Meet Robert “Bobby” Feldman of Coast To Canyon Insurance

Meet Robert Bobby Feldman Echelon Radio Podcast

Bobby Feldman has been in insurance for more than 20 years. He is a specialist in residential fire insurance. He is able to get fire insurance for residents who live in fire zones. He’s used to getting close to flames, especially in his downtime.

On Residential Fire Insurance and Open House Insurance for Real Estate Pros

He talks about the reality of obtaining residential insurance in California. Coast to Canyon has access to insurance policies that other brokers cannot get. With fire season being year-round in California, his firm works with a lot of different professionals to get the best policies for his clients.

Another specialty of Coast to Canyon is obtaining Open House insurance policies for Real Estate professionals. It protects situations that happen outside of the typical Errors and Omissions coverage.

On Being Outdoors and BBQ

An avid outdoorsman, he conducts his daily calls while walking his community. Many days, he will cover approximately 20 miles. Also passionate about Bar-B-Q, he is famous for having Bob.B.Q “cookouts”.

CLICK HERE for more information about Bobby Feldman.

CLICK HERE for more information about Coast To Canyon.

Click here for transcript

Intro Speaker  0:00 

From Los Angeles, this is the Echelon radio network.

Brian Hemsworth  0:13 

Hey, everybody, it’s Brian Hemsworth. I’m here on the Echelon podcast and our guest today is Robert Feldman of Coast to Canyon insurance. Welcome aboard.

Bobby Feldman  0:23 

Oh, thank you.

Brian Hemsworth  0:24 

Hey, glad you came in. I wanted to talk to you about just a couple of the things that you do. I’m going to start with a little business, and then I’m going to go into some fun stuff.

Bobby Feldman  0:33 

Oh, absolutely. That’s good stuff.

Brian Hemsworth  0:35 

So So you’ve got a specialty that we don’t hear from a lot of other insurance people that you you work with a lot of clients who have typically homes, a lot of them maybe very nice homes in these very nice neighborhoods that also happen to be fire zones. And that’s, that’s got to be tough getting insurance.

Bobby Feldman  0:52 

Yeah, it’s gotten a lot worse, I’m sorry to say, you know, we’re doing this for over 20 years, it’s just really has, it’s gotten worse over time, we’ve really worked hard and positioned ourselves. Because really over the last three to five years, it’s we’re just seeing more and more where companies are just insurance companies are pulling out of California. And so we’ve been desperately working with carriers to really push to make sure we keep carriers in market and at the same time, bring new ones in.

Brian Hemsworth  1:18 

So so one of the things that I hear is when you live in those areas, it is not uncommon Tell me if I’m wrong in this, but what I’m hearing is it’s not uncommon to be canceled, or to see your rates go sky high from one year to the next.

Bobby Feldman  1:32 

It is so scary. I was on the phone yesterday, when you say that with a client that was with with a company for 49 years in Malibu, wow. 49 years. And she was furious about the fact of being cancelled, never filed a claim in 49 years. And she took it as like a personal insult. And what’s really funny is is as bad as it sounds, a lot of times when I’m speaking these clients, I’m really dumble sounds like I’m defending the client, the company. And it’s really not defending it’s, it’s just based on how the process is in California, and how things are relating right now to fire scores. And when an insurance carrier especially on the emitted side, which is a whole other conversation we can talk about is when they come out with a ruling about what they’re going to accept and what they’re going to renew. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Shasta, Montecito, you know, Malibu, Santa Rancho Santa Fe doesn’t matter if you’re taking a certain fire score a certain number. And anything above that number is gone. You it’s canceled, and there’s no gray area to it. So

Brian Hemsworth  2:39 

So you’re actually in some of those cases able through special programs that you have to get some of these people coverage when otherwise they can’t get it.

Bobby Feldman  2:46 

Well, the good news is I would say for almost all of California right now we’ve we’ve actually secured California is what I would say. So now and we have a couple programs the brokers don’t have access to so obviously I get some times that some of the different brokers want to…I’m always worried they’re gonna come after me is the joke because they are not very happy that we talk to clients. Right?

Brian Hemsworth  3:08 

Well you know, it’s really something that I think is good for us because most of us have have friends we might ourselves by be living in these areas, we have friends in those areas, we have clients in those areas. And to be able to provide that I think is you know really important in a place like Southern California that just…listen I’m born and raised here. And every year there’s a fire somewhere

Bobby Feldman  3:27 

It’s crazy

Brian Hemsworth  3:28 

many years there’s fires really close…

Bobby Feldman  3:30 

and you know, and that’s that’s the toughest part. You know, we always talk about how usually run around October through the first week of December is a fire season. And I start joking with clients all the time, we’re going well now fire seasons are year round. And you know, and we’re seeing all these different things. I mean, look at just recently all the winds we’re dealing with in California. And this is not just a Southern California thing. This is a California thing. We’re dealing with things…we’re up in Montecito in Monterey and Carmel and here you know we’re in Southern California and people go God isn’t there at like 8000 agents between you and they’re like oh yeah, but that’s kind of what we do. You know, we get a lot of trust from a lot of different sources we work a lot of different real estate professionals and you know just really have some these programs that help clients

Brian Hemsworth  4:16 

So tell me what what being in your business has been like during COVID. It has changed the way you operate.

Bobby Feldman  4:22 

Oh my goodness, you know COVID I’ll be honest with you know, those that know me you know, I’m I’m not good to be as a person to sit home. Okay, that’s just not me. As if the running joke is on my I’m teased all the time right now because I do a lot of phone calls and returning phone calls. I’m I’m walking all of the area around my house just because my phone calls generally start about 6am with a different some of the different carriers I represent and and I go until we until I fall asleep and so I figured I might as well get out and stretch my legs at the same time. But it’s a lot of fun.

Brian Hemsworth  4:52 

So I’m gonna I’m gonna reveal a little secret about you to the people listening to us today. True story. Robert did not drive to the Echelon studios. He’s walked literally over the Calabasas mountain pass. Yep. And I don’t know how many miles

Bobby Feldman  5:08 

It was 13 miles.

Brian Hemsworth  5:09 

And that’s one way.

Bobby Feldman  5:10 

That’s one way. So I’m doing a marathon today.

Brian Hemsworth  5:13 

You got 13 back

Bobby Feldman  5:14 

marathon today.

Brian Hemsworth  5:15 

Hey, so let me ask you, you also have another unique specialty that this is one that I really didn’t know anything about. But it we’re in Southern California. And real estate is a big part of everybody’s life in many people’s businesses. And many of us know real estate agents, you actually have policies that you write for agents.

Bobby Feldman  5:36 

Yeah, it’s, it’s really kind of scary, because here I am, and I’ve been for 20 years plus, I’m specializing in fire zone areas, and helping people overcome all these terrible problems. And I actually work with a lot of the realtor associations. And I was approached by two  associations, and they came to me going, we’re seeing a really serious problem. Robert, you have a lot of contacts and connections, can you investigate something for us? And of course, being who I am, I’m like, hey, that’s good business, when they want to ask you ask you for help as an association, and they promote you, you absolutely track things down. And I was horrified to find out that as a real estate professional in most cases, when real estate professionals are hosting an open house, or there’s things outside of their errors and omissions protection, which is now becoming more and more narrow is those companies narrow their coverages for errors, omissions, that there’s no general liability coverage. And and when you really think about it, at first, it kind of almost makes sense a little bit because real estate professionals are business owners. They are independent contractors, even though they can work with a whole host of names, name, every name under the book. I’m not saying one versus another. But everyone in there is their own business. Well, what does every business in California have to have if you’re a CPA, if you’re a dry cleaner, if you’re a law firm, if you’re a retailer, you have to have workers compensation, if you have employees, you have to have some kind of a malpractice errors and omissions or product liability coverage…

Brian Hemsworth  7:12 

So, you’re saying that the individual agents don’t have that as a part of being affiliated with one of the larger companies

Bobby Feldman  7:19 

in most cases, they don’t have coverage.

Brian Hemsworth  7:21 

So so the coverage that you have, with with COVID we’re not having the open houses the same way, but they’re still showing they’re doing private showings…

Bobby Feldman  7:28 

All the cleaning…So here’s the crazy thing on the general liability, is the fact that you know, COVID itself is excluded in California was an ISO change. And that’s to bore everyone to put everyone to sleep. This is basically insurance code. Excluding pandemics is what it was back in SARS happened in 2013. That’s where that came out. Well, what’s interesting is everything related to COVID is a potential coverage under General Liability Insurance. So right now everyone’s wearing masks when they go into these properties. So what happens when someone slips and falls and breaks their leg? People think the homeowners insurance covers it? Well, no, as a realtor, you are holding Karen custody of the property. Again, insurance carriers are going back after it’s there’s a whole host of things that relate to COVID are, are not errors and omissions coverage. Because errors and omissions is transactional for real estate professionals. And you know, long story short, you know, it’s just, it’s a coverage that’s reasonable, we were able to get to the Department of Insurance. It’s, it’s, it’s, you know, you’re talking less than $30 a year to have 2 million in coverage just to protect you as a real estate professional. Wow. I mean, when we first brought it across, I thought we were gonna have a conga line was the comment. And there’s a whole host of myths out there right now why realtors believe they’re covered. And we work in one one at a time to try to.

Brian Hemsworth  8:46 

So let me let me double check something you said. Is it $30 a year? $30 a month?

Bobby Feldman  8:50 

$30 a month

Brian Hemsworth  8:51 

$30 a month.

Bobby Feldman  8:52 

Wow. That’s it’s less, it’s 250 a year is the base coverage. And then they can add on cyber sweetens and do all kinds of incredible things for those as business owners. And here’s the funny part, as I laugh about all the time, is this. I’m a fire zone guy. I’m not even this is I’m not a commercial guy. They’re incredible and commercial brokers. This is just to further support because I work with so many realtors, how could I not protect? Yeah, I mean, it’s so that involves you to move and morph into that direction. More so to protect the real estate profession…

Brian Hemsworth  9:22 

that I that sounds just like a really important thing to get out to a lot of the insurance behind. So I would think that during COVID You know, it seems like there’s a the courts are going to have their problems, but there’s an awful lot of litigation that’s going to come out of

Bobby Feldman  9:36 

We’re already seeing it. Yeah, already seeing it.

Brian Hemsworth  9:39 

Hey, let me ask you about something just on the fun side. Yep. So a lot of us that know you and pre-COVID One of the things we really know you for is your barbecue.

Bobby Feldman  9:49 

Oh, thanks.

Brian Hemsworth  9:50 

So we missed the barbecue.

Bobby Feldman  9:52 

Oh, that’s the thing. I’m dying. Yeah, I have two big trailers that are sitting in storage. You know, actually, I’m having my crew, pull them out and we It’s funny you said we actually had to we were cleaning them up the sky just got to keep them moving. It’s like an oiled machine, right. And we had to burn. We use wood with these big trailers. And we were just doing it just because we had to do something with them because they’ve been sitting there for almost over a year now. It’s crazy…

Brian Hemsworth  10:17 

Probably driving the neighbors crazy with that great guy coming out. So so this is not something you do as a profession, but you do it in a big way. When you do it. How did you get into the hole BBQ…. where does this come from?

Bobby Feldman  10:28 

Just long time of doing a lot of different fun things. And, you know, like, even my little entrepreneurial little my little 14 year old daughter that says put it crystal clear that as long as I listen to her that I can work for her some day. Yeah, her first real take over what she created a little Instagram called Bob-B-Q. So it’s B period B as-in-boy period QUE. Oh, that’s awesome. Just a play on words and things and have fun posts and stuff. And it’s kind of sad because we’ve we’ve done so much with the barbecue events and stuff, it was originally more of a of a thing just to reach out as as a good good marketing piece. And it got as crazy as I mean, we were doing the Malibu Association of Realtors with two or 300 people doing full crews and we do our nonprofit and, you know, it’s volunteering our time and doing all these real fun things. And, and that’s all gone now. So it’s like, my fun thing is gone.

Brian Hemsworth  11:19 

Yeah, but listen, if the if the vaccines are coming through, and hopefully we’re getting, you know, starting to turn the corner and hopefully the barbecue is gonna be back. Tell me just one or two of your absolute favorite things to barbecue.

Bobby Feldman  11:30 

Oh, you well, you know, what’s interesting is is in you know, I’ve always been known for brisket. So briskets, the one that I’ve done for 100,000 years, I’ve been more briskets. And it’s just part of the fun. I’ve been into all kinds of different things. Um, we made I was having fun smoking, I made an Asian infused sea bass on a smoker that was just, it was just out of this world. I posted on there and everyone was going crazy on Instagram, looking at it, just checking it out. It was a lot of fun. I even have realtors now, but it was kind of funny. will send me messages, like our pictures on Instagram, as a throwdown, can I recreate something. So it’s just a lot of fun, it just becomes a lot of a great way to connect with people.

Brian Hemsworth  12:11 

Well, and you know, I mean, I am going to let one other little cat out of the bag about you, I had the the pleasure of accompanying you. And we shot some pictures and shot some video. It was very impressive to me that early on in COVID, you did a huge barbecue, you actually did it at home. So it was very COVID safe, you packaged everything up individually. And you delivered that to a bunch of frontliners at the hospital out in Simi Valley, which is a really impressive thing to do. And boy, I can tell you the looks on their faces. And the way they ate down every single thing that you brought that you brought hundreds of meals out there, and they just chowed that down. And that was a pretty special thing.

Bobby Feldman  12:52 

You know, it’s one of those things where I really wish we you know, with COVID really kind of shut things down. We’re trying to do a lot of that. And is a friend good friend of mines chief of staff at Simi Valley event, as I said, Look, you guys are I mean, they were working, they still do are working incredibly long shifts. And it’s just to be able to bring something to, you know, we kind of we were safe, you know, we snuck in, there was a way of kind of sneaking into a break room that was kind of a back part of it so that they can and brought all these things in individually because it was a whole other concept. Because here we do these huge barbecue events right with the trailers. And it’s very, I would say the way they say now unCOVID safe because you have all these situations where this the trailers are out there and everyone’s intermixed, and everyone’s in close contact, and you go from that to Okay, now how are we going to do this with my side yard and I’ve got three great smokers my side yard, and getting the individual containers and just the logistics part of it. And that was a lot of fun. By the way, you know, it’s like it’s like Mission Impossible. How do we pull it off?

Brian Hemsworth  13:50 

You got it done!

Bobby Feldman  13:51 

Yeah, it was just fun

Brian Hemsworth  13:52 

I mean, it was it. Every single thing was you thought through and you made it so easy. And I gotta say that looks on the faces of doctors and nurses coming into that break room and having that warm cooked meal. I’ll tell you what we’re, we’re hoping. I know we had asked this a year ago when COVID started before we knew that we were going to shut down but I want everybody to listen to the Echelon podcast to follow us on social media because as soon as things loosen up, we want you to help us host a Robert Feldman barbecue for our Echelon listeners.

Bobby Feldman  14:27 

That’ll be a lot of fun. Looking forward fun.

Brian Hemsworth  14:29 

Hey, thanks for joining us today. Thanks for sharing a little bit it remember everybody if you if you live in a fire zone and you’re having issues with insurance Roberts, the guy to call. You want to give us a phone number real quick?

Bobby Feldman  14:39 

Yeah, absolutely. You can call us at 855-876-3776 and I always say for my Echelon members and friends my personal cell phones area code 818-415-8000 you can always email me at

Brian Hemsworth  14:52 

There you go. Everybody, you know follow him on Instagram. If you’re a real estate professional, you owe it to yourself five minutes on the phone. with Robert to to see if he can’t help you out with that general liability. Thanks so much for coming. Hey, thank you.

Unknown Speaker  15:11 

Presented by Echelon Business Development. More than just networking. Way more.

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Written by Brian Hemsworth
Brian Hemsworth is President and CMO for Newman Grace. He heads up branding and marketing strategy for the firm’s clients. In addition to his work at Newman Grace, Brian has taught more than 50 semesters of marketing and advertising at Pepperdine University and Woodbury University. Brian professional focus and passion is developing brand building strategies for clients. Brian is also a co-founder of Echelon Business Development Network and

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