Tag Archives: local

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!

Insurance 101 for College Students … And Parents Too

college-student-insuranceMoving away from home to go to college is an exciting time for most kids. It’s their first real taste of independence, but this newfound freedom also comes with increased responsibility.

Mom and dad aren’t around anymore to nag you about the hours you spend on your smartphone or to wake you up for school in the morning, but this also means they aren’t there to fix problems either. What, for example, would you do if someone were to steal your precious smartphone?

Students can easily get swept away in the excitement and bustle of the college social scene, forgetting that not everyone they meet at school has the best of intentions. Crime exists in most communities, and college life is no exception. According to the FBI, 97 percent of crimes reported by college students in 2012 were property crimes and a whopping 41 percent of these crimes occurred on campus grounds.

Students bring many pricey belongings from home – electronics like laptops, smart phones, tablets, televisions and gaming systems are common dorm room items. They may also have a skateboard, bike, vehicle or combination of all of the above.

Another on-campus threat to personal property is fires. Firefighters responded to an average of 3,870 college housing structure fires per year1. These fires caused an annual average of $15 million in personal property damage and losses.

So, how can you protect your belongings while you’re away at school? The first step is to check with your insurance agent to see if your stuff is covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Some policies, like those offered by Mercury Insurance, will extend coverage to college students living away from home.

Another option is to purchase renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is designed to protect property owners in the event that their belongings are stolen or damaged in a fire. It will also provide liability coverage in the event someone is injured while visiting your apartment or dorm room.

To maximize your college experience, here are a few tips to protect personal property:

Cover personal belongings with an insurance policy. Students who live on-campus may have coverage available through their parents’ homeowner’s policy. Some companies have policy options that extend personal property coverage for students away from home. Students living off-campus may not be covered by their parents’ policy and should look into purchasing renters insurance.
Create an inventory. Record the value of all personal property to determine the right amount of coverage needed in the event of a loss.
Always lock doors. Talk to roommates and make sure to communicate the importance of securing personal belongings.
Conceal valuables. Never leave electronics or other valuables out in plain sight, and do not advertise their presence on social media.
Secure valuable electronics, like TVs and laptops, to stable fixtures with locking mounts in your room so they can’t be easily removed. Also, protect personal electronics with passwords to guard accessibility and discourage theft.
Use a bicycle lock when you’re out and about or for added security while on-campus. Steel and titanium locks are difficult to cut and provide thieves with a challenge. Reinforcing these locks with cable locks, which can be threaded through wheels, will provide extra security.
Install or activate an alarm if you have a vehicle on-campus. Insurance companies frequently offer discounts for vehicles equipped with anti-theft devices. Students with good grades – at least a B average – may be eligible for an additional discount as well.
Ensure your auto insurance is up-to-date. Coverage for vehicles left at home while in school should be maintained to protect the vehicle from theft or any damage that may occur while it is parked. This will also protect you if you forget to notify your agent to add coverage back to your vehicle when you return.

Consult with your local Mercury agent to learn more about renters insurance and they’ll help build the protection plan that best suits your needs.

The bottom line: with greater independence, comes greater responsibility.

1 The National Fire Protection Association reports this annual average occurred during the five-year period from 2009-2013.

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!

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!

Check Out These February Events

February Events

As January comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look for fun, family friendly events that you can enjoy with all of your loved ones. Make sure to mark your calendar for all of these exciting February events in the local community.

On February 14th head out to the Westlake Village City Hall for the 2015 Pancreatic Cancer Research 5K/10K Walk/Run. The event features a 5K, 10K, and a Kids 1K Fun Run. Check in for the 10K starts at 7 a.m. for all runs, but the runs are spread out throughout the morning. Pancreatic Cancer Research Walks are meant to help increase funding for the research of the disease and raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. The Lustgarten Foundation helps to serve as a great celebration of the process that is being made to help fight against the disease.

The RUNdezvous 5K Fun Couples Run is happening on Valentine’s Day in Newbury Park and is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. The run starts at Road Runner Sports in Newbury Park at 7:30 a.m. All of the proceeds help to benefit the VHL Alliance. VHL is a rare genetic cancer. Head out and run or walk with anyone you love, from your spouse or parents to your best friend or furry friend.

Integrity First Insurance in Thousand Oaks, California would like to invite you and your loved ones out to enjoy all of these exciting local events this February!

Check out these Local Events!

Living in the Conejo Valley allows you to enjoy all the fun and exciting activities in the local area. Make sure to mark your calendar for these awesome events in the community!

On October 26th, make sure to check out the 14th Annual Taste of Ojai. Each year, the Rotary Club of Ojai puts on one of the most looked forward to events in the area, and this year promises to be no different. Held at the world class Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, attendees will get to taste delicious creations from wineries, caterers, and restaurants in the area. Make sure to buy your ticket today, before they sell out!

If you are looking for a fun and friendly Halloween event in the area, you will not want to miss the 53rd Annual Simi Valley Halloween Carnival at Rancho Santa Susana Community Center, on October 31st. Make sure to wear your costume and enjoy all the fun activities, including inflatable slides, face painting, bounce houses, and hay rides. There will also be a Trick or Treat Village where kids can collect Halloween Candy.

If you are looking to get a little dirty this fall, make sure to sign up for the 5th Annual Conejo Valley “Mud Crazy” 5K Mud Run on November 2nd. The course features more than 25 obstacles, including spider webs, climbing walls, balance beams, tunnels, and a monster mud pit! There is also plenty of entertainment to enjoy after the race, including live music and local food vendors. You can sign up and create a team, or run solo.

Integrity First Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks would like to encourage you and your family to check out all of these exciting events in the local community.

Check Out These Local Events!

The Conejo Valley is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to live. With all of the fun, family friendly events in the local area, there is never a shortage of things to do. Make sure to check out these exciting events this September in the Conejo Valley that are fun for people of all ages.

You will not want to miss the 11th Annual Thousand Oaks Art Festival on September 20th and 21st. The festival starts at 10 a.m. both days, and spans from the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza all the way to the Lakes, and is expected to attract more than 12,000 Conejo Valley and Southern California residents to enjoy over 60 art exhibitors, as well as wine tasting!

If your children are a fan of the movie Cars, they are sure to love Disney’s Planes! Make sure to bring the whole family out to the Drive In Movie at Oak Park High School on September 20th, and enjoy a screening of the movie. The exciting and unique event is only $5 per car, and starts at sundown. The gates open one hour before sunset, so make sure to get there early to get a good spot!

Get ready to laugh all night at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza because Bill Cosby is coming to town! Enjoy all of Cosby’s hilarious jokes on September 28th, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are selling out fast, so make sure to get yours before they are all gone!

Integrity First Insurance in Thousand Oaks, would like to invite you and your family to check out all of these fun events in the local community.

OakHeart Country Music Festival: The Perfect Mix of Country Music, Food and Merchandise!

The OakHeart Country Music Festival is being held this year in Thousand Oaks, California on June 14th at Conejo Creek Park South. This year’s event will feature live music from Love and Theft, Jana Kramer, Craig Campbell, The Other Words, Von Cotton and several more.

This is a family-friendly local event with children 12 and under getting in free of charge. You can start arriving at 1pm and enjoy looking around at the merchandise for sale at the various booths or you can show up a little later when the music festivities begin. Regardless, if you and your family love country music and food, then this is an event you will want to mark on your calendar now!

Keep your eyes peeled if you attend the OakHeart Country Music Festival in June because you may just see one of us out there! In the meantime, if you need to update or upgrade your insurance coverage, Integrity First Insurance covers all of California and the Conejo Valley and would be honored to become your choice in insurance! 

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!