go green


Events This August!

tie dye

We know what you’re thinking, it’s the last month of summer and you need to get out and have as many fun times as possible before the chill returns to the air.  Not to worry because we’ve got you covered, there’s still plenty of time to have some fun in the sun and plenty of events to go to!

Edgartown Sand Sculpture Contest – Need a nice relaxing beach day with the family?  Play hooky tomorrow, August 7th and take the family to South Beach in Edgartown for their annual Sand Sculpture Contest!  This family oriented event is perfect for children of all ages, so grab your pails, shovels, sunscreen, and head to the beach for a day of fun!  Registration for the contest begins at 9 AM and the contest goes from 10 AM – 2 PM and the awards will be announced at about 3 PM.

Tie-Dye Drop In Day – The Children’s Museum in Easton is hosting this fun event on Friday, August 9th from 10 AM – 3 PM.  Feel free to bring your own clothing to tie-dye or purchase a white t-shirt from the museum for $5.  This event is free with admission and admission costs $7.50 per person.  If you’re hungry or craving something sweet don’t miss the Mix 104.1 crew handing out free ice cream from 12 PM – 2 PM!   This event will be held in the museum’s outdoor facility, “The Wild Place” and gives children the opportunity to play, learn about nature, and explore the gardens at the museum while they get creative and have some fun.  No registration is needed for this event, you can feel free to drop by the museum at any time from 10 AM – 3 PM on the day of the event.  Be sure to check out the other fun activities that they have going on for future “Drop In Days”!

Boston GreenFest – Organized by the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. this event is the nation’s largest multicultural environmental music festival.  Celebrate the many ways you can “go green” and improve your local community and environment as a whole, you might even learn something new! The celebration begins on Thursday, August 15th with a kick-off concert at Boston’s City Hall Plaza from 5:30 PM – 9 PM and continues on Friday, August 16th from noon til 9:30 PM and again on Saturday, August 17th from 11 AM – 10 PM.  Learn about the green products, services, networks, and jobs, enjoy the three stages of live entertainment, or take part in an interactive exhibit!  There is something for everyone at this event, even the kids will enjoy the many different games, activities, presentations, and there is even a Boston GreenFest Film Festival just for kids!  Don’t miss you chance to check out some eco-fashion in the EcoPageant International!  Don’t forget to pick up your Boston GreenFest discount button at local Tedeschi Food Shops in Boston, this button only costs $5 but will open the doors to major savings.  Not only can you use it during the event for special discounts from food and craft vendors, but you can also use it for discounts at local businesses around Boston and is valid at certain businesses before, during, and after the festival! 

Brew at the Zoo – Head over to the Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday, August 17th for their fourth annual Brew at the Zoo!  This beer tasting event features stations from over 30 different local breweries and food from over a dozen local restaurants!  Try as many samples as you like, enjoy the live entertainment, and take some time to visit with the many different animals on site!  This 21 + event costs $50 per ticket and proceeds benefit the Franklin Park Zoo’s operations, education programs, and continued conservation efforts.  The party starts at 5 PM and goes until 9 PM, and the zoo will be providing free transportation from the Forest Hills T Station to the zoo from 5 PM – 7 PM and from the zoo back to the train station from 7 PM – 9 PM.

Which of these events do you plan on attending?  Know of a fun event that we forgot?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Photo By: Jim Miner

Going Green On Your Daily Drive

green driving

In honor of Earth Day we wanted to talk about ways to go green while driving!  Earth Day celebrations are continuing all week, and this information is useful to know for the entire year!  While “go green” isn’t a phrase you would typically think of when you think of driving, there are ways you can decrease your carbon footprint while on the road.  The easiest thing to remember?  The less gas you use the less pollutants your vehicle will emit, making your drive more “green”.  Using less gas doesn’t necessarily mean driving less either!  These tips will keep you on the road to a greener Earth without making major changes to your daily life.

  • The best way to reduce the amount of gas you use is to drive a hybrid or electric vehicle.  They get much better mileage than typical vehicles and are specifically designed to be more fuel efficient and emit less toxins into the environment.  Unless you already have one of these vehicles, it’s pretty hard to utilize this tip, but if you’re due up for a new vehicle any time soon hybrid or electric vehicles are great options to consider!  Not only are they more eco-friendly, but they will also save you a lot of money on gas.
  • Avoid slamming on the gas or breaks.  These two extremes are gas guzzlers, the sudden burst of energy when you hit the brakes or accelerator can release major pollutants and eat up a lot of gas compared to easing on or off the pedals.
  • In the upcoming months it can get very warm here in the Bay State.  Although turning on the air conditioning while driving is a great option,  it uses up more gas than if you were to drive without it on.  If it’s not too hot, roll down the car windows and enjoy the breeze!
  • Get an E-ZPass!  If you are a frequent road tripper, there is no better accessory!  You’ll get to avoid the touch and go traffic that piles up while people are paying with cash, which will save you gas and wear and tear on your car.  It can save you a lot of time at tolls whether you are traveling cross country or live in Western Massachusetts and have to take the Pike every day.  It’s definitely a worth while investment for any driver.
  • Go the speed limit.  Speeding even a few miles over the posted limit can increase gas emissions and not to mention possibly get you a speeding ticket. Save your gas and money by following the law!
  • Download an app that updates driving routes based on traffic, such as Waze.  This app relies on consumer updates but is typically accurate even when it comes to the smallest details.  It will help you save time, money, and gas by avoiding traffic jams.  Who wouldn’t love that?
  • Utilize cruise control if you’re going to be keeping a steady speed and direction on the highway.  This will help to avoid acceleration and unnecessary gas usage, it can even help save up to 7% on gas according to Edmunds.com.

These tips are simple enough, right?  Such small changes can lead to major savings for your wallet and the environment!  Try some of these tips in honor of Earth Day, there’s nothing to lose, only to gain!

Photo By: Toyota Motor Europe

Changes That Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Premium

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Ever wonder how or why certain changes to your auto insurance policy affect your premium? Everyone knows that getting into an accident or a new ticket can up your premium, but even small changes can increase or decrease your rate, and we’re here to let you know what those changes are, and what things you can do to keep your premium as low as possible.

  • Moving – Depending on where you move to, your new address can either increase or decrease your premium.  Certain areas can jack up the cost of your policy depending on a few different factors; if the town that you move to has a high level of accidents that occur, that will increase your premium.  If there is a high crime rate (vandalism and robbery especially) in the town or if it is highly populated with licensed drivers, that can increase your premium.  All of these factors put drivers at a higher risk for accidents and therefore claims against the insurance company, which is why they will up the cost in areas where those incidents are more common.  However, if you move to a small town with a low population and crime rate, your premium will likely go down.
  • Payment Plan – The type of payment plan you’re on can have a bigger affect on your premium than you would think.  Going green and signing up for electronic payments not only gets you a discount, but there is typically either no service fee or if there is it is $1.00.  For those that are on bill by mail payment plans, they receive no discount and are charged an additional service fee every time a payment is made, this fee typically ranges from $5.00-$7.00 but varies by carrier.
  • Payment History – Think you can get away with late payments over and over?  Think again!  Paying your insurance on time can only help your cause, but if you continuously make late payments or are pending cancellation, be prepared for an increase in your premium when your renewal comes around.  Your payment history is a rating factor when your policy comes up for renewal, so be sure to make any and all payments right on time to ensure the lowest possible price.  If possible, try to pay in full because you will also get an additional discount for that.
  • Deductible – Your deductible can either increase or decrease your premium depending on how much you want to pay out of pocket in the case of an accident.  If you’re willing to increase your deductibles, you can typically expect to see your monthly payments drop.  The more you are willing to pay in the event of an accident, the less the insurance company will have to pay.  Obviously this is a lot more appealing to carriers so they will usually reduce your monthly bills.  If you reduce your deductible, the insurance company will have to pay more out of their pocket should you get into an accident, so your monthly bill will be more expensive.  It all depends on how much money you would be able to spend if your car was damaged, if you can pay a high amount up front, it will cost you less in the long run premium wise.  If you can’t afford to pay a large deductible up front in the case of an incident, you may be better off with the lower deductible but higher monthly payment.  If you are an experienced driver with a good record, going for the higher deductible might be a better option.  If you never get into an accident, the deductible will never come into play but you’ll still benefit from the reduced monthly premium.  The only thing that could prevent your premium from going down even if you increase your deductibles is if you have a multiple points on your record and are considered to be high risk by insurance carriers.
  • Adding Drivers – This goes without saying, the more drivers on your policy, the more expensive it will be.  What you need to keep in mind though is that adding YOUNG drivers is especially expensive.  Parents, be prepared for your policy to increase by hundreds of dollars once you add on your new driver(s)!
  • Adding/Replacing a Vehicle – If you’re adding a vehicle onto your policy, it is definitely going to increase the premium.  However, replacing a vehicle can go either way, depending on the cars themselves.  Older cars are less expensive to insure, so if you’re replacing your 2010 Honda Accord with the 2002 model, your premium will likely decrease.

These are only a few of the potential changes that can be made to auto policies.  While we can’t gurantee the above statements, they are the likely results of such changes unless there are extenuating circumstances.  Be sure to alert your insurance agency or carrier about any changes being made, even if they won’t affect your premium.  Contact information is one of the most important changes of all, so if you get a new phone number or email address be sure to update it with your agency or carrier as soon as possible!  Keeping your insurance company informed and up to date will only benefit you in the long run!

Photo By: Riebart

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Across The Bay State!

st patricks day

Massachusetts has one of the largest Irish-American populations across the country, so when we celebrate St. Patrick’s day, we do it big!  As you can imagine, there are tons of events going on state-wide, especially since St. Patrick’s day falls on a Sunday this year and most of us have the day off.  Get dressed up in green, listen to some classic Irish music, enjoy a plate of corned beef and cabbage, and enjoy the celebration!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Irish Cultural Centre – This family friendly events lasts for two whole days and don’t worry, there is plenty of corned beef and cabbage to go around!  The Irish Cultural Centre, located in Canton, is hosting this event which begins at 1 PM on Saturday, March 16th, and then again on Sunday, March 17th at 9 AM.  On Saturday, tickets are $5 per person after 5 PM, however on Sunday, tickets are $10 per person regardless of what time you arrive, children under 12 are free both days.  There will be games (for adults and children), traditional Irish music, Irish step dancers, and of course plenty of corned beef, cabbage, and Guinness!  Food and drinks are not included in the cost of a ticket but all entertainment and activities are.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade In South Boston – What bigger hot spot will there be on St. Patty’s day than Southie?  On Sunday’ you’ll be able to look across a sea of green for miles, as the estimated 600,000-1 million estimated attendees flock to the streets of Boston to watch this tradition unfold once again.  This parade is also viewed by millions as it is broadcasted live so if you can’t actually be there at least you can watch it!  The parade begins at 1 PM and is hosted by the Allied War Veteran’s Council, so you can be sure there will be many veterans walking the route as well as fireman, policemen, Irish step dancers, and many other public officials.  The route begins at the Broadway T station and loops through Southie until it ends at the Andrews T station, you can check out the whole route here.  After the parade stop by one of the local watering holes for a pint!

Green Day St. Patty’s Celebration – Wear your green and hit the slopes at Mount Wachusett this Sunday, March 17th as they celebrate St. Patrick’s day and going green!  Those of you that wear visible green ski clothing will receive a $17 lift ticket, and that’s not all; anyone who carpools(4 or more people per car) or drives to the mountain in a hybrid car will also receive the discounted $17 lift ticket for going green!  Wear green, go green, celebrate, and save this St. Patty’s day with Mount Wachusett.  After you’ve worked up an appetite on the slopes, head over to the nearby Black Diamond restaurant for some Irish nachos and their corned beef and cabbage dinner special.  There will also be a live performance of traditional Irish music from 1-3 PM.  This full day of fun is perfect for the whole family to enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Holyoke – If you’re not going to be in the Boston area for St. Patty’s Day, there’s another giant parade for the western half of the state to enjoy!  The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the largest in the country, and their 62nd annual celebration is bound to be the biggest and best yet.  It begins at 11:30 AM and will feature military members, policemen, firemen, color guard, step dancers,  Irish music, and of course the “queen of the green, the grand Colleen”, along with many various award winners that get to ride along the festive floats.  Bring the whole family to this St. Patty’s celebration, don’t forget to wear your green!

All of these family friendly St. Patrick’s day events are the perfect way to celebrate your Irish heritage, whether you’re full-blooded Irish or Irish for the day, get your green gear and enjoy the party!

Photo By: wilbanks

 

Are You Saving On Your Insurance In The New Year? Find Out What Discounts You May Be Eligible For!

It’s a new year and we’re busy writing new policies over here at MassDrive, but we want to make sure that you know what discounts you could be getting so you can save as much as possible!  There are many discounts available however the percentage that you can save does vary by carrier and is different for everyone, however there is an average range that most companies use and we’ve come up with the following breakdown of discounts:

  • Companion Policy Discount:  This is typically the largest discount you can get on your auto and homeowner’s policies and you get it simply by having your auto and homeowner’s insurance with the same carrier.  You can also receive this discount with renter’s or condo policies as well!  This discount can save you up to 10% on your auto policy and up to 20% on your homeowner’s, renter’s or condo policy!  Some (not all) companies even offer you a discount if you have your auto policy with them and a homeowner’s policy elsewhere, however this discount can only be applied to homeowner’s policies (not renter’s or condo) and is much smaller, typically only up to 4%.
  • Good Student Discount – This discount applies to both high school and college students and can usually save you about 10% on your auto policy but can even get as high as 15%!  However, there are some stipulations; the student must be full time and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  The other catch is that they have to have less than 6 years of driving experience to be eligible.  If you’re a student with your own policy or are a parent with a student on your policy, definitely ask your agent about the good student discount!  If you meet the requirements, it’s an easy way to save big bucks on your policy!
  • Low Mileage Discount – The less you drive the more you save!  The discount you can get varies and is broken down into tiers based on your annual mileage.  You can typically get the biggest discount (up to 12%) if you drive less than 7,500 miles.  After that the next tier is 7,501-10,000 miles, then 10,001-12,500 miles, but if you drive over 12,501 miles you won’t receive a discount from most companies.  The discount gets lower as you move past each tier but is a great way to save!
  • Pay In Full Discount – This one is pretty self explanatory, if you pay your auto premium in full you can save up to 5%!
  • AAA Discount – If you’re a AAA member you are eligible for up to a 5% discount with most insurance companies!  AAA is a great service to have, you never know when the unexpected may occur and you may need a tow, which can be pretty expensive if you have to pay for it out of pocket.  Getting the discount is simple, you just scan a copy of your membership card and send it over to your agent and the discount can be applied.
  • Advanced Issue Discount – This discount is a great incentive to start shopping early for insurance!  If your policy is issued at least 7 days before the coverage become effective, you can save up to 5% on your policy!
  • eDocument Discount – Receiving your policy documents electronically can get you up to 5% discount on your policy!  Go green while saving yourself some green!
  • EFT Discount – This typically goes hand in hand with the eDocument discount, but you don’t necessarily have to have both.  EFT (electronic funds transfer) allows the carrier to take your monthly payment directly from your bank account, and it can save you about $60 per year!  If you choose to remain on a standard payment plan where the bills are mailed to you, most companies charge a $5-$6 installment fee each payment (most policies typically have 10 payment installments), so the savings can really add up if you’re on the EFT payment plan which may charge a minimal to no installment fee.
  • Multi-Car Discount – If you have more than one car, you can save up to 8% by having all of your vehicles on one policy.
  • Good Driver Discount – This is offered to drivers that have a good driving record and varies from case to case.  It is based on your SDIP rating, or how many points you have on your record and can be one of the biggest discounts available to drivers depending on your record.

Next time you’re shopping for insurance, give us a call at MassDrive!  All of our agents are extremely informed and will make sure you are getting as many discounts as possible!

Photo By: sunshinecity

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