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 coverage 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.

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.

The Nuts and Bolts of Contractor’s Insurance

A Contractors Insurance Update

The success of your business depends on the quality of your business insurance.  Business insurance is designed to protect your business in the event of an unexpected claim.  We can create a contractor’s insurance program that is designed for your unique operation.  Here are a few of the kinds of contractor insurance you need.

  • The basic contractor insurance program should include property, commercial liability, auto, equipment coverage, and excess liability.
  • Contractor’s bonds. A contractor’s license bond is a license and permits bond that is designed to assist all types of contractors.  In many states, contractor bonds are required and help ensure that the contractor will operate in compliance with the local statutes as well as laws.
  • As an independent contractor, you may need to have worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s comp regulations are mandated state by state.  If you are in business for yourself and you do not have employees, you are most likely not required to buy worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Contractor tool/equipment coverage. Your tools are part of your business; make sure they are insured to full replacement cost.
  • Contractors Errors and Omissions coverage. Every contractor has this exposure.  If you provide any advice on your job, you have professional liability risk.
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) coverage. An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company, and its subsidiaries.  The policy can cover a long list of claims, including wrongful dismissal/termination, sexual/racial/disability harassment, sexual/racial/disability/religious discrimination, employment-related libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, wrongful failure to employ or promote, and retaliation.
  • Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance that provides lost income, medical benefits, disability benefits, and rehabilitative services for workers injured on the job or while performing work-related duties.

Your business needs protection provided by a company and insurance advisor that you can trust.

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.

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.

Heat Safety Tips For Your Pet

Summertime means sun, sand, and lots of outside playtime with your dog or cat. Summer is a wonderful time to spend with your pet. However, rising temperatures pose a greater risk to our pets, including more injuries, skin and ear infections, and the risk of heat stroke.

  • Consult your veterinarian about the dangers of warm weather for pets (and travel safety if you plan to travel with a pet).
  • Look for signs of shock. Collapse, 104°F+ body temperature, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depressed stupor, seizures or coma, heavy panting or trouble breathing, elevated heart rate, and salivation are some of the symptoms.
  • When your pets are outside, make sure they have limitless access to fresh water and shade.
  • Never leave your pet in the car.
  • Place water-soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck, feet, chest, and abdomen, turn on a fan and direct it toward your dog, and rub 70% Isopropyl alcohol on the dog’s foot pads to help cool him down, but don’t use too much.
  • Inquire with your veterinarian about how to spot signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Keep your pet free of parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm, which are more common in the summer.
  • Summer is the ideal season for barbeques, picnics, and other outdoor celebrations, the most famous of which is the Fourth of July, which has the most anticipated fireworks display. While we all like a huge brilliant boom, our pets are usually startled and flee. Furthermore, pyrotechnics contain chemicals such as potassium nitrate, which can poison your curious pet if consumed.

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.

The Value of Giving Back In Business

The truth of being a business owner is that juggling day-to-day operations with long-term objectives consumes the majority of your time and energy. It’s easy to let giving back fall by the wayside if you don’t have a solid plan in place to truly incorporate it into your business strategy. Do you recall your first experience sharing as a child? Most parents educate their children that they must share their toys if they want others to play with them. This is a crucial lesson that we often overlook as adults, and it applies to a wide range of situations.

There are so many ways to incorporate this idea into your business. It does not have to be giving a lot of money. Often giving of your experience or expertise can add significant value to others.

Here are a few ideas

  • Find ways to offer your services pro bono. Maybe as an agent, you can offer to review a local business’s insurance without any obligation on the business’s part.
  • Be willing to speak at the local Chamber or other nonprofit.
  • Engage your team. Creating a giving culture at work has its advantages regarding employee engagement. It also gives employees a greater sense of ownership in the organization they work for.
  • Join a nonprofit board. Nonprofits are continuously looking for successful executives to join their boards of directors. A position like this allows you to control the organization’s course while also allowing you to leverage your network to collect funding for it.

The potential to make a difference is the most basic benefit of donating or setting aside money for community welfare. There’s nothing like seeing your neighborhood or community improve to make it a better place to live. Communities that can improve their lives will be able to make a good contribution to the economy as a whole.

Personal service combined with the 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 go

 

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.