Tips to prevent water damage from a leaking refrigerator from our friends at Service Master Dynamic Cleaning.
These leaks are often small and can go unnoticed for a long time. This is why it's usually the smallest leaks that cause the most damage! If not caught and restored properly, a water leak can cause mold to grow within 48 hours.
Follow these expert tips to help prevent water damage from fridge leaks:
The Massachusetts RMV is taking important additional steps following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9th and to complement the work that has been underway across state government to keep residents safe and healthy.
To help you and your customers maintain proper social distancing, as of March 20 the annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection expiration dates are being extended as follows:
In light of the current situation effective Tuesday 3/17/2020 our offices will be closed to the public. We must do what is best for the safety of our employees and their families as well as the general public. Our office will still be open and employees working on site and remotely. If you need to speak with us during our normal office hours (Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) please call 781-762-0042 or email your representative directly. If you would like to leave a payment or paperwork you may use the mail slot on the front door.
Governor Baker has signed the Hands-Free Driving Bill into law
Massachusetts finally has a hands-free driving law. Yesterday afternoon, Governor Baker signed, as expected, a bill enacted by the Legislature on November 20, 2019, entitled “An Act Requiring The Hands-Free Use Of Mobile Telephones While Driving.” The law does not have an emergency preamble so it will not take effect until Sunday, February 23, 2020, ninety days from November 25th.
Massachusetts newly enacted Hands Free Driving law amends M.G.L. c. 90, § 13B and states that, “No operator of a motor vehicle shall hold a mobile electronic device” or “use a mobile electronic device unless the device is being used in hands-free mode.” The statute defines “hands-free mode” as use without the user holding or touching the device except to initiate the hands-mode feature of the device.
The law which applies to both operators of motor vehicles and bicycles does allow “emergency” use of a hand-held device to report that:
The vehicle was disabled;
Medical attention or assistance was required;
Police intervention, fire department or other emergency services were necessary for the personal safety of the operator or a passenger or to otherwise ensure the safety of the public;
a disabled vehicle or an accident was present on a roadway.
At a State House ceremony, attended by families who had lost loved ones to distracted drivers using cellphones and the legislators who pushed a comprise through to the Governor’s desk, His Excellency the Governor signed the distracted driving bill stating, “This bill is a major step in our ongoing work to keep our roads safe. We are especially grateful for the many advocates and families who passionately fought for this bill. We look forward to working with our legislative colleagues to make more progress in this area soon.”
The passage of a hands-free driving law has been a long process
Massachusetts legislators have long sought to enact a law addressing this issue, but have sparred over various issues such as data collection included as part of the proposed bill. Last Monday, November 18th, however, a new movement to enact a law on this issue began in the House. After several compromises, a version ultimately passed the Senate and the bill was laid before the Governor late last week.
According to Cambridge-based telematics company True Motion, which has long supported such a bill, there is “…one distracted driving incident per minute in front of Massachusetts’ State House.” On July 23, 2018, the company reported in a blog post that it had sat in front of the State House, at the corner of Beacon and Park Streets every day from 8:30 to 9:30 AM for a week counting distracted drivers. “This included anyone who was using their phone texting (illegal), dialing (legal), and making handheld phone calls (legal then).” After a week’s time, the start-up said it had counted over “…300 distracted driving incidents in just 5 hours – one per minute.”
A third-offense under the New Hands-Free Driving Bill Will Result in a Surcharge
According to the terms laid out in the new Bill, a first-time violation with result in a $100 fine, a second offense will be a $250 fine, followed by a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. While a first or second offense is not categorized as a “surchargeable incident” under the statute, a third or subsequent office will be considered as such.
(e) A first or second offense under this section or section 8M shall not be a surchargeable 66 incident under section 113B of chapter 175 or under a motor vehicle liability policy as defined in 67 section 34A that is issued pursuant to said chapter 175; provided, however, that a third or 68 subsequent offense under this section or section 8M shall be a surchargeable incident under said 69 section 113B of said chapter 175 or under a motor vehicle liability policy as defined in said 70 section 34A that is issued pursuant to said chapter 175.
After a second or subsequent offense, operators will be required to complete an educational program on distracted driving prevention.
Short grace period for first-time offenders until March 31, 2020
Although the law will take effect on February 23, 2020, first-time violators cited from February 23, 2020 until March 31, 2020, will receive warnings. The enactment provision of the law provides, “notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, an operator of a motor vehicle shall be issued a warning for a first violation…for conduct other than the typing or reading of an electronic message occurring after the effective date of this act until March 31, 2020, inclusive.”
Other provisions included in the newly enacted law
Another major issue that has prevented earlier Hands-Free Driving Bills to pass was the issue of data collected as part of the enforcement of a potential hands-free bill. In particular, those opposed to wide data collection feared that such information could be used for purposes such as racial profiling. The Bill, however, includes various provisions dealing with the collection and storage of data as well as safeguards in which to prevent potential misuse of the information collected.
The new law also requires the Secretary of Public Safety and Security to issue an annual public report based on the data collected throughout the year.
On Thanksgiving Day, the kitchen is the busiest room in the home. The number one cause of residential fires is caused by unattended cooking. Enjoy the holiday while avoiding fire damage with these cooking safety tips.
If you’re having a new in-ground pool installed this spring, you’ll undoubtedly have several meetings with the pool installer. They aren’t the only person you’ll want to consult before the pool is completed, though. You should also talk with your Massachusetts insurance agent to see whether your homeowners insurance policy will cover the new pool.
On March 26, 2018, you need documents showing U.S. citizenship or lawful presence as required by federal and state law. Review the checklist below for the types of documents you will need. All documents MUST be originals.
Step 1: Locate your Social Security Number
(Choose one document for REAL ID. For a Standard ID, SSN must be verified electronically.
Pay stub with applicant's name and SSN
* Applications without an SSN must present an SSA denial notice, forgein passport, VISA and 1-94. Documents presented must display full nine digits of SSN.
Step 2: Choose one lawful presence/date of birth document
US Passport/Passport card
Certified copy of US birth certificate
Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-561 or N570)
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240, DS-1350 or FS-545)
Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
Employment Authorization Card (Form I-766 or I-688B)
Foreign Passport with US VISA Affixed and I-94 Stamp
Step 3: Choose a MA residency document (2 for REAL ID, 1 for MA Standard ID)
MA RMV-issued documents such as a renewal letter
State/Federal/Municipal/City/Town/Country Agency-issued documents such as 1st class mail, MA-issued professional license with photo, Medicaid statement, firearms card, jury duty summons, court correspondence, property tax or excise tax dated within 60 days
Bills such as a utility bill, credit card statement or medical statements dated within 60 days
Lease, mortgage or rental contract dated within 60 day
Financial-related documents such as a blank statement with image of personal checks, W-2, pension statement, retirement statement pay stubs, SSA statement or instalment loan contract dated within 60 days
School-issued documents such as school transcript, proof of enrolment, tuition bill, school record for the current year
Snow makes any commute harder, but the best way to stay safe on the road while it’s snowing is to avoid driving altogether. However, if you can’t stay home until the plows have cleared the roads, we urge you to take a minute and refresh your memory with these following safety tips:
Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights. It’s not just good sense, it’s also safe and the law.
Remember to warm your car up but only do so after you've made sure the tailpipe is clear. Never leave the vehicle unattended.
Know the current road conditions. Tune in to current local traffic reports before leaving home.
Pay attention. Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
Leave plenty of room for stopping. Roads may be slippery, even if crews have spread salt.
Use brakes carefully. Break early, brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
Watch for slippery bridge decks. Even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition. Bridge decks will ice up sooner.
Don’t use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Remain in control of your car — you don’t want any surprises.
Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won’t help you stop any faster!
Don’t pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to “stomp and steer!”
Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them
For more on keeping safe on the road or what to do before you head out. Keep reading!!
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provisions, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy, state and federal laws. For an actual description of coverage, terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable insurance policy or check with your insurance professional. The illustrations, instructions and principles contained in the material are general in scope and, to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication.
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Our insurance agency is committed to dealing fairly with complete integrity and transparency with consumers, other insurance producers and others with whom we work in providing insurance products and services. To that end, we provide this disclosure regarding our sources of compensation from insurance companies or other parties.
Our agency may receive compensation in the form of commissions paid by an insurance company, calculated as a percentage of premiums, pursuant to an arrangement with the insurance company. These commissions are for the service we perform in placing and servicing insurance policies on the insurance company’s behalf.
Our agency may also be eligible to receive other forms of compensation such as incentive or contingency payments or bonuses and/or supplemental commissions from insurance companies. These may be based on our aggregate historical or current performance with respect to a line of business or customer segment and not specifically related to any particular policy or policyholder.
Other insurance producers who perform service in placing and servicing insurance through our agency may receive compensation from our agency in the form of service fees as determined by our agency’s arrangement with such producer.
Our agency may hold premium or return premium funds temporarily, in which case our agency may receive interest or investment income on such funds.