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Blizzard after blizzard.  Is your home insured?

Renters insurance is a must and here are some reasons why.  

It is common thought that your items are covered when renting a home…BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE!  It is likely that your landlord has insurance on his property, but this doesn’t include your items!  

You can start a renters policy for approximately $20 a month and this typically covers nearly $20,000 in property, hotels and incidentals should disaster happen.  No one plans on disaster.  Disasters just happens.  Multilevel properties are super common in Massachusetts.  Chances are that your home is connected to another unit where you have no control of the circumstances which occur.
One cat’s tail + one candle = fire. 

Cold snap + use of clogged fireplaces = fire

We have seen this happen!  

Common questions:
How do I purchase renter’s insurance?  This is super easy.   Just call A-Affordable Insurance at 1-800-89 SAVES and get a free quote. If you like what you hear, we can get you set up that day!
How do I know how much coverage to purchase?  We help you with this.  We have been insuring Massachusetts since 1984 and know how to list out the categories to make the process quick and easy!

No one expects disasters to happen, they just happen.  You’ve worked hard for your property, your furniture, appliances, clothes, jewelry, instruments and more.   We are here to keep you covered.  Give a call for a free quote.

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There are two basic types of smoke detectors on the market, ionization and photoelectric.  Sometimes the two are combined into one smoke detector.  This doesn’t exactly mean that it is the best. (ie. in placing a detector close to a kitchen, you may opt for ionization only).   You should know the difference and decide which smoke alarm is best for each room.
According to the National Fire Protection Association the technological breakdown between ionization and photoelectric is as the following:
Ionization detectors tend to work better with flame fires.  The detector has a very small amount of radioactive material that floats between two electrically charged plates.  When smoke from the fire enters the the space between the plates, the ions are reduced which sets the alarms off.

Photoelectric detectors tend to work better with smoldering fires.  A light is set within the detector which aims at a sensor.  Once the smoke enters the detector, it interferes with the light which causes a break in the communication to the sensor in turn setting the alarm into action.

Unfortunately you are unable to predict which type of fire has potential to break out and thus it is recommended that you have both types of alarms installed in your home.  

Placing smoke detectors and keeping them up to date does not have to be challenging.
The NFPA recommends that we place smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, to have them on every level of the home as well as the basement.  Be cautious of placing a smoke detector too close to the kitchen as cooking can set them off quite easily.  You may want to consider a ionization detector near the kitchen as cooking can lend to ‘safe’ smoke which cooking.  

According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), it is recommended that smoke detectors be replaced every ten years and batteries changed twice a year.

A tip in remembering to swap your smoke detector out every ten years is to take a marker and write the date you installed it to the ceiling.  You can also make a reminder in your smart phone to change the batteries twice a year and set those reminders repeat yearly.

To stay on the safe side, do not remove the smoke detector when beeping.  This problem is usually solved by changing the batteries, swapping an old smoke detector out or changing the location of detector in your home.  The beeping sound can also occur when the power to your home is restored after an outage.  Note: the chirping sound is typically need of fresh batteries.

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The roaring ten-alarm, six-alarm and 5 alarm fires that broke out in Massachusetts over the past month serves an eye opener for those without home or renters insurance.  The holiday season will be very difficult for all the displaced people facing these hardships.

What happened:
Cambridge:
On December 3rd a massive ten-alarm blazing fire broke out in Cambridge just before 3:00pm and ripped through the neighborhood claiming 16 buildings.  The raging fire rolled through an entire row of vehicles as well.  Approximately 125 people have been displaced from this blaze.  “To me, that’s nothing short of a miracle,” said Assistant Fire Chief Gerry Mahoney.  “If that fire had been in the middle of the night, it would be an whole different story.”  

Charlestown:
In the early morning of December 16th a 6 alarm fire engulfed a 3 story building.  No one was injured and twenty people were displaced.  The arctic temperatures filled the air making the efforts of the firefighters challenging as the steam was easily confused with smoke.

The North End:
A five alarm fire broke out early Christmas morning at approximately 4:15 am.  No residents were injured though two firemen sustained minor injuries. There were six residents in the building that made it out safely.

Thankfully all fires occurred in the early morning and daytime, had it been nightfall there may have been devastation in loss of life.  


Why are home and renters insurance so important?
No one expects tragedy to strike, and when it does, you want to have been as prepared as possible, especially since house fires increase in winter.   According to CAFA “During winter months, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires.  About two-thirds of home heating fire deaths are caused by portable or fixed space heaters.”  Other common causes leading to house fires include deep fryers, candles, unattended cooking and Christmas trees.


People have come together to help others this holiday season.
Cambridge:
Mayor E. Denise Simmons launched a fundraiser for the displaced families with the goal of 500,000 and they have already exceeded the goal.  
Not all survivors of the fire had insurance so this money will be needed for day to day needs being clothes, food and shelter.
Two places to donate for Cambridge:
1: https://www.gofundme.com/cambridge-mayors-fire-relief-fund?ssid=841990250&pos=1
2: http://www.Cambridgema.gov/firefund

 Please be safe and call A-Affordable Insurance for a free renters or homeowners quote.
1-800-89 SAVES

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U Drive  -  U Text  -  U Pay

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A new Massachusetts campaign has been launched April 8th, 2016 and running until April 29th.
Texting while driving had been outlawed in Massachusetts September 30th, 2010.  Ticketing texting violators had been somewhat on a back burner and assigned mainly towards teenagers until now.  Accidents have increased greatly and Massachusetts has deemed texting to be a cause they would like to address for ultimate safety for all citizens while on the road.

Offenses and Fines:
Adults:  The law stands that no driver should be on their phone texting, writing or sending a message or simply browsing the internet.  Should the driver be stopped at a traffic light, they are still held liable and fined just the same.
1st Offense:  $100 fine
2nd Offense:  $250 fine
3rd and subs offense:  $500 fine

Juveniles:  
1st offense: $100 fine, license suspended for 60 days, and the driver is required to complete a driver attitudinal course.  
2nd offense:  $250 fine and license suspended for180 days
3rd or subs offense:  $500 fine and one year license suspension

ie. Massachusetts teen, Aaron Deveau was found guitly in the vehicular homicide of Donald Bowley in 2011. He was sentenced two years to prison and will serve one. In addition, his license had been suspended for 15 years.
Please read A-Affordable blog posted in August 2012.

Photo compliments of The Boston Herald:
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Bus Drivers: Bus drivers can be fined $500 for using their cell phones while driving.  Bus drivers are not permitted to use their phones in either hands-free or handheld manors.  
ie. On an early Sunday May 18th, 2014 an MBTA bus crashed into a guardrail hospitalizing 7 people.

Photo compliments of CBS local.

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Please click to read the Distracted Driving Law.


Jeff Larason Director of The Safety Bureau.  Quote compliments of Boston.com
“It's a big problem, across the country in the past year, the crash rates have been increasing.  It’s very likely that the increasing levels of distraction on the vehicle are a big part of that.”

Statistics:
National Safety Council has stated that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
According to USA Today, 1 out of every 4 car accident in US is caused by texting while driving. 
According to Alcohol Problems and Solutions, texting is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
The CDC reports that each day in the US over 8 people are killed and 1061 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

According to DRIVING LAWS, published by NOLO, Massachusetts text messaging and cell phone laws are considered ‘primary’ laws.  A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.

 

Stay on the safe side.

DO NOT WRITE, READ, OR SEND from your phones. 

It is dangerous and can place you, your loved ones, your neighbors & strangers at great risk.


  

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Holiday season is upon us which means we will be spending quality time with friends and family while eating delicious food.  Holiday season also notes that it’s wintertime and, as we all know, weather can play quite a large role in our lives.
There is much to check in on for the seasons to run smoothly.  


In order to make winter slide by with ease, A-Affordable Insurance Agency has created a checklist that can help you to weather the season.  Simply use this A-Affordable checkoff list in order to keep your home and autos in tip top shape so you can spend you time and money on more important holiday items.


A-Affordable Winter Wonderland List:

1st and most important, make sure that your auto and renters/homeowners policies are up to date.  You can accomplish this by calling your local agent to review your payment information.  Feel free to save time and learn how to make payments online and over the phone.
double check details of your policy and be confident that you have the level of coverage you desire.  You may want to consider adding collision and comprehensive should you not already have these options on your policy.  Veterans of the northeast are well aware of the effects of snow, sleet and hail can do a number on autos and homes!

Auto (according to CarCare.org)
-check tires treads and tire pressure
-keep up to date with fluids (antifreeze)
-check your batteries and make sure they are functional.
-check your brakes
-check your exhaust system for leaks
-make sure your heater and wipers are functinal
-do not leave your auto with a low gas tank to sit through winter.  It is best to have more than 1/4 tank of gas in your tank.
-keep jumper cables in you vehicle through winter.

Home (according to Houzz.com
-check that your gutters are cleaned out and free from blockage
-for those that have attics, make sure they are well insulated and have the appropriate amount of ventilation
-consider purchasing a roof rake.
-remove snow in it’s fresh stage.  It becomes difficult to remove when the fluffy stage changes to a thick ice.
-keep pipes from cracking by running water.
-know where the trees are around your home.
-keep paths clear after a fresh snow.
-keep your heating system running.  The more you shut it off and on, they higher your bill.  
-canned foods and water in case of a blizzard.
-hot chocolate, candles and comic books.


According to Property Casualty 360, there tends to be an increase in house fires during wintertime.  Between Christmas trees and increase in fireplace usage, the lighting of candles and high usage of space heaters, wintertime has proven to have an increased number in household fires.
If you do not already have renters or homeowners insurance, we urge you to call for a free quote and start a policy immediately.  Renters Insurance is fairly inexpensive and can have your back in an unexpected situation.  

The best way to welcome winter is to take the time to be prepared.  A-Affordable Insurance Agency is ready to help you with all your insurance needs.  Please give a call and our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you.

1-800-89 SAVES     |     Have a WONDERFUL winter!