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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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.