My Rental Home Was Just Damaged…. Who Is Going To Pay?

pixa free dcdAre you updating your basement in order to rent it out? Did you just buy a rental property? Is so, you may need to consider landlord insurance. If your home insurance is not recorded as a Landlord Policy, the insurer can deny the claim.

Landlord insurance provides coverage for the owner of the property for losses and/or damage connected with rental property. As a landlord, you need protection from financial loss as a result of damages to a rental property due to fire, break-in, severe weather, and more.

What Can Landlord Insurance Cover?

  • Property damage. This covers damage to the building from fire, storm, theft, and vandalism.
  • It will protect you against bodily injury to guests or tenants.
  • Loss of rent or income. This insurance will help compensate you for lost income in the event that a rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as a storm or apartment fire.

Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Landlord Risk?

The short answer is no. If you are renting out part of your home or other property, your homeowner’s insurance will not apply. If you are renting on a short term basis, check with your agent; some insurers may offer coverage if it is a short term event.

You need landlord insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need landlord insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily, or sharing accommodations such as your basement level, with a renter.

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

To Tell The Truth

question-1262378_640Insurance Question We Most Often Answer

As professional insurance agents, we are asked many questions regarding personal insurance.  We thought it might be good to offer answers to the most common kinds of questions we receive.

“Why buy from an agent when I can go online?”

When you buy insurance online, you are forced to become the insurance expert and if there is ever an issue, you have only yourself to blame.  In most cases, we can offer the same, or better, coverage with a licensed professional agent who is willing to actually meet with you and educate you on your choices.  The cost for these services is included in the cost of your insurance.

“How much insurance do I need?”

That depends on your personal situation.  If you have a number of vehicles, recreational vehicles, or a boat, we might recommend higher limits than if you are a renter with no “toys.”  We also recommend that you buy auto insurance coverage/limits above the state minimum.  If you have a growing family and own your home, we suggest higher limits and a personal umbrella policy to protect your assets.  A personal umbrella policy is very competitive and can provide an added layer of coverage and security.

“Which deductible should I select?”

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.  In the long run, it may benefit you to increase your homeowner’s insurance deductible above a minimum amount, especially if you are claim free for a number of years.

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.

Guess Who’s Listening

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Do Devices Like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa Create Personal Liability?

More consumers are buying smart devices that tie in their smart phones and other home technology to the internet.  The most current devices allow you to have direct access to the internet from anywhere in your home.  By saying a key phrase, which Amazon calls a “wake word,” the Echo comes to life and begins listening for commands.  By default, the wake word is Alexa.  You can shop, order food, and manage your other connected devises.  Conversely, all this freedom brings a few new personal liability exposures.

Risk Concerns

  • Anyone can access the device—including children.
  • The device can be turned off, but many people seem to forget to do so.
  • Security depends on how well the end-user deploys firewalls, etc.
  • There are many documented cases of children buying goods and services simply by saying key words.
  • The third-party doctrine.As strong as privacy jurisprudence has been in protecting the home, it has been very weak in another areas.  Under the court’s so-called “third party doctrine,” the Constitution does not require police to get a warrant to access people’s records from their bank, telephone company, internet service provider, Google, Amazon, or any other third party.  From ACLU.com

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

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

We Care…And So Should You!

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California Insurance Companies Do Differ

We have access to many different insurance companies. There are some companies that specialize in motorcycle insurance, and others that offer custom homeowner’s insurance. You rely on your agent to help you understand the value of each insurance company. However, insurance companies are not all created equal, and we wanted to put forward to you the traits of a good insurance company.

Important Insurance Company Traits

  1. Online vs. people–if you ever need to call the insurance company, do you get a real person, or do they ask you to do all your transactions online? We believe that it is best to talk to a real person.
  2. Quick claims response–let’s face it; you buy insurance to have your claims paid. For example, if you have an accident, will your claim be handled quickly and fairly?
  3. Financial stability–you want your insurance company to be there for you in the long run. We review the financial performance of your insurance company on a regular basis to make sure you are protected as long as you need the insurance.
  4. Customer satisfaction–JD Powers and Associates publishes customer satisfaction ratings and provides information about the top insurance companies based on customer satisfaction surveys. More importantly, are you happy with the insurance company?
  5. Competitive premiums–price is always important, but our goal is to find you the best possible combination of price, coverage, and service. Cheap auto insurance could lead to uninsured losses.
  6. Experience–When you do call the insurance company, are their employees qualified to understand your needs, or do you get a college student working a summer job?

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers is committed to providing quality insurance products for individuals and businesses. We combine our strong insurance background and product knowledge to assist both current and future clients in managing and planning for all types of risk.

My Renter Stole All My Stuff!

pixa free dcdVacation Home and Income Property Insurance

More and more people are using services like VRBO and Airbnb to find vacation rentals.  As a result, many people are using their homes to develop rental income.  A standard homeowner’s policy will not cover losses incurred while your home is rented out.  You may require a more specialized insurance policy.

Key Homeowner’s Insurance Concerns with Rental Property

  • Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover rental property.
  • Landlord policies generally cost about 25 percent more than a standard homeowner’s policy to pay for increased protections. source
  • You need landlord insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need landlord insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily, or sharing accommodations such as your basement level, with a renter.
  • You will need liability coverage in the event your renter is injured on your premises.
  • Your policy will not cover wear and tear due to increased use.
  • VRBO, Airbnb and other rental sites may require proof of insurance.

There are only a few insurance carriers willing to write an Airbnb liability insurance policy.  We have experience with insurers who handle this kind of risk. Because of the variety of options available, an insurance specialist at North Bay Insurance Brokers is available to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your rental property at a price that meets your budget. With the benefits of a Landlords Insurance policy, you can rent to tenants with the confidence of knowing your investment is secure.

 

I have No Control Over My Life… Think Again

angry-2191104_640 (1)Many people believe that they have little or no control over their homeowner’s insurance.  Often, people think that premiums are determined by some “secret formula.”  It is true that every company has rates for their homeowner’s insurance premiums, but there are many factors that help make up your homeowner’s premiums.

Factors that help determine your homeowner’s premiums

  • Location
  • Age of home
  • Age of roof
  • The replacement cost
  • Distance to fire station

Get the best possible homeowner’s premiums

  • Install deadbolt locks.
  • Increase your deductible.
  • Some insurers offer occupational discounts for teachers, police, firefighters, government employees, etc.
  • Install a central station security system.
  • Your agent can help you evaluate the different policies and companies so you can make the choice this is right for you.
  • Ask for other discounts offered by your insurer.
  • Make sure your replacement cost is up to date.
  • Do you have replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) coverage? We recommend replacement cost.
  • Do you need loss of use coverage? Most homeowners and renters do.

 

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.

 

March Madness – North Bay Style!

bfvvvvA North Bay Insurance Review

March is over and we spent the while month watching 64 college basketball teams play to the final four, then to the championship game.  Congratulations to North Carolina! The entire thing reminded us of some insurance madness. We thought we would share with you our “insurance madness final four.” These can impact your business insurance and personal insurance programs.

Insurance Madness Final Four

  1. Always use an independent agent. Independent agents will search the market for the best possible insurance designed for your family or business. Independents agent do not work for an insurance company, they represent you and look out after your interests first.
  2. Never buy insurance online. When you buy insurance online you never know if you are getting the best combination of coverage, price, and service. However, you do find out when you have an uninsured claim.
  3. Always consider deductible options. A simple way to save money is to consider increasing your deductible on your auto insurance, home insurance, or even your business insurance.
  4. Many people don’t consider these coverage’s but they should
    1. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. Every homeowner should consider identity theft coverage.
    2. A personal umbrella can offer additional protection for those who own a home or have personal assets worth protecting.
    3. Your business might be at risk if you do not have cyber liability or employment practices liability.

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.