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Winter 2019 Insurance News

10 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes & Avoid Costly Insurance Claims

Frozen water pipes and the damage they cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. And unfortunately, a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent pipes from freezing.

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Using Hands-Free Devices While Driving Not So Risky: Research

New research suggests that drivers who use hands-free electronic devices, as opposed to handheld ones, are not increasing their risk of getting into a crash.

According to the research from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), with hands-free technology, drivers can make calls and perform a variety of other tasks while still keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

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Protections and Limitations of Title Insurance — What You Need to Know

Most people have title insurance on their property but some may be unfamiliar with the concept, protections or limitations of title insurance. Title insurance is a form of insurance that protects a property owner from financial loss caused by defects in title to a property.

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What to Do If an Employee Displays Signs of Dementia

Faced with an aging American workforce, companies are increasingly navigating delicate conversations with employees grappling with cognitive declines, experts say.

Workers experiencing early stages of dementia may struggle with tasks they had completed without difficulty. Historically punctual employees may forget about scheduled meetings. And those who have traveled to the same office day after day, sometimes for years on end, may begin to lose their way during their morning commutes.

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New Airbnb Taxes Impose Added Costs on Homeowners

Interest in short-term rentals has increased over the past several years with the growth of home share platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway. As a result, state legislatures across the country have seen this as an opportunity to increase revenue by taxing these services. Surprisingly to many, some of the biggest proponents of this type of legislation are actually the home-sharing platforms themselves. In addition to publicly advocating for them, they’ve also put their lobbying might behind these proposals. The home-sharing platform providers see an opportunity to access another revenue stream because they can offer tax collection and remittance as an additional service and charge for it. There are a lot of interests involved.

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Travel Insurance Increases in Popularity for Tourists

Consumers are seeing the benefit of insuring their travels against the unexpected.

With the frigid temperatures covering much of the country, a trip to warm locale just might be in order. Travel, whether for business or pleasure, has grown in popularity and Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance division recently shared insights on the trends it observed in 2018.

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Pain Management Task Force Releases Best Practices for Fighting Chronic Pain

A ​draft report​ from the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, which acts in an advisory capacity for the federal government, contains new guidance for pain management in the United States in the age of the opioid epidemic.

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Court Rules Federal Age Bias Law Protects Only Current Employees, Not Applicants

A divided U.S. appeals court dealt a setback to older job applicants, saying they cannot invoke a federal law against age bias in employment to challenge hiring policies they believe have a discriminatory impact.

In an 8-4 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the “plain language” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which forbids discrimination against people 40 and older, showed that Congress intended that law to cover current employees, not outside job applicants.

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Most Medical Cannabis Users Have Operated Vehicles Under the Influence, Study Finds

More than half of people who take medical cannabis for chronic pain say they have driven under the influence of cannabis within two hours of using it at least once in the last six months, according to a new study.

One in five said they had driven while “very high” in the past six months, researchers from the University of Michigan Addiction Center reported in a new paper in the journal Drug & Alcohol Dependence.

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Are you Properly Covered Against Uninsured Motorists?

Did you know that if you’re involved in an accident – even if you weren’t at fault – you could actually pay more and have your premiums go up if the driver is uninsured? If you don’t have proper coverage, being hit by an insured driver can hit you – right in the wallet.
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What Do I Need to Do if I Buy a Car From Out-of-State When I Live in Massachusetts?

Sometimes, the car you really want is at a dealer or a private seller from out-of-state. Perhaps, it’s the best deal for the money, or you’re looking for something specific not available in Massachusetts. Here are the things to keep in mind when buying a car from out-of-state, specifically when it applies to those living in Massachusetts. Read more

Are Left-Hand Turns Really That Dangerous?

You may have been told in driving school that whenever possible to avoid left-hand turns. Based on accident studies over the years, it’s even suggested by some car safety experts to plan your driving routes to minimize or even eliminate left-hand turns. What makes left-hand turns so dangerous?

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The Truths About Buying Liability Auto Insurance

Will buying only the minimum liability auto insurance actually save me money? Read more

Good Credit Scores May Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums!

Did you know that your credit score can actually affect your auto insurance premiums? While prohibited in some states, more than 9 out of 10 auto insurers use your credit score in order to predict your likelihood of filing a claim. Because of this, a good credit score can actually positively affect what is called an “insurance score.”  According to a ValuePenguin study done in March of 2016, a driver with poor credit could pay almost double in auto insurance premiums than that a driver with an excellent credit.

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What Makes the Best Insurance Policy?

Hint: It’s not overall price.

Whether you’re looking to buy insurance for yourself or your business, or both, you shop around looking for the best deal. There are so many marketing campaigns out there to “help you” by saving money on important policies such as auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and various types of business insurance. But the lowest price does not equal the most valuable policy. Read more

Contractor Bond Speciliast Banas & Fickert

Why to Trust an Independent Insurance Agent Over Special Offers in the Mail

Have you or your business been receiving lots of correspondence from insurance carriers? Are these special offers they rave about actually good deals? Turn this annoyance into a learning opportunity and ask your agent about what a good deal on insurance actually is. Read more

Did You Know: Safety Ratings Affect Car Insurance Premiums

If you’re looking for a new vehicle and are looking at saving on your car insurance premiums, there’s one thing you need to know. Safety ratings have a direct effect on your car insurance premiums! Of course, this makes sense, as the safer a vehicle is, the more likely that the overall cost to the insurance company in case of an accident will be lower. This is especially true when it comes to personal injury claims. Read more

The Advantages of Choosing an Independent Auto Insurance Agent

A JD Power and Associates survey finds that independent auto insurance agents hold some advantages over getting direct quotes from insurance carriers. Even with the speed and convenience of getting a quick phone or online quote available today, you may be surprised how much more often independent agents actually convert sales when compared to consumer driven inquiries. Read more