Recent Wild Fires Means More Flooding

bigstock-Nature-burning-27273791We have been witness to record-setting wildfires in over the past few year and experts are now telling us that the results will mean more flooding. We have learned that a combination of record heat has created a massive growth of undergrowth that acts as fuel for wildfires, thus creating more damage to that land. This ground bloom dries out and creates more heat for wildfires.

Winter weather changes also have created more rain than snow, causing more erosion and overflowing dams. All of these conditions have created a perfect storm for flooding.

That means that the next six to eight months will be prime time for flooding.  If you live near water or in a flood zone, we recommend that you have flood insurance.  However, did you know that even if you do not live in a flood zone, you might need flood insurance?  According to Flood Smart, 20% of flood claims come from low-risk areas.

Why Get A Flood Insurance Quote?

  • Homes with mortgages from federally regulated banks or insured lenders in high-risk flood areas are required to have flood insurance.
  • Your standard homeowner’s insurance excludes floods.
  • If you decide you want flood insurance, you will need to secure coverage as soon as possible. There is a 30-day waiting period before policies can be bound.
  • There are flood policies for condominiums and apartments as well.

So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it’s already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood. At North Bay Insurance Brokers Insurance Agency, we know you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your personal property and keepsakes. A flood insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your valuables from any flood-related damage.

Call our professional staff today for more information. Don’t wait until you’re knee deep in water!

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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Is Your Business Insurance Broken?

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It Is Good To Review Your Business Insurance Program Every Year

Every North Bay business, like a car, needs checkup from time to time.  As your business grows or changes, your business insurance should respond accordingly.  If your business changes, there could be the possibility that you may not have the right business insurance coverage, and that can lead to an uninsured claim.

What A Business Insurance Check-Up Looks Like

We will review your policies and compare them to your operations to make sure that you have the coverage that matches your risk.  We will also review the following questions:

  • Have you added any new locations?
  • Do you now design, sell, or manufacture any new products?
  • Did you update or remodel your facility?
  • Did you make any investments in your business?
  • Have you added transport or delivery services?
  • Have you sold any personal property or equipment?
  • Are you expanding your services and/or your client base?
  • Have there been any changes in ownership?

At North Bay Insurance Brokers Insurance Agency, we know you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your personal property and keepsakes. A flood insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your valuables from any flood-related damage.

 

 

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.

Agents And Insurance Policies Are Not Created Equal

Insurance - Protect the Important Things words on business cards

Insurance – Protect the Important Things words on business cards in a holder for a sales person or agent selling policies and coverage for auto, life, homeowner or medical

An Insurance Update

Many people think that all insurance policies are alike and there is no need to understand the different kinds of coverage afforded by different types of policies.  As professional agents, our job is to help our clients understand how the coverage we recommend can affect their risks and actually help them in the event of a loss.

We take the time to educate ourselves on your individual risks, and then design an insurance program to meet your needs.  Here are examples of four insurance coverage options that you should consider.  This coverage can apply to your home or business.

Business Income and Extra Expense (called loss of use on homes)

Business income insurance covers the loss of income that a business suffers after a covered loss, (fire, etc.), while its facility is shut down or in the process of being rebuilt.

Extra expense covers the additional costs, in excess of normal operating expenses, that an organization incurs to continue operations while its property is being repaired or replaced after having been damaged by a covered cause of loss.

For homeowners, the coverage will provide funds for temporary housing while your damaged home is under repair.

Equipment Breakdown (not often available for homes)

Equipment breakdown covers loss due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown of equipment, machinery, including photocopiers and computers.  Coverage applies to the cost to repair or replace the equipment and any other property damaged by the equipment breakdown.

Water/Sewer Backup

Most homeowner’s and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  A sewer backup can be caused by many factors (not including flood).  Sewer backup can happen from any number of sources:

  • plumbing or appliances
  • severe weather or storms
  • accidents
  • infiltration

 

Building Ordinance and Law

Building ordinance and law covers losses caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings.  Many communities have building ordinances requiring that a building that has been damaged be rebuilt in accordance with current building codes rather than simply repaired.  This can cause considerable additional expenses to a loss.

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.

 

Hold Your Horses… We Do All The Work!

horse-1006376_1920How To Prepare For A Personal Insurance Quote

We have all heard the advice “knowledge is power,” and in the personal insurance world, this is very true.  The more information we have as your personal insurance agent, the better and more competitively priced your personal insurance will be.  Keep this in mind as you prepare for your agent to quote your personal insurance.

Here Is the Good News

We will do all the heavy lifting for you.  All you need to do is have your information ready to give to your agent.  This may be information you already have at your fingertips, or information that is listed on your current personal insurance policies.  Then, we will do all the rest for you.

Now if you were going to try to apply for insurance online, the process is much more complex.  Not only would you have to know what information you need, but also how and where to use it to obtain the most competitive personal insurance products.

Keys to Getting the Best Price on Your Personal Insurance

Use an independent agent.  An independent agent has a number of advantages going for them.  Find an agent who has experience with the kind of insurance you need.  Your agent should be licensed and have an office you can visit if needed.

Benefits of Independent Agents:

  • They are not employed or controlled by any one insurance company.
  • These agents have access to dozens of markets.
  • They are locally owned; which means they live and work in your community.
  • When you call the office of an independent agent, you can talk to a licensed professional who cares about you.
  • Independent agents are a one-stop-shop for all of your personal insurance needs.
  • You get a choice of products and insurance companies that best suits your needs.
  • They not only find you competitively priced personal insurance, but they also make sure you have coverage that is designed for your individual situation.

Be honest concerning your personal information – Agents are held to strict confidentially standards.  We will never share your personal information with anyone with your permission.

Provide Information to Your Agent

There will be some necessary information needed for your agent to provide options for you. This information will vary based on the kind of personal insurance products you desire. Here are some of the types of information you may need to provide:

Homeowners Insurance

  • Personal information
  • Description of home
  • Any repairs or upgrades
  • Current condition and amenities
  • Age of roof and furnace, etc

Life Insurance

  • Health history
  • Family health history
  • Any illness

Auto Insurance

  • Personal information
  • Driving history
  • Vehicle use and description

Remember, knowledge is power.  Therefore, the more information your agent has the better pricing and coverage they will provide for you.  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.

 

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.

Is Your Office Holiday Party Like An Episode Of the “Office”

Group of friends cheering with glasses of champagneCompany Holiday Parties Increase Risks

Your company Holiday party was going great, and everyone was having a wonderful time.  Except one of the female employees said that a manager touched her and made un-wanted advances.  Now she is filing an employment liability claim.  This is a scenario that no one wants to happen.

Your business insurance many not cover this lawsuit unless you have employment practices liability insurance.  Call our office for a review of your commercial insurance today.

Office Holiday Party Safety

  1. Limit use of alcohol; offer two drink tickets per person.
  2. Make sure you have food at your party.
  3. During the party, monitor alcohol consumption. Quickly try to diffuse any situations or displays of inappropriate behavior.
  4. Consider having the party at a restaurant. This is a good way to transfer liability.
  5. Make the party optional.
  6. Arrange for cab rides or transportation home for guests who may need it.
  7. Prior to the party, review harassment policies with all employees as a reminder of proper behavior.
  8. Encourager managers to set a good example.
  9. Consider inviting spouses, which is a good way to reduce romantic hook-ups.
  10. Know your state laws.
  11. If you have employees bring food, be sure the food is labeled by type. Some people may have food allergies.

As long as you don’t charge for drinks, your business insurance may provide coverage (Always check with our office as each policy is different). North Bay Insurance Brokers 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 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, 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.