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Born to be wild? Check your motorcycle insurance first

Before you get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway, do you know if you have the right insurance coverage for your motorcycle? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

Coverage requirements vary by state. At a minimum, Massachusetts requires that you carry:

  • Bodily injury to others with limits of $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident
  • Personal injury protection of $8,000
  • Liability coverage for underinsured automobilists of $20,000 per person or… Continue reading →

Will You Really Be Able to Work Longer?

You may assume you will. That assumption could be a retirement planning risk.

How long do you think you will work? Are you one of those baby boomers (or Gen Xers) who believes he or she can work past 65?

Some pre-retirees are basing their entire retirement transition on that belief, and that could be financially perilous.

In a new survey on retirement age, the gap between perception and reality stands out. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) recently published… Continue reading →

Everybody knows your name: the benefits of local insurance agents

If you watch any TV these days, it’s likely you’ve seen the commercials: all matter of wildlife, from ducks to geckos, pigeons to Snoopy, trying to sell you insurance from major national brands. They are often good for a chuckle, and lead you to believe that shopping for insurance is fun and simple­­––a matter of checking a few boxes on an online form. But if you really think about what’s at stake, isn’t it worth spending a little time with… Continue reading →

A personal message from John Dowd, president and CEO

Celebrating 35 years with the Dowd Agencies

Forbes magazine noted that less than a third of family-owned businesses survive the transition from the first generation to the second, and fewer than 50 percent of those successfully transition to a third generation. We clearly broke this mold: The Dowd Insurance Agencies is a fourth-generation, family-owned, leading insurance provider that has had the honor of serving our clients throughout New England for more than 118 years.

I recently celebrated 35 years with… Continue reading →

When the dog bites: do you have the right coverage?

Insurance considerations for dog owners

We are a nation of pet-lovers. The ASPCA reports that approximately 78 million dogs are owned in the United States, and over 40 percent of all households have a dog. It may surprise you, but if you are one of them, it’s something you should talk to your insurance company about.

In Massachusetts, dog owners are liable if their dog causes personal injury and the injured person was not trespassing, committing another infraction, or… Continue reading →

National Insurance Awareness Day

3 ways to recognize the importance of this oft-overlooked essential

National Insurance Awareness Day falls on Wednesday, June 28. No fireworks. No cookouts. No decorations. Let’s face it, thinking about insurance is not fun. But still, taking a few minutes to recognize this day could have a tremendous impact on your life, and the lives of your family members.

Everyone needs insurance, whether by law (think auto insurance) or by situation (no one wants to leave their family destitute). Regardless… Continue reading →

Personal umbrella policies

What are they, and should you have one?

Personal umbrella insurance policies have grown in popularity, but they aren’t necessary for everyone.

An umbrella policy protects you against a catastrophic liability loss. For example, a major car accident that injures many people or that causes permanent impairment or death may result in liability beyond what a typical automobile policy covers. An umbrella policy sits atop auto and/or homeowner policies to provide higher limits of protection. They often also cover some… Continue reading →

Accidents happen

Do you know what to do if you have a car accident?

Even the best drivers can get into auto accidents. Weather conditions, road work, pedestrians, distractions and other drivers can cause even the most careful driver to crash.

Do you know what to do if you are in a car accident?

Safety first. Whether it’s a fender bender or a major accident, first, check to see if anyone is hurt. Check yourself and your passengers, then check to see… Continue reading →

Life takes planning

And so does your family’s future

Alan Lakein, author of How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, once said: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And when it comes to protecting your family’s future, that statement has never been more true.

There are several steps you can take now to protect your family later. Life insurance is one of them.

Do you need life insurance? How much?

To determine if you need life insurance, ask… Continue reading →

A mixed blessing: your teen got a driver’s license!

 

It’s an exciting time when your teenager gets their license. The big question on every parent’s mind, though, is: what does this do to my auto insurance premium?

Statistics show that young operators are at much higher risk to get into fender benders than experienced operators. This results in the cost of your collision coverage going up.

So, what do you do? Since the biggest statistical risk in the eyes of insurance companies is the collision coverage, the best… Continue reading →

Do I Need to Buy Insurance for my Rental Car?

 

Whether you’re on a business trip, vacationing or your car is in the shop, there are many reasons why you may find yourself behind the wheel of a rental. But before you drive away, you should give your insurance agent a call to discuss if you are covered under your current automotive policy.

Typically, your personal automotive insurance should extend to your rental car. Depending on the state in which your policy is issued, a rental vehicle is… Continue reading →

Insurance: the wisest investment of your young life

Get it now, be glad you did later    

We’ll be the first to admit it: Insurance isn’t particularly riveting. Don’t get us wrong; we happen to find it quite interesting, and heaven knows it’s important. It simply doesn’t spark much excitement. Not in the way something like a robbery, a serious injury or a lawsuit might. Those things are bound to get the blood pumping—especially if they happen to you.

In a world full of excitement, insurance is… Continue reading →

What’s driving your monthly premium?

How auto coverage costs are determined, and how you can help control them 

The whirlwind weekends spent online and on lots are behind you at last; you’ve got yourself a new vehicle. You did the math, worked your sales-defense savvy and settled on a manageable loan payment. Hopefully, your number crunching considered that other monthly payment, the one that goes along with this exciting purchase. It’s auto insurance, your financial protection in case of damage, destruction or theft of… Continue reading →

Bridging the GAP- Don’t Let Depreciation Put You at Risk!

 

We’ve all heard it before: a brand-new car loses 30% of its value when it’s driven off the lot. That means if your car is totaled or stolen, your insurance company will only pay out what your car is worth at the time of the claim. The purpose of Guaranteed Asset Protection—better known as GAP insurance—is to cover the “gap” between what you owe on your vehicle and what it’s worth at the time of the loss.

While GAP… Continue reading →

Learning the Facts of Life (Insurance, That Is)

Life Insurance Myhts

The most important policy you may think you don’t need

You lock up your home at night. You secure your children in 5-point harness car-seat systems and make sure you buckle up, too. You keep emergency numbers posted on the fridge, right near the phone. Then, with these things in place, you carry on.

And that’s our segue to a discussion on the king of the just-in-cases: life insurance. Understandably, this one tends to stir heebie-jeebies that other safeguards don’t.… Continue reading →

Headed north for trailer registration? You may be sorry!

Even for a Massachusetts native, there are plenty of reasons to visit New England’s northernmost state. Go for the legendary lobstah. Check out the vast beaches or historic hiking trails. Shop the famed outlets, and score your favorite fashions for less.

But if you’re looking to score a bargain on your trailer’s registration, you’re wiser to stay close to home.

In recent years, many Massachusetts residents and business owners have succeeded in registering their semi- or utility trailers in Maine.… Continue reading →

Auto Insurance: Why You Should Make It a Household Term

“Can I take the car tonight?”

It’s one of those questions that virtually all parents anticipate, and that most ultimately will hear—time and again.

The thought of your son or daughter behind the wheel of a vehicle may stir a mix of emotions, from anxiety and fear to excitement and relief. Although the nuances of auto insurance may not be your top considerations, it’s important to place them high on the list. That’s because, among other reasons, your child needs… Continue reading →

Business Income Insurance – Coverage You Can’t Afford to skip

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Have you ever watched a big storm or witnessed an accident on the news that you hope would never happen to you and your business? The truth is you never know when a natural disaster or accident will hit. If it does, is your bottom line covered?

Business income coverage (also known as business interruption coverage), is protection against loss of income or profits. This coverage protects businesses if they have suffered a property loss or damage from a covered… Continue reading →

Are my visiting relatives covered under my auto insurance policy?

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Picture this – it’s Thanksgiving and you have entire gaggle of family show up for the holidays, some by plane and some by car. While you are thrilled about your family visiting, chances are these out-of-town guests will ask to borrow your car for a last minute trip to the grocery store. You might want to hesitate before tossing them the keys…

There are usually two kinds of drivers whom are covered by your car insurance: drivers that are listed… Continue reading →

There’s No Place Like Home

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There truly is no place like home, your own bed, your own space – but what happens when that oasis is damaged? Your home, whether it is a house or a condominium is likely to be your most valuable asset. That is why homeowners insurance is so important, you need to make sure you have the right insurance and that your policy offers you adequate protection.

As you may know, homeowners insurance policies can be very different and are often… Continue reading →

What’s the Difference : Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage?

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What is the Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

 All automotive insurance policies are not created equal, and unlike liability coverage, both collision and comprehensive insurance are intended to pay for damage to your own vehicle. While all types of auto insurance are important, as a driver it is imperative to know how your policy protects your car.

What is collision insurance?

Collision coverage is insurance which protects against damage to your vehicle in the event of a… Continue reading →

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Is Your Business Covered?

Stressed young businessman sitting at desk with laptop

Throughout the past 10 years there has been a steady evolution of technology, with these technological advances has come an entirely new area of crime and risk. In the United States alone there were 781 data breaches in 2015, this number has increased from 324 in 2014. With each data leak there are thousands of personal and business files that are exposed.

With all of these data breaches, just here in the United States it is important to evaluate… Continue reading →

How Much Money are You Willing to Spend on Insurance?

By: John E. Dowd, Jr

In the world of insurance everyone knows that driving history can impact your insurance rates. What most people do not realize is that your insurance rates can go up because you decided to buy a new pair of shoes or a nice new grill for the summer months.

This emerging tactic is called price optimization – an approach that some insurance companies have implemented. This practice uses an algorithm and statistical models to evaluate how… Continue reading →

What You Don’t Know About Home Liability Coverage

By: John E. Dowd, Jr.

With families preparing to host barbecues this summer or gearing up to take a weekend trip, it is important to understand that many insurance policies provide for liability coverage, even for certain accidents outside the home.

Liability coverage is a typical component of a homeowner’s insurance policy. While no one expects to be held liable after a friend falls down their stairs, this coverage may help prevent paying out-of-pocket if you are found legally liable.… Continue reading →

Top Three Reasons to Combine Your Insurance Policies

By: John E. Dowd, Jr.

Today our entire lives are bundled, we bundle our cable, internet, and phone, and just like shopping at Costco the idea of ordering in bulk or paying for multiple services through one provider brings the price down. The same can be said for insurance policies. Most Americans start driving under their parents insurance and although some have made changes along the way, most drivers do not make mindful efforts to switch insurance policies. As a… Continue reading →