What You Need to Know About Directors and Officers Insurance in Massachusetts

A board of directors deciding if their organization needs directors and officers insurance

Managing a corporation is complex and comes with various risks. Directors, officers, and condominium trustee boards are held responsible for decisions they make on behalf of their companies. This can lead to errors, mistakes, and poor choices, resulting in the company leaders getting sued. Directors and officers insurance is special professional liability insurance that covers past, present, and future leaders.

Shareholders, employees, customers, and others can also sue the directors or officers of a business. Therefore, anyone in these positions in the company requires coverage regardless of the size of the organization they lead.

How the Massachusetts Insurance Policy Works

The board of directors in any corporation represents the best interest of the shareholders in their organization. Failure in doing so may lead to lawsuits that will not be covered under a standard general liability policy.

Massachusetts state laws protect nonprofit board members who serve voluntarily for specific situations. However, such members must still work closely with a qualified attorney if such lawsuits are filed.

Policy Options and Additional Coverage

There are certain limitations and exclusions that the directors and officers face with this insurance policy. So it would help to talk to your agent, who will help you determine the most suitable policy to use in consideration of the unique needs of your corporation.

Also, try to include additional coverage that caters to cyber-attacks. Malicious attacks have been on the rise, and many businesses in Massachusetts will likely fall victim to such attacks. So buy D&O insurance to keep your board of directors safe and enhance your company’s reputation.

Protect Your Decision Makers With Directors and Officers Insurance in Massachusetts

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is a top local independent insurance agency in Massachusetts. We provide quality insurance coverage that suits your unique business needs at affordable prices, so talk to our top-rated customer care desk for all your insurance questions. Contact us here and engage experts today.

How to Decide How Much Homeowners Insurance You Need

homeowner calculating the replacement cost of her home as she determines how much homeowners insurance she needs

Figuring out how much homeowners insurance you need to cover your home and belongings can be challenging. But there are steps you can take to determine what types of insurance you may need and how much you should purchase. Here are some tips for calculating how much homeowners insurance will meet your needs.

Determine Local Risks

Most homeowners insurance plans cover:

  • Basic storm damage
  • Interior water damage from burst pipes
  • Fires
  • Other types of damage that any homeowner could sporadically experience.

But most homeowners insurance policies do not automatically extend to severe flooding from hurricanes or other types of natural disasters that do not affect homeowners in all parts of the country. 

For this reason, you will need to assess what specific issues your home may be prone to based on your location. Then you can determine whether you need to purchase extra policies, such as flood insurance, on top of your regular homeowners insurance policy. 

Determine the Overall Value of Replacing Your Home

Knowing approximately how much replacing your home would cost if it were completely lost is also important. It’s another key to determining how much homeowners insurance you should have. This should include the value of your home itself and your possession. It should also include any costs associated with having your home rebuilt. 

This information can generally be determined by this formula: multiply the square footage of your home by the approximate cost to rebuild per square foot. But this formula is not always accurate. Other factors to consider that may help you come up with a better estimate include:

  • The materials used to build your home
  • Any improvement projects you may have done over the years
  • Any vintage or other unique features your property has

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we prioritize protecting you and your property. We don’t work for your insurance company. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you determine how much homeowners insurance you need to keep your home and property adequately covered without overpaying.  

Why You Should Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

couple moving to a new home and researching how to avoid private mortgage insurance

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is an extra type of insurance your mortgage company may require you to pay for if you are unable to provide the full down payment the mortgage company requires. That minimum is typically around 20 percent of the total value of the home. Unlike a good home insurance policy, private mortgage insurance is not an ideal option for many new homeowners. It results in significant wasted money and includes few benefits. 

Private Mortgage Insurance Is Expensive

Suppose your reason for considering private mortgage insurance is being unable to afford a 20 percent down payment on your new home. In that case, the last thing you want to deal with is an extra type of costly insurance. This will significantly increase the overall cost of your home over time. Most private mortgage insurance costs between 0.5% and 1% of the total value of your home. This can average $1,000 or more per year. 

Depending on where you live, this average can rise well over $3,000 per year. This is in addition to your regular homeowners insurance. 

It’s Difficult to Cancel

Private mortgage insurance also tends to be more difficult to get out of than other types of insurance. You are technically only supposed to need to pay for private mortgage insurance until your total equity reaches the 20 percent that you might have otherwise paid as a full down payment on your new home. But  some contracts require payment for a specified period of time. This can happen even if that time is longer than you need to meet your 20 percent obligation. 

Contracts may also require a formal letter, appraisal of your home, or other documentation to have your cancellation approved. This can take months to complete. It might also require you to pay for your private mortgage insurance for longer than you would otherwise need to. 

Private Mortgage Insurance Is Not Deductible

As of 2017, private mortgage insurance is no longer tax-deductible, which means you will lose more money to taxes. 

At Vargas and Vargas, we work for you and not your insurance company. So contact us today to learn more about how we can help you avoid purchasing private mortgage insurance and explore options you may have for handling your homeowners insurance needs at the best possible cost. Also, visit our blog to learn more about getting the most out of your homeowners insurance

Dorchester, MA Insurance for Gap Coverage (Umbrella Insurance)

Vargas & Vargas Insurance hopes your family is doing well as you journey through life in Dorchester, MA. But, for those times when life is rough, that’s what an umbrella is for. 

Umbrella insurance may not be as well-known as other types of insurance, but it is very important if you want to make sure you have the coverage you need for life’s unexpected surprises. Umbrellas cover you when the rain comes. And let’s face it: you never know when that rainy day might come your way. 

Let’s say you are in an auto accident. Your coverage is $25,000 per individual, perhaps. But the problem is, the person you hit on the way to get groceries owes $30,000 in medical bills. If your personal liability is only $25,000, you now owe an additional $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses!

That’s where umbrella insurance comes in!

More About Umbrella Insurance

Also known as "gap insurance," umbrella insurance covers more than the limits of your insurance and kicks in where your normal coverage leaves off. If you are threatened with a lawsuit due to not carrying enough insurance, your umbrella insurance can help you out a lot. Avoid the possibility of lawsuits by increasing the amount of your insurance in the most risk-prone areas of your life. 

Dorchester MA Insurance Source

If you are in need of extra coverage for auto, business insurance, house insurance, or other kinds of insurance, see the professionals at Vargas & Vargas Insurance, covering the Dorchester, MA area. They can show you the types of coverage you need and how much umbrella or gap insurance you need to restore your peace of mind. 

The Smartest Home Insurance Deductible Move

Do you know that you can save hundreds of dollars on your yearly home insurance bill by simply increasing your home insurance deductible? By this, we don’t mean changing from $500 to $1,000. We want you to think bigger: $2,500. Opting for a low deductible is a characteristic mistake. Read further to understand why.

1. Lowered Monthly Premiums

For home insurance, a higher home insurance deductible means that you will be paying low premiums. A lower deductible, on the other hand, equals high monthly premiums. Therefore, the most effective way to lower your premiums is to increase your deductible.

2. Increased Premium Savings

A great way to save money on your insurance is to review your deductibles. There is an inverse relationship between your cost of deductibles and your cost of monthly premiums. One way to look at this is to make a comparison of your potential savings over several years against the additional out-of-pocket risk you incur. While this is by no means a definite way to make a decision, it is an important piece of information to help you measure your risk trade-off. 

3. Higher Deductibles Mean Fewer Claims

You could raise your deductible to avoid making many claims.  Your premiums increase each time you make a claim. You most likely do not want to make claims for small losses. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get a higher deductible, so you are only worried about paying up for major disasters or larger claims.

Your home insurance deductible should be the amount of money you are comfortable paying in case your home is damaged. We recommend having a minimum of $1000, but you might increase this to access long-term savings. 

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies — we work for our clients and not the insurance company.  We will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price, and we are also here to answer all of your insurance questions. Contact us today.

10 Things to Do Before Moving: Your Moving Checklist

family moving into a new home

Moving is stressful, and you may end up forgetting something in the process of moving. So here is a quick moving checklist to ensure that you take care of everything in your home as you move.

1. Prepare for Your Move Early

The first thing you have to do is prepare early for your move.  No matter the time of the year, getting a reputable mover can be hard. Early preparation will help you get through the weeks with less stress. 

2. Choose a Mover

Unless you want to self-move, you should look for a professional mover.  Look for reliable and experienced movers. If any of your friends and family have used a mover before, you can ask if they can recommend one. 

3. Pack All Your Items Boxes

Start putting the items you use less often in a box. This can include books, Christmas decorations, croquet sets, and seasonal articles.

4. Clean the Rugs and Draperies

Make sure you clean your rugs and draperies before moving to your new home. They will be returned wrapped. Don’t take them out of the wrap until you reach your new location.

5. Get a Written Appraisal of Your Antique Items

Make sure you note the prices of all your appraised items, such as antiques. These items need additional insurance from the moving company.

6. Book the Moving Elevator

If you’re moving to an upper floor, make sure you book an elevator. By doing so, you’ll reduce the hassle for the people living in that apartment. It’s also advisable to confirm the parking for a moving truck and get permission early.

7. Switch Utilities

Have the utilities in your old home disconnected the day after you move. You should also make sure that you cancel your home internet, phone, newspaper service, and even local club memberships.

8. Contact Your Insurance Company

You’ll also have to change your insurance when moving. So get in touch with your insurance company to transfer your policies.

9. Request for Time Off of Work

If you are moving out on a weekday, then you need to take time off work. If you can’t get time off, you can arrange with your friends or family to meet with the moving company.

10. Address Minor Home Repairs

Once you find time, you should do minor home repairs before you move out. This is especially important if you’re selling your home.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’re here to help as you move to your next home. We provide customized insurance coverage to meet your specific needs and budget, and we are also always available to answer all your questions about insurance. Our team will work for you and not the insurance company. Contact us today as part of your moving checklist.