Flood Insurance: What do you need to know?

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With the wet weather we’re having in California (finally!), the question of whether or not you have flood coverage comes to mind.  Did you know that your standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage?

At Riskguard Insurance, we want you to be educated about all of the risks you may face – before a loss occurs – so you can determine what insurance coverage is appropriate. Spring is a prime season for flooding, so now is a good time to review your options.

Because very few companies offer flood insurance, the U.S. government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. Available to homeowners, renters and business owners, this insurance often is required to obtain a mortgage in areas at high risk of flooding.

But you might want to look into a policy just for peace of mind, even if you don’t live in flood prone area. According to the NFIP, nearly 25% of the program’s claims occur in moderate- to low-risk areas. Check out the questions and answers below to help determine if flood insurance is right for you.

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To participate in the NFIP, a community must adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance with rules regarding construction in certain flood-prone areas. In exchange, the government makes flood insurance available within that community. We’re happy to help you find out if you’re eligible for flood insurance. Just give us a call at 415-447-4212. You can also visit http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.

 What does it cover?

The NFIP provides coverage for both the structure and its contents. Coverage for contents is optional in some cases, so you may want to give us a call to discuss other coverage for your personal property.

Keep in mind that you typically can’t purchase flood insurance and have it take effect the next day. There is usually a 30-day waiting period. (Exceptions to this rule apply, however, particularly when the insurance is required by a lender and is purchased during the process of securing a mortgage.) If you think you need flood insurance, don’t wait to buy a policy!

What doesn’t it cover?

Generally, government-issued flood insurance will not cover the following: Buildings entirely over water or principally below ground, gas and liquid storage tanks, animals, aircraft, wharves, piers, bulkheads, growing crops, shrubbery, land, roads, machinery or equipment in the open and most motor vehicles.

How much does it cost?

As with all insurance policies, the cost of flood insurance varies depending on your situation. If your home or business is in a high-risk area, such as a “special flood hazard area,” your premium naturally will be higher than those in low- or moderate-risk zones. Premiums are based on how old the building is, how many floors it has, the location of its contents, your deductible and more. Renters insurance is typically less expensive, as renters generally insure their belongings and not the building.

Where can I find more information?

As always, we are happy to help you determine your insurance needs. Give us a call at 415-447-4212. The NFIP website, at http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, has plenty of answers as well.

Stay safe, dry, and covered!

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Donation to the Children’s Book Project

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Our book drive came to a close on Monday, 12/19/16.  We collected over 100 books!  Thank you to everyone who contributed either by donating a book or making a monetary donation directly to the organization.

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Two of our agents, Christine Kao and Kelson Herman, went to drop off our donation today.  Riskguard Insurance will also be making a monetary donation as well.

The Children’s Book Project is a great organization and helps so many people in need of books.

Just because our book drive came to an end, doesn’t mean you can’t still help!  You can always drop by during their hours to make a book donation or make a monetary one here:

https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=94-3229734&vlrStratCode=8Qe3oj8m0%2bpmKILobcNGFX1zrqbys%2fsqTv1rW72iUX5Kq%2fdcklV%2bTQwY3XaGJu%2b%2f

Book drop offs are at the old Francis Scott Key School location.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!  Riskguard Insurance Solutions, Inc. and The Children’s Book Project appreciate it!

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Reminder: Holiday Book Drive until Monday, Dec. 19,2016

holiday-book-drive-fun-textRiskguard Insurance Solutions, Inc. is working with the Children’s Book Project this holiday season to collect books for children in need. 

Our Holiday Book Drive is still going on until Monday, December 19th, 2016!

Feel free to drop by our office with a book (or more!) or you can donate directly to the Children’s Book Project:  https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=94-3229734&vlrStratCode=GnekWhjL%2ffWMBHOIofnBVZ8j1rWjDSZ5nlTcOEfezxkRI%2fHzRUZrwfe98tbyUvDD

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Two of our agents, Kelson Herman and Christian Herman, were able to stop by the Chronicle Book Sale yesterday and pick up a whole box of books as part of our donation from Riskguard.  Thanks, guys!

 

The Children’s Book Project was founded to help build literacy by providing free, new and gently used books to children who need them.  Since 1992, they have given away over 2 million books to help people build home and classroom libraries.

 

How to help or make a donation:

  1. Drop off new or gently used children’s books at our office at 422 Presidio Ave., San Francisco 94115 during the weekdays of Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm
  1. Make a monetary donation directly to the Children’s Book Project through Network for Good (If you want to mention Riskguard, please put our name in the Dedication or Gift section): https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=94-3229734&vlrStratCode=GnekWhjL%2ffWMBHOIofnBVZ8j1rWjDSZ5nlTcOEfezxkRI%2fHzRUZrwfe98tbyUvDD

 

Questions?  Contact Christine Kao- christine@riskguardins.com or 415-447-4212

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Holiday Book Drive 2016!

holiday-book-drive-fun-textRiskguard Insurance Solutions, Inc. is working with the Children’s Book Project this holiday season to collect books for children in need. 

The Children’s Book Project was founded to help build literacy by providing free, new and gently used books to children who need them.  Since 1992, they have given away over 2 million books to help people build home and classroom libraries.

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What type of books are they looking for? 

  • New and gently used children’s books for children of all ages- infants to teenagers.  (Please do not give textbooks, encyclopedias or old library discards.)

 

How to help or make a donation:

  1. Drop off new or gently used children’s books at our office at 422 Presidio Ave., San Francisco 94115 during the weekdays of Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm
  1. Make a monetary donation directly to the Children’s Book Project through Network for Good (If you want to mention Riskguard, please put our name in the Dedication or Gift section): https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=94-3229734&vlrStratCode=GnekWhjL%2ffWMBHOIofnBVZ8j1rWjDSZ5nlTcOEfezxkRI%2fHzRUZrwfe98tbyUvDD

 

Questions?  Contact Christine Kao- christine@riskguardins.com or 415-447-4212

 

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BOO! Are You Staying Safe This Halloween?

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5 Questions to Ask to Keep Your Family Safe on Halloween

Despite the fact that Halloween involves walking around at night amongst ghosts and witches, it really only takes a little common sense to make the night safe for everyone.

Here are five questions to ask so your entire family, even pets, can enjoy a safe and fun evening of trick-or-treating or handing out candy to others:

  1. Are we visible?

StockSnap_2659B518FA.jpgAdd reflective tape to costumes, clothing and candy bags to make it easier for drivers to see you and your group. That also goes for pets who are tagging along. Put reflective tape or flashing lights on their leashes or collars. Carrying flashlights and glow sticks is a good idea as well — they make you more visible and help you see better, too.

  1. How safe are our costumes?

Costumes, including masks and shoes, should fit well to prevent blocked vision, trips and falls. Baggy clothing can also increase the risk of contact with candles. If you purchase costumes, make sure they are marked as flame-resistant. And accessories such as swords and knives should be soft and flexible.

  1. Where are we going?

It’s best to have a plan before taking your kids trick-or-treating. You should only go to known neighborhoods and houses that have outside lights on, and children should never enter someone’s home unless an adult is with them. If you have older children going out on their own, have them tell you their plan.

  1. What are the kids eating?2500639_seasoned-pumpkin-seeds_photo-by-bd-weld_

It’s always a good idea to examine the items your kids have collected before they dig in. And it’s not just about tampering, either. Be aware of choking hazards, too, particularly for young children. And remember, when it comes to eating treats, moderation is key.

  1. How are Fido and Fluffy doing?

Even if your dogs and cats are just hanging out at home while you hand out candy, don’t forget about them. They shouldn’t eat candy at all, but especially chocolate, which can be toxic. Make sure candles are placed in areas where they won’t be knocked down. And remember that, depending on your pet’s personality, having people constantly coming to your door can be stressful. You might want to create a comfortable spot for them away from your home’s entrance.

With the right plan, you can make Halloween fun — and safe — for your little ghosts and goblins. And you can probably snag a little leftover candy for yourself, too.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Immersion Trip to Haiti with Matt Gray

Matt- School in La Tremblay.JPGOne of our agents, Matt Gray, traveled recently to Haiti on an immersion trip.  We asked him to share his experience in his own words with us as well as all of you.  

The final week of September, I traveled with two others to Haiti for an immersion trip to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.   We didn’t go to “do” anything or to try to build or “fix” anything.   We simply went to see, to listen, to try to understand…

There was a strong spiritual dimension to our time in Haiti.   The trip itself was affiliated with the Maryknoll order of priests and nuns.    A priest showed us his work with churches, schools and clinics.   He took us to a health clinic run by the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by Mother Teresa.   I will never forget this experience:  Inside is a room that contains 44 cribs and in each crib is an infant malnourished.   The infants’ mothers bring their babies to the clinic because they have no food for them and their tiny bodies show signs of starvation. I spent two hours holding and feeding these babies.

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Photo of the space that serves as a classroom during the week and church on Sundays

Most of the week, we spent in the capital city of Port au Prince, home to one-third the country’s 11 million people.  The population density is overwhelming – so much traffic and so many people in such a small space.  It seems like every street is lined with people selling their wares, literally on the margins, living from one day to the next.

We also spent time with three nuns in a rural area of Haiti.  These nuns showed us a school where tuition is less than $10 a year.   We also saw two orphanages:  one which houses and schools 53 girls; the other, an orphanage that focuses on orphans with mental illnesses and special needs.   To say that we saw some heartbreaking stuff would be an understatement.

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Photo of Director of the orphanage and Matt holding a dress that one of the girls knitted

Throughout our week, we saw people very proud of their history, hardworking. Haitians display their dignity through neatness of dress, shoes that are shined, children in school uniforms.  By appearance alone, one would never know the depth of their struggle with poverty.  In Haiti, it is easy to see that the poor haven’t been dealt a fair hand.   Certainly, life isn’t always fair and sometimes the best that we can do is to admit that we don’t understand.  We don’t have all the answers.

We are connected to a global community.  I believe that part of what it means to be fully human is to live with a greater awareness of those in need, whether they are in Haiti or in our own neighborhoods in the United States.

Matt Gray

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Protect Your Big Day!

Between the deposit, the dress, the rings… well, there’s a lot of things to plan as well as to protect.  Have you thought about wedding insurance?

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As with other sizeable investments, you can insure big events, such as your wedding. But, that’s not the only way insurance can play a role in your big day and the events that follow. Here are four tips for insuring your wedding, rings and more:

  1. Big day, big investment – protect it

Of course you want your big day to go off without a hitch. But, you also want to prepare for those pesky “what ifs.” What if the caterer backs out? What if the bride’s dress gets lost in her checked baggage? What if your venue goes out of business?
Event insurance typically covers unexpected issues with the site, weather, vendors and illness or injury, so you aren’t stuck with the tab. For example, if you need to find a new caterer the day before the wedding, your policy may help with the costs.

  1. Say ‘I do’ to covering your rings.

Regardless of the monetary value of your engagement and wedding rings, it’s important to protect your investment — preferably right after you purchase them. We can help. Call us from the jewelry store if you like, and we’ll schedule your new bling on your renters insurance, condo insurance or homeowners insurance.

  1. Cover your bases by covering your gifts.

While you’re dancing the night away, you don’t want someone walking away with your gifts. But, unfortunately, it happens. You may want to consider a policy to protect your gifts. And, of course, you’ll want to include them as part of your home inventory and personal property coverage. Some items, such as collectibles and china, may need scheduled coverage, just like your rings.

  1. Start your honeymoon right.

If your honeymoon costs as much as a car, it may make sense to get travel insurance. Policies can include coverage for trip cancellation or delay, and even medical insurance. Frommers.com says it should cost no more than 8 percent of your trip price.

Whether your wedding is a small family affair or the biggest event of the year, you deserve to have a stress-free day. Let us help you select the insurance coverage you want for your wedding and everything that goes along with it. So, when the big day arrives, all you have to worry about is having a great time!

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