Is Commercial Insurance Required in California?

If you own a small business in California, you’ll want to stay informed on any changes in state law regarding insurance requirements. Currently, California mandates that businesses have two types of insurance at all times – workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance. The first type, workers’ compensation insurance, is required for businesses with any employees and helps pay for the medical bills and lost wages associated with a workplace injury or illness. The second type, commercial auto insurance, is needed for any business-owned vehicle. Additionally, if employees use personal vehicles for work, it is highly recommended that hired and non-owned policies be purchased because most personal auto policies exclude business use. 

While none of the following insurance is required for your business, they are highly recommended as they provide additional coverage should an incident requiring insurance occur. 

  • Cyber Liability Insurance: If your business suffers a cyber-attack, this insurance can be used to cover the cost of notifying impacted customers, regulatory fines, extortion payments, and legal fees.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Covers the legal costs associated with a breach of contract, negligence, and other similar claims made by a customer.
  • Crime Insurance: If your business is the victim of a theft or robbery, this coverage can help you recover from these losses.
  • Business Income Insurance: Should your business be forced to close, this coverage contributes to paying rent and other bills.
  • Commercial Umbrella Insurance: Provides excess liability coverage beyond your existing policy limits. 

Call Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA for more information on insuring your business. Our friendly and knowledgeable team of insurance professionals are happy to answer all your questions and can help customize a commercial insurance policy that best protects your business. 


Do I Need Cyber Liability Insurance For My Business?

Cyber liability insurance protects businesses of all sizes from financial losses incurred by cyber threat actors, including theft, hacking, ransomware, denial of service, and data breaches. Cyber liability insurance is a must if you store sensitive information in the cloud or on a computer, such as social security numbers, health data, or bank account data. While it may be easy to think that small businesses aren’t going to be the target of cyberattacks, criminals seek opportunities. The reality is that the smaller the business, the more vulnerabilities that exist because many companies do not have the money to invest in robust cyber security defense technology. 

With the number of cyberattacks on the rise, having cyber liability insurance can be the difference between surviving or closing your business after an incident. Generally, most cyber liability insurance policies cover the following:

  • Cost of notifying impacted customers
  • Legal fees and expenses
  • Regulatory fines
  • Costs incurred during the recovery of the compromised data
  • Ransom extortion payments. 

In addition to having cyber liability insurance, there are several low-cost steps a business can take to prepare for a cyber attack. Start by having a cyber attack response plan that outlines when customers will be notified and what teams will assist. Additionally, utilize data encryption technology and require robust security training for all employees that discuss their responsibility in preventing an attack. 

To learn more about cyber liability insurance and how it can help your business, give Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA a call to learn more. We’re happy to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a team member to discuss how we can help protect your business from cyberattacks with a robust commercial insurance policy. 

Things home insurance won’t cover

Home insurance is your safety net as a homeowner. So many things can damage your home and your assets. Even the best safety net can’t protect you from everything. At Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA, we don’t believe that one size fits all. Since 1938, we have been customizing home insurance policies to fit each customer’s particular needs. 

All home insurance policies have exclusions. These are things that the policy won’t cover. By knowing what they are, you can make other provisions to make sure that you are not without coverage. 


Floods are one of the most common and damaging natural disasters. Even one inch of water in your home can cause thousands of dollars in damage. The scary part is, floods are not covered by traditional home insurance. You can, however, get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Earth Movement

Earth movement covers several different hazards that are excluded from traditional home insurance. Sinkholes, mudslides, landslides, and earthquakes are all considered earth movement. While your home insurance won’t cover you for these types of earth movement, in California you can get earthquake insurance through the CEA, California Earthquake Authority. 

Sewer Backup

Sewer backup is disgusting and even more disgusting is the fact that your home insurance won’t pay for the cleanup and damage. If you are concerned about this possibility, you can get a sewer backup endorsement for your home policy. 

Owner Neglect

Many things can come under the heading of owner neglect. If you get termite damage, that is owner neglect, you should have your home treated for termites. If your older roof leaks and causes interior damage to your home, you are at fault. You should have replaced your roof. The insurance company expects you to maintain your home. 

Contact Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA when you are ready to have your home insurance customized for you and your home. 

Do I need Commercial Insurance for my Home-based Business?

Are you one of the entrepreneurs pondering a home-based business in San Francisco, CA? You are on the right track because a home-based offers minimal operating costs, flexibility, and freedom of commuting. But have you thought about business insurance from Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc.? Like any business, a home-based business needs commercial insurance for the reasons below:

Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect your home-based business optimally

Most home-based business owners make the mistake of assuming that home insurance covers their business. Unfortunately, typical home insurance excludes business-related risks. For instance, if a customer trips and injures their back when attending a business meeting, home insurance won’t cover the medical costs. Similarly, home insurance won’t cover claims arising from a detached garage business within your home.

To protect your business

Your home-based business may be operating on a small scale, but it has the same kind of risks as its large counterparts. Here are some of the perils covered by commercial insurance for your home-based business:

  • Liability claims: While liability coverage isn’t compulsory in California, every business should invest in this coverage since liability claims are common and costly. Commercial insurance protects your business against claims of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. Plus, it saves you when sued.
  • Assets protection: Commercial insurance protects business assets, such as computers, furniture, and other assets from risks listed in your policy.
  • Workers protection: Whether you are the only worker in your business or have other employees, you must invest in worker’s comp insurance. This coverage protects your employees against work-related injuries and illnesses.

Are you ready to invest in commercial insurance for your San Francisco, CA business? Why don’t you get in touch with Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc.? We offer personalized commercial insurance policies that suit your specific needs.

Does Your Driving History Affect Auto Insurance?

At Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc., we serve many San Francisco, CA residents with fair and reasonable insurance rates. However, we also know that your history can affect your insurance and cause complications. Here’s what you need to know about this factor.

Yes, Your History Can Affect Your Insurance

Insurance companies always take a look at your history before providing you with a policy. For example, they may offer you a higher premium as a result of a poor driving record. Even worse, they’re likely to increase your premiums if you experience any problems after getting a policy.

That said, some issues are not as heavily weighted as others, meaning you might get a minor rate increase compared to a major one. Here are three of the most common concerns that impact your insurance, particularly if they become a recurring problem.

Issues That May Affect Your Rates 

  • Traffic Tickets – Depending on the severity (and volume) of your traffic tickets, your rates will go up at varying levels. First-time offenders are not likely to see an increase in their rates, though. 
  • DUI Tickets – If you get ticketed for a DWI or DUI, you can expect your rate to go up very heavily. This increase is likely even if you’re a first-time offender. It will take many years for this to come off your record, too. 
  • Accidents – Getting into an accident will immediately increase your rates, even if you weren’t to blame. This fact likely seems unfair but is something that insurance companies take very seriously. 

Avoid These Problems

If you’re concerned about the potential damage your history may have due to your insurance, it is crucial to reach out to us at Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. right away to learn more. Our team can help San Francisco, CA residents understand what they can do to minimize these problematic issues.

8 Tips for taking a home inventory

Before buying homeowners insurance, ask yourself one question: 

"What do I need covered?"

The answer lies within your home inventory. A home inventory documents items in the event you need to make a claim. Not only will this speed up the process, but it may also maximize your payment.

For this reason, Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. encourages its clients to conduct a thorough review of their belongings. Located in San Francisco, CA, their agents list eight tips for completing a detailed home inventory.

Break it down

Start small. Divide your home into sections. Tinier areas, like a closet, are great ways to ease into the process and avoid getting overwhelmed. Find a system that works best for you.

Record key info

List basic descriptions of each item. Include estimated value, purchase date, and any sales receipts.

Identify serial numbers

For major electronics and appliances, jot down serial numbers also.

Group like items

Not everything you own needs to be listed individually. Categorize low-cost goods, like clothes, and assign a price for the whole group.

Snap pictures and video

These images can speed up claims. Not only are they helpful reminders, but pictures and videos also capture the condition of belongings before they’re damaged.

Separate high-end valuables

Expensive items may require additional coverage beyond a standard homeowners policy. After identifying jewelry, antiques, and collectibles, check with an agent.

Use technology

Ditch paper and pencil entirely. Home inventory apps, like Nest Egg, are increasingly popular and easy to use.

Update often

At a minimum, review your inventory once a year to add new purchases. In addition to digital records, keep a backup copy somewhere else.

Consult an agent serving San Francisco, CA

Once you’ve conducted a home inventory, Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. will help find a home insurance policy that’s right for you.

What is Gap Insurance? And is it Worth to Buy?

Gap insurance can be considered as additional insurance for your car loan. Gap insurance is not mandatory. It is an optional insurance benefit. It serves as a supplement to an auto insurance policy in case a car is totaled or stolen.

The value of a car decreases from the moment it leaves the lot, and it continues to decrease with each passing year. Car insurance pays out the value of the car at the time of an accident or theft. In the event that you still owe money on the car and the insurance paid out is less than the amount owed, gap insurance covers the gap between what is still owed on the car loan and what is paid out by the insurance company.

Is gap insurance worth it?

The term gap insurance stands for guaranteed asset protection. In the event that your debt on your vehicle is higher than the value of the vehicle, gap insurance is a good investment.

If your down payment on a car is less than 20% of the value of the vehicle, it’s best to get gap insurance. At least for the first few years, you own a car.

Gap insurance is usually only required for one to two years. This is because the insurance has served its purpose during this period.

Gap insurance is needed even if you have full auto coverage and you still owe money on a car loan or on a lease. Bear in mind, comprehensive and collision insurance only pays the value of the car at the time of an accident or when it is stolen. 

Speak to an expert at Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. serving San Francisco, CA, to see which insurance options best suit you.

Do You Need Commercial Insurance for Your California Business?

You have opened your own business and could not be happier but the agents at Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA want to help you protect your business from any adverse events that may occur in the future. You can protect your business by having the correct amount of commercial insurance coverage in place.

Worker’s Compensation

In the state of California, you must have worker’s compensation in place. This type of coverage will pay for the medical bills and lost wages of any employee who is injured on the job.

Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

If your business owns vehicles or personal vehicles are used for business purposes, you should have commercial auto liability insurance in place in case an accident occurs. This will protect you and your business if an auto accident does occur while the vehicle is in use for business purposes.

Liability Insurance

It is important to have a liability insurance policy in place that will protect customers or others that visit your business and could become injured at the physical location of your business or because of an incident that occurs involving your business.

Property Insurance

It is important to have business insurance that covers the building your business is located in and any merchandise and other equipment and items that are part of your business. This will help you if your business sustains damages due to a fire, natural disaster, vandalism, or burglary incident.

Other Commercial Insurance Options

You can also obtain other commercial insurance coverage options including cyber liability that will help you recover costs that are lost due to a breach in the security of your client’s personal information. You can also obtain insurance that will help protect you from slander and other legal issues that can arise involving your business.

To create the best commercial insurance policy for your business, call upon the commercial insurance specialists at Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, CA today to get your policy started!

All You Need to Know About Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is the type of insurance that is designed to protect tenants that rent properties and their personal belongings. It covers unexpected events, including fire and theft, and injuries to guests and visitors. Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. serving San Francisco, CA and other surrounding towns prepared a brief guide containing the key information about renters insurance that you should know. 

What Are The Types of Renters Insurance?

It is made up of three types of insurance, including the following: 

  • Personal property coverage. It covers personal belongings from destruction or loss. 
  • Additional living expenses coverage. Provide finances for renting another housing if your rented home is damaged and temporarily is not inhabitable.
  • Personal liability coverage. It covers the damages caused to other people and their properties. 

What Is Not Covered By Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance has its own limitations and does not cover everything. For example, it does not cover the following:

  • Expensive and valuable belongings, such as jewelry, artifacts, pieces of art, etc. 
  • Roommates, unless they are named on the policy.
  • Medical bills. It does not cover your personal medical bills, even if you injure yourself at home. 
  • Business inventory and equipment. If you want to run a home business, you should know that neither your business nor inventory and equipment are covered by renters insurance. 
  • Floods. Renters insurance covers accidental water damage but not the damage caused by heavy rain or flooding. If you want to protect your property and belongings from a flood, you should buy a separate flooding insurance policy. 

Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. – An Insurance Brokerage Firm You Can Trust

If you are renting a home, you should definitely have renters insurance – it will protect you and your belongings from the unexpected. Our insurance firm serving clients in San Francisco, CA specializes in all kinds of insurance policies, including renters insurance. If you have any questions, or you want to discuss the options available, feel free to give us a call. 

How Natural Disasters Impact Home Insurance Policies

Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. provides coverage to the San Francisco, CA community. For over 50 years, we have helped our clients find the policies they need to protect their assets. We offer multiple types of coverage designed to help people regardless of their situation. We will sit down with you and help you evaluate your options.

How Natural Disasters Impact Home Insurance Policies

Your San Francisco, CA home is one of your most prized possessions. Home insurance allows you to live comfortably because you are protected if something goes wrong. All of your personal items are covered if they are damaged or stolen. Any damage to the interior and exterior of your home is covered. If you plan to invite guests over, liability coverage protects you if one of your guests is injured. Liability coverage also protects you if you cause property damage.

Home insurance covers any property damage due to a natural disaster such as a fire. However, you may need to amend your policy in order to cover other potential disasters such as flooding. Flood insurance protects your home if a hurricane moves through the area and leaves flood damage. Keep in mind that flood insurance is different from interior damage caused by a broken pipe. Flood insurance will not cover those damages. Earthquake insurance is an option to consider, as the West Coast is prone to the occasional tremor. You are protected if your home suffers damage due to strong vibrations. You can also add wind damage to protect your property if strong winds damage your roof or cause flying objects to damage your home or add on structures.

Biddle-Shaw Insurance Services Inc. Will Help You Protect Your Assets

Visit our website to learn more information about home insurance.