Your Car Will Not Feel Abandoned If You Leave It Behind, But I Guarantee Your Family Will If You Drive Drunk

Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

I met a new friend this year her name is Beatrice Serewicz -Homes.  We met at an infant swim class with our daughters, later to find out that we lived a mile from each other.  We have become close over the last year and when she told me her brother was killed in a horrific drunk driving acident on July 17th 2010 I remembered watching the story on the news and feeling for the family even though I had no idea his sister lived so close to us.

The other driver was drunk and traveling in the wrong direction on I-90 in Worcester, MA.  This drunk driver struck Thomas Serewicz vehicle, head on, killing Tommy and his friend that was a passenger in the vehicle.  Thomas was 24, he was married with 2 small boys.  Tom’s two sisters, his wife and children, his Mother, and his friends were devastated.  My friend Bea was 9 month pregnant at the time and gave birth to her daughter 2 weeks later.

Here is an excerpt from a note written by Tom’s Mother Lynn Serewicz:

Altering your mind, is altering your mind. Drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation…. kills! And for some who say I’ll take my chances it’s my life… NO IT ISN’T!! not when innocent people die! and little boys are left without their daddy!!!  Have you ever heard or said yourself, I don’t even remember how I got home last night.. I’ve heard people say things like “there’s a dent in my car, I don’t know what happened”, or, I banged up my knee and I don’t know how I did it..” all this after a night of drinking… ever wonder how many accidents they may have caused without ever knowing it? Maybe in the paper that next day was a story of a car that went off the road…. and people killed… maybe the one who doesn’t
know how they got home, drove that car off the road!! how would they ever know???? Or a victim of a hit and run.. could THAT be how your car got dented???

This mom sureis MADD, but most of all, wants others to know Tom was here, he was/is important to this world. but is gone now because someone decided this was how she wanted to live her life. Imagine how her family must feel? the devastation from this one act is endless.

PLEASE, think before you drink/drug. (she was highly intoxicated and drugged).

Thank you all for reading. I’m so sorry it’s sad. I’m so sorry we live in a world where this kind of thing can happen.

God Bless us all!

Lynne

Last week the family held a 1 Year memorial for Tommy at the Stone Church in West Boylston, MA.   They chose the location because it was Tom’s favorite fishing place. They had prayer, memories, released red balloons (for MADD) with red ribbons tied to them with messages from the hearts of family and friends written on them.  They sang by the water’s edge, Amazing Grace.  Tom’s Mother Lynn and family were deeply touched by the presence of many friends and love ones and their gift of love and remembrance of Tommy.   Later, they shared food, laughter, tears, and stories of Tom, his antics, his love.

I am telling this from a third person perspective because that is all I can do, I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to lose a loved one to such a tragic accident that is 100% preventable.  Tom also did not have a Life Insurance policy.   While Life Insurance cannot begin to make up for the loss of a love one, it can make the lives of those left behind a little more manageable.    At Downey Insurance we support making your car a “No Phone Zone” to prevent Texting While Driving  this may not be as much of a no-brainer as not driving drunk but it is just as important.  So PLEASE do not drive drunk, and PLEASE don’t allow someone else to drive drunk whose judgment may be impaired.  Your car will not feel abandoned if you leave it behind but I guarantee your family will if you drive drunk.

Cate Downey Potenza

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Would Legalizing Fireworks in Massachusetts effect your Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Insurance

Can legalizing fireworks on Massachusetts affect your Massachuetts Homeowners policy. I hope everyone is planning a fun and safe 4th of July this year! Boston is known for its spectacular fireworks display and I’m sure this year will be equally awe inspiring.

 

If you are a Massachusetts resident you are most likely aware that the personal use of fireworks is illegal in our state, and we have to let the experts run the show this year. But State Rep. Bastien from Gardner has supported a bill a bill that would allow individuals to apply for a fireworks permit pending their city or towns approval. This bill would have also allowed for the sale of fireworks in Massachusetts. He claims that Massachusetts should be cashing in on the thousands of dollars that resident are spending on fireworks that are being bought and used illegally. Currently most of this money is being spent in New Hampshire. (CBS Boston)

 

Obviously this comes with mixed reactions from lawmakers and residents. With one of the lowest fireworks related injury and death rate some ask why you would want to go backwards. Others say that people are using them regardless of the law and we need more legal options. Having some idea of where the fireworks are being used would help fire and rescue responders in the event of an emergency.

 

So as the law stands now even though fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, your Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance policy would most likely consider damage or injury caused by a fireworks accident “a covered loss.” Every situation is different but the odds are that you would be covered. So legalizing firework would not particularly effect the outcome of your homeowners claim. But, that does not mean we endorse the idea. If you have any questions regarding your homeowners policy please call us and speak with one of our specially trained customer service representatives. If you are not yet a client of Downey we would love to help you as well.

 

So please, from all of your friends at Downey Insurance, stay safe this holiday and enjoy the firework display put on by your local community this year. Until the laws change in Massachusetts it’s not worth the risk.

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Community Outreach in Massachusetts explodes as Tornado Claims Hit $140M

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Insurance

The Tornado’s that ravaged parts of Western Massachusetts have caused more damage than was previously expected by officials.  Massachusetts Insurance Claims for insured losses just keep rolling in. Although FEMA has just begun their efforts in MA they are already seeing equally astounding numbers.   You can see my previous post on applying for FEMA relief in MA.

 Viviane Lee from Boston.com said on Saturday – “Insurance claims filed by victims of this month’s tornadoes have risen to $140 million, according to state officials, dwarfing previous estimates and reflecting the devastation after the storms tore through Western Massachusetts June 1.

Victims have come forward with 8,200 claims, Joseph Murphy, commissioner of the Division of Insurance, said Thursday. The damage estimates are expected to swell as nine Federal Emergency Management Agency-operated recovery centers open in the next few days to help residents apply for federal aid.

Initial reports from June 7, more than a week after tornadoes ravaged 19 communities and left three people dead, estimated claims at $90 million just for destruction to homes. Thursday’s figure includes $5 million in commercial property claims and $15 million in auto insurance filings on top of an additional $30 million for residential damage.”

The numbers here are staggering, and the personal stories of the people that have been affected are had to imagine for most of us.  Many organizations have jumped into action to fill the needs of these people, and the local outreach to the affected communities has been tremendous. 

The Patriots Foundation for example is partnering with The Untied Wayto match contributions up to $100,000 for disaster relief!  100% of the funds donated during this drive will be used toward disaster relief efforts in MA.  There is also a Facebook page Western Mass Tornado Relief that is posting news and updates related to the disaster. 

One local Massachusetts mother Tara Barranco has been inspired to start an organization called Munchkin Love to help families with small children after the disaster.  They are collecting items such as diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and infant medicine for donation.  They are currently distributing the items from their distribution center in Southbridge, MA.  You can find out more information about donating to Munchkin Love on their Facebook Page MunchkinLove.

If you know of any other worthy charitable organizations that are worth mentioning please feel free to post their name and website in the comments area below.

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Memorial Day Weekend at the 2011 Jambone- Do you have enough insurance coverage for your summer plans?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Blugrass music on the porch of a cabin on Mt Ascutney.

Charlie Downey has done it again! The 21st annual Jambone has gone off without a hitch, and I swear the quantity and quality of people are always increasing. The Jambone has become the unofficial start of summer for those that attend every year, as they catch up with folks they may not have seen all year. The picking is the best around whether you are playing or listening there is no better way to enjoy Bluegrass music than at the Jambone.

As the years have passed the musical stylings have expanded to include many other types of music but the heart of the Jambone will always be Blugrass music. The sounds of the banjo, dobro, guitar, stand up bass, flute, and the mandolin lift every one’s spirits at sunset on the porch of a small cabin on the side of Mt. Ascutney. The tents and trailers line the perimeter of the property and the children who have grown up together every Memorial Day weekend at the Jambone run free and play games as if it has not been a whole year since they have left this magical place.

Brook off the Brook Road in Windsor, VT.Nothing can trump the music of the Jambone except maybe the food! There is always so much delicious food at every meal that even the dogs are stuffed. The addition of a smoker this year was excellent, and hopefully it will make an appearance next year as well.

Charlie is so gracious to host this party every year. By opening up his property for people to camp, renting porta potties, and taking the kids to the brook to swim and cool off. I know he enjoys every minute of it! We all do, and we look forward to it every year.

I know one of the reasons he is able truly enjoy himself is because he knows that he has enough insurance coverage in the event of a property owners liability claim. If anyone was hurt or injured his Umbrella Policy would kick in with additional coverage over and above his primary liability policy. If you have assets that need protection an Umbrella policy is a must to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship in the event of a high dollar lawsuit.

Charlie has a way of making people feel welcome and taken care of in life and in his insurance business. Some people may not think of insurance people when they think of these traits but Charlie has made it his priority. His personal slogan “It’s all about helping the people” resonates throughout his whole organization.

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Downey Insurance is marching in the 10th Annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade June 4th, 2011

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance

Downey Insurance Group is excited to be marching in the 10th Annual Strolling of the Heifers parade in Brattleboro, VT again this year.  This will be our 4th year sponsoring the event and participating in the parade.  We think it is such a great way to show our support for our local farm clients that are so important to us and to the community.  We insure most of our farm clients in the Monadnock region with Co-Op Insurance Company of Vermont which is co-sponsoring us to march in the parade.

This year the prade is being held on Saterday June 4th, 2011.  It will run down the Main Street of Brattleobro, VT then end at The Living Green Expo on Brattleobro common that will include farmers, food-producers and other sustainability vendors.  There will alos be food vendors and a small carnival for children.  The parade will include around 100 heifer calves adorned with flowers, then other livestock and local community organizations will follow.  You never know what the parade will bring with many floats and performances expected.  My alltime favorite would have to be the “Plastic Bag Monster” of 2008.

If you were at the parade last year you will remember Charlie Downey’s son David with the oversized hula-hoop.  He was a crowed pleaser for sure,  everyone was amazed that he could keep that large hoop up for so long!!

This years Strolling of the Heifers theme is “It Takes a Community to Support our Farmers.”  Downey Insurance Group is so happy to be part of that community, by protecting our local farms with farm insurance products.   When the unthinkable happens we are there to help make it right.  Without insurance most frams would not be able to continue their operations after a large loss.

This year preceeding the Parade on Saterday Brattleboro is hosting the first Slow Living Summit June 1st – 3rd.  It’s focus will be on growing the sustainablity movent .  Many speakers and workshops are planned with industry leaders.  This summit will definaly get things moving in on

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Charlie Downey featured in Insurance Journal on Building a World Class Sales Structure

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Insurance

During a recent trip to San Diego, CA Charlie Downey President and CEO of Downey Insurance of Marlborough, MA, Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT sat down with Adam DeGraide from Astonish Results to discuss what it takes to build a world class sales structure. The purpose of this trip was to gather the thought leaders of the insurance industry for candid discussions regarding thier current sales strategy. They found that most of the insurance professionals were on similar paths. Building a world class sales structre was on the top of the list every time. This video was featured on the Insurance Journal TV E-Marketing Minute.

Charlie Downey says “This is how you grow your business, every call is an opportunity to help our clients. Every client wants to feel like they are taken care of, sometimes it is as simple as asking for their business.” This mindset is part of the reason Downey Insurance is doing so well. In fact they are growing, 6 years ago they expanded from their Marlborough, MA office by adding two new locations in Brattleboro, Vt and Keene, NH.

In addition to a focus on sales culture this meeting of the minds in San Diego, CA focused on the importance of being on the crest of the digital marketing and social media marketing wave. Downey Insurance fits this description as well. They are doing everything they can to make sure they are visible and responsive on the web.

Charlie Downey feels humbled an honored to be feachured in Insurance Journal’s E-Marketing Munite. He says “It just confirms that we are on the right track, and that our strategy is not only working for us but we can be the bench-mark for other agencies.”

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