The Lemon Law

The Lemon Law

Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law AKA: The Lemon Law

The Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law (Lemon Law) allows you to void or cancel a motor vehicle contract or sale if your vehicle fails to pass inspection within seven days from the date of sale AND if the estimated costs of repairs of emissions or safety related defects exceed 10% of the purchase price. ( M.G.L. c. 90 §7N) This law applies to both dealer and private party sales of cars and motorcycles purchased for personal or family use. Dealers must display your Lemon Aid rights by putting a sticker on the left front window of each used car at the time of delivery.

Vehicle Inspection And Registration Requirements

By law, sellers of used vehicles must remove inspection stickers prior to transferring the vehicle to the new owner. Motor vehicle inspection stickers are not transferable to a new owner. When you buy a used car, you must bring the car to a licensed Massachusetts Inspection Station within seven days of registering it. In order to be protected by the Lemon Aid Law, however, you will need to have it inspected within seven days of purchase. For your own protection, do not allow the dealer to do the inspection for you.

If Your Car Will Not Run

Cars that do not run automatically fail inspection. To be eligible for a refund under the Lemon Aid Law, you must demonstrate that the estimated cost of repairs for safety or emissions related defects (and not the problem that is keeping the car from being inspected) is more than 10% of purchase price. Proving this may be difficult because it requires that a mechanic locate the problems and estimate the cost of repairs for these defects.

How To Receive Your Refund

In order to obtain a refund, the vehicle must be inspected and rejected by a licensed Massachusetts Inspection Station within 7 days of purchasing it. The rejection cannot be caused by your negligence, abuse or an accident occurring after the date of sale. In addition, you must complete all of the following steps within 14 days from the date of sale:

  1. Get a written statement, signed by an authorized agent of the inspection station, stating the reasons why the vehicle failed to pass the safety or combined safety and emissions inspection test.
  2. Obtain a written estimate of the costs of the necessary emissions or safety repairs showing that those costs exceed 10% of the purchase price.
  3. Notify the seller of your intention to void the contract under this statute ( M.G.L. c. 90, §7N). Do this by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail. Enclose a copy of the documents listed in Steps 1 and 2. Be sure to save copies for your files.
  4. Deliver the car to the seller, even if delivery requires towing services. It is advisable to take a witness with you and copies of the documents listed in Steps 1, 2, and 3. If the seller refuses to accept the car, prepare a statement indicating that you and a witness delivered the car to the seller on that date, but that the seller refused to accept the car. Be sure the statement is signed by both you and your witness in the presence of a notary public.

If you comply with these provisions, you are entitled to a full refund of the purchase price. You and the seller may agree in writing to have the seller do the necessary emissions or safety-related repairs at the seller’s expense. You may, however, refuse the seller’s offer and accept a full refund.

If You Paid For a Title

Contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles Title Division at (617) 351-9550. Explain that you are returning the vehicle to the seller under the Lemon Aid Law, and that you are requesting that a certificate of title be issued to you as soon as possible. When you receive the title, you should assign and transfer it back to the seller. If the seller refuses to accept the title, then send it by certified mail and retain a copy for your records.

If You Paid Sales Tax and Registration Fees

Take the following steps immediately to ensure you receive a rebate:

Sales Tax: Fill out an abatement form available from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Taxpayer Service Division, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204, (617) 887-6367.

Registration Fee: If you return your license plates within 10 days from the date you registered your car, you will receive a refund less a charge of $5. If you return your plates after this 10-day period, but within a “reasonable time,” you will receive a partial rebate.

Asserting Your Rights

If you followed all of the above steps and the seller does not refund your money, you should explore the following options:

Mediation:
Mediation is an inexpensive and informal way to resolve your dispute without hiring an attorney and going to court. Contact the Attorney General’s Office for mediation services.

Court Action:
You may also pursue your claim through the court system. For claims under $7,000, small claims court may be the least costly alternative. Consumer Affairs publishes a Consumer’s Guide to Small Claims Court available upon request. Larger claims may be more suitable to District or Superior Court. You should seek legal advice for all claims.

Other Rights and Remedies

If you do not qualify for a refund under the Lemon Aid Law, other laws and regulations may protect you. Unless otherwise noted, these laws do not apply to private party sales.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability:
In addition to any express written warranties given by the dealer, you are also protected by an Implied Warranty of Merchantability. This implied warranty is automatic with every car sold by a dealer. The dealer warranties that the car is safe and in running condition for at least a reasonable period of time. Consider such factors as the price paid, the car’s age, make, model and mileage to help you determine what problems the dealer should be required to fix.

You cannot waive the implied warranty of merchantability. This means that a dealer cannot sell cars “as is,” “with all faults,” or with a “50/50” warranty.

Odometer Law:
The law prohibits both dealers and private party sellers from turning back or readjusting the odometer or mileage indicator on any automobile offered for sale.

Title Requirements:
All vehicles must have a certificate of title issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and must be properly endorsed at the time of sale. The dealer must inform you, on request, of the name and address of the prior owner of a car.

Used Vehicle Warranty Law:
Dealers must provide a written warranty to buyers who purchase a used vehicle with fewer than 125,000 miles at a purchase price of $700 or more. The law requires dealers to repair use or safety defects for either 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the mileage of the vehicle. It also allows consumers to obtain a refund if during the warranty period they attempted to have the vehicle repaired three times for the same defect, or if the car has been out of service for repairs for at least 11 business days, and the defects still exist.

Private Party Sales:
In addition to the Lemon Aid Law requirements, a private party who sells a consumer a used vehicle must tell the buyer about any known use or safety defects. If the buyer discovers a defect which impairs the safety or substantially impairs the use of the vehicle, and can prove the seller knew about it, then the buyer can return the vehicle within 30 days of purchase. Private parties are bound by this law, regardless of the age or selling price of the vehicle.

Sources of Help

For General Information:
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
(617) 973-8787 or Toll Free: (888) 283-3757

Title Information:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Title Division
(617) 351-9550

To file a complaint against a dealer:
The Office of the Attorney General
(617) 727-8400

Automobile consumers are protected by laws covering those who purchase vehicles in Massachusetts that are found to have significant defects. These free programs offer an additional level of protection for consumers who purchase cars that fail to function as required by law. If you have recently purchased a defective vehicle, follow this simple tool to determine if your vehicle is eligible for Massachusetts’ Lemon Law, Lemon Aid Law, or Used Vehicle Warranty Law.

You must be able to demonstrate that the defects must substantially impair the use, market-value or safety of the vehicle. For example, to prove market value impairment, you must show you vehicle is worth at least 10% less than is would be without the defect.

If the vehicle fails inspection and you’re within seven days

If the vehicle fails inspection, it may be eligible for Lemon Aid, however you must act quickly. Please contact our Office at 888-283-3757 for more information.

Over seven days: The vehicle is not eligible for Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law, but it may be eligible for the Used Vehicle Warranty Law.

Boat Storm Safety Tips

BOAT STORM SAFETY TIPS

As a boat owner, being prepared for hurricane season can save you money … and headaches! We offer the following Travelers’ Boat Storm Safety Tips:

  • If possible, haul the vessel from the water on its own trailer or in collaboration with your marina.
  • If you are unable to check the vessel, have a plan in place to ensure that the vessel can be secured.
  • If the boat remains in the water, remove as much boating gear as possible including electronics and important documents.
  • Double up all lines and check that the lines are long enough to accommodate the expected storm surge. Add chafe gear and extra fenders to prevent damage.
  • If the boat is staying on its mooring, add chafe gear to the anchor rode and if feasible, add additional anchors in a three point position.
  • Reduce wind damage by removing sails, dodgers, dinghies, bridge enclosures and eisenglass.
  • Disconnect shore power cords, water supply hoses and close off any propane or other valves.
  • If possible & prudent, navigate the vessel inland to a secure location away from possible storm surge damage and from boas that could break away from their mooring or slip.
  • Secure and lock all hatches and portlights. Double check for leaks and seal as necessary if a leak is found.
  • Secure all loose gear and any item that may clog scuppers and deck drains.
  • When in doubt “Haul her out.”
  • Never stay aboard during the storm.
  • If the vessel sustains damage from a storm, report the claim in a timely fashion.

Part 5, Optional Bodily Injury to Others

Part 5, Optional Bodily Injury to Others

Coverage Review:  Part 5, Optional Bodily Injury to Others

As your Agent, it’s (just about) the only thing we care about. It’s your Part 5, Optional Bodily to Others coverage!

This is your lawsuit coverage.

We recommend limits of $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident and a (minimum) $1,000,000 personal liability umbrella coverage.

In addition to coverage, insurance companies provide legal defense.

Do you know how much coverage you have?

Give us a call or a click and let’s review.

 

Umbrella Insurance Part 2

A valued client recently decided to purchase personal liability umbrella insurance coverage.
In general, the amount of coverage you have should at least equal the total of your assets.
The idea being: you’re insurance coverage will protect you from losing the things you’ve worked so hard for. Typically umbrella insurance coverage ranges from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000.
He asked if his retirement accounts could be accessed if sued.
What a great question!
Regarding retirement plans, most plans that fall under ERISA act (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) cannot be touched by a creditor if you’re sued. Most 401k plans fall under ERISA.
IRA’s, on the other hand, are typically not ERISA plans, and can be lost if sued.

Umbrella Insurance

  Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance protects your assets. If you don’t have an umbrella policy, you should. It’s an important part of one’s financial portfolio.

A Personal Liability Umbrella Policy “sits-over” your home and auto liability limits. Coverage limits start at $1,000,000 and provides you protection from lawsuits.

Coverage is relatively inexpensive to purchase. $1,000,000 of coverage sitting over two autos and a home would cost about $180 annually.

Umbrella Policies require underlying motor vehicle liability limits of $250,000 per person/ $500,000 per accident.

In addition to coverage limits, insurance companies provide legal defense.

So, in essence, when you purchase higher limits you are also purchasing improved legal defense.

Please call or click if you would like to discuss Personal Liability Umbrella Coverage.

Johnson & Rohan InsuranceThank you for insuring with us!

Drone Insurance

Drone Insurance

Love it or hate it, the future includes a lot more drones flying through our skies. The FAA projects that this year is the turning point in the commercial adoption of drone technology. Among hobbyists and amateur drone operators, the future is now. Drones can be purchased on eBay or Amazon for under $50. So you or your child may soon be a drone owner.

Here are some drone tips and suggestions for your drone insurance:
  1. For the drone owner, the prevailing source of insurance coverage is through your Homeowner or Renters policy.
  2. The drone itself is Personal Property under your policy but subject to named perils and the deductible (often $500-$1000) is more than the value of the damaged drone.
  3. Liability coverage to damage done by the drone depends on the circumstances of the accident- especially if negligence is involved. If others are injured or the property of others is damaged by the drone, coverage may be found under the liability coverage of your Homeowner, Renters or Umbrella policy.
  4. Coverage for injury to the operator, the operator’s family or pets would have to be addressed through your medical insurance policy.   If the drone falls from the air and damages an auto, coverage could be found under the comprehensive section of the owner’s auto policy (or if identified, more likely the drone operator’s Homeowners or Renters policy).
  5. All drones over .55 pounds need to be registered through the Federal Aviation Agency. Here is the link to more FAA unmanned aircraft information FAA.gov, including registration. The cost starts at $5.00.
  6. A new company, Verifly, offers on-demand insurance for enthusiasts and commercial drone operators at a cost of about $10 per hour.

Drone insurance, for both commercial and consumer enthusiasts is developing rapidly and evolving into a big business.  We suggest giving us a call to review your particular coverage before your next drone launch.

Boat Safety Tips

Safe Boating Tips

No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea for everyone to review boating safety rules before departures. Below you will find 10 basic boating safety tips to help you stay safe:

  1.  Be Weather-Wise

Always check local weather conditions before departure; TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.

2. Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist

Proper boating safety includes being prepared for any possibility on the water. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten.

3.  Use Common Sense

One of the most important parts of boating safety is to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times (especially in crowded areas), staying alert at all times and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.

4.  Designate an Assistant Skipper

Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and general boating safety. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone else back to shore.

5.  Develop a Float Plan

Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, always be sure to let someone else know your float plan. This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone.

*A float plan can include the following information:

name, address, and phone number of trip leader

name and phone number of all passengers

boat type and registration information

trip itinerary

6.  Make Proper Use of Lifejackets

Did you know that the majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a life jacket prior to departure. Wear it!

7.  Avoid Alcohol

Practice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for later. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved and studies have shown that the effects of alcohol are exacerbated by sun and wind.

8.  Learn to Swim

If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety includes knowing how to swim. Local organizations, such as the American Red Cross and others, offer training for all ages and abilities. Check to see what classes are offered in your area.

9.  Take a Boating Course

Beginning boaters and experienced experts alike need to be familiar with the boating safety rules of operation. Boater education requirements vary by state; however, some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Regardless of your individual state’s requirements, it’s always important to be educated and prepared for every circumstance that might arise. You can learn boating safety rules by taking a local community course or online course to help educate yourself.

10.  Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check

Take advantage of a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard. They offer complimentary boat examinations to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. Free of charge, they’ll provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful boating safety tips and recommendations. They also offer virtual online safety checks as well.

Spring Insurance Cleaning

Spring Insurance Cleaning

Life can be messy. Consider making a call to us to review your insurance part of your spring cleaning ritual.

Some questions to consider asking:

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 still need to carry comprehensive/collision on my car?

Our Agency rule of thumb is, if your vehicle is worth less than $3,000 you might want to consider removing comprehensive and collision coverage on the vehicle. Coverage that pays for the value of the vehicle. Give us a call to help you determine the book value of your car and savings that goes with reducing insurance coverage.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

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

Tips for insuring teen drivers

 

Tips for insuring teen drivers

Adding your teen driver can be expensive. How much? That depends on you and your teen.

Tips for insuring teen drivers:
  • Consider driving an older model vehicle with high safety ratings. If you insure a vehicle that doesn’t cost much (doesn’t require collision coverage) you will save a bunch of money. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) offers their top choices here: IIHS Top Safety Picks.
  • Get good grades. Auto insurers offer large good student discount for B or better averages. In order to qualify for the good student discount most companies require the student also has a perfect driving record.
  • Drive Safe. Accidents and violations for a new driver can turn expensive rates into absurd rates. Practice safe driving.
  • Complete a Certified Driver’s Education Program. All drivers under the age of 18 are required to complete a licensed, Professional Driver’s Education program. Driver’s ed will save you 10% (parts 1,2, 4, 5 & 7) on insurance costs.
  • Consider registering and insuring the vehicle in your child’s name.  In Massachusetts parents are provided 100% insulation from lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage claims.
  • Take In Control’s Crash Prevention Course.  In addition to discounts, Crash Prevention Training has reduced accidents involving new drivers by up to 70%. Some companies will even pay some of the course’s cost. Call us for more information.
  • Take advantage of discount programs. Standard discounts programs still apply such as: anti-theft, low-mileage, and multi-car discounts however some companies offer an “away from school” discount which, if your young driver goes to school 100 + miles from home without the vehicle, a significant credit will apply.
  • Shop around. Different companies have different rating criteria. Rates can vary wildly from company to company. Have us shop around for your teen driver.

Give us a call, click or visit. We’ll find you the best rates and coverage available.

Thank you for insuring with Johnson & Rohan Insurance.

Massachusetts Vanity License Plates

Massachusetts Vanity License Plates

 

Have you ever thought about getting Massachusetts Vanity License Plates? If so, you are not alone.

According to Mass.gov, the official website of Massachusetts, one of the most requested topics is: ordering vanity license plates.

By using the following Registry of Motor Vehicles search tool, you can check to see if the vanity plate you want is available:

http://www.massrmv.com/VanityPlateRequirements.aspx

Ordering Massachusetts Vanity license Plates

Massachusetts Vanity License Plates may be ordered in person.

In Person: Go to any full service Registry Branch and complete the Application for Vanity Plates  Up to three plate requests can be made on one application. Payment must be made at the time of ordering.

Process: Within twelve to fourteen (12-14) weeks after your payment is received, you will receive a letter telling you the plates are ready and instructions on where to pick them up. The plates generally arrive at the branch within one week of the date of this letter.

To pick up your Massachusetts Vanity License Plates at the branch you will be required to:

  • Submit an RMV-3, stamped by your insurance company.
  • Surrender your old plate(s).
  • Pay a swap fee.

Vanity plates must be picked up within 90 days.

Call or click and we’ll be glad to assist you with the process!

Johnson & Rohan