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.

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.

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.

How To Get The Most Out of Your Business Insurance

There are just so many alternatives when it comes to choosing the correct insurance for your company. When it comes to commercial company insurance, one of the most important things to think about is how to get the most out of your policy. Start making the most of your commercial business insurance, consider the following suggestions:

Keep your policy current, review and update it on a regular basis with your agent.

Examine your policy every few months to see whether your business requirements have changed. Talk to your agent about the policy at least once or twice a year. This can assist you in safeguarding your interests.

Take Precautions to Safeguard Your Business

It is critical to ensure that your company is a safe and healthy place to work. Keeping things orderly, wiping up spills, and repairing any damage may go a long way – and could even help you save money on your insurance.

Reduce the chances of a customer being injured in order to cut down on claims.

The less likely consumers are to get injured and file a lawsuit, the safer your store is. Maintain a clean environment for consumers by keeping aisles clear, walkways clean, and spills cleaned up.

Do you want to work from home? Your homeowner’s insurance may not protect you

You probably still need commercial business insurance if you’re one of the millions of Americans who run a          home-based business. Exclusions for home-based companies are common in homeowners insurance plans. Make sure to double-check your coverages and exclusions with your insurance broker.

Work with your agent to find the best commercial insurance for your company.

Your agent is an excellent first line of defense against purchasing incorrect insurance. You’ll want to pay close attention to what they recommend so that you can receive the greatest commercial insurance policy for your company’s needs.

Ensure that the most crucial areas are covered.

Clients may rest assured that all of their major insurance needs will be covered when they choose our agency. Contact one of our representatives today to determine the appropriate level and type of insurance coverage for your company. This would include property, cyber liability, EPLI, liability, and excess liability coverage.

Oakwood Insurance operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.   This information in to be considered general in nature. All claims will be settled based on your actual policy terms and conditions. 

 

How To Improve Your Homeowner’s Insurance Without Jeopardizing Coverage

Homeowner’s insurance costs an average of $1,083 a year in the United States, though the cost varies significantly by state. Insurance companies provide policy discounts in the form of credits or lower premiums for home improvements that may reduce the need to file a claim as well as the amount paid out for claims that do occur. In essence, it is less expensive for insurers to lower premium prices than it is to compensate for damages and losses. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your insurance costs without jeopardizing your coverage

Roofing Upgrades

A new roof is a major — and expensive — investment. A faulty roof, on the other hand, might be very costly. If your roof leaks, you could end up with rotting wood and water damage inside your home. Hail and high-impact storms can breakthrough if it’s weak.

Increase the safety of your house

A smoke detector, lights, burglar alarm, or dead-bolt locks can normally be purchased at a discount of at least 5%. If you install a sophisticated sprinkler or fire detection system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings directly to the police, fire, or other monitoring stations, some companies will reduce your premium by as much as 10 or 15%. These systems are not inexpensive, and not all of them qualify for a discount. Find out what kind of system your insurance recommends, how much the device will cost, and how much you’ll save on premiums before you buy one.

Take advantage of every possible discount.

For everything from paying your annual payment in full up advance to keeping your insurance for more than three years, insurers provide a variety of discounts to homeowners.

Lower your risk

Even if it’s entertaining and fun, possessing something your insurer considers a “attractive nuisance” such as trampolines, certain dog breeds, swimming pools, or playground equipment will raise your homeowner’s insurance cost. Getting rid of these things could save you a lot of money on your insurance.

Talk to your insurance agent.

Before you start looking for methods to save money on your insurance, be sure you know what your existing policy covers.

Consider when to file a claim and not file a claim

Even while it may be tempting to file a claim with your insurance company whenever something minor happens, you may be better off in the long run if you pay for these smaller expenses yourself. This is because certain insurance companies may give you a discount if you don’t file a claim for a certain period of time, usually a few years.

Remain to use the same insurer.

If you’ve had your insurance with the same carrier for a long time, you may be eligible for a special discount as a long-term policyholder. If you stay with an insurer for three to five years, your premiums will be reduced by 5%, and if you continue with them for six years or more, your premiums will be reduced by 10%. However, make sure to compare this price to that of other insurance regularly.

Increase the amount of your deductible.

The larger your deductible, the lower your insurance costs are likely to be. According to the Insurance Information Institute, increasing your deductible by $500 to $1,000 might save you up to 25% on your premiums.

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

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

 

How to Manage A Water Damage Loss

One of the most severe risks to your home is having water where it isn’t supposed to be. Many factors can cause water damage, such as defective plumbing, leaking appliances, or just bad weather. A wise homeowner knows how to monitor for water leaks and other problems, as well as what to do if one occurs.

Problems with Water:

If you have a leak or a pipe problem in your house, it may not always be obvious. That’s why it’s a good idea to evaluate places prone to water damage on a frequent basis. Here are some places where you should conduct regular surveys:

Water can get in via openings like windows and doors if there’s an issue with the seal or the aperture itself.

  • Hoses and places for washing machines and dishwashers
  • All piping and plumbing systems
  • Ice makers
  • Frozen pipes
  • Ice dams in gutters
  • Flooring and carpeting underfoot
  • Attics, crawl spaces, basements, and any other regions that aren’t frequently used
  • Toilets, bathrooms, and shower/bathroom areas
  • Siding and roofing
  • Thermostat for hot water

At least a few times a year or more, take your time and look for leaks or water stains all over your house. In addition, after a severe storm or another weather event, you should always do a comprehensive inspection of your home.

Water Damage Prevention: Checking your home for water damage on a regular basis is a good place to start, but there are other things you can do to prevent serious damage from occurring in the first place. These are some of them:

To uncover potential problems, have your plumbing, appliances, roof, and other important areas professionally assessed. To keep your homes pipes from freezing in the cold, use insulation and other methods.

Investigate straight away if you find a leak or if your water bill is unusually high one month.

Water Damage and Insurance:

If your pipes break or something else goes wrong unexpectedly, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the damage to your home and belongings. Your insurance coverage may not apply if you haven’t taken the time to maintain your water systems, appliances, and other areas where harm could occur. Furthermore, flood damage is usually not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If you reside in a flood-prone location, speak with your insurance agent about getting a separate flood coverage.

Make sure you know and understand what types of damage and property are covered by your insurance, what your responsibilities as a homeowner are, and that you submit any potential claims as soon as possible.

Don’t disregard water damage no matter what you do. What appears to be a minor issue may be concealing a more serious one. Even if it isn’t, leaving water damage unattended might result in a dangerous condition that will be much more difficult and costly to restore later.

Call or email our team immediately if you have any questions about home insurance.

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.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances. We are happy to help you through your claim and help you determine the best course of action.

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.

Winter Weather Insurance Tips

Winter is a critical season for insurance. Weather-related damage is more common during the winter months, thanks to lovely snow and ice storms, as well as less-than-pleasant hail. Insurance is one of those things that must be planned for in advance. Winter weather puts homes in a lot of danger. Property damage can be caused by snow, water, ice, and even the cold itself. To make matters worse, some of the damage isn’t covered by a standard homeowners’ policy.

Inspect Your Home Before Winter Storms Come

  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams
  • Trim trees and bushes
  • Wrap pipes to prevent freezing
  • Check foundation
  • Check around windows and doors for air leaks
  • Inspect your furnace

Make Sure Your Homeowner’s Insurance is Up to Date

There’s a lot that may go wrong with your house, car, and other possessions when the temperature outside drops below zero. You want to make sure you have enough coverage in case of a claim. Examine your insurance policies to see what is and isn’t covered, and double-check your limits to ensure you have enough coverage.

Winterize Your Boat

If you’ve put your boat away for the winter, give it a once-over every few weeks to make sure it’s still in good shape. You’ll want to address any issues as soon as possible. Make careful to winterize your boat and drain it or use antifreeze before storing it. Check to see that your boat is still properly wrapped and protected from the weather if you wrapped it for the winter season.

Be Prepared To File A Claim

Because the claims process differs from one insurer to the next, it’s critical to have the correct information when filing. For each of your policies, you’ll need the current policy numbers and service numbers.

Make sure you understand what your policy covers before the cold weather arrives. Have a professional assess your home and do any suggested maintenance before the winter weather arrives as an added precaution.

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 Liability Insurance

We understand all businesses are unique. Just because you are a small or medium-sized business does not mean you are exempt from litigation. All businesses need General Liability Business Insurance to protect your organization from unforeseen events. General Liability Business Insurance should be the foundation of your insurance program.

General Liability Insurance provides the following coverage:

  • Bodily Injury– Bodily Injury to a third party.
  • Property Damage– Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).
  • Personal Injury– Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
  • Advertising Liability– Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander and invasion of privacy.
  • Products & Completed Operations– Liability arising out of the Nonprofits products or business operations and services conducted, excluding Professional services.
  • Premises-Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.
  • Medical Payments- A general liability coverage that reimburses others, without regard to the insured’s liability for bodily injury while on your premises.

General Liability Insurance is designed to cover defense costs as well as judgments. It is an important part of your insurance program that we recommend for your organization.

Call us today for more information on a complete business insurance program. We know there are as many unique insurance needs as we have neighbors who live here! To talk with one of our helpful team members about your insurance needs, contact us today.

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 a focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.