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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Bicycle Theft Prevention

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

    Now that the weather (in MA anyway) is growing more amenable to outdoor activities, you may find yourself on a bike. Unfortunately, bicycles are favorites for thieves, especially on college campuses. An unlocked, unguarded bike is one of the easiest things to steal; don’t forget, thieves are enjoying the warmer weather too.

    The National Bike Registry is a pretty cool service; by registering with them, if your bike is stolen, police have a way to identify it as yours if found. Otherwise, it will end up in police auction. As the name suggests, this is a national database that covers all 50 states. It’s definitely worth the time to register with them, especially if you have a nice bike.

    Keep your bike safe with a lock and personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAAccording to the III:

    • Bicycles are generally covered under homeowners or renters insurance. However, there is usually a $250 – $500 deductible. Your homeowners or renters policy also provides liability coverage in the event of a collision that results in injury to another person. There are no deductibles for liability claims.
      Once you purchase a bicycle, keep the receipt for it and any accessories you add. Also, take photographs of the bike. Store these documents off-premises and alert your insurance professional to your new purchase. If you own an expensive bike, consider purchasing a floater. This will provide more coverage than a homeowners or renters policy. For instance, in the event of an accident, a floater covers the cost of bike repairs. A floater costs approximately $9 for every $100 of the bike’s value and there are no deductibles.

    The best way to prevent bicycle theft is simply to lock your bike up. Cable locks are generally able to be cut, so invest in a sturdy U-Lock. In addition, make sure your bicycle is locked up correctly:

    Learn more about personal insurance here.


    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, auto, lock, cycling, insurance, Business, prevention, car, bike, bicycle

    Grilling Safety: MA Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

    Protect yourself while still having summer fun with personal coverage from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MASummer for most Americans means “busting out the grill” and hosting some barbecues in the warm weather, whether it be with friends, family, or both. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Americans enjoy more than three billion barbecues each year. By my calculations that’s enough chicken and steak to reach around the circumference of the Earth four times! (I just made that up, but still, there’s a lot of grilling going on). As you prepare a succulent host of BBQ food this year, remember to keep grilling safety in mind!

    Some things to remember:

    1. Wear a protective fire-resistant apron or similar garb, and mitts that reach up to your forearms to avoid burns.
    2. Keep you grill’s gas cylinder AWAY from your house or flammable structures.
    3. Check for leaks often by sprinkling soapy water around the gas valve; if there’s a leak, bubbles will form. Never check for a gas leak by using a match. This can happen.
    4. Make sure the gas is off whenever the grill is not in use.
    5. If using a charcoal grill, only use lighter fluid specified for charcoal grills. NEVER USE GASOLINE. Also never add more lighter fluid once a fire has already started; if needed, add small sticks or other tinder to augment the flame.
    6. When finished, douse coals with water before disposing of them in the trash.
    7. Our specialized outdoor flame/fire consultant advises you to take extra caution when grilling in the woods. Only you can prevent forest fires.
    8. Check grill hoses for cracks or leaks; make sure the hose doesn’t kink.
    9. Keep additional open flames away from the grill.
    10. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
    11. Never attempt to repair a grill yourself.
    12. Remember that grills can remain hot long after the fire is out.
    13. Be safe and have fun!
    Learn about your personal insurance options here

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: bbq, grill, cook, auto, Barbecue, Institute, garden, insurance, Business, ma, information, Flood

    Predictive Modeling

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 07:09 PM

    Andrew G Gordon Inc Insurance answers your questions about predictive modeling and what is itPredictive modeling describes how insurance companies develop rates that match individual risk traits to expected losses. Companies utilizing good predictive models have a distinct advantage over those who don't. For consumers, expect to be asked more questions about homes, cars, and other aspects of your lives; businesses have unique rating characteristics as well. We're headed to a world where rates are unique to every consumer.

    Predictive modeling is the insurance industry's take-away from the data mining work that is occurring throughout a broad cross-section of businesses today. Many industries benefit from data mining: bar coded discount tags from the grocery store, pharmacy, sporting goods store, and other places we shop are providing companies we use more information about our buying habits. Data mining yields benefits to many industries.

    In insurance, the large volume of data today allows actuaries (insurance statisticians) to seek and test new factors for correlation to insurance losses, then weigh these factors in rating algorithms. Insurance companies have always shared some industry data on losses, though larger companies collect and analyze their own data, and now in many new ways. Mining data for factors that contribute to predictability makes sense.

    Whats predictive modeling with Andrew G Gordon Inc auto and homowners insuranceAs an example, "account credits" are a new rating factor here in Massachusetts home and auto insurance, popular since the fix-and-establish system with rates by the Insurance Commissioner changed to a market based system. These account credits provide significant savings off both auto insurance and home insurance. Why? Is it because consumers who buy their home and auto insurance with the same carrier tend to remain customers longer? Or because there are cost savings with billing or other account maintenance items? Or is one indicative of a decent credit score? "Yes" to all of the above. Because it means "yes" to all of these factors, it becomes even more powerful. Mathematically, it's akin to the magic of compound interest. Credits on credits on credits make for deep discounting.

    There are other credits (and charges) that are less obvious but contribute to a final rate. One predictive factor that is NOT permitted for rating Massachusetts auto insurance is credit history. But the owners of homes generally have good credit. The bank already knew that when they lent the money. Companies and their actuaries have discovered other indicators of good credit: including buying higher liability limits, shopping and buying ahead of an existing policy's expiration, and paying in full. These proxies for credit are the industry's way of developing a leaner rate while still following the law. Other rating factors contribute too: if you're a member of a motor club, if you've graduated from college, how long you've lived at your current address, if you've had (even) not-at-fault accidents, and other questions that you'd think have nothing to do with auto insurance rates. Combine these with traditional metrics such as annual mileage, years of driving experience, moving violations and at-fault accidents, and auto insurance rates become unique to every driver.

    What is predictive modeling for home and auto insurance with Andrew G Gordon IncFor homeowners, some of the unexpected rating factors include gun ownership, dog ownership (broken down further to breed), existence of home generators, and credit history (which is permitted in home insurance). Combine those with expected rating factors such as age of home, existence of alarms, and proximity to the ocean, and models become more predictive with every piece of relevant information. Businesses are increasingly subject to additional questions for rate development: what insurance professionals know as 'supplemental applications'. These collect more details to find the most competitive and accurate rate. Companies using these have a distinct pricing and product advantage those who don't, and they know it.

    The old methods of calculating an insurance rate with a pencil and a calculator are out; multi-variant rating is in.

    At Gordon Insurance, we use a library of checklists to aggregate the rating factors from our many companies to ensure you're getting the best rate possible. Many questions we ask will result in: "why do they need to know that?" We don't always know. But some actuary somewhere found a correlation to expected claims. Privacy laws and our national tradition of privacy will push back against this trend. But the trend toward pricing based on multi-variant models is accelerating, as a combination of proprietary calculations and quickly secured public information makes more data available. So to the question, "does it affect me?": Absolutely. By working with Gordon Insurance, you'll find the best fit with the company that likes your profile better than anyone else.

    If you have any questions about how insurance works and how it is determined, feel free to contact us. We love answering insurance questions and helping customers find the best possible rates to meet their insurance needs.

    Top 10 Things to Know about Homeowner's Insurance

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: home, auto, how insurance is calculated, insurance models, model, Business, predictive modeling, insurance math

    New Driver – Parent Contract

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Nov 07, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

    Help your new teen driver understand the rules of the road with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIn Massachusetts in 1999, over 42% of 16 year old drivers had an accident resulting in over $1,000 of reported damage before turning age 17 (this was 47% in 1997, before the Junior Operator’s Law took effect)! 23% of 17 year olds had a reported accident; for 18 year olds, the rate dropped to 18%. Experience matters. So does observance of the Junior Operators Law.

    One of the steps you can take towards safety is to sign this “New Driver-Parent Contract” along with your new driver. The contract outlines responsible driving practices and parent actions. 

    New Driver and  Parent Contract Click to Download the New Driver-Parent Contract

    Safety is always a vital aspect of life for us at A. G. Gordon, Inc., and we encourage you to check out some of our features at our website, or get a web quote. Access more resources for new drivers here

    Teen Driver Kit  
    Related Article

    Tags: safety, new, law, insurance, Autos, junior, operator, contract, collisions, Business, cheap, car, driver, teen

    Identity Theft – Tricks of the Trade

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Tue, Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

    Use of credit cards, bank accounts, and other electronic monetary transactions are a necessity in today’s world. An unfortunate side effect of this otherwise wonderful technology is the prevalence of identity theft. Previously a small and isolated type of crime, this type of theft has become ubiquitous in a world where money is wired from account to account, and most personal information is handled digitally. News of medical records ending up in landfills reminds us that our privacy is not always within our control.

    But this does not mean you can’t be vigilant and prepared.  Here’s a great checklist from Reader’s Digest developed by former identity thieves to show you discreet ways criminals can help themselves to your money: 

    Learn the basics of protecting yourself from identity theft and cover yourself with personal from andrew gordon inc norwell ma13 Things an Identity Thief Won’t Tell You

    1. Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime.
    2. That red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce.
    3. Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.
    4. In Europe, credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine.
    5. If a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.
    6. That’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3am on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later.
    7. You throw away the darnedest things—             preapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled up job or loan applications with all your personal information.
    8. If you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.
    9. Why don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.
    10. I use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it.
    11. I can call the electric company, pose as you, and say, “Hey, I thought I paid this bill. I can’t remember—did I use my Visa or MasterCard? Can you read me back that number?” I have to be in character, but it’s unbelievable what they’ll tell me.
    12. Thanks for using your debit card instead of your credit card. Hackers are constantly breaking into retail databases, and debit cards give me direct access to your banking account.
    13. Love that new credit card that showed up in your mailbox. If I can’t talk someone at your bank into activating it (and I usually can), I write down the number and put it back. After you’ve activated the card, I start using it.

    Sources: Former identity thieves in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, and New York.
    From Reader’s Digest – September 2010 

    Protect yourself and your bank account from identity theft with these tips from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIf you should become a victim of identity theft, be sure to contact your financial institutions to report the problem.  Many insurance companies offer ID Theft Recovery coverage either as an automatic coverage or for a small charge.    

    *13 Things An Identity Thief Won’t Tell You | 13 Things | Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest Magazine Articles. Sept. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. . 

    Even if all these steps are noted and taken advantage of, there is a chance you may still become a victim. Fortunately, many homeowners’ insurance companies offer assistance in reclaiming your identity.  If you’re not sure that your homeowners insurance includes ID theft coverage, contact us.  It isn’t expensive and will save you a ton of time and money if some sly thief absconds in the middle of the night with your identity. 

    Wish to discuss this topic further with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional?  Call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below!



    Tags: theft, Business, coverage, protection, credit, card, recovery, MasterCard, protect, identity, Financial, services, atm, debit

    Burglary and Crime Prevention Tip

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Oct 27, 2011 @ 05:03 PM

    Protect your home with homeowners from Gordon Insurance and your car keysPut your car keys beside your bed at night.

    Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your doctor’s office, the check-out girl at the market, and everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

    Why keep keys next to my bed?

    If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch Coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation.

    How do I know if my keys will scare an intruder?

    Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around.. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who’s out there and the criminal won’t want that.

    Can my car alarm work anywhere else?

    And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone; it could save a life or prevent a sexual abuse crime.

    For more relevant insurance information and practical tips, visit the A. G. Gordon, Inc. website. Look for our Insurance Resources and Whiteboard Videos. Learn more specifically about your personal insurance options here.


    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: home, security, Business, prevention, car, burglary, robbery, tips, systems, alarm, burglar, panic button, crime, prevent

    Winter Weather Can Mean Frozen Pipes!

    Posted by Sue Bird

    Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 07:29 PM

    With the colder weather approaching us, now is an excellent time to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes, and the subsequent water damage that can occur should those pipes expand and burst. Although sudden and accidental discharge of water from plumbing is covered under most homeowners’ insurance policies, it is always better to avoid this occurrence entirely.

    Keep your home and pipes safe from the cold winter weather with these tips and homeowners from Gordon Insurance

    To prevent frozen pipes:

    1. Leave the heat on in your home to a minimum of 55ºF during bitterly cold conditions.
    2. Remember to use all of your plumbing fixtures
      at some point during the day.
    3.  Drain and then cover all external faucets.
    4. During extreme cold, keep the indoor faucets
      running at a slow drip to maintain water flow.
    5. Should you experience a loss resulting in water damage,
      turn off the water supply as soon as possible. Homeowners should also contact a water mitigation specialist, such as SERVPRO, to dry out your home properly before mold or mildew can set in.

    And for more tips, resources, and for competitive quotes, visit the rest of our website.

    Learn more about homeowners insurance here.


    Sue Bird

    Tags: home insurance, Construction and Maintenance, frozen pipes in winter, Plumbing, Tap (valve), Water damage, what to do with frozen pipes, winter weater, frozen pipes, winter weather, Business, shopping, water

    House Insurance: Fire Damage

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Sep 29, 2011 @ 05:42 PM

    If life always went as planned, it would be a lot more stress-free …but I would be out of a job. Unfortunately, sometimes disaster does strike; and rarely does it give much advance warning. Preparation and prevention only go so far, which is why insurance is incredibly valuable when you need it.

    A house hit by lightning, with an ensuing house fire, is today’s best example:

    The Fire Problem

    Prepare your home for fires or other disasters with homeowners from Gordon Insurance

    Understand one thing about house fires: once they start, they accelerate geometrically, burning faster and faster until the house is consumed.  Every second that a fire burns translates to a increasingly large fire and more damage.   Response speed is critical; average response time is such an important metric for fire departments.

    The Firefighting Problem

    Fires are so damaging simply because of the steps necessary to put them out. When the fire department arrives to put a blaze down, they’re not thinking about your grandmother’s china. They’re going to get the water and flame retardants to the area as quickly as they can and as destructively as they need to.  The first objective is to extinguish the fire.

    Is Water Worse?

    Even so, in many cases, the largest cause of damage after a fire is actually water. The thousands of gallons of water used to exterminate the conflagration will spread across the rugs, down the walls, into the flooring, and onto electronic appliances and toys.  No wonder fires are one of the most devastating disasters that can occur to a house.

    Real Life Example of Fire Damage

    Enter yesterday, when I got a call at dinner from a family that Gordon Insurance insures. Their house had caught on fire; the culprit, a lightning strike. It struck the house, blowing the electrical panel nearly off the wall and starting a fire right away.  Mrs. X was home, and went upstairs to investigate; she was shocked to see orange flames licking across the peak of her roof and moving fast.

    She called 911 first and her husband right after, who was only a minute away. When Mr. X got home, he grabbed a portable fire extinguisher and unloaded it at the source of the fire.

    Reasonable people will differ on the risk of trying to extinguish a house fire without training, versus the risk of losing the house while watching and waiting for the fire department. But in this case, the small fire extinguisher probably cut the ultimate damage of this fire in half, by stopping its progression.  Fortunately this fire was still small enough where quick thinking really made a difference.

    Soon enough, the Norwell Fire Department arrived. One thing I will say about our fire department is that they do an awesome job at damage control.  They laid a tarp down to minimize water damage in the room affected, kept the water focused, and took proactive steps to minimize the damage to non-threatened property.  I’ve visited several fire sites in my day, and the guys from Norwell are about as good as they come.

    After the Fire

    With the fire out, we coordinated the water extraction contractors, discussed whether staying in the house was possible (insurance pays for a place to stay), got a company to seal the roof, and had a claim file set up and an adjustor assigned with the insurance company.  Work starts right away.

    The blaze destroyed an addition on Mrs. and Mr. X’s colonial style house, but nobody was hurt.  All things considered, it could have been much worse.   Still, having your home burn makes for a scary lifetime memory, and the cleanup takes time, but quick thinking by the owner and great work by Norwell FD kept this house standing, and life is moving forward again.


    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: house, home, damage, insurance, fire, Business, prevention, lightning

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