Archive | July, 2010

Special Report: Inside Tips From a Burglar

Take note of these tips and be aware; it may prevent your home from getting broken into.

At BMR Insurance Agency, we try to provide information that’s informative and relevant for you and your family. When we read the following information, we knew that our customers and blog readers needed to see it immediately. Please read it carefully, as these are actual THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU, compiled from real-life, convicted criminals! Read on:

1. Of course I look familiar. I was just here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
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Are the Contractors at Your Home Insured?

Depending on the job, even handymen need to have liability insurance. Make sure to ask!

Is everyone under your roof insured? We’re not just talking about your family and your four-legged friends; did you know that anyone in your house performing general contractor work could be subject to liabilities under your insurance policy?  Anyone who could potentially cause damage to your home—your plumber, roofer, painter, etc—or vice versa, needs to be licensed, bonded and insured.

To make sure that your general contractor fits all of the criteria, obtain a proof of insurance from the general contractor’s insurance company, which should list you as an additional insurer.  A proof of insurance will state what kinds of liabilities the general contractor’s insurance covers, whether it be general liability, workers’ compensation, or any other kinds of accountability issues.  Having you as an additional insurer on the general contractor’s insurance makes sure that their insurance company is the primary payout to you in the event of an accident, rather than having to have both parties file a claim on their own policies and subrogating them.  This will save everyone a lot of time and money.

As a cautionary tale, we always warn people with the story of an unlucky homeowner who had enlisted the help of a local painter, who, unbeknownst to the homeowner, had no workers’ compensation or insurance.  The homeowner went ahead with his house renovations without taking any precautionary measures or obtaining a proof of insurance.  In a very unfortunate accident, the painter fell from the three-story house, and now the homeowner is under fire for all of the liability charges and damages.  Had the homeowner checked for proof of insurance in the beginning, he would not be going through this hassle. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you’re not sure whether or not your general contractor’s proof of insurance is valid, check with your agent or send it over to BMR Insurance and we will evaluate it for you.  At BMR Insurance we always advocate proper insurance for everyone, even in the most unlikely events.

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Talking on Your Cell Phone While Driving: Illegal and Dangerous

 

Talking on your phone? Texting? You could be as dangerous as a drunk driver.

BMR Insurance Special Public Service Announcement: Talking on your cell phone while driving is illegal! This means no dialing, no texting, and none of that holding-in-one-hand-while-on-speakerphone business.  Basically, no touching your phone; all actions on your cell phone must be voice-controlled or conducted through a headset. While this law has been in effect since 2006, you would be surprised to see how many people still chat on their phones while cruising down the highways.  Well, if you’re one of them—stop now!  Not only are you seriously endangering your life and those around you, but violating this law can also subject you to some very damaging fines.

For California drivers, first time offenders caught driving while talking or texting on their cell phone will be fined $20, with additional fees and fines driving the final ticket amount up to nearly $250.  Continue Reading →

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Small Business and Contractor Insurance Assistance

Roofing companies can be tricky to insure.

All is fair in business and insurance–or is it? Not all insurance is created equally, and of course not everyone can always obtain their ideal insurance policy.  For business owners, specifically of non-residential contractor businesses that could harbor many potential liabilities, finding proper and affordable insurance can be a tiresome process.

Take, for example, a roofing company.  A general contractor business like this may seem simple to insure, right? Wrong! In that type of work environment, workers are exposed to situations subject to workers’ compensation (i.e. accidentally falling off the roof), and workers’ compensation can be very expensive.  Roofing businesses also face general liability exposures, where if the company does not complete a roof correctly, rain water might seep through and damage the home. Or, roofs can be too heavy for their framework, consequently caving in and injuring the inhabitants of the home.  The homeowner’s insurance would then subrogate the roofing company, citing poor job execution.  Whether the roofing company is at fault or not, this becomes a liability issue that could lead to very expensive fees and possible lawsuits. Continue Reading →

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