McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Monday, June 15, 2009

Insurance Rates - Who Sets Them?

Some customers of Independent Insurance Agents think that the agent is the one who determines the rates for insurance policies and retains the premiums. The truth is -- this could not be further from the truth! The insurance companies set the rates which must then be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Insurance. Most premiums are sent directly to the insurance company (e.g. Travelers, Safety, Plymouth Rock) who pay the agent a modest percentage of that premium.

Agents want to help their customers get the best rate for the best protection for their individual situations. Customers should fully answer agency questionnaires and provide complete answers to questions from their agents; that's how the agent will be able to find all the applicable discounts and rating advantages for the customers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let Pictures Tell the Story

If you're involved in an auto accident, take pictures of the crash site and the damage to all vehicles with your cell phone or digital camera. Or if your have a loss in your home or apartment be sure to take pictures before you take some steps to minimize additional damage (boarding up a window, putting a tarp on a damaged roof, for example).

When it comes to recreating the circumstances of the accident, pictures will make it easy.

Progressive Insurance to Pay Massachusetts $120,000

From The Boston Globe 5/27/09
Progressive Direct Insurance Co. agreed to pay the state of Massachusetts $120,000 to settle charges that it inflated the rates for rival companies, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Specifically, Coakley's office accused Ohio-based Progressive, the nation's fourth-largest automobile insurer, of comparing its six-month rates to the 12-month rates offered by other companies. Progressive inaccurately listed all the rates on its website as six-month prices.

Progressive, which started offering policies in Massachusetts on May 1, 2008, stopped quoting rivals' rates on its website and through its call center late last year, and notified Coakley's office about the mistake.

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agency

There is a difference. Some people think it doesn't really matter where they buy their insurance. But this misconception could be costing them money, service and protection. Buying insurance isn't like buying bread or milk. Insurance is an important safety net for your family, your home, your car or your business. Don't treat the purchase lightly!

There is a difference in where you buy your protection.
1. Captive Agents, who can sell you the insurance products of only one company.
2. Telephone Representatives, who can offer you the insurance products of one company and only on the telephone.
3. On line websites often limit coverage options available, provide quotes that significantly differ from the actual premium that you will be billed and don't allow customization to meet your needs.
4. Independent Agents, who represent an average of eight insurance companies and research with these firms to find you the best combination of price, coverage and service.

Don't Count on the RMV to Send Reminders

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles no longer mails out license renewal notices.

It is your responsibility to know when your driver's license expires. Check the expiration date on your license and set up a reminder for yourself.

If you forget to renew your license and get pulled over, it is a criminal offense. Your vehicle can be impounded; you will have court costs, fines and surcharges. Be sure to renew your driver’s license at least seven days before your birthday to guarantee that you receive your new license before your old license expires.

Driving on an expired license is considered "unlicensed operation" and is an arrestable offense.

You can do many registry activities online at