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    Personal Insurance Blog

    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

    Accident Forgiveness

    Posted by Sue Bird

    Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 02:18 PM

    Many companies offer some form of Accident Forgiveness.  Accident Forgiveness typically will prevent a surcharge from being applied to your policy for an At Fault Accident that occurs after you purchase the coverage.  The accident is forgiven by your company only but will still be reflected with the Merit Rating Board who maintains the driving records in Massachusetts.  So, if you were to change insurance companies later, the new company would see the At Fault accident and it would affect your insurance premium with the new company. 

    The cost of the Accident Forgiveness coverage varies greatly in price depending on the company and each company has their own requirements for obtaining the coverage and when it will respond.  On the other hand, a surcharge for an At Fault accident can cost you $100’s, sometimes upwards of a $1000 additional depending on other rating factors and can affect your rate for up to 6 years so it is well worth looking into.

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    Tags: cost, personal insurance, car accident, Auto Insurance, insurance premiums, accident forgiveness

    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

    Takata Airbag Recall: What Does This Mean for Your Auto Insurance?

    Posted by Sue Bird

    Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 03:13 PM

    Although many vehicles seem to be affected by the Takata airbag recall, we have only had a handful of clients call us about their vehicles.   Some Honda owners have been instructed by the dealers not to drive the cars as it is unsafe to do so, and are receiving free rentals until the replacement parts are available.   Since there is such a backlog on the getting the replacement parts to the dealers, some insureds will have these temporary rentals for possibly 3 months.    Normally the coverage you have on your car would extend coverage to a rental/substitute vehicle (meaning your car is at home or at dealership not being used) but no more than 30 days.  These are extenuating circumstances though and some of the companies are making exceptions to this 30 day limitation.   I would recommend that you call us or whomever your agent is to find out if your policy will extend beyond the 30 days for this recall situation and what the limitations are under the policy such as Loss of Use and Depreciated Value to the rental car.

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    Tags: rental car, Auto Insurance, takata, honda, takata airbag recall

    Junior Operators: How to Pass Your Road Test

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Aug 04, 2014 @ 01:33 PM

    Pass your road exam and get your license and auto insurance from andrew g gordon incThe big day has come! You've finally completed all your driver's ed, driving hours, and driving with your anxious parents. You've scheduled your road exam online on the RMV website or by telephone, and your license awaits. The night before and morning of, you're Googling tips for passing the road exam, so here are a few!

    PRACTICE! If you're not good at parallel parking, get some cones and practice with someone outside the car to help. Even if you think you're the best driver ever, you should practice parallel parking and three point turns. There are no magic hints other than the ones you learned in your driving hours, so practice often. It takes a long time to get used to driving, and your road exam isn't the type of test you can cram for.

    Know what to expect! First will be the pre-trip inspection; the examiner will stand outside the car and tell you to test your brakes, blinkers, windshield wipers, etc. So know the car you're using well! Then the exam will begin.

    The examiner sits in the passenger seat and directs you as you go, similar to a driving hour. On my exam (I tested at the Plymouth RMV), parallel parking was first. Don't forget your SIGNALS and HEAD CHECKS! Then I drove out of the RMV, going very slowly over speed bumps. I turned onto a main road, then a side road for the other maneuvers. For parking on a hill with curbs or shoulders, the trick is that you always park (with the emergency brake) and turn the wheel to the right, unless there is an uphill curb (remember this by thinking UCLA - uphill curb left always). There's also the three point turn to complete, and then driving back to the RMV. Be very careful of stop signs! Come to a complete stop for 3 seconds to ensure that you don't fail for not stopping.

    Here's an extra hint; if you back into the parking space at the RMV (there are designated parking spots for road tests) when you arrive, you may not have to back into a space during the road test.

    Other than practicing a lot, the best tip I can give is to stay calm. Even if you make a tiny mistake, if you stay calm and correct your mistake, you'll be fine. I kept looking over both my shoulders while parallel parking, but the examiner told me I only needed to bother with looking over the right shoulder. Despite her correction, I still passed and got my license on my first try.

    Remember that you need test in a car with an emergency brake and bring a sponsor (a licensed adult age 21 or over who sits in the back seat during your exam). You can pay to test with a sponsor and car from your driving school, or just go with a parent or other adult. Also keep in mind that you need to get auto insurance before driving, and you should continue to practice driving on highways or other tricky areas with an adult in the car. 

    Once you have your license, don't forget the Junior Operator Laws! The big ones are that you can't drive your friends under age 18 until you've been licensed for six months (see blog), and you can't operate a vehicle from 12:30-5:00 in the morning (see blog).

    Good luck! Contact us with any auto insurance questions, and see our parent-teen driver contract and visit our resources for new drivers page

    Teen Driver Kit  Top 5 Auto  Discounts

    Tags: massachusetts, Auto Insurance, teen driving, how to pass road test, road exam, road test tips, teenage driver

    Insureds with Out of Country Licenses

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Fri, May 02, 2014 @ 03:54 PM

    Learn about insurance if you have an out of country license with andrew g gordon incVery often we are asked to write auto policies for insureds who have recently immigrated to Massachusetts.  Since auto insurance is compulsory in this state, we are required to write coverage upon request.  To write coverage in this instance we would need evidence of their foreign license.  We would also need documentation from their country indicating the date they were first licensed as well as their driving record in that country.  This documentation must be provided in English.

    If the new insured(s) were licensed more than 6 years ago in their country they will be rated as an experienced operator.  If evidence is provided that they had no accidents or incidents they will be given the step 99 credit.  However, if there was a violation or accident out of country or if no documentation is provided, their policy will be issued with a neutral step with no credit applied.

    The carriers ask that a MA license be obtained by the first renewal date.  However, they  understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that can delay the issuance of a MA license.  If there is intent shown that they are in the process of obtaining the MA license but need more time as additional information may be required by the Registry, the carriers are usually willing to extend the time frame.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Donna Bellavance

    Tags: immigration, foreign license, Auto Insurance, license, car insurance

    Keeping the Old Car Registered/Insured

    Posted by Sue Bird

    Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

    Many of our clients call us to let us know that they are getting a new car.  At some point we’ll ask if they are trading in a car &/or transferring plates from that car to the new one.   Some clients mention that they plan to transfer their plates from the old car to the new car but that they will try to sell their old car on their own.  We always tell clients that if they are still in possession of the old car and trying to sell it, to get new plates for the new car.   This allows the old car to remain registered and insured so that prospective buyers can take it for a test drive.  And wouldn’t you rather have new, shiny plates on your new car anyhow!  

    Once you sell the old car, the plates will need to be cancelled with the Registry.  You can do this one of three ways.  On-line with the RMV:  https://secure.rmv.state.ma.us/platereturn/intro.aspx; turn them in at a local Registry office or bring them to our office and we can cancel them for you.  If you cancel them on your own, be sure to let us know when you do this so that we can then remove the car from your policy the day after the plates are cancelled.  The Registry will give you a Plate Return Receipt when you cancel your plates and you can use that to file for a rebate on your excise tax (if you no longer have the car) and a rebate on your registration fee (if you qualify). 

    Keep your old car registered and insured with auto from andrew g gordon inc

    It is important to remember that you must have at least one of the old plates in your possession to go through the process online. Otherwise, if your plates have been lost, or even stolen, during the vehicle transfer, you must fill out an Affidavit for Cancellation of Registration for Lost Plate(s).

    There are also more than a dozen different options for vanity plates in Massachusetts; these cover themes ranging from New England sports team to cancer research funds to the state's rich ecology. Additionally, specialized plates are available for veterans, ex-POWs, and recipients of various military honors. Visit http://www.dmv.org/ma-massachusetts/license-plates.php to find out more!

    Learn more about auto insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Susan Bird

     

    Tags: registration, license plates, vanity plates, lost plates, Auto Insurance, Vehicle, plates

    Which Drivers Should Be Listed on Your Auto Policy?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Sep 10, 2013 @ 02:12 PM

    Very often we get the questions, "Can I let Sally, my neighbor, drive my car if hers breaks down?" or "Do I have to list Johnny, my son, on my policy if he hardly ever drives the car?" The answer is yes, and no.

    The policy language states that all licensed members of a household or any driver that may have regular access to a vehicle needs to be listed as an operator on the policy. The next question is to properly assign the driver as the Principal Operator of the vehicle that they are going to drive the most. Even if it is an inexperienced operator that is the Principal Operator of the third car and possibly cheaper for Mom or Dad to be listed as the Principal Operator, the inexperienced operator needs to be rated on that vehicle. The bottom line is that in the event of a loss, if the company does determine that the vehicle has been not rated properly, they could deny paying a claim. At that point, you have been paying premium for nothing. It becomes difficult to say that little Janie is not the Principal Operator of the third car when it has a High School parking sticker on it and she drives it to school every day.

    Know who should be listed on your cars auto insurance policy with Andrew g gordon inc

    If a driver in your household has their own policy they should still be listed on your policy and can then be "deferred" to their own policy. This will ensure that the operator's possible surcharges only be charged on their own policy, not on two policies. Drivers can also be "excluded" from any or all autos; this should only be done when the operator will not be covered for any optional insurance coverage. Also, payments under Parts 3 and 4 may also be limited to those amounts that the company is required by the state to sell.

    Let's go back to Sally; she is your neighbor that needs to run to the grocery store in your car because hers is in the shop. Yes, she can drive your car and will be covered without being listed as an operator on your policy. However, your other neighbor, Jim, takes your car every Wednesday to Home Depot and every Saturday to the dump. He now has "regular access" to your vehicle. Jim should be listed as an operator on your policy. However, he can be "deferred" to his own if he does have his own policy. If he does not, then he needs to be listed and then rated on it as well.

    If you have any questions whatsoever about if somebody should be listed, please feel free to give us a call and we would be more than happy to help you determine the best option. Keep in mind, none of us particularly like paying our insurance premiums but we do NOT want to pay premiums only to have the company deny paying a claim because a policy was not correctly rated... Where is the savings there?

    Teen Driver Kit

     

    Tags: auto, insurance, Auto Insurance, teen driver, car safety, car insurance, new driver, principal operator, excluded operator, car operator

    10 Commandments of Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Aug 28, 2013 @ 09:18 AM

    If you're going to do insurance, you should do insurance right. Here we've compiled the 10 Commandments of Insurance.

    Never miss an insurance online payment with Andrew G Gordon Inc1. Thou shalt not miss a payment

    There are so many payment options available, including electronic payments, that an insurance payment should never be missed. If you miss a payment, your policy may be canceled.

    2. Thou shalt drive safely

    Road rage, reckless driving, distracted driving- all bad. Drive as safely as possible to avoid accidents and bodily injury. Maybe you should increase your property damage if you aren't going to be the safest driver. Better safe than sorry.

    Take care of your house property with homeowners insurance for home from Andrew G Gordon Inc

    3. Thou shalt take care of property

    A lot of work goes into maintaining a property. There are a bunch of underrated dangers that should be taken care of. You must also actively do things such as repair roof shingles, organize your items, take care of puffbacks, and the like. Having insurance is one thing, but letting your home go to shambles is something completely different.

    4. Thou shalt take care of health

    Health is very necessary to live a good and happy life. On top of doing things to take care of oneself, such a wearing sunscreen, staying properly hydrated, and being cautious to over-the-counter medications, life insurance is a must. People might wonder why life insurance should be pursued, but it's one of those things that's well worth it. For more information on life insurance, click here.

    5. Thou shalt know the laws

    Obey driving laws with auto insurance for your car from Andrew G Gordon Inc

    There are a lot of laws out there that should be known. There are a lot of minor violations that can affect auto insurance, as well as some laws that are specific to junior operators (passenger restriction, time restriction, etc.). Following these laws can keep one out of legal trouble as well as insurance trouble.

    6. Thou shalt actively understand insurance

    Make sure you know what type of coverage you have. There's a difference between collision and comprehensive coverage, and the difference is huge. Knowing your insurance vocabulary is an important step.

    7. Thou shalt take advantage of available discounts

    There are so many discounts available! Why not take advantage of them? You could take extra driving classes, install an alarm, bundle your policies, etc. The point is, if you can pay less for the same exact policy, why wouldn't you?

    8. Thou shalt not lie

    If you do not provide accurate information when receiving a quote, a policy might be issued and all, but the policy will not adequately cover what you need covered. If you face a home insurance inspection, there's no way you can lie about things of that nature. Another bad example of lying is having a trampoline on your property if your insurance company doesn't know about it. Be truthful for correct coverage.

    Take care of your pets with health insurance from Andrew G Gordon Inc9. Thou shalt take care of pets

    Dog bites attract a lot of liability claims. With that being said, make sure your pets are taken care of. There are many dangers that pets can face, and you should know them in order to keep your best friend safe.

    10. Thou shalt be prepared

    In the case of natural disasters or storms, one should take advantage of storm and hurricane resources that Gordon Insurance has made available to them. You don't want to regret things after the storm, and by being prepared, you don't have to.

    For more insurance information or to get a quote click the buttons below. If you have any other insurance questions, do not hesitate to contact us here at Gordon Insurance. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: home insurance, home, auto, liability, Auto Insurance, dogs, driving safety, money, commandments, things to know about insurance

    Road Responsibility

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Aug 14, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

    Be responsible on the road like spiderman Andrew G Gordon Inc Insurance"With great power comes great responsibility," -credit to Stan Lee, creator of the famous Spiderman comics. But this saying applies to more than just superheroes of Lee's creation such as Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. This saying applies to everything when somebody has power, and if you have a driver's license and a car, then this saying applies to you.

    Think of it this way: an average sized car weighs approximately 4,000 lbs. That's one massive weapon you have right there.

    If you know anything about physics, you'll know that force is any sort of influence that makes an object experience or undergo a change. These changes can include direction as well as movement, such as change in velocity. And just to add to your physics knowledge, force is equal to the mass times the acceleration: (F=ma). So if we go back to that fun fact of a car weighing 4,000 lbs (or approximately 1800 kg), and we consider the car's acceleration before a crash- which can be very, VERY fast, then there's potential for A LOT of force to occur during a crash. There's also the whole kinetic energy thing going on there when the car is in motion and then stops. That requires work. For more information (that's probably a little more accurate) on the physics of car crashes, click here.

    Sorry to bore you with the physics lesson, but you've got to understand the power you have when it comes to driving a car. And, "with great power comes..."

    Take drivers ed and study for driving with auto insurance from andrew g gordon incGreat Responsibility

    There's a reason that people must do several things before becoming fully licensed. The driver's education classes are there for a reason. So are the other requirements, such as mandatory driving hours with parents/guardians as well as driving hours with the school. In Massachusetts, these training aspects of getting a license are taken very seriously and for good reason.

    Other rules apply to instill the full sense of responsibility in new drivers. For example, teen drivers have legal curfews and passenger restrictions. These laws are in effect to help enforce a teen's good driving behaviors and to prevent bad habits from being formed.

    For most teens, having a license can be taken for granted rather than considered a privilege. A license is something earned with hard work and time; many kids view this process as tedious and boring. It's important to not just go through the motions, but to actually develop good skills and good habits as a driver in order to keep everyone on the road safe at all times.

    The Responsibility Does Not Go Away

    Whether it's a teen driver and elderly driver, the responsibility that a driver has is always there. No speeding, making complete stops, wearing seatbelts, no texting, etc. The list seems to go on and on for road responsibilities, but that's because each and every law or advice can directly impact you as a driver.

    For adults that have not taken driver's ed for quite a while, there are always defensive driving courses available. These courses will help refresh your memory of all the laws and driving tips you may have forgotten about; additionally, these courses also usually come with a discount on your auto insurance! All Gordon customers will receive a discount on this course by signing up here.

    If there's a time to step up your road responsibility and your awareness of other drivers on the road, that time is right now. Nobody is completely free from the statistics of car crashes. Even if you're in an accident and you're not at-fault, you could still get seriously injured. It's important to step up your responsibility in order to keep yourself and others safe, and to avoid becoming the driver at-fault.

    For more information on Road Responsibility, download our Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook. It's completely free of charge and is sure to help anyone out. We also have several auto resources pages, like our one for new drivers, as well as more information on auto insurance. We provide free auto insurance quotes, so if you think the time is right to find some new auto insurance, simply contact us or fill out an online form here.

    Stay safe and remember the power you have when you are on the road. Visit our New Drivers Resources Page here.

    Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Tags: auto, Auto Insurance, driving, elderly drivers, drivers education, teen driving, teen drivers, road safety, road, defensive driving course, drivers ed, driving with insurance in mind, driving advice, spiderman, stan lee, superhero

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