Covid-19 Update

Corona Covid-19 Info

We are Open for you and we all will endure. it will take all of us and some of it painful, but we are all in this together. Be Safe – Lets beat this thing! here are a couple informational relevant links for everyone;

US Chamber of Commerce:
White House Guide to prevention

Corona Virus Federal steps

Disaster Small Bus admin Link

Business relief Guidance Federal page 

Health and Human Services

Be and Stay safe!

The post Covid-19 Update appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night

Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasure, longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.

You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

Because we’re big advocates for safety at Downey Insurance Group, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.

What’s dangerous about night driving?

  1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
  2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
  3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.

So what do you do?

Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed north to see the fall foliage.

  1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
  2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
  3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.

Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!

We’re open all day!  Contact Us!

When you’re driving around during the day, stop in to Downey Insurance Group for a review of your auto insurance coverage. We won’t keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at 508-485-0130. We’re here to help! We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

The post A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Hot Day Behind the Wheel? Here’s How to Beat the Heat

When the temperature increases, decrease your risk on – and off – the road with these safety tips:

1. Check those tires. You’re already checking your tire pressure every month, right? Even if you are (most of us don’t), keep a closer eye on them during the warm months. Heat can increase tire pressure rapidly.

2. Keep cool under the hood and inside your car. If you don’t remember the last time you had your engine coolant checked and flushed (mechanics recommend flushing and refilling every two years), now is probably a good time – before you hit the road. Give your air conditioning a test run, too. If it’s not cooling you down, get it serviced.

3. Act quickly if your car starts to overheat. When your car’s temperature moves above the halfway mark on the dashboard, try turning off your air conditioning and turning on your heat to give your engine a break. Pull over if it’s safe to do so, and give your engine even more of a break. Call for roadside assistance if there’s steam or smoke, and get away from the car if it’s smoke. More of a do-it-yourselfer? Be careful opening the hood of an overheated car, and don’t add coolant or water until the car cools down.

4. See to the comfort – and safety – of your passengers. Within just 10 minutes of parking your car on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can hit 110 degrees. Don’t leave kids or pets in a parked car, even for just a few minutes, and bring plenty of water for the trip. The back seats and cargo areas of many cars don’t get as much air as the fronts seats, so make sure your kids, both human and furry, stay hydrated.

5. Proceed with caution in an electric car. High temperatures (and cold ones, too) can reduce the charge of your battery, sometimes by as much as 40 percent. You’ll want to take that into account when planning a trip.

Different seasons bring different car maintenance needs. Follow these tips to help make sure you and your car both stay cool in the heat.

The post Hot Day Behind the Wheel? Here’s How to Beat the Heat appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Your chance to win prize money!

As an appreciated Downey client, we are writing to let you know about two offers for your business. Nationwide, our newly added carrier, has announced a small business contest, and the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents is now accepting grant applications – both programs offer you the opportunity to earn prize money to support your business.  See below!

 Nationwide announces small business contest

Your small business is your pride and joy. It’s your baby. But how do you help it grow? Enter the Pitch to Win contest, brought to you by Nationwide® and BlueVine®, and watch your small business take big steps.


An executive panel of judges will review all applications based on the contest rules and these three main judging criteria:

  1. Your business:  Which business owner best meets a real need in the marketplace through a unique product(s) and/or service?
  2. Your story:  Which business owner has best communicated their story regarding why they decided to start their business?
  3. Your pitch:  Which business owner has the most compelling concept for how they would use $100,000 to take their company to the next level?

Click Here to enter today!

Free commercial crash prevention training – apply for your grant today!  

Are you a commercial organization interested in free commercial vehicle crash prevention training for your employees? The “Workplace Safety Training and Education Grant Program” offered by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents is designed to fund programs that reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers and to promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace through training, education, and other preventative programs, including commercial vehicle crash prevention training.

These grants are capped at $25,000 and will not pay for employees’ wages, but will pay 100% of training expenses and a portion of administrative expenses related to the grant (completing the application, organizing the training, etc).

Click here for grant application information.

Applications are being accepted May 6, 2019 through September 27, 2019.



The post Your chance to win prize money! appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Distracted Driving Habit Is Proving Tough for Americans to Break

Interesting read from Insurance Journal. about distracted driving —

Nearly eight in 10 consumers talk on the phone while driving and more than 30 percent admit to having been in a near-miss crash because they were distracted.

Also, although distracted driving poses potential liability risks for companies, many expect employees to remain connected and do little to discourage such behaviors behind the wheel.

Travelers Companies announced these and other results of its 2019 Travelers Risk Index, which surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and executives about distracted driving and the reasons behind it.

The Travelers Risk Index identified common distractions when behind the wheel, including:

  • Typing a text or email (44 percent).
  • Using social media (23 percent).
  • Recording videos or taking photos (22 percent).
  • Shopping online (15 percent).

“It’s startling to see that drivers continue to engage in potentially life-threatening habits,” said Chris Hayes, second vice president of Transportation, Risk Control at Travelers. “Whether driving for work or on personal time, many drivers overlook risks that make our roads more dangerous for all of us.”

Some drivers say it would be difficult to stop such behaviors. Thirteen percent of respondents say they would find it very difficult to stop reading texts or emails while driving, and 11 percent say it would be difficult to stop typing texts or emails while driving. In addition, five percent of respondents say they would find it very difficult to stop shopping online while driving.

Nineteen percent say they would still drive distracted even if it was against the law.

(Recent research out of the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University and published in the American Journal of Public Health — Texting-While-Driving Bans and Motor Vehicle Crash–Related Emergency Department Visits in 16 US States: 2007–2014— suggests that laws against texting may make a difference. The study found that crash-related emergency room visits fell four percent on average from 2007 to 2014 in states that prohibit texting while driving. Crash-related injuries dropped eight percent in states that placed primary bans on texting while driving, the study found.)

Although many smartphones have settings to help drivers stay focused, most drivers do not use these features. Consistent with last year’s index from the insurer, only 12 percent of consumers set their phones to Do Not Disturb while driving. In fact, of those respondents who do not activate the Do Not Disturb feature, 41 percent actively choose not to turn it on, while others simply forget to turn it on or find it inconvenient to do so (35 percent), according to the survey.

Workplace Accountability

The 2019 index also suggests that many workplaces do not consider the full consequences of distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a crash is more than $1 million per death and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury. However, 12 percent of executives surveyed do not worry about the liability associated with a crash caused by a distracted employee, and most (74 percent) do not consider distracted driving to be of great concern.

The connected culture and mounting workplace expectations may be contributing to distracted driving. While most businesses report being at least somewhat concerned about employees’ use of mobile devices on the road, an overwhelming majority (87 percent) of executives expect workers to be sometimes or frequently reachable outside of the office. Employees feel this pressure, as 20 percent of respondents who admit to replying to work-related messages while driving say they do so because they worry about upsetting their boss. Further, nearly half of those same respondents say they always need to be available or do not want to miss a work-related emergency. Lastly, 17 percent say drive time is when they get a lot of work done.

“The pressure to always be online and connected can be deadly,” added Hayes. “Even though distraction-related crashes occur frequently, some companies continue to expect constant connectivity without considering what’s at stake.”

According to Travelers, three out of four workplaces have implemented distracted driving policies. However, just 18 percent of businesses advise employees to set their phones to Do Not Disturb before driving, and only 40 percent report knowing of an employee who was disciplined for not complying with company policy.

Passive Passengers

According to the survey, having conversations about driving behavior can make a difference. Sixteen percent of consumers say they rarely or never speak up while in a car with a distracted driver, yet more than half (54 percent) say they would likely cease distracted driving behaviors if they were asked to do so.

Some conversations about distracted driving are already happening: Two-thirds of parents have spoken to their children about distracted driving, and the same amount of companies say they have an employee education program about the dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid it.

About the Travelers survey: Hart Research conducted a national online survey of 1,000 consumers, ages 18 to 69, in March 2019. Separately, Hart surveyed 1,050 executives from businesses of all sizes. Both surveys were commissioned by Travelers.

The post Distracted Driving Habit Is Proving Tough for Americans to Break appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Daylight Savings Time is also Daylight Safety Time

Sunday, March 10 is Daylight Saving, when clocks are moved forward one hour. We here at Downey Insurance Group want to remind you it’s also a great time to improve your family’s safety.

Be safe in your home

Health and safety agencies often use the approach of Daylight Saving Time to remind people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. The American Red Cross suggests you test your smoke alarms and talk with your family about your fire escape plan. Practice the plan too – at least twice a year.

Daylight Saving is a great time to check your emergency preparedness kit to make sure it’s fully stocked with fresh supplies.

Carbon Monoxide a concern too

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die annually in the US from carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC recommends changing the batteries in your CO detectors when moving your clocks forward this Sunday.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

See the CDC’s site for more ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.

The post Daylight Savings Time is also Daylight Safety Time appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Why an Independent Agent?

Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value.

With other agencies, you get one company that sells one brand of insurance. With an independent insurance agency like Downey Insurance Agency you get choices.

Why? Because independent insurance agencies, like Downey Insurance Agency represent a number of different insurance companies, and can compare coverage and prices to find the best possible value for your individual circumstances. As independent agents, we’re committed to doing business face-to-face and being your advocate in times of need.

Here are a few reasons why Downey Insurance Agency should be your first and last stop when looking for insurance.

  • We work for you when you have a claim.
  • We are not beholden to any one company. This means you don’t have to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change.
  • We are your consultants, working with you as you determine your needs.
  • We are value-hunters who look after your pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage, and service.
  • We offer one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, health, and retirement plans.
  • We can periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs.
  • We are committed to customer satisfaction – it’s the key to our livelihood.
  • We treat you like a person, not a number.
  • We are licensed professionals with strong customer and community ties.
  • We are a Trusted Choice Agency!

There is a difference. To find out how our independent insurance agency can help you find the right insurance coverage, please contact Downey Insurance Agency. Give us a call today at 508-485-0130.

The post Why an Independent Agent? appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

Prevent Water Damage

One of the most disheartening experiences is to find flooding or extreme water damage to your treasured home.

At Downey Insurance Agency,  we know you want to protect what’s important. That’s why we’re offering these tips to help you prevent many of the most common causes of water damage.

Just a little time and some effort can prevent a lot of heartache and hassle.

  • Make sure your water pressure is not set too high. For just $6 or so, you can purchase a gauge that will help you test your pressure for the appropriate level, which should be set between 60 and 80 PSI.
  • Standard hoses on new appliances are not as durable as they used to be. So check your appliances. If they’re rubber, either replace them with longer lasting stainless steel braided hoses or replace them every three years.
  • Keep water from leaking into the walls or floor of your bathroom by replacing cracked tiles and re-grouting when it’s needed.
  • Examine the shingles on your roof. Worn, curled or missing shingles allow water in, so replace them as soon as noticed.
  • Consider buying a water alarm, which can help you find leaks, or automatic shut-off mechanisms, which can help avoid bursts.
  • A lot of water damage occurs when you and your family are away from home. Make a practice to avoid running the washing machine or dishwasher while you’re out.
  • When you leave for vacations, turn off the water supply to appliances.
  • Keep up maintenance on all appliance hoses, because slow leaks from worn out hoses can cause major damage (and they are not covered under Homeowners insurance).

At Downey Insurance Agency, we hope these pointers will ensure your house stays nice and dry this year!

The post Prevent Water Damage appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

What you need to know about recent legislation on short-term rentals

The Massachusetts House and Senate reached a compromise on the short-term rentals bill that taxes and regulates short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb, including language that exempts owners who rent out their properties fewer than 15 days a year. Governor Baker signed the bill into law on Dec. 28, 2018.

Under the new law, all short-term rentals must still be registered and insured, but only people or businesses that offer rentals for more than 14 nights per year are subject to the State’s 5.7 percent hotel tax.

The insurance requirements of the proposal for short-term rentals state that:

1) Operators must maintain liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000 to cover each short-term rental, unless such short-term rental is offered through a hosting platform that maintains equal or greater coverage. Such coverage shall defend and indemnify the operator and any tenants or owners in the building for bodily injury and property damage arising from the short-term rental.

2) Prior to an operator offering a short-term rental through the use of a hosting platform, the hosting platform shall provide notice to the operator that standard homeowners or renters insurance may not cover property damage or bodily injury to a third-party arising from the short-term rental.

3) Insurers that write homeowners and renters insurance may exclude any and all coverage afforded under the policy issued to a homeowner or lessee for any claim resulting from a short-term rental of any accommodation. Insurers that exclude short-term rental coverage shall not have a duty to defend or indemnify any claim expressly excluded by a policy.

4) Any policy or policy form intended to cover operators of short-term rentals from liabilities, whether the policy or policy form is provided by a hosting platform or an operator itself, shall be filed according to instructions provided by the Division of Insurance.

5) An operator who intends to operate a short-term rental shall provide notice to any insurer that writes a homeowners or renters insurance policy for the property where such short-term rental is to be located of the operator’s intent to operate such short-term rental.

The tax and registration requirements apply to all short-term rentals, which are defined as:

An owner-occupied, tenant-occupied or non-owner occupied property including, but not limited to, an apartment, house, cottage, condominium or a furnished accommodation that is not a hotel, motel, lodging house or bed and breakfast establishment, where: (i) at least 1 room or unit is rented to an occupant or sub-occupant; and (ii) all accommodations are reserved in advance; provided, however, that a private owner-occupied property shall be considered a single unit if leased or rented as such.

Have questions about insurance for your short-terms rentals?   Call us today at 508-485-0130.

The post What you need to know about recent legislation on short-term rentals appeared first on Downey Insurance Agency.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Stay Safe on Campus

You need to be responsible and prepared to be as safe as possible while on campus. You need to be ready for anything since campuses are large places sometimes filled with thousands of people. Here are some ways to stay safe on campus.

Stay Away From Isolated Areas

Start by staying away from isolated areas whenever you can. This should be a rule whether you are walking outside on the campus or inside a sparsely populated building. Take alternate routes to avoid areas where you cannot be seen by anyone else, could easily be trapped or there is no light. This will keep you very safe.

Pay Attention to the People around You

Pay attention to all the people around you. A good way to stay safe on campus is to be hyper-aware of your surroundings. Watch for people who seem to be following you. Change your path to avoid groups of people that seem likely to cause trouble. Track what is going on at all times and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Know the Campus

Take some time early on to get to know the campus. Familiarize yourself with all part of the campus. Look at a map if necessary. You want to note where emergency phones or call stations are located. Get to know what routes are the most populated and well lit. This information could be invaluable if you get into a bad situation while walking in a strange part of the campus.

Use Campus Shuttles or Buses

If you have to travel around the campus at night, then try to use the campus shuttles or buses. These will drop you off right at your destination in many cases. They are a safe way to travel. You will always be visible on the bus, and the driver will be there to intervene if something happens.