Sullivan Garrity & Diggins Insurance Agencies

We're proud to offer this discount program through Plymouth Rock.

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 02:49 PM

 

 

Read Plymouth Rock's announcement about AARP® 

Auto & Home Insurance Discount in Massachusetts.  

Call or email us for information.

Tags: AARP®, discount auto insurance

Flood Insurance - Not just for coastal homes any more

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 @ 05:33 PM

Those of us that live near the coast are hearing a lot about flood insurance these days. New maps, new Acts – what does it all mean? Over the years, the costs and consequences of flooding have continued to increase (think Sandy & Katrina). Contrary to what many believe, flood coverage does not fall under homeowners insurance. It is a separate policy that is provided by the Federal Government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Last year, Congress passed the Biggert Waters Reform Act which extends the NFIP program for five years but requires significant reform. So how does this Act affect you?

It depends on where your home is located in the flood zone. All homes are in a flood zone, it is just a question of which zone. Homes in A or V zones have the greatest chance of flooding. If you live in these zones and have a mortgage, you are required to have flood insurance.

Anyone that currently has a flood policy will see an increase in the premium starting October 1, 2013. The average premium increase is 10%. If you own a seasonal/secondary residence, you will see a 25% increase. Expect this increase annually until you submit an elevation certificate to NFIP.

An elevation certificate will show NFIP exactly where your home is in relation to your town’s base flood elevation. So how do you know your base flood elevation? You need to look at the map for your community. To make things even more confusing, FEMA has published new maps for several counties in MA – Plymouth, Essex and Barnstable. (These maps are not in force yet – if they get approved they will be effective June 2014.)

The Act is designed to make sure the homes with the greatest risk of flooding pay a premium that reflects their risk. So if you have a home on stilts and are 4 feet above base flood elevation in a VE zone – you will pay less than your next door neighbor that has a finished basement that sits 8 feet below base flood elevation. Your premium reflects your risk – which makes sense.

However, there are many homeowners that have never been required to purchase flood. With the new MAP changes, if they have a mortgage they will now be required to carry Flood insurance – and it could be a considerable expense.

Another change from the Act is the elimination of grandfathering or being able to assume the flood policy of the prior homeowner. I have a client who purchased his home last year; he was able to assume the prior owner’s flood insurance which had been in force for over 20 years – at a premium of $1,100 annually. If he was buying his home this winter instead of last, he would not be able to assume that policy – and his premium would be $8,500 annually.

This will impact our local real estate markets. If you are selling a home in a high risk flood zone, you should consider getting an elevation certificate. Potential buyers will need this in order to obtain accurate pricing for flood insurance. If you are buying a home in an area with a pending MAP revision, you should make sure you are aware how the revision will impact your flood insurance rates.

These changes are not all bad news. Getting an elevation certificate might lower your flood costs. In some places, base flood elevation is going down – which means some owners may see lower premiums.

For now, don’t panic. Talk to your agent and review your flood policy. If you live in a high risk zone talk to your local zoning board to see if there are ways you can mitigate your risk to lower your flood insurance costs.

Additional information can be found on NFIP/FEMA websites – www.fema.gov/nfip and www.floodsmart.gov

Tags: Flood Insurance, Coastal, hurricane, flood

Marshall & Diggins presents first High School Heroes Scholarship

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:29 AM

High School Hero Molly Dion

[Picture: Molly Dion, of Jefferson, Mass., with Hal Belodoff (left) from Plymouth Rock and Patrick Diggins from Marshall & Diggins Insurance]

Congratulations to Molly Dion, Plymouth Rock Assurance and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s first High School Heroes winner!  Marshall & Diggins Insurance is pleased to participate in this fantastic program that rewards local student leaders!

Molly hails from Jefferson, Massachusetts, and is a talented varsity lacrosse player who enjoys “the challenge of maintaining my grades while working hard for my team and competing at a high level,” she says.

The soon-to-be-senior at Wachusett Regional High School hopes to use her $1,000 scholarship to help achieve her goal of becoming a baker and pastry chef. Molly’s favorite subjects are math and—surprise, surprise—her restaurant management class, where her team finished second in a state competition this year.

Molly has mastered the intricacies of time management at an early age, saying that she has to “make sure I have time to study and get my homework done but be at [lacrosse] practice every day and find time to work out on my own in the off-season.” Whew!

Off the field and besides her studies, Molly has a part-time job at a local bakery. She also volunteered at a food pantry last summer.

Molly’s advice to other high school athletes—and potential future Plymouth Rock High School Heroes: “Try hard in everything you do. Always have fun. It’s not worth it if you aren’t having fun because it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice.”

Well said, Molly.

Congratulations from everyone at Plymouth Rock. Keep up the hard work and have fun!

About the High School Heroes Program

Plymouth Rock has teamed up with 98.5 The Sports Hub to find and honor High School Heroes across Massachusetts. The program will identify seven high school students who demonstrate exemplary work in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community. All seven winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and be recognized at the Massachusetts High School Football Championships at Gillette Stadium this December. Learn more about the contest – and nominate a High School Hero that you know – on The Sports Hub website.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowner’s insurance throughout the northeast. 

Tags: college scholarship, Plymouth Rock, High School Heroes, Marshall & Diggins Insurance, Holden, The Sports Hub, Plymouth Rock Assurance, Marshall & Diggins, scholarship

Assuralliance Welcomes New Partner

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

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The Assuralliance welcomes a new partner.  

Appleby & Wyman Insurance Agency, Inc.  Joins Assuralliance

 

 

Assuralliance, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of our newest partner, Appleby & Wyman Insurance Agency, Inc. of Beverly,MA. Assuralliance has fourteen partners throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut and writes more than $243 million of property and casualty premium.

Mark Sweeney, Executive Director of Assuralliance, commented; “We are pleased to add another top performing agency to our partnership.  Appleby & Wyman is well respected in the industry and is known as a progressive agency committed to superior client service.”  Carmen Marciano, President of Appleby & Wyman added; “We’re proud to join such a strong partnership and look forward to the new opportunities to expand our business through this relationship.  We will now be able to offer even more innovative and diverse insurance solutions to benefit our clients.”

Assuralliance, headquartered in Worcester,MA, is a partnership of independent insurance and financial services agencies dedicated to providing clients with the highest levels of professional expertise and customer service through relationships with the most secure insurance and investment markets in the country.

Tags: insurance, insurance rates, Massachusetts, top rated insurance

J. N. Phillips Scholarship

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Tue, May 07, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

Our friends at JN Phillips Glass have announced that they will be awarding a $2500 scholarship.  You can download the application here.

Rosemarie Shaughnessy, a beloved member of the JN Phillips Auto Glass team from 1979 through 2010, was an unwavering advocate for customers and clients. Rosemarie was a unique individual who, through her own natural talents, ambition and drive, and with an uncommon commitment to help others, created lifelongfriendships and touched a great number of lives in a most compelling way.


In her memory, the JN Phillips Foundation is proud to present the first annual Rosemarie M. Shaughnessy Scholarship Award. This award is offered to graduating high school seniors (class of 2013) to help offset their 2013-2014 college tuition expenses. Eligibility for the scholarship award, in the amount of $2,500, is available to “our partner insurance agencies, carriers, and their families.”


The scholarship will be awarded to a student who plans to advance their education at the college level, and is pursuing these studies despite challenging circumstances. The recipient will be someone who has overcome obstacles and attained goals through perseverance, hard work and a genuine belief in his or herself, as well as in others. The chosen student will be someone who demonstrates concern for their fellow students and offers assistance to others when in need. The candidate will also demonstrate the willingness to speak out when their beliefs require it, regardless of whether their view is the popular one.

Applicants should complete the attached form and include a 500+ word essay describing themselves, their aspirations and how they embody the mission and values of the Rosemarie Shaughnessy Scholarship. The application, transcript, and essay must be received by May 24th, 2013 in order to be considered. The scholarship winner will be announced on June
10th, 2013.

Tags: college scholarship

Experiencing a Disability Before Retirement: Is your paycheck protected?

Posted by Tracy McLean on Mon, May 06, 2013 @ 03:16 PM

Did you know that a typical 20 year old has a one in four chance of experiencing a disability before retirement?  The average disability is 31.2 months. Back injuries, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses are the majority of the causes. Are you prepared if this happens to you? Do you have enough savings to last 31.2 months?

Sure, there is Social Security, however the benefits are limited. The average benefit awarded in 2010 to workers who become disabled was $1,067/month. Qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are difficult.  You must be unable to engage in any activity as a result of the disability, the disability must last longer than 12 months and you must wait 5 months from the onset of the disability to receive benefits. 

Most of us significantly underestimate our chances of suffering a disability and fail to protect our financial security.  The Council for Disability Awareness has developed a cool interactive website that allows you to calculate your lifetime earning potential and estimate your own chances of getting disabled. 

To determine if you have planned accordingly, ask yourself the following questions:  

  1. Do you have a policy in place either through your employer or individually? 
  2. If so, what is the benefit amount and is that enough protection to cover your future expected income?
  3. What are you covered for, your occupation or any occupation?
If you have trouble answering any of these questions, we can help. Learn more about disability insurance policies.
Request a Disability Insurance Quote

Tags: disability insurance

The Blizzard is over - or is it?

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

The Blizzard of 2013 is over.  It was a crazy weekend and I'm ready to get back to a more normal routine.  Unfortunately, it's not that easy!  While the blizzard is over, the remnants could possibly cause you more trouble and impact your home or auto insurance.  Here are some things to consider.

  • We're all happy to be back out on the road.  However, did you notice that most of the 2 lane roads are really 1 1/2 with all the snow on the sides.  Use great caution and keep speeds down.
  • Stop signs and side streets have snow piled higher than a car roof.  You can't see through that snow bank so you pull out into the street farther.  Do it carefully!  If you edge out to far and cause a crash with a vehicle on the main road, you could be at fault.  If you're driving on the main road, be aware that people can't see when coming out of side streets.  Drive defensively.  If you drive as if someone is going to pull out then there's much less chance that you'll be callingh us to make a claim.
  • Many sidewalks still haven't been cleared so there will be people walking in the street.  Give them plenty of room. There are also very high snow banks at corners and crosswalks.  A pedestrian may step out from behind one.  Remember it is your responsibility to stop for them!
  • At home there's probably plenty of snow on your roof.  There's rain in the forecast so that light fluffy snow is going to quickly become heavy wet snow.  What could this do?  Heavy snow on a flat roof could cause it to collapse.  Heavy snow on a pitched roof could cause an ice dam which could cause water leaking into the home.  You can inspect your roof from the ground.  If it looks like this you could be developing an ice dam.
  • ice dam resized 600

Invest in a good roof rake at your local hardware store.  They're generally less than $30.00 and may save you a lot of expense and frustration.  Just pull the snow above the dam off of the roof so that it won't melt and seep into the house under that ice dam.

  • Clear your driveways and walkways. You may be at risk if you don't and someone slips and falls.  No one wants that!

Here's some great info put together by one of our partners, Travelers Insurance.  It's worth your time to read. As always, call or drop in if you have any questions, or, if we can help in any way.

Tags: ice dam, snow, heavy snow, blizzard

Resolve to monitor and improve your credit in 2013

Posted by Patrick Diggins on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 @ 06:27 PM

2013 is here.  The new year always bring new years resolutions along with it.  We all resolve to better ourselves by losing weight, eating better, going to the gym...  The list is endless.  A great resolution is to examine yout financial situation.  You should look at your mortgage, car loans, and credit card accounts.  If you're carrying a credit card balance with a high interest rate a good resolution would be to pay that off.  Another important thing to do at this time of year is to check your credit reports and even credit score.  Many times there are mistakes on these reports that could cost you money via higher interest rates. 

There are many sites that offer "free credit reports" that aren't really free, so you have to be very careful.  If a site asks you for a credit card then it's not free!  A site to request free credit reports from the three major agencies is annualcreditreport.com

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A site that has been very helpful to me is creditkarma.com.  It is a free service that gives you your credit score and credit reports.  It also gives you very helpful advice on how to improve your credit score.  Their advice section is great!

Your credit score impacts your pricing on homeowners policies along with so many other things.  Resolve to improve yours today!

Tags: insurance rates, credit score, credit report, low home insurance rate, low interest rate, free credit report