Category: Archives

16 Jan 2020
person locking a door

6 Important Home Security Tips

Protect Your Property with These Simple Solutions

 

As a homeowner, you do what you can do protect your most valuable asset. You lock the doors at night, install floodlights, and have reliable homeowners insurance in Wellesley, MA. Even so, accidents happen. Even with the best security in the neighborhood, thieves may still target your property. Your home is valuable – along with everything and everyone inside of it, which is why it’s important to take even more steps to ramp up your home security. When you’re looking to quickly and easily safeguard your property and possessions, take a look at these important home security tips.

 

Tend to the yard with safety in mind. Walk around your property and look for any weaknesses. Are there potential hiding spots for thieves around doors? Are ladders easily accessible so that the open window on the second story can be reached? Remove the clutter from the yard that can be used to reach windows and clear away any overgrown shrubs.

 

Get to know your neighbors. Take the time to engage with your local community. Encourage them to watch out for any suspicious activity. Offering to watch their house will often mean they are willing to watch your property when you’re away, too.

 

Light it up. Thieves thrive in darkness – so make sure your home has ample lighting! Install motion-activated sensors around doors and windows that will catch movement and automatically turn on. Also, consider using automatic timers or smart lightbulbs that can be controlled remotely when you’re away from home to make your property look as if someone is inside.

 

Avoid advertising your new purchases. Thieves look for and steal newly-delivered boxes on your front porch, a method called porch pirating. Consider having your packages delivered to somewhere else, such as work, or asking the post office to hold your packages until you can pick them up.

 

Establish a safety routine. Make sure you get into the habit of locking all of the doors and windows and turning on your alarm system when you leave your home. Avoid leaving spare keys outside as thieves know most of the potential hiding places.

 

Review your home insurance. Your home policy works hard to protect your property and will step in if the worst happens. Make sure to update your home inventory often, particularly after the gift-giving season, so that all of your belongings are covered. Talk to your insurance agent about your insurance, making sure you have optimal cover.

 

At CAV Insurance in Wellesley, MA, we work with companies like Chubb who offer a broad range of protection to help keep your home and family safe with reliable homeowners insurance. Contact us on 781-237-4107 to get started.

 

09 Jan 2020
a parked pick up truck

Why Truck Owners with Commercial Plates Should Renew Now

Got a Truck? Here’s What You Should Know

 

As of December 16, 2019, ATLAS will require USDOT numbers for every commercial registration in order to renew.

 

This new RMV practice affects two vehicle categories that were previously not required to have USDOT numbers:

1) Trucks that are used in commerce in MA but weigh under 10,001 lbs.

2) trucks that weigh over 10,001 lbs. but are not used in commerce.

Who Needs a USDOT Number?

Massachusetts requires you to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that fits one of these descriptions:

  • It is used in intrastate commerce.
  • It is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
  • It has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater.
  • It is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation.

 

If you have questions regarding auto insurance coverage or would like to speak with a Massachusetts insurance expert from CAV Insurance Agency, call us on 781-237-4107. Remember that it only takes a few minutes to get an auto insurance quote from your local insurance agency.

19 Dec 2019
board of directors for nonprofit

3 Ways to Protect Yourself If You Sit on a Non-Profit Board

Protect Yourself While Giving Back to a Worthy Cause

 

If you sit on a non-profit’s board of directors, you may be one of the organization’s most valuable assets. You volunteer your time and knowledge, provide insights, guidance, and direction. While you do this, however, you also assume a certain amount of liability for your actions. Many people on the board don’t properly understand the risk they take on when giving back to a worthy cause. Fortunately, with some preparation and smart handling, you can protect yourself while advancing the non-profit organization.

 

Understand your responsibilities

You should understand the details of how your non-profit operates, as well as what it is you’re specifically responsible for. Make sure you know the laws, both state and federal, and ensure that the non-profit is following them to the ‘t’.

 

Keep organized records

If the worst does happen and your non-profit comes under public scrutiny, you will want to make sure your recordkeeping and finances are clear, up-to-date, and above board. That way, you’ll be able to easily clear up any discrepancies or misunderstandings.

 

Determine your insurance needs

If the non-profit has employees and volunteers, it will need workers compensation insurance among other insurance policies. Other insurance considerations should include errors and omissions, general liability, and property insurance. As a member of the board of directors, you may want to consider directors and offers liability insurance, which works to specifically protect you and your finances if the non-profit is sued and their insurance doesn’t cover the costs.

 

Are you thinking of joining a board of directors at a non-profit organization? Here is what you should consider.

 

To discuss the insurance options that are available for you and the non-profit please contact CAV Insurance Agency, serving Wellesley, Dover, and surrounding towns.

12 Dec 2019
snow shovel next to snow

Is Your Parking Lot Safe for Visitors and Employees This Winter?

Get Your Parking Lot Ready for Winter

 

Parking lots can be dangerous places, especially in winter where there is ice and snow on the ground. If your business has a parking lot, you’ll want to ensure the safety of your employees, guests, visitors, vendors, and yourself this winter.

 

Slips, trips, and falls can result in serious injuries to visitors. This seemingly minor risk has the potential for lawsuits. It’s important to know the particular risks of your area and take appropriate precautions to safeguard individuals. Take a look at these tips on how to keep employees and visitors safe in your parking lot.

  • Establish a snow maintenance program. Make sure that you have a reliable contract with a local snow removal company to make sure the parking lots and sidewalks are free of snow and ice.
  • Provide grip. If there has been snow or ice, it’s important that you do what you can to prevent slips and falls. Spread out sand which can help guests grip the ground or salt that works to dissolve ice.
  • Install adequate lighting. During non-routine work hours such as early mornings or late evenings, your parking lot should be lit well so that people can clearly see vehicles and paths. Exterior lighting is important year-round and should be adequate for night-time use.
  • Maintain handrails. Handrails or guardrails should be installed at level changes and for the stairs and ramps. Make sure they are stable and at the appropriate height.
  • Establish clear signage. All entrances, exits, pedestrian crossings, and parking areas should be signposted clearly. Landscaping and signs should not block driver visibility.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips. If the parking lot is unsafe for use, do not call out employees and visitors unless absolutely necessary. One accident is all it takes to bring a company to its knees.

Make it easy for employees and visitors to report conditions in the parking lot, whether they feel unsafe or in danger. Management should receive these comments well and take action to correct an issue promptly. Doing so can help keep your business running smoothly.

 

A small investment parking lot safety for your business can help to avoid disasters. To find out if your business insurance is ready for the worst, call CAV Insurance Agency on 781-237-4107. We serve business owners in the Metro West areas such as Natick, Wellesley, Dover, Sherborn, and Weston.

05 Dec 2019
a house covered in snow

Prepare Your Home for the Holiday Season

Ready Your Home for Cold Weather and Vacant Periods in the Holidays

 

The holidays are here! Bring on the festive parties, gift-giving, and plenty of rum punch. With the holidays come a busy time of year, which can be quite stressful even if it is the most wonderful time of the year. To avoid disaster, it’s important to prepare your home for the season. Whether you’re staying at home and enjoying the local festivities or heading out to grandma’s for a vacation away, check out these tips to protect your property.

 

Ready your home for cold weather:

  • Clear out the gutters, removing dirt and foliage. If the gutters get clogged, water will eventually start leaking into your roof.
  • Position downspouts away from the home’s foundation.
  • Insulate the attic to keep the warm air in the property.
  • Replace broken or missing roof shingles to prevent water from getting into the property.
  • Check outdoor lights are clean and in working order.
  • Keep your pipes warm. Block up holes that let cold air in around the pipes. Insulate exposed pipes with foam sleeves.
  • Open cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Leave faucets dripping to prevent the pipes from freezing.

 

Leave your home alone safe and sound:

  • If you’re only going to be away for a couple of days, consider leaving your heating on low to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • If you’re going away for longer, turn off your water valve and drain your pipes.
  • Ask a neighbor to check in on the property often to ensure all is well.
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer so that the property looks occupied.
  • Remove the hidden key from the porch step – You’re not fooling anyone and thieves can spot a good hiding spot for house keys.
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor or an outdoor floodlight that will stop burglars in their tracks.

 

We hope that these tips help you to protect your property over winter. In any case, having the right homeowners insurance can help if the worst happens. When you’re ready to secure the right home protection, contact the team at CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley, Weston, and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

26 Nov 2019

Mobile Malware on the Rise: Protect Your Data

Safeguard Your Personal Information

We heavily rely on our phones every day. From checking bank balances to buying new products to accessing work emails – we have turned our smartphones into a goldmine of personal information. Unfortunately, with the rise of technology comes the rise of malware, hackings, and data breaches. Mobile malware is on the rise at an alarming rate, and we should all be taking steps to prevent our data from falling into the wrong hands.

How Your Mobile Data Can Get Infected

By far the most common way that your device may become infected is if you download a malicious app. Cybercriminals may pirate an existing app and list it on a third-party app store with hidden malware attached. When you download the app, you invite malicious software onto your device. Another way you may expose yourself to an attack is to open a virus via a fake email. This is an easy mistake to make, which is why it’s important to consider opening emails before doing so.

Tips for Securing Your Phone

The most effective way to protect your phone from malware is to take preventative steps to reduce the likelihood of contracting an infection in the first place. Here are a few ways to protect your phone and data:

  • Don’t access any sensitive information through public Wi-Fi, such as checking emails or accessing bank accounts.
  • Do not jailbreak your device.
  • Only download apps from the official app stores.
  • Don’t download an app that doesn’t look professional or has limited reviews.
  • Update your operating system as soon as a new version is released.
  • Review the terms and conditions when downloading a new app.

Protecting your device has never been more essential! At CAV Insurance Agency in Wellesley, MA we work with companies like Chubb and AIG who offer a broad range of insurance coverage to help keep you and your family safe. Contact us today for more information!

14 Nov 2019

Why Your Business Needs Employer Practices Liability Insurance

What is EPLI and Does My Business Need It?

Are you wondering if your business needs Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)? The real questions to ask yourself are: Do I have employees? Will I be hiring employees? If so, then the answer is unequivocally yes! In this litigious society, you should be aware that your business is at risk from the moment you interview a prospective employee. Current, former, and potential employees have the ability to raise a claim, whether one is warranted or not. Therefore, you should secure EPLI coverage for your business.

What is EPLI?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is coverage that protects businesses against potential employee lawsuits including sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, invasion of privacy, pregnancy, and more. Although you may be thinking that you have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage in place, be aware that these policies typically exclude employee lawsuits and discrimination allegations. Without EPLI coverage, you leave your business exposed.

Does my business need EPLI coverage?

If you employ even one person, you are at risk for an employment-related claim. These claims tend to be expensive and distractive. Fortunately, with EPLI coverage, you can mitigate the damage from such costly lawsuits and keep your business running with minimal interruption.

How can I reduce my chances of a claim?

Even if you have all of the correct policies and procedures in place, your company is still open to liability. To help prevent an issue from arising, secure insurance and then take note of these proactive steps:

  • Conduct background checks
  • Ensure consistency in your hiring practices for every single candidate
  • Establish defined roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations for all positions
  • Outline employment policies in company handbooks
  • Enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination, harassment, and substance abuse
  • Implement an open-door policy to help employees feel comfortable reporting harassment or other infractions without fear of retaliation
  • Accurately document every violation or incident and store this information in each employee’s file

As a business owner, you always want to stay one step ahead. EPLI coverage can help your business stay protected. At CAV Insurance Agency, we work with each business to determine their individual needs and budget. Serving Wellesley, Needham, Natick, Brookline, and neighboring towns, contact us today on 781-237-4107 to get started.

17 Oct 2019

How to Inventory Your Belongings for Insurance Purposes

Record Your Home Belongings for Your Insurance Policy

 

Keeping track of your home belongings may seem like an overwhelming task but it’s much better to be safe than sorry. The whole reason you have homeowners insurance in Wellesley, MA is to protect your belongings and property from damage and loss. If the worst does happen, you can turn to your home insurance to help pick up the pieces. It’s far wiser to safeguard your assets now before something happens. Having a home inventory list on hand makes the filing process much quicker and easier – helping you to get back on your feet that much quicker. To help you compile a home inventory without it appearing as a daunting task, we’ve broken it down into quick and easy steps.

 

  • Use an App

Get tech-savvy when documenting your belongings. The app Sortly allows you to easily create, manage, and update a home inventory. You can look up items by location or product information, scan product barcodes, and know the exact contents in your house or storage unit. A home inventory has never been so easy!

 

  • Document Your Belongings

Take pictures and/or videos of each item. Having a visual record helps to evidence for your list and can be useful for the insurance company when assessing the value of claimed items.

 

  • Update Regularly

Taken a box of belongings to the charity store? Bought a new top-of-the-line electrical device or an appliance? Be sure to update your inventory regularly, remembering to remove or add items. Part of what makes a home inventory so important is how relevant and recent it is.

 

  • Assess Coverage

While a standard home insurance policy will protect belongings, it’s best to check whether you have enough coverage. Homeowners often underestimate the value of their belongings and a standard policy may not cover the cost of replacing these items. If you have items of high value, such as jewelry, artwork, and expensive technology products, you may need to have then scheduled on your policy to ensure these items have coverage.

 

  • Store it Safely

It’s a good idea to keep several copies of your home inventory just in case something happens to the original. Keep both a paper and electronic copy handy, making sure to email yourself a copy of the inventory. This helps you to access it quickly when you need it the most.

 

We hope that these tips helped you to prepare a home inventory. With some preparation, your belongings are more likely to be covered by your homeowners insurance in case of a loss. When you’re ready to secure the right home protection, contact the team at CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley, Weston, and neighbouring cities in Massachusetts.

19 Sep 2019
driving on fall roads

Top 5 New England Scenic Drives

Don’t Miss These Unforgettable Scenic Drives in Fall

For many collector car enthusiasts, the Fall is the best time to get out and drive. In New England we are lucky as the cooler temperature also bring out the fall foliage. Whether you have a new, used, or classic car, there is nothing better than a fall scenic drive.

  1. Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts

This popular Massachusetts drive goes through the famous Mohawk trail which is in the northwestern part of the state on route 2. The road winds through the hills and mountains of the Berkshires and offers prestigious views of the trail and the surrounding area.

  1. Central Vermont

Vermont is often known for its natural green mountain landscape, which makes for a great scenic drive. In particular, towns in central Vermont such as Woodstock, Killington, and Ludlow are composed of long winding roads that are calm and captivating during any season.

  1. Old King’s Highway, Cape Cod

This renowned route passes through hundreds of historical sites and stretches the entire width of the cape. You are also able to see the natural essence that the land has to offer, which includes cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and preserved farmlands.

  1. Moosehead Lake, Maine

Route 15 and Route 201 in Maine are popular routes to witness Moosehead Lake and its fantastic mountain scenery. This scenic highway captures the beautiful mountain and lake scenery that will take your breath away.

  1. Kancamagus Scenic Highway

This road takes you on a relaxing drive through the forest and displays some of the best fall foliage that New Hampshire has to offer. This path includes natural incredible views of the White Mountains, Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, and the Rocky Gorge.

One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about when driving your car this fall is the collector car insurance policy. At CAV Insurance in Wellesley, MA  we have a variety of markets to fit you and your vehicle needs. Whether you take it out for a Sunday drive through Dover and Sherborn or you enter your car in a show at Larz Anderson in Brookline we will set you up with a policy that fits your needs.

12 Sep 2019
palm trees in a hurricane

7 Steps to Help You Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane season is upon us and these tropical cyclones destroy everything their path. New England is no stranger these threatening storms, and it’s important to be prepared for the unpredictable damage that may end up impacting your community.

Hurricanes result in powerful winds, heavy rainfall as well as coastal and inland flooding. These can be troublesome towards the well-being of your family and your home. To combat this, we are going to give you some safety tips, from packing a bag to reviewing your insurance in Wellesley, MA, to help prepare you for these unpredictable superstorms.

  • Make sure you are up to date on the storm’s progress. Keep a radio on hand to be notified if things are taking a turn for the worse or the better
  • Check the batteries of the emergency equipment in your home. Having items such as flashlights, radios, and generators are essential assets to have during this dangerous situation
  • Learn the location of local shelters, or safe routes inland if you live near the coast
  • Stock up on canned food, water, medications, and first aid supplies beforehand
  • Bring loose lightweight objects such as garden tools, garbage cans, and lawn furniture inside
  • If necessary, cover windows and door openings with shutters or another shielding
  • Review your insurance coverage to ensure you have optimum limits

Being prepared is essential for hurricane safety, and these tips can help keep your family, and your property unharmed. At CAV insurance we provide flood insurance to combat these unpredictable forces of nature. We help protect your home’s specific needs with a policy that will be there when you need it most. Give us a call today to learn more!