Excise Tax

In an attempt to de-mystify the annual, pesky excise tax we offer the following excise tax information:

Excise bills are prepared by the RMV according to information on the registration. They are sent to city/town assessors who commit them to local tax collectors for distribution.

The excise tax rate is $25 per $1,000 of valuation (NADA) subject to the following percentage formula:

In the model year: 90%; second year: 60%; third year: 40%; fourth year: 25%; fifth year & beyond: 10%.

If you have turned in your plates on the vehicle you are getting excise taxed on, or if you have transferred plates and got rid of the vehicle, you may be eligible for abatement . Abatement instructions are located on your excise tax bill.

“Let’s not get the insurance companies involved …”

At small fender bender times, it’s a common request: “Let’s not get the insurance companies involved.”

But is it a good idea?

Our general rule of thumb is: No. Report the claim to the insurance companies and let them handle it. That’s why you have the insurance.

Many times, the person suggesting he pay out of pocket, in an attempt to avoid a MA state insurance surcharge, doesn’t realize the amount of actual damage. Often times people will go the body shop, get the estimate, and rather than there being $300 the damage is $1,000. The person that did the hitting, aghast, will then ask to go through insurance.

Another thing to keep in mind with Massachusetts insurance surcharges: if the insurance company (-ies) pay out less than $500, then there is no surcharge.

If you have any questions, either before or after an accident happens … call Johnson & Rohan Insurance at 781-224-0909. We’re here to help.

Fall Newsletter Preview

Hard to believe this Friday, September 23rd is the first day of autumn.

Here at the office, we’re putting the finishing touches on our Fall 2011 newsletter.

So, hold onto your hats, or check your mailbox, or let us know if you would like us to advance e-mail you a copy.

Some pre-edited topics include:

The Value of Your Independent Agent

Discount Program Review

Accident Forgiveness & Disappearing Deductible

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Protection

Did you know?

We’re on facebook!

Accident Forgiveness & Disappearing Deductible endorsement-

Two of the new, widely asked-about products offered by some auto insurance companies in Massachusetts are:

Accident Forgiveness – For a fee, some auto insurance companies in MA will include an ”Accident Forgiveness” endorsement. So, if you get in a future at-fault auto accident, your auto insurance company will not apply a surcharge to your policy renewal. Some companies require you to be a “99” driver in order to qualify.

Disappearing Deductible – For a fee, some MA auto insurance companies offer a “Disappearing Deductible” program. This endorsement usually credits your Collision deductible – $100 for each year you go at-fault accident free; up to a maximum -$500 credit. Some companies require you to be a “99” or “98” driver to qualify.

Both auto insurance endorsements can save MA drivers money if in a future, at-fault accident.

Please call (or e-mail) us with any questions or to discuss.

Hurricane or wind?

Hurricane Irene brought destruction to Massachusetts and left many without electricity. Estimated damages from high winds and torrential rain range between $3 billion to $6 billion.

She also brought renewed debate over Hurricane vs Wind deductibles.

For the residents of Massachusetts, Hurricane Irene had become Tropical Storm Irene before making landfall, raising the question of whether the hurricane deductible or wind deductible should be applied.

Claimants will find there’s a big difference between, say, a hurricane deductible of 5% of the coverage A, Dwelling, amount and a flat $1,000 deductible if not a hurricane.

Do you know what kind of deductibles you carry?

Finding out at claim time is not the ideal time.

MPIUA Hurricane Claim Reporting Number

FAIR Plan Announces Special Hurricane Irene Claim Number

Use of this number will substantially increase efficiency in responding to our mutual clients. 

Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association Hurricane Irene Claim Submission

The Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association, in accordance with its catastrophe plan, has activated a special telephone number for new claim submissions due to Hurricane Irene.

 The telephone number to submit claims related to Hurricane Irene is: 1-866-384-3803

Hurricane: Do I Have Coverage?

As Hurricane Irene approaches Massachusetts, our office is getting alot of calls asking: Do I Have Coverage?

The quick answer is, if you have home insurance, yes you have Hurricane Coverage.

The question then becomes:  What is your deductible?

Some coastal homes have special (not so special) Hurricane or Wind deductibles. Usually between 1% –  5% of the Coverage A, Dwelling, amount.

Hurricane Tips

As Hurricane Irene approaches our area, following please find suggestions from our partner company, The Travelers in regard to steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Create a disaster plan. Plan an evacuation route in advance and determine where you would go if you were told to evacuate.
  • Prepare a survival kit. Stock up on drinking water, non-perishable goods, a first-aid kit and medicine for everyone including your pet. Include extra clothing, blankets, batteries, flashlights and a portable radio.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt and make your home as safe as possible. Secure all outdoor objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture. Close storm shutters and board up all windows.
  • Review how to shut off utilities in an emergency with all family members.
  • Locate important papers and documents and have them ready to take with you should you need to evacuate. Protect documents in plastic storage bags if you’re remaining in your home.
  • Make sure you have insurance policies with claim contact information, an inventory of your home’s contents and cash.
  • Ask an out-of-state friend to be your family contact. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long-distance than to make a local call.
  • Finally, leave promptly when ordered to evacuate. Leaving too late or not leaving at all only endangers yourself and others.

 

Hurricane Tips

  • Find a secure, safe shelter. Never stay in a mobile home, trailer, high rise, or your car.
  • Stay away from any windows. Find an interior room in which you have access to emergency supplies.
  • Don’t use electronic devices.
  • Don’t light candles. Ensure you have several flashlights with plenty of extra batteries on hand.
  • Have your portable radio on so you can monitor the weather and follow any instructions of local authorities.
  • Don’t leave your secure area too soon. The storm may appear to have calmed but you may simply be in the eye.
  • Wait for the all-clear signal from local authorities.