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In the market for a new car? Calculate the full costs

If you’re in the market for a new car over the coming year, there’s a lot more to think about in terms of cost than just the sticker price. If you aren’t figuring in the associated financing costs, taxes, insurance, depreciation, gas and maintenance, you are only getting a partial picture of the true cost…

Wait for it …. This Could Save Your Life

This is a short post featuring a short, powerful video clip: Wait for it … this could save your life. We encourage you to watch it and share it – it’s just under 4 minutes. There’s a lot we could say about it, but we think it is more impactful to let the clip speak…

It’s time for the seasonal flu vaccine!

This year, it’s more important than ever that you get your flu vaccine early for seasonal influenza. With Covid-19 still active and a potential resurgence over the fall and winter, you need all the protection you can get. While the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect you from Covid-19, it will help ensure that hospitals…

Labor Day: Safe BBQs and backyard entertaining

As we head into Labor Day and approach the waning weeks of summer, most of us are eager to spend as much time outside as we can. The Mayo Clinic offers a guide to safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Labor Day is traditionally a time for last minute vacations, road trips, and barbecues.…

Precious cargo: How to buy, install, and register child car safety seats

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for US children aged 3 to 14, yet many of those deaths may be preventable with the proper use of car safety seats. A 2017 study by the CDC published in The Journal of Pediatrics showed that 20% of children who were in a car crash where…

The A to Z of insurance terminology

Every industry has their own jargon and set of acronyms used by insiders. Sometimes they are technical terms or language that people use to describe a precise process, a part, or a concept; sometimes, they are slang that develops among colleagues in an organization or an industry over time. But industry-specific terminology can be confusing,…

Do traffic tickets jack up your car insurance rates? You bet they do!

Nobody wants to pay more than they must for auto insurance, but  when bad or risky driving leads to tickets, it can add big bucks to the amount you pay for insurance over several years. Danielle Ling has a story in PropertyCasualty360 about which moving violations raise your car insurance rates the most. Note that…

Scam alert: Covid-19 related fraud is proliferating

In early April, we noted that there has never been a crisis or emergency that criminals won’t try to exploit and we posted a roundup of fraud schemes: Be on your guard for coronavirus scammers, skimmers & phishers! It’s time to update that list. Criminals are only getting smarter and more sophisticated about capitalizing on…

Driving safety tips for expectant mothers

During pregnancy, expectant mothers often have questions about the best way to stay safe while driving. Common questions include whether seat belts are safe, how to best position the steering wheel, and if airbags are safe or if they should be disabled. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the rescue – they answer these…

How do you protect your credit rating during the pandemic?

Worried about if the pandemic is affecting your credit? Here’s good news to help you monitor your credit status: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three major credit rating bureaus, are now offering free weekly online reports through April 2021. Normally, you are entitled to one report per year for free, so this is a great…

How financially prepared are you if a weather disaster strikes?

Last year was the fifth year in a row that 10 or more weather and climate disasters in the US logged at least $1 billion of associated losses. If you think 2020 threw everything it had at us and will now ease off, think again. While we all have our hands full with navigating the…

Ideas for a safe and fun Fourth of July in New England

Things are looking much more positive and festive in New England for July 4 than they were a month ago for Memorial Day, but Covid19 is still looming so we all still need to be safe and careful. We worked hard to bring our numbers down, but we can see from some other parts of…

Lightning Safety Awareness – Get the Facts

It’s National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. It’s good timing because July is the month with the most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), four people have been killed by lightning so far this year. On average, 43 people died of lightning strikes each year over a 10-year period. Only about 10%…

June is Men’s Health Month: Raising awareness about health checkups and screenings

Let the men in your life know how much they mean to you by encouraging them to get healthy! June is Men’s Health Month, a time to encourage and support all the men in our lives to get health screenings and checkups. Why? Quite simply, the founders of this initiative say that “men live sicker…

Prepping for an active hurricane season in a pandemic

As if we all didn’t have enough on our plate this year – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is alerting us that we can expect an above-normal 2020 hurricane season, with 3 to 6 major hurricanes. The season runs from June 1 through November 30, so we have just dipped a toe in…

RMV license renewal extensions in New England

As you transition from lock-down to “real life” and take your car out of mothballs to put it back on the road, here’s an important question: did your license or registration inadvertently expire while you were watching Netflix? Is your vehicle inspection overdue? If you forgot to renew vehicle-related credentials or your credentials are about…

Beach lovers’ guide to Memorial Day in New England

The good news is that it’s Memorial Day Weekend, states are cautiously beginning to open beaches and parks, and the weather looks promising. The bad news is that the virus has not gone away so visiting your favorite coastal spots will come with many restrictions and limitations. If you are expecting a “normal” experience, you…

Traffic is down, danger is up on the nation’s roadways

If you need to venture out on the roads, be sure to drive defensively! According to recent reports, many streets and highways have turned into a dangerous environment of deserted streets given over to drag racing and speeding competitions. With so many businesses shut down and people under a stay-at-home advisory during the coronavirus crisis,…

Get that idle car back on the road in tip-top shape

If you’re among the millions who have been hunkered down in your home to help flatten the coronavirus curve, your car probably hasn’t been getting too much use. But now as many states are beginning to reopen and ease restrictions on stay-at-home orders, it’s time to show your car a little love. And even though…

Spanish Speaking Insurance Agent Worcester, MA

There are many Spanish speaking people in the Worcester, Mass area. We want our Spanish speaking neighbors to all know we speak Spanish here at Universal Insurance Agency. We always make sure you get credit for your driving experience in your country of origin. If your date first licensed was in another country we will work to get you the credit. We have many Spanish speaking Business Insurance customers that come to us for their Workers Comp Insurance and their General Liability Insurance. Many are hard working small business owners that look to us to help them with the right … Continue reading Spanish Speaking Insurance Agent Worcester, MA

Buying Online VS Agent? Having An Agent Has So Many Benefits.

Is buying online VS agent better or riskier? If you are not well versed in auto or home insurance it is possible to make a big mistake inadvertently when buying insurance online without a local agent. I can’t tell you how many people came into the agency with a policy they bought online and we pointed out a very dangerous coverage mistake. Imagine if you thought you chose $100,000 for damage to someone else’s property and what you really chose on the drop down menu was $10,000. These people did not realize this is an important coverage because it has … Continue reading Buying Online VS Agent? Having An Agent Has So Many Benefits.

Tips For Negotiating A Total Loss Car Accident

If you totaled your car then here are some helpful tips to negotiate the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle. Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost The actual cash value is usually not going to be what it costs to replace a car. So maybe you had a major accident and the car is totaled, the price tag to buy a new car will always be more than what your totaled car was worth at the time of the accident. Instead of choosing the actual cash value option on a policy if the policy has that endorsement, choose coverage that … Continue reading Tips For Negotiating A Total Loss Car Accident

Are Disasters Like Hurricanes Covered By Home Insurance?

It Seems Like Disasters Are Becoming More Common. Which perils otherwise known as disasters are covered by Homeowners Insurance? Standard home insurance policies typically cover a range of ever present disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, lightningHurricanes and Homeowners Insurance strikes and winter storm damage caused by weight of ice and snow. Most homeowners policies cover all the disasters listed below. Some Homeowners Insurance provide coverage for the first ten in the list. It is important to review your home insurance for the specific disasters. WHAT TYPE OF PERILS ARE YOU INSURED FOR? Dwelling & Personal Property Fire or lightning Windstorm … Continue reading Are Disasters Like Hurricanes Covered By Home Insurance?

Water Exclusions On Most Homeowner Policies

Did you know about these Typical WATER Exclusions in most Homeowner Insurance Policies? (1) Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind; (2) Water which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows from a sump; (ask about an endorsement that can be added) (3) Water below the surface of the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure. If you study your homeowners policy you will find the … Continue reading Water Exclusions On Most Homeowner Policies

Newly Wed Auto Insurance Tips To Save Money

Auto insurance savings might not be at the top of your newly wed tasks but there are some car insurance benefits to be reaped for newly weds. Auto Insurance Policy consolidation is a smart money saving move. This will simplify the billing process and could save you money. Electronic Funds transfer payment (EFT or also called EZ pay) is smart too so you can avoid late charges and worse yet a cancellation notice.Insurance companies keep track of late notices and cancellation notices They think that as a more responsible person with their finances is a better insurance risk. Call us at Universal Insurance Agency Inc … Continue reading Newly Wed Auto Insurance Tips To Save Money

Can I Buy A Car Or Insurance With My Learner’s Permit?

We thought this was a great question to share. Can I buy car insurance with my learner’s permit? Because I want to buy a car  and I haven’t got my driver license yet. ANSWER: You can own and insure a car in Mass but you must have a person to List besides yourself as a licensed Mass Driver. Not all companies will allow but we have one that will allow this. Let me know if you want a quote. I will need the person’s license number  who you will list as the licensed driver. You will notice once you inform … Continue reading Can I Buy A Car Or Insurance With My Learner’s Permit?

Whose Stuff Is Not Covered Under Home Insurance Policy

Beware of coverage loopholes like whose property is NOT covered under your Homeowners Policy. Are Domestic Partners and their “stuff” Covered under a Homeowners Policy? Let’s look at who is considered an insured on your homeowners Insurance Policy? Picture of Whose Stuff Is Not Covered Under Home Insurance Policy If a couple has been living together at least a year then one of our companies allows the Domestic Partner Endorsement on for free but your agent has to be aware of this to even let you know about it. You should let your agent know if you have a domestic … Continue reading Whose Stuff Is Not Covered Under Home Insurance Policy

What Don’t Business Operations Policies Cover?

BOP policies (short for business operations policy) Before answering the question what a BOP does not cover let’s talk about the BOP for a minute. BOP Policies are a great way to protect small and medium size business owners from many unfortunate losses. The BOP has a  combination of coverage for both major property and liability risks – it is nice that combination together offers an all in one insurance policy package. A BOP can be cheaper than buying two policies separately. Generally the BOP covers property insurance for buildings and contents, business interruption coverage, and liability protection for losses caused by the business owner or her … Continue reading What Don’t Business Operations Policies Cover?

5 Things To Teach Your Teen About Auto Insurance And Life

How can a parent help their teen realize being responsible can save boatloads of money especially in Auto Insurance? This bit of advice can set your child up for a successful start to accumulating money for good things like a down payment on a home instead of high cost insurance due to mistakes made by youthful indiscretion. At the end of this article is a link to visually show your child the difference over a lifetime including Mortgages, Car Loans and Credit Cards. This does not even include the effect of higher Insurance cost on Home and Auto. What they … Continue reading 5 Things To Teach Your Teen About Auto Insurance And Life

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