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Massachusetts Housing Market Recovering

A four year decline in the housing market came to a halt this past December. According to a new report by The Warner Group single-family home sales increased from 40,356 in 2008 to 41,583 home sales in 2009. Although the median purchase price of homes continued to drop 6.6 percent, the decline was not as steep as the 11 percent fall in 2008 and the 10.6 percent drop in 2007.

“The latter part of 2009 gave us some clear signs that the housing market is stabilizing and heading for a recovery, and while prices were still falling the percentage drop last year wasn’t as steep as it was in the previous two years. What’s more, December was the first month in more than two years that the monthly median home price climbed year-over-year. The improving economy and the home buyer tax credit definitely helped fuel home sales.”

-Timothy T. Warner Jr., CEO of The Warner Group

First time homeowners seem to be jumping at the opportunity to save up to $8,000 on new homes. A first time homeowner is defined as someone who has not owned a primary residence in the past three years. However it is important to recognize repeat homeowners may receive up to a $6,500 credit as well. To qualify for the federal tax credit as a repeat homeowner a person must have owned and lived in the same residence for a minimum of five consecutive years during the past eight years. For more information on the federal housing tax credit visit the official website at: www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.

When purchasing a new home another key purchase, required by most mortgage companies, is homeowners insurance. With purchasing a new home come many payments, bills, and debt. A great way to save on homeowners insurance is to bundle it in a companion policy with your auto insurance. For a quick free quote bundling auto and homeowners insurance together give MassDrive a call.

Things to keep in mind while shopping around

While reviewing your insurance there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Make sure you know if there is going to be any changes from your old policy to your new one. You don’t want to lose coverage; the point of shopping around is to get you the best coverage while still getting you a better price. Are you receiving the proper discounts that match your specific situation? Many insurance companies offer discounts depending on a variety of factors. Some discounts are required by law and others are optional for insurance carriers. In addition, two carriers may offer the same discounts but the amount of that discount could vary from carrier to carrier.

At MassDrive you will not only find professionals in the insurance field that can answer all of your questions with your interests in mind. You will also find a variety of resources available to you as a Massachusetts auto insurance consumer. Our goal is to find every Massachusetts customer the right policy at a price the driver can afford. Our only focus is Massachusetts and because we’re Massachusetts drivers ourselves, we feel a responsibility to deliver results to you.

Comparing Quotes in Massachusetts

Auto insurance is mandatory to drive a vehicle in Massachusetts, and with good reason. Auto insurance will help pay the cost of damages to another person’s auto or property, your own vehicle, even your passengers medical bills depending on the types of coverages purchased. Although the benefits of insurance are obvious, choosing the right carrier is more difficult.

Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about their auto insurance. Ask if they have any tips from their experience comparing quotes or have anything to say about their current carrier. Also be sure to take a look at any insurance carrier through the Better Business Bureau and National Association of Insurance Commissioners websites. Read up on the number and severity of complaints made against any auto insurance company you may be considering. Signing a policy with an company that consistently has bad reviews and serious complaints may not be in your best interest.

Try shopping online, finding and comparing quotes may be easier than you believe. After the Massachusetts auto market was deregulated many drivers have stayed with their previous insurer. A great way to save money is to compare quotes from different insurance companies.When comparing these quotes however make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance warns drivers:

When comparing quotes, keep in mind that coverages, limits, deductibles, and discounts have big effects on prices.  A small difference in even one of these areas can make a bad quote look like a good one.

An even easier way of comparing auto insurance quotes is through a auto insurance broker. A broker represents you, helping drivers compare and find the most affordable plan. Brokers can look over insurance quotes and explain the benefits and differences between them. When shopping around give MassDrive a call. Your insurance shopping experience will be breeze when someone who knows the ins and outs of auto insurance compares the quotes for you.

Check Insurance Before Driving Rentals

As the holiday season takes full swing many travelers find themselves in need of a rental car. When purchasing rental cars most businesses will offer the option of additional insurance. It’s important for a driver to check in with their current carrier  to find out what coverages would follow members of the policy.

Many drivers who already have an auto insurance policy will find their current coverage offers identical or better coverage than what rental companies offer. A number of drivers will decline the coverage without knowing what their own auto insurance policy covers leaving themselves under or uninsured. While on the contrary other consumers purchase the additional coverage which their current auto insurance would cover.

Not only is it important to consider current auto insurance, but other insurance policies held. For example someone with renters or homeowners insurance policies may cover burglary of things from inside the car. Also health insurance policies may cover the driver’s medical bills should an accident occur.

Another great alternative to checking with your current auto insurance policy is to check with your credit card company. Some credit card compaies will offer secondary auto insurance when you charge the rental. If they do offer secondary coverage, it’s still very important to call your auto insurance carrier to confirm between the two coverages damages would be paid for by them and not out of your own pocket.

Mass Home Sales on the Rise

The Warrner Group, a publisher of real estate information based out of South-Boston, reported last week Massachusetts single family home sales have have risen 17% from October or 2008. This has made October the 4th consecutive month of increased home sales. Many of the sales seem to be driven by first time homeowners looking to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, that was to expire the end of November but has been extended into 2010.

This increase in sales will also mean a number of new homeowners are looking for homeowners insurance. To save money on your insurance policies ask your insurance carrier for a companion policy. For example MassDrive offer these policies, when you sign up for your auto and homeowners insurance together you receive discounts on both.

Allstate Premiums Increase

Thousands of Allstate home insurance customers will see an average increase of 9.8% next month. Allstate’s increases will take effect December 17th when policies come up for renewal. Bill Mellander, Allstate Spokesman, stated an increase in claims costs, particularly from roofing repairs and materials, is a driving force behind the increased rates.

A great way to find discounts on homeowners insurance is through companion policies, when you purchase multiple policies from the same company. For example MassDrive offers discounts on both homeowners and auto insurance when both policies are purchased through a MassDrive agent. Contact a local MassDrive agent through our website or call: 866-963-8231 for a free quote.

Keep Insurance Rates Low

Q: What’s the easiest way to keep low insurance rates?

A: With a clean drivers record.

Not only will you need to pay that speeding ticket, you’ll be paying for it the next couple years on your auto insurance. Insurance companies determine your rates in part by what kind of a driver you are. If you’re a safe driver with no citations, an insurance company sees you as a low risk to insure. If you’re a road-raging multi-major-accident driver, the insurance company may view you a little differently.

Massachusetts determines the magnitude of driving violations with surchargeable points. For example, a major accident will count more points than a 5 mile over speeding ticket. Take a look at how Massachusetts classifies your driving violations:

Surchargeable Incident Surcharge Points
Major Traffic Violation (i.e., D.U.I.)

5

Major At-Fault Accident (claim over $2,000)

4

Minor At-Fault Accident (claim over $500 to $2,000)

3

Minor Traffic Violation (i.e., speeding)

2

Each citation adds more than just a few bucks on to your insurance. Avoid these hefty points with safe driving: allow  extra traveling time, drive defensively, and buckle up. Your check book will thank you.

Who says comparison shopping isn't worth it?

In this release by Electric Insurance Company, the company encourages Massachusetts Auto Insurance customers to forgo comparison websites and shop with it directly, citing the availability of inducements and discounts on its own cite.  We can’t say that we agree with Electric, though we do like their insurance products!  Comparison sites like MassDrive.com and others give Massachusetts Insurance customers the broadest range of choice and prices for their unique needs.  Go ahead and compare – no matter what anyone tells you!

Why does it make sense for most Massacusetts auto insurance customers to compare?  A few simple reasons:

  • Insurance companies sometimes have vastly different rates that can cost or save you money
  • Depending on you and your family’s unique situation, certain insurance companies will offer benefits that will save you the most money
  • Comparison shopping will inherently give you more information about the auto insurance process in Massachusetts
  • It’s now a free market!
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