Governor Baker has ordered all businesses and organizations in Massachusetts that do not provide COVID-19 essential services to close their physical workplaces effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at noon. While some businesses can continue to function by working remotely, many do not have that option. I received a timely newsletter from our attorneys that provided some insightful information for small businesses who may be closing or drastically changing their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic and felt it was important to share with our customers. We will make it through this, but the more thoughtful we are now may determine how successful we are in the future.
Topics: Small Business
So, your MA driver’s license is due to renew next month and you’ve been hearing about big changes. What do you really need to do before you get in line at the RMV?
First you need to determine if you need a REAL ID. As long as you have a valid passport you DO NOT need a REAL ID. But you may decide that you want one anyway for the peace of mind of always having it with you.
What is a REAL ID? It's an ID card or driver's license that meets Federal identification standards. After October 1, 2020, a REAL ID or passport is required to enter federal buildings or fly within the United States.
We hear it all the time from auto dealership owners. "Why do I need Cyber Liability Insurance?" or "No one is going to hack into my dealership." Unfortunately, businesses of all types and sizes are compromised daily. And it's not just by hackers. Many of the security breaches that occur are due to employees, vendors or unprotected data on the dealership premises. Consider these examples:
Topics: Cyber Insurance
If you have a child entering college in the next few weeks, you are probably feeling a bit stressed. Does she have everything she's going to need for the dorm room - bedding, curtains, towels, mini-fridge, laptop and more? Will she like her roommate? Does she have enough clothes? Money? How much will the books cost? You've thought of everything. But have you thought of insurance?
I'm sure business owners on the Outer Banks of North Carolina could argue the need for business interruption coverage. The extended power outage and mandatory evacuation of all tourists is impacting business owners. A motel operator near Hatteras NC has had to refund all the motel's reservations, and has already lost tens of thousands of dollars. When told the evacuation may last two weeks she said, "People make money in summer to live through the winter. Two weeks would put us out of business." The businesses on the Outer Banks may get coverage from the company that damaged the power lines, but will it be timely enough to keep them in business?
It's no surprise that weddings can be very expensive. Yet few people consider purchasing wedding insurance. According to The Wedding Report, the average price for a wedding in 2016 was $26,720. You wouldn't think of spending $26,720 on a vehicle without buying insurance for it, but people regularly spend that and more on a wedding and worry about all the things that could go wrong.
You may have heard that dozens of Alfred Angelo Bridal stores closed with little or no warning, after the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Many brides and bridesmaids are struggling to track down the dresses they've paid for or wondering if they'll ever get their money back. Those that purchased wedding insurance will be able to replace their dresses. Others won't be so lucky.
Topics: Wedding insurance
Your new service technician, Joe, jumps into a customer's car to take it for a test drive. Unfortunately, you didn't know about his lead foot and propensity for distracted driving and causing accidents. As Joe is checking his iphone for last night's game scores, he doesn't see the car in front of him stop for the red light. The accident damages three vehicles and severely injures two people. Guess who will be held liable?
Topics: Negligent Entrustment
“We’ve lost everything! I don’t know what to do or where we’ll live.” Our hearts go out to the victims of recent apartment fires in our area. More than 50 people were displaced due to multi-family house fires in Athol, Fitchburg, Brockton and Taunton in the past month. All the fires appear to have been started accidently such as by an electrical appliance in one of the apartments. Even when the fire was put out before it spread to other units in the building, those other units were severely damaged by smoke and water.
Topics: renters insurance
Security experts say that anyone with an identity will have it stolen one day, adding identity theft to life’s sure things along with death and taxes. If insurance can take some of the financial stress and uncertainty away, that is a good thing.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Massachusetts ranks 18th in the nation for instances of identity theft. New Hampshire and Rhode Island come in at 9th and 11th respectively. It seems we're being constantly bombarded with threats - at home on our computers or phones and while shopping at our favorite stores. You think you're being careful and know not to fall for the calls from the "IRS", but identity thieves are getting quite sophisticated. Here are seven key areas where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests you keep your guard up.