Spring Flooding: Are You Protected? 

Flooding is the most common and expensive natural disaster, but few businesses and homeowners are adequately prepared and insured.  In a recent statement  from the NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) it estimated that almost 50% of the United States is at risk for spring flooding.  Take steps now to make sure you are protected from damage caused by flooding.  

What is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance covers losses directly caused by flooding. In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties.

Is Flood Insurance included in my homeowner’s policy? 

Flood insurance is separate from Home or Property insurance. It is written by the National Flood Insurance Program  (NFIP) and administered by FEMA. The NFIP has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. Flood coverage is separate because floods are expensive for insurers to cover in a standard policy while keeping premiums affordable. Floods are extremely costly and very common in flood-prone areas. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect, so the time to buy is well before a disaster.

What Does Flood Insurance cover?

There are two types of flood insurance, Building Coverage and Content Insurance.

Building Coverage covers:

  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting
  • Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases
  • Window blinds
  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases.
  • Detached garages
  • Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment

Content Insurance Covers:

  • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Washer and dryer
  • Portable and window air conditioners
  • Microwave oven
  • Carpets not included in building coverage (e.g., carpet installed over wood floors)
  • Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)

 Do I Need Flood Insurance: 

If your property is located in a higher-risk flood zone, your lender may require it. Flood insurance is also available if you are not in a high-risk flood zone, and property owners may be eligible to purchase the coverage at lower-cost preferred rates. Even if the property isn’t in a flood zone, it may be wise to carry the coverage.

Contact us  today if you are covered for flood, and don’t forget to update your building and contents values annually.

Here are some precautionary measures you can take to prevent spring flooding from causing damage to your home or business:

1. Direct water away from structures, expand stormwater cache systems and have sand bags at the ready.

2. Store goods a minimum of 8 to 12 inches above historic flood heights.

3. Have an evacuation plan in place.

4. Do a structural and site survey to evaluate year-round weather-related stressors like the weight of snow and ice, storm surge, surface water flooding, mud slides, and dam breaks/levee failures.


Do You Need Life Insurance?

By: Frank Baccellieri, Producer, EPB&B Insurance

Life can be hard, but buying life insurance does not need to be.  Life insurance is a compassionate way to financially protect the dreams of those you care about. At Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker we will help you find the right life insurance for your family’s future.

What Is Life Insurance

Life Insurance is a form of financial protection for the beneficiary(s). At the insured person’s death, the insurer provides funds to the beneficiary(s) for their needs and or wants tax free. The premature death of a parent is devastating. Most households these days have both parents in the workforce. The loss of one person’s income is life-changing for many. Life insurance can mitigate some financial loss and give the spouse and children time to consider their options and make life changes they may need or want to make. Final life and death expenses run thousands of dollars, and Life Insurance can make those costs easier or able to bear. 

What Types Of Life Insurance Should I Consider?

There are two primary types of Life Insurance, Term Insurance, and Permanent Insurance. 

  1. Term Insurance is level guaranteed premium insurance for a specific term, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. It’s more like your other insurance in that you,  pay it and have coverage for the policy term. Most Term Insurance can run longer than the specific term, but the cost goes up to the insurers Policy rates for the persons age at the end of the policy term. EXAMPLE: A thirty year old who buys a 30 year term policy, contracts a life threatening disease before age sixty, and may be ineligible to buy a new policy. At age sixty the “term” ends, but the insured will pay the 60-year-old age rated cost, and each year thereafter, age 61, 62 and so on. 
  2. Permanent Insurance is purchased when you have a permanent need for insurance. This can be anything from income replacement, estate taxes, asset transfers, business transfers, business continuations, and deferred compensation. Permanent insurance has the cash value component. These policies have a cash value which is a component to keeping the policy in force in later years. The cash can be borrowed subject to the terms and conditions. 

Other uses for Life Insurance can be to provide cash for those with estates that incur inheritance taxes. Having the cash to pay the taxes and legal expenses, may allow the beneficiary keep an asset they might otherwise have to sell in order to pay those taxes. 

Businesses also buy Life Insurance for “Key Persons”. Owners insure each other and/or key personnel to provide ready funds at a death. This can be for buyout needs, finding and hiring a replacement, loss of business income, etc. 

How Do I Qualify For Life Insurance? 

To buy Life Insurance, you will need to provide personal information, which includes your medical background, and your doctor’s information. If buying $100,000 or more coverage, a “paramed exam” may be done at your home or work. Typically blood can be drawn or other short tests as may be needed. 

 There are several types of life insurance, and at Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker our dedicated life insurance team will help customize a policy that is just right for you. It is important to be aware that life insurance becomes more expensive as your age, so the sooner you make the decision to secure your future, the more options and flexibility you will have.   Please contact us for a no-obligation life insurance quote.

Frank Baccellieri, Producer. Valued EPB&B team member since 2005

Elliott, Powell, Baden and Baker 

PH: 503 445-1234

E: Fbaccellieri@epbb.com


2023 SCAMs To Add To Your Watch List

Scammers are tricky. Just when one scam is exposed, another one pops up, and now with access to so many of us via digital measures, it is hard to know if what we are receiving is the real deal or a scam in disguise. 

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), most con artists have now taken a digital-first approach to scamming, noting that the vast majority of today’s scams originate through digital means, such as social media or email. Reported by the AARP, here are three of the top scams anti-fraud experts are tracking in 2023 and what you can do to protect yourself.

  1. Crypto Currency-Romance Scams. Fraudsters develop fake online profiles on dating apps and other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. They then reach out to people on the apps and attempt to develop a relationship. The scammer may claim to live in another country, but they are interested in meeting and taking the relationship to another level. They may also suggest you move your “relationship” to a private channel like email or a chat app. When the time is right, the fraudster poses an urgent request for money, and requests you send money via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or crypto assets.

What You Can Do: 

  • Only download reputable apps 
  • Be wary of anyone asking you to send money via gift cards, wire transfers, or crypto assets.
  • Avoid anyone who tries to move the relationship too fast. 

2. Payday Loan Scams. Criminals are taking advantage of the tight economy by preying on those who might be looking for a way to ease their burden by offering fake payday loans. A legitimate payday loan is a short-term loan of usually less than $500 that costs a fee to acquire. The borrower gets the money to pay bills. In this scam however, the scammer takes the money, and the borrower gets nothing. 

What You Can Do: 

  • Don’t give your money to anyone asking for it in the form of gift cards or any non traceable form of payment. 

3. One-Time Password Scam. It seems every institution or platform requires two-factor authentication. For legitimate sites, this is good as it protects you from being hacked. But scammers have found a way to use this to their advantage. They are using bots that will send an email or text to you from a site that looks like a bank or well-known online shopping site, alerting you to activity on your account and asking you to enter the code sent if you do not recognize the activity. Don’t take the bait. The code is actually a way the scammer tries to get personal information and hack into your accounts.

What You Can Do: 

  • Never share a code or other personal information that comes to you unsolicited via phone, email, or text. 

These are just a few of the many scams that are currently floating around for 2023. Be cautious and aware, and do some research. If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.  

 Contact us to see how your insurance can protect you from fraudulent activity.


Spring Forward Safely This Sunday March 12th, With These Three Tips

Is it only an hour, right? As we turn our clocks forward this Sunday March 12th , we may gain more daylight, but that one-hour time loss can shake our bodies up just enough to create some adverse side effects until they adjust. 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. Daylight saving time takes a toll on your heart. One study found a 24 percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday after daylight saving time starts. Another found the risk of stroke is 8 percent higher on the two days following the time change. 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. 

This Spring time change means the colder, darker days will soon make way for the warmer weather and longer days so give your body a little time to adjust then go enjoy the extra daylight.

Many rely on caffeine to help them get through the midday slump, but try and stop sipping by 2pm so it does not interfere with your sleep as your body adjusts.


EPB&B Supports Birch Community Services In Addressing Hunger And Hardship

Giving back to our community is a core value at  Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker Insurance. This week we were honored to put that part of our mission to work by donating $5,000 to Birch Community Services.  Birch Community Services (BCS) addresses the roots of hunger and economic hardship in our community. Their mission is to provide a community where people can be responsible and accountable for meeting their basic needs and to equip them with tools to overcome financial difficulty.  They do this through:

  • Supplying groceries and clothing items to families to help them save money so they can pursue financial goals.
  • Providing financial courses and one-on-one meetings to effectively educate and advise on achieving financial goals.
  • Creating a community of dignity and accountability through participants volunteering together. 

“ We are honored to be a steadfast supporter of Birch Community Services,” says EPB&B President Marc Baker.  “The work they do for individuals and families in our community is life-changing, and we are proud to support their mission.”   


The EPB&B Team Answers Five Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Car Insurance.

Shopping for auto insurance can be tricky, and despite what you may see on TV and social media, there is no one size fits all plan.  The key to finding the right auto insurance for a reasonable price is to ask MANY questions.  That is why it is wise to use an independent agent.  With decades of combined experience in the industry, the Personal Lines team at Elliott, Powell Baden, and Baker Insurance is dedicated to being a trusted advisor and advocate for their customers. Here they answer some of the most frequently asked customer questions in regard to buying car insurance. 

Q: What does “full coverage” really cover?

A: The term “full coverage” is antiquated and misleading; most insurance agents and brokers no longer use it.  Because insurance has evolved to add additional ala carte coverages that suit every individual’s different needs, “full coverage” means something different for everyone.  It used to mean a person had liability and physical damage coverage(comprehensive and collision) for their car.  Now with the additions of Uninsured motorists, Person Injury Protection, Rental, Roadside, and New Car Replacement, it is best to seak with your insurance agent to find the right additions to your policy and what the law requires. –Kim Hawkins, Personal Lines Manager 

Q: How much Auto Liability Coverage do I need?

A: The State of Oregon says you must carry a MINIMUM of 25/50/20. That’s $25,000 per person for bodily injury in an accident, a maximum paid of $50,000 in bodily injury for all involved in the accident, with Property Damage Liability at $20,000. This number hasn’t changed in over 30 years while prices, technology, and medical costs continue to rise.  Choosing a liability limit needs to be a conversation with your agent, but the best rule of thumb is to choose a liability limit for what MAY happen. .-Kim Hawkins, Personal Lines Manager  

 Q: Does my auto insurance cover me if I rent a car?  

A:  If a customer rents a car in the U.S. or Canada, their auto insurance will extend the same coverage to the rental vehicle.  That said, we strongly encourage insureds to purchase the insurance offered by the rental agency.  The rental agency can charge for diminished value as well as their loss of rental income while their vehicle is in the shop being repaired.  A personal auto policy does not cover those charges. Furthermore, if a person is in an accident they can simply hand the keys back to the rental car agency and be on their way!  We ALWAYS advise insureds to purchase rental car coverage if they travel outside the U.S., Canada, and it’s territories. -April Preston- Personal Lines Account Manager 

Q. When I loan my car to someone, does my insurance cover it or theirs?

 A.  Your auto insurance policy is responsible for your car when someone else driving it is involved in an accident. A common myth is that if a friend borrowing your car has insurance, their policy covers any damage done to your car. That’s not the case.If a friend borrows your car and causes an accident, your insurance policy pays for any at-fault damages. A rule of thumb to remember in this situation is “car insurance follows the car, not the driver.” It’s still a good idea to ensure whoever drives your car has their own insurance policy, though. Their coverage can help pay for damage caused by an at-fault accident, in certain circumstances, for example, when your policy limits have been exhausted.-Denice Nelson, Personal Lines Account Manager 

Q: I wasn’t my fault, so why did my rates increase?

 A: I advise that any claims CAN impact your rates. While some carriers do not surcharge for non-fault auto claims or ONLY charge for claims over a certain threshold of damages paid, other carriers charge for all claims. Often times Not At Fault (NAF) claims will impact your ‘experience’ rating with the carrier, so they may not apply a specific surcharge (like they do if you get a violation/ticket)  and instead, their rating factors may change the ‘tier’ you are in which alters the rates/pricing. Alternately a carrier may not surcharge you for the accident, but you will lose discounts, such as claims-free or accident-free which can then ,cause your rates to ‘increase’ due to the loss of valuable discounts. –Breanna Horton, Personal Lines Account Manager

If you have questions, the team at EPB&B has the answers.  Contact us and we will help find the right auto insurance to fit your needs.