Three Risk Management Strategies For Property Owners

A poorly lit parking lot, a slick tile floor, or a cluttered entryway are all examples of how your business could be a public safety hazard. Be aware that as a building owner or manager, if someone is injured on your premises you could be held financially responsible. 

Here are three areas, that when properly attended to, could minimize risk to the public. 

  • Slip and Falls.  A fall can happen in an instant. Make sure you have protocols in place to keep interior floors dry and litter free.  Outdoors keep parking lots and sidewalks clear of debris, and ensure uneven surfaces are well marked.
  • Clear The Exits.  In the case of emergency, it is imperative that your customers have a clear path to quickly exit your premises.  Keep all doorways and staircases free from furniture, boxes, and other clutter that may have piled up over the years. Keep emergency evacuation plans clearly posted  and accessible.
  • Assaults and Thefts.  Ensuring your property is secure is key to protecting the public. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed to minimize hiding areas for perps.  Make sure your parking facilities are well lit, and deploy the use of security cameras in effort to detect any activity that might cause harm to the public.

Having comprehensive risk mitigation strategies will not only help to  ensure public safety it will also protect you and your business. 


EPB&B Recognized A Safeco Elite Agent

As a result of outstanding performance and an unwavering commitment to our customers, Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker has been recognized as Safeco Elite Agent for the second consecutive year in a row. 

This recognition is especially gratifying as it is awarded to less than 10% of independent agents who sell Safeco personal lines products. 

“Elliott Powell Baden and Baker has been in a professional partnership with Safeco for over fifty years,” says EPB&B President Marc Baker, “and we appreciate the recognition of the amazing work our personal lines team puts forth day after day with Safeco to provide superior insurance options to our customers.” 

Thank you to Safeco, our team, and our valued insureds.  

We appreciate the recognition of the hard work and commitment of our Personal Lines Team.


Caution: Catalytic Converter Theft Remains High

Last Spring Elliott, Powell Baden, and Baker reported that with the uncertainty and unrest in the Portland Metro area, we identified a steep rise in catalytic converter thefts. Although things are slowly re-opening and stabilizing in Portland, the team at EPB&B cautions that there remains an extremely high incident of catalytic converter theft. 

Catalytic converters change harmful substances in a car’s exhaust gasses, into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor through chemical reactions. Catalytic converters contain precious metals (mostly platinum) that are valuable, some are being cut out of cars and taken on the spot, in other circumstances, the vehicles are being stolen, and then parted out.  

 “Prius’ are specifically at higher risk because it takes longer to burn out the precious metals and higher prices are paid for Prius cast”, Erica McDaniel Claims/Workers Compensation Specialist at EPB&B Insurance explains, “however, there has been an increase in converters stolen from SUVs and trucks due to the high clearance of the undercarriage making it easy for thieves to get in and out quickly.”

To address this growing concern in Oregon, SB 803  took effect on January 1, 2022. This bill prohibits scrap metal businesses from purchasing or receiving catalytic converters, except from commercial sellers or owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed.  

However catalytic converter theft will likely remain a lower priority for law enforcement due to the continued break-ins and violence that still plague the Portland Metro area. We encourage everyone to consider taking extra precautions in these uncertain times.

Contact us for more information on how you can protect your property.  


New Year, New You

Old habits die hard — but the new year presents a great opportunity for you to start the process of change (even if we’re already over a month in!). If stress was one of your biggest problems in the previous year, you’re not alone. U.S. workers are reportedly some of the most stressed employees in the world. A recent survey found that 57% of respondents report feeling stressed daily. Household matters, sickness, and financial insecurity all contributed to added stress during the pandemic.

There are, however, some aspects of our lives that we can better manage in order to lessen stress. Here are five practical habits to develop for a stress-free year.

  1. Get your insurance in order. Many things can change within a year’s time, as we’ve all learned of late. And given this understanding, you should prioritize getting your insurance in order. Your existing auto or homeowner’s insurance may not give you enough coverage, especially if you’ve done some remodeling or installed major improvements. Check your policy to make sure your coverages are up to date. Consider adding an umbrella policy, just in case unexpected things happen and your costs exceed your coverage. This can help you rest easier this year and into the future.
  1. Keep your health in check. As you look to stay on top of your health this year, it’s highly recommended to schedule routine checkups with a medical professional. This will help you identify any potential health issues early on, potentially saving you of time and costs and worry (not to mention uncertainty) in the long run. Also, make sure to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. The healthier you are, the less stress you’ll experience.
  1. Stay on top of your taxes. Taxes can be quite the headache, but this year’s a good time to have a professional help you keep track of them better. Tax prep professionals with extensive education in accounting practices are always in demand as the year turns, because they can help with managing your individual income tax and much more.
  1. Organize your files. A cluttered home or workspace leads to a cluttered mind. This could be causing you a great deal of stress, so take the time to go through your clutter at home or in the office. Similarly, if you do a lot of work on your computer, organize your digital files to clear out unnecessary documents that could be taking your memory space. Organizing in this manner will make it easier to find things when you need them, and will also give you a chance to discover any files that need updating –– all of which makes your day-to-day living just a little bit easier.
  1. Take a break or plan a vacation. Finally, don’t forget to allot some time to take breaks or plan a vacation when it’s safe to do so. Researchers have found that even the thought process and preparation surrounding an upcoming trip can boost happiness and reduce stress for weeks (even more than the anticipation of buying material goods, which so many turn to for stress relief). Use your weekends and vacation leaves to relax and get your mind off of work and the repetitiveness of daily life. Time for yourself helps you avoid burnout, and eventually become more focused and productive once you return.

Building these five habits can help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed in the coming year.

Written for EPB&B by Maeve Oaklyn


What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident

 Being involved in a car accident can leave the most experienced driver feeling scattered and overwhelmed.  Knowing these four basic steps in advance of a potential car accident can help you stay calm and take the steps necessary to protect yourself in the post-collision process. 

  1. Safety First:  Above all else, check yourself and your passengers for injury. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road out of harm’s way.  If the vehicle cannot be moved, stay in the vehicle with the hazard lights on until help arrives. 
  2. Exchange Information. At the scene, it is imperative that you exchange the following information with the other party involved.
    1. Name, address, phone numbers
    2. Insurance Company and  policy numbers
    3. Drivers License numbers
    4. License plate numbers.
    5. Finally, do not admit fault even if you think it might be yours.
  3. Snap Pics.  Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved in the collision.  This will help to show the overall context of the accident. If there are witnesses try and get their contact information as they may be able to help you in the case of a dispute between the parties involved. 
  4. File a Report. Whether a fender bender or a major collision calling the police is important.  Filing an OREGON TRAFFIC ACCIDENT AND INSURANCE REPORT will help with the claims process as you move forward. 

Being involved in a car accident is not something you plan for, but knowing what to do if it happens can help protect you as you navigate what happens next. 

Make sure you carry proof of insurance in your.vehicle at all times.


Four Fun Winter Outings In Portland

 Those of us who have lived in the Pacific Northwest know we still have several rainy grey months before getting a peek of warmer days and sunnier skies, but don’t let a little wet weather keep you from getting out and enjoying what Portland has to offer while supporting local businesses (and valued EPB&B insureds).  

  1. Lan Su Classical Chinese Gardens. Immerse yourself into Chinese culture and history. Nestled in Northwest Portland, you will discover an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to chase away even the grayest day. Lan Su Chinese Garden
  2. Music Millennium and Laurelhurst Market. These two award-winning Portland establishments are conveniently located across the street from each other. Pop into Laurelhurst Market for a top-quality burger or steak then top off your meal by browsing through the aisles of eclectic music, games, and memorabilia of the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest. 
  3. Float Spa. Take a moment to hit pause on the hectic saturated world and give your mind a chance to rest and recharge.  An hour in a quiet, warm private tub has been shown to reduce physical pain, increase creativity, and restore balance.  Try The Float Shoppe and Enso Float both located on Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland. 
  4. Spella Caffe and Waterfront Walk. Nothing tastes better on a grey Portland day than a cup of rich warm espresso, and for the best, try Spella Caffe in Southwest Portland. Roasted Locally in small batches, enjoy a cup as you stroll along Portland’s scenic waterfront. Umbrella optional.


EPB&B Introduces The Newest Member Of Our Team

EPB&B is happy to introduce Jennifer Abernethy to our team as a new Commercial Lines Account Manager.

Jennifer has been in the insurance industry for twenty-five years, the majority of that time spent working in commercial lines. 

Jennifer enjoys educating clients in what she explains can be a very confusing industry. Her goal is to have every client walk away knowing a little more and becoming a more educated consumer. 

“I wanted to work for a locally owned agency,” Jennifer says when asked why she chose EPB&B as her next career move, “and I was drawn to EPB&B’s community involvement and workplace flexibility.” 

A lover of Maine Coon cats and old movies, Jennifer also enjoys gardening, sewing, reading, and spending time with her fifteen-year-old twin boys. 

You can contact Jennifer at Jabernethy@epbb.com.

Welcome to our team Jennifer.