Stop Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

 

The holiday season is filled with fun, parties, food, gifts, overeating, and unfortunately some risk. One of the fasted growing risks for many people are stolen packages by porch pirates.  According to proopertycasualtiy360, over 26 million packages are stolen during the holiday season.  Need more bad news?

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance generally may not cover this loss as it tends to be under your deductible.  There could be covered if you have personal property off premises insurance.  Also for theft coverage to apply generally, you need proof of loss by a broker indoor, etc.  Call our office for a  review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances.

Things To Do

  • Delivery confirmation is a good way to prove the package was delivered.
  • Thieves will follow delivery trucks, waiting for the perfect target.
  • These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time.
  • You can insure your packages.
  • Consider having a person there when the delivery is scheduled.
  • Install a security camera.

What To Do If A Package Is Stolen

  • Track your package. Check the delivery confirmation and tracking number.
  • Make sure a neighbor did not pick it up for you.
  • Contact the seller. Different retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but usually, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement item.
  • File a claim with the shipping company.
  • Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection.

 

Do You Have Insurance Questions? We Have Answers.

Insurance Question We Most Often Answer

As professional insurance agents, we are asked many questions regarding personal insurance.  We thought it might be good to offer answers to the most common kinds of questions we receive.

“Why buy from an agent when I can go online?”

When you buy insurance online, you are forced to become the insurance expert and if there is ever an issue, you have only yourself to blame.  In most cases, we can offer the same, or better, coverage with a licensed professional agent who is willing to actually meet with you and educate you on your choices.  The cost for these services is included in the cost of your insurance.

“How much insurance do I need?”

That depends on your personal situation.  If you have a number of vehicles, recreational vehicles, or a boat, we might recommend higher limits than if you are a renter with no “toys.”  We also recommend that you buy auto insurance coverage/limits above the state minimum.  If you have a growing family and own your home, we suggest higher limits and a personal umbrella policy to protect your assets.  A personal umbrella policy is very competitive and can provide an added layer of coverage and security.

“Which deductible should I select?”

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.  In the long run, it may benefit you to increase your homeowner’s insurance deductible above a minimum amount, especially if you are claim free for a number of years.

Personal Insurance for High Net-Worth Individuals

For many people, standard insurance products like home, auto, life, and personal umbrella insurance are adequate to protect their families and their assets.  However, for high net-worth individuals there is much more to consider.  There are millions of households in the U.S. with a net-worth of more than one million dollars, and almost one million of these households are in California, according to CNBC.com

People with a high net-worth need to look at insurance in a different way than others do.  No longer are they trying just to insure a home or car, but instead they should be protecting their many assets through insurance.  High net-worth individuals also have a different lifestyle that creates new risks that should be managed.  Affluent individuals have unique property and casualty insurance needs due to their exposure to risk and to the types of assets they own.  Individuals with money become targets when anything goes wrong.  It is important not only to insure your property and other tangible assets, but also to protect your financial wealth.  Here are some of the products and solutions that may help high net-worth individuals protect themselves and their assets.

Personal Umbrella Coverage

High net-worth individuals need a competitive personal umbrella insurance policy with a limit of at least one million dollars.  In some cases, depending on your wealth, you may need liability limits of up to five million dollars.  A personal umbrella is able to go over many different insurance policies, and help protect assets with defense coverage as well.

Domestic Employees Insurance

Individuals who employ cooks, housekeepers, nannies or others to work in their homes need to have insurance coverage for their employees.  Having this kind of insurance helps protect you if your employee sues you for damages.  It is also important to carry workers’ compensation insurance on your staff.  This policy may also cover certain medical expenses that may be paid to the employee, and can help to replace any wages lost.

Coverage For Wine

Many high net-worth people have wine collections.  A standard homeowner’s policy may not be adequate to respond to a loss.  Wine insurance can cover the entire dollar amount of the wine with a limit for each bottle.

Fine Art Insurance And Other Collections

Fine art insurance can cover the full market value, or appraised value, on any art you own.  Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies have limitations on the amount of coverage offered.  Fine art insurance also covers the art when it is purchased; even it is away from your home. Here are other items you may need to insure.

  • Precious jewelry
  • Fine art
  • Musical instruments
  • Rare postage stamps and coins
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Fine china and silverware
  • High-end electronics
  • Other antiques and collectibles

Property Coverage for High-End Homes

High-end homes often have unique construction that requires special property insurance coverage.  Custom construction drives the replacement cost higher.  It is very important to have full replacement coverage that addresses all the custom and unique types of property in the home.

Coverage for Home-Based Businesses

Many high net-worth individuals operate home-based businesses.  A standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover this risk.  A commercial insurance policy is needed to protect the risks of operating a home-based business adequately.

Serving on For-Profit and Non-Profit Boards

Many high net-worth individuals serve on for-profit and non-profit boards.  Some of these positions have indemnification and insurance included with serving on the board.  However, some do not adequately protect the individual, and a separate policy is needed.

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.

The best way to solve a problem is to first understand it. To understand a problem involves asking questions, reviewing agreements, and visiting the facility or business. We believe that a professional agent must do more that merely issue insurance on the client’s behalf. Besides determining and placing proper coverage with reputable insurance companies, we seek to educate our clients on coverage and to reduce, or transfer risk to the insuring company, and working closely with management team to protect and preserve assets.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

COVID-19 And Your Business

COVID-19 And Your Business

Most of us are doing our best to comply with the COVID-19 stay at home order.  However, there are also many of us who still must go to our place of work.  Here are some things you can do to help maintain safety and financial health for your business, employees, and clients in the workplace during this time of uncertainty.

We recommend you check with your City, County, State, OSHA, Department of Health, and other agencies for provided employer guidelines, as during this COVID-19 event, policies can change daily.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Tips

  • Do not leave any valuables clearly visible or accessible.
  • Mandate all employees wash hands frequently and provide antibacterial supplies.
  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Restaurants that offer takeout services should remove all tables and chairs.
  • Provide gloves for staff to use when cleaning, and frequently clean rooms and any areas to which people have access.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly.
  • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible. When not possible, hold meetings in open,       well-ventilated spaces.
  • Add COVID-19 information and updates on your webpage and social media sites.
  • Consider regular health checks including temperature and respiratory symptom screening, of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible).
  • Require workers who are ill to stay home.
  • Consider posting “NO TRESPASSING” signage.

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.

 

Small Business Insurance

As a small business owner, you wear many hats, including owner, manager, human resource manager, sales manager—and even window washer.  Because there is so much to do, you may not spend time thinking about your business insurance, but you should.  Recent studies by the Insurance Information Institute found that over 50% of small businesses never reopen after a severe loss.

Commercial General Liability & Auto Insurance covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault.  Small businesses can face a wide array of  damage charges like personal injury, property damage, libel, and slander.

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology.  It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors and Officers Liability covers costs, damages, and defense protection for directors and officers of a company for lawsuits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals,    shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability Insurance provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees.  It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.),  wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability Insurance is designed to cover third party claims and damages arising out of providing professional advice.

Workers’ compensation insurance is usually required by law for small businesses with employees.  This insurance provides benefits for employees who are injured or die from job-related causes.

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.

 

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Centers for Disease Control recently stated that the Coronavirus will have an impact in the United States.  Currently, the death toll from the Coronavirus is over 2,700 worldwide.

People who contracted the Wuhan virus have reported symptoms that include fever, chills, headaches, difficulty breathing, and a sore throat.  Now is a good time to start thinking about how you might protect yourself and your family from contracting this virus. The World Health Organization and the CDC recommend that you take the usual precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Clean surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick.
  • Check with your doctor if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and tell your doctor about any recent travels.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.

 Traveling

If you do get sick while traveling, it is important to know the signs of coronavirus and seek immediate medical attention if you believe you have contracted the virus.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. It is important to note, however, that the coronavirus symptoms are common to a number of viruses.

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.