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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More About Health Care?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2010 in Health Insurance, Insurance, Life

Starting September 23rd, many changes to group health plans are being made in all the states, if they renew by that date or after. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the Federal Health Care Reform , has made it possible for many prevention services and tests to be available and covered in full.

The list of prevention services and tests could change, depending on the “issuance of further guidance from the federal government pursuant to the Affordable Care Act.” Also, “for POS and PPO plans, services are covered in full at the in-network benefit level. Out-of-network cost sharing remains the same.”

Some of the prevention services and tests are as followed:

– Autism Screening (for children at 18 and 24 months of age; primary care settings)

– Blood pressure screening (Adults, without known hypertension)

– Breast cancer screening, including mammograms and counseling for genetic susceptibility

– Cervical cancer screening, including pap smears

– Cholesterol screening (for adults only)

– Dental caries prevention – oral fluoride (for children to age 5 only) [Note: Coverage for fluoride is only provided if your Plan includes outpatient pharmacy coverage.]

– Depression screening (Adults, Children ages 12-18, primary care visits only)

– Diabetes screenings

– Hearing Screening (Screening for newborn only, primary care settings)

– Hepatitis B testing

– HIV screening

– Immunizations , including flu shots (for children and adults as appropriate)

– Osteoporosis screening (screening to begin at age 60 for women at increased risk)

– Ovarian cancer susceptibility screening

– Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – screenings and counseling

This information refers to products and services offered by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and its affiliates, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England and HPHC Insurance Company.

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Downey Insurance Supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Posted by on Aug 26, 2010 in Health Insurance, Insurance, Life

Just yesterday, the Downey Insurance Group made a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Vermont. This incredible cause helps make wishes come true for children who have life-threatening medical conditions. It not only gives them hope, but gives them courage to keep going.

In 1989, the Vermont chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation began, and since then, over 500 children and families lives have been affected. The mission of the  Make-A-Wish Foundation is truly inspiring and one that I hold dear to my heart.

My brother, who was diagnosed with ulcerated colitis at age two, was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Usually, kids wishes are to go on a family vacation, or meet someone famous, but my brother instead chose to wish for a dog. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made that happen for him, and now we have the most wonderful dog. He has been with us for over ten years, and now, my brother is colitis free at age twenty.

With just a little donation, another child could have the chance for their wish come true too, and that is why it is important to give back. Downey Insurance recognizes this and has joy helping out the community. You can help too, if you make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, your gift could change the life of a child.

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Downey Insurance Group Reminds You to Drive Carefully This Prom and Graduation Season

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Insurance, Life

As prom season and graduation season are here, we at Downey Insurance want to remind you to drive safe.  Many new drivers are out, so be extra careful driving around this month. Downey Insurance would also like to remind you that you should never drive under the influence and you should always buckle up.

The problems of driving impaired happen all over the country. “A 2002 study revealed that 40% of teen traffic fatalities during the prom and graduation weekends were alcohol-related. Fatal car accidents, injuries, and assaults are not an adolescent rite of passage for any teen. Underage drinking is a major factor in the two leading causes of teenage deaths: car crashes and fatal injuries.”¹

At Marlborough High School, home of Downey Insurance’s interns, after senior prom, there is a substance-free All-Nighter. For the 25th consecutive year, the MHS All-Nighter, a collaborative effort of parents and the entire community of Marlborough, came together to provide a safe, alcohol and drug free celebration for the students following the senior prom. This year the theme was “Hollywood” and the students were all transported by busses to the local Wayside Racquet and Swim Club for a night of activities. The students were greeted by the paparazzi as they walked in the doors and had their picture taken with their date. Some activities there were swimming, tennis, zumba, games, tug-of-war, food, and more food. The Outback provided the students with delicious food all night!  A special thanks goes out to the VinBin and Bertucci’s for their help with the fundraising!

So make sure you’re safe this prom and graduation and from the folks at Downey Insurance, Congrats Grads! You did it! And Congrats to Lindsay and Curt, our interns here at Downey Insurance that graduated with the Class of 2010 from Marlborough High School!

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Downey Insurance Group Helps “Stuff-A-Bus”

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Insurance, Life

Recently, Charlie Downey, of Downey Insurance, and two of his interns went to a local grocery store, Price Chopper, to buy some food to help “Stuff-A-Bus”. Here at Downey Insurance, we believe in helping the community, and what better way to help than to make sure everyone is fed.

This year was the third annual “Stuff-A-Bus”, Food Pantry Donation Drive. In Marlborough, 1,200 residents are served by the Food Pantry every month and out of that 1,200 are approximately 450 children. In these hard times, food is in short supply for some families, and the need for food donations has increased 30% from 2009 to 2010. With the summer coming up, the need for food is more extreme so it was a good time for Downey Insurance to help out.

Last year, “Stuff –A-Bus” had donations that reached 16,000 pounds of food and supplies! That was enough to fill the Food Pantry for the summer and into the fall. Let’s hope that this year “Stuff-A-Bus” gathered even more food and supplies and that our donations helped!

Make sure you check out our videos of the Downey Insurance gang helping “Stuff-A-Bus” on our Downey Insurance Group’s Facebook page.

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