Thieves Are Shopping For Good Deals Too, This Holiday Season

Pbfty7ersonal Insurance and Safety Update

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 60 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
  • Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.
  • Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.
  • Shop with a friend.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

 

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. is your trusted solution for homeowners insurance. We offer coverage options that are both flexible and affordable, and will work with you on an individual basis to find a policy that best suits your needs. Our team is dedicated to providing the assurance that your family and your possessions are secure.

 

Is Your Business Hiring Santa’s Helpers This Holiday?

white-male-1734415_640North Bay Business Insurance update 

This is the time of year when your business will be hiring part time workers to help you manage the holiday season. For the most part, you will not need to modify your California business insurance, but if you add new classifications or payroll, it may affect your workers’ compensation insurance.  Now might be a good time to have us complete a review of all your business insurance policies.

Here are few tips to help you manage seasonal employees

  • Make sure seasonal employees get the same training as all other employees.
  • Conduct background screenings on seasonal candidates.
  • Unless the job requires it, it is not a good idea to give seasonal employees access to computers or other secure information.
  • Don’t allow seasonal employees to work alone.
  • Remember the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to properly classify workers, pay the legal minimum wage, and pay overtime if applicable.
  • Seasonal employees should also read and sign the employee handbook.
  • Your business is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as most fair-employment laws cover seasonal employees.
  • If you notice cliques or bad habits forming, don’t assume that they will self-correct.
  • Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal and state employment laws. This means your seasonal employees, just like your regular workforce, must receive adequate training on what conduct is illegal, how to report it, and how to request a reasonable accommodation.
  • Maintain a detailed account of where each employee works, the kinds of tasks they are assigned, number of hours completed, and their rate of pay.
  • When it is time to end the seasonal employment, follow the same procedures as you would with a full-time or permanent employee.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom

Have You Wondered If These Are Covered Under your Personal Insurances?

gh7776n9North Bay Homeowner’s Insurance

You buy homeowner’s insurance to protect your most important asset.  Or, if you are a renter, you buy renter’s insurance to cover your personal property and legal liability. Whatever the case, there are many risks to which you are exposed. Some risks are obvious such as fire and theft, while others are not. We wanted to provide you with some of the not so common claims that can arise out of home ownership or renting.

Homeowner’s and Renter’s Risks

Dog Bite Claims Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies (with liability coverage) will cover the medical bills for someone bit by a dog, a cat, a snake or other domestic animal in your home.  These policies even pay lost wages if the person can’t work.

Bike Accidents – If you have liability coverage and are involved in a bike accident where you are liable for the injury of another person, you most likely have coverage.

Falling Objects From The Sky – Damage that comes from “falling objects,” which includes stuff that comes from the sky, is usually covered.

Lightening – Homes partially or entirely destroyed by lightning-caused fires are not the only items that may be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Damaged electronic equipment like computers, high definition and plasma TVs, and refrigerators could also be covered.

Dinner Gone Bad – If you are entertaining your guests and they become ill or sick as a result of your food preparation, your liability insurance will provide medical expenses for your guests.

Remember, each personal insurance policy is different.  These items may be covered, but we recommend you check with our office to determine the specifics of your insurance policy.

Losses Not Covered under a standard Homeowner’s or Renter’s Policy

  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Intentional acts
  • Criminal acts

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. is your trusted solution for homeowners insurance. We offer coverage options that are both flexible and affordable, and will work with you on an individual basis to find a policy that best suits your needs. Our team is dedicated to providing the assurance that your family and your possessions are secure.

 

Auto Insurance Deductibles…There Are Deductibles On My Auto?

free5454A North Bay Auto Insurance Update

These days everyone is looking to save on their auto insurance. We work hard to offer the best combination of pricing and coverage to all our clients. We recommend that you review your auto insurance program annually to make sure it is meeting your changing needs.  Considering changes in deductibles should be part of this process. Increasing deductibles can reduce your premiums and may save you money in the long run.

Pro:

Increasing your deductible will reduce your premiums. For example, let’s say you pay $225 per month for your auto insurance with a $50 comprehensive and $100 collision deductible. By increasing your deductible to $250 comprehensive and $1,000 collision you might save $75 per month. That is a $900 annual savings. Assuming you don’t have regular accidents, the savings would almost pay for itself in a year. (This is an example only. Actual savings will be based on individual factors)

Con:

If you raise your collision deductible to $1,000 and have an accident the next day, you must pay the $1,000. Are you prepared to manage that? Keep in mind these deductibles will apply even if your car is stolen or a tree falls on it; it does not have to be your fault.

Your deductible and limits are a personal decision and your financial situation plays a part in the deductibles and coverage you choose. PRL Insurance can review your insurance and provide deductible saving options, so please call us today.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. is committed to providing quality insurance products for individuals and businesses. We combine our strong insurance background and product knowledge to assist both current and future clients in managing and planning for all types of risk.

 

Monster Mash

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PCI Shares Tips to Avoid Insurance Claims on All Hallows Eve

As candy bowls are filled, pumpkins are carved and minions, storm troopers and Elsa’s invade neighborhoods across the country, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), warns homeowners, renters and drivers to be mindful of a few helpful hints on how to keep Halloween claims-free.

“November 1st is a busy day for insurance adjusters given that more vandalism claims are filed on Halloween than any other day of the year” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy.  “Halloween 2015 comes on a Saturday night so there will be more festivities, more cars and more little zombies dodging cars on dark streets.  The fun of Halloween also brings more risk of auto and homeowner claims.”

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) stats are alarming when it comes to the high number of  vandalism claims that are  filed just on October 31st.  In fact, Halloween had the highest number of claims for any day by 81 percent. The average cost per claim on Halloween was $1,660, which is approximately 9 percent higher than the annual daily average cost per claim. HLDI also reports the estimated cost for the insurance industry is around $2.8 million just on Halloween alone which is attributed to the high volume of vandalism claims.

“Some common sense moves can keep Halloween focused on parties and candy instead of calling your insurance company,” said Hackett.  “Park your car in a well-lit area or parked in the garage.  Be sure the path to your door way has plenty of light and free of obstacles that can cause falls.  Make sure your pets don’t eagerly greet guests and scare trick-or-treaters.”

Halloween has joined Christmas as a retailers’ busy season.  The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend at least $6.9 billion on costumes, candy and spooky decorations in 2015.  The average American will spend $74 on costumes, candy and décor.

Homeowners, renters and drivers should all be aware of Halloween related insurance risks,” said Hackett.  “Candles in pumpkins light the night but they also ignite fires.  Use battery operated candles instead.  Party hosts should consider the liability of sending drunken drivers off into the streets as well.”

How to have a claims-free Halloween:

  • Park cars in well-lit areas or inside a garage
  • Lock cars, close windows and turn on car alarms
  • Watch out for kids crossing streets or walking between cars
  • Drive slower in busy neighborhoods full of zombies, minions and Frozen’s Elsa and Anna
  • Dress kids in flame retardant costumes only
  • Keep walkways and paths well-lit and clear to avoid falling trick-or-treaters
  • Keep dogs on a leash, don’t let aggressive dogs rush trick-or-treaters at the door
  • Make sure children wear comfortable shoes and can see out of their costume
  • Don’t put candles where kids or pets can knock them over
  • Don’t let children play with candles, matches or lighters
  • Don’t put candles in bedrooms or sleeping locations
  • Don’t leave candles unattended or on over night
  • Use battery-operated candles

https://www.pciaa.net

 

Yes, We Actually Help You Save Money

 

Handful of Paper Money

Handful of Paper Money

North Bay Business Insurance Update

The purchase of business insurance is an essential investment for business owners. Insurance policies protect the business from the financial consequences of accidents and mishaps that could erode profitability and threaten continuity of the operation. Business insurance can be expensive, so we wanted to give you a few tips in how to get the most out of your business insurance purchase.

  • Combine your business auto, property, and liability into one package.
  • Take a close look at your policy and make sure you have the coverage you need. There may be coverages you have that you do not need.
  • Look to insurers that offer loss control help. This will help you manage your risk and keep claims as low as possible.
  • Is your deductible too low? You may save more than you think by increasing your property deductible to $5,000 or even $10,000. If you generally have no loses this may save you money.
  • Each insurer is different, but you might save by paying your premium in full upfront.

Commercial insurance is one of the most important products a new business needs. Our agency can help you review your risks and guide you through the process of securing the right combination of coverage and price.

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. provides insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas. No matter what business you’re in, each workday is dedicated to doing your job well and providing your customers with the best service possible. North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. would like to return the favor by giving you the coverage you need to ensure the security of your business.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom

Big Brother Is Watching

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Is Your Business Ready For The New DOL Overtime Rules?

Is your business prepared to undertake new overtime rules that will be set into place on December 1, 2016?  If you are fined because of non-compliance, your business insurance will not provide coverage.  Business insurance policies are not designed to cover government fines. Some small businesses may be allowed to extend the implementation date, check with your HR or payroll company for details.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) released the final rule that raises the white-collar overtime exemption threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The new regulations take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. Your business will need to start tracking hours for exempt salaried employees who make under $47,476.

Businesses that will be most affected will be those in the hospitality industry, nonprofits, retail, manufacturing and any agribusiness.

Options for employers

  • Pay these employees time and a half for overtime.
  • Increase workers’ compensation above the minimum.
  • Limit work hours to 40 per week.

Fact sheets and other materials to help employers and workers understand how the rule will affect them and the broader economy are available dol.gov/overtime.

Here is a link to the Department of Labor’s web page. Click here

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. provides insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.

No matter what business you’re in, each workday is dedicated to doing your job well and providing your customers with the best service possible. North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. would like to return the favor by giving you the coverage you need to ensure the security of your business.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom.