Our Blog

Car Safety Kit For Winter

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational, Local.

There is not much that you can compare to the joys of a New England winter…

Oh wait, are you trying to say that you live in Massachusetts and you don’t exactly enjoy the cold of winter? Oh, well… while we are sharing secrets: We don’t either! Don’t get us wrong, the snow looks beautiful on the Boston streets but winter weather is cold and wet and makes for incredibly difficult travel. Driving in winter weather is the absolute worst!


We all know that winter’s can last a long time in New England, so before you have a winter emergency, we urge you to prepare now and make you own winter car survival kit. Many motorists already have a car safety kit, but there are some items you may want to add for the colder, snow-filled winter months.

Here is what we recommended for your car safety kit for winter:

1. A first aid kit
2. Emergency flares
3. A flashlight
4. Jumper cables
5. Blankets
6. Warm clothes
7. Bottled water
8. Hand warmers
9. A small shovel
10. Sand
11. A whistle
12. Your auto insurance information

Remember, the winter means that there is a chance you might become stranded in the middle of a snow storm. This is why we recommend you have warm clothes, a shovel and sand in your winter car survival kit. You may find that you are stuck in a situation where there is an icy road and the sand will help you travel safer. Or, you may find that you are stuck in a parking lot and the shovel could help you safely leave the lot.

Additionally, it is always a good idea to have your car insurance information on you so that if you need to call for roadside assistance or to file a claim you have the information on hand. Remember, you can always talk to your insurance agent about who to call for a dead battery, cracked windshield, or even if you run out of gas – roadside assistance coverage is often something you can purchase as part of your policy.

*

The Elderly And Driving: Auto Insurance Resources For Senior Drivers In MA

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational.

With the number of senior drivers on the road growing rapidly, many states have developed special programs, tools and other resources to assist with older drivers safety. When it comes to safe driving, the local agents here at Paul Murphy Insurance in Malden, Massachusetts hold nothing back. Our agents want you to be safe on the road – today, tomorrow and always.

First things first, here in Massachusetts, let us summarize the programs and licensing requirements:

  1. Motorists are required to renew their driver’s licenses every 5 years.
  2. When a license is renewed in-person, an individual must pass a vision test.
  3. Until the age of 75, a Massachusetts resident may renew their license electronically, that is, online.

Over the age of 75, the only limited renewal options in the state of Massachusetts are as follows:

  • Motorists over the age of 75 must apply in person for every license renewal.

While our state does not require specific regulations for senior drivers, the DMV does provide resources to help with safety. It is important to realize that elderly drivers experience many different changes in their lifetime that can impact changes. If you are the loved one of an older driver, you may want to talk to your driver about:

  • Vision changes
  • Medical conditions and medications that may affect driving abilities and how to reduce those risks
  • Hearing loss and impairment
  • Keeping a safe and fit mind for driving
  • Reaction time

It is important to review the rules of the road regularly, for any driver. All states offer defensive driving courses. In Massachusetts, the DMV offers these courses regularly, and they are a good way to brush up on ways to stay safe and alert on the road.

Keep in mind that driving can be dangerous. As the loved one of an elderly driver, it is important to pay attention to any warning signs that someone may be unable to drive safely. While normal aging does not affect driving, there are medical conditions and medications that can impact driving. Watch for traffic violations or near-collisions that your loved ones may be involved in. Remember, safety is always a priority.

Additionally, talk to your local Massachusetts auto insurance agent about insurance for elderly drivers – there may be discounts available for those with a long history of good driving! *

Cold Weather Safety Tips for Businesses This Winter

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational.

Winter is upon us, and with that comes the cold weather New England is known for. Those of us in [astStateFull] know that the weather can be a lot to handle, and it is important to take extra safety precautions this winter. If you are a business owner, you may not understand that this change in the season also means your business’ liability has increased. To prepare for the winter, [astCompanyName] wants to help businesses take a look at some of the preventative steps to take in this season of sleet, ice, and snow. Here are some precautions to heed this winter!

  • Prepare your facilities! – The cold weather requires extra maintenance for your business facilities, including proper upkeep to ensure the safety of anyone who steps foot on the property. Winterize the exteriors of your company’s buildings, including consistently shoveling and laying down ice-melt or rock salt—you don’t want anyone slipping in the parking lot!—not to mention regularly removing heavy snow and hanging ice from the building exteriors. It is also important to keep an emergency kit stocked at the offices, as a power outage, blizzard, or other disaster may leave you and others stranded at your business for some time. Stock the emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, blankets, food, water, and other emergency supplies. Remember, safety first!
  • Have the right insurance coverage! – Having the right insurance coverage for your business is essential. Business insurance can protect your liability in the event of an accident that results in damage, injury, or property loss. Additionally, with winter a prime time for accidents in New England, many business owners may want to consider an umbrella insurance policy that will cover excess liability for a certain specified amount. Either way, business owners must make sure they have the right type of commercial insurance products to protect their businesses.

Winter in [astStatefull] can be harrowing, and you want to make sure your all of your employees, your property, and your customers remain safe and unharmed. Stress the importance of these safety tips, but know that accidents can still sometimes happen, which is why your business should be prepared with the right business insurance policy and umbrella coverage. And [astCompanyName] is here to help protect you. Stay warm!
*

Massachusetts Landlord Responsibilities: Is A Landlord Responsible For Shoveling Snow?

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational, Local.

If you are a landlord or a renter in Massachusetts, you may be unsure whose responsibility it is to shovel snow around the building. Make sure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities, so that everyone can benefit from a safer winter!

What is a landlord responsible for? Check out these facts about Massachusetts landlord and tenant responsibilities and shoveling snow:

  • Snow removal responsibilities often vary depending on the location of the dwelling, and the lease agreement.
  • Typically for apartment complexes with shared parking lots, staircases, and sidewalks, the landlord or property owner is responsible for shoveling snow and ice in these common areas. This may be specifically declared in the lease, however sometimes it is left out.
  • For renters of a single family home with no common parking and sidewalks, the renter is typically responsible for seasonal maintenance such as snow removal, lawn care, etc.
  • If snow shoveling and removal responsibilities are not clearly stated in the lease agreement, check the Massachusetts Landlord Rights and Responsibilities Laws. According to these laws, the landlord is responsible for properly maintaining the building, stairs, porches, and all building exits so that they are clear and free from snow or other obstructions.
  • In addition to state laws, your city or town may have other guidelines for snow removal. Contacting a local official may also help you figure out your exact responsibilities and rights, and resolve any disputes between tenants and landlords. For example, these are the snow and ice removal ordinances for Malden, MA

As a renter or a landlord, it can sometimes be confusing to figure out exactly what your rights and responsibilities are when dealing with snow removal. Make sure you understand these responsibilities, in order to resolve any conflicts and remain safe this winter!
*

Is Your Business Ready? How To Prepare For Blizzards

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational.

An important part of protecting your business is learning how to prepare for blizzards and other severe winter weather that we often experience in Massachusetts. Just as you would prepare your home and your family for severe weather, before a big storm hits take some time to check out these safety tips for blizzards, and how to best prepare your business for a storm.

How to prepare for blizzards:

  • Have a complete emergency kid prepared and stored in an easy-to-access location in your building. Make sure to include crucial items such as: protective and warm clothing, food and water, shovels, flashlights and batteries, a battery powered radio, and a first-aid kit.
  • If you typically decrease the temperature of your business’ building overnight, avoid lowering the temperature to anything lower than 55 degrees in order to avoid pipe bursts and other issues.
  • Make sure that your business has a set evacuation plan in case of emergency, and that your employees are aware of all safety procedures.
  • Inspect your heating and ventilation systems before severe storm approaches, to make sure that they are in adequate condition and don’t need any repairs.
  • Know how to shut off the utilities for your building, to avoid potentially deadly situations such as natural gas leaks during a blizzard or other storm.
  • Check the details of your Massachusetts business insurance policy, and make sure you understand what you are covered for. Make sure these documents, along with other important business documents, are all easily accessible and safe. This will help expedite the process of filing an insurance claim if any damages occur to your business’ property due to a storm.

Following safety tips such as these will help you better understand how to prepare you business for blizzards and other severe winter weather. Protect yourself, your employees, and the future of your business by being prepared!
*