members of your community, we are here to help you set the right protections in place for your family.

You Do Not Want to Miss These Local Events!

June Local Events

With the hot summer weather just around the corner, it is the perfect time to find exciting local events that your whole family can enjoy together. Mark your calendar for these Conejo Valley events that people of all ages can enjoy together.

The Love Run is happening on June 7th, and is helping to benefit the Meals on Wheels Charity. You have the chance to run in the 10K starting at 7:15 a.m., the 5K starting at 7:30 a.m., and the 1 mile run starting at 9 a.m. Make sure to bring the little ones to enjoy the Love Run Kids Zone that is presented by Moms In Motion and Run Kids Run.

The City of Agoura Hills is happy to announce its 2015 Summer Concerts in the Park from June to August. The first concert is being held on June 21st, and then every other Sunday through August 9th. Each concert will include a Kidszone for the little ones to enjoy.

You will not want to miss out on the Conejo Valle Food & Wine Fest in Thousand Oaks on Sunday, June 28th. Everyone is encouraged to join in celebrating the most delicious food and wine in the community, along with live entertainment and prizes. Tickets for the event range from $60 to $80, and make sure to get yours before they are all gone!

All of us at Integrity First Insurance in Thousand Oaks, California would like to encourage you to head out and enjoy all of these local events this June!

Don’t Miss These Local Events!

May Events

There is no better way to spend a spring weekend than enjoying a fun, family friendly event in the local community. Make sure to check out these two events that people of all ages can enjoy this May.

On May 8th and 9th, head out to Janss Marketplace for the Free Family Space Day Event. The area in front of Burlington and the fountain at the Marketplace will be transformed into a unique, interactive space experience. There will be many different activities and displays to enjoy, including planetary music, learning about the life of an astronaut, fun physics, an astral art project, an Apollos Missions display, a spacey science magic show, and more. All the excitement starts at 3 p.m. on May 8th and ends at 7 p.m. If you miss the first round of fun it will start back up again at noon on the 9th until 4 p.m.

On May 9th, you will not want to miss the 2015 Simi Valley Street Fair. Over 200,000 people are expected to join in on the fun that starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. There will be a kid’s corner, an emergency preparedness expo, and more than 300 booths that will be selling crafts, arts, food, and other items.

All of us at Integrity First Insurance in Thousand Oaks, California would like to invite you and your family and friends out to enjoy both of these community events!

St. Patrick’s Day Events To Enjoy!

Local St. Patrick’s Day Events

St. Patrick’s Day is just over a week away, which means it is the perfect time to start looking for a fun and family-friendly way to celebrate. Make sure to check out these local community events with your friends and family this holiday.

The 27th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ventura is happening on March 14th starting at 10 a.m. The parade will start on East Main Street in front of the San Buenaventura Mission, and will end at the corner of East Main Street and North Chestnut Street.

If you are in the Agoura Hills area, make sure to head out to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on March 14th. The event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. There will be plenty of entertainment, including the Claddagh School of Irish Dancers, Tribal Caravan Belly Dancing Performances, and live music by Innisfree. There will also be tons of fun activities, including rock climbing, face painting, and various inflatables to enjoy.

While enjoying these exciting local events, keep these fun facts in mind to impress your loved ones.

  • Patrick was not Irish. He was born to Roman parents in Scotland.
  • The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York City, and brings 250,000 marchers to Fifth Avenue.
  • Chicago dyes its river green each St. Patrick’s day using 40 tons of green dye.
  • While St. Patrick’s Day is typically associated with drinking, it used to be a dry holiday and all pubs had to be closed.
  • While lady leprechaun decorations fill the store, there are actually no lady leprechauns in traditional Irish folk tales.

All of us at Integrity First Insurance in Thousand Oaks, California would like to wish you a fun and exciting St. Patrick’s Day!

Know The Difference Between Water Damage And Flood Damage

Water Damage vs. Flood Damage

When dealing with broken pipes, burst water mains, and other water issues in your home, you likely do not think about whether you should file a water damage claim or a flood damage claim. Many homeowners do not realize there is a difference between these two types of claims. Gathered is some vital information about water damage and flood damage to help you better understand the issues you may be dealing with.


According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land. Within this definition, flood damage can only be caused by:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters.
  • Unusual accumulation of runoff of surface water.
  • Mudflow.
  • The collapse of land along a body of water, as a result of erosion caused by waves or currents.

So What Is The Difference?

In simple terms, the difference between a flood damage claim and a water damage claim is that a flood involves water from a natural source and includes more than one property. If only your home is dealing with water issues, chances are you are dealing with a water damage claim, not a flood damage claim.

Flood Insurance

Most home insurance policies do not include flood insurance. If you are in an area at risk of flooding, you should contact the National Flood Insurance Program for a policy. This will allow you to stay protected from flood damage and be able to file a flood damage claim. You can learn more about purchasing flood insurance here if you are concerned about your home’s risk.

For all of your homeowner’s insurance needs throughout the Conejo Valley, contact the insurance professionals at Integrity First Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks, California.

9th Annual Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash 2013

Come on out and participate in the 9th Annual Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash! As always, this fun event is held on Thanksgiving morning leaving you plenty of time to go home and prepare your Thanksgiving celebration.  This year’s turkey dash begins at 8am on Thursday, November 28th at California Lutheran University.

What better day than Thanksgiving to support your local community?  Bring the whole family to participate in this great cause that benefits the programs at the Conejo Valley YMCA.  This fun event has something for everyone – a Family Fun 1K run/walk and a 5K Run/Walk.  Can’t participate in the run?  Why not volunteer to help at this event?

Integrity First Insurance hopes you’ll come out and support this worthwhile cause!  We are insurance specialists serving Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas since 1981!. Our insurance services include auto, homeowners, life, health and business insurance. For information about our services please do not hesitate to contact Jason Mayling!

Homeowners Halloween Safety

With fall upon us, Halloween is just around the corner. Even though this is one of the most fun and exciting times of the year, it can be dangerous–if you are not careful. Follow these Halloween safety tips and find out how to keep yourself and your children safe!

  • Dress in reflective costumes or light colors, this makes it easier to be seen when out trick or treating.
  • Costumes should also fit well and allow you to move around comfortably. That way you are not likely to trip or fall while wearing it.
  • Never eat any candy that appears to have been opened or tampered with–it is probably fine but no need to take that risk.
  • Instead of trick or treating, consider hosting a party for your family and friends at your house or another location. This can be a great way to spend the evening!

Another way to stay safe throughout the year, not just at Halloween, is by obtaining the right homeowners insurance. Call Integrity First Insurance and let us help you choose the right insurance for you and your home. We want to help!