Skip the Hassle: Get Automated Surety Bonds

Skip the Hassle: Get Automated Surety Bonds

Long gone are the days of undergoing a lengthy application process to buy or sell surety bonds thanks to our new partnership with Propeller Bonds—a new automated service offering no-touch market access. 

This is a game-changer for small and large businesses alike. 

 

What are surety bonds?

 

Think of a surety bond as a “100% Satisfaction or Your Money Back” guarantee. This three-party contract is put in place to protect one party from the debt, default, or failure of another. The surety acts somewhat as a buffer between the two by providing the money-back guarantee. 

There are two types of surety bonds:

1. Contract surety bonds are written for construction projects. In this instance, a project manager would seek a contractor to complete the work. A surety bond is then purchased by the contractor prior to beginning the construction project. Should the contractor default, the surety bond is either used to employ another contractor or reimburse the project manager for any financial losses incurred. There are four types of contract bonds—bid, performance, payment, and warranty (also referred to as maintenance bonds).

 

2. Commercial surety bonds are written for a broad range of services. They guarantee a company or individual’s work and are required on the federal, state, and local levels. There are five types of commercial surety bonds—license and permit, court (also referred to as judicial bonds), fiduciary (probate), public official, and miscellaneous. 

Surety bonds are mandatory whether you’re operating your business as a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). It’s a way to offer clients financial peace of mind. 

 

 

How does a surety bond impact the bottom line?

 

Offering an additional layer of coverage that guarantees your work is gold to consumers. It’ll reassure them that they are in good hands and could lead to future referrals. The surety bond starts a chain reaction and you soon become part of their daily dialogue. This is the most effective way to sustainably grow your business—word-of-mouth marketing (WOM marketing).  

WOM marketing is, in essence, free advertising triggered by a consumer’s experience with a business’ services and/or products. More referrals lead to more clients. More clients equal more revenue.

purchasing surety bonds process powered by Propeller Bonds

When can I buy or sell a surety bond?

The better question is: When can’t you buy or sell a surety bond? Downey Insurance Group’s partnership with Propeller Bonds allows you to exchange surety bonds at your convenience.

The process is as simple as 1-2-3 and:

  • Grants full market access to top surety insurance carriers.
  • Eliminates tedious tasks like paper forms and long approval procedures.
  • Provides instant gratification with surety bonds issued within seconds.

Propeller Bonds bring surety bonds to your fingertips, making it easy to start new projects and sign new clients without delay.

Does your work no longer require that you hold a surety bond? No problem. You can now easily sell an existing surety bond in an instant and receive confirmation all without leaving the comfort of your own home or office. You’re in complete control of your business timeline. What’s more, you can shop for all of your business needs in one place. 

At Downey Insurance Group, we offer an extensive product line of commercial insurance plans. Protect your clients with a surety bond and then protect your business with excess liability insurance

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

What You Need to Know About Massachusetts Auto Insurance

What You Need to Know About Massachusetts Auto Insurance

If you own a vehicle or occasionally drive one, chances are your state has minimum auto insurance requirements you need to meet before hitting the open road. These requirements are set in place to protect motorists from being solely responsible financially in the case of an accident. 

Nearly every state, excluding New Hampshire, has laws in place that dictate the minimum auto insurance each driver must carry to operate a motor vehicle. Failure to do so can lead to fines, suspension of your driver’s license or registration, and possible federal prosecution. This often makes the process of obtaining the appropriate amount of coverage an overwhelming task for many drivers. With so much on the line, it’s best to first take a look at your state’s requirements.

Auto insurance coverage in Massachusetts and New England

The lowest level of auto insurance required by most states is liability insurance which covers only the damages caused to the other party in an at-fault accident. In the state of Massachusetts, this includes four types of coverage, each with a required minimum coverage limit.

 

The four types of MA auto insurance required include:

  1. Bodily Injury to Others — $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
  2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — $8,000 per person/accident
  3. Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto — $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
  4. Damage to Someone Else’s Property — $5,000 per accident

 

Drivers are required to purchase the minimum coverage, specified above, in order to register and operate a vehicle in MA and New England. If there is more than one licensed driver in a household, motorists should include them as customary operators within their auto insurance policy.

Insurers define customary operators as anyone who may use your vehicle. Drivers with their own auto insurance policies can be added to your policy as deferred operators, often at no additional charge to the policyholder. These precautions help protect you and your assets even if you are not the one driving your registered vehicle at the time of an accident. It allows policyholders to minimize the financial impact if someone in their household is at-fault or involved, whether it’s due to distracted driving or poor judgment while behind the wheel. 

NOTE: Drivers with Learner’s Permits are not required to be listed until they are fully insured.

Recommended auto insurance for liability from Downey

Customize your Massachusetts and New England auto insurance

The amount of auto insurance coverage you need can go beyond the state’s required minimum. Consulting an insurance expert will help you determine what additional coverage is necessary to ensure you and your family have the proper safety net in place. 

 

Ideally, you should carry the highest amount of liability coverage you can afford to avoid unexpected financial hardship. For most drivers, 100/300/100 is the best level of liability coverage—$100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident in bodily injury, and $100,000 per accident in property damage. Drivers should also seek to add the highest level of PIP and uninsured motorist coverage to help further protect their assets and future earnings. 

 

Adding wiggle room to your policy means that the financial burden of an accident will fall on your insurer’s shoulders instead of yours. Optional coverage options include comprehensive and collision.

Contact us today and get the right auto insurance coverage to fit your unique needs.

Everything You Need to Know About Independent Insurance Agents

Everything You Need to Know About Independent Insurance Agents

Independent insurance agent? You’ve probably never heard that title before, and here’s why.

 

Many of the more familiar insurance companies, your State Farms and Giecos, are made up of captive insurance agents. They only have one insurance provider available: theirs. 

 

This leaves customers with limited pricing and all-size-fits-one insurance plans. On the other hand, independent insurance agents have several insurance providers within reach. They are able to offer more coverage options at a more affordable and flexible price point for their customers.

 

Taking a customer-centric approach

Independent insurance agents work with both small and large sales organizations. Each individual agent has the ability to write insurance under a variety of providers. This allows independent insurance agents to take a more mix-and-match approach to accommodate all stages of a client’s life. Additionally, insurance providers enter into a contract when joining an independent insurance agency. 

 

What does this mean for clients? It means that they’ll always receive the best possible insurance deal, negotiated on their behalf with their privacy in mind. The priority is Y-O-U, not the agency.

 

Some independent insurance agents may even double as financial advisors. This means that they’ll be able to not only help you protect your investments, but they’ll also help you invest smartly. You won’t need to bounce between agents and advisors. Working with an independent insurance agent is like a one-stop shop with your own personal shopper for insurance and financial services. They do all the tedious searching and shop-talk necessary to ensure their clients are taken care of. 

 

This includes both before and after the insurance coverage begins. Yep, that’s right. Independent insurance agents even help process insurance claims on their client’s behalf. Talk about coverage.

Is working with an independent agent better?

The short answer: YES. 

 

Although captive agents may have extensive knowledge of their insurer’s products, they are only able to offer their customers coverage under a single carrier. This limits their ability to find the most affordable insurance plan available and will often include additional fees payable to the company.

 

Working with an independent insurance agent opens up the possibilities. Customers are able to shop and compare multiple insurance policies from top carriers, saving time and money in the process. The flexibility offered by an independent agent brings about a sense of clarity not found with captive agents. Not only are independent agents knowledgeable about a multitude of coverage options, but customers are also able to curate an insurance policy to fit their specific needs.

 

No matter your insurance needs, an independent agent will be able to assist you in finding coverage that aligns with your financial health and future goals.

Our commitment to the customer experience

Downey Insurance Group is a family-owned and -operated independent insurance agency. Our company was established back in 1929 with the sole intent to bring affordable insurance coverage to the residents of Marlborough, MA. We’ve since expanded to include the greater New England and Massachusetts area, providing insurance options designed with the individual in mind.

 

Our insurance writing methods and standards of customer care are unsurpassed. We pride ourselves on being great people to know for our customers at large. YOU are always our top priority.

 

Looking for your personal shopper? Contact us today.