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Amity Insurance Newsletter – Jan 27, 2014

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Featured Articles


Insurance Rates May Triple For People Convicted Of DUIs
In most states, people who are convicted of DUIs face higher insurance rates. Their rates are likely to rise for about three years, and they are required to obtain an SR-22 form. This is a form that proves a person is carrying adequate insurance. Under the SR-22 laws, insurers are required to let the licensing agency know if a policy lapses, is canceled or is terminated. To regain a driver's license, a person will have to show the Department of Motor Vehicles the SR-22 form. Driving privileges are suspended for at least 30 days or as much as one year after the first drunk driving offense. Depending on state laws, any additional offenses will vary but carry longer suspensions and harsher penalties...More>>

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes During the Winter
Every winter, about 250,000 people find themselves with messes from pipes that freeze and burst. In addition to erupting and filling a room with water, a burst pipe can also cost a person thousands of dollars in damages. Carpet, photos, furniture and other belongings can be damaged to the point they need to be replaced. A crack measuring only three millimeters can spew as much as 250 gallons of water into a person's home in just one day. Whether a person has plastic PVC or copper pipes, they are not immune to ruptures and bursts...More>>

Protection Against Data Breaches
Just prior to the Christmas holiday in 2013, the prominent retail chain Target announced that it had been the target of a massive hack of its credit card processing systems. The breach compromised as many as 40 million credit card numbers. Law enforcement authorities and Target's own investigators confirmed that stolen card numbers were coming up for sale on Internet sites catering to identity thieves at anywhere from $20 to $100 per card...More>>

Why it is Important to Review Business Insurance Annually
The majority of new business owners are mostly concerned about everything being favorable for the safety and success of their businesses, which means they must obtain the necessary business insurance. However, complacency can result from success and longevity. For example, if a person started a business 10 years ago with only a small workspace but has an office with multiple workers now, they may still have the same insurance policy they purchased when the business first started. If this is the case, it would be insufficient...More>>

Amity Insurance Newsletter – Dec 12, 2013

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Conversion to Electronic Filing for all First Reports of Injury by January 1, 2014
The DIA will require electronic submission of all First Reports of Injury (FRI) beginning January 1, 2014. To that end, all entities required to submit FRIs will have the option of submitting forms via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for batch data submissions, secure file transfer for completed PDF forms (Form 101s filled out and transmitted individually) or by filing the FRI forms individually via the DIA website(www.mass.govdia) using an authorized online account...More>>

Healthcare.gov Still Riddled With Security Problems
More than a month after its launch, the Healthcare.gov website is still not ready for prime time. True, the ability of consumers to actually log on and register an account has improved substantially as the government added bandwidth. But there are a host of back-end problems still infecting the website - including some very serious security issues - that may make it a better idea to wait before entrusting the site with any kind of sensitive information...More>>

What Consumers Need to Know about Auto Insurance Fraud & Staged Accidents
Experts warn drivers to look out for staged auto collisions while they are on the road. More than half of the fraud referrals in the insurance industry are for auto insurance fraud. These crashes are usually planned by organized crime groups. Perpetrators target vehicles with high values and also those owned by counties or cities. The reason they target such vehicles is because they know these types almost always have insurance coverage. Experts say they have been successful in lowering the fraud rates and have been bringing more perpetrators to justice. This helps prevent millions of dollars from being wasted on auto fraud claims. When drivers are forced into crashing by perpetrators, they may only see minor dents or other damages. However, the crooks will always appear to be injured and make immediate complaints of pain. There are several popular methods they use...More>>

Landlord-Tenant Issues: Two Real-Life Negligence Cases to Learn From
Being a landlord comes with a lot of risks, and mitigating these risks prevents future problems from occurring. Unfortunately, some rental property owners have either learned this lesson the hard way - or continue to believe otherwise until a lawsuit from a tenant hits them hard. Avoid lawsuits from coming your way or, at least, ensure that you have a fighting chance when they do by protecting yourself and your rental property...More>>

Stay Safe on the Roads this Winter
During the winter months, driving conditions can become hazardous as the weather becomes less predictable.  In extreme conditions, it is better to stay off the roads altogether; however, this is not always possible.  There are several essential steps you can take to lessen your risk...More>>

Amity Insurance Newsletter – Nov 5, 2013

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Steps Homeowners Should take to Winterize their Homes and Prevent Insurance Claims
When they prepare for the arrival of winter weather, most people think about things such as snow tires or other preparatory items for their cars. Many people do not think about preparing their homes for the winter. In addition to putting snow tires and anti-freeze in a vehicle, it is important to winterize the home. If it is not properly prepared, a home may become the subject of a liability claim. There are several steps to take to winterize a home properly...More>>

Is Your Chimney a Winter Fire Hazard?
When smoke travels up a chimney, some of it condenses into creosote, which is a tar-like substance that will build up over time. The creosote sticks to the flue and creates a major fire hazard in the chimney as it builds up...More>>

Defective Drywall results in $2.4 Million Award against Distributor
Many people wonder who is ultimately responsible for products sold to consumers. In most cases, it is every person in the supply chain, which means every party from the distributor to the manufacturer. If a product is not manufactured correctly, there are several things that could go wrong. The following is an example of a product liability lawsuit regarding a defective item made in China, and it is a case that every business owner can use as a lesson to make sure adequate insurance is obtained...More>>

Good Management Lowers Premiums
How do insurance companies measure good management? And, how does this measurement affect policy premiums?...More>>

Amity Insurance Newsletter – Sept 6, 2013

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Why Pet Owners Should Consider Buying Insurance
While pet insurance may not have seemed like a wise investment in the past, many pet owners today are reconsidering its importance. In some cases, pet owners are better off setting up their own savings accounts for vet expenses. However, there are also many people who can benefit from buying this type of coverage...More>>

Why Consumers Prefer to Work with Independent Agents over Buying Direct
Research shows that many consumers who use direct insurance return to using independent agents for the value they offer. In many cases, they are initially enticed to leave their independent agents by the lower prices direct companies offer. Researchers found that almost 60 percent of the participants in the survey who had bought insurance through a direct channel had reported going back to using independent agents, and the majority replied that their reasoning was for better overall value....More>>

Obamacare: What is the Impact on Seniors?
Senior citizens, age 65 and older, are now the largest age group in the United States, based on the census in 2010 - the same year Obamacare was enacted. More importantly, their number is still growing at a rate faster than the country's total population. What does Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or Affordable Care Act (ACA), have in store for this group?..More>>

Real-Life Product Liability Cases: Are You Covered?
As outrageous as some product liability lawsuits can be - such as in cases wherein restaurants are sued for coffee that is deemed "too hot" - the truth is that they generally help improve the standards for the quality, safety and reliability of products. Such stringent requirements and dire consequences may be daunting for a company attempting to break into any business, but these are the exact same measures that help protect both the business sector and consumers...More>>

Amity Insurance Newsletter – July 16, 2013

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What Every Homeowner Should Know to Stay Covered During Hurricane Season
Americans are well aware of the impact major storms have on properties. When hurricane season approaches each year, people in areas where these storms hit the hardest should review their insurance policies to make sure they are covered and all of their information is current. Those who are not properly protected should buy coverage before it is too late...More>>

Losing Everything Due to Inadequate Auto Liability Coverage
While there are minimum legal requirements for auto coverage, this minimal coverage may not get you off the hook in many cases should you actually be involved in an accident. The state's goal is to make the required insurance affordable, but in many cases this results in minimum coverage that is not adequate for most people to drive on the road and meet their true financial obligations. Even limits that are several tiers above the minimum may not be adequate for some drivers, because once those limits are exhausted, any remaining damages must be paid out of pocket...More>>

What Employers Everywhere Need to Know About the New Form I-9
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the I-9 form for general use. Every employer must complete a Form I-9 when they hire new employees. Some recent improvements to the form include a reformatted structure to minimize errors, clearer instructions and new fields. Some of the new fields include spaces for email addresses and employees' foreign passport information...More>>

Delay of the PPACA Employer Mandate Buys Businesses More Time to Complete Requirements
A much needed respite or an unnecessary delay? Regardless of how the White House or business owners see it, the postponement of the "employer mandate" will certainly have a big impact on many employees nationwide - or more specifically, about 50 million Americans...More>>