Personal Property Inventory

November 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Safety Tips, Specialty Policy | Leave a comment
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Why is taking inventory of your Personal Property so important?

If your home was destroyed, or a theft occurred, could you compile a complete list of your personal property from memory?  Most people couldn’t; WHY? Maybe because they’d be too devastated by the loss itself to be able to write down all that was destroyed. Or maybe because after a lot of years, it’s hard to keep track of what one owns! Compiling a complete list is something you’d be asked to do at the time of filing your claim.

We know that putting a dollar value on possessions you’ve accumulated over many years is difficult and that only you can decide the extent of your insurance needs. However, if the unthinkable happened, would you have enough coverage for everything?  Your Personal Property Inventory serves two important functions:

  • as a valuable record of your possessions
  • as a way for you to judge the adequacy of your present coverage – do you have enough?

The inventory list should be stored somewhere safe, preferably away from your home. Our suggestion would be to take a video of each room in your home and store that video off premises – a relative’s home, safety deposit box, etc. Then if the worst happened, it would be available at the time you report your loss.


Benefits of a Home Inventory

Obtaining a comprehensive home inventory:

  • Ensures you have the necessary amount of insurance coverage.
  • Identifies items—such as jewelry, coins, antiques, artwork, and silverware—that have limited coverage on a home or tenant policy and helps to determine if additional insurance is needed for those items.

The decision can then be made to purchase additional coverage (known as a “rider”) so the items will be insured for their full value. This then…

  • Allows an evaluation on whether to insure your property and contents at “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.” Replacement cost is the amount it takes to replace or repair your home and possessions with materials of similar quality. Actual cash value is a lower amount that consists of replacement cost less depreciation.
  • Verifies the condition of your assets before moving or placing them in storage in case of loss or damage.

So break out your camera and say action!cinematographer marker

Don’t be caught “underinsured” and/or unable to remember what you own. Call us today to discuss your homeowners or renters insurance policy, and find out what you need to ensure you’re protected in case of loss at our toll free number: 888-850-9400.



Tenant Coverage

October 29, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Regulations, Renters, Specialty Policy, tenant, tenant policy | Leave a comment
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While renting an apartment, a house or condominium, the dwelling or structure may not be your responsibility but you still have property to protect. The landlord does not carry any coverage on their property policy for you. A tenant policy is also known as HO4 policy, for the tenant who opts to buy coverage to protect their personal property and to obtain personal liability coverage. Most insurance carriers allow coverage as low as $20,000 for personal property and can be purchased for approximately $200 annually. A general guide to determine the amount of coverage needed is to multiply each full room by 10,000 and make necessary adjustments to that figure. Also keep in mind this is a property policy and makes you eligible for the account discount if you also write your auto policy with the same insurance carrier, or with an affiliated company. This policy could respond by replacing your household items, such as clothing and furniture, from loss caused by fire, theft or vandalism.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What if there is a fire in the building? Or if your apartment is vandalized or burglarized?

  • Could you afford to buy your own replacement items?
  • Could you also afford to relocate while building repairs are being made?

The police report will be on file, the fire department will extinguish the fire, but neither will replace your belongings.  If you had purchased a tenant policy in these scenarios, you would need to pay the policy deductible for a covered loss and would be eligible to replace your items up to the limit of coverage you had purchased.

Call us at (888) 850-9400 to obtain the annual rating of this valuable coverage.

It’s That Time of Year to Start Preparing Your Home for Winter

October 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Beautiful New England foliage is at its peak and the leaves are falling, along with the temperature. Last winter was brutal – who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us this year?? We came up with a list of things for you to consider before winter sets in:

  • Tune Up Time – Snow blowers and generators should be tuned up; check to make sure they’re running correctly.
  • Shovels & Sand– Stock an adequate supply of both.
  • Tree Maintenance – Trim branches away from power lines, your roof and gutters.
  • Heating System & Chimneys – Have these items professionally cleaned before the heating season starts.
  • Clean the Gutters – If your gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house and damage your roof, siding, and wood trim, and also lead to leaks and ice dams.
  • Inspect Your Roof & Attic– Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may cause leaks, especially if you had icicles hanging off your roof last winter, or even worse, suffered from ice dams. Make sure you take preventative measures to fix any air leaks and ensure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Making sure these things are taken care of will prevent any snow melting and leaking into your attic, causing potential water damage to the inside of your house.
  • Divert Water Spouts– add extensions onto your downspouts to divert water away from your foundation to prevent ground water seepage into your basement.
  • Shut-Off Exterior Water Faucets – Drain water from pipes and hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Space Heaters – Inspect all heating appliances thoroughly before using them. Make sure you’re up-to-date on Space Heater safety.
  • Emergency Supplies – Replace and restock before/after power outages. Include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food supplies, and blankets.

Checking off this list and being prepared for the winter months will help ensure you have a worry free and claim free season. Please feel free to call us with any questions about your coverage and how to best keep yourself protected at 888.852.8500.

Take Preventive Measures Against Ice Dams Before Winter

September 24, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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With the colder weather approaching, now is the time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the winter; particularly your roof. A roof catches all of the precipitation winter has to offer, and if unprepared, winter can break through its protective barrier and damage your home, using ice dams as its main weapon. Ice dams are a home owner’s nightmare, but taking preventative measures, and educating yourself on how they occur, can help keep your roof secure.

Cycles of warm and cold air closest to the roof are the primary cause of ice dams. Keeping warm air out of your attic, and cold air circulating in, is critical to minimize the warming of the underside of your roof. As a homeowner, there are steps that you can take ahead of time to avoid water damage from ice dams.

  • Insulate the attic floor and put weather stripping around pull-down stairs
  • Increase ventilation in attics by installing eave, soffit, ridge and gable vents
  • Install water and ice shield on the entire roof
  • Install heating coils on the roof

Water damage to the contents in your home resulting from ice dams is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy unless you purchase “All Risk on Contents” coverage. If you do not have this type of coverage, or are unsure if you do and would like to discuss more about insuring your home against ice dams, call us at 1 (800) 850-9400.

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.

Using Your Vehicle for a Profit? Know the Exclusions & Limitations

April 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Posted in Auto | Leave a comment
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Uber, Lyft, and SideCar are some of the new business services popping up that use smart phone technology for vehicle owners who combine availability with ride sharing or taxi service.  These companies work from a mobile phone application, allowing potential riders to connect with potential drivers for a fee.  Whether you choose “ride-sharing” or transportation for hire, there are definite limitations on your personal auto policy that you need to be aware of:

  • Every Massachusetts Auto policy has a public or livery conveyance exclusion that applies to most of the coverages, including property damage and bodily injury to others.  This means that if you are acting as a livery service (carrying passengers for hire) at the time of an accident, your insurance company could deny coverage.
  • The Vehicle Sharing Exclusion, new to Massachusetts, states the insurance company will not pay any claim for injury or property damage under the policy while your auto is being used in a personal vehicle sharing program.
  • Most of these programs offer their own coverage as excess in addition to the driver’s personal insurance policy. Programs may offer to pay from dollar-one if the primary insurance is not available. However, depending on the circumstances at the exact time of the claim there could be a question as to whether or not their coverage will respond.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Before you sign up for any of these new business ventures involving the use of your personal vehicle, call Protector Group at 888-850-9400 to discuss your coverage and any exclusions that may apply.

Tips to Protect Your Valentine Jewelry

February 19, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Posted in Home | Leave a comment
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If your valentine was sweet and bought you jewelry for Valentine’s Day, you will want to make sure you protect it.  Here are some tips to help you:

  • Get an appraisal – Make sure the person appraising it knows it is for insurance purposes so they don’t inflate it.
  • Update your home inventory to include the new jewelry and keep a copy of the receipt and appraisal in a safe, fire-proof spot.
  • Contact your insurance agent to make sure your jewelry is properly covered on your home insurance. There are many coverage options to fit your needs and your budget.
  • If you rent and don’t have a home policy, make sure you purchase renters insurance to cover your valuables.

No matter what the value of the jewelry you own, there is insurance coverage to provide protection from fire, theft, and even for items you’ve lost.  Protector Group can help you get the coverage that best fits your needs. Call us today!

Review Your Personal Liability Limits

December 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Posted in Auto, Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property | Leave a comment
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If you plan on hosting or attending holiday parties, now is a good time to review the liability limits on your personal policies. In addition to providing you a specified limit of liability, the coverage also covers the cost of your legal defense, which in most cases is as much if not more than the settlement itself.

Depending on your situation, here are some liability coverage options you should consider:

  • If you rent, you need a renters policy. Liability is one of the coverages automatically included in this policy. You pick the limit and depending on the limits you choose, the cost is usually less than $20 a month for the policy. Your landlord’s home policy will NOT cover you or your belongings.
  • If you own your home or condo, check the limit of liability on your homeowner policy. If you are carrying the average of $300,000, the cost to increase it to $500,000 is usually less than $50 a year.
  • A Personal Umbrella policy sits over your basic property and auto policies. It starts at $1,000,000, extends your liability above and beyond the basic limits, and covers you and your family members worldwide.
  • Check the limits of liability on your auto policy as well. Bodily injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured auto will cover you and the occupants of your vehicle should you be hit by someone else. Bodily injury to others covers others you may injure if you are at fault. Both coverages are equally important throughout the year and especially now during this slippery winter season.

If you have any questions on your coverage or the options available to you call us at 1-888-850-9500.

We want to insure you have a safe and happy Holiday Season!

Insuring Home Improvements

October 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy | Leave a comment
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When hiring professionals for your home improvement projects, know the basic guidelines you should follow:

  • Make sure all necessary permits are pulled.
  • Request Certificates of Insurance from the contractor.
  • Call Dig Safe before work begins whenever digging below ground occurs – It’s the law!
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with contractors throughout each phase of the project.
  • Always get a written warranty and receipt.
  • Notify your insurance agent of the work being performed so they can adjust your insurance policy accordingly.

Getting a good price on any work you have done is important, but price alone should not be the driving factor.  Did you know that any loss or damage to your dwelling resulting from defective, inadequate or faulty planning, construction, or maintenance of any property resulting from alteration, construction, repairs, renovation, remodeling or maintenance including materials used is excluded under all home policies?  Any ensuing damage might be covered if it is not otherwise excluded but faulty work, planning, and materials would not be.

Simply put:  If you have work done on your home and that work is not done correctly — or the correct materials are not used — your insurance will not pay for that work to be re-done correctly.
For example: …If you had a water loss due to the faulty work done to your roof, the ensuing damage “might” be covered, but the cost of repairing the roof would not be. You would be responsible for pursuing the contractor for the faulty work performed.

It is very important that you hire a reputable contractor and research their references prior to doing any work, because there is no coverage you can buy back once faulty workmanship or materials result in further damage.

Faulty work or materials are not all you want to think about. Town ordinances or zoning laws change over time.  If you have a partial loss in your home and the city or town zoning laws changed since your home was built, you could be required to update some undamaged portions of your home to meet the new zoning requirements when you start to repair or rebuild after the loss.  Fortunately, there is some coverage under your home policy for these types of claims.  The basic home policy is usually limited to 10% of your dwelling coverage but there are higher limit options available to purchase.

If you have any questions regarding policy limits or how your policy will respond to a specific scenario, call Protector Group at 888-850-9400.

Cover Your Assets with a Personal Umbrella Policy

August 21, 2013 at 9:03 AM | Posted in Insurance Policy | Leave a comment
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These days, so many factors can increase your family’s liability risks. A new school year starting is a great time to think about adding a personal umbrella policy. Kids will be kids, and a personal umbrella policy can easily cover incidents that could arise from innocent postings on the internet, upsets while at a party, foolish fights, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never mind the possible scenarios once your child gets behind the wheel of a car!

In today’s society lawsuits occur with alarming frequency, and the monetary implications can be staggering. When you add up the total value of your home, cars, savings, and investments, those assets can make you a target of a major law suit. The benefits of obtaining a personal umbrella policy begin here:

  • You receive worldwide coverage for all household members.
  • You are protected against libel, slander, invasion of privacy, malicious prosecution, defamation of character, or discrimination suits.
  • You are covered for the cost of legal defense should a suit be filed against you or a household member.

Your auto and home policies have a limit for Liability. Personal Umbrella protection extends coverage beyond that limit, at a very reasonable price. Whether your household includes children, pets, or you live alone — Call Protector Group at 888-850-9400 — a personal umbrella policy covers you when the “what ifs” in life actually happen.

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