$$$ Speak Louder than Words! Pamela Saved $500 by cancelling her Progressive Auto Insurance Policy and writing with Downey Insurance

Posted by on Mar 16, 2011 in Auto Insurance, Downey Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Wow!!! Last week Pamela G. called for a quote, the same day she came in to sign with us and we saved her close to $500!! *And that was just on one policy* She couldn’t believe it; she told me she had her Auto Insurance with Progressive & that their prices were good when she 1st wrote with them, but 2 terms later.. they sky rocked!! Now that speaks loudly… don’t you think?! Give us a call… what do you have to lose besides $$$ if you don’t call us!! Can you afford not to? Visit our website www.downeyinsurance.com or Call Downey Insurance at 508-485-0130.

-Elis Colon is a customer service representative in our Marlborough,MA office. We also have offices in Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT.

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Flooding threatens Homes and Businesses in New Hampshire

Posted by on Mar 7, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Flood Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Flooding is becoming an annual nuisance in New Hampshire. The threat of damage to many homes and businesses is very real. As you may know your standard Homeowners policy and Business policy will not cover damage caused by flood.

If you fall within certain flood lines your mortgage company will most likely require you to carry flood insurance. Even if you are not required to carry flood insurance it is still a very good idea. The thought of your home or business being destroyed by flood is unimaginable to most. At Downey Insurance we have the resources to assess and protect your flood risk, as well as your home.

WMUR in New Hampshire said today:

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. Heavy rain in the southern part of the state led to flooding issues Monday, while more than a foot of snow fell in northern areas.

Residents on Beauregard Street along the Sugar River in Claremont were evacuated when the river overflowed and left the road under more than 4 feet of water. Homes in the area are above that level and weren’t flooded, but officials said there was no way to get in and out of the homes because of the road flooding.

In Newport, a couple was rescued by boat from their home on a private road. Emergency workers said they crossed about 500 feet of water that was about 4 feet deep to get to the home.

In Hooksett, a Kmart on Londonderry Turnpike was closed because of flooding. Police said water was going into the store.

The rain sent chunks of ice floating down some rivers, forming ice dams that sent water spilling onto roads. Old Sharon Road in Peterborough was flooded for about a mile when ice wedged under a bridge.

The Department of Transportation sent in an excavator to break up the ice in what safety officials called a delicately timed operation. “Just a little bit at a time so we don’t have a big rush of water going into the downtown area,” said Fire Chief Joe Lenox.

The heavy rains Sunday and overnight created torrents of rushing water on the Contoocock River. Complicating things for public works crews, there was more than one ice dam to deal with in Peterborough alone.

John Kaufhold owns a business by the river and said he has been through this before.

“(In 2007), we had about 2 feet of water where we’re standing,” he said.

Kaufhold said ice jams Monday could spell trouble again.

“By the dam in north Peterborough, we could get an ice jam and really clog things up,” he said. “The water level will rise fast behind the dam.”

In Wilton, officials monitored an ice jam on Stoney Brook. They said water started to rise Monday morning near the downtown area, but the jam broke up, and water began to flow freely again.

North of the White Mountains, a foot or more of snow fell since Sunday afternoon. Residents said they were running out of places to put the snow after all the storms this winter.

Power outages were also reported across the state, especially in western areas and the Upper Valley.

Public Service of New Hampshire reported about 3,400. New Hampshire Electric Coop reported about 3,200, while Unitil reported no outages.

Several ski areas were also closed because of the weather. Officials at Cannon Mountain said it’s closed because of some electrical issues caused by the storm. Cranmore and Dartmouth Skiway were closed because of poor conditions.

To read the full article click here.

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Warning: Progressive to increase some rates by 23% in Massachusetts

Posted by on Feb 23, 2011 in Auto Insurance, Downey Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

After coming into the Massachusetts market in May of 2008 Progressive Insurance has had a very bumpy ride.   When Progressive first came on-line in MA we received many calls from our clients who had self quoted their policy on Progressive’s website. 

Unfortunately Progressive was using some very deceptive tactics to get people to leave the comfort of their trusted insurance professionalsand purchase their policy on-line from some computer server without a review from their current insurance professional who understands that individuals unique protection needs. 

Thank goodness most of our clients had the insight to call us so we could show them the where they were being deceived.   The most common deception that we found was not including premium for surcharge points added by the DMV even though they are requiring applicants to submit their social security number.  The quote process also informs applicants that Progressive obtains credit reports and confidential credit scoring information, which is prohibited in Massachusetts for both rating and underwriting purposes.  

Other  misleading practice’s that Progressive was utilizing to it’s own advantage included quoting short term policy’s not covering the full 12 months required by MA law, and most importantly not informing our clients about the danger in the reduction of coverage they were  quoting compared to the level of protection that they are insured at currently.

We were not the only agency that was taking notice, the Massachusetts Association of Independent Insurance Agents filed a formal complaint with the MA Division of Insurance stating similar grievances, and they released a press release to all of their member agents warning them of these deceptive practices.

Now 3 years later after luring MA residents with their to good to be true rates they are attempting an unprecedented rate hike.  This time it is Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley that is taking on the on-line insurance retailer.

From Boston.com February 10th, 2011- Attorney General Martha Coakley is pressing Massachusetts regulators to reject auto insurer Progressive Corp.’s plans to hike the rate for commercial customers by 23.5 percent.

Coakley says in a letter to the Division of Insurance that Progressive’s proposed rates were excessive and unfair to Massachusetts businesses. She also argues that the information used by the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based firm to justify the hike was inconsistent with its proposal.

Coakley says Progressive’s request contradicted its actual claims history, as well as Massachusetts’ overall claims history. The firm has refused to provide the Attorney General’s Office key data or answer questions about its calculations.

But a spokeswoman says Progressive provided insurance regulators and the Attorney General’s Office with all of the documentation necessary to support the request for a rate hike.

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New Insurance Group Discount for the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Business Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Co-Op Insurance has just announced a new Group Discount Program for the New Hampshire Maple Producers AssociationThis discount can be applied your current Co-Op policy, or we can help you start a new policy if you would like to take advantage of this program. If you are a maple producer in NH and you are not a member the Maple Producers Association you can fill out an application on their website linked here: http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/application.html

NHMPA members will receive 10% off of Farm, Home and Auto insurance with CO-OP!   This is essentially the same group discount that the Vermont Maple Producers Association has enjoyed for years.  Thanks Co-Op for making this available to the great peopleof NH!  Visit our website www.downeyinsurance.com or call us for additional information at 603-439-2022 or stop by our office in Keene, NH at 45 Summer Street.

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Scheduling your jewelry on your homeowners policy this Valentines Day will prevent future heartbreak

Posted by on Feb 14, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Did you treat your special someone with jewelry or fine arts this Valentines Day?  If your gift is lost or stolen do you know if it is covered by your homeowners policy?  One of the most important discussions we have with homeowners here at Downey Insurance Group is the question of whether or not they should add a special schedule of insurance for their jewelry.  Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider scheduling special coverage for jewelry, art, collections, etc.

1. Most policies limit the amount of coverage for theft of jewelry. If your jewelry burns on a house fire, this is a standard cause of loss and it will be covered along with all of your other personal property that would be lost in a fire.  But if it is stolen, some policies limit theft of unscheduled jewelry to just $1,500 per item up to a maximum of $3,000 for all jewelry that is stolen. Scheduling jewelry voids/overcomes this limit.

2. Low or No deductible for covered losses.

3. Establishes a set value for the payment of the piece’s replacement cost.

4. Expands the kinds of loss covered to include mysterious disappearance, breakage and other kinds of loss. If you just can’t find your jewelry or if it drops down the sink, or if your expensive vase breaks, normal policies will not cover that. But if you schedule your jewelry or art, those kinds of losses would be covered.

Personally, I think items 1 and 4 are the best reasons to schedule certain pieces of property, especially when they are expensive. We’ve helped clients schedule computers, bikes, wine, art, jewelry, baseball cards, guns, cameras, musical instruments and many other things.

Many of the things that our clients schedule are very important to them. Insurance can’t prevent the loss, but having the peace of mind  that an important piece can be replaced is quite a comfort!  At Downey Insurance Group we know how troubling it can be to be unsure if your loss would be covered, so call us today to review your current homeowners policy.

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Farmers Watch Harsh Winter Crush Their Livelihoods

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

For Northeastern farmers long used to coping with all sorts of cold-weather problems, this winter presents a new one: snow and ice that’s bringing down outbuildings, requiring costly repairs, killing livestock and destroying supplies.

Farmers in Connecticut alone have lost at least 136 barns, greenhouses, sheds and other structures as snow measured in feet, not inches, accumulated while January passed without a thaw.

“We’ve had other challenges,” said Joe Greenbacker, a partner at Brookfield Farm in Durham, where a fabric-covered “hoop house” caved in and killed a calf. “But this is the most snow I can remember on the ground and the biggest problem with roof issues I can remember.”

Losses still are being totaled by the state Agriculture Department. Commissioner Steven Reviczkysays no one can remember a more destructive winter.

The Northeast is suffering through one of its most brutal winters in years, with cities all along the seaboard reporting snow piling up at a record-setting pace. Connecticut has been especially hard-hit, with Hartford reporting 81 inches since Dec. 1, compared with an average of 46 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

A huge storm that swept in from the Plains this week proved to be a tipping point, dropping heavy ice and sopping rain that coated or soaked into snow piled on rooftops. Houses and commercial buildings crumbled, along with farm buildings, which tend be older or less sturdy.

In the Northeast’s short season for growing, winter woes are no stranger to farmers. They’re used to having to, say, turn on sprinklers to beat back a late frost on their strawberries.

“That happens every now and again,” Reviczky said. “But this is a situation where buildings are coming down. This is way outside the box of what is a normal challenge.”

No human deaths have been reported, but animals haven’t been so lucky. In Northumberland, N.Y., 25 cows were killed and 200 rescued when one side of a barn’s 400-foot-long peaked roof collapsed Wednesday night.

In Connecticut, 85,000 chickens were killed when a coop collapsed and 14 dairy cows and the Brookfield calf were killed, including seven cows lost when two buildings collapsed at a farm in Ellington, Reviczky said.

In Somers, two horses at Lindy Farm were euthanized after being trapped in rubble from an overnight barn collapse caused by heavy snowfall Jan. 27. International trotting star Moni Maker survived along with 12 other horses.

A wing that was not damaged housed 15 pregnant mares ready to deliver in a month, said John Belskie, a manager at Lindy Farm.

He could not explain why the barn, which was built in 2000, collapsed while older barns remained standing. But he noted that it could have been worse — a few hours later employees would have been inside, feeding the horses.

Besides the loss of structures and animals, the contents of many buildings — seed, fertilizer and other supplies — have been ruined, Reviczky said.

Greenbacker and other farmers have not yet begun to turn to their insurance policies to determine what’s covered and what isn’t.

“We haven’t got that far yet,” Greenbacker said. “Right now we’re in the mode of keeping things together and making sure we don’t have further problems.”

Hoop houses — typically a half-cylinder of fabric or plastic supported by a metal skeleton — are moneysaving alternatives to traditional barns and fared well in previous winters because snow melted between storms.

But they’re typically covered by material that won’t rip, transferring the weight to the structural supports, said John Bartok, a retired greenhouse and nursery engineering professor at the University of Connecticut. Engineers recommend two-by-fours propping up the skeleton in strategic spots.

A 1978 blizzard rivaled this winter’s storms, possibly bringing down more greenhouses, he said.

But Brookfield Farm, established in Connecticut in 1723, hasn’t seen anything like this winter since moving to Durham in 1983. It has weathered drought, floods, pests and other problems well known to farmers.

“Now,” Greenbacker said, “it’s a storm every few days.”

Article courtesy of Insurance Journal.

At Downey Insurance we provide insurance for many farms in New England through Co-Op Insurance of Vermont and our other markets.  If you have any questions regarding your farm policy or if you need help filing a claim please call us at 508-485-0130 or visit our website at www.Downeyinsurance.com.

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