My What Just Got Stolen?

bigstockThe credit card industry seems to be growing at an unprecedented rate. According to some statistical reports, the average American household has at least two credit cards. In fact, from the total respondents in the survey, 81% of the households have at least one credit card.

People should take note that one of the most prevalent credit card scams in the society today is the identity theft. In fact, it has been reported by the FBI that almost 350,000 up to 500,000 cases of identity theft are known to exist in the U.S. every single year.

Basically, identity theft is when some unscrupulous people try to get some information from you such as your social security number and other pertinent personal and financial data.

These sets of information are used deceitfully by these people for their own benefits. Hence, the poor victim does not realize that his identity was stolen and that his financial future is doomed.

For this reason, it is important to know how to avoid getting into trouble. Here is how:

  1. Protect your personal data and any financial information

Never entertain phone calls that require you to give any personal data or information, even if the caller says he is from the bank that issued your credit card and that the information gathering is just some sort of verifications. If this is the case, try to inform him that you wish to do the transactions personally. Hence, it is important to very if the caller is, indeed, a representative of the bank.

  1. Avoid freebies and offers that involve credit cards

If you were offered with some promotions requiring you to give some personal information, then, it would be better not to entertain the promo at all. Things like these will only entice you to try it. In the end, it is too late to realize that you have just been a victim of an identity theft.

  1. Have a regular check up on your credit standing and bills

Most of the credit card holders are so lazy to do regular checkups on their status. If you do this, it will be easier for you to detect any probable identity theft case on your part. Credit reports can definitely tell you if there were purchases that you know that you did not make.

  1. Do not carry them around

The problem with most people is that they tend to carry their cards wherever they are. This is a bad habit that should be stopped. You will never know what will happen while you are in a public place, where identity theft could just be lurking around, waiting for its next victim.

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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Don’t Get Tricked This Halloween

pumpkin-1014971_640A North Bay Homeowners Insurance Update

Your homeowners insurance covers many different kinds of risks including vandalism caused by trick-or-treaters.  Now may be a good time to have a free home insurance review.

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are active on Halloween night is always a concern.  A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

  • Consider providing healthy treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks.  For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Safety Tips for Kids

  • Never, ever, go into a house.
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
  • An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children.  Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or in a group.  Never go out alone.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Do not eat homemade food.
  • Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.
  • Use a flashlight.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Turn your lights on.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

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.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/, https://www.aap.org, https://www.cdc.gov

I Have An Old Car Is There Old Car Insurance?

ford-498244_1920A North Bay Auto Insurance Update

Purchasing a cheap, used car is a great idea for individuals who are on a budget and looking to save money. However, it is still mandatory that, in order to drive the vehicle on public roads, the vehicle needs to be insured by an auto insurance company. Some individuals may choose still to not insure their vehicles, even though the state laws mandate that they have current auto insurance coverage on their vehicle(s) in operation. These people may be subject to heavy fines and penalties for operating their vehicles without insurance coverage in the event that they are caught without auto insurance.

Vehicles can be insured against theft, fire, accident damage and third party use. Individuals do not need to insure their cars against all different types of damages or accidents. In general, individuals can choose between having comprehensive or liability insurance coverage. Deciding between which insurance coverage would be best for you as an individual can be more easily begun by first determining which type of auto insurance is affordable to you. Once you determine the insurance you need to have, you can begin to explore whether or not any additional coverage would be beneficial in your life.

Liability coverage covers damage caused to other people. This can include not just their property, but their body as well. Medical liability helps to ensure that the cost of a person’s medical costs and/or their death will be met. Comprehensive coverage extends to your own vehicle and the property of other people. Collision coverage ensures that your car and other vehicles involved in the collision are covered in the event that they are damaged and you are found to be the cause. Underinsured motorist property damage pays for the costs in the event that the liability insurance coverage had by the negligent driver is not enough.

Regardless of the type of insurance that an individual’s chooses to have, the laws do require drivers to insure their vehicles prior to taking them out on the road. Individuals who do not insure their vehicles, or who allow their insurance to lapse, can bring problems down upon themselves if they are ever caught in a situation where they need to, but cannot, provide proof of insurance.

We are here to help you with your California auto insurance needs. We have access to many insurance products and can provide you with competitive premiums. We offer auto liability, auto collision and auto comprehensive coverage.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers we combine premium auto Insurance with personalized service to give you the best coverage possible. Our insurance specialists will work with you one-on-one to find a policy that keeps you and your drivers protected at all costs – for peace-of-mind driving assurance.

 

How Our Beliefs Impact Our Insurance Buying Decisions

8883568_xxlA Personal Insurance Update

All of us have certain beliefs pertaining to homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance and other personal insurance products.  These beliefs can often cause us to make uneducated, or even poor, decisions regarding our personal insurance.  This was recently confirmed in a study completed by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) Research publication, “Homeowner’s Insurance: Understanding, Attitudes, and Shopping Practices.”

How Insurance Beliefs Shape Actions

  • Some people think that the internet is the best way to obtain some personal insurance products. When, in fact, the best way to get the right combination of price, coverage, and services is to use an independent agent.
  • Most homeowners believe that sewer back up from outside their home is covered on their homeowner’s policy. However, generally sewage backups are not covered without a rider or separate policy.
  • Your agent can be the best way to educate yourself on your insurance. People should utilize their agent to help them understand how their risks are changing, and how insurance can be designed to meet their individual needs.
  • Less than fifty percent of people use their agent to comparison shop. Your agent has many markets and will comparison-shop for you annually.
  • Many people mistakenly believe that earthquake, flood, and hurricane damage is covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. These are not.  Separate policies need to be purchased.
  • There are many people who think that replacement cost coverage will provide complete replacement if their home is a destroyed in a covered loss. This is not the case, the policy will only provide replacement up to the policy limit. We recommend that together we review your replacement cost valuation annually.

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.

 

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.

Start The New Year Protected

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Now is a good time to review your entire financial plan. You have one right?  If not, here are some thoughts to help you get started, or for you to review the plan you have. Give us a call as we can help you make sure all your insurance needs are covered.

A proper life insurance policy can give you reassurance knowing that your finances and beneficiaries are secure – from temporary to permanent coverage. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that as things in your life change, so will your financial and insurance needs. That’s why it’s important to review your life insurance options with a specialist you can trust.

  1. What does financial security mean to you? Start by asking yourself, “What would happen if our family’s primary breadwinner died prematurely or became disabled?” Most people answer that they would want their loved ones to continue in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed, to have enough money to stay in their home, and to provide for their children’s education through college.
  1. Determine needs versus wants. You may want 100% financial security to provide for your spouse for their lifetime, and your kids through college. However, can you afford it?  Most of us don’t have enough savings to achieve this, which is where life insurance comes in. You will want enough money, or death benefit, to replace your missing income.
  1. Look at the entire picture. This is not just about life insurance–that is just one piece of the formula. You also need to consider the possibility of loss of income due to a disability, chronic, or critical illness.  Consider transferring this risk by purchasing Disability Insurance and Coverage for Long Term Care.  Look at all your assets such as money in retirement plans, benefits packages, investments, equity in property, and potential social security benefits.  Once you have the numbers you can figure out what the shortfall is–which can be funded with life insurance, or more life insurance than you currently have.
  1. Prepare a last will and testament! If you die without leaving a will, the legal consequences can be disastrous, particularly if you have many assets.  In addition, there are negative tax consequences that may arise. Your will guides the court, the person you choose to administer your estate, and your heirs on how to distribute your property and pay off debts.  A will can be completed online for very little cost through a multitude of online sources such as LegalZoom.com, LawDepot.com, and TotalLegal.com.
  1. Do not put it off. Far too often, I have had to inform an applicant for life insurance that they are being declined because of their poor condition of health.  Many of us simply are unwilling to accept our own mortality until we are given a grim medical diagnosis by a physician. DO NOT WAIT.  Life and Disability insurance cost much less the younger you are and the healthier you are.  Consider that the cost for a $1,000,000 life insurance policy for a healthy 45-year-old male is approximately $48 per month……about 2 weeks’ worth of coffee from Starbucks!

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. 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.

 

 

 

 

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.