All posts by April Woodcock

Holiday Home Safety Insurance Tips

Holiday Home Safety Tips

The holiday season is here and with it brings the joy of spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food and enjoying holiday decorations. Unfortunately, it can also be the season where unexpected accidents happen. No one wants to spend Christmas in the emergency room, or having to pay for fire damage. Be prepared this holiday season with these holiday home safety insurance tips.

Decorating Safely

What would Christmas be without the lights, the tree and the festive decorations placed in and outside of your home? Of course, it can be difficult to hang string lights along your porch or on the rooftop. You want to be sure that you are safe as you decorate your home, as well as being safe with the placement of your decorations, so as not to be tripped over, or falling onto something or someone or potentially causing a fire.

Fire Safety

When purchasing Christmas lights for indoor use, make sure that they have been tested by a well known laboratory. Do not use older lights as they may not meet the new safety standards. Newer lights have thicker wiring and have built in safety fuses that prevent overheating. Outdoor lights should also be tested for safety, and should be certified for outdoor use. If your family purchases a live Christmas tree, make sure that the tree is fresh. You will know that it’s fresh as the pine needles will not break off easily and there will be a sticky substance on the bottom of the tree trunk. Make sure to keep your live tree well watered as a dried out tree  is much more likely to catch fire. If you purchase an artificial tree, look for a “fire resistant” tree. This does not mean that it will never catch fire, rather that it is resistant to fires. Whatever tree you use, make sure to place it about three feet away from any heat source.

Kitchen Safety

There is always the potential for a fire to start in the kitchen. But when the holidays come around, there is much more activity going on as your family participates in Christmas cookie baking, making the Christmas turkey or ham and making all of the other side dishes. As you prepare your delectable treats and meals, make sure that you are also practicing kitchen safety. If you are wearing long sleeves, roll them up, or change into tight fit clothing. When cooking on the stove, keep oven mitts on hand to prevent getting burned. Keep any flammable items away from the stovetop. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure to replace it once it expires.

Keep the holiday season merry and bright and prevent safety hazards. From everyone at Northeast-Metro West Insurance Agency Team, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Should I Keep My Boat Insurance This Winter

Should I Keep My Boat Insurance This Winter?

If your boat is your pride and joy, then there is no doubt that you have taken every measure necessary to protect it, including having it insured. You do all that you can to take care of it so that you can enjoy it during the warmer months. In fact, you live for the warmer weather so that you can be out on your boat. But when the weather turns colder and you have to store it for the winter, you may feel as though your insurance coverage is unnecessary. Keep reading to see if you should keep your boat insurance during the winter.

Is It Necessary to Keep Boat Insurance All Year?

While you are not using your boat during the winter, you may feel that having insurance is a waste of money. However, even while your boat is being stored, you should consider keeping it insured. There is still the chance of theft, or damage due to weather or other incidents. If the boat were not insured and an accident occurs, you may be liable to pay for the damages.

Is It Required to Have Boat Insurance During Winter?

There are certain circumstances in which you may be required to have boat insurance. In many cases, if you have a boat that is being financed, then the lender may require that you have it consistently insured. If you are unsure if you need to keep your boat insured during the winter, contact your lender. You may also discuss your options with the insurance company.

Is It Possible to Cut Costs During the Winter Months?

It may be possible for you to save costs on your coverage during the winter months while you are not using your boat. For instance, you may be able to drop some of your policy’s coverage types or adjust your premiums. You will want to change your policy back to its original coverage once the spring starts, to make sure that when the time comes to use your boat again, you will be completely covered.

If you have questions regarding boat insurance, contact Northeast-Metro West Insurance.

7 Home Renovations that Impact Your Homeowners Insurance

7 Home Renovations that Impact Your Homeowners Insurance

Renovating your home can be an exciting time, but there are important things to keep in mind. Before you perform any remodels, take a look at the remodeling cost versus the effect on your resale value. You want to be sure it will be a worthwhile investment. 

In the end, you want to be improving your home and be able to increase your asking price. Some additions are purely for your current comfort however knowing if your plans will help increase your selling price down the road is helpful to know before starting the project. Many times house improvements can help you now as well by decreasing your homeowner’s insurance costs.

7 Home Renovations that Impact Your Homeowners Insurance

Renovations that can affect your homeowners premiums:

  • Renovating your roof.

While adding a new roof is not one of the favorite things about being a homeowner, it can be one of the necessary ones. It can also save you a lot of money on your homeowners insurance. The newer your roof is, but the more money your insurer will spend to replace it.

  • Adding a pool.

A pool can be an exciting addition to your home, but it will also increase your homeowners insurance premiums. This increase is due to the fact that you will probably need more coverage when it comes to liability in case someone gets injured.

  • Updating your kitchen.

If you switch out countertops and appliances with higher-end models, you may need to increase your coverage. Your premium is likely to go up because your home is worth more.

  • Adding a home office.

A home office may seem like a worthwhile investment, but it can make your homeowners insurance costs increase. The majority of homeowners policies will protect the equpment for home-based businesses, but only up to about 2,500 dollars. If you need additional protection, you will need to add to your existing policy.

  • Updating your bathrooms.

Just as with updating your kitchen, the same considerations need to be taken when updating your bathrooms. If you switch out different features, you will need to update your coverage and your premium may increase with the worth of your home.

  • Adding space to your home.

You may not think of finishing your basement as adding space to your home, but you are. This adds to your livable square footage and you need to account for this in your coverage.

  • Adding a deck.

A deck should add to the value of your home without adding to your premium. Decks are considered a part of the physical strucutre of your home as long as it is attached. It should then be covered under your dwelling coverage section of your policy.

If you are considering any type of updates to your home, be sure to contact your insurance representative first. Contact us at NE Insure with any questions you may have.

What To Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car

What To Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car

Wet streets are commonplace this time of year in the northeast, and there is a significant possibility that someone may end up hitting your parked car. Should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are specific steps you need to follow to ensure all parties involved are treated fairly. Here’s a rundown of what to when someone hits your parked car:

Call For a Police Officer

Regardless of circumstances, any traffic collision should be investigated by a police officer. Their report creates a binding verification of what happened at the scene, and you will need a police report to file an insurance claim regardless. Ask for a copy of the report and write down the name and badge number of the officer taking the accident report call. Copying down relevant information and getting the necessary documents makes your claims process much easier later in the process.

Document Everything

Take extensive notes about the accident and log/photograph any damage to your vehicle. You also need to write down the location, time of day, and weather conditions at the time of the accident. If you have a smartphone, take pictures of the damage and the positions of the vehicles involved as well as the street or road where the accident occurred. All this information helps the insurance company and police verify exactly what happened after the fact.

Call Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are safe and have all your documentation ready, it’s time to call your car insurance company to notify them of the accident. Give them all the relevant details you collected, and then take good notes when they explain where the claims process will go from the accident reporting phase. Additionally, if you or the other driver left a note with contact information, be sure to share that information with your insurer. If they have insurance, their company may cover some damages and your deductible, too.

A Quick Note About Hit-And-Runs For Parked Cars

Let’s say your parked car gets hit by another vehicle who leaves no contact information and flees the scene. Hit-and-run accidents can be considered a felony in some states, and they are taken seriously by both law enforcement and insurance companies. Whether or not you will still be covered for damages on your insurance policy depends on the structure of your policy.

If you have both collision coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage, then you should be fine. Don’t have coverage for these incidents? Consider adding both if you live in a major city and don’t have off-street parking. A little extra on your policy monthly could save you significant repair costs in the future.

Keep an eye on your parked car this year, and don’t forget to check for damage when you return to your car when you park in a public lot. The sooner you spot a collision, the sooner your insurance company can help you repair your vehicle and get back on the road. Call your Northeast Metro Insurance Agent today to review your collision and property damage coverage. For a small amount each month, you can protect yourself and your car from expensive repairs.

Wood Stove Safety

Wood Stove Safety

When it gets cold outside there is not a whole lot better than the warm toasty interior of a wood-stove heated house. Wood stoves are common alternatives to a traditional central heating system, especially here in New England. These stoves are known as alternative heating systems.

Alternative heating systems provide more than warm, cozy feelings, they provide savings on your gas bill. Heating your home with a wood stove saves you the price of using gas and electricity. In the event of a power outage, you can stay warm by popping a couple of logs in the furnace and staying warm.

Wood stoves come in all shapes and sizes. You can purchase a stove that fits snuggly in the fireplace, or a freestanding stove that sits out in the open for easy access.

Having a wood stove can give you great power over your finances, but with great power comes great responsibility. If you are wondering about the risks involved with heating your home via wood stove, look no further than your homeowner’s insurance company. Some companies have extra paperwork to fill out if you own a wood stove. Some are not interested in insuring your house if you have this form of alternate heating. However, at North East Metro West Insurance Agency we work with multiple carriers to get you the coverage you need should you decide to install a wood stove.

Insurance companies are not picky just to be irritating. They spend a lot of money researching statistics to minimize their risks.

How do you keep your wood stove safe?

-Keep all children and pets away when you have a roaring fire heating your home. The stove and pipes are all extremely hot. You must keep a debris-free zone around your stove to prevent fires.

-Do not operate a wood stove without working fire and carbon monoxide alarms. You should already have these alarms in place, but having an active fire inside of your home raises the risks associated with fire and carbon monoxide.

-Do not connect your wood stove to a chimney which is connected to another appliance. The fuels could mix with the fire from your stove and combust.

-Maintain routine maintenance on the stove once a year. Have a professional inspect your stove for decay. One crack can cause a serious threat.

-Do not put anything other than dry wood in a wood stove. If you do not adhere to this rule your stove can emit toxic fumes or even explode.

Disclose your wood-burning stove to your insurance company up front. This will ensure your house is properly insured against the risks associated with a wood-burning stove. If you are considering or have recently had a wood stove installed, reach out to your agent. Take proper care of your stove to prevent any mishaps that lead to a dangerous situation involving your stove.

If you have any questions regarding your policy and wood stoves please reach out to us!

Stay warm and stay safe,

The North East Metro-West Insurance Team

We’ve Got You Covered – Ensuring You Make The Most Out Of Your Holidays

It’s that time of year when we spread holiday cheer by giving thanks through simple acts of kindness. NE Insure has been serving the Massachusetts area and communities since 1989. For over 30 years, NE Insure has continued to redefine how insurance providers obtain, retain, and sustain a broad portfolio of transparent, simple, and straightforward approaches to business and personal security through insurance.

As a token of our appreciation, NE Insure wants to give you and your loved ones a sneak peek into some of this season’s upcoming holiday festivities as a way to say thanks for all the trust and support over the years.

Holiday Fun You Won’t Want To Miss

We at NE Insure thrive on giving you peace of mind by giving you the clarity and confidence to know that we’ve got you covered. With over 25 insurance providers, across six different locations, we’ve got something for everyone. Our list of holiday celebrations is no different. We’ve compiled a list of 7 unique events that you won’t want to miss. So, invite your family and friends and enjoy it! All ages are welcome and there is no cost to attend most events.

Hanukkah: The Festival Of Lights

On Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 at 4:30 PM EST celebrate an evening filled with art, music, and fun at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, located at 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA, 02115. Check here for more.

Annual Boston Common Menorah Lighting

Want to watch the lighting of New England’s tallest Menorah? Join us for live music, warm beverages, and Chanukah snacks on Sunday, December 22nd, 2019 at 4:00PM EST for the Grand Ceremony. This is an all-ages, free event, click here for more.

Santa’s Wonderland

Have you been naughty or nice? Bass Pro Shop in Foxborough, MA has invited Santa and his little helpers to make a few special appearances beginning Saturday, November 16th through December 24th, 2019. Enjoy games, crafts, and a free photo with Santa! Click here for details.

The Enchanted Village

Into antique collectibles? This old-fashioned, rare village includes 59 mechanical figures and 18 vignettes, the last of their kind. Santa welcomes you to come and check it out, while also enjoying ice skating and light shows. Check it out!

La Salette Shrine Lights

Since 1953, visitors from around the world have come to experience the La Salette Shrine Lights. From Angels to the Peaceable Kingdom, this display of over 300,000 lights is something you won’t want to miss.  The display begins Thursday, November 28th, 2019 and ends Sunday, January 5th, 2020. Click here for more.

Christmas At The Newport Mansions

Three of the country’s largest mansions will be on display from November 4th, 2019 through January 1st, 2020. Inspired by the colonial times, there will be over thirty decorated Christmas trees to see at The Breakers, The Elms, and The Marble Rose House homes. Get your tickets today!

Christmas At The Farm: Sleigh Ride Fun

If you’re looking to experience one of the countries finest outdoor museums, look no further. Billings Farm & Museum has a wide variety of fun and engaging activities that are sure to give you some holiday cheer. This 270-acre plot of land is home to hundreds of animals, has become an educational non-profit stomping ground for thousands. Click here to schedule a scenic sleigh ride, a moment you’ll remember.

NE Insure wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the years to come. For more information about our services, check out our website at

Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Revamp Your Home

Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Revamp Your Home

With pumpkin carving, apple picking, and hot cocoa, fall is a wonderful time of year with plenty of seasonal traditions. However, one tradition is often overlooked: home maintenance. There are plenty of tasks you can do to prepare for winter

Add these tips to your yearly routine to keep your home clean, safe and ready for the changing seasons.

– Update your heating system. Replace the filter in your furnace and clean your ducts to increase efficiency, reduce household dust and lower your heating bill. Call in a trusted professional to check your heating system before minor problems turn into costly major repairs.

– Check your attic ventilation. Make sure the vents in the eaves are clear of insulation. When they are covered, you are more susceptible to ice dams on your roof. Also, inspect bird and rodent screens to prevent unwanted guests and verify all your vents are free of plants and debris.

– Revamp your landscaping. Grassroots grow deeper in the fall to prepare for winter, making it the perfect time to fertilize and reseed your lawn. Trim fragile tree branches, and inspect any branches hanging over power lines. If you suspect a branch may fall onto the powerlines, now is the time to alert the power company. Prune trees and shrubs to encourage healthy growth.

– Clean out gutters and downspouts. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations and pooled water, which can damage foundations, driveways, and walkways. Secure any support brackets that are not keeping the water in the downspout.

– Make sure windows and doors are appropriate for the drop in temperature. Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors. Repair any loose or damaged window or door frames. Consider installing weather stripping or caulking to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.

– Properly insulate piping to ensure pipes do not freeze and burst. Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in the event pipes do freeze.

Even the best preparation does not prevent all problems. Northeast Insurance home insurance is the surefire way to protect yourself from any accidents to your home this fall and winter. From damage to your dwelling and loss of use during repairs to personal property protection, our comprehensive homeowner’s insurance lets you rest in peace knowing you and your home are safe. For all the regular updates on how we can best help you, follow us on Facebook today!

Uber and Lyft: Understanding Commercial vs Personal Auto Insurance

Uber and Lyft: Understanding Commercial vs Personal Auto Insurance

In the last decade, ride-sharing services like Uber moved from novelty acts to a common form of transportation. At the same time, many people have signed up to drive for one or more of these services with the hope of making a little extra money on the side. Uber currently claims to employ a little over 3 million drivers worldwide, with other services like Lyft also boasting a large number of drivers.

With numbers like this, it’s necessary to understand how something as important and basic as car insurance works with an online ride service. Even though these services require drivers to have car insurance, depending on where the driver lives, a regular insurance policy might not be enough. This is why you need to know the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance.

Personal Auto Insurance

Personal insurance is the standard insurance that every driver is required to purchase before they are allowed to drive. Depending on the amount of coverage purchased, these policies can cover you and others in the event of an accident.

Personal insurance only covers you when you are driving your vehicle for personal reasons — and this is where the problem can occur with a service like Uber. Because driving for a ride-share company is considered work, and not personal, many insurance companies do not cover accidents in a situation like this. If you are in an accident while driving for Uber and you only have personal insurance, you could be in serious trouble. Before you start your business, always check your policy and call your insurance agent to review your coverage.

Commercial Auto Insurance

As the name implies, commercial auto insurance is designed to protect a company and its employees. A commercial policy covers driving that happens during the course of a workday, and it typically covers all employees that work for a company as well.

Commercial insurance typically costs more than personal insurance does, which can almost defeat the purpose of driving for Uber in the first place. While commercial insurance is not always required for ridesharing, local and state laws can vary, so it’s important to know the laws where you live.

Uber Insurance

Even though Uber, Lyft and the others are independent contractors, and therefore not subject to the rules of commercial insurance, they do offer a limited amount of coverage — as long as the app is on and you are currently en route to or driving a passenger. If you find yourself in an accident at those times, the ridesharing company offers liability, which can help with damages to the other vehicle and occupants. This insurance does not, however, cover your own vehicle or person.

If you would like to know more about the insurance requirements for these services and how they affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at NE Insurance!

summer home security tips

Summer Vacation Home Security Planning Tips

Whether it is your main home or your summer vacation house, you want nothing more than to protect them. Making sure your house and belongings are safe is one of your top priorities. You may decide that adding a home security system is the best protection. But where do you begin? With so many systems and packages available, how do you know what you really need? You should start by doing some research on wireless, monitored and internet or cable based systems.

Using What You Have
If you have a cable or internet provider, you may want to check to see if they also offer a security monitoring service. This service may only have a slight increase in the fees because they are already in your residence. The security setup may include another service call to add any additional equipment to your current system.

Monitoring Services or Automatic Notifications
There are two ways you can approach your home security monitoring; a monitoring service or automatic notifications when the alarm goes off. The monitoring service is more expensive because you have a company that is watching for alarms and then calling you to determine if police need to be sent to check out the situation. If you are looking for a more cost effective system, you can monitor it yourself by setting your system up to notify you when a sensor goes off. You can then login to your system and check out the situation. If the situation warrants additional investigation, you would need to call the police and have them dispatched.

Wireless or Not
The wireless systems today have become more reliable. The batteries last longer and there are a decrease in the number of false alarms. The wireless systems and sensors are definitely easier to setup because you do not have to run any wires throughout the house. You just peel the backs of the sensors and stick them on the windows, frames and doors. When you shut the window or door the circuit is complete and the system is available for use. One disadvantage of an older system is the amount of wires that is all over. The wires will need to connect the sensors with the brain of the system so the different pieces can communicate with each other.

For questions on home security systems and discounts on your home-owners insurance, contact NE Insure.

home security tips

Top Home Security Tips

Securing your home is the most critical resource in your life: shelter. If you’ve got kids, they sleep there. Your valuables are there. For many, the tools of your trade that allow you to earn your daily bread are within those four walls or on the property.

Having a home of your own comes with the responsibility to secure it against theft and home invasion, and making sure you and yours stay safe and this can be easily accomplished with some planning and a few changes in how you maintain your property and your daily routine. Let’s discuss some easy home security tips that will help you protect what’s yours and keep your family safe. Continue reading Top Home Security Tips