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Automatic Emergency Braking Becomes Standard

Over 99% of the U.S auto makers have agreed to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on virtually all new cars by September 1, 2022.  The consensus is this will make the technology standard in new cars three years earlier than going through the formal regulatory process.  During those three years it is estimated 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries could be prevented, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates.

Committed auto makers:

Audi                                        Honda                                   Mazda                                      Subaru

BMW                                      Hyundai                                Mercedes-Benz                      Tesla Motors Inc.

FCA US LLC                          Jaguar Land Rover             Mitsubishi Motors                 Toyota

Ford                                        Kia                                          Nissan                                       Volkswagen

General Motors                    Maserati                                Porsche                                     Volvo Car USA

Source: The Standard, March 25, 2016

April 7, 2016   No Comments

Discounts for Donations

Arbella Insurance and MAPFRE (Commerce) Insurance offer auto policy discounts for donations to specific partner organizations:

  • Arbella: 6% discount for a minimum donation of $50 to any of the following organizations:
    • Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber
    • Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA)
    • Melanoma Foundation of New England

 

  • MAPFRE: 5% discount for a minimum donation of $25 to the Pan-Mass Challenge.

 

The discount is eligible for current policy year only, meaning each year you make the donation you can receive the discount.  It does not automatically renew, proof of donation is required each year.

This discount can only be added on policy renewal but the donation can be made in the 12 months prior to your policy’s effective date.

If you donate to one of these worthy organizations anyway, may as well send us the receipt so you can receive the discount.  And if you don’t, you have an additional reason to help others.

Questions?  Just ask.  That’s why we are here.

March 10, 2016   No Comments

So you don’t need renter’s insurance?

Progressive Insurance recently conducted a Renters Survey, finding nearly seven in ten (68%) of US renters do not have insurance.  A renter’s policy would cover personal belongings and liability – both on and off the premises.  Four common myths seem to be working against this concept:

  • “Nothing will ever happen to me.”
  • “I live in a safe building, I don’t need to lock my door.”
  • “Renters insurance is too expensive.”
  • “I’m covered by my roommate’s insurance.”

Theft is actually the most common renter’s claim (American Strategic Insurance).  Tenant policies are usually inexpensive: they can be as low as $20-$25/month.  IMPORTANT TO NOTE: unless items are considered “shared goods” roommates need separate tenant policies.

Think about it – if you can afford to replace all of your personal items (furniture, clothes, shoes, decorations, lamps, pictures, kitchen items, etc.) if they are suddenly gone, then roll the dice!  Of course, that does not address the Personal Liability, Loss of Use, and Medical Payments covered as well.

So, do you need renter’s insurance after all?

Source: Independent Agent Magazine

February 29, 2016   No Comments

RMV Near Me Program

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) have launched a partner program with statewide Councils on Aging (COA): RMV Near Me.  This program provides additional service locations at which senior citizens can receive assistance processing routine Registry transactions online.

To date, more than 50 Councils on Aging (listed below) are participating in the program.  COA staff were trained by RMV staff and are now able to assist residents with conducting online transactions as well as help to locate important RMV forms, documents and resources online.

Participating Councils on Aging: Adams, Amesbury, Athol, Bellingham, Blackstone, Blandford, Brewster, Brimfield, Brockton, Clinton, Chester, Dartmouth, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Erving, Framingham, Franklin, Gardner, Gloucester, Granby, Great Barrington, Halifax, Holden, Huntington, Lawrence, Littleton, Longmeadow, Merrimac, Methuen, Middlefield, Middleton, Millbury, Monson, New Bedford, Newton, Nahant, Peabody, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Rowley, Russell, Scituate, Sharon, Sheffield, Spencer, Wakefield, Wales, West Boylston, Westford, Westwood, Wilmington, Winchendon, and Woburn.

See the full announcement at the RMV website: http://www.massrmv.com/tabid/1609/ctl/detail/mid/4285/itemid/732/Baker-Polito-Administration-Launches-New–RMV-Near-Me–Program-Partners-with-Councils-on-Aging-to-offer-assistance-with-online-transactions-.aspx

 

February 18, 2016   No Comments

Bryan Benevento honored by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors.

Look who’s famous!

http://www.itemlive.com/news/swampscott-insurance-agent-honored-by-the-society-of-cic/#.VrsuWbkZKCk.mailto

February 10, 2016   No Comments

RMV Announces Grace Period for December Registration Renewals

RMV Announces Grace Period for December Registration Renewals

Due to a mailing issue, the RMV is still renewing registrations that expire in December. If your clients‘ December renewal has been delayed, they may still be eligible to renew online (assuming that no insurance stamp is required). When a registration is renewed online, the registrant receives an email confirmation of the renewal which must be carried in the vehicle until the new registration and decal are received. The registrant will not be charged twice. ALARS will not permit the renewal check to be applied because the registration is already renewed. As a result, the check will be returned uncashed.

The RMV has advised us that the majority of registration renewal applications for November and December registrations have been processed, and customers should expect to receive their Certificate of Registration and expiration decal by January 15, 2016. The RMV has asked law enforcement to recognize a grace period (through January 15, 2016) for customers falling into this category.

There are also a number of incomplete applications that were submitted that are in the process of being returned to customers for completion. For example, the registration application was submitted without a check, the proper payment amount, proof of insurance, or proof of heavy vehicle use tax payment (Form 2290).

Customers can check the status of their registration online by selecting: Registration Inquiry.

December 31, 2015   No Comments

Hurricanes (or the lack thereof)

We have averted disasters: the Atlantic hurricane season officially and quietly ended last month.  Prior to the start of the hurricane season, meteorologists predicted that strong El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean would hamper the development of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean.  As it turns out, they were right.

On average, 12 tropical storms – six of which become hurricanes – form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th each year, according to the National Weather Service.  Over a typical two year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of three hurricanes, one of which is classified as a major hurricane with winds of 111 mph or greater.

Eleven named tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean this year: one less than the average.  Four of the storms became hurricanes (Danny, Fred, Joaquin and Kate), with two strengthening into major hurricanes at their peaks: Danny (Category 3) and Joaquin (Category 4).  Luckily, none of the hurricanes made landfall at full force in the United States, which could have had devastating effects.

The last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma in 2005.  Thus, 2015 marks the 10th consecutive year without a major hurricane hitting somewhere in the U.S., the longest stretch of time since hurricane tracking began in 1851.  While we can consider ourselves very fortunate in that respect, we should note that many regions of our country have suffered substantially from weather related events during the past year.  Once again, we are reminded that in order for insurance to play a major role in helping people put their lives back together after a major catastrophe, families and businesses need a properly structured insurance program.

– Information obtained from The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly magazine

December 17, 2015   No Comments

Winterize your RV, by Foremost Insurance

Foremost Insurance @Foremost 3h3 hours ago

Getting your RV ready for the winter

October 15, 2015   No Comments

Personal drones

If you (or more likely, your kids) are having fun with drones this summer, you should contact us to find out if your homeowner policy covers any accidents (property damage, injury, that type of thing). One thing you should know before you inquire, does your drone include a camera? The privacy issue can impact the situation.

August 28, 2015   No Comments

Senate panel looking into home insurance rate hikes

From  the Lynn Daily Item:

By Matt Murphy STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

BOSTON – A Senate panel plans to investigate increases in homeowner insurance rates approved this year after a harsh winter led to increased claims from property owners.

Sen. Michael Barrett, a Lexington Democrat and chair of the Senate’s Post Audit and Oversight Committee, said Monday he would hold an oversight hearing in September to question the Division of Insurance about its approval of the new rates.

Some of the state’s largest property insurers this summer received approval for rate increases hovering around 9 percent.  Mapfre USA Corp., the state’s largest home insurer, plans to increase rates by 8.9 percent, while Safety Insurance’s rates will climb by 9.1 percent and Bunker Hill Insurance will raise rates by 7.8 percent.

The increases will add about $100 a year to policies in Massachusetts that average $1,150 to $1,250 annually.

According (to) the senator’s office and the insurance division, there are about 1.86 million home insurance policies in Massachusetts and the typically annual increase ranges between 2 percent and 3 percent.

“Last winter, insurers shelled out real money to pay for damage from ice dams and water leaks – but hikes of eight and nine percent deserve a close look by regulators and legislators,” Barrett said in a statement.  “The industry is supposed to set aside reserves in advance for the occasional tough year.  I hope the Division of Insurance went to town with its due diligence before approving these big increases.  Let’s see if they did.”

Consumer advocates and insurance executives will be invited to testify as well.  The hearing date has not yet been set.

August 5, 2015   No Comments

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