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Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:40 pm June 30, 2016

WGBCO Origins: Starting as a Personal Insurance Agency

Written by: Stephen Bender, CEO/President

WGBCOSignIn 1938, with the world positioning for another war, it probably wasn’t the best time for Warren Bender, the only son of a small Hamilton City (south west of Chico) farmer, who was married with two small children, to take a leap of faith and go from his steady accounting position into the insurance business. But he liked people. Moreover, he liked helping people and he was raised to believe that hard work, doing good things, and believing in yourself would ultimately win the day.

You have to start somewhere, usually on the “ground floor”, right? And with insurance that would be working with families, one at a time, and their need to protect what they have worked hard to earn: a home, a farm, a car. Think about it; eminent war, post great depression – working families didn’t have much money, and certainly could not “afford” to lose what possessions they had.

So whether it was over a kitchen table, or while sharing a sandwich during their lunch break, Warren listened, felt the need of each person he met and carefully designed a personal insurance program that met their needs. Fire insurance (they didn’t have “Homeowner’s policies” back then), car insurance, maybe a small amount of life insurance. Whatever it ended up being, it was mutually agreed that it was what they needed, at that time, and yes, every year, Warren would personally meet with his customer, to make sure that their changing needs were met.

Today we regretfully commoditize personal lines insurance…and that is wrong. Quick, impersonal, one-size-fits all? Really? I don’t think so. Insurance is complicated and properly designed insurance takes time, discussion, education, evaluating the pluses and minuses of various insurance carriers, and serious reflection on a person’s needs, now and in the future. Those clients in Warren’s beginnings? Before the war, during the war, and for many years after the war, they worked hard and started businesses. Those businesses grew. After coming back from the war himself, Warren continued to meet with, take time with, and listen to his clients and yes, “do” good things, one client at a time. Some things don’t change and certainly Warren G. Bender Co.’s commitment to excellence and to serve our clients the way they deserve is one of them.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 8:12 pm June 27, 2016

The 5 Biggest Lies Told to Car Insurance Companies

Fudging on your car insurance application to save on the premium may seem like a harmless white lie, but it can spell trouble for you down the road.

A report by Quality Planning Corp. in San Francisco says car insurance companies lost $15.9 billion in 2008 from what it calls “premium leakage” — meaning loss of revenue due to the inability of insurers to keep track of changes in customers’ situations that affect prices. The number represents almost 10 percent of the total $167 billion in personal auto premium written.

“It’s a major problem, and some companies are taking it very seriously,” says Quality Planning senior vice president Bob U’Ren. His company designs solutions for insurers to validate policyholder information and cut premium losses. In other words, they’re in the business of making sure you’re telling the truth.

Here are the most common misrepresentations customers make to their car insurance companies. (more…)

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:38 pm June 22, 2016

Security Tips for Traveling Abroad

Many people enjoy traveling to learn about new and different cultures, history and traditions. And, as this type of travel increases, so does the risk of kidnappings, muggings, hotel break-ins and other crimes. Use these tips to protect yourself when you travel abroad.


• Familiarize yourself with local customs and laws, as you are subject to them while traveling
• Avoid using taxis when possible. Instead, have your hotel’s concierge service book a reliable driver or car service for you.
• Bring small door and window locks with you while traveling, and use them in your hotel room.
• Don’t let anyone into your hotel room unless you can see who they are through the door’s peephole.
• Make sure to pack a flashlight in case you go out in a dark area or the power goes out.
• Register your travel plans with the State Department using their Smart Traveler Enrollment program (STEP) at
• Leave copies of your itinerary and passport with friends and family at home.

Helpful Hints

Don’t get distracted while you’re site-seeing. Thieves will often work together to distract their targets before stealing from them. At the same time, always keep a hand on your wallet or purse to make sure that it doesn’t get stolen as you take your surroundings in.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:28 pm June 20, 2016

Swimming Pool Liability Precautions

Fun in the sun is even better when you have a swimming pool in your backyard to stay cool on hot, summer days. Despite all the entertainment that a swimming pool offers, there are also homeowner liabilities. To help you minimize your risk, we’ve gathered some safety tips to keep you in the know as you swim.

Sink Swimming Pool Dangers

To Minimize Drowning Risks:
– Install safety fences around the pool with a locked latch and place a cover over the pool when you are not using it. This should deter unwelcome guests from entering your property and trying to swim.
– Always supervise welcome swimmers at all times.
– Do not allow swimmers to dive in shallow water.
– Keep lifesaving equipment near the pool and learn how to properly use it.
– Do not allow swimmers to horseplay in the pool.

To Minimize Disease Risks:
– Keep the pool water properly filtered and chemically treated.
– Do not allow swimmers with open wounds or illnesses to go in the water.
– Do not allow babies to swim unless they are wearing swim diapers. Regular diapers do not provide protection in water and will not protect against accidents.
– Keep pets out of the pool.
– Before going in the pool, make all swimmers take a shower.
– Do not allow swimmers to drink pool water.

To Minimize Chemical Risks:
– Avoid over-shocking the pool; keep chemicals at the proper levels.
– Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully when adding chemicals to the pool or filtration system.
– Keep pool chemicals stored and locked away, so they are out of children’s reach and those who may try and enter your property to use the pool without your permission.
– Store chemicals in a cool, dry place where they are away from fire hazards and lawn care products.

Safety First

As the homeowner, you are liable for the safety of all swimmers. To ensure that you can adequately protect people on your property, consider taking lifeguarding, CPR and first aid courses so you know what to do in an emergency.

Helping you to avoid claims is just one of the many value-added services we provide. Call us today to learn more about all of our personal risk management solutions for your auto, home and life.

Filed under: Personal Insurance,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:19 pm June 8, 2016