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Category Archive for ‘Personal Lines’

Insurance for Coastal Homes Q&A with Paul Burke

Now that the weather is finally warming up, there’s no denying that the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is a great place to live — especially when you consider the beautiful beaches and scenery, fresh seafood, and sense of community found along the coast. Coastal homeowners also enjoy a boost as their home values increase, with many waterfront homes doubling in value over the last 20 years, according to a recent Zillow study.

As home values increase, however, so do the costs of insuring these beautiful properties. Luckily, your HIG insurance agent is here to help. While we can’t control the weather, we can help make sure you’re prepared for whatever it brings. Whether you live in Tiverton, RI or Fall River, MA, your HIG agent can help you put together a home insurance policy to fit your coastal home’s unique needs.

As experienced insurance professionals who have spent a combined 100 years living and working along the coast, we’re proud to be one of the most experienced coastal home insurance advisors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our goal is to always answer any questions you may have about your insurance policies, which is why we sat down with HIG partner, Paul Burke, to go over some common insurance questions coastal homeowners often have — but remember, if you have a question that you don’t see answered below, you can always give us a call at 508.676.5949 or visit our offices in Fall River and Somerset.

1) Why is it difficult to find insurance companies that will write a policy on a home near the coast?

Insurance companies have to buy insurance, just like individuals do. This ‘reinsurance’ is more expensive for homes along the coast because of the recent increased prevalence of storms like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. These storms cause more costly damages for coastal homes than inland homes. Subsequently, many insurance companies no longer write home insurance policies for homes along the coast.

2) My homeowners policy has a Hurricane Deductible. Do all companies have this for properties near the coast?

Not all companies will have a hurricane deductible for homes along the coast. It’s important to understand that each insurance company will define a coastal home differently — some will say that a home near the ocean is coastal, while some will also call homes by bays or rivers coastal. The type of deductible the homeowners insurance policy for your coastal home will have is dependent on the company writing your policy. Some policies will have a hurricane deductible while some will have a wind deductible. Make sure to ask your agent which your policy has.

3) What is the difference between a hurricane deductible and a wind deductible?

A hurricane deductible will only apply when damage is incurred by a storm that has been named by the National Weather Service. A wind deductible applies to all wind losses, regardless of the type of storm.

4) Do I need flood insurance for my coastal home?

We can’t stress this enough: your homeowners insurance policy does not cover flood damage! This means it is vitally important for homeowners to discuss their flood insurance options with their independent insurance agent.

5) What separates HIG from other agencies when it comes to insurance for coastal homes?  

HIG has partnered with several top quality insurance providers, which allows us to write home insurance policies that address the specific needs of homeowners along the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This gives us more flexibility to make sure our clients get the policies they need at a price they can afford.

When you work with an HIG agent, you’ll also get the best customer service around. We will walk you through your entire coastal home insurance policy from start to finish to make sure you are comfortable and confident in the policy you are purchasing. We will also continuously monitor the insurance options available for your home to make sure you are getting the best value and the best coverage.

Insuring your coastal home can seem like a daunting task, but your friends at HIG want to help simplify the process so that you can spend more time enjoying your home and less time stressing about your insurance. You can rest assured knowing that you will receive knowledgeable advice and recommendations from a local agent who knows exactly what is necessary to protect homes along the coast. Get in touch with an HIG agent today by visiting our website or giving us a call at 508.676.5949.


car insurance rates

HIG’s Guide To: Changing Car Insurance Rates

You’ve probably seen it in the news, but car insurance rates are on the rise, with all signs pointing to technology as the main culprit. In today’s highly connected world, cars are becoming more advanced with new safety features and technology. While these changes were intended to make cars safer, they also make it more expensive to repair a car when it is involved in an accident. Hence, the increase in car insurance rates in Massachusetts, even for drivers who have not been involved in a recent crash.

Here at HIG, we are breaking down why car insurance rates are going up for almost everyone and sharing a few ways to help you save on your car insurance costs to hopefully offset any changes you may see.

Cost of Fixing Cars

The cost of auto repairs have skyrocketed. There is no doubt that there have been vast safety improvements in cars over the last several years, but these changes have also affected repair costs and subsequently, insurance rates. Modern cars are more complex — made out of different materials and more parts than ever before. All of these improvements translate to labor intensive and costly repairs. Below are some of the ‘used-to-be easy’ fixes that have been impacted by newer and safer technology.


A fender-bender used to be an easy fix, maybe a few hundred dollars at most. In the past, auto technicians could simply punch out the dent — but that’s no longer the case. Many new bumpers are now a molded piece of vinyl attached to aluminum, which is designed to absorb impact and function with the crumple zone. This means that when there is damage to the bumper, it has to be completely replaced and typically with a hefty price tag, sometimes over $1,000! New bumpers also include sensors for things like backing up, collision avoidance, lane alignment, and even cruise control, further increasing repair costs.


Headlights have also evolved over the last several years. In the past, many car owners were able to replace a headlight assembly themselves with a little patience and know-how. However, newer cars now use LED or HID bulbs which require different parts and expertise to replace. A typical halogen bulb would cost $15-20 on average, but HID bulbs typically cost $100 or more — and don’t forget about the cost of labor.

Windshield Repairs

For most insures the cost to replace a cracked or broken windshield is covered under your auto insurance policy; which is a significant saving for you. However, with new technology, the cost of repairing your windshield has increased drastically. According to a recent article in The Boston Globe, it used to cost around $350 for a simple windshield replacement. Today, those same windshields are made with higher quality glass and often contain connected sensors that can detect things like lane departures, rain, and even changes in lighting. Consequently, these advances have almost doubled the cost of repairs.

Other Factors

Technology isn’t the only thing impacting your car insurance rates — low gas prices, unemployment rates, and the technology in your hand have as well.

Gas Prices/Unemployment

With gas prices still relatively low and unemployment rates in Massachusetts still under 4% it may seem like a good thing, however in the insurance world, it can mean something completely different. The National Safety Council (NSC) projected that there were 3% more drivers on the road in 2016. And with more people on the road, there is an increased risk of car accidents. Combine this data with increased rates of distracted driving, and auto insurers are seeing much higher rates of auto insurance claims.

Distracted Driving

For the first time in history, we are dealing with a generation that learned to text before they learned how to drive. But teen drivers aren’t the only ones to blame — 36% of all drivers text and drive. With more distracted drivers on the road, we also see an increase in distracted driving accidents and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities attributed to distracted driving increased 8.8% in 2015, reversing a long-running decline in automobile-related fatality rates. (If you’re concerned about distracted driving and want to learn tips to avoid this dangerous behavior, read our blog on Tips to End Distracted Driving.)

Technology is changing the world we live in, and here at HIG, we want to help you keep up. While we can’t stop auto insurance rates in Massachusetts from climbing, we can work to help you find a policy that fits your needs and your budget. Here are just a few discounts and coverages you should consider when assessing your car insurance options.

  • Bundling Auto & Home With The Same Insurance Carrier
  • Disappearing Deductible
  • Accident Forgiveness Multi Car Individual/Spouse
  • New Customer Discount
  • Automatic Bill Pay/Pay In Full
  • Energy-Saving Hybrids Or Electrics
  • Advanced Driver Training
  • Military Away
  • Motor Club Membership
  • New Auto Replacement Cost
  • Auto Loan/Lease Gap Coverage
  • Pet Coverage
  • A Student Away At School
  • Good Student Discount
  • Low Mileage Discount
  • Group Discounts

Not happy with your current auto insurance policy? Get in touch with us today to let us help you find a policy that fits your needs. You can reach us at (508) 676-5949 or by visiting our website.

Tips To End Distracted Driving

All it takes is four seconds to change the radio station, sip your coffee, check your makeup in the rearview mirror, read a text — or get into an accident.

Did you know that taking your eyes off the road for four seconds while going 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded? Hard to believe, we know, but what’s even more unsettling is the number of people who drive like this everyday. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 660,000 distracted drivers on the road at any given time, which many experts believe is a contributing factor to the increase in motor vehicle deaths the US has seen in recent years.  Keep in mind that as distracted driving behaviors increase, so do insurance rates.

Remember: distractions can be cognitive, visual, or both. Think of it this way, if you decide to read a text while driving, not only are you taking your eyes of the road, but you’re also thinking about that text instead of keeping an eye on your surroundings. It’s important to note, however, that driving distractions are not limited to cell phone use. Any activity that disrupts your attention from the main task at hand — driving — can be a danger when you’re behind the wheel. Here are some examples: 

  • Dialing or making a call on your phone
  • Playing with a smartphone app
  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Programming a GPS or navigation system
  • Adjusting a radio or MP3 player
  • Looking for items in your vehicle

So what can you do to be a safer driver and to model safer driving behavior for the next generation? We’ve outlined a few tips to help keep everyone safe on the roads.

Be prepared before you leave.

Before you start your car, make sure you’re really ready to go. Your music is set, your phone is off, your sunglasses are on. If you’re running late and planning to multitask while you drive to save time, know that doing things like eating or grooming can be just as distracting as trying to text while driving. You should also make sure everything in your vehicle is secure before leaving — including pets and children. Trying to reach for something rolling around in the back seat while driving isn’t just a pain, it’s also a danger to yourself and everyone around you when you’re driving.

Put your phone away.

When you get in your car, put your phone upside-down and out of reach to avoid temptation. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, consider putting your phone on silent so you aren’t distracted by notifications, calls, or texts. There are also gadgets available to help you or your teen driver stay safe on the road like Cellcontrol™ DriveID Technology from Arbella. Remember: no text or phone call is as important as a life. It can wait.

Pull over if you need to.

Maybe you dropped the top to your water bottle while you were driving. Or maybe you remembered you need to make an important phone call before arriving at your destination. Either way, you should always pull over to a safe place to address the issue rather than trying to multitask while driving. The same is true if you’re feeling drowsy while driving. It’s always better to pull over safely to take a rest than to try and push through and risk falling asleep at the wheel.

Distracted driving is an epidemic that endangers you, your passengers and the lives of anyone else on the road, which is why we want to challenge you to confront the problem. Understanding the dangers of distracted driving is the first step towards changing your behavior. But now it’s up to you to set a good example for those around you and to help eliminate distracted driving behaviors from our roads.

Here at HIG, our goal is to help keep you and those around you safe. Give us a call today at (508) 676-5949 or visit our website to at to learn more about distracted driving and how to put an end to the risky behavior.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Winter

From portable heaters to fireplaces and wood stove safety, there are a lot of things to be aware of during a New England winter. But one of the biggest winter dangers is invisible to the naked eye: carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the CDC, more than 20,000 individuals visit the emergency room for carbon monoxide poisoning every year and over 4,000 are hospitalized. The dangers are real, just like in this tragic case in Acushnet. So what can you do to prevent this silent killer from harming your family? Read on for some common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning along with some safety tips to help prevent carbon monoxide leaks.

Wood Stoves and Fuel Burning Space Heaters

If you use a wood stove to stay warm in the winter remember — proper ventilation is key, as a poorly vented wood stove can actually create a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. HIG recommends that you inspect your wood stove at the start of the season to ensure there is no buildup before you use it. The same goes for fuel burning space heaters. Check and clean your space heater regularly and make sure to use them only in a well-ventilated room. And this should go without saying, but never leave a wood stove or space heater on if it’s unattended.

Snow Blocked Vents

Throughout the winter, you should be checking your exhaust and furnace vents or any intake pipes to make sure they are not blocked by snow. If they are, make sure you remove the snow as soon as possible as this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Car Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you like to warm your car up before leaving the house and have a garage, remember to never do this if your garage door is closed. Running a car in a closed space can also lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms installed on every level of your home, as required by housing code in your town (here are some resources from for our Massachusetts friends and for our friends in Rhode Island). Avoid installing detectors near ceiling fans, vents, or cooking or heating appliances, which can inhibit the detector’s ability to accurately work. Make sure you test them at least once a month and that you replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Now that you know some common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should also know the symptoms. Feeling weak and or dizzy, headaches, nausea, and even ringing of the ears can all be symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep in mind that carbon monoxide poisoning can happen faster in children than in adults because they have faster heartbeats and breathing rates. And don’t forget, your pets are also susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition to symptoms like sleepiness or lethargy, your pets may also become uncoordinated in their movements, have difficulty breathing, or even have seizures if exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Unfortunately, these symptoms occur for a myriad of other illnesses, including the common cold or the flu, making it more difficult to diagnose cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure to call 911 immediately.

Here at HIG, we’re not just insurance agents, we’re also trusted advisors. Your health and safety are our number one priorities. Get in touch today by visiting our website at or by calling our office at 508.676.5949 to learn more about what you can be doing to stay safe this winter.

Car Insurance Renewal Checklist

Can you believe that it’s already 2017? We know you’re probably worried about your New Year’s Resolutions like being healthier or spending more time with family, but at HIG we think the New Year is also a good time to think about your car insurance.

For many people, the first of the year is the time to renew your car insurance policy. If this is the case for you, make a goal to be more proactive about your insurance this year. Follow our helpful tips to make sure you have the coverage you need to stay safe on the road while saving money in ways you, or your insurance agent, could be overlooking.

Here’s a quick checklist we created to get you thinking. Not sure what something is? Keep reading for a more detailed description of each coverage and discounts!


  • Multi Car Discounts
  • Bundling Discounts
  • Good Student/Student Away at School Discounts
  • Disappearing Deductible Discounts
  • Energy Savings Hybrids or Electric Car Discounts
  • Disappearing Deductible Discounts
  • Energy Savings Hybrids or Electric Car Discounts
  • Advanced Driver Training Discounts
  • Military Away Discounts
  • Mileage Discounts
  • Annual Premium vs Monthly Premium Discounts
  • Charitable Donation Discounts


  • Lease Gap/Auto Loan Coverages
  • New Auto Replacement Cost Coverage
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Substitute Transportation
  • Optional Bodily Injury to Others

Car Insurance Discounts You May Qualify For:

Multi Car Discounts — Do you own more than one car? If you insure them with the same carrier, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium.

Bundling Your Car — When you bundle your Car and your homeowners, condo or renters insurance policies with the same insurance carrier you could save 15% or more.

Good Student Discount — Have a stellar student at home? Don’t just brag about it; bring your child’s report card to your insurance agent to see if you’re eligible for a ‘Good Student Discount’.

Student Away at School Discount — If your child is away at school more than 100 miles from your home, you could qualify for this insurance discount.

Disappearing Deductible Discount — With disappearing deductible, you can save money on your insurance by just being a good driver! For every renewal you go without getting in an at-fault accident, you can earn credits towards a future deductible.

Energy Saving Hybrids or Electric Car Discounts — More than just saving money on gas, you could also save on your insurance by driving one of these new, environmentally friendly cars.

Advanced Driver Training Discounts — Did you commit to learning safer driver techniques by enrolling in a driver safety course? Let your agent know to see if you qualify for any discounts.

Military Away Discounts — We are proud supporters of the men and women in our armed services, and so are many insurance carriers. If you are deployed more than 100 miles from where your car is garaged, you could qualify for a discount on your car insurance.

Mileage Discounts — Are you an infrequent driver? Then this is a great discount just for you! By driving less, you could qualify for a lower insurance premium.

Paying Your Premium In Full — Did you know that paying your insurance premium annually versus monthly can save you money? Plus, you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay your insurance bill every month.

Charitable Donations Discounts — Do you have a charity or non-profit that is near and dear to your heart? Ask your insurance agent about any discounts you may be eligible for through your charitable donations.

Car Insurance Coverage Options:

Lease Gap/Auto Loan Coverages — Worried about your insurance coverage when it comes to your aging vehicle? Lease Gap or Auto Loan Coverage helps cover the difference between what you still owe for your car and its actual cash value in case you were to get in an accident.

New Auto Replacement Cost Coverage — Ever worry what would happen if you totaled your car? Would your insurance coverage be enough to get you the same car or would you have to downgrade to something not as nice? With new auto replacement cost coverage, your insurance will pay to replace your car with a new vehicle of the same make and model.

Accident Forgiveness — If you’re a driver with a clean driving record and at least 6 years of driving experience, you should definitely consider accident forgiveness. By purchasing accident forgiveness, you’re able to avoid insurance premium increases resulting from one at-fault accident. Just remember, you will still get points on your driving record, but your insurance premiums won’t reflect this change as long as you stay with your current insurance carrier.

Substitute Transportation — If your car is in the shop due to an accident, substitute transportation coverage can help cover the costs of renting a car or taking public transportation until you get your car back. Remember though, this would only apply after an accident, not for routine mechanical repairs.

Optional Bodily Injury to Others — While Massachusetts requires a minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury to others, often times this limit is unfortunately not enough to cover medical expenses related to an at-fault accident. Talk to your agent today about raising this limit to make sure you’re protected in case you ever injure someone in an at-fault accident.

Are you planning to buy or lease a new car in 2017? Read our blog on what you need to know insurance-wise before you do.

Here at HIG, we know the auto insurance industry like the backs of our hands. Visit our website at or give our office a call at 508.676.5949 to learn more about how you can get proactive about your car insurance.

Cyberbullying & Insurance – What You Should Know

When was the last time you saw something in the news about cyberbullying? Probably not long ago. Although bullying has always existed, this new form of harassment is more difficult than ever to combat thanks to technology and social media. From Snapchat to Twitter to Instagram, there are seemingly endless mediums for teenagers to connect, most of which can be done instantly from their phones. And once they post a photo on the Internet or text it to a friend, it’s there for good, and leaves a solid footprint. As a parent, it’s up to you to make sure they understand the dangers that come with this type of connected life. Let’s learn more about cyberbullying & insurance.

Here are some things you can do to keep your kids safe online:

  • Talk to your kids early and often about bullying.
  • Discuss what information is and is not appropriate to share online.
  • Check your child’s social media profiles to make sure they are private and only accessible to friends and family.
  • Know what websites or social media channels your children are on, and monitor their usage.
  • Set rules about how much time your kids can spend online or on their phones.

Cyberbullying Insurance Options

There are a few insurance options available to help protect you in case you do get involved in a cyberbullying lawsuit. Personal Injury Coverage is an endorsement that can be added onto your homeowners insurance policy. Unlike what the name suggests, this type of insurance is not intended in cases where someone gets physically injured; rather, this insurance provides protection in cases of libel, slander, defamation of character and even wrongful eviction. Here’s an example of when this could be helpful — say your teenager begins spreading rumors online about a classmate. When the classmate’s parents find out, they decide to take legal recourse and sue you for negligence and your child for libel, like what happened in this case from Texas. You’re now forced to hire a lawyer and the legal bills quickly begin piling up; this is where personal injury coverage can come in handy.

An umbrella insurance policy, also known as excess liability coverage, can also be helpful. This extra insurance adds on to the liability limit allowed under your homeowners insurance policy, and can definitely come in handy if you are ever taken to court over an online incident. Make sure to call your insurance agent today to learn more about these options.

In today’s digital world, keeping track of your kids online activity can be very difficult. But with a little communication and the right insurance, you can help ensure that your family is protected online and in the real world.

Want to learn more about insurance options for the digital age? Give HIG a call today at (508) 676-5949 or visit our website today!

A Quick Guide to Insuring Your College Student

Where did the summer go? Somehow it’s September again, which means you’re dealing with getting your kids back to school. If you have a child headed to college this year, there are so many things to think about. From course loads to housing to making sure they know how to do their own laundry, back to school season can be overwhelming for anyone. At HIG, our goal is to help you worry less, which is why we’ve laid out a few insurance tips specifically for your college kids.

Auto Insurance

Parents, did you know that your MA auto insurance policy will follow your child when they go away to school, even if they are out of state? This means they’ll be covered under your policy when riding in a friend’s car or even if they decide to drive someone else’s car. To learn more about the coverage your MA auto policy provides while your kid is away at school, get in touch with your insurance agent today.

And don’t forget to look into available insurance discounts when your student does head off to college. For example, you may qualify for a good student discount based on your child’s grades. You could also be eligible for a student away discount depending on how far away your kid’s school is. If your child will be taking a car that you own with them, make sure to call your insurance agent to inform them of this change to the garaging address.

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is definitely something to consider for your college-bound kid. While your homeowners insurance policy will most likely cover their possessions if they are living in a campus residence like a dorm, there may be higher homeowners insurance deductibles, which can make a supplemental renters insurance policy worthwhile.

If your child decides to move off campus, they should know that they will no longer be covered under your homeowners insurance policy and should definitely invest in their own renters insurance policy, which on average costs less than a cup of coffee per week. Even if your child is living with friends, they should still consider getting their own renters insurance policy to cover their personal belongings. Check in with your insurance agent to see what makes the most sense for your child’s unique situation.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance policies can also come in handy when you have a child in college. This additional protection will provide personal injury coverage in case they hurt someone while they are at school. It can also help cover legal expenses if you or your child is sued. Call your insurance agent to learn more about how an umbrella insurance policy can help your family.

Want to make sure your child is protected no matter where they are? HIG can help. Our insurance experts can talk you through your options to make sure your policy fits your unique needs. Give us a call at (508) 676-5949 or visit our website today to learn more.

What to Know Before Buying or Leasing a New Car

Somehow, summer always seems to fly by! Labor Day is right around the corner, and with it comes some of the best car sales of the year. Before you go to buy or lease a new car though, take a minute to brush up on our car buying insurance tips to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the seasonal sales.

What your insurance agent needs to know when you buy a new car

One of the most important steps in the car buying process is informing your insurance agent about your new purchase. In Massachusetts, approved dealerships are able to process your vehicle transaction and title application through the Electronic Vehicle Registration (EVR). With this process, your information is directly sent from an approved dealership to your insurance agent to speed up the registration and title application process for everyone. Here is some of the information that your insurance agent will need to help you when you buy a new car:

  • Is the vehicle new or pre-owned?
  • Are you buying or leasing the vehicle?
  • What make, model and year is the car?
  • Will you be transferring over an existing plate or will you need a new one?
  • What is the contact information for the dealership where you are purchasing or leasing the vehicle?

Additional auto insurance coverages for your new car

There are some new coverages available that may not have been around the last time you purchased a car. Make sure to familiarize yourself with them before heading to the dealership. In addition to the auto insurance coverages required by Massachusetts law, drivers should consider purchasing the following insurance options to ensure they have the coverage they need while they are on the road. For a full list, visit the auto insurance page on our website.

  • Lease Gap/Auto Loan Coverage: Unfortunately, from the moment you drive your new car off the lot, its value decreases. Luckily, Gap Coverage helps cover the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and its actual cash value in case you get into an accident.
  • New Auto Replacement Cost Coverage: This coverage will help you if your car is totaled in an accident; your insurance will pay to replace your car with a new vehicle of the same make and model.
  • Accident Forgiveness: Accidents are a part of life. If you qualify for this coverage, though, you can avoid rate increases related to an at-fault accident.
  • Substitute Transportation: This coverage will come in handy if your car is in the shop due to an accident. It will help cover rental car fees during this period of time, as specified by your policy.
  • Optional Bodily Injury to Others: Extend the standard liability protection on a standard MA Auto Insurance Policy, which only provides a basic limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, with this additional coverage. In many cases, this basic limit is not adequate to cover expenses related to an accident.

Auto insurance discounts you should be aware of

We understand that purchasing a new vehicle, along with upkeep and maintenance, can be expensive. Which is why we always recommend looking into available discounts to help lower your insurance costs. While you may know about some of the discounts available, such as bundle insurance discounts for auto and homeowners or renters insurance policies, there are many newer discount options to take advantage of. Here are some that you should consider when purchasing your new car.

  • Multi Car Discounts
  • Good Student/Student Away at School Discounts
  • Disappearing Deductible Discounts
  • Energy Saving Hybrids or Electric Car Discounts
  • Advanced Driver Training Discounts
  • Military Away Discounts

Remember that insurance coverages may vary from company to company, so always make sure to do your research before committing to an agent.

Here at HIG, our goal is to make your life easier while letting you rest easy knowing that you’re always protected. Give us a call today at (508) 676-5949 or visit our website at to learn more about how we can help with your auto insurance needs.

4 Critical Tips for Any Home Renovation Project

From deciding on a scope of work to figuring out a budget, there are several issues every homeowner has to worry about when contemplating a home renovation project. In the haze of planning, it’s crucial to remember to check in with your homeowners insurance agent first! Here are a few tips to keep in mind before beginning any renovation project:

1) Contact your insurance agent first.

One of the first and most important steps to take when planning a home renovation is talking to your insurance agent. They can review your homeowners policy to help you determine how much additional coverage you’ll need based on the size and scope of your renovation plan. Make sure to ask them what your policy covers during the construction process. Depending on the size of the project, you may need to purchase a builder’s risk policy, which will protect your property from accidental damage during the construction period.

2) Find a licensed and insured contractor.

Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that the contractor they choose to work with has both a license to perform the necessary work as well as insurance to cover any construction related incidents. Be sure to ask to see licenses and certificates of insurance before agreeing to work with anyone.

3) Make sure all subcontractors are licensed and insured.

Often times, your contractor will work with a team to finish your renovation. Just because your contractor has the proper credentials, doesn’t mean their subcontractors all do. From electrical to plumbing, you should make sure that the entire team working on your home has the necessary licenses and insurance.

4) Check on zoning and permit regulations.

Before starting construction, homeowners should check with their local building inspectors to ensure that the proposed project meets zoning regulations. Also make sure to ask about necessary permits for items like electrical or plumbing work. Remember, a city inspection is required after any renovation project, so make sure you and your contractor are clear on specific regulations for your neighborhood.

Don’t forget that if you are adding on to your existing property, you are also adding to the value of your home! All of this can be determined upfront, which is why it is so important to check in with your homeowners insurance agent before beginning work. Review any certificates you receive from your contractor or subcontractors with your home insurance agent and ask make sure to ask them whether your contractor needs to add you to their policy as an additional insured. Don’t forget, you should always check in with your agent during constructions for any issues that may arise!

Have more questions? Give HIG a call at 508-676-5949! Being a local Fall River agency, we have access to several companies in the area that can help insure any particular construction project and would be happy to go over your insurance coverage options!



What To Do If A Pipe Bursts

You thought you took the necessary steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, but now you’re dealing with a burst pipe. What should you do? First of all, stay calm. Then, follow these steps.

Shut off your water and potentially your electricity

If a pipe bursts in your home, the first thing you should do is turn off your water to minimize flooding damage. Every homeowner should know where the main water valve is. Find it and shut it off immediately! If necessary, you should also turn off electricity to the areas of your home where the flooding is occurring.

If you are living in an apartment and do not have access to the building’s water supply or electric services, call your landlord or building manager as soon as you notice a problem.

Call a plumber

Next, call a plumber. If your plumber does not offer 24-hour services, do some research. A quick online search should yield services in your area that work round the clock.

Move your belongings

Move anything you can away from leaking pipes to minimize damage. This includes furniture, clothing, art, or any other items that can be damaged by water. Be extremely careful with electronic devices that may have come in contact with water.

Remove as much water as you can

Get together as many buckets, pots, pans or any other containers you have and start collecting the water. You want to get as much water out as quickly as possible to avoid problems with mold and mildew. Towels and mops or even a wet/dry vacuum can also help with this process. If you don’t own a wet-dry vac, try renting one from your local hardware or home improvement store.

Set up fans and a dehumidifier in the affected area to remove moisture from the air and dry things out faster. Make sure to keep an eye on the dehumidifier and empty it before it fills up. Desiccant products like silica gel can also help for more serious damage. You can apply tubs or sachets of the gel near areas most affected by water such as floors or walls.

For more severe damage, such as leaks affecting multiple rooms or floors of your home or cases where leaks have gone unnoticed for more than 8 hours, a water mitigation or restoration professional may be required.

Call you insurance agent

Get in touch with your insurance agent to keep them up to date about what is happening. Photographs and notes recording the extent of the damage will help you and your agent when it comes time to file an insurance claim.

Did you know that burst pipes are covered under most homeowner insurance policies? Give us a call at 508-676-5949 to discuss home insurance rates or head to our website for more information.