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Holiday Party 2011!

 

MassDrive Holiday Party

Last night was the MassDrive and NGI Holiday Party! We had a blast! Everyone in our Boston office got together for an event that truly sampled some of Boston’s best: a dinner in the North End at Lucca, a comedy show at Improv Asylum, and a couple of songs on the juke box post show at The Point. It was definitely night of fun, laughs and lots of delicious food.

It was so great to spend time with one another outside the office and to get to know our friends at NGI better. Dinner was such a treat – Lucca truly is one of the best restaurants in the North End, and the festive decor added to the celebratory feel. Bill and Jean-Marie led a toast and reminded us of how far we’ve come since last year, and how excited we all are for the new year.

After a tasty dessert, we hurried off to Improv Asylum practically next store for a hilarious show. My face hurt from laughing and smiling the whole time. The best part of the show by far was when our very own Cam got up on stage to participate in a particularly humorous segment. He was a star! And a great sport for letting us force him up there. A born performer! The show was excellent and everyone had a great time.

Thank you to Bill, John, Jean-Marie and Bonnie for putting together such a special and fun night for all of us. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Montage

 

Commerce Insurance Provides Vehicle Donations & Educational Development

Commerce Insurance, a MassDrive insurance carrier, is at it again. The insurance carrier has always been committed to teaching new drivers safe driving techniques and is now providing vocational technical students an opportunity to improve their auto repair skills. As a participant in their Division of C.A.R.E.S. in the Community, Commerce is donating two vehicles to be repaired by the Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, Massachusetts.

The two cars donated to the program, a 2010 Toyota Camry and 2010 Toyota Corolla, are to be repaired by students at Bay Path in cooperation with the Long Subaru in Webster. Once repaired the vehicles will be raffled and proceeds from the raffle distributed to four local schools. The local schools will not only reap the financial benefits of the raffle but the students are to take part in the marketing and selling of the raffle encouraging further development of student’s buisness skills.

Commerce Insurance, one of MassDrive’s many carriers, is committed to its Massachusetts residents in working to improve safety and enrich communities with participation in programs such as C.A.R.E.S.

For a free insurance quote comparison call your MassDrive representative today.

New iZUP Application Prevents Distracted Driving

A new technology has arrived to increase driving safety by restricting cell phone use behind the wheel. The clever iZUP (i.e. “eyes up”) application, developed by Illume Software, was created to help eliminate distracted driving. Recent legislation banning texting and driving holds the potential for strict fines and possible license suspensions if caught. Applications restricting phone use behind the wheel may be answer for parents and employers and necessary step for the texting-addicts.

iZUP technology includes the following features to aid in reducing distracted driving:

  • Preventing outgoing text messages, e-mails and phone calls while driving
  • sending incoming calls to voicemail and holding text messages when the vehicle is in motion
  • Prohibiting web browsing and application use while driving
  • Providing password-protected passenger override
  • Allowing three authorized phone numbers (i.e. home, employer, etcetera)
  • Allowing one authorized application (i.e. navigation/ gps)
  • Making emergency 911 quick dial available at all times
  • Automatically unblocking all calls after a 911 call
  • Tamper alert send to an account holder when the user (child or possibly employee) attempts to disable iZUP
  • Sending notification of 911 call to account holder with a map shoving call location and time

More information about iZUP can be found on the provider’s website: www.getizup.com.

RECEIVE AN iZUP DISCOUNT:

MassDrive is proud to announce drivers with a Plymouth Rock policy have the opportunity to receive a 25% discount on iZUP! This discount is just another of the many benefit of the Savings Pass program, a free perk of holding a policy with Plymouth Rock. MassDrive carriers offer unique discounts on insurance and additional products, such as the iZUP application. For a free qutoe contact your friendly MassDrive agent today!

New Legislation Affects Massachusetts Homeowners

Beginning July 1st 2010 Chapter 453 of the Acts of 2008 will become effective… if you understood what that meant you deserve a large pat on the back. For the rest of us, Chapter 453 is a piece of legislation not yet well known however will soon affect homeowners across Massachusetts in two ways.

First, homeowners must now make sure their oil tank, whether it is above or below ground, meets the new code requirements of Chapter 453. They should also be aware there is no grandfathering in for this law. Secondly if the old oil system does conform to the new requirements the insurance company must make coverage for loss due to an oil spill available to them.

The Chapter 453 of the Acts of 2008 states:

An owner of a residential property utilizing a heating oil tank for consumptive use on the premises with 1 or more fuel supply lines or return lines in direct contact with concrete, earth or other floor surfaces shall:

1. enclose any fuel supply line with a continuous non-metallic sleeve

2. Cause an oil safety valve to be installed at the tank end of any fuel supply line in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; or

3. employ any other release prevention method approved by the board

A residential property defined for implementation of this law is a one to four unit dwelling used for living or sleeping.

Those who are exempt from the new law:

  • When the oil burner is located above the oil storage tank and the entire oil supply line is connected to and above the top of the tank OR
  • an oil safety valve or oil supply line with protective sleeve was installed on or after January 1, 1990 AND
  • those changes are in compliance with the oil burning equipment regulations; a copy of the oil burner permit from the local fire department may be used to demonstrate compliance.

If you find your oil system is not up to par, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has written an article, Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law, to help guide and educate those in need of an upgrade. Here is a helpful excerpt:

The typical cost of installing either an oil safety valve or oil supply line with a protective sleeve ranges from $150 – $350 (including labor, parts, and local permit fees). For those households that meet certain income criteria, financial assistance of up to $300 is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). For more information on financial assistance, see the Department of Housing and Community Development Web site at http://mass.gov/dhcd or call them at 1-800-632-8175.

After ensuring your oil safety system meets state regulations it’s time to take a look over your current homeowners insurance policy and determine whether or not you are covered for an oil leak or spill. If it does not, now is a good time to amend your policy to include this coverage. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has estimated the cleanup cost for a simple leak to cost as much as $15,000 and in cases where the leak impacts the groundwater or requires a more extensive cleanup costs could reach $250,000 or more. If you’re not sure whether or not your homeowners policy covers an oil leak, call your insurance agent and ask if he or she can explain what coverage you would have in case of an oil spill or leak.

If you’re unsatisfied with your current homeowners insurance policy or looking for a new one, give MassDrive a call. We would be happy to look into oil spill coverages for you and will quote you through different carriers, helping you to find the best price and save time. For a free quote call: 866-963-8231 or visit our MassDrive website at: www.MassDrive.com.

Plymouth Rock Customers Receive MORE Benefits!

Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation announced last week it has made an agreement made with some of the nation’s top auto service providers and part retailers to provide Plymouth Rock policy holders with additional Savings Pass Program benefits. Plymouth Rock has partnered with Sears Auto Center, Meineke Car Care Centers and Maaco to name a few, offering discounts saving up to 15% on auto-related products and services when customers use their Savings Pass.

Meineke Car Car Centers and Maaco will offer a number of discounts on auto parts and repairs at to those within the Plymouth Rock Savings Pass Program. Meineke will offer Plymouth Rock customers 5% off new tires and batteries – instillation included – and a 10% discount on all other products and services. It has also been announced Maaco will be offering 10% off their services and products. Sears Auto Center will provide Plymouth Rock customers a 5% discount on regular priced products and a $7.00 discount on oil changes. According to the carrier’s website, the Plymouth Rock Savings Pass offers additional discounts at: Auto Anything, Hertz, Enterprise, Sullivan Tires, Auto Sound, In Control, Driven – Advanced Driving School, Jiffy Lube, and more auto service and parts providers.

The Savings Pass is free and given with all Massachusetts Plymouth Rock insurance policies. In addition to the free Savings Pass Plymouth Rock offers a number of services in the MYLES – Make Your Life Easier Services including:

  • Online payment options, electronic billing and e-mail document delivery
  • Easy and convenient Internet-based claim viewing, a new feature that allows Plymouth Rock customers and their agents to view the progress of an auto claim online
  • Email reminders for inspection sticker, license and registration renewals for every car and driver on a customer’s policy

MassDrive is a proud broker of Plymouth Rock Assurance Auto and Home insurance. For more information about Plymouth Rock or a free quote call a friendly MassDrive agent today!

Discounts & Saving Money on Auto Insurance

When shopping for auto insurance the ultimate goal is to find a reputable company and the lowest premium. While searching for insurance on the web or over the phone it is important to remember carriers will offer different discounts for various reasons. Saving money on your auto insurance is easy, when requesting a quote ask if the following discounts apply to you:

  • Low Mileage Discount: Those who drive less than the average driver are more often than not eligible for a low mileage discount. The magic number is commonly 7,500 miles or less per year however some carriers offer discounts for those who drive less than 10,000 even 12,500 per year. This key discount can make a significant difference and is important to ask about.
  • Auto Club Member: Drivers who belong to an auto club, such as AAA, are usually eligible for additional discounts and in some cases may increase your current auto policy limits with NO extra charge!
  • Good Students: Not only will good grades get a student into the college, graduate program, or aspired career – they can also give young drivers a discounted rate on their auto insurance.
  • Continuous Insurance: Drivers with a continuous record of auto insurance policies are often eligible for discounts.
  • Completed Defensive Driving: Once successfully completing a defensive driving course, motorists should be eligible for an additional premium discount.
  • Companion Policy: Drivers who purchase a companion policy, meaning those who bundle their auto and home, condo, or rental insurance together, are eligible for discounts on both policies. Drivers who sign companion policies through MassDrive may save up to 5% on their auto insurance and up to 20% on a home owners policy.

Make note of the above discounts. If your agent or the online quote generator does not ask about them, you may not be receiving the best quote. When receiving a quote it’s also important to realize your date first licensed and driving record have a great impact on your premium. If you have not been asked about your first licensed date or verified your driving record, you may not be receiving a final quote. Ask your agent if you are eligible for additional discounts and if they have verified your record to ensure you are receiving an accurate quote.

For a free quote comparison, give your friendly MassDrive agent a call today!

Managed Competition = Driver's Savings

Before 2008 Massachusetts auto insurance rates were set by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance by the fix-and-establish system. The previous system relied on zip code and driving record to determine rates, in the new deregulated system carriers use their own methods of calculating rates and has in result increased competition saving driver’s money on auto insurance.

With managed competition new advantages have surfaced in the Massachusetts auto insurance market including: additional insurance companies, independent agencies have gained additional carriers to represent and the state has experienced a decrease in number of uninsured motorists. From the early 1990s through up to 2008 the number of insurance companies offering private passenger auto insurance had fallen from 35 to 19, however in the first year of managed competition nine companies entered Massachusetts’ auto insurance market. According to the Department of Insurance average premiums per vehicle on the road have decreased 8.2 % in the first year alone!

Under managed competition insurance providers can give additional discounts previously unavailable. For example an insurance carrier can give a driver discounts for holding a AAA membership or owning a home. It is important to also realize that providers may chose to or not to impose surcharges for traffic violations but cannot use at-fault accidents that took place more than six years prior to your policy effective date.

Although it is important to note auto insurance is under managed competition. This means although auto insurance companies may chose to set their own rates, the state of Massachusetts must approve them. Insurance carriers may also offer differing discounts, almost necessitating a driver shop differing carriers. Start shopping today by calling MassDrive where a representative will compare insurance quotes from multiple carriers for you!

Massachusetts Division of Insurance Issues Warning

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has issued an official warning to all auto dealers in the state. Salespersons are told to watch what they say and do regarding auto insurance while selling a vehicle. Joseph Murphy, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance, published a letter addressed to all auto dealers and salespersons on the Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation website.

Murphy states numerous reports have been filed with the Division of Insurance that certain motor vehicle salespersons are giving recommendations about particular insurance companies and assisting customers in purchasing their auto insurance.  He warns that only licensed insurance producers are given the authority to sell or attempt to sell, negotiate or solicit insurance, including motor vehicle insurance. The letter stated:

This Bulletin reminds insurance companies and those individuals involved in the sale, finance, registration or insurance of motor vehicles of the Massachusetts rules about placing insurance on motor vehicles.  These rules reflect the longstanding principle that only those who have demonstrated knowledge and competence about motor vehicle insurance by obtaining an insurance license from the Division are permitted to advise consumers about the purchase of such coverage.

The posted bulletin gives these five specific examples of what an auto salesperson may not do while selling a motor vehicle:

Example 1:  A motor vehicle salesperson advises a customer that he could save money by buying his motor vehicle insurance from The XYZ Insurance Company. The salesperson is improperly “soliciting” motor vehicle insurance because she is recommending or urging a person to apply for a motor vehicle insurance policy from a particular company.

Example 2:  A motor vehicle salesperson assists the customer to obtain insurance online by using his office computer to search for motor vehicle insurance for the customer while the customer watches. The salesperson is violating Massachusetts insurance law because he is “negotiating” motor vehicle insurance for the customer by assisting the customer to “obtain” it.

Example 3:  A motor vehicle salesperson offers her customer the use of a computer at the motor vehicle dealership so that the customer can search for motor vehicle insurance, but the computer is preset to the website of a particular insurance company. The salesperson is improperly “soliciting” motor vehicle insurance because she is asking or urging a person to apply for insurance from a particular company.

Example 4.  A motor vehicle salesperson who is arranging financing for the purchase of a motor vehicle tells his customer that she must purchase insurance from a particular insurance company. The salesperson is violating Massachusetts law because he is making financing contingent on purchasing insurance from a particular insurance company.  G.L. c. 175, § 193E.

Example 5:  The motor vehicle dealership maintains a computer terminal linked to the internet for the use of its customers. A customer may use the terminal to search for insurance as long as the salesperson does not operate the computer, the computer is not preset to any particular insurance company’s website, and the salesperson does not recommend that the customer apply for motor vehicle insurance from a particular company.  The salesperson may suggest that the customer start her search for motor vehicle insurance by visiting a site that provides general advice on the purchase of such insurance.  A salesperson may always refer her customer to The Division’s website, www.mass.gov/doi for such information.

This is a firm reminder not only to auto salespersons, but consumers as well. Only a licensed agent holds the knowledge necessary for insuring you with appropriate limits. The deregulation of the auto insurance market has given consumers the option to compare quotes and find the best price, not to be bullied into signing with one insurance carrier or another. For a free quote call MassDrive where a friendly representative will compare quotes from different carriers for you!

To read Joseph Murphy’s letter regarding the involvement of motor vehicle salespeople in the solicitation, negotiation or sale of motor vehicle insurance please access the Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation website here.

Progressive Falls Behind

Flo, the popular Progressive personality, will bring higher premiums with her quirky commercials and price zapping gun this quarter. Progressive entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market two years ago with rates attractively lower than most competitors. The lower premiums however have not endured as Progressive raises their rates for a fourth time since their debut in 2008. The new price increase of 6.63% will raise prices a grad total of about 16% over the last two years.

Andrew Quigg, a Progressive executive in charge of the company’s Massachusetts business states,”We’re still very competitive… Thousands of consumers still shop around and find us to have the lowest cost for auto insurance.” Even so, Progressive has become less and less attractive to the Massachusetts driver as time continues to provided a history of constantly increasing premiums. If these price increases continue to follow their repetitive pattern, Quigg’s statement is unlikely to remain true for long.

Insurance commissioner Joe Murphy told the Boston Globe he believes the deregulated auto insurance market, “has been wildly successful.” And successful it has been. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance reports drivers saved $270 million in the first year of deregulation. Eleven new insurance carriers have entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market since the new system emerged. Before deregulation insurance rates were set by the government and depended upon the driver’s location and driving record only. The new market allows insurance carriers to offer discounts from holding a AAA membership to owning a home. Deregulation holds great potential savings for drivers state wide.

Some critics of the newly deregulated system find it difficult to compare prices through the plethora of new auto insurance carriers. Adjusting to a new system may difficult for some, however it does not have to be difficult for you. MassDrive Direct Auto Insurance understands you have better things to do with your time than compare auto insurance quotes while understanding it is an important process. Here at MassDrive we quickly gather your basic information and compare auto insurance quotes for you!

No longer will you need to worry about comparing rates, coverages between quotes, or stress about discounts – MassDrive has your back. We compare quotes through various Massachusetts insurance carriers helping you find the best price and saving you time. One carriers may offer discounts another does not, in comparing your information through various carriers we help you get the most bang for your buck. And the best part? The quotes are completely free! Give MassDrive a call, one of our friendly representatives will compare your quotes saving you time and money.

You Don't Have to Settle, It's Time to Shop Around!

As you may have heard, recent studies showed that coverage costs did not decrease in Massachusetts after deregulation of the market. Although an increase in insurance carriers in Massachusetts has allowed for more options, many drivers are sticking with their current plans. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to settle for a plan you are unhappy with!

Here at MassDrive we understand that reading through multiple insurance policies is not the best way to pass time. That’s why we are dedicated to doing the work and helping you find the best insurance company, with the best coverage, at the best price, for all your needs.

About CPA Staff

Mike is in charge of the 'colors and shapes' of Next Generation Insurance Group as well as the front-end development of the site (like this page). A long time standing deck enthusiast, Mike does his best work up-right and rocking out, with the occasional riff of air guitar, to heavy metal bands. Mike attended Northern Kentucky University, is a founding member of Team Do Stuff and a skilled home brewer.

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