Lallis and Higgins Blog

Car Insurance for Recent College Grads

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 27, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

On average, drivers younger than 25 pay more for car insurance than do drivers in any other age bracket. While there isn’t a set age for recent grads, many do fall in within 21-to-25 cohort. Let’s review some helpful policy information worth being aware of.

Car insurance for college grads, ways to save

Although shopping around and comparing rates from different insurance providers is the best way to find cheap car insurance, there are other solutions worth keeping in mind.

Look into telematics programs

Telematics are in-car devices which monitor the way you drive in order to more accurately determine your premium. With traditional auto insurance, non-driving related characteristics are used to determine your rates. With telematics, your premium will be determined by driving habits, including:

  • Braking
  • Acceleration speed
  • Time of day driven
  • Overall speeds

Bundle your renters or homeowners policies with your auto insurance

Consider bundling renters or homeowners policy with your auto insurance on the same company. This will simplify the payment process and potentially provide a discount. On average, you can save $56 by bundling your home and auto policies.

Educational discounts

Many insurance companies provide discounts for “good students’. In most cases it requires a driver with under six years driving to have a B or better grade point average.

Be smart with your insurance coverage

If you have an older vehicle, consider whether having collision or comprehensive coverage is worth it. Unlike liability insurance, these coverages are only required if you’re leasing your vehicle or have a loan on the vehicle. If your car is bought and paid for and the value of the vehicle greater than $4,000, you might benefit from reducing coverage. While the cost of coverage options will depend, they can account for half of your monthly payments.

Bear in mind, however, that by doing this you put yourself at risk if you're in an at-fault accident as comprehensive and collision protect your car. So, if you still want full coverage for your vehicle in the event of an accident, keep comprehensive and collision.

Can you stay on your parent’s insurance plan?

Unlike health insurance, you cannot age out of an insurance policy. However, leaving your parent’s address and taking a car with you can make you ineligible. Because car insurance is zip code specific, your policy needs to priced for the garaging address the vehicle is the majority of the time.

If you get a job in another city and move, you will need an insurance plan for your new residence. Bear in mind, your parent’s can still pay for it - an insurance company doesn’t care who pays the bills.

Car insurance and roommates

Once you graduate from college, it’s likely you will have a roommate or two — it's cheaper than living alone, and, depending on the roommate, it can be fun. Your insurance company understands living with other people, but they do have some concerns that can complicate your relationship with your insurance company.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Thezebra.com


Condo Insurance Covers What the Association Policy Does Not

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 20, 2019
Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MA

Condo Insurance fills your coverage gaps. Condo associations have master policies that cover the property, common areas, and outside/physical structure of your condo. But, you can't simply rely on your association's master policy. Your association's policy only covers the things they're responsible for, and not what you're responsible for.

Condo insurance (or condominium insurance ) covers your belongings, upgrades to your unit (new granite countertops, etc.), injuries at your place, certain lawsuits against you, etc. Without condo insurance, you'd have no coverage for these things.

When you should consider condo insurance

Condo insurance is for you if you own a condominium, townhome, row home, or other unit that has an association. It's similar to homeowners, but often more affordable because it excludes coverages your association is responsible for. If you rent a condo, you'd instead need renters insurance—or homeowners insurance if you own a home. Not sure? Just get a condo insurance quote. We'll ask the right questions.

If you have a mortgage, your lender will likely require condo insurance. We'll help coordinate the details with your lender. Plus, you'll usually be able to combine your insurance payments in your monthly mortgage bill (called escrow).

Condo insurance coverages we offer

We offer coverages for your belongings, any upgrades you make to your condo (granite countertops, custom cabinets, etc.), lawsuits against you, and more. Keep in mind, your association covers the physical structure of your condo.

Your personal possessions

Your clothes, electronics, furniture, appliances, tools, power equipment, etc. are all covered (even if they're not in your condo). If you have expensive jewelry, art, or other items, you'll likely need separate coverage. We offer that too!

Example: Your roof leaks and water damages thousands of dollars worth of clothes, furniture, etc. Typically, your association would be responsible for the damages to your stuff. But if they won't pay up, your condominium insurance would kick in to cover these.

Upgrades and customizations

We'll cover most upgrades you've made, such as hardwood floors, granite countertops, new kitchen cabinets, etc. Some association's policies may cover the original furnishings, but very few will cover your upgrades.

Example: A pipe bursts and water damages your custom kitchen cabinets and appliances. Your association may pay to repair the pipe, but they won't pay for any damage to your upgrades. If you still had the original countertops that were damaged, your association may cover those.

Temporary living expenses

If your condo is damaged, and you can't stay there during repairs, your insurance kicks in. Condo insurance covers hotel stays and meals (above what you'd normally pay).

Example: A fire damages your condo, and you have to spend $2,000 to stay two weeks at a hotel. That bill would be covered, plus your meal expenses above your usual food costs. Make sure you keep your receipts.

Injuries and lawsuits against you

This coverage is called personal liability. It covers lawsuits against you or your family members if you're responsible for someone else's injuries or damages to their property. You can add extra coverages for libel, slander, or other lawsuits.

Example: A delivery person falls on your steps, breaks their leg, damages their merchandise, and then their company sues you. This will pay for their medical bills, lost wages if they can't work from an injury, and the damaged merchandise.

For more information on Condo Insurance, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Source: Progressive.com


Renting Out Your Home

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, May 16, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Renting out your Home? Find out what your mortgage company will need listed on your property’s insurance. - Quincy, Weymouth, MA (pls capitalize)

Mortgages require different insurance coverage for owners who rent their property. A typical homeowner policy (HO3 or HO5) policy is not designed for a home that is rented to others. Mortgage lenders mandate owners of investment property to procure landlord or dwelling and fire policy.

Landlord Coverage

Mortgage lenders want evidence that their borrower has enough coverage and show there is protection to the property owner for any loss of rent that was a result of a covered claim. The lender may want the borrower to have reasonable liability insurance coverage as well.

Personal Property Coverage

We strongly advised to require your tenant to obtain a renter (HO4) policy. This policy offers protection for the lessee's furniture, clothing, appliances, electronics and other personal property. This policy also has loss of use and liability coverage that can help the tenant out.

For more information on homeowners insurance or renter's insurance contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


What is Boat Insurance?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 06, 2019
Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MA

Boat insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company that protects your watercraft and trailer, any damage you cause to others while boating, and other events. As with auto insurance, you’ll select and purchase “coverages,” which are things your insurer agrees to pay for.

How does boat insurance work?

Whether you buy watercraft insurance on your own, from an agent, or through a marine dealer, you’ll be asked some basic questions about you, your boat, and the coverages you’re looking for. All these factors will affect your price for insurance. Then, if you damage your boat or hit someone/something else, you’ll file a “claim” with your insurer. If it’s covered, they’ll pay for the losses or injuries up to your coverage limits.

Do you need boat insurance?

If you’re using your watercraft strictly for pleasure, only a few states mandate that you have boat insurance in certain circumstances. However, if you’re financing your boat, most lienholders will require you to carry insurance with comprehensive and collision coverage. In addition, if you plan to dock your boat, some marinas and harbors will require you to show proof of liability coverage. Regardless of the value of your boat, liability coverage is important and comes standard on watercraft insurance policies.

One of the biggest myths about boat insurance is that you and your boat will be adequately covered under home insurance. While your homeowners policy may offer minimal protection in some instances, it won’t offer the kind of coverage you need on the water—especially if you’ll be operating a large powerboat. Powerboats are typically more expensive and prone to accidents compared to small boats with smaller motors.

How to get boat insurance?

At Lallis & Higgins Insurance, you can buy watercraft insurance anytime and you can usually get coverage immediately. If necessary, we can provide you a verification of insurance form via fax or email. Prices can vary depending on how you buy. Contact us.


Easy to Forget Cleaning Projects

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, May 02, 2019
Lallis and Higgins Insurance -  Quincy, Weymouth, MA

As a busy homeowner, it is easy to fall into the trap of pushing off tasks that maintain the long-term value of your home in favor of more pressing problems. That’s OK, to a point, as certain house-cleaning projects should be in the “long-term maintenance” category. But putting them on hold for too long can have disastrous results. As with so many things in life, preventive maintenance can save a lot of future effort and cost in your home, too.

We’ve put together the following checklist of cleaning projects that can save you headaches – and money – down the line.

  1. Keep up with general cleaning: Giving the entire house a light cleaning every couple of weeks goes a long way toward preventing unwanted build-up. Dust and grime accumulate gradually and can permanently impact the sheen of hardwood and the sparkle of bathroom fixtures. Clutter and smaller messes also often disguise spills, leaks, and stains. Over time, these can set and become more difficult to remove.
  2. Replace air filters: If your heating or air-conditioning system relies on vents or an intake with an air filter, make sure you know the proper replacement schedule. Extending an air filter past its useful life not only lowers your air quality, it also can force your air conditioner or furnace to work harder, leading to more frequent breakdowns.
  3. Clean the dishwasher: The appliance we rely on so heavily to clean up after us needs to be cleaned itself every now and then! Its ability to operate effectively decreases between cleanings, and the longer you wait, the more likely it is to malfunction. A number of moving parts in dishwashers can easily get stuck when they are covered in food or soap residue, which can result in a less-than-appetizing smell that might even transfer to your dishes. For optimal results, periodically remove the filter system from the floor of your dishwasher and clean it off. Then run the dishwasher with white vinegar to remove build-up, stains, and odors.
  4. Make sure drains are clear: A visit from the plumber is guaranteed to be expensive, so we recommend doing everything you can to limit build-up in your drains and toilets. Avoid putting coffee grounds or grease down your sink drains, purchase a drain cover to catch hair in the shower and use a slightly less-luxurious toilet paper to avoid clogs. At the first sign of a clog, use baking soda, dish soap, or store-bought drain cleaner on trouble spots.
  5. Have your carpets cleaned: Heavily-trafficked areas should be professionally cleaned at least once or twice per year, depending on where you live and how conscientious you are about removing your shoes at the door. This will revitalize your carpets, and can prolong their lifespan, too. And whenever a spill occurs, react quickly! Just one noticeable stain can ruin a beautiful carpet. If you’re stumped, search online for a solution – there are an endless number of step-by-step guides to address every conceivable spill.
  6. Check for leaks: Water damage can be one of the most significant (and expensive) repairs a homeowner can face – and it’s tough to spot before it’s too late. Proactively checking areas around bathtubs and sinks will help along with keeping an eye on walls and ceilings for discolorations as well. If a ceiling becomes discolored, investigate what could be causing the stain before giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Think back to when you purchased your home. You probably visited an open house where the fixtures sparkled, the floors gleamed, and the paint looked fresh. Following the checklist above can help you get that new-home feel again, while maintaining your home’s value as well.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.



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