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Insurance Matters: 5 Tips for Surviving New England Potholes

You can’t always avoid them, but you can minimize the damage

As winter turns to spring and temperatures rise, the roads of New England begin to heave and crack. Here are a few tips to keep you out of a repair rut and to help you avoid having to file a claim.

1. Eyes on the Road. This goes without saying, but vigilance can help you avoid hitting potholes in the first place. Be extra alert when driving after a… Continue reading →

Teens Texting & Driving: Taking Steps to Reverse Alarming Trends

If you think teens are the primary culprits, think again

The number of traffic deaths in the U.S. rose sharply in 2015 and 2016, marking the greatest increase in five decades, and many safety advocates point to distracted driving as one of the primary reasons.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that in 2015 alone, distracted driving was the cause of 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries, and texting was the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text… Continue reading →

Planning a DIY project? Don’t Injure Yourself…

Before you measure twice, think twice—and consider the implications

Across the nation, it’s happening every day. Executives and editors channeling their inner electrician. Stockbrokers and sous chefs playing professional plumber. Teachers, office managers, personal trainers and innumerable others embarking on a serious building endeavor.

And, in many cases, insurance agents cringing for them.

Yes, it’s a DIY world out there, thanks largely to social media, marketing campaigns and wildly popular television shows—indeed, enough to warrant an entire new network—devoted to… Continue reading →

David W. Griffin Sr. commended for 35-year commitment to the CIC

David W. Griffin, Sr.

David W. Griffin Sr., CIC, LIA, the executive vice president and treasurer of The Dowd Agencies, LLC, has been recognized by The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) for his 35 years of committed professional leadership and advanced knowledge. Griffin earned the designation through a series of rigorous examinations and has maintained the designation by annual attendance at an approved CIC continuing education program.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized by the CIC for my longevity and commitment,” said Griffin. “Ongoing… Continue reading →

The Dowd Insurance Agencies Brings Newly Enhanced Distractology® Tour to Holyoke to Educate Teen Drivers on the Dangers of Distracted Driving


Student participating in distracted driving simulation

Program lets Holyoke High School students participate in a simulated driving experience

HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Dowd Insurance Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for more than 118 years, is proud to bring the newly relaunched Distractology® tour to Holyoke High School Tuesday, May 30 – Friday, June 2. Developed and funded by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, Distractology was one of the first programs in the country to address distracted… Continue reading →

David W. Griffin, Jr., promoted to vice president at The Dowd Insurance Agencies

The Dowd Insurance Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for more than 118 years, today announced David W. Griffin, Jr., has been promoted to vice president of The Dowd Insurance Agencies. Griffin is based out of the Holyoke office and works with the other branches based in Hadley, Southampton, Ludlow and Indian Orchard.

“The Dowd Insurance Agencies is the oldest family-owned agency in Massachusetts,” said David W. Griffin, Sr., “and I am very proud that my son… Continue reading →

Five generations later, Holyoke’s Dowd Agencies stays true to insurance roots

Written by Keith O’Connor, Special to The Republican

No story about the Dowd Agencies – the oldest insurance agency in Massachusetts under continuous family ownership – and its tremendous growth over the years can be told without a little background history first.

Like many Irish immigrants who came to settle in Holyoke, James J. Dowd arrived in the Paper City in 1865 to build a better life for himself and his family.

While Dowd worked in a textile mill, one… Continue reading →



The Dowd Insurance Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for more than 118 years, today announced Jack Dowd will be joining the agency as an Account Executive. The addition of Jack Dowd represents the fifth generation of family to be employed at The Dowd Insurance Agencies.

“It’s a real sense of pride that I feel welcoming my son, Jack, to the family business representing the fifth generation here at The Dowd Insurance Agencies,” said John E. Dowd,… Continue reading →


Michael G. Rzepka Michael G. Rzepka joined The Dowd Insurance Agencies in 1991
The Dowd Insurance Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for more than 118 years, today announced Michael G. Rzepka is celebrating his 25th anniversary as part of the firm. Rzepka joined The Dowd Insurance Agencies in 1991 with a concentration on commercial sales and has provided a quarter century of local service. For more than three decades, Rzepka has held various positions in commercial underwriting, marketing… Continue reading →


Jon-Lumbra_1853-4x6 The Dowd Insurance Agencies, a leading insurance provider serving New England for over 115 years, today announced the appointment of Chief Financial Officer, Jon D. Lumbra.  A resident of Holyoke, Lumbra will be responsible for directing the fiscal operations of the business and supervising the accounting department. In addition, he will assist in the planning, establishing and maintaining of current systems and procedures.

“We are pleased to welcome Jon to the team,” said David Griffin W. Griffin,… Continue reading →

Massachusetts Car Buyers Charged Hundreds in Document Fees

The  following article was provided by Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents in their February 2012 Registry News:

Massachusetts car buyers are being charged so-called “documentation preparation” fees that can range as high as $400 supposedly for processing paperwork and storage of documents,according to a state-wide survey by the Office of Consumer Affairs.

The Office of Consumer Affairs surveyed almost 190 car dealerships across the state asking if these fees were charged, the amount and the reasons for the fees.… Continue reading →

Massachusetts drivers save with managed competition

Massachusetts drivers have saved $480 million in car insurance premiums since a managed competition system was instituted three years ago this spring, says the state’s insurance commissioner.

Instituting competitive rates also brought 13 new insurers to the Bay State’s auto insurance market, and some consumers say they’re still reaping savings year-to-year as they find bargains thanks to careful comparison shopping.

It’s quite a difference for a state which once had some of the most expensive – and most highly regulated… Continue reading →

Motorcycle Insurance Settlements

Allegations that some insurance companies were illegally using inflated motorcycle values to calculate premiums and failing to depreciate motorcycle values as policies renewed has resulted in settlements for over 100,000 policies.  Click here to read the release from Attorney General Martha Coakley.

If you purchased motorcycle insurance from Arbella, Hanover, Norfolk & Dedham, OneBeacon (Mass. Homeland), Liberty Mutual, Quincy Mutual, Safety Insurance Company, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim Insurance, or Metropolitan Property & Casualty you can use the Attorney General’s… Continue reading →

Be Sure to Check Your License Expiration Date!

Is your license up for renewal?

Be Sure to Check Your License Expiration Date!


The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will no longer mail out renewal notices.

Be sure to renew at least seven days before your birthday to ensure that you receive your new license before your old license expires.

You can renew online instead of in line.

The RMV express lane is always open.

Get Prepared Before Your Summer Road Trip

If you’re planning a summer road trip, it’s crucial to review your auto insurance before you hit the road. In case you’re involved in an accident, it’s also important to know what happens when you file a claim. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers these tips for consumers planning summer travel.

Cell Phone and Safety Belt Laws By State

If you wonder as you pass through a state what their laws are regarding cell phone use and the use of seat belts, this list with some of the states should help:

StateCell PhonesSafety Belts
ConnecticutHand-held phones may not be uses while drivingRequired for drivers and front-seat passengers; standard offense
DelawareNo restrictionsRequired for driver and all passengers; standard offense
MaineNo restrictionsRequired for driver and all… Continue reading →

MAIA Cautions Consumers About Progressive Quotes


Framingham, MA—Progressive Insurance Direct went live with its private passenger auto insurance website on May 1st. Initial reports of “dirt cheap” rates led the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) to look deeper at the actual quotes.

According to MAIA President and Chief Executive Officer, Francis A. Mancini, “Our review of the quotes provided by Progressive reminds us of the old saying, ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’ Consumers should use extreme caution when… Continue reading →

Consumer brochures

The Institute for Highway Safety has brochures that are downloadable or that you may order.  The brochures available are: Shopping For A Safer Car, About Your Airbags, Need An Airbacy On/Off Switch Probably Not, Kids And Airbags, Beginning Teenage Drivers, Graduated Driver Licensing: Questions & Answers and Vehicle Research Center guide.  Click here to view any of the brochures listed above.

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan

There has been a lot of information regarding the managed competetion starting April 1, 2008.  The competitive rates, new discounts and the different coverages that consumers will be able to shop for are on everyones minds.  There hasn’t been as much said about MAIP.

The Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP) is an insurance plan for drivers who cannot obtain insurance in the voluntary market.  If you cannot find an insurance company willing… Continue reading →

Massachusetts Auto Questions and Answers

The Division of Insurance has put together some answers to commonly asked questions you, the consumer, have regarding April 1, 2008 Managed Competition coming to Massachusetts and how it will affect you.

Click here to get your answers or you can contact our office by email, phone or by stopping in, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Rate Comparison Tool Information

We have received inquiries from some of our customers regarding the online Automobile Insurance Rate Comparison Tool hosted by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.  If you have visited this website, the results of your search may have been confusing.  There are a few things you should know about this Rate Comparison Tool before you make any decisions regarding your automobile insurance coverage.


It’s important to understand that the Rate Comparison Tool provides rate estimates only, not accurate… Continue reading →

Frequently Asked Auto Questions

Consumers have many questions with Managed Competition on auto insurance beginning April 1, 2008 in Massachusetts.  The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries has put together the most frequently asked questions and answers which includes how rate setting works, and what to expect.  If you have questions, this may help give you a better understanding.

Compare Auto Rates

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has built an information portal for consumers.  Consumers can compare sample premiums for new private passenger automobiles policies sold in Massachusetts.

Bear in mind: The rates are only sample premiums and do not reflect discounts, including renewal discounts, that could apply to you. 

Contact Dowd to see what discounts/credits you may be eligible for.


According to NBC News, about 340 children have died from being left unattended in a vehicle in the last 10 years. Such tragedy does not have to happen; it can be avoided. Here are some suggestions you might want to incorporate into your daily routine if you have small children in your car.

– Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, lunch, or briefcase on the floor in the back seat.

– Get into the habit of always… Continue reading →

Purchasing A Personal Umbrella Poicy Is A Wise Decision

One of the most important insurance policies you can buy is the personal umbrella policy, but many people are unaware they need one. This policy provides high limits of liability to protect you against a catastrophic liability loss. For example, a major car accident may injure numerous people or cause head injuries or death that will result in liability far in excess of the limits typically purchased in a personal auto policy. An umbrella policy sits on top of the… Continue reading →

Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest

Have you ever wondered what it would cost you if you were stopped for drunk driving?  There are many expenses, some that you might not have considered.  A copy of a brochure that has been developed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts itemizes the cost associated with a DWI offense.  For the sobering facts click here.

Melanie’s Bill was signed into effect on October 28, 2005. It significantly increases penalities for impaired… Continue reading →

New Web Site To Help Understand Massachusetts Auto Changes

The Massachusetts Independent Insurance Agents Association has launched a new web site to help consumers understand the new changes in Mass. Auto Insurance.  You can get answers to the most frequently asked questions, review a chart of what the most popular companies are planning to offer on April 1st and find out how the Independent Insurance Agents  person to person service makes all the difference.  Click here to access this helpfull, informative site.

Competitive Auto Insurance is Finally Coming to Massachusetts April 1, 2008!

Dowd Insurance is excited about the upcoming changes in auto insurance, and we are ready for it.

Over the next few months, you will be hearing about the new competitive auto insurance market in Massachusetts.  We represent the top auto insurance carriers in the state, and we will be working with them to offer a variety of coverages and discounts along with highly competitive rates.  Dowd is monitoring these changes closely, and will keep you informed.

Dowd Insurance… Continue reading →

MA Competitive Auto Rate Filings Summary

Questions, questions, we all have questions on the competitive auto coming April 1, 2008.

We, at Dowd, want you to know we are excited about the upcoming changes in 2008 Massachusetts Auto.   We don’t have all the answers right now, but we are working hard and will be ready when that time comes.

As an Independent Agent representing a variety of strong auto carriers we can help you select the best coverage at the best price, especially if… Continue reading →