Important Things Teenage Drivers Need To Know

When teenagers finally get their driver’s license, it can be an exciting time for them. Getting your driver’s license as a teenager is a sign of independence and a big stepping stone. With that said, yearly teenage driving statistics indicate teenage drivers can be reckless on the roads and are the most vulnerable driving demographic. Having automobile insurance is great, but it can only cover so much. Whether you are a parent of teenagers or a teenager yourself, here are important aspects driving teenagers need to be cognizant of.

Do Not Participate In Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem for all ages but mostly teenagers. Distracted driving refers to texting while driving, using your phone while driving or doing an activity that involves taking your eyes off the road. Driving is not a time to fool around. Driving requires undivided attention to the roads and hands on the steering wheel. All it takes is one second of being distracted for an accident to occur.

Everyone Needs to Wear A Seatbelt

Seatbelts exist for a reason. Not only do drivers need to be wearing a seatbelt while driving, but so does every other passenger in the vehicle. It is the drivers responsibility to make sure every one in the car has their seatbelt on when the car is in motion.

Do Not Attempt To Drive Under The Influence

Nobody should ever drive when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol but unfortunately, it is something that occurs too often. While you cannot control others getting behind the wheel when they are drunk or high, you can control yourself. Driving under the influence often leads to severe repercussions. If you are ever drunk or high and need to drive home, call for help or have someone you trust to drive you home. Not getting into a car as a passenger when the driver is under the influence is also important.

Automobile Insurance In Rockport, MA, and Salem, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance

It is essential to have automobile insurance before you start driving for the first time. If you are still looking for the right automobile insurance coverage, contact our insurance team!

How To Avoid Common Summer Insurance Claims

Summer is just a month away and can be one of the best times of the year! With that said, Summer is not fun when insurance claims crop up. Since Summer is a period of time in which there is a lot of travel and outdoor activities, accidents can happen more frequently. Here are typically the most common summer insurance claims and what you can do to decrease the chances they affect you.

Fire Accidents

With the weather getting warmer, many homeowners are starting to fire up their grill and start cooking outdoors. A reoccurring yearly problem with outdoor cooking is fires. Fire departments are called upon to deal with thousands of outdoor fire-related incidents every summer. The unfortunate aspect of outdoor fires is the fact most of them can be prevented. Many outdoor fires are caused by negligence on the part of the person cooking outdoors. In most cases, a fire will transpire because a grille was left unattended. In other cases, a fire starts due to cooking too close to something flammable. Always use sound judgment when cooking outdoors, and always ask for help when you need it.

Pool Accidents

The summer is a great time to use the pool but you have to be careful. Drownings and other pool accidents are sadly incidents that happen once too often in the summertime. It is always imperative to monitor children when they use your pool and lock up the area when no one is using it. You would be surprised how many children fall into a pool that does not have a gate around it. Minimize pool accidents by being proactive this Summer.

Bulgurary Incidents

Summer has to be the favorite season for many burglars. This is because most burglars are privy to the fact many homeowners will be away from their homes during the summer. Even when you are not home, you can have protective measures in place that eliminate or decrease the chances of your home being burglarized. For example, if your home does not have a security alarm system, it may be in your best interest to start looking into that. A security alarm system is often a deterrent for many burglars. Another helpful measure is to have a neighbor or friend you trust to check in on your home when you are away. Burglars often look for homes with no activity and having someone periodically check in on your home can steer burglars away.

Professional Insurance Agency In Rockport & Salem, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance

At John J. Walsh Insurance, we offer a variety of insurance policies. Work with us to tailor a policy to your need today! Contact us today to get started!

The Most Common Home Insurance Claims

If you have been a homeowner for at last a few years, you have probably wondered what the most common home insurance claims are. If you are a homeowner, you also probably understand just how important having home insurance is, because you never really know what can happen to your home. Filing a home insurance claim when the unexpected happens to your home can save you time, money, and stress. For your information, here are typically the most common home insurance claims filed in recent years.

Claims Regarding Water Damages

Every home is susceptible to water damage but some are unluckier than others. Sometimes preventing water damage is something homeowners can avoid, but in other cases, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from happening. Water damages can wreak havoc and should be addressed immediately. Homeowners in New England always have to be vigilant about potential water damage due to the region’s climate. Depending on your policy, your home insurance coverage may not cover certain water damages. In that case, having flood insurance will come in handy.

Claims Regarding Wind Damages

Many homes across New England encounter damage from wind every year. This should come as no surprise as New England states can get quite windy in the fall and winter seasons. Winds damaging your property can be frustrating but putting in a claim can ease the recovery process.

Claims Regarding Fire Damages

Fire damages are one of, if not the most common home insurance claim annually. On top of that, since fire damages can be catastrophic, they are usually the most expensive home insurance claim. In most cases, fire damage inside a home can be prevented. Residential fires are usually caused by negligence. Always remember to never leave a turned-on stove or grill unattended.

Home Insurance Policies In Rockport & Salem, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance

Experiencing damage to or within your home is no fun, but that is why home insurance policies exist. At John J. Walsh Insurance, our insurance professionals can work with you on having a good insurance plan handy. Preparing for the unexpected goes a long way. Contact us today to see how we can help you protect your assets today!

Does My Home Insurance Cover Work From Home?

The 2020 pandemic forced millions of us to work from home and two years later, millions of us are still working from home. Whether you work from home full-time or part-time, you may have wondered if your home insurance extends to your work from home life. Here are the factors that can help you find your answer.

Factor #1 Your Job Position

Even as the pandemic scales back, working from home has become as common as ever. In terms of home insurance coverage while working from home, a factor that may be considered in the process is whether you are an employee of a company or an owner of one. If you work remotely as an employee of a company you are most likely insured by your company for work-related accidents. If you are an owner of a company working from home, the extent of what is covered depends on your insurance policies. You can always check with your employers if you would like to know more about what you are covered for while working remotely on the job.

Factor #2 Potential Visitors

While working from home, do you still have meetings with clients or customers on your property? Homeowners insurance should cover you to some extent should an accident happen but you should square this away with your insurance provider. If you are an owner of a company meeting with clients or customers in your home, you may need to take out a business policy.

Factor #3 Work From Home Items and Equipment

When you work from home, you obviously will use items, tools, and equipment to help you get the job done. Whether these materials are personally owned or your company’s property, it is important to know if they are covered in the event of an accident or theft. Many homeowner policies will cover items such as laptops but it is good to know what is covered and what is not.

Professional Home Insurance Policies in Rockport & Salem, MA: John. J Walsh Insurance

At John. J Walsh Insurance, we know people are working from home more than they ever have. This, among many other factors, makes our insurance company thrilled to offer customizable home insurance policies. Whatever your needs, budget or assets are, work with our professionals to protect them!

Contact us today to get started!

Do I Need Flood Insurance In Rockport, MA?

Seaside towns like Rockport are prone to floods. Adding to the damage on properties, flooding can also destroy access to utilities, transportation, emergency services and may also affect the overall economic wellbeing of the community. In essence, Rockport has a critical risk of flooding over the next 30 years, meaning flooding is very much likely to affect the community’s day-to-day life.

Does Home Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Floods are distinct among disasters in that they can impact very large areas and can nearly impact the complete loss of most property in an affected home.

However, home insurance and renter’s insurance policy do not include damages resulting from flooding.

Rockport, MA, being a community next to the ocean, it is recommended for residents to have flood insurance for when the worst happens to their homes, and that means purchasing a separate policy.

Who Needs Flood Insurance in Massachusetts?

Flood insurance is advisable for many landlords, tenants, and business property owners – but specifically, those located near the coast like Rockport, downstream from brooks, lakes, or rivers.

It also makes sense for those whose property lies adjacent to a construction zone, where development can impact how water flows below the ground.

What Is The Cost of Flood Insurance?

The cost of your flood insurance will depend on lots of factors distinct to your property:

  • How high above sea level you are
  • Whether or not your home sits in a floodway zone
  • The building features of your home.

By FEMA’s national average, flood insurance costs approximately $700 annually, for about $250,000 in coverage.

However, properties located in moderate-to-low risk areas may be eligible for lower cost, Preferred Risk Policy rates.

Does Flood Insurance Cover Everything I Own?

The answer is, No. Similar to all insurance policies, certain exclusions apply.

What your flood insurance cover can be divided into two parts:

  • Your home’s physical structure (drywall, carpeting, insulation, frame and foundation, built-in appliances)
  • Your home’s content (furniture, detached appliances, clothing, technology, etc.)

Flood insurance excludes cash, jewelry, and valuable papers. Also, it doesn’t cover actual land (like your lawn and landscaping).

Note that: Flood insurance companies only cover basements to a limited extent. Your insurance policy may cover the structural component of your basement and specific large appliances such as washers and dryers.

But it won’t cover the types of valuable content that can be found in refinished basements like furniture and electronics.

Who Can I Ask About Flood Insurance?

John J. Walsh Insurance is located in Rockport, MA and Salem, MA. If you have questions or are interested in acquiring flood insurance this year, contact us today!

Insurance Concepts To Consider This Spring

Spring is the time of the year to organize your attic and clean out closets and drawers. Similar to how necessary it is to inspect your electronics, wardrobe, and other personal stuff to figure out what needs to be fixed, tossed, stored, or updated for the coming months, you should also do a complete assessment of your insurance coverage at least once per year.

Insurance is referred to as a contract, also called a policy, in which an individual is provided financial protection and reimbursement of damages from the insurer or the insurance company.

In layman’s terms, it is a form of protection from any possible financial losses. So why don’t you make a policy review aspect of your spring cleaning tradition?

Your insurance needs changes as your life does. Rather than ignoring your insurance policies again this year, spare the time to read them over and ensure there is:

1.    Insurance coverage for a full rebuilding of your home

Go through your policy to ensure you have enough insurance to rebuild your house.

Suppose you have made major renovations to your home, like enclosing a porch, adding a new room, or expanding a bathroom or kitchen. In that case, you risk being underinsured if you don’t adjust your homeowners’ insurance coverage limits.

2.    Insurance coverage on expensive home items

Since the time you purchased/renewed your policy, have you bought or received as a gift any expensive jewelry?

Also, when was the last time you had your items appraised?

Standard homeowners insurance has a dollar limit for the theft of specific types of valuable items like furs, jewelry, and silverware.

This means that the insurer will only pay the amount contained in the policy. But, to ensure these items to their full dollar value, you can try out a special personal property endorsement or floater.

This coverage has accidental disappearance when you lose the item, and there is no deductible.

But keep in mind that items can depreciate or appreciate. Endorsements and floaters are priced on the appraised value of a collection or an item.

So have regular reappraisals done to ensure you buy only the amount of coverage you need.

Creating a home inventory is ideal for monitoring your belongings and ensuring they are properly insured.

3.    Insurance coverage for summer vacation

Suppose you’re taking an active vacation like hiking or biking in an exotic locale or an expensive pre-paid vacation. In that case, travel insurance can assist in protecting the financial investment in your vacation.

4.    Insurance coverage for renting out homes to others

If you own a second home that you intend to lease out to a tenant or plan to rent out your primary residence through an online service such as Airbnb, your first action should be to contact your insurance professional.

Depending on the rental case, your standard homeowners’ insurance may not cover losses incurred while your home is rented out, and you may need a more specialized insurance policy.

Insurance Plans in Massachusetts

Whether it’s winter, summer, spring, or fall, plan a periodic talk with your insurance professional to help you get the coverage you need.

Don’t have one? Don’t worry. Contact us at John J.Walsh Insurance to begin your insurance plans today!

5 Good Tips To Avoid Home Insurance Claims

We are more than halfway through Winter and Spring will be here shortly. No matter the time of year, staying on top of your home amenities is mandatory in terms of avoiding costly home insurance claims. Here are five quality tips to keep in mind this time of year to avoid needing home insurance to come into the picture.

1. Test and Change Batteries of All Smoke Detectors

The first few months of every year is the perfect time to test your smoke detectors and change their batteries. Smoke detectors are usually an afterthought, but their importance can never be understated. Most smoke detector batteries only last about 12-15 months so changing them out at the beginning of each year is a good idea. After you change out the batteries, press the test button to make sure the detector is working the way it should. Just because you change out the batteries does not mean the detector will automatically function

2. Consider Your Window and Doors

Residential windows and doors can last a long time but need to be changed eventually. Could this be the year you get new windows and doors? If you are unhappy with the lack of comfort your windows and doors are providing it could be time for an upgrade. Faulty windows or doors could also be a safety issue so homeowners should keep that in mind too.

3. Check on Your HVAC

Every home’s HVAC system needs periodic maintenance to run smoothly. Your HVAC is probably in for a busy Spring and Summer so now is an ideal time to check up on it. Clean it up as much as you see fit and replace the filters if they are too dirty.

4. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters play a pivotal role outside every home. Gutters are tasked with directing water away from the exterior of a home but cannot do their job if interfered with. If you see items blocking or clogging your gutters, remove them as soon as possible. A gutter that cannot do its job can lead to water damage inside your home.

5. Keep An Eye Out For Leaks

A small leak can turn into a big one before you know it. If you spot a leak somewhere in your house do your best to put a spot to it right away. If you cannot handle it, do not be afraid to get professional help.

Professional Home Insurance Coverage in Salem, MA

If you are a homeowner seeking a new home insurance plan this year, consult with our insurance team! We offer a variety of coverages and can work with you to meet your insurance needs. Contact us today to get started!

How Do Car Tickets Affect My Insurance?

Nobody likes the sight of car tickets, but unfortunately are a part of our everyday lives. Whether it is your car or cars in the vicinity, car tickets are paramount in the state of Massachusetts. Avoiding car tickets is in the control of the driver most of the time, but bad luck tends to play a decent role in the case of many car tickets. Here we will do our best to answer how car tickets affect your car insurance rates and plan in Massachusetts.

Getting a Car Ticket in Massachusetts

Car Tickets whether speeding or parking can raise your automobile insurance rates. These tickets can stay on your driving record for years and can not only raise your insurance costs, but affect the car policies or premiums you seek. Getting a car ticket is no joking matter and you should always do everything in your control to avoid them. Do not speed, adhere to parking rules, and feed the parking meter during parking hours.

Car Accidents In Massachusetts

If only we live in a world where car accidents could be avoided. Unfortunately, car accidents happen throughout the state of Massachusetts every day. You can expect nearly every auto insurance company in Massachusetts to raise your rates if you are at fault during an auto accident. Always keep your eyes out on the roads and stay vigilant. Never distract yourself while driving and always keep your eyes on the road.

Insurance Benefits for Avoiding Car Tickets

There are many incentives for avoiding car tickets. For starters, car tickets can be quite expensive, especially if you are a repeat offender. When you avoid car tickets you save valuable money. On top of that, most if not all car insurance companies offer cheaper rates or discounts for those who prove they have a clean and safe driving record.

Car Insurance Coverage In Salem, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance

At John J. Walsh Insurance, we can provide reliable automobile insurance coverage. We can work with you to tailor the coverage to fit your insurance needs. We are ready to help out so Contact us today to get started!

Benefits Of Flood Insurance In The Winter

With Winter officially among us, snow, floods, and storms are always a possibility in Massachusetts. Mother nature is always unpredictable in the Wintertime so you can never take too many precautions with your home during a New England winter. Home insurance or renters insurance may not cover what flood insurance can cover year-round. While all three insurances have similar goals and policies, they are all mutually exclusive. While you most likely already have home or renters insurance, here are the additional benefits having flood insurance will provide.

1. Repairations Against Floods

Did you know that a handful of homeowners insurance policies do not protect against flood damage? Just the smallest amount of water leaked into your home can cause serious damages financially and to homes structure. Many Massachusetts homes are near water so it is essential to consider flood insurance if your home is susceptible to floods. If you have the proper flood insurance and encounter flood damage, you can recoup at least some of what you lost.

2. Serve As An Inspriation to Others

Not only are you further protecting your home by having flood insurance policy in place, others in your community may follow suit. While many believe they are saving money by not having flood insurance, homes in high-risk flood zones will pay the price if a flood strikes.

3. Straight To The Point

While many insurance policies have a handful of nitty-gritty details and provisions, flood insurance is what it sounds like. When you have flood insurance, you will know the exactly when it comes into play and what it covers.

4. Affordability

Flood insurance is one of the more cost-effective insurance policies in New England. The rewards that come with having flood insurance are worth it.

5. Less Stress

At the end of the day, when you have flood insurance for your property in the wintertime you can breathe easier. The less stress anyone can create for themselves, the better.

Professional Flood Insurance Policies in North Shore, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance Agency

Floods can happen at anytime of year in New England. It is always better to be safe than sorry and our insurance team is always here to help. If you believe you need flood insurance at this time, do not hesitate to contact us!

Car Insurance Tips For 2022

It is a brand-new year and while we can say goodbye to some things, car insurance is not going anywhere. Car insurance cannot protect you physically in the event of an accident, but car insurance can help you repair your car and avoid liability. Only two of the 50 U.S states do not require car insurance and Massachusetts is not one of them. If you are a Massachusetts resident currently without car insurance, it may be time to look into some policies. Here are the best car insurance tips to keep in mind with 2022 now upon us.

1. Save Money By Having Your Car Monitored

While this may sound off-putting, it is rather innocuous and context is everything. This does not refer to being spied upon. Many car insurance companies offer significant discounts and cheaper rates for drivers who choose to have their driving behavior tracked. This type of insurance policy aims at promoting driving safety and wants to incentivize good driving habits.

2. Know Everything Your Car Insurance Covers

Whether you have an existing insurance plan or you are considering securing one this year, it is essential you know everything your policy will cover, and everything it does not. Knowing your policy coverage is pivotal if your car usage is a primary part of your job or jobs. For example, if your job requires making deliveries via your car or transporting people around in a car, you want to ensure you are insured. Claims for personal car use and business car use vary with some insurance policies.

3. Review Your Car Insurance Policy At the Start and End of Each Year

It is important to not get complacent with a car insurance policy. This is due to your insurance needs most likely changing in a calendar year and changes in insurance rates. Looking over your car insurance policy at the beginning and end of every year will allow you to decide if what you have is still working for you.

Professional Car Insurance Services in North Shore, MA: John J. Walsh Insurance Agency

At John J. Walsh Insurance Agency, we provide a variety of car insurance policies. We love helping Massachusetts residents secure the exact insurance coverage they need. We will work with you every step of the way to get you what you need. Contact us today to learn more!