New dog law and insurance

http://www.massagent.com/info/mafebruary72013.pdf#1

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New Year’s resolution – review your insurance!

Now is a great time to review your insurance coverage with your agent and update your policies.

Did you get new jewelry, cameras, fine arts or other high valued items over the holidays? You may need to schedule these items to be fully protected. Additionally, scheduling an item usually eliminates your deductible and broadens the coverage.

Have you looked at the limits on your auto insurance? Remember that uninsured and underinsured coverage is there to protect you against drivers with little or no coverage. This limit should be equal to the coverage you carry for injury to others.

Do you have an umbrella policy? Umbrella policies are pretty inexpensive ways to increase both your auto and home liability limits. You can typically get a $1,000,000 limit for $200-300 a year.

Have you made major renovations to your home? You may need to increase the dwelling limit to be sure there is enough coverage in the event of a major or total loss.

Make reviewing your insurance needs an annual New Year’s resolution so there are no surprises should you have the misfortune of having a claim.

Please feel free to contact Josiah Hatch or myself should you have questions regarding your insurance needs. Josiah@hrhatch.com or John@hrhatch.com

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What Is Equipment Breakdown Coverage?

Quincy Mutual Equipment Breakdown

Bewildered by Breakdown: Dispelling the Confusion about Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Equipment breakdown insurance is coverage for the perils of electrical, mechanical and pressure systems breakdown.  In most cases, these perils are embedded as an endorsement to the  businessowners policies; thus, equipment breakdown coverage adds value to existing policies by extending additional coverage. 

Okay, so we’ve defined the coverage, but what does it really mean?  To understand the perils, let’s talk about each one by one. Here are some examples:

Imagine you own a retail shop and a power surge hits your electrical distribution box and causes your cash register, telephone, and lights to short circuit. Without efficient operation of the equipment you need to run your business, what will you do?  In this instance, electrical breakdown has occurred and equipment breakdown insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of covered property which suffered the electrical loss.

Now picture yourself as an owner of a popular restaurant.  On any given Friday or Saturday, more than 100 patrons stop in for a satisfying meal and appreciate the quality in which your chef prepares every menu option and can’t say enough about the top-notch service. One particular Saturday during a blazing summer, a compressor in your air conditioning unit breaks and causes the unit to seize.  The warm temperature outside and throngs of people inside make it difficult to keep the place cool.  Your air conditioning unit suffered a mechanical breakdown.  Equipment breakdown insurance will pay for repair or replacement of the compressor in addition to expediting expense to return your restaurant to normal operations.

Envision you and your family run a local dry cleaning business.  During a regularly scheduled service visit, the repairperson bypassed the low water fuel cutoff which allowed the boiler to dry fire for approximately 20 minutes.  Tubes required replacement and additional testing was needed to determine full extent of damage.  Equipment breakdown insurance will pay for the pressure-related property damage and the extra expense needed to keep your family’s business running.

As you can see in the instances detailed, equipment breakdown insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of covered property, in addition to extra expense, business interruption, loss of income that stems from the equipment breakdown.  Many businesses can not afford to lose equipment to a breakdown.  Loss of equipment translates to lost business, time and money. 

That’s why for a small premium we include equipment breakdown coverage in our Quincy Mutual Businessowners Policy as an endorsement to keep policyholders running their businesses without worry.

The attached Equipment Breakdown Coverage brochure is available at Quincy on Line along with our other product brochures. Please speak with your Quincy Mutual Group underwriter or marketing representative for additional information.

Above courtesy of Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company – reprinted with permission

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FAQ regarding insurance and kids at college

Is my child’s personal property covered while they are at college? 

Your homeowners insurance policy automatically covers your personal property while it is away from your residence.  That coverage includes property of your children while they are away at college and in a dorm or an apartment.  However it is limited to 10% of the contents limit on your policy and does not include theft coverage if they have not been at their dorm or apartment during the 45 days prior to the theft. 

What about their car or driving a friend’s cars?

If your son or daughter brings their car to college, or uses your car, while away at college you should notify your insurer where the car will be during the school year.  Failure to notify the insurer of the place of garaging could result in denial of a claim.

If your child does not have a car at college they can drive other cars (borrowed from friends or rented for short terms) and your auto insurance policy would respond to a claim just as if they were driving your car. 

Can my child let someone else at college drive their car?

There is no limitation on theMassachusettsauto insurance policy that prevents you or your child from letting someone else borrow their car.  However, if that person is a customary operator, they should be listed on the policy.  For example, if your son or daughter has a roommate and that person uses the car on a regular basis, you need have the roommate added as an operator on the policy. 

Can I delete my child from my auto insurance policy while they are away at college?

We strongly recommend against deleting your children from your auto insurance policy while they are away at college.  Having them listed on your policy provides a host of coverage even when they are using cars not owned by your family.  This can be especially important if they are renting cars or borrowing cars with little or, in some cases, no insurance protection.

In fact, man insurance companies prohibit deleting household members while away at college due to the risk of uninsured losses or if you have a personal liability umbrella policy. 

Please contact me with questions regarding this or any area of coverage: john@hrhatch.com

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Auto Insurance Savings

Deregulation of auto insurance has meant more choices and lower premiums for most. Rates are starting to level off and even go up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save.

One of the biggest ways to save is to have multiple policies with one carrier. By combining your Auto with a Home, Condo or Apartment policy, you can get savings on both. Up to 20% depending on the insurance company.

Some carriers offer credits for taking a defensive driving course such as In Control or Skid School. Savings are typically 5-10% and are usually good for several years.

Low mileage credits are offered by most carriers. Typically there is a 5% credit for driving less than 7,500 miles a year and a 10% credit for driving less than 5,000 miles a year. Carriers usually verify the information through the State DOT, which provides mileage info as part of the annual vehicle inspection.

Other credits and discounts available include: Good Student Discounts, Loyalty Credits, Student Away at School Credits, Multi Car Credits, MBTA Discounts, Senior Citizen Discounts, Safe Driver Discounts, Higher Deductible Credits, AAA Discounts and Hybrid Vehicle Discounts.

Please call our office to discuss your particular situation and see what the best option is for you. 617-426-3711.

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Non-profit Directors & Officers Insurance

Non-profit Directors & Officers Liability Insurance is a very important part of every non-profit’s insurance program, but one that is often overlooked.

These policies can provide coverage for areas such as:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility
  • Employment Practices Liability

and

  • Discrimination

Policies can include defense coverage as part of, or outside of the limit of insurance. When defense costs are part of the limit, any costs associated with the defense of the claim reduce the amount available to pay for a judgment or settlement. This can be a serious issue in the event of a large claim, as defense costs will most likely also be high.

But, you say, what about charitable immunity laws? In Massachusetts, there is a $20,000 limit for damages awarded against a charitable corporation based on a tort.

First, many small charitable corporations could not even afford this maximum judgment, without being put into serious financial hardship. Second, that figure does not include defense costs, which are often higher than the award. Finally, not all suits will fall under this limitation, meaning higher amount could be awarded. 

If you are a non-profit and do not have Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, you should look into this right away. Don’t put your non-profit’s financial stability and future  at risk.

If you have questions regarding Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, or any area of coverage, please feel free to contact John Malley (john@hrhatch.com) or Josiah Hatch (Josiah@hrhatch.com).

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Inventory your home before it’s too late!

So you have had a major fire loss to your home. The place has been gutted and you have to rebuild from scratch. Do you know what you had in your house? Can you create a list of every room, every closet, every box that was in the attic or basement? Probably not a very good one, which means you may miss out on being fully compensated for your loss.

Now is the time to create an inventory, BEFORE the loss happens.

There are different ways to go about this. Some people opt to create a spread sheet, identifying the items in each room of their house, and updating it on a regular basis. An excellent idea for people proficient in excel or other spreadsheet programs.

Another option is to take photos or videos of every room, every closet, every drawer. These can be referred to after a loss, helping to create a list of items that were lost. You will be surprised at how much is in your closets, attic and basement and how much it is worth.

In either case, keep a copy on a computer offsite so the list or photos will be accessible after a loss.

In making the inventory, remember to get appraisals or have receipts for expensive or unusual items, such as artwork, silver and jewelry. Also, remember to schedule items, especially items like jewelry, watches, silver and furs, as these have limitations in the event of theft.

As always, feel free to contact us for assistance with this or any area of your insurance program. John@hrhatch.com or Josiah@hrhatch.com or call – 617-426-3711.

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