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    Personal Insurance Blog

    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

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

    Insurance University: Tips for the College Bound

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Sat, Feb 25, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

    Insure your college student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAFor many young adults, college is an incredibly liberating experience and a time of emotional and intellectual growth as fledgling freshman adventure further along the path of higher education. Unfortunately, many of the high tech gadgets and electronics that pepper dorm rooms can also find it an incredibly liberating experience… as they adventure out of the dorm in the hands of a thief.  The reality is that theft on college campuses does occur, according to the Newton’s 2nd law of theft:

    Expensive Electronics + Doors Left Open + The Occasional Dorm Party = Theft

    Fortunately, insuring the things your student takes away to college can be insured easily and affordably. Here’s what you should know.

    1. You’re probably already covered: Most students are covered under their parents’ homeowners policy, as long as they still list their primary residence as their home address rather than their dorm room. No need to fear if your student has enough electronics littering his or her dorm room to disrupt aircraft radar within a five mile radius; there is generally a 10% coverage rule that protects 10% of the value of your personal belongings worldwide (which includes hotel rooms, temporary residences, etc).  Even so, it’s probably a good idea to call your insurance provider and double check that your college bound daughter or son is covered.
    2. Yes, that includes Healthcare: A recent change in national law recently superseded the state’s coverage policy.  The old law stated that all full time students who are still dependent are covered under their parents’ policy to age 25. The new healthcare legislation further extended this to all non-married children up to 26 years of age.
    3. The abandoned car: many students go off to college and leave their cars at home. Make sure you aren’t paying top dollar for a car that will sit in your garage all year and only endanger the lawnmower next to it. Call your insurance agent and ask for a discount if the car will not be at school.  Furthermore, ask if good student discounts are available should your studious scholar return home to use the vehicle. 
    4. After Graduation: After your college student graduates and takes up residence elsewhere, the rules of the game change. They will no longer be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but will instead most likely need tenant insurance for their apartment or rented house. However, these policies are very affordable and will cover anything in the apartment that would break if someone “turned the apartment upside down and shook it” (Meehan Insurance).

    Cover your college bound student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAEven with this information, it’s a good idea to call your professional insurance provider and have a conversation about your son or daughter’s coverage before they leave for college. The short amount of time on the phone could save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

    Additionally, an ounce of prevention is worth a time honored cliché (or a pound of cure). It’s worth taking the time to prevent the theft of items that your students own. You can protect laptops from theft by purchasing a notebook combination lock (several affordable products are listed here). Another good use of time is to photograph all valuable items and take down serial numbers and other information then store them in a GoogleDocs document; if you have a google account, you already have access to this feature. If you don’t, setting up an account is free, easy, and you can access your documents from any computer with internet access. Taking preventative measures before the next dorm party can keep your son or daughter’s electronics from “walking out” in the middle of the chaos.

    For more insurance tips, information, resources, and quotes, visit us at the A. G. Gordon, Inc website. Learn more about personal insurance here

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: home, theft, auto, policy, insurance, student, massachusetts, prevention, university, college

    Auto Insurance Rates on the Rise in MA

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Wed, Jul 13, 2016 @ 10:25 AM

    The Boston Globe recently ran an article about automobile insurance rates in Massachusetts increasing between 6% and 9% on average this year.   The article outlined some of the reasons behind these increases including:

    1. Lower gas prices mean people drive more.

    2. More drivers on the road mean more accidents.

    3. Even though newer cars are getting safer, even small accidents now cost a lot more to fix.

    4. Investment income, traditionally part of an insurance company’s economic calculus, is so low today that it no longer contributes much to an insurance company's bottom line numbers. That difference is made up for with additional costs for consumers. 

    Additionally, according to the Globe, traffic fatalities nationally were up nearly 7.7% last year.  This affects costs for bodily injury, the coverage used when someone gets hurt.  Thus, it isn’t just that new cars cost more to fix, medical costs for injury caused by auto accidents are also on the rise.  In the settlement of an auto claim, adjusters use values assigned to the damaged vehicle, but the cost to treat the injured can exceed the policy limit.  

    Ultimately auto insurance rates are derived from four primary factors:

    • the kind of car you drive,

    • the amount of insurance or how much insurance you buy,

    • where you live, and

    • your driving record.

    Massachusetts prohibits the use of credit scores in pricing auto insurance, but these are used in most other states because credit scores are predictive.   To address this, Massachusetts carriers use proxies for credit such as home ownership or group / association memberships.   This is why package credits – insuring the home and car with the same company - are so meaningful today.

    Naturally more expensive cars cost more to insure for collision and comprehensive coverages.   On the other hand, liability costs are less affected by the kind of car you drive.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving an expensive car or an old beater: if you hit someone else, it’s the cost to fix their car or make them well again is the same.

    auto-insurance-rates-on-the-rise-ma

    The next factor, where you live or more accurately where your car spends the night, is another rating factor.  Cities have higher congestion, meaning higher accident frequency; this affects insurance rates for everyone in your city or town.    The Globe article mentioned that the average annual premium in Massachusetts was $1080 in 2013.  Most suburban drivers pay less than this, and urban drivers a little more.

    Finally the biggest factor in auto insurance costs is your driving history. Good defensive driving will lead to lower auto insurance costs for everyone, but mostly for you.

    Gordon Insurance represents most of the top companies in Massachusetts so we always try to find the right company for you.   For more on automobile insurance in general, visit our website at www.agordon.com/auto, or call us at 800-649-3252.

    Contact Us

    Tags: auto, rates, insurance, massachusetts, boston globe, rising rates, andrew g gordon insurance

    How to Lower Your Energy Bill

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

    Lower your energy bill and get homeowners insurance from Andrew G Gordon Inc

    Save on more than just your insurance with these energy tips.

    1. Turn your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down in the winter. About 30% of your home energy bill comes from heating and air conditioning.
    2. Take a shower instead of a bath! (You probably already do this, but isn't it nice to know you're saving money?)
    3. Don't let your water run while you shave or brush your teeth; a little conservation goes a long way. 
    4. Use cold water whenever possible! My family washes all of our clothes in cold water. We also use even less energy by hanging nearly all of our clothes up to dry instead of putting them in the dryer; this helps clothes last longer, too!
    5. Instead of using the oven to heat up every snack, use the microwave, toaster, or something that consumes less energy.
    6. The refrigerator uses more electricity than any other appliance in your house (except for maybe your heater/AC). Even if you just leave the door open to get a glass of milk, close it!
    7. Get drapes with insulating liner for your windows to cut heat loss in half.
    8. If you have a pool, use a solar cover to heat it with the sun and prevent the water from evaporating.
    9. Get energy saving light bulbs (the kind with the twisted pipes)! Not only do these save energy, but I've found them to be brighter and last longer than regular light bulbs.
    10. Wait for full loads with your dishwasher and clothes washer to get the most out of your water use.
    11. *If you opt for online payments instead of paper mail with many insurance companies, you'll get discounts! (This isn't on your energy bill, but it's on your carbon footprint!)

    Contact us with any questions, and learn more about homeowner's insurance on our website. Be smart and go green! Get some more tips at consumersenergy.com.

     

    Read more blogs about going green and saving energy (and money!):

    -Go Green for Safety's Sake

    -Green Discounts

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  Top 10 Things about Home Insurance

    Tags: environment, green, electric, insurance, massachusetts, homeowners, energy, bill, how to lower energy bill

    Dangerous Places to Drive In Norwell: Be Careful!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Aug 11, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

    Despite being a small, rural town, Norwell has some pretty dangerous roads. In no particular order, here are some places where I drive with extra caution. 

    River Street: The average speed limit on River St. is 40 mph, so it's a fast road. There are some pretty sudden curves, particularly the dip when River St. intersects with Green St. This is a very dangerous spot; even though the speed limit is high, SLOW DOWN at this curve.

    Drive carefully in norwell when visiting andrew g gordon inc insurance

    Main Street: Main St. is fairly straight with a few hills, but make sure to slow down and drive 25 mph through Norwell Center. Also be careful when making turns onto Main Street, particularly left turns from South Street and Assinippi Ave.

    Prospect Street: This street's speed limit ranges, but there is a good chunk where you should drive 25 mph or below. There are many sharp and short hills and turns, so drive slowly and with caution.

    Bowker Street: This street is hilly, narrow, twisty, and woodsy. Go slow!

    Tiffany Road: This street only has one corner you really need to slow down for, but the speed limit is often ignored; many people drive up to 40 mph, but the speed limit is 25! Drive slower than you think you need to!

    Stetson Road: There's a straight spot on Stetson where the speed limit is high, but a VERY sharp turn following it. Slow down to 25 mph or slower for this turn! On the other end of Stetson is another deep dip where you should drive slowly. 

    Wildcat Lane: This is a very twisty and hilly street; I don't go any more than 30 mph at any part of this street. There is one particular sharp curve in the middle you need to slow down for.

    Drive safely, and come visit our office at 306 Washington Street!

     Visit andrew g gordon inc insurance in norwell ma

    For any auto insurance or other questions, contact us or call us at 800-649-3252! If you're a parent or a new driver, visit our new driver's page, or read some of our most frequently asked questions about auto insurance.

       Top 5 Auto  Discounts

    Tags: auto, insurance, accident, massachusetts, norwell, ma, driving, car, dangerous, driver, places, most dangerous roads

    Easy Computer Tips and Tricks (Part 2)

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 02:10 PM

     If you haven't already checked out the first blog in this series, read it here

    Here are some more computer tips I frequently use that make online life easier.

    Learn how to use your computer with personal insurance from andrew g gordon inc

    Mac:

    Command + Shift + 4 Take a screenshot of a certain part of your screen (the window of the shot will appear and be adjustable by you
    Command + Shift + 3 Take a screenshot of your entire screen
    Option + Shift + volume or brightness This trick adjusts the volume or brightness in smaller increments

    PC:

    Alt + Print Screen This takes a screenshot of your selected window (to access this screenshot, see your computer's images) (or, open paint and press crtl + v)

    Both:

    Don't download fonts from online! This is a tip, not a shortcut. Every time I have tried to get the Harry Potter font or something fun online, my computer has gotten a virus. Stick with the ones already in Word or Google Docs.
       

    Read some other blogs about computer use:

    -Cyber Liability for Business

    -Online Passwords

    -The Difference Between http and https

    Contact us with any insurance questions, and have fun while learning about insurance on our website. Browse our pages, or check out our whiteboard video library!

    Contact Us 

     

    Tags: easy, online, computer, insurance, massachusetts, shortcuts, tips and tricks, keyboard tricks, mac vs pc

    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

    Easy Computer Tips and Tricks

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 12:07 PM

    describe the imageSurf the web and our website more efficiently with these tips and tricks from an experienced internet user. As my time as Gordon's social media and web engineer (and a high school student), I've found these shortcuts to be especially helpful time savers. These tips also come in handy when doing school projects or just browsing.

    The "ctrl" button is used on PC computers; the "command" buttons performs the same functions on a Mac.

    Ctrl + click on a link

    This opens the link page in a new tab on your browser, so you can still stay on the original page. Try it with this link!

    Ctrl + F

    This allows you to find certain words on a page. To try this on this page, press ctrl + f and type in "Mac." the word "Mac" a few lines above will be highlighted!  

    Ctrl + A

    This selects all the words on a page (for example, useful for changing the font of an entire document). Selecting all the words can help you copy them, as explained next.

    Ctrl + C

    You might know this one; this action copies the content that is highlighted on a page or document.

    Ctrl + V

    This pastes the copied content.

    Ctrl + Z

    This is the "undo" function, helpful when you accidentally delete a paragraph on a document! Keep in mind that your actions are only saved when you open a document; you can't "undo" anything from the last time you worked on something.

    Be safe online with personal insurance from andrew g gordon incRead some other blogs about computer use:

    -Cyber Liability for Business

    -Online Passwords

    -The Difference Between http and https

    Happy surfing! Use these tricks on our website, and contact us with any insurance questions. Comment below to let us know if you would like another blog with more tips.

    Contact Us  

     

    Tags: easy, online, computer, insurance, massachusetts, shortcuts, tips and tricks, keyboard tricks, mac vs pc

    Junior Operators: How to Get Your Permit

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jul 24, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

    Pass your permit test with auto insurance tips from andrew g gordon incIn Massachusetts, you can get your driving permit the day you turn 16. To get one's permit, a parent/guardian must take the soon-to-be driver to the RMV. You should fill out these permit test forms before you go to the RMV to make your visit quick and easy. After the forms are submitted and you are called for your turn, your permit picture is taken, there is a quick eye test, and some basic information is collected. Then you are sent to wait in line for the permit exam.

    The test is composed of 25 questions about general driving safety rules. You have 25 minutes to complete the test, which is administered electronically. You can take the driver's ed classroom component when you're 15 and 9 months old, 3 months before you're eligible for your permit on your 16th birthday. However, you are not required to take driver's ed before applying for your permit (I myself got my permit first).

    My biggest advice for passing the permit test is to actually read the driving manual and take lots of online practice tests. While reading the driving manual (which you can find online for free), I took screenshots of pages with important information. The permit test really does focus on small details and penalties for driving infractions. If there's a page in the driving manual with a chart on it, you should probably know that information.

    Here's a practice question; how far from the driver's home do most car accidents occur?

    a) 15 miles. b) 25 miles. c) 35 miles. d) 50 miles

    The answer? 25 miles! See, the information can be very specific, and while a 35 mile radius includes the 25 mile radius, you should take the questions very literally and choose the most correct answers. 

    Some great practice test websites are practicepermittest.com, driving-tests.org, and freedmvpracticetests.com. Take a LOT of these. A lot of the questions that will be on your real permit test will be on practice exams!

    Finally, relax. If you prepare and practice, you will pass. If you don't pass, it's not the end of the world; just go back to the RMV and take it again once you're better prepared. But keep in mind that each permit exam costs $30 to take (whether you pass or not), so do your best to pass it on your first try!

    Read another blog on the whole license-obtaining process, or check out our resources for new drivers and their parents. Feel free to contact us with any questions or a quote request!

    Contact Us  Teen Driver Kit

    Tags: auto, insurance, junior, permit, how to get permit, how to get license, massachusetts, driving, car, license, driver, teen, operators

    Junior Operators: How Do You Get Your License?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Jul 21, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

    If you're turning 16 or have a child who is, it's almost time to start driving. There are more steps to getting a junior operator's license in Massachusetts than you might think. For families who have their first child coming of the driving age or who need a refresher on what it takes to get that license, look no further.

    Prepare for your teen driving with a drivers ed course and auto insurance from andrew g gordon inc1. First, the teen must attend a driver's education course. These can be completed any time of the year. During the summer and school vacations (Winter, February, and April breaks), driving schools offer the whole course in a week; the student attends three classes (6 hours) a day for five days, like a school week. Throughout the entire year, classes are offered on Saturdays. There are 15 numbered different classes the student must attend, and you can call the driving school to see which ones are scheduled for which Saturdays. If possible, I definitely recommend completing the course in a week.

    Even if you're under the age of 18 and technically don't need to complete driver's ed to be eligible for your license, taking the course could lower your auto insurance rates.

    2. A parent has to attend a driver's ed course too! At least one parent/guardian must take a two hour class before the teen(s) can start driving hours. A parent class is good for 5 years in Massachusetts; for example, my parent attended a driving class for my sister getting her license 3 years ago. Since my parent had taken a class within the past 5 years, my mother didn't have to attend another one for me.

    3. Get your permit! You're eligible to get your permit the day you turn 16. I recommend getting it as soon as possible, because you must have had your permit for at least 6 months before you can take a road test. You must pass a permit test at the RMV, which contains material from the Massachusetts driver's manual. Come back next week for a blog about getting your permit.

    4. Driving hours! A student must spend 12 hours driving with an instructor from a driving school and 6 hours observing other student drivers. Every driving school schedules these differently, but for example, I had to schedule 12 sessions. I spent an hour driving every session and half an hour observing. It is easy to schedule these sessions online, or you can with a phone call.

    Prepare your new teen driver for driving with auto insurance from andrew g gordon inc5. This and step four go together; you must spend at least 40 hours driving with parent supervision and instruction. You should drive with your parent before your driving hours, so that driving school instructors can spend your sessions teaching you how to drive on the road instead of things like how to start your car. 

    6. Schedule your road test once you've completed the steps above and feel ready! You can do this online or by phone. Practice in the days leading up to your road test, especially on things you have trouble with. Come back soon for a blog about passing your road test. 

    Once you've completed these steps, congratulations! You can be a junior operator! Keep in mind, since you have to have had your permit for 6 months to get your license, you really must be 16 and 1/2 in Massachusetts. Additionally, a student driver cannot operate a vehicle without an adult in the car. Once a junior operator does have his/her license, he can't drive any friends under age 18 until he's been licensed for 6 months (this excludes family members). 

    Some popular local driving schools are North River (NR) Driving School in Pembroke, or AAA

    Ready your teen for the road with this new driving kit, and learn about auto insurance and possible discounts on our website. Contact a driving school or the RMV website for further information. 

    Teen Driver Kit Contact Us

    Tags: drivers, insurance, junior, operator, permit, steps, ed, course, how to get your license, massachusetts, driving, car, license, teen

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