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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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.

 

My Rental Home Was Just Damaged…. Who Is Going To Pay?

pixa free dcdAre you updating your basement in order to rent it out? Did you just buy a rental property? Is so, you may need to consider landlord insurance. If your home insurance is not recorded as a Landlord Policy, the insurer can deny the claim.

Landlord insurance provides coverage for the owner of the property for losses and/or damage connected with rental property. As a landlord, you need protection from financial loss as a result of damages to a rental property due to fire, break-in, severe weather, and more.

What Can Landlord Insurance Cover?

  • Property damage. This covers damage to the building from fire, storm, theft, and vandalism.
  • It will protect you against bodily injury to guests or tenants.
  • Loss of rent or income. This insurance will help compensate you for lost income in the event that a rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as a storm or apartment fire.

Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Landlord Risk?

The short answer is no. If you are renting out part of your home or other property, your homeowner’s insurance will not apply. If you are renting on a short term basis, check with your agent; some insurers may offer coverage if it is a short term event.

You need landlord insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need landlord insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily, or sharing accommodations such as your basement level, with a renter.

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

Guess Who’s Listening

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Do Devices Like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa Create Personal Liability?

More consumers are buying smart devices that tie in their smart phones and other home technology to the internet.  The most current devices allow you to have direct access to the internet from anywhere in your home.  By saying a key phrase, which Amazon calls a “wake word,” the Echo comes to life and begins listening for commands.  By default, the wake word is Alexa.  You can shop, order food, and manage your other connected devises.  Conversely, all this freedom brings a few new personal liability exposures.

Risk Concerns

  • Anyone can access the device—including children.
  • The device can be turned off, but many people seem to forget to do so.
  • Security depends on how well the end-user deploys firewalls, etc.
  • There are many documented cases of children buying goods and services simply by saying key words.
  • The third-party doctrine.As strong as privacy jurisprudence has been in protecting the home, it has been very weak in another areas.  Under the court’s so-called “third party doctrine,” the Constitution does not require police to get a warrant to access people’s records from their bank, telephone company, internet service provider, Google, Amazon, or any other third party.  From ACLU.com

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

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

We Care…And So Should You!

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California Insurance Companies Do Differ

We have access to many different insurance companies. There are some companies that specialize in motorcycle insurance, and others that offer custom homeowner’s insurance. You rely on your agent to help you understand the value of each insurance company. However, insurance companies are not all created equal, and we wanted to put forward to you the traits of a good insurance company.

Important Insurance Company Traits

  1. Online vs. people–if you ever need to call the insurance company, do you get a real person, or do they ask you to do all your transactions online? We believe that it is best to talk to a real person.
  2. Quick claims response–let’s face it; you buy insurance to have your claims paid. For example, if you have an accident, will your claim be handled quickly and fairly?
  3. Financial stability–you want your insurance company to be there for you in the long run. We review the financial performance of your insurance company on a regular basis to make sure you are protected as long as you need the insurance.
  4. Customer satisfaction–JD Powers and Associates publishes customer satisfaction ratings and provides information about the top insurance companies based on customer satisfaction surveys. More importantly, are you happy with the insurance company?
  5. Competitive premiums–price is always important, but our goal is to find you the best possible combination of price, coverage, and service. Cheap auto insurance could lead to uninsured losses.
  6. Experience–When you do call the insurance company, are their employees qualified to understand your needs, or do you get a college student working a summer job?

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.

March Madness – North Bay Style!

bfvvvvA North Bay Insurance Review

March is over and we spent the while month watching 64 college basketball teams play to the final four, then to the championship game.  Congratulations to North Carolina! The entire thing reminded us of some insurance madness. We thought we would share with you our “insurance madness final four.” These can impact your business insurance and personal insurance programs.

Insurance Madness Final Four

  1. Always use an independent agent. Independent agents will search the market for the best possible insurance designed for your family or business. Independents agent do not work for an insurance company, they represent you and look out after your interests first.
  2. Never buy insurance online. When you buy insurance online you never know if you are getting the best combination of coverage, price, and service. However, you do find out when you have an uninsured claim.
  3. Always consider deductible options. A simple way to save money is to consider increasing your deductible on your auto insurance, home insurance, or even your business insurance.
  4. Many people don’t consider these coverage’s but they should
    1. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. Every homeowner should consider identity theft coverage.
    2. A personal umbrella can offer additional protection for those who own a home or have personal assets worth protecting.
    3. Your business might be at risk if you do not have cyber liability or employment practices liability.

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.