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.

 

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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.

 

 

Honey We Have Been Robbed… My Ugly Christmas Sweater Is Gone!

aqazxaA Home Insurance Update

Having your home invaded by a burglar cannot only cost you monetarily, but it can cause stress and a loss of security.  Over 60% of homes are at risk of having a burglary according to a national insurer.  This number includes renters and owners of condominiums as well.

Top Ways Thieves Get in Your Home

  • Un-locked door or window
  • Key left outside
  • An open garage door

How to Reduce the Chances of a Home Burglary

  • Having lights on
  • Security system
  • Outside lights on timers
  • Neighbor watch programs
  • Keeping all doors and windows closed and locked
  • Limit the amount of shrubs around windows

If you have the right kind of homeowners insurance, a loss like this should be covered.  However, we always recommend you call our team to have a review of your personal insurance program.

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.

 

Our Goal Is To Help You

Confused Way Of A BusinessmanA 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 business 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.

 

 

Insurance Jeopardy… What Is, I Need Business Insurance For $500

Test Your Business Insurance IQ

We don’t expect you to be experts in business insurance, but we thought it might be fun to test you on what you do know about your business insurance. Business insurance is designed to cover unexpected losses. We can offer a wide range of business insurance options, so please call our office today.

Business Insurance Quiz (answers at the end)

  1. Your deductible is the amount you are responsible for if a covered loss occurs.

True       False

  1. Flood and earthquake coverage are always part of your business property coverage.

Ture       False

  1. Cyber Insurance is protection against losses caused by hackers from businesses dealing strictly in e-commerce, but it does not exist.

True       False

  1. Business Interruption covers your lost income no matter what kind of loss closes your business.

True       False

  1. My employees are prohibited from suing me, as this would be a workers’ compensation claim.

True       False

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.

Answers

  1. True-
  2. False- You need to add this coverage under a separate policy
  3. False- Cyber insurance can be purchase by all business
  4. False- Business interruption only applies to covered losses under the policy
  5. False- Your employees have rights under federal and state laws to sue you if they feel they have been wronged. You would need employment practices liability insurance in order to protect you and your business from employee lawsuits.

What’s In Your Wallet? An Insurance Card From North Bay Insurance Brokers

North Bay Personal Insurance Update

As we begin a new year, one thing on most people’s “to do list,” is buying home insurance and auto insurance.  When it comes to personal insurance, you want to be adequately covered if you do have a claim, but you do not want to pay more than you should.  We recommend that you call us before your personal insurance policies renew, so we can shop the market and compare options for you.

  • Review your deductibles and limits – Are they adequate for your needs? Are you using your personal vehicle for Uber, deliveries, or other commercial use?  If so, your vehicle may not be covered.  Are you renting out part of your home?  Again, you may need to adjust your coverage.
  • Use an independent agent – Independent agents can access many different insurance companies and select the one that offers the best combination of coverage, service, and pricing.
  • Do not buy insurance on the internet – Call us so that we can provide you with outstanding service along with competitive pricing.
  • Maintain good credit – Regularly check your credit score, since a low score may impact your premium.
  • An umbrella, or “excess,” policy kicks in where your liability coverage for your auto and home ends, and is a necessity if you have any assets to protect. A $1 million umbrella is common, but $2 million is more realistic these days.
  • Review your auto limits – If you have limits of less than $100,000, that won’t even cover the medical bills in a serious accident.
  • Maintain a home inventory – Having an accurate account of your personal property can provide for greater recovery in the event of a loss.
  • Bundle your insurance – Combine your auto, home, and umbrella policies with one insurer to receive greater discounts.
  • Set the right deductible – A higher deductible reduces your premium, but you have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident.
  • Consider identity theft coverage – Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S.
  • Buy from a financially strong company – Your insurance is only as good as the company who stands behind the policy. The insurance company should have an “A+” rating or higher.

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.