480 Adams St - #204 - Milton, MA 02186
(617) 698 - 7850

Homestead Act provides protection from unsecured creditors


Homestead Act provides protection from unsecured creditors

 It’s a good idea to check to see if a Homestead Declaration protects your home. While homeowners get an automatic $125,000 homestead protection, a homestead declaration allows homeowners who reside in the home to protect their principal residence from unsecured creditors claims up to $500,000. For those individuals over the age of 62 or legally disabled, the law states that a homestead may be filed on each individual’s behalf and the aggregate protection increases to $1 million.

More information.

‘Tis the season-for home fires 
This is the time of year when the most home fires occur, often turning a joyful time into tragedy and loss. Here are a few precautions:
 Candles (2 out of every 5 home decoration fires started by candles – NFPA)
  • Never leave a candle burning near anything flammable, or burning in a child’s or an unoccupied room
  • Make sure candles fit securely into a holder that won’t tip over
  • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
 Children playing with fire

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignition sources out of the reach of children
  • Teach children fire safety at an early age
  • Make sure children have adequate supervision
 Christmas trees and lighting 
  • Keep live trees well watered and dispose of them before they become dry
  • Turn off tree and decorative lights before leaving the house or going to bed
  • Check lights for shorts or other problem before putting them up
  • Don’t leave food cooking on the stove unattended
  • Don’t throw water on a grease fire; put a lid on the pan to smother the fire
  • If there’s an oven fire, turn off the oven and leave the door shut until the fire goes out
  • Keep clothing, potholders, paper towels and anything else flammable away from a fire


  • Have the fireplace inspected to see if it needs cleaning
  • Screen the fireplace to prevent embers for escaping
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire
  • Only burn seasoned wood – no wrapping paper
  • When removing embers place in a metal container and set outside to cool for 24 hours before disposing


And remember to always have working smoke detectors in the house and a fire extinguisher nearby.

Setting the record straight


Setting the record straight 
Q. Should I insure my home based on its real estate value? 
A. According to one survey, more than 50% of those responding use their home’s real estate value to determine the amount of coverage. A more accurate approach is to insure it for what it would cost to repair or replace your home. If you live in a “hot” residential real estate market where home prices are climbing, you should consider reviewing the coverage amount each year at renewal time.
Q. Is it true that red cars cost more to insure?

A. No, it isn’t true, even though it’s a popular myth. So, feel free to test drive that little red convertible.

Q. Can out-of-state speeding tickets follow me home?

A. They not only can follow you home, but you can count on it. On top of that, they can have an unwelcome impact on your auto insurance rates.

Q. I have a small car. Am I right in thinking that it costs less to insure?

A. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not true. It’s just another popular myth. In fact, the rates may be higher, since small cars are often owned by younger, inexperienced drivers who have more claims. Medical claims can be higher, too, since small cars lack the weight and protection of larger vehicles.  

You may only be half-insured

There was a time when the standard, off-the-shelf homeowners policy fit just about everyone. Not so today. Think of it more as a “hub” for “plugging in” specific coverages or endorsements. Here are a few examples:
Additional insured residence premises is an endorsement designed for those who have an interest in a property but don’t live there. Example: you may have given your son or daughter the down payment for purchasing a home. Your interest can be protected with this endorsement in case of a loss.
Other members of your household. This endorsement provides personal property, additional living expense, and protection to a named individual living in the insured’s home who is not a relative. This includes individuals such as domestic partners or significant others.
Other structures increased limits. This is not limited to buildings, but can include swing sets, patios, barbeque pits and “other structures” in the backyard. A homeowners policy limits the coverage to 10% of the coverage A limit and, quite possibly, creates an underinsured situation. This endorsement can remedy this problem.
Mechanical breakdown. This endorsement covers the mechanical breakdown of household appliances, which are normally excluded. The limit, which is an aggregate, starts at $5,000, but can be increased up to $50,000. With the cost of sophisticated appliances much higher today, having equipment scheduled is worth serious consideration.
Service line repairs. Many homeowners are not aware that they are responsible for the costs of repairing damaged water or sewer service lines that run from their home to the municipal service lines in the street, and which are not covered by most homeowners. However, a Service Line endorsement provides the necessary protection.

For information on homeowners policy endorsements, contact Renee Pike.

Attention all coastal homeowners!


Pike Insurance is proud to offer a new cutting edge coastal homeowners insurance provider to our customers. We would love to provide a fast and easy quote to you at no cost!

This is an exciting opportunity because our new affiliate is not yet offered by most insurance agents in Massachusetts. Specializing in coastal properties, we can present options, likely offering you better coverage at a lower premium.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at our website, www.rhpike.com, give us a call at 617-698-7850, or visit at 480 Adams St, Milton, Ma.

We look forward to working with you.



Preventing theft: garage door openers

While most people would never leave their keys in their car, a garage door remote can be just as valuable to a thief. Don’t leave the door opener in a car that is sitting in the driveway or on the street. And when driving, be proactive. Information in your glove compartment can reveal your address. Close your windows and lock your doors. Don’t leave a garage remote where it is visible or better yet, take it with you when leaving the car, just like you do your keys.

Watch out! Auto accidents on the rise

According to the National Safety Council, serious injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes are on the rise, continuing a troubling multiyear surge that experts believe is being fueled in part by more people driving while distracted by cellphones and other devices. Other factors include an improving economy, lower gas prices, and younger, more inexperienced drivers. And the costs are rising with repairs and greater medical and loss of income expenses.

Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance. If you have the misfortune of being injured in an accident, this means each person files a claim with his or her own insurance company for personal injury protection (PIP) and other benefits. Typically, drivers cannot take one another to court for costs associated with the crash, unless these conditions are met:

  • the injured person must have incurred at least $2,000 in reasonable medical expenses, and/or
  • injuries resulting from the accident must include permanent and serious disfigurement, fractured bone, or substantial loss of hearing or sight
As part of the compulsory insurance, your insurance company pays covered benefits up to $8,000 per person in any one accident under Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It covers basic medical payments, which can include medical expenses, up to 75% of loss of wages, and replacement services (such as childcare) resulting from an auto accident. Your policy will detail who is entitled to receive benefits from this coverage.
Collision and comprehensive coverage aren’t compulsory in Massachusetts, but many drivers add this coverage to pay for repairs or replacement of a damaged vehicle.

When you’re not covered
If you are injured while driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or a narcotic drug, while committing a felony or seeking to avoid arrest by a police officer, or with specific intent of causing injury to yourself or others, it is deemed that you contributed to your own injury and you won’t receive benefits under PIP.

Also, PIP is not available for motorcycles, although a Medical Payments option is available on the MA auto insurance policy for riders and passengers.

Also, if you fail to list any “customary” operator or licensed household member, your insurance company might refuse to pay your claim.

Thinking about being a rideshare driver?

Before picking up your first customer, be sure you’re properly insured:
  • Be familiar with the coverage provided by the rideshare company. Since this coverage has strict guidelines, have your insurance agent review the coverages and explain what you need to do.
  • It could be a huge mistake to take insurance advice from other rideshare drivers, particularly anyone who tells how to “beat the insurance company.”
  • If necessary, have your insurance agent explain the differences between your personal insurance and your rideshare coverage so you don’t put yourself or a third-party passenger at risk.
  • Since ridesharing is a new industry and insurance companies are feeling their way, have your insurance agent update you regularly on changes and updates from your insurance company.

Control your liability: the costly bite of dogs

Insurance companies felt the bite last year as dog bite cases jumped 18 percent across the country, spurring more than $600 million in claims. Accounting for more than one-third of all homeowner liability claims for 2016, the costs averaged $33,230 per claim.
Whether small or large, furry, cuddly, or playful,most dogs are treated as a member of the family. And homeowners believe their dog is harmless and would never hurt anyone or anything. Yet, even the most docile dogs can bite when frightened, threatened, or defending their owner, puppies, or food.
The Massachusetts General law c. 140 § 155 (otherwise known as the “Dog Bite statute”) is very clear that dog bites are considered liability claims, and, therefore, do not require wrongful or negligent acts on the part of the owner or keeper. The only exception is if the injured person was committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog. But, if the incident involves children under seven-years-old, it’s presumed the child was not committing such acts.

And it’s not just injuries from dog bites that are covered – scratching or knocking people down, either viciously or playfully, as well as damaging property are also liabilities.

Here are some tips:
Train properly. Teach puppies that any contact of their mouth with human skin or clothes is unacceptable, even if they are playing. Create a socialization plan specifically for your dogs that exposes them to the animals, individuals, environments, activities, and objects they are likely to encounter. Take steps to control jumping on others.
Let others know about your dog. If your dog doesn’t like being petted by strangers, take steps to prevent it from happening.
Understand their fears. Oftentimes dogs are aggressive and bite because they are scared. Understand the source of fear and work with them to overcome it.
Get help for behavioral problems. For dogs with special behavioral needs, develop a plan with your veterinarian and/or another animal behavior expert.
Always supervise with children. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children. Many children don’t know how to behave with dogs and their sudden movements and acts of affection can frighten dogs and cause them to react by biting.
Place a “Beware of Dog” sign on your property. This won’t get you off the hook if there is an incident, but it places others on notice when approaching your home.
Obey leash laws.

Understand your liability coverage. Contact us if you have any questions.

Protect yourself while traveling

Summer travel is lots of fun and the last thing you want to happen is theft or identity theft. Here are ways you can help protect yourself:
  • Take one or two credit cards. Use only one during travel, so if there’s a problem you only have to deal with one company to resolve fraud issues.
  • Travel with the least amount of personal information as possible. If you are not traveling abroad, don’t bring your passport. Keep your social security card at home.
  • Separately, carry photocopies or electronic backups of your passport and other identifications as well as credit cards.
  • Don’t keep all your cash in your wallet. If it’s stolen, you will still have some cash on hand.
  • Electronic hotel keys can contain personal information, including credit cards. So protect it during your stay and return to the front desk.
  • Don’t carry your wallet or valuables on your backside – it’s fodder for pickpockets.
  • Don’t throw your boarding passes in the wastebasket – shred them when you get home.
  • Be wary of public wi-fi networks, whether in the hotel, at the airport, or a restaurant. Always avoid working with sensitive data when you’re using unsecured, public wi-fi. Control what’s accessible on your computer by turning off file sharing, enabling your system’s built-in firewalls, and keep internet-connected apps and services to a minimum. When you’re finished working online, turn wi-fi off on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Keep Your Antivirus and Antimalware up to date.
  • When you get home, check credit card statements carefully.


What’s a PUP?

“PUP” stands for Personal Umbrella Policy, which provides an extra layer of very affordable liability protection for your personal assets and future earnings.
ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. That’s why people have insurance. However, if you aren’t protected by a personal umbrella policy, you could be putting your house or your financial assets at risk.

Read More…

Flood Insurance

Just an inch of water can cause significant property damage. Insurance coverage is considerably less expensive than federal disaster loans and it’s 100 percent backed by the U.S. government
Be Smart, Be Prepared with Flood Insurance Talk to PIKE Insurance today about whether you should purchase this important coverage to protect…

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Renee Pike’s 10 Ways to Lower Home Insurance Costs

Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your policy coverage begins. Deductibles on homeowners policies typically start at $500. By increasing your deductible to $1,000, you could save up to 24 percent; $2,500, up to 30 percent; and $5,000, up to 37 percent, depending, of course, on your insurance company.

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The Top 10 Reasons to Purchase the Rental Car Coverage

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To purchase the CDW or not to purchase the CDW, that is the question.” It has been debated for years whether or not a person renting a vehicle should purchase the Collision (or Loss) Damage Waiver from the rental company. Our recommendation is that consumers, in general, SHOULD purchase …

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