Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers from Our Experienced Agents

What is a personal umbrella policy and why is it important?

 A personal umbrella policy (PUP) is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your general automobile or homeowner insurance policy. Essentially it protects you when your “regular insurance” isn’t enough.

Do I have to list other household members on my auto insurance policy if they have their own?

Yes; If you fail to list any “customary” operator or licensed household member (including a child), your insurance company might refuse to pay your claim, even if you were driving at the time of the accident.

What is the difference between All Perils Deductible and Named Storm Deductible or Hurricane Deductible?

Hurricane or Named Storm Deductibles only apply to a Named Hurricane or Named Storm. For example – “Hurricane Bob” or “Hercules” (named storm). If the weather event was not given a name, the All Other Perils deductible will apply.

If found at fault for an auto accident can I appeal a surcharge?

Yes. If you believe that you are not more than 50% at-fault for an accident in which you received a surcharge, you may appeal the motor vehicle accident surcharge to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.

What If I am involved in an accident?

Once confirming all parties are OK, it is important to notify your specific insurance carrier directly as promptly as possible after the incident has occurred.  A claims specialist will walk you through the process from there to ensure that your claim is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.  As your local independent agent, we are naturally here for you every step of the way, so never hesitate to contact us with any claims questions, before, during or after one has been initiated.

Am I covered if I am driving a rental vehicle?

In most instances, your rental car would be covered in the same way your insurance policy covers your own personal vehicle.  Since all policies are different, this may or may not be enough coverage depending on what you have chosen to carry on your personal insurance policy.  Make sure that your personal coverage is sufficient prior to declining the rental company’s coverage and also keep in mind that you are subject to the same deductibles on your personal policy.

Many credit cards also offer coverage while renting a vehicle.  Please check with your credit card companies to see what coverage they offer for rental vehicles.

**Loss of use is almost always excluded from coverage by your personal insurance policy.   Loss of use is the revenue (daily rate) the rental car company loses while the car is being repaired as a result of a claim.  This can certainly become costly in the event that the repairs are lengthy.  It is recommended to ask the rental car company if this is their policy and if so, if they offer coverage against this.

How do I cancel my car insurance?

In Massachusetts auto insurance cannot be canceled until the registration/license plate is canceled with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The car insurance will be canceled the day following the plate cancellation date.

When my child obtains a driver’s permit, must I list him or her on my auto policy?

You don’t need to list your child as an operator of your car until he or she actually passes the driver’s exam and becomes a licensed driver. A child with a valid permit can operate your car accompanied by a licensed operator up until he or she becomes a licensed driver without being listed.

What is a deductible?

When a claim occurs, you are required to pay the first portion of the cost to repair or replace the insured property. This fixed amount is the deductible you selected. The insurance company pays the remainder of the claim. Deductibles are used as a method to stretch your insurance dollars. The greater the deductible amount you agree to pay for each claim, the lower your insurance premium. This can sometimes add up to a significant savings. However, to determine your deductible, you must decide how much of any claim you are willing and able to pay. We’d be glad to help you review your deductible options to determine which is most appropriate given your current needs.

Is lost or stolen jewelry covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy?

No; A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover lost or stolen jewelry. The pieces of jewelry would need to be scheduled for the full appraised value.

Why do I have “Other Structure” coverage on my MA homeowners insurance policy, when I don’t have any other structures?

The “Other Structure” coverage is calculated at 10% of your dwelling coverage at no additional cost and is part of the homeowners form whether you have the need or not.

I currently rent an apartment - why do I need insurance?

Renters insurance primarily covers the personal property you own within your apartment unit, such as your clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.  The amount of coverage needed varies depending on the type and quantity of possessions that you own.  It is easy to take for granted the amount of “stuff” we accumulate and in turn the amount of money it would take to replace it all in the event of a total loss, such as an apartment fire.  Long story short, even if you don’t own the building – you still have a lot to lose.

Doesn't my home insurance policy cover me against flooding?

While this is a common misconception, a standard home insurance policy typically does NOT include coverage for a flood related incident.  For that you will need a separate flood insurance policy to protect both the building and its contents.  There are now multiple options available to obtain this valuable coverage, depending on your lender’s requirements – each with their own pricing.  

Do I need to consider obtaining flood insurance, even if it's not "required"?

A flood can happen to properties in any zone.  If your home is located outside of the higher risk areas, you may not be required to obtain this additional coverage but it is still an important consideration, as water damage can be incredibly costly.  Coverage in lower risk zones can also cost significantly less than high risk areas, meaning the “better safe than sorry” approach can be easy on your wallet.