The Holidays Bring Added Risk?

Personal Insurance Update

Did you get an ugly tie or sweater last year for Christmas? If this Christmas is a repeat of last year, the good news is that you can exchange the gift for something you can use. However, many other ugly things can happen during the holidays that you may not be able to take back. While the holiday season is a great time to celebrate with family and friends, it can also lead to fire, theft, and losses that will dampen your holiday spirit.

Now would be a good time to have us review your personal insurance to make sure you understand your coverage and provide optional coverage for you to consider.

Typical Holiday Mishaps

House fires – Due to the increased use of electrical cords, home fires rose during November and December. Make sure you use only UL-approved appliances and electrical cords. Do not over-use outlets to string inside or outside lights. If you have a natural tree, keep it watered. Invest in a fire extinguisher, and keep it in the kitchen. The median cost of fire damage due to candles and fireplace claims can be around $9,000.

Theft –Criminals love the holiday season because they know you may have expensive items in your home. Keep your doors locked. Do not place gifts next to windows. It is not necessary to post all your holiday purchases on social media. Criminals love to “like” your posts and then steal your gifts.

Use of alcohol – Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event. Designate a driver before the party begins. Offer non-alcoholic beverages at your party.

We are committed to providing clients with the highest quality insurance plans available combined with some of the lowest possible rates. Whether you are shopping for auto insurance, home insurance, or life or business insurance, we can help you obtain the best coverage available at the lowest rate possible.

Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace, and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

 

 

 

 

The Lowest Priced Insurance Is Usually Not The Best

You may not be aware of all the underlying aspects that influence the cost of your insurance coverage. You might question why insurance is so expensive when attempting to compare prices. Prices might vary greatly from one company to another. Why, after all, is insurance so pricey when the person who appears to possess exactly the identical attributes as you spend far less for the same kind of vehicle or residence? This is the kind of thinking we would like you to think about moving away from. We want to offer a different way of thinking about insurance.

  1. Insurance is not a commodity. It is a relationship between you, your agent, and the insurer. The agent can be your partner, helping you understand coverage, price, and services offered.
  2. Insurance coverage can be changed or modified. The job of the agent is to understand your risk and concerns and then offer solutions.

The main reason low-cost insurance may not be correct is that it will almost always offer less coverage, higher deductibles, and offer little or no service.

What Makes Up A High-Value Insurance Program?

  • An insurance policy that will respond to your risks when a loss occurs.
  • The extra services are offered by the insurer at no cost to you.
  • The knowledge and expertise of the agent. The agent is your key to a high-value advantage.
  • The agent is the one who helps you identify your risks and designs a policy specifically for you. The agent will be there to help you manage a claim and to educate you.
  • Your agent increases your insurance value by helping you understand why the premiums differ.

 Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have, and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

What Kind Of Personal Insurance Do I Need?

You put a lot of effort into building valuable assets and supporting your family’s lifestyle. When things go wrong, personal insurance can assist in safeguarding those assets and offer protection in the case of your dying. Allow our insurance specialists to examine your situation and establish the coverage and plans that are best for you and your family.

Home Insurance

Protect your investment in your home with the right kind of insurance. You may protect your house and your things with home insurance. You’ve worked hard for what you have. Therefore it’s crucial to be protected properly. There are numerous possibilities for what your property’s house insurance can cover. We can assist you in ensuring that everything is handled.

Flood Insurance

Most homeowners’ policies do not cover flood risk. Even if you are not in a flood zone, certain events can also cause damage to your home. Flood insurance is a useful addition to any homeowners, renters, and condo owners/renters policy.

Auto Insurance

Automobile insurance helps you deal with probable financial losses, damages, or injuries associated with cars. It aids in defending you, your passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, property, and your automobile. Additionally, auto insurance might shield you from lawsuits resulting from vehicle accidents. To assist you in finding the best value for money and coverage, we will give you rates from various insurance providers. We’ll thoroughly lay out your alternatives so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance’s primary purpose is to shield you from the financial responsibility of legal claims. There is typically a cap on the coverage per accident with liability insurance policies for vehicles, ranging from $300,000 to $500,000. However, the cost of a lawsuit can exceed millions of dollars. Your other financial assets can be protected by an umbrella policy’s coverage, and you can avoid being sued for losses that other insurance doesn’t cover.

Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace, and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

Do You Need Renters Insurance?

Why is Renters Insurance Important?

You should be aware of the fact that only 32% of renters in the modern day have rental insurance, regardless of your level of education or whether you are the parent of a recent college graduate. This implies that the financial damages that renter’s insurance was designed to guard against are just one fire, natural disaster, or burglary away for millions of people.

Why do they accept this unneeded risk? It could be that they have inaccurate information or lack general awareness about this important insurance product. Consider the following myths about rental insurance and the fundamentals that all tenants should be aware of.

Common Concerns

Because my landlord has insurance, I don’t need insurance.

This is a typical mistake for which many tenants have already paid the price. Your things are not covered by your landlord’s insurance policies, which only cover the structure and any detached property that is kept there. You will be responsible for paying for replacements if they are lost, stolen, or damaged by a tornado, hurricane, or fire. If the building is judged uninhabitable, you are also responsible for paying your own interim living expenditures.

Since I don’t own anything valuable, insurance isn’t necessary.

This is rarely the case, and all it takes is a quick glance around your house to disprove it. Consider the expense of replacing your computer, television, audio, electronics, books, movies, furniture, clothing, and other possessions. You’re talking about thousands of dollars, even if you buy used. Rental insurance also offers liability defense in the event that a visitor gets hurt while on your property.

It cost too much.

Policies for both renter’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance are surprisingly inexpensive. Premiums can be as little as a few hundred dollars a year, or less than $20 a month, depending on how much coverage you choose. Discuss the amount of rental insurance you require and the going rates in your state with your insurance agent

Renter’s insurance is overly complicated.

It does take some time to understand the majority of insurance products, but it is always simpler with an insurance agent’s assistance. Call us to find out more about the rental insurance options accessible to you, such as the actual cost against replacement value, deductibles, and policy add-ons (such as floaters to cover items above the coverage limitations of a regular policy). We can obtain you rates from different insurers, and we could even be able to negotiate a reduction for 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.

Crazy Things Home Insurance Usually Covers

You may believe that home insurance is only useful in the event of a natural disaster. If your home is damaged by a fire, hurricane, or flood, your insurance should cover the costs. However, whether there is a natural disaster or not, there are many times when you can use your home insurance coverage. We wanted to share a few unusual claim scenarios that are covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

An item falling from the sky — Damage caused by “falling objects,” which include items falling from the sky, is usually covered.

Illness caused by food — If you host a dinner party and one of your guests becomes ill, your homeowner’s insurance may cover you.

Children in college — If you have children in college, their personal property is usually covered up to a certain amount.

Bites from dogs — Dog bites are generally covered, so if your family pet bites someone, your homeowner’s policy will most likely protect you. However, many insurance companies keep a list of “high-risk” breeds that are not covered by standard policies.

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.

Does Bundling My Home And Auto insurance Really Save Money?

Buying your house and auto insurance from the same company is a simple and effective approach to saving money on insurance. This option is called “bundling,” and it allows you to save money by purchasing many policies from the same insurer.

The following are some of the reasons to bundle your house and auto insurance:

  • Savings have increased. Depending on the personal insurance company and where you live, a multi-policy discount might offer savings.
  • Insurance protection. Having other policies with the same insurance company can reduce the possibility of your personal insurer canceling you if you’ve made vehicle insurance claims or received fines.
  • Having only one agent to handle all your personal insurance needs can reduce un-insured claims.
  • Policy administration can be simplified. When many policies are issued by the same organization, managing them should be easier.

Bundling isn’t always the best option. While most companies give discounts for purchasing multiple items, there are numerous other aspects to consider. Switching your vehicle and house insurance or choosing a new carrier for cost reductions alone may not be the best rationale.

Before you make the switch, make sure you’ll actually save money. Any differences from your present coverage should also be noted. You may have us shop around for the best coverage and pricing once you know what your savings and options are.

Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace, and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

Proven Ways To Build Strong Insurance Relationships

The partnership between an insurance agent, an insurer, and a client is one of the most important in the industry. Carriers and the underwriters create policies and take on risks for insureds, whereas brokers assist their clients in finding the best insurance policies and carriers for their needs.

The independent agent and broker are the industry’s backbone. They are the primary channel of distribution for commercial property and casualty insurance.

How To Build And Maintain Strong Relationships

Don’t base your relationship on technology

Technology is good and effective tool for both the agent and their clients. But don’t make technology so important that any personal communication is lost.

Follow Through

Agents should build strong relationships with their clients by following through on their commitments and being communicative in the event that something changes, in addition to offering services and advice that help insureds avoid losses. If you say you’re going to do something, you must do it. If you can’t do it, you say, ‘I’m not going to be able to meet the commitment,’ and then you set a new expectation.

Focus on more than just pricing

When it comes to building a strong relationship with insurance agents, one thing that stands out above all else is the need to add value that goes beyond offering competitive insurance prices. When comparing options today, insureds should look for an agent who will not only provide the coverages they require but will also serve as a risk management partner.

Be Consistent

Consistency is essential in all aspects of communication and service. It establishes a pattern that customers can expect, which helps to highlight your value proposition and enhance the customer experience. Simply personalize interactions by framing conversations and messaging in less “scripted” ways. According to one survey, most marketers fail to personalize communication beyond digital channels. Get more customer-specific the next time you pick up the phone. It should contribute to the relationship’s strengthening.

The customer, regardless of the insurance company, ultimately looks to you, the agent, for advice, service, and responsiveness. Regardless of the shifting strategies and focuses in today’s insurance markets, remember to prioritize your customer relationships first, and you’ll find yourself building a book of business that will last for a long time.

 

Disaster Preparation Can Save Your Life

We’ve seen firsthand the devastation wrought by wildfires, earthquakes, and storms.  This reminds us how important it is to prepare for a disaster, such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and even strong winds.  Depending on the type of disaster, you can take a variety of actions; let’s look at some of the most important one. Always follow local, state, and federal authorities’ directions.

Prepare For Wildfires

  • Clear dead plants from around your property. Regularly trim trees to keep branches at least 10 feet away from adjacent trees.
  • Landscape with fire-resistant plants.
  • Use fire-resistant construction materials, particularly on the roof.
  • Use 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch metal mesh to cover all vent openings. Fiberglass or plastic mesh should not be used since they can melt and burn.
  • Deck surfaces within 8 feet of the building shall be made of non-combustible, ignition-resistant materials.
  • Ensure that your address is visible from the road.
  • Follow all local building codes while maintaining driveways.
  • Make sure you have enough garden hoses to cover your entire yard.

Flood Preparedness

  • Make sure you’re familiar with the various evacuation routes.
  • Determine whether you live in a flood plain and, if so, purchase flood insurance.
  • Keep extra water on hand.
  • Non-combustible or other certified materials should be used to construct surfaces within 10 feet of the structure.
  • Check valves should be installed in sewage lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into your home’s drains.
  • Waterproof your basement and foundation.
  • Install water-detecting pumps in your crawl area and basement.
  • Build flood barriers (levees, beams, and floodwalls) to keep floodwater out of your home.

Earthquake Planning

  • Learn the basics of first aid and CPR.
  • Establish a gathering spot for all members of the family.
  • Locate utility disconnect switches.
  • Make emergency contact lists, organize them on the internet, and save a paper copy.
  • Make a household inventory
  • Request an earthquake insurance quote from your agent.
  • Secure shelves to the walls.
  • Keep bulky or heavy items on the lower shelf.
  • Anchor a water heater to the studs in the wall and fasten it to the floor.

Disaster Safety Tips in General 

  • Have food on hand for everyday needs for at least three days.
  • Have three or four flashlights.
  • Keep a well-stocked first kit.
  • Make a go-bag for each member of the family.
  • Have water for three to five days.
  • Keep cash on hand.
  • Can opener (non-electric).
  • For emergency information, listen to a battery-operated radio or television.
  • Keep an eye on the elderly and disabled, as well as children who may require particular assistance.
  • Stay away from structures that have been damaged or destroyed.
  • Use glow sticks to determine the depth of the water.
  • Have goggles and air masks on hand for any family members within reach.
  • Every six months or so, restock your supplies.
  • Have a relative or friend from out of state act as a communication source.
  • Make sure you have cell phone chargers on hand.
  • Keep a supply of construction supplies on hand in case your home needs to be boarded up.
  • Keep all critical documents in a fireproof safe, including your birth certificate, insurance, birth certificates, and other paperwork.
  • Photograph all of the documents and save them to your phone. Alternatively, you can send copies to your phone.

For your protection and well-being, Oakwood Insurance Agency offers nearly every sort of personal insurance policy you may require. Please find a short but not exhaustive selection of our most frequent personal property, health, and life policies below. An Oakwood Insurance agent will explain our full range of insurance products and services during a personal consultation and create a tailored insurance plan with the right policies for your lifestyle, personal circumstances, and comfort level.

Flood Insurance

Flooding, which occurs in all 50 states, causes more property damage than any other weather-related catastrophe. You should be aware of any flood vulnerabilities you may have in your home. If you’re unsure, the Red Cross local government or your regional planning and zoning department can assist you.

If it is pouring heavily or has been raining for an extended period of time, listen to the radio or watch weather updates on television for increasing flood risks.

Floods come in a variety of forms. Coastal and river floods are more predictable, occurring over a period of hours or days. A flash flood might appear out of nowhere. Local governments may issue Flash Flood Watches or Flash Flood Warnings, as well as ordinary Flood Watches or Flood Warnings; click on any of the words for more information.

Before a Flood

If you live or have a home in a flood-prone area, flood insurance is a good idea. Flood insurance is not generally included in homeowner’s insurance. That coverage must be purchased as a stand-alone insurance.

Prepare a Flood Disaster Supply Kit and a Personal Evacuation Plan, or update them if necessary.

When there is a Flood Watch in effect,

Move your valuables and stuff to the upper floors of your home. Place these items on top of countertops and tables if you live in a one-story home.

Make sure your car’s fuel tanks are full and that you’re ready to go if an evacuation order is issued.

When A Flood Warning is Issued

Listen to the radio, internet, or watch the news to stay up to date. Prepare to flee if necessary.

If the Flood Warning is for a Flash Flood, get to higher ground right away. Flash floods can quickly turn into raging torrents, leaving you with little time to react. Rivers, creeks, streams, and drainage areas should be avoided.

When There Is A Flood

Do not drive on or across flooded roads or bridges. In a flood, 80 percent of those who die trying to drive where they shouldn’t. A car can be moved, or a person can be knocked down by six inches of fast-moving water.

Be extremely cautious if flooding happens at night. In the lack of light, warning indicators are more difficult to spot; light reflected off a smoother water surface can appear to be wet pavement.

Get to the highest place possible without wading into floodwaters.  If you’re riding a watercraft, go slowly, so you don’t get upset if you hit something; likewise, wakes from fast-moving watercraft might cause property damage.

Following a Flood

Before re-entering your home, inspect it for structural damage. If the damage appears to be severe, stay away from the house until you can take actions to prevent it from collapsing.

Examine your water lines and other plumbing fixtures. Avoid using bathrooms if you suspect there has been any damage.

Wait until local authorities declare it’s safe to consume or wash with tap water. Meanwhile, bring all of the water to a boil.

If water has infiltrated your home or basement, stay away from electric appliances and lines.

Continue to listen to the radio and television for updates on water safety, transportation, and other critical news.

Food in cans or another packaging that has come into touch with floodwater should be thrown away.

For heat or light, avoid utilizing candles, kerosene lamps, or other open flame sources. After a crisis, candles ignite more flames than any other source. If you must use a candle or an open flame lamp, make sure pets, children, and combustibles are kept well away from the flame.

Leave the house if you smell or hear the hiss of leaking gas. Turn off the gas line at the cutoff valve outside your home if possible. From your cell phone or another place, call the utility company.

Take pictures of any goods that have been damaged. If they can’t be saved, put them outdoors, but don’t throw them away until you’ve had an insurance adjuster look at them.

For your protection and well-being, Oakwood Insurance Agency offers nearly every sort of personal insurance policy you may require. Please find a short but not exhaustive selection of our most frequent personal property, health, and life policies below. An Oakwood Insurance agent will explain our full range of insurance products and services during a personal consultation and create a tailored insurance plan with the right policies for your lifestyle, personal circumstances, and comfort level.

The Importance of an Annual Insurance Review

It is critical that every homeowner or business undertakes an annual insurance review. Regular reviews are equally essential to ensuring that your policy continues to be a good fit for your coverage needs and budget.

In a single year, a lot can happen that can have a significant impact on your insurance costs, coverage options, and limitations, among other things. Among these are the following:

  • Marrying or divorcing
  • Children graduating from high school/empty nest/child off to college
  • Beginning a new job
  • Recruitment of new employees
  • Purchase new commercial equipment
  • Establishing a new enterprise
  • Accepting elderly parents into your home
  • The acquisition or receipt of an ostentatious gift
  • Your immediate family member has died
  • Mortgage repayment

Is this to say that I must immediately contact my insurance agent whenever I purchase new furniture or a family member moves in for six months? Not always. While more significant changes (such as marriage, divorce, or the purchase of a new car) should be reported immediately, items such as upgrading your home entertainment system or upgrading your sound system can be reported during your annual insurance review.

Give us a call today; we are ready to review your coverage.

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.