Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report

Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report(1)

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has updated their website (again) which is probably, mostly a good thing but can make finding certain documents more difficult to find than in the past. The result being broken links.

Following is a link to our Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Report.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires a State Crash Operator Form needs to be filled out when:

  • any person was killed
  • any person was injured
  • there was damage in excess of $1,000 to any one vehicle or other property

Stipulations: Report with the Registrar within 5 days after such crash (unless the person is physically incapable of doing so due to incapacity). The person completing the report must also send a copy of the report to the police department having jurisdiction on the way where the crash occurred. If the operator is incapacitated but is not the vehicle’s owner, the owner is required to file the crash report within the 5 days based on his/her knowledge and information obtained about the crash. The Registrar may require the owner or operator to supplement the report and he/she can revoke or suspend the license of any person violating any provision of this legal requirement. A police department is required to accept a report filed by an owner or operator whose vehicle has been damaged in a crash in which another person unlawfully left the scene even if damage to the vehicle does not exceed $1,000.

Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report(1)

Have You Ever Bought a Lemon?

The Lemon Law

Massachusetts Lemon Law:

The Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law (Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Lemon 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.

Does My Massachusetts Auto Coverage Follow Me to Cancun?

Before going on a long, relaxing vacation there are many things to think about including: airline tickets, hotel reservations, and car rentals.

What about your MA auto insurance?

If you have your own MA personal auto insurance policy then your coverage will follow you in the United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Your coverage will NOT  follow you if you decide to go to Bermuda, Europe, Mexico or any other fabulous international destination.

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

If driving to Canada, give us a call, so we can provide you a non-resident proof of liability insurance Canada Card.

Planning a Trip to Canada? Call Us for Your Canada Card.

U.S. travelers to Canada are required to carry a motor vehicle liability card, plus vehicle ownership papers.

We recommend you carry a copy of your Masachusetts auto policy, as well as a Canadian Non-Resident Interprovincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card.

The Canadian Non-Resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card is proof that your MA auto policy liability limits meet the minimum requirements for each / all Canadian provinces and territories and that your coverage extends to Canada and its territories.

If you do not carry a Canada Non-Resident Liability Card and if you are stopped by Canadian police or are in an accident, then you’re at risk of being fined or having your vehicle impounded until proof of coverage is furnished.

If you are planning a trip to Canada, call or click us so we can provide you with a Canada Non-Resident Liability Card.

 

Insurance Spring Cleaning

It is important to understand your insurance coverage.

Each year, like Spring Cleaning, visit, phone, or exchange e-mails with us to review your insurance coverage!

We are here to help.

Some questions to ask us:
  • Do we carry adequate liability limits? Limits should equal, at least, your net worth.
  • Should we carry Umbrella coverage? (Yes.)
  • What is the value of our vehicle? If the value is low, should we still carry collision coverage?
  • If our car loan is paid off, should we remove the lienholder on our policy?
  • Are we getting all available discounts?
  • Should you have Special Items, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, or collectibles scheduled onto your policy?
  • Would you like us to quote your business insurance? Johnson & Rohan Insurance has great commercial markets.

Call us for your annual, insurance spring cleaning review, explanation of coverage, and discount double-check.

 

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, we may be able to insure it through the specialty market- great coverage at a fraction of the price.

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”. 

Haggerty 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.

 

Moving to Massachusetts

moving to Massachusetts
Welcome to Massachusetts!

A few “fun facts” about Massachusetts:

  • Nickname:  The Bay State
  • State Bird: Black-Capped Chickadee
  • State Tree: American Elm

A couple “not so” fun facts:

  • Massachusetts has the highest accident rate in the nation.
  • Massachusetts has the 4th highest auto insurance rates in the nation.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance

It’s a new day & age in Massachusetts auto insurance.  After 30 years of state set insurance rates we finally have … competition!

It’s important to have an independent agent shopping rates and coverage with numerous companies in order to find the best rates.

By design,  insurance companies have complicated, multi-tiered rating systems. In order to get the best rates, your professional, licensed broker knows which factors to apply for each company.

The dreaded: Registry of Motor Vehicles

Auto insurance and Registration (& Title) go “hand in hand” in Massachusetts. You cannot have one without the other. Massachusetts does not have insurance cards as proof of insurance. Instead you have your vehicle’s Registration. Your Registration is your proof of insurance.

Massachusetts is a “Title state”, meaning that, in order to get your vehicle registered you must also get the vehicle titled in Massachusetts.

In order to get your new, Massachusetts Plates you will need to get paperwork from your insurance agent or company.

We  will have you sign an auto insurance application, and provide you with an insurance stamped, RMV-1 Form.

Our Registry of Motor Vehicles service is complimentary (free) for our clients.

If you are new to the state with out of state registration, the Registry will look for your original title and a total of $86 ($50 for your new MA title & $36 for your new, MA plates/registration).

If a bank/lienholder has the title to your vehicle then, perhaps, a memorandum title can be issued. If so, the Registry will require a copy of your existing Registration and, if owned less than 6 months, proof of sales tax paid.

We recommend that you get a Massachusetts auto insurance quote through our website. Once you like the premium and coverage options that we show you, we will assist you with all aspects of Massachusetts insurance!

Insurance Spring Cleaning

Insurance Spring Cleaning

Insurance Coverage …

It is important to understand your insurance coverage.

Each year at renewal time, visit, phone, or exchange e-mails with us. We are here to help.

Become an engaged insurance consumer!

Some questions to ask us:

  • Do we carry adequate liability limits? Limits should equal, at least, your net worth.
  • Should we carry Umbrella coverage?
  • What is the value of our vehicle? If the value is low, should we still carry collision coverage?
  • If our car loan is paid off, should we remove the lienholder on our policy?
  • Are we getting all available discounts?

Call us for your annual insurance review, explanation of coverage, and discount double-check.

Personal Umbrella Coverage

Personal Umbrella Coverage

Personal liability umbrella policies help safeguard you against financial hardship in the event of a lawsuit.  They provide liability coverage that sits on top of your home and auto (and boat and second home if applicable).  Umbrellas are available in million dollar increments from $1,000,000 to up to $10,000,000.  Defense costs are also included- on top of the liability coverage and often the defense costs are higher than the damages awarded.  The costs are low and the coverage deep.  We believe the average family should have at least a $2,000,000 umbrella sitting over good auto and home liability limits.  Here are four situations where you should consider even higher limits:

Homeowners with pools

From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal, unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States- about ten deaths per day. About one in five people who die from drowning are children, aged 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.  More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care.  These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g. permanent vegetative state).

Dog owners

Dog bites are the single largest cause of liability loss to insurance companies.  Big dogs bite.  Little dogs bite.  In conclusion even the nicest of dogs can have a bad day- and the damage they do comes back to (ahem) bite it’s owners.

Parents of teenage drivers

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration reports that in 2015, 1,886 drivers aged 15-20 perished in auto accidents.  An additional 195,000 were injured in car crashes, so young drivers (ages 15-20) account for 5.4% of total drivers but for 9% of those drivers involved in fatal crashes.  An umbrella policy provides a serious layer of protection between you and all you have worked for.

Families with toys

Motorcycles, four-wheelers, snow mobiles, boats, jet skis- they sure are fun.  But accidents resulting from their use can often be extensive and end up with expensive bodily injury claims.  Again, use your umbrella to protect your home and family.

So if you are taking the time to read this and don’t have an umbrella policy, or you think your policy might have limits too low, give us a call to review.  (781) 224-0909.

Johnson & Rohan