Summer is on its way.. Finally! Before we know it there will be Memorial Day barbecues and long weekends at the lake. Ahh..
That's why now is a great time to review your MA insurance coverage on all of your summer toys. Read below for things to consider (and review with us) before the big items come out of winter storage.
RV - Your MA motorhome or travel trailer needs insurance coverage, especially if you'll be driving or pulling it this year. Even if you don't have a loan on your RV, you will want it covered for theft or damage. Whether they are parked on a lake lot for the season or driving cross country, we offer several RV policies to fit your needs. Just call us for a quote or simply request one here: http://www.tesearsinsurance.com/quick-quote
Discounts are the best way to save on your MA insurance premium each and every month... but.. a lot of people are missing out on them! With a little documentation you could see a great savings!
Multi Policy Discounts: When you have all of your insurance in one place, you save more! If your MA auto and home insurance is spread out between multiple companies or agencies, let us help you consolidate. You'll be better protected (no gaps in coverage) and save money. With our carriers, you'll save up to 20% on your homeowners policy and up to 10% on your auto policy. That's a significant savings!
Security Discounts: Does your home have a security system or fire protection system?
With Spring upon us, weddings are underway! Planning a wedding and getting married is a blissful experience but there are some considerations couples have to take into account when it comes to insurance and merging two households.
Auto: The good news is that now that you're married, you can add your vehicle to your spouse's policy and obtain a "multi-vehicle" credit. Review both of your policies and decide which policy you want to use. Keep in mind however that if one of you has points, those points will automatically be applied to the more expensive vehicle to insure - no matter who drives the vehicle primarily. If you both have excellent driving records then combining your policies into one should only be of benefit to you.
Oh trees and insurance... "If a tree falls in my yard am I covered?" "What if a tree hits my home?" These are questions we get all of the time. Let's jump right in and address the first question:
What happens when a tree falls in your yard and DOES NOT hit your home: Whether it's your neighbor's tree or your tree, most MA homeowners insurance companies will not pay for it to be cleaned up (debris removal). However, if it is blocking the street or a ramp designed for the handicapped, some insurance companies may pay for the cost of removing it. If you notice that your neighbor's tree is damaged and may possibly fall on your property, be proactive and talk to your neighbor about removing it before it falls.
So what happens when the tree falls and DOES hit your home?
When you purchase a MA car insurance or MA homeowners insurance policy, you'll be given a choice of what deductible amount you want to carry. So.. what exactly is a deductible and how does it work? Let's break it down:
What is a car insurance deductible? The deductible is the amount that you will absorb to fix the damage to your car if you are in a collision that is YOUR fault. Having a deductible reduces your premium. The higher the deductible, the less your premium is. A standard MA car insurance deductible is $500 but often times people go with a $1,000 deductible to reduce their premium even more.
What is a homeowners insurance deductible? A MA homeowners insurance deductible again is the amount you will absorb in the event of damage to your home. A standard MA deductible is $500 or $1,000 but a higher deductible can be purchased. The higher the deductible, the less your premium.
You may think that umbrella policies are only for the rich but that is totally not the case. In fact, umbrellas are very inexpensive and provide A LOT of coverage! Here is the rundown about umbrellas - what they are, how they work and why everyone should have one!
1. What is an Umbrella Policy? You have a certain limit of liability coverage on your homeowners or auto policy already. This is called an "underlying" limit. On your homeowners policy this limit it is referred to as Personal Liability and is usually a limit of $300,000 or $500,000. If you are held liable for an accident occurring at your home (trips and falls, etc) your policy will pay out up to this limit for damages incurred by the other party. On your auto policy, the limit is referred to as Optional Bodily Injury to Others and is typically a limit of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident, $100,000 per person /$300,000 per accident or $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident. If you cause injury to another party as a result of an auto accident, your policy will pay out the damages to the other party up to the limit shown on your policy. This all sounds great but what happens if you are sued? These "underlying" home and auto limits can be wiped out very quickly in the event of a major lawsuit leaving you with a big financial burden not to mention the potential of losing your assets. The underlying limits do include defense costs but as you know, defense costs can quickly add up, eating up your limit.. and then you're on the hook for the difference... ouch. UNLESS you have a Massachusetts umbrella policy! If your underlying limits are exhausted, your umbrella policy will be tapped into to account for the difference. No problem!
2. How do Umbrellas Work? A Massachusetts umbrella policy provides excess liability protection over and above your underlying home and auto limits. Most people purchase a $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 umbrella. If you have an underlying homeowners limit of $500,000, and a $1,000,000 Umbrella, you have a total of $1,500,000 in coverage. Same goes for the auto limits. The umbrella is additional protection over your auto limit. So, if you have a major lawsuit on your hands and your underlying limits are exhausted, you can rest easy knowing that you have backup: an umbrella policy!
3. Why Should I have an Umbrella Policy? Bottom line: It's CHEAP! Believe it or not, umbrella policies are CHEAP! For the average household (1 home, 2 cars, 6 or more years of driving experience and perfect driving records) the premium is about $150.00 per year! That's $12 per month for a lot of extra coverage and most importantly, peace of mind! The cost does go up if you have more cars or own more homes ( or if your driving history isn't stellar) but it is still very reasonable given the added protection provided.
PLEASE don't hesitate to purchase a Massachusetts umbrella policy. Contact us at (978) 562-3464 to review your current coverage and inquire. Or, simply click HERE to request a quote! We look forward to assisting you and providing you with the best coverages and options.
Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency, Inc.
When quoting auto insurance for clients, we frequently discuss how to choose the right deductible. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share this information here, too:
A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket when you have a claim. If you have a $500 collision deductible and have an accident, then you would pay $500 towards repairing your vehicle (if you are at fault) and insurance would cover the rest. The deductible you choose directly relates to the amount of money you spend on premiums each month. The higher the deductible ($250, $500, $1000), the lower your monthly cost.
Oh boy.. It's almost that time again:back to school! Every year the summer seems to go by faster and faster. But what exactly does this have to do with insurance you ask? Here are 4 "insurance" things to keep in mind as the school year begins:
1. Good grades: If you have a teenage driver in the house, our carriers offer "good student" discounts. With a copy of a grade report showing a B+ average or better, your "good student" is eligable for a discount! This discount applies to students who have less than 6 years of driving experience.
Claims can be a stressful process. We've worked with our clients after car accidents, home fires, storm damage and even after a death in the family. Claims are tied to the most stressful events in our lives - That is why it's extremely important that you work with an agent and a company that you trust.
After an insurance claim, you will work with an adjuster and appraiser to evaluate your loss. Depending on the type of claim, they will examine the property and gather more information. After gathering all necessary info, you will then be offered a settlement and the process will begin to restore your loss.
I often get phone calls from clients who are looking to save a few dollars on their insurance. They look at various coverages on their policy and want to drop anything that isn't totally necessary... and rental coverage (aka rental reimbursement, substitute transportation) is one I hear about frequently.
So, do you really need it?