Personal Insurance

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Homeowners / Renters / Condo Insurance

Whether you own your home or condominium or rent an apartment, we have a policy to fit your needs. Your home is one of your single greatest assets.  Properly covering it is imperative. We research your homes reconstruction cost to determine the appropriate amount of insurance. This is the cost to rebuild your home should you have a claim. This is NOT the market value or assessed value.  The amount of insurance you carry should equal 100% of the “replacement cost” to rebuild your home.  This is generally a requirement of most insurance companies and most mortgage companies/banks.  See our blog for a detailed description of the homeowners policy. As an independent insurance agent, we represent many fine insurance companies and we place your policy in the company that best suits your individual needs.  There are several endorsements and coverage options available.  We will go over them to tailor the policy to be sure you are properly covered.

Section I — Property Coverages

Coverage A – Dwelling

Covers the value of the dwelling itself (not including the land). Losses will be adjusted at replacement cost, up to the policy limits. HO-4 (renter’s insurance) typically has no Coverage A, although it has additional coverages for improvements. HO-6 (Condominium Unit Owner’s Insurance) can cover the building or portion of the building that you are responsible to insure.  We review your condominium’s bylaws and insurance documents to help you determine this amount.

Coverage B – Other Structures

Covers other structures around the property that are not used for business. Typically limited at 10% to 20% of the Coverage A, with additional amounts available by endorsement.  Other structures covers any unattached building or property such as garages, barns, fences, flag poles, sheds etc.

Coverage C – Personal Property

Covers personal property, with limits for the theft and loss of particular classes of items (e.g., money, banknotes, bullion, coins, medals, jewelry, watches, furs, silverware, stamps, guns etc.). Typically 50- 70% of Coverage A is required for contents. Your personal property or contents are covered on an Actual Cash Value(ACV) basis. ACV will pay the cost to replace your belongings, minus deprecation. We strongly recommend adding Personal Property Replacement Cost. This endorsement will reimburse the you for the full, current cost of replacing your belongings.

Coverage D – Loss of Use / Additional Living Expenses

Covers expenses associated with additional living expenses (i.e. staying in a hotel) and fair rental value, if part of the residence was rented.

Additional Coverages

Covers a variety of expenses such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, damage to trees and shrubs for certain named perils (excluding the most common causes of damage, wind and ice), fire department charges, removal of property, credit card / identity theft charges, loss assessment, collapse, landlord’s furnishing, and some building additions. These vary depending upon the form.

Exclusions

The standard homeowners policy has several exclusions. Specific exclusions will be stated in this section. These generally include earth movement, water damage, power failure, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, septic tank back-up expenses, intentional loss, and Flood.

Flood damage is typically excluded under standard homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers. We will determine if your property falls into a special flood hazard zone.  Most mortgage companies/banks require that you carry flood insurance if you are in a special flood hazard zone such as AE or VE.

Section II — Liability Coverages

Coverage E – Personal Liability

Covers damages for bodily injury and property damage which you are legally liable for and provides a legal defense at the insurance company’s own expense.

Coverage F – Medical Payments

Covers damages for any medical expenses to others if they are hurt on your property. Legal liability is not a requirement to collect under this coverage.

OR THIS…. From our blog

Whether you live in a home of your own, an apartment in a tenement building, or a condo on the golf course, everyone should have a homeowner’s policy to insure their home and/or belongings.

There are typically three types of homeowner’s policies, each written on a similar form.  An owned home is written on an HO-3 form; a tenant’s or renter’s policy is written on an HO-4 form; and a condominium policy is written on an HO-6.

All three policy forms include personal liability coverage.  Personal liability provides financial protection in case you are sued or held legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage to a third party.  Typically, covered expenses include:  the amount the insurer spends to investigate or defend the claim or lawsuit;  attorneys’ fees, witness fees and police report costs, court costs or other costs assessed against you;  reasonable expenses you incur at the insurance company’s request to aid in your defense against a claim, such as your loss of income for a day spent in court;  a judgment or settlement arising from a covered lawsuit;  any required interest on the judgment if the defense is unsuccessful and medical expenses for injured parties.  You can purchase liability limits from $100,000 to several million.

The tenant’s or renter’s policy insures your personal belongings in your apartment.  It also gives you some coverage for your belongings while away from home.  When deciding on how much coverage to purchase, think about everything in your home and what it would cost to replace it all if a catastrophe struck.

There are so many renters out there that have not considered purchasing a policy.  The landlord’s policy does NOT cover the tenant’s belongings.  We have seen a lot of fires and burst pipes where the tenants did not have any insurance.  A basic tenant’s policy covering $15,000 of your belongings could cost less than $100 per year.

The homeowner’s policy is similar to the tenant’s policy, but it insures the dwelling itself and any other structures that you have on the property, such as garages or sheds as well as your personal belongings. Like the tenant’s policy, it includes personal liability coverage.

The condo policy is a mix between the other two types of policies.  It includes coverage for your personal belongings and coverage on that part of the dwelling for which you are legally responsible.  You will have to look at your deed or your condominium agreement to find out what you are responsible for and what part the association is responsible for insuring.  We can help you determine the correct amount of insurance to select.  This policy also includes personal liability.

All three of these policies include additional living expense coverage.  If you have a loss to your home, condo or apartment that requires you to move out temporarily while repairs are being made, this coverage will pay for most of those additional living expenses.  For example, if you have to move into a hotel for a few weeks after a fire in your home – your hotel bills get paid for.

With the advent of managed auto competition in Massachusetts, most auto insurance companies will give you a credit for having both an auto policy and a homeowner’s policy in the same company.  Many companies give you a credit on both policies. 

This was just a brief overview of the homeowner’s policy.  There are many more things the policy covers and several endorsements you can add to tailor the policy to your unique individual needs. 

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Massachusetts Automobile / RV / Motorcycle Insurance

Our agency represents several auto insurance companies.  We search each one for the best rate and appropriate coverage for you.  We take the time to review the coverages in detail with you and offer several options to you to be sure you are properly covered.  Most of our carriers offer an account discount, so if you write your home/apartment/condo with us, we can get you that discount.  Companies are constantly offering different discounts and endorsements to policyholders.  We will make sure you are getting every credit that you are eligible for. Our agency has been insurance automobiles since 1926.  Back then you could purchase a policy for about $3 per month.  Times sure have changed and so have the cars and trucks on the road today. To many, their cars or motorcycles are their babies and we treat your car insurance as such.  There are many coverage options to consider such as: Accident Forgiveness, GAP insurance, Auto Loan/Lease, Pet Injury, OEM  (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts Replacement, Emergency Travel Expense, Accidental Discharge of Air Bags, Disappearing Deductibles, Substitute Transportation/Rental, and Replacement Cost.

Umbrella Liability

Umbrella insurance refers to liability insurance that is in excess of specified other policies and also potentially primary insurance for losses not covered by the other policies. Generally umbrella liability is written to cover over your home, rental property, auto & boat policy. With lawsuits & court awards in the millions, having this extra peace of mind is essential. An umbrella policy usually starts around $150.

Dwelling Fire / Landlord Insurance

If you own a home that you rent out, we can write a dwelling fire policy for you.  This is essentially a homeowners policy for properties that you do not live in.  Many times they are referred to as a “Lessor’s Risk”. Coverages include building and other structures as well as landlord’s furnishings.  Loss of rents is also another coverage that is essential.  This coverage pays for your lost rents if a tenant has to move out after a covered loss.  Liability, including bodily injury, property damage and medical payments is often included, but sometimes could be “extended” by endorsement on your homeowners policy.  Many of our companies offer an account discount if they also write your homeowners policy.

Boats / Yachts / Jet Skis / ATVs / Motorhomes / Snowmobiles Insurance

The SouthCoast & Cape Cod has boats everywhere. From a small canoe to a luxury yacht, we have a market for your boating needs.  Boat insurance covers the hull of the boat as well as the engine, sails and other equipment attached to the boat.  A boat policy can also cover your personal property on the boat, trailers, marine electronics, fishing & sporting equipment.  The boat policy’s liability section covers bodily injury, property damage and Medical payments.  As an independent insurance agent, we represent many fine marine carriers. The boat policy can be tailored to meet your unique needs.  Our agency also has markets that can insure your ATV and mobile home.

Flood Insurance

Whether your home is on the coast or near a river, you need flood insurance! Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect your property from devastating financial loss.

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers and the property’s flood risk.

All policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect (unless mortgage required). That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

Flood insurance rates and underwriting is set by FEMA.  Flood insurance has undergone many changes in the past few years and congress is constantly revamping the National Flood Insurance Program. Our staff are well educated with the intricacies of flood insurance and will work to get you the best available coverage and price.

Valuable Articles / Scheduled Property

Typical homeowner’s policies are designed primarily to protect your home, personal liability and general contents of your house.  But if your property includes high value contents like heirlooms, jewelry, an art collection, your silver or china collection, or even the wine collection you have been maintaining for years, you cannot depend on the typical homeowners policy to keep your property protected.

Many people think that their valuables will be covered for their entire value under the contents limit on their homeowners policy.  Do not get caught off-guard: in a usual homeowners policy there are many sub limits on valuable items, making it unlikely that all your belongings will be replaced for their full value.  In order to better protect your exceptional items, it is important to have them covered under a valuable articles policy or as an endorsement on the homeowners policy.

This policy/endorsement is designed to schedule your valuable items at an appraised value that is agreed upon by the insurance company. 

Items that you should consider adding include: Jewelry, watches, furs, silverware, guns, stamps, musical equipment, coins, cameras and fine arts.

Wedding Insurance

We can insure your special day!  Whether it is a wedding, family reunion, company picnic etc., we have a market for you.  One policy covers your wedding event, including the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. Coverage includes liability for bodily injury, property damage, host liquor liability. The policy can also include cancellation and postponement insurance with optional “change of heart” coverage.  Options include gifts, jewelry, rented property, photographs & video, special attire, loss of deposits and professional counseling.  Policies start at $95.  Many venues will require you to provide a certificate of liability insurance for your event.  Call us to discuss your event.

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