It Is Raining Lawsuits in 2018

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A North Bay Business Insurance Update

We live in a society where there are more lawyers than doctors. It seems that the typical response when someone has been damaged is to hire a lawyer and threaten a lawsuit. Most businesses can’t afford to be in court to defend every action. That is why commercial insurance is so important to your business. Our agency can offer a review of your business insurance coverage and educate you on your risks and how best to protect you. These four risks are at the top of our list and should be on your as well.

Cyber Liability- Cyber liability is the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks or using electronic storage technology. It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors & Officers Liability- Covers costs, damages, and defense protection to directors and officers of a company resulting from lawsuits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals, shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability- Employment Liability provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability- Insurance that is designed to cover third party claims, damages and claims arising out of providing professional advice. Many firms create legal obligations arising out of a professional’s errors, negligent acts, or omissions during the course of providing services to clients.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers 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.

 

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Is Your Business Prepared For The Future?

stairs-918735_640A North Bay Business Insurance

2017 is coming to a close and 2018 will be here in a few weeks. 2018 is set to be a good year for business. The economy is growing and employment is at one of the highest levels in the past 25 years. There will always be challenges regarding business insurance and risk management.

Business Insurance Trends

The business insurance world is changing at a fast pace. Technology is continually evolving and businesses must change or die. New technology also brings change in claims and litigation. Often lawsuits filed today are indicators of business liability claims tomorrow.

Business Insurance

Business or commercial insurance coverage is available for almost every conceivable risk your business might face. The cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers.  Also the type of business you are in also impacts cost and coverage.  You should discuss your specific business risks and the types of insurance available for your business with us.

Intellectual Property

This is one of the fastest growing areas of litigation. The average defense cost in 2016 was over $500,000. With more information being disrupted over the internet, claims are sure to increase. Intellectual property insurance coverage protects companies for copyright, trademark or patent infringement, and claims arising out of the company’s operation.

Healthcare Professional Liability

As we move well into healthcare reform, we are seeing increased litigation focused on medical providers of all kinds. In 2015, litigation against OB/GYN doctors accounted for over $3.9 billion in claims. Many states have enhanced medical malpractice laws designed to speed up and compensate injured patients.

Cyber attacks

Recent news that Russian cyber thieves stole billions of passwords should create heightened awareness about the risks and need for cyber insurance. The problem, Munich Re explains, stems from the fact that “most traditional property and liability policies provide no or limited coverage for cyber risks” although there still may be a duty to defend until such time as coverage is determined.

Social Media

Social media is becoming popular with many businesses, and this increases the liability risks. The combination of personal use and business use combined with privacy laws increases the risk to business of being sued by employees and other third parties. There is definite increased risk of defamation, libel and slander for firms who don’t outsource the service.

Directors & Officers Liability

Most business owners don’t believe they can or will be sued despite statistics that show otherwise. The latest number by Chubb Insurance Company shows that about 25% of firms have been sued for directors and officers negligence. Claims can be made by shareholders, regulators, family members, customers, vendors and competitors.

Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.

Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.

 

 

Is Your Office Holiday Party Like An Episode Of the “Office”

Group of friends cheering with glasses of champagneCompany Holiday Parties Increase Risks

Your company Holiday party was going great, and everyone was having a wonderful time.  Except one of the female employees said that a manager touched her and made un-wanted advances.  Now she is filing an employment liability claim.  This is a scenario that no one wants to happen.

Your business insurance many not cover this lawsuit unless you have employment practices liability insurance.  Call our office for a review of your commercial insurance today.

Office Holiday Party Safety

  1. Limit use of alcohol; offer two drink tickets per person.
  2. Make sure you have food at your party.
  3. During the party, monitor alcohol consumption. Quickly try to diffuse any situations or displays of inappropriate behavior.
  4. Consider having the party at a restaurant. This is a good way to transfer liability.
  5. Make the party optional.
  6. Arrange for cab rides or transportation home for guests who may need it.
  7. Prior to the party, review harassment policies with all employees as a reminder of proper behavior.
  8. Encourager managers to set a good example.
  9. Consider inviting spouses, which is a good way to reduce romantic hook-ups.
  10. Know your state laws.
  11. If you have employees bring food, be sure the food is labeled by type. Some people may have food allergies.

As long as you don’t charge for drinks, your business insurance may provide coverage (Always check with our office as each policy is different). North Bay Insurance Brokers 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 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, 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.

 

 

There Is Never Such A Thing As A Stupid Question

question-mark-2492009_640A Commercial Insurance Update

Your business keeps you running from dawn to dusk. You have many decisions to make every day in order to keep your business profitable. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Basic Questions for a Better understanding of Commercial Liability Insurance

What Does a Commercial Liability Policy Cover?  – This coverage is intended to cover your business and employees from injury or damage to third parties resulting from your negligence.  This might include damage to property or injury to others.  If your products or services cause a loss to a third party, a commercial liability policy will respond.

How Do I Determine What Limits I Need? – How much coverage you need depends on your industry and the size of your company.  We usually recommend at least $1,000,000 in coverage to start with.  If you are in construction or similar industries, we might recommend higher limits.

Is Commercial Liability Insurance Expensive? – Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors including revenues, industry, number of employees and other factors.  For a small business commercial liability premiums are not expensive.

What Is the Best Way to Obtain Commercial Liability Insurance?  –The best way to secure commercial liability insurance is to use an independent agent like us. We would combine your commercial liability along with commercial property coverage to get the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

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

Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.

 

 

 

Get The Paperwork Correct And Save Money

money-1428594_640How the claim process works

You buy insurance to protect yourself when you have a need. This need might be an auto loss, business claim, or home fire. When something bad happens you want your insurance company to respond. When it comes to filing a claim, knowledge is power. We hope you never have a claim, but we want you to be prepared if you do have a claim.

The value of an agent during the claim process

It is important to have a professional agent like us to help you through the claim process. If you buy your insurance from a faceless on-line company, you may not get the same level of service.

Insurance claim filing process

Read your policy. Know what is covered and understand your rights. Knowing what your insurance policy does and doesn’t cover is essential to getting through the claims process quicker.

Contact your agent or company as soon as possible. Have the basic facts ready like your policy number, claim information, and contact information.

Prevent further damage. If you home is damaged and is in need of immediate repairs, you have the right and obligation to prevent further damage.

Start to document the loss. Take photos, keep all receipts, and obtain contact information of all people involved. Don’t throw out damaged property or other expensive items until an adjuster has seen them.

Always submit your claim in writing with all receipts and a cover letter.

Know your rights and who to contact if you are not satisfied with your settlement. Most consumers find that their claim is paid quickly, easily and fairly. This is another reason to have an independent agent on your team. We can help get you the best possible settlement.

Filing a claim generally will not cause the insurance company to cancel you. Many insurance companies have the option of tracking your claims on-line.

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.

 

Our Goal Is To Help You

Confused Way Of A BusinessmanA Business Insurance Update

There are many ways to select a business insurance agent. Some businesses may use the bidding method, where they call many agents and have them “bid” their business insurance. The problem with this is you really don’t know if you are getting equal products. It is almost impossible to compare products “apple to apple.”  The low bid may have limited, or no, coverage in areas in which your business needs coverage.  The best way to select insurance is to find a qualified and experienced agent who knows and understands your industry.  Then, allow that agency to go into the market on your behalf to find you the best possible price and coverage.

How to select an agent?

A qualified agent should help you identify your risks and help you understand what you should insure.  Then the agent should design a coverage plan, and go to the market to negotiate the best possible combination of business coverage, pricing, and service.  Here are a few questions for you to consider using when selecting your agent.

  • “If I had a claim, how would you help me?”
  • “How many years of experience do you have? And your staff?”
  • “When I call the agency with a question, who would I be speaking with?”
  • “May I have three references?”
  • “What ratings do the insurers have that you might use?”
  • “What systems do you have to help manage your business?”
  • “How do you define customer service?”
  • “What is your policy for returning phone calls?”
  • “How long do you usually keep a client?”
  • “What makes you skilled at what you do?”
  • “Do you have any industry awards?”
  • “Will I have to ask for my renewal to be processed?”

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

Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.

 

 

“There is Gold in Them There Policies”

person-110303_640A North Bay Business Insurance Update

Every business needs business insurance.  But business insurance policies are all different. That is why it is always better to use an independent agent who knows and understand your business and industry. The insurance needs for a restaurant are much different than the insurance needs of a manufacturer, and the coverage should reflect that.

If you own or operate a business, you may want to consider these coverages as part of your business insurance package. Our keys to coverage will assume some of the obvious coverage such as property and liability.  We also want to identify some business insurance coverage you may not have considered.

  • Sprinkler leakage insurance–If your sprinkler system leaks and causes a loss to equipment or documents, do you have coverage?
  • Business income insurance–After a covered loss, you may have a period of recovery time when you are closed. Without business income insurance your business may run out of funds.
  • Umbrella Insurance–An umbrella policy provides extra insurance protection over your commercial general and auto liability policies. It is not uncommon for a business to be sued for over $1,000,000.
  • Cyber liability–Cyber breaches are the fastest growing causes for loss for most businesses. Every business needs the protection provided by cyber insurance.
  • Employee dishonesty–This policy protects employers from workplace theft and fraud.

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.