Live Long And Prosper

Firemen at work on fire

Firemen at work on fire

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Human caused disasters and natural disasters occur in every state. California has earthquakes and wild fires, Colorado has flooding and wildfires, the Northeast has winter storms and high winds, Florida has flooding and hurricanes, and the Midwest has flooding and tornados.

Insurance And Disasters

It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how insurance might apply to other disasters.

  1. Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.
  2. Earthquake— While earthquakes occur mainly in certain areas, there are registered earthquakes in every state, every year. Earthquake insurance also must be added or purchased under a separate policy.
  3. Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.
  4. Heavy Snow and Winter Storms— Winter storms and snow damage is covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. If flooding occurs, then the flood damage would be covered.
  5. Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.
  6. Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

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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And The Answer Is

board-361516_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.

Live Long And Prosper

fire-fighter-2268732_640Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Human caused disasters and natural disasters occur in every state. California has earthquakes and wild fires, Colorado has flooding and wildfires, the Northeast has winter storms and high winds, Florida has flooding and hurricanes, and the Midwest has flooding and tornados.

Insurance And Disasters

It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how insurance might apply to other disasters.

  1. Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.
  2. Earthquake— While earthquakes occur mainly in certain areas, there are registered earthquakes in every state, every year. Earthquake insurance also must be added or purchased under a separate policy.
  3. Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.
  4. Heavy Snow and Winter Storms— Winter storms and snow damage is covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. If flooding occurs, then the flood damage would be covered.
  5. Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.
  6. Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

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.

 

My Business Just Lost Its Income

accounting-57284_640Should Your Business Purchase Interruption Insurance?

When a fire destroyed a fifty-unit apartment complex, the owners found themselves in a tough situation. The owners had insurance to cover the repairs and replacement of all the damaged units, and because the agent had done his job the owners had business income, or loss of rents insurance.

Business Income coverage, is a property coverage that is designed to pay the loss of income (rent is this case) following a total or partial shutdown of business. Business Income is designed to replicate the insured’s income stream and covers expenses as if no loss had occurred.

The 50 families that no longer had a place to live won’t pay rent until they have moved back into their repaired units.  Chances are, many will move on to other housing and won’t come back. However, as owners, you still have expenses, including a mortgage that will need to be paid. There can be three major parts to Business Income insurance:

  1. Business income (BI) coverage:Replaces the lost gross earnings during the shut-down resulting from a covered property loss. Loss of rents is considered gross earnings.
  2. Extra expense coverage:Covers the cost to relocate to another location and continue operations. During relocation, businesses typically incur the extra expenses of rent, equipment lease and the cost of restoring databases. All of this is covered by the “extra expenses” portion of the policy.
  3. Ordinary payroll:This optional coverage continues paying your workforce while you have no work for them. It prevents your trained employees from accepting other jobs while waiting for your business to recover. This coverage is optional but is recommended in many circumstances.

 

We like to ask the following questions to help us understand your risks and provide realistic solutions:

  • How much income do you need to continue operating your business in the event of a shutdown of your premises?
  • How much time will it take to fully recover or rebuild?
  • Will you need additional coverage for extra expenses such as leasing temporary office space, computer equipment or office machines?

Our team of insurance professionals has the knowledge and experience to help you identify your risks and create cost-effective solutions.

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.

 

Do We Need To Share Everything?

poses-1367416_1920Uber, Airbnb and VRBO may increase your personal liability risk

We live in a digital world that now allows us to share everything from our car, bike, boat, apartment and even our home with total strangers. Smart phones, and the applications that can be added, offer many useful tools, but some of these things create new and increased liability for you. Before you decide to jump into the sharing economy consider the following:

  • Do these sharing sites have the ability to protect your confidential information? Many times you are giving your credit card information to companies that may not have the ability to protect it.
  • If you use Airbnb to sublease your apartment, you might check your lease. Many lease agreements have “no sublease” clauses that do not allow for this kind of activity. Also, some big cities are now actually considering outlawing the Airbnb services as it reduces hotel/motel taxes.
  • Uber offers a taxi service where individuals can offer rides to those who subscribe. Are Personal auto insurance issues should be considered if using your car for hire. There is a big difference in the auto insurance world between a car pool for work and being paid to deliver people.
  • If you rent your primary home to others, it may limit your personal insurance coverage. Call out office for a review.

The use of the new sharing economy will most likely continue and may be a good way to make money. However, if you have an uninsured claim, the cost may be much greater.  Be aware that using these services may increase your risk of loss.

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.

Wildfires Are A Hazard Worth Planning For

Firemen at work on fireAccording to the Federal Government, almost 90 percent of the wildfires in the United States are caused by humans.  Wildfires can occur in the country and major cities. Wild fires can start in a vacant lot and spread to neighborhood very quickly. From January 1 to March 31, 2017, there were 13,458 wildfires, compared to 9,218 wildfires in the same period in 2016. Source; iii.org

Wildfires And Homeowner’s Insurance

Unlike earthquakes and floods, wildfire damage should not require a completely separate policy, and probably does not even require a high risk policy. It is a good idea, however, to know what your homeowner’s policy does cover.  In many cases wildfires are covered, but it is always good to call your agent for a homeowner’s insurance review.

If your homeowner’s policy covers wildfires it would normally protect the building and contents from a covered loss. In addition, you will need additional living expenses if you must leave your home during re-construction.

Wildfire Prevention

Become familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plans and create a plan for your family. Identify escape routes from your home and neighborhood and designate an emergency meeting place for your family to reunite if you become separated.

  • Use fire-resistant materials for roof and home construction.
  • Keep wood piles at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Create a 100-foot safety zone around your home.
  • Prune trees within 15 feet of any chimney outlet.
  • Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from your yard when burning.
  • Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly, mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Keep roofs and gutters clean and free from debris.
  • Have a ladder that reaches your roof.
  • Have an extra-long hose.
  • Rake leaves, dead limbs, and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
  • Back as many vehicles as possible into the garage, then close the door. In the event that you evacuate, remember to close the garage door behind you as you leave. If you do not have a garage or if yours is full, park your vehicles heading in the direction of the evacuation route.

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.

You Need What?

poses-1367416_1920Your home will be one of the most significant investments you will ever make, both economically and emotionally. Your family will spend countless hours there, among some of your most prized possessions. In the event of any misfortune, let us give you the peace of mind knowing that you are well protected

Replacement Cost Coverage

You can insure your home and belongings for replacement cost, which pays the actual cost of replacing your home or possessions (no deduction for depreciation) up to the limit of your policy.

Suppose, for example, a fire destroys a 10-year-old TV set in your living room. If you have a replacement cost policy for the contents of your home, the insurance company will pay to replace the TV set with a new one. If you have an actual cash value policy, it will pay only a percentage of the cost of a new TV set.

Insuring expensive items with floaters/endorsements

There may be limits on how much coverage you get for expensive items such as jewelry, silverware and furs. Generally, there is a limit on jewelry for $1,000 to $2,000. You should ask your agent or look it up in your policy.

If the limits are too low, consider buying a special personal property floater or an endorsement. These allow you to insure these items individually or as a collection.

Additional living expenses after a disaster

This is a very important feature of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. This pays the additional costs of temporarily living away from your home if you can’t live in it due to a fire, severe storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt.

You should talk to your agent or company to make sure you know exactly how much coverage you have and how long the coverage will be in effect. In most cases, you can increase this coverage for an additional premium.

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.