Archive for October, 2013

Who does need to know about your Trust?

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by Personal Insurance No Comments

We do! During the past few years we have had numerous clients establish Trusts and transfer their properties into a “Trust” entity.

We see Trusts being used for primary and secondary residences as well as investment properties. It is always interesting for us to hear about all of the different Trust ownership changes as we work with our clients on their financial plans for the future.

We have seen trusts created for owner occupants. We have seen trusts created for occupants under a life estate arrangement and we have seen trusts created for rental investment properties.

There is no question that there are a number of potential benefits for using a trust entity for an owned property. We have a few hundred clients that are doing this today.

What every trust creator needs to know is that when you transfer a property into a trust it is necessary to update your insurance coverage. There is a distinct difference between insuring a property that is owned by an individual and insuring a property owned by a trust. Each trust situation will require a thorough insurance review. One basic fact to remember is that a trust is a SEPARATE LEGAL entity and if this entity owns a property the insurance policy for this trust MUST name the trust as owner.

Trust owners may not have the building or liability protection that they need if they do not advise their insurance agent of this ownership update.

If you are a Trustee on a trust, please ask to review the insurance on any trust for which you are a party. You may as a trustee have an uncovered liability exposure.

Here’s a quick Trustee Checklist for you:

  1. Update named insured and additional insureds to reflect new Trust ownership.
  2. Review how the Personal Injury Coverage will respond for me as a Trustee
  3. Reviewed how my Personal Umbrella Coverage will respond for me as a Trustee
  4. If you are not the insurance buyer for the property, review all coverages and cancellation notice provisions.

We look forward to hearing all about your Trust updates!

Open for Business Disaster Planning

Posted on: October 25th, 2013 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

Businesses of all sizes should plan ahead for natural and man made disasters that can spell big trouble for the health of a business. In reality, small businesses with single locations are often most at risk since all communication, information and assets are located in one defined location. The truth is, many businesses that are forced to close after some type of disaster never reopen their doors.

Earthquake, Fire, Utility Outage, Hazardous Material Spill, Hurricane, Inside Water, Flood all have the ability to shutter a business for months. To combat the risk, a business needs to plan ahead, create an emergency plan, identify areas you are most vulnerable and determine what people in your organization will lead and provide direction.

Creating your Disaster Plan need not be overly difficult or expensive. Look to include these critical activities when preparing your business for a disaster;

  1. Designate which employees will make up your Disaster Operations Team
  2. Identify areas of greatest vulnerability
  3. List your capability and resources to respond to vulnerabilities
  4. Develop an emergency communication plan
  5. Provide for emergency backup power and lighting
  6. Assemble and store emergency supplies
  7. Educate and exercise employees on how the business will respond
  8. Review All Insurance Contracts, Address Coverage Gaps Before a Loss

The time to take proactive steps to protect your business is before a disaster occurs. Now is that time. We have real life claim examples and the resources to help you put a disaster plan in place that will compliment your business.

You Have Questions, Call us. We have the Answers

Your Car and Registry Things

Posted on: October 11th, 2013 by Personal Insurance No Comments

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

In our agency not a week goes by that we do not have a client requesting registry information. Our staff is always eager to share our registry knowledge with anyone who is interested.

With that in mind I wanted to share some of the things that we get calls and emails about and some helpful hints on how to successfully manage registry things.

Client situations:

License not renewed.

Times have changed and those of us that waited for the registry to mail out cards about our license renewal may be out of luck! License renewal reminders are not regularly sent out.

In many cases you may renew your license online HERE.

Registration not renewed.

As with license renewals, car registration renewal reminders are not always sent out to car owners. We recommend that car owners create their own reminder system for their registration. Most regular plates need to be renewed every two years. You car registration will have your registration expiration date on it. Don’t forget that updated plate sticker that goes with the registration.

In some cases your will be able to renew your registration online HERE.

Car Inspection Sticker not renewed.

Each car in Massachusetts is required to pass an annual safety inspection. Please check you windshield sticker so that your inspection is up to date.

It is easy to understand how these “little” things get missed.

Unfortunately at times our police people get upset about these things and may issue citations. These citations then impact your driving record and the cost of your insurance.

The good news is the Registry has added many online tools to assist with some of our car things. We recommend visiting their website to view some of their new online offerings HERE.

And as always we do welcome your registry questions! Our agency staff has learned quite a bit about registry things over the past 86 years and we are eager to share our knowledge with our clients.