Prevent Further Property Damage

Prevent Further Property Damage

Prevent Further Property Damage

In the immediate aftermath of a property loss, you may need to take steps to reduce the possibility of further damage to your home, personal property or business.

Once you and your loved ones are safe, below are the steps we suggest you take to protect your property after a loss.

Step 1: Protect your property from any further damage

Regardless of the nature of your loss, you should cleanup and undertake any temporary repairs to prevent further damage. This may include doing things like boarding up windows, tarping your roof or cleaning up non-hazardous spills and debris. If necessary, you should consult with a professional to accomplish this. Additionally, you’ll want to assess your property for damage and save all repair expense receipts associated with the loss.

Make sure to stay clear of downed or damaged utility lines, and if you plan to use a generator, never do so in a carport or garage.

Step 2: Collect relevant information

  • Make a list, take photos and/or video of damaged items (prior to clean-up, if possible).
  • Save all your emergency repair/expense receipts.

Step 3: If you’re unable to stay in your house

If you are unable to stay in your home because it is unsafe to do so, make short-term living arrangements for the next couple of days. Your Claim professional will review the coverage on your policy and evaluate reimbursement of emergency expenses.

  • If safe to do so, attempt to stop the source of the water leak immediately. If necessary, contact a plumber or other professional.
  • If the water results from damage to your roof, contact a contractor who can provide tarping services.
    Clean up any standing water or wet carpets. If necessary, contact a professional cleaning service.
  • It is important for your Claim professional to view what may have caused the loss or damage. If feasible, retain any pipes,   hoses or parts involved with the leak. If not, take photos.
  • If there’s a pipe burst due to freezing conditions or you expect cold weather, you should take steps to mitigate freeze damage. Turn off the water source to the pipe or try to increase the temperature in the room – open cupboard doors and/or turn on a space heater.

  • Avoid disturbing the area where the fire started until the Claim professional has contacted you to discuss the loss.
  • Do not attempt to clean soot-covered walls, floors or ceilings yourself. This is better left to a professional cleaning company.
  • Do not throw away any items damaged in the fire.

  • If tree debris is on your home or building or has the potential to cause more damage, contact a professional for removal and/or to place a tarp on your roof.
  • Contact your local electric company if any trees are on your electrical lines.
  • Stay away from any power lines, especially if they are on the ground.

  • If any appliances or electronics are damaged, retain them until you speak with your Claim professional.
  • Consider shutting off the power to the affected area or your house depending on the nature of the event and its severity.
  • Contact your local electric company if tree debris is on your electrical lines.
  • Stay away from any power lines especially if they are on the ground.

As always: call Johnson & Rohan Insurance as soon as possible. We will help setup your claim, assist and advise.

 

Rental Car Coverage on Vacation

Rental Car Coverage on Vacation

Worth repeating: Do I have Rental Car Coverage on Vacation?

A long time, great client recently called our office. He travels to Europe and hoped to confirm that his Massachusetts auto insurance coverage follows him when he rents a vehicle on vacation

He was surprised when I told him: coverage only follows you in the United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Massachusetts auto coverage DOES NOT follow you to Bermuda, Europe, Mexico or any other fabulous, international destination. In countries outside the U.S., U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico and Canada, you definitely want to purchase liability and physical damage coverage when you rent a vehicle.

The MA Coverage that follows you (U.S., U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada) includes: Part 5, Bodily Injury to Others; Parts 3 & 12, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage, Collision and Comprehensive Coverage (including your deductible, if at fault).

 

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Away at School Discount

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Away at School Discount

In Massachusetts, many auto insurance companies offer an Away at School Discount.

In order to qualify, your child must be a full-time student and live away from home, over 90 miles away and not have a vehicle with them at school.

If you qualify, please call or email us the details so we can apply the additional credit.

Most auto insurers also offer a “good student “(B or better average) discount. Please give us a call or send us an email to verify you’re receiving the discounts you should be getting.

 

 

Collector Car Insurance

Collector Car Insurance

 

 

 

 

Do you own a vintage auto?  If you own a car at least 25 years old, or that might be collectible in nature, Johnson & Rohan Insurance may be able to insure it through the specialty market- great coverage at a fraction of the price.

We have two great Collector Car Insurance markets:

Grundy invented the agreed value classic car insurance policy in 1947 and are a true leader in the market- insure your classic with “The Olde Original.”

Hagerty Insurance is another established leader in classic car insurance- between the two, let us put together a customized quote from a single car to major collection.

What is your car worth? Find out by clicking: here.

Disabled Veterans Tax Exemptions in Massachusetts

Disabled Veterans Tax Exemptions in Massachusetts

 

 

Did You Know? In Massachusetts disabled veterans receive fee and tax exemptions.

They include:

Registration fee

Per M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 33(29), disabled veterans do not need to pay a registration fee for one passenger vehicle or pick-up truck. It must be owned by the veteran and used for non-commercial purposes. The veteran can choose either one set of DV plates or one set of passenger plates. If the veteran chooses passenger plates with an additional special plate fee (special, vanity, or reserved plates), the special plate fee must be paid. If the veteran owns additional vehicles, registration fees must be paid for those vehicles.

Driver’s license fee

Per M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 33(29), disabled veterans do not need to pay fees for driver’s license transactions. It does not matter if the veteran has obtained DV plates, but he/she must be approved for them.

Excise tax

Per M.G.L. Chapter 60A, Section 1, disabled veterans do not need to pay excise tax for one passenger vehicle or pick-up truck. It must be owned by the veteran and used for non-commercial purposes. It does not matter if the veteran has obtained DV plates, but he/she must be approved for them. Application for the excise tax exemption must be made to the board of assessors of the city or town where the vehicle is registered. If the veteran owns additional vehicles, excise tax must be paid for those vehicles.

Sales tax

Per M.G.L. Chapter 64H, Section 6, disabled veterans do not need to pay sales tax for one passenger vehicle or pick-up truck. It must be owned by the veteran and used for non-commercial purposes. To be eligible, the veteran MUST obtain DV plates for the vehicle. If the veteran purchases additional vehicles, sales tax must be paid for those vehicles.

Report A Claim

From our family to your family

 

 

 

 

During the months of July and August, we are open 5 days per week. Monday – Friday. 9:00 a.m – 5:00 pm. Closed on Saturdays.

To report a claim during off hours (24/7):

Vermont Mutual:  800-435-0397

Safety Insurance:  866-906-5016

Progressive:  800-776-4737

Travelers/ Standard Fire:  877-425-2466

MPIUA:  800-392-6108

Commerce/MAPFRE:  800-922-8276

Amica:  800-242-6422

Plymouth Rock/Pilgrim Insurance: 617-951-1620

Hagerty Insurance:  800-385-0274

Swyfft Insurance:  855-479-9338

Openly:  857-990-9080

From our family to your family: we hope you have great, safe 4th of July weekend!

Our office will be closed on Monday, July 4th, Independence Day.

Home Insurance Coverage Questions

Home Insurance Coverage Questions

 

 

Life can be messy. To help prevent some of the messiness, consider calling us to review your home insurance coverage. Home insurance coverage questions:

1. Is my home covered if we need to rebuild?

Have us complete an updated Replacement Cost Survey. Upgrades to a kitchen or bathroom, new kitchen appliances, or updates to a basement can all affect the cost to repair or rebuild your home.

2. Do I have enough coverage for my expensive items?

Your homeowner coverage includes “special limits of liability” which, for example, the most the insurance company will pay:  $1,000 for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semiprecious stones; $2,500 for loss by theft of silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, etc.; $2,000 for loss by theft of firearms. If you have any special items consider scheduling the item by appraisal.

3. Do I have enough liability coverage to protect my assets?

Home and auto policies carry liability limits that help protect you from judgments against you and legal fees, up to policy limits. Do you know your policy limits? In our litigious society, you may want to have us help you review your limits. If you don’t have one already, consider purchasing additional coverage in the form of a personal liability umbrella policy. Umbrella coverage starts at $1M and “sits-over” your auto and home liability limits.

4. Do I qualify for additional discounts?

An annual insurance review is a great time to ensure you’re receiving all applicable discount. For example, have you installed a security system? If so, additional protective device discounts may be available. Are you getting the proper account discounts? What would be the savings/cost if you were to increase/lower your deductible? Give us a call so we can review.

5. Does my newly finished basement affect my coverage?

Finishing your basement increases the cost to rebuild your home, in addition you may want to make sure you’ve added an additional, optional sump pump failure/ water backup endorsement.

6. Does my policy provide enough coverage for landscaping equipment or outdoor appliances?

When you install a new sprinkler system, larger shed, new pool or hot tub, or if you’ve purchased a fancy, backyard grill or riding mower, you might want to upgrade your insurance coverage. Significant investments require a review of your Dwelling and Personal Property Coverage.
Like home maintenance, an annual insurance review is an important part of protecting your biggest investment.

7. Do I have coverage for an oil leak?

In order to qualify the “Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law” requires either a non-metallic sleeve around the pipe that feeds the burner or a safety valve to prevent leaks. Companies require “certificate of compliance” signed by oil burner technician.

8. Do I have Ordinance or Law coverage?

Ordinance or Law insurance coverage provides limited protection for costs associated with repairing, rebuilding, or constructing a structure when physical damage to the structure by a covered cause of loss triggers an ordinance or law. Limited coverage can be added by endorsement.

Give us a call, a click or a visit and we will be happy to review your insurance coverage with you.

Only You Can Prevent Dryer Fires

Prevent Dryer Fires

How can we prevent dryer fires? According to Consumer Reports: “Dryer fires are responsible for seven deaths, 344 civilian injuries, and $233 million in property damage annually.” They offer the following prevention ideas:

1. Clean the Lint Filter

Not once a month, or even once a week: “Clean the lint from the dryer’s lint screen after every load,” says Richard Handel, the test engineer who oversees CR’s laundry appliance lab. “This helps prevent a fire, and it also helps your laundry dry faster.”

2. Replace Accordion-Style Ducts

Generally, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which homeowners or installers connect to the exterior vent with a duct. But not all ducts will do.

If you see a plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your appliance to the vent, it’s a good idea to replace it. These are risky because they can sag, allowing lint to build up at low points and trapping lint in their ridges.

Handel recommends a rigid metal duct. “The smooth walls allow the air to flow, and also reduce the buildup of lint,” he says. “A flexible metal duct should be your second choice.”

One other tip: Use duct connectors and metal clamps or foil tape to join sections of duct rather than sheet-metal screws, which can catch lint and cause buildup inside the duct.

3. Clean the Dryer Duct Annually (at Least)

If you notice that your dryer takes longer to dry laundry than it used to, that’s a clue that there may be a blockage in the dryer vent system. When you’re drying a load, go outside and look at the vent. Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct may be blocked with lint.

Start by disconnecting your dryer from the power source. And if you have a gas dryer, also turn off the gas valve near the dryer.

“Carefully slide the dryer away from the wall so that you can access the vent that’s typically in the back of the dryer,” Handel says. “If you have a gas dryer, take care not to overstretch or damage the gas line.”

Disconnect the duct from the dryer, and vacuum both the dryer and the duct—as much as you can access. Where possible, separate the duct into shorter sections for better access, then reassemble and attach the duct to the dryer. Be sure all joints in the duct are properly connected and held together with clamps or foil tape. Then return the dryer to its original spot and reconnect the power.

While you’re at it, clean behind the dryer and underneath it—lint builds up there, too. In winter, check after windy weather or snowstorms to be sure that snow isn’t blocking the outdoor vent.

4. Handle Chemical Stains With Care

Clothes stained with gas, cooking oil, cleaning agents, or other flammable chemicals or substances need special care. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends washing such stained clothing more than once to minimize volatile chemicals, then hanging to dry.

If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that concludes with a cool-down period.

In the event that a fire does start, keep the dryer door closed to limit its oxygen supply—a fire needs oxygen to keep it going.

Homeowner Insurance and Inflation, Spring 2022

Whether you are checking out the news, managing your own business, paying at the pump or just wrapping up a trip to the grocery store, it’s obvious that inflation has risen to a level we haven’t seen in years.  The insurance industry and Homeowner insurance in particular are also impacted.

Your Homeowner policy tries to increase the Dwelling value of your home to keep pace with inflation.  As your agent we strive to to insure properties at 100% of their replacement costs.  In times of steep inflation this can be a challenge.  Some carriers are now increasing their keep-pace-with-inflation increases from 3% or 4%,  up to 8%.   We see cases where even this is not enough.  With a direct correlation between Dwelling value and annual premium- premiums are going up.

Please give us a call so that we can help with your next Homeowner renewal.  We can review your replacement cost and any updates to your home and help to maximize discounts for fire and burglar alarms or loss free discounts.  How would a higher deductible affect the annual premium?  We can let you know.  We’re all in this for the long haul, so please let us put our expertise to work for you and your family today.

Leaky Oil Tank Coverage

Leaky Oil Tank Coverage

 

 

 

 

 

Leaky Oil Tank Coverage. It’s been in the paper (Boston Globe) and on television (WCVB-5):

A leaky oil tank could cost a young couple their dream home.

The home insurance policy excludes oil spill coverage but limited coverage is available by endorsement.

Insurance companies require proof of safety equipment designed to prevent or limit oil spills.

Proof should be in the form of oil burner permit or Certificate of Compliance.

Cost and coverage varies between companies, one company (Safety Insurance) offers $50,000 of personal property coverage and $100,000 personal liability for $139.00 annually.

Please call us with any questions or to discuss.