03/29/22

Cars And Bicycles: Six Rules For Sharing The Road

It’s Spring, and Oregonians are ready to be out and about enjoying the warmer weather, and for many that means strapping on a helmet and hitting the road.  Cycling is great for commuting, exercising, or enjoying an outing with friends, but the influx of bikes on the road, especially in cycle-friendly Portland,  can be distressing for drivers.  Bicycles have the same rights to the road as any other vehicle, and in the same respect, they are also required to follow the same laws and road rules as drivers. Here are some tips for drivers and bicyclists that will allow both to share the road safely.

FOR DRIVERS:

  • Maintain Distance. Drivers should maintain a three-foot distance between their vehicle and a bicycle. When passing a bicyclist,  do so smoothly while maintaining a consistent speed and distance. 
  • Turn Cautiously.  When making a left-hand turn be mindful of an approaching bicycle and when in doubt, yield as their speed may be faster than you think. When turning right, check your rearview mirror to check for a cyclist that may be approaching from behind. 
  • Know the Signals.  It is a bicyclist’s responsibility to signal their intended movement  and as a driver, it is your responsibility to react accordingly as you would for a brake light or vehicle turn signal.  

FOR BICYCLIST:

  • Be Predictable.  A bike is more nimble than a vehicle and easier to do quick turns but to a driver, this can cause a knee-jerk reaction that can create an unsafe situation.  Avoid any sudden turns or swerves that might cause a driver to react without warning. 
  • Assume You Cannot Be Seen. To avoid collision, assume you are invisible to drivers. Do your best to stay out of the vehicles blind spot and attempt eye contact and acknowledgement with a driver before making turns.
  • Be Aware of Parked Cars.  A vehicle does not have to be moving to be a hazard.  Maintain slow pace and keep a watchful eye out for car doors that might unexpectedly swing open catching you off guard. 

Both vehicles and bicycles have the right to be on the road and being aware of the laws and respectful of each other will allow everyone to get where they are going safely.  

Oregon Law dictates that drivers must give a bicyclist enough space to avoid collision should the cyclist fall on a road with a speed limit of 35 MPH or greater.

03/22/22

Give Insurance A Chance; EPB&B Employment Program Sees Success 

“I want to be a doctor, a basketball player, a teacher, an insurance agent. “ Well, that last one isn’t exactly an often uttered sentiment.  But at Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker we think it could be. That is why we have developed a  program that allows people looking for a career path to give insurance a chance.

“We have developed  a program over time that has given those looking for a new career to see if insurance is a good fit for them,” says EPB&B President Marc Baker,. “It gives a person insight into the different opportunities available to them within our agency and the industry.” 

The program has been so successful, EPB&B  has seen a  retention rate of over 80% and currently has seven team members who have successfully transitioned from an entry position as the Vice President of First Impressions, aka the receptionist, to other positions within EPB&B. 

Where are they now? Here are our current team members who began their career at EPB&B at the front desk. If you are interested in starting a career in insurance contact Charte@epbb.com.

03/18/22

Spring Vacation: 3 Simple Ways To Secure Your Home While You Are Away

Spring break is here, and after the past two years being backyard bound, many of us are headed for some fun in the sun. In the best case, your home is well-protected with a security alarm and camera, but regardless, don’t forget to employ these three simple steps before grabbing your bags and hitting the road.

  1. Make It Look Like Someone Is Home. You may be lying poolside in Hawaii, but potential burglars don’t need to know that. Set your timers and smart appliances to turn on at various times. Have a friend park in your driveway and set your widow coverings as you normally would. Ask a neighbor to check your doorstep for any forgotten/delayed deliveries that may occur while you are gone.
  2. Resist The Urge To Share: It is so tempting to post that pic beachside with your besties, but that social share is also an advertisement that your home may be empty. Ideally, it is best to wait until you get home to share the fun, but if you cannot resist the urge, make sure you turn off the geotagging feature on your phone and consider posting to “friends only” on social media.
  3. Remove The Key. Even with smart locks, most of us have a hidden, possibly long forgotten backup key tucked away somewhere. Even if we think its the perfect spot, a well-seasoned criminal knows all the best hiding places. To be safe, give your spare to a neighbor for those “just in case” scenarios that might arise while you are gone.
    A few extra steps will give you peace of mind, knowing your home is well secured so you can enjoy your well-deserved vacation.
It’s been a long couple of years, so go enjoy your vacation knowing your home is safe and secure.

03/15/22

Three Tips To Stay Resilient Through Difficult Times

The masks have come off, and more people are out and about as the fast-paced rhythm of life slowly returns to the pre-pandemic levels.   While this is good news, these changes, coupled with ongoing uncertainty in the world can be stressful for many Americans.   

Here are three tips to consider you navigate the unpredicted events and uncomfortable emotions that might come your way.

1. Be Self- Compassionate. When life gets difficult recognize that what you’re experiencing is challenging. Give yourself permission to say, “this is hard.” Remind yourself that what you are feeling is valid. And don’t forget to breathe

2. Be Flexible. When life doesn’t go as planned, flexibility allows us to form a “Plan B”, and that can feel uncomfortable. These unexpected times are when flexibility is most important. Allow yourself to let go of previously held standards that don’t make sense in the present situation.  Give yourself permission to pivot

3. Commit To Self-care. When things get challenging, sometimes we tend to put ourselves last.  When physically drained, we’re more emotionally reactive, our thinking is clouded and our judgment is impaired. Times of stress are when taking care of yourself needs to take top priority.  Eating a healthy diet, partaking in enjoyable physical activity, and getting enough sleep is imperative.

Take care of yourselves and each other. 

03/10/22

Three Tips To Spring Forward Safely This Weekend

Is it only an hour, right? As we turn our clocks forward this Sunday March 13th , we may gain more daylight, but that one-hour time loss can shake our bodies up just enough to create some adverse side effects. So as you spring forward, here are few things to keep an eye on.

  1. Distracted Driving. A 2020 study showed a 6% increase in traffic accident risk the during the daylight savings time transition, most likely due to decreased alertness, slower reaction time, and darker morning commutes. 
  1. Heart Scares. Studies have linked an increase in heart attacks by twenty-five percent the day after the clock’s turn. Be extra mindful of heart attack symptoms including dizziness, tightness in the shoulders, and shortness of breath.
  1. The Munchies. When our bodies are tired, there is a spike in the hunger hormone, Ghrelin.  This can cause  more munching throughout the day on sugary carb-laden snacks to find energy. Turn to lean protein, whole grains, and keep hydrated instead to keep you energized as your body adjusts to the change in time. 

One hour can make a difference in our bodies so this weekend spring forward with a little extra care.

One hour can make a difference. So give yourself a little extra time, and fuel.

03/07/22

Three Ways To Protect Your Business From Data Breach and Cyber Crime 

By: Justine Avera, Producer

Several recent high-profile breaches of trusted Oregon brands like Yoshida, McMenamins, and Bob’s Red Mill have exposed employee data and brought operational software and reservation and booking systems to a standstill.  Insurance companies are reacting to the increase in E-Crime and data breaches by toughening up their requirements before an offer of coverage is made.  Here are three things businesses can do to protect themselves from cyberattacks:

  1. Conduct an annual company-wide cyber and data security audit.
  2. Develop a cyber-attack and breach response handbook.
  3. Offer regular staff training on how to protect password credentials, and avoid social engineering and phishing attacks. 

As a Cyber Security insurance professional, I can help guide you through the process of protecting you and your business from cyberattacks. You can reach me at javera@epbb.com and 503-445-8402.

03/03/22

Q&A With Molly Martin: Get To Know EPB&B’s  New Surety Producer 

Elliott, Powell Baden, and Baker is excited to introduce our new Surety Producer, Molly Martin.  Molly has been working in the surety industry for six years and has over twenty years of experience working in some aspects of the construction industry.  We asked Molly to share a bit about her experience, her career path, and her life outside of work. 

What is it that you like about working in the industry? I love the constantly changing environment of risk management for construction. I love to see clients’ projects from beginning to end and those usually start with bonds. I enjoy working with a client who wants to grow their business from smaller jobs to much larger projects. Bonding capacity is important to help in this process, and there are ways to guide a client through smart growth that is sustainable. The insurance side of construction is not stagnant, the insurance regulations, the forms from carriers, the economy’s effect on building, and products offered for insurance require you to be engaged and aware. It keeps me on my toes – I love it!

What made you choose EPB&B as the next step in your career path? EPB&B is a unique agency. The current landscape of agencies in OR and WA is mass consolidation, and a large firm like that does not appeal to me. I am community-focused, and Pacific NW-focused. We have unique projects here, and I’ve always leaned toward the community mindset in my sales background. How can I help my community? How can I help my clients? I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences that got me here. I love the ability to give back and to be a resource for my clients rather than bottom-line focused. EPB&B models this approach as well. The agency’s pride and commitment to the community around is visible, and I think Marc Baker does a great job at supporting us as agents to keep this mindset. I’m so excited to build a home here and keep growing.

What would you like to share about your life outside of work?  I am an ultramarathoner currently training for a 200-mile race around Lake Tahoe. We have 5 children and are currently living in our home construction addition.  I have some stories if anyone wants to hear them!

Thank you Molly, and welcome to the team.