Road Hazards

October 8, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Posted in Auto, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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In the auto insurance industry, a “road hazard” can be defined as anything on the road that poses a threat to a driver, placing drivers at risk of being in an accident. Some common examples can be road repair in anticipation of winter, potholes, uneven/unpaved roads, or a foreign object in the road, causing drivers to swerve and possibly lead to an accident.

The frequency of road hazard accidents is at a high, and it’s not just due to a higher population of pot holes; objects being transported on the road risk coming loose if they are not secured properly, in turn posing a risk to drivers and others around them. Now that autumn is upon us, leaves will soon be littering the ground and everyone will be doing fall lawn clean-up, driving to waste yards to dispose of leaves and branches. If yard debris is not tied down with ropes, tarps, or nets, a portion of the load can fall off the vehicle during transit, creating a risk for accidents as drivers may need to swerve to avoid the falling yard debris, or debris left behind in the road.

With the knowledge of road hazards in mind while traveling, please use caution out on the road. Practice road safety. Keep your speed within the speed limit and maintain a safe distance behind any vehicle to avoid upcoming potholes or debris in the road; there’s a chance the driver ahead of you will swerve to avoid such road hazards.

Be sure you know the specifics of what your auto policy covers in the event of an accident. Any damage to your tire or wheel as a result of a pothole is not covered by MA auto policy. In the event of a collision due to a pothole, or coming in contact with anything on the road, auto policies can provide coverage, but you may be subject to a deductible. If you have questions about your auto policy, or would like to discuss your policy coverage in the event of an accident caused by a road hazard, our client representatives are here to give detailed and helpful direction. Call us toll free at 888 – 850 – 9400.

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Seasonal Vehicle Coverage

April 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Auto, Camper, Insurance Policy, Motor Home, Motorcycle, Personal Property, RMV, Seasonal, Specialty Policy, Travel Trailer | Leave a comment
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It is that time of year again. The motorcycles, campers, and collector cars and other recreational vehicles are starting to make an appearance now that the weather is better. Here are some insurance reminders before you take them out:

Motorcycles: If you decreased your coverage when you put your motorcycle away last winter, don’t forget to increase coverage before taking a ride. When deciding what coverage to put on your motorcycle, Medical Payments is very important to you and anyone that is on your bike at the time of an accident.

Campers: They can be covered under your auto policy, but you will get much better coverage at a comparable price if you insure your camper on a travel trailer policy. It includes things like towing and roadside assistance, accessory coverage for awnings, etc… and campsite liability if stationary.

Collector Cars: If you have a classic or collector car that is at least 15 years old, you will want to make sure you have collector car insurance coverage. The coverage is designed for the special needs of the car collector. It covers everything your regular auto policy will cover in the event of a loss but the method of determining the value is an agreed value rather than an actual cash value — there is no reduction taken for depreciation. Since a collector or classic car is only driven for a short period of time each year, the premium is usually much lower than a regular auto policy.
Off Road Vehicles: Whether you drive an ATV or a golf cart, you could potentially injure someone or cause property damage. You need coverage that will respond to any situation. Some of the extras on a recreational vehicle policy include: Equipment coverage, helmet and safety apparel, and trailer coverage.

Watercraft: Boats of all sizes and jet skis need the proper coverage as well. Physical damage to the vessel, liability to other boaters, medical payments, and trailer coverage are just some of the coverages available under a watercraft policy.

No matter what your passion is, make sure you and your family are protected with the right coverage before you experience a loss.

Operating Your Vehicle During These Trying Times

February 25, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Posted in Auto, Insurance Policy, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Between icy roads, enormous snow banks, and potholes, it is important to use extra caution this year when operating your vehicle. Here are some tips to help you avoid damaging your vehicle, as well as avoiding property damage, or injuries to others:

1. Potholes – The best way to prevent damage to your vehicle from potholes is to keep your speed down so that you can go around them whenever possible. You should also try to go around puddles because, when melting occurs, potholes fill with water making it difficult to determine how deep they are.

2. Snow banks – The snow banks are so large this year that it’s impossible to see if another vehicle is coming when you are trying to pull onto the roads. It is best to slowly ease out a little at a time so that you are able to stop quickly, should another vehicle or pedestrian cross in front of you. You should also let other vehicles cut in front of you when you see that they are trying to pull out into traffic. A little patience and courtesy can help you and others avoid a potential collision.

3. Icy roads – The roads seem to continuously be covered in either snow or black ice. Keeping your speed down and slowing down early when coming to a stop will help avoid sliding into something. Also, keeping at least a cars length between you and the vehicle in front of you will help avoid a rear ending incident.

Next week is the first week of March so hopefully we are past the worst of this winter’s challenges. In the meantime, having patience and being cautious can help us get through these trying times. If you have any questions about your auto policy, and what types of conditions are covered, please call us at 888.850.9400. Drive safely!

Two Holidays in the Same Week

February 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Auto, Holidays, Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance | Leave a comment
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Valentine’s Day carries the tradition of showing loved ones how much they mean to us. On President’s Day, we remember all U.S. presidents past and present. It’s not often that we have two holidays in the same week like we do this year, and both of these holidays are popularly known for people making unique, and valuable, purchases; jewelry for Valentine’s Day and vehicles for President’s Day.

Whether you are giving or receiving, we want to help you make sure that your special, and expensive, gifts or purchases are adequately insured. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Jewelry – Jewelry can be a fun gift to pick out or receive, and may even end up being passed down in your family through generations. We want to help keep something of such monetary and sentimental value in your possession. Your Homeowner policy has limitations on the types of losses that are covered and on the amount of coverage provided for jewelry. Consider adding a rider to your policy such as a “Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement” or a “Blanket Endorsement.” Both of these endorsements provide coverage for all types of losses and they do not have a deductible. You can also purchase the right amount of coverage that you need for your jewelry by having an appraisal or receipt for each item.

 

  • Vehicles – Purchasing a car is not only an expense financially, but also physically; it takes time, consideration, and planning. One thing to consider when purchasing a car: as soon as you drive your brand new vehicle off of the dealer’s lot, its value starts to depreciate. If your vehicle happens to get totalled within the first few years of ownership, you could end up owing more on the loan than the vehicle is worth. To avoid out-of-pocket expenses to make up the difference, you should have GAP coverage added to your Auto insurance policy at the time you insure the vehicle. The cost for this coverage is usually not more than $50, and can prove to be a valuable decision.

After this week’s holidays, whether you acquire a new item of jewelry, start your week off driving a new car, or decide you would like to look into further insurance options for your possessions, we want to help you insure the safety and value of each. If you have any questions about the policies stated above, or your existing policies, please contact us at 888-850-9400.

Calculating Personal Auto Premiums

September 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM | Posted in Auto | Leave a comment
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It has been 5 years since a competitive auto rating structure was introduced in Massachusetts. A lot has changed for the better – companies are offering coverages that were not previously available here such as accident forgiveness, disappearing deductibles, and good student discounts.

Along with the new coverages comes new ways of calculating the premium for a personal auto policy. It used to be so simple because the rate was calculated using just driving experience, driving record, type of vehicle, and the town you live in. Now there are over 200 rate variables or risk factors that were never used before such as:

  • Driver to vehicle ratios.
  • The average number of miles put on a vehicle each year.
  • Whether or not the named insured has a property policy.
  • Late or non-payment billing history.
  • Operator status.
  • Multi-vehicles versus single vehicle.

With so many new rating factors being used, it is difficult to predict what will happen to a premium when a change is made to the policy. For example, deleting one vehicle from a policy could result in the remaining single vehicle premium going up, or deleting an operator could result in a premium increase.

Some auto rating factors that are still prohibited in Massachusetts are credit scoring, marital status, level of education, home ownership, and age.

Another thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies’ rates change every year as approved by the Insurance Commissioner. However, even though a company can file a rate change at any time during the year, your policy will not be affected until its renewal.

It has been a challenge bringing Massachusetts up to speed with the rest of the country when it comes to competitive auto rating, and more changes are in store for the future. The good news? Protector Group can help make sure you have the right coverage at a price you can afford.

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