I’m Going On Vacation, How Do I Keep My Condo Safe While I’m Away?

As summer vacation approaches, many people enjoy time away from their busy schedules and responsibilities. While relaxing on a beach or touring Europe is exciting, there are some risks associated with being away from home that many people don’t consider until they arrive at their destination.

Leaving your Dorchester, MA condo unattended for even a short period can significantly impact your life and the lives of those around you. Whether visiting a friend or traveling across the country, Vargas & Vargas Insurance is here to help you understand the risks of leaving your condo behind and what you can do to protect your property.

Simple Steps To Protect Your Condo:

  1. Lock the door. It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to lock their doors. Furthermore, use a deadbolt with a strike plate to make it harder for intruders to break in. Also, lock your windows.
  2. Unplug your electronics. Avoid a potential fire hazard by unplugging your TV, kitchen appliances, and other electronic devices.
  3. Don’t tell everyone you’re leaving. A lot of the time, potential thieves will use social media to find out the details of your travel plans. Please don’t make it easy for them. Tell your friends and family directly, if need be.
  4. Hide your valuables. Don’t leave your valuables in plain sight if you’re on vacation. Store them in a safe place or leave them with a friend or family member.
  5. Be careful with your mail. If you’re going away for a long time, ask someone you trust to check your mail. Letting your mail pile up is a massive sign to burglars that you’re not around.

Even when you take the proper precautions, it’s still possible that you’ll be a victim of a crime or some disastrous event. Contact  Vargas & Vargas Insurance can you make sure that you have the right insurance coverage at the right price, Contact us today 

How to Handle Insurance When the Kids Go or Come Back from College?

College is an exciting time for any youth. It’s their first step into the real world while getting an education to help improve their lives. Given the costs of education, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is extra expenses. So, how should you handle your insurance policy when your child is off to further his or her education?

When to Remove Your Child from the Policy

A common rule of thumb is that you should drop your child from your insurance if they are attending a school that is more than 100 miles away. This is because a lot of insurers believe anything closer may prompt the child to come home often and drive.

It may also be a good idea to consider dropping the child if he or she is living on campus. This is because the likelihood of driving decreases, depending on the situation. Also, if your child isn’t planning on taking a vehicle to college, there’s really no reason to insure them.

When Should You Keep Your Child On Your Policy?

Perhaps the obvious reason to keep a child on a policy is if he or she is planning to live at home while attending college. But let’s go a bit further than that.

What if your student travels home frequently? What if it’s a common thing for your child to come home on the weekends? This is why it’s common to keep a child on a policy if the school is within a 100-mile radius.

Lastly, a lot of parents will pay some of the child’s bills to help with college expenses, which often includes insurance. It’s just one less thing the child has to worry about besides school work.

What About Returning Home for Extended Periods, Such as Spring Break?

If your child is planning on coming home for extended periods of time, such as breaks or vacations throughout the year, it’s probably a good idea to add them to your policy again.

Usually, the costs for doing so are nominal. For most insurers, it’s not a difficult process for a short-term policy change during those time-off periods.

Can You Drop the Child to an Occasional Driver?

Some insurance policies give you the option to drop someone to an “occasional” driver. This is usually someone who accounts for less than 25% of the vehicle’s annual mileage.

Now, not all insurers have such options available. Those who do also may have their own definitions about what qualifies as an occasional driver.

In any case, it could decrease how much you pay in premiums depending on your policy. How much it decreases is also dependent on the insurer.

Does Your Child Qualify for a “Good Student” Discount?

Something else you could consider is whether your child can qualify for a “good student” discount. In many instances, this depends on a couple of factors:

  • Is your child under the age of 25?
  • Can your child maintain a B average or better?

The better your child does in school, the cheaper the rates. This means you or your child can save money regardless of who pays for the insurance.

However, not all insurers have a “good student” policy available. It’ll be in your best interest to find out if something like this exists. Anything to decrease the monthly bills is going to be a benefit for all involved.

Find the Best Rates for Your College Students

College is a formative point in a child’s life. You want to make sure you or your student doesn’t have to stress too much about auto insurance. Contact us today at Vargas & Vargas Insurance to get a quote that works for you and your family.

We’re happy to further answer any questions you might have about your college student and his or her driving habits.

What Happens if Two People Involved in an Accident Have the Same Insurer?

When an accident occurs, it is often customary to contact an insurance agent. But what happens when two people in an accident have the same insurance company? Well, it’s often handled the same but with a few minor adjustments.

In the end, it usually falls under who is to blame to pay for damages regardless of his or her insurance company. Having the same insurer doesn’t change the bottom line. However, the insurer may take steps to avoid issues among clients.

No Bias in Decisions

In many cases, the insurance company will assign two different adjusters to the separate claims. They may also make adjustments to the claims to avoid a conflict of interest.

It comes down to legally being required to handle claims in an efficient manner regardless of whether both parties have the same insurer or not. This also means that you can expect claims to take roughly the same amount of time.

In some cases, the insurance company can waive any deductibles should both parties use the same vendor. But that is often on a case-by-case basis and greatly depends on the insurer.

In every case, though, the process should be relatively the same. Simply contact your agent and process the claim as you normally would.

Who is Cited for Blame?

To ensure one party is at fault over another, a police report can be filed. In most cases, the officer will attest to which driver is to blame, which can ultimately change how the claims are processed.

While not every accident may require the assistance of a police officer, it can help things move along smoothly. Otherwise, it could be a painstaking process should neither party admit to being at fault.

In the event of both parties agreeing to be at fault, the insurance company may assign percentages of claims to both parties depending on the damages suffered. This will be up to the insurer and usually based on the total damages of both vehicles.

An example of this is in the event of one driver tailgating another. This is when a driver is following a vehicle much too closely. If the front driver immediately slams on his or her breaks, it could cause a rear-end collision. After an investigation and the officer deems both parties as negligent, then both could be at fault.

Of course, in this scenario, it really depends on why the front driver had to slam on the breaks in the first place.

Not Much Really Changes

In the grand scheme of things, not many changes if both parties have the same insurer. Though, a few minor things may change to avoid a conflict of interest or prevent the feeling of “favoritism.” For instance, what if the same agent handles both clients prior to an accident? That’s when a newly assigned adjuster would assist one of the parties.

But generally speaking, the claims are handled in the same fashion as if two different insurance companies were involved.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, you can rest easy knowing that we take a fair stance with all of our clients in the event of an accident. If you need auto insurance, contact us today and let us help protect you and your family.