Lallis and Higgins Blog

Rental Car Insurance

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MADo you need rental car insurance?

You’ve probably been at the rental-car counter, listening to the representative ask if you want to purchase the company’s insurance. And the thoughts start racing through your head. “Is this a rip-off? Doesn’t my regular auto policy cover me? What about my credit card? Why didn’t I figure this out before I left on my trip?”

At Lallis and Higgins Insurance, we are here to help. And while not every situation is the same, we’ve got some general tips that will help you make an informed decision the next time you’re standing at that counter.

1. Know your personal auto policy.

Because insurance policies vary, it’s a good idea to give us a call — before you rent a car — to make sure you have the coverage you need. In many instances, your personal auto policy will provide coverage for a rental car — but that coverage may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you’re renting. Of course, if you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company.

And keep in mind that in the event of an accident, many rental companies will charge fees beyond repair costs. They may assess a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees.

2. Also know your homeowners or renters policy.

If you’re traveling with expensive electronics or other valuable items, you probably want to consider what coverage you’ll have in the event they are stolen. Your personal auto policy and/or credit card coverage likely won’t provide protection for this scenario.

3. Check your credit card protection.

Most credit cards will also provide some coverage, but often payment is limited to reimbursement of your personal auto policy deductible (after that policy pays for repairs). Generally, loss-of-use and other fees are not covered, but it’s important to check with your credit-card provider to determine their policies. And while some cards may offer additional protection for a fee, usually coverage is limited to damage to the car, not liability for any injuries to others. Remember, to receive any sort of benefit from your card, you must use that card to pay for your entire car rental.

4. Consider any unique circumstances.

Are you renting a car in a foreign country, or for more than a week? You’ll definitely want to get confirmation of coverage from both your insurance carrier and credit card company because different rules might apply. Also, no matter where you are, vehicles such as trucks, RVs or exotic sports cars often aren’t covered under standard agreements. And if you’re using a car for business purposes, your personal coverage might not apply. Finally, if multiple people will be driving the car during your trip, make sure your coverages will apply to them.

5. Learn about the insurance offered by the rental car company.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, rental companies offer four main types of coverage.

A Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) relieves you of responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. This may also provide coverage for loss of use. Liability Protection provides protection from lawsuits if you are sued after an accident.

Personal Accident Insurance covers you and passengers for medical bills after an accident. You may not need this if you have adequate health and auto coverage.

Personal Effects Coverage protects you if items are stolen from your car. You generally are covered for this under your homeowners or renters policy, but keep in mind that the loss must exceed your deductible for you to receive payment. If you have a high deductible, it may make sense to purchase this coverage from the rental company.

When you go on vacation, you don’t want to stress out about insurance. So give us a call before you leave. Then, when you head over to the rental-car counter, you can stop worrying about your coverage — and start enjoying your trip!

For more information, contact Lallis and Higgins Insurance.


Does a Trampoline Need to Be Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 17, 2017

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MATrue or False: Your homeowners insurance can increase if you have a trampoline on your property.

True or False: You are responsible when someone trespasses on your property, plays on your trampoline or gets injured.

True or False: Your insurance company can cancel your homeowner’s policy because you have a trampoline on your property.

Unfortunately, all the above are true. Despite the fun and health benefits that a trampoline can bring, insurance companies do not share the same sentiments.

Due to the number of injuries sustained from trampoline accidents, trampolines are an “attractive nuisance” for insurance companies.

If you don’t already own a trampoline, it is important to check your homeowner’s policy for any clause that refers to attractive nuisances like trampolines and pools. Your agent can also advise you on the insurance company’s policies if you choose to add a trampoline to your property.

If you already own a trampoline, you can ignore reporting it to your agent. But, injuries can occur and liability can result. Additionally, if they visit for a different purpose (assessment of property or damage to the home from a storm, for example), they can’t miss the large equipment on the lawn.

You can contact your insurance agent to talk to about a variety of options:

1. The insurance company may offer coverage if you add safety features to the equipment. A trampoline safety netting that encloses the jumper may be sufficient, as it prevents jumpers from falling off the trampoline. The addition of a fence with a locked gate may also work, as it protects homeowners from uninvited guests.

2. Your insurance company may require an exclusion to your policy regarding injuries from a trampoline accident. This means that your premium may not go up, but all medical costs related to the trampoline may come out of your pocket.

3. Your premium may go up as a result of adding a trampoline.

4. Your insurance company may cancel your policy due to a no-tolerance policy.

While there are a number of insurance companies to choose from, coverage varies by company and state.

This means that your sister in one part of the country may have a policy that requires a mandatory trampoline exclusion. But your brother, who’s with a different company and resides in another state, may have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to trampolines.

Rental Insurance for Trampolines

Renter’s insurance may cover injuries sustained by a trampoline. If someone who doesn’t live on the rental property gets hurt, the landlord may be sued because it is their property, however. The landlord’s insurance policy may also be cancelled because of their tenant’s trampoline.

When in doubt, double-check your lease to see if your landlord permits trampolines on the premises or if they have a clause in their insurance policy for trampolines.

A trip to the emergency room can cost more than an increase in premium. Unfortunately, the neurological damage from some falls can be permanent. As such, it is vital to reduce risks by providing the right amount of adult supervision and safety. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines for the number of users and weight requirements is another important precautionary measure.

Knowing the homeowner’s policy and the insurance company’s coverage regarding trampolines will prepare you in case a trampoline-related accident occurs in your backyard.

For more information on carriers who insure trampolines, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

thetrampolinemom.com


Things To Do This Summer

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lallis & Higgins, Quincy, Weymouth, MASummer is in full swing, so that means one thing… What do we do now? Good thing you have Lallis & Higgins Insurance to guide you through the rest of this summer. Here are a few of our favorite summer must dos.

Enjoy an outdoor movie for free

  • Summer in the City at the Boston Harbor Hotel is held Friday evenings, and runs through September 8th
  • Hingham Shipyard holds free movies every Thursday through August 25th
  • Outdoor Movie Night is held at Union Point in Weymouth on Friday July 21st and August 11th

See a free concert

  • Enjoy live music at Sunday evenings through August 6th in Abington. Click here for more information.
  • Live music is held every Tuesday through August 8th at Sunset Lake in Braintree
  • Tuesday through Thursday you can find live music at the Boston Harbor Hotel through September 8th
  • Enjoy music by the Plymouth Water front ever Wednesday through August 30th. Click here for more information.

Visit a Splash Pad

  • The Petersen Splash Pad at Watson Park in Braintree is open from 10am to 6pm during the summer.
  • Randolph’s Imagination Station is located on Pleasant Street near the Williams Gazebo and Randolph Recreation.
  • Nelson Memorial Park in Plymouth is located on Nelson St, and is open until 9pm through the Summer.

Spend the day at sea by riding the Hingham to Boston Ferry, or visit one of our many islands for the day

Click here to visit their website to help you plan your next adventure:

Marshfield Fair kicks off August 18th and ends on the 27th.

This Fair offers entertainment and rides for all ages. You don’t want to miss out on their demolition derby! See their website for hours and event times.

We hope you enjoy making new memories with your friend and family this summer, and be sure to say hello when you see one of us from Lallis & Higgins Insurance around town.


Renters Insurance, Things You Need to Know

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 10, 2017

Lallis and Higgins, Weymouth, MAIf you live in an apartment you may be considering purchasing renter’s insurance. If so, here are some facts worth knowing if you're still wondering about buying a renters insurance policy:

1. The landlord's policy will not cover your personal belongings

Contrary to popular belief, policies carried by landlords typically cover structural damage to the building and not your personal property, so don't expect to have your sofa or cloths replaced if the living room catches fire.

Your renters policy will also cover theft of your belongings, whether they're stolen from your apartment or from anywhere else; including your car. And will pay for another place to rent if your home is not habitable for an extended period of time.

2. Your coverage likely extends beyond your personal possessions

Your renters policy likely will cover your legal costs if someone sues after having an accident at your place, and it will cover a certain amount of their medical bills.

It also will cover costs if you are responsible for damage to other people's property. A common example offered is when you (or your child) throw a baseball that breaks someone's window. Or perhaps you allowed the bathtub to overflow, causing damage in the apartment below.

3. Renters insurance isn't as expensive as you may think

Thinking the cost of coverage outweighs the benefits? Think again. While the price will vary depending on where you live, the averages we've seen range a $10 to $20 a month, much less than you'd spend to replace your belongings.

4. Furry friends may hike up the premium

For all you pet lovers out there, especially those who own "aggressive breeds," don't be surprised if you're quoted a higher premium or denied coverage, depending on the dog.

5. Luxury items may not qualify for standard coverage

Insurance providers often place limits on the replacement cost of luxury items such as jewelry, an art collection and other high-end items you may own. You can ask to schedule these items to be sure they are insured to their full value.

How to evaluate policies

When selecting coverage for your possessions, you'll be choosing from two options: Replacement Cost, or Actual Cash Value. Actual Cash Value is how much your property is worth after depreciation and is the least amount of money of the two types of policies. Replacement cost will give you money to replace the same like/kind item brand new. i.e if you bought a 50’ Samsung TV your insurance would give you money to buy the same like or kind new 50” Samsung TV.

Once you determine which form of coverage best suits your needs, here are some other important considerations:

  • Do added safety features, including fire extinguishers, alarm systems and deadbolt locks, reduce the premium?
  • Are bundle discounts available to those who carry multiple policies with the company?

Bottom line: If you skip renters insurance to save money, it could backfire and cost you more in the long run. For more information or a quote, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

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