Prevent Pipe Freeze Ups

On extremely cold days, take the following precautions to help prevent freezing pipes and resulting water damage:

– Maintain higher than normal temperatures (65 degrees +).

– Turn on your faucets and let the water trickle constantly.

– Open cabinet doors under the sinks. This will allow the heat to warm the pipes.

– Insulate pipes. Insulation goes a long way toward preventing freeze ups.

– Your exterior faucets used for your garden hoses should be shut off from inside your basement and left open (even if you have freeze-proof sill cocks).

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

This holiday season be fire smart.

Following please find some Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

Choose a tree with fresh, geen needles that do not fall off when touched.

Place tree at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, space heaters, or lights.

Make sure tree is not blocking an exit.

Be sure to add water daily to the tree stand.

Use lights that have the label of a testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Replace any lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulbs.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Turkey Frying Tips

Happy Thanksgiving!

This happens to be our favorite holiday of the year: no work, food, family, no pressure of gifts and a built-in excuse, no, an obligation, to go for second or third helpings, desserts (plural), football and an authorized nap. Seriously, what could be better?

The only problem seems to be the dreaded Turkey Frying Fire!

The US Fire Administration reports over 4,000 Thanksgiving Day fires each year related to turkey frying accidents.

Turkey Frying Safety Tips:

1. Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors and a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.

2. Do not use your turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck.

3. Use your turkey fryer on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.

4. Never leave your fryer unattended, if you do not watch carefully, the oil can continue to heat until catching fire.

5. Do not let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

6. Do not overfill the fryer.

7. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

8. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed! Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

9. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.

10. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

11. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire!

The Three Second Rule

The American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association suggests using 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.

Home Insurance Claim Prevention Tips

 

If our Massachusetts pre-Halloween 2011 “trick or treat” snowstorm was any indication of the winter to come, it’s probably a good time to mention some prevention tips:

  • Maintain gutters. Removing leaves, acorns, sticks & debris from gutters so that snow & ice can drain properly can help prevent dreaded ice dams.
  • Trim trees & remove dead branches. Ice, snow & sin can cause weak trees or branches to break damaging your home, car or injuring someone.
  • Check insulation. Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Water re-freezing causes more snow & ice to build up resulting in collapsed roofs & ice dams. Ideally, the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air.
  • Keep your home warm. The temperature in your house should be at least 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is colder than the walls themselves.

MA Inspection Sticker Insurance Surcharge

 

Perhaps the cruelest of all surcharge points on the personal MA Auto Insurance Policy is the ”expired inspection sticker” citation.

A ticket for an expired vehicle inspection sticker is the equivalent, in auto insurance citation points, of 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 increased insurance costs for 6 years! About 20% increase the first three years, diminshing the following three .

Remember to:  check your inspection sticker!

What To Do If In An Auto Accident:

  • Stop. Be Courteous. Stay Calm. Your interest will be served best if you are courteous and engage in no controversy at the scene of the accident.
  • If there is significant damage to any of the vehicles or any potential injuries call 911 immediately.
  • Get the names of the owners and drivers involved. Get license numbers, telephone numbers, and registration numbers.
  • Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses.
  • Express no opinion as to who was at fault. Give no information except for as required by the authorities. Do not sign any statements unless required by authorities.
  • Report the claim promptly to Johnson & Rohan Insurance.

If during off hours, you can Report a Claim 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week.

Have your policy number ready and call:

Premier/Travelers  1-877-425-2466

Safety Insurance  1-866-906-5016

Vermont Mutual  1-800-435-0397

MPIUA  1-800-392-6108

You can also click on our Report a Claim button on our home page and report to us online.

Return Your Plates Online!

Did you know the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles allows MA consumers to cancel your auto registration (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 your agent, or you can cancel them online at:

https://secure.rmv.state.ma.us/PlateReturn/intro.aspx\

In order to cancel them you will need: an e-mail address, your Plate type & Plate number, your license number, & the last four digits of your social security number.

Once you have cancelled your MA plates, you will want to notify your MA insurance agent & provide a copy of your Plate Return Receipt.

Let’s Review: Property Damage Coverage

Part 4 of the Massachusetts Auto Policy is Property Damage Coverage.

The Policy contract reads:

Part 4. Damage to Someone Else’s Property

Under this Part, we (the insurance company) will pay damages to someone else whose auto or other property is damaged in an accident. The damages we will pay are the amounts that person is legally entitled to collect for property damage through a court judgment or settlement. We will pay only if you (named insured) or a household member is legally responsible for the accident. We will also pay if someone else using your auto with your consent is legally responsible for the accident. Damages include any applicable sales tax and the costs resulting from the loss of use of the damage property.

We (the insurance company) will not pay for property damage which occurs:

1. While your auto is being used as a public or livery conveyance. This does not apply to the use of your auto in a share-the-expense car pool arrangement or in an expense reimbursement program wither as a volunteer or at work.

2. While any auto is being used by anyone in the course of his or her employment in the business of selling, servicing, repairing or parking autos. This exclusion does not apply to the ownership, maintenance or use of your auto by you or a household member.

3. While anyone is using a vehicle in the course of any business other than the business of selling, servicing, repairing or perking autos. This exclusion does not apply to private passenger autos or to pic-up trucks, vans or similar vehicles not used for the delivery or transportation of goods or materials unless such use is incidental to your business of installing, maintaining, or repairing furnishings or equipment.

4. While a household member, other than your spouse, is using an auto which you or any household member owns or uses regularly unless a premium for this Part is shown for that auto on the Coverage Selections Page.

5. While you or your spouse, if a household member, is using an auto which you or your spouse, if a household member, owns or uses regularly unless a premium for this Part is shown for that auto on the Coverage Selections Page.

6. To an auto or other property owned by you or the legally responsible person. Similarly, we will not pay for damage to an auto or other property, except for a private residence or garage, which you or the legally responsible person rents or has in his or her care.

7. When the property damage is caused by anyone using an auto without the consent of the owner.

The most we will pay for damage resulting from any one accident is shown on the Coverage Selections Page. This is the most we will pay as the result of a single accident no matter how many autos or premiums are shown on the Coverage Selections Page.

If someone covered under this Part is using an auto he or she does not own at the time of the accident, the owner’s auto insurance must pay its limit before we pay. Then, we will pay for any damages not paid by that insurance, up to the policy limit shown on the Coverage Selections page. However, if the claim is covered by us and another auto policy, we will pay only our proportionate share of those damages not paid by the owner’s auto insurance.

Under this Part, we may have ot pay for property damage even if youor the legally responsible person fails to give us prompt notice of the accident. In that case we may be entitled to reimbursement from that person.

This Part is Compulsory. You must have limits of at least $5,000. However, you may want to buy more protection. Higher limits may be purchased if agreed upon by you and by us. However, $5,000 is the most we will pay for property damage caused by an auto covered under this Part which is being operated in any prearranged or organized racing, speed, stunting or demolition contest or activity or in practice or preparation for any such contest or activity.

Most of our clients at Johnson & Rohan Insurance carry Part 4 limits of $100,000 per accident. More and more are electing to buy, $200,000.

Driving next to a BMW car transport truck on Route 128 the other day, I was reminded that $100,000 may not be adequate coverage.

The annual cost to increase Part 4, Property Damage, coverage from $100,000 to $200,000 is about $7.

Conversely, the annual savings, going from $100,000 down to $50,000 of coverage is about -$5.

Call Johnson & Rohan Insurance to review your coverage today!

MA Motorcycle Insurance Settlements

The MA Attorney General’s office has settled with 15 MA auto insurance companies regarding insurance companies overcharging consumers by using undepreciated motorcycle values to calculate insurance premiums.  The settlements require companies to collectively return nearly $40 million to thousands of MA motorcycle insurance policy owners. 

If you were insured with any of the following companies:

  • American Automobile Insurance (aka Fireman’s Fund)
  • Arbella
  • Electric Insurance 
  • Hanover 
  • Liberty Mutual 
  • Metropolitan 
  • NGM Insurance
  • Norfolk & Dedham
  • OneBeacon (aka Mass. Homeland)
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Pilgrim Insurance
  • Premier (aka Travelers)
  • Quincy Mutual
  • Safety Insurance
  • USAA

To look up your refund please visit:  Attorney General’s Motorcycle Insurance Refund Lookup Website.

http://www.motorcycle.ago.state.ma.us

Please note: you will need your motorcycle insurance policy number(s) in order to use this website.