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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Do I need To Insure My Landscaper?

lawn-care-643556_1920A North Bay Home Insurance Update

Your landscaper falls from your tree while he is pruning it, and the injuries send him to the hospital.  His medical bills are about $5,000 and he does not have any insurance. Will your homeowner’s insurance cover you if the worker decides to file a lawsuit?

Most homeowners do not fully understand that they could be liable for damages from a maid, landscaper, or contractor if they are injured on the homeowner’s property.  Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover you for losses to third parties when you are responsible for the injury.  Homeowner’s insurance does not cover business operations.

How to make sure you are protected

  • Make sure all contractors have liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Understand the difference between an employee and contractor.
  • When it comes to coverage for home workers, every homeowner’s insurance policy is different. Your policy may include a provision that provides limited coverage for minor workers performing lawn mowing or other tasks that require the use of power tools on your property.
  • Your homeowner’s insurance policy may specifically exclude domestic workers such as nannies or maids.
  • If you discover that your homeowner’s policy offers limited or no liability coverage for workers, you may consider purchasing additional liability insurance.

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.

Why Insure My Home When No One Is There?

old-house-54569_1280A North Bay Home Insurance Update

Under most insurance policies, when a property has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days before a loss or damage occurs, there is NO COVERAGE for vandalism and other losses. Our agency offers options that can help protect your property whether you own a vacant home, condo or other eligible residential property.

Criminals watch your home and know when your home is vacant or when you are on vacation. Vacant homes also create a liability risk if children play in or around your home and you are not there to provide proper maintenance.

If you leave your home vacant, there are some insurance issues to consider:

  1. Most homeowner’s policies exclude vacant property.
  2. Call us today to arrange proper coverage for your vacant home.
  3. Consider adding security and additional lighting to make it look like someone is living in the home.
  4. Make arrangements to have the lawn and the outside of your home maintained while you are away.

Your policy may exclude losses for vacant property if you don’t endorse coverage. Call our office if you are thinking of leaving your home vacant for any long period of time to determine what you need to do to ensure you are protected in the event of a burglary or unexpected incident.

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.

Mom, Dad, I just Got Into An Accident

HgkyHmioEsXDTN7aWhat Not To Do After An Accident

Auto accidents are no fun.  They cause injury, damage, and a lot of stress.  However, the good news is that if you bought insurance from our agency you have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  You buy auto insurance to protect yourself in the event you are in an accident, and we are here to help you through the claims process.

Over the years, we have seen just about every kind of accident and response. We thought it might be beneficial to talk about what not to do after an accident.

  • Do not get upset or angry. Stay calm and make sure everyone is unhurt.
  • Try not to move the vehicle unless damage is minor and you can exchange information parked on the side of the road.
  • Never accept money from the liable party, rather than filing a claim.
  • Do not leave the scene. Stay on the scene until the matter is settled. In some areas, you may be required to call the police, even for minor incidents. Other times you may just need to file a report later.
  • Never admit an accident was your fault, even if you think it was. An apology can be construed as an admission of fault. Let the authorities determine who was responsible. Auto accidents can be disorienting even if you are not physically injured. You may not be aware of all factors leading up to the crash.
  • Don’t forget to document everything. Take photos and get contact information from all parties involved, including any witnesses.

We are here to help you with your California auto insurance needs. We have access to many insurance products and can provide you with competitive premiums. We offer auto liability, auto collision and auto comprehensive coverage.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we combine premium auto Insurance with personalized service to give you the best coverage possible. Our insurance specialists will work with you one-on-one to find a policy that keeps you and your drivers protected at all costs – for peace-of-mind driving assurance.

 

It Is Party Time!

college-2104580_1920A North Bay Personal Insurance Update

In the next few weeks, many students will be leaving their summer jobs and heading off to college.  For many kids, this will be their first time away from home.  Did you know that theft and burglaries make up over fifty percent of campus crime? The right kind of personal insurance, a bit of prevention, and good safety precautions can provide a measure of comfort for families and their children.

It is always best to consult with a licensed insurance professional regarding your need for competitive personal insurance, health insurance, identity theft insurance, and even personal umbrella insurance.

Personal Insurance Issues for College Students

There may be cases where your homeowner’s insurance will provide some level of coverage while your child is away at college. Here are some of the issues we would like to review with you to determine if you have the right kind of personal insurance.

  • Personal Property. Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide some limited coverage for personal property away from your premises. This limit is usually less than $1,500 per policy.  If your child is taking any computers, electronics, household goods, and clothing, this amount may not be enough.  You may want to add additional coverage to cover any theft or covered claim.  If you have a high deductible, a renter’s insurance policy might be an option.
  • Identity Theft. Identity theft is a major issue on college campuses. We would recommend that you add this coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy, or at least have us complete a review to determine if you have the right kind of coverage at the best price.
  • Renting. Some college students rent an apartment with friends. Many rental companies now require a separate renter’s policy.  Some rental companies may offer renters insurance as part of their package.  Frequently, you end up paying much more for their coverage versus having us review your options and providing a quote for competitive renters insurance.
  • Auto Insurance. If your student takes a car to college, you will need to notify your auto insurance company to make sure the vehicle’s location is reclassified. This may cause your auto insurance to go down, especially if the college is in a small town.  Auto insurance rates are based on the garage location, and smaller cities often have lower rates.
  • Health Insurance. Children may remain on your health coverage until the age of 26. If you have a high health insurance deductible you may want to consider utilizing special health coverage offered by the college or university. Many colleges will offer student health insurance at a very reasonable cost.

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.