Who Is On Your Side?

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A North Bay Insurance Update

Everyone has seen insurance advertisements that feature a lizard, a man who creates trouble, and a wacky woman in white trying to sell you insurance.  These ads may be entertaining, but how in the world can you really tell these companies apart?  What are the differences?  Is one company really better than any other?  Will the coverage, price, and service meet my needs?

There are two distinct kinds of agents in the United States; Independent agents/brokers, and direct writers.  Let’s define these for you.

Independent Agents

An independent agency is a business that is owned and operated by local business professionals.  Some larger agencies may have a board of directors and many partners, but usually the ownership is local and independent.  These agents offer many different insurance products through many different insurance companies.  Independent agents sell the products that most appropriately meet the needs of their clients. Independent agents typically are very well trained and knowledgeable of the complexities of the insurance market and insurance law.

Most independent agents have multiple companies from which to shop your insurance needs.  This makes it more likely that they will find the exact fit for your specific situation. It also allows for greater competition, which benefits their clients.

The goal of the independent agent is to provide their clients with the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  For example, independent agents have experience in understanding what services insurance companies provide and are able to match unique services with client needs. Not all insurance companies are alike.

Direct Writers

A direct writer is an agent who distributes policies for only one insurance company.  Direct writers are agents paid by the insurance company and cannot utilize the entire insurance market.

If your roof needed replacement would you go to just one roofer for a quote?  Would you hire a roofer because their ads are funny?  Wouldn’t it make good financial sense to go to more than one roofer to get options and pricing comparisons?

The True Value of Your Agent

The value of the insurance you buy truly is established when, and if, you have a claim.  Independent agents advise and help clients through the claim process. Our job is to find you the best possible combination of coverage, price, and insurance.  Independent agents/brokers work for the customer, direct writers work for the company.  Enough said!

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.

 

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Online Insurance Can’t Answer These Questions

4fr44bfWhether you are a new homeowner or have owned your home for a longer period, there’s no doubt you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance. You want to protect your home, your possessions, and your family. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions about home owner insurance.

  1. As a home owner, am I required to have insurance? Yes, if you have a lender. It’s also wise to look into insurance if you are in the process of constructing a home or renting your home to someone else.
  2. What types of coverage does homeowner insurance provide? Property insurance, which covers the home and contents and liability insurance, which insures your liability for bodily injury to a third party.
  3. Will the replacement cost be the same as the sale price of my home? No. The replacement cost will cover the amount needed to replace the same structure and/or contents. Replacement cost is usually calculated based on the individual home’s characteristics. We recommend you take photographs of your home and contents.
  4. Will homeowner insurance cover damage or theft outside of my home? Generally, yes but policies differ. Be sure to ask about your specific coverage.
  5. Are home-based businesses covered under homeowner insurance? No, unless you qualify for an endorsement to your current homeowner insurance policy. Generally, you need a business owners insurance policy. You can void coverage on certain structures as well if they are used in your business.

Of course, homeowners will have more questions about homeowner insurance particular to their own situations (including protection against the elements, possessions that are no longer in the home, contents of vehicles, etc.). When searching for a homeowner insurance policy, be sure to ask about coverage relevant and beneficial to your own situation.

North Bay Insurance Brokers, 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.

Don’t Start 2019 In A Hole

new-years-day-3683748_1280North Bay Business Insurance Trends For 2019

As we move into 2019, we wanted to provide you with our “business insurance resolution checklist.”  We suggest that you go over this list to verify that you have the best possible coverage for your business. Building a solid company in today’s competitive and fast-moving world takes time, commitment, and foresight. Having solid business insurance can protect your assets, employees, and future.

We can design a commercial insurance program specifically for your business.  There may be some kinds of coverage that your business may not have considered.  Give us a call today.

Key Man Life – Covers the death of key owners and revenue producers. In the event of the key person’s death, the death benefit payout goes to the company and not the key employee’s spouse or children. Key man life insurance policies act to inject liquid funds into the business to protect against a variety of financial losses.

Professional Liability- Covers claims that come from giving advice. Today, almost any business can find itself facing a liability lawsuit.  Many businesses do not even realize they have an exposure to professional loss.  A Management Liability lawsuit can put business and personal assets at risk, including the company’s assets, and even the personal possessions of the owners.  One simple mistake could cause financial devastation, as well as end your professional career.

Employment Practices Liability- Provides your business with coverage for harassment, wrongful termination and other claims brought by employees.

Business Income- This coverage can provide extra funds should your business suffer a covered loss. It can include coverage for extra expenses to set up a temporary location as well.

Cyber Liability– If your business handles customer data, such as credit card or bank account numbers; data breaches pose a serious threat to your financial stability. Cyber Liability Insurance protects against the expenses associated with a data breach, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend A Little Money… Save A Home

smart-home-2005993_1280Now Is The Time To Test Your Home Fire Safety Equipment

Now that summer is over and we have set our clocks back, it is time to check your home fire safety equipment.  Having working fire safety equipment can save lives. But electronic devices are not infallible; batteries die, and other parts of the smoke detector can wear out over time. Regular testing can help ensure that your family will be safe in the event of a fire in your home.

  • Smoke Alarms–Test each smoke alarm in your home to make sure it is in good working order, and replace the batteries. It is also recommended that every bedroom have a smoke detector. Hard wired detectors are the best, but you can purchase newer detectors that have a battery life of 10 years.  Make sure everyone in the home recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Fire Extinguishers–Performing a monthly inspection of your fire extinguisher is easy. Check the label or user manual for the manufacturer’s maintenance suggestions, and then follow those steps for doing your own monthly check. Keep the extinguisher in an open and common area, check the pull pin to make sure it still works, and check the pressure gauge.
  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms—Refer to the manufactures instructions for testing your specific model. However, to test most carbon monoxide alarms, you simply locate the test button, press and hold the button for a few seconds, and listen for the sound of the alarm to insure it is working. Finally replace the batteries.

Remember, knowledge is power.  Therefore, the more information your agent has the better pricing and coverage they will provide for you.  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.

 

 

Are You A Smart Insurance Buyer?

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A North Bay  Business Insurance Update

Even the best run businesses may have a loss now and then. It is important that every business owner and manager have a comprehensive business insurance program. A well-designed business insurance program will help the business get through a loss. Here are few ideas to help you make sure you have the best possible coverage your business needs.

  1. Make sure you combine your business policies into one “package” You will receive premium discounts for doing this.
  2. Every business should have a commercial umbrella policy with at least $1,000,00 of coverage.
  3. Review your property insurance deductibles, by increasing your deductible you may be able to lower your premium.
  4. Consider the flowing kinds of coverage; cyber liability, employment practices liability, and director and officer’s liability.
  5. Have your agent search the market for the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Our professionals work diligently to understand our client’s risks, goals, culture & vision in order to develop with you a risk management program to support your mission. 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.

 

Stop Thief… That’s Mine

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The holiday season is filled with fun, parties, food, gift, overeating and unfortunately some risk. One of the fasted growing risks for many people is stolen packages by porch pirates. According to proopertycasualtiy360, over 26 million packages are stolen during the holiday season. Need more bad news?

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance generally may not cover this loss as it tends to be under your deductible. There could be coverage if you have personal property off premises insurance. Also for theft coverage to apply generally, you need proof of loss by a broker indoor, etc.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances.

Things To Do

  • Delivery confirmation is a good way to prove the package was delivered.
  • Thieves will follow delivery trucks, waiting for the perfect target.
  • These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time.
  • You can insure your packages.
  • Consider having a person there when the delivery is scheduled.
  • Install a security camera.

High Tech Solutions

There are a few high tech solutions to consider.

  • Landport or BoxLock provides a delivery box on your porch that has an electronic lock.
  • Amazon Key, which has a fairly simple premise: When a delivery arrives at your house, and you’re not home, the courier scans a barcode that sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. If it’s approved Amazon remotely unlocks your door and starts recording video through the online retailer’s Cloud Cam.
  • Install a front door camera. Many shippers will not replace the item with this kind of device.

What To Do If A Package Is Stolen

  • Track your package. Check the delivery confirmation and tracking number.
  • Make sure a neighbor did not pick it up for you.
  • Contact the seller. Different retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but usually, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement item.
  • File a claim with the shipping company.
  • Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection.

Remember, knowledge is power.  Therefore, the more information your agent has the better pricing and coverage they will provide for you.  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.

 

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.