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    Six Things to do Before Your Child Leaves for College

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Aug 12, 2016 @ 11:31 AM

    In a few weeks, I will pack up and head for my sophomore year of college.  My experiences last year at school and this summer working at Gordon Insurance have opened my eyes to a few things that are sometimes overlooked when sending a child off to school.  

    1. Go shopping. Your child is essentially moving out and living on their own.  Things like nail clippers, tissues, extension cords, scotch tape, or an umbrella can be overlooked, as they usually can be found at the back of a closet or drawer at home.  Also, make sure they have extra socks, as many will get lost in the dorm laundry room.  It is totally normal to feel as though you have way too much stuff the first time around.  Your child will figure out what they do and don’t need over the course of the first semester.

    1. Make sure your child has proper life insurance. For many families, sending a child to college means taking out loans.  These loans come in two types: Federal and Private.  If anything were to happen to a student who is still paying off a federal loan, all debt would disappear at death.  However, this is not the case with a private loan.  Most private loans require a co-signer, whether it is a parent or a spouse, who would take on the responsibility of paying.  Be aware that sometimes banks will require an accelerated rate of payment or even demand to receive all of the money immediately.  This is why adequate life insurance for your student is important.  A good policy will help soften the blow of these payments.

    1. Teach them the basics. In some ways, dorm life is like summer camp, but it can feel overwhelming (especially in the last weeks before move in day).  Your 18 year old probably has basic life skills down, but it doesn’t hurt to go over a few things before they leave for a sense of security.  Teach them how a bank account works and how to cook basic things like pasta or brownies.  If they are going to school in the city, go over the public transportation system.  Have them download Venmo, an app that allows you to transfer money to and from your friends (or your parents).  Not many people keep cash on them at school, so it is very helpful.

    1. Educate your child about identity theft. Although this may seem a little bit extreme, college students are easy targets for identity and credit card fraud as they are on their own for the first time and may not be as cautious.  Make sure your child knows their social security number, but warn them to share it sparingly and to keep any physical documents where it is listen in a safe place.  Also, when asked for personal information from the school, both you and your child should ask why the information is needed and how it will be used.

    1. Get an “Away at School” discount on your auto insurance. Most companies will offer a discount on auto insurance while your child is away because they will not be using the car.  In order to get this discount the school must be at least 100 miles away from where you live.  This discount is not applicable if your child brings their car to school, but it is still important to call your insurance agency if they are bringing a car with them, as adjustments must be made to your policy.

    1. Spend time together. In a few weeks, you will be in contact only by means of FaceTime or the occasional text.  Plan around the whole family and do something fun that you can hold onto in the emotional weeks ahead.  This is an exciting time! Enjoy it and good luck.

     
    To find out more about what we can do for you, Get a Quote, CALL US at (781) 659-2262
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    Tags: identity theft, student, parents, life insurance, Auto Insurance, college, insurance discounts, family

    Do You Have Scheduled Items on Your Homeowner Policy?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

    Did you know you can schedule Jewelry, Furs, Fine Arts, Firearms, Musical Instruments (not used professionally), Cameras, and Stamp or Coin collections on your homeowner policy?

    Most people think that the above items are all personal property items and they are covered under my homeowner policy.  Yes that may be true, but did you know your homeowner policy will cover those items only up to a certain amount, and only in certain cases.

    Example of that would be with Jewelry, the homeowner policy has a limit on what they will pay and the only loss they will pay is for theft.  What happens if you misplace it, or lose a stone from the jewelry item?  Those are not covered losses under the homeowner policy.

    The benefits of scheduling the items would be those claims would be covered.  When you have items scheduled on the policy, in most cases, when you have a claim, you won’t have to pay the policy deductible.

    One thing to remember is to keep your scheduled items up to date.  If you get new items, don’t forget to add them.  Or, if you give some items away, take the items off your policy.   Every few years or so, you should get updated appraisals to make sure the items haven’t gone in price and you have them scheduled for a lower price.

    Learn how to keep your valuables covered with a homeowners policy or an arts and collections policy.

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    Tags: collections, fine art, camera, homeowner policy, jewelry, valuables insurance, firearm insurance, musical instruments

    Tips For a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:14 AM

    Summer is finally upon us!  One of the America's favorite summer holidays is the Fourth of July.

    People will be gathering together for parades, cookouts, water sports and fireworks.  These activities are all very fun, but it is a good idea to remember to take caution while celebrating.

    Water sports and fireworks are the two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year.

    Be a safe swimmer, never swim alone.  Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of accidental drowning.

    Make sure kid’s water play is adequately supervised at all times.

    Many children or adults for that matter drown when other people are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids.   Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of site for less than five minutes.

    Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts.  But that doesn’t stop people from getting them anyways.  Every year there are injuries where people tried to put on their own firework display.   Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer, but you still need to be cautious and keep your eyes open.

    Most importantly, have fun with family and friends. From everyone here at Gordon Insurance, happy summer and happy 4th!

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    Tags: summer, holiday, fireworks, july, 4th, safe, water sports, fun, happy, fourth of july

    AAA Can Be Helpful in Many Ways!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 16, 2016 @ 04:13 PM

    AAA was founded in 1902, and is a non-profit member service organization that has been helping drivers ever since.  They have initiated a new Tracker System so that members can track the progress of the service vehicle coming to help them.  This can be viewed on a smart phone, AAA mobile app, or any laptops, etc.  It can be shared with family so they can check up on the your progress of being picked up which is great for peace of mind and member safety.

    Several insurance companies (Commerce, Plymouth Rock, Travelers to name a few) give varying credits if you are an active AAA member.  Both Commerce and Plymouth Rock will increase the amount of your Substitute Transportation limit as well – for no extra charge.  Feel free to contact us to see if you are eligible for any of these benefits.  We would love to offer you more coverage at less money!!

    PS  Did you know that you can free Bicycle Service and for an additional $30 you can add service for your motorcycle.

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    Tags: AAA, Auto Insurance, benefits, should i get AAA, aaa discounts

    Home Maintenance for the Spring/Summer

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 02, 2016 @ 10:52 AM

    Keeping Cool Inside

    Make sure you have your HV/AC serviced and change the filters on each unit in the home if you have more than one unit.

    Try and keep up with the dust on the ceiling fans for optimal use they need to be dust free to operate. Also it will help if you run both A/C and ceiling fans at the same time for better circulation.

    Keep shades down in rooms with direct sun till the sun passes that room.

    If you aren’t using a room in the house close the vents in that room and close the doors to that room. If you use all rooms in the house make sure all doors are open to keep the airflow moving. Some rooms have a return vent and some don’t. These are the vents that take the warm air out and reticulate the air.

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    Garage Upkeep

    Please make sure that any hazardous materials like paint and solvents are disposed of properly. Don’t store heat sensitive materials in the garage.

    Please remind children to not play in the garage. There can be forgotten pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers that can be fatal to a small child. Also try and keep the sharp shiny tools out of reach or locked in a cabinet if possible.

    Driveway And Walkways.

    Helpful hint on getting rid of weeds in those tight spaces you can’t exactly reach to pull the weed. Boil water and pour on the weed to kill for the entire summer.

    Look for cracks and holes forming. Try and fix before they get bigger and will cost more to fix. This can prevent accidental falls.

    Clean Your Dryer Vent

    Cleaning the dryer vent in the dryer is the easy part. You also need to clean the dryer vent hose. You can buy cleaning brush kit at your local hardware store. This can help prevent a fire in the hose during summer heat. There are 16,000 dryer fires annually.

    Clean Your Gutters


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    If you have a ladder that can reach, make sure you don’t lean the ladder on the gutter. They aren’t meant to handle the weight of you and the ladder. If you don’t have a ladder, don’t climb on the roof without using common sense and safety. Please make sure you call a professional if you have any apprehension at all.

     

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    Tags: air conditioning, gutter cleaning, spring cleaning, home maintenance, home upkeep

    Grandfathering Your Flood Insurance Rates

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 02, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

     

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently has an effort to remap flood hazards across the nation.  The effort is commonly known as Risk MAP, or risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning.  Risk MAP poses some possible changes for property owners, as it is creating a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  A high-risk property on a previous FIRM may be considered of even higher risk on the new map, possibly elevating the flood insurance rates. In addition, a property that did not even appear as high-risk on the old map may be considered high risk by the new standards, which would also raise the cost of coverage on the property.

    Luckily, there are some ways to combat this increase if the structure was built after the first flood map was released.  The first way is to simply purchase a flood insurance policy before the new maps are implemented.  If this is not possible, using the Grandfather Rule is a great option.

    The Grandfather Rule is applicable if there is proof that a home was built in compliance with the flood map that was effective at the time of construction.  Contact us and we can provide you with this documentation! 

    If the structure was not built after the first flood map was released (pre-FIRM), there must be a policy in place before the new map becomes current in order to qualify for the Grandfather Rule. 

    Either one of these options will lock in the property in its current flood zone or Base Flood Elevation, keeping its insurance rating the same.

    However, in some cases the new FIRM will consider a structure a lower-risk structure than the previous map.  Make sure to check whether or not your rates would go up or down before using the Grandfather Rule!

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    Tags: Flood insurance on the South Shore, flood insurance, flood insurance MA, Flood Insurance Changes, risk map, firm

    What are the different Bodily Injury limits on your Mass Auto Policy?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Jun 01, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

    Under Compulsory insurance you are required to purchase 4 parts.

    Under Optional insurance you may purchase 8 additional parts.

    Under Compulsory insurance you must purchase Bodily Injury to Others & Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto

    Under Bodily Injury to Others the company will pay damages to people injured or killed by your auto in Massachusetts accidents.  The damages the company will pay are the amounts the injured person is entitled to collect for Bodily Injury through a court judgement or settlement.  The company will pay only if your or someone else using your auto with your consent is legally responsible for the accident.  The most they will pay is $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident.  The coverage only applies if the accident causing Bodily Injury that happens in Massachusetts, and does not apply to guest occupants of your auto.

    Bodily Injury Caused by An Uninsured Auto.  This is Part 3 of the auto policy.   Sometimes an owner or operator of an auto legally responsible for an accident is uninsured.  Some accidents involve unidentified hit-and-run autos.  The company will pay damages for Bodily Injury to people injured or killed in certain accidents caused by uninsured or hit-and-run autos.  The company will pay only if the injured person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of the uninsured or hit-and-run auto. The company will pay for hit-and-run accidents only of the owner or operator causing the accident cannot be identified. Sometimes the company insuring the auto responsible for the accident will deny coverage or become insolvent.    The insurance company will consider an auto to be uninsured for purposes on this part.  However, the company does not consider an auto owned by a government unit which is self-insured, or by someone who is legally self-insured, to be an uninsured auto.  You must purchase at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.  However you may want to purchase more protection.  You cannot purchase higher limits on this part (part 3) unless you purchase higher limits on Optional Bodily Injury to others (part 5).

    The company will pay damages to or for you, or household members, while occupying your auto, while occupying an auto you do not own, or if injured as a pedestrian.

    Optional Bodily Injury to Others (part 5) The Company will pay damages to people injured or killed in accident if you or a household member is legally responsible for the accident.  They will also pay is someone else is using your auto with your consent is legally responsible for the accident.    The amounts the company will pay are the amounts the injured person is entitled to collect for Bodily Injury through a court judgement or settlement. 

    Unlike the Compulsory Bodily Injury to Others (part 1), this coverage will pay for accidents that happen outside of Massachusetts.  Subject to the limits you selected.

    If the accident occurs in any other state or in a Canadian province and you have purchased any coverage at all under this part, your policy will automatically apply to that accident, as follows, if the state or province has a financial responsibility law or similar law requiring limits of liability for Bodily Injury higher than the limits you have purchased.  Your policy will provide the higher required limit.  Example, you purchase a limit of $35,000 per accident/$80,000 per accident, you have an accident in a state that requires $50,000 per person/$80,000 per accident, your policy will automatically give you the higher limits for that accident.

    The last is Bodily Injury Caused by an Underinsured Auto (part 12).  Sometimes an owner or operator of an auto legally responsible for an accident is underinsured.  By purchasing this item the company will pay for damages for Bodily Injury to people injured or killed as a result of certain accidents caused by someone who does not have enough insurance. 

    If you’re injured in an accident and you have large medical bills, more than the amount per person that the legally responsible party has on their policy, and you have higher limits, then you could put in a claim on your policy to get the remaining payments paid.

    Say you have medical bills of $60,000.  The responsible party only had $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident.  Their policy will only pay $20,000 towards your bill.  You are responsible for the remaining $40,000.  If you have purchased this coverage with $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident, you could then put in a claim under your policy for pay the $40,000 that you responsible for.

    In order to purchase higher limits on part 3, Bodily Injury caused by an Uninsured Auto and part 12 Bodily Injury caused by an Underinsured Auto, you must also purchase the same limit or higher limits on part 5 Optional Bodily Injury to Others.  A good way to look at this is on part 5 Optional Bodily Injury to Others you are buying protection to protect someone that you might injure, you should also buy protection for yourself in case you are hit by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

    A good rule of thumb is you should purchase the same limits on all 3 parts, Bodily Injury caused by an Uninsured Auto, Optional Bodily Injury to Others and Bodily Injury caused by an Underinsured Auto.

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    Tags: limits, bodily injury, insured auto, uninsured auto, mass auto policy

    Are You Better with a “Local Insurance Agent” or an  “As Seen on TV” Company?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 02:30 PM

    We see them everywhere, on billboards, on TV.  People are talking about how they got their insurance at a great bargain.  However, is this bargain really in your favor or in favor of the crazy haired lady or the cute little gecko??   Most people are not insurance experts and do not know how to read a policy to really know what they are getting.  In Massachusetts it is required that everybody have insurance on their vehicles and there are a lot of companies out there to choose from.

    So, how DO you choose?

    Ask your friends or go to your computer to find a local insurance agent – you can google “insurance in Norwell” and a few local agents will pop up.  This is the best place to start unless you are an insurance expert yourself.  (I can YouTube how to take out wisdom teeth, but I don’t think you would want me to!)  We can help tailor an insurance program that will fit your needs.  We do want to get you the best product at the best price to be sure you have the coverage you need.  If you are going to pay for insurance, it is best to have insurance that will be there when you need it; no need to pay for insurance and not have the policy properly structured and give the company a possible reason not to pay a claim. 

    I have a quick true story about a young man who is  very smart; he runs computer systems for major hospitals.  However, he went online to purchase his own auto policy at a price that he thought was pretty good.  The first time he realized that something was wrong was when he broke a windshield and found that he had to pay a deductible.  You will not find a local agency that will sell you a deductible for glass coverage – not worth the savings at all.  The second mistake was when I took a look at his policy and realized that he did not have any collision coverage.  We realized this in the winter of 2014-15 when it snowed 2 feet every week AND he drove a flashy sports car that is NOT good in the snow.  Needless to say, I told him to park it until we got him coverage that would actually be there for him.  He was paying a pretty good price but he basically had nothing for coverage.  If he had slid into a snow bank, his car that was paid in full would have been gone, with no insurance to help him get another one. 

    You may have an insurance policy and it will be enough to get that registration stamped so you can drive; BUT, are you paying for a policy that will be there should you need it?  If you are not sure, it is simple to find out.  Just give us a call here at Gordon Insurance (781) 659 2262, or check out our website; we would be more than happy to take a look at what you have.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

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    Tags: local insurance

    When can you use your Substitute Transportation coverage?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

    We have been getting calls from clients who are under the impression that they can use the Substitute Transportation portion of their policy to rent a car after their car has broken down.

    In order to purchase Substitute Transportation coverage, you also need to purchase Collision and/or Comprehensive coverage.

    Under the policy, if you have collision coverage, the company will pay for a rental while your auto is being repaired or replaced after an accident. If you have comprehensive coverage, the company will pay for a rental if your vehicle is stolen or damaged from an accident other than a collision claim.

    When you purchase Substitute Transportation, you will have the option of picking how much the company will pay per day.  Your options are $15, $30, $45, or $100 a day. Based on the amount your pick there will be a maximum the company will pay.  The company could pay up to 30 days.   For the $15 per day, the maximum the company would pay is $450.  For $30 per day, the maximum would be $900. For $45 per day, the maximum would be $1350. For $100 per day, the maximum would be $3,000.

    The company will only pay for a reasonable period of time of having your auto repaired or replaced. 

    If your auto is stolen, you must report the theft to the company and the police.  The company will start to pay for Substitute Transportation 48 hours after you have notified the police and the company. When your car is located, then the Substitute Transportation stops within a day.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to give our office a call at 781-659-2262, or check out our website.

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    Tags: Substitute Transportation, Rental Coverage

    Fun in the Sun on Your Boat

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

    The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are starting to bloom, and before you know it we will be into summertime!   With the summer comes hot weather and boating. 

    If you are lucky enough to own a boat, you should be thinking about insurance.   You can get hull coverage which would give you coverage if something physically happened to the boat.  However, even more important than that is liability coverage.   Not that you want your boat to sink to the bottom of the lake or ocean, but if somebody got hurt, that would be much worse.  Depending on the size of the boat and the horse power of the motor you may be able to extend the liability from your homeowner’s policy.  If you do want coverage for the boat itself or if the boat is too big or too fast you may need to put the boat on its own policy. 

    Either way, give us at Andrew G. Gordon, Inc. a call at (781) 659 2262 and we would be more than happy to help you.  Don’t wait until an accident happens to be caught without coverage!

    Happy (and safe) boating!!!

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    Tags: boat insurance, boat liability

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