Who Is On Your Side?

17759901_xxlWho Is On Your Side?

A North Bay Insurance Update

Everyone has seen insurance advertisements that feature a lizard, a man who creates trouble, and a wacky woman in white trying to sell you insurance.  These ads may be entertaining, but how in the world can you really tell these companies apart?  What are the differences?  Is one company really better than any other?  Will the coverage, price, and service meet my needs?

There are two distinct kinds of agents in the United States; Independent agents/brokers, and direct writers.  Let’s define these for you.

Independent Agents

An independent agency is a business that is owned and operated by local business professionals.  Some larger agencies may have a board of directors and many partners, but usually the ownership is local and independent.  These agents offer many different insurance products through many different insurance companies.  Independent agents sell the products that most appropriately meet the needs of their clients. Independent agents typically are very well trained and knowledgeable of the complexities of the insurance market and insurance law.

Most independent agents have multiple companies from which to shop your insurance needs.  This makes it more likely that they will find the exact fit for your specific situation. It also allows for greater competition, which benefits their clients.

The goal of the independent agent is to provide their clients with the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  For example, independent agents have experience in understanding what services insurance companies provide and are able to match unique services with client needs. Not all insurance companies are alike.

Direct Writers

A direct writer is an agent who distributes policies for only one insurance company.  Direct writers are agents paid by the insurance company and cannot utilize the entire insurance market.

If your roof needed replacement would you go to just one roofer for a quote?  Would you hire a roofer because their ads are funny?  Wouldn’t it make good financial sense to go to more than one roofer to get options and pricing comparisons?

The True Value of Your Agent

The value of the insurance you buy truly is established when, and if, you have a claim.  Independent agents advise and help clients through the claim process. Our job is to find you the best possible combination of coverage, price, and insurance.  Independent agents/brokers work for the customer, direct writers work for the company.  Enough said!

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.

 

Advertisements

Online Insurance Can’t Answer These Questions

4fr44bfWhether you are a new homeowner or have owned your home for a longer period, there’s no doubt you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance. You want to protect your home, your possessions, and your family. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions about home owner insurance.

  1. As a home owner, am I required to have insurance? Yes, if you have a lender. It’s also wise to look into insurance if you are in the process of constructing a home or renting your home to someone else.
  2. What types of coverage does homeowner insurance provide? Property insurance, which covers the home and contents and liability insurance, which insures your liability for bodily injury to a third party.
  3. Will the replacement cost be the same as the sale price of my home? No. The replacement cost will cover the amount needed to replace the same structure and/or contents. Replacement cost is usually calculated based on the individual home’s characteristics. We recommend you take photographs of your home and contents.
  4. Will homeowner insurance cover damage or theft outside of my home? Generally, yes but policies differ. Be sure to ask about your specific coverage.
  5. Are home-based businesses covered under homeowner insurance? No, unless you qualify for an endorsement to your current homeowner insurance policy. Generally, you need a business owners insurance policy. You can void coverage on certain structures as well if they are used in your business.

Of course, homeowners will have more questions about homeowner insurance particular to their own situations (including protection against the elements, possessions that are no longer in the home, contents of vehicles, etc.). When searching for a homeowner insurance policy, be sure to ask about coverage relevant and beneficial to your own situation.

North Bay Insurance Brokers, 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.

Spend A Little Money… Save A Home

smart-home-2005993_1280Now Is The Time To Test Your Home Fire Safety Equipment

Now that summer is over and we have set our clocks back, it is time to check your home fire safety equipment.  Having working fire safety equipment can save lives. But electronic devices are not infallible; batteries die, and other parts of the smoke detector can wear out over time. Regular testing can help ensure that your family will be safe in the event of a fire in your home.

  • Smoke Alarms–Test each smoke alarm in your home to make sure it is in good working order, and replace the batteries. It is also recommended that every bedroom have a smoke detector. Hard wired detectors are the best, but you can purchase newer detectors that have a battery life of 10 years.  Make sure everyone in the home recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Fire Extinguishers–Performing a monthly inspection of your fire extinguisher is easy. Check the label or user manual for the manufacturer’s maintenance suggestions, and then follow those steps for doing your own monthly check. Keep the extinguisher in an open and common area, check the pull pin to make sure it still works, and check the pressure gauge.
  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms—Refer to the manufactures instructions for testing your specific model. However, to test most carbon monoxide alarms, you simply locate the test button, press and hold the button for a few seconds, and listen for the sound of the alarm to insure it is working. Finally replace the batteries.

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.

 

 

Are You A Smart Insurance Buyer?

book-841171_1280

A North Bay  Business Insurance Update

Even the best run businesses may have a loss now and then. It is important that every business owner and manager have a comprehensive business insurance program. A well-designed business insurance program will help the business get through a loss. Here are few ideas to help you make sure you have the best possible coverage your business needs.

  1. Make sure you combine your business policies into one “package” You will receive premium discounts for doing this.
  2. Every business should have a commercial umbrella policy with at least $1,000,00 of coverage.
  3. Review your property insurance deductibles, by increasing your deductible you may be able to lower your premium.
  4. Consider the flowing kinds of coverage; cyber liability, employment practices liability, and director and officer’s liability.
  5. Have your agent search the market for the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

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.

 

Hey! I Need A Ride!

White Car Cornering In Mountain Road With Speed Blur

White car cornering in mountain road with speed blur

An Auto Insurance Update

Being a rideshare driver is a great way to make extra income. With the growth of Uber and Lyft, many people are using their own vehicles assuming their personal auto insurance will provide coverage.

Unfortunately, your personal auto insurance will not cover any use for commercial purposes. There is an exclusion for any commercial use of your vehicle. There is a specific exclusion for “public or Livery conveyance” that is part of your policy.  This makes it very clear that the liability coverage for your vehicle doesn’t apply when it is being used as a public conveyance.

In addition, your personal auto insurance excludes Medical Payments, and Physical Damage Coverage for your vehicle is used for commercial purposes. With a few exceptions, your personal automobile policy doesn’t cover you or your automobile when you are using it for this purpose.

What Are Your Options?

  • Another option is to purchase a commercial automobile policy that is designed to cover the exposures that go along with operating a public conveyance.
  • Consider the coverage offered by the rideshare company you are working for

Call, our office and we, can work hard to provide you with the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

If you use your vehicle for delivery or landscaping you might need to consider a commercial auto policy, especially if the vehicle is used 100% for business use.

We are ready to help you with all your auto, home, RV, and motorcycle needs. Call us today. We can combine your insurance under one program and save you hundreds of dollars.

Stop Thief… That’s Mine

burglar-157142_1280

The holiday season is filled with fun, parties, food, gift, overeating and unfortunately some risk. One of the fasted growing risks for many people is stolen packages by porch pirates. According to proopertycasualtiy360, over 26 million packages are stolen during the holiday season. Need more bad news?

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance generally may not cover this loss as it tends to be under your deductible. There could be coverage if you have personal property off premises insurance. Also for theft coverage to apply generally, you need proof of loss by a broker indoor, etc.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances.

Things To Do

  • Delivery confirmation is a good way to prove the package was delivered.
  • Thieves will follow delivery trucks, waiting for the perfect target.
  • These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time.
  • You can insure your packages.
  • Consider having a person there when the delivery is scheduled.
  • Install a security camera.

High Tech Solutions

There are a few high tech solutions to consider.

  • Landport or BoxLock provides a delivery box on your porch that has an electronic lock.
  • Amazon Key, which has a fairly simple premise: When a delivery arrives at your house, and you’re not home, the courier scans a barcode that sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. If it’s approved Amazon remotely unlocks your door and starts recording video through the online retailer’s Cloud Cam.
  • Install a front door camera. Many shippers will not replace the item with this kind of device.

What To Do If A Package Is Stolen

  • Track your package. Check the delivery confirmation and tracking number.
  • Make sure a neighbor did not pick it up for you.
  • Contact the seller. Different retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but usually, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement item.
  • File a claim with the shipping company.
  • Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection.

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.

 

Businesses In North Bay May Be In Trouble

bigstock-Risky-Word-Written-On-Cube-Sha-244520626.jpgEvery business has risks, we understand that. But as a business owner or manager, it is your job to manage risk so that your business can continue operating and grow. We can help you identify, treat and manage all your business risks because we know and understand your business. Here are some of the risk issues we have identified.

  1. Natural Disasters – These issues are always a concern for small and medium business. We can offer flood, earthquake and wind insurance as your needs arise.
  2. Cyber Liability- Cyber liability and data theft is one of the hottest topics for businesses, risk managers and insurance 2018 had some of the biggest data thefts that we have seen. But even more interesting, is that small businesses are exposed more than large businesses. In fact, 25% of data breaches affect businesses with less than 50 employees. A small business has a greater chance of having a cyber breach than it does of having a fire.
  3. Government mandates and regulations – There continues to be increased oversight from government in healthcare and financial reporting that creates new risk and liability for businesses.
  4. Political and Civil Issues – As seen in 2018, political and civil issues have a direct impact on many small businesses. Having the right kind of business insurance is important to protect your business in the event of civil riots.
  5. Business Interruption – If your business has a loss and you are unable to operate for a period of time, you will need financial resources in order to get back in operation. You may even need to continue payroll for a period of time. Business interruption insurance can provide these resources.

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.