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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

 

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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.

 

Who Was Just In Your House?

 

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North Bay Home Insurance update

You arrive home from your vacation or a night out, only to find your home was burglarized.  Break-ins can be scary and emotional for everyone involved.  It is important to have a plan in place should you have to deal with a break-in.  Having a plan also improves your chances of catching the person who burglarized your home, and improves the chances of recovering or replacing items that were stolen.

Remember, a standard homeowner’s insurance or renters’ insurance policy will cover a break-in if you have the coverage.  Homeowner’s insurance can cover the cost to replace your stolen items and any damage to your home.

Actions to take after a break-in

  • Call the police. You will have to complete a police report with details of what was stolen and any damage to your home.
  • Take pictures of any damage to your home.
  • Call your insurance agent. Your agent can help you with many of the questions you may have and help start the claim process.
  • You will need to fix or repair any damage to you home, that if left alone, could cause further damage. For example, if your windows are broken, you will want to start temporary repairs until the claims adjuster arrives. It is ok to clean up any damage, but take pictures and document everything.
  • Work with the claim adjuster as they are on your side. They will work to settle the claim per the terms of the homeowner’s insurance policy.

How to prevent the likelihood of future break-ins

  • Install a security system.
  • Always keeps doors and windows locked, even second floor windows.
  • Consider outside lighting that is on a timer.
  • Place motion sensor lighting around the outside of your home and property.
  • Complete a home inventory to make sure you have accounted for all your personal property.

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.