Posts from February 2011

Renting a car? Renter beware!

Have you ever rented a car while on vacation and thought I don’t need to buy rental insurance my auto insurance policy or my credit card will cover me? I don’t want to scare you away from traveling and enjoying your vacation, but there are so many potential gaps in coverage it is frightening.

Coverage is not Worldwide: Let’s say you are spending a week in Aruba and decide to rent a car. Drive carefully because the Massachusetts auto policy only offers you coverage in the US and Canada. If you get into an accident your Mass auto policy offer no coverage at all. Make sure you purchase the Collision damage waiver (CDW) from the car rental company.

Loss Valuation: Let’s say you rent a car in the US and get into an accident but do not elect to purchase the CDW. The Mass auto policy will value the car rental at actual cash value and the rental car company will want “full value” (not really sure what that means). On a car rental that is a couple of years old this could be a significant difference.

Indirect Loss: One last example to scare you into buying CDW, loss of rental income. If you damage a rental car and it takes 3 weeks to repair the vehicle most rental car companies will make you pay for this loss of income. The Mass auto policy will not cover it and most major credit cards will not cover it as well. 

Always read your rental agreement. There are many traps and pitfalls in their agreements. So what is your best protection? Don’t get into an accident and always read what you are signing.

(The information above is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. The intent of this information is to provide a general background regarding the information discussed here).

What causes ice dams?

If you live in New England chances are you know what an ice dam is. In case you don’t, an ice dam is a wall of ice that forms on the edge of your roof where the gutters and edges meet. But do you know what causes them?

Ice dams are most often formed by poor attic insulation and poor attic and roof ventilation, resulting in a significant amount of heat loss through the attic and roof. The buildup of heat causes snow to melt at a faster rate, and as fresh snow continues to accumulate, the melted snow can become trapped under the new, heavier snow. This buildup of water has nowhere to go and ultimately seeps into your home. The formation of ice dams can occur even if you have a strong and well-maintained roof.

Your best prevention tool against ice dams is to seal any warm air that might be escaping to your roof. This might mean sealing air ducts, adding more insulation to your attic,or making sure your attic is sufficiently ventilated so that warm air will not become trapped.

This week’s forcast might be cold, but at least there is no snow. I think we all need a break.

Steve Murphy

Updated office hours

And still yet another update on our office hours due to snow….Plymouth and Osterville will be open today (Wed Feb 2nd) at 11amd and Pembroke will open at 1pm. (updated 2/2/11)

Due to the snow today we will be closing our Plymouth and Osterville (Goodspeed) offices at 1pm. Our Pembroke office is open now, but we are playing it by ear to see when we will close. If you are planning on coming to our Pembroke office please call ahead to make sure someone is there.

Sorry for the inconvenience. (Updated 2/1/11)