Insure Your Boat/Yacht in Massachusetts

Summer is Coming Soon

This week has been one of the warmest in Massachusetts this year. That can only mean one thing: Summer is on the horizon. On nice summer days, many Massachusett residents love taking their boat or yacht out for a spin across the state. With that being said, one problem that seems to crop up with boat and yacht owners is their insurance for their boat and yachts or lack thereof. Many boat and yacht owners either cancel their insurance after a certain amount of time or don’t have it at all. Car insurance is not neglected in our state and neither should boat or Yacht insurance.

Risky Waters

Even for those who are experienced boat and yacht drivers, there are always elements of risk that cannot be controlled out on the water. Having a boater’s driving license doe not make anyone invincible to accidents or incidents that make occur when you take your boat out. Having your boat or yacht insured is also essential when it is not boating season. With the weather in Massachusetts being what it is year-round, many boats and yachts are shelved, unattended and, docked for more than half the year. There is a good chance there is no one watching over your boat or yacht during the cold, wintry seasons which leaves it susceptible to tampering, vandalism and, even theft. By having your boat or yacht insured, you are taken protective measures against that.

Mother Nature Plays No Favorites

Living in Massachusetts has taught us that mother nature is unpredictable and unforgiving. How Mother nature acts in Massachusetts is often inconsistent and out of our control. Having boat and yacht insurance is something you can control, however. Mother Nature can impact your boat or Yacht whether you take it out for a spin or have it stored up. Insuring yourself and your boat or yacht against storms, rain, floods or hurricanes is important and can save you a lot of money by avoiding repairs.

Sign Up for Boaters Insurance Today

It is almost that time of year to take your boat or yacht around for a spin in the cape or the harbor. Boat and Yacht owners have so much invested in their boats and yachts it would be senseless not to have insurance for them. If we would not be driving a car without car insurance, we should not be driving a boat or yacht with insurance either. We cannot control all the reckless and inexperienced boat drivers out there, but what we can control is having the right insurance to protect you and your interests. At John J Walsh insurance, we always offer the highest quality boat and yacht insurance. Contact us before summer starts to get you insured before a fun summer begins.

3 Tips for New Boat Drivers

Nicer weather is here and you now have a boating permit and driver’s license. You are ready to show off your new skills and boat to your friends and family. The idea of driving a boat around on a beautiful day once you meet all the boating qualifications sounds like a lot of fun, but can also be overwhelming and challenging. Before you take your boat out for a spin, make sure you have proper boat insurance. Once your boat is insured, you are ready to go! In need of some advice as a rookie boat driver? You have come to the right place.

Prioritize Safety

We all remember the first-time we drove a car. We were nervous but excited at the same time. When we first started out driving cars, people always emphasized never to speed. The same can be said to first time boat drivers. Speeding out on the water is a common problem for boat drivers of all skill levels. Unlike driving a car, boats out in the water do not have to adhere to stoplights, staying in the proper lane, and do not see nearly as much traffic. Due to this, it is easy to get carried away and drive a boat faster than you should. Drive the boat at a speed you are most comfortable with and do not speed even if you think you can handle it. Life Jackets are essential when you are out on the water regardless of your ability to swim. Always have life jackets ready and easily accessible if you choose not to wear them on the boat.

Familiarize Yourself with the Weather

The weather in Massachusetts can be all over the place, even in the summer. Before you take your boat out for a spin, know what the weather is like and what is on tap. Sudden rainstorms are popular in Massachusetts in the summertime and nobody wants to get caught out in the water in a storm. Never take your boat out in a middle of a thunderstorm and always keep in mind how mother nature can be unpredictable.

Have Fun

You worked hard to get a boat and a driving license, so it is only fair to experience relaxation and enjoyment. Keep it safe, do some of the fun activities you have planned on your boat and soak it all in!

At John J Walsh Insurance, we have assisted and consulted with many boat owners over the years. If you are still looking for the right insurance for your boat or yacht, contact us today and we will be more than happy to get the conversation going.

How to Get the Right Kind of Boating Insurance

Getting basic boat insurance is required if you own a boat. However, there are many different types of policies and policy additions that you can get to cover you and your boat even better. Getting the right boating insurance comes down to knowing what coverage you’re the most likely to need given your location, experience, and type of boating you do most frequently. Let’s take a look at some of the most common additions and coverage options that are overlooked but may save you later on.

Fuel Spill Coverage

If your boat spills fuel or oil into the water, federal law states that you’re financially responsible for the damages that are caused. The costs can add up extremely quickly, so it’s ideal to have a fuel spill coverage policy just in case. People who boat near coral reefs and other fragile ecosystems are more likely to get fined for a fuel spill, since the damage will be more noticeable. The cost of fuel spill repairs can easily reach a million dollars or more and if you’re like the majority of people, you can’t afford that out of your own pocket.

Total Salvage Coverage

Total salvage coverage will cover all or part of the costs to salvage your boat if a storm takes it away from where it’s typically docked. A boat that’s carried to a marsh won’t be able to be easily recovered by water or land, that means that getting it back to where it belongs will be very expensive. Carrying total salvage coverage on your boat is much more affordable than paying tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to have your boat retrieved after a storm.

Uninsured Boater Coverage

Boat insurance is not required by law in all areas. That means that if you’re hit by another boat, they may not have insurance to repair the cost of damages done to your boat or passengers. You could also be involved in a hit and run accident with another boater and be unable to report the accident to their insurance if they do carry it. Uninsured boater coverage is extra coverage on your policy to protect you in the event of either of those situations.

If you’d like to find out more about the best boat insurance policies for you, contact John J Walsh Insurance today! We have a wide variety of policies to choose from and rather you’re looking to get insured for the first time or improve the coverage you already have, we’re sure to have something to fit your needs and budget. Ideally, you’ll never need to use your boat insurance, but realistically, you will at one point or another. Let us help you stay protected so you can enjoy the water worry-free!

What to do if You Accidentally Hit a Parked Car

One of the most stressful scenarios that’s incredibly common is hitting a parked car and having a car accident. Backing out of a parking space too quickly happens – but when another car is involved, it can be frightening. Don’t drive away from the scene of the accident until you follow these steps to protect yourself against potential criminal charges and fines.

Leave a Note

If you hit a parked car and you don’t have time to wait for the owner to return, you legally have to leave a note. Put a note on the car with your name and contact information, as well as your insurance information. This allows the owner of the car to contact you or your insurance company if they want compensation for the damages.

Find Possible Witnesses

Look around to see if anyone saw you hit the car. If they did, ask them if they can provide a witness statement of what happened. This helps protect you since the other car owner wasn’t around. You can get a witness statement either on video or in writing, but it will need to be signed if it’s in writing. Take the name and number of the witness in case the police or insurance companies need more information.

Wait for the Owner to Return

If you’re able to wait for the owner to return, that’s the best course of action. Then you can provide them with your contact and insurance information face to face and give an explanation of what happened. If the owner begins to get angry, contact the police to act as a mediator.

Take a Picture

Always take pictures before leaving the scene. Take picture of your car and the other car that was involved. Photos from the time that the accident occurred will be helpful to insurance companies and the police if they have to get involved.

Call Your Insurance Company

Once the other car owner has your information and everything has been documented, you’ll need to inform your insurance company of the accident. It’s up to the other owner rather or not they seek compensation for damages, but your insurance can help repair damages to your car regardless of what the other owner decides. If you don’t tell your insurance company about the accident and then the other owner decides to file a claim later, your insurance company can refuse to cover it.

To learn more about what you should do in the event of an accident or to get a new quote for your car insurance coverage, contact John J Walsh Insurance today! We want to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.

5 Tips for Defensive Driving

Defensive driving can prevent you from being involved in an accident, and potentially save your life. Defensive driving is defined as driving in a way that allows you to protect yourself and avoid an accident. Unfortunately, many auto accidents are caused by other driver’s negligence, even if you are being a safe driver. Luckily, practicing defensive driving can help protect you from other drivers on the road. Here are our top 5 defensive driving tips:

1. Eliminate Distractions

Make sure you are not doing anything that is going to distract you from the road. Keep cell phones on silent and out of reach, and do not eat, put on makeup, or anything else that will draw your attention off the road. Staying focused and ready to react is one of the most crucial parts of defensive driving, and will be your best weapon in protecting yourself.

2. Maintain a Safe Following Distance

You should be at least 3 to 4 seconds behind the car in front of you. This means that you should not pass a landmark until at least 3 seconds after the vehicle in front of you does. This way, if it swerves or stops suddenly, you will have adequate time to stop to avoid an accident.

3. Stay Within the Speed Limit

It’s more difficult to react quickly the faster you are going. It can be tempting to pick up speed, but you should stay within the posted speed limit for your safety. If another driver makes a sudden movement, or someone jumps out in front of you, it’s much easier to react.

4. Don’t Get Boxed In

It’s important to always make sure you have an “escape route” on the road, meaning you should make sure at least one side of your vehicle is clear. This way, you can avoid an accident by moving out of the way in one direction. 

5. Adjust to Different Driving Conditions

The way you should safely navigate the roads varies depending on conditions. For example, if it’s raining or snowing, reduce your speed and don’t make any sudden stops. If you are driving through a city or other crowded area, be sure to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Use your best judgment when it comes to what kind of situation you’re driving in.

Contact John J Walsh Insurance

If you are in need of auto insurance, boat insurance, or other insurance coverages, contact us today! Give us a call at (978) 745-3300 or fill out a contact form for a free quote. For over 30 years, John J Walsh Insurance has been a trusted insurance provider on Boston’s North Shore.

5 Things to Keep in Your Vehicle

If you’re traveling for the holidays or taking a road trip, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything you might encounter on your journey. Along with having good auto insurance, it’s important to carry the essentials to protect yourself and your vehicle while driving. Here are some of our vehicle essentials in case of emergencies big or small:

Important Documentation

You should always have your license and vehicle registration on you while driving in case of an accident or you get pulled over. You should also have your proof of auto insurance on you as well. Also, if you suffer from a chronic medical condition, make sure you have medical records or information on hand.

Cleaning Supplies 

In case of a food or beverage spill, it’s a good idea to have wipes or napkins in your vehicle. Being able to take care of spills quickly is essential for keeping the inside of your vehicle clean and preventing stains. You can even keep a mini vacuum in there!

A Car Charger 

You should always have your cellphone on you when you’re driving, in case of an accident or if your car breaks down. Just in case your cell phone runs out of battery, you should keep a charger in your car as well. Many newer cars have ports where you can plug your phone in. Also, there are adapters you can buy in order to charge your phone in older cars as, well as portable chargers to make sure you always have a working cellphone in an emergency.

Emergency Supplies

In case of a breakdown or an accident, it’s a good idea to have emergency supplies on you. A first aid kit is important in the event of an emergency, and can be life-saving in an accident. Also, if you live in a cold environment, blankets and hand warmers can be helpful if your vehicle or heating system breaks down on a cold day. They can help keep you warm as you wait for help to arrive.

A Flashlight 

In case of a breakdown at night, it’s important to have a flashlight on hand so you can investigate the issue, find your cell phone, and make sure other drivers can see you. You can purchase mini flashlights to keep in your glove compartment in case of emergency.

Contact John J Walsh Insurance

John J Walsh Insurance offers the most reliable auto, home, and boat insurance in the area. Give us a call today at (978) 745-3300 to discuss the right insurance plan for you or fill out a contact form.

What to Do if You’re a Victim of a Hit and Run

A hit and run is when you are in an automobile accident, and the other party drives away without stopping to check on you or exchange information. Nobody wants to think about potentially being a victim of a hit and run; however, it can provide peace of mind to know what to do in the event. Here are some steps to take if you find yourself ever in this situation:

Immediately Contact Law Enforcement 

It is important to get law enforcement on the scene as soon as possible. They can collect evidence of the incident and assist with directing traffic away from your vehicle. NEVER attempt to chase down the person you were hit by, as it can be very dangerous. Be sure to check if yourself or your passengers are injured so you can let emergency services know you will need medical assistance.

Flag Down any Witnesses

Often, there are others around at the scene of the accident. Witnesses can help identify what happened and may have seen the make, model, or color of the vehicle that hit you. Be sure to record their contact information; the police or your insurance company may need information from them down the line.

Gather Details

If you are not injured, make sure you collect as much information as possible. Try and gather what happened and what caused the accident, as well as the physical attributes of the car or driver if you were able to see them, or the license plate number. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. Make sure to take note of the time and location of the accident as well. This will all be important information for your case.

Request a Police Report

A police report can be an essential resource in gathering information about the accident when you file a claim with your auto insurance company. The officer responding to your accident can likely inform you on how to obtain this.

John J Walsh Insurance offers reliable automobile insurance with a variety of coverage options to fit your needs. We have been in business for over 30 years and will find the right insurance for you. Give us a call at (978) 745-3300 or fill out a contact form for a quote. 

Does the Insurance Rates Go Up with a Teen Driver?

Congratulations, your child just passed the driving test and is now recognized by the state. However, one thing that requires him or her to get on the road is automobile insurance. However, many are wondering does your insurance rates go up when you insure your teen.

Do Teenage Drivers Increase Car Insurance Rates?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It is because you are covering for another driver and the fact that, it is an inexperienced driver increase it more.

In many states, the rates are typically based on the following factors for a young driver:

  • Gender: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young males’ death rates are doubled of young females.
  • Category of Vehicle: If you own a luxury vehicle, you are expected to pay more, especially if it’s a young driver.
  • Primary Driver: If the ownership of the vehicle belongs to the teen, it will cost more because the teen has gone from occasional operator to primary operator

3 Ways to Ask for Discounts

Although the insurance rate is going up, yet, you can reduce the impact by getting a discount in these 3 ways.

  1. Receiving an education in a driving school
  2. Getting a grade of B or higher can prove to insurance companies that you are a good student
  3. Attending a school 100 miles or away from home

Contact Rockport & Salem Insurance Company Today

If you have any questions on your insurance, contact John J Walsh today at 978-745-3300 or fill out our contact form now

Advantages of an Agency Over Online Insurance

As consumers, we are always informed with commercials telling you can save on your insurance costs by filling out some information on a website. It might be true when some online carriers provide coverage at lower premium costs, however, are lower premium costs the only thing you need?

Buying your insurance policies through an independent agent may have more benefits than you realize. An agent can offer quotes from multiple companies to make sure that you will get the best coverage at the most affordable price. An agent can easily answer any questions you might have about a particular insurance.

An independent agent can also offer the following benefits:

  • One stop shopping for home, auto, commercial
  • Provide inside knowledge
  • Assistance with claims
  • Friendly service

Contact John J Walsh Insurance Today

When you contact John J Walsh Insurance of Salem and Rockport today, you will start to establish a relationship with a dependable and reliable insurance agent. We are your first contact to assist you with all your insurance policy matters. When you call our number, you will be talking with a live representative, no recordings. Contact us today for your auto, flood, home insurance in Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Gloucester, Rockport, and more.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Actually Need?

Life insurance has a reputation for being hard to understand and intimidating, especially with terms such as whole life, portability, and riders. Then comes the question of how much life insurance you actually need. With the right tools and resources, getting your own life insurance policy is much easier than you were expecting.

To determine the right life insurance policy for you and your family, our team at John J Walsh Insurance Agency will be able to walk you through the process.

When determining which life insurance policy is best for you, the first decision you will have to make is whether you want term life, which is insurance for a fixed period of time, or whole life, which includes an investment component that allows you to gradually build value with the goal of keeping the policy until death,

How to Determine How Much Life Insurance You Need

Most employers offer life insurance policies as a benefit and most individuals do not think they need a separate policy. The issue with this is that if you lose your job, most times, your life insurance policy isn’t portable and you lose the coverage. Policies through your employer are also typically more expensive and if you’re in good health, you can purchase higher limits.

Rule of Thumb

One of the easiest ways to determine the coverage you will need from your life insurance policy is to purchase a policy that is an equal multiple of your income. It’s typically recommended to do five, seven, or ten times your annual salary. Another way to determine how much life insurance you will need is to start with a multiple of your income and then add in any household debt or $100,000 per child.

Use a Life Insurance Calculator

If you don’t want to guestimate your life insurance policy coverage by the rule of thumb, utilize a life insurance calculator to determine how much insurance you actually need! By providing information such as debt, college plans, number of children, and your salary, you’ll have an exact number for your life insurance needs.

Seek Assistance from an Insurance Provider

Our team at John J Walsh Insurance will be able to answer any questions you might have and will help you determine exactly how much life insurance coverage you need. To get started, contact our team today at 978-745-3300.