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Personal Vehicle Sharing and your Auto Insurance Policy Apr 10, 2014
Recently such services as Uber, Lyft and SideCar have become almost everyday conversation.  As the various ads and commercials for these companies and services become more prevalent, it is extremely important to understand the limitations of your personal auto insurance policy before you become involved in one of these ventures.

If you think back to when you first started your policy, there was most likely a questions asking if you will be using the vehicle to transport goods or people for a fee, and most likely you quickly checked off the "no" response.  If you are now working with or participating in a car sharing service where you receive any compensation, you are in danger of having a claim denied.

As a specific result of these services, most Massachusetts insurers are now including a new specific endorsement specifically excluding coverage.  While the specific endorsement may vary from company to company they all have the same basic premise.

The company WILL NOT PAY any claim for injury or property damage under the policy, while your auto is being used in a personal vehicle sharing program.

Consequently, for your own protection, it is necessary for you to be aware of any possible stipulations, especially when participating in a vehicle sharing program.

As always, it is important to speak with your insurance agent if you have any questions or if you are considering working for or with any of these types of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please consider Sanviti Insurance for any of your insurance needs.
Spring is Here! Time for Spring Cleaning and 8 Helpful Safety Considerations Apr 5, 2012
The catchy phrases “April Showers Bring May Flowers and Spring Ahead” not only signal the change of seasons in New England but it is also an optimistic forecast that warmer and sunnier weeks are ahead.  With these seasonal changes, millions take on “spring cleaning” of homes, garages and yards.
 
When you’re longing to get outside in the spring months, consider several simple steps to enhance safety for you and your family.
 
After all, the numbers show where the danger is: Home accidents result in 10 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S., according to Home Safety Council estimates. Many injuries occur in garages and near doorways to a home.
 
Here are some suggestions for an effective spring safety sweep:
 
  1. Check fluids. Look under sinks, in bathrooms, closets, garage and basement for liquids that include chemicals. Look for potentially hazardous liquids including: cleaning solvents and disinfectants; oil-based paints, primers and thinners; gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, anti-freeze, windshield washer, and other car products; insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers; and charcoal lighter fluid.
 
**Be sure to safely discard any liquids that are unneeded or expired, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper disposal is usually best accomplished with a community-based program. Typically, pouring hazardous materials down a sink, on the ground, or in a storm sewer—or placing them in the garbage—is not a safe option.
 
  1. Cap, Label and Raise. Safely cap containers containing chemicals of any kind. If these materials need to be kept, make sure they are labeled correctly. Raise up (out of the reach of children and pets) any containers with hazardous materials.
 
  1. Ventilate.  Make sure petroleum-based products and other products with noxious fumes are not stored in a confined space such as a basement or closet. Nor should they be near a heat source.
** Springtime also is a good time to have chimneys professionally cleaned. 
 
  1. Check Alarms. Housing codes typically require smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms in a residence. Consider adding these safety devices in garages and basements. Check the batteries in all smoke and CO alarms.
 
  1. Clean up Clutter. Many trip-and-fall or fall-from-above accidents happen because houses are cluttered near doors. Garages, basements, and attics are places where many homeowners put things out of the way—only to find them “by accident” come springtime. Clean up for safety’s sake.
 
  1. Separate for Safety. In the garage and basement, make an area for bikes, balls, and toys—away from potentially dangerous areas and items such as fuels, paints and power tools.
 
  1. Prepare for an Emergency. Make sure all entrances and exits to your home, including through the garage or basement, are clear. Place a first-aid kit and flashlight in the garage and basement. Mount a fire extinguisher in the garage, and train adults how to use it based on manufacturer’s directions.
 
  1. Check appliances. Check appliance hoses for dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Danger signs: crimping, cracking or other damage on power wires, supply/discharge hoses, and vents. If you have a sump pump, test it—before spring downpours do.
 
Please keep in mind that these are just a few examples of what can be done.
 
As always, Thank you for reading, have a happy and safe holiday weekend!
 
Sanviti Insurance is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs. You can visit Sanviti Insurance online at WWW.SanvitiAgency.comor call it at 617-389-2020
Three Easy Ways to Save On Your Auto Insurance Feb 17, 2012
Three Easy Ways to Save On Your Auto Insurance

It’s well known, insurance is a necessary requirement and is well worth the money should you suffer a loss, but people are always looking to save money without sacrificing protection and coverage. 
We are often asked if this can be done and often on a case by case basis we can find some way to assist. 
Based on our experience, we would like to provide a quick list of ways people can end up saving big over the course of a year.
First recommendation – if you are currently paying your bills on-line, why not because an e-customer?  Many companies provide any from a 2% - 7% savings if you go paperless.  You still have your independent agent as a resource, but you help cut down on mailings.
Total Potential savings: The average cost for auto insurance in Massachusetts is $1700 annually – if you receive a 5% discount you would save on average $85 a year
Second recommendation – take advantage of the EFT or automatic payments options.  This is a great way to save anywhere from $6 to $10 a month.  It is a simple as filling in a form and providing your banking information for an automatic withdrawal.  Some companies even let you select which day of the month the money comes out. 
Total Potential savings $54 - $90 a year
Third recommendation – pay your bills on-time.  If you are enrolled in an eft program, this is one less thing you have to worry about.  But if you prefer to pay your bills manually each month, be sure to pay on time.  Companies charge anywhere from $15 - $30 for late payments.  Imagine if you were charged and extra $30 each late payment and you were late on 6 of your payments, which would be an extra $180.  I can think of many different ways to spend $180 that are much more fun J
Total Potential savings: $135 - $270-if you are chronically late ;-)
So if we add all of these together…you can see that there is the potential to save anywhere from $54 to $300 a year, without sacrificing any coverage levels.
Now there are also many other options to consider, but the three mentioned here, are the fastest and easiest to implement. 
As always, Thank you for reading, have a happy and safe holiday weekend!
 
Sanviti Insurance is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so we offer you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plans to meet your personal or business needs. You can visit Sanviti Insurance online at www.SanvitiAgency.comor call us at 617-389-2020. Or Click hereto find the Trusted Choice® agency nearest you.
 
Is Your Home Fully Insured? Jan 4, 2012
For our first posting of the New Year, we wanted to touch on a slightly more general subject. 
If you’re like most Americans, your home is your largest investment, so you know how important it is to protect it. You probably take safety precautions and have insurance that will cover you in case of a loss.
 
But are you fully protected?   If you are not, you are running the risk of having to pay money out of your own pocket to rebuild your home after a loss, to replace stolen items or to settle a liability lawsuit.
 
Now everyone has a different appetite for risk, and depending on what you are comfortable with here are some key questions to consider when evaluating your homeowner /condo owner or renter’s insurance policy.
 
  1. Are you working at home? Do you have a home-based business? If so, you’re not alone—40% of Americans operate a home-based business that provides their sole means of living or extra income. Most people don’t know that their standard homeowners insurance provides very limited coverage for business property and generally no liability protection for business use of the home. You can get this coverage added to your homeowners policy by an endorsement or by purchasing a separate business policy.
  2. Do you have recreational vehicles? Watercraft, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and similar recreational vehicles add spice to your family’s life. But you should know that liability coverage for these type vehicles is not provided by your homeowners insurance. Accidents happen. So add this critical coverage to your policy by an endorsement or addition.
  3. Did you build an addition recently? If so, did you update your homeowners policy? Most Americans neglect this important step, leaving their family vulnerable to significant out-of-pocket expenses to rebuild after a loss. New additions to the structure and grounds may increase your liability and coverage needs. So, if you’ve added a pool, another bedroom or a home theater, you best inform your insurance agent so that you can be adequately protected
  4. Will your policy pay to rebuild or replace your home? There has been a recent ballooning in the cost of building materials. These increases directly impact the amount of insurance homeowners must carry to avoid costly penalties for being underinsured. Get a home appraisal now so you can determine how much homeowners insurance you need to rebuild or replace your home.
  5. Do you own an historic home? If the answer is yes, your home poses a unique requirement on your homeowners insurance. That’s because older homes do not meet the stringent building codes in effect in most towns and cities today. If there is a loss, your old home will have to be rebuilt to the new code. A standard homeowners policy limits increased construction costs and the lost value of property. Again, add this coverage as an endorsement to your policy.
  6. Do you have expensive items or a collection? Most standard homeowners policies limit coverage for high-value items like expensive jewelry, art collections, antiques and other collectibles. Think about how valuable these items are to your family—both monetarily and emotionally—and decide if you need to secure additional coverage either by an endorsement to your homeowners policy or through a specialty policy.
  7. Do you have medical payments coverage? Most homeowners don’t carry this protection, often called “goodwill” protection. It provides payments for medical care for people injured on your property (regardless of fault) up to three years after an accident. In today’s lawsuit-happy society, medical payments coverage could save you tens of thousands of dollars. Get this affordable coverage added to your homeowners insurance policy today.
  8. Check for leaks regularly. If there’s a leak in your house, then you’ve got problems and probably damage to your home, too. To prevent a leak from mushrooming you should regularly inspect your home. Look for discoloration in ceilings, floors, walls and tiles. Check for water in the basement and around appliances. Check the foundation. And, check indoor hose connections in the laundry room, bathrooms and kitchen. Repair damaged or suspect areas immediately.
  9. Get an alarm system. Unfortunately, there are crooks among us who are looking to take away your prized possessions. Arm yourself! If you don’t own an alarm system, get one. It is a great deterrent against break-ins and could save you money on your homeowners insurance. Test it regularly—at least monthly—to ensure it is operating properly. And, most importantly, use it. An alarm system will not dissuade burglars if it’s off!
  10. Got a pet? Fido sure is cute. But he could cost you a lot of money if he bites the neighbor’s kid or the mailman. Pet bites and attacks are one of the most common causes of homeowner liability claims. Insurance companies judge certain breeds to be more dangerous. Some, such as pit bulls, may be excluded from coverage altogether. Before adopting a pet check with your insurance company to ensure it will be covered by your homeowners insurance.
 
Now, this is not a comprehensive list, but it is a great place to start and begin the conversation.  By addressing these issues now you can prevent costly claims and save money on homeowners insurance premiums over the long term. And, your family will have peace of mind knowing that your homeowners insurance will be there no matter what life and Mother Nature throw at you.
 
Thank you for reading, have a happy and safe 2012!
 
 
Mystic Insurance is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so we offer you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plans to meet your personal or business needs. You can visit Mystic Insurance online at www.MysticIns.comor call us at 781-396-0482. Or Click hereto find the Trusted Choice® agency nearest you.
 
Holiday Jewelry Purchases? Protect your Investment Dec 7, 2011
Protect Your Jewelry Investment 
 
Between the upcoming December holidays and February's Valentine’s Day, this portion of the calendar year accounts for a large percentage of jewelry purchases, yet many consumers don’t know enough about protecting these valuables against costly losses.  
 
Much of this jewelry—particularly diamond engagement rings—will be excluded from full coverage under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies.  Most policies provide as little as $1,000 for loss by theft, and you will have to pay a deductible on top of that, leaving you with virtually nothing; worse yet, if your ring simply disappears or if you lose the stone, most homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide little or no protection at all.
 
The average engagement ring value in the U.S. is $2,000, according to the most recent statistics from the Diamond Registry. However, for brides over the age of 25, that average climbs to about $3,000. 
 
After you have chosen that very special diamond or other valuable jewel, your very next decision needs to be how you will insure it for any unexpected loss. An expensive loss could really take the sparkle out of the joyful times these jewels so often commemorate.
 
You usually should purchase a policy add-on called a “floater” to insure your fine jewelry against theft and damage. Annually, this coverage should cost about $5 to $10 per $1,000 in value. The best protection, though, is a personal jewelry policy. 
You will need an appraisal of the piece to begin this process, but these policies—which provide coverage for loss by theft, damage or disappearance, and will pay for repair or replacement with like kind and quality—are very flexible and will allow you to add more jewelry as your collection increases.
 
OTHER IMPORTANT TIPS: 
  • Some insurance companies require an appraisal by an independent third party, or someone not working at the store where the jewelry was purchased. Ask your agent what your policy requires.
  • When shopping for an appraisal, always ask trusted friends and family for a referral and look for credentials from the Gemological Institute of America, the American Society of Appraisers or the Accredited Gemologists Association.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of jewelry stores have a properly credentialed gemologist on the premises. Shop around.
  • Some insurance companies require that jewelry be stored in a safety deposit box while the owner is traveling or not wearing the item.
  • Insurance companies report that most jewelry claims result from theft in the home by friends, family and service workers.
  • Don’t forget to have your jewelry re-appraised when upgrading or adding additional stones.
 
Sanviti Insurance is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your personal or business needs. You can visit Sanviti Insurance online at www.SanvitiAgency.com or call it at 617-389-2020.

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