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.

Why It’s More Expensive to Not Purchase Home Insurance

If you are a homeowner living in the Salem and Rockport area, the budget can sometimes be an issue with all the real estate taxes and utility bills. Thus, it is understandable that you start to question the value of purchasing home insurance every year. However, before you drop your coverage, you should think about the consequences of going bare. You might indeed end up paying more for not having insurance. So here are some reasons why not having insurance can cost you more.

Disasters

Although catastrophes like hurricanes and tornados don’t happen in New England as frequent as other places in America, yet, floods or snowstorms can cause serious damages to homeowners in New England. When disaster strikes, expensive losses can impact someone financially for a long time. Coverage tends to be inexpensive because of low frequency of occurrence. So, if you are trying to save money, increasing your deductible could be an option to go. When you consider how much money you will save in terms of a disaster, it’s worth it at the end.

Future Insurability

Did you know that almost all insurance companies will ask you how long you have continuously maintained insurance? They ask because they place applications that continuously are insured as a stable, reliable risk when they decide to provide you their service. If you have been unstable by switching companies all the time, they might suspect that you will make a claim soon.

Liability Claims

If you are currently or planning to go without insurance, there is a chance that you might be sued by another party in a claim. Without any liability insurance,  your personal assets will be exposed in the court and by having insurance, you can have a buffer protecting you in a lawsuit from all your assets. The cost of hiring a lawyer could cost more than the settlement. Liability coverage is usually even less expensive than property insurance, so it is an easy decision to make.

Contact John J Walsh Insurance Today

Contact us today at 978-745-3300 before you make any decision to buy or cancel your home insurance. We can help you evaluate your options. We are proud to serve Salem, Rockport, Beverly, Peabody, and other areas in Cape Ann.

 

What Happens If Your Employee Is Injured At Work

Oh no, your employee is injured at work. What happens now? How do you protect your worker and your business amid the chaos?

It should be no surprise that accidents happen all the time at a workplace especially for contractors. While you probably have workers compensation insurance to cover the expenses, you still need to learn about the steps to take in order to handle these incidents the right way. If there is a mistake made, you may get penalized for breaking the law.

Steps to Take Before an Employee Injury

Before an injury happens, getting workers’ compensation insurance, which required by law is an easy decision. Without any insurance, you would have to pay a lot for your injured worker’s medical bills.

You should also develop an investigation checklist so nothing gets skipped. Medical treatment consent forms, return to work release form and others should be placed in a place where it can get in handy.

So here are the steps to take when an injury happens at a workplace:

  1. If you are on-site when the injury happens, get medical attention immediately. However, if you are not on-site, an employee has the responsibility to notify their employer of the injury obtained on the job.
  2. Investigate the accident and record any circumstances that may lead to the accident. Getting any written accounts from the injured employee and witnesses will help to determine whose responsibility it is that caused the accident. If you have a smartphone, take pictures at the scene of the incident. The pictures may reveal important info that was not disclosed by employees.
  3. The final step is to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are not sure how to file it, contact your insurance company. Do not try to avoid filing a claim by paying your injured worker’s medical bill directly because that might hurt you at the end.

If you are looking to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in Peabody, Danvers, Salem and Rockport area, contact John J Walsh Insurance today for a quote. We would be able to walk you through the details of the insurance and help you choose the right plan for you.

 

Tips for Prospective Homebuyers

Are you thinking of buying a home? The Massachusetts home market is moving better this spring than it has in years, with favorable prices across most of the state. This has prompted some prospective homebuyers to make reckless decisions in an effort to secure their dream home. But care and caution can pay dividends down the road, and recklessness can have serious repercussions. This is especially true for an investment as significant as a home. So think about these tips as you move toward homeownership.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Buying a home is a significant investment– likely the largest single purchase of a person’s life. You should make sure you’re getting what you want out of the purchase, as much as you can. But you should also be sure that you can afford the price, especially if you’re trying to purchase a home this year. Buyers are making above-asking offers due to the small number of homes up for grabs. While your dream home will be very tempting, keep in mind the sacrifices it will take to keep a home that stretches your budget thin, and everything that comes with it.

Include Day-to-Day Maintenance in Your Budgeting

Purchasing a home is a happy day, and it’s just the beginning. Homeownership comes with its own responsibilities and expenses. You’ll need to budget for all of the utilities and establish a running fund for regular repairs and maintenance. Things wear out and break, after all. Will you be remodeling any part of the house? Will you want to in, say, ten years? And don’t forget the yards!

Be sure also to include the cost of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Whether or not this is required by your mortgage lender, homeowner’s insurance is always a good investment. A good policy will help protect you and your family from the immense loss that comes with losing a home should the worst happen.

Choose the Right Lender

There are many lenders that will gladly partner with you on this journey. Some will have better terms than others, be better to work with than others, and will have better reputations than others. You can do yourself many favors for years (or decades) down the line by selecting a mortgage lender carefully. Do your research. What kinds of terms are most important to you? What do people have to say about working with each company? Were they professional? Accommodating when the unexpected happened?

Don’t embark on a 30-year partnership with a company without doing your research. You’ll thank yourself years later for looking things up.

I am New Business Owner; How Do I know If I need Work Comp’s Insurance?

workers compAs a new business owner, you have probably gone down the list of all the requirements you may need to start your business. You have gone through the checks and balances, equipment, employees, and verifying that you are ready to provide services to clients. But did you consider insurance for worker’s comp?  Worker’s Comp insurance in Massachusetts is very important to consider and have, even if you only employed one person. Taking action to get insurance certifies that you and your employees are covered, should anything happen to them while on the job. It also protects you from potentially threatening lawsuits to your business. It is Massachusetts Law to get Worker’s Comp insurance. Only under certain circumstantial cases are you able to be exempt from Worker’s Compensation?

Do I need to provide Worker’s Comp Insurance?

Depending on the nature of your business you may not need to require worker’s comp to your employees.

It is Regulatory Required for you to be covered as a business owner of your employment

  1. Trade involves interstate foreign commerce and works on a ship with mariners
  2. Professional Athletes under such contracts in which an employer has discussed term and payments for athletic-related injuries
  3. Real Estate salesmen or women who have agreed to terms in which the employer is only liable for compensations from commissions in distinction to Home sales and or rental property
  4. This also goes for salesmen and women of consumer products under contract in which they are only compensated for sales related to commissions. Salesmen have also agreed to terms where they are not considered employees for federal tax functions as they are in no compatibility to hours worked. It does not apply to retail establishments.
  5. Taxi Cab Driver who has leased a car from the taxi cab company, and has agreed to contract in which said the company is only responsible for said rental fees and other payments; but not in any way liable for taxi fare in a way that makes driver qualified as an employee for federal taxes functions.
  6. A person employed by a business or trade involved in interstate or foreign commerce but only as far as the laws of the U.S is able to provide for compensation for their injury or death.
  7. A person whose employment does not particularly match up with his employer’s line of business. This is in exception to a person who is definitely considered an employee of said business under Chapter 26 under Massachusetts commonwealth Law.

If you would like to learn more about Massachusetts Worker’s Comp Laws visit Mass.Gov for more specifications.

If your line of business or trade does not fall into any of these categories, we strongly recommend for you to look into a policy that works for you. At Walsh Insurance Company, we are here to help. In Massachusetts having insurance is for your own benefit at having no-fault insurance in which it protects you from liability for employee’s injuries at their place of employment.

Contact Walsh Insurance at 978-745-3300 or visit us online at WalshInsurance.Com and fill out a contact form for a representative to help you with your needs.

 

 

3 Myths About Flood Insurance

Many homeowners who are in the flood zone are required to purchase flood insurance and many ponder if your home is flooded, is the insurance going to cover you? Three factors are going to affect the final decision: the value of your home, the level of water damage, and whether you have flood insurance.

In addition to that, because regular homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood water damage, you will need to purchase flood insurance. Floods don’t mean total loss, in fact, the average flood claim in the U.S is about $30,000.

So here are three myths that many people have about flood insurance

Myth 1: You must live in a flood plain to purchase flood insurance

This myth is actually false. You are most likely required to purchase flood insurance by your mortgage company. However, even if you live outside of a flood zone, you can still purchase it and it is cheaper than someone living in a flood plain. The price of insurance via the federal flood insurance program tends to be based on standardized rates plus the home’s value, and if the location is located in a flood zone. According to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the average price for flood insurance is about $600 annually.

Myth 2: Flood Zones Don’t Change

False, flood zones change consistently, your home could be required to purchase flood insurance after a few years you bought the home. It is highly recommended to check the flood plain maps constantly.

There are a few ways you can check to see if you are in a flood zone:

  • Floodsmart.gov: Simply type in your address and it will tell you if it is in a flood zone, and provide information on risks, premiums, and available agents.
  • Contact an agent: You would want to consult a flood insurance agent before making your final decision and go ahead to purchase your flood insurance.

Myth 3: Flood Insurance Covers Everything

False, federal flood insurance policies top out at $250,000 so let’s say you have a $500,000 house that’s a total loss because of a flood, you will only recoup half of the total value to cover the house structure itself. In terms of personal possessions, a maximum of $100,000 is given under the federal program.

Those figures should be kept in mind before buying a high-value home in an area that has a possibility of being flooded. You also have the option of buying additional flood insurance that would cover claims above the national limits.

Contact a Flood Insurance Expert in Salem, Rockport, MA Today

If you have any questions or looking to purchase flood insurance in the Salem and Rockport area, contact John J Walsh Insurance today. We have the experience and knowledge to fully assist you in your journey to purchase flood insurance. We are proud to serve Salem, Rockport, Beverly, Marblehead, Danvers, Gloucester, and more. Contact us today at 978-745-3300 to learn more.

 

Is Insurance a Good Idea for Your Family’s Pet?

Your pet is often a large part of your family. You raise him/her, and your children and you become attached to the animal almost instantly. Your love for the animal makes you feel that you would do whatever you could to ensure he/she gets the best medical care. However, your wallet may not support these ideas. Purchasing pet insurance is a big financial and emotional decision that is based on what you are willing to pay to protect your pet.

Your Pets & Potential Health Issues

Aside from forming an unbreakable bond in your family, you never know what kind of health your pet will have when it is a baby. The animal could grow up completely healthy, or grow up with health problems. Even if the pet has a healthy start, of course, health problems can develop over the course of its’ lifetime.

Health problems can cause serious financial issues for owners. Medical bills are not cheap and often run around thousands, depending on what services your dog or cat needs. Once first adopting your dog or cat, this is the perfect time to consider insurance. The policy will be cheaper when the animal is young, and it will cover you in case of any emergency that you are unable to pay for.

Saving Money with Pet Insurance

Many pet owners don’t save money “just in case” their dog or cat gets sick. For example, dogs eat everything! You never know if your dog will ingest something, perhaps while you are at work, or not watching him for a minute, that will cost you thousands. Some people on the flip side of the coin argue that a perfectly healthy dog doesn’t need insurance. Even though this MIGHT be true, you never know what circumstances you will encounter with your pet, so it is best to protect them in case. Don’t wait until you are in the lobby of the veterinarian’s practice, with a sick puppy, feeling anxious and trying to figure out how to pay a bill.

If you are financially able, pet insurance is the best decision to provide your animals with a long and healthy life. Call us today for more information, and let’s get your pet protected.

Purchasing Insurance for a New Car

If you are in the middle of buying a new car, whether it’s pre-owned or brand new, you should research insurance rates before you finalize the purchase; your insurance premium is calculated (not completely but a good amount) by how the Institute of Highway Safety ranks the safety of your vehicle’s make.

Some models will carry higher premiums than others; you should keep this in mind when looking to purchase a new car.

What are some vehicles with the lowest premiums:

As of right now, the following cars have the lowest premiums, this is subject to change:

  • Large Sedan
  • Mid-Sized SUV
  • Mid-Sized Minivan

The reason these cars have lower premiums is because they are family cars, and the driver of these vehicles are not likely to speed or drive recklessly.

Just because you drive a big SUV or your drive a luxury car, does not mean your insurance premium will be lower; in fact, in many cases, the premium will be higher. Why? Well for one, if you purchase a luxury car because it is a theft magnet, the insurance will be a little higher just in case it is stolen! For bigger cars, the premium is usually higher because when there is a collision, a large car will cause a lot of damage.

Before you purchase your next vehicle, speak to one of our insurance agents; we can help research different models you’re interested in, and give you a ballpark figure on how much your premium would cost.

Feel free to give us a call to go over car insurance premiums at 978-745-3300. We will do all the research and help you find an affordable premium for the model you wish to purchase!

Why Get Renter’s Insurance, Learn How it Can Protect You

There have been so many occasions where we hear of families, or individuals losing everything inside their home whether it be in the event of a fire or a burglary. All they are left feeling is, what if there was something I could have done to prevent this? There isn’t, we cannot account for things that are going to happen because we don’t know the future. One thing we can do is be protected if something does happen. How do we do this you may ask?  Let’s talk about renter’s insurance.

Renter’s Insurance and Home Insurance What’s the difference?

Getting Renter’s Insurance is probably one of the easiest ways for us to be protected from anything bad that might happen to our things and ourselves in our apartment or living space. The differentiation between renter’s insurance and home owner’s insurance is what it protects. While home owner’s insurance protects your home and the area surrounding it, it does not protect the things inside, and the things you have probably spent so much on. It also definitely does not protect you if a thief comes to your home, takes everything in it, but the property is left unscathed. This is what Renter’s insurance is for and what it will protect.

Benefits of Renter’s Insurance

You will be amazed at how much everything you own costs when you combine it all together. To be able to have a policy that will reimburse you for anything that is lost inside your home is one of the best feelings in the world. If you have water damage or smoke damage, it will protect you and will cover hotel expenses while repairs are done to your home. The many benefits and reasons why you should consider renter’s insurance. The best part about it is, that you can include an Umbrella Liability policy to your renter’s insurance. What this makes sure of is that anything the renter’s insurance doesn’t cover, you would be able to fall back on the umbrella liability. It serves as a safety net When anything in your primary renter’s insurance has been exhausted or used.

If you are a tenant and have considered getting renter’s insurance in Massachusetts, and looking for the best policy for you. Contact John J Walsh Insurance for detailed information on any questions you may have at 978-745-3300 or contact us via email at johnjw@walshinsurance.com.

Please visit us online for more information on the other services we serve to make sure you are insured every possible way at http://www.walshinsurance.com/