Vargas & Vargas Insurance

1133 Washington St
Dorchester, MA 02124

 Get Directions

From the Vault: Choosing a Safe Halloween Costume

As Halloween approaches, it’s time to think about what you or your little ones will wear for the big holiday. It’s exciting to wear a costume, but when you’re out shopping, make sure that you follow these costume guidelines so that you and your children can have a sweet and safe holiday:

Make sure that your costume fits properly – When choosing a costume, make sure that you purchase the right size. As with clothing, costumes should be snug without being too tight. Make sure there are no tripping hazards, such as pants or dresses dragging on the ground.

Look for costumes that are flame resistant – Candles are a great way to set a spooky atmosphere, but they are a huge risk when wearing a costume. Ensure a costume is safe by checking to make sure that the outfit is flame-resistant.

Ensure proper visibility – If a costume requires a mask, make sure that they can see properly. This may mean altering the mask so that the eye-holes are larger, or opting for makeup instead of a mask. Remember, though, to always do a patch test on costume makeup before Halloween night.

Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes – It doesn’t matter if you’re trick-or-treating or going to a party, everyone should wear the right shoes for Halloween. Little ones may fight you on this one, but they will be miserable after just a couple of minutes of walking in other shoes. If they insist, bring a pair of comfortable sneakers and socks as a backup.

Avoid dangerous accessories – If there is a sword, broom, or other accessory that goes with your child’s costume, make sure that it is pliable, and will not injure your child if they fall on it. It also helps to make sure that accessories are lightweight and east to carry.

Make sure drivers can see trick-or-treaters – A big part of Halloween safety is making sure that you and your children are visible to drivers while you’re out and about. Children with bright costumes should be easy to spot, but dark costumes may need a little work to make them visible. Have children with dark costumes carry a colorful treat sack, or strategically affix reflective tape to their costumes.

Don’t overlook Halloween weather – Remember, it’s usually pretty chilly in Boston on Halloween night. Historical temperatures show an average high of 56 and a low of 42. Make sure that you and your children don’t feel that chill by choosing warm costumes, or wearing long underwear. Go out earlier to avoid the nightly temperature drop.

When you have all of these tips in mind, picking out a safe costume will be easy. And make sure that you stay tuned to the Vargas and Vargas Insurance Blog throughout the month for more safety tips. Call Vargas and Vargas Insurance for an insurance review at 617-298-0655.

Read More

Set Yourself Up for Success in the New Year

The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your life. Looking at where you are and determining where you want to be in the future (both personally and professionally) is the first step in setting and achieving your goals!

Choosing a Goal

Do you have something in mind that you want to achieve this year? There are several common personal goals that people set, including eating healthier, exercising more, spending less (or saving more) money, learning a new skill, etc. In addition, some people like to set professional goals, like focusing more on networking, reading more business books, getting a certification, or getting a raise or promotion.

Which of these resonate with you? Don’t overstretch yourself by choosing too many goals, pick the one or two that you want to focus on this year, and save the rest for another time. If you need help choosing a goal for the year, talk to a close friend or mentor about what they think you can do to be a better person (only if you have thick enough skin to handle some criticism, though!)

Defining Success

Choosing a goal for the year is a great first step, but you need to make sure that your resolution is well-defined so that you have a clear finish line to work toward. Take a few minutes and make your resolutions into a SMART goal. Remember, the acronym “SMART” says that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. So, instead of “lose weight” try “lose __ pounds by December 31 by exercising twice a week and eating less calories.”

Making a Timeline

Once you have a well-defined goal, you should make a timeline of the steps needed to reach your goal. You have a whole year, so spread out the tasks and give yourself plenty of wiggle room. Monthly mini goals would be a good place to start so that you can measure your progress and make sure that you stay on track.

Holding Yourself Accountable

Accountability is an important trait to have if you’re going to achieve the goals that you set. It is so easy to make excuses, but you’re not going to! Instead, use some of these tricks from the list of 8 Habits of Highly Accountable People:

  • Take responsibility for your tasks.
  • Don’t make excuses or blame others if things aren’t going according to plan.
  • Be on time with your mini-goals.
  • Control your own fate with proper planning.
  • Own your feelings and don’t let a bad day (or week or month) derail you.
  • Manage expectations and adjust goals and timelines as needed.
  • Collaborate with others and make the most of all your available resources.
  • Don’t expect praise – satisfaction should come with a job well done.

Which of these habits will you employ to help you with your 2019 New Year’s resolution? We especially like the tip to collaborate with others. Here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we have lots of community referral partners that help us achieve our goals.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 12.18.18-Success-in-2019-Small-Img.jpg

In addition, having a friend or loved one that knows about your goal and that has been asked to periodically follow up on your process is a proven accountability technique that helps many people achieve their goals year-round. There are even accountability and goal tracking apps for iPhones and Android phones that will help to keep you honest about whether you are on track and can even add in a financial component to motivate you – automatically transferring money to a person or charity when you don’t meet your goals.

Celebrating Wins

The saying may state that “A job well done is its own reward,” but sometimes you need a little extra motivation to complete your goals or achieve your resolutions. Everyone has their own unique set of rewards that will motivate them, the trick is to decide ahead of time what you will do for yourself and at what point. If you know that you are close to hitting one of your small milestones, you may push yourself in order to earn your reward.

Ask yourself: What would motivate me to work harder toward achieving my goals? Maybe it’s buying something for yourself, some ‘me-time’ or time with the family, or a food treat. Find what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

So, are you ready to make 2019 your best year yet?

Can Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency help you reach your goals in 2019? Whether you need a referral to a local professional or you want help making sure that you are financially sound in the year to come, all you need to do is call our agency at 617-298-0655 for assistance with your insurance policies. We are always excited to be able to help our neighbors!

Read More

Recap: Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.” – Amy Grant

Are you going to be hosting your family’s Thanksgiving this year? It’s never too early to start preparations, so here are a few things you can start to consider. Just think of them as advice from your favorite Massachusetts insurance agents!

  • Start working on your guest list and planning what dishes will be a part of your meal.
  • Account for any guests with food allergies or special dietary needs.
  • Review food safety tips to avoid food borne illnesses.
  • Make sure that your frozen turkey has enough time to thaw in the fridge or a cold-water bath.
  • Prepare some foods ahead of time to relieve some Thanksgiving Day stress.
  • Ensure that your home is free of tripping hazards to prevent a home insurance claim.
  • Have entertainment ready, including festive music, football, and Thanksgiving activities and games.
  • Make cleanup a breeze by soaking dishes as you perform other tasks.

In the end, remember that Thanksgiving is a holiday about togetherness and being grateful for what you have. If at the end of the day you have to order a pizza, it’s not the end of the world… it will be a great story for years to come!

If you need help with an insurance claim during the Thanksgiving holiday, call the Vargas and Vargas Insurance 24/7 emergency line at 617-322-5289. And, as always, you can call us at 617-298-0655 during regular business hours with your insurance questions or to get a free insurance quote.

Read More

Hosting the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time for celebration. No two families Thanksgiving festivities are the same, but most consist of some combination of good food and the joy of togetherness. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for your family (whether that means two or two hundred people) you want it to be perfect. Here are some tips from the Vargas and Vargas Insurance staff on some of the best ways to make Thanksgiving 2018 the best one yet.

Start Preparations Now

Thanksgiving may be more than two weeks away, but that is no excuse for not preparing as much as you can in advance! The most important thing you need to do is make two lists: your guest list and your shopping list.

Choosing your guests can mean the difference between an intimate affair and a huge gathering. When you invite everyone, let them know when you would like to know whether they will commit to coming for dinner – after all, you will need to know how much food to have on hand!

When you choose the dishes you will make, you will need to consider a few things, including what you will ask your guests to bring (if anything) and whether there will be anyone with dietary restrictions or severe food allergies present. Otherwise, you will need to ensure that you have a wide variety of dishes that will please all palates. Many people choose to do a variety of plates with a mix of both traditional dishes and new additions to the Thanksgiving table.

Review Food Safety Tips

Before you even think about dealing with food this Thanksgiving, consider reviewing the basics of food safety – after all, you will be responsible for the continued health of all the people that you host, and the last thing you want is for your guests to get food poisoning!

Thaw the Turkey!

Don’t forget that if you purchase a frozen turkey, you will need to let it thaw fully prior to cooking. According to Butterball’s website, there are two ways to do this. The first is by submerging the wrapped turkey in cold water for 30 minutes per pound of weight. The second is to put the turkey into the fridge ahead of Thanksgiving Day, allowing 1 day of thawing for every 4 pounds of weight.

“Make and Freeze” Foods

Once you have all your recipes picked out and the shopping is done, it’s time to figure out how much of the Thanksgiving meal that you can make ahead of time. You might be surprised at how many things can be made a day or more ahead and then frozen. And they taste just the same when reheated as they did when they were fresh.

Foods that can be made ahead include rolls and even mashed potatoes and gravy. While you’re at it, remember that many ingredients can be chopped and measured ahead of time (think the celery for your stuffing) or made the day before and left on the counter overnight (pumpkin pie).

Before Guests Arrive

When the big day arrives, you’ve undoubtedly got a lot to do. Enlist some help if you can to check the following non-cooking activities off your list. First, make sure that your home (including the walkways outside) are well-lit and free of tripping hazards. You should also make sure that anything fragile is put out of sight, especially if you will have young kids around.

During the Gathering

Oftentimes, hosting Thanksgiving means much more than just serving a meal. People tend to come and hang out for most of the day, so you will need to provide them with entertainment. In addition to putting on some festive music and/or turning on the obligatory football game (the Patriots don’t play until Sunday, but the three Thursday games won’t disappoint), you can also break out family-friendly Thanksgiving-themed games and activities.

After-Party Cleanup

All your guests may have left, but the party isn’t over! You probably still have some cleaning up to do – after all, Thanksgiving tends to be a very messy holiday, especially in the kitchen. Instead of using excessive elbow grease, let tough dishes soak while you do other tasks like taking out the garbage and wiping down the table.

Do you have any more Thanksgiving tips that we missed? Leave a comment and tell us – we would love to hear your cheats, hacks, and secrets for hosting. And, as always, remember that Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency has all the secrets for the best home insurance in Boston. Call 617-298-0655 before Thanksgiving to make sure that your Massachusetts home insurance policy is ready to protect you and all your guests this holiday season.

Take the time now to do one more thing in preparation for the holidays: program the Vargas and Vargas Insurance 24/7 emergency line into your phone. It is 617-322-5289, and it is the best way to begin an insurance claim outside of our office hours.

Read More

Recap: Holiday Budgeting

“A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” – William Feather

It’s still pumpkin season, but now is the perfect time to start making plans for the end of the year. The holidays can be expensive, so get a jump on your holiday budgeting by starting now. Check out the following prevalent sources of spending in November and December and see where you can make some adjustments:

  • Decorations – Hold off on buying anything new until after the holiday when everything goes on sale.
  • Entertaining – If you’re hosting a party, make it a potluck to ease the financial burden. When attending, bring affordable hostess gifts.
  • Travel – Make your holiday travel a road trip if you can, otherwise buy plane tickets early.
  • Gifts – Get the most bang for your buck by shopping at Black Friday sales. DIY gifts often cost less than store-bought.

To make some room for more spending, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. Talk to an agent and see if we can save you money on your home insurance or auto insurance policy. Our trained Massachusetts insurance agents can check your existing policy and see if there are any savings that you could be taking advantage of. And make sure that you stay tuned to our blog to get more tips for the upcoming holiday season and the New Year!

Read More

Budgeting for the Holiday Season

It may only be October, but now is the time to start thinking about your end-of-the-year holiday budget. Most Vargas and Vargas Insurance customers that we talk to agree – the holiday season is an expensive time of year (let’s face it – the festivity and merriment don’t come cheap!) Before you even think about picking out the best-looking turkey for Thanksgiving, pick up a pencil and make out a quick budget for the rest of 2018. It doesn’t have to be perfect – any sort of guideline can help make sure that you start the New Year in the black.

Our agency wants to do our part to help! Here are just a few of the categories that you may want to include in your budget, along with a few ways that you can get more bang for your buck this winter:

Holiday Décor

Part of the fun of the holiday season is the festivity and merriment that accompanies it. If you’re one to “deck the halls” then you probably already have most of the decorations that you use every year in storage. Occasionally, though, something will need to be replaced.

Do yourself a favor and save money on the replacement by using the old item one more time (if you can, of course) and purchasing the replacement on a deep discount after the holidays are over.

Food and Entertaining

During the holiday season, many people throw holiday parties or host family events. Whether you are hosting or attending these events, you will need to budget some money for them. Hosting can be costly, but you can cut down on your spending by asking attendees to bring a dish to contribute to the table or buffet – sides and desserts are easy for others to make and bring.

If you are attending an event, offer to bring something to help the host. You could bring food, but alcohol and other hostess gifts may also be appropriate. Many local shops in the Boston area offer a great selection of items that would be perfect to bring to a party.


Around this time of year, many people are making plans to visit their loved ones. Whether you’re going to be there to eat turkey or open presents, you should start making your plans now so that you don’t get stuck paying last-minute prices.

Depending on how far you need to travel and how many people are going with you, taking a road trip may be a cheaper option than flying. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping for tips and tricks to travelling by land. If you don’t have the time to travel by car, then flying is your best option. Buy your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best deal and remember when comparing prices to include the cost of extra fees and baggage to your total cost.


If you’re someone that purchases gifts during the holidays, plan now so that you don’t overspend later. Make a list of everyone that you plan to gift to, and how much you will spend. Be as thorough with your list as possible – include family members and friends, as well as neighbors, teachers, your mailman… anyone who will get a present, even if it’s only going to be $10 or less.

When it comes to saving money on gifts, there are many options. For the brave, consider shopping during Black Friday sales to get great gifts at blowout prices. Some people may find Black Friday shopping a little too harrowing of an experience. If that sounds like you, (and you have even a little bit of creative capability) consider making your gifts this year. Often, DIY gifts are less expensive than store-bought, and they can hold extra meaning to the recipient.

As you budget for gifts, remember to also factor in the cost of cards and wrapping paper and bows. These are costly right before the holidays, but you can save money for next year’s presents by purchasing card multi-packs and wrapping paper on clearance and storing it with the rest of your decorations.

Once your holiday budget is complete, do your future self a favor. Take your estimated expenditure amount from this year and divide it by 12. Then you can set up an automatic deposit for that amount into a holiday savings account each month. By this time next year, you won’t have to worry about scrambling to find funds – you will have a lump sum ready to go for all your end of the year spending!

Remember – you can save money on your Massachusetts insurance policies all year ‘round with the help of Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency. One call to 617-298-0655 and our agents will work hard to make sure that you have home and auto insurance policies that will give you the right amount of coverage without overburdening your bank account.

Read More

Recap: Halloween Safety Tips

Did you know that there are only a few weeks left before Halloween? Are you and your family prepared? Make the most of the spookiest holiday of the year by following the safety tips from last week’s full blog post. Here is a quick summary for your convenience:

  • When you decorate, make sure that you are making your home spooky without creating tripping hazards. When choosing lighting, opt for battery powered flickering lights over candles.
  • Pumpkin carving should be reserved for kids that can handle sharp objects. Little ones can use paint or stickers on their pumpkins!
  • When passing out candy, always give treats bought at the store instead of homemade confections.
  • Trick-or-Treating can be dangerous, so make sure that kids are wearing safe costumes and comfortable shoes. Be careful driving around on Halloween night, and always check candy for tampering before eating it.

At Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we always have a blast celebrating Halloween in the office. This October, we would also enjoy helping you lower your insurance premiums. Just call our office at 617-298-0655 to speak with one of our Massachusetts insurance agents about how we can help avoid potential frights from the unknown with our top of the line insurance protection.

Read More

2018 Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Parents

The temperatures are steadily dropping, and that can only mean one thing here in Massachusetts – Halloween is just around the corner! It’s the time of year when you can let your spooky side shine… not to mention plan a costume that will knock everyone’s socks off. As October progresses, though, make sure that you follow these safety tips to make sure that you and your kids have a successful fright night!

Decorating Your Home

Some people like to go over the top when decorating the outside of their home for Halloween. We encourage you to get in the spirit, but follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Remove or clearly mark tripping hazards – Trick-or-Treaters will be coming up your walkway, so either remove obstacles or make sure that they are easily seen and avoided.
  • Light up paths – Some visitors will be wearing awkward costumes, so make sure that they can see where they’re stepping.
  • Don’t use real flames – There is something extra spooky about a flickering flame, but instead of using a real candle and risking a fire, opt for a battery-operated flickering light.
  • Be careful with extension cords – You may have lots of decorations that require power. Lights and inflatables are very popular nowadays but resist the urge to overload your extension cords and power strips.

Carving a Pumpkin

Will you be making a Jack-o-Lantern with your kids this year? For kids old enough to carve a pumpkin, make sure to use carving tools meant for pumpkins instead of sharper kitchen knives. Encourage kids to go slowly as they carve in the interest of safety and tell them to cut away from their bodies. In case there is a minor injury, have a first aid kit close by.

Kids that are too young to carve don’t have to miss out on the fun. Instead of making a carved pumpkin, break out the paints and stickers and let them decorate in an age-appropriate way.

Throwing a Party

Getting together with friends for a costume party is a fun thing to do this time of year. If you are hosting, there are a few things you should do to make sure that your guests can enjoy themselves without compromising their safety.

As you plan your party, make sure that your decorations are safe for guests. As we mentioned earlier as we talked about outdoor decorations, indoor décor should also not be a tripping hazard. Also, don’t overload poser strips or use real flames, and opt for flickering battery-operated lights over open flames. In addition, when you choose your costume make sure it is something that you can wear and still play host.

Passing out Candy

If you’re going to be staying at home on Halloween night and passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, make sure to do so in a safe way. You may have a killer recipe for a treat, but this isn’t the time to use it – only pass out candies that are sealed by the manufacturer. Some children who come to your door may have severe allergies, so you may want to have a few small toys ready in case they are necessary. Display a teal pumpkin at your home to advertise that you have these non-food treats available.

For your own safety as you pass out treats, you may opt to sit with other neighbors. At the very least, make sure that you are looking through your peep hole whenever the doorbell rings (as you always should) – you can never be sure that there isn’t a ‘trick’ on the other side of the door.


Going out trick-or-treating is a rite of passage for kids. As a parent, we know that you want your kid to have a great time while still being safe. Here are just a few tips that you should use to accomplish this goal:

  • Decide whether your child or children are mature enough to go out with friends without supervision. When in doubt, an adult should accompany them.
  • Some parents choose to drive their kids to a different neighborhood to trick-or-treat. If you will be driving on Halloween night, make sure to be exceptionally careful in residential areas after 5pm.
  • Edit kids costumes so that they can easily run around in them for an hour or more. Encourage kids to wear comfortable shoes and to leave their masks at home. For added safety, give kids a small flashlight to carry.
  • Teens that go out on Halloween night without supervision should have a fully charged cell phone with them in case of emergencies.
  • Before you or your kids eat a treat, it should be checked for tampering.

Here’s one thing that doesn’t have to be scary this time of year: your insurance premiums! Call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency for a free insurance quote or checkup. Our agents would be happy to see if we can lower your home insurance, auto insurance, or other insurance premiums – and you don’t even need to leave your house! Call 617-298-0655 whenever you have questions about your Massachusetts insurance policies.

Read More

Recap: Insurance Awareness Day

“Insurance is the only product that both the seller and buyer hope is never actually used.” – Unknown

Did you catch our blog last week about how to celebrate Insurance Awareness Day on June 28? The day may have passed, but it is never too late to reaffirm the importance of insurance in your life. If you haven’t yet, here are some of our suggestions for making sure that your insurance portfolio is in tip-top shape, and that you are ready for anything that will come your way:

  • Check out our blog archives for more information about the importance of having the right insurance coverage.
  • Call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency for a free insurance review – you should do this at least once a year to ensure that your policies are up to date.
  • Refer a friend or family member to our agency for a free insurance quote – they may be able to get better coverage or a lower price on their policies.

Insurance may not be glamorous, but it is a crucial part of making sure that you and your loved ones would be financially covered if something were to happen to your home, car, health, etc., and that makes it worth celebrating on this Insurance Awareness Day!

If you need a free Boston insurance policy review for your home insurance, auto insurance, business insurance, or any other product, simply call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655.

Read More

Recap: Avoiding July 4th Insurance Claims

“Opposites generally create intense chemistry. There are more chances of fireworks when different people are together than similar personalities.” – Sonam Kapoor

The Fourth of July is just one week away! Have you finalized your plans yet? No matter what you’ll be doing, make sure that you do it safely, and avoid having an accident that would necessitate an insurance claim. Here are a few tips from your local insurance experts:

  • Hosting a party? Prepare for guests by removing breakables and valuables from common areas.
  • If anyone is going to be enjoying the pool, make sure that they are safe. Children should be supervised, and everyone should practice safe sun while at the pool or outside during the day. And make sure that everyone stays well hydrated!
  • Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts (and it’s also illegal to buy fireworks in another state and bring them to Massachusetts), so if you want to see a display you will need to locate a professional firework show in Boston.

Before the festivities start, do your due diligence and check on your home insurance policy. Your experienced insurance agent can review your current policy to make sure that it is as ready for the fireworks as you are. Remember – for any and all of your Massachusetts insurance needs, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655.

Read More

Servicing States

  • Massachusetts


More Testimonials

Partner Carriers

  • Arbella Insurance
  • Commerce
  • Mass Property
  • New London County Mutual
  • Norfolk and Dedham
  • Pilgrim
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Safety
  • Travelers
  • Vermont Mutual