How To Avoid Contractor Insurance Scams

As a homeowner, you carry homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself in case of damage to your home. A devastating storm can leave flooding waters, property damage, and personal injuries in its wake. Perhaps one of the least expected dangers that follow a storm is fraudulent contractors. Most contractors are honest and work hard, but some will follow disasters and try to take advantage of you.

After recent storms and major disasters, a few unscrupulous contractors use a trick to defraud homeowners every year – convincing them to sign away their rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form.

A contractor or repair company representative will often tell you that an Assignment of Benefits or “AOB” form is necessary for them to do work on your home. They may promise it will make the process easier for you as it will allow them to “handle everything.” They might even offer to lower or eliminate your deductible if you sign the form immediately.

Don’t allow contractors to start work before the damage is assessed by your insurer. Most importantly, don’t sign an AOB form. We are here for you and can help you navigate the claims process and avoid contractor abuse and fraud.

  • Use well know contractors
  • Ask for a written contract
  • Ask to see proof of insurance and licensing from the contractor
  • Make sure your agent and insurance company is involved.
  • Have your claims adjuster inspect all damage?

Five Things People Should Know About Insurance

For many people, insurance can be difficult to understand.  Most people know that insurance is needed, but often they do not fully understand what they are buying or if they are properly covered.  That is why it is important to have an insurance agent on your side.  A good agent will help you determine what your insurance needs are, educate you about your options, and help you understand the specifics of the insurance you are buying.

Here are five things that you need to know as you consider your insurance options.

  • You cannot add coverage for a claim that has already occurred. For example, if there is flooding in your area, you cannot buy flood insurance during an event.
  • Coverage gaps can be costly. Having a gap or lapse in coverage can be costly. Always pay your premiums on time, or ask for a grace period from your insurer.  You will end up paying more if you have lapses in your policy.
  • Insurance is not intended to cover everything. Insurance is designed to provide financial recovery after an accident or unforeseen loss. Every policy has exclusions which are important to understand. Remember, insurance is not intended to cover regular maintenance.
  • An agent can be a valuable resource. A licensed agent can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service that fits your individual needs. A good agent will be willing to answer any questions you may have and be there for you when a claim occurs.
  • Do not skimp on liability insurance. The cost of litigation these days underscores the need for everyone to have an adequate amount of liability insurance.  The greater your assets are, the greater your need is to have your assets covered.  To protect yourself and your family financially, buy enough liability insurance on your auto and home insurance policies to cover above your net worth.  We can help you determine how much coverage your individual needs require.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Five Things People Should Know About Insurance

For many people, insurance can be difficult to understand.  Most people know that insurance is needed, but often they do not fully understand what they are buying or if they are properly covered.  That is why it is important to have an insurance agent on your side.  A good agent will help you determine what your insurance needs are, educate you about your options, and help you understand the specifics of the insurance you are buying.

Here are five things that you need to know as you consider your insurance options.

  1. You cannot add coverage for a claim that has already occurred. For example, if there is flooding in your area, you cannot buy flood insurance during an event.
  1. Coverage gaps can be costly. Having a gap or lapse in coverage can be costly. Always pay your premiums on time, or ask for a grace period from your insurer.  You will end up paying more if you have lapses in your policy.
  1. Insurance is not intended to cover everything. Insurance is designed to provide financial recovery after an accident or unforeseen loss. Every policy has exclusions which are important to understand. Remember, insurance is not intended to cover regular maintenance.
  1. An agent can be a valuable resource. A licensed agent can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service that fits your individual needs. A good agent will be willing to answer any questions you may have and be there for you when a claim occurs.
  1. Do not skimp on liability insurance. The cost of litigation these days underscores the need for everyone to have an adequate amount of liability insurance.  The greater your assets are, the greater your need is to have your assets covered.  To protect yourself and your family financially, buy enough liability insurance on your auto and home insurance policies to cover above your net worth.  We can help you determine how much coverage your individual needs require.

 

How Our Agents Help Save You Money On Your Personal Insurance

Our team of agents works very hard to make sure your premiums are as competitive as possible.  There are many ways in which we help our clients keep insurance costs down.  We also believe that it is equally important to have the right kind of coverage that meets your needs at a competitive price.

Are you paying too much for your personal insurance?  If you believe you are paying too much for your current insurance coverage, then the following suggestions may help you save money:

Auto Insurance Savings Tips

Ask about discounts

Most insurance companies offer discounts.  While the availability of discounts will vary depending on your insurer, where you live, and whether you meet eligibility, make sure to ask if there are any discounts you can take advantage of.

Drive safely

OK, this one is obvious but true.  Drivers with no accidents, tickets, or insurance claims, almost always pay less for their auto insurance coverage.

Good grades

Most insurance companies offer discounts to student drivers who have good grades.

Remove or reduce coverage on older vehicles.

If your car is getting up there in age, you may want to think about dropping the collision or comprehensive coverage (or both) on your policy.

Bundle your services with one agent

Bundling your home and auto with the same agent often provides efficiencies in time and money.

 

Home Insurance Savings Tips

Raise your deductible

A deductible is the amount of money that you are responsible for paying toward an insured loss.  The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premium.

Make your home more secure

Invest in a home security system.  Having a smoke detector, burglar alarm or deadbolt locks on your home can earn you a 5% discount, depending on your insurer.

Bundle your insurance

Bundling auto and home insurance with the same company typically saves you 5% to 15% on your homeowners premium, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute. Again depending on your insurer.

Make improvements to your home

Updating your roof, furnace, water heater, or windows can help reduce your insurance cost.  If you’re a homeowner, your premiums could be quietly costing you more money than they should.  The good news is that insurers provide relatively easy-to-obtain discounts that can shave money off your homeowner’s insurance premium.

 

What Does Your Agent Talk To You About?

When you meet with, or talk to, your insurance agent, what are the topics of conversation?  Do you only talk about your bill, or why your premium has increased?  Is the only time you hear from your agent when they try to sell you additional coverage? Some agencies even try to dissuade you from talking to your agent!

We are here to provide a different approach.  We recommend talking to your agent at least once a year—or even more if needed.  Communication is the key to all good relationships. We will reach out to you and talk to you about the following:

  1. How is your claim being processed?  Can we assist you with the process?
  2. Did you receive a copy of your policy?  Do you have any questions?
  3. Have you made any major purchases like a new car, boat, or other high-end items?
  4. I know you have a wine collection; did you purchase any new bottles that need to be insured?
  5. Your son Travis is heading off to college; we might want to review your auto coverage.
  6. How is your new job going? Do they offer life insurance, or would you like to look at some options?
  7. Have you thought more about identity theft coverage?
  8. These days, many people are driving for a ride-sharing company, is there anyone in your house doing this?

These are just some examples of what our conversations might look like. Of course, we always start our conversations with “Good day it is great to connect,” and end with “Thank you for your business, we value our relationship and love serving you.”

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

What Keeps You up at Night?

 

Every one of us has certain things that occasionally prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep.  These concerns might be a job, kids, an illness, or other problems in life.  Our goal is to make sure that protecting your family with the right insurance is one thing that does not keep you up at night.

Here is how we help you get a good night’s sleep:

  1. We never just sell you a policy.  We ask questions and educate you so that the coverage you select is the right fit for you.
  2. Insurance is a complex transaction, so we work hard to make sure you understand how insurance works before you make a decision.
  3. Our team is licensed, and we have years of experience which helps us better educate and guide you in your insurance needs.
  4. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your insurance decisions.

According to an Insurance Journal article, here are the top issues that keep people up at night:

  • Floods and other natural disasters
  • Identity theft
  • End of life issues
  • Eldercare

We can provide valuable information regarding each of these concerns so that you can make the right decision for you and your family.  Our team will never push you into a hasty decision.  That is because we will only offer you an insurance solution after we fully understand your needs.

Connect with us and let us show you how we do it—and help you get a good night’s sleep.

 

Your Personal Insurance and COVID-19

Your Personal Insurance and COVID-19

As our country continues to manage through the COVID-19 crises, we thought it might be useful to take some time to remind you of the importance of your personal insurance during this time. The coronavirus pandemic won’t affect your auto or homeowner’s insurance too much, but there are a few coverages that could be impacted because of the temporary lifestyle change.

  • Do not cancel your auto insurance just because you are temporarily not driving. Auto insurance is required by law.  If you are looking for ways to save money on your auto insurance, give us a call.
  • If you are working remotely via computer, there should be no issues with your homeowners or renter’s insurance. However, this is true as long as there are no customers coming to your home.  If you are running a business from your home, you will need business insurance.  We are happy to help you with this.
  • If you have a claim, we are open, as are the insurers. Give us a call, and we will be ready to help you. Your policy has toll-free claim numbers to help you get the process going.
  • Many insurance companies are offering relaxed payment terms. We suggest you contact them directly if you feel you may miss a payment. Of course, you can always contact our office to assist you.
  • Be aware of credit card and cyber scams. Unfortunately, criminals have ramped up their efforts during this crisis. The fraud ranges from false claims of cures and treatments for the coronavirus to fake charities attempting to soliciting money to help those suffering.

As we all have so much time at home, now is a good time to complete a home inventory of your personal property.  Creating and updating an inventory of your personal possessions is one of the best ways to make the most of your homeowners or renters insurance, and it makes filing a claim easier and more efficient.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers, and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

Why An Personal Umbrella Policy Is Right For You

Why An Personal Umbrella Policy Is Right For You

Let’s face it, most of us have limited budgets when it comes to our insurance.  And most people feel insurance is an expensive item. Generally, auto, homeowner’s, RV, and boat insurance policies cover liability for injuries or property damage suffered by a third party. Personal insurance policies are designed to cover accidents for which the insured person may owe tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, sometimes the person may be responsible for an accident so catastrophic that the damages are $1,000,000 or more.

When You May Need An Umbrella Policy

  • Having rental property
  • Owning a Boat, RV, or ATV
  • Have a high net worth
  • Owning a business
  • Having teen drivers
  • Own a swimming pool, trampoline, or swing-set

In addition, the umbrella may cover things like volunteer activities, statements made online, and certain business activities that a homeowner’s or auto policy might not cover.

Our History

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

 

A New Year… Let’s Get Your Insurance Right

As we move into a new year, I hope that every insurance agent and insurance buyer thinks about how they view their relationships.  Let us get away from the clever insurance advertisement’s attempts to bring our products and services down to the lowest common denominator, price, and commodity.  Insurance products and services are used to build our local economies, we allow people to dream, and we help rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Therefore, here are my resolutions for 2020; I hope other agents and insurance buyers will embrace these as well.

Agents

  • I will always put the needs of my client above mine.
  • I will strive to educate rather than sell.
  • It will be valuable to provide my clients with options.
  • Insurance is a complex transaction, and I need to help my clients understand what they are buying.
  • Risk management should always be part of every conversation. Identify risk, assess the risk, manage the risk, and review again.

Insurance buyers

  • I will select an agent who values relationships.
  • Price is not an indicator of quality.
  • Buying local is like the “farm to table” of insurance.
  • I will seek an agent who is qualified to manage my risks.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Start 2020 With An Insurance Review

If the last time you had an insurance review was when the Lakers won an NBA Title it is time to have us review your  business and personal insurance. Our team is ready to help you understand how your insurance needs have changed over time.

Here are a few examples of how life changes may impact your insurance.

  • How often do you travel out of the country?
  • Do you have any domestic employees?
  • Have there been any changes in marital status?
  • Are you involved in any nonprofit organizations?
  • Do you own a business and operate from your home?
  • Do you own a second home?
  • Do you drive for Uber?
  • Do you own any unique collections of art, wine, cars, or guns?
  • Are there any children in college?

Your insurance needs to change with your life. We offer a broad range of personal insurance products that are designed to meet your individual needs. We can help you find an insurance        product that suits your individual needs. Don’t wait for another second to ensure your home is adequately insured. Call us today for more info on your options for personal insurance coverage.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide.

Oakwood is involved with numerous local, state and national insurance associations and communities. The agency encourages employees to devote time to these endeavors. Oakwood’s approach is one of total risk management, encompassing the areas of property & liability insurance, automotive insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability, individual or group accident & health insurance, life insurance, contract surety bonds, and personal insurance. Oakwood provides an in-depth range of insurance products and services to assist in securing our clients’ future. We are an agency committed to excellence, founded on the principle of integrity.