St. Johns Boosters

St Johns Bites: Spring 2021

Event dates: April 20 – May 20, 2021

We launched our online version of St. Johns Bites last September and it had a great response with almost 100 entries, so we’re bringing it back for Spring as well as Fall.

St. Johns Boosters

2020 — What A Year!

Boosters 2020 Year-End Report and Events Roundup

Our small business owners experienced a year of unfathomable challenges – from a global pandemic, to toxic smoke, to civil unrest, to our houseless crisis – yet though it all, they faced it with resilience, creativity, and compassion.  We could not wish for a better and more supportive community than St Johns.  For all of the hardship this past year, there were moments of gratitude and joy that will not be forgotten, and we will carry this strength into the coming years as we rebuild and re-emerge stronger than ever. 

The theme that kept us going was “St Johns Together” #stjohnstogether

As the Boosters, we were challenged to put on our creative hats as well. In March, we shifted our monthly membership meetings to Zoom and hosted guest speakers including Prosper Portland, OSHA, PBOT, The Talented X, IRCO, and Do Good Multnomah. We created a St Johns Business Owners Forum on Facebook, a private group where business owners ask each other questions and share resources. We created a “live listing” of all businesses updated with their hours, links and special services, and sent out a mailer with a list of open businesses to remind the community to support local. We created graphics that our retail businesses could post to communicate safety measures to customers as they navigated limited opening protocols.

Thank you to all of our volunteers this past year – we could not have done all of this without you! 

I Am a Small Business on Instagram Live!

Watch Liz Smith interview Annalisa Romano owner of RoM Shoes.

Liz Smith and ROM Shoes

Starting this Friday November 20, we are launching a new interview series “I Am A Small Business” on Instagram Live. Earlier this year, Venture Portland came up with the “I Am A Small Business” social media campaign to highlight local businesses, and we thought it would be great to turn that idea into interviews, reminding everyone that by supporting our small businesses, you are supporting the people that own them.

Our President Liz Smith will host a guest each week, representing different businesses in our district. The first guest will be Annalisa from RoM Shoes. It’ll be a casual conversation and a chance for you to spend time “in” the district from the safety of your home! Tune in each Friday on Instagram.

James John School StoryWalk®:

Began December 7, 2020

St. Johns Story Walk Poster
St. Johns Story Walk Book

From James John PTA

Join us for our first StoryWalk®!

You can start the book Moon Rope (in Spanish and in English) Monday, December 7th and the pages will be up in the business windows until January 7th so no rush to get through it. Two Rivers Bookstore and Revolutions Bookshop both have copies of the book at their location so if you’d like to purchase it please check with those stores while on your walk! Spread the word to your friends in the area so they have something fun to do with their kids!

Abajo en español

Únete a nosotros en nuestro primer StoryWalk ®!

Puede comenzar el libro Moon Rope (en español e inglés) el lunes 7 de diciembre y las páginas estarán en las ventanas comerciales hasta el 7 de enero, por lo que no hay prisa. Two Rivers Books y Revolutions Bookshop tienen copias del libro en su ubicación, así que si quieres comprarlo, por favor, compruébalo con esas tiendas mientras estás de paseo! Pasa la voz a tus amigos en el área para que tengan algo divertido que hacer con sus hijos!

Participating businesses:

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays St. Johns, Oregon
Show the Love Shop Small pdx
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, Shop Local
Small Business Saturday poster

We can do this, St. Johns! Your support means everything to your local small businesses, especially right now.

Check out our St. Johns Business Listings to see how easy it is to eat, shop, and get services, often without having to leave your home!

Here is what you can do:

  • Shop online and choose pickup, delivery or shipping
  • Call in and order takeout directly
  • Prepay now for future purchases
  • Engage on social media and review sites
  • Have patience and respect business protocols.

Deanna Cantrell Photography

Buy Native

Support for Small Business in Portland:

Venture Portland
Here For Portland
Prosper Portland‘s Shop Small PDX
Bricks Need Mortar
Mercatus PDX
Indigenous Marketplace
Travel Portland
St Johns Center for Opportunity

Light Up St. Johns

Some things change, some remain the same, and there is no year like this one to drive that home!

While we will NOT be having our traditional tree lighting ceremony and event this year, there are still ways that we are going to make the district feel warm, festive and inviting.

Christmas Tree with lights in the St. Johns Plaza
St. Johns lights up for the holidays!
Decorate the Tree poster
Gift Bag

Instead of passing out our local donation cans for the tree lights, we would prefer that you spend your money in the district. The most important thing you can do this season is support your local stores and businesses. For many, it will make a difference in whether they are still with us in 2021. Many offer contactless, curbside pickup, delivery, shipping, gift cards, and other options in compliance with Governor Brown’s mandated statewide Two Week Freeze (November 18-Dec 2).

Click here for our live, updated local business listing with hours, special services and links.

Don’t see your business or need us to update your information?  Email

Support Our Community

Every year at our Tree Lighting Event, we offer booths to community organizations. Even though we are not having the event this year, you can still get your holiday decor and support our young people!

Peninsula Optimist Club Tree Lot
Peninsula Optimist Club Tree Lot
Cub Scouts
Cub Scout Pack 52 Wreath Fundraiser
Roosevelt Supporter Club
Roosevelt Supporter Club Gear

Lunch & Learn Series *NEW*

Navigating PUA Applications

Screen recording of the December 16th Lunch & Learn on Zoom

Thank you to member Carol Tricoche for a great presentation! There is a link to the slide deck in the YouTube video description. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be notified when we have new content!

Learn more about Carol and her business Carol’s Escapes Travel here.

We would like to make this a monthly series!  Let us know if you have a skill or topic to share with our business community by emailing with the subject “Lunch and Learn”.

Boo-sters Halloween in St. Johns

We always look forward to Halloween in the district, which is usually the time of year when we do our annual Trick or Treat Walk and thousands of trick-or-treaters walk through our streets and receive candy from our many street-facing businesses. Of course, drawing crowds is not what we want to do during a pandemic, but the businesses felt strongly that they still wanted to do something fun for the kids, so we came up with some interactive yet distanced activities spread over the weeks leading up to Halloween.

Pumpkin Giveaway & Decorating Contest:

Began October 19th, 2021

2020 Champion Pumpkin Decorating Contest
St. Johns pumpkins poster
St. Johns Boosters Pumpkin Giveaway and Decorating Contest
Pick Up Locations for pumpkins

In the early 1990s, The Boosters used to give away pumpkins in conjunction with a carving contest put on by the Foot Patrol. We thought it would be great to bring this back, but in a new way:

  1. Pick up a pumpkin at participating businesses between October 19-October 31st (while supplies last!)
  2. Decorate them at home – carve, paint, decorate however you like!
  3. Post a public photo to Instagram using the hashtag #stjohnsboo and tag the business where you got the pumpkin.
  4. On October 31st, winners will be selected and receive prizes!

Thank you to our donors!

Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island generously donated 100 of their beautiful pumpkins to our district and we can’t thank them enough!

A Nice Lady in St. Johns created some custom prizes for the kids that we know they are going to love!

Pumpkin Pickup Locations

Oregonians Credit Union 7825 N. Lombard, hours: M-Th: 9:00a – 5:00p, Fridays: 9:00a – 6:00p
Reggie Guyton State Farm Insurance 8180 N. Lombard, hours: M-F 9:00a – 5:00p
IQ Credit Union 8191 N. Lombard #102, hours: M-F 9:30a – 5:30p
A Nice Lady in St. Johns 7227 N. Philadelphia #102, hours: M-F 10:00a – to 6:00p,  Sat 10:00a – 1:00pm

  • Mike Johnson with pumpkins
  • Pumpkins lined up on a bench
  • Reggie Guyton with wheelbarrow of pumpkins
  • Pumpkins on a truck

Scavenger Hunt: October 29th – November 1st

Halloween Scavenger Hunt Poster

Our team of volunteers has been busy putting together a fun scavenger hunt game for the kids!  It will be over 3 days to have time to get all of the clues and to visit the stores during different times to allow social distancing.  Remember to wear your face masks in addition to your Halloween masks!

Halloween Scavenger Hunt poster
Scavenger Hunt game
Scavenger Hunt Entry Sheet

The contest begins at the start of business on Thursday 10/29 and goes until 11/1, or until we run out of candy! Print out as many sheets as you like, but try to limit prizes to one bag of candy per family so that everyone has a chance to participate.

  1. Print out the scavenger hunt sheet, or pick it up at one of the participating businesses.
  2. Look for decorations/clues in the business’s windows.  They will be designated with a Boosters logo so you will know it is an official clue!  (Note: since the clues will be in store windows, you can go anytime, not just during store hours!)
  3. Answer the questions on the scavenger hunt sheet.  Don’t forget to check the back for a fun puzzle!
  4. Once you have completed the entire sheet, you can turn in your sheet to one of the businesses and receive a pre-packaged bag of candy.

Download Scavenger Hunt Pages here:

Scavenger Hunt Sheet Page 1, 1-page PDF
Scavenger Hunt Sheet Page 2, Witches Hat 1-page PDF

Participating Businesses

Good luck, be safe and have fun!!

St. Johns Bites:

September 15th – October 15th

We had over 90 entries and 12 winners who each got a $50 gift certificate to the business in their photo. Check our Instagram to see who won.

Shop small, support local and win gift cards! Support St. Johns businesses by participating in our 2nd Annual St. Johns Bites. Take a photo of your meal or drink from any local St. Johns restaurant, bar or café and post it to Instagram using #stjohnsbites – make sure your post is public!

Each week, 3 participants will win a $50 gift card to the business they posted a photo of. Winners will be announced every Tuesday, with the first winner announced on September 22nd.

Businesses are encouraged to promote the event by using the following marketing materials:

St. Johns Bites poster by Alshiref Design
Artwork by Alshiref Design

Google My Business Presentation

On Tuesday, August 25th, the St. Johns Boosters Business Association hosted a mixer for businesses to learn more about Google My Business. Click here to view the presentation slide deck.

Supporting Local Business During COVID-19

During COVID-19, it’s important for our community to support one another. The St. Johns Boosters Business Association has assembled a list of customer-facing businesses that are open in compliance with Governor Kate Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive order. This list details special procedures and new options for customers (ie curbside pickup, takeout).

Click here to find out which St. Johns businesses are open. Are you a business owner taking special precautions and offering new options for customers? Email us at to get your information added to the list.

We also invite you to be a part of our #iamasmallbusiness campaign.  Created by Venture Portland, this social media campaign reminds our community that by supporting our small businesses, you are supporting the people that own them. This campaign is open to all businesses within our boundaries. To have your business featured, email with a photo of yourself (preferably at your business), your business name, description, social media handles, and any special information that people should know.

I Am A Small Business poster

Thank you to residents for supporting your business community during this time. We’ll get through this together, St. Johns!


The Boosters are launching a new campaign titled #stjohnstogether, encouraging businesses and residents alike to show their support for the place we love. Even in times of crisis, it’s important to remind ourselves that as a community, we stand together.

Ways to show your support:

  • Check on your neighbors
  • Tip extra generously
  • Purchase gift certificates
  • Interact with businesses’ social media
  • Write a review and leave 5 star ratings online

Ways to promote #stjohnstogether:

Have kids at home that need something to do? Print some #stjohnstogether hearts for them to color – or use chalk to add some hearts of your own to our community’s sidewalks.

Use #stjohnstogether on your posts – we want to see how you’re showing your support!

#stjohnstogether graphic by the Wayfinding Academy

(graphic by our intern Karl Hayes of Wayfinding Academy

Boosters Marketing Squad

As businesses have rapidly had to shift to online platforms in order to offer customers alternative ways to shop, the Boosters have put together a team of local consultants we like to call the Boosters Virtual Marketing Squad, who are ready to guide you so that you can get your business online presence up to speed quickly and easily, for free.

Complete the English version of the form and let us know how we can help you.

Hemos reunido un equipo de profesionales y voluntarios locales, que nos gusta llamar El Escuadrón de Marketing Virtual, que están listos par guiarlo para que pueda acelerar su negocio de manera rapida y facil, gratis.

Formulario en Español 

Virtual Marketing Squad

General Membership meetings

St. Johns Village

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020 Guest Speakers at the Boosters’ General Meeting were Andy Goebel and Chris Aiosa from Do Good Multnomah. They covered the St. Johns Transitional Housing Village. You can learn more about the project here.

The Good Neighbor Agreement was approved at the SJNA General Meeting on December 14, 2020, and you can find the draft below. Updates and communication will be available through St. Johns Neighborhood Association.

Landscape rendering of the St. Johns Village project.

Thank you to Convergence Architecture

Convergence Architecture donated over $80k of services for design and project coordination. Other neighborhood businesses that provided service donations are WCL Engineering, Rachel Hill Landscape Architect, Placecraft, and Gene Darco Painting. See the Convergence website portfolio page for more details and links to local businesses that donated.

  • St. Johns Village, Convergence Architecture, overhead view
  • St. Johns Village, Convergence Architecture, street view
  • St. Johns Village, Convergence Architecture, inside village view

St. Johns Village Good Neighbor Agreement: Revised Draft, 6-page PDF

Media Advisory December 17, 2020: Pods Begin Arriving, 4-page PDF

Crime Prevention

October is CyberAwareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. While many forms of ID theft cannot be prevented, there are some simple things everyone can do (both in their personal lives and even at work), to mitigate the risk.

October is National CyberAwareness Month

Do Not Use the Same Password Across Multiple Programs

Studies show that 55% of all people repeat their passwords, many even using the same passwords at home and at work. If a criminal were to obtain your password and combine it with your email or other pieces of personal info, they can attempt to breach many accounts at once, including credit cards and bank accounts.

Protect Against Medical Identity Theft

Credits cards are a small percentage of all identity theft. Most banks have this under control.

The #1 culprit is Medical Identity Theft at 43%. The cost of health care has sky-rocketed, making health care a luxury for many. The scariest part of this happening is that — due to HIPAA laws — one would never even know. If you were to receive medical care and were a victim…it would be your name but another’s health record. Perhaps you were allergic to a medication, had a health condition worth noting and more. This situation could literally be a case of life or death.

What’s the Price of Your Identity?

The median price to purchase someone’s identity was only $21.35 in 2015. This is a low price to gain access to stealing an individual’s identity. Couple that with the plethora of data breaches….. it is becoming harder to feel secure in this CyberAge.

How To Protect Yourself

Melanie Kantor, Legal ShieldWhat can you do? You cannot undo what is already out there but one can be proactive for the future. LegalShield has partnered with Kroll to provide our members 24/7 Identity Theft protection. ID Shield monitors what matters. Not only that — but should you become a victim of identity theft — your personal private investigator will do whatever it takes; as long as it takes; however much money it takes to restore your identity back to pre-theft status.

To find out more about ID Shield please contact me or get more information at this link. Additional information and a video can be found on my website.  Please reach out to me with any questions.

Melanie Kantor
LegalShield Independent Associate


The Aspire Project 2nd Annual Gala, Raising The Barre

Aspire Project ballet students

Do you love to dance? Do you love moving your body? The Aspire Project located at 8426 N. Lombard Street offers over 55 dance and fitness classes a week for students ages 3 years to 83 years old!

Affordable and Accessible Dance Classes

Since 2009, The Aspire Project has provided affordable and accessible dance programs for Portland’s youth and in 2015, The Aspire Project found their permanent home in downtown St. Johns. They currently offer classes for all ages in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, yoga, Pilates and cardio classes, as well as a youth academic lab.

No Student is Turned Away

At The Aspire Project, no student is turned away. The organization aims to provide programs for students who could otherwise not afford the opportunity. Currently, 50% of students in the studio program receive discounted tuition as based on financial need and the outreach program offers classes in five North Portland schools, Assumption Village and the Rosewood Initiative.

2nd Annual Fundraising Gala October 13th

On October 13, 2018, The Aspire Project is hosting their 2nd annual gala, Raising The Barre from 5:00-8:30 pm at the Village Ballroom. This money this gala raises helps to provide affordable and accessible programs for ALL. Will you join us and support The Aspire Project? Stop by The Aspire Project to inquire or buy tickets here.

St. Johns Boosters Wellness

Fall Recipe: Ginger Squash Soup

Fall is officially here. The cooler weather means it’s finally time to turn on our ovens and start cooking again. It also means SOUPS! Not just any soup though, Ginger Squash Soup. This recipe is one of my favorites because it is so easy and delicious. I am honestly the laziest cook, so the easier the better. Plus this recipe makes a big batch, which means you can freeze some for later. Roasting the squash gives this soup a delicious flavor, the apples add a touch of sweetness, the ginger gets things spicy and the coconut milk mellows it all out with some creamy goodness. Happy cooking! I hope you love this soup as much as I do.


An image of a bowl of squash soup
Sweet and spicy!

4 Acorn or butternut Squash (or any other variety)

1-2 Apples

2-4 T Fresh grated ginger ( The more you use, the spicier your soup!)

1 Large onion, diced

1-2 Cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 C Chicken bone broth or vegetable broth

2 C Coconut milk (I prefer this brand because it is just coconut)

2 T Coconut oil or avocado oil

Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut squash and apples in half and remove seeds. Place face down on  a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until soft, approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Trust me these babies get HOT! Remove skins after cool and dice into small pieces. Set this aside. (This can be done a day before if you are short on time. Just refrigerate until ready to cook.)

Saute onion in a few tablespoons of avocado oil or coconut oil until almost soft. Add garlic, saute for a few moments and then add the squash, apples, ginger, broth and coconut milk. Let this all simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes to let all the flavors meld together. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and carefully use an emersion blender or regular blender to puree into a creamy consistency. Add water or more broth if it gets too thick. Add your salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Garnish with a sprig of parsley or cilantro and another squeeze of lemon juice. Then eat and enjoy!

St. Johns Boosters

Where do you go for a referral? 6 Reasons to Call Your Insurance Agent!

Has this happened to you? You need a plumber, a carpenter, a mechanic, or a mortgage professional and don’t know who to call? That happens every day to thousands of people. Well, where do you find that solution? My kids barely know what a phone book is? Most people use the computer and that can is hit or miss. I have the best answer to that question – call your insurance agent for a referral!

6 Reasons you should call your insurance agent if you need help fixing anything.

1. Most agents have a referral network.
I belong to one of the largest groups in the Pacific Northwest with 35+ members. Considering this group and other groups I am involved in the connections are endless.

2. Our reputation is our name.
If I provide someone with a referral I have checked them out. I would not refer anyone to a partner that I would not let work in my house. As a matter of fact, I have some that I would let watch my kids and we’re not even related.

3. The views expressed online may not be true.
We all know about keyboard cowboys. Sometimes the things that go wrong are not the fault of the business. Having someone with personal knowledge of the company can go a lot further than an online review. Combining online information and the opinion of someone you like, know, and trust is a better way to reach a decision.

4. We deal with a wide array of customers and claims situations.
Every day, I am asked to provide my opinion on something involving homes, cars, and businesses. My background in small business, combined with 14 years in claims is living the jingle; “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”

5. We like to help people
My agency has worked with many different organizations over the past few years. This list includes; Impactful People NW, Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation, St. John’s Center for Opportunity, and the St. John’s Boosters. We want to provide the same support to our customers and our neighbors.

6. Our referral partners provide answers not further problems
In insurance, I am in the business of removing or minimizing the risk a person experiences. My referral partners enjoy solving problems. In fact, I always expect them to provide another referral if they cannot fix a problem. You should too.

I’ll give you another reason, they’re free!  

So the next time you are not sure who to call try dialing 971.303.8508 or find us at


Friday Night Dinner

It’s a typical Friday night. My oldest is happy to be participating in his karate class, especially now that he’s bigger than his father. The youngest, well he wants a buddy to play Minecraft with and his dog is loyally handling the job.

Mom is in the kitchen getting things ready after a day at work. She likes her new job because it is flexible and lets her be there when the two boys need her time. Seeing patients in line with her schedule works. Those long hours and days in school are finally paying off.

She goes to the sliding door and lets the other dog out that saw a squirrel run across the back fence. Thankfully, the rain hasn’t started. It’s been a long summer and looking at the clouds it might be the start of the long wet northwest fall, winter, and spring!

Mom looks out the front door and sees the oldest coming back from Karate. It’s time for dinner. She is just happy that she and her family can sit and enjoy this meal together. Three years before this story was written, I died. It really doesn’t matter how.

We have 86,400 seconds in each day. That means we have 3,600 seconds every hour. The reason the above story could be true? I took the 3,600 seconds it took to make sure that my family would be able to have dinner, a dog, and the ability to have a life after the death of a loved one.

People faced with the discussion of life insurance often ask, “Where do I start?”

There are several ways to look at this and the easiest one is usually looking at it through the LIFE acronym.

L – Liabilities What debts would you want to be erased if you pass away? This can be a mortgage, loan, or credit card debt. Anything you want to be paid off would go here.

I – Income Replacement How many years of income would you want your spouse to have? This can depend on the amount indicated in liabilities. Maybe it depends on how old the kids are at the time – or a balance of both?

F – Final Expenses To pay for the arrangements you make with your family to begin the grieving process

E – Education How much will college tuition cost when your children reach that age?

Consider this from

It shows the projected tuition costs for the Fall of 2029 – Spring of 2030

  • For a 4-year public (out of state)  with  5%  tuition increases, the cost is $71,373
  • For a 4-year private (non-profit) with 5% tuition increases, the cost is $92,869
  • For a 4-year public in-state with 5% tuition increases, the cost is $41,228

Make the increases 7% and the costs jump to $100,239, $130,428 and $57,609 for the schools.*

Source: Campus Consultants Inc * Includes room and board

Clearly, in life and Life Insurance, there are more things to consider then would fit in this post. Please take a portion of the 86,400 seconds you have every day, about 3600 seconds, to make sure that your family gets a typical Friday night dinner if you are not there to enjoy it.

Reach us at;

photo courtesy of

St. Johns Favorites

More than Music: Jazz Festival Adds Pancake Breakfast & Bloody Mary Challenge

This month’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival will feature two new events that benefit local food banks!

Pancake Brunch and Bloody Mary Challenge

Sunday morning, July 22nd, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Pancake Brunch

The Jazz Festival will host their first-ever Pancake Brunch from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. The cost is $7.00 for adults. Children accompanied by a paying adult eat for free. This will also be in Cathedral Park. Look for the tent with the Pancake Brunch sign.

Bloody Mary Challenge

Meanwhile, adults over 21 can build their own Bloody Mary between 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Deschutes Brewery Beer Garden. Cost is $8.00 per person. Tomato juice, garnishes, and a short of vodka will be provided. At 11:00 a.m. in the beer garden, six bartenders from Portland establishments will compete in front of a panel of judges for “Best of the Fest Bloody Mary” honors. This event is sponsored by Everett West and Tito’s Vodka.

Proceeds Benefit Local Food Banks

While admission to the festival itself is free, everyone is urged to bring two nonperishable food items. Donated non-perishable food and proceeds from the Pancake Brunch and Bloody Mary Challenge will benefit local food banks including:

2018 Musical Lineup

To see the entire list of musicians and bands, please go to the 2018 Cathedral Park Jazz Festival Performance Lineup. For days and hours go to the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival page.

Allen Hinds playing at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
Allen Hinds playing at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

Insurance St. Johns Boosters

Misunderstanding Is Not An Excuse For Being Misunderstood

Things in life are often misunderstood. This can cause confusion and unrest among the population. A recent article highlighted people on Twitter admitting things they misunderstood as children … One of my favorites;

“I used to think seahorses were mythical creatures like unicorns or pegasuses (pegasi?). I…umm…was well in my 20s before I saw one in an aquarium and discovered the truth.”

This is not the only individual to misunderstand something well into adulthood. People have often misheard musical lyrics. My 15-year-old loves to correct me about music lyrics. The day finally came during a car ride when I got to correct him. The song; Fix, by Chris Lane, goes “… I’ll be your slow grind, that late night, your Walter White high…”. This obviously is discussing the famous AMC show Breaking Bad. Credit my wife’s parenting skills on the fact that he did not know who or what Walter White was.

The point to this is that we all deal with things in life that we misunderstand. This happens daily in the world of insurance. Take my article from last week discussing rental car insurance. I have had people call and expect their policy to cover them driving in Europe. If you think that to be true, please read that article.

I will work through a few insurance concepts that are usually misunderstood.

When a deductible is due on a claim. When I handled claims the question about paying the deductible was always asked. The misunderstanding often occurs in two areas. How the deductible applies and when the customer pays it. If you have a $1,000 deductible it means that you are responsible for the first $1,000 in damage.

If the damage to your property is not more than $1,000 the insurance company will not issue payment. They owe you money when the damage is over your deductible. If you have a $5,000 claim the insurance company, in the simplest terms, owes you $4,000. This is typically money owed to the repair person of your choice prior to completion. The deductible is paid upon completion. $4,000 from insurance and your $1,000 deductible pay for the $5,000 claim.

Replacement Cost Value, Actual Cash Value, and Indemnification. One principle of insurance is Indemnification. This is the process of making you whole following a covered loss. You are to be made whole, not to profit from a claim. That means if you have a financial loss due to property damage you should be made whole based on the terms of that policy. On home insurance, most companies issue Actual Cash Value (ACV) on an item or material up front. ACV is replacement cost less depreciation. When the new item is purchased the remaining depreciation is paid to the customer. They have received Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and indemnified. Take the $5,000 loss mentioned above. Your carpet has a 10-year lifespan and is 5 years old when it is damaged. The total RCV is $5,000. The depreciation on a 5-year-old carpet with a 10-year lifespan is 50%. The company would owe the 50% of ACV up front less your deductible. That is $2,500 less $1,000 which equals $1,500. When the carpet is replaced the additional $2,500 would be issued to fulfill the RCV.

Like Kind and Quality. (LKQ) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). This comes up, most often, in the auto repair industry. You have shops that only want to do repairs with OEM parts. I understand that because they can make a lot of money from this process and be most efficient. If every insurance company and auto body repair facility paid for OEM parts, your insurance rates would skyrocket. parts are parts that have come from the same manufacturer as your vehicle, from the same model year or newer. They help the environment by recycling perfectly good parts and reducing waste.

Regular and Frequent Use of a vehicle. If you let your friend drive your truck to move his grandmother across town is he covered? That friend does not live with you. They do not have a key to the vehicle in their possession unless you give it to them. They do not have regular and frequent use of your vehicle. Your insurance policy, for the carriers I represent, would cover you and your friend. If your mother moves in and three months later is not listed on the policy, you would have a much different answer.

I bought a brand-new car, when do I have to call insurance? Well for the new car the coverage of your policy would extend depending on the policy you carry. For my carriers, it is 30 days. The fallout occurs if you only had liability on your previous car. That is all the new car will be provided. If you miss your carriers’ deadline for changing the vehicle there will be no coverage. If you are buying a new car and adding it to the policy, you better call and get coverage before you drive off the lot. The best answer, right away, before you drive the car off the lot.

The answer to most of these is to speak to your agent. If you are in Oregon and Washington and have not spoken to your agent since you bought the policy, give me a call. 971.303.8508.

You can also learn more about me and the agency at

Photos provided by unsplash