Newsletter

July Newsletter

dog walking with American flag in mouth

Pet Safety Tips for Summer

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but doing too much in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:

  • Visit the vet for a early-summer checkup. Make sure your pets get tested for heart worm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. It cant lead to fatal heat stroke.
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home.

people at backpack drive in Chino

Backpack Drive for Chino Neighborhood House

Every July Apollo purchases needed school supplies and we assemble fully equipped backpacks to help underserved students prepare for the school year.

Some of the supplies we purchase include colored pencils, glue, pencil boxes, notebooks, rulers, binders, paper, scissors, erasers, markers, pencils and pens and of course backpacks.

We’re planning to donate our fully assembled backpacks to the Chino Neighborhood House. Since 1945 the Chino Neighborhood House has worked to ensure that families in the Chino community have food on their tables as well as enabling students to be more successful in school and allowing seniors to live a healthy lifestyle.

Last year we donated 32 backpacks, this year we’re striving to donate 40 fully assembled backpacks! We also help this organization throughout the year by donating clothing and food to them.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Backpack drive, or to donate any supplies, please send an email to info@apolloins.net.

family packing up car for a trip

How to Pack a Car Safely

Summer is here and so are thoughts of hitting the road for a family vacation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of 10 Americans drive to their travel destination.

If you’re among those planning to hit the road, remember that safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway. Securing luggage, maintaining vehicle balance and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver’s seat are key elements in packing your car safely for the long drive.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you load up your luggage, coolers and other vacation necessities:

  • Load heavier items such as suitcases first, and toward the center. Lighter items, such as coolers, beach bags and groceries, can be packed on top of and to the sides of the heavier items.
  • Make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Uneven weight can cause instability and increase the chance of the car tipping in the event of an accident.
  • Don’t pack things too high—items packed too high may obstruct the driver’s view through the rear-view mirror. Also, items packed too high could shift forward and injure those in the back seat if you should stop suddenly.
  • If you’re doing any rooftop or auxiliary cargo loading, make sure all cargo is fully secured. The wind created while driving could exceed 75 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
    • Be aware of the height of your cargo so you do not inadvertently drive into a low overhang.
    • If you use a detachable cargo platform on the back of your car, do not forget that it’s there when you back up.
    • Check the manufacturer’s instruction sheet to confirm that you don’t exceed the load rating of the roof-top or cargo platform.
  • If you tow a trailer, make sure it’s in good condition (lights, tires, wheels, etc.), and check the trailer periodically during your trip.
  • Pack only what you need since heavy cars can take longer to stop.

Your friends at Apollo Insurances wish you safe summer travels!

living room in beach front house

Bring summer into your home

Looking for a way to add some summer flair to your home décor? A vibrant splash of color is a simple, yet incredibly effective way of bringing the feel of summer into your home. This season, summer home decor is all about bright, saturated colors and you can achieve a summery decor look without having to spend serious amounts of time and money.

It could be a new set of bold, patterned throw cushions to liven up your chairs and sofas, some colorful books, or a new piece of artwork on the wall. However you choose to add a splash of color to your summer home decor trends, make sure it’s bright and cheerful. But if riotous color won’t look right in your home, consider more sober pastels and matte finishes to keep the look laid back yet energizing. And intriguing color combinations that pair a sensible neutral shade peppered with hits of color or animal prints also makes for a sound design direction, without having to take too much of a risk.

Adding a fresh coat of paint will also brighten up a room. For a more dramatic effect try having one main accent wall as your focal point.

Fresh summertime blooms will bring the outside in. Gather flowers from your garden and make a colorful arrangement as a centerpiece on your coffee or dining room table.

Have fun with it and you’ll enjoy summer that much more.

June Newsletter

Ken Potter Vice President

Ken Potter

Ken is the Vice President of Apollo Insurance Services and has been with the agency since 2012.

He’s been instrumental in making many improvements to our organization including streamlining procedures and embracing technological advances that will elevate the customer experience. Ken is very passionate about educating our customers on the importance of having the right insurance to protect their financial future. He’s also great to work for as he understands and embraces work-life balance and always has our best interests at heart.

Ken was a kicker for the UCLA Bruin football team and spends many Saturdays rooting for his alma mater. He also enjoys golfing with his son Andrew or hosting barbecues at home with his wife Veronica and their close-knit group of friends. He’s an avid cyclist, often participating in charity races such as the Tour of Long Beach last month where his team biked 30 miles and raised over $3,300 for pediatric cancer research.

national park with waterfall

Five Fun Northern California Road Trip Destinations

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom of the open road, where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Whether you take off around the corner for a weekend getaway or across the country for an extended vacation, there’s adventure everywhere.

Whatever your pleasure, you may want to consider the incredible beauty of California. It offers many unique attractions and activities with 840 of miles of rugged coastline and countless miles of deserts and mountain ranges to explore.

1. The California Redwoods

If you’re looking for a scenic drive, Highway 101 near the Oregon border can’t be beat, as it winds between groves of redwoods and small towns. Start in Garberville and drive north to the Avenue of Giants. Make your way north from there to Redwoods National Park, where you can search for Hyperion, the world’s tallest tree. It measures a startling 379 feet from top to bottom, but it won’t be easy to find, as its location is a secret. The typical life-span of these trees is between 500 and 700 years – some live to be over 2,000 years old!

2. Napa

Wine production is one of the state’s biggest industries. There are more than 117 varieties of grapes growing in California’s diverse soils. Head north from San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101 or take Highway 116 through Sonoma. Continue to Napa Valley on Highway 121. Napa’s 450 wineries attracted 3.3 million visitors in 2014 alone, a hot spot for wine tasting. If you’re planning a trip to the area, arrange for a designated driver and look into a guided tour. Napa also boasts exquisite dining options like The French Laundry, which was named best in the world in 2003 and 2004 by Restaurant Magazine. Make sure to call and book your reservation two months in advance to guarantee a table.

3. Pacific Coast Highway

The Travel Channel named Pacific Coast Highway one of the most scenic roads in America and the number one road trip destination for Americans in 2013. The route provides road trippers with breathtaking views of California’s coastline. Start your trip in San Simeon and visit Hearst Castle. Continue north and have lunch in Monterey on historical Cannery Row. Walk the Monterey Old Town Historic District and visit the Old Fisherman’s Wharf before stopping by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you’re visiting between April and December, keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales while you’re standing on the back deck of the aquarium. Finish the day by heading to one of the local beaches to watch the sunset.

4. Lake Tahoe

California Highway 50 will lead you east from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, which straddles the border of California and Nevada. Whether you’re golfing or boating, lounging on the lake or on an epic ski trip, you’ll love Lake Tahoe any time of the year. Fish the lake or, if you’re into water sports, try wind surfing or wakeboarding. Snowboarders and skiers will be impressed by the diverse terrain of the local slopes.

5. Yosemite National Park

Drive Highway 120 to Yosemite National Park. Attracting an astounding four million annual visitors, Yosemite is a hiker’s playground with more than 800 miles of established trails. The 214 miles of paved road throughout the park offer some of the best scenic driving in the country. Awe inspiring, towering granite faces characterize Yosemite’s unique landscape. El Capitan (7,569 feet) and Half Dome (8,839 feet) are two of the park’s prominent features. Yosemite Falls is one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, rushing down 2,425 feet. Be alert when driving, as rock slides are fairly common.

Most of us do a little research before packing up our cars. Remember that no matter where you end up, a smooth road trip requires planning to ensure your car is prepared for the journey. Call your friends at Apollo Insurance Services at 800.426.1088 or visit us at www.apolloinsuranceservices.com to make sure you’re properly insured.

girl waving large American flag

Fun Facts about the American Flag

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th every year and we as Americans are encouraged to proudly display our flags on this day. To help get us in spirit of Flag day, here are some facts that you may or may not know.

  1. The flag has been changed 27 times. The final star for Hawaii was added in 1960.
  2. The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  3. The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  4. The designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.
  5. Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag.
  6. There are six American flags on the moon. Five are standing, but Neil Armstrong’s fell over.
  7. The flag should not be flown in rain or inclement weather.
  8. When your flag is old or torn, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried.
  9. The colors of the flag have meaning. Red stands for hardiness and valor. White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  10. The American flag should never touch the floor or ground.
  11. When displayed on a wall or window the blue field should be in the upper left corner.
  12. The American flag always flies at the top of a staff above any other flag.

Long may it wave!

Newly married couple

Wedding Season is here!

June is the most popular month for weddings. While every bride dreams of the perfect day, very few think about what could possibly go wrong. And unfortunately sometimes things do go wrong. And that’s where wedding insurance can step in.

What is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance protects a couple’s investment from circumstances beyond their control and reimburses expenses incurred. For example, what if your limo driver doesn’t show up and you have to book another one the morning of the wedding–for three times the price? Or what if the groom’s custom-made tux is lost in airport baggage and he has to buy a new one the day before the wedding? What if your reception space goes out of business a month before the wedding, and you lose your deposit and have to book another space? These are the types of wedding day financial losses that wedding insurance can help protect.

If you want your perfect day to be perfect, you should consider wedding insurance. It provides peace of mind in the event things don’t go as planned. It’s easy to get a free, no-obligation quote. Just click here.

 

April Newsletter

April newsletter

Spring Has Sprung!

Not everyone enjoys the rain, especially if you have to commute in it but for most of us it’s a nice and much needed change. Plus the results of the rain have been remarkable since our hillsides are now green and covered in colorful wildflowers. We also enjoyed a parade of painted lady butterflies fluttering about. Spring has definitely sprung and we love it! I asked some of the Apollo team what they like most about Spring and here’s what they had to say:

Shannon Rudder, Insurance Services Representative

The warm sun on my face. The sounds of the birds chirping in the morning. Looking at the open sky. There are more but these are my first and favorite.

Steve Arguello, Insurance Consultant

My favorite thing about Spring is enjoying softball and baseball with my kids.

Christina Rittenhouse, Receptionist

My favorite thing about Springtime is enjoying the pleasant change in weather, the beautiful flowers and watching the graceful butterflies. It is definitely one of my favorite seasons.

Gail Christner, Marketing Analyst

I’m more active and carefree in Springtime. I love that the sun stays out longer for us to enjoy the day and provides the opportunity to explore all the beauty that nature has to offer.

Armando Pacab, Insurance Consultant

I agree with Robin Williams’ take on Spring. “Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!”

April newsletter

Fun Easter Traditions You Can Start With Your Family

Easter tradition doesn’t just have to be about coloring eggs, egg hunts and Easter baskets! Here are some new ideas that you can incorporate into your family Easter celebrations.

  • Start a family tradition of making rainbow pancakes on Easter morning
  • Show the kids that the Easter bunny has visited by leaving bunny footprints
  • Make s’mores from peeps
  • Create an Easter tree
  • Make a graham cracker house for your peeps
  • Have everyone write why Easter is important to them, put in plastic eggs, then randomly read them and guess who wrote which one
  • Put some peeps on a skewer and arrange in a vase for a colorful bouquet
  • Tie dye your eggs
  • Everyone wears toy beads, whoever says Easter has to give up their beads, the person with the most beads wins a prize!

Your friends at Apollo wish you a very Happy Easter!

April newsletter

Fun Facts About Painted Lady Butterflies

The painted lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world

You can find painted ladies everywhere from meadows to vacant lots. Although it is resident only in warmer climates, it often migrates into colder regions in spring and fall, making it the butterfly with the widest distribution of any species.

It is sometimes called the thistle butterfly or the cosmopolitan butterfly

It’s called the thistle butterfly because thistle plants are its favorite nectar plant for food; it’s also called the cosmopolitan butterfly because of its global distribution.

Painted ladies have unusual migration patterns

These orange butterflies are known to travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. Recently people are taking notice because of the sheer size of the migration: Scientists estimate the teeming painted ladies number in the millions. Substantial rainfall is the reason for the unusually large swarms. The explosion of plant growth in Southern California that has fueled this migration of butterflies is in itself a spectacle. The growth of colorful wildflowers, called a super bloom, besides attracting the butterflies, has also attracted a steady stream of tourists.

Painted ladies fly fast and far

These medium-sized butterflies can cover a lot of ground, up to 100 miles per day during their migration. A painted lady can reach a speed of nearly 30 miles per hour. Painted ladies seem to be in a hurry like the famous white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, late for a very important date.

Hopefully you’ve had the chance to see them, if not, they’re probably headed your way soon!

April newsletter

Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Hello Spring Cleaning Season! It’s the time of year where we want to clean and organize our home and spruce it up by adding some special touches like some fresh flowers from the garden. It’s also the time to put on the rubber gloves and get down to business. But before you do, read this to change three cleaning habits that work against you. It will save you time and money.

Stop using vinegar on wood & stone

From windows to laundry, vinegar is an eco-friendly cleaning powerhouse. But it’s also an acid that can damage stone and wood. When cleaning your granite or marble counter tops, use mild soap and warm water instead. It’d be a shame to ruin your carefully chosen kitchen materials. And only clean floors and furniture with made-for-wood cleaners.

Don’t use lemon in the disposal

While you may have heard running a lemon through your disposal will clean the blades and make your disposal smell fresh, think twice about trying it. It may indeed clean the appliance, but lemon’s citric acid can also corrode the metal, while the peel can damage grinders and clog pipes.

Stop using hot water in the washer

This is one time you shouldn’t listen to grandma. Today’s laundry detergents clean more efficiently than ever in cold water. Even though it may feel strange, your jeans will get just as clean on the cold setting — and you’ll save money on utilities too. But when a family member is sick or you’re washing nasty dirty messes, then listen to grandma. Use hot water mixed with chlorine bleach to kill any bacteria.

March Newsletter

march newsletter

Staff Spotlight – Paula Cobbs

Paula is one of our cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Service Representatives. She has been with Apollo for almost 20 years! Chances are that if you have an insurance policy with us and have had any changes or updates in the last 19 years that you have probably spoken with Paula. And that’s not all, Paula has been lucky enough to work every day alongside her twin sister.

When Paula isn’t on the phone helping you with your insurance needs, she’s usually enjoying her time reading Crime Drama novels and cuddling up with her 9 year old Maine Coon, Jasper. When out and about, Paula loves walking and checking out antique shops to hunt for an unusual find at a bargain price.

Paula is also very happy when she’s with her extended church family and enjoys spending quality time with this close-knit group of people who all support each other.

If you haven’t already met Paula, we hope you get the opportunity to speak with her soon!

march newsletter

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day early!

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and we know you can hardly wait. Well, you don’t have to! You can celebrate early with us. Apollo Insurance Services is proud to be one of the sponsors of the upcoming St. Patty’s Festival at the Shoppes at Chino Hills.

The event is hosted by the Chino Valley Fire Foundation and will support many of their community outreach programs and local charities.

Join us on Saturday, March 9th at the Shoppes at Chino Hills from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. You can taste craft beer from up to 30 independent breweries and enjoy delicious food sponsored by Limericks Tavern. There will also be live music from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Pipes & Drums and music by LA Alehouse Fire and DJ Rhino as well as games, raffles and much more.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through the Chino Valley Fire Foundation.
We hope to see you there. Apollo Insurance Services wishes you & yours a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

march newsletter

Tell a Friend! Get $20!

Thank you for being one of our valued customers! But please don’t keep our quality coverage and great service to yourself…. let your friends and family know that we can also help them with their insurance needs. If you do, we will send you a $20 Gift Card for every referral that is sold!

  • Just fill out the form on our website
  • We will also have an annual drawing for $100 which will be given to the charity of the winner’s choice.
    • Each sold referral you’ve given throughout the year equals one entry for our annual drawing.
    • We’ll announce who won on our Facebook page.

You can also give us call with your referrals at 800.426.1088, option 2.

Thank you again for letting us serve your insurance needs!

march newsletter

Family Spring Break Travel Tips

After a long, cold winter one of the most exciting times of the year is getting ready for spring break vacation. It’s the perfect way to start the new season with your family, and to unwind and have some fun. Traveling with your family can be tough – so we wanted to provide you with a few tips that will make sure your travel plans go a little bit smoother this year.

Research before you book

You may have an idea about where you and your family would like to visit during spring break, but make sure you research the area ahead of time. Certain locations are known to be party spots while others are made to be family friendly. Make sure you are booking your location based on what will work best for your family. Also be sure to ask what type of atmosphere a hotel has before you decide to book a room.

Book plans early

Spring break is one of the most popular travel times within the entire year and no matter the location you’re planning on visiting, it will most likely be busy. Make sure to not only book your airfare a great deal ahead of time but also your hotel accommodations and rental car. Also look into pre booking any activities you are interested in so you can plan an itinerary and make sure you are able fit in something for everyone.

Take safety precautions

Before you go, make sure your home is safe and securely locked. Be sure to let a close friend, family member, or neighbor know the dates you will be traveling and has your phone number in case of any emergencies. While you are on your trip it’s important to remember that such a popular travel time can also put you at a greater risk for travel scams. Make sure to shy away from wearing flashy clothing and jewelry and always leave your valuables locked away safely in your hotel room.

Make it educational

If you are traveling with children, spring break can be a great way to find educational activities that are also fun. Before you leave, research where the best parks, museums, tours, libraries, and zoos are so that you can incorporate learning and having fun.

Prepare for the weather

Before you leave make sure to look up what the weather is expected to be at your destination. If you’re traveling to a tropical location be sure to pack lightweight clothing, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. Pack appropriate footwear that is comfortable for all activities. Also remember that even if you’re going somewhere hot, to pack pants and a sweatshirt or jacket for cooler nights.

Invest in travel protection

Purchasing a travel protection plan can help de-stress the trip, just by knowing you have coverage for your family if any unexpected travel disruptions do in fact happen along the way.
Click here for a free quote.

February Newsletter

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Your “Burning Love” should not ignite the house!

What could be better for creating that perfect romantic Valentine’s Day mood than a favorite dinner at home, gazing out at that moonlit ocean or mountain range by candlelight?

But be careful with those candles so that you don’t ignite something you don’t intend! Take these tips from the National Candle Association on how to use candles safely:

  • Be sure all candles are extinguished before you leave the room
  • Keep clothing, blankets, pillows and other flammables away from lit candles
  • Keep them out of reach of pets and children
  • Place candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface
  • Use a holder designed specifically for candles
  • Burning candles should be at least three inches apart, and not near vents, ceiling fans or other air currents
  • Ensure the room is well ventilated/li>

By taking these precautions, you can spend Valentine’s Day the way you planned—and not by filing a home insurance claim!

Everyone at Apollo Insurance Services wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How Efficiently (or inefficiently) Do You Use Your Heat?

Many homeowners in California see their energy bills each winter and think, “How can I be spending this much when the house isn’t even that warm?”

To get an answer to that question, you should start with some other questions that will help determine just how efficiently you’re heating your home.

  • Where is the warm going? If you’ve got a leaky house, you’re costing yourself money, plain and simple. Heat ends up escaping and cold air keeps flowing in, which means you either turn up the thermostat or just shiver in your living room. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends getting an energy audit so you can find and seal the gaps.
  • When is the heat on? Are you keeping the house the same temperature all day and night? Even when you’re sleeping or at work? There’s no reason to, and programmable thermostats mean you can still have a warm house when you wake up and when you get home.
  • How often do I use space heaters? If you find that you’re using space heaters to supplement your main heating system, you could be masking a bigger problem and actually increasing your energy costs.
  • Am I maintaining my system? A lot of homeowners simply forget to do things such as changing their air filter regularly or getting periodic examinations of their heating system. These routine tasks can not only prevent more costly problems down the road, they can help you more effectively heat your home right now.
  • Is my fireplace hurting more than it’s helping? It could be, if you always leave the damper open even when you don’t have a fire going. And if you have the damper closed, a leak can make it yet another place where warm air gets out and cold air seeps in. Check the seal around your damper, and consider using a chimney balloon when you aren’t using the fireplace.

Taking some time to answer these questions can increase your efficiency, decrease your bills and perhaps even prompt another, more pleasant question this winter: “Is it too warm in here?”

Your friends at Apollo Insurance Services hope you have a warm and cozy winter.

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Tips for Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be scary – especially if you worry about being scammed. There’s nothing worse than seeing a car you like online, checking it out in person and making the purchase – only to realize the previous owner ‘forgot’ to mention some serious mechanical issues. Pretty discouraging to say the least. I have only ever purchased used cars, so I’ve learned a thing or two about getting the right bang for your buck and lucky for you, I’m going to share it!

  1. The first step when buying a used vehicle is to determine your budget. It will narrow down your choices while searching the local area for deals, and you’ll be able to calculate your monthly payment if you decide to finance it. If you do plan on financing the vehicle, research your options! You may find that a loan from your bank will have a lower interest rate compared to the dealership or manufacturer.
  2. Next, decide if you want to purchase a used vehicle from a dealership or a private owner. If you’re leaning towards a dealer, expect a bigger price tag. Used vehicles in their lot may include an extended warranty or service program, meaning these cars must be refurbished in order to meet warranty standards. Wondering where these cars came from? They’re usually acquired from auctions or trade-ins.
  3. If you prefer buying from a private party, expect to do all the leg work. When you meet with the owner, be prepared with a list of questions regarding ownership history, maintenance upkeep and the current condition of the car. Do a walk-around and take note of any bumps or scratches on the car, as well as any leaks. Remember, as the buyer, you are in control of the sale! Feel free to ask as many questions as you want about the vehicle you are interested in buying – especially if you don’t know much about the make of the car. It will save you financial headache in the long run. Want to investigate the car’s history yourself? Write down the VIN number (usually located on the driver’s side door) and you can run a report online for a small price.
  4. Whether you are purchasing from a dealer or private owner, ALWAYS take the car for a test drive! During the drive, it’s a good idea to drive on hills, highways and in stop-and-go traffic. You’ll get a better feel for how it drives and decide if you feel comfortable driving it.
  5. Finally, after negotiating a price, it’s time to close the deal! Before you negotiate, make sure the car is priced fairly (you can find out it’s worth on a vehicle valuation website). After a price is set, you should never pay a private seller with cash. If something goes wrong and there’s no paper trail, it may be tough to get your money back. Along with the car, the previous owner should provide the title, a dated receipt for the sale signed by you and the seller and a spare key if available. Call your friends at Apollo Insurance Services prior to taking possession of the car to insure the new vehicle.

Happy Shopping!

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Who doesn’t love delicious chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine’s Day? Juicy, fresh strawberries covered in decadent dark chocolate are the perfect surprise for your sweetheart. Make them with extra love!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or white vanilla baking chips
  • 1 pint (2 cups) medium-large strawberries (18 to 20 strawberries)

Directions

Gently rinse strawberries and dry on paper towels (berries must be completely dry).

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Dip lower half of each strawberry into chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip back into saucepan. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Refrigerate uncovered about 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm, or until ready to serve. Store covered in refrigerator so chocolate does not soften (if made with oil, chocolate will soften more quickly at room temperature).

December Newsletter

december newsletter

What do you want to find under your Christmas tree?

I asked some of the team at Apollo what present they would like to find under their Christmas tree this year and here’s what they said:

Deanna Dekker, Insurance Consultant – I would love to find an Instant Pot – Electric Pressure Cooker under my tree as I have started cooking new recipes to maintain my new healthy lifestyle.

Paula Cobbs, Insurance Service Representative – I would be so excited to wake up on Christmas morning and find a vintage Nancy Drew book from the 1930’s under my tree,

Bill Obelmito:, Insurance Consultant – it would be awesome to find a pair of headphones that allow me to watch TV without disturbing anyone. Mainly because my wife, daughter and grandkids make too much noise and I can’t ever hear the TV!

Jessica Santana, Sales Support Specialist – I love to be surprised on Christmas morning. Big or small, the thought that went into picking the gift is what really matters. My biggest joy is watching my kids faces light up as they’re opening their presents–that’s my gift–their happiness.

Christina Rittenhouse, Receptionist – I really enjoy the excitement of watching my friends and family open their gifts. However, it would be fun to get a mixer so that I can bake with my nieces and the gift will bring us many happy memories and delicious treats!

Steve Arguello, Insurance Consultant – The best present would be to have my mom who lives in Massachusetts with us at Christmas.

All of us at Apollo hope you get what YOU want under your Christmas tree!

december newsletter

Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays

The holidays are here and with it bring the promise of a beautifully decorated house with a pile of brightly wrapped presents tucked under the tree brimming with ornaments. But not everyone is as fortunate. And to help those in need, or those who have suffered a financial hardship, and can’t afford to enjoy a lavish holiday season, there is the Adopt-A-Family program. Most cities have one or you can check with a charitable organization, such as the Salvation Army or even reach out to one of the armed forces to adopt a military family in need.

This year, Apollo Insurance Services is adopting two families through the Chino Neighborhood House. The Chino Neighborhood House is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides food and clothing and other necessities for families in the Chino Valley. We’re excited to shop for the families, each with three children that need clothing and some other goodies that they had on their wish list. We’re hoping to have all the presents wrapped and under their trees before Christmas. We also hope to have the opportunity to meet the families and wish them a safe & healthy New Year with the prospect of a fresh start and memories of a delightful holiday season.

Wishing you & yours the joys of the season and hoping you will also consider to Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays this year.

december newsletter

Stay on Top of Holiday Spending

The Holiday season is a great, yet expensive time. All the decorations, parties, cards, cookie baking and gifts for everyone on your list add up. Studies have found that almost 80 percent of Americans overspend on holiday purchases. Here are three tips to help keep holiday spending on track:

Create a Budget for Holiday Spending

Creating a budget specific for holiday spending is a great first step to avoid overspending. Whether you’ve been saving up to buy gifts or if you’re going to use a portion of your existing spending budget, make sure to determine how many gifts you want to buy and how much you want to spend on each gift. Be sure to leave a little room in the budget, in case you forget a gift or get invited to a gift exchange.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

Using credit cards for holiday purchases can be a great idea for some people, particularly those who have a rewards-earning card or are trying to build their credit. However, you should make sure you have a plan to pay off the card balance without incurring any unnecessary fees. If you plan to use credit cards for your holiday spending, make sure your post-holiday budget leaves some room for making payments.

Be Careful Not to Overdraft a Budget

Holiday shopping can be a frenzy-especially if you’re shopping in a large mall or trying
to take advantage of multiple sales. Having a budget is a great first step, but if you’re using a debit card, you’ll also need to be aware of your account balance and any daily spending limits.

Happy Shopping!

december newsletter

Buttery Snowball Cookie Recipe

It looks and tastes just like the holidays – this delicious, melt-in-your-mouth recipe of butter cookies with pecans shaped into snowballs and dusted with powdered sugar.  All we can say is yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and powdered sugar until creamy
  • Add the flour, vanilla, salt and chopped pecans. Mix well again.
  • Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. These cookies will not rise or flatten, so they can be placed relatively close together.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Don’t allow the balls to brown. This will ensure they  are buttery soft!
  • Immediately roll the cookie balls in powdered sugar.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely and then roll them in powdered sugar again.

Stack them on top of each other so they look like a pile of snowballs and dig in!

November Newsletter

november newsletter
november newsletter

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I asked some of the team at Apollo what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving is and here’s what they said:

Ken Potter, VP – My favorite thing about Thanksgiving are the sights, sounds and smells! I enjoy seeing my wife smiling while we chop vegetables and prepare the turkey. I love having family and friends around to share stories and reminisce about the past and look forward to things to come.

Joseph Cohen,, Manager, Business Development – The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful for the blessings in my life. To have the ability to host a family gathering, eat some great food, and to be loving to others is all something to be thankful for. 

Karen Irwin:, Insurance Services Manager – My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is having all of my family together.

Julia Barragan, Insurance Services Supervisor – What I love most is being with family.
Roland Taylor, Business Analyst – Playing touch football before the big meal and then the huge game of Monopoly afterwards!

Gail Christner, Marketing Analyst – I love the tradition of gathering at my cousin’s house every year. They host over 40 people and we bring our favorite dishes to share while we enjoy each other’s company and count our blessings.

All of us at Apollo are thankful to have you as our customers and we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

november newsletter

How to Survive the Holiday Travel Season

As the holiday season approaches, so does a busy travel season. The chaos can put a damper on your cheerful spirit if you aren’t prepared. Here are some of Travel Insured’s top tips to survive holiday season travel:

Take the road less traveled

Even if you know where to drive, use a navigation app (Google Maps, Waze, etc) to keep you on the least congested route.

Take precautions for your electronics

Add password protection to your devices if you haven’t already done so. If you’re checking your bank account, or anything else confidential, don’t use public Wi-Fi. Travelers often forget that even hotel Wi-Fi is a target for hackers, since they know tourists are there.

Keep the kids happy

When traveling with children, pack yummy snacks for them. If they’re being disruptive to others it could help to distract them with a snack. You could also gift your snacks to nearby travelers as a “thank you for being patient with us” offering.

Always arrive at least an hour early to the airport

Airports are particularly crowded around holidays. Showing up early ensures you won’t miss your flight due to long lines. Having extra time to kill is better than running to your gate or missing your departure.

Don’t travel with wrapped gifts

You should pack your gifts unwrapped or you risk TSA opening the gift before the intended recipient! Another alternative is to use gift bags instead of wrapping paper. You can pack gift wrap and tape in your bag to put the gift together post-security checkpoint. If you’re still concerned, you can always ship your gifts to your destination instead of packing them.

Make your baggage stand out

Invest in a unique colored/patterned bag or find a bright luggage tag or ribbon to attach. This can help you recognize your bag easily at baggage claim and in crowded overhead bins.

Don’t over pack, except for medication

Take enough of your prescription medications for the duration of the trip, plus extra in case you aren’t able to return home on time. Weather can be pretty unpredictable around the holidays, which means travel plans are susceptible to delays and cancellations.

Help prepare for the unexpected with travel protection

A travel protection plan can be useful during one of the busiest times of the year. There are more important things to have on your mind, so let travel protection help you travel relaxed, travel secure, travel insured. For more information, click here.

november newsletter

Thanksgiving Day Quiz

We celebrate Thanksgiving every year during the fourth Thursday in November, eat lots of delicious roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and velvety pies but what do we really know about the traditions that started after the Pilgrims feast at Plymouth Rock?
  1. Where was the first Thanksgiving parade held?
    1. Washington, DC
    2. New York
    3. Philadephia
  2. Which NFL teams played in the first Thanksgiving game in 1934?
    1. Dallas Cowboys & Chicago Bears
    2. Detroit Lions & Chicago Bears
    3. Dallas Cowboys & Detroit Lions
  3. How many turkeys do Americans eat each Thanksgiving?
    1. 23 million
    2. 46 million
    3. 55 million
  4. Which pie do most Americans prefer?
    1. Pumpkin
    2. Pecan
    3. Apple
  5. Black Friday is the busiest day for?
    1. Restaurants
    2. Plumbers
    3. House Cleaners

Answers: 1c,2b,3b,4c,5b

november newsletter

Black Friday Shopping? Don’t leave gifts on car seats

You might be leaving your car at home unattended while traveling for the holidays, or maybe you’re staying local and hitting the Black Friday sales. Either way, you’ll want to protect your car from break-ins.

Here are tips you can follow to help protect your car from burglars this season:

  • Lock all car doors, and make sure windows are shut after you park
  • Do not store gifts or other valuables on the seats where they may be visible
  • If you have a garage, park inside instead of on the street
  • Make sure any installed car alarm or security systems work properly

October Newsletter

kids playing with pumpkins
apollo employees in costumes

We Love Halloween!

Last year, your friends at Apollo got into the spirit by dressing up as our favorite dead celebrities such as Hugh Hefner, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Steve Irwin and Jackie Kennedy. This year, we’re doing a team theme. (Some ideas – The Flintstones, The Addams Family, Hocus Pocus)

Come by and say hello to us while Trick or Treating at The Shoppes at Chino Hills. The event starts at 3:00pm on October 31st, and runs until 5:00pm. There will be a costume contest that starts at 4:00pm, as well as many other fun activities, such as trick or treat stations, craft projects, and face painting. We hope to have a booth there to give out candy and prizes to the little ghosts and goblins!

We hope to see you there!

 

Kids trick or treating
Next to Christmas, Halloween is probably the most favorite holiday for kids, and as mentioned, your friends at Apollo!  With candy, costumes, and spooky decorations, there’s not a lot you can do to keep your kids calm! But trick-or-treating can be a little scary for parents with all the ghosts and goblins out on the streets — you never know what could be lurking around the corner. Here are a few tips to keep your kids safe and to let you relax and enjoy it all:Choose costumes that:

  • are flame-resistant
  • have masks that don’t block their vision
  • aren’t too long (so they don’t trip and fall)
  • have props such as swords that are made of soft materials
  • have something reflective on them (so drivers can see them crossing the street)

While Trick or Treating make sure to:

  • walk only on the sidewalks
  • obey traffic signals
  • only walk on well-lit streets
  • bring a flashlight
  • save all the treats to eat at home

Halloween is a fun and exciting time – enjoy it. It only comes once a year! Your friends here at Apollo Insurance Services wish you a Safe & Happy Halloween!

fall collage

Thank you for sharing us with your friends & family!

We appreciate all of our valued customers. Our #1 goal is to help you protect what’s essential in your life and give you the best possible experience while doing so. If we have reached our goal, we hope you’ll spread the word to your family and friends. We would be honored to help them as well. As our way of saying thank you, we’ll send you a $20 gift card for every referral that is sold!

You can call us at 800.426.1088 or click here and complete the form.

pumpkin soup

Pumpkin & Italian Sausage Soup

Here’s a smooth, hearty pumpkin soup recipe to try on a chilly fall evening. The sweetness of the pumpkin complements the spiciness of the sweet Italian sausage. If you like spicier foods, try it with hot Italian sausage.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley (optional)

In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage; cook until browned. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Add butter to meat mixture, cook until melted. Stir flour into 1 cup milk; stir into meat mixture. Stir in remaining milk, chicken broth and pumpkin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and gently simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls, Garnish with Parmesan cheese and if desired, parsley.

Enjoy!

September Newsletter

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Betty Favela

Staff Spotlight – Betty Favela

Betty is one of our friendly and helpful Insurance Service Representatives. If you need to change your insurance coverage, add a car or if you’ve been in an accident and need help getting your claim started, Betty is your girl. She’s getting ready to celebrate 15 years here at Apollo. She enjoys helping customers navigate through the insurance world, answering their questions and finding them the right insurance for their needs. Betty explained “I love helping customers and giving them peace of mind so they know they’re protected.” It’s easy to see why she loves the comic book and movie superhero, “Wonder Woman”.

In her spare time, Betty enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, son and two dogs. Her family time is the most important time to her and they all enjoy going to concerts and movies together especially if Keanu Reeves is in the starring role. And of course she’ll be first in line for the next “Wonder Woman” installment. We hope you get a chance to meet Betty soon!

 

dog with american flag in mouth

Fun Facts about Labor Day

Labor day is almost here. This year it falls on Monday, September 3rd. Here are some interesting facts that you may not know:

  1. Most Americans think of Labor Day as an American Holiday, but Labor Day started in Canada.
  2. Some of the first festivities included speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and beer kegs mounted in every conceivable place. (Why did this stop?)
  3. The reason for Labor Day was outlined in the proposal for the holiday – “A street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organization.”
  4. Nobody knows who actually started Labor Day.
  5. The first Labor Day celebration in the U.S. can be traced back to New York City on September 5, 1882.
  6. Oregon was the first, then Colorado, New York, Massachusetts & New Jersey followed as the first states to declare Labor Day a state holiday.
  7. Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. It’s one of the busiest travel days.
  8. The “no white” after Labor Day is actually symbolic to the uniforms that were worn.
  9. The celebration of Labor Day is for anyone in the workforce.

Labor Day also signifies the end of summer. (Gasp!)

 

Children's Hospital Los Angeles - NeoNatal Unit

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – NeoNatal Unit

Two of our favorite causes here at Apollo are animals and children. We enjoy doing whatever we can to help. Recently we were able to help the great people of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) neo-natal unit. They’re the people who care for premature babies, some of which may be as small as the size of your hand. These fragile babies need extra TLC and the neo-natal unit are the ones to dispense it. But they need help with funding to keep the unit running. To help spread awareness to the community and raise needed funds, their ambassadors wear preemie diaper pins on their lapels which say “Ask me about this” It definitely gets attention and helps get a conversation going – the diapers are so teeny-tiny, you realize how tiny the babies must be.

A group of us got together and assembled 480 preemie diaper pins for the representatives at CHLA to wear. We were so happy to get this done and help this great cause.

girl sitting on couch with cup of coffee looking at phone

September is Disaster Preparedness Month – there’s an app for that!

Now you can be prepared to protect your property from damage the next time a disaster strikes with a new iPhone® app from the Opens in new window Insurance Information Institute(I.I.I.) and the Opens in new window Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety(IBHS).

The Opens in new window Your Plan app was developed by the I.I.I. and uses a set of resources and checklists from the IBHS to help you minimize property damage from severe weather and other disasters. Preparing yourself and your property against damage can minimize losses and make your homeowners insurance provider happy.

Start with preloaded checklists built into the Your Planapp to learn how to prepare for disasters and minimize property damage. Monitor events with local emergency information right from the app. Set due dates, add notes, track your progress—even create and share custom checklists with friends and family.

The Opens in new window Your Plan app is free to download from the Apple® App Store and is an easy way to help make sure you’re prepared in the event of a disaster.

January Newsletter

happy new year 2018
iphone in hand

These Apps Help you Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Far fewer stick to them.

“Losing weight” and “exercising more” are among the most popular goals. A sizeable percentage of Americans also aim to “be a better person.”

TechCrunch reviewed apps that are designed to help people stay on track with these plans. Here are a few that will help you remain focused in 2018.

There are countless fitness and diet apps. But if you’re looking for a new one, 8fit is worth checking out. Whether you want to “lose fat” or “gain muscle mass,” 8fit lets you track specific fitness goals. There are workout videos for yoga. It has plans to add videos to target your core and arms. You can also log exercises and sync steps with Apple Health. 8fit additionally has a diet section, for monitoring what you eat. Whether you’re vegetarian or looking to avoid carbs, there are plenty of options suitable for various diets. 8fit will help you build a customized meal plan, complete with recipes. The basic app is free and available on both iOS and Android.

Regardless of what your resolutions are, this app will help you get it done. The aptly named “Done,” lets you set your own goals and get reminders. Done charts your progress, so you can see how you performed this week or this month. The data is exportable and can be backed up by Dropbox. The beauty of the app is the simplicity.

All of us at Apollo Insurance Services wish you good luck & lots of willpower in keeping those resolutions!

woman in kitchen with rubber gloves on

Four Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do In January 

Whew. The holidays are done. The new year has rung in.That’s when smart homeowners know it’s time to do these four things that’ll save time, money, and hassles all year long:

#1 Organize your Seasonal Storage Space

Packing away holiday decor presents a big opportunity. It’s the best time to sort, declutter, and reorganize that space where you store your seasonal stuff.So before simply stuffing your holiday things back in there somewhere, take inventory, then sort, filter, donate, trash, and re-home as many of your things as possible.It’ll help keep you more organized all year long, and make it easier to find all your holiday stuff next year.

#2 Deep-Clean the Kitchen

All of that holiday merriment-making is rough on a kitchen. Give it a good deep cleaning now that the glittery dust has settled. Purge your pantry and frisk your fridge, passing what you can on to local food banks. Scrub the walls and kick-boards, and even pull those appliances right out from the walls for a thorough vacuuming to prevent gunk (and stinks!) from accumulating.

#3 Plan Summertime Projects Now

Finalize plans for any landscaping, decks, patios, or other outdoor projects that need warm weather. Two good reasons:
1. If you’re DIYing, you’ll be ready to roll at the first hint of nice weather.
2. If you’re hiring a contractor or other professional, getting your bids and contracts in place now will save you from competing with the spring rush (wait too long, and you may not be able to book anyone!).

#4  Create a Schedule to Clean ALL your Home’s Filters

It’s not just your HVAC. The filters in your fridge, your vacuum cleaner, your dryer, your air filter, and other household items need to be changed or cleaned at least once a year to be effective, usually more often — especially your dehumidifier. Mold grows easily there. Check manufacturer instructions for all the filters in your home, and create a master schedule, then add them to your calendar app to remind you.

And voila, enjoy a nice, clean kitchen – before you know it, it willl be time to plan your special Valentine’s dinner.

mom braiding daughters hair

Are you protected for the New Year?

It’s that time again. A time when we reflect on the past year and plan for the new. As you decide on your resolutions, make your family’s protection a top priority. Having enough insurance in case of an accident or unfortunate circumstance is a great first step towards security and peace of mind for those you love
Give us a call today at 800.426.1088, option 3 to review your current policies and plan for any gaps in coverage.

automobile and sun in the distance

Navigate the Rising Cost of Auto Insurance

If you’re paying a bit more for auto insurance these days, you’re not alone. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual cost of insurance premiums rose to approximately $926.

Why the increase? Cheaper gas prices and an improving economy mean more drivers on the road today. Unfortunately because of cellphones, too many of them are driving distracted, leading to an increase in severe car accidents. And because insurers are bearing the costs of these collisions – more expensive car repairs, higher medical bills and costly claim settlements – they have been forced to raise insurance rates.

Luckily, there are ways to keep your costs down and find the coverage that best meets your needs. Here’s how:

Car Shopping? Estimate Insurance Costs First
It’s no secret that some cars are more expensive to insure than others. That’s why it pays to do your homework and estimate insurance costs for the vehicles you’re interested in buying.

Review Your Coverage

If you’re shopping for auto insurance or wondering if your policy provides the best coverage and competitive pricing, the licensed insurance professionals at Apollo Insurance Services can help. We’ll do a quick review of your needs, and identify savings opportunities and discounts. We’ll also compare rates with highly rated insurance companies, such as Travelers, Safeco, Mercury, Kemper, Progressive and more!

Bundle Your Insurance

If you have auto and home insurance with different companies, a smart way to save money is to bundle your coverage with one company. By doing so, you can save 10% to 20% on each policy.

Choose Higher Deductibles

You can save significantly on your policy by increasing your deductible, to $500 from $250, for example.Just make sure you have enough money set aside in case you need to file a claim and pay that deductible.

Let Our Experts Help You

Our licensed insurance consultants are here to make sure you find the coverage you need at a price that’s right for you. Get a free quote online at www.apolloinsuranceservices.com or call us at 800.426.1088, option 2. Also, remember to refer your friends and family to us, we’ll send you $20 for each policy that is sold!