Plymouth Rock


Is Competition In The Insurance Industry Benefiting Massachusetts Drivers?

car

In 2008, the auto insurance market in Massachusetts was deregulated resulting in major changes for both consumers and insurance carriers alike. As more carriers began to write policies in the state, prices initially dropped.  However, prices have since rebounded and now closely resemble what consumers were paying before the industry was deregulated, according to data from the state Division of Insurance.  The question then arises; Is competition in the industry actually benefiting Massachusetts residents?

Recently, an article titled “Auto Insurance Rates Bounce Back Up In Mass.” was published in the Boston Globe.  The article was written by Deirdre Fernandes and she tries to determine whether or not consumers are benefiting from competition in the auto insurance industry by studying year-to-year comparisons of auto insurance premiums.  Before deregulation, insurance carriers typically had the same prices and offerings for their consumers, prompting larger carriers to avoid writing policies in Massachusetts due to the strict regulation of the industry.

After the deregulation, larger carriers such as Progressive and Geico began writing policies with extremely low premiums, forcing established carriers to lower their prices in order to maintain their business.  Since then, prices have risen as these larger carriers have become more familiar with paying out claims in the state. However, it is important to note that according to Fernandes’ article, repair costs and medical costs (all of which factor into claim payouts) are increasing faster in Massachusetts than across the nation as a whole, which also affect premium prices.

In her article, Fernandes quotes Deirdre Cummings, legislative Director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group who said “If you look at rates and rates are going higher, that’s not in the consumer’s favor.”  Fernandes also plays devil’s advocate by acknowledging the fact that because insurance carriers are no longer regulated, they are able to offer unique services to their customers such as roadside assistance and specific discounts relating to bundling policies together, good student discounts, annual mileage discounts, etc.  Fernandes then quotes Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joe Murphy who says “It’s clear that the change in regulation has been a win for consumers”.

While Fernandes does address both sides of the argument, Joe Murphy takes issue with her analysis and wrote a response to her article.  In it, he states “Year-over-year comparisons of auto insurance premiums do not provide a sound foundation for commentary about rate levels or the general health of the insurance market.”  Essentially he argues that the increase in competition gives consumers the power to shop around if their premium does increase, making carriers compete for their business.

The competition also encourages insurance carriers to keep their own profits down so that they can keep premiums as low as possible.  In his response, Murphy says “In the five years prior to 2012, auto insurers in Massachusetts reported virtually zero profit from underwriting, the lowest of any New England state during that same period.”

One of the most important things to take away from both articles is that while insurance premiums may be about the same as they were before deregulation, consumers now have options and the ability to shop around if their premium does go up.  The power is in the hands of the consumer, and they are able to purchase policies not only based on price, but also based on coverage, available discounts, additional services, and much more.

As an independent agency, we are proud to work with many top-rated insurance companies including Commerce, Plymouth Rock, Arbella, Progressive, Safeco, Travelers, and Occidental.  We give our customers options when it comes to purchasing their policy and are unbiased in the quotes we provide. Our goal is to find Massachusetts residents the policy that is right for them.  So, if you’re looking to compare auto insurance rates in Massachusetts and find the best policy for you, get a free quote at MassDrive.com!  Our insurance agents are extremely knowledgeable and will work to find the policy that is right for you!

Photo By: TheBusyBrain

Things To Do In Plymouth!

Everyone across the country knows of Plymouth, MA, the site of the first Thanksgiving!  How lucky are we that we have so much history only a short drive away?  Head down to the south shore this weekend and stop by Plymouth, there are tons of museums and historical points of interest, including Plymouth Rock of course!  Remembering how Thanksgiving began reminds us of why we are thankful for friends, family, health, and happiness.  What better time of year to stop by one of the most historic towns in America than the weekend before Thanksgiving?

Plimoth Plantation – Stop by Plimoth Plantation to experience a “hands-on, living history experience dedicated to the Native Wampanoag and Pilgrim colonists of the 17th century.  Costumed guides and modern artisans all add to the educational experience that spans across four award-winning exhibits.  The plantation replica is situated along the Eel River wetlands that overlooks Cape Cod Bay, so not only will you enjoy an entertaining historic discussion, there will also be some amazing views to enjoy before the winter chill sets in.  The museum is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM and be sure to stop by their gift shop where you can find specialty gifts and crafts!

Native Plymouth Tours – Get an inside look at historic Plymouth through the eyes of a Native American!  Native American guides will lead guests on a walking tour that lasts about an hour and a half and is a mile long, through some of the most famous sites in Plymouth, along with a few that are not as well known.  The Native Americans will give you an educational and historic look back at the relationship between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims from their perspective.  The tour begins at Plymouth Rock and runs until November 25th.  Friday and Saturday, walk up tours are available at 5:30 PM but require a reservation Sunday-Thursday.  Guests interested in taking the tour after any time after November 25th will require a reservation as well.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for children ages 5-18.

Plymouth Rock – Located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Plymouth Rock is one of the most famous attractions to visit in Plymouth.  Engraved with the year “1620” the rock is a constant reminder of the original Pilgrims that landed and made Plymouth their home.  The park has over 1 million visitors per year, and it’s no wonder with the beautiful views of Plymouth Harbor to enjoy.  The park is also home to The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower that first brought the Pilgrims from Europe to America.  Stop by Pilgrim Memorial State Park and get your history fix before Thanksgiving while also taking in some amazing views!

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving – We mentioned this event in our blog posting Events This November! but wanted to remind everyone that this yearly event is this weekend! It takes place from the 16th-18th and guests will be able to get a glimpse back in time and learn what the first Thanksgiving was actually like!  We recommend stopping by the Wampanoag Pavillion on Saturday the 17th from 11 AM to 4 PM, where you will be able to ask questions about the first Thanksgiving that will be answered by Colonial and Wampanoag interpreters during the event.  In addition to this info session, there will also be crafts, a harvest festival, photo gallery, historic village, music, living historians who will reenact military events, and artisans creating and selling goods.  Take a step back in time and celebrate the history of Thanksgiving this weekend!

Even though we love to enjoy Turkey Day with tons of food and football, it’s important to keep in mind how the tradition started and remember that we need to be thankful for each other!  Take a step back in time and stop by Plymouth this weekend for a dose of American history and a sense of the traditions that started the first Thanksgiving feast!

Photo By: BostonPhotoSphere

 

 

 

 

 

Events This November!

Can you believe it’s already November?  Time flies when you’re having fun, and it will go by even faster with these events to look forward too!  Before the Christmas rush begins, take some time to relax and enjoy these events this month, there’s something for everyone whether you want to go out with friends, family, or out for date night, we’ve got you covered!

Fall Wine Fest – Sounds good already doesn’t it?  Get your tickets before they sell out!  This wine tasting event is this Saturday, November 3rd at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts in Boston and there are three tasting sessions to choose from.  The matinee tasting is from noon-2:30 PM, followed by the afternoon tasting from 3PM-6PM (recently sold out), and final tasting is from 7PM-10PM.  Prices vary depending on which tasting you want to attend, but you can get more information here.  Guests will get their “passport” to guide them through the event and the different regions of wine.  There will also be music from DJ Karl and food samples to enjoy with your wine.  This event is limited to members or guests of members, but membership is free and you can subscribe here.  This event is 21+ and we want all attendees to enjoy responsibly and designate a driver!

Royal Tea At The MFA – Beginning this Sunday, November 4th the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is hosting an afternoon tea session to compliment the exhibition “Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits“.  It will run each Sunday from November 4th until December 16th from 3PM-4:30 PM and is $28.00 per person.  There will be a wide assortment of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones whipped up by their pastry chef and guests can also add in a glass of wine, sherry, or brandy for an additional fee. Reservations are recommended and can be made through Open Table or by calling (617) 369-3474.  This event sounds like a great way to relax on a Sunday afternoon with friends or family.  Who doesn’t love a warm cup of tea and some pastries on a fall afternoon?

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving – Plymouth Rock put Massachusetts on the map when the pilgrims landed and celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Native Americans.  Take a drive to Plymouth from November 16th-18th and prepare for Thanksgiving at a celebration aimed at preserving the history of the holiday as well as remembering those that have fought and sacrificed to protect the American dream.  There will be a parade, military reenactments, a food festival, entertainment, and much more.  This is a great event for the whole family this fall as it celebrates the holiday while also remembering the important history behind it.  There will also be crafts, a Harvest festival, and a Wampanoag pavillion set up to teach visitors what the first Thanksgiving between the Natives and Pilgrims was really like.  Take a drive down to Plymouth this weekend, check out the Mayflower, and enjoy the holiday season while also keeping in mind the origins of Thanksgiving!

Blink! Launch Event – Join Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Pops for the first annual Blink! Launch Event!  This exciting tradition features the music of the Boston Pops and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall!  This is the perfect event to kick of the holiday season and will definitely get you in the spirit!  Stop by with the family and enjoy this festive event that begins at 5:30 PM on Saturday, November 17th.  There will be food vendors, plenty of shops to check out, and entertainment before the main performance begins!  The Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting is a Christmas tradition and Blink! is a new spin on this classic outing that is perfect for family and friends of all ages.  Be sure to arrive early so you can get a good spot!

Head out to one of these events this month before the Christmas madness begins!  Whether you’re looking for the perfect girls night, family event,  or for a taste of some culture there is an event for you this month!  There’s plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season before the pressure’s on, so head out with family and friends this month, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Photo By: happyskrappy

 

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!

Massachusetts 1000 Greatest Places… Road Trip Anyone?

Massachusetts legislature has evaluated more than 12,000 nominated locations across Massachusetts and released a list of “1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts”. The greatest places list was approved by legislators and signed by Deval Patrick last year in an effort to lure more tourists to the Bay State. For a fun weekend trip or less-expensive summer vacation, take a Massachusetts road trip – become a tourist yourself!

The list of great Massachusetts places includes the typical tourist spots, but it also mentions the lesser known wonders as well. Some of the obscure places mentioned on the list include: the Paul Bunyan statue in Bellingham, the Songline Emu Farm in Gill and the glacial potholes of Shelburne Falls. Use the 1,000 greatest places list as a map to explore the Commonwealth with a new set of eyes.

While hosting guests from out of state this list is key to showing them the great culture and beauty your Bay State has to offer. Guests may want to tour the more famous locations such as Plymouth Rock, Walden Pond, the Old North Church, Tanglewood and the Cape Cod National Seashore -all of which the list includes. Organized by city your guests can tour just a few surrounding towns and experience more of Massachusetts than the typical vacationer.

Even if you don’t have time for a weekend trip or vacation throw the list of 1,000 greatest places in your glove box for later on. If you finish a meeting early or find extra time to kill these wonderful locations can be a great escape from the daily grind. For the complete list of the Massahcusetts 1,000 greatest places click here.

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!

Plymouth Rock enhances their MYLES discount program

Plymouth Rock announced new discounts available through their “savings pass” also knows as the MYLES (Make Your Life Easier Services(SM)) program.  In addition to current discounts on auto-related purchases from select retail partners which may total hundreds of dollars for some customers, they have added discounts on Thule car racks and driver training taken at Driven Advanced Drivers Training.  As MSNBC.com reports, Plymouth Rock also is rewarding their customers for driving less.

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