Archive for the ‘Merrimack Valley Insurance’ Category

Difference between “Actual Cash Value” and “Replacement Cost” – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

Most policies covering property value the damaged property at either its Replacement Cost or its Actual Cash Value. But most people don’t read their policy to understand what these two property valuations mean to them, or the impact it can have on their settlement.

I will attempt to simplifiy these valuation for you over the next few paragraphs. Let’s start with a very basic definition of each. “Actual Cash Value” is the cost new of the item less the item’s depreciation. “Replacement Cost” is the cost to replace that damaged item at todays cost with an item of like, kind, and quality.

So what does all this mean? Let’s tackle Actual Cash Value (ACV) first. Let’s say that a building policy has a valuation using ACV. That property sustains damage by fire to a roof that is 10 years old. Let’s further agree that the useful life of that type of roof is 30 years. At the time of a loss the cost to replace that roof was $50,000. Let’s look at how this claim would be settled, remembering that ACV is the item cost less depreciation. The depreciation on this item is 10 divided by 30, or 1/3. A 30 year life that has already used 10 years. Therefore payment for this $50,000 roof would be $33,333 ($50,000 replacement less 1/3 depreciation. The rationale behind this settlment is that the insured party has enjoyed 1/3 of the benefit of this roof prior to the loss.

That same loss that is settled on a replacement cost basis would be valued at $50,000. The cost to replace that roof at the time of the loss.

So, why would anyone want ACV? Well, usually you would not want ACV. Price is always a consideration and on some older properties it may be difficult to get an insurance carrier to agree to a Replacement Cost valuation. This also gives the insured person a stake in keeping the property safe from claims because they would share some in any loss.

Check your policy, and if possible ask about getting Replacement Cost valuation. Of course if you have any questions we are here to help. Visit our website or call (877)608-3708.

Leading Cause of House Fires – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

Our home is our castle as they say.  Being careful to take precautions to prevent fires as well as to protect your family when one happens is a top priority

 

Do you know what the leading cause of house fires is; it may not be what you think. Fires can be a great danger to you and your home and it is best to know what to look out for and how to stop it. You want to be prepared for a fire and the best way to be prepared is to know what the cause of the fire may be. Fires can end up being a major claim on your Massachusetts home insurance if you aren’t able to stop them. Here is a list of the most common causes of home fires and how to stop them from happening.

  • Cooking Fires are the leading cause of house fires. When you are cooking always be sure to watch your food, because most cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. When a lit cigarette comes in contact with furniture, it can start a fire. Do not fall asleep with a lit cigar or cigarette in hand and do not smoke while in bed, because sheets and comforters are very flammable.
  • Heating fires are the second leading cause of house fires. Portable space heaters need to be kept away from flammable materials including curtains and rugs.
  • Electrical fires are another leading cause of house fires. Make sure that you use the correct wattage for light bulbs, because the bulbs can overheat and ignite the lampshade. Also make sure that a qualified electrician is doing the wiring for your home.
  • Have a fire emergency plan. Make sure that you and your family know what to do in case of a fire and have a designated meeting spot in case one happens. Having a meeting spot makes it easy to know that everyone has made it out of the house.
  • Have a fire extinguisher. Not every fire can be put out with just water. A grease fire can only be put out by a fire extinguisher.

Protect your house and avoid a home insurance claim by knowing what to do in case that a fire happens in your household. Fires are dangerous, but you can stay safe by being prepared.

Tony Lucacio       Merrimack Valley Insurance     http://www.mvins.com

alucacio@mvins.com         978-667-2541

 

Storing Your Boat at the End of the Season – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

September will be here before we know it but in the meantime we have really enjoyed an awesome summer.  Still we need to think about storing some of those things we enjoy during the summer – like our boat.  Tony Lucacio from Merrimack Valley Insurance reminds us of what we need to do.   

 

It is sad to say but summer is more than half over and that means fewer chances to be able to go out on the boat. Once the boating season is over you are going to have to store that boat and it is best to store it right to keep your boat from being damaged. Here are some tips for storing your boat to keep it in good shape.

  • Prepare your engine to owner’s manual specifications.
  • Drain fuel lines, pumps, carburetors, and tanks
  • Drain and flush cooling system
  • Drain and refill the crankcase
  • Apply oil to inside each cylinder
  • Thoroughly clean the boat, including the hull, deck, cockpit, outer engine and all compartments
  • Coat the boat with a wax or other preservative
  • Keep all doorways and windows partially opened to avoid the air to stagnate in the room.
  • Put a cover over the boat to protect it from sun, rain, and snow. Make sure there are no spots where rain could pool on the cover.
  • Check all boating insurance to make sure it doesn’t expire while the boat is in storage. If it does expire get it insured with Massachusetts Boat Insurance.

There is still a lot of time left to go out on that boat and enjoy before you have to put it into storage. Enjoy this great summer weather before it is gone and gives way to the chilly fall season. Remember these tips when storing that boat to keep it in great shape so you can enjoy it next time you take it out.

Reminders on Boating Safety – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

We all look forward to the summer months and all those outdoor activities, including boating.  Wha we all need to remember is to play safe – and guest blogger Tony Lucacio from Merrimack Valley Insurance – reminds us how important this can be.   (Joan Parcewski  Woods Real Estate)

Boating is a great summertime event; it is very fun to do but it is also very important to be safe on the water. Everyone knows drinking and driving is very bad, but something just as bad is driving a boat under the influence. It is just as important to be safe on the water as it is to be safe on the land. Boating under the influence can cause accidents on the water and if that happens you want to make sure that your boat is covered with Massachusetts Watercraft Insurance. You want to avoid those accidents on the water and here are some facts about the dangers of drinking while operating a boat.

  • A boat operator can become impaired more quickly than the operator of a motor vehicle.
  • Boating under the influence is just as serious as driving under the influence. Some of the penalties can be large fines and serious jail time.
  • One third of all boating fatalities come from the use of alcohol on boats.
  • Usually operators are not as experienced driving as they are operating a boat so it becomes even more dangerous because the boat driver is not as sure of themselves driving a boat.
  • Alcohol causes loss of coordination and due to the movement of the water while operating a boat; this can cause the driver to fall overboard.
  • If a person who is under the influence falls into the water they can have difficulty distinguishing up from down and if they are in freezing water they may not be able to get out before hypothermia sets in.
  • Some tips to avoid hurting others because of a boating accident are: Bring along non-alcoholic drinks, if you are going to drink before operating a boat wait at least one hour per drink before operating again, be careful of passengers drinking they can go overboard as well, bring plenty of food and snacks, the best way to stay safe is to not drink while driving a boat.
  • Stay safe and have a great summer!

Anthony Lucacio    Merrimack Valley Insurance   http://www.mvins.com/

Car Care Tips to Consider Before Your Summer Road Trip

With many of us making road trips over the coming weeks – whether they are for a few days, a week of a few weeks – be sure your car is ready.  Thanks to guest blogger Tony Lucacio from Merrimack Valley Insurance for reminding us so that we can enjoy our time with our family and not be pulled over on the side of the road waiting for AAA. 

 

Before you head out on that road trip that you have been planning, you are going to want to make sure that you keep your car in the best condition possible. Here are some tips to keep your car running smoothly before you begin driving down the open road.

  • Check your oil level and check for bubbles or foam, a milky appearance, or a strong smell of gasoline. These signs can indicate a need for an oil change.
  • Check the inflation of your tires. By having properly inflated tires you can increase your car’s gas mileage and lengthen the life of your tires.
  • Be sure to check all lights on the car, including the headlights, brake lights, blinkers, and high beams, to ensure they are properly working.
  • Clean your battery and make sure that it is charged. Hot weather can cause batteries to not hold charges because of evaporation of internal battery fluid.
  • Check the coolant level. Sitting in traffic on a hot, summer day can cause the temperature of the engine to go up and this can cause engine problems.
  • Have good windshield wipers. During heavy rainstorms it is important to be able to see what is going on in front of you especially during harsh driving conditions.
  • Finally make sure to have your car’s registration with you and make sure that your car’s inspection sticker is up to date when going on a road trip.

By following these little tips before leaving on that road trip, you won’t end up in the auto shop having to fix up your car. If you do happen to end up in that auto shop you can contact Massachusetts Auto Insurance for advice on what to do. Hopefully this information can help keep you off the side of the road and keep you cruising down the highway.

Tony Lucacio  Merrimack Valley Insurance (Billerica)

 

Is Your Water Damage A Covered Loss – Guest Blogger Tony Lucacio

We know that we have to have homeowner’s insurance but what does that policy cover?  Tony Lucacio, owner of Merrimack Valley Insurance, reminds us that “a homeowner policy does not insure loss by ground water or seepage.”  Read the article for more info

Every spring our phones ring with homeowners that have experienced water damage from spring rain? This year was a bit different because we had such a mild winter with no snow runoff, and little spring rain.

Often homeowners are surprised to learn that a homeowner policy does not insure loss by ground water or seepage. Every policy clearly states that water damage caused by “flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind” is excluded. Further, water damage caused by “water below the surface of the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure” is also a listed exclusion.

So, how does a homeowner protect against water damage from the above occurences? The federal government has made available flood insurance that is backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Policies covering flood can be purchased through your independent agent and are priced according to your property’s risk of flood. Flood maps are designed drawn by FEMA and have recently been updated to reflect recent data. Your agent can look up your property flood zone by providing them with the exact address. It is important to know that flood insurance may not cover all circumstances of water entering your home. Be certain to understand the definition of a flood as defined in the policy and discuss with your agent where your home contents and service machinery are located.

To find out more about flood insurance you can click here to visit our virtual insurance office. Or you can visit  www.floodsmart.gov . One of our licensed agents is able to discuss your personal needs at any time by phoning (978)667-2541.

Tony Lucacio   Merrimack Valley Insurance   alucacio@mvins.com

Ph: 978.667.2541 Fx: 978.671.4514      http://www.mvins.com

You May Need Coverage for Househould Employees

There is so much to think about when hiring someone to help around the home.  Perhaps you need a nanny to help with the children.  Are you opening yourself up for liability issues?  Check out this article from our guest blogger, Tony Lucacio, from Merrimack Valley Insurance. 

What you don’t know about covering your household employees can cost you plenty

 

It is not uncommon in today’s society for a professional working couple to need assistance with issues around the home. Usually these are services of a nanny or the equivalent. But not considering the potential liability issues could be harmful to the family finances.

Take the example of a nanny that is injured while working in the home, or perhaps injured injured in a motor vehicle accident while transporting the children to an event. That injured worker will be entitled to a weekly worker’s compensation benefit and not providing that benefit leaves the home owner exposed to heavy fines and the cost of the benefit to be paid out-of-pocket. Medical bills may be minor compared to the heavy amount that you could be forced to pay for lost wages.

Most states require home owners to provide coverage for their domestic help. A great resource to check on your individual state can be found by clicking here. Check out your state requirements.

For more information on coverage for your domestic help, click here. A qualified agent will be pleased to help guide you through the process of obtaining coverage, protecting your family and your worker, and help you avoid costly penalties and fines.

Tony Lucacio, CIC Merrimack Valley Insurance Agency Inc 655 Boston Rd #1A Billerica MA 01821

Ph: 978.667.2541 Fx: 978.671.4514 EM: alucacio@mvins.com

http://www.mvins.com/about-us/our-blog/

 

 

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