Does Your Auto Policy Go on Vacation with You?

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).

Give us a call to discuss your coverage, or if travelling to Canada, so we can provide you a proof of liability insurance Canada Card.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance

 

Offers our clients over 40 years of experience to provide the best service and top insurance products.

Together, principal family members: Don, Charlie, and Kevin have been working for our customers to ensure that they receive the lowest possible premiums, the best coverage, and the feeling of security that purchasing insurance should bring. We are a rapidly growing organization dedicated to investing in the latest technologies to provide top notch, “old- fashioned” service.

From our family to your family …

We recognize and appreciate good service when we receive it. Whether it’s getting our cars repaired, calling on a billing question, waiting in a teller’s line, or dining out … without good service it is impossible, as a customer, to remain satisfied. When you call our office you will find a willing, helpful attitude and responsiveness that is the very best in the business, bar none.

At the time of a claim …

That is when the true value of your insurance agent really shows. As Independent Insurance Brokers we work for our client at the time of a loss. We take the extra step to insure that you get a prompt and fair settlement.

Ask our clients …

Our Agency thrives, in part, due to the unusual amount of client referrals that we receive. This is because we are different from other agencies. You will find this every time you call our office. We are eager to serve you and do whatever it takes to earn your trust and business.

Inspection Sticker Blues

Perhaps the cruelest and most frustrating of all surcharge points on the MA personal auto policy is the one for an ”expired inspection sticker.”

A ticket for an expired vehicle inspection sticker is the equivalent, in auto insurance surcharge points, to a moving violation.

According to the MA Department of Insurance:

Surcharge points are incurred if you:

  • cause an at-fault accident
  • are convicted of or pay a fine for a traffic law violation
  • are assigned to an alcohol education program

An expired inspection sticker is considered “pay(ing) a fine for a traffic law violation.”

A $40 ticket results in increased insurance costs for 6 years! About 20% increase the first three years, diminshing the following three .

So remember:  Check your MA Inspection Sticker & don’t let it lapse!

 

Financial Tips

In a recent Sunday Globe’s Business Section, Michelle Singletary writes a book review of Jack Otter’s Worth It … Not Worth It? Simple & Profitable Answers to Life’s Tough Financial Questions.

Within her article she highlights the following blog-worthy practical tips:

New or used car? A car loses a whole lot of value in its first two years of life, and the smart-money move is to let someone else pay that depreciation.”

Buy or lease a car? Buying a car is a better deal than leasing … Leasing a car is like always going to the more expensive restaurant.

Stock or mutual fund? It’s no contest: mutual fund. Reasons not to buy invdividual stocks: The deck is stacked against you.”

Take or decline the rental car insurance? One word: Decline. If you want to be polite, make it, ‘Decline, thank you.’

Term Life insurance or permanent life insurance? You need a term policy. The bottom line is this: Permanent life insurance is a lousy investment for 99 percent of the population.”

New Drivers & the Junior Operator Law

New drivers in Massachusetts (or parents of a new, MA driver) should be familiar with the Massachusetts’ Junior Operator Law.

Some of these regulations include:

  • The Junior Operator may not operate a motor vehicle within the first six (6) months after receiving a Junior Operator’s License while any passenger under the age of 18 is in the vehicle (other than the Operator or an immediate family member/sibling), unless the Junior Operator is accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old. This person who is at least 21 years old must have at least one year of driving experience, hold a valid driver’s license from Massachusetts or another state, and must occupy the seat beside the Junior Operator.
     
  • The Junior Operator may not operate a motor vehicle during the hours of 12:00 am (midnight) to 5:00 am unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Parents will want to talk with their new operators about the privilege, dangers & responsibilities of driving a motor vehicle. Practice with your new operator, buckle up & remember to drive safely!

Click here for a copy of the Massachusetts’ Junior Operator Law (pdf) brochure.

Disappearing Deductibles

Many insurance companies now offer some sort of “Disappearing Deductible” program.

Some companies make you qualify for their program with a perfect, or near-perfect, driving record.

Some companies charge for the endorsement, some include as part of a package endorsement.

Often, if you qualify for the program, it can make a lot of sense.

Vermont Mutual Insurance Company, for example, offers their “Advantage” endorsement for $49 per vehicle.

This endorsement, among other things, includes a “Disappearing Deductible” program. The program works like this: when you add the endorsement, Vermont Mutual will give you an automatic, year 1 credit of -$200 toward your Collision deductible.

If you have a $500 Collision deductible and you get in at-fault accident (or are the victim of a hit & run), then Vermont Mutual will apply the credit and, instead of the $500 deductible, a $300 deductible will apply.

If you carry a $1,000 Collision deductible, an $800 would apply.

Each year you go accident-free, an additional – $100 deductible will apply, up to a maximum of -$500 credit, after four years without an accident.

If you are able to choose a disappearing deductible program, we recommend you consider increasing your Collision deductible from $500 to $1,000.

The savings more than pays for the cost of the endorsement.

Please call or click us with any questions or to discuss your available options.

Advanced Driver Training

The number one killer of teens is automobile accidents.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance, promotes safe driving and recommends In Control Advanced Driver Training. 

Many companies offer an Advanced Driver Training discount, but one of our companies (Safety Insurance) supplements the cost of the class. Instead of paying the standard rate of $299, Safety Insurance clients pay only $75.

In addition, clients receive a 5% discount on their auto insurance (Safe Roads Alliance).

Call, click, or stop by to find out more about Advanced Driver Training and other Massachusetts auto insurance discount programs.

Cancel Your Plates Online

Did you know the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles allows you to cancel your MA plates online?

In order to cancel your MA auto insurance, you must first cancel your registration.

You can either bring your plates to your local Registry of Motor Vehicles branch, mail or drop off the plates to us, or you can cancel them online at:

https://secure.rmv.state.ma.us/platereturn/intro.aspx

You can also find a convenient link on our Johnson & Rohan.com home page.

In order to cancel plates online the RMV requires:  an e-mail address, your plate type and plate number, your license number, and the last four digits of your social security number.

Once cancelled, please notify and provide us a copy of your Plate Return Receipt.

Accident Forgiveness

Many Massachusetts auto insurance companies now offer “Accident Forgiveness.”

Some companies make you buy it, some companies make you earn it.

Some companies will only include Accident Forgiveness if you have a perfect driving record, some will include it if you’ve had up to one previous accident.

Another company will give it to you only if you have a perfect driving record AND you’ve been insured with them for four years.

What is Accident Forgiveness?

Accident Forgiveness does not erase accidents already on your driving record. Instead, if you have the endorsement on your policy they will forgive future at-fault accidents.

Are all insurance companies’ Accident Forgiveness program the same?

No. Each company offers the program only to certain drivers. New drivers, or new insurers, or those with multiple accidents may not qualify.

Consumers placed with a company through the M.A.I.P. program may not qualify either. Check with your agent or company to see if you qualify.

Does Accident Forgiveness make sense for you?

Sometimes the Accident Forgiveness program is bundled with the “Disappearing Deductible” endorsement. Sometimes it makes financial & coverage sense to include the endorsement and increase your collision deductible.

Contact us at Johnson & Rohan Insurance if you have any questions or concerns about your MA auto insurance policy.

We will be happy to show you different coverage and premium options.

Kids & Cars in MA

Johnson & Rohan Insurance recommends that parents, in order to best protect assets, consider registering and insuring a vehicle in their child’s name.  In Massachusetts parents are provided 100% insulation from lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage claims.

Mass. MGL Chapter 231, section 85A: “If a car is registered to the child and the child gets into an accident causing personal injury and/or property damage, there is no reponsibility on the parent. It does not make any difference who bought the car or who pays for the insurance, or how old the child is so long as we are talking about negligence.”

On this basis it might make sense for parents to consider insuring a vehicle in their child’s name.