Vargas & Vargas Insurance

1133 Washington St
Dorchester, MA 02124

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Most Common Summertime Insurance Claims

As temperatures heat up, so do some types of insurance claims. Keep reading to find out the most common accidents we see during the summer and a bit of guidance on how to prevent them.

Outdoor fires – Bonfires, cookouts, and grilling are fun but can put you at risk for fire. Never leave a fire unattended, and keep fires at least 10 to 25 feet away from flammable structures/surfaces.

Make sure that the surrounding area is free of any debris, and that the fire is in a fire-safe pit or container. Additionally, have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency. Make sure to keep children and pets away from the fire at all times. Finally, when you’re done with the fire, make sure to completely extinguish it so that it won’t reignite. Taking these safety measures will help ensure that your outdoor fire is a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone!

Pool Accidents – Splishing and splashing come with a lot of dangers. Fencing in your pool, jumping safely, and never leaving children unattended help prevent accidents.

Additionally, it’s important to teach children how to jump safely into the pool. Make sure they understand how to properly enter the pool and the importance of not running around the pool area. Lastly, it’s never a good idea to leave children unattended when they’re in the pool. Make sure that there is always an adult nearby who is paying attention and can help if something goes wrong. Taking these simple precautions can help to prevent pool accidents.

Car Accidents – Road safety is essential during summer vacations and road trips. Practice defensive driving, and complete a maintenance check-up on your car before hitting the road.

Complete a maintenance check-up on your car, such as checking the oil, brakes, and tires, to ensure that your car is in peak condition. By following these tips, you can greatly reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident.

Home Burglaries – During the summer months, when people are away from home on vacation, there is an increased risk of home burglaries and thefts. Taking a few simple precautions can help reduce the likelihood of a home burglary. Installing a home security alarm system is one of the most effective deterrents.

Motion detection lights placed around the exterior of the home can also help scare away potential intruders. Additionally, having a trusted neighbor collect your mail on a regular basis will help keep your home from appearing vacant. Taking these steps can help protect your home from burglaries and give you peace of mind.

Pro Tip – Add deadbolt locks to all windows and doors for extra security. Consider smart devices like locks and video surveillance systems to control remotely. This added protection could help keep your summertime claim-free. Additionally, consider installing alarm systems in case of intruders. Finally, send the alarm certificate to your insurance agent to receive a discount.

At vargas & Vargas Insurance we always have time for you, you can reach us at 617-298-0655.

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Tips for making your home a safer place

Home safety is a significant concern for people everywhere. Home is where your heart is, but it is also where many accidents happen. Many accidents in the house are preventable if the correct measures are taken in advance. At Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Dorchester, MA, we want to make your home safer by providing you with the best and most affordable home insurance. 

Keep poison out of reach.

Many things we use daily in our homes are not safe if ingested by pets or children. It can be things like cleaning products or even laundry detergent. If you treat weeds in your lawn, these products may be unsafe if your pet or children get into them. Keep these products in a locked cupboard if possible but at the very least in a high location. 

Avoid falls

Falls are a major risk in the home. Some simple things, such as never placing things on stairs and removing clutter, can help decrease the risk. Don’t run extension cords across spaces where people walk; they are a trip hazard. Add slip-resistant mats or decals to your tub or shower. Make sure that the lighting is adequate so that you can see where you are going, and use night lights or motion activation lights. 

Common sense

Some things that can help keep you safe are just common sense things. Set your water heater temperature to a safe temperature. One hundred twenty degrees is recommended. Never climb a ladder alone; always have a spotter. Have a fire extinguisher in your home for small fires. Have smoke detectors and make sure they are working. 

Contact Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Dorchester, MA, either through our website or by calling or visiting our office. 

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Filing A Home Insurance Claim Plus Pro Tip

A survey done in 2020 showed that only 6% of homeowners with insurance policies made claims. This might lead you to ask why you’re paying a fee each month if no one is taking advantage of the coverage. The answer is easy: filing a claim isn’t always the best choice. Home insurance is meant to protect your financial security in the case of major damage to your home, but if it’s just a few thousand dollars or less, it may not be worth filing a claim. Ultimately, whether or not to file depends on your policy.

If you are uncertain if you should submit a homeowners insurance claim, this article is designed to help. Read on to learn more about analyzing your insurance policy and deciding upon when it is appropriate to file a claim.

Choosing The Right Home Insurance Policy

Before you sign up for a new insurance policy, you need to account for the value of your home, possessions in your home, and your budget. The more your home and personal property is worth, the more you will be paying for your home insurance policy.

Your premium is a new monthly bill, and it is important that you can comfortably and reliably pay it. Additionally, you should think about how much you can afford to pay out of pocket in the event your property is damaged. Let’s say the deductible is $1,000. Can you pay $1,000 out of pocket before your insurance kicks in or do you need a policy with a lower deductible? Talk to an insurance agent to get started building the right plan for you.

Understanding Your Insurance Policy

To begin with, it is important to comprehend your home insurance policy. What is the amount of your deductible and does filing a claim lead to increased premiums? Additionally, what type of coverage does your insurer provide? Is my situation eligible for coverage? We will discuss these issues in more detail below.

Understanding Your Deductible

The deductible is the amount that you have to pay yourself before your insurance begins to cover costs. You will not be paying towards your deductible unless a claim is made with your home insurance. For instance, if the deductible for your policy is $1000, then in cases of damaged or stolen items, you would need to spend $1000 and your insurer would cover anything above that sum.

Additionally, keep in mind that filing a claim can potentially increase your insurance premiums. Your insurance company may view you as a higher-risk customer, resulting in higher monthly payments.

Keeping An Eye On Your Premiums

The first step in deciding whether to file a homeowners insurance claim is to understand your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you’re responsible for paying out-of-pocket before your insurance policy kicks in.

For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and experience $3,000 in damages, you’ll be responsible for paying the initial $1,000, and your insurance company will cover the remaining $2,000.

It’s important to consider your deductible when deciding whether to file a claim. If the cost of damages is less than your deductible, it may not be worthwhile to file a claim at all. Additionally, if the cost of damages is only slightly above your deductible, you may want to consider covering the cost out-of-pocket instead of filing a claim, as it could potentially raise your premiums.

Outlining The Damages

Home insurance can be confusing. Does it provide coverage for the home itself and its contents? The answer is yes. The real inquiry, however, relates to what circumstances are covered by the policy. Many insurers offer plans that are based on the Insurance Services Office HO-3 policy, so let’s examine what this plan covers. Generally, standard insurance policies protect possessions from natural disasters such as lightning, windstorms, hail storms, extreme snowfall and volcanic eruptions.

House fires, electrical damage, theft and vandalism are usually covered by insurance plans. On the other hand, water damage, earth movement, infestations, mold growth and neglect are not typically included in these policies. These sorts of damages can be expensive to repair so it’s important to be aware that you may not receive any compensation for them. We will discuss this further later on.

Understanding Your Responsibility After a Loss

All Home insurance policies contain duties that the insured must comply with to recover under the policy. These duties vary from policy to policy but generally include providing notice of the damage to the insurer shortly after the damage occurs, taking appropriate actions to protect the property from further damage, and appearing under oath for an examination of the incident.

Your Insurance Policy Is Not A Maintenance Policy

If your roofing is in bad condition and it caused your home to be damaged in a windstorm, you may be able to file a claim. However, it depends on the terms of your insurance policy and the maintenance agreements that are in place.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to maintain your property. This includes any needed repairs or renovations concerning plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing, siding and so on. If you do not take care of any damage or wear and tear it can be considered negligence and your insurance company may reject your claim. There are certain ambiguities when filing an insurance claim for maintenance costs; for example if there have been weak patches in the roof for some time with missing shingles and signs of leakage.

It is possible that you could file an insurance claim for the wind damage to your roof, but this depends on the maintenance requirements in your policy. Most insurers require their customers to maintain certain parts of their home, such as the roof, in order to be eligible for coverage. After a severe windstorm has damaged more of your shingles and some interior roofing, you find yourself with an emergency repair job that will cost money. If you have kept up with regular maintenance, then filing a claim may be possible.


When damage you need to file an insurance claim, take pictures of the damage if possible. Make a list of everything that was lost or damaged. Keep the list and photos handy to support your claim to provide a clear image of the damage(s) you are reporting.

How Much Can You Save

Vargas & Vargas Insurance has been providing reliable and affordable coverage for over four decades. Our knowledgeable agents are dedicated to helping you find the right policy for your needs, so you can rest easy knowing your business is safe and secure.

With our expertise and comprehensive coverage options, you can feel confident that whatever life throws at you, your business will be taken care of. Invest in peace of mind today with homeowners insurance from Vargas & Vargas Insurance, you can reach our team at 617-298-0655.

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Do I need To Purchase Insurance For My Rental Car?

Before taking a trip, it is important to understand what insurance coverage applies in the case of an accident while driving a rental car. We at Vargas & Vargas Insurance are often asked how claims will be handled in these situations. To be prepared, it is essential to research the extent of coverage provided by rental car companies and if additional insurance needs to be purchased.

What Is The Insurance Coverage For Rental Car Accidents?

In most states, if you have your own auto insurance policy, the coverage will apply to you and the rental car you are using. This means that if there is an accident involving your rented vehicle, your existing auto policy would still provide coverage. However, keep in mind that this type of protection only applies within the United States and its territories – it does not extend to international rentals. In Massachusetts, it is mandated by law that rental car companies must carry a certain amount of liability protection for any accidents involving their vehicles. For example, they must be able to cover up to $5,000 worth of damage claims concerning their cars. After the required liability limits are reached by the rental company, any remaining costs will come out of the renter’s personal auto or named non-owner policy.

Renters of long-term leases have restrictions on the amount of coverage they can get.

Loss Of Use

If you have an accident and damage a rental car, the rental company may charge you for not being able to use it while it is being repaired. Typically, your auto policy will not cover this fee, however, if you have Safety Shield Plus added as an endorsement to your policy, it may be covered. Also, many credit cards provide coverage for loss of use when renting a car if used to pay for the rental.

What Is Rental Automobile Insurance?

In some situations, you may need to obtain rental car insurance in order to be covered for any accidents you are involved in while driving a rental car. It is important not to confuse this with rental reimbursement coverage. Rental car insurance is a distinct policy provided by the car rental company that provides protection for the rented vehicle. This kind of coverage typically includes:

  • Liability coverage: This covers you for any medical bills or damage to another person’s property if you cause an accident while driving a rented vehicle. 
  • Loss/collision damage waiver: A collision or loss-damage waiver protects you in the event of damages that occur to the rental car, including vandalism and theft. 
  • Personal accident insurance: This offers coverage against injuries to you and your passengers while driving a rented vehicle. 

Personal effects coverage: Provides protection for your belongings if they are taken or ruined while in a car you have hired.

Do I Need Rental Car Coverage?

Typically, you won’t need to purchase a separate rental car policy. If you have an auto insurance plan already, it will extend protection to any rented vehicles. If your auto policy includes comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, liability insurance and medical payments/personal injury protection, then buying an additional rental car policy is likely unnecessary. Additionally, any personal possessions in the rented vehicle would be safeguarded if you have a homeowners’, renters’ or condo insurance plan.

When Should I Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

In some cases, having a rental car policy may still be advantageous even if you already have car insurance. Examples of such situations include when you wish to avoid making claims on your auto policy; don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage; travelling somewhere that isn’t covered by your plan; having high deductibles on the auto insurance; having low liability limits under the policy; or renting a moving truck or vehicle (auto insurance won’t cover this).

What Should I Do After A Rental Car Accident?

If you are in an accident with a rental car, or if another driver has a rental car, the steps to take afterwards are similar to those after any other auto accident. However, there are some extra considerations that must be kept in mind. To deal with an accident involving a rental car, do the following: move yourself and the vehicle out of harm’s way; assess if anyone is injured; call emergency services; swap contact information and document details about the crash; take pictures of any damages and road conditions/obstacles; let your rental company know what happened (they may require you to fill out their own report); and notify your insurance carrier even if it was not your fault so you can decide whether to file a claim.

Covering rental Cars:

Now that you are aware of the different insurance coverage options for rentals and what to do in the event of an accident, you can confidently get behind the wheel of your next rental car. Even with full coverage, it is understandable for someone to feel confused after a collision. That is why Vargas & Vargas Insurance is available to help guide you through any claims process that may arise from a minor or major accident.

Dealing With An Independent Insurance Broker

Vargas & Vargas Insurance has been helping Families, individuals and businesses for over 40 years, you can reach our team at 617-298-0655

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Registering A Car in Massachusetts Plus Pro Tip

Massachusetts does not have a grace period for registering your vehicle when you move into the state. You must register it right away. If you are transferring the registration from an old car to a new one that was purchased from either a dealer or an individual, then you have 7 days after selling the previous vehicle to do so. Registering a car in Massachusetts may seem complex at first glance.

Buying Automobile Insurance

In Massachusetts, only 3.5% of drivers are not insured, making it the second lowest in the country. This is largely due to the stringent laws regarding car insurance. To register a vehicle, you must provide evidence of insurance; visiting an independent agency can help you decide which type of coverage is best for your needs. Comparing quotes between different companies online is one way to find the best rates; alternatively, having an independent agent compare quotes on your behalf may save time and effort.

The representatives of Vargas & Vargas Insurance collaborate with numerous insurance companies to offer our clients the most economical rates on the market.

Registering Your Vehicle With the Massachusetts RMV

Once you have purchased your automobile insurance policy, you can now register your car at the RMV. Make sure to bring all the necessary items with you in order to complete the registration process successfully.

What Is Needed for Auto Insurance

Registration and Title Application: This document is needed for all registration transactions, such as out-of-state vehicle transfers and new vehicle registrations. It can be obtained from the RMV in person or downloaded online and must be completely filled out with a signature from your insurance provider. The form will have details about other documents that may be required, like lien holder info. You need to present valid identification that could include a driver’s license, Massachusetts ID or social security number. Additionally, your registration and title application should contain your auto insurance information along with an insurance stamp and signature.

Proof of ownership: Your title is generally an indication of possession. If you have obtained a loan to buy the car, the title would stay with your lender until you settle the debt. In this situation, your registration will stand in its place.

Required Costs: The fee for a certificate of title is $75 and the fundamental registration charge is $60. Unless other expenses are applicable, you can expect to pay close to $135 in total. After your application and related documents are processed, you will be issued vehicle registration and plates. The certificate of title will be processed and sent via mail within 6 to 8 weeks. If the car is under a financial obligation, the title will be transferred to the lender.

Get Your Car Inspected

Once your registration is complete, you have 7 calendar days to get your vehicle inspected. All vehicles registered in Massachusetts must pass a yearly inspection. The inspection typically costs $35 but could be more for a commercial vehicle.

Once you finish signing up, you have a week to have your vehicle checked. All cars registered in Massachusetts must go through an annual inspection. The cost of the assessment is usually $35 but may be more for a commercial car. Massachusetts has 1,800 approved inspection centers. To find one near you, search the Inspection Station Locator online. If your automobile passes the examination, you will get a vehicle inspection sticker that is valid for 12 months. A temporary “fail” sticker will be issued if it doesn’t pass and drivers must make repairs within 60 days and get it re-inspected.

Your Local Independent Insurance Broker

Registering your car correctly is essential to avoid hefty fines and sanctions. Getting your vehicle registered in Massachusetts begins with obtaining the right auto insurance plan. Car insurance is a beneficial asset that can guard you and your automobile. Contact Vargas & Vargas Insurance to find out more about acquiring an insurance policy that meets your needs at a reasonable cost.

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