Accident Forgiveness — What You Need to Know

Are you considering adding accident forgiveness to your car insurance policy? Here at Lighthouse Insurance, we have seen that this added coverage can save people a whole lot of money in the event they get into an accident. We also know that there can be a lot of confusion around this added insurance endorsement. That’s why we’re answering frequently asked questions so you know exactly what accident forgiveness is all about.

 

What is Accident Forgiveness?

Accident Forgiveness is an additional coverage that can be added to your auto insurance policy to help avoid a rate increase following an at-fault accident.

 

Who is Eligible?

Accident Forgiveness is only available if you are an excellent driver with a clean driving record. For these reasons, you must have a minimum of six years driving experience and have a driving record that is free of accidents and moving violations.

 

What is the Cost?

For qualified drivers, adding Accident Forgiveness to their car insurance policy is not only a wise decision, it’s also an affordable one. On average, this endorsement costs drivers an additional $25 per month — that’s less than one dollar a day!

 

How does it work?

When it comes to auto insurance, insurance companies review your driving record and look at moving violations and any accidents to determine your insurance premium. Therefore, when you get into an accident your insurance premium can increase significantly. If you get into an accident but have the added Accident Forgiveness endorsement, while the accident still goes on your driving record, the insurance company agrees to forgive this accident and will not increase your premium. Once you use the endorsement, however, you can not use it again until your driving record completely clears. Since the accident is still on your driving record, it’s important to note that if you switch insurance companies, the accident will be calculated into the new insurance policy — meaning you could end up paying a higher premium with the new company.
No one ever plans to get into an accident, but being prepared in case one does occur can make all the difference. As an excellent driver, you can benefit from this added endorsement to help save money in the event of an at-fault accident. For more questions about Accident Forgiveness or to talk to a Lighthouse Insurance agent about adding this endorsement to your current auto policy, contact us today.

St. Patrick’s Day Safety

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and you know what that means — everyone travels near and far by way of the red line to celebrate one thing, being Irish! And being located right on West Broadway in the heart of South Boston, we are no stranger to this day. That’s why we’re offering the inside scoop to celebrating St. Patty’s in Southie, safely, of course.

 

Attending the Parade

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, but the annual and historic parade will hit the streets in Southie on Sunday, March 18th at 1:00pm. If you plan on attending the parade, the best way to get a front and center view is to arrive early to stake out your viewing spot. St. Patrick’s Day is a busy time in town, so your best bet is to take the T to Broadway or Andrew and find a viewing location along the parade route.

 

Out on the Town

The parade isn’t the only tradition that happens in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day. There are 5k runs, concerts, and of course, pub crawls. But no matter how you spend the day, remember you are in a crowded city and safety should always be a priority.

1. Stay Together — It’s important that you keep track of your friends and stay with a group. The city is a busy place every day of the year, but it becomes even more hectic on St. Patty’s Day. Make sure the people you arrive with are the same people you leave with. And don’t forget to fully charge cell phones in case someone gets separated from the group.

2. Set Limits — Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you find yourself going from one pub to the next, Guinness after Guinness, don’t forget to mix in some waters every now and again. While you’re at it, you should enjoy some corned beef and hash too.

3. Get Home Safely — When the night is over, get home safely. Make sure you have a sober ride home. An Uber is just a few clicks away and cabs are around every corner.

 

Hosting Friends

Whether you’ve decided to skip the parade altogether or host the after party, there are things you need to know before opening your doors to everyone wearing green.

1. You’re Responsible — This means that if an intoxicated guest leaves your home and gets into an accident, you can be held liable for any harm to third parties or property. It also means if Boston police are called, you’re the one they look to if any legal issues arise.

2. Read Your Lease — As a renter in Boston, you should fully understand your lease before opening your home. Sometimes your lease agreement limits parties based off of size or doesn’t allow them at all. You don’t want to end a fun day with an eviction notice, so when in doubt, read your lease and ask your property manager.

3. Create a Guest List — The more the merrier? That’s not always true. Plan ahead with a guest list to ensure you know everyone coming into your home. This also helps ensure that the party doesn’t get out of hand.

4. Provide Snacks and Water — Be sure to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages to help guests stay hydrated and make sure they are not consuming alcohol on empty stomachs. It’s also important for guests that are not consuming alcohol, like sober drivers!

5. Help Friends Get Home Safely — After a long day or night of celebrating, make sure all your friends get home safely. Offer to call cabs for those that need a sober ride or allow them to spend the night. Do not let anyone get behind the wheel after drinking.

We know St. Patrick’s Day in Southie is something you want to check off your bucket list — but make sure it’s one to remember by making safety a priority! Happy St. Patty’s from all of us at Lighthouse Insurance — we hope the luck of the Irish is on your side.

 

Apps for Your 2018 Goals

“New year, new me” seems to be on everyone’s mind in January, but how do you make these changes last through the rest of the year? Making resolutions is great, but sticking to them is even better. No matter what you want to improve on in the new year, making changes to everyday habits and tracking your progress are key to being successful — and what better way to do that than by using the technology that is so often in our hands?  In 2018, it’s only fitting that we look at apps that can help you stay on track and become a better you.

 

Money Management

Are you having trouble curbing your spending? Maybe you spend too much money on lattes or take out. Or maybe you just never took the time to think about long-term savings. These apps can help put your spending into perspective. Mint, Clarity Money and Qapital are money managing apps that can help you understand where your money goes while also making beneficial changes. You can easily connect your bank accounts to accurately display your spending habits, add saving goals for specific funds like a vacation, or get reminders to pay bills on time. If you’re looking to be more fiscally responsible in 2018, these apps are a great way to start!

 

Health + Fitness

Health and fitness always seem to be a priority in the new year, but it’s sometimes hard to keep that gym routine or diet going after the first month. That’s where your phone can help. Whether you are looking to lose weight or just want to be healthier in the new year. An app like MyFitnessPal helps you keep track of what you’re eating, log your exercise, and set personalized goals. If you are looking for an app that can help you get moving, RunKeeper, can track your running routes, set reminders, and congratulate you as you reach new milestones. And for those of you that need to slow down and focus on self-care, there are great apps to help promote mindfulness. Calm and Headspace both make meditation simple by guiding you through exercises that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

 

Productivity

If you are looking to just make better habits, then apps like Productive or Done could come in handy. Productive allows you to plan your days and track your progress while Done lets you create the ultimate to-do list. Both apps also have push-notifications for gentle reminders to focus on your habits.

 

Hopefully, 2017 was a good year for you. If you want to make 2018 even better though, the technology in the palm of your hand can certainly help. For more tips to make 2018 the best year yet be sure to follow Lighthouse Insurance on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Lighthouse Insurance is for people and businesses who want more from an insurance agency.

Call 617-464-3777 or visit http://lighthouseins.net/ for a free insurance quote.

Bostonian Bucket List

So you’ve finally unpacked those boxes, put your things away, and this city is starting to feel like home. But you’re not a true Bostonian until you’ve lived like the locals. That’s why we’ve put together our very own Bostonian Bucket List.

 

Learn to Ride the T Like A Pro

If you’re asking yourself, “what is the ‘T’?,” well that’s step one. The public transportation system, which others might call the subway, is signified by the single letter “T” and that’s the way we like it here in Boston.

Bostonian Bucket List

Find Some Treasures at the SoWa Market

The SoWa Open Market is a place for food, drinks, art, and a lot of fun. Spend a sunny afternoon looking through beautiful prints made by local artists and one of a kind, hand-crafted jewelry, all while enjoying music and good eats. You can’t go wrong.

 

Explore the Greenery at the Arnold Arboretum

arnold-arboretum

See a Game at Fenway

Bostonians love their sports teams, because they’re the best, and seeing these incredibly talented athletes is something you’ll never forget. But even if you’re not a sports fan or a Boston sports fan, watching a ball game at Fenway Park should be a priority on your list of things to do. And for those of you looking for a completely unique experience, you can get a different view from Bleacher Bar, located underneath the bleachers of Fenway.

 

Snap a Selfie at Graffiti Alley
IMG_3592

Cheer on the Runners on Marathon Monday

The greatest day of the year falls on the third Monday of April. Embrace the spirit of this city by waking up early, finding a spot along the marathon route, and cheering on the incredible athletes!

 

Kayak on the Charles

paddling-the-river-with-friends-paddle-boston-1024x548

Ice Skate on The Frog Pond

When the weather starts to change, and we don’t mean for the fifth time today because that also tends to happen, but when it’s actually winter, you can enjoy the snowfall by ice skating on the Frog Pond in the Boston Common.

 

Swing at the Lawn on D

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 3.12.47 PM

Make The Trek to Castle Island

Enjoy the start of summer by heading to Castle Island — and while you’re there, don’t forget to stop by Sully’s for a chili cheese dog.

 

Watch The Sunset at The Docks on The Esplanade

Bostonian Bucket List

 

Now we know that there is much more to do in Boston than just these few things, but these adventures will help you start to make this city your home. For more things to do around town, and everything you need to know as a Boston renter — follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Welcome to the best city on Earth and have fun exploring!

Last-Minute Moving Tips

September 1st is finally here, which means that renters will be moving in and moving out all over Boston this week and into the long Labor Day weekend! The city is about to get a whole lot busier — that’s why we have some last minute tips to help your move-in day go smoothly.

1. Read Your Lease

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to read your lease so you don’t miss any details. Often times, there is a tenant moving out the day before you move in, which means the landlord or management company may need some time to clean the property. The last thing you want is to show up at your apartment, moving truck and all, at 9 am when your lease specifies that you can’t move in until after 1 o’clock.

2. The Move

If you haven’t reserved parking for your moving truck — do so right now. You can reserve a parking spot through the city of Boston, to make your move a little easier. No one wants to lug your stuff from three streets over, so make sure you plan ahead.

If you have hired movers to haul your stuff for you, don’t forget to tip! If you have somehow convinced your friends to help, handshakes and smiles won’t do. Buying everyone lunch will make sure they’re still your friends after a long day of moving.

3. Don’t Get “Storrowed”

If you’ve rented a moving truck, do not drive on Storrow Drive! Storrow Drive passes under several low bridges and every year, without fail, at least one truck gets stuck. Not only will you block traffic, you’ll also damage your truck and possibly your stuff. You don’t want to be that person. You should also avoid Memorial Drive for the same reason. Plan your route ahead of time to make sure you’re not unknowingly following your GPS through these parts of the city.

4. Allston Christmas

Boston is home to over 35 colleges. With all of these students moving out, there tends to be a lot of stuff that gets left behind. Although this phenomenon has become known as “Allston Christmas,” you can score free stuff all over the city. When it comes to digging through furniture and other items left on the sidewalk, we advise you to be careful with what you take. If you do decide to partake, we recommend avoiding anything with upholstery, as these items can host pests like bed bugs, which you can then bring into your new apartment. And if you take wood furniture, be sure to inspect it for small holes, which could also indicate a pest infestation.

5. Renters Insurance

When moving day is all said and done, make sure your new place and everything that’s in it is covered in case of an accident with renters insurance. It’s often mistakenly understood that if your landlord has insurance, then you do too. However, this is not the case. Renters insurance provides three essential protections:

These three coverages protect your belongings, safeguard you against lawsuits, and help cover costs if you have to temporarily relocate due to a covered loss, like a fire.  

Not sure where to start? A Lighthouse Insurance agent can help you evaluate your property and belongings and find coverage that suits your needs and your budget! Give us a call at 617-464-3777 or visit or website for a new or existing policy.

 

Traffic Safety Tips

Boston is known for a lot of things: our famous sports teams, the unpredictable weather, dropping the ‘r’ … and of course our driving. While we’re not proud of our terrible reputation as drivers, it is something we are working to improve with the goal of increasing safety for everyone on the road, including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. No matter how you get around the city — these safety tips can help improve traffic safety for everyone.

Pedestrians

Be Seen

  • Before crossing traffic, make eye contact with drivers.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing if walking or running at night.

Cross Streets Safely

  • Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks when available.
  • Always look left, right, and left again before crossing a street, and keep watching as you cross. Be aware that drivers have differing levels of eyesight and skill in operating motor vehicles.

Be Alert

  • Watch for cars turning onto streets, even if you have the right of way.
  • Use particular caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances. Drivers may not expect you to be there or see you.
  • Avoid using your phone while crossing streets. If you walk into traffic with your head down, your reaction time will be delayed.

Bicyclists

Watch for Pedestrians

  • Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks — wait for them to return to the sidewalk before continuing.
  • Pass pedestrians with care by announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or by using a bell.

Signal Turns

  • Use hand signals to indicate change of lanes or turns.

Travel with the Flow of Traffic

  • Remember that you have just as much a right to be on the road as a driver.
  • If there is a bike lane, use it, otherwise you are entitled to an entire lane of traffic.
  • As a slower mode of transportation, it is safer to remain to the right of traffic, unless making a left hand turn.

Ensure Your Safety

  • Don’t text, listen to music or do anything else that could distract you by taking your eyes, ears, and mind off the road and traffic.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • In Massachusetts, you are required to have reflectors on the front and back of your bike to be seen at night.

Drivers

Pay Attention

  • Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists at all times.
  • Yield to pedestrians when making turns.
  • At red lights, come to a complete stop and look for bicyclists before making a ‘right on red’ turn.

Share the Road

  • Move over for bicyclists and only pass when it’s safe to do so.
  • Obey the speed limit and allow for reaction time.
  • Limit Distractions
  • Avoid talking on the phone and do not text while driving.
  • Enjoy your coffee or snack once you have arrived at your destination.

Whether you get around town on two wheels, four wheels, or two legs — we all have to follow the rules of the road. Pay attention and be alert to ensure everyone’s safety. Here at Lighthouse Insurance, we understand Bostonians are proud of their city, so let’s also make our safe roads another reason to love this place. If you have questions about traffic safety or your auto policy, a Lighthouse Insurance agent is happy to help — visit our website or give us a call 617-464-3777.

 

TNC Endorsement for Personal Autos announced by Plymouth Rock Assurance

At Lighthouse Insurance, we are experts in all kinds of insurance, but our specialty is insurance for public transportation. As everyone knows, Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft have exploded in size in Massachusetts, with an estimated 70,000 drivers.

The type of insurance TNCs have is unique in the insurance world. It is split into three different tiers based on the status of the TNC driver. Tier 1 is when the driver is on app with no job. During this time, coverage is afforded under the TNC’s policy with a $50,000 limit for Bodily Injury coverage per person and $100,000 per accident (50/100 liability limits). Tier 2 begins once a ride has been accepted. Once the passenger is picked up, Tier 3 starts. TNCs are required to cover Tier 2 and 3 at a $1 mill limit for liability.

Tier 1 is the part of this structure that puts the driver at risk. First, there is now a standard exclusion for TNC activity on every Personal Auto Policy in Massachusetts. Your Personal Auto Policy will not cover you if you get into an accident while driving for a TNC, and insurance companies have learned to recognize these claims. Secondly, the driver could be on multiple platforms at once, so there can be confusion over which TNC would be responsible if there were an accident. Lastly, they only provide 50/100 liability limits, while a driver may want more coverage during this Tier.

Luckily, Plymouth Rock Assurance has come out with an endorsement for personal auto policies that will cover Tier 1 on an individual Personal Auto Policy for a minimal charge. Having this endorsement eliminates confusion over which TNC would be responsible if you were driving on multiple platforms while also giving you the ability to control the limits and coverages on your policy. Ultimately, having this endorsement gives you peace of mind and more control, as opposed to relying on TNCs to handle a liability claim.

As experts in insurance, especially when it comes to the transportation world in Boston, we highly recommend taking advantage of this coverage to insure your own livelihood and assets. For a no obligation quote, call us at 617-464-3777 or visit our website.

Neighborhood Patios: In and Around Southie

The sun is out and you should be too! Whether you’re soaking up Vitamin D on your lunch break or enjoying a delicious brunch with friends — we have a run down of local hotspots with great outdoor seating that you should not miss.

 

Coppersmith

40 West 3rd Street, South Boston, MA 02127

Coppersmith

via Coppersmith

This converted industrial warehouse is a vintage gem in South Boston. It features a cafe, a dining area with indoor food trucks and of course a roof deck.

 

Worden Hall

22 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

Worden Hall

via Worden Hall

At Worden Hall you can enjoy modern American cuisine and an extensive choice of craft beers. If that’s not convincing enough, they also have more than 100 whiskeys and modern inventive cocktails.

 

Atlantic Beer Garden

146 Pier Four Blvd, Boston, MA 02210

Atlantic Beer Garden

via Atlantic Beer Garden

At ABG you can take your pick from the front patio or roof deck. And should we mention you only have this year left to enjoy the food and drinks here — so go while you still can!

 

Sullivan’s

2080 William J Day Blvd, South Boston, MA 02127

Sullivans

via Sullivan’s

Since June of 1951, Sullivan’s has been offering delicious food at an affordable price on Castle Island. This Southie original only offers outdoor seating and is a definite must for dining al fresco this season.

 

Barlow’s

241 A St, Boston, MA 02210

Barlows

via Barlow’s Restaurant

Barlow’s features a great vibe and even better food. Their menu serves up everyone’s favorite comfort foods. Caught right between Southie and Fort Point — Barlow’s makes the list for patios to check out this spring.

 

Row 34

383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Row34

via Row 34

If you’re looking to avoid the “college bar” scene — Row 34 has you covered. This professionals-only restaurant has a raw bar that will make you want to change your diet to oysters only.

 

The Barking Crab

88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210

The Barking Crab

via The Barking Crab

Dine underneath the tent of The Barking Crab, located right on Fort Point Channel. The atmosphere is casual clam shack meets the funky feel of urban life.

 

75 on Liberty Wharf

220 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

75 on Liberty Wharf

via 75 on Liberty Wharf

Enjoy the patio day or night at 75 on Liberty Wharf because this small and cozy restaurant has big views that don’t disappoint. The food isn’t too bad either — as one reviewer writes SO FREAKING GOOD.”

If it were up to us, we’d eat every meal outside. Make sure you don’t let summer go by without taking advantage of these great outdoor eateries, right in our Southie back yard! Remember, before you know it, winter will be back … so make sure you don’t have any regrets!

 

What you should know before flying a drone in Southie!

With the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve falling on the same night, it’s very likely that we will all be awoken on the morning of December 26th by the sounds of many, many drones buzzing through the skies of Southie and all around Boston.

Google Trends lists drones in the top four items when people type in “I want to buy,” and according to The Motley Fool, consumer drone purchases during the course of the 2015 holiday season alone totaled 1 million drones. So it’s not much of a leap for us smart folks at Lighthouse to predict that this holiday season, drone purchases are really going to take off.

You too may be hoping to unwrap a drone this holiday season or maybe considering it as a gift for someone. However, bringing a new toy drone into your Southie home, apartment or condo, is kind of like getting a new puppy at the holidays. Initially, it’s just all squeals of joy, snapchats of the cute things your new pup can do, and laughing off the new holes in your socks. But quickly the honeymoon phase is over, and the realization sinks in that this new pet comes with a great deal of responsibility.  

Believe it or not your new toy drone is no different and there are some important things that Lighthouse Insurance would like to share with you about what it means to be a drone owner.

But first, why are we so invested in educating you about drones? It’s because this “toy” may actually have a critical affect on all our insured’s privacy and safety. Thus, we have made it our business to find out everything we can about being a safe drone owner and operator in Southie. Now, we are pleased to deliver this information to you, our neighbors.

The Facts About Owning And Operating A Drone In South Boston And Beyond

Why is this cool dream toy of yours starting to sound so serious? Let’s start with some information about drones that many new, and some longtime drone owners, may not fully understand:

  • The FAA does not differentiate between the drone you just bought as a gift and a commercial drone or one that is used for official purposes
  • Under the law your drone is actually an aircraft that you must register with the FAA to receive an operator’s license
  • When you fly your drone anywhere in our nation’s airspace, you automatically become part of the U.S. aviation system and you accept the same responsibility of operating your drone safely

These are, in themselves, some very sobering rules and regulations from the FAA. But you’re probably still feeling pretty confident you’re prepared for your new role as a drone pilot. Well, hold on a minute. Lighthouse wants to share another FAA regulation that is critical for all drone owners to understand but also very relevant to those of us living in Southie or around Boston.

No drone may fly within 5 miles of Logan Airport without notifying the airport operator and air traffic control tower. 

Yes, that’s a whole lot to think about before sending your toy drone out for a friendly fly around Castle Island. But it is critical for you to understand that you must stay away from restricted airspace, like flight paths at airports.

How do you stay on top of flight restrictions? The free FAA smartphone app, B4UFLY, can help you determine if you are operating near a restricted zone. It features a clear “status” indicator of your location, airspace restrictions, a planner mode for other areas, maps and much more.

There are just a few more general rules and regulations from the FAA that must be followed including that drone operators:

  • must be 17-years old
  • cannot fly over individuals who are not involved in flying the drone
  • must fly below 400 feet
  • must always maintain line of site with your drone

We apologize if you’re feeling suddenly dizzy from all of these laws and restrictions, and thinking what a scrooge Lighthouse is concerning drones. This is not to deter you from going out and getting the drone you’ve had on your wish list all year; rather, we are just trying to make sure that you don’t get in trouble over a toy.

More On Consumer Drone Laws 

Let’s go back to the new puppy example for a moment because we know that makes you smile. If you are a responsible, law-abiding pet owner, which we know you are, you will register your dog with the city of Boston, you will always keep your dog on a leash, you will make sure your dog is not a menace by making sure it doesn’t chase cars, the mailman or your neighbor, and, perhaps most important to the rest of us in Southie, you will clean up after your dog!

What happens if you don’t abide by these good owner principles? Well, in some cases, like not having a registration or walking off-leash, you may just be sited for unlawful behavior. But in other cases, like if said dog actually runs after someone, you are exposing yourself to much more significant risks and possible financial consequences.

Once again, your new status as toy drone pilot is strangely similar to that of being a new pet owner, because the number one action you should take is to register it with the FAA. If your drone weighs between 0.55 and 55 pounds and you have any plans to fly this device outdoors for hobby or recreation, this is an FAA requirement.

Many gift recipients will not realize this (just like many new pet owners have no idea what they are getting themselves into), so if you are giving a loved one the gift of a drone this year, Lighthouse Insurance recommends that you also provide the recipient clear direction on their responsibility to register and how to do this.

Here are a few tips on owning a drone that you may want to include with your gift:

  • Registration can be completed online here
  • Registration costs only $5 and is valid for three years
  • After you register, you will receive a certificate and an FAA registration number that must be marked on your drone
  • Always have your certificate with you when you fly your drone; print a hard copy or make it easy to pull up on your smartphone if needed

And while failing to register your dog or pick up their poop comes with somewhat inconsequential consequences, drone owners who fail to register their device can get slammed with one or more of the following:

  • a civil penalty of up to $27,500
  • a criminal fine of up to $250,000
  • imprisonment for up to three years.

Lighthouse Insurance strongly recommends you provide all of this important information along with your gift of a drone to ensure that the recipient can avoid crossing paths with the FAA.

How To Fly Your Drone Safely in Southie

You’re probably thinking, “Hey, if my neighbor John can fly his drone from the deck of his apartment, why can’t I? What could possibly go wrong?”

Well, because we are experienced insurance professionals, we are unfortunately aware of quite a few things.

For example, here are three headlines related to consumer drone flights gone awry:

  • Drone Crash! Breaks through window and hits guy in the head.  YouTube
  • Drone Crashes, Hits 2 People During Marblehead Parade.  CBSBoston.com
  • Kentucky man shoots down drone spying on 16-year-old daughter.  The Daily Dot

A drone can invade people’s privacy and cause serious bodily injury or property damage.

Whether your drone is 5lbs or 55lbs, imagine it losing battery charge at 400 feet and dropping straight down on your neighbor’s car, or worse, your neighbor. It’s going to feel like a brick when it hits and likely cause extensive damage or injury.

Your drone is also not immune to a cyber attack and today’s smart hackers can easily take control of your new toy for the purposes of stealing it or to simply cause some chaos in your neighborhood.

How can you make sure that all of your drone flights are smooth sailing? Once again we direct you to the FAA…you’re starting to sense a theme here, right? The FAA has created a very useful safety checklist that will help you fly safe, smart, and still have fun, whether you are a newly minted drone pilot or have been flying as a hobby for years. Lighthouse suggests you carefully go through this pre-flight checklist every time you plan to put your drone into the clear blue sky. Also, remember to regularly check for any updated safety guidelines on faa.gov/uas.

In addition, you may have noticed “No Drone Zone” signs cropping up around Southie – ironically, there’s one at that gorgeous new dog park at East First Street (Between M and O). Apparently, the buzzing sound of a drone doesn’t just drive moms crazy; dogs get very riled up as well and will chase a drone all day until they can catch it and destroy it.

But, despite the increasing no fly zones, there are still lots of great spaces in and around Boston that are easily accessible, a safe distance from airports, and as beautiful of a landscape as the dog park, including Magazine Beach, Fresh Pond, and John F. Kennedy Park at Harvard. No matter where you choose to fly your drone, always review local and state park ordinances and regulations before departure.

South Boston Drone Operators May Require Enhanced Insurance Coverage

Your insurance agent is an important person to contact at many stages of your life, like when you’re buying a home, expanding your family, or adding another driver. You can now add one more special event to that list …. when you buy a drone.

Sure, a toy drone isn’t really a momentous occasion compared to these other life events. However, remember that you are now much more than the owner of a drone; you have in your control a toy that is actually considered a plane by the FAA.

There’s no question drones are an exciting technology that can certainly enhance our lives in many ways, including providing your family with a fun hobby. However, the team at Lighthouse Insurance also wants to make sure you are aware of the risks and liability related to drone ownership and operation.

If you think a drone may be a brand new addition to your household this holiday season or in the future, then please call your Lighthouse agent. We will review your current policies to ensure that you have sufficient personal injury coverage under your home, condo or renters insurance policy or umbrella coverage to protect you should you have an unfortunate drone-related accident or claim against you. Contact us today or come see us at our very convenient West Broadway office.

Condo Insurance and Boston — 5 Things You Should Know

So, you’re thinking of buying a condo in South Boston. Congratulations! We know what a big step this is, and all the stress you’re dealing with. As condo prices in Boston continue to climb, and in an expensive ‘hood like Southie, jumping into the real estate market can be a daunting task. But your friends at Lighthouse Insurance are here to help!

Once you’ve made the financial commitment to buy property, you definitely want to make sure you have the right insurance to protect it. And in many cases, a standard condo insurance policy will not be enough to protect a luxury condo in Boston.

Here are 5 quick tips to think about when shopping around for your condo insurance policy.

1) Remember, your condo association will have a master condo insurance plan, but this plan will not cover your personal belongings. Condo owners should purchase their own condo insurance policy to protect their units and belongings.

2) Make sure your policy provides special limits of liability for any items you own that may require additional coverage. Think jewelry, silverware, furs, firearms, or even money and passports that you keep at home. You may want to consider adding a jewelry and fine arts rider to adequately protect these valuable items above and beyond the condo insurance policy limits.

3) There are many additional coverages you should consider when selecting your condo insurance policy. Things like debris removal, fire department service charges, and even lock replacement coverage can all be covered with the right plan.

4) Did you know that your condo insurance policy can also provide personal data replacement coverage and identity fraud expense coverage, along with complimentary theft management services? Ask your independent agent about how to get these coverages today!

5) Don’t forget to check on your personal liability coverage when assessing different condo insurance policies. This coverage provides protection in case someone is injured on your property or if you damage someone else’s property.

Here at Lighthouse, we know the Boston Condo Market like the backs of our hands. Get in touch today at 617-464-3777 or visit our website for more advice on how to protect your big investments!