The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "Act") in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 14, 2020. President Trump endorsed the legislation and the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on it today, Monday, March 16, 202.
The Act will be the second emergency coronavirus response measure to be passed. President Trump had previously signed a bill to provide $8.3 Billion in funding to federal health agencies and declared a national emergency on Friday over the pandemic. A third emergency measure is also being discussed.
Provisions of the Act
In addition to funding for economic assistance and COVID-19 testing, the Act contains provisions intended to support workers:
Posted by MAIA on February 4, 2020
Effective 2/23/2020, the new “hands-free” law in MA makes it illegal for motor vehicle and bicycle operators to hold any electronic device or phone, including when stopped at red lights or stop signs! All devices must be properly mounted and can only be used in hands-free mode. Penalties start at $100 and go up to $500 PLUS mandatory distracted driving education AND an insurance surcharge. The state has created a downloadable pamphlet you can use to help notify your clients.
DOWNLOAD PAMPHLET: Hands-Free While Driving from mass.gov
This pamphlet provides an excellent overview of what the new law means for drivers under and over age 18, and the consequences they’ll face for breaking the law.
To summarize the key points…
Drivers 18 and over:
In an Emergency
Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, safely pull over and stop before calling 911.
Every once in a while, we're contacted by individuals and organizations who would like to provide content for our blog. I found this piece to be a good way to help people understand what they need to know when their beloved teens become drivers. Thanks to Reviews.com and Maggie Overholt
1. Your Rates Will Go Up — Here’s Why (and How Much)
You may have heard (or experienced first hand) that insuring a teenage driver is expensive. Very expensive, according to a 2017 study by Quadrant Information and Insurance Quotes, which pegs the average rate increase after adding a teen driver at about 78 percent.
While you’re thinking about insurance for your family’s newest driver, keep in mind that your current insurer might not be your cheapest option. Every company calculates rates differently, giving various weights to things like age, location, gender, even GPA. Many offer special discounts for teens, though the savings opportunities vary by provider. Once your current policy expires, it’s worth shopping around to see if switching companies could help you save on your family’s car insurance.
Source: Quadrant Information Services/InsuranceQuotes.com
2. You’ll Probably Want to Increase Your Liability Insurance
Teen drivers, statistically speaking, are far more likely to be involved in a collision than any other age group. That makes proper insurance for your kid(s) all the more important. If you currently carry lower liability limits (maybe even the minimum amount required in your state), we recommend reevaluating that policy when your teen gets their license.
Here’s why: Car insurance with low liability limits tends to be cheap, which makes it an attractive option for anyone on a budget. However, state minimum insurance requirements are just that — minimums. They offer bare-bones coverage that often wouldn’t go far toward paying off repairs or medical bills after a serious collision. In a worst-case scenario, inadequate insurance could even put your family’s assets in danger (if the other person involved decides to sue for damages).
3. Speaking of Coverage, Ask an Agent When Your Teen Needs It
Every state has different rules about when newly-licensed drivers need to be insured. In some states, teens must be covered as soon as they get their learner’s permit. In others, you can wait to add them until they’re fully licensed. On top of that, insurance companies often have their own guidelines for new drivers: Some will cover a teen with a learner’s permit for free, others bump your rate up right away, etc. The best thing to do is call up your current insurer, who can explain exactly when your teen needs to be insured and how much it’ll cost you.
4. And Let your Insurer Know When They’re Off to College
Many insurance companies offer a “student away at college” discount, which lowers rates for teens who go to school more than 100 miles away from home and won’t be using the family car very often. Be sure to let your insurer know if your teen lives on campus — and keep them in the loop about other big changes in driving habits, too. Instances where you can prove that your teen will be using the family car far less (or not at all) might qualify you for a rate drop.
5. Finally, Remember That Driver’s Ed Doesn’t End When They Get Licensed
Developing truly responsible driving habits takes a lot of practice — far more hours than teens are able to get in their driver’s ed and behind-the-wheel courses. That’s why it’s so important for parents to continue coaching their kids and encouraging good habits. Plus, helping them drive better is ultimately in your best interest: The longer your teen drives without incident, the lower your family’s insurance rates will drop over the years.
How can I teach my teen safe driving habits? Below are a few great resources tailored to young drivers and their parents. Check these out for information on teen-specific risk factors and tips for safe driving habits.
Many people today have their own “Side Hustle”. A side hustle can be working a multi-level marketing business, party sales, freelancing, or starting a micro-business. They take many forms depending on a person’s goals and time available to spend on a side hustle. A person’s goals and objectives can be just as varied as the form of business a side hustle takes. Reasons range from wanting to pay down bills, starting a new business empire, living independently wealthy, and everything in between.
One of the first things someone has to consider when starting a side hustle is protecting what you have now, and what you will have in the future. That usually takes the form of some sort of liability insurance. While it is VITALLY important to be sure you are properly covered for your liability exposures, it may not be the MOST important thing.
I need liability insurance . . . what else?
As with ANY business, you need to have some form of liability insurance in place to protect yourself against anything you can be held liable for, no matter how frivolous. It is important because you never want to be in the situation of paying tons of money in legal fees for something you may, or may not have realized they you can be sued for, and held accountable.
At C. Pina Insurance Agency, we can discuss your side hustle with you and determine the proper coverage at the best possible rates . . . many start-up micro businesses can be covered for as little as $50 a month!
I’ve been in the insurance business for more than a couple of decades, we’ve always appropriately called it insuring your paycheck because that’s exactly what it does! Most people try to skimp on this one, many think workers comp will cover them if they can make it to work. Committing insurance fraud aside, this is NOT a good plan, or a way to cover this risk, why? The truth is MOST disabilities are caused by illness, not an injury at the weekend softball game, or Tuesday night Stomp class. If you’re working your 9 to 5 AND your side hustle and “SURPRISE!”, illness hits you and you can’t work for 6 months, how do you pay your bills? Any benefits you had from your full-time job have dried up and you have no income!
I hate to sound like the duck in the national ad campaigns, but you need disability insurance for your day to day expenses!
Ok, I have liability, and disability insurance, what else?
We’re almost there . . . we’ve protected your side hustle and “stuff” you’ve accumulated with liability insurance. We’ve protected your paycheck with disability insurance, what else do you need? It’s simple, if you want to parlay your side hustle into a life of full-time self-employment, or you want to put any portion aside, permanent life insurance is a fantastic option. While life insurance does protect your family and loved ones from the financial hardship of premature death, permanent life insurance, especially with a blue chip mutual company can help you set aside money in addition to your qualified plans that you can use in retirement, even BEFORE you reach the age of 59 ½, which is when you can take money from your 401(k) or IRA without any penalties.
This is an important piece that most people don’t give enough respect to. Purchasing a cheap term insurance policy will not accomplish anything other than providing a death benefit, provided you die within a certain time period . . . you’re really gambling with an insurance company that you WILL die, otherwise you’re just giving them money. A permanent policy, like a whole life policy with a blue chip mutual company, can provide you substantial benefits for YOU to enjoy, AND still protect your family and loved ones.
There you have it!!
What is best for you? We’ll need to discuss your goals, and your side hustle to determine what can work best for you regardless of your budget. There is always a plan of action that we can take to set you on the right path. Don’t let the fear of big expenses scare you away from protecting what you are working for!
#SideHustle #SideHustleInsurance #CPinaInsurance
Craig Pina, CPIA is the owner/agent of C. Pina Insurance Agency, a full service, independent insurance agency located in Brockton, MA for more information please contact him at (508) 557-8224, email@example.com
Today’s workforce is changing. A recent study by Accenture estimates that by the year 2020, 40% of America’s total workforce will consist of sole proprietors and independent contractors. While we’ve addressed that in a past article, we need to take a closer look at trends in the workforce today. Today it’s all about the “Side Hustle”. With the popularity of guru’s like Gary Vaynerchuk, more and more Americans are making the decision to work hard now to provide for a secure future.
Bankrate estimates that over 44 million Americans now have a “Side Hustle”, that’s 1 in 2 millenials, and one in 4 baby boomers. As more people see the benefits of creating their perfect side job, we see that many are working as independent contractors, or self employed business owners. At any rate, if you have what can legitimately be called a “side hustle”, you are more than likely pretty passionate about it . . . or at least passionate about the benefits like freedom from debt and financial independence you hope it brings.
Maybe you want to be the next Microsoft, Apple, Google, or Facebook and build an empire in whatever industry your side hustle is in, or you just want to earn some extra money on the side, whatever your purpose, you’re working hard to get it done in order to reach a certain goal.
While you’re putting in the hours and burning the candle at both ends, more times than not people forget to protect their ideas. They don’t take the time to make sure they have the proper insurance to protect their small business, or side hustle, or even worse . . . their home and personal assets.
Let’s take a look at what steps are necessary to protect yourself from the big risk that may not be your favorite part of owning a small business and working for yourself.
No matter what your side hustle happens to be, whether it’s blogging, freelance work, carpentry, or anything in between, your side gig should be considered a small business and as such, you need insurance. Just like with every individual, not all small businesses are created the same and each one has it’s own specific needs to consider.
Here are some types of professional insurance your small business might need.
Right now you a probably thinking that this is an awful lot of insurance for a side hustle. You’re right, a lot can happen when you own a business. There is a lot at risk. But the reason you’re doing it is because you know that you have to risk it to reach your goals, but don’t forget to protect everything you’re working for!
Don’t be discouraged and overwhelmed. Many of these coverages, and more, can be found in package policies tailors specifically for your industry. C. Pina Insurance works with companies such as Hiscox, and Tokio Marine who specialize in small and micro-businesses and artisan contractors. Get in touch to discuss your side hustle and see how simple and affordable we can make protecting your dream.
No matter what type of pet you may have, chances are that they are a close member of the family. It’s responsible pet ownership to do a little bit of research about proper care and feeding to keep him, or her safe and healthy. Plants are used to beautify our property and increase that “curb appeal”, but they can also be toxic. Common houseplants, found in many homes are toxic, poisonous, and dangerous to pets. Also, there are many found in your local garden centers that are sold for outdoor planting can be dangerous.
Not Just Your Garden Variety Hazard
Here is a list of outdoor plants that are common throughout the country. Outdoor cats, dogs in the backyard, out on walks (or even escapees) can be harmed if they are exposed to these plants. Yes, most of them need to be eaten, some can cause harm through licking, or sniffing. We want to help you learn about these plants so that you can do everything you can to protect your family pets as well as your neighbor’s.
Many people have these toxic plants in their house and don’t even realize it. That’s because they are sold in retail stores and garden shops without any warnings about the danger they can pose to pets. People often have plants at home and don’t even consider that they may be dangerous. There are many more in addition to the ones listed here, its up to you to do your research and find pet safe plants onlilne.
If you have any questions about toxic plants or other types of hazardous materials, contact your veterinarian right away! Pet insurance through C. Pina Insurance Agency can help you be prepared for the expense of urgent care, unexpected mishaps, or even preventative care. Call Craig Pina today at (508) 557-8224
Please see out Pet Insurance page for more information.
If you own a home, you probably have home insurance. In fact, it’s likely that you’re required to have it. But do you have a home warranty? If you own a home, you probably have home insurance. In fact, it’s likely that you’re required to have it. But do you have a home warranty? You may be asking yourself what is a home warranty and do you even need one? The answer is yes!
A home warranty, like home insurance, is a crucial piece of protection for any homeowner. And it’s when you are covered by a home warranty and insurance that you have the most security and best coverage any homeowner can hope for. Below we’ll go into greater detail about each type of policy and why, most importantly, it’s crucial to have both.
Homeowner’s Insurance: Or Why You Need to Worry About What MIGHT Happen.
Theft, storms, fires, natural disasters – will any of these things definitely happen while you own a house?
For many people, probably not. But they might happen and that’s when you’ll be glad you have homeowner’s insurance. Of course, most people are actually required to have homeowner’s insurance. You’ll generally be required to have one before a bank will give you a mortgage on a home.
A home insurance policy covers four primary areas: the interior and exterior of a house, personal property in the case of theft, loss or damage, and general liability if someone is injured on your property. Policies are renewed yearly and have an average annual cost between $300 and $1000. Policies offer a deductible (the amount you're responsible for on a claim) and only after it’s been met do they take care of the additional costs.
Home Warranty: Or Why You’ll No Longer Need to Worry About What WILL Happen.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers repair or replacement of home systems and appliances that fail due to both age and standard wear and tear. HVAC, electrical, kitchen appliances, plumbing and washer/dryer may all be covered under a home warranty. For example, an AHS® home warranty covers up to 21 of your home’s major systems and appliances. Unlike home insurance, home warranties are not mandatory and are typically purchased as 12 month contract terms. They usually don’t require a deductible and you’re instead charged a moderate service fee.
In practice, a home warranty works like this: If your refrigerator stops working, a licensed and qualified service technician is dispatched to come out and evaluate the problem. Assuming the problem is because of wear and tear, age or another circumstance covered under the terms of your service contract, the technician will either make the repair or replace the appliance for only the cost of your service call. Each visit from a service technician typically costs between $75 to $125. Given the cost of a repair or potential replacement of the affected appliance or system, this can result in savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Homeowner’s Insurance and Home Warranties: Or Why It’s Time to Double Down on Protection For Your Home.
The best way to think about homeowner’s insurance and home warranties is as two different policies working together to give you maximum protection. Say you have a leaky pipe, depending on the nature of the leak it may be covered by one policy but not the other. The home warranty would cover the repair of the pipe but not the damage caused by the leak. On the other hand, homeowner’s insurance would cover the damage of a major leak but not necessarily the repair of the pipe.
With both policies you’re covered on both the repair and the damage caused by the leak. When it comes to home protection warranties and insurance are really two sides of the same coin. Home insurance protects you from the things that might happen. And with a home warranty, you no longer have to worry about the things that will happen. That’s coverage everyone can feel comfortable with.
Call Craig Pina at C. Pina Insurance Agency for your home warranty quote (508) 557-8224 or EMAIL
What exactly is wedding insurance - and how does it work? Here's the inside scoop.
by Julie Komorn - The Knot
What Is Wedding Insurance?
Basically, wedding insurance protects a couple's investment from circumstances beyond their control, and reimburses expenses incurred. For example, what if your limo driver doesn't show up and you have to book another one the morning of the wedding—for three times the price? Or what if the groom's custom-made tuxedo is lost in airport baggage, and he has to buy a new one the day before the wedding? What if your reception space goes out of business a month before the wedding, and you lose your deposit and have to book another space? These are the types of wedding day financial losses that wedding insurance can help to protect.
Why Get Wedding Insurance?
Consider these scenarios:
How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?
A basic insurance policy that covers loss of photos, videos, attire, presents, rings and deposits usually costs anywhere between $155 and $550, depending on the amount of coverage you want. General liability insurance, which covers up to $1,000,000 for accidents, costs around $185.
Do You Really Need Wedding Insurance?
Before you buy wedding insurance, check with your each of your vendors to see how well they're covered—your reception site or your caterer may already have their own insurance, so you wouldn't want to pay for overlapping coverage out of your own pocket. Ask your vendors for a copy of their policy, and then figure out where you aren't fully covered.
When Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
The sooner the better. Let's say you put a deposit on your wedding reception hall 12 months prior to your wedding date and then it burns to the ground a few weeks before the big day. With wedding insurance, you'll be sure to get your deposit back. But note: Most insurance companies have limitations on how far in advance you can purchase insurance.
What Does Wedding Insurance Cover?
Problems with the site, weather, vendors, key people, sickness or injury are the top concerns come wedding day. There's usually a specified maximum amount, which can be claimed under each section, and a deductible also applies. Be sure to find out the details of your insurance plan.
Wedding Insurance Doesn't Cover...
Couples can take out supplemental policies to defend against damages incurred by other wedding-related items such as photography, videography and gifts.
Things to Consider
Every insurance policy and every wedding scenario is different. Be sure to contact Craig Pina at C. Pina Insurance—and have him explain the nuts and bolts to you. You want to make sure you understand every detail of your policy.
Ok, car insurance for new drivers – this can be a touchy subject – especially if you are letting the teen make the decision. It is your choice and there are many auto insurance companies to choose from.
In Massachusetts, teens driving on their learner’s permits with a licensed adult supervising them do not need to have their own auto insurance policies. Once they start driving on their own, however, teens need auto insurance, so you will want to explore options to keep these costs reasonable.
Because the risk of a crash is significantly higher for young drivers, particularly during the first year of driving, your teen’s insurance rate likely will be higher than your own. Here are a few strategies to help you reduce insurance costs both now and once you add your teen driver.
The best way to go with a new driver – a teen driver – is to get her, or him (or have them save for) a “beater” car – like a 2000 Honda Accord or a 1995 Honda Accord – you know – a beater.
Then have them get just Liability insurance – including Part 5 – just to get it on the road. We always recommend higher limits of Liability like 50/100 or 100/300 – but with times being tight – not everyone can afford this when they start out.
So that is the angle I would take. Car insurance for a new driver or teen driver is very expensive in cities like Brockton – a bit less in the surrounding towns – you are looking at a substantial premium either way. Other ways to save on their auto insurance may include things such as;
Have your teen take the approved Drivers Education course while they have their permit – this course can be expensive – costs can range up to about $700 but you get that money back in the form of a discount over the first three years they are driving. After your teen has been driving for 3 years – their price will drop. Massachusetts changes pricing after 3 years of driving and after 6 years of driving.
Should a teen get their own policy? Or be put on their parent’s policy? I have always felt it is best to keep the policies separate. If the kid is on your policy and they have an accident causing bodily injury to others – you don’t want the insurance company to be able to go after you, your home and your insurance policy.
This is why it is best to have the kid have their own insurance – then in an accident situation – the insurance company will only be dealing with the teen’s policy and not the parents.
Many parents realize that it is less expensive to have their kids on their policy. If you choose this route I always recommend increasing liability coverages to $250,000/$500,000 and adding an additional $2 million umbrella. This will help keep you safe in case something does happen.
Ask your agent about all the discounts available including – ask if there is a “good student” discount available for your teen. Any good agent will automatically give you every discount available – but be sure to ask anyway. Be sure to discuss the rules of the road with your teen. Absolutely NO SPEEDING! This is what causes all the other problems.
In addition – no texting while driving – not only is it very dangerous but in Massachusetts it is also against the law.
Bottom line? You call the shots. Tell your teen the best way to go.
I see it all the time – teens wanting a real nice car right away – getting Full Coverage – insurance is can be upwards of $10,000 for the year – then they can’t afford both the car and the insurance – they effect their credit rating and on it goes.
Tell your teen the best way – and in the long run they will be happy you did! When looking for car insurance for new drivers call Craig Pina at C. Pina Insurance today!
A recent study conducted by the global consulting agency Accenture estimates that by the year 2020, 40% of America’s total workforce will consist of sole proprietor independent contractors. What this will equate to is more than one hundred million new “companies” with only one employee and each one will be required to have the same type of business insurance as larger businesses do. So, if you’re thinking about leaving the grid of your day job to pursue a career as an independent contractor, if you’re already running a sole proprietorship, or if you own a company that ever hires independent contractors, then the information that follows will help you understand the types of insurance policies that sole proprietors should have in place to operate protected.
If you own a company that regularly hires and depends on 1099 contractors, it’s highly recommended that you require those contractors to have at least some of commercial insurance described below in place for any products or services they provide to or on behalf of your organization. If you’re an independent contractor yourself, the policies that follow will properly protect you in the event that your actions give rise to a claim.
The Rise of the Extended Workforce
In many cases, contractors provide professional services like consulting or software development so they should carry some level of professional liability insurance. Typically, a $1,000,000 policy would be sufficient providing a substantial buffer between any claim that traces back to work performed by the contractor the company that hired them, and their insurance. It is also important to ensure that independent contractor’s purchase their own worker’s compensation insurance. This coverage will respond to pay any medical bills or disability payments injuries or illnesses they sustain while providing a client with their work and services. Because of the high costs associated with worker’s compensation claims, many companies opt to cover their contractors within their own worker’s compensation policy because the costs to the company are nominal. However, if you operate a business in an industry where the likelihood of injury to employees or contractors is high (construction, logistics, manufacturing), you likely want to avoid including contractors on your policy because their claims can adversely affect your rate for years. To round out a robust independent contractor insurance portfolio, consider carrying general liability insurance to protect against potential property damage or bodily injury and commercial automobile liability insurance if the contractor regularly uses their vehicle to perform services. Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to put in place an umbrella policy to provide additional limits over any underlying policies.
Verifying Business Insurance Coverage
Properly validating and tracking the coverage for independent contractors is critical. Companies should always keep updated certificates of insurance, or proof of insurance, on file which confirm that the contractors not only have the above-mentioned coverage in place but that they haven’t fallen behind on payments which can cause the insurance to lapse. Also, companies should require that their entity’s name is added as an additional insured to guarantee the contractor’s insurance responds first. Finally, businesses should also make sure that contractor policies provide their entity with a waiver of subrogation which will prevent the insurance company from subrogating (coming after) the company for claims filed by its contractors.
Keep in mind that there are other insurance policies that may be required and the requirements will vary from industry to industry. At the end of the day, as long as contractors have the coverages discussed above, both the contractor and their clients will be sufficiently protected against any potential claims.
At C. Pina Insurance Agency, we strive to make it simple, fast, and affordable for small businesses including independent contractors and sole proprietors to purchase and manage the commercial insurance they need to be effective. We will soon be announcing our self-service portal, available through our website, where contractors can produce proof of insurance instantly from any connected device and deliver the certificates directly to their customers. Keep an eye out for announcements regarding our self-service portal by following us on Facebook Here.