Cold & flu prevention tips

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Cold and flu season

This cold and flu season, making simple, smart choices can be the difference between getting sick and staying healthy. Here’s what you can do to help prevent catching a cold or the flu this year:

  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands is one easiest ways to keep yourself healthy. Using warm water and soap, thoroughly scrub both sides of your hands, between your fingers and underneath your nails. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before you eat, and after sneezing or coughing. It’s a good idea to carry personal antibacterial soap for times when you can’t get to a sink.
  • Keep your distance. If you’re feeling unwell, avoid close contact with others. It’s better to stay home than risk exposing others to your germs.
  • Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands. If you can’t cough or sneeze into a tissue, do so into your arm.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Keep your body energized with good, healthy and nutritious food.
  • Stay active. Don’t underestimate the importance of regular exercise.
  • Catch your Z’s.  Eight hours is the recommended night’s sleep, so if you can manage that, great. If not, sleep as much as you can and don’t underestimate its importance.
  • Consider getting a flu shot. Getting the flu shot is a personal choice, but health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly vaccination.

Ultimately avoiding the cold and flu comes down to taking care of your body. Eat well, exercise regularly and get some sleep. If you don’t feel well, stay home. Wash your hands and be mindful of others when you’re sneezing and coughing. Don’t overextend yourself if you’re feeling rundown, and consider the flu shot for extra protection.

To learn more about cold and flu prevention, visit  or the Centers for Disease Control. Both resources provide information on how to stay healthy this season.


New England Fall Foliage Trips

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Each autumn we’re spoiled here in New England. For a few short weeks the trees burst with brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows as they put on one final show before winter. So before all the leaves fall, take time to get out there and catch a glimpse of the famous New England foliage.

We’ve compiled a list of routes throughout New England that are sure to satisfy your fall foliage cravings:

  • In Massachusetts, consider a road trip along the Mohawk Trail(Rt. 2.) As you wind through the picturesque northern Berkshires, keep riding west on Rt. 2 until you hit Shelburne Falls, a quaint village in the Deerfield River Valley featuring natural beauty, talented artisans and small shops. Be sure to walk over the Bridge of Flowers during your visit.
  • In Connecticut, the Department of Environmental Protection recommends visiting Macedonia Brook State Park, Mohawk State Forest or Pachaug State Forest for some quality leaf peeping.
  • In New Hampshire, take a ride around Lake Winnipesaukee, where the water acts as a brilliant contrast to the reds, yellows and oranges. And for those willing, a hike up Mount Major will result in stunning aerial views of the lake.

To get the latest on where the best and brightest leaves are turning, check out this New England Foliage Map.

Whether you’re chasing foliage, carving pumpkins or cozying up to a fire, we hope you can get out there and take advantage of another wonderful fall weekend in New England!


Oct. 2 is Name Your Car Day!

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happy woman driver driving her car

It’s seen you through the good times and bad – life’s joys and sorrows, ups and downs and everything in between. It’s your companion on the open road: the Goose to your Maverick, the Thelma to your Louise, and what you rely on to get you home after a long day.

A car is more than the sum of its parts – engine, tires, windshield – it’s your valiant steed.

You might be wondering where we’re going with this post. Well October 2, is “National Name Your Car Day.”

In a world where National Coffee Day and National Yo-Yo Day are celebrated “holidays,” it seems only right that our cars are entitled to their own day, especially when you think about pop culture’s proclivity for naming vehicles. Just recall some icons: Herbie the Love Bug, The Mystery Machine and, arguably, The Batmobile.

What exactly explains our affinity for attaching human-like attributes to inanimate objects?

One study found that the more human-like a car was, the more drivers trusted it and enjoyed their driving experience.

Though one study’s conclusions certainly can’t explain societal trends, it does shed light on the bond that can form between driver and car.

So celebrate today by giving your car a name that fits its style and personality. After all, your car is likely one of your most valuable assets (need help protecting it?) and deserves a name the both of you can be proud of.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation is a leading auto insurance carrier in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Personal auto and commercial auto policies in Massachusetts and Connecticut are underwritten by Plymouth Rock Assurance. New Hampshire auto and home policies are underwritten by Mt. Washington Assurance. Each is a member of the Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance.

Plymouth Rock and the Holy Cross Crusaders!

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Plymouth Rock Assurance is excited to team up with the Holy Cross Crusaders! We are proud to be able to support a local school with strong roots in the community. Plymouth Rock takes pride in being a Massachusetts-based company and teaming up with Holy Cross allows us to stay involved in the community.

Beginning this academic year, Plymouth Rock and Holy Cross will be involved in providing a unique opportunity for various youth groups in Worcester County. The Holy Cross Crusader Youth Live program invites Worcester-area youth hockey, basketball, karate, dance and gymnastics teams to perform before or during halftime of Crusaders sporting events.

Additionally, Plymouth Rock and Holy Cross will be honoring Hometown Heroes at Crusader sporting events. Each week fans can nominate someone they believe exemplifies what it means to be a hero in the community. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate those Worcester-area community members who are setting an example for the rest of their peers through their willingness to lend a helping hand.

Plymouth Rock has always been committed to bringing customers a superior experience when it comes to auto insurance. Teaming up with Holy Cross supports our effort to always put customers first and give back to the community. We’re looking forward to the season and cheering on the many Holy Cross sports teams.

Go Crusaders!

Pokemon Go and Distracted Driving

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Person playing Pokemon Go on smart phoneIf you have a smartphone, chances are you know about the phenomena that is Pokémon Go – the augmented reality app that’s captured the world’s attention in just a few short weeks. What began as a game for Pokémon lovers has blossomed into a full-blown cultural frenzy.

If you aren’t among those playing Pokémon Go, the goal is to catch Pokémon – miniature sized monsters –  as they are projected on your phone’s screen. These mini-monsters can be found at various nearby locations, enticing players to venture out and capture the monsters – which encourages, to some extent, exercise.

But despite this positive influence, recent incidents demonstrate the potential dangers associated with playing the game. Because playing Pokémon Go requires a high level of concentration on your phone screen, players are walking around seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Since the Pokémon Go frenzy began, players have grown increasingly oblivious and have even gone as far as walking off cliffs.

Playing Pokémon Go while driving has also become a rising concern for law enforcement across the country as it’s been linked to several car accidents. Officials have begun to warn people about the dangers of playing Pokémon Go in the car. However, accidents continue to occur due to drivers playing while behind the wheel. Playing the game while driving is dangerous because it leads to distracted driving when drivers take their eyes and attention off the road.

If you’re an avid Pokémon Go player, consider these tips to help you stay safe while playing the game:

  • Don’t use the application while operating a vehicle. Apply the same rules to playing Pokémon Go and driving as you would to texting and driving.
  • When walking, be aware of your surroundings while playing the game. Don’t stare at your phone for long periods of time because you can become unaware of hazards around you.
  • Use discretion when sharing your location in the game because other users can locate you through information on the app.
  • Don’t play the game alone, especially at night. It’s always good to have a partner with you, so when you’re hunting Pokémon, try to have fellow players accompany you.

Following these tips will help keep you safe and out of harm’s way so you can continue to play everyone’s new favorite game!

Plymouth Rock is teaming up with the New England Patriots!

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Patriots players in huddleAttention Patriots fans! Just in time for the start of the 2016 NFL season, we’re teaming up with the New England Patriots to bring you the Official New England Patriots Auto Insurance Program from Plymouth Rock Assurance!

This collaboration is more than a sponsorship. It’s a program that will take your fan experience to the next level. Like the Patriots, we know what New Englanders expect when it comes to superior customer service and unique benefits, which is why we are thrilled to be working together to give New England drivers a first class auto insurance program.

The Patriots have been, and will continue to be, a staple in the culture here – and we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them.

Beginning September 1, 2016, fans in this program will be eligible to receive great benefits including:

  • Behind-the-scene tours of Gillette Stadium
  • Special Patriots event invitations, such as the team’s annual in-stadium practice, an away game viewing party, and a draft party, to name a few
  • Patriots home game ticket opportunities and Gillette Stadium concert and event ticket pre-sales
  • Discounts at the Patriots ProShop and at CBS Scene in Patriot Place

Not only will fans receive perks from the Patriots, but they’ll also have all the advantages of being a Plymouth Rock customer.

This program is designed specifically for our customers and fans of the New England Patriots. We always strive to be more than just a typical insurance company and this collaboration with the New England Patriots is another way to achieve that.

For further information on the program, please visit

Go Pats!

The difference between a sunroof and a moonroof

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Car sunroof

When it comes to buying a car, there’s a lot to consider besides the obvious make, model and color. Will your interior be leather? Do you want a backup camera? How about sunroof? A moonroof?

Aren’t those the same thing?

If you answered “yes” to that last question, you’re half right. People tend to use the two terms interchangeably as they are quite similar. However, if you really want to “wow” the car salesmen, you’ll know that there is a difference between a sunroof and a moonroof. And no, the difference doesn’t depend on whether you’re driving during the day or at night.

Generally speaking, both a sunroof and a moonroof are panels in the roof that allow light and fresh air into the vehicle. But herein lies the difference. A sunroof is traditionally a solid body-colored panel that lets both air and light in once opened.

On the other hand, a moonroof is a type of sunroof that uses a sliding glass panel instead of a solid panel. Because a moonroof uses a glass panel, you can either keep it closed, which allows only sunlight to enter, or open it to let both sunlight and fresh air in.

Moonroofs first appeared in vehicles in 1973 while sunroofs have been around since 1937, according to Kelley Blue Book.

So before you visit the dealership, remember that all moonroofs are technically sunroofs, but not all sunroofs are moonroof.

How to Drive Through a Summer Storm

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Vehicle driving in rainstormWhen you think of challenging driving conditions, summer probably isn’t what first comes to mind, especially if you’re from the Northeast. Instead, most of us likely associate the daunting months of winter with harsh driving conditions. But what some people might forget are the strong winds and torrential downpours that summer storms can bring. Though these storms may only occur a handful of times per season, summer rains can present difficulty for many drivers as they navigate the roads.

Here are a couple tips to help you through some tough summer weather conditions:

Take your time. Visibility is often very poor during torrential rains, and keeping the wheel straight can be challenging. If caught in a heavy downpour, it’s best to slow down to a safe speed and leave extra space between you and other vehicles as a buffer. Make sure to turn on your lights so that other cars are able to see you, and if visibility is too low, pull over to a safe spot and wait out the storm.

Avoid standing water. Traveling through puddles at high speeds can cause hydroplaning, so be sure to safely steer clear of standing water. If avoiding a pool of water is impossible, slow down to a safe speed. If you do find yourself hydroplaning, don’t panic! Ease off the gas pedal and keep the wheel as straight as possible.

If you are on a multi-lane road and you spot a puddle, moving to the inside lane is best. Since roads are designed to let water run off to the shoulder, the center lanes should be safer.

Share the road. When driving conditions are less than ideal, smaller cars are less affected by wind and heavy rains than larger vehicles such as tractor trailers. Wind and rain can cause bigger vehicles to drift into other lanes unexpectedly, which can be a danger for passenger cars on the road. Avoid driving next to larger vehicles and remember to leave extra space between your car and other vehicles.

Be on the lookout for debris. Strong winds frequently scatter debris onto the road, so stay alert while driving. Sometimes it can be hard to see debris on the road because of rain, darkness or other hindrances like water accumulation. A quick reaction to fallen debris can be difficult as roads can become slick during storms and rapid braking becomes harder.  If you see fallen debris in the road, be sure to alert local authorities so they can remove it to minimize danger for other drivers.

Car Theft Prevention Tips

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Car Robber with FlashlightJuly is the picturesque example of warm weather and clear skies in the Northeast. While heading to the beach or planning road trips, don’t forget that July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month!

With the beautiful weather of summer comes the increased possibility of your car being targeted by thieves. After all, July is one of the top months for car theft. According to statistics, only about half of Americans ever worry about their cars being broken into or stolen. For the half that doesn’t usually worry about car theft, we’ve collected some tips and safety measures to help keep you ahead of the curve when it comes to the safety of your car.

Follow the light! Always try to park in a busy, well-lit area. Light is a thief’s worst enemy. Park near streetlights or brightly-lit buildings to deter potential thieves from breaking into your car. If you do not park in a garage while at home, consider this tactic, too, by installing a motion detector light in your driveway to ward off any potential thieves.

Lock it down. Always make sure all windows are rolled up and doors are locked before leaving your car parked.

Don’t get caught idling. Leaving your engine on when you go inside to run a quick errand is something we all might think about doing. However, this is something car thieves look for. In the seemingly short time it takes you to walk in and out of the store, thieves could have stolen items from inside your car (e.g., sunglasses, phones, GPS devices, etc.) or worse, the car itself.

Keep your keys in a safe place. While at home, avoid leaving your keys out in the open where they could be easily spotted by someone outside. For example, don’t leave them on a counter or near windows/doors. Instead, try keeping your keys in out-of-sight places like a kitchen drawer, so thieves can’t spot them from the outside.

Check your plates. Have you ever been victim of license plate theft? It might not be one of the more commonly thought of forms of car theft, but it can end up causing you more problems than you think. Thieves will take your license plates and place them on vehicles they use to commit crimes. Be mindful to check the plates on your car frequently, and if they do get stolen, report the theft immediately to local police.

Track & Recovery Systems. If your car is an older model, consider installing an anti-theft device. Nearly 45% of cars that are stolen are never recovered, so installing track and recovery systems, like Lojack, can help law enforcement locate your stolen vehicle. A budget-friendly way to help deter theft is to place car security system stickers on windows where thieves can see them. The stress of having to silence a car alarm could be enough to make thieves pass on your vehicle.

If you are a Plymouth Rock customer, you could be eligible for a discount if you have an anti-theft device installed in your vehicle. Investing in the technology and time it takes to keep your car safe can save you money in the long run.

What gas is right for your car?

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Summer is here, which means the time for long road trips is upon us. If you are part of the 35% of Americans who plan on traveling this summer, then it might be time to consider whether you should opt for regular gasoline if you typically buy premium. The consensus among energy experts at the California Energy Commission (CEC) is that even if the manufacturer recommends premium gasoline for your car, then it might not be required.

Gas prices 3.10.11

Many drivers assume premium gasoline is better gasoline for cars, but the advantage of premium gasoline is limited to performance-oriented engines where higher octane fuel can provide better acceleration and power output. This information could help consumers everywhere save money at the pump heading into the summer season. So how do you determine if you should use regular or premium gasoline?

Check the owner’s manual. If you are unsure whether your car should use premium or regular gasoline, look through the owner’s manual for recommended octane level for the engine. If you own a high-performance luxury car, your owner’s manual may call for premium gasoline (usually 92 or 93 octane). If you find that your car only needs 87 octane fuel, then you can start purchasing regular gasoline instead of premium. Unless you have one of those high performance cars, or you are experiencing engine knocking (rare these days), 87 octane fuel will be just fine. For you, the only remarkable difference between premium and regular is how much you pay.

Know your car’s engine. Higher octane gasoline is more resistant to engine knock, the premature detonation of fuel in the engine’s cylinders.  Occasional knocking won’t hurt your car, but heavy knocking can cause engine damage.  Saving at the pump could end up costing you at the mechanic if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, modern engines are now complex enough to mostly prevent knocking, even with lower octane fuel. If you hear your engine knock when using the recommended fuel, try switching to a higher-grade gasoline. If knocking continues after a couple fill-ups, your car may need a tune-up.

Save Money. Switching from premium to regular can save you money at the pump. If you aren’t driving a high powered sports car and just need to get from place to place, fueling up with regular gasoline is fine. So before you take that summer road trip with the family, make sure you’re using the right gasoline for your car and your wallet.