How Insurance Protects Your Financial Future

Insurance is designed to provide the financial resources you need in the event of an un-expected loos.  This could be form an auto accident, home fire, disability or even a loss of the primary bread winner.

There are many personal insurance solutions and products that can provide the protection you need to help you manage your future financial wellbeing. Your current premiums are intended to help cover you in the future. What if your home was lost in a natural disaster? Will you be able to afford substantial repairs or a full rebuild? The cost of dealing with this catastrophe will be more than you can handle, as well as more than you have charged in insurance premiums.

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need To Protect Your Future?

Life Insurance – Life insurance provides real security for those you care about. Life benefits can provide financial security and resources for your family or loved ones after you are gone. Life insurance can provide funds to; pay off debt, un-paid medical expenses, funeral expenses, future living expenses, college, and more.

Home Insurance – Homeowners insurance is a form of insurance that covers losses and damages to an individual’s residence, along with furnishings and other assets in the home. Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property.

Health insurance – Health insurance is important to have, no matter what your situation is. If you don’t have affordable health insurance through your work, you might be able to qualify for a tax credit to make it affordable on the health insurance exchange.

Auto Insurance – Car or truck insurance is needed if you drive a vehicle. Almost every state mandates some kind of insurance. However, if your vehicle is inexpensive or you are confident in your ability to replace it, you can only need liability coverage.

 

Are You Insured Correctly?

Your 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.

 

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.

Personal Umbrella Insurance

Many people are unsure what an umbrella policy is or what it covers. When you are outside, and there is a light rain or breeze, you generally don’t need or want an umbrella. However, if it is pouring down rain with high winds, you take your umbrella. An Umbrella Insurance policy works much the same way.

Umbrella Insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. Just as an umbrella protects you from heavy rain, an Umbrella Insurance policy protects you from losing the entirety of your wealth and assets in the event of a claim. Umbrella Insurance can provide limits above your personal auto and home policies. Umbrella insurance is also competitively priced.

It is true that Umbrella Insurance may not be for everyone, but if you are building financial resources for your future, are a professional, own your home, boat or recreation vehicle, you should consider an Umbrella Insurance policy. Insurance offers Umbrella Insurance with very competitive rates. Having the added protection of an Umbrella Insurance policy is coverage no one should go without.

Umbrella insurance provides broad insurance beyond traditional home and auto. It provides additional liability coverage above the limits of homeowners, auto, and boat insurance policies. It can also provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the primary policies.

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.

Why Work With Our Insurance Agency?

  • We know and understand your risks
  • We are a full-service independent insurance agency
  • Our goal is to provide the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

 

Five Keys to Improving Your Personal Insurance

A Personal Insurance Update

We work to ensure that your personal insurance provides the protection you deserve and need.   We understand you may need different coverage like a personal umbrella, RV insurance, valuable articles coverage, earthquake, or flood coverage.

Over the years, we have found that homeowners who adhere to the following strategies have a better chance of obtaining the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

  1. Use an agent like us to represent you in the market. We know and understand personal insurance, and we are much better equipped to help you manage your personal insurance program.  We will stand by you in every claim situation.
  2. Only use financially strong insurers. It is vital that your insurance is there to pay for claims.  Look for insurers with an “A” rating by AM Best.
  3. Make sure you have high liability limits. It is essential that every homeowner have enough liability insurance to cover the unexpected events.  This is especially true if you own an RV, ATV or boat.
  4. Consider increasing your deductibles. Often a slight increase in your deductibles can reduce premiums.  If you are able to manage a larger deductible, you may be better off in the end.
  5. Allow your agent to manage your entire personal insurance needs. Having one source for all your policies will save you time.  Also having one professional handle all your needs gives them the ability to understand your entire needs.

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.

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.

 

Are You Starting A Home Business?

Do you want to start a home-based business? Having a home business of your own is a good way to make a living. Keep in mind that if there are risks involved. Most home-based businesses do not have the same risks as other businesses, including buildings, employees, production machinery, and a fleet of vehicles.

However, home-based businesses do have many risks that need to be considered.

Do Some Pre Planning

  • Check with your local zoning to see if home-based businesses are allowed
  • If you are planning on having customers visit your home, you may need special permits.

Home Based Business Risks Can Include

  • Product liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Injury or damage to customers
  • Auto accidents
  • Disability
  • Cyber breach
  • Property loss and damage
  • Crime and dishonesty
  • Cyber liability
  • Web page copyright liability
  • Employees or contractor’s issues

The key is to understand what these risks are so you can take the necessary actions to make sure that your business is protected. It’s important to carry the right commercial insurance to protect your business in case of an unforeseen event. Hire a reputable insurance provider to help you assess the potential risks and determine which types of policies meet your business needs.

As an independent insurance agency we are affiliated with multiple industry-leading companies. It is these partnerships that allow us to provide our clients with better coverage at a competitive price. Our staff is knowledgeable and committed to providing a quality customer service experience to our valued clients.

 

Never Sign Away Your Rights

As a homeowner, you carry homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself in case of damage to your home. Horrifically, unscrupulous contractors use an insidious trick to defraud thousands of Florida homeowners every year – convincing them to sign away their rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form.

 

What is an “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.

This tactic is often used by roofing contractors after storms, or by water restoration companies if you have water damage caused by a leak in your home. However, signing an AOB form efficiently turns over your rights under your insurance policy. If someone can gain access to the roof or the interior of your home before your insurance adjuster arrives, they may intentionally cause extra damage so they can inflate repair costs

Don’t allow roofing contractors up on your roof to “investigate,” or water restoration companies to start work before the damage is assessed. 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.

You can help stop AOB contractor fraud by knowing your rights (including the right to cancel a contract, including a signed AOB form, within three days) and you can also help others avoid a nightmare like Barbara’s by sharing this information with friends, family, and neighbors. Together, we can put an end to contractor abuse and AOB contractor fraud.

Most contractors are very professional, but there are a few that follow disasters and try to take advantage of you.

 

Managing Risk In Uncertain Times

We are living in uncertain times. COVID-19 and all that goes with it have created a new set of operating rules and risks. There is a number of new risks that have emerged as a result of these changing times.

 

It is vital that your business insurance program have the flexibility to respond to the changing and uncertain times we are living in. Your business insurance program needs to be designed to give your business the best possible coverage at a reasonable price from an agent who understands your individual needs.

 

Remote Workers 

COVID-19 has changed the way we think about remote working. Most businesses are having employees work from home, and even if there is a vaccine, the work from home trend is likely to continue. In general, employees are covered for work-related injuries that occur outside the office or other workplaces. Generally, employers are still responsible for injuries that occur during a detour, such as when an employee physically departs from his or her job duties that are considered minor activity, getting coffee, etc.

 

New Cyber Risks

Commercial businesses to become more dependent on the internet with an increase in remote workers. This new normal now requires special procedures and policies to protect your organization, its data, and network. When workers feel secure, you can nurture productivity and enhance collaboration.

Finance, Social Life And Health Of Employees

Because of the requirements and arrangements following the pandemic, employees have been faced with unexpected expenses related to travel, digital needs, accommodation (home workspaces) health concerns, and protective measures. Employers need to find ways to address these needs on a long-term basis, possibly through smaller in-person gatherings, remote learning opportunities, and even allowances for home office improvements.

Employees With Disabilities

Disabled employees need additional support to adapt to changes. Specific measures are required to address their needs and ensure their access to remote works issues.

As with any risk, you want to get out in front of it quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it is to mitigate the damage. The most successful companies are those that put systems and processes in place to help them quickly recognize the warning signs and navigate the best path forward.

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.

2021 Business Insurance Planning

 

Part of your business planning for 2021 should include an annual        business insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. After you review some of these items, call our office, and we will be happy to discuss these and more with you.  I

COVID-19 Planning

  • Do you have remote work policies and procedures?
  • Make sure you have a cleaning protocol in place.
  • Check your business interruption coverage; it may need to be adjusted and increased.
  • Make sure your business follows OSHA guidelines.
  • Do you have the right kind of insurance to cover business equipment off-premises?

Items to Consider When Completing a Business Insurance Review

  • Review sales and revenue- Have your company’s annual sales increased or decreased? The more business you do, the greater the potential liability you face.
  • Property Values- Have you added any new equipment, purchased or leased a new building?
  • Did you purchase any new vehicles?
  • Is your safety and loss control program up to date?
  • When was the last time someone reviewed your SIC codes for accuracy?

Have you added any new partners? There might be a need for life insurance.  As a business owner, you can ensure that your company is protected by keeping your general liability insurance, workers’ compensation  insurance, and commercial auto policies updated to reflect changes in your business.

Oakwood Insurance 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.