What Happens In The Event of a Water Leak in Your Condo?

If you own a Condominium (Condo), you may have equipment both inside and outside your unit for which you are responsible. In a closet inside your unit would be your water tank. There is also an HVAC unit that may be just outside your unit, to heat and cool your home.  Most of the time, you ignore these two quiet workhorses that keep you in comfort all year round.

Shockingly, every once in a while, and sometimes suddenly, the equipment may fail and need repair.  Most often and most inconveniently, the HVAC will fail when the temperatures outside are the hottest or coldest, depending on the time of the year. Thus, only your comfort is compromised.

However, every once in a while, these machines break down and leak.  With water. Lots of water.

If your HVAC unit is outside your Condo, this may not be as terrible of an event, unless you own a Townhouse and the unit is in the basement and there’s a danger of the water seeping into your basement.

But it can be really bad if you’re on an upper floor and one or several of your Condo neighbors lives below you.  Water loves to follow the powerful attraction of gravity: downward. Downward towards your neighbors’ Condo unit!

Yes, your first step is to call the emergency number for your equipment repair tech. If you’re not sure, call the property manager so they can dispatch someone immediately to mitigate the damage. If the property manager is not available, call your local insurance agent who will have access to reputable Restoration Services companies. They all have emergency lines so you’re covered seven days a week.

In the event of a leak which could lead to a potential claim, mitigating the loss is critical and required under your insurance contract. You’ll want the restoration company onsite as quickly as possible to dry out all the water and repair the water damage.  Do not forget to take photos of the damage before the restoration company arrives. It’s key that you document the extent of the damage at the time of the event. This also mitigates any confusion or misunderstanding of the extent of the loss when the claim is settled. The key word here is “mitigate”.  

You don’t want to be caught by surprise when a leak happens all over your downstairs neighbors’ precious Star Wars toy collection.  Review your current insurance policy now to be 100% sure you have all the appropriate coverages before it’s too late. The review is free of charge. Call us now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Review Condominium Financials Before You Purchase

Condominium (Condo) Buyers should obtain and review the financial statement of the Condo as part of your purchase process.  Have the statement reviewed by a professional such as an Attorney or CPA.  The financial health of the Condo can affect you in the future as you settle into ownership of your Condo unit.  The financial statements can also give you a good indication of the competence of the Condo Board and Managing Agent.

Condo Complexes on the smaller size may be exempt from having their financials audited. The ByLaws will identify if an audit is required.  Audited financials means the CPA firm has verified the numbers presented in the statement rather than compiling from information provided by the Condominium Board Members and/or Managing Agent.

The financial statement should cover the previous two years (three is preferable) and often a Year-to-Date statement.  A Financial Statement includes:

  • Income and Expenses for the entire Condominium.  This is also known as “Operating Statement.”
  • Balance Sheet demonstrating Assets and Liabilities.
  • Cash Flow Statement.

Some key areas you want to focus on include:

  • Reserve Fund (for major capital repairs and improvements),
  • Cash Flow to determine if the building is taking in as much money as it is paying out monthly, Maintenance Fees owed (an indicator of the financial responsibility of your soon-to-be-neighbors),
  • Footnotes.

The financial well-being of your future home is as important to the transaction as every other aspect of your purchase.  Request the Financial Statement as early as possible in the negotiating process, even before you’ve presented your Offer, if possible.

Review your current insurance policy now to be 100% sure you have all the appropriate coverages before it’s too late. The review is free of charge. Call us now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Vargas and Vargas Insurance Blog – 2018 in Review

2018 has been a great year here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency. We are proud to say that we help the residents of Boston protect their homes, cars, businesses and beyond, and we look forward to continuing our journey to complete customer protection in 2019. If you’ve been visiting our blog this year, you may be familiar with some of the content we have posted. For those of you that don’t subscribe, however, here is a quick recap of what you may have missed this year. Click on the title of the article to visit the full post!

January – Avoiding and Treating Frozen Pipes

When the outside temperatures drop, so too can the temperature in your home’s water system. Prevent frozen pipes by ensuring that pipes are properly insulated and letting faucets drip on especially cold nights. If your pipes freeze, call a plumbing professional for help.

February – What Is Liability Coverage, and Why Do You Need It?

Many of your insurance policies likely have ‘liability protection’ built in. What does this mean? As our post states, “Liability insurance is the critical coverage that offers financial protection if you are sued or held legally liable for damages to another person, such as property damage, injury or negligence.” This makes it an indispensable coverage for you and your loved ones!

March – 10 Essential (and Easy to Forget) Home Maintenance Tasks

Maintaining a home can be a chore, but there are certain things that need to be done in order to ensure the operation and safety of your things. Check out the link to the full blog post for tips on how to keep your fridge in tip top shape, the importance of testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, extending the life of your clothes dryer, and much more.

April – Common Insurance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

In this springtime blog post, we covered the top three mistakes made with three of our most popular products: home insurance, car insurance, and business insurance. At Vargas and Vargas Insurance, we always aim to make sure that our customers get superior customer service, and that all these mistakes are avoided when choosing a policy.

May – Build Better Habits at Work

Do you ever wish that you could be a little more productive at work? In this post we shared tips for how employees can make the most out if their days at the office, and how business owners can encourage employees to be at their best.

June – The Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping

Summer is a favorite time of year for Boston families to take road trips, so we published several tips including destinations that would be perfect for a long or short trip, a ‘to-do’ list for before you hit the road, and some ideas to avoid having all your passengers asking, “Are we there yet?”

July – Flood Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

What is flood insurance? Do you need a flood insurance policy? All our most frequently asked questions about flood insurance are in one place! Get answers to “What is federal disaster assistance?” as well as “What is a flood zone?” and much more in this informative post.

August – The Best Apps for Homeowners

Nowadays, there is a smartphone app for everything. We found eight great apps that every homeowner should check out. How many do you have, and are there any on our list that you might find you can’t live without? Includes recommendations for Android phones and iPhones.

September – The Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, do you ever wish that you could take certain tasks off your plate? Having a virtual assistant can do just that. Hire someone that can balance your weaknesses and free up your time so that you can focus on more important factors in your business.

October – Savings Account: Critical for Your Financial Success

Do you have enough saved up for a rainy day? It’s estimated that 7 in 10 Americans would struggle financially after losing income for just one month. This blog espouses the importance of compounding interest, as well as gives several tips on how to boost the amount of money that you save.

November – Cancelling Auto Coverage Can Affect Future Rates

If you’re thinking about cancelling your auto insurance policy, make sure that you talk to your Massachusetts auto insurance agent first so that you can discuss potential repercussions, including increased rates on policies in the future.

December – Steps to Take Before Buying Business Insurance

Business insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. With the help of an experienced insurance agent, you can get the coverage that your business needs for a reasonable price. In this post, we highlight a few things that you should think about before purchasing a commercial insurance policy, including your business’s level of risk and the Massachusetts state requirements for coverage.

What did you think of our posts in 2018? We have lots more great content planned for next year, so make sure that you subscribe to the blog! Happy New Year from your friends at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency and remember – one call to 617-298-0655 and we will help you get the best possible insurance policies!

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.

June 28 is Insurance Awareness Day!

Throughout the year, there are many holidays to celebrate. Any given day seems to host at least a few different holidays. June alone has many – National Donut Day on the first Friday, Red Rose Day on the 12th, National Kissing Day on the 19th, Take Your Dog to Work Day on the Friday after Father’s Day – and the list goes on. Our favorite here at the Vargas and Vargas Insurance office, though, is without a doubt June 28th – Insurance Awareness Day.

As an insurance agency in Greater Boston, we are always on a mission to make sure that our clients know how important it is to have proper insurance coverage for all of the valuable things in life – from your home to your car to your business, and even your health and life itself!

In honor of Insurance Awareness Day, we have a few ideas for things that our clients and their families can do to ‘celebrate’ this important holiday. If insurance is a part of your life, we encourage you to pick out one or a few of the items on this list, or even make your way through the whole thing!

Read Our Blog Archives

Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency has been serving the Greater Boston area for many years, and we have been sharing a portion of our knowledge with you, our customers, through our blog posts. Take a moment and learn something about insurance by looking back onto our blog archive. We make it a point to post about our insurance expertise and about this great city that we call home. Hopefully you find something useful while perusing and visit the blog often for more updates.

Teach Your Kids About Insurance

In today’s world, many kids graduate high school without knowing how insurance policies work! This is concerning, so on this Insurance Appreciation Day take the opportunity to teach your kids what insurance is, and why it is important to have. This can be done with kids of almost any age. Here is an article from Pocket Sense about how to do this in order to take one additional step toward preparing your children for their impending independence.

Review Your Insurance Policies

Your life is always changing. You go through new challenges as you get older. If you have children, they are maturing day by day. You need to make sure that your insurance policies reflect that change. That’s why it is important to have a thorough insurance review at least once a year. Call your insurance agent and schedule a checkup for your home insurance, auto insurance, and any other insurance products that you carry. Ask about whether it’s time to think about life insurance if you don’t already have a policy.

Have a Little Insurance-Related Fun

“Insurance” and “fun” aren’t words that are usually used in the same sentence. Insurance tends to have a reputation for being tedious and boring – but it doesn’t have to be! Have some fun this year on Insurance Awareness Day and watch a movie, or at least a movie clip, with one of the world’s most loveable insurance agents – Ned Ryerson!

Plenty of other movies also have an insurance plot or sub plot, including The Rainmaker, Memento, The Truman Show, Death of a Salesman, and even The Incredibles (the second is now in theaters).

There are also a multitude of insurance comics out there that you can enjoy and share with your friends. Here are just a few examples from the very funny Randy Glasbergen.

Share an Insurance Story

Do you have a story about how insurance has helped you? Whether you have filed a home or car insurance claim, or if health insurance has ever let you focus on recovery rather than medical bills, we want to hear! Post to the Vargas and Vargas Insurance Facebook page about why you love insurance, and if our agency has ever gone above and beyond to help you, we hope that you will leave a review and tell others about our great work!

Recommend Our Agency

Do you have a friend or family member who needs an insurance quote or review? It would be our pleasure to help them! Just send them a link to this blog post or give them our phone number (617-298-0655). Our Massachusetts insurance quotes are always free, and there is no obligation to buy!

So, how will you celebrate Insurance Awareness Day this year? It may not merit a label on your calendar, but you will be glad that you took a few minutes out of your day to do something in celebration, whether it is learning something or getting a review of your existing policies.

Remember, it’s quick and easy to call your insurance agent for a free policy review, and you’ll be glad you did if you end up needing to make a claim in the future!

Recap: Boat Safety and More

“Solitude is not the same as loneliness. Solitude is a solitary boat floating in a sea of possible companions.” – Robert Fulghum

The first day of Summer isn’t until June 21, and that means one thing for those of you that own a boat – it’s time to start enjoying the water! The window of time during the year is shorter here in the Northeast, so start checking off your to-do list and invite your friends to spend the day on your watercraft. Here are just a few tips to keep you safe when you take a trip out:

  • Ensure that your boat is equipped with an emergency kit. It should have first aid supplies, as well as water and nonperishable foods. Check the kit once a year to refill anything that has been used, and to replace anything that has expired.
  • Before you go out, make sure that you verify that the weather will be good. Temperatures and rain forecasts can change on a dime, so it never hurts to be ready. For sunny days, make sure you pack plenty of water and some sunscreen for you and your passengers.
  • Never drink and boat. As with piloting a vehicle, boat operators must be under a certain blood alcohol level in order to legally drive.

For more tips, check out our full boat insurance post from last week. And remember, Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency offers five-star boat insurance in Massachusetts. Call 617-298-0655 to speak to one of our agents about how you can review your current watercraft insurance policy or get a quote on a new policy.

Recap: Boston Spring Events

Last week was the official beginning of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. As we prepare to feel the higher temperatures (not to mention firing up the grill and preparing to dive in to a swimming pool) we are marking our calendars for some of the great events going on in Boston over the next few months. Are you attending any of these?

  • Easter EggStravaganza! on March 31
  • Taste of Dorchester on April 26
  • Neponset River Cleanup on April 28
  • The Sound of Music from May 1-13
  • Dorchester Day on June 3

These are just a few of the events we covered in our full blog last week. Go to that post for the full details, as well as links to the events.

As the weather improves, we are starting that time of year when we leave our homes more and enjoy all that our wonderful city has to offer. Whether you’re taking a vacation or a day trip, make sure that you brush up on the following safety tips.

When you go out, make sure that someone knows where you are and has a way to contact you. If you’re taking children out with you, make sure they know what to do if they get lost, including how to contact a responsible adult.

So what types of events are you looking forward to attending this Spring? If we missed one, let us know on Facebook. And remember – Vargas and Vargas Insurance is here to help with all of your Massachusetts insurance needs!

The “Levels” of Valentine’s Day Relationships

Every February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day in a flurry of red roses and chocolates. Largely considered the holiday of romantic love, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show your love to your significant other. How you do this will depend quite a bit on how long you’ve been together. So, which level of Valentine’s Day are you in this year?

  1. Newly Dating – There is nothing quite as exciting (or nerve-wracking) as a first Valentine’s Day with someone. Focus on getting a thoughtful gift that’s not too over the top.
  2. Getting Serious – If this isn’t your first rodeo with your beau, you probably have a better idea of what they like. This makes picking out a gift (or a restaurant) much easier.
  3. Committed – If Valentine’s Day is old hat to you and your significant other, you may want to get out of the rut. Instead of dinner and roses and chocolates, try a weekend getaway (or even just a staycation while the kids visit their grandparents).

Just remember that there is no ‘right way’ to celebrate. Whether you buy lavish presents or opt for a quiet night at home, the important part is to show your partner how much you care.

And don’t forget – as your relationship evolves, so should your insurance policies. When you get engaged, you need to make sure to insure the ring, and getting married is the perfect life event to spur a life insurance investment. Through all of your stages of relationships and life, Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency is here to help. If you ever have an insurance question, just call us at 617-298-0655 – we are always here for you.

How Should I Insure My Motor Home?

There are a number of factors to consider before finally settling on a motorhome insurance policy, and Vargas & Vargas Insurance wants you to have all the facts. If you live in Dorchester, MA, see what you can do to get the right amount of coverage. 

Consider Your Habits 

Some people purchase their motorhome as means to get away for a weekend or two out of every month, while other people want to live in it for nine months out of the year. If you’re planning on taking beat-up fishing equipment with you to the lake every now and again, you don’t necessarily need to buy a comprehensive policy. However, if you’re planning to load up your motorhome with plenty of expensive clothes, tools, or jewelry, then you’ll need to consider the limits on your policy before you take it for a spin. 

The Places You’ll Go 

Your insurance is based on what you do with your RV while you have it. If you plan to take it to treacherous areas, you’ll need to have some precautions set up against all the natural disasters that might occur. There’s also all the man-made disasters that can occur too. From a curvy mountain road to a precariously dangling tree branch to a hungry criminal, you’ll want to be as open and honest about what you’ll do so that you know you’re getting the right policy. You’ll be glad that you took this extra step if you have to make a claim later on.

If you have questions about how motorhome insurance works, call Vargas & Vargas Insurance. It’s our job to serve the people of Dorchester, MA, so everyone gets a motorhome policy that works. Let us take the reins to find you the best policy!

Questions Asked when Buying Auto Insurance

When you call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency to get an auto insurance quote, your agent will ask you a series of questions about you, your car, and your driving habits. These questions are designed to assess your risk, and the premium that you will pay for your insurance policy. These questions should always be answered truthfully and to the best of your ability. Here are just a few examples of the questions your agent may ask:

  • Where do you live and park your vehicle? – The crime rate in the area where your vehicle is normally parked will be considered.
  • How much do you drive? – Someone is riskier to insure if they drive dozens of miles a day vs. someone that barely uses their vehicle.
  • Will you use your car for work? – Vehicles used for business purposes may require extra coverage to be fully protected.
  • Who else will be driving the vehicle? – Other drivers that live with you should be listed on the policy, including spouses and licensed children.

When determining your premium, your insurance agent will consider your answers to these questions, along with the make and model of the vehicle and other factors (including the minimum required insurance coverage in the state of Massachusetts).

Looking for an auto insurance quote? Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency may be able to save you money on your premium by shopping insurance providers to find you great coverage at a great price. Just call 617-298-0655 to get a free, no-obligation Massachusetts auto insurance quote.