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.

 

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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.

North Bay Brokers Can Help Employers Manage Workers’ Compensation Costs

risk-1945683_640A Workers’ Compensation Update

There are over 4.1 million workplace injuries in the Unites States each year, according to OSHA.  Employers spend about $155 billion on work related injuries each year.  There is no doubt workers’ compensation is a big expense for employers.

The good news is there are many actions an insurance agent can do to help employers reduce workers’ compensation costs.

  1. Search the market for options and program designs that fit the individual needs of each employer.
  2. Help build a bridge between the insurer and business.
  3. Educate employers about how workers’ compensation works.
  4. Work with employers in the development of a safety program.
  5. Analyze all classifications to make sure they are correct.
  6. Help the company prepare for the workers’ compensation premium audit.
  7. Provide the framework for an early return to work program.
  8. Help the company review accidents and claims to determine trends and then create safety solutions.
  9. Facilitate a claims review with the insurer to make sure all claims are being processed correctly.
  10. Be a resource to the business by bringing in other service providers to solve problems; i.e., attorneys, safety professionals, and third party claims consultants.

Workers’ compensation is an important part of your business insurance program. It is required by state law that your business has workers’ compensation insurance.

As a business owner, you go to great lengths to provide a safe working environment for your employees. Workers’ compensation continues to be a significant cost driver for most employers, and understanding all the factors that can drive your workers’ compensation cost can often be complex and time consuming.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that mistakes happen. That’s why we’re committed to helping you create a Professional Liability policy that keeps your day-to-day operations protected should your business be held legally liable

 

 

Wildfires Can Occur Anywhere

House FireAccording to the Federal Government, almost 90 percent of the wildfires in the United States are caused by humans.  Wildfires can occur in the country and major cities. Wild fires can start in a vacant lot and spread to neighborhood very quickly. From January 1 to March 31, 2017, there were 13,458 wildfires, compared to 9,218 wildfires in the same period in 2016. Source; iii.org

Wildfires And Homeowner’s Insurance

Unlike earthquakes and floods, wildfire damage should not require a completely separate policy, and probably does not even require a high risk policy. It is a good idea, however, to know what your homeowner’s policy does cover.  In many cases wildfires are covered, but it is always good to call your agent for a homeowner’s insurance review.

If your homeowner’s policy covers wildfires it would normally protect the building and contents from a covered loss. In addition, you will need additional living expenses if you must leave your home during re-construction.

Wildfire Prevention

Become familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plans and create a plan for your family. Identify escape routes from your home and neighborhood and designate an emergency meeting place for your family to reunite if you become separated.

  • Use fire resistant materials for roof and home construction.
  • Keep wood piles at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Create a 100 foot safety zone around your home.
  • Prune trees within 15 feet of any chimney outlet.
  • Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from your yard when burning.
  • Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Keep roofs and gutters clean and free from debris.
  • Have a ladder that reaches your roof.
  • Have an extra-long hose.
  • Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
  • Back as many vehicles as possible into the garage, then close the door. In the event that you evacuate, remember to close the garage door behind you as you leave. If you do not have a garage or if yours is full, park your vehicles heading in the direction of the evacuation route.

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.

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Shake Rattle And Roll

earthquake-3167693_1920 (1)A California Earthquake Update

May 2018 saw a number of small earthquakes in California. Many experts are predicting a major quale on the west coast in the next 12 months. The only thing we have control over is how prepared we are when an earthquake hits our area.

“California sits at the border between two major tectonic plates—the Pacific plate, which is moving northwest, and the North American plate, which is sliding past it to the southeast. The two plates don’t just meet at a single line, and the state is crisscrossed with dozens of earthquake faults. The San Andreas is the most worrisome, because it generates the quakes that are really dangerous to California residents.”  Sarah Zielinski

What You Can Control

  1. Get earthquake insurance on your home. Earthquake insurance covers damage to your home and your possessions. Most earthquake policies also cover costs incurred to minimize further damage after an earthquake, plus costs for additional living expenses. Deductibles are generally 10-15% of the insured amount. Exterior structures such as pools, irrigation systems, driveways, and detached garages are generally not covered.
  2. Create a disaster plan.
    • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
    • Put together a “go-bag” or disaster supply kit should you need to evacuate, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information.
    • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to blocked roads.
    • Make a family emergency communication plan and review it regularly with members.
    • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
    • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
    • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

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.

 

 

 

It Is Raining Lawsuits in 2018

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A North Bay Business Insurance Update

We live in a society where there are more lawyers than doctors. It seems that the typical response when someone has been damaged is to hire a lawyer and threaten a lawsuit. Most businesses can’t afford to be in court to defend every action. That is why commercial insurance is so important to your business. Our agency can offer a review of your business insurance coverage and educate you on your risks and how best to protect you. These four risks are at the top of our list and should be on your as well.

Cyber Liability- Cyber liability is the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks or using electronic storage technology. It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors & Officers Liability- Covers costs, damages, and defense protection to directors and officers of a company resulting from lawsuits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals, shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability- Employment Liability provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability- Insurance that is designed to cover third party claims, damages and claims arising out of providing professional advice. Many firms create legal obligations arising out of a professional’s errors, negligent acts, or omissions during the course of providing services to clients.

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.

 

In Business Insurance Coverage Is King

insurance-salesA North Bay Business Insurance Update

Buying business insurance is like investing in your business.  While you may never have a claim, if you do the resources provided by your insurer can keep your business going.  That is why it is important to have an agent who understands your needs and can help you design a business insurance program that fits your needs.

Where to Start?

Understand the difference between agents.

  • Captive agents can only provide coverage through one insurer.
  • Independent agents can offer many different coverage options through their many appointed insurers.

Understand the Value of Information

It is important that you provide as much information about your business as possible. Your agent can help you determine which information is needed to get the best possible pricing, coverage, and service.

Coverage Is King

Your agent will have a good idea of what you need after they review your risks. Here is an example of some of the coverage you may require.

Property Insurance: Covers your buildings, equipment, machines, and other property from loss or damage.

Commercial Liability Insurance: Provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage you cause to others.

Commercial Auto Insurance: Covers your company vehicles if they are involved in an accident. It can also cover your business if you or an employee uses a personally owned vehicle on behalf of the business.

Cyber Liability Insurance: This insurance can protect your business from a data breach. If your business stores sensitive or non-public information about employees or clients, you are responsible for protecting that information.

Management Liability Insurance: Management Liability can encompass three important business insurance coverage’s; Professional liability, Directors and Officers Liability, and Employment Practice Liability. These are excluded in most business insurance policies.

Our professionals work diligently to understand our client’s risks, goals, culture & vision in order to develop with you a risk management program to support your mission. 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.