How To Find the Best Insurance Agents in Alameda County CA
Companies selling insurance in Alameda County CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol are those insurance agents who have exceeded the minimum California regulatory standard. They are the ones proven to have passed the TOP 10 requirements for competency and value, and for whom our staff has called previous clients to verify high satisfaction with them as insurance agents in Alameda County CA, including for car insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance, general liability, worker's comp, and more.
Updated November 04, 2016
Alameda, CA 94501
Oakland, CA 94612
Oakland, CA 94607
Hayward, CA 94541
Livermore, CA 94550
Pleasanton, CA 94588
How To Find the Best Insurance Agents in Alameda County CA
The state of California requires insurance brokers and insurance agents in Alameda County CA to be licensed by the California Department of Insurance.
But that state license is no guarantee that any particular insurance agent in Alameda County CA is competent, doing business ethically, providing value, or satisfying clients.
This makes it all the more significant that all insurance agencies in Alameda County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have been cleared by our research staff, and have passed all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous clients to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified state license, sufficient time in business, best business practices, and more.
Independent agents, captive agents, and insurance brokers explained.
Independent agents represent more than one insurance company and can pick among multiple insurance policies. Captive agents (also called direct writers) are insurance agents that represent one insurance company. Both of these types of insurance agents are paid a commission by the insurance companies for the policies they write. Insurance brokers also find insurance coverage among multiple insurance companies, but because the broker represents you, they usually are paid a fee for their services by you the client.
Some insurance companies do not use agents at all to sell their policies and will allow you to purchase insurance coverage directly. Because the company doesn't have to pay commission to an agent, you might pay less for the coverage bought directly from them. However, unless you are an insurance expert, buying directly from the insurance company without the benefit of the experience of an insurance agent or broker who knows more about the potential opportunities and possible pitfalls, may cost you more in the long run. And not all insurance companies are equally safe. You need an insurance company that is financially healthy and likely to remain so since there's little point to paying even the lowest insurance premiums if that company is no longer in business to pay a claim when you need it. Detailed knowledge of the track record of the various insurance companies is another possible advantage to working with insurance brokers, but all insurance companies showing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have been determined reliable through independent research including background checks and phone calls to their clients.
Buying Coverage From Multiple Insurance Companies
The advantages of having insurance through more than one insurance company, such as what can be provided by an independent insurance agent or insurance broker in Alameda County, can be getting the lowest premium for each type of insurance coverage and being insured by a company that is a specialist in each type of coverage. If you go this route, make sure the agent or broker addresses potential gaps in your coverage and that coverage limits are consistent across the policies. For example, if buying auto insurance and homeowners insurance from different companies, the personal liability coverage might be for different amounts but you probably want them to be the same.
Buying Coverage From A Single Insurance Company
The advantages of using only one provider, such as through a captive insurance agent or buying directly from the insurance company can be: premium discounts for getting multiple policies, only one point of contract for all your claims, consistent coverage limits among the different types of coverage, potential gaps in coverage may be less likely to occur.
Find the Best Insurance Agents or Brokers in Alameda County for Your Specific Situation
You may want to look for particular areas of expertise in an insurance agent. Some write some kind of policies but not others, or some kinds more than others. For instance, there are special considerations for life insurance compared to auto insurance, or for health insurance versus disability insurance or worker's comp insurance. So you want an agent or broker well versed in the exact type they're writing for you. And some insurance companies offer only some types of coverage but not others.
Are you their kind of client?
Some insurance brokers have specific expertise in coverage for certain types of businesses, such as general liability insurance for contractors, or professional liability insurance for financial businesses, or malpractice insurance coverage for doctors. And some have specific expertise finding the best insurance coverage for certain individuals such as homeowners, couples with children, actors or entertainers, etc.
Some Insurance Agents in Alameda County CA Are Much Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these insurance agents in Alameda County CA: Hartman Insurance Services Alameda CA, Judy Chambers Insurance Agency Oakland CA, Clauson Insurance Agency Oakland CA, Lotz Insurance Hayward CA, McPeake Insurance Services Livermore CA, SCJ Insurance Services Pleasanton CA, Richard Simon Insurance Agency San Rafael CA. Other insurance agents in Oakland CA that might still be in business include: Kelly Lux Insurance Agent Alameda CA, Ashby & Hammond Insurance Castro Valley CA.
Questions To Ask Insurance Brokers & Insurance Agents in Alameda County
When choosing among insurance agents Alameda County CA, find out their history and expertise to make sure they're the best insurance agent in Alameda County for you.
• Will they provide you client names and numbers for you to call as references? (All insurance agents in Alameda County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had their client references called already by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• How long have they been an insurance broker or agent in Alameda County CA?
• What is their particular area of expertise?
• How much experience do they have in the type of insurance coverage you're seeking?
• If you buy an insurance policy with them, who exactly in the office will handle your account on a daily basis?
• How will the insurance agent or broker first indentify your risk and then formulate a plan of coverage for it?
• How many individuals have they written coverage for that have similar life circumstances to your own, or how many businesses in your same industry?
• How will they indentify and fill any gaps in coverage?
• Will they periodically review your plan(s) with you and how often?
Once you've identified the best insurance agents in Alameda County CA for your specific needs, make sure they have a good complaint record. (All insurance agents in Alameda County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have had a good complaint record verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
Resources About Insurance in Alameda County CA
Regulatory Agencies & Trade Associations relevant to insurance agents in Alameda County
California Department of Insurance
AIA (American Insurance Association)
PCIAA (Property Casualty Insurers Association of America)
III (Insurance Information Institute)
NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners)
NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors)
PIA (National Association of Professional Insurance Agents)
AICPCU (American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters)
RIMS (Risk Management Society)
CIAB (Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers)
GUAA (Group Underwriters Association of America)
HIAA (Health Insurance Association of America)
NAIW (National Association of Insurance Women International)
WIFS (Women in Insurance & Financial Services)
NAMIC (National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies)
IRC (Insurance Research Council)
IMUA (Inland Marine Underwriters Association)
AIPAGIA (American Institute of Professional Association Group Insurance Adminstrators)
Publications relevant to insurance brokers & agents in Alameda County
Insurance Journal Magazine
Risk & Insurance Magazine
Insurance News Net Magazine
National Underwriter Life & Health Magazine
Agents Sales Journal
Business Insurance Magazine
Claims Advisor Magazine
Insurance Networking News
Insurance News Net
Rough Notes Magazine
If you are looking for insurance in Alameda County CA, The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Insurance Agents in Alameda County within the following zip codes:
94537, 94614, 94662, 94613, 94712, 94604, 94661, 94701, 94557, 94624, 94543, 94623, 94540, 94620, 94542, 94619, 94601, 94568, 94579, 94609, 94541, 94618, 94560, 94552, 94578, 94607, 94555, 94617, 94551, 94546, 94577, 94606, 94539, 94615, 94550, 94709, 94588, 94605, 94538, 94587, 94612, 94545, 94708, 94566, 94603, 94536, 94586, 94611, 94544, 94705, 94621, 94602, 94608, 94580, 94610, 94704, 94501, 94703, 94702, 94710, 94707, 94706 and 94502
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Insurance Brokers in Alameda County CA within the following cities:
Castro Valley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol, Union City, Alameda, Mount Eden, Albany, Berkeley, Ashland, Russell City and Komandorski Village
Glossary of Insurance Terms & Types of Insurance
Actual Cash Value
The fair market value of the damaged or stolen property.Regarding car insurance, this amount can be determined by private party sales in your local area of Alameda County and dealer quotations for similar vehicles.
An insurance company licensed to do business in California.
Coverage in the event that negligent acts and/or omissions committed by the insured result in losses regarding the ownership, maintenance, or use of aircraft.
Coverage on the risks associated with owning or driving a car or truck. It can include liability, collision, medical, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage.
A temporary agreement which gives coverage until the actual policy can be written or delivered.
Boiler and Machinery Insurance
Covers loss resulting from the malfunction of machinery and boilers specifically. This is usually excluded from property insurance creating the need for this separate policy.
Coverage of loss resulting from forced entry into your premises.
Collision (auto insurance)
Reimbursement for damage to the vehicle sustained in a collision with any item or another vehicle.
Collision Deductive Waiver
Waives the collision deductible if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
Common Carrier Liability Insurance
Coverage for transportation services that must carry a customer's property. Examples include trucking companies, airlines, train lines, and bus lines.
Provides coverage for loss of or damage to your vehicle from fire, theft, mischief or more.
Comprehensive Glass Insurance
Coverage for glass breakage, subject to exclusions of war and fire as is often given to restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses with substantial window glass exposure.
Credit Life Insurance
Insurance issued to a lender to cover the life of the borrower for an outstanding loan.
The initial amount you must pay toward the damage or loss before benefits from the insurance company are payable. A higher deductible will usually lower your monthly premium.
Health insurance that provides income payments to the wage earner when income is interrupted due to illness or injury.
Amendment to a policy to add or delete coverage. Also known as a "rider."
Face Amount (life insurance)
The total amount due from the insurance company if the insured dies, not including any policy riders.
Financial Guarantee Insurance
A surety bond, insurance policy or indemnity contract covering losses suffered by a third party obligee or indemnitee. For example, a bond is purchased from a bonding company by businesses as proof of protection for their clients should the client suffer loss due to the business failing to perform.
Coverage of a building and its contents damaged by fire.
Cancellation of the policy as of its effective date without any premiumcharge.
Good Driver Discount (auto insurance)
A standard discount for drivers licensed for at least three years who have no more one point against their driving record and have no record of fault in an accident resulting in injury to any person.
The period after the premium due date during which the overdue premium can still be paid without an additional penalty.
This lets the policy holder buy certain amounts of additional life insurance at specific times in the future without needing to prove their continued insurability (no further health exam).
Pays for the medical expenses of the policy holder and possibly members of their immediate family. Dental insurance may or may not be included.
Covers the risks of owning a home including losses from fire, earthquake, burglary, vandalism, and more.
A provision in the policy where the insurance company agrees not to contest the validity of the contract after it has been in force for a certain period of time, usually two years.
Prepaid legal insurance coverage sold on a group basis.
Coverage for all sums that the policy holder is held legally obligated to pay due to property damage or bodily injury caused by the policy holder.
Coverage that pays a specified sum to beneficiaries upon the death of the policy holder.
An amount which the policy holder can borrow at interest from the insurance company using the policy as loan collateral.
Coverage for goods in transit on waterways, land, and air.
Specified in California Insurance Code, Section 120 as including insurance against loss from lightning, windstorm, tornado, earthquake or insurance indemnifying the producer of any motion picture, television, theatrical, sport, or similar production, event, or exhibition against loss by reason of the interruption, postponement, or cancellation of such production, event, or exhibition due to death, accidental injury, or sickness preventing performers, directors, or other principals from commencing or continuing their respective performance or duties; and any insurance not included in any other classes and which is a proper subject of insurance.
A type of life insurance that pays the balance of a mortgage owed by the policy holder if that person dies.
A lender pays the insurance premium on your behalf while you agree to repay the lender for the cost of the premium, plus interest.
Also known as an endorsement, a rider is an amendment to the policy used to add or delete coverage.
A licensed employee of a fire and casualty agent or broker who may act for the agent or broker in some circumstances.
Coverage for property damage caused by accidental discharge from an automatic sprinkler system.
Team Insurance / Vehicle Insurance
As specified by California Insurance Code, Section 120: Insurance against damage to property caused by the use of teams or vehicles other than ships, boats, or railroad rolling stock, whether by accident or collision or by explosion of engine, tank, boiler, pipe, or tire of the vehicle, and insurance against the theft of the whole or part of such vehicle.
Coverage for losses if a land title is not free of defects that were unknown when the title insurance was written.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
Pays for bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist, a hit-and-run driver, or by a driver whose insurance company is insolvent.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
Pays for damage to your car caused by an uninsured motorist.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Coverage providing four types of benefits (medical care, disability, death, rehabilitation) for job-related injuries or diseases without regard to fault.
Insurance Terms Used in the Area of Sureties and Bonds
A bond a contractor acquires at the bidding stage that guarantees he will enter into the contract if it is awarded to him, and will also furnish a contract bond (also known as a "performance bond") as required by that job contract.
Required of litigants to enable them to pursue certain remedies of the courts.
An obligation of the insurance company to cover loss caused by dishonest acts of employees.
A bond required in civil and criminal court actions.
A bond where one party (usually the bond company) agrees to cover the losses of a customer or client in the event of the non-performance of the duties the bond purchaser is obligated to perform for the client.