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.

What To Do After a Car Accident

car accidentCar accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and can ruin anyone’s day. From serious injuries to an undrivable vehicle, your car insurance policy is designed to protect you from the financial consequences of a car accident, but you could still be held liable for paying medical bills or car repairs. To protect yourself physically and money-wise, it’s important to take the right steps after a collision.

Check for Injuries

After a car accident happens, the first thing you will want to do is check for injuries to both you and the involved parties. Keep in mind that not all injuries are noticeable so if someone seems out of it, always call 9-1-1 to be safe.

Notify the Police

Involving the authorities after a collision will help keep everything in order. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, the authorities will either come to the scene to fill out an accident report or simply tell you to go to the closest police station to file an accident report.

When completing the report, be sure to be as accurate and detailed as possible. Always keep a copy of the report for your records in case you need it in the future.

Document the Accident

After an accident, you will want to document the accident as soon as possible. Take pictures of the individuals involved, the vehicles involved, and the area in which the accident took place. If you believe there was a factor that contributed to the accident, make sure to photograph that as well. Make note of where the accident happened, time of day, the weather at the time of the collision, the direction and speed in which you were going, and the speed limit in the area.

Exchange Information

No matter how minor the accident is, always exchange information with the other party involved. At the very minimum you should be exchanging your name, address, and phone number of the other party, as well as their car insurance company and the phone number, make and model of their car, and license plate number.

If there are any witnesses of the accident, write down their names and phone numbers as well.

Contact Your Car Insurance Company

If you’re able to, call your car insurance company while you are still at the accident scene. Your representative will inform you of the next steps and what you’ll need in order to file a claim. They will also inform you of things you will want to avoid, including admitting guilt or signing any papers that are not reviewed by your insurance representative first.

Why You Need Boat Insurance for Your Boat

boat in the oceanSummer is in full swing and before you hit the water with your boat, you should check how insured your watercraft is. Many people thought their homeowner’s insurance would cover their watercraft but the insurance may only cover up to $1000. So, like a vehicle, you should have insurance for your boat or ship.

Insurance for Your Boat

A specialized policy will offer better terms and covers more than a homeowner’s insurance. In terms of liability, you will have a limited degree of coverage depending on the type of watercraft. It’s common for liability coverage of homeowner’s insurance to exclude your watercraft if it is in excess of 50 horsepower or if it is longer than 26 feet. So, if you have a nice yacht in the North Shore or Essex County, it is highly recommended to start shopping for boat insurance.

Insurance for Your Boat Dock

Also, your personal boat dock may need additional insurance instead of just covered by your home insurance. Under many homeowner’s insurances, your dock will not be covered as a result of freezing, the weight of water/ice, pressure, and thawing, and these are just some of the common problems. So, you should inquire your insurance company as to any alternatives to cover your boat dock.

Contact John J. Walsh Insurance Today

Going out on the water with your boat is great leisure, but you should make sure you have enough insurance before getting too far out in the water. Contact us for boat insurance and home insurance in Salem, Rockport, Gloucester, Beverly, and other areas in Essex County and North Shore.

3 Reasons Why Today’s Home Burn Faster

Did you know today’s homes burn faster? Many homeowners would think the larger the home, newer construction materials would make a fire burn more slowly, leaving more time to escape. However, that is not the case, about 30 years ago, there is an average of 17 minutes to escape, today only 3-4 minutes to escape.

There are several reasons why homes burn more quickly:

  • The building materials such as particle board and other man-made materials which constitute most of the building materials today burns faster than solid wood, concrete or masonry. They are lighter and cheaper to use than wood but they burn faster.
  • The larger the space is, the more items to burn for fires. Fires can spread quickly that are largely open and with more things to add to the fuel, there is more fire.
  • Couches and carpets that were used to be made of natural materials are no longer made. It might be cheaper and more durable but they have less resistance to fires.

Here are some things you should do to help you keep your family safe:

  • Have a working smoke detector
  • Purchase fire extinguishers
  • Create an escape plan

A house fire causes a significant amount of damages and having a homeowners’ insurance can cover some of the costs to rebuild your home. Contact John J Walsh Insurance today for a free quote. We are proud to serve Salem, Gloucester, Danvers, Peabody, and other areas in Essex County.

 

Do I Really Need to Call the Police or File a Police Report After An Accident?

There are many auto accidents happening every day in the United States. In fact, Boston drivers are the worst according to Allstate’s “America’s Best Driver Report.  The report placed Boston at the bottom of the list, 200/200, down 1 place from 199 in 2014. However, when there is a minor auto accident that results in no injuries to little damages to the vehicles involved, many people wonder if they need to call the police or file a police report after a minor accident.

Injuries and Damage

Many car owners think when they are involved in a minor accident, a police report is not required. However, if you would like to ask for compensation from the accident, filing a police report will enhance your position in the case. You might feel pain after the accident but you were fine when the accident happened. So, with the police report filed, then your compensation request would be much easier.

This also happens in the damage to your car. Filing a police report will protect you on your journey for seeking a claim from the other party.

How to File a Police Report

In order to file a police report, you should call the police immediately after the accident occurred. Next, when the police arrive at the scene, you will discuss details of the accident and the police will interview the other party involved in the accident. Once the police report is filed, you will need a copy of it and send it to your insurance company.

Do You Need to Report the Accident to your Car Insurance Company?

If you would like to report a claim, even if you are not the one at fault, you should report the accident to your insurance company in case you need to repairs done on the vehicle. There are contract clauses in the insurance that require you to report all types of accidents to the insurance company.

 

Contact John J Walsh Insurance Today

If you need auto insurance in Salem, Rockport, Beverly, Gloucester, and other areas of the North Shore, contact John J Walsh Insurance today. We offer the most affordable insurance rates to our customers. Contact us for a free quote.

 

5 Important Things to Know About Flood Coverage

Many homeowners who are not in a flood zone often say they don’t need flood insurance because they are not in a flood zone. However, that is not exactly true. Did you know most of the country is in a flood zone? Whether it’s flooding from the ocean or a river near you. Some areas are often more severe than others and thus, you may want to purchase flood insurance.

Here are five important things to know about flood insurance:

  1. Homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover you from flooding. Thus, you might be required to buy a separate policy depends on the location of your home. You can contact a local agent to help you find the coverage that is right in your area.
  2. Many coastal areas in Massachusetts require you to purchase flood insurance. However, flood insurance also applies homes located near a major river. A flood could happen if you live near a river that has flooded in the past such as the Merrimack River.
  3. Flood zones determine the costs of flood insurances. The FEMA zone along with other factors will determine the costs and if you decided to purchase a house next to a major body of water, your insurance rates are going to be higher than houses that are in a less severe zone.
  4. If you buy the home that is located in a flood zone by paying the entire amount or pay off your mortgage, you might have the choice of carrying the coverage or not. However, if you borrowed from a lender, you are most likely required to buy flood insurance.
  5. Make sure when you purchase a policy, you understand what is covered and what is not. Contact a local agent for help.

It is important to remember flood zone maps are always updated. Your house could be located in a less or more severe flood zone from time to time. Whenever a change happens, you may want to contact an insurance agent to discuss you are still insured at the level you want.

Contact Flood Insurance Agent, John J Walsh Insurance Today

If you have questions about a new or existing flood insurance policy, contact us today. We can answer any questions you have about flood zones and policies. Contact us today at 978-745-3300.