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.

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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.

 

 

Stop Thief… That’s Mine

burglar-157142_1280

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.

 

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.

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.