Reopening Plan: Phase 3

Phase 3

Much of Massachusetts moved to Phase 3 effective Monday, July 6, 2020. Boston requested more time and will move to Phase 3 effective Monday, July 13th.

Bars, casinos, gyms, museums and others in the entertainment and arts industries can reopen. All other business activities can resume except for nightclubs and large venues.

More recreation is allowed to restart, including youth sorts with games and tournaments, though crowd sizes will be limited.

Massachusetts has warned that not only is Phase 3 considered the riskiest of phases — it is the one we will likely be in for the longest time.

Phase 4

Effective upon the development of vaccines and treatment

Full resumption of activity in the “new normal,” including travel, all outdoor recreation and activities as well as events in large venues and nightclubs.

People will still be urged to wear face coverings, maintain physical distance and proper hygiene.

Rental Property Insurance

The Basics:

Dwelling forms are used primarily for rental property insurance. That is, property’s that are occupied, but not owner occupied. Typically properties that are one to four family dwellings.

Rental property insurance covers you from potential exposure to financial loss from unpredictable events such as: Fire, windstorm damages, vandalism of personal property, and lawsuits from an injured person. Dwelling owners can protect themselves against all of these losses by purchasing Dwelling Fire and Liability insurance.

Dwelling:

Coverage is provided for the residential dwelling, any structures attached to it, and materials and supplies on or adjacent to the location that are used for construction, alteration or repair of any structures at the described location. Coverage does not apply to land, including the land on which the dwelling is located.

Other Structures:

Coverage is provided for other structures on the described location, set apart from the dwelling by clear space. This includes structures connected to the dwelling by only a fence, utility line, or similar connection. This coverage does not apply to land, including land on which the other structures are located.

Personal Property:

A limited range of perils protects personal property usual to the occupancy as a dwelling. This coverage is not automatically provided in the Dwelling policy and must be specifically requested.

Fair Rental Value/Additional Living Expense:

Fair rental value and Additional living expense provide compensation if a covered loss renders the residence premises unusable.

Fair Rental Value means the fair rental of that part of the dwelling rented to others less any expenses that do not continue while that part of the dwelling rented or held for rental is not fit to live in.

Additional Living Expense means any necessary increase in living expenses incurred by you so that your household can maintain its normal standard of living.

Personal Liability:

This is important coverage if you or your family members are found negligent in causing bodily injury or property damage to another party that arises out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the insured premises. In that event, you have the peace of mind knowing we will pay the legal damages imposed on you and include legal defense cost if necessary.

Medical Payments:

If a visitor is injured in or around your home, we will pay for the medical expenses incurred by that person.

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

From our family to your family: Happy July 4th!

Our office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. 

We will re-open on Monday, July 6th.

The 4th is, traditionally, one of our favorite holidays. Family, friends, fireworks, cookouts and pool parties.

This year, of course, everything seems different.

This crazy pandemic, to some degree, has changed everything, maybe forever.

Social distancing and face masks have become the new normal.

But, perhaps, because of COVID-19, or maybe in spite of COVID-19, this 4th of July, 2020 might mean more than other 4th of Julys.

In some ways our communities have grown together in spite of the isolation. We’ve all suffered through the same virus fears, economic hardships and loss of loved ones.

Let this 4th be a reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a great country. Maybe not perfect, we have the ability, through our great democratic process, to perfect.

Maybe the “new normal” includes a greater kindness and empathy for others.

Happy 4th of July from your friends at Johnson & Rohan Insurance.

Massachusetts Reopening Plan: Four Phases

Massachusetts Reopening Plan: Four Phases

Here, as an essential business, our office has remained open throughout the pandemic. Some of us working remotely and some of us here, at our desks, masks at the ready.

When John Lennon sang “Strange days indeed,” on Nobody Told Me, he couldn’t have imagined how strange these days actually are.

Massachusetts is working on the state’s reopening plan.

Entering Phase 2 of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan: Four Phases, let’s recap:

Phase 2

Effective Monday, June 22

Retail businesses, restaurants, hotels and other personal services such as nail salons and day spas can reopen with restrictions.

Hospitals and community health centers are allowed to provide less-urgent preventative care, including teeth cleanings and certain elective procedures.

More recreation is allowed to restart, including campgrounds, playgrounds, public pools, athletic fields and courts and youth sports in a limited fashion.

Baker’s “safer-at-home” advisory is lifted, but business and recreational travel is discouraged. The limit on gatherings of 10 people could be lifted depending on the trends.

Phase 3

Effective at least three weeks after Phase 2

Bars, casinos, gyms, museums and others in the entertainment and arts industries can reopen. All other business activities can resume except for nightclubs and large venues.

More recreation is allowed to restart, including youth sorts with games and tournaments, though crowd sizes will be limited.

Phase 4

Effective upon the development of vaccines and treatment

Full resumption of activity in the “new normal,” including travel, all outdoor recreation and activities as well as events in large venues and nightclubs.

People are still urged to wear face coverings, maintain physical distance and proper hygiene.

Massachusetts Auto Insurers Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

Some auto insurers have announced rebate programs in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance writes directly with 7 auto carriers and through MAIP (Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan) writes with all the others.

In conversation with companies, it seems, they’re all likely to participate in some sort of COVID-19 rebate relief program.

As soon as companies release their plans, we will let you know what to expect from your insurer.

Some of our companies that  have released programs are Travelers, Progressive, Safety Insurance and Vermont Mutual:

Travelers Group – Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program

Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% credit on April and May auto premiums, expanding the company’s COVID-19 relief efforts

Insurance News Massachusetts and US Market Share

“Our customers are doing their part to stay at home and help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers.

“Our new program recognizes their contribution to the effort we all need to make to protect our health and safety and the resulting decrease in miles driven and auto claims. We are committed to standing with our customers, agents and brokers, and this is one more step we’re taking to help ease some of the financial burden many are experiencing.”


How Travelers’ Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program works:

  • Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% credit on April and May auto premiums, expanding the company’s COVID-19 relief efforts;
  • Also provides billing relief for all U.S. customers, including suspending cancellation and nonrenewal of coverage due to nonpayment through May 15, 2020 (no interest, late fees or penalties will be charged);
  • Adjusting the claim inspection process to rely more heavily on state-of-the-art digital and virtual tools.
  • Conducting virtual premium audits for an extra measure of safety.
  • Providing telemedicine options for injured employees through workers’ compensation, including a temporary telerehabilitation program for those who are concerned about or unable to attend physical therapy visits in person.

Progressive’s Apron Relief Program

Extra support during the COVID-19 crisis

We hope you and your family are healthy and holding up well through the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). While COVID-19 is causing disruption in our lives and communities, we’re committed to making sure that you have the protection and support you need.

Introducing the Apron Relief Program

To us, the apron is a symbol of protection. That’s why we’re assisting our customers, employees, communities, and agents by committing over $1 Billion to them in this time of need.

To our customers

Assistance with coverage and payments

During this unprecedented time, we know you may be experiencing stress and financial hardship. While you’re doing your part to fight the pandemic, we’re committed to being there in your time of need. With that in mind, here are some steps we’re taking to make things a little easier:

Personal auto premium credit

  • If you have an active personal auto policy at the end of April, you’ll receive a credit for 20% of your April premium. We’ll offer the same 20% credit to active personal auto customers at the end of May, and we may offer additional credits in the upcoming months.
  • There’s nothing you need to do. We’ll automatically calculate your credit at the end of each month, and then you’ll see it reflected in your account within a few weeks. If you have a balance on your policy, we’ll apply the credit directly to your remaining balance. And if you’re already paid in full, we’ll return the money to the payment account we have on file—so please make sure your payment details are up to date.
  • This credit is subject to approval by state regulators.

Coverage assistance

  • We don’t want you to worry about losing your insurance if you can’t pay right now. Starting April 1, 2020, we’ll waive late fees, pause collections, and hold off on canceling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020. Some states have already issued leniency guidelines, so we will adjust this timeline to either meet or exceed any state-specific requirements.
  • In the meantime, automatic payments will continue to go through unless you tell us to stop them. And after May 15th, any remaining balance on your policy will become due. If you need more support, please don’t hesitate to call us—we’re happy to work with you to manage payments moving forward.

Billing leniency

  • We encourage you to make a payment right now if you’re able to. But if you need extra time, please give us a call—we’re ready to help.
  • If you’ve already requested billing leniency, please be patient with us. Our systems haven’t caught up quite yet, so you’ll continue to receive bills and your Payment Schedule may not reflect your request.

In addition to helping with payments and coverage, we are:

Supporting first responders, health care workers, and delivery personnel

First responders, health care workers, and delivery drivers are at the front lines of the crisis, and we’re doing everything we can to help by:

  • Providing expedited roadside assistance
  • Expanding coverage for personal auto customers who are temporarily delivering food or medicine
  • Offering meal delivery for our for-hire truckers
  • Providing a full-service claims experience for first responders and health care workers who experience a car accident. We’re providing transportation to work and expediting tow and vehicle repairs. And if needed, we’re deferring deductibles and providing a rental vehicle.

Helping customers get back on the road

We know finances might be tight. To help, we’re deferring deductibles for those who need a personal vehicle repaired and can’t pay out of pocket.

 

 

Safety Insurance has announced:

As a result of the financial impact that the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic is having on policyholders, we are announcing the Safety Personal Auto Relief Credit. Any Safety Insurance personal auto policyholder that has a policy in effect as of April 1st will receive a 15% credit off their premium for the months of April and May. Details of the program include:

  • Insureds must have made at least one payment on their policy and maintain continuous coverage to be eligible
  • The credits will be applied automatically, and insureds do not need to take any action
  • Policyholders that have paid in full will receive a refund
  • New business policies are eligible
  • This credit is pending regulatory approval

In addition to this credit, Safety’s previously announced initiatives remain ongoing:

Cancellation notices issued on or after March 23, 2020 have been rescinded and we have placed a hold on all non -payment policy cancellations until further notice. We have also waived all late and NSF fees.

Safety continues to provide auto coverage for customers who are now using their personal vehicles to make food deliveries as a result of changes to their business operations. As always, our staff is available to provide help and work through flexible solutions to the challenges our policyholders face.

We are making relief efforts through our Charitable Foundation to help support the communities in which we do business. We are providing financial support to the following local charities.

Massachusetts COVID -19 Relief Fund
Boston Resiliency Fund
Project Bread
Healthcare Heroes to benefit the Massachusetts General Emergency Response Fund

Safety’s thoughts remain with everyone during these difficult times and we will continue to make decisions that have the best interest of our agents, policyholders, and employees in mind. Thank you for your continued partnership and please stay safe.

Vermont Mutual:

 

With our staff safe and fully functioning in remote locations now for several weeks, our focus has shifted to an analysis of the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, along with how we can help others who have been personally impacted by the pandemic.

Like some carriers, we’ve begun to see a decrease in loss frequency in our personal lines auto book, resulting from the stay at home orders in place across our marketing territory. While it’s difficult to predict where this will settle and how quickly it will rebound, we have enough data to support an immediate refund for our customers.

On May 1st we will begin sending letters to our customers advising them that they qualify for a payback equivalent to 20% of their auto premium for 3 months. While this amount may be more than some carriers have announced, we would prefer to issue this payment once, rather than in multiple waves, but are prepared to revisit this if the frequency decrease persists longer than we anticipate.

Another area where we are approaching this differently than most is that we will provide our customers with the opportunity to donate their refund to one of several charities we have identified that have strong regional operations in New England who are assisting with local COVID-19 relief efforts. The process will work as follows:

May 1st – Mail letters to each customer explaining the payback process and identifying the amount they can expect to receive.

May 15th – Customer will have until this date to decide if they would like to have their refund paid to one of the four charities we have selected. They can do this by visiting the web address in the letter or by scanning the QR code in the letter with their smartphone, which will take them directly to our payback donation portal. The charities from which they can choose are:

  • Feeding America
  • Meals on Wheels
  • The United Way
  • The Salvation Army

May 16th – If a customer has taken no action to donate their refund, a check, or direct deposit transaction for EFT customers, will be issued to them for the amount shown in their May 1st letter.

May 20th – Donations will be made to the charities above, as directed by our customers.

In the spirit of helping others, we’ve also directed donations to local charities most in need of immediate support and will continue to explore ways to further support them and the small businesses we count on in our communities. To provide our employees with the opportunity to participate in our charitable efforts, effective immediately we are also increasing the company match of employee charitable contributions from 100% to 200%.

Please don’t hesitate to contact either of us or any member of the Vermont Mutual Team if you have any questions about our premium payback program and thanks for your continued support of Vermont Mutual.

Together we can make a difference and get through these challenging times.

Be well!

Johnson & Rohan Insurance

Governor Baker mandated that all non-essential businesses in Massachusetts shut down. Insurance agencies are considered essential services, so we are staying open.

During this unprecedented crisis, our Agency is working remotely, responding to e-mails and faxes and answering our phones.

Our Agency office however, is closed to walk-in service.

This is to protect our clients, as well as ourselves from the spread of this hideous virus.

If you need us: we’re here for you. Give us a call or send us an e-mail.

Most of all however, let’s take care of one another and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Johnson & Rohan Insurance.

Read the documents:


Driving Tip of the Day

Driving Tip of the Day

Driving Tip of the Day. The best way to get the lowest auto insurance rate it to have a driving record without at-fault accidents or moving violations.

In the spirit of finding the lowest auto rates, we offer Johnson & Rohan’s

Driving Tip of the Day:

Use the “three-second rule” to help prevent rear-end accidents!

The “three-second rule” accounts for your reaction time to the movements of the vehicle ahead and your vehicle’s stopping distance.

You should add more time if the road is slippery, if you’re being crowded by a tailgater, if you’re towing a trailer or if you’re driving a large truck.

The three-second rule:

When the vehicle ahead of you passes a stationary object, start counting:  1,001 … 1,002 …

The first second is your reaction time; the next two seconds account for your braking distance

You should not reach the object before you count to … 1,003. If you do, you are following too closely.

At a vehicle speed of 55 mph, the three-second rule creates a gap of 243 feet between cars.

For additional driving tips: click here.

New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law

New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law

New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law While Driving – It’s the Law

The new Hands-Free Electronics Device Law distracted driving law takes effect on Sunday, February 23.

This law is a significant change for drivers 18 and over and traffic enforcement as well. The new law (Chapter 122 of the Acts of 2019) prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any mobile electronic device, including a cell phone, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.

Drivers 18 and over are:

  • Not permitted to hold or support any electronic device
  • Only permitted to touch devices to activate the hands-free mode, and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console
  • Not permitted to read or view text, images, or video displayed on a mobile electronic device; however, a driver may view a map generated by a navigation system or application on a mobile electronic device that is properly mounted

Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All device/phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

Penalties for Violating the Hands-Free Law

  • 1st offense – $100 fine
  • 2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program
  • 3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program

Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, the operator should safely pull over and stop before calling 911.

More Info
Please visit Department of Transportation website for more details. We’ve also included a link to an informational brochure below, that we ask you to review, post, and share with your customers and colleagues.

Questions About New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law?
Contact MA Department of Transportation at RMVATLASSupport@dot.state.ma.us with any questions you may have.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance Web Log Article Links

Johnson & Rohan Insurance Web Log Article Links

 

 

 

 

Happy Presidents Day.

Presidents Day is a federal holiday, so most all federal offices, such as the Post Office, are closed. Many state offices or services, such as The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, are closed as well.

One place that is definitely open: Car dealerships.

That’s one of the reasons why our independent insurance agency is open as well.

When clients are buying vehicles, we need to be there to provide insurance stamp and proof of coverage in the form of an insurance binder.

Cleaning out the organization of our website, I notice we offer same good articles on a number of important topics. Often I refer to these articles when a client calls requesting information on topics such as: Junior Operator License Restrictions, the Surcharge Appeal Process or The MA Homestead Act.

Following we offer Johnson & Rohan Insurance web log article links:

The Dreaded Ice Dams

Ice Dams

 

You can help prevent serious damage to both the roof and inside of your home by minimizing the likelihood that ice dams will develop, and by removing one as soon as you spot it. Ice dams can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. Without roof snow removal, an ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home.

How to Help Prevent Ice Dams from Forming:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every storm. To begin with, use a roof rake to clear snow from the edge of your roof upwards of three to four feet immediately after each storm. In addition to helping prevent an ice dam from forming, this will lessen the stress on your home’s roof. The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type and the age and condition of the structure. But a good rule to keep in mind is if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed.
  • Clear downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This can help prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter downspout.

How Do You Know if You Have Ice Dams?

  • Look carefully at the icicles around the exterior of your house. If they are confined to the gutters and there is no water trapped behind them, then an ice dam has likely not formed. Nonetheless, icicles can pose a danger to people when they fall off, so try to safely knock them down while standing on the ground, making sure not to stand directly beneath them. If you cannot safely reach them from the ground, consider hiring a contractor to help.
  • Check for water stains or moisture in the attic or around the tops of exterior walls on the top floor of your house. Stains and moisture may indicate that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.

How to Remove Ice Dams:

  • Melt the ice dams. Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt, and place it vertically across the ice dam so that it melts a channel through the dam. If you try this, make sure you can safely position the ice melt on your roof, and make sure to use calcium chloride, not rock salt. Rock salt will damage your roof. Also, be aware that shrubbery and plants near the gutters or downspouts may be damaged.
  • Get professional help. If you cannot safely reach the roof, avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. Consider hiring a contractor to remove the ice dam.

Long-term Tips for Preventing Ice Dams:

  • Insulate your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
  • Install a water-repellent membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water repellent membrane underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.