Your Holiday Insurance Shopping List

christmas-2597789_640North Bay Homeowner’s Insurance

You buy home insurance to protect your most important asset.  There are many items to consider and we can help you through the process of finding the right coverage for you and your family. Remember not all homeowner’s insurance policies are considered equal.

There are many factors that go into determining your homeowner’s insurance premiums.  We thought it might be fun to address our “top ten list” of things every homeowner should know before purchasing insurance.  As your agent we can help you identify the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

  1. You are a statistic. To an insurer, you are a set of risks. An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your “risk factors” including your occupation, who you are, what you own, and where you live. To us, you are a person and we value our relationship with you.
  2. Know your home’s value. Before you buy a policy, it is important to know your home’s replacement cost.
  3. Insurers differ. As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can be priced differently by different companies. You can save money by comparison shopping, we can do that for you.
  4. Don’t just look at price. A low price is no bargain if you don’t have the right coverage.
  5. Go beyond the basics. A basic homeowner’s policy may not promise to entirely replace your home.
  6. Look for discounts. Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk.
  7. Be sure that you have the proper documentation if you have a claim. Your idea of fair compensation may not match that of your insurer. Your insurer’s job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.
  8. Know your policy. Keep your policy updated, and reread it before you file a claim so there are no surprises.
  9. Check you deductibles. It may benefit you to increase your deductible, especially if you have a good claims experience.
  10. Your policy excludes Quake and Flood. Check with us and we will provide you with a quote.

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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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.

 

 

Get The Paperwork Correct And Save Money

money-1428594_640How the claim process works

You buy insurance to protect yourself when you have a need. This need might be an auto loss, business claim, or home fire. When something bad happens you want your insurance company to respond. When it comes to filing a claim, knowledge is power. We hope you never have a claim, but we want you to be prepared if you do have a claim.

The value of an agent during the claim process

It is important to have a professional agent like us to help you through the claim process. If you buy your insurance from a faceless on-line company, you may not get the same level of service.

Insurance claim filing process

Read your policy. Know what is covered and understand your rights. Knowing what your insurance policy does and doesn’t cover is essential to getting through the claims process quicker.

Contact your agent or company as soon as possible. Have the basic facts ready like your policy number, claim information, and contact information.

Prevent further damage. If you home is damaged and is in need of immediate repairs, you have the right and obligation to prevent further damage.

Start to document the loss. Take photos, keep all receipts, and obtain contact information of all people involved. Don’t throw out damaged property or other expensive items until an adjuster has seen them.

Always submit your claim in writing with all receipts and a cover letter.

Know your rights and who to contact if you are not satisfied with your settlement. Most consumers find that their claim is paid quickly, easily and fairly. This is another reason to have an independent agent on your team. We can help get you the best possible settlement.

Filing a claim generally will not cause the insurance company to cancel you. Many insurance companies have the option of tracking your claims on-line.

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.

 

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.

 

What Do the Solar Eclipse and Insurance Have in Common?

moon-1783296_640The world recently experienced a spectacular total solar eclipse.  We were told the specific time it would happen and where the best places were to view the eclipse.  Did you stop to wonder who figured that out?  It was a complex process, and some very smart people from NASA determined the exact time of the eclipse and where the best places were to view it.  The mathematical calculations involved in developing that information are well above the skills of most people.  However, aren’t you glad there is someone who understands this so we can all enjoy and benefit from their detailed work?

If we were to compare the eclipse to insurance, the independent agent would be NASA, the sun and moon would be the insurance companies, and the public would be the policyholders.  Insurance is complex, and the professional agent manages the complex for the benefit of the insurance buyer.

Insurance is about a relationship involving three parties, the buyer, the independent agent, and the insurance company.  Here is how we see the needs of each party.

The Insurance Buyer.  Buyers of insurance want peace of mind and confidence that in the event of a loss everything will be ok.

The Insurance Company.  Insurance companies simply want to insure good risks and are transaction focused. Their decisions are financially focused, not relationship focused.

The Independent Agent.  Agents transform the complex so their clients can make educated decisions.  Helping the client to understand their risks and providing a number of reasonable solutions are the goals of the agent.

The person best suited to bring these parties together is the independent agent. The agent knows what risks the insurer desires and can educate the buyer in complex coverage design, safety, and claims management, in order to attract the best insurer option.  It is about building a trusted relationship that allows transparency between all parties.

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.

 

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.

 

 

How Can A Facebook Post Be You In Legal Trouble?

Social-MediaBF65A Texas jury has awarded a wedding photographer more than $1 million after determining a newly married couple unhappy with her work launched a social media campaign to post falsehoods about her. The Dallas County jury found Friday that the campaign against the business amounted to defamation. The jury unanimously found the couple acted of out malice in targeting the business in the months after their October 2014 wedding. (AP) Read article.

Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Social Media?

Social media has changed how we communicate with family and friends. Technology has made it so that anyone can have their voice heard and their comments recorded for posterity.  Among the greatest contributors to this revolution are your teenagers…and you can be held responsible for their actions.

What Kind Of Personal Insurance Claim Can Come From A Social Media Post?

Recently, a 16-year-old student sued five classmates and their parents for online harassment. Whether or not the allegations are true, the teenagers and their parents required legal resources to defend themselves for the possible judgments against them.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Provide?

Most people assume their homeowner’s insurance will cover any kind of claim that comes from social media content. However, you need to have personal injury coverage as part of your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you bought your insurance online you may not have this coverage.

Personal Injury coverage is an optional endorsement on the standard homeowner’s policy that provides protection for libel, slander, defamation of character, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and wrongful eviction. This coverage is also provided by most umbrella policies.

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.