Sharing Is Good… But At What Cost?

Handful of Paper Money

Handful of Paper Money

Sharing May Increase Your Personal Liability Risk

We live in a digital world that now allows us to share everything from our car, bike, boat, apartment and even our home with total strangers. Smart phones, and the applications that can be added, offer many useful tools, but some of these things create new and increased liability for you. Before you decide to jump into the sharing economy consider the following:

  • Do these sharing sites have the ability to protect your confidential information? Many times you are giving your credit card information to companies that may not have the ability to protect it.
  • If you use Airbnb to sublease your apartment, you might check your lease. Many lease agreements have “no sublease” clauses that do not allow for this kind of activity. Also, some big cities are now actually considering outlawing the Airbnb services as it reduces hotel/motel taxes.
  • Taxi services where individuals can offer rides to those who subscribe. Are you confident that these individuals have had proper background checks? Are they experienced drivers? Do they have the correct insurance? Remember, even in states that have mandatory auto insurance laws, over 25% of drivers don’t have insurance.
  • Personal auto insurance issues should be considered if using your car for hire. There is a big difference in the auto insurance world between a car pool for work and being paid to deliver people.
  • If you rent your primary home to others, it may limit your personal insurance coverage. Call out office for a review.

The use of the new sharing economy will most likely continue and may be a good way to make money. However, if you have an uninsured claim, the cost may be much greater.  Be aware that using these services may increase your risk of loss.

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.

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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.

How To Make This Fall A Treat Not A Trick!

pumpkin-1014971_640We are gearing up for the holiday season and that means a new set of concerns for homeowners. First, there are weather-related concerns and then comes Halloween.

Did you know that the insurance industry can tell you what the most common claims are for each month? Insurance companies keep very accurate and detailed records of when claims occur and what kinds of claims occur in what season.

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.

Common Claims That Occur In The Fall

  • Rear-end collisions. These occur more in the fall due to changing weather and increased rain. If you’re following a car, leave at least four seconds of time between you and the car in front of you if going 45 mph.
  • Water damage. Damage as a result of rain or freezing pipes, occurs more often between October and December than in any of the other months.
  • Fires from candles, cooking, and fireplaces caused over 45% of the home fires in the fall months.According to gov, more than 2,500 people lose their lives in house fires each year, and another 12,600 are injured.
  • Theft from vehicles. From October through December, more cars are broken into at shopping malls, due to increased holiday shopping. Always place your packages out of light in the trunk when going back and forth from your car to the stores.
  • Snow, ice and rain accidents. Winter weather, even in warmer parts of the country, creates increased hazards and accidents. 37% of all skidding and snow claims occur between October and December.
  • Home burglaries increase about 33% during the fall. Keep your doors locked, use motion detectors, and turn on your home alarm.

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are out Halloween night is always a concern.

Safety Tips For Kids

  • Never, ever, go into a house.
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling
  • An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children. Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or with friends.  Never go out alone.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Do not eat homemade food.
  • Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.
  • Use a flashlight.

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.

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.

 

 

Don’t Get Tricked This Halloween

pumpkin-1014971_640A North Bay Homeowners Insurance Update

Your homeowners insurance covers many different kinds of risks including vandalism caused by trick-or-treaters.  Now may be a good time to have a free home insurance review.

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are active on Halloween night is always a concern.  A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

  • Consider providing healthy treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks.  For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Safety Tips for Kids

  • Never, ever, go into a house.
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
  • An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children.  Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or in a group.  Never go out alone.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Do not eat homemade food.
  • Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.
  • Use a flashlight.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Turn your lights on.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

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.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/, https://www.aap.org, https://www.cdc.gov

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.