“ Your Fired” Are You in the Market for a New Insurance Broker?

A Business Insurance Update

There are many ways to select a business insurance agent. Some businesses may use the bidding method, where they call many agents and have them “bid” their business insurance. The problem with this is you really don’t know if you are getting equal products. It is almost impossible to compare products “apple to apple.”  The low bid may have limited, or no, coverage in areas in which your business needs coverage.  The best way to select insurance is to find a qualified and experienced agent who knows and understands your industry.  Then, allow that agency to go into the market on your behalf to find you the best possible price and coverage.

How to select an agent?

A qualified agent should help you identify your risks and help you understand what you should insure.  Then the agent should design a coverage plan, and go to the market to negotiate the best possible combination of coverage, pricing, and service.  Here are a few questions for you to consider using when selecting your agent.

  • “If I had a claim, how would you help me?”
  • “How many years of experience do you have? And your staff?”
  • “When I call the agency with a question, who would I be speaking with?”
  • “May I have three references?”
  • “What ratings do the insurers have that you might use?”
  • “What systems do you have to help manage your business?”
  • “How do you define customer service?”
  • “What is your policy for returning phone calls?”
  • “How long do you usually keep a client?”
  • “What makes you skilled at what you do?”
  • “Do you have any industry awards?”
  • “Will I have to ask for my renewal to be processed?”

North Bay Insurance Brokers provides industry-specific insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.

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.

 

 

Ride Baby Ride… But Call Us First

A Motorcycle Insurance and Safety Update

In 2016, motorcycle crashes claimed the lives of 4,976 people—up 8.3 percent from 4,594 deaths in 2015.  Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 4 percent of all people injured, and 17 percent of all occupant (driver and passenger) fatalities, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report.  Summer traditionally sees an increase in motorcycle accidents, primarily due to the increased number of riders on the roads.

Motorcycle Safety Should Be Your Primary Concern

  • With the warmer weather, it is tempting to leave your helmet at home. Please don’t.
  • Always be aware of the weather conditions.
  • Make sure you carry proper reflective gear along with replacement bulbs, and any other basic equipment that can help ensure your visibility.
  • Airbags—Honda Motorcycle Company is the first company to offer the option of an airbag, which is available on one of the most expensive models.

Motorcycle Insurance

According to the Insurance Information Institute, you should have the following coverage’s on your motorcycle.

Liability Coverage

Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident.  It does not cover you or your motorcycle.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident. Your insurance company pays for damages, minus your deductible, caused when you collide with another vehicle or object. Collision insurance usually covers the book value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. Like collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and will cover only the book value of the motorcycle.  Keep in mind most comprehensive and collision coverages will only cover the factory standard parts on your motorcycle.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage covers damages to you and/or your property caused by another driver who either does not have insurance (uninsured), or does not have adequate insurance (underinsured).

You buy California auto insurance to protect yourself when you have an accident or claim.  When something bad happens you want your auto insurance company to respond. When it comes to auto insurance, knowledge is power. Here are some facts to help educate you about auto insurance. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we combine premium Auto Insurance with personalized service to give you the best coverage possible

 

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

“There is Gold in Them There Policies”

person-110303_640A North Bay Business Insurance Update

Every business needs business insurance.  But business insurance policies are all different. That is why it is always better to use an independent agent who knows and understand your business and industry. The insurance needs for a restaurant are much different than the insurance needs of a manufacturer, and the coverage should reflect that.

If you own or operate a business, you may want to consider these coverages as part of your business insurance package. Our keys to coverage will assume some of the obvious coverage such as property and liability.  We also want to identify some business insurance coverage you may not have considered.

  • Sprinkler leakage insurance–If your sprinkler system leaks and causes a loss to equipment or documents, do you have coverage?
  • Business income insurance–After a covered loss, you may have a period of recovery time when you are closed. Without business income insurance your business may run out of funds.
  • Umbrella Insurance–An umbrella policy provides extra insurance protection over your commercial general and auto liability policies. It is not uncommon for a business to be sued for over $1,000,000.
  • Cyber liability–Cyber breaches are the fastest growing causes for loss for most businesses. Every business needs the protection provided by cyber insurance.
  • Employee dishonesty–This policy protects employers from workplace theft and fraud.

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. provides insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas. No matter what business you’re in, each workday is dedicated to doing your job well and providing your customers with the best service possible. North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. would like to return the favor by giving you the coverage you need to ensure the security of your business.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom.

 

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.

Put The Breaks On!!

pit-crew-554352_640Auto Insurance for the High-Risk Driver

Are you a high-risk driver?  Incurring too many accidents or violations on your driving record can have a negative impact on your auto insurance coverage rates.  High-risk drivers do have options, and we certainly do not want you to go without auto insurance.

Find the right auto insurance company

Insurance companies differ in what they are willing to insure. It is important to shop your auto insurance with us to make sure you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  Some insurers will charge much higher rates if you have a record of accidents or violations.  We know the insurers that are willing to take high risk drivers.

Make sure you have the basic auto coverage

We can design a policy for you to help you minimize the high cost of insurance. We recommend auto liability and physical damage coverage. Whatever you do, do not go without auto insurance as that can create many more problems for you.

As a locally owned and operated insurance agency in Sonoma, California, North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. 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.

We Care…And So Should You!

light-bulbs-1125016_640

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.