Archive for May, 2011

Long Term Care Insurance

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

by Colleen Herlihy

This is a personal story. Let me start by saying, I hope you never need long term care.

During the past six months two friends of mine have received life changing medical diagnoses. One year ago these friends were living vibrant, healthy lives and enjoying their families, careers and friends. Today these friends need regular assistance with “activities of daily living”. Both of my friends are in their early fifties.

My story will not be a medical one. The medical details are not the point. The point here is to look at Long Term Care Insurance. One family has this insurance and the other does not.

The family with Long Term Care Insurance has access to benefits such as adult day care, in home companion assistance and home health aide assistance. These expenses are covered under their specific long term care insurance policy.

The other family does not have Long Term Care Insurance. They are redefining their family budget to include the loss of one income and the expenses of providing in home care to their loved one.

Health insurance pays your doctor and hospital bills when you are sick or injured but what will protect you against the significant financial risk posed by the potential need for long-term care services? This is a question I never spent a lot of time thinking about, until now.

I have spent some time reviewing “Long Term Care Insurance” and what this insurance offers. I recommend that you take a look at this insurance protection for yourself and your family members. By purchasing this insurance at a “younger age”, there are many benefits for all.

Here are a few average premium costs for this insurance:

Long Term Care Insurance

As indicated, these are estimates and are of course subject to individual application review. There are many fine points that need to be examined when you are ready to look at Long Term Care Insurance and we at Herlihy Insurance can assist you with this evaluation process.

As I started out saying, this is a personal story. Look now. Decide for yourself if this is the right choice for you and your family, but do it today!

Declaration of Homestead

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Declaration of Homestead

A Declaration of Homestead is a type of protection for a person’s principal residence to protect the equity in the home from subsequent creditors.

On March 16, 2011 the Declaration of Homestead was changed to clarify ambiguities in a law first enacted in 1851. Here are some of the details of the new law:

  1. There is an automatic homestead protection of $125,000 for all owners on the deed. Nothing needs to be filed at the registry of deeds.
  2. When you file and record the homestead, it protects up to $500,000 per residence per family for a designated property. Example – if a spouse is not listed on the deed, the spouse can now file for the homestead protection on his/her primary residence.
  3. Multiple Declaration of Homesteads can be filed on a designated property. Example – If there is a boyfriend and girlfriend on the deed, the boyfriend should file a homestead for his protection and his girlfriend should file a separate homestead for her protection.
  4. If a property is owned by a Trust, the beneficiaries of a trust can now receive the homestead protection.
  5. Homeowners of manufactured and mobile homes can now file for this protection.
  6. When an owner reaches the age of 62, he/she can re-file and get an additional $500,000 of protection.
  7. The Declaration of Homestead needs to be filed and recorded at the Registry of Deeds. There is a $35 fee to file this form.

For additional information on the new law consult your personal attorney regarding specific questions and how the Homestead Act may impact your individual situation. If you would like assistance with finding a lawyer to answer your questions, please give us a call.

5 Steps to Lowering your Commercial Insurance Costs

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

For the past few years many businesses have struggled with the ability to increase their company’s revenues. In an effort to maintain a profitable business, most business owners have been faced with reducing their expenses. Here are a few simple ways to lower your commercial insurance costs.

1) Multiple Policies = Best Pricing: Most insurance companies will give additional credits to a policyholder if the insurance company or the insurance agent writes more then one policy. You can maximize your savings by placing all of your personal and commercial insurance with one agency.

2) Know your Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Rating: A D&B rating is similar to a person’s credit score. A good D&B rating will allow your business to obtain the insurance company’s best rates. An insurance company may decline to offer a policy or offer a policy with higher rates to a business with a poor D&B. A company that pays its bill on time will have a better D&B rating then a company that does not.

3) Employee Driving Records: A business should review the driving record of a new employee prior to hiring him or her and review all employees’ driving records at least once per year. An Employee’s Driving Record is one piece of information an insurance company uses to determine your company’s auto insurance rates. I have seen auto insurance rates increase by 20% because of the poor driving record of just one employee.

4) Claims: An insurance company evaluates the frequency and the severity of claims for each account they write. Controlling the frequency of claims is critical to maintaining a positive claim history. Prior to submitting a claim, you should estimate the damages and confirm there is coverage within the policy before you decide to file a claim. Please call our office and we can help you with this process.

5) Review Your Deductibles: If you increase your deductible, your annual premium will go down. You should review the various deductible options, the savings to you and make a decision that fits your needs.

If you have any additional questions or need additional information about your account, please call our office a (508) 756-5159. Our office is here to help you!!!

Real People & Their Real Stories

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Talk to us before a claim, let us know what’s happening in your life. Together we can make certain life’s surprises don’t last and you have the financial security you expect.

Insure to Value

The full impact of the loss hadn’t hit us until day three, the fire had gutted our house and we were starting over. We had home insurance so we thought we could handle it, right? Wrong. When we renovated the kitchen and added the family room we knew our home’s value would rise, but we didn’t think how this would impact our home insurance. Yes we’re rebuilding, but it’s going to cost us a lot more than a few sleepless nights.

Water Backup

We’ve seen rain filled springs before, but nothing like the rain we saw coming down now. A river was running down our driveway and street, not long after the storm drains were overwhelmed. Our biggest fears were confirmed when we ventured down to the finished basement and discovered, yes our sewer drain had backed up into our home. The real mess was when we found out our home insurance did not include coverage for sewer back up.

Premises Liability

Our neighbor’s child had wandered into our back yard and onto the old swing set that hadn’t been used in years since our kids left for school. While on a swing the chain gave way and sent the little girl tumbling to the ground, she was injured and medical & dental bills followed from her parents. What if the neighbors decide to sue us? Will my home insurance be there? We are most thankful we do not have a pool.

Earthquake Insurance

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

If there is one important thing to know about earthquake insurance, it is that most standard homeowner insurance policies don’t include the coverage.

The good news is that earthquake coverage can be added to most homeowner policies. The bad news is most people have never considered adding earthquake coverage and could not tell you if earthquake is included in their homeowner policy.

While we have seen the “big” earthquakes most recently in Japan, Chile or even the U.S. West Coast, a little research shows earthquakes occur fairly regularly in New England.

In March alone “small” earthquakes were recorded in Moodus, CT, Lincoln, ME, Contoocook, NH and closer to home in Massachusetts along the New York border last October. The last more pronounced earthquake measuring 3.5 magnitude occurred in the Central Massachusetts town of Hardwick in 1994.

So earthquakes happen in New England, what should you do about it? There’s not much you can do about the frequency or severity of earthquakes in our area. What you can do at a minimum, is find out if you have earthquake coverage on your home or property policy. If you do not currently have the coverage; learn the facts, evaluate your financial situation, give us a call, then make a decision to add or not add the coverage based on your level of security. The cost to add earthquake coverage to the average Massachusetts homeowner policy is $75 – $150.

For more information on your homeowner policy and the impact of earthquake coverage, call or email us today at info@herlihygroup.com.

Team Herlihy in Action

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Team Herlihy in Action

As an addition to this year’s Toy Drive, the employees of Herlihy Insurance instituted “Jeans Friday” at all our offices. For a monthly fee our employees are welcome to wear jeans to work on Fridays. On top of the Toy Drive, we were very pleased to also deliver a check for $1,000 from all the employees at Herlihy to the Worcester Boys & Girls Club.

Kids Café is alive and well and Herlihy Insurance continues to support this special program. This spring we sponsored a night in which Herlihy and our employees cooked, and served dinner for 200 kids at the Boys & Girls Club. For 90 minutes the action is fast paced and hectic, there are few events we sponsor that prove to be as rewarding.

The annual Girls Night Out was held at the Boys & Girls Club in April. The night featured an improv performance by The Pea-Pod Squad from Clark University in Worcester. Forty Five young women got the opportunity to dine and catch up with local women professionals. Big thank-you’s to our volunteer organizations; Steve White & Associates, Spencer Savings Bank, and Claremont Academy.

Next up is Heroes Day, celebrating the unsung heroes who have made a difference in the lives of others. Saturday, June 11 at 10am we will be gathering at University Park in Worcester for games, contests, face painting, entertainment and more. Heroes’ award ceremony is at 1pm. For more information, become a sponsor or nominate a hero, contact Jim Herlihy at jimherlihy@herlihygroup.com.

Referral Rewards Winners

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

We are one full year into our Referral Rewards Thank-You program and are very happy with the growth and excitement this program is producing every month. Special thank you to everyone who participates, our winners include;

Referral Rewards Winners

It’s never too late to join in on the fun. Every referral gets you entered to win monthly, quarterly and the big year end prizes. For more information or how you can enter, give us a call, email us at referrals@herlihygroup.com or use this form.

President’s Letter

Posted on: May 13th, 2011 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Spring is here giving us a renewed optimism after a long winter. The weather has been great. Everyone’s attitude has changed for the better and even the Red Sox have turned things around and restored our faith.

This is the time of year that everyone gets rejuvenated and commits to being better with their families, work and themselves. Spring Cleaning, we call it, out with the old and in with the new.

The last 2 years I’ve witnessed several instances where a lack of planning has led to financial and personal hardships for families. Young parents that die unexpectedly and older parents die or become sick without a plan. In each case, family was torn apart because there was no plan in place.

Don’t take the easy way out and say it won’t happen to me!! Chances are, you will be affected at some time.

For your self:

  • Get a Will: Don’t take the chance of passing away and having the state decide what happens to everything. Make sure your spouse and children get what you want them to have.
  • Buy Life Insurance: How many times do we read in the paper the 40 or 50 year old that die and leave behind 2 or 3 children. They ask for donations to help the family. It costs a lot of money to raise a family these days. Buy enough to make sure your children and spouse can continue the life you planned.

For your parents:

  • Get A Will: Make sure your parents’ affairs are in order. It can be a tough conversation, but, if things are not organized, you’ll be dealing with it.
  • What Happens if they Get Sick: At some point, your parents will get sick and require some kind of nursing care. Is it home health, day care, or nursing home? How is this going to be paid for? A health care proxy should be included. It is a very difficult and emotional time!! Have a plan in place so everyone knows what to expect.

These are not issues that many people like to face, but they are VERY important! These are emotional times and having a plan and funding in place can make it easier. Don’t wait until it’s too late and try to deal with it at that time.

It’s your family, take care of them today!!