Wildfires Can Occur Anywhere

bigstock-Nature-burning-27273791According 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.

North Bay Home Rental Insurance Issues

pixa free dcdHow Our Sharing Economy Can Create Coverage Concerns

Many people are using VRBO, Airbnb, or other home renting sites. While this may be a great way to have additional income, it could pose issues if you rent out your primary home, condominium or apartment to others for a fee. It may be wise to read through this, and a related article, before you rent out your primary residence. If your home insurance is not recorded as a Landlord Policy, the insurer can deny the claim.

Five Reasons to Re-Think About Our Sharing Economy

  1. Your homeowner’s, renter’s or condominium insurance most likely will not provide coverage if you rent out your residence. So, if the renter damages your property or burns your home down, you will be uninsured under your homeowner’s policy.
  2. These sites say they offer some level of insurance, but it is usually secondary to your policy, and most likely will not respond.
  3. Read your lease or rental agreement; many of these prohibit sub-leasing.
  4. It may actually be illegal in your city to rent out your residence on a short term basis. Check the zoning laws in your community. If you live in an area with a community association, there may also be regulations to consider.
  5. By placing pictures of your primary home online you may open yourself up to loss of privacy and it could be a blueprint for criminals.

One final thought, you could also create increased liability if the renter somehow damages your neighbor’s property or injures a third party on your property.

The insurance industry will respond over time to the sharing economy, but in the meantime, there are limitations and restrictions in your current homeowner’s insurance policies of which you need to be aware.

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.

If The 49ers Super Bowl Win Was The Last Time You Had Your Business Insurance Reviewed… It’s Been Too Long

bigstock-Shady-image-of-a-business-team-48625103Benefits of a North Bay Business Insurance Review

Every business in the North Bay, at some time, should have their business insurance reviewed by an independent insurance agent like us.  If it has been more than a year since your last review, now may be a good time. We review all our clients’ insurance needs on a regular basis. There are many benefits to an insurance review including:

  • Prices change and a review can determine if you are getting competitive rates on your insurance.
  • Your coverage needs may have changed and your policy should reflect these changes.
  • There may be new insurance companies to which we have access.
  • Laws and regulations are changing and may require a different kind of insurance

Why Review My Business Insurance?

We have identified a number of questions that might indicate your business insurance is out of date.

  • Have you moved?
  • Did you purchase any new equipment?
  • Are you involved in any new partnerships?
  • Have you seen an increase in your claims?
  • Do you ship products to foreign countries?
  • Has your ownership changed?
  • Do your vehicles cross state lines?
  • Has one of the owners recently become divorced?
  • Have you experienced growth?

We live in difficult financial times and making sure we save money wherever we can is very important. Having us preform an insurance review might just be what is needed to protect your assets while putting money back in your pocket.

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.

How Will Your Business Respond?

businessman-2556923_640A Business Insurance Update

If you think about it, your business faces risks every day.  When you open your doors, you have the risk of having sick or injured employees, customer complainants, and vendors who fail to deliver on their promises.  The world has changed in the past few years and it is important for business owners to make sure their business insurance keeps up.

Recently a large insurer released their annual business risk index. This index identified the top concerns of over 1,000 business owners.  Nearly half of survey respondents believe that the business world is growing riskier, yet just 24 percent said that risk management was a strategic priority for them.

According to the survey, the top seven worries of today’s business owners across all industries are:

  • Medical cost inflation
  • Increasing employee benefits costs
  • Legal liability
  • Broad economic uncertainties
  • Tech and data/cyber risks
  • Complying with laws
  • Attracting and retaining talent

Source: Business News Daily

Let our agency help you understand how to manage and treat the risks.  We offer a wide range of highly rated insurers that can offer the necessary products to help your manage you risks.

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.