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Insurance Terms Made Easy!

- Monday, June 28, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MA

Our customers need to know what we're talking about when we're talking about it! Insurance has its own terms which can be tough to understand sometimes. This beginner's guide to insurance terminology will teach you the must-haves to put in your dictionary, so celebrate along with us and make some sense of these words!

For the precise definitions, please refer to your insurance policy.


A demand by a person or business seeking to recover from an insurer for a loss that may be covered by an insurance policy.


The specific protection provided by a policy against the results of the hazards insured against.


A certain dollar amount beyond which insurance protection begins. The insured assumes the loss up to the deductible limit and the insurer pays the remainder, up to the policy limit.


The section of the policy contract that specifies the losses not protected by the policy. Many of Foremost's policies provide Comprehensive coverage – that means that any cause of loss that's direct, sudden and accidental is covered, unless it is specifically excluded in the policy. This is broader coverage than a Named Peril contract, which provides coverage only for the causes of loss (perils) that are listed (named) in the policy.


The specific event causing a loss, such as fire, windstorm or accidental death.


The written contract effecting insurance, or the certificate thereof, by whatever name called, and including all clauses, riders, endorsements, and papers attached thereto and made a part thereof.


A periodic payment by the insured to the insurance company in exchange for insurance coverage. Foremost offers a wide variety of discounts that can lower your premium, and we offer payment plans that can help you manage your premium payments in a way that works with your budget.

Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing or repairing property using new materials of like kind and quality without deduction for depreciation.


The hazard or chance of loss on any particular item of insurance. The term "risk" usually is used in a general way to designate the entire subject matter of insurance covered under a policy or upon which an application for insurance has been received. Risk is also sometimes used to designate a policyholder.


The rate at which an insurance company indicates its willingness to assume certain liabilities or provide coverage under an insurance policy. A quote is an approximation of the premium for a given policy.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Cool in the Summer!

- Monday, June 21, 2021
lallis & Higgins Insurance - Keeping Home Cool This Summer

We always look forward to the warm weather that summer brings, but when we are dreaming of sunny days, we can often forget how difficult it can be to adapt to the heat. Rising temperatures can make even those with the sunniest dispositions rather grumpy. During times when you're sweating and baking in stifling heat, you want your house to be a cool, comfortable oasis, not a sweltering prison.

In these situations, your air conditioner can save the day. So here are several tips to make sure your air conditioning unit is working efficiently and effectively:

  • Be sure your air conditioner is properly sized for your home.
  • Avoid air conditioning unused rooms.
  • Ensure that your air ducts are properly sealed and insulated.
  • Provide shade for the outside half of your air conditioner.
  • Clean your air conditioner's air filter at least once a month to increase the air flow.

A well-functioning air conditioner is great for surviving the summer heat. But constantly keeping one running uses a lot of energy and raises monthly electric bills. To cut down on energy usage, it's a good idea to have a few alternatives for beating the heat. Here are 10 ideas for staying cool in your home during the summer without air conditioning:

  1. Cook your meals outside on a grill instead of preparing food with an indoor stove or oven.
  2. Open the windows and let the cooler nighttime air in before you go to bed.
  3. Turn on bathroom fans after you take a shower and turn on the exhaust fan in your kitchen after you cook. This will blow away the hot air that is created by both activities.
  4. Unplug your electronics when they are not in use. Even if they are turned off, your gadgets will produce heat when they are plugged in.
  5. Make sure your house is properly insulated. A well-done insulation project will keep your home cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter.
  6. Plant trees around your home to create shade.
  7. Refrain from using appliances like dishwashers until cooler parts of the day.
  8. Sleep with cotton bed sheets instead of satin, silk or polyester. Cotton is lightweight and will allow for much more airflow.
  9. Be creative and experiment with fans. Try facing box fans out the windows so they push away hot air, or make a DIY air conditioner by placing a pan or bowl of ice in front of a fan.
  10. Turn off the lights as often as you can. Light bulbs give off heat, so try to use them minimally and take advantage of summer's longer daylight hours.

These ideas may be exactly what you need to keep your home cool in the summer. Making sure you and your family are comfortable at home is the first step to making the most of this wild and wonderful season!

Pool Safety Tips!

- Monday, June 14, 2021

Make sure you and everyone else in and around the pool are safe with these tips!

Hurricane Season has Begun, Be Prepared

- Monday, June 07, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Hurricane Season

Know your Hurricane Risk

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water, even tornadoes could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. Start preparing now.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. In your hurricane plans include the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent. Ensure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane if you live in an evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household pets, and identify where you will stay.

Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)- which requires no-sign up.

Those with Disabilities

If you or anyone in your household is an individual with a disability identify if you may need additional help during an emergency.

Review Important Documents

Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password protected digital space.

Strengthen your Home

De-clutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready

Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

Help your Neighborhood

Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, masks, pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks. Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips. This helps to protect those who are unable to procure essentials beforehand and must shop more frequently. Only take the items you and your family may need so that others who rely on these products can also access them.

8 Signs You've Found the Right Auto Shop

- Tuesday, June 01, 2021
Lallis and Higgins Insurance - Finding The Right Auto Shop

“If you’ve got people saying, ‘I’ve used this guy for 20, 30 years and he’s always been good,’ you don’t want to ignore that,” says Heath Knox, a veteran of an AAMCO transmission shop and a Chevrolet dealership who now helps maintain a fleet of trucks for a company that deices airplanes at Pittsburgh’s airport. Here are some more things to look for when hiring someone to maintain or repair your vehicle.

1. The shop has the right certifications.

Look for blue-and-white ASE emblems; this indicates that the technicians have passed tests and been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. “With technology changing at such a rapid pace, experience can't offset a lack of training,” says Dave Cappert, veteran auto technician and now campus administrator for ASE.

2. The shop has a good reputation.

Cappert says it's a good idea to establish a relationship with a dealership or repair shop for routine matters, like oil changes and inspections, so that when you have an emergency or urgent job, you're already comfortable with the shop.

3. The shop has a clean rap sheet.

The Better Business Bureau ( can show you how long the shop or dealership has been in business, how many complaints have been resolved lately and its BBB rating. Be wary, though, of online user ratings. Says Cappert: “You've got to watch the outliers. You might have 100 people reviewing a brick, and 99 say that it's sturdy, red and useful. But one guy says, ‘Worst brick I ever had.’ “

4. The shop shows pride in its appearance.

You can overlook some messiness; it's not a restaurant. But beware of constant untidiness. “Overall sloppiness throughout the shop and the place of business might reflect a lack of attention to detail,” Cappert says.

5. The shop's technicians communicate well.

Be sure that they can tell you what's wrong, how it will be fixed and what it will probably cost — in language that you understand. “A good mechanic can lay out for you what work is immediate and necessary, and what can be held off until you have more money,” says John Ibbotson, Consumer Reports’ chief mechanic. “If you stay loyal, they're bound to treat you right, which can be advantageous when it comes to those really expensive jobs."

6. The shop has a clear warranty policy.

Rather than relying on personalities and relationships, focus on the written warranty that the shop offers on repairs, as well as its track record on making good on its legal commitment, Cappert says. “A shop with a strong, clear warranty policy adds confidence that they will do it right the first time. And should things go wrong, which can happen, the customer knows that it will be made right,” says Jeff Bartlett, deputy auto editor for Consumer Reports magazine.

7. The shop looks out for you.

Be sure it gets automakers’ technical service bulletins. A TSB provides an automaker's approved way of fixing a growing or common problem — such as rough shifting or a leaking transmission — that doesn't qualify for a recall. Work that's related to a TSB while your car's still under warranty should be free, so be sure to ask.

8. The shop fits into your life.

Don't overlook convenience. Is the shop nearby? Will it give you a ride home after you drop off your car? Pick you up when it's ready? Is there a comfortable and — in this pandemic period — sanitized place (preferably with a Wi-Fi internet connection), should you want to wait while the work's being done? Is there a secure place to leave your keys if you want to drop off the car the night before instead of early in the morning? These are all legitimate criteria and appropriate to ask about.

Understanding the paperwork

Typically, three documents are involved in a car repair. Here's how to understand each and to make sure you are being dealt with fairly.

  • Drop-off sheet: Typically, this includes your request for specific work or details the “symptoms” you want investigated. Your comments should be specific: What work is the shop immediately authorized to do? Usually, it would be limited to routine maintenance or diagnostics. The form should tell you under what circumstances the shop can do additional work, or charge more, without giving you a written estimate although sometimes a simple phone call and your consent is considered sufficient to proceed with further work.
  • Estimate: If the initial work was simply to diagnose a problem, or if the shop discovers something serious while doing routine work, it should provide a detailed estimate of the work it recommends and the cost. Only upon your approval can the mechanic proceed. Ask the shop to explain things in plain language if you don't understand it. The estimate should include both a projection of the parts that will be needed and their cost and the hours required to do the job. If you've done your due diligence, you'll know what the labor rate is — probably $100 an hour or more though that can vary widely from shop to shop. Parts are often more involved than you think. For example, replacing a water pump also might require a wide range of clamps and hoses.
  • The bill: It shouldn't vary much from the estimate unless you authorized more repairs or expenses. Make sure it is detailed; it should list all the parts that actually were used and their costs, as well as a detailed accounting of the time spent on the job. You might see a “shop fee,” or a line for “supplies,” which usually is explained as a charge for the rags, grease, solvents and safe disposal of any environmental hazards. Sometimes a small shop will itemize those charges, but big shops might just charge a percentage of the bill as a shop fee, or perhaps $40. Either way, you pay for the things the shop uses to do the work.


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