New laws in Massachusetts regarding texting while driving and No cell phone use for teenagers take effect 9-30-2010

Posted by on Oct 1, 2010 in Auto Insurance, Life, Personal Insurance

Back to School Driving Tips:

As the weather starts to cool and the leaves change color, we would like to remind our insureds about how to be safer behind the wheel, especially as new laws in Massachusetts regarding texting while driving take effect. As part of our partnership with Safety Insurance via the Safe Roads Alliance on the “No Texting While Driving” campaign, we’d like to remind you that…

  • Starting September 30th, it will be illegal for all drivers in Massachusetts to use a mobile phone or other handheld device to compose, send or read electronic messages while behind the wheel. What most drivers may not know is that the ban includes these activities while at stop signs and red lights, too.
  • Drivers under 18 cannot use cell phones, even with hands-free devices, at all.
  • If a driver is caught texting while driving, the penalties include:
    • First offense: $100 fine
    • Second offense: $250 fine
    • Third and subsequent offense: $500 fine
    • Drivers under 18 will also face license suspensions for violations.

In addition, we’d like to remind you that Downey Insurance‘s partnership via Safety Insurance company with In Control’s driver skills development courses can make a big difference in safe driving! To support our policyholders, we offer a 5% Group Discount on premiums, and a $75 fee (a 70% discounted cost) for the driver skills development program

So Be careful out there! Charlie Downey

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Severe Weather Binding Restriction

Posted by on Jul 16, 2010 in Auto Insurance, Insurance, Watercraft Insurance

Our most dangerous weather season is upon us! While tornadoes and hurricanes can occur almost any time of the year, conditions are most favorable from March through October. As severe weather approaches in your area, we ask that no new coverage or increases in coverage be bound during the period that a hurricane or tornado watch or warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. This restriction on binding applies to the area threatened by the storm.

The terms “Storm Watch” or “Storm Warning” are defined by the U.S. Weather Services as:

Storm Watch: A storm in all likelihood will hit the area. While the storm may be some distance away, all of the contributing factors indicate the storm will hit the area.

Storm Warning: A storm is imminent.

All Personal Lines business is covered by this restriction (including Homeowners, Inland Marine, Personal Fire and Automobile).

Exceptions are permitted where an insured is:

  • Replacing an automobile on an existing policy
  • Making settlement on property previously contracted under an agreement of sale

If you have an unusual situation that requires special attention, please contact us

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Insurance Discounts for Graduates

Posted by on Jun 4, 2010 in Auto Insurance, Insurance



Hanover Insurance a Carrier that we at Downey Insurance Group offer has been offering insurance discounts for graduates of the In Control Advanced Driver Training Program for several years. This Summer, we are partnering again with In Control to sponsor a Crash Prevention program to help your clients save on their insurance and help reduce crashes in your community.

If you are unfamiliar with the program: Participants of all ages are given hands-on, closed course instruction on how to avoid the most dangerous driving situations. The half day program utilizes professional instructors and In Control’s vehicles to train drivers in real world situations. Participants learn how to perform a panic stop, the dangers of tailgating and text messaging, the effect of speed on control and many, many other important lessons.

Training will be offered at In Control locations in S. Weymouth, N. Andover, Worcester, and Otis Air Base on the Cape. Classes are available most Saturdays and Sundays as well as some weekdays. Courses generally run from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and again from 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM. All drivers must be licensed or have had their permit with at least 10 hours driving experience (parents and/or Driver Ed). Families are encouraged to train together.

SUMMER EVENT REDUCED COST: The normal cost of this course is $299. Thanks to our Sponsorship, In Control is pleased to reduce the price to $199 for Hanover personal auto policyholders, Hanover Agency employees, and family members of both. This $100 discount is available when registering between Memorial Day 5/31/2010 and Labor Day 9/6/2010.

To Register, go to: and follow the simple instructions, or call In Control at 888-301-7233. Please be sure to mention you are registering for the “Hanover Summer Event” course if you call.
For more details about the Program, go to the In Control Web Site at or call Dan Strollo at In Control at 978-658-4144. For questions about this Hanover-sponsored Summer Event, call Fran Delage at 508-855-8187

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Join Downey Insurance Group in making your car a “No Phone Zone”

Posted by on May 3, 2010 in Auto Insurance, Insurance

Oprah Winfrey campaigns for no cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle.

April 30th, 2010 marks the launch of the “No Phone Zone Day” campaign headed by the well-known talk show host, Oprah Winfrey. “No Phone Zone Day” is a campaign with hope to get everyone to pledge against phone use in vehicles. This event took place throughout the country, one being at our local Boston University which was attended by our fellow Downey Insurance intern, Alycia Dafoe.   She attended this event along with students located throughout Massachusetts with other members of Marlborough High school club, SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions.

The No Phone Zone campaign was in efforts to convince all auto drivers to pledge for no cell phone use while driving, where it has many consequences.  The options available to pledge for are as follows:

  • Avoid all texting while driving.
  • No texting while driving and only hands free calling if needed.
  • No texting or use of phone while driving and if needed, pull over and secure the vehicle.

Along with Alycia Dafoe, at this event, was a fellow classmates who has experienced a motor-vehicle accident first-hand due to cell phone use while operating. Because of texting, the individual caused an accident resulting in minor damage. Conseqently, the individual’s vehicle auto insurance sky rocketed.

Think twice before cell phone use while operating a moving vehicle. Join the Downey Insurance Group today in signing Oprah Winfrey’s  “No Phone Day Pledge” to make the roads in this country a safer place.

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