How much renter’s insurance do you need in Dorchester, MA?

It only takes one major event for you to learn that renters insurance is not an option. Still, even with the knowledge that you absolutely need an indemnity policy to pay for damaged or lost items, you may not know the type of renters insurance policy that best fits your life in Dorchester, MA. How much renters insurance does one need to secure a sense of financial stability? The agents at Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help. 

Is renters insurance required?

There is no state law requiring every renter to obtain an indemnity policy. Some landlords, however, may require you to show proof of a renters insurance plan before letting you sign a lease to rent an apartment in Dorchester, MA. 

You should consider an indemnity policy even if such is not required by the landlord for personal reasons. The building owner is mainly responsible to insure the property grounds. You cannot sue him or her for items lost or damaged in a burglary. 

What should a renters insurance plan entail?

The best renters insurance policies offer replacement cost values for items lost or damaged. Such a tenet is especially important if you have a lot of electronics in your unit. 

Computers and televisions lose value immediately after purchase. Having an insurance plan that only offers the cash value of such items leaves you to pay for the remaining cost to replace the items out-of-pocket. A replacement cost plan provides payment according to the current market value.

A good renters insurance plan should also offer temporary housing. It is usually up to the landlord to secure housing if a unit is uninhabitable. You should not, however, rely on someone else when it comes to shelter. A good renters insurance plan will pay for expenses related to temporarily relocating upfront.

How much renters insurance do you need?

The amount of renters insurance you need largely depends on your personal preferences and possessions. An agent at Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you determine how much coverage is right for your living situation. Call today for a quote!

Does Your Renters Insurance Cover Your Side Hustle at Home?

A side hustle is an excellent option for most people to generate extra income. If you run a side hustle from your home, you may not have insurance to cover the business. Without proper insurance, you could find yourself at a loss if you get sued or if your property is damaged.

woman working on her side-hustle in her home office

Renters Insurance

Your renters insurance policy covers an extensive range of property inside your home. It can help you recover laptops, computers, tablets, projectors, and printers after theft or damage. Sometimes, renters insurance can cover items you keep outside and use for deliveries such as a bicycle. In some cases, you can cover your side hustle by adding a rider to your current policy.

However, there are exceptions. Most renters insurance policies cover items you use at home and not for business. Some policies might not extend to cover items used outside the home. For example, if you are a photographer with expensive equipment that you use outside the house, a standard renters policy might not help you.

If your policy provider chooses to cover property that you use for business, the limit might be lower than one provided under a business policy. When the business item you want to include in your renters insurance is not part of your current contract, talk to your provider about an endorsement.

How to Know When Your Side Hustle Needs Insurance

When you are considering finding separate insurance for your side hustle, there are several questions you should ask yourself. Those include:

  • Do customers come to pick products from your home?
  • Do you handle critical and private information?
  • Do you handle people’s children or pets?
  • Could anyone get sick as a result of your business?
  • Would a lawsuit leave you broke?

Commercial Policies

Let’s face it, your side hustle may be safe for now, but there is no assurance. When tragedy strikes, you need to be prepared. Finding commercial insurance for your business will provide better coverage than your current policy. There are various commercial policies available depending on the risks of your business.

Looking for Insurance?

To find the right insurance cover for your side hustle, contact Vargas & Vargas Insurance today!

Does Your Renters Insurance Cover Stolen Packages?

Most renters insurance policies cover replacement items everywhere, not just at your home. This includes items stolen off your porch or in front of your door. It also covers your laptop if your friend douses it in a latte at the coffee bar. It will even cover luggage that you may have lost on vacation.

woman receiving a package at her front door
Protect your packages with renters insurance and knowledge about your carrier’s claim processes.

However, one thing to consider is the deductible. Some deductibles are either $500.00 or $1,000.00. Since a renter has to pay the deductible, is it even worth filing a claim? If it was a $1,200.00 laptop or television, then it’s worth your time and the cost of the deductible. But if it was a $30.00 child’s toy, it may not be worth your time.

What Steps Should You Take If Something Is Stolen from Your Porch?

Research shows that over 25 million people have packages stolen every year. The majority of carriers have a package tracking system, so you can determine if it was stolen or just delayed. Along with renters insurance, you can use company claims policies to protect both your large and small deliveries. Each carrier has different rules:

United States Postal Service

USPS makes you wait seven days to file a claim. They need to know the sender and recipient addresses, tracking number, package dimensions, and a description of the package’s contents.

Always remember to insure the package. Without this step, the only thing you get back is the cost of the shipping.

FedEx

FedEx lets you or the seller file a claim. They typically cover up to the lesser of $100.00 of the total shipment value or the total amount that you insured it for. FedEx processes claims quickly, so you should receive a payment within a week of filing.

United Parcel Service (UPS)

UPS also has a claim process for lost packages. UPS has online procedures for both lost and damaged packages. You can begin the filing process if you don’t have your package within 24 hours of the anticipated delivery time.

Amazon

Amazon’s A to Z Guarantee for Buyers covers up to $2,500.00 of the purchase price. First, you must contact the seller for a refund. If they are unwilling to work with you, then you can file a claim. However, you must file the claim between 15 and 90 days from the purchase date. If the claim is accepted, you can get a full refund up to the 2,500.00 limit.

If you frequently have packages delivered to your apartment or rented home, or you’re worried about your belongings, renters insurance can help. Contact our team at Vargas & Vargas Insurance to learn more about the benefits of a renters insurance policy from a local service provider.

Archive Revival: Why Is Renter’s Insurance Important?

Most people fall into one of two categories: They either own their home or they rent it.

If you rent your home, you don’t need a homeowner’s insurance policy.

You need what’s called renters insurance. This type of insurance policy will ensure that you have the right coverage when you need it the most.

We’ve outlined below how homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance are similar and and how they differ. Here is our quick summary:

Property Protection

When you rent your home, you don’t own the physical property. As a result, you are not responsible for insuring the property. Instead, the insurance policy is the responsibility of the property owner.

This means that if there is damage to any part of the exterior and interior of the property including walls, ceilings, floors, doors, or windows, you are not responsible for filing or paying for an insurance claim.

Coverage for Belongings

Similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy, a renter’s insurance policy provides coverage for your personal belongings. You need to take inventory of your belongings to give an estimate on what it would cost to replace your belongings.

When you make your home inventory, make sure that you include everything that you own, including items like electronics, furniture, clothing, and jewelry. Also include any of your own personal appliances that are not owned by your landlord or apartment complex. That way, all of your stuff will be protected against perils like fire, smoke, theft, water damage, and more.

We recommend keeping the receipts of high valued items. We also recommend storing photos of each of your rooms so you have documentation of your belongings. This will help to ensure that you are covered in case of a total loss, but aren’t overpaying for coverage that you don’t need.

Reimbursed Living Expenses

If something happens to the place where you live, your renter’s insurance typically covers your living expenses for a comparable place until the damage is repaired and your home is once more inhabitable.

If your rental home or apartment is destroyed or deemed uninhabitable, call your insurance agent right away to find out what you should do so that reimbursement is allowed.

Liability Insurance

Another type of coverage that is typically included in both renters and home insurance is liability insurance. With this coverage, you are financially protected from the costs that rise if someone is injured at your home.

Depending on your insurance provider and the policy that you choose, this can include both medical costs and legal costs, which can get very expensive, depending on the injury sustained.

As always, all of the information above depends on your insurance provider and your specific policy.

We search several insurance providers to find the one that will give you the best coverage at a price that works for you and your budget.

Cost?

On average, the cost of a renters insurance policy is $120.00 per year for $10,000 of contents, including loss of use and liability coverage, Click here for more details) in Massachusetts.

If you package your automobile insurance policy with your renter’s insurance, most times, the savings by doing so more than covers the cost of the renter’s policy.

If you have any questions about the coverage included in your current policy, or if you need a new top of the line renters insurance policy quote, please call 617-298-0655 to speak with a representative here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency.

3 Reasons Why You Need Renters Insurance

Renter’s insurance is an important thing to have, no matter what stage of life that you are in. There are many misconceptions about renting, and some Dorchester, MA area residents wrongly think that their landlord’s insurance will cover their possessions if anything should happen to their rental unit. The Vargas & Vargas Insurance team is here to help you learn more about the options that are available to you. Renter’s insurance is something you hope you won’t need but are grateful it’s there if you do!

3 Reasons You Need a Renter’s Policy

  1. The landlord’s insurance will only cover damage to the building itself. Damage that occurs within your unit will not be covered by your landlord’s policy, as typically, they only cover the building structure and common areas.
  2. A comprehensive renter’s policy will cover your items from theft, even away from your apartment. A good renter’s policy will protect you from the theft of any covered articles if they are stolen. In many cases, this also includes losses that occur away from your home.
  3. Your belongings may be worth more than you think. Many renters skip insurance because they don’t think that they have anything of value that requires coverage. This is rarely the case, as most people’s electronic devices add up to a healthy amount! Also consider all of your clothing, sports equipment, household items, and furniture. Your belongings may be worth a lot more than you initially thought. 

If you are living in a rental unit without insurance, now is a great time to find out more about the options that are available in the greater Dorchester, MA area. Call or stop by Vargas & Vargas Insurance today and meet with one of our helpful and knowledgeable local insurance agents.

Managing Growth

Growth can sneak up on us.  Whether it’s your family or your business, one day you realize you’ve grown larger than when you started. 

  • Two cars when once there was one.
  • Five employees when previously you had two. 
  • A new spouse when you once lived alone. 

Growth is a good thing, it’s the keeping-up-with-growth that’s difficult.  Unless you’re organized and prepared, then growing becomes easy-peasy.

One area we often overlook, when growth occurs is whether it sneaks up on us or we prepare for it, is with our insurance.

Here’s where your Independent Insurance Agent comes in. We help your growth spurt feel smooth, organized, and best of all, prepared for any happenstance.

We often advocate that our clients undertake an annual review with us to see what coverages best suit their needs with natural changes over time. This helps to ensure quality coverage at an affordable cost whenever possible.

Our facility as your Independent Agent is there for you to advocate and manage when the “growth” word pops up.  Not only can we find the right insurance coverage for your new larger family or business, but we can help you control the costs of that insurance. 

Call us today so we can discuss all of your wonderful growth opportunities and reduce any growing pains so you experience the best possible insurance solutions.

You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Does renter’s insurance pay if I have to relocate?

You had to purchase renter’s insurance to sign the lease. Now, you have to relocate for a period due to matters that are beyond your control. Will your renter’s assurance policy in Dorchester, MA cover the costs associated with such an uprooting? Read on to find out. Contact an agent at Vargas & Vargas Insurance to learn more about renter’s insurance.

What is renter’s insurance?

A renter’s indemnity plan is a financial security net for individuals who lease or rent property. Much like homeowner’s insurance, a renter’s indemnity plan protects your possessions in the event of the apartment flooding and destroying your goods. A plan may also guard against financial turmoil for minor alterations that you make to the interior structure in efforts to make the place feel like your own.

Is assurance required?

There is no state law that mandates every renter obtain an assurance policy if they rent or lease in Dorchester, MA. Some landlords, however, may require that you purchase renter’s insurance so that you do not sue them for recompense should your goods be stolen or damaged while you reside on their property. You should look into renter’s insurance even if buying a policy is completely optional. Why would you want to forgo financial coverage?

Does renter’s insurance pay if I have to relocate?

Your renter’s insurance possibility may not cover relocation expenses. Such is the reason why you should speak with an expert from Vargas & Vargas Insurance to discuss your options and explore the possibilities of coupling umbrella insurance with your renter’s indemnity plan. Contact our office today to begin a quote and start your life of financial security with the added safety net of a good assurance policy!

Recap: Surviving Winter for Bostonians

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” – Aristotle

There are only a few weeks left in the year, and as snowfall becomes a more regular occurrence here in Massachusetts, we want to make sure that our clients stay warm, healthy, and happy throughout the cold winter months. Here is a quick recap of our full blog post with ideas on how to make this winter the best one yet:

  • Be Warm – Keep the freezing temperatures outside of your home by making sure that your windows and doors aren’t drafty. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees for optimal heating and energy consumption, according to ready.gov.
  • Be Healthy – Colds and flus run rampant in the winter, so get a flu shot and wash your hands often. Exercise at your local gym or try a winter sport to stay in shape.
  • Be Happy – Don’t let the cold get you down – there are plenty of wintertime activities in the Boston area! Or, if you would rather stay inside, now is the perfect time to binge watch a new show, read a book, have a family game night, or try a new recipe that you’ve been craving!

When was the last time you reviewed your insurance policies with a Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent? Call 617-298-0655 and we can chat about your home, renters, or condo insurance policy to make sure that it is providing full coverage for you and your loved ones.

Surviving Winter in Your Boston Home or Condominium

Winter is in full swing once again here in the Boston area. What are your favorite winter activities? We want to share some tips for staying warm, healthy and happy this winter in your home, apartment or condo. Choose one or try them all! Hopefully they can make your winter a little more joyous.

How to Stay Warm

The average low temperature in Boston for winter months is easily below freezing, so staying warm can be a challenge. Before you crank up the heat, check to ensure that the cold air is staying outside where it should be. This is best done with energy efficient (and non-draft-prone) windows and doors. See about refitting your home’s windows and doors if you are falling victim to drafts – these will cost you money year-round, cooling your home in the winter and heating it in the summer.

Do you have a programmable thermostat? Setting it to 68 degrees will heat your home while also conserving energy, according to ready.gov. Make sure to lower it by 10 or more degrees at night, though, to save approximately 10% on your heating bill. Also see if you can close the heat vent and shut the door to any unused rooms in your home or condo to cut your heating costs even further. It is also prudent to ensure that you have a back-up heat source in case of a power loss.

How to Stay Healthy

During the winter, more people stay indoors, and this means an increased number of germs in your home, apartment, or condo. Stay healthy by getting a flu shot if you can, and by washing your hands often. Also, regularly disinfect the surfaces of your home that are touched often. Just in case someone in your household falls ill, have the necessary medical supplies on hand so that you don’t have to make a rushed trip to the pharmacy.

Staying healthy in the winter also means finding the opportunity to exercise. Not many people want to go for an outdoor jog in the middle of winter in Boston, but there are plenty of alternatives that will keep you fit until the warm weather returns. Many people will choose to exercise at their local gym, where cardio and weight equipment are available year-round. Some gyms in the area also offer indoor pools and/or fitness classes that can keep your exercise routine fresh and new. There are also plenty of options available for people that would rather exercise at home, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive equipment.

If you would rather continue to get your exercise out in the fresh air, choose an appropriate wintertime activity. Ice skating can be a great cardio workout, you can also try something more off-the-wall, like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Just make sure that you are dressed appropriately, and that you take plenty of breaks from the cold and that you stay hydrated as you work out outside.

How to Stay Happy

As we mentioned, the cold weather of the winter often means spending more time indoors. For some people this can lead to wintertime blues and boredom. Instead of being unhappy that you must spend so much time inside, try to be thankful for the extra time in your cozy home. Get your family together to play a board game, binge watch a tv show that looks interesting, cook up a new recipe, or check something off your reading list.

Need to get out of the house? You’re in luck! There are lots of activities in the Boston area in the winter, so you don’t need to feel like you’re cooped up – even when the city is blanketed in snow! Family activities are especially popular this time of year, including the Holiday Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Center, Santa Saturdays at the Franklin Park Zoo, and Snowmazing! at the Boston Children’s Museum, among many others.

A few more favorites from the agents here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency include seeing The Nutcracker at the Boston Ballet, catching a Holiday Pops performance at the Boston Symphony Hall, and seeing the Christmas trees at Faneuil Hall and the Boston Common. There are plenty of events happening in the area, so bundle up and have some fun out in the city to ward off the boredom often brought by the cold weather.

We also want to make sure that you know that Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency is here for all your home, renters, and condo insurance needs this winter (and all year-round). If you want to have a chat about your current insurance policies, or if you have an insurance question, all you have to do is call us at 617-298-0655. One of our friendly and knowledgeable agents will be happy to take care of you!

A Guide to Bicycle Safety and Insurance

Can you feel Spring in the air? When the weather starts to get warmer, people here in Massachusetts can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. One spectacular way to do so (while also getting some exercise) is to use a bicycle.

The Increasing Popularity of Bicycles

With the increase in environmental protection and a focus on being healthier, it’s only natural that we would see another “bike boom” here in the US. In the Spring of 2017, it was estimated that there were nearly 70 million bicyclists in the US.

This trend is also seeing an increase due to the emergence of bike sharing services. In Boston, you can rent a Hubway bike for $8 a day or get an annual pass for only $99! Their app will let you know where there is a hub near you.

Safety Tips for Riding

Even the most experienced riders can use a reminder of how to be safe while on a bicycle. Here are some tips for putting safety first:

  • Ride a bike that fits you. Bikes come in all shapes and sizes, so take the time to find one that fits – this will depend on the measurements of both you and the bicycle.
  • Your bike should be ready before you take it anywhere – even just on a quick spin. Take a look to make sure that all parts of the bike are secure and working well.
  • Ensure that you are visible, especially at night. You may wish to purchase accessories for your bike or clothing that is reflective.
  • You should be able to hear your surroundings when you’re riding, so avoid wearing headphones when you cycle. This will make it easier to stay vigilant while you ride and avoid accidents with pedestrians, vehicles, or other cyclists.
  • Last but certainly not least, you should know the rules of the road. When using streets, bicycles are considered vehicles, so look up the Massachusetts rules of riding before your foot ever hits a pedal.

If you know anyone that rides (whether they are a beginner or an advanced bicyclist), share this post with them. You never know who might learn something new!

When You’re Not Riding

Bicycles and their accessories are expensive, so make sure that you take care of your bike even when you’re not riding it.

  • Always keep your bike secure. If you take your bike out for errands or to your workplace, lock it up. As the saying goes, ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry!’
  • Vary the location where you lock up your bike so that you’re not targeted be thieves.
  • When you lock up your bike, make sure you secure it to a fixed, immobile object. It’s also important that you check to make sure that your bike and lock can’t be lifted up and off of the object.
  • The type of lock that you use for you bike is important – there are many good options on the market, but U-locks are generally regarded as the safest option. Lock your bike up high (too low and it’s easy for a thief to break the lock) and always lock to the frame – never to a wheel.

On the off chance your bike is stolen, make sure that you have a picture of the bicycle to aid in the search when you report it as stolen to the police. It helps if you have your name and contact information etched into an inconspicuous location on the bike for proof of ownership. Also consider adding your bike to the National Bike Registry.

Properly Insure Your Cycle

Ok, we’ll admit it – there is not a product called ‘bicycle insurance’ like there is auto insurance or motorcycle insurance, but a bicycle is still a valuable and potentially dangerous object. There are two things you should make sure to properly insure: yourself, and your bike.

First, make sure that your cycle (and all of its upgrades and accessories) are listed in your home inventory. A home inventory is the only way to guarantee that you have a comprehensive list of your belongings in the event of a total loss, and it can be invaluable if you ever need to file a home insurance claim. Owners of particularly expensive bicycles should consider an endorsement for complete coverage.

Second, you need to make sure that you are covered in case of a bicycle accident. If you get sued because you injure someone in a bicycle accident, there should be liability coverage in your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance that will cover you.

To find out more if your insurance policies are ready for your bicycling journeys, talk to your Massachusetts insurance agent at Vargas and Vargas Insurance – just call 617-298-0655. We can review your home insurance to cover your bike and check your liability protection. Make sure to mention to your agent if you’re going to be riding your bike instead of driving your car when you run errands or to commute to work, because less driving could mean a reduction in your auto insurance premium.