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    Commercial Insurance Blog

    Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Recent Posts

    New Staff Additions and Farewells

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Dec 19, 2019 @ 03:38 PM

    GA Christmas Party

    We are excited to announce that Gordon Atlantic is growing! In 2019,  we made 5 new and excellent additions to our staff:

    John Rennie

    John joined our personal lines team with several years of experience in home, auto, and marine insurance here on the South Shore.  He focuses on developing more complicated personal insurance solutions.  A resident of Hanover, car enthusiast, who works at staying healthy and fit, John is easy to work with on any personal insurance need.

    Julie Osborne

    Julie began with the agency in 2019, having spent seven years with another local agency.  Her experience within the customer service industry makes her a terrific addition to our Personal Lines department.  Julie's knowledge, attention to detail, and calm attitude are attributes our customers appreciate while assisting with your insurance needs.

    Melinda Ranous

    Mindy also started here in 2019, having worked in both a small agency and a large national firm, and has  solid experience in a customer service,   Mindy works closely with customers to seek economical and appropriate personal insurance solutions.

    Brian Jones

    Brian comes from a corporate background creating and managing marketing solutions for some of the world’s largest retailers including Amazon and Walmart. Drawing from his years of business and SEO experience, he is leading Gordon Atlantic’s online marketing initiatives.

    Alana White

    Alana joined our agency as an administrative assistant and receptionist with an eye on a career in insurance. She is a quick learner and is already picking up the ins and outs of our complicated industry.

    Jason Gordon

    Congratulations to Jason Gordon for his promotion from personal to commercial lines.  Personal account wil miss Jason, but he's still here and advancing in the commercial insurance arena.

    Best Wishes to our staff members who left this year

    Toni, one of our commercial lines account managers, left our agency to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime in the fitness industry. Congratulations and good luck Toni!

    Darcie retired earlier in 2019. Wishing you a long, healthy, and happy retirement!   Best wishes on your new chapter in life.

     

     

    The top 5 insurance claims during summer months

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 09:26 AM

    BBQ Grill Fires- Cooking out with friends and family can be a great time, but can turn catastrophic in an instant if you aren’t cautious. To reduce the risk of a cookout calamity, never place your grill near flammables and never leave it unattended. If using a charcoal grill, make sure the embers are completely extinguished before leaving it.

    barbecue-bbq-beef-1105325

     

    Boating Accidents- Owning a boat is a huge pleasure, but also a huge responsibility. Boating accidents increase during the summer months for obvious reasons, but what this means for you is that each time you get on the water, you run the risk of having a mechanical break down, collision with another boat, or hitting an object(s) or people. Before you hit the waters, make sure your boat is in good mechanical running order, reacquaint yourself on boat safety rules/regulations, AND make sure you have the adequate Massachusetts boat insurance protection that you need.

    boat-boating-cap-209978

     

    Car Accidents- Summertime travel plans typically involve spending more time on the road in your car. What this means is an increase in the number of auto accidents/incidents on the highways during the summer months. To increase your safety and reduce your risk to this type of exposure, make sure you stay on top of your car maintenance to avoid an overheated vehicle, tire blowout, or impact with another vehicle. Also, review your level of auto insurance coverage with your Florida independent insurance agent for your own safety and protection should you be involved in a car accident.

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    Drownings- There is a direct correlation between the soaring temperature outside and the number of pool drownings. During the summer months, more people are swimming which can turn disastrous if certain precautions are not taken. If you are a pool owner, make sure your gates are always locked and inaccessible so that neighbors/kids cannot slip into your backyard and jump into the pool. Being the owner of a pool comes with a lot of accountability so make sure you do the responsible thing and have adequate Massachusetts homeowners insurance protection. Our independent insurance agency is here to assist you so that should a terrible accident like this happen, you will be adequately protected.

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    Home Burglary and Break-Ins- During the summer months, people tend to vacation more, leaving their homes unoccupied. An unoccupied home is a target for burglars and that is when break-ins are more likely to occur. You can reduce the risk of this happening to your home by following some easy tips, such as installing security alarm system, motion detection lights, and having neighbors collect any mail, newspapers or packages left at the door.

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    To discuss your exposure with an experienced professional at Gordon Atlantic Insurance, please call our office at (800)-649-3252.  If you have a quick question to pose, click below!HAVE A QUESTION?

    Tags: home insurance, car insurance, boat insurance

    What happens if I get the wrong fuel in my tank by mistake?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Jan 16, 2017 @ 04:45 PM

    Fuel from a gas station damaged my engine!  Who pays for the damage? 

    What are the signs of diesel fuel in a gas engine?

    • Engine misfire

    • Sputtering

    • Stalling

    What are the signs of gas fuel in a diesel engine?

    • Sluggish performance

    • Engine stops running

    • Catalytic convertor overheating

    Gas pumps for gas and diesel are different sizes and colors, however if the gas delivery tanker delivers fuel to the wrong underground storage tank you would never know you’re getting the wrong fuel.

    If the wrong type of fuel is added to your tank and you notice right away (you're still at the gas station), don’t operate the vehicle.  Notify the gas station attendant on duty and get his or her complete name.  Ask for a receipt for your purchase and try to get the name of their insurance company or agent.

    Your next step is to have your vehicle towed to a mechanic. Once secure, contact the gas station's insurance company or agent to submit your claim for any damage to your vehicle as well as the expense you incurred for towing.  If you will need to rent a vehicle while yours is in the shop be sure to inquire after this as well so you understand any procedures in place that can ultimately minimize the pain.

    Getting a receipt is critical if you paid cash for the gas to document you did indeed purchase it from this particular station at this particular time.  Bad gas from a gas station usually results in many claims,so the insurance company may already be aware of the situation.

    To discuss further with a Gordon Atlantic insurance professional, please call us toll free at (800) 649-3252.  If you have a specific question and prefer to type instead of talk, click below.

     

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    Tags: car damage, fuel, gasoline, gas station, bad fuel, diesel

    Yikes!!! Did someone draw outside the lines with the crayons?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Dec 29, 2016 @ 01:30 PM

    What is Professional Liability for? Is it just for guys who wear suits?

    NO!!! If you are in the business of performing a service or providing advice, regardless of what you wear you better be 100% right 100% of the time.  You may think you or an employee will never be in the wrong, but you can protect yourself from the possibility with Professional Liability insurance.

    We live in a “lawsuit happy" world, so if and when you get slapped with one because something you said or designed goes terribly wrong, or because there was alleged negligence on your part, you are going to need this in your back pocket.

    Perhaps you're not aware of how much a typical lawsuit runs these days, but a plaintiff is usually looking for a whole pile of cha-ching$$$. Most of us don’t have extra millions lying around for these incidents,however a Professional Liability policy will respond to the sharks!

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    Who needs this particular type of coverage:

    • lawyers
    • engineers
    • architects
    • realtors
    • IT consultants
    • insurance agencies (yes, even we make mistakes)
    • accountants
    • those in the medical field
    • hairdressers

    And what does a Professional Liability policy actually cover:

    • alleged or actual negligence
    • misrepresentation
    • inaccurate advice
    • defense costs
    • personal injury
    • copyright infringement
    • claims & damages

    If you would like to discuss your personal exposure further, please call the professionals at Gordon Atlantic Insurance toll free at (800) 649-3252.  Prefer to type instead of talk?  Click below.

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    Tags: commercial insurance, coverage, professional liability, lawsuits

    A rock hit my windshield...who pays for glass damage?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

    what to do when a rock hits your windshield

    When you’re driving down the road and a vehicle in front of you kicks up a rock or other debris, do they have to pay for the damage to your car?

    Rocks and other types of road debris break windshields, damage vehicles, and injure people every day.  The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports over a period of four years, road debris caused over 200,000 accidents resulting in 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries, with 2/3 of the accidents caused by debris falling off vehicles and 1/3 of accidents caused by debris kicked up from the road.  Here's how insurance works:

    • When another vehicle kicks up debris off the road, the driver isn’t at fault – for example, if the truck in front of you drives over a rock and it hits your windshield, they’re not responsible for the damage.

    • When another vehicle drops debris (gravel, trash, tools etc.) it’s transporting the other driver is at fault – for example, if a contractor drops a ladder off their truck they’re responsible for any damage to your car.

    Since road debris and falling objects cause so many accidents, as precaution you should:

    • Follow other vehicles at a safe distance

    • Avoid vehicles with unsafe loads

    • If you can’t safely avoid road debris slow down to reduce impact - that may be safer than suddenly changing lanes at high speed and hitting something bigger while going faster.  Plus a quick lane change accident will be YOUR fault.

    • If your vehicle is damaged by road debris you don’t want to be in the position where you’re trying to chase down the responsible vehicle to get their plate number or company name so you can try to get them to pay for the damage. Not only is chasing after a vehicle dangerous, it’s difficult to prove the other vehicle caused the damage and therefore difficult to get them or their insurance company to pay up.

    To reduce your financial loss from debris hitting your vehicle, include Comprehensive coverage (physical damage other than from a collision). Comprehensive insurance includes Glass coverage, and in Massachusetts you have the option for a lower deductible - or no deductible - for glass damage. This is true for both commercial insurance and most personal insurance programs. 

    Because glass coverage can be subject to a separate lower deductible, or no deductible, for short money, we recommend that most people choose this option.  No deductible means you don't have to chase down that truck...you can just get your windshield fixed!  

    New to Massachusetts or just getting new plates or a title for a vehicle? Be sure to check out our article on the Massachusetts RMV-1 form.

    For other tactics on buying insurance to meet your own personal or business needs, give the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals a call toll free at 800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk? Click below.

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    Tags: commercial claims, insurance coverage, roadways, repairs, debris

    Do I have coverage for my drone?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Dec 20, 2016 @ 03:00 PM

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    Technology is moving so fast that laws and the insurance industry cannot keep up. This creates a huge exposure, especially with respect to drones.

    What is a drone? Something that flies without a person.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines an unmanned aircraft as “an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.” (Sec. 331(8) of Public Law 112‐95)

    There are many industries in which drones prove useful:

    1. Construction

    2. Engineering

    3. Insurance assessments

    4. Mapping/geophysical survey

    5. Parcel delivery

    6. Photography/videography

    7. Realtors

    Regulations in the past only addressed a manned aircraft with passengers, as well as cargo planes or hobby aircraft for recreational purposes.

    In 2015 the FAA authorized approval for the use of drones for commercial or business use which took effect August 29, 2016. This approval allowed small unmanned aircrafts to be operated in commercial operations. However, that came with a long list of do’s and don’ts regarding speed, height, transporting, etc.

    In response to the FAA, new laws were put in place with mandates.  Drones are prohibited in:

    • Hunting or locating animals as game

    • Operating weapons

    • Voyeurism & violating ones privacy

    • Interfering with aircrafts

    As it stands now, the insurance industry has Commercial General Liability language that addresses drones as follows:

    Two coverage parts

    Coverage A – Bodily injury/property damage liability

    Coverage B – Personal and advertising injury

    Standard CGL includes an aircraft and watercraft exclusion for Coverage A -  Removes coverage for liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of aircraft or watercraft that is owned, operated by, rented to, or loaned to an insured.

    Coverage B has no specific aircraft exclusion. 

    In Federal lawsuit: Boggs v. Merideth, No. 3:16‐cv‐6‐DJH (W.D. Ky. Filed Jan. 4, 2016), a man shoots down a drone as it hovers over his teenage daughter while she is sunbathing.  What may seem like a typical, fatherly reaction is not supported by law, as the air space above your land is considered national airspace, which is federal jurisdiction. In other words, it might be your back yard but it's not your space.

    This law suit continues as the legal system, federal law and the FAA work to address new drone suits.  As drones grow in popularity, so do the number of filings. The commercial use of drones is not illegal but it is restricted unless you get a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA. Insurance coverages that include liability, personal injury, invasion of privacy, property, and workers compensation are all areas that the carriers are working to collect data on in hopes (or not) of entering the drone insurance market.   

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    Tags: commercial insurance, liability, technology, drone, drone coverage

    What If a Contractor Takes Money but Doesn’t do the Work?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jul 22, 2016 @ 04:39 PM

    what if a contractor takes money but doesn’t do the work

    After an insurance claim that you filed due to physical damage to your home or building, you’ll probably need to hire a contractor to repair or rebuild.  

    When hiring a contractor you want to be sure they’re insured in case they injure someone or cause property damage while working.  At the very minimum, the contractor should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance showing they have General Liability and Auto Liability along with Workers Compensation coverage.  The Certificate of Insurance should have a current date in the top right of the form and your name in the Certificate Holder area in the bottom left of the form.

    But what protects you from the contractor who takes your money but never starts, or starts the job but doesn’t finish?

    Contractor Bonds are a financial guarantee that a contractor will perform as agreed to in a construction contract.  For example, you pay a contractor a $25,000 deposit on a $100,000 job; the contractor takes your money but doesn’t do the work.  If the contractor had provided a Bond naming you as the Obligee (protected person) you’d file a claim with the Bond company.  They in turn would pay you the $25,000 you’re owed by the contractor.

    Bonds and insurance are completely different:

    • Insurance pays on behalf of and protects the contractor from having to pay if they accidentally cause injury or property damage to others. The insurance company doesn’t expect the contractor to reimburse them for the claim paid other than any applicable deductible.

    • Bonds pay instead of the contractor.  The Bond Company pays you, but they do expect the contractor to reimburse them for the bond claim they paid out on.

    Because bonds cover events that are NOT accidental or events outside the control of the contractor, applying for a bond is more like applying for a loan than applying for insurance.  Bond companies want to know if they pay a claim that the contractor has the ability to pay them back.  Even if the contractor asks you to cover the cost of the bond, consider it money well spent to guarantee you won’t lose lose out on a contractor who won’t or can’t complete the work.

     

    For more information on hiring a contractor and the Massachusetts Contractor Guarantee Fund click below:

    http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/home-improvement-contract

    http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/home-improvement-contract/guaranty-fund/guaranty-fund.html

    To discuss your particular needs call the insurance professionals at Gordon Atlantic toll free at (800) 649-3252.  Prefer to type instead of talk?  Click below for an answer to a question or a quote!

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    Tags: Certificate of Insurance, insurance, insurance claim, bonds, contractor

    Operating a Business at Home Can Void Homeowners Insurance Coverage

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 02:57 PM

    A homeowner policy is a bundle of coverages designed for the average homeowner.   Since most homeowners don’t operate a business out of their home, a homeowner policy offers very limited, if any, coverage for business property or activities. Sometimes running a business out of your home voids coverage completely.

    For example, most homeowner policies provide converge for Other Structures (buildings not attached to the dwelling) such as a detached garage, shed, barn or any free-standing building. However, if you operate a business out of a detached building, the homeowner policy doesn’t provide coverage for that building.  Your homeowner policy may be able to cover the building for an additional premium charge, but you may need a commercial policy.

    In addition to property coverage, a home business may change or void your liability coverage.  Say you offer tutoring out of your home and a student trips and breaks his arm while there.  You could be facing a lawsuit, or at a minimum, the medical expenses associated with his injury could be your responsibility to pay out of pocket.    

    The main point to keep in mind is a homeowner policy is designed to cover activities typical to a private residence. If you operate a business out of, or at your home, you should call your insurance agent to make sure you have coverage for this added exposure.

    To discuss your exposure with an experienced professional at Gordon Atlantic Insurance, please call our office at (800)-649-3252.  If you have a quick question to pose, click below!

    HAVE A QUESTION?

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    Tags: business insurance, homeowners insurance, home business, business owner policy

    Should I Cancel My Insurance Policy?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, May 04, 2016 @ 02:38 PM

    The decision of when to cancel an insurance policy, not being replaced with another policy, depends on the type of policy:

    Auto – In Massachusetts the vehicle may be deleted, or if there is only one vehicle on the policy the policy may be canceled when the vehicle is sold or the lease terminated, the registration canceled, and the Plate Return Receipt submitted to your agent or insurance company.

    Property – When the property has been sold and you no longer have an ownership or other interest in the property you should cancel the policy.

    General Liability – This depends on the coverage provided by the policy and the type of operation, service or product you sell.  Standard General Liability policies provide coverage for three types of situations:  ongoing operations, completed operations and product liability.

    For example, an electrician installs wires in a house.  The ongoing operations covers him while he’s on the job site; completed operations covers him after he completes the work; and products liability covers  the wiring, sockets and light fixtures he installed in the house.  If the electrician closes his business and cancels his coverage he has no coverage for claims that occur after the cancellation date even though the work was done during the policy term because the coverage reads “the bodily injury or property damage must occur during the policy period.”  To clarify:  an electrician installs wiring in August,.  He cancels his coverage in October.  In December the wiring starts a fire.  Since he canceled his converge in October he has no coverage for the fire in December even though he installed the wiring in August when he had coverage.

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    Professional Liability - When all operations have ceased, instead of canceling the policy purchase the extended reporting period or other coverage available to cover any claims reported in the future for services provided in the past.

    Workers Compensation – When there is no employee, subcontract, contract or 1099 labor being used  or paid, and the Principals aren’t required to be covered, the policy may be canceled.  In Massachusetts, if a corporation isn’t dissolved and the officers don’t want to carry Workers Compensation they may apply to be exempt from the law requiring the coverage.  In order to be exempt corporate officers must own at least 25% of stock in the corporation.  This is the link to the MA Division of Industrial Accidents corporate officer exemption website: http://www.mass.gov/lwd/workers-compensation/investigations/form-153.html

    With respect to all of the insurance lines referenced above, another issue to consider is have you signed any contracts requiring you to maintain coverage?

    The decision to cancel a policy can be complicated.  Call the insurance professionals at Gordon Atlantic toll free at (800) 649-3252 to discuss your personal situation.  Prefer to type instead of talk?  Click below for a prompt answer to your question!

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    Tags: Can I cancel my insurance policy?, Cancelling my Insurance

    When to Call your Insurance Agent

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 05:35 PM

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    Notifying your insurance agent of changes prevents suffering an uninsured loss. Any changes that could affect your insurance policy or coverage should be discussed with your agent.  Examples of changes that you should report immediately include:

    • Location change

    • Mailing address change

    • Additional locations

    • Expanding operations into new states

    • Changes in operations , products or services offered to your customers or clients

    • FEIN change

    • Legal change in entity type (Sole Proprietor to Corporation, LLC, PC etc.)

    • New vehicle – esp. if leasing in a state other than Massachusetts where evidence of insurance isn’t required to take delivery of a vehicle

    • New equipment or other business property

    • Signing a contract or lease - if a transaction involves signing documents there’s no doubt you need to review your insurance coverages

    Calling your agent in advance could save you time and money; for example, moving to a new location less than a mile from the ocean will significantly increase the cost for property insurance, restrict coverage options and may require flood insurance.  A call to your agent before signing a lease could prevent additional expense or if the location costs more to insure than you expected, you may be able to negotiate a lease with better terms and rent.

    Your agent should be able to tell you with just one quick phone call if the change you’re planning means you need to update your coverage – it’s worth a call to make sure!  To discuss any impeding changes with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional, please call us toll free at 800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Use the form at the top left of this blog for a return phone call or email.

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    Tags: Risk Changes, When to Call your Agent, Insurance Agent, Insurance Policy Changes

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