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Our Carriers’ responses to Covid-19

Each of our carriers are are offering support to customers and or community during these difficult times. Here’s a summary of our various carriers’ responses to the current Corona-virus situation. Although this is a fluid situation, we will do our best to update this regularly for accuracy.

Concord Group Insurance

For Clients: Concord Group will be providing a 15% return of premium for the months of April and May, subject to regulatory approval by the Department of Insurance. THIS HAS NOT YET BEEN APPROVED.

Additional response information: https://www.concordgroupinsurance.com/special-message

Foremost Insurance

For Clients: Foremost is extending a grace period for late payments until at least May 1, 2020. If your payment is late during this time, we will send you a reminder bill with an extended due date (rather than a cancellation notice for non-payment). This process will happen automatically; there is no need for you to call us to request an extension.

Additional response information:https://www.foremost.com/payonline/index.asp

Hanover Insurance

For Clients: They will be:

  • returning 15% of April and May auto premiums to personal lines customers through The Hanover CARES Refund.
  • Offering flexibility on bill payment options for those experiencing financial hardship, without any penalties and fees, including placing a 60-day hold on cancellations and non-renewals for non-payment
  • Extending personal auto coverage to individuals delivering food, medicine and other essential goods at no additional charge
  • Considering a covered premises as “occupied” while mandatory closures are in effect, addressing concerns with vacancy clauses
  • Waiving the limit on additional living expenses for homeowners who are forced from their homes following covered losses, such as a fire, to pay for delayed repairs and the added costs associated with temporary living arrangements
  • Extending the number of days we will reimburse a customer for a rental car if an insured’s vehicle is in the shop and cannot be repaired or returned

Additional response information: https://www.hanover.com/COVID-19/customers.html

Main Street America

For Clients: MSA will return approximately $16.5 million to personal auto policyholders in premium relief funds. The premium relief will come in the form of a one-time full payment of $50 per vehicle covered by an MSA personal auto policy as of March 31, 2020. It includes all MSA affiliated writing companies. Pending regulatory approval, it is anticipated the checks will be mailed to policyholders next week.

MSA is also offering flexibility in several other areas including premium payment deferral (without any penalties or late fees), extending rental car return days, suspending various audit, underwriting, physical inspection and commercial inspection requirements. In addition, we have extended private passenger automobile coverage to food delivery drivers hired by restaurants, as well as offering temporary coverage for restaurant insureds performing first-party food delivery service. MSA’s relief efforts also extend to individuals, families and businesses in communities where we operate.

The Main Street America Group is currently accepting 60-day payment extension requests until April 30, 2020. This means, if requested and approved, premium payments currently due will be suspended for up to 60 days.

American Family Insurance and its group companies (Including Main Street America) along with the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, announced today more than $4 million in support for COVID-19 pandemic relief and other non-profit efforts. Additional support from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation is expected to push the total support to more than $6.8 million.

Additional response information: https://www.msagroup.com/payment-suspension-request-info

https://newsroom.amfam.com/american-family-insurance-foundations-pledge-support-to-covid-19-relief/#.Xox46Zx7RtM.link

MetLife

For Clients: Billing accommodations are in effect for customers who may have difficulty making payment due to the impacts of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. This includes all states and lines of business as well as both personal and commercial products.

For the Community: Here are some of the actions we’ve taken to help our communities, customers, and employees during this difficult time: 

  • The MetLife Foundation is providing $25 million in grants to support COVID-19 global relief efforts—directed toward people with urgent needs for food, healthcare, and direct financial assistance
  • Donation of thousands of face masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and canisters of disinfecting wipes to help those in need
  • Reinforcing claims departments to process increased volume in a timely manner

Additional response information: https://www.metlife.com/covid-19-update-ceo-faq/

Plymouth Rock

For Clients: Plymouth Rock plans to offer the following relief to its customers, subject to regulatory approval:

  • A 25% premium credit on Liability and Personal Injury Protection Coverages
  • The option to “pay it forward” by donating auto insurance premium credit to a non-profit organization
  • The waiver of comprehensive and collision deductibles for any health care worker involved in an accident while driving to and from work, or in the line of duty
  • Application of the home insurance Additional Living Expense Coverage to any health care worker required by illness or job requirements caused by COVID-19 to temporarily reside somewhere other than their primary residence when payment for these expenses is not provided by the health worker’s employer or another source
  • Continuation of our payment flexibility, including waiving of late fees and a 60-day grace period (longer in some states), holds on cancellations and non-renewals for non-payment, per state guidelines
  • Extension of our food and legal medicine delivery accommodation

All relief will be available to current policies and new business, effective April 1 and extended until each state’s individual stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Additional response information: https://www.plymouthrock.com/resource-center/insurance-101/covid-19

Progressive

Apron Relief Program:Extra support during the COVID-19 crisis. To us, the apron is a symbol of protection. That’s why we’re assisting our customers, employees, communities, and agents by committing over $1 Billion to them in this time of need.

For Clients:

Assistance with coverage and payments: During this unprecedented time, we know you may be experiencing stress and financial hardship. While you’re doing your part to fight the pandemic, we’re committed to being there in your time of need. With that in mind, here are some steps we’re taking to make things a little easier:

Personal auto premium credit:

  • If you have an active personal auto policy at the end of April, you’ll receive a credit for 20% of your April premium. We’ll offer the same 20% credit to active personal auto customers at the end of May, and we may offer additional credits in the upcoming months.
  • There’s nothing you need to do. We’ll automatically calculate your credit at the end of each month, and then you’ll see it reflected in your account within a few weeks. If you have a balance on your policy, we’ll apply the credit directly to your remaining balance. And if you’re already paid in full, we’ll return the money to the payment account we have on file—so please make sure your payment details are up to date.
  • This credit is subject to approval by state regulators.

Coverage assistance

  • We don’t want you to worry about losing your insurance if you can’t pay right now. Starting April 1, 2020, we’ll waive late fees, pause collections, and hold off on canceling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020. Some states have already issued leniency guidelines, so we will adjust this timeline to either meet or exceed any state-specific requirements.
  • In the meantime, automatic payments will continue to go through unless you tell us to stop them. And after May 15th, any remaining balance on your policy will become due. If you need more support, please don’t hesitate to call us—we’re happy to work with you to manage payments moving forward.

Billing leniency

  • We encourage you to make a payment right now if you’re able to. But if you need extra time, please give us a call—we’re ready to help.
  • If you’ve already requested billing leniency, please be patient with us. Our systems haven’t caught up quite yet, so you’ll continue to receive bills and your Payment Schedule may not reflect your request.

In addition to helping with payments and coverage, we are:

First responders, health care workers, and delivery drivers are at the front lines of the crisis, and we’re doing everything we can to help by:

  • Providing expedited roadside assistance
  • Expanding coverage for personal auto customers who are temporarily delivering food or medicine
  • Offering meal delivery for our for-hire truckers
  • Providing a full-service claims experience for first responders and health care workers who experience a car accident. We’re providing transportation to work and expediting tow and vehicle repairs. And if needed, we’re deferring deductibles and providing a rental vehicle.

Helping customers get back on the road. We know finances might be tight. To help, we’re deferring deductibles for those who need a personal vehicle repaired and can’t pay out of pocket.

For communities:We’ve funded an $8 million donation by the Progressive Foundation. This donation will go to charities focused on hunger, health, and homelessness, including Feeding America, the American Red Cross, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Additional response information:https://www.progressive.com/support/covid19/

Providence Mutual

For Clients:If your employment or business has been impacted due to COVID-19 and you are unable to pay your bill, please contact us at 877.763.1800, or email us at CustomerService@ProvidenceMutual.com. Please include your policy number and phone number when emailing us.

We will work with you to adjust or pause billing schedules, accept partial payments, and extend cancellation dates. We are not charging late fees and are not collecting insufficient fund fees.

Additional response information:

Safety Insurance

For Clients: We recognize that many people are facing financial difficulties.

we are announcing the Safety Personal Auto Relief Credit. Any Safety Insurance personal auto policyholder that has a policy in effect as of April 1st will receive a 15% credit off their premium for the months of April and May. Details of the program include:

  • Insureds must have made at least one payment on their policy and maintain continuous coverage to be eligible
  • The credits will be applied automatically, and insureds do not need to take any action
  • Policyholders that have paid in full will receive a refund
  • New business policies are eligible
  • Agent commissions will not be affected
  • This credit is pending regulatory approval

In addition to this credit, Safety’s previously announced initiatives remain ongoing: Cancellation notices issued on or after March 23, 2020 have been rescinded and we have placed a hold on all non -payment policy cancellations until further notice. We have also waived all late and NSF fees.
For the Community: We are making relief efforts through our Charitable Foundation to help support the communities in which we do business. We are providing financial support to the following local charities.
 
Massachusetts COVID -19 Relief Fund
Boston Resiliency Fund
Project Bread
Healthcare Heroes to benefit the Massachusetts General Emergency Response Fund

Additional response information: https://www.safetyinsurance.com/custsupport/covid19.html

Travelers Insurance

For Clients: Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% credit on April and May auto premiums,

  • Providing billing relief for all U.S. customers, including suspending cancellation and nonrenewal of coverage due to nonpayment through May 15, 2020 (no interest, late fees or penalties will be charged).
  • Giving U.S. personal auto insurance customers a 15% credit on their April and May premiums.
  • Adjusting the claim inspection process to rely more heavily on state-of-the-art digital and virtual tools.
  • Conducting virtual premium audits for an extra measure of safety.
  • Providing telemedicine options for injured employees through workers compensation, including a temporary telerehabilitation program for those who are concerned about or unable to attend physical therapy visits in person.

For communities: Travelers has pledged $5 million to assist families and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across North America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Additional response information: https://www.travelers.com/about-travelers/covid-19-coronavirus-update

Get to know Jennica Ross, Licensed Agent

Meet Jennica, one of our amazing licensed agents! Jennica has been providing exceptional care to our clients for years.

Jennica, tell us a little about what is important to you!

Family, having fun and being happy is everything to me. Family is an important concept for me because it is not only the people we have been raised with but those that have entered our life through our years. This doesn’t mean only by blood but those that we have experienced life with and have grown with. We love taking adventures and sharing them with our family whether it is hiking, dancing, shopping, skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, or just having fun for the day. No matter the time of year we enjoy every moment making memories. My personal favorite though is the Spring. I absolutely love to garden and taking the time to listen to what nature has given us. Gardening prepares our family for the winter. Having our own grown food throughout the year is important. I feel it is something that has been lost and needs to be brought back to all.

You’ve been an agent for a long time. We know you really seem to have fun with your work. Why do you stay in the insurance industry?

Why do I stay in the insurance industry? Well, I am a social bug. I do love people and talking. 😊 I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have in this field as well as meeting new people and creating new relationships.

Now is a crazy time with the global health situation. How are you and your family handling it?

During this time of social/physical distancing there is no better time than spending with your family. Taking a break from the busyness life bring to us. I like to think that we are a very strong family emotionally so the distancing hasn’t bothered us too much. We are taking this time to prepare for the upcoming garden season, playing board games, lots of cooking, preparing for projects, being goofy and LOTS of exercise to make sure everyone stays healthy.

As you can tell, Jennica works hard to live her best life! We love that she chooses to be part of our team! Feel free to reach out to Jennica anytime! She’d love to talk to you!

10 things you absolutely need to know about life insurance

One of the pillars of personal finance, deserving of consideration in every home, is life insurance. While facing the reality of our demise is often a difficult task, the well-being of our loved ones after our passing is a crucial matter that cannot be overlooked. Acquiring a life insurance policy simplifies this decision and reduces uncertainty about the future. Here are a few things you need to know about life insurance

  1. If you have loved ones depending on you financially, life insurance is essential. Life becomes difficult on dependents upon your demise. It is vital to address these concerns with your insurance agent. At Keslar Insurance Agency, we analyze each client individually to come up with a policy that meets their concerns.
  2. Life Insurance is about financial obligation alone. Life insurance provides the policyholder and their loved ones peace of mind. The demise of the breadwinner weighs heavily on his dependents. Such concerns as school fees, unpaid medical bills, or funeral expenses may be a significant burden on your loved ones. Do not let the worries of the future prevent you from enjoying life in Newmarket, NH.
  3. Life insurance is a contract. Benefits are paid only to those who are affected by your demise.
  4. This policy is a risk management tool.
  5. Life insurance has two broad categories, term and permanent. Term insurance is paid based on the insured dying with a particular of time say 10, 20, or 30 years. Our agents at Keslar Insurance Agency will advise on whether to take up the term or permanent insurance policy based on your circumstances.
  6. The cost of life insurance varies based on the insurance company.
  7. Determining your optimal life insurance policy is not difficult. Our insurance agents will work closely with you to come up with a policy that meets your needs.
  8. It is alright to seek help in preparing for your death.
  9. Always ask about your options when you need to cancel an insurance policy.
  10. Familiarize yourself with major insurance terms.

Please feel free to contact our insurance agents at Keslar Insurance in Newmarket, NH for further information.

Virtual tools for prospects & clients

We make it easy to work with us in person- or virtually.

We always want to be your personal connection for all your insurance needs. We love seeing our clients and knowing them.  And we will continue to be here for you! Given the current and quickly changing global concerns with personal interaction, we wanted to clarify for our community how we can support you, without ever even stepping foot into our office! 

  • Quotes:
    We are fully staffed with licensed agents who can take your information over the phone and provide you with electronic copies of quotes which you can review at your convenience. We also have the ability to start a quote online on our website for you with 24/7 convenience.
    If you do decide to move forward with us, we can address all the documentation virtually as well, using simple and secure e-signature software that you can use on your phone, laptop, tablets and other devices. We are happy to mail hard copies when necessary.
  • Service:
    We are available via phone during our regular business hours to answer questions, accept bill payments, start claims, make changes to your policies, and more. Additionally, you can also reach us via email and text. (Note: No policies can be bound or changed until you hear back from a licensed agent.)
    We also have a convenient and secure Client Center on our website which allows you to view policies, print insurance ID cards, update contact information, download documents and more all – any time, any day! 
  • Additional resources:
    Although we pride ourselves in being your first point of contact for any service requests, Our website also lists the service contact information for each of our carriers, making it easy should you want to contact them directly to do things like pay a bill or start a claim. 
    We also have a robust searchable blog with over 100 relevant educational posts that can help answer many questions that you may have. 

We are grateful to have leading technologies which allow us to provide robust and diverse options for our prospects and clients. Our goal is to provide exceptional service at all times, even when they are changing. 

We thank you for your continued connection and look forward to a continued relationship. 

Sincerely, 
The Staff at Keslar Insurance
www.keslarinsurance.com
603-273-0953

Is It Time to Update Your Auto Insurance?

Lifestyle changes affect many aspects of our lives to include insurance coverage. The auto insurance policy you purchased last year may have provided you with adequate coverage at that time, but is it still current today? By reviewing your policy annually, you’ll know if your coverage needs tweaking or is up to date. At Keslar Insurance Agency in Newmarket, NH, we can help you update your policy to ensure you’re getting the protection you need. Here are a few signs that it may be time to update your policy. 

New Drivers

If you have new people driving your car regularly, such as your teen or spouse, you’ll need to update your policy to add them to your insurance. This ensures they’ll get full protection from your coverage. As teens are generally inexperienced drivers, you may want to add or increase certain types of coverage such as liability or collision to protect your vehicle and others against accidents your teen may cause.

New Vehicle

A change in vehicles is a good time to update auto insurance. Your coverage should be enough to protect the value of your new car. If you took out a loan for your new vehicle, your lender may require you to have extra coverage such as collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist to protect his investment. 

New Location

Moving to a new location could prompt you to update your auto insurance, especially if your car is at greater risk of theft or damage. If your new home doesn’t have an enclosed garage, your vehicle is more susceptible to damage from inclement weather, falling objects, etc., when parked in the driveway or street. You may want to add or increase your comprehensive coverage to cover this risk. 

To update your auto insurance or purchase a new policy, call or visit Keslar Insurance Agency in Newmarket, NH. 

Does Your Commercial Policy Have the Business Interruption Coverage You Need?

Owning a successful business in the Newmarket, NH area requires a lot of hard work. The team at Keslar Insurance Agency is proud to serve the commercial insurance needs of our friends and family, and we look forward to working with you too. Our team understands the importance of business continuity, and that’s why we recommend that our commercial clients have sufficient business interruption coverage.

Is Your Commercial Policy Providing the Coverage You Need??

Commercial coverage is often thought of as a way to protect property and equipment, but there are several features available that enhance your protection. If your business is rendered inoperable due to a covered event, business interruption insurance can kick in to help you weather the storm. When a company is kicked offline, it can cause a domino effect. Cash flow can be disrupted, and costs for repairs and replacements can cause a severe dent in profits. With the proper coverage, your business can be kept alive while you work to get everything fixed.

Whether your premises is damaged and becomes uninhabitable, or your equipment is damaged and isn’t working, the right commercial policy will help you get back up and running while protecting your business at the same time. Don’t let an unexpected tragedy run your business into the ground; review your commercial policy today to ensure that it provides the protection you need. Life can throw a lot of curveballs our way, and having robust insurance coverage is one way to keep your business going through thick and thin.

Keslar Insurance Agency is here to answer all of your commercial insurance questions. It is our goal to provide the business owners in the greater Newmarket, NH area with the protection that they need. Contact our offices to speak with an agent and get a quote.

Auto insurance tips when going through a divorce

Make sure you know who your current agent is and how to reach them. Even better if you have a copy of your policies and know what you have for coverages. Both parties should know where they stand on insurance until they are on their own policies.

  1. Know that your credit can impact your insurance score as it is often one of the factors in insurance rating. Separation can impact your credit score as you are working to detangle financial responsibilities. Make sure you work to maintain your credit scores to help save money down the road.
  1. Car insurance: Cannot remove your ex without consent- typically in writing. If you have separate addresses, separate vehicle titles, One person will have to get a new policy.
  2. If you move, you need to notify your insurance provider- a new Zip code can alter your car insurance premiums.
  3. Typically the insurance follows the car registrations. This means whoever officially owns the car and registers it, that is the person who typically has the insurance coverage on the car.
  4. Never have a lapse in coverage if you can avoid it- even if it is only a day. This can significantly increase premiums. The person getting new coverage should get the new policy in place BEFORE being removed from the prior policy. In other words, do not allow yourself to have a lapse in coverage as this can be quite costly- even only if for a short period of time.
  5. Children in divorce situations: typically the parent with primary coverage will provide the insurance, but this can be part of the child support obligation negotiations.
  6. Best time to separate policies- when divorce is finalized. Once divorce is final, one party will need a new policy.
  7. If you ex is paying for insurance after the divorce, make sure the insurance company has all your contact info as well so you are notified if payments are no longer made.
  8. The widow penalty- when you are widowed some company’s increase rates by as much as 20%. This is because that person is now considered “single” and single drivers pay higher insurance than married couples. Have your insurance company let you know if premiums will be increasing when you change your status. If so, a good independent agent can shop for these things.
  9. If you need a new vehicle know the purchase price, theft rate, cost of repairs ,accident rate, and safety tests all impact the insurance price on the car- so it is not one thing.
  10. Consider AAA or roadside assistance option to keep you protected if you have car troubles.
  11. Partner with a good licensed agent who is responsive, supportive and educates you on process and you options. An independent agent can help you find the best insurance options for your particular needs by shopping a variety of carriers on your behalf. By doing so, they can reduce a lot of stress that can be part of this transition process.

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Preparing your home for winter in Newmarket, NH is vital for staying warm and protecting it. By being proactive, you can lower energy bills and increase the lifespan and efficiency of the home’s components.

  • Check Your Heating System: Take the time to change your filters and have it looked at by a reputable HVAC contractor.
  • Seal Exterior Wood: The wood trim on the exterior of the house should be protected from the elements. Replacing trim can be expensive, so it’s best to make sure it doesn’t rot, to begin with.
  • Check Drainage: Make sure soil around the foundation hasn’t settled because this can create areas for water to pool. Be sure the water is going to move away from the home.
  • Clean Gutters: Once the leaves are off the trees, then you need to clean the gutters. When the gutters back up, it can overflow into the home.
  • Clean the Chimney: Have the fireplace inspected before you start to build fires for the winter. Now is the time to get new firewood and make sure that the firewood isn’t rotten.
  • Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors: Winter is a typical time for house fires. Carbon monoxide can also be a big issue because the house is closed up. Check the detectors or consider getting some if your home is not equipped.
  • Shut Down the Sprinkler System: Your sprinkler system should be shut down, and many systems require the lines to be blown out. The outside water faucet is not protected from the elements so it can freeze during winter. Take the time to do a necessary drain of the line.
  • Check the Trees: Make sure trees are healthy, so they don’t fall on your home or your neighbor’s home during a winter storm.
  • Be Sure Your Home Insurance Is Up to Date: Now is as good a time as any to check to make sure your home insurance in Newmarket, NH will cover any winter storms. An agent at Keslar Insurance Agency can help update your policy if needed.

Contact Keslar Insurance Agency to get a quote on home insurance and have your questions answered.

Buying investment homes? Check for an upper story egress

egress 1    egress 2

Insurance underwriters at numerous carriers now are requiring permanent egresses (exits) from upper level (2nd floor and above) rental dwellings. They are rejecting new policies and renewals if those permanent egresses aren’t in place.

What does that mean? It means that in order to have more carrier options for competitive premiums, that property must have this egress in place at the time of the quote.  This includes single and multi-family properties.

What are acceptable egresses? Unfortunately, using portable fire-ladders are not an acceptable solution for these underwriting guidelines. Instead, there must be a landing plus permanent stairs or some such apparatus which allows people to escape to safety at ground level.

What about currently owned and insured properties? Some carriers are dropping coverage for those properties- so you will need to find another carrier who will be willing to take on the risk. Talk to your agent in advance if your current carrier is heading in this direction. This will allow you to plan to either add an acceptable egress or shop for a new carrier.

Who can help? Independent insurance agencies can work with you on finding the best carrier that can provide appropriate coverages for your properties. They should know which carriers are requiring these permanent egress structures. We’d be honored to be one of those carriers!

Want to learn more? Reach out to us and we are happy to answer questions and to provide a free quote!

About Keslar Insurance Agency

Keslar Insurance Agency is a full service provider of residential and commercial insurance products in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Keslar Insurance makes sure clients have the right insurance products to protect the most important things in life-family, possessions and business. Keslar Insurance employees focus on providing the kind of service and value we’d expect for ourselves and our families. Our products which include homeowners insurance, auto, life, umbrella, renters, landlord, boat, snowmobile, ATV, flood, commercial auto, business owner’s policies, general liability, worker’s compensation, motor home, camper, and more. For more information call 603-273-2953 or visit: www.keslarinsurance.com.

 

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