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.

 

 

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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.

Start The New Year Protected

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Now is a good time to review your entire financial plan. You have one right?  If not, here are some thoughts to help you get started, or for you to review the plan you have. Give us a call as we can help you make sure all your insurance needs are covered.

A proper life insurance policy can give you reassurance knowing that your finances and beneficiaries are secure – from temporary to permanent coverage. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that as things in your life change, so will your financial and insurance needs. That’s why it’s important to review your life insurance options with a specialist you can trust.

  1. What does financial security mean to you? Start by asking yourself, “What would happen if our family’s primary breadwinner died prematurely or became disabled?” Most people answer that they would want their loved ones to continue in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed, to have enough money to stay in their home, and to provide for their children’s education through college.
  1. Determine needs versus wants. You may want 100% financial security to provide for your spouse for their lifetime, and your kids through college. However, can you afford it?  Most of us don’t have enough savings to achieve this, which is where life insurance comes in. You will want enough money, or death benefit, to replace your missing income.
  1. Look at the entire picture. This is not just about life insurance–that is just one piece of the formula. You also need to consider the possibility of loss of income due to a disability, chronic, or critical illness.  Consider transferring this risk by purchasing Disability Insurance and Coverage for Long Term Care.  Look at all your assets such as money in retirement plans, benefits packages, investments, equity in property, and potential social security benefits.  Once you have the numbers you can figure out what the shortfall is–which can be funded with life insurance, or more life insurance than you currently have.
  1. Prepare a last will and testament! If you die without leaving a will, the legal consequences can be disastrous, particularly if you have many assets.  In addition, there are negative tax consequences that may arise. Your will guides the court, the person you choose to administer your estate, and your heirs on how to distribute your property and pay off debts.  A will can be completed online for very little cost through a multitude of online sources such as LegalZoom.com, LawDepot.com, and TotalLegal.com.
  1. Do not put it off. Far too often, I have had to inform an applicant for life insurance that they are being declined because of their poor condition of health.  Many of us simply are unwilling to accept our own mortality until we are given a grim medical diagnosis by a physician. DO NOT WAIT.  Life and Disability insurance cost much less the younger you are and the healthier you are.  Consider that the cost for a $1,000,000 life insurance policy for a healthy 45-year-old male is approximately $48 per month……about 2 weeks’ worth of coffee from Starbucks!

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. 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 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.

No Animal House For Your College Students

bigstock-Student-with-skateboard-and-ba-15704690A Personal Insurance Update

By now, your college-aged kids are in school doing who knows what.  Sending a child to college requires making many decisions, but one decision you do not want to put off is reviewing your personal insurance.  The reason is that with a child in college your risk has changed and you may need to adjust your personal insurance program.

Is Your Child Renting a Home or Apartment?

If your child is renting a home or apartment with others, you may want to consider a renter’s policy.  The concern is that roommates can create liability for you if their actions cause a loss.  We usually recommend a separate renters policy to keep the liability separate.

Other Personal Insurance Issues

  • If a student is attending school 100 miles or more away from home and is not taking a vehicle, you may be able to list the student as an “occasional driver” with the insurance company and save money.
  • Many homeowners’ policies will cover a child’s personal belongings while at college if they are damaged by fire, water, or other perils named in the policy, subject to limitations. Call our office for more information.
  • Identity theft is big problem on many college campuses. We can add coverage to your homeowner’s policy.
  • Health insurance – Children can remain on your health policy until the age of 26. Many colleges will offer student health insurance at a very reasonable cost.

We are always searching for ways to help our clients save money on their auto insurance. Saving money on car insurance is a relatively quick way to lower the cost of operating your car, and can be accomplished with a quick phone call to our office.

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.