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Massachusetts RMV Introduces Registration Drop-Off Centers Renaming B2B Centers and Broadening Services Braintree PIlot Starts Monday, August 3

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 31, 2020
Lallis and Higgins Insurance

Due to the current state of emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) continues exploring ways to reduce in-person customer visits in Service Centers throughout the Commonwealth.

The RMV is expanding drop-off services to include individuals, and renaming the B2B Centers to Registration Drop-Off Centers.This change is in recognition of the increased demand for trailer, motorcycle, and camper plates, and allows the RMV to more broadly serve all Massachusetts constituents in a timely manner.

On Monday, August 3, the RMV is piloting the new Registration Drop-Off Center service channel alternative in Braintree. This will be followed with the opening of an additional six Registration Drop-Off Centers throughout Massachusetts on August 10.

How Does An RMV Drop-Off Center Work?

The drop-off service centers are dedicated exclusively to registration and title transactions for both individual and commercial customers. Customers can drop off their completed Registration and Title Application (RTA), applicable supporting documents, and completed drop-off center form. Transactions will be processed and completed on a first-come, first-served basis, and all drop-off transactions will be completed within four business days. Payment must be done online, and customers will receive email with payment amount and instructions once paperwork is processed.

Drop-Off Process Details

  • Customers can visit any Registration Drop-Off Center during during business days between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., without making an appointment, to drop-off their transaction paperwork.
  • Prior to visiting one of the drop-off centers, customers must compile and complete all appropriate paperwork and any supporting documents, and fill out drop-off center form. (Note: form can be pre-filled online.) Customers must have a completed/stamped RTA from insurance company/agent. Customers must drop-off the required paperwork within 30 days of insurance becoming active. Drop-offs with an incomplete or inaccurate RTA will not be processed.
  • An RMV door advocate will review the customer’s paperwork to ensure it’s correctly completed. Customers will not be allowed to wait, but will be contacted by email within four days after drop off with payment amount and instructions. Payment must be done online via the RMV's email-initiated payment process.
  • Once payment is successfully processed, paperwork will be ready to be picked up at drop-off center within one hour.

What Transactions are Eligible for Processing at Drop-Off Centers?

The following transactions, for both individual and commercial customers, can be dropped off:

  • Register and title a vehicle
  • Transfer plate to a new vehicle
  • Reinstate a registration
  • Apply for a registration only
  • Transfer a plate between two vehicles
  • Register previously titled vehicle
  • Transfer vehicle to surviving spouse
  • Registration Amendments
  • Plate Cancellations
  • Individual registration renewals must be done either online, by mail, or via automated telephone, and are not eligible for drop-off service.

Where are the New Drop-Off Centers?

Dedicated drop-off centers are at the following locations. Note that the Braintree pilot starts this coming Monday, August 3; all other locations will open on Monday, August 10.

  • Braintree
  • Chicopee
  • Haymarket (Boston)
  • Haverhill
  • Milford
  • Taunton*
  • Wilmington

* On Monday, August 10, the Taunton Registration Drop-Off Center will replace the current Attleboro B2B Center. Commercial customers can continue to drop off transactions in Attleboro until Friday, August 7.

Can Customers Wait in Service Center?

No. Customers dropping-off or picking-up their paperwork will be served in the order of arrival and should anticipate a wait time for the intake and pick-up process, but will not be allowed to wait for their transaction to be completed.

Drop-off transactions for both individual and commercial customers will be completed within four days of receipt, and customers will be notified upon completion of the payment amount and pick-up time.

Do I Have to Use Drop-Off Center for Registration Transactions?

No. Customers are able to make reservations for in-person RMV Service Center visits for certain registration and title transactions through the Online Service Center.

How Much Should I Tip the Movers?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Lallis & Higgins Insurance

A common conundrum in the US service industry is gratuities – how much should we tip those who assist us? When you dine out or get a haircut, it is customary to tip, but what should you offer those who move your home?

Should I Tip My Movers? And, How Much?

Since the average American doesn’t move very often (average is five to seven years), it’s easy to forget to leave a gratuity with your movers. It’s easier to remember and know how much to tip services we use more frequently – like dining out and personal grooming. So what to do?

Of course, every moving company will say to customers who ask that "gratuities are never required but are always appreciated." Some customers who might not have the means to give cash tips often provide the movers with water, sports drinks, snacks or lunch as a small gesture of thanks.

For those looking to leave a tip with their movers, the industry recommendation is:

  • between $3 and $7 per mover, per hour on the job, with a $5 tip per hour being the average.
  • you can also tip 5-10% of your total bill, which often works out the same as the $5/hour principle.
  • You may feel compelled to adjust these amounts depending on how many flights of stairs are in your home, the weather conditions on your moving day, completing the move at an exceptional speed or the volume of items you must move.

At the end of the day, the discretion is completely up to the customer.


Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 20, 2020
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Renters Insurance

What is renters insurance and is it a worthwhile expense for college students?

What Is Renters Insurance

If you live in a rented apartment, condo, or house, your landlord’s insurance never covers your personal belongings. That means if something valuable is stolen or a fire destroys everything you own, it’s your responsibility, not your landlord’s.

Since the cost to replace your personal property could be much more than you can afford, having a renters policy is a smart way to protect your finances.

A renters insurance policy typically gives you 3 types of coverage:

  1. Personal Property protects the value of your belongings from a covered event, such as damage from a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism.
  2. Liability protects you against a claim or lawsuit if a visitor gets injured on the property.
  3. Additional Living Expenses pays for temporary housing and meals if you can’t live in your rental while damage for a covered event is repaired.

Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Whether college students need the protections of renters insurance depends on where they live. A student who lives at home or in on-campus housing is covered under his or her parent’s renters or homeowners insurance.

Both renters and home policies usually have a cap on the amount of off-premises coverage. For instance, claims that a student makes on-campus could be limited to 10% of the parent’s coverage limit. In other words, if parents have $100,000 of coverage on their home, the student would be covered up to $10,000, after paying the deductible.

However, college students renting an off-campus apartment, condo, or house should have their own renters insurance policy. They aren’t eligible to get coverage from mom and dad’s renters or homeowners policy.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that students are too poor to have belongings to protect. Most students living off-campus have thousands of dollars worth of personal items, such as electronics, computers, furniture, bicycles, clothing, and textbooks that make buying renters insurance worthwhile.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

You might be surprised to learn that the average cost of a renters policy is only $184 per year. That’s a really inexpensive financial safety net that no renter should be without.

If a student is renting off-campus with one or more roommates, they may be able to purchase a policy together and split the cost. However, if you’re unsure about how long your living arrangement will last, it is recommended that you go ahead and buy your own policy.

Having renters insurance means that you’ll be in good shape if a roommate leaves the toaster oven on and causes a fire or there's a bad roof leak. You’ll have reimbursed living expenses to help pay for temporary housing and food if you have to move out due to an unexpected event. You won’t have to live without your favorite electronics or clothes for very long and can stay focused on your schoolwork.

More questions on renters insurance? Lallis & Higgins Insurance has answers!

RV Insurance: Answers to Some Common Questions

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 13, 2020
Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MA

Campgrounds across New England are finally open! Maybe you didn't think you were going to use your RV this summer. Now you can, and it is time to get RV insurance.

It doesn’t matter if you use your RV recreationally or as a full-time residence—the best RV insurance protects your unique needs. Lallis & Higgins Insurance will help you build a custom policy that protects you and your motorhome in almost any situation.

Whether you’re driving your RV or towing it, we’ll insure it

From state-of-the art class A motorhomes to pop-up campers, we take pride in insuring all types of RVs—including travel and utility trailers. Check out the common types of RVs we insure:

  • Class A motorhomes - The largest type of motorhome ranging from 21-40 feet in length.
  • Class B motorhomes - The smallest type of motorhome, comonly known as camper vans.
  • Class C motorhomes - Mid-sized RVs ranging from 20-33 feet in length, also known as mini-motorhomes.
  • Cargo & horse trailers - Large, enclosed trailers used for transporting horses, vehicles and more.

Common questions about RV insurance

How much does RV insurance cost?

Annual policies remain affordable, but your price for motorhome and travel trailer insurance depends on many factors, most notably:

  • Type, age, and condition: RV insurance is primarily based on the make and model of your vehicle. An older, smaller travel trailer will likely cost less to insure than a new, luxurious motorhome. Just like your rate will be costlier for a state-of-the-art conventional travel trailer compared to a pop-up camper.
  • Use: How often you use your RV will impact your cost to insure it. If your RV is your primary residence, your coverages and premium will differ from someone using their motorhome or travel trailer for only a few weekends per year. Learn more about full-time RV insurance.
  • Driving history: A clean driving record can help when it comes to RV insurance, too. Tickets on your motor vehicle report or prior accidents could affect your premium.

Do you have to have insurance on a travel trailer?

If you’re financing your travel trailer, your lender may require comprehensive and collision coverage to insure the vehicle against physical damage. Since you don’t drive your travel trailer, no states require you to insure a vehicle that you pull with a car or truck.

Does Roof Protection coverage apply to the interior of your RV?

Yes. The coverage includes protection against damage to any part of the vehicle caused directly by a roof malfunction.

Do you insure destination trailers and horse trailers?

Yes to both. We cover destination trailers like standard travel trailers. Horse trailers can be covered up to $50,000.

More questions about RV insurance? Lallis & Higgins Insurance has answers!

Classic Car Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions About Qualifying

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Classic Car Insurance

Generally, to get insurance for classic, collector, vintage, and antique cars or trucks, your vehicle needs to be parked in a garage, used as an extra car and not your daily vehicle, and kept in good working condition. If your car doesn’t qualify for classic auto insurance, a standard auto insurance policy may be a better option for you.

How old does my car have to be before it’s considered a classic?

The age range of a classic car is often between 25–50 years old. However, there is no definitive age that makes a car a classic. Different states have different requirements for defining a vehicle as a classic, which may factor in age, weight, usage, or manufacturing.

Where do I have to store my classic car?

In order to qualify for classic car insurance, you must have adequate storage available. An enclosed structure such as a private garage or storage unit is preferred, but carports, driveways, and other storage areas may also be acceptable.

How often can I use my classic car?

Your classic car cannot be your everyday car. It should be for occasional use only. Taking your car out for pleasure driving, exhibitions, tours, and similar trips is acceptable.

Does my driving record impact my classic car insurance?

Yes. In many states, you may not qualify for classic auto insurance if you’ve had excessive speeding violations, reckless driving, and other serious infractions in the last three years.

Do I have to have another car insured with the same insurance carrier?

No, but you will need to maintain an insurance policy on your regular-use vehicle in addition to your classic car insurance policy.

What makes a car a classic?

The exact definition may vary among classic car insurance companies, but Hagerty defines them as "fun-to-drive" vehicles that maintain or appreciate in value and are used primarily for pleasure. A few examples:

  • 1965 Ford Mustang
  • 1975 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 1980 Chevrolet Corvette

If your car is not a classic, you can still be insured. But, you'll need a standard auto policy instead.

How does classic or collector car insurance differ from regular auto insurance? h3

One of the key differences between classic and regular car insurance is that a regular policy may cover you only for the actual cash value of your classic car.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


What is Unoccupied and Vacant Home Insurance?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Vacant & Unoccupied Home Insurance Coverage

Unoccupied and vacant home insurance are specialty insurance products that are designed to provide financial protection from damage or loss of a home that is uninhabited. As vacation rentals remain empty for periods of time this summer, this may be the time to consider vacant home insurance.

Typical homeowners insurance policies won’t cover fire, vandalism, liability or other types of claims on an unoccupied or vacant property. If your summer income property remains vacant for a few months and there is a fire, unoccupied and vacant home insurance would provide coverage where your standard homeowners policy wouldn’t. This type of insurance product can be purchased as a separate policy or as an endorsement. If it’s purchased as a separate policy, you’ll no longer need to pay for a standard homeowners policy. However, if it’s purchased as an endorsement, it serves as an add-on to your existing homeowners policy.

Unoccupied and vacant homes present a greater insurance risk than occupied homes for many reasons, including slower emergency response times and the increased probability of a break-in occuring. For instance, assuming there were fires on the premises of two homes—an occupied home and a vacant home—the fire taking place at the former would, in theory, result in lesser damage since it would likely be reported first by its inhabitants and would be put out more quickly.

The increased insurance risk associated with unoccupied and vacant homes has resulted in insurance companies’ excluding these properties in standard property insurance policies. As a result, homeowners who want coverage for an empty or uninhabited home need to purchase unoccupied or vacant home insurance.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


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