Identity Theft Insurance:  Do This Immediately If You Fall Victim

Identity theft insurance can help you if you have unauthorized charges on your account, a credit card bill missing from the mail, or a loan or credit application being denied despite your good credit. Any of these could be a sign your identity has been stolen. 

At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker we have shared ways you can protect yourself from common inroads used by criminals and measures companies should take  to avoid data breach exposing your personal information, but despite the best due diligence, Identity theft continues to be a real threat. If you suspect you have fallen victim to identity theft, the most important thing is to act fast. 

  1.  Call Your Credit Card Company. The moment you notice obscure charges on your bill call your credit card company. If contacted within 60 days of the fraudulent charges most companies will refund your money and send you a new card.
  2. Contact The FTC. The Federal Trade Commission will walk you through the steps of the recovery process, help you complete all relevant reports and forms, and develop a plan for protection moving forward. 
  3. File A Police Report. When you file a report with the police, give them as much information as possible such as copies of relevant bills and credit reports, and communications (with irrelevant information blacked out). Make sure to obtain a copy of the filed police report to show to your creditors during the recovery process. 

Being a victim of identity theft can be frightening, and overwhelming. Be diligent in your financial oversight by checking your accounts and charges at least once a week if not more, taking measures to protect your social security number, and familiarize yourself with the warning signs of identity theft.  

For more information about adding Identity Theft coverage to your existing insurance policy, please contact the EPB&B Personal Lines Team at insure@epbb.com.

If you suspect someone is using your identity, you can obtain a free credit report from one of the three major credit Bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and transUnion.


Rave Review For Team Member Donna Jones

 At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker our team of dedicated professionals strive to provide a positive customer experience.  When we meet or exceed the expectations of our customers we love to hear about it.  Positive reviews from our happy customers help other people seeking insurance for their personal or business needs feel confident in choosing EPB&B.

It is our amazing team members that make the difference.  This month we would like to highlight Donna Jones Personal Lines Account Manager for recently receiving a rave review on Google by one of our loyal customers, Catherine W.   

  “I rarely write reviews, but my husband and I have had the most fabulous experience working with Donna Jones at EPB&B that I wanted to share. Donna has been helping us for years with multiple home and liability policies (the houses being in 4 different states which add complication). Donna is highly responsive and knowledgeable. She asks all the right questions, which helps us figure out what we need, and then presents us with multiple policy options, all in a very detailed, user-friendly format. Donna is as pleasant and nice as she is smart and capable. When we moved away from Portland I was scared to ask if she could still help us in fear the answer would be no. Fortunately, however, we still have Donna on our team, and thus have all of our insurance needs taken care of in the highest quality way. Thank you, Donna.” 

Thank you Donna for your dedication and commitment to your customers, and to Catherine we appreciate you taking the time to write a review in recognition of one of our outstanding team members.   

Donna Jones, Personal Lines Account Manager.
“Donna’s passion for detail in providing personal lines coverage options is so valued,” says EPB&B President Marc Baker, “and has been a great benefit to our customers for years.”


Gas Theft Is On The Rise; Four Ways To Protect Yourself 

It is flammable, poisonous, and hard to carry, but that isn’t stopping criminals from trying to get their hands on this increasingly hot commodity. Gasoline. As prices at the pump continue to rise, so have the incidents of gas theft. For victims of this crime, not only is it inconvenient but it can be expensive as thieves are resorting the methods such as drilling through gas tanks to get their hands on the fuel. 

Here are four ways to help protect yourself from falling victim to gas theft. 

  1. Light It Up. Although parking in the garage in the best plan, if you must park on the street try and do so under a street light. The more light that is illuminated on your car, the more likely the thief will move on to an easier target. 
  2. Lock Your Tank. To deter a thief from easily siphoning gas from your tank, consider investing in a gas cap lock.  
  3. Face The Road. When you park, do so with the gas door facing the road. Thieves are more likely to bypass a car that leaves them exposed to the eyes of those passing by.
  4. Get A Ride. Airport parking lots are a haven for gas thieves. When traveling, get a ride to the airport to avoid leaving your car unattended in long term parking. 

As always, if you see suspicious activity please call the police. 

According to AAA, Oregon ranks sixth highest in the nation for gas pump prices.


Striving For Excellence: EPB&B Team Member Denice Nelson Recognized

At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker we do not believe in “good enough.” When it comes to serving our customers we strive to go above and beyond to ensure an exceptional customer experience, which includes helping our customers get the right insurance coverage to meet their needs.  

We are fortunate to have a strong working partnership with many of our carriers.  This allows for open communication, an interchange of ideas, and open feedback on how improvements can be made to better serve our customers.  Recently, in an effort to advocate for one of our customers, Denice Nelson, Personal Lines Account Manager, identified an inconsistency and reached out to Safeco Insurance to see if they could help.

The response was immediate and a solution was implemented quickly thanks to the team effort at Safeco Insurance .

“At Safeco we have been on a journey of continuous improvement for a couple of years.  This commitment to improving is fostered through a growth mindset, and a willingness to entertain new ideas and embrace change.  We are fortunate at Safeco that in Oregon we also enjoy strong partnerships with our Independent Agents.  Recently we experienced an interaction with Denice Nelson of EPB&B that highlighted both our partnership together and this effort to improve.  Because of Denice, we discovered some gains in communication and efficiencies that will lead to a better customer experience.  We are so thankful for Denice and her willingness to share.  As a result, her customers at EPB&B will continue to get the care they are accustomed to and deserve.”-Craig Beeson, AVP and Region Director for Safeco

We are thankful to have such dedicated team members like Denice and strong partnerships with companies such as Safeco, which allows us to provide an unparalleled experience for our customers. 

” I have worked with Safeco for 35 years.  I take pride in my customer service and working at
EPB&B.  I look forward to many more years of growth and success.”-Denice Nelson, Personal Lines Account Manager  


Healthy Spring Cleaning; Don’t Forget To Clean These  

Rain, sun, snow, it must be Spring in Oregon.  Take advantage of these chilly, wet days  to dig into some spring cleaning. Before you start organizing closets and tackling the kid’s rooms, don’t forget to give some extra attention to the often overlooked items that work tirelessly to help us keep our homes clean all year long.

1. Washing Machine.  The soap residue, minerals, and chemicals from your detergent can get locked inside your washing machine and create a thin film that traps bacteria. These bacteria can clog the inner mechanisms, so your water doesn’t get as hot, and your detergent won’t be as strong. Not to mention they can create quite a stink after a while. Give your machine a monthly clean utilizing hot water and white vinegar to keep your clothes fresh and clean. 

2. Dishwasher.  Even if it is self-cleaning, food bits and detergent particles can clog up the drain and cause bacteria to build, ultimately diminishing the efficiency of your washer. Learn the best way to clean your washer here.

3. Sponges. You can only imagine what’s lurking in your kitchen sponge, right? That squishy square can house up to 300 types of bacteria that end up on your hands, countertops, and in your food. Although there are many ways to clean your sponge, the quickest is to pop it (make sure it’s wet) in the microwave for about a minute.

When you are ready to tackle the whole house, here is a checklist that can help keep you on track.  So get busy and when the sun does come out you can go outside and play. 


What Type Of Insurance Do I Need?

By: Ramona Childers- Portland Homeowners Insurance is a must. You wouldn’t walk into a shoe store and expect every pair to fit perfectly, and insurance is like that too, not one size fits all. When it comes to where you live, every situation requires a different type of coverage to ensure you and your possessions are properly covered. Here is a rundown on what you need to know when shopping for insurance coverage.

Homeowners Insurance. This insurance is needed if you are living in a home you own and should cover the following: (Specific type of coverage is noted in parenthesis).

  • Repairs or replaces the physical structures including the home, outbuildings like workshops, fences, driveways, and walkways. (Dwelling)
    Replaces your stuff inside that is not attached or built-in. (Personal Property)
  • Helps with expenses if you need to stay somewhere else while your home is being repaired. (Loss of Use)
  • Helps protect your assets if you are found at fault for something such as a visitor slipping on your driveway and suing for damages.  (Liability)
    Landlord Insurance. This is the type of insurance needed if you are renting out your home to someone else. (even if you are not accepting money from the tenant).
  •  Repairs or replaces the physical structures including the home, outbuildings like workshops, fences, driveways, and walkways. (Dwelling)
  •  Replaces your property left for the tenant to use such as appliances and furniture that is not attached. (Personal Property)
  •  Pays you for lost rent if the tenant has to stay somewhere else while your home is being repaired. (Loss of Rents)
  •  Helps protect your assets if you are found at fault for something at this home. (Premises Liability)

Renters Insurance. This is the type of insurance needed if you are renting someone else’s property.

  • Replaces your stuff inside the dwelling. (Personal Property)
  • Helps cover expenses if you need to stay somewhere else while your place of residence is being repaired. (Loss of Use)
  • Helps protect your assets if you are found at fault for something. (Liability)

Depending on your situation, there are many different types of add-on coverages that may help protect you and your property. At EPB&B we can help find the coverage that is right for you. 


Auto Insurance: April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

Personal auto insurance is an important safety net because accidents happen. A  bite of a burger, checking navigation, and flipping through music can be an accident waiting to happen, and that is why April of every year attention is brought to the seriousness of driving while distracted.   

Even the best drivers are taking a risk when they multitask on the road.  Here are some facts to consider.

  • One in four car accidents in the US is caused by texting and driving. 
  • It takes up to thirteen seconds to re-focus your surroundings after looking up from a cell phone, even just a glance. 
  • Eating while driving poses an even bigger risk than talking on a cell phone.
  • 96% of people think texting while driving is dangerous – yet 44% do it.
  • According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 71% of large truck accidents involved the driver doing something other than just driving the vehicle. 
  • And more.

So although your kids may be bickering and your phone may be pinging, please keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, and let’s keep ourselves, our families, and each other, safe out there.  Contact us to find the right personal auto insurance to fit your needs.

According to the Center For Disease Control, about 1 in 5 of the people who died in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019 were not in vehicles―they were walking, riding their bikes, or otherwise outside a vehicle.