Comprehensive Coverage: Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst

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Some people are just luckier than others. Maybe you’re the sort of person – say, whose car gets crushed by a boulder – or maybe you’re not.

Either way, Comprehensive Coverage is something you should consider when selecting your car insurance coverage. Put simply, Comprehensive coverage covers damages to your car resulting from an event other than a collision – like a boulder falling on it.  The most common losses covered by Comprehensive coverage are fire, theft, flood, vandalism and windstorm.Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is optional and therefore not automatically included in an insurance policy, but if you have a car loan your lender may require you to carry it. You should consult with an independent insurance agent to determine the costs and benefits of comprehensive coverage. The cost typically varies depending on your car’s year, make and model, your deductible amount and other limitations.

For a more comprehensive explanation of this type of coverage – or if you’re curious about any other confusing insurance terms – you can explore our Online Dictionary of Insurance Terms & Definitions.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Summer Storm Driving

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However awe-inspiring they may be, as an insurance provider, we aren’t exactly fans of big summer storms. But whatever we may think of them, the fact is now that it’s summer, it’s likely we’ll have to deal with a storm or two.

Ideally, driving in stormy conditions should be avoided altogether. But sometimes there’s somewhere you simply have to be and driving is unavoidable. On top of that, bad weather can sneak up so quickly that oftentimes it’s hard to plan ahead from a driving standpoint. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips which can help you stay as safe as possible in the event you find yourself driving through a storm.driving in the storm

In thunderstorms and lightning:

  • Tune in – keep the radio on local stations to stay abreast of the latest storm news.
  • Stay slow – it’s important to remember to drive slowly in stormy conditions – especially if there’s heavy rainfall. Stoppage distances increase when roads are wet, so be sure to give yourself ample room when braking.
  • Play it safe – if a downpour impairs your vision in the slightest, pull over. Turn your emergency flashers on and wait for things to clear up. Don’t get out of the car.

In high winds:

  • Look out for other drivers on the roads. High winds could require more heightened awareness when maneuvering your car.
  • Don’t be caught off-guard when moving from a sheltered to an un-sheltered place; be prepared to adjust your steering for the force of the wind.

In flooding:

  • Avoid it – as a rule of thumb, don’t try to drive through flooded roads. Turn around and find another route. Even water that looks shallow can be hiding dips in the road or other serious road damages.
  • Keep in mind that six inches of water is enough to reach the bottom of most cars, causing stalling and other difficulties. If your car stalls in water, get out when it is safe to do so.
  • Cars are not boats – a couple feet of swift-moving water is enough to sweep away the sturdiest of vehicles.

Don’t drive unless you have to. The chances of an accident occurring are a great deal higher in bad weather, and these tips are only meant to be used if you get stuck in a storm. The best way to stay out of trouble is to avoid driving in stormy weather altogether.

To read more about the tips and information highlighted above, visit Weather.com, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Totally lost?

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In the world of driving, sometimes misfortune strikes and an accident leaves your car in rough shape.

Whether your car resembles an accordion (hopefully not) or the damage is under the hood and therefore less obvious, your car could be considered a total loss.

When your car is damaged to the extent that repair costs exceed the Actual Cash Value – the market value of your car based on factors like pre-loss condition, model and mileage – insurers might determine your car a “total loss.”

To give you an idea of what this phrase means, we’ve created a video that – we feel – correctly illustrates what insurers mean when they assess a “total loss.”  Consider this an attempt to find humor in an otherwise un-humorous situation.

Want more information?

Familiarize yourself with the total loss procedure and what it means for coverage optionTotal losss with your Plymouth Rock auto insurance policy.

And, as always, be sure to visit our online dictionary of Auto Insurance Terms and Definitions for meaningful information and videos on common industry terms.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

DOI Consumer Alert on Ride- and Car-Sharing Services

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Last week the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI) released a consumer alert warning of the potential insurance coverage risks for people involved in ride-sharing and car-sharing programs.

These programs provide the general public with easy access to private transportation by allowing individuals to either rent privately owned cars for a fee, or to receive rides from drivers operating privately owned cars for a fee.

The alert urges Massachusetts insureds to carefully review both their existing auto insurance policy and the ride or car-sharing company’s policy before engaging in these services. It’s important to understand all potential risks since, according to the DOI, “most Massachusetts insurers will not consider using your vehicle for a car-sharing service ‘permissible use,’ and are unlikely to cover claims arising from such use.”

Handwritten Insurance Claim Form with pen and calculator

Alert highlights include:

  • An insurer can deny coverage if an accident occurs while giving rides to strangers for a fee or other economic incentives.
  • If you share your car with another driver through a car-sharing program, your insurer can deny coverage for an accident happening during that time.
  • Even if your insurer doesn’t explicitly exclude coverage of car-sharing services, it may not renew your policy if your car is involved in an accident while being shared through this type of service.
  • The car-sharing company might provide insurance coverage to its drivers, but it’s likely the coverage is subject to limitations and exclusions.

Click here for the full alert and more information on car and ride-sharing services.

If you are considering participating in these programs, it might be helpful to first consult your insurer or an insurance agent to better understand your coverage options, and what risks you could be exposed to through these services.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Subro… what?

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Last week we launched our online dictionary of Auto Insurance Terms and Definitions as a way to help explain confusing insurance industry jargon.

We understand that for some, words like “anti-theft device” and “collision insurance” aren’t part of everyday vocabulary.

…and chances are, neither is subrogation.

Subrogation is one of those words that sounds more complicated than it actually is. In short, it’s the process by which an insurance company will pay a claim to its customer and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault third party.

Subrogation

Since visual learning can be more helpful than just reading words, we’ve created a short video that illustrates what subrogation is all about.

For more information on subrogation or other common insurance terms, visit our online dictionary where you’ll find a host of funny videos.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Introducing Plymouth Rock’s Online Dictionary!

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Car insurance isn’t always the easiest thing to understand, nor is it the most exciting topic to talk about.

We get it.

While we work in this industry every day and are passionate about what we do, we don’t necessarily expect everyone to share our excitement about car insurance. But, chances are, if you are a driver who owns or leases a car, car insurance is a part of your life.

That’s why we want to make it easy for you to understand our industry jargon.

Using short, animated and humorous (at least we think so!) videos, we’ve created an online dictionary of Auto Insurance Terms and Definitions. We hope the visual illustrations of each term will provide a clear understanding of words you might otherwise find confusing.

So, without further ado, we’re unveiling our dictionary with two commonplace insurance terms: anti-theft device and collision insurance.

In short, anti-theft devices are designed to prevent your car from being stolen. These devices not only provide peace of mind of having added security to your vehicle, but they can also lower your insurance rates.

Now here’s a curve ball for you: what do anti-theft devices and dogs Anti-Theft Devicehave in common?

Well, you’ll have to watch and see for yourself.

While anti-theft devices can prevent break-ins, collision insurance protects your car in a different way.

Collision insurance will cover any physical damage incurred by your car as a result of hitting another vehicle or object. The type of collision coverage you choose typically will affect the cost of your car insurance, so it’s helpful to know your coverage options.

Not sure what constitutes a collision? Take a look at this video and see if it helps clarify…

Stay tunedcollision_coverage for more insurance terms and definitions in the coming weeks and be sure to share them with friends and family!

 

 

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Boston Late Night Service

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While “open” signs and an endless stream of taxis make New York the “city that never sleeps,” at 3 a.m. in Boston, businesses are locked away while the occasional cab creeps down deserted streets.   boston nighttime

In an effort to reverse the popular view of Boston as a sleepy city, Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed his plan to keep the city open later: “an international business hub needs a truly cosmopolitan culture,” he said at the Boston Municipal Research Bureau annual meeting earlier this month. For Walsh, fostering this cosmopolitan culture includes establishing an attractive and vibrant city nightlife.

First steps towards transforming Boston’s nightlife include the creation of a Late Night Task Force. The task force will be comprised of restaurant and bar owners, community leaders, and young professionals and will work with the state on legal barriers to explore how to “foster a safe and vibrant nightlife culture.” One goal of this Task Force is to examine the possibility of allowing bars and eateries to remain open as late as 3:30 a.m. – two hours later than current closing time. Last call – which generally is around 1 a.m. for bars – would be pushed to 2:30 a.m.

As Marty Walsh leads the initiative to make Boston a worldlier city, he seeks to create incentives for the many international students studying at Boston universities “to stay here, start their business, and tell their friends back home that Boston is the place to be.”

The push for globalizing Boston coincides with recent efforts to extend the weekend operating hours of the MBTA’s subways and buses. As part of a one year pilot program, beginning on March 28 select bus routes began operating for an additional 90 minutes and the last MBTA trains now leave downtown Boston at approximately 2:30 a.m.

The first weekend of late night service, according to T officials, “went smoothly, with no arrests, and plenty of riders.”

As if extending the T’s operating hours wasn’t enough, food trucks are also getting behind the wheel of ‘globalizing’ Boston’s nightlife culture. Food truck patrons will soon be able to satisfy that midnight craving now that a select list of trucks will be participating in a pilot program that allows them to serve food until midnight.

Walsh credits revamping Boston’s nightlife to the fact that “our economy is changing and our work force is changing, and… it’s something we need to look at,”  he said in an interview with Boston Magazine.

The task force and extended operating hours for the T and food trucks will undoubtedly change the landscape of Boston’s nightlife scene.

Currently, the 1 a.m. last call pushes patrons into the city streets in a mass scramble to secure a cab. Extending bar and T operating hours will give night owls more options, both in terms of when and how they get home.

However, later bar hours could increase the disruption already felt in some Boston neighborhoods when patrons exit onto the street.

There are pros and cons to Walsh’s ‘global vision’ for Boston.

But whether you’re supportive of the initiatives or not, as Walsh’s Chief of Staff Dan Koh said: “if [we] truly want to make Boston an international city, [we] need to look at all things that will make the city attractive…and that includes things like late-night options.”

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

Plymouth Rock is a Rock Star

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We’ve heard rumblings that some folks out there might underestimate the pure excitement factor of the Plymouth Rock… Given that our company was named after that handsome piece of granodiorite, we’d like to set the record straight.

“Boring?” We don’t think so. The Plymouth Rock is crazy, party fun!

PartyOtto

Congratulations to High School Hero, Rufus Rushins of Lynn, MA!

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Rufus Rushins, a junior at Bishop Fenwick High School, is our newest High School Hero. He joins a distinguished group of Massachusetts student-athletes who have been recognized for their commitment in and out of the classroom.

From left to right, Chris Prince of Plymouth Rock, Ray Rushins, Rufus Rushins and Steve Tarpey of Tarpey Insurance Group.

From left to right, Chris Prince of Plymouth Rock, Ray Rushins, Rufus Rushins and Steve Tarpey of Tarpey Insurance Group.

An eleven year veteran, Rufus is no stranger to the football field. Last year alone, the running back ran for three touchdowns on 15 carries at the 2013 Division 5 Super Bowl, shutting out Northbridge 28-0 for the title.

Rufus and the Bishop Fenwick Crusaders had an impressive season leading up to the 2013 super bowl win, including the school’s first Catholic Central Large title in over a decade.

Although football takes up a large part of Rufus’ time, this student-athlete stays on top of his schoolwork – his favorite classes are science and history.

When Rufus isn’t on the football field or in the classroom, he likes to spend time with his brother. For this star athlete, staying involved in his brother’s life is a priority.

Looking ahead, Rufus plans to play football in college and in the NFL. With strong determination and a super bowl title under his belt, Rufus has great potential to achieve these goals.

On behalf of everyone at Plymouth Rock, we wish you luck on your journey!

Plymouth Rock has teamed up with 98.5 The Sports Hub to find and honor High School Heroes across Massachusetts. The program will identify seven high school students who demonstrate exemplary work in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community. All seven winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and be recognized at the Massachusetts High School Football Championships at Gillette Stadium this December. Learn more about the contest – and nominate a High School Hero that you know – on The Sports Hub website.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

War on Distracted Driving: Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

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We live in a society addicted to connectedness. With cellphones acting as our fifth limb, computers as our best friends and tablets as our travel companions, we are in constant communication with one another – even while driving.moving traffic

Any driver should know that handling a car requires complete focus. Regardless, over 3,300 people died from distracted driving-related car accidents in the U.S. in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website, distraction.gov. Since studies show that you’re twice as likely to get into a wreck when you’re texting, it’s no surprise distracted driving has become a hot topic in Washington.

Last month, Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, met with business executives from the auto and technology industries on Capitol Hill to voice his concerns about distracted driving. As chairman of a committee which is responsible for ensuring laws are in place to keep the highways safe, Rockefeller criticized these industries for perpetuating this issue by making products that distract drivers.

While politicians push for legislation against distracted driving, the  DOT and NHTSA are waging their own war: fighting technology with technology.

After concluding a pilot study of 3,000 cars in 2012, the NHTSA has announced its plans to move forward with enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light cars. These technologies, the NHTSA believes, will fight distracted driving by significantly decreasing the number of car accidents.

Although we’re not quite ready for time-travelling, flying cars, V2V technology allows cars to ”talk” to each other by sending and receiving basic safety data like speed, location and direction of travel. This information establishes a 360-degree situational awareness by identifying risks and warning drivers to avoid common crash types such as lane changes, rear ends and intersection crashes. These warnings are intended to give drivers enough time to take their foot off the gas pedal.

According to David Friedman, Acting Administrator for the NHSTA, V2V technology has “game-changing potential” to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on the roads. Friedman believes this time will be remembered as the point when the “historical arc of transportation” changed “for the better.” He sees V2V on the same innovative level as seatbelts and airbags.

Seatbelts and airbags undoubtedly changed the world of car safety, but will V2V boast the same effect?

The benefits of email were obvious when a few people had computers with accounts, but email didn’t change the world until they became ubiquitous. V2V works the same way: even if every new car was equipped with it tomorrow, it would take a decade for a majority of cars on the road to have the technology. To have widespread effect on the roads, V2V requires a large amount of cars “talking” to each other.

Here’s why: If your car is equipped with V2V and you are following behind a car without it, you must still be alert. You might be lucky and have forward collision warning, but if not, and the driver ahead hits the brakes, your V2V won’t receive a message and consequently fail to provide a warning as quickly as it would’ve had the first car been equipped with V2V technology.

However, if both cars are equipped with V2V, your car will sense the other driver braking in real time, giving you a warning to slow down. The more cars with V2V mean more informational exchanges and heightened driver awareness.

Although the NHTSA hasn’t yet issued a mandate for V2V technology in all new cars, it plans to release a report for public feedback. The report will cover issues such as cost, technical feasibility, and security and privacy. From there the NHTSA will begin working on a regulatory proposal.

The timetable for widespread implementation will be based on “comments we receive on our research report and additional information we receive as we pursue a regulation,” the DOT said.

If the administration does move forward with a formal V2V mandate, we could see cars equipped with the technology coming off the production line as early as 2019.

Maybe we aren’t so far from the flying cars after all.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.