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.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance can cover various vehicle types (trucks, cars), drivers, and motorized equipment. It covers bodily injury liability and property damage when driving a work car, as well as medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for the policyholder’s driver and passengers.

Auto Liability (hired/non-owned)

Do your staff drive their own automobiles, or do you rent them? This coverage protects your business against certain liabilities stemming from the usage of a rented or leased vehicle (hired) or a non-owned vehicle (employee using their own vehicle on company business). This coverage is frequently affordable when added to a company auto policy or, in certain situations, a general liability policy.

When Your Business Vehicle Is Also Your Personal Vehicle

Sometimes employees or executives of a company or other persons who are supplied with a vehicle owned by the company have only that vehicle. They do not own a personal vehicle nor do they obtain personal automobile coverage. The BACF does not cover personal use of the vehicle in this situation. To close this coverage gap, you need to add the Drive Other Car Coverage Endorsement to your BACF. This provides insurance while the named individual or a member of his or her family is driving a car borrowed from a third party.

Keeping Premiums Down

The best way to keep your business auto premiums down is to avoid accidents. Driving safety should be emphasized. Drivers should not be so pressured to produce that they feel compelled to drive unsafely. All vehicles should be well maintained.

Ask your agent whether your insurance company has business auto safety resources that you can use to help your organization be accident-free. For more information on reducing the risk of auto accidents.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot at at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

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.

RV Insurance 101

You probably bought your motor home or travel trailer because it offers the best of both worlds: the ability to explore the world we live in and the convenience of your home each night when you pull over. Motor homes and travel trailers offer a freedom and joy that’s unique regardless of the size of the coach or fifth wheel.

But with this dual benefit also come some increased risks. As a vehicle, your motor home needs some auto-type insurance to protect you from crashes, medical costs, and the like while you’re driving on the road. But comprehensive RV insurance needs also to protect you when you have stopped and camped. That means you need insurance closer to what you find in a homeowner’s policy that includes features such as:

Personal Liability:

Protection in case someone is injured in or around your RV

Personal Property:

Enhanced property insurance that will protect the contents of your RV in case of theft or damage.

Additional Living Expenses:

Protection that helps pay for your cost of living if you are displaced from your motor home.

Attached Accessories:

Another layer of protection that covers your awning, tv antennas, or other accessories that might be damaged.

Other RV Insurance You Should Consider Is:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured motorists’ coverage
  • Rental reimbursement coverage
  • Towing coverage

Getting the right recreational vehicle insurance doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult with an insurance expert on your side.

Some policies include Roadside Assistance, which has you covered 24/7 in the event of a breakdown or accident. Some will even allow you to upgrade the coverage to include lodging, transportation, and meal coverage if needed.

Recreational and full-RV timer insurance are the two most common types. Recreational insurance will protect your RV inside and out when you’re on the road or parked at a campsite if you don’t live in it full-time. A full-time RV insurance policy is for people who live in their motorhome or travel trailer full-time. Many of the coverages will overlap with a recreational policy, but you’ll be able to add coverages like personal liability and loss assessment that are similar to homeowner’s insurance.

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.

Gasoline Theft Is On The Rise, What Can You Do?

We expect that when the price of gasoline rises, the number of occurrences of fuel theft from gas tanks will rise as well. It’s combustible, dangerous, and difficult to transport, but that hasn’t stopped thieves from attempting to obtain this increasingly valuable commodity. Gasoline. Not only is it inconvenient for victims of this crime, but it may also be costly, as criminals are resorting to methods such as drilling into gas tanks to obtain fuel.

Here are some tips to help you avoid being a victim of gas theft.

  • Although parking in the garage is the ideal option if you must park on the street, try to do so beneath the light of a street lamp. The brighter the light on your car, the more likely the burglar will move on to a less difficult target.
  • Your tank must be locked. Consider purchasing a gas cap lock to prevent a thief from quickly siphoning gas from your tank.
  • Face the road ahead of you. When parking, make sure the gas door is facing the street. Thieves are more inclined to avoid an automobile that exposes them to the gaze of passers-by.
  • If you’re parking in a garage, look for a place near the exit or elevator because those have the most visibility and foot activity.
  • Take a Ride. The parking areas at airports are a refuge for gas thieves. To prevent leaving your car unattended in long-term parking, obtain a ride to the airport when traveling.
  • Avoid parking for long periods of time anywhere. If you’re going on a trip, for example, take a taxi to the airport rather than leaving your car in a long-term parking lot for days on end.
  • As always, if you notice something strange, call the police.

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.

Business Owners Policies

For small to medium-sized firms, a business owner’s policy, or BOP, is an excellent insurance option. This type of policy is popular since it combines the most frequent coverages into a single policy with a single payment rather than paying for individual policies. This package is totally customizable and, in most cases, less expensive than purchasing individual policies.

If your company employs less than 100 people and generates less than $1 million in annual revenue, you may be eligible. For home-based business owners, this is also a popular option. Property and liability coverage is included, as well as your choice of the following alternatives (with some insurers offering extra options):

Property insurance protects a company’s physical assets, such as its buildings, furniture, equipment, and inventory.

Loss of income insurance pays out for income lost due to a covered business interruption, such as profits and expenses like rent and wages.

Third-party bodily harm or property damage while on your business’s property is covered by liability insurance.

Equipment breakdown insurance covers equipment that fails or is damaged as a result of a covered incident, such as computers and phone systems.

Third-party medical expenses incurred as a result of a liability claim are covered by medical payments insurance.

Most BOPs do not include worker’s compensation or commercial auto insurance, which must be acquired separately if they are needed.

Data breach insurance protects digital assets like databases and customer records from hackers, data spills, identity theft, and other disasters.

Employment practices liability insurance: Covers your company’s liability charges in the event that discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or other law violation-related claim is made.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot to at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

Can “Do It Yourself” Projects Jeopardize Your insurance?

A personal Insurance Update

Many people are remodeling their homes these days.  However, before you jump into a project, you might consider the following home insurance issues.  Most homeowner’s policies are based on a value of your home that fluctuates based on the “like kind and quality” that existed when the policy was first placed.

Many home improvement projects increase your home’s value, and should be added to your current replacement value.

  • If your DIY project requires a permit and you fail to get one, your homeowner’s insurance may be in jeopardy. For example, if you install a wood stove but fail to get a permit and have a licensed contractor complete the work, your insurer would automatically deny any resulting claims most of the time.
  • Your homeowner’s insurance covers third party injuries. It does not cover injury to you or members of your household.
  • Here are a few examples of DIY projects that will have an impact on your insurance: Outdoor living spaces, pools, upgraded kitchens or baths, room additions, and storage sheds.

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.

Is Your Home Insured Correctly?

How much would it cost you to rebuild your home if it was destroyed by a fire? It’s possible that reality is not what you expect. In the case of a covered loss, your homeowner’s policy may not cover the whole cost of rebuilding your house if it isn’t insured to its total replacement cost.

According to recent studies by major insurers, approximately 70% of houses in the United States, or two out of every three, are underinsured by at least 18%. This means that in the event of a total loss, such as a fire, the homeowner may be held liable for a large amount of the reconstruction costs. Working with an insurance professional to negotiate your home value issues will help you avoid misunderstandings and secure fair compensation in the case of a loss.

The market value (appraisal value) tax value of your home is entirely different from how much it would cost to rebuild your home in case it was completely damaged.

Replacement Cost Considerations

There are a number of factors that go into determining your home’s replacement value, including:

  • Type of construction quality
  • Materials used in the construction
  • Size of your home
  • Location
  • Your lot configuration
  • Are there any unique materials, like imported stone, marble, etc.?
  • The overall quality of construction, is your home average construction or high-end?
  • The average cost per square foot for new construction in your area.

The level of homeowner’s insurance you purchase is determined by your specific requirements. Insuring your home or other property for its full replacement value will help you prevent large out-of-pocket payments that could deplete your funds and cause you to change your estate plan. In addition, the contents of the home, other structures on the land, additional living expenditures, liability, and other factors should all be considered. Consult your agent about the right amount of coverage for your home and how to best arrange your policy.

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.

Coverage Gaps You May Have In Your Commercial Insurance

A Commercial Insurance Update

If it has been over a year since an agent has reviewed your commercial insurance program, you may have several coverage gaps. A lot has changed in the last 12 to 18 months, and your commercial insurance must keep up with your risks.

Most risk and insurance experts have identified the risks that will impact your business in 2022 and beyond. These are in no particular order. We can offer commercial insurance solutions that will help your business manage risk keep moving forward.

  1. Cyber risk
  2. Supply chain and business interruption
  3. The great resignation
  4. Increase awareness regarding pollution issues
  5. General safety

Cyber Risk

Did you know that the average small business is more likely to experience a cyber breach than a fire? This is correct, and your commercial insurance policy will most likely not cover cyber liability losses.

Technology has made it possible for the average criminal to enter the world of cybercrime. Small businesses are a prime target because most have little or no protection. Criminals can buy programs that can be configured to hack dozens of businesses at the same time. It is important that your company has business insurance, including cyber liability insurance.

Every state has enacted legislation requiring notification of all customers affected by a data breach, regardless of whether their information was used maliciously. In most cases, the notification also requires the customer to choose between one year of credit monitoring services and a new card or account number. Each individual affected by the breach may incur costs of up to $250.

Supply Chain and business interruption

As previously stated, COVID-19 has caused widespread havoc, particularly throughout the supply chain. One recent report suggested supply chain issues could be in place through Christmas, and a computer chip shortage has hindered production in the auto industry for months. These, along with a normal loss, can create business interruption losses. Business Interruption Insurance (BII) is designed to protect businesses from these types of risks. BII is often part of packaged commercial insurance policies or is purchased in conjunction with business property insurance.

One reason for this is that the perils, or causes of loss, are usually the same for property insurance as for business interruption insurance. A variation in BII designed for those enterprises that depend heavily on outside suppliers is called contingent Business interruption insurance. Loss in business income due to the inability of a supplier to provide goods or services can be insured against in many circumstances.

The great resignation

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs of work by July 2022. Resignations peaked in April and have remained unusually high in recent months, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July. In the face of such a tidal wave of resignations, how can employers keep their employees?

Two things your business can do to better manage the employment relationship is to;

  1. Offer a variety of employee benefits like; flexible hours, remote work, benefits, Classes, and special programs that enhance employees’ lives and broad health care options.
  2. Make sure your business has employment liability insurance coverage. EPLI protects against many kinds of employee lawsuits, including claims of:
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination
  • Breach of employment contract
  • Negligent evaluation
  • Failure to employ or promote
  • Wrongful discipline
  • Deprivation of career opportunity
  • Wrongful infliction of emotional distress
  • Mismanagement of employee benefit plans

Pollution Liability

Pollution liability coverage is available to businesses that emit hazardous waste emissions during manufacturing, such as oil, agribusiness, construction, manufacturing, excavation, waste depositories, and asbestos abatement contractors. Policies cover bodily injury and property damage claims, as well as clean-up costs caused by toxic waste contamination. The need for pollution liability insurance is evident for businesses whose operations involve hazardous waste exposure risks, such as asbestos abatement or waste depository. If you own an industrial site that does not generate hazardous waste, pollution liability insurance may still be a good investment.

General Safety

There is no doubt that COVID-19 changed the way we did business. But most people will continue to implement safety protocols, such as. Make certain that your facility is completely clean, disinfected, and equipped with a plan for maintaining safe conditions.

Provide a support system for employees as they return to work and adjust to the new realities and emotional challenges posed by the post COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing a plan for a safe work environment that protects employees and