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Using Your Car to Make Some Extra $? Know the Insurance Issues.

 

ridesharingAn increasingly popular way to make a little extra money to supplement income is by using your car. BUT, before you put your personal car to work for you, you need to know if your current insurance policy will cover what you are doing with your car.

 

 

DRIVING FOR UBER, LYFT, OR SIDECAR

You decide to drive for Uber, Lyft or SideCar. These Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) use a cell phone application to electronically “hail a ride” for a fee. While on-duty for the TNC, you have your cell phone application on awaiting a customer. You are paid by the TNC for providing the ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Ransomware – What You Should Know

 

Internet security 07Recently you may have noticed news items about local police departments paying ransom to unlock the data in their computers. It’s a growing cyber problem and it’s not limited to police departments or small businesses. It can happen to anyone. Here’s the basics that you should know:

 

First: What is Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips on Repairing Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Damaged by Snow

 

broken limbThe winter in the Boston area was one of the worst in recent memory. And as so many of us are dealing with damage to our homes from ice dams, the melting snow has uncovered more victims: the ornamental trees and shrubs that surround our homes. The weight of 108+ inches of snow (more where plowed snow was added) has taken its toll.

 

So here are a few tips on evaluating damage and potentially saving your ornamental trees and shrubs this spring: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Avoid Buying a Stolen “Cloned” Car

 

Good Car Bad Car – HPI CheckThe National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is warning consumers to be careful when buying a used vehicle, especially one that’s priced “too good to be true.”

 

In a car cloning scam, car thieves take the VIN (vehicle identification number), license plate number, and other tags and stickers from a legal car and put them on a stolen car of a similar make and model. There are even cases of legitimate car dealerships being scammed when they take a car in trade, too. So don’t assume when you buy a used car through a dealer that it couldn’t possibly be a stolen car. Read the rest of this entry »

Picking a Contractor for Home Repairs After This Tough Winter

 

ConstructionContractAgreementIt has been such a tough winter on homes throughout New England. Ice dams and heavy loads of snow on roofs have contributed to extensive damage. So it’s no surprise that building contractors are in high demand.

 

If you’re having difficulty finding a firm that can complete your repairs, just make sure you don’t compromise on finding a qualified contractor to complete the work. Here are tips from the FTC that can help:

Read the rest of this entry »

If You’re Driving (or Considering It) for a Ride-Share Service

 

man hand holding the phone with interface taxiThere are a number of issues surrounding the booming ride-sharing industry – one of which is insurance. If you are driving for one of these companies you need to be aware that there are potential loopholes in your insurance coverage that could end up putting you at financial risk. Here’s a quick overview:

 

First: what is ride-sharing?

Ride-sharing uses mobile technology to connect passengers to drivers. Customers download an app to their smartphones that allows them to request a ride. The app also lets users get price quotes for the trip, see a picture of the driver, track the driver’s location, and pay their fare using a credit card on file so no cash is exchanged at the end of the trip. UberX, Sidecar, and Lyft are all ride-share companies; they allow drivers to use their personal vehicles, with personal lines insurance protection, to transport passengers and earn extra money.

Read the rest of this entry »

What You Should Know About Public Insurance Adjusters

 

property-claim-formThis certainly isn’t a new flash: It’s been a terrible winter. Storm damage to homes throughout our area ranges from water damage from ice dams to collapsed roofs. And the insurance companies are doing all that they can to have their adjusters (and independent adjusters they have brought in from around the country) assess your damage and settle your claim in a timely manner.

 

Many people also know that there are public insurance adjusters who will assess damage and negotiate on your behalf with your insurance company. You pay for this service with a percentage of the insurance payment you receive. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has released a Consumer Alert regarding public insurance adjusters to help homeowners understand what these public adjusters can offer in services and how to make the right choice in selecting one if you choose to go that route.

 

Here’s the CONSUMER ALERT to help you decide if you are considering using a public adjuster: Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid Being Taken by “Storm Chasers” for Snow Removal or Repairs

 

IceDams-HeatCables012If you’ve tried to find a crew to clear the snow and ice off your roof, you’ve probably encountered what so many homeowners have in the Boston area—a message that says that the contractor’s mailbox is full. (We’ve heard some firms have received over 400 calls a day for snow removal and damage repairs.)

 

That’s the perfect scenario for less than honest individuals to prey on distressed homeowners. So the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) warns that we all have to watch out for “storm chasers” wandering neighborhoods looking to make a fast dollar on snow removal or home repairs. Now not every individual soliciting work is disreputable, but the dishonest ones may try schemes to defraud you by:

  • Demanding upfront payment, scheduling a day to do the work and never showing up
  • Starting the job, but never completing it
  • Using inferior materials and performing shoddy work that doesn’t meet code requirements if they’re doing repairs

Read the rest of this entry »

Claims for damage from ice dams or other storm-related losses.

 

icedam1By the time this article posts, Boston (and eastern MA) will likely have passed all local records for the most snow in any winter. (We need less than an inch to achieve that dubious honor.) And it all arrived in less than a month! So it’s no surprise to anyone living around here that the insurance companies are beginning to see a significant number of claims.

 

Many are from water damage related to ice dams. Others are for roofs that have collapsed from the weight of over 100 inches of snow.

Many insurance companies are adding claims professionals to take calls, answer questions, adjust losses, and help customers. And all of the professionals at the Cushman Insurance Group, as always, are here to assist and support you throughout the entire process if you need to make a claim. Here is some information you may find helpful throughout that process: Read the rest of this entry »

What To Do About That Snow On Your Roof

snowroofIt’s no surprise to anybody living in our area (eastern Massachusetts) that the amount of snow we’ve had since the beginning of the year has been extraordinary. And besides the risks that it presents on the highways, it’s a major risk to your roof as it continues to pile up.

Our thanks to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety for sharing the critical advice below on how to estimate the risk to your roof, how to mitigate those risks, and if you can/don’t address the issue, what warning signs you should know that your roof is under too much stress. Here’s their advice:

Read the rest of this entry »