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Auto FAQs

1. Am I covered by my existing insurance when I rent a car on vacation or while my car is being repaired, or should I purchase the additional damage waiver that the rental car company recommends?

The best answer is that your existing insurance does and doesn't cover a rental car. If you are a named insured on a Massachusetts auto policy then the coverage that you purchase for a vehicle travels with you when you rent or borrow a car. So, if you have collision and comprehensive coverage and are involved in an accident or the vehicle is damaged then your policy would respond as if it were your car. Your liability limits will also travel with you. This only applies to the named insureds (owners) listed at the top of the policy, not all drivers listed.

Also note that any 'loss of income' charges that a rental contract may make you responsible for are not covered.

For additional information, please see the article on rental car insurance in our Newsroom. Also, if you have additional questions about rental car insurance, please call us.

2. What if I borrow someone's car and get into an accident? Am I covered when I rent or borrow a truck?

Your policy does not provide coverage for a borrowed or rented truck. If you are renting a truck, you should check with the rental company regarding the purchase of collision and comprehensive insurance. If you are borrowing a truck, make sure you determine whether or not the owner has purchased collision or comprehensive coverage. If the owner does not have insurance, you may be personally liable for any damage to that truck which is the result of your negligent operation.

 

Homeowner FAQs

1. My homeowners insurance is part of the payment I make each month to the mortgage company. Who decides what insurance to get?

You do - it is your home and your insurance policy. As a means of protecting its investment, the mortgage company collects a set amount from you each month, puts it in escrow, and then pays your insurance and taxes when they fall due. However, the policy is still yours and you may select the insurance you feel offers the best coverage at the best rates. In fact, if you allow the mortgage company to choose, you might well end up paying more for your homeowners insurance.

2. What do I do when my property is damaged or stolen?

Contact us as soon as possible. If there is damage to your home or possessions make "emergency" repairs to protect yourself and your property from further damage, then call your agent. For example, if some of the windows in your home have been blown out by wind, you may board them up to prevent additional damage. In fact, your policy covers the cost of these emergency measures. However, before setting about to make permanent repairs, call us. The insurance company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged condition. They may want to send a claims adjuster or instruct you to get an estimate from an independent contractor. If you have property stolen, notify the policy immediately and call your agent.

3. My home sustained water damage last winter due to melting ice dams on the roof. What would be covered under my homeowners policy?

Generally damage to both the exterior and interior of a home resulting from weight of ice and snow or ice dams is covered under a homeowners policy. However, only the area damaged in the loss will be covered. Further damage sustained due to wear and tear or neglect will not be covered.

4. My home was recently broken into and I do not have sales receipts for the stolen items. What will the insurance company accept for proof of ownership?

If the actual receipts are not available, insurance companies generally will accept photos, warranties, owners manuals, cancelled checks, credit card receipts, bills, servicing agreements, even video tapes, as proof of ownership. We suggest that you consider video taping your home before a loss.

5. Recent rainstorms flooded and damaged my basement. Am I covered under my homeowners policy?

Flood coverage is generally excluded on the basic homeowners policy. However, some homeowners policies provide coverage for backup of sewers and drains that cause flooding in your basement. This coverage can be purchased for a nominal premium. You should check with us to see if this coverage is provided and how much it costs.

If, however, you live in a flood-prone area, you should consider and may be required by your lending institution to purchase a flood insurance policy. We can inform you about the Federal Flood Insurance Plan and the exclusions and limitations of coverage in this policy.

Business FAQs

1. I'm just getting my business started. Do I need insurance right away?

Yes, because the chance that you could suffer a loss begins with the first day of business. You can't get help after the fact. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance or have improper or insufficient coverage, there is very little, if anything, we can do to help you. You must be prepared for the risks that are inherent in any business and the losses, sometimes catastrophic, that they can cause. Also, many states and local jurisdictions require that businesses be insured to begin operating. And, if you rent space for your business, your landlord probably requires that you be adequately insured as well.

2. Is insurance coverage different for different businesses?

It can be. Many small businesses are now insured under package policies that cover the major property and liability exposures as well as loss of income. A common package policy used by many small businesses is called the Business Owners Policy (BOP). Generally, these package policies provide the small-business owner more complete coverage at a lower price than separate policies for each type of insurance needed.

We can help you decide which policy or policies are right for your business. Additional coverage for property, liability or perils or conditions otherwise excluded (e.g., flood protection) can be purchased as endorsements to a standard policy or as a separate, second policy called a difference-in-conditions (DIC) policy. Because businesses vary, it is impossible to have a standard policy to cover all contingencies. Also, some businesses, regardless of their size, do not fit the profile of a standard business owners policy. For example, restaurants, wholesalers and garages have special liability needs that are not met in the standard business owners policy. We can advise you of the best policy (or policies) to protect you and your business.