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.

 

 

 

 

How To Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 45 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
  • Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.
  • Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.
  • Shop with a friend.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

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.

Our trusted insurance professionals are here to help you with every step of the insurance process and can design a personal or commercial insurance policy to fit your needs. One of the insurance professionals will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the individualized attention you deserve.

 

The Lowest Priced Insurance Is Usually Not The Best

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

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

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

What Makes Up A High-Value Insurance Program?

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

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

What Kind Of Personal Insurance Do I Need?

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

Home Insurance

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

Flood Insurance

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

Auto Insurance

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

Umbrella Insurance

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

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

Do You Need Renters Insurance?

Why is Renters Insurance Important?

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

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

Common Concerns

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

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

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

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

It cost too much.

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

Renter’s insurance is overly complicated.

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

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Crazy Things Home Insurance Usually Covers

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

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

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

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

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

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Does Bundling My Home And Auto insurance Really Save Money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Proven Ways To Build Strong Insurance Relationships

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

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

How To Build And Maintain Strong Relationships

Don’t base your relationship on technology

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

Follow Through

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

Focus on more than just pricing

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

Be Consistent

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

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

 

Disaster Preparation Can Save Your Life

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

Prepare For Wildfires

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

Flood Preparedness

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

Earthquake Planning

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

Disaster Safety Tips in General 

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

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