Hey, Massachusetts: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Massachusetts Insurance

Our Massachusetts Insurance Agency is inundated with homeowner and auto insurance claims. Ice dams are flowing, pipes bursting, cars are hidden behind snow banks and icy roads are making driving slippery.

Our Agency phone keeps ringing and we keep reporting claims to our clients’ different insurance companies.

The only ones with weary smiles on their faces are the contractors, glass companies and plow guys.

The rest of us are left to ask: Are we having fun yet?

The answer, here at MassQuotes, is a resounding: Yes! We are having “fun.” This is why people have insurance. This is why we are here. This is what we do.

We have insurance to protect us from catastrophic events. We sell insurance to protect people from unforeseen disasters. We are here to take claims, advise and help through times of distress.

How are you doing with all this Massachusetts weather?

The time to review your insurance is before you have a problem.

Call or click us at MassQuotes. We love this stuff.

Does the Type of Car I Drive Make a Difference?

MassQuotes Massachusetts Auto Insurance

How Does the Make of Car Affect What I Pay for Car Insurance?

When deciding to buy a car, you probably factor in make, model, price, safety features and more. Car insurance may not be something you consider, but did you know that the make of a car may entitle you to an auto insurance discount?

Buy a vehicle that is popular with car thieves, and you may pay more for auto insurance, unfortunately. Buy one that has proved to experience less damage in rollover accidents, and you may save money. Buying a safer car or one that isn’t prone to theft won’t have the same impact on your premium as your credit rating or driving record, but it can affect the bottom line.

Factors that Determine If a Vehicle Qualifies for Car Insurance Discounts

There are a number of factors that determine whether the make of a car, including the model and the year, qualifies for a car insurance discount.

  • Safety and Crashworthiness: Safety is the primary reason why the make of the car is so important in determining if it qualifies for an auto insurance The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tested the “crashworthiness” of every make and model. Based on the safety and protection a car provides in a crash, make of car and model qualifies for a range of car discounts. It is very possible that the collision insurance premium for an inexpensive car may be higher than that of a more expensive one, based on its crashworthiness, as determined by industry data.
  • Theft Rate: The insurance industry compiles theft data for all makes of cars and models by production This information is used to develop rating symbols that correspond to factors that companies use to modify the insurance rate for specific makes, models, and model year.
  • Cost to Repair: The insurance industry also compiles accident data (type of accident, damage done and cost to repair) for all makes of cars and models by production This information is used as well to develop rating symbols that correspond to factors that companies use to modify the insurance rate for specific makes, models, and model year.
  • Car Type Factors: There are rating factors that some insurance companies use to modify the rates for types of vehicle, depending on whether their performance is classified as standard, intermediate, high or premium.

Based on all these factors, an insurance company may apply a range of car insurance discounts to certain makes of cars. Each insurance company applies them differently.

Are There Types of Cars that Do Not Qualify for a Car Insurance Discount?

High performance or foreign/exotic sports car will most likely not qualify for a car insurance discount, and neither may a classic red Mustang convertible. These types of cars have a high theft rate and may have a high accident history as well. Some conservative companies will not even insure such high-risk cars.

Which Car Insurance Coverage Is Most Influenced by the Make of Car?

There are many components to a typical auto insurance policy, but the three that can be affected by the make of your car are liability, collision and comprehensive, which protects against theft and vandalism, among other things. The premium for collision coverage may see the biggest impact since most car accidents involve a collision and a car’s safety is directly related.

What Can I Do to Make Sure I Qualify for a Car Insurance Discount?

If your heart isn’t set on a particular make or model, call us before you buy a car. Not all insurance companies are alike, and since we have established relationships with XX auto insurance carriers, we will find the company that’s right for you—and your car. Let us help you determine the most cost-effective way to insure your new vehicle.

MassQuotes: Massachusetts Insurance

Pros and Cons of Great Insurance Service

MA Insurance Agents

Independent insurance agents, unlike insurance agents employed by a large national insurance provider, have access to many insurance companies. Agents who work for a big insurer can only offer you insurance plans provided by their company. Independent insurance agents, however, work for you, and they have access to many different insurance companies. They can help you shop comparatively for insurance that address your coverage and budget needs.

Pros of Working with Independent Insurance Agents

Members of Your Community Who Care. Independent insurance agents are, for the most part, members of your own community. They are small-business owners or they are employed at a small, independent insurance agency. They depend on word of mouth, for the most part, so they offer a high level of personal customer service.

Price Shop for You. Independent insurance agents will take the time to get to know you and your personal situation so they can best represent your interests when seeking insurance quotes on your behalf. They will make an effort to understand your driving record, insurance coverage history, marital status and other personal information that they will use to represent your application to the insurance providers with whom they work.

You Are Not a Number. With an independent insurance agent, you are not dealing with a telephone team that changes each time you call. You are more than a file to most of them. They take your business personally and return phone calls and emails promptly.

Help with Claims. Independent insurance providers can provide a helping hand when you need to file a claim. They advocate for you if you are involved in a car accident and need to file a claim. They will help you deal with the claims adjuster, offer support through the claims process and help you deal with the insurance company.

Fulfill All Your Insurance Needs. Independent insurance providers often offer a wide range of products to their customers, serving as a one-stop shop for everything from car insurance to business liability insurance to homeowners’ insurance.

Periodic Policy Review. As your needs change, they will help you adjust your insurance accordingly. They also periodically can review your insurance policy to see if it is still serving your coverage needs.

Cons of Independent Insurance Agents

While all independent insurance agents are licensed professionals, just as in any profession, there can be bad apples. But it’s rare to find an agent whose primary motivation isn’t helping customers get the insurance protection they need. You can check your local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or online review sites to learn more about the independent insurance agent you are considering.

Ask MassQuotes to Review Your Policies Today

It costs you nothing to call or click us at MassQuotes.Our Massachusetts Independent Insurance Agents will review your insurance policies to make sure you have the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Contact MassQuotes today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Massachusetts Renters Insurance

MA Apartment Insurance

It’s common knowledge that if you own a home, you most likely need homeowners insurance to protect your investment and belongings. But if you rent a home or apartment, there’s a misconception that you don’t need similar insurance protection.

This is far from the truth. Renters insurance protects you from damage or loss of your personal belongings just like homeowners insurance.

Let’s imagine there’s a fire in the apartment building where you live. Your landlord’s insurance surely will pay for damage to the property, but none of the contents inside will be covered. You could be left with nothing, nowhere to live and no money to restart.

Renters Insurance Is Similar to Homeowners Insurance

If there is a fire, theft, storm damage, or accident where you live, renters insurance, like homeowners insurance, can cover your loss. But unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance doesn’t cover the property since you don’t own it. It does cover your personal belongings, offer liability coverage, and provide additional living expenses.

  • Personal Belongings. All the items you own, including furniture, clothes, and any other contents are covered by your renters insurance for any insured disaster. Most standard polices cover your items at actual cash value, meaning the amount the item is worth at the time of damage or loss. Replacement cost coverage pays out what similar new items cost without factoring depreciation.
  • Liability Coverage. This is usually standard with renters insurance, just as it is with homeowners insurance. Liability coverage protects you from legal claims that may arise from injuries to others or their property. For example, if your dog bites your friend, your liability coverage will pay his medical expenses up to the policy limit.
  • Additional Living Expense – Your renters insurance will usually pay for hotel and meal expenses should you need to relocate while damage is repaired.

What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Be sure you read your policy carefully. There are disasters that usually aren’t covered, including floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. If you live in a high-risk area for these, you may want to buy supplemental insurance to cover you.

How Much Will It Cost to Replace all Your Belongings?

This is the question you need to answer when deciding how much renters insurance coverage to purchase. Let’s go back to the fire in your apartment building. Assume it was a total loss and you have nothing left. Do you know how much your belongings were worth? You might be surprised to realize just how much you have.

Take an inventory of everything you own by making video or shooting photographs. Also save receipts and owner’s manuals for large purchase items, if possible, and keep the information safe at an offsite location.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

Renters insurance is typically much less expensive than homeowners insurance, yet it can bring you the same protection. According to the Insurance Information Institute, renters insurance premiums usually range from $200 to $250 per year.

Of course the actual amount will depend on where you live, the coverage amount you choose, supplemental coverage, discounts, and the deductible (the amount you’ll pay for damages before your insurance kicks in). Remember, the higher the deductible the lower the premiums.

Call, Click or Stop by for a Massachusetts Apartment Insurance Policy Today

The good news is as your independent insurance agent, Smith Insurance is here to help. If you find yourself the victim of a fire, theft, or other insured disaster, we want to make sure you are covered. Having renters insurance can help bring you peace of mind today and protect you tomorrow when you least expect it.

Call or click for a free, no-obligation quote. We’ll help you get the coverage you need before you need it.

Personal Liability Umbrella Insurance

Massachusetts Personal Liability Umbrella Coverage

What Umbrella Insurance Is and Who Needs It

Insurance policies can be confusing, so it’s nice when you can at least understand what their names mean. Umbrella insurance provides us with a perfect example a self-explanatory name.

On the most basic level, insurance policies and umbrellas perform the same function: protection. Insurance protects you from financial hardships and an umbrella protects you from nasty weather.

A cynic might argue that insurance is just a waste of money because you don’t receive anything tangible from it unless something bad happens. These folks would rather keep their money or spend it on other things than protection against the risk that something might happen.

To counter this argument, we once again refer to the umbrella analogy. Do you really need to buy an umbrella? No. It’s not essential to survival; however, who is going to be happier outside when it does inevitably rain? It’s fair to say that the person covered by an umbrella is likely happier for being prepared.

Shelter from the Storm

Umbrella insurance can be thought of as insurance on your liability insurance. If you are ever sued for negligence, for example, umbrella insurance is normally capable of covering many, if not all, of the often unpredictable expenses you are most likely to incur.

In addition to legal representation, you might need to pay for property damages, medical bills or lost wages due to negligence.

Perhaps the biggest reason to have umbrella insurance is that it can serve to protect you from having your personal assets, financial savings or even your home seized in order to pay legal fees and other possible costs resulting from your negligence.

Some of the basic information you will most likely be required to provide when inquiring about umbrella insurance include:

  • Name, date of birth, sex, marital status, occupation, driver’s license information.
  • Accident and violation data for the last five
  • Current insurance information, including the company, your expiration dates, and claims and losses for the past five y
  • Listing of other assets you own, including recreational vehicles, rental property and land.
  • Listing of watercraft, aircraft and other vehicles you own or use for business purposes.
  • Listing of all business activities conducted in your household, if any, as well as on other property you own.

Who Needs Umbrella Insurance?

So, who needs umbrella insurance? Anyone who has a liability insurance policy against which he or she could be sued for negligence, such as a vehicle or home, would be doing themselves a favor by at least considering additional umbrella coverage.

A negative stereotype associated with umbrella insurance is that, like a live-in maid, it is a luxury only the wealthy among us can afford. Two of the reasons why this is a misconception are that, one, anybody can be sued, and two, umbrella insurance is affordable protection no matter what your budget.

In fact, the Insurance Information Institute says that personal liability coverage of about $1 million can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars a year. So, since pretty much anyone can be sued, and pretty much anyone with a job can afford it, umbrella insurance coverage might be a smart purchase before the financial storm hits.

Call, Click or Stop By MassQuotes for more information about Massachusetts Personal Liability Umbrella Coverage.

Driving with Children: The Ultimate Distraction

The Ultimate Driving Distraction

It sounds like a horror movie or a new reality TV show, but it’s not.

It’s the ultimate distraction: Driving with Children!

It seems like kids are hard-wired to get hungry and more demanding as soon as the car starts. While driving across town or across the country, if you’re not hearing cries of “I’m hungry,” more than likely it’s “I’m bored.”

But in that second it takes to reach to the passenger seat for the pacifier-du jour you could find yourself in the back seat of the car in front of you, with a rear-end accident, possible injuries and potential auto insurance claims.

While it’s tempting to want to placate children immediately, it’s important for drivers to remember that their primary responsibility is to pay attention to the road to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.

Be Prepared

Here are some safety tips to help keep your next trip with small children accident free.

  • Keep your mind on the road and off the snacks by making sure the kids have what they need before you hit the road.
  • You may find it helpful to keep a bag packed with snacks, activities or toys in the back seat that your child can reach easily, especially if you’re going on a long trip. Change items out frequently so they don’t get bored with the selection.
  • If your child is very little there are products on the market that allow you to attach toys and snack cups to the car seat to keep them at hand. However, if food is a choking hazard for your little one at home, don’t give it to them in the car.

Train the Troops

“Training” your children for proper automobile behavior is also key for avoiding highway hassles – and potential auto insurance claims. Making sure they have snacks and books before you hit the road is a start. The second part of the equation is to let them know that if they drop it, it’s gone for good. Period.

  • Do a final check-in with everyone before you take off to make sure that they have what they need: music, snacks, activities. Then remind your children that once you hit the road, they’re on their own.
  • Remain focused: cell phones and electronics only complicate the issue even further. Turn handheld devices off or leave them in the trunk to avoid the temptation to answer a call.
  • If the backseat erupts into chaos, keep yourself calm and your eyes on the road. If you’re unable to diffuse the situation safely or unable to ignore it, pull over at your first opportunity.
  • If you must pull over, make sure you pull over in a safe place. The side of the freeway is not the place to calm a child and is something law enforcement officers frown upon.

Retrain Your Brain

It is part of the human condition to want to sooth a child in distress, and parents are especially in tune with satisfying kids’ every need. Remind yourself that your job in the car, first and foremost, is to arrive safely at your destination.

Ultimately children respond to adult’s reactions. Once you retrain yourself not to react, your kids will do the same. If you can remain calm and firm, your kids will eventually learn to accept that they are not going to get their way the minute they make a request. They may not be happy when you get where you’re going, but at least they’ll be in one piece.

Contact MassQuotes.com: We are your online, Massachusetts Independent Insurance Agent 

You will do whatever it takes to protect your family, on the road and at home. That includes making sure your insurance protection is adequate and up to date. MassQuotes will be happy to sit down with you to review your coverage. Click, call or stop by today to make sure your current policy is right for your family.

Real Time Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes

MassQuotes

MassQuotes is your site for Massachusetts Insurance.

Our Independent Agents utilize numerous companies to rate your auto insurance and find you the best coverage and discount options.

When you submit a quote request through our website, you will receive up to 2 “real time” quotes.

These quotes will be from Vermont Mutual Insurance and Safety Insurance.

In addition to these companies, our Massachusetts Independent Insurance Agents will rate you with numerous other companies.

Please call or click us today.

You’ll be happy you did.

Brought to you by the friendly, helpful independent insurance agents participating in http://www.MassQuotes.com!

 

MassDOT Registry Of Motor Vehicles Steering Customers Online

MA Auto, Home, & Life Insurance

(Note: Our website, MassQuotes.com, is not associated with the state of MA, or the RMV, or DOT. We are independent insurance agency website, designed to help inform, educate, advise and offer competitive, Massachusetts insurance auto insurance quotes.)

From MA Registry of Motor Vehicles
For Immediate Release: 09/29/2014

Combined licensed and registration renewals to top 1.35 million through end of 2014

BOSTON– Monday, September 29, 2014 — Today, MassDOT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Celia J. Blue encouraged customers to make MassRMV.com their first stop this fall as the agency braces to close out the year with more than 1.35 million driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations up for renewal.

“MassRMV.com is designed to help our customers save time and to allow our branch employees to focus on more complex transactions,” said Registrar Blue. “By making MassRMV.com their first stop, customers will find they are able to renew in a matter of minutes or discover they need in-person attention at one of our branches.”

Customers leaving business to the last minute may face long branch waits. Drivers may renew their license 12 months in advance of their expiration date; the RMV will handle 243,589 license renewals from October through December.

A postcard reminder mailed from the RMV lets customers know if they are eligible to renew online or if they must visit a branch for a new picture which is required every 10-years. To ensure customers are aware of their license expiration date, it is critical they update their mailing address with the RMV. An address change can be done online for free anytime at MassRMV.com.

All vanity plate registrations expire in November and commercial vehicle registrations are up for renewal in December. Many commercial renewals require the registrant to visit a branch in person, making the last days of each year some of the busiest for RMV branches. There are 1,114,758 vehicle registrations scheduled for renewal through December.

The RMV’s AAA partner locations in Boston, Framingham, Saugus, South Dennis, West Springfield, and Worcester are able to perform license and registrations for AAA members, most of these locations offer Saturday morning hours. In the months ahead, an additional six AAA’s will begin offering expanded RMV transactions.

Later this year, the RMV Division will introduce a self-service license and ID renewal kiosk called FasTrack at select branch locations. Customers without any outstanding issues like parking tickets, fine or citations, will be able to visit the FasTrack and update their photo and renew on the spot.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot   blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/ , or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT    and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo .

Massachusetts Home Insurance Checklist:

Massachusetts Home Insurance Checklist Massachusetts Home Insurance

Every year Massachusetts home insurance consumers should take a few minutes to review your coverage and premium.

As life changes, home insurance needs change as well.

MassQuotes offers our Massachusetts Homeowner Renewal Checklist:

  • Do you own jewelry, furs or watches with values over $1,000?
  • Do you own silverware with a total value of over $2,500?
  • Do you have a collection of valuables, including: coins, stamps or other?
  • Do you own any of the following: Musical Instruments, Fine Arts or Antiques, Camera Equipment, Sports Equipment, Personal Computer?
  • Do you own a boat?
  • Is there a trampoline on your property?
  • Do you have any tools, equipment or other property used in your business or occupation?
  • Would you like your insurance to provide: Replacement Cost Protection on your Dwelling, on your Personal Property, Credit Card/forgery protection, Ordinance or Law coverage, Earthquake coverage?
  • Flood is not a covered loss on a homeowner policy. Would you like to obtain rates for flood insurance? Also excluded from coverage are such things such as: rot, mold, mildew or animal/vermin/insect damage.
  • Are you interested in receiving information on: Auto, Life, Excess Liability (Umbrella), Boat or Business Insurance?