Recent Wild Fires Means More Flooding

bigstock-Nature-burning-27273791We have been witness to record-setting wildfires in over the past few year and experts are now telling us that the results will mean more flooding. We have learned that a combination of record heat has created a massive growth of undergrowth that acts as fuel for wildfires, thus creating more damage to that land. This ground bloom dries out and creates more heat for wildfires.

Winter weather changes also have created more rain than snow, causing more erosion and overflowing dams. All of these conditions have created a perfect storm for flooding.

That means that the next six to eight months will be prime time for flooding.  If you live near water or in a flood zone, we recommend that you have flood insurance.  However, did you know that even if you do not live in a flood zone, you might need flood insurance?  According to Flood Smart, 20% of flood claims come from low-risk areas.

Why Get A Flood Insurance Quote?

  • Homes with mortgages from federally regulated banks or insured lenders in high-risk flood areas are required to have flood insurance.
  • Your standard homeowner’s insurance excludes floods.
  • If you decide you want flood insurance, you will need to secure coverage as soon as possible. There is a 30-day waiting period before policies can be bound.
  • There are flood policies for condominiums and apartments as well.

So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it’s already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood. At North Bay Insurance Brokers Insurance Agency, we know you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your personal property and keepsakes. A flood insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your valuables from any flood-related damage.

Call our professional staff today for more information. Don’t wait until you’re knee deep in water!

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we know how hard you’ve worked to turn your house into a home. Since your home is one of the most important financial investments of your lifetime, you’ll need proper coverage in order to keep your investment protected and provide your family with the guarantee that they’ll always be safe and sound.

 

 

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I Drive My Car For Company Business… Now What?

White Car Cornering In Mountain Road With Speed Blur

White car cornering in mountain road with speed blur

There are many situations and reasons why employees drive his or her personal auto to perform business related tasks including: travel between work sites, client visits, and transportation of colleagues.  It is important to consider the risk you assume when you drive your car on company business.

There are two different kinds of risks and we will address each. The first risk is what we might call incidental use. The second risk is when a person drives his/her own car every day as part of their job, like a salesperson. This person’s job description actually includes using their own car as part of the day to day job functions.

Situation One – Incidental Use

Generally, in these situations, you would be covered under your personal auto policy. If you find you are driving more than 30-40% of the time on company business, it would be best to contact our office for a review of your coverage. Examples of incidental use would be:

  • Going to a company event
  • Taking the mail to the post office
  • Picking up supplies at the store
  • Going to see a client – occasionally

Situation Two – Drive as Part of the Job

Many personal auto policies have drive-for-business exclusions, requiring individuals to inform their agents that they drive for work and to acquire an endorsement. Without the endorsement, insurers may refuse to cover a claim. Here are some examples of work related situations where you might need to make adjustments to your auto insurance:

  • Outside sales professionals
  • Real-estate agents
  • Driving more than 50% of the time for the company
  • You receive an auto allowance
  • You take a tax deduction for work related driving

If you use your vehicle for delivery or landscaping you might need to consider a commercial auto policy, especially if the vehicle is used 100% for business use.

We are ready to help you with all your auto, home, RV, and motorcycle needs. Call us today. We can combine your insurance under one program and save you hundreds of dollars.

My What Just Got Stolen?

bigstockThe credit card industry seems to be growing at an unprecedented rate. According to some statistical reports, the average American household has at least two credit cards. In fact, from the total respondents in the survey, 81% of the households have at least one credit card.

People should take note that one of the most prevalent credit card scams in the society today is the identity theft. In fact, it has been reported by the FBI that almost 350,000 up to 500,000 cases of identity theft are known to exist in the U.S. every single year.

Basically, identity theft is when some unscrupulous people try to get some information from you such as your social security number and other pertinent personal and financial data.

These sets of information are used deceitfully by these people for their own benefits. Hence, the poor victim does not realize that his identity was stolen and that his financial future is doomed.

For this reason, it is important to know how to avoid getting into trouble. Here is how:

  1. Protect your personal data and any financial information

Never entertain phone calls that require you to give any personal data or information, even if the caller says he is from the bank that issued your credit card and that the information gathering is just some sort of verifications. If this is the case, try to inform him that you wish to do the transactions personally. Hence, it is important to very if the caller is, indeed, a representative of the bank.

  1. Avoid freebies and offers that involve credit cards

If you were offered with some promotions requiring you to give some personal information, then, it would be better not to entertain the promo at all. Things like these will only entice you to try it. In the end, it is too late to realize that you have just been a victim of an identity theft.

  1. Have a regular check up on your credit standing and bills

Most of the credit card holders are so lazy to do regular checkups on their status. If you do this, it will be easier for you to detect any probable identity theft case on your part. Credit reports can definitely tell you if there were purchases that you know that you did not make.

  1. Do not carry them around

The problem with most people is that they tend to carry their cards wherever they are. This is a bad habit that should be stopped. You will never know what will happen while you are in a public place, where identity theft could just be lurking around, waiting for its next victim.

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.

 

 

How Our Beliefs Impact Our Insurance Buying Decisions

8883568_xxlA Personal Insurance Update

All of us have certain beliefs pertaining to homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance and other personal insurance products.  These beliefs can often cause us to make uneducated, or even poor, decisions regarding our personal insurance.  This was recently confirmed in a study completed by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) Research publication, “Homeowner’s Insurance: Understanding, Attitudes, and Shopping Practices.”

How Insurance Beliefs Shape Actions

  • Some people think that the internet is the best way to obtain some personal insurance products. When, in fact, the best way to get the right combination of price, coverage, and services is to use an independent agent.
  • Most homeowners believe that sewer back up from outside their home is covered on their homeowner’s policy. However, generally sewage backups are not covered without a rider or separate policy.
  • Your agent can be the best way to educate yourself on your insurance. People should utilize their agent to help them understand how their risks are changing, and how insurance can be designed to meet their individual needs.
  • Less than fifty percent of people use their agent to comparison shop. Your agent has many markets and will comparison-shop for you annually.
  • Many people mistakenly believe that earthquake, flood, and hurricane damage is covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. These are not.  Separate policies need to be purchased.
  • There are many people who think that replacement cost coverage will provide complete replacement if their home is a destroyed in a covered loss. This is not the case, the policy will only provide replacement up to the policy limit. We recommend that together we review your replacement cost valuation annually.

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.

 

Does An Agent Really Make A Difference?

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Personal And Business Insurance

The modern day customer is looking for value, ease of services, and quick responses.  In an era of impersonal internet companies, slick advertising, and “branding,” it can be hard for consumers to determine where to find the best insurance program for their needs.  To provide the best possible combination of coverage, services, and pricing, you need to look no further than your local independent agent.

Our Approach To Insurance Is Different

The best way to get the insurance that is right for you is to develop a relationship with your insurance agent.  The good news is that this process is not complicated or time consuming.

  • We respond quickly.
  • Insurance protects what is important to you, and we understand that.
  • We gain an understanding of your individual needs.
  • We educate rather than sell.
  • Finding the right insurance coverage is an important purchase, because everyone’s needs are unique.
  • Our professional team is trained and licensed.
  • Insurance is too important to be ordered online like a book.
  • Don’t wait for an un-insured claim to happen before you look for the right agent and coverage.

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.

Agents And Insurance Policies Are Not Created Equal

Insurance - Protect the Important Things words on business cards

Insurance – Protect the Important Things words on business cards in a holder for a sales person or agent selling policies and coverage for auto, life, homeowner or medical

An Insurance Update

Many people think that all insurance policies are alike and there is no need to understand the different kinds of coverage afforded by different types of policies.  As professional agents, our job is to help our clients understand how the coverage we recommend can affect their risks and actually help them in the event of a loss.

We take the time to educate ourselves on your individual risks, and then design an insurance program to meet your needs.  Here are examples of four insurance coverage options that you should consider.  This coverage can apply to your home or business.

Business Income and Extra Expense (called loss of use on homes)

Business income insurance covers the loss of income that a business suffers after a covered loss, (fire, etc.), while its facility is shut down or in the process of being rebuilt.

Extra expense covers the additional costs, in excess of normal operating expenses, that an organization incurs to continue operations while its property is being repaired or replaced after having been damaged by a covered cause of loss.

For homeowners, the coverage will provide funds for temporary housing while your damaged home is under repair.

Equipment Breakdown (not often available for homes)

Equipment breakdown covers loss due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown of equipment, machinery, including photocopiers and computers.  Coverage applies to the cost to repair or replace the equipment and any other property damaged by the equipment breakdown.

Water/Sewer Backup

Most homeowner’s and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  A sewer backup can be caused by many factors (not including flood).  Sewer backup can happen from any number of sources:

  • plumbing or appliances
  • severe weather or storms
  • accidents
  • infiltration

 

Building Ordinance and Law

Building ordinance and law covers losses caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings.  Many communities have building ordinances requiring that a building that has been damaged be rebuilt in accordance with current building codes rather than simply repaired.  This can cause considerable additional expenses to a loss.

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.

 

Are Your Really Smart?

Dream HouseA Personal Insurance Update

We believe in educating our clients on the best way to spend their personal insurance dollars.  We understand that it is important to get the best value out of your personal insurance program, and we wanted to offer a few ways you can modify your personal insurance program, and actually add value at the same time.  You will not get this kind of education or advice if you buy online insurance products.  You want a personal connection with an agent who cares about you, and will help you add value to your auto or home insurance program.

Save Money by Increasing Deductibles (For example only.  Actual results may vary from these estimates.)

Many families who purchase homeowner’s and auto insurance policies carry deductibles of $500 or even less.  However, as an example, if you were to increase your homeowner’s insurance deductible to $2,500, you might save as much as $700 per year.  The average homeowner files a claim once every 15 years (according to the Insurance Institute of America).  Therefore, over 15 years you could save $10,500, while only taking on $2,500 more risk.

Some families elect to use a portion of the savings and purchase a personal umbrella policy.  The cost of a personal umbrella can run between $300 to $800 depending on your individual factors.

We can help you decide what coverage and limits are best for your family, and you may find that we can design a program that actually provides more coverage, or value, for the same price.

Again, these are estimates only, but call us today and let us give you options to consider.

North Bay Insurance Brokers. is your trusted solution for homeowner’s 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.