Archive for May, 2017

Tips for your own phone mobile security!

Posted on: May 31st, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments

phonesecurityWe had a family reunion this weekend that brought many of us together from all different parts of the country. Many of us flew in from various cities and one of us left our phone on the plane!

The good news about this phone left behind was that the phone contained the standard MOM entry in the contacts. Due to this MOM entry, the phone did get back to its owner after a few days in the airport lost and found.

Now what exactly was on that phone and how secure was it? Not really sure about what was on that phone but I do not since they called MOM from it, security was not fabulous.

Here are a few phone security tips we think might be useful!

  • Set a lock and pin on all devices (most phones have an “auto lock” feature).
  • NEVER connect to unsecure, public Wi-Fi options
  • Keep Bluetooth out of “discovery mode”
  • If this is a phone used for work, notify your employer immediately if a device is lost or stolen. There are remote “wiping” features that will clear a device’s data if it falls in the wrong hands.
  • Enable “Do Not track” in your mobile web browser
  • Use a recovery app to find a lost or stolen device
  • Add a contact to contact in the event of a lost phone. (Maybe not MOM)

By the way our family reunion was a great time! It was a great way to kick off summer! Hope you enjoy your summer days. They really are coming soon.

At Fault, Not At Fault And What An Accident Can Cost

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments

auto_accident_costs

One question we get frequently from our clients is how much will my insurance go up after my claim?

Unfortunately there is no simple response for this question. The cost of any accident surcharge will vary depending on many variables such as the car your drive, your driving record and where you live.

One good development was that in July 2015 the Massachusetts Insurance department increased the property damage liability dollar amounts for Major and Minor at-fault accidents increased to $1001 and $5001 respectively. This means that your accident must have caused more than $1000 of property damage to be a surchargeable event.

This is all good news for consumers! However, some insurance companies have filed their own Safe Driver Insurance Plans and these plans have not complied with this new law. As a result these insurance companies are still charging surcharges for smaller accidents. Insureds then have to appeal these surcharges in order to get this corrected.

The intent of the increased property damage liability dollar amount was to apply to all Massachusetts drivers.

We do suggest that is you are involved in an accident you check to make certain that you are not charged for surcharge that may not be necessary! Your driving record could be impacted for up to six years.

Clarification of this law is presenting before the senate. If you would like the law clarified so that no insurance company shall apply a surcharge as a result of an accident that does not qualify under the new $1001 and $5001 thresholds, please ask your senator to support Budget Amendment 41!

This amendment will require all Massachusetts auto companies to comply with the regulation change from July 2015 and help keep your premiums lower if you are involved in an accident.

Safe Driving!

Service Line What?

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments

serviceline

Let’s take a look at a newer insurance coverage now offered on many home insurance policies!

Each insurance company has a slightly different description of this coverage so it is always best to check for the details of this coverage with your insurer.

Service Line Coverage provides payment for loss or damage resulting from a service line failure. A service line constitutes underground piping and wiring that is located at the residence and provides a service such as delivering water or power to the dwelling or other structure from a utility or a private water supply.

What is covered by service line coverage?

  • Water piping that connects from the dwelling to a public water supply or well.
  • Sewer piping that connects from the residence to the public sewer system or private septic system
  • Power lines that provide electrical service to the dwelling or other structure or piping that connects to a heat pump

Why does a homeowner need service line coverage?

Your standard home insurance policy does not include coverage for this type of failure.

The best way to explain this is really by claims examples!

Claim Scenario 1.

An underground water pipe bursts during a spring freeze. Repair of the pipe costs $1500, excavation costs $500, and landscape repair to the garden costs $250.

Standard home insurance policy would not pay for these repairs.

Home policy that has added Service Line Coverage would pay for these repairs subject to the deductible.

Claim Scenario 2

A large rock abuts an underground sewer line directly under the insured’s sidewalk prior to entering the home. Years of wear mar the pipe and cause leakage requiring excavation and replacement of the pipe.

Standard Home insurance policy would not pay to repair the damaged pipe and the sidewalk.

Home insurance policy that has added Service Line Coverage would pay for these repairs subject to the deductible.

Ask about your home insurance policy today! Does your policy include this valuable Service Line Coverage?

Social Host Laws and Prom Time

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments

promnight

This morning the office talk turned to prom time. The group was a bunch of guys so the usual hair, dress and nail discussions were not the topics! The topic was the “after party”.

The proms and the parties are a right of passage for both kids and parents.

We know that “after parties” or any teen party for that matter is tricky.

At Herlihy Insurance Group we thought this may be a good time to share the Mass laws on underage drinking.

Am I breaking the law if I allow my child’s underage guests to consume alcohol in my home?

Yes. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. It is against the law to serve or provide alcohol to underage guests or to allow them to drink alcohol in your home or on other property you control. If you do, you may be prosecuted criminally. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both. M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34

Can I be sued if my child or an underage guest at my home drinks alcohol and injures someone?

Yes. You may be financially responsible if your child or underage guest injures another person (or himself) after having consumed alcohol, if you controlled the supply of the alcohol, made it available, or served it. Civil judgments can be for millions of dollars.

What if my child allows underage guests to drink or possess alcohol at my home or other property I control?

You or your child may be charged criminally. For you to be found guilty under the Social Host Law, the Commonwealth must prove that you or your child knowingly or intentionally supplied, gave, provided, or allowed minors to possess alcohol at your home or other property you controlled. You or your child may also be sued civilly.

Does the Social Host Law apply if I rent a hotel room for my daughter’s party?

Yes, since you control the hotel room, the Social Host Law applies. M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34

We wish all our friends and families a safe prom season. Keep them safe.

Looking for more information?  Click here.

New Driver At Your House? Know The Facts!

Posted on: May 2nd, 2017 by Agent Mark No Comments

teendriverWe all know it costs more to have a newly licensed driver in our house and you get a lot less sleep as you are waiting for that car to come back into the driveway.

A few expenses your new driver can avoid are the Junior Operator License Violation Penalties. These can quickly add up!

Check this out…

Violation 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Passenger Restriction 60 day suspension
$100 reinstatement fee
180 day suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course
$100 reinstatement fee
1 year suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course Full Exam
$100 reinstatement fee
Time Restriction Violation

12:30am-5am
60 day suspension
$100 reinstatement fee
180 day suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course
$100 reinstatement fee
1 year suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course
Full Exam
$100 reinstatement fee
Speeding 90 day suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course & SCARR*
$500 reinstatement fee
Full Exam
3 year suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course & SCARR*
Full Exam
$1000 reinstatement
3 year suspension
Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course & SCARR*
Full Exam
$1000 reinstatement
Operating to Endanger/
Recklessly or Negligent
180 day suspension
$500 reinstatement
1 year suspension
Full exam
$500 Reinstatement
1 year suspension
Full exam
$500 Reinstatement

Junior Operator Driving Restrictions

The Passenger Restriction prevents a Junior Operator from carrying passengers under the age of 18 (except for siblings) during the first six months that the driver has his/her license. This restriction was designed to reduce the number of distractions that an inexperienced driver may face while driving.

The Night Restriction prevents a Junior Operator from driving between 12:30 am and 5:00 am, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Accident rates for young drivers are higher late at night when they may be drowsy or tend to speed or take more risks

We hope this info helps you and your teens know more about the costs of driving. Keep them safe!