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    Gordon Atlantic Staff

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    Pool Laws and Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 03:16 PM

    Do you have a swimming pool, or are you thinking about getting one?  Summer is coming!  

    Always make sure you're aware of the laws and risks that are associated with pools. Abiding by the state laws for private pools not only protects the lives of those using the pool, but also ensures that you avoid fines from local officials or the Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations.  

    Here are some of the regulations as we understand them: 

    • Pools must be surrounded by a fence four feet or taller, with a self-closing gate.
    • Doors from your house leading to the pool must be alarmed.
    • Swimming pools must be at least 20 feet away from the borders of the property lot, and they shouldn't be near your septic tank. Insure_your_pool_with_a_personal_umbrella_liability_homeowners_policy_from_Andrew_G_Gordon_Inc

    Did you know that even inflatable pools you buy from Wal-Mart need a building and electrical permit (if they hold 24 or more inches of water in height)? You and your kids should have lots of outdoor fun, but be careful and contact your city or town hall if you're not sure. 

    To save on your energy bill for your pool, consider a solar cover to heat the pool for free and prevent evaporation. Keep your filters clean so that the pool filters run smoothly and keep irritants out of the water. Maintaining your pool properly and frequently protects and prolongs the life of your pool equipment.

    A few insurance angles:

    Insure the added risk from your pool by increasing your home insurance liability limits. 

    Pools count as "other structures" under your home insurance policy, which are typically given 10% of coverage for the amount written for your home (if your homeowner's policy is $350,000, then your other structures are typically covered at $35,000. If this isn't enough, call us.

    If you will be away from your pool for an extended period, it is worth the investment of putting locks on your gates to prevent unwanted intruders.  This protects your property as well as you in the unlikely event someone is injured.

    Contact us with any questions about your homeowner's insurance or for a personal umbrella policy quote.

    Have a safe and happy summer!

    Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Call us today for a quote: 800-649-3252

    Home Quote Request  

    Tags: home, insurance, laws, massachusetts, homeowners, pool, swimming, personal umbrella

    Coronavirus Auto Insurance Discounts

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Apr 21, 2020 @ 12:43 PM


    What’s happening with auto insurance?

    We have alerted you, our customers individually about the specifics of reductions to your auto insurance Automatically applied by your respective insurance companies.

    In case you missed it below our is a synopsis of what some of our carriers have done already.



    Business Use (food and medicine delivery)

    Billing phone number


    15% of all premium for April & May

    yes - automatic


    Concord Group

    15% discount for April & may

    yes - automatic


    Mapfre / Commerce

    15% of all premium for April & May


    800-922-8276 press 2,  then 2 again

    National Grange

    $50 per vehicle - automatically applied


    800-258-5310 (Press 3

    Quincy Mutual

    $25 per vehicle - automatically applied


    617-770-5390 (ext. 5390)


    15% of all premium for April & May




    15% of all premium for April & May

    yes - automatic

    800- 951-2100 (press 2


    15% of all premium for April & May

    yes - automatic


    Plymouth Rock

    25% of liability coverages (April & for as long as confinement mandated)

    yes - automatic


    Please note that in addition to these discounts which have been applied automatically, billing departments are working with customers who are out of work or who are under similar financial strain. In addition there has been a state mandated moratorium for cancellations and late payment fees. 

    Tags: auto policy, automotive, Auto Insurance, coronavirus

    Adapting to the working from home lifestyle

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Apr 08, 2020 @ 05:06 PM



    For most of us, working from home was something you’d hear a friend of a friend got to do. You’d hear about this distant person, living a life of luxury, making their own schedule and having a party at home while the rest of the working world was in an actual office doing actual work.

    Well, now most of us who are still working, excluding essential workers, are working from home. Here are some tips for being productive and adapting to this new way of life.

    Forget about the traditional work day

    Try to put aside the idea of an 8 hour work day. When you are in the physical office, the 8 hour work day makes sense. The work day has a clear start and end based on everyone’s physical presence in the office and the agreed dedication to work during that time with limited distractions. While sticking to a specific work schedule at home can work for some, for most of us it can be unrealistic.

    Start thinking of the day in terms of specific goals, rather than working for a full 8 hours. Assign yourself the amount or level of tasks that you would have gotten done during a typical day at the office. Instead of trying to stick to the 8 hours, make it a point to complete the tasks you’ve laid out. 

    Prioritizing the big stuff

    While physically in the office, it can be a lot easier to determine what’s on the top of the list of to-do’s. The people around you will often set the tone and give you an idea of what’s most important. At home, it’s not always as obvious. You can easily get caught up in answering not as important emails and other less important tasks. So take a moment the night before or the morning before you start your next work day to sort your tasks into 4 categories: 

    1. The urgent stuff
      This is the stuff that has to get done right at that moment but wasn’t part of your original daily plan. Also known as putting out fires. Some examples might be solving an unforeseen issue with a major client, or fixing a technical issue that prevents you from doing an important part of your job.
    2. The main goals for the day Set out the main goals for your day. This should be the meat and potatoes of your work day. The work should be meaningful and measurable. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and stack too much on your plate, which can lead to even less getting done. Take a look at your to-do list and pick 3 big important things to get done in the day. If you are able to do more, that’s great, but being realistic and focused on the 3 most important things will lead to more efficient use of your time, and higher quality work
    3. The not-so urgent, not so important stuff
      This category includes emails that are not particularly urgent, or that thing you’ve been meaning to do. This is basically all the extra stuff that isn’t as important. Once you finish your 3 big things for the day, you can move on to this category. Making the distinction between what fits into this category and your main goals for the day will have the biggest impact on your productivity and overall work efficiency.
    4. Distractions/Entertainment
      This category deals with the TV shows, Netflix, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, calling friends and family. While this stuff is important for your mental health, you have to be aware of the amount of time you are dedicating to it. It can be easy to get sucked into distractions, especially if other people in your house are engaged in this type of stuff. If you haven’t completed your main goals for the day, it can be ok to take a break, just make sure you set a time limit for yourself so you don’t lose track of time.

    Become a regular in social groups

    Humans are social creatures and for most of us, social isolation can start to take a toll. Think about which social groups you were part of before isolation began and see if there is an online replacement already up and running. Many gym classes, church gatherings, business meetings, and dozens of other group meetings are continuing their regular schedule through online platforms like Zoom, Skype and Facebook. Check to see if your group is still meeting, and if they aren’t, you can always put together a group yourself.

    Beyond local groups, many online communities are seeing a surge in activity. Check for topics that interest you on platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook and Quora. Even just being a part of an online community can help you feel more grounded socially.

    Figure out what works for you

    Most people are learning how to work from home for the first time. While sticking to a strict schedule works for some people, it might not work for you. Be honest with yourself and examine your own behavior. What days or weeks did you get the most done? What days and weeks did you get the least done? Take a look at the days and figure out what helps you be productive and happy. For some, it means taking a break or even a nap at certain parts of the day. For others, a productive work day might mean making an effort to connect with co-workers through video and audio chat. Recognize your own rhythms and figure out what helps you work best. 

    Tags: home, coronavirus, working from home, home office, social distancing

    Mass RMV now Reviewing Out-Of-State Driving Records

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Oct 01, 2019 @ 09:48 AM

    There is some great news for Massachusetts drivers; the roads are going to be a little safer for everyone. But this news comes after a devastating vehicle accident and a serious problem uncovered at the Massachusetts RMV. Here is the backstory.architecture-auto-automobiles-210182

    This past June, 7 cyclists were killed in New Hampshire by a Massachusetts driver, driving a commercial truck with a trailer attached. After the incident, Massachusetts officials discovered that the driver of the truck, 23 year old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, was arrested in 2013 in Westfield on drunk driving charges and then again in May 2019 in Connecticut.

    So how was he able to continue driving after his most recent incident? When officials investigated further, they made a shocking discovery; tens of thousands of electronic and written warnings about out- of-state driving incidents by Massachusetts drivers went unseen by the RMV over the course of about a year and a half, simply sitting in storage bins in Quincy.

    This has sent the RMV and state officials into overdrive to review the out-of-state reports backlog and take the necessary steps against MA drivers with negative driving records from out-of-state. The good news for most MA drivers is that driving conditions should be a bit safer once drivers with serious out-of-state records are taken off the road. The bad news is that if you were at fault for a recent out-of-state vehicle accident, your driving step will be adjusted and your insurance rate will soon increase.

    It’s unfortunate that it took a tragedy to uncover this issue, but at least it’s finally being resolved.

    Hurricane Defined for Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 01:06 PM

    Prepare yourself for storms with hurricane insurance from andrew gordon incIn the aftermath of Dorian, the question remains: what makes a storm a hurricane?

    The answer to this question is a significant indicator as to how claims are handled by insurance carriers.

    So, let us determine what constitutes a hurricane.  Here are some of the conditions that must be met:

    1) Low pressure system.

    2) Warm temperatures over the ocean.

    3) Moist environment (precipitation).

    4) Tropical wind patterns over the equator.

    Once these conditions are met, a hurricane must have sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or more. The eye of the storm is usually 20 to 30 miles wide and the storm itself may extend up to 400 miles across. The inherent dangers of this type of storm are torrential rains, high winds and tidal surges (super high tides). A hurricane can last for two weeks or more over open water and run a path the length of the Eastern seaboard, from the Caribbean to Nova Scotia.

    What caused of Hurricane Dorian to stall over the Bahamas?

    When a hurricane moves, the time spent in any particular area is limited.  But when it stalls, as Dorian did over Great Abaco for over 36 hours, the devastation continues. The damge Hurricane Harvey caused in Houston was not so much the wind, but the 52" of rain that fell in 48 hours after Harvey's landfall.  Hurricanes break apart, or move, when upper level air, the air above the hurricane's most violent force, prevents storm air from rising.  Strong air movement above the hurricane creates shear, disrupting the pattern of spinning storm.  We like upper atmospheric shear on a hurricane.  Similarly, continental high pressure from land (westerly) also pushes hurricanes out to sea limiting damage to homes and businesses.  We also like high pressure from the west, southwest or northwest.  

    On average, 100 tropical storms develop each year between May and November over the Atlantic Ocean.  Only six eventually develop into hurricanes and of these six, two are likely to strike the coast of the United States. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30 of each year, with the most active time being from mid-August through mid-October.  The winter hurricane threat is virtually non-existent.

    For homeowners living near the coast, having wind or named storm deductibles is common.  For more about these - and which is the better among evils - visit our Named Storm vs. Windstorm deductibles page

    If you have any other insurance questions, please contact us here at Gordon Atlantic Insurance. We'll help you understand any confusing definitions or tricky aspects of insurance.  We make insurance make sense.

    Contact Us

    Tags: personal, hurricane, insurance, definition, storm, wind, sandy

    May is Massachusetts Motorcycle Safety Inspection Month

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 10:58 AM

    Do you own a motorcycle?  If you can answer "yes," there are two dates you need to remember:

    • the month of December is when all motorcycle registrations expire
    • the month of May is when all motorcycles need to have their annual safety inspection done
    Rose Motorcycle Image

    With the nicer weather FINALLY upon us we will see more and more motorcycles out on the road.  Please look for them and please look out for them!  

    If you are a bike owner, May is typically when New England weather allows you to pull that bike out, get a tune up done, and make sure it is road ready.  Here's a list of some of the items to check:

    • tires
    • lights
    • turn signals
    • mirrors
    • horn
    • brakes
    • oil
    • fuel
    • muffler noise

    Massachusetts is a helmet state.  When on the bike you should be wearing a US DOT standard helmet.  It is very important that this helmet is the correct size for your head.  In the event of an accident, having a properly fitted helmet can save your life.  Straps need to be buckled at all times.

    If your motorcycle does not have a windshield you should be wearing some type of eye protection such as goggles, eye glasses, sunglasses or a face shield.

    ALWAYS wear appropriate clothing.  So many times you see a driver or passenger wearing shorts, tank tops and/or open toe shoes.  None of that will help protect you if you go down.  No one expects this to ever happen, but it's far better to be safe than sorry...road rash can be nasty.

    To discuss your motorcycle insurance, get a no-obligation quote, or to have any questions on this topic answered, please call a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional toll free at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type instead of talk?  Use the form at the top left of this blog.

    Contact Us



    Tags: inspection, summer safety, auto inspection, motorcycle safety, look twice to save a life

    Reasons for a Personal Injury Endorsement on Your Homeowners Policy!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jul 13, 2017 @ 04:50 PM

    What does Personal Injury mean?

    Personal Injury Blog Insurance Norwell MA.jpg

    Definition of “Personal Injury” means injury arising out of one or more of the following offenses:

    • False arrest, detention or imprisonment;
    • Malicious prosecution;
    • Wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor
    • Oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products; or
    • An oral or written publication of material that violates a person’s right of privacy.

    Personal injury must be done to someone else.

    With social media, websites and blogs, anywhere that you could say or write anything about someone else, or a business, there is such a greater chance of your being sued.

    Your basic homeowner policy does neither provide this coverage, NOR more importantly does not provide the defense cost associated with being sued.

    For less than $100 a year, you could add this protection to your homeowner policy.

    Please call us today to see if you have this coverage, or if it is something that we need to add to your policy.

    To find out more about a Personal Injury Endorsement, call us at (781) 659-2262 or fill out our Request a Quote page.

    Contact Us

    A Homeowner Claim Scenario: A Break-In

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Feb 10, 2017 @ 12:53 PM

    You just pulled into your driveway, and you notice that the door has been kicked in.  What do you do?

    • DO NOT enter the house.
    • CONTACT the police.
    • WAIT for the police to arrive; they will need to make sure the burglar is not still in the house.
    • When it is safe to enter the house, take a walk around and see if anything is missing. It could take days before you discover all that is missing.
    • If you have pets, check on them to make sure they are safe.
    • MAKE a list of items that are missing, include an approximate value.  
    • MAKE a list of the damage that was done to the home.
    • Once you have your list(s) AND a copy of the police report, NOTIFY your agent or the insurance company directly. Use our site to find your carrier:
    • PROTECT the property from further damage. You must make reasonable and necessary repairs to the door, or door frame or both.
    • KEEP an accurate record of the repairs and all costs.
    • CHECK with your neighbors, did they see or hear anything.
    • A break-in can be very stressful. You feel violated that someone was in your home. How do you feel comfortable in your own home again?

    Maybe now is a good time to think of getting a burglar system installed that is monitored at a Central Station.  Not only will it give piece of mind, but most insurance companies will give a discount for a monitored central station alarm.

     Contact Us

    Tags: home, break-in, claim, violation, personal property

    Why do you need an Umbrella Policy?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jan 20, 2017 @ 11:22 AM

    ExcessliabilityandumbrellainsuranceAndrewGGordonInc.jpg The society we live in is very litigious, and the likelihood of getting involved in a lawsuit is higher than ever. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself against claims.  Umbrella Policies are meant to do just this.  

    Nobody plans on a claim, but you want to be sure that you have enough coverage to protect your assets.  A financial advisor can determine how much that might be.

    There are a few different policies that serve as protection in case of a claim. For your auto insurance, you can get Optional Bodily Injury limits which usually allows for $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident.  For your homeowners or renters insurance, you can purchase a higher Liability limit (at least $500,000 although $1M is only slightly more).  These options are within your current policy.

    Above that, you can purchase an Umbrella policy for limits starting at $1M.  This policy offers you additional liability on your Auto & Home policies.  Most $1M Umbrellas can be purchased for $300 +/-  for a year.  The price goes up or down depending on what exposures you have.  If you have a home, a car, a boat or a snowmobile, an Umbrella Policy is worth looking into.  Although it seems like a law suit or a bad car accident could never happen to you, they can.  These policies are worth looking into.

    Call us for an account review or for a financial advisor recommendation.  It is our goal to find you a policy that has the perfect balance of good coverage and a good price to make sure you are protected right.

    Get a Quote

    Tags: personal excess liability coverage, personal umbrella

    I’ve just had an accident, what do I do now?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Dec 23, 2016 @ 12:15 PM

    I just stopped for a red light.  I was sitting there waiting for the light to turn green, when all of a sudden I was rear ended.  What do I do now?

    1. Remain Calm.  If possible, move out of the way of traffic.

    2. Make sure everyone is okay; if not call 911.

    3. Exchange information with the other party: (Hint: get out your phone!)

      • Name & address of owner – from the registration

      • Name & address of driver if different – from their license

      • Year, make & model & color of the other car – also from registration

      • Registration number - the license plate

      • Damage to the other car

      • Note Date & Time, and where accident happened.

      • This is when your cell phone comes in handy: take pictures of the other party's license and registration and damage to the cars.  Pictures can be sent to:

    1. If your car was towed, ask for name & address of tow yard or garage.

    2. Discuss the accident with your agent (call us at 800-649-3252 or 781-659-2262).

    3. Call the claim into the insurance company. (Click here for a list of our carriers). Veh accident.jpgThey will want  to speak with you directly, and coordinate the repairs.

    4. The RMV has a standard crash report (linked here) which you should complete for any accident where damages could exceed $1,000.

    5. Is your car drivable? If you buy rental coverage on your policy, you can rent a car when your car goes in for repairs; if it is not drivable, coverage begins immediately.  Confirm with the adjuster the amount of time approved for the rental. 

    6. If you do not buy rental coverage, and the other driver caused the accident, you should be eligible for rental coverage under the other person’s insurance. Contact the other carrier; we can assist you with this, but cannot represent you legally. Usually they won't authorize a rental until they hear from their own customer.

    7. If you do not have collision coverage on your vehicle and the accident was caused by another party, you can file a claim with the other person’s insurance company for thedamage to your vehicle & always request rental car coverage to be used when the car is in the shop (or not drivable). 

    8. If you do not have collision and the accident was your fault, your insurance will still pay for damage to the other person's property under the 'property damage' portion of your insurance. 

    What to expect from the insurance company:

    1. After the claim has been reported to the carrier, a claim representative will contact you to assist with coordinating the repairs.Truck.jpg

    2. This representative will assign an adjustor (the person who will actually see the damage at your home, workplace, or garage); or may ask you to visit a drive-in claims center in some cases. 

    3. The claims adjustor will coordinate with the claims representative the cost of the damages, or if the car is a total loss.  Bear in mind the claims adjustor can only price for the damages that they see.  Once your car is in for actual repairs, the shop may find more damages.  This is fairly common: in these cases, your garage should contact the company directly for a supplemental appraisal.

    4. Once the claim representative has the information back from the adjustor they will contact you with figures to either repair the car, or in some cases, they have to total the car.  If that is the case, the claim is then transferred to a total loss unit, which will contact you with the payout figures.

    The main things to remember in the case of an accident are:

    • Make sure all injured are taken care of, keep them calm and call 911 to get help out there as soon as possible.

    • Cars can be repaired or replaced.

    • Use your agent as a resource to keep the process moving if things don't go as you expect.

    Contact Us

    Tags: insurance, accident, car insurance, accident prodecures

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