Insurance News


Review your auto insurance

After attention was brought to the lack of success of deregulation, massachusetts drivers are being reminded to review their auto insurance coverage. The whole purpose for deregulation of the auto insurance system in Massachusetts was to increase competition and lower the rates for consumers. Competition has increased and more carriers are now providing policies for Massachusetts but many people aren’t seeing the drop in rates. Attorney General Martha Coakley expressed her concern about drivers not receiving the discounted rates in a recent statement.

The report notes that most consumers haven’t shopped around and therefore, rates are not being driven down. It is up to us as Massachusetts residents to create stronger competition to drive these rates down so get out there and shop around!

Deregulation

New reports are showing that deregulation of the insurance market is not proving to be successful. “When the Division of Insurance introduced the new deregulated auto insurance system nearly two years ago, they contended that this system would result in better rates for consumers,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a statement. “While the long-term results of this new system remain to be seen, our office is concerned that consumers may not, in fact, be getting the best rates and the protections they deserve.”

This report from Attorney General Martha Coakley, points out that one of the main causes from increased rates is the lack of consumers shopping around. Shop around! If you do not shop around you are not going to get the best policy for your dollar. The deregulation has brought in more insurance providers so it is important for consumers to take advantage of this and save some money!

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.

The Harsh Reality for College Graduates

College graduates come out with hopes, aspirations and debt. That’s right, debt. College graduates are graduating college with an average of 3,262 in credit card debt. In addition to credit card debt, students are also graduating with student loans ranging from $10,000 to $52,000 or more. It is a common misconception that after graduation these debts will be easy to pay off. Graduates often believe they are going to start making the “real” money that will provide them with everything they need and then some.

The harsh reality is that once graduates factor in bills and expenses they are not left with much. Factors such as, health care, 401K deductions, income taxes, car payments, auto insurance, rent, utility bills, student loans, credit card bills and food expenses. These expenses can be financially crippling to graduates, forcing them to cut back as much as they can. Unfortunately, some graduates are looking at auto insurance as an unnecessary expense. In reality, it is far from unnecessary. Not only because it is illegal to drive without auto insurance in all 50 states but the risk one takes without coverage can prove to be detrimental to ones finances.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you can’t save on auto insurance. People all over the nation are overpaying on auto insurance, whether its because they have the wrong policy or the wrong carrier. Don’t make this mistake! MassDrive can help you compare policies and carriers until you find the right fit. Our agents would be happy to field any questions you may have free of charge. Insurance can be confusing, so let us help you!

Making Sense of Auto Insurance Coverages

Shopping for an auto insurance policy can be overwhelming when looking over all the possible coverages. Knowing what these coverages will repair or replace in case of an accident can help settle many of the fears auto insurance shoppers carry.

  • Bodily Injury Liability: This coverage will protect you from injury and death claims made against you when your auto injuries someone else.
  • Property Damage Liability: Covering any property you or your auto may damage when involved in an accident.
  • Medical Payments: This coverage will pay for medical bills should you or any passengers in your vehicle be injured.
  • Collision Coverage: Covers damages to your auto up to its value the day of the accident. With this coverage a deductible applies should the insured make a claim.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Covers damages to your auto other than from accidents such as theft, vandalism, wind, etcetera.

MIT Wins Nationwide Contest

A team of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was awarded a $40,000 prize in a national contest held by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency this week. DARPA announced MIT as the first group to find the latitude and longitudes of 10 eight-foot weather balloons hidden across the United States. DARPA created the competition to measure the ability of social networking and web-based tools to complete tasks in a large scale setting under time constraints

MIT found the 10 weather balloons in less than 9 hours after the competition began. DARPA plans on discussing with the individual teams their techniques, technology, and thought processes to aid in the search. The agency hopes strategies used by each group will give the military new ideas for completing a wide array of missions and operations.

Divison of Insurance… What Does it Do?

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance serves the people of Massachusetts and the insurance carriers. The DOI Mission Statement states it’s primary mission is to overlook the solvency of it’s licensees to create and maintain a productive and willing market for insurance consumers. It also includes the following:

“Protection of consumer interests is of prime importance to the Division and is safeguarded by providing accurate and unbiased information so consumers may make informed decisions and by intervening on behalf of consumers who believe they have been victimized by unfair business practices.”

The mission statement exposes what the Division of Insurance is all about, but what exactly does it do? Take a look at the following, listed on the DOI website, to get a better idea:

  • License Insurance Companies: The DOI processes the license of each insurance insurance carrier to ensure only financially stable insurance companies receive and maintain a license to sell insurance.
  • Examine the Financial Stability of Insurance Companies: Monitoring insurance carriers through quarterly financial reviews the DOI looks for signs of financial instability. When financial worries arise the DOI will regulate the actions of the company to prevent insolvency.
  • Examine the Conduct of Insurance Companies: The Division will go further than finances, it also examines an insurance company’s customer relations. Examining everything from a company’s underwriting and rating procedures to renewals and claims the DOI looks to make sure the consumers are treated fairly.
  • Regulates forms, rates, and programs: Through regulating the forms, rates, and programs of each insurance company the DOI ensures products sold by each company follow Massachusetts laws and regulations
  • Provides license for producers and others involved w/ insurance: The Division provides insurance license for producers and others involved in the insurance industry. This ensures that a license will only be given to someone who is qualifies and will abide by Massachusetts laws.
  • Accepts Insurance Complaints: The Division of Insurance also accepts complaints against an insurer, producer/ agent, or appraiser involved in the insurance business. The Division will give each complaint a reply and/ or resolution explaining and coinciding with Massachusetts laws and regulations.

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.

First Time Home Owners Tax Credit Extended

The Home Buyer Tax Credit legislation has signed an extension of the $8,000 max tax credit to first time home owners to April 30th of 2010. Recent home buyers are relieved as the time line has been extended making less of a rush for processing paper work and home sales at lightening speed.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 states those who have not owned a primary residence for 3 years will be considered first time home buyers and eligible for the tax credit. These first time buyers may recieve a a tax break of up to 10% of the home’s final sale price, with an $8,000  maximum. The extension has also broadened the number of people eligible for the credit, allowing those who have lived in the same home for five continuous years & meet the other pre-requisites  to be eligible for a credit up to $6,500. The tax credit has stimulated the Massachusetts home market to it’s highest number of sales in the past two years.

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.

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