A Tale of Two Exclusions

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When it comes to insurance policy language and exclusions, most would assume less is better. That is, a briefly worded exclusion probably excludes LESS than a more lengthy one. When it comes to Marine Insurance this isn’t necessarily the case. Consider the two exclusions in the box below. At first glance, one might assume the shorter exclusion on the right is likely to be less restrictive.

Part D: Property Damage Coverage2. EXCLUSIONS: We do not provide property damage coverage against or resulting from:

a.wear and tear, deterioration, mechanical or electrical failure, improper repair, corrosion, weathering, insects, mold or mildew, animals, vermin, or marine life damage. However, this does not exclude a consequential loss to your Boat resulting from the burning, collision, demasting, sinking, or stranding of your Boat due to the losses otherwise excluded in this Part D: Property Damage Coverage, Section 2a;


Part D: Property Damage Coverage2. EXCLUSIONS: We do not provide property damage coverage against or resulting from:

a.wear and tear, deterioration, mechanical or electrical failure, improper repair, corrosion, weathering, insects, mold or mildew, animals, vermin, or marine life damage.


Got Valuables? Get Insurance!

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Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting of all time. It also holds claim to the largest insurance valuation for a painting in history. In 1962, when the Mona Lisa went on tour from Paris France to Washington DC and New York City, The Louvre assessed the cost to insure the painting for the duration of the trip. The valuation at the time was $100,000,000. Ultimately, The Louvre declined the insurance as the premiums to insure the masterpiece were greater than the highest security precautions available.

Today the Mona Lisa sits comfortably on display at The Louvre inside a sealed enclosure of 1.52″ think bullet proof glass and a permanent interior temperature of 43 degrees Fahrenheit and a consistent 50 percent humidity. With over 9,000,000 visitors each year and the Mona Lisa being the most popular exhibit in the Louvre, there’s no question the painting warrants some serious protection measures.

da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is secured inside an environmentally protected enclosure including nearly 2 inches of bulletproof glass.


It’s unlikely that you or I will ever require such extreme protection measures for our valuables, however anyone in possession of valuable artwork would be foolish not to expend some extra effort to protect it. A good home security system is a good start, however a smash and grab-type burglar who knows what he’s after isn’t likely to be deterred much by an alarm. Once that valuable item is stolen odds are that it’s gone for good. This is where insurance comes into play.

A standard homeowners insurance policy provides little protection for damaged or stolen valuable items. Never assume that your home insurance is going to properly cover you for valuable works of art, jewelry, furs or other valuable collections. The proper way to insure these items is specifically insuring each of these items on a valuable items schedule. Often referred to as a “rider” or a “floater,” this form of insurance not only insures specific valuables at predetermined limits, but it broadens coverage to include losses that would not ordinarily be covered on a homeowners insurance policy. When specifically “scheduled,” coverage options include mysterious disappearance and breakage. Additional coverage options may include an “agreed amount” or “appraised value” coverage.

For more information or to obtain a quote to properly insure your valuables, contact a member of our team at Fitts Insurance. We’ll be happy to take the time to explain your coverage options and place this valuable coverage for you.




Holocaust Survivor, Young Man Form Deep Friendship

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By Paul Tennant ptennant@eagletribune.com, CARL RUSSO Staff photo. Apr 4, 2016Kyle Fay

ANDOVER — Fay Glick, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, has a gift for beating the odds.

As a young woman in Nazi-occupied Poland, she stood in line for a train that was headed for a death camp. Instead, a German soldier pulled her out of the line and she ended up in a work camp, where she and other prisoners made munitions for the Third Reich.

“I never saw my parents again,” she recalled. Neither did she see her three sisters. They were all most likely murdered, she said.

Many years later, after migrating to the United States, she and her husband Benjamin Glick, whom she met in Germany after World War II, took a bus from Haverhill, where they had been living, to Framingham.

She didn’t know anybody in the town, but she walked into the Fitts Insurance Agency and asked the owner to help her husband set up a tailoring shop.

“He said, ‘I’d like to help you,’” she recalled – and sure enough, the insurance man helped Benjamin Glick establish his business, which went on to thrive for more than 30 years.

A few years after Benjamin started his tailor shop, Fay decided it was time for them to buy a home of their own, so she looked at a house that was for sale, liked it and offered the owners $14,000, which they accepted.

“I bought the house without my husband,” she said with a laugh. There’s a Yiddish word for that kind of pluck: chutzpah.  Today, Fay Glick lives at Atria Marland Place, a senior living community on Stevens Street. Age does not appear to have diminished her zest for life. Mary Mazza, activities director at Atria, said it’s remarkable that this woman, who suffered so much during her younger years and lost all of her immediate family members, always has a smile.

During the last few months, Glick has struck up a close friendship with Kyle Mittelman, a young man who made his bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel on Feb. 28.  Kyle, a seventh-grader at Doherty Middle School, explained that bar mitzvah is “when a Jewish boy becomes a Jewish adult.” In preparation for this milestone, he was expected to carry out a service project. Kyle decided that for his project, he would visit and make friends with the elderly residents of Atria Marland Place. “It was Kyle’s idea,” Mazza said. Kyle and Glick quickly formed a bond. When he made bar mitzvah at the temple, he had to read from the Torah in Hebrew.

Written Hebrew does not have vowels, making it very challenging for people who don’t speak it every day. Kyle’s friend at Atria Marland, however, speaks Hebrew – besides English, German, Polish and Yiddish.  She helped her young friend with conversational Hebrew, thus giving him more confidence with the language. Now that he has made bar mitzvah, Kyle could have ended his visits to Atria.

That has not happened, however. He helps prepare meals on Saturdays and continues to visit Glick and his other friends at the community. He gladly participates in games with the residents. “He has a deep compassion for seniors,” Mazza said. “They look forward to him coming here.”  Kyle will turn 13 later this month. Mazza said it’s rare for a person so young to have such a large store of compassion and empathy.

From Glick, he has learned firsthand that being Jewish can be dangerous – and too often fatal. This woman was a girl of 16 in Poland when the Nazis conquered her homeland and began putting Jews in ghettos and concentration camps. Her family was initially taken to a ghetto in Czestochowa. “I was trying to work to get food,” she recalled. She swept streets among other tasks. Eventually, the Germans segregated parents from their children.

Kyle paid rapt attention as his Hebrew tutor described her experiences as a prisoner, stripped of her freedom and dignity because of her religion. Describing the treatment she suffered as “horrible” and “cruel,” he said it troubles him that people can be tortured and killed because they are different.

Kyle said he would like to be a chemist some day, “but I’ll probably be a casino dealer,” he said with a chuckle.  Glick, who used to love going to casinos when she was more independent, laughed, too. “He’s a good boy,” she said. Kyle is the son of Joel and Beth Mittelman of Andover.

Benjamin Glick, who died in 1995 at 77, had a brother Leo Glick, who operated the Louie the Tailor Shop on Merrimack Street, Haverhill, from 1950 until he died in 1987 at 75. Benjamin was imprisoned at Auschwitz, where he was forced to make uniforms for German soldiers. Leo survived eight Nazi death camps, according to a July 27, 1987, Eagle-Tribune article.

Frozen Pipes

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Water FaucetHere at Fitts Insurance, we took MANY water pipe claims this week.  Our mild winter came to an abrupt end with the record freezing temps this past weekend.  Frozen pipes, burst pipes, flooding, water damage, and the resulting clean up were on tap for some clients. And though we may be out of the deep freeze at the moment, there is still some winter left to weather. 

The following information on how to prevent or deal with frozen pipes may be needed next week or next winter.  In either case, this is information that homeowners, tenants, and businessowners alike should know or have on hand as a reference for when it is needed.

There are three common causes of frozen pipes according to the American Red Cross and any one, or a combination of them, can cause a pipe problem:

  • Rapid drop in temperature
  • Poor insulation
  • Thermostats being set too low

Not all pipes need special care but those that are exposed to the outdoors, nearest the building’s outer walls, or under the foundation are the ones that are most at risk.  And since Mother Nature is beyond taming, that leaves us with doing our best to protect ourselves and our property from her harsher moods.  So what can you do?

  • Set your thermostat to the same temp day & night.  Nights are usually colder, so turning down the heat is not a good idea
  • Use heat tape, heat cables or foam sleeves to wrap the pipes
  • Remember water freezes at 32 degrees. When it’s in the 20s and teens, we are already well below freezing!
  • Make sure you have enough insulation in the outer walls to keep the cold out
  • Check to see that your garage door and other exterior doors are closed
  • Open hot & cold faucets to a slow drip
  • Seal any leaks or cracks that allow the cold air in
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach un-insulated pipes near exterior walls (remove any household cleaners and chemicals out of the reach of children)
  • Know the location of your internal shut off valves in case a pipe bursts or leaks
  • If you are going away, shut off the water supply line to your washing machine
  • Drain and shut off all outside spigots
  • Mark the shut off to the main water supply line so it can be easily identified
  • If you are going way, set the thermostat to 60 degrees
  • Have someone check on your house when you can’t be there
  • Use a temp-controlled thermal convection powered hot water recirculation valve
  • Use a product called ICE LOC which prevents pipes from rupturing by taking up the expansion of the frozen water
  • Use a RedyTemp, a device which utilizes an internal water contacting temperature probe to monitor the temp of the water inside the pipes

Having done all you can, you still may find it was not enough and your pipes have frozen.  Now what?  Here are a few options to try:

  • To thaw a frozen pipe, first check the pipe for  the area where frozen
  • Heat the area around the frozen part with an electric space heater, a hand-held hair dryer, or a heat lamp with a reflector to prevent a fire.  NEVER use a blow torch or open flame!
  • DO NOT use electrical appliances in or near standing water
  • If there is flooding, turn off the main water valve and call 911

Should you find that in spite of your efforts, the pipe remains frozen, keep the faucet(s) open and call a plumber immediately.

You can find more information, pictures, diagrams, step by step instructions and video at:   http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Frozen-Water-Pipes

Should you have a claim from a frozen pipe or have a question, you can call us at 508-620-6200 or email us at info@fittsinsurance.comYou can also put a claim in directly by contacting your company.  Claims information for your company can be found on our website: www.FittsInsurance.com.

Don’t Wait To Insure that Special Gift!

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So you have just purchased a lovely and expensive item, piece of jewelry, or art for yourself or as a gift for someone you love.  You can hardly wait to get it home to use it, or put it in place of honor, or see your loved onA27XY6 Pile of Christmas Presents on white backgrounde’s surprise and delight when they open your thoughtful gift and exclaim “Oh, my!”  How pleased will that make you feel?  Big smile, oh yes, that feeling was worth it!

But don’t let the “Oh my!” be trumped by the “Oh, no!” that follows when you find out the item is lost, stolen, or broken and you discover it is not insured under your homeowner or tenants policy!

Before it is wrapped, hung, or used, make sure you call us and have the item put on a schedule for the full replacement cost value of the item – not the sale value you may have paid.  Items that can be scheduled are jewelry, furs, cameras, musical instruments, silverware, golf equipment, fine arts, firearms, collectibles, bikes, and computers.

Give us a call for more information or a quote on the cost that this coverage can bring you.  Don’t let theft or loss be the Grinch that stole your Christmas smiles – and happy feelings!



Christmas 2015 Christmas Light Events

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Framingham:   Framingham’s 24th Annual Tree Lighting

Northborough:  Christmas Tree Lighting

Holliston: Fatima Shrine Lights

Boston Area:  Boston Common Tree Lighting & Skating Spectacular

New York:  Christmas In Rockefeller Center on NBC TV

Washington: National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony


Other Events:              Marlborough  – Festival of Trees

                                    Wellesley – Festival of Trees & Snow Village

                                    Sudbury – Sudbury Holiday Stroll

                                    Hopedale – Polar Express


For more events in the Metrowest area:  Metrowest Event Calendar






Christmas Tree Safety

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Tis the season to remind everyone about Christmas Tree safety.  Take a look at this video Christmas Tree Fire Comparison  showing a comparison between a real tree that has been watered daily and one that has not.  Then check out the safety tips below for picking not only a beautiful tree, but a safe tree! 

Seasonal Tasks and Preps

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CWF.Lakeview cem 1 10.15Each season comes with joys, events and a list of things to do while it’s here.  Fall is no different with its beautiful colors, fairs, harvest bounty, Thanksgiving, as well as changing temperatures, hurricanes, tornados, early freezes and the ever possible nor’easter with howling winds and driven snow. The gardens must be closed, outdoor equipment put away and the house gotten ready because we know winter is not far behind.  For us hardy New Englanders, we take these changes in stride; after all, we have chosen to live here. (Though after last winter, we are asking Santa for a milder winter and are praying to the weather gods for mercy this year!)Roof Ice

While we would love to be able to help ALL of you with your fall and winter tasks and then share a favorite beverage, the best help we can offer is our insurance expertise in the form of information and education about insurance coverages that can help when even the best preparations fail.  That is what this newsletter, the monthly emails, our Facebook posts and mailings are all about.  We can’t call and personally speak to ALL our insureds on every topic, so we use the other avenues available to us to keep you informed.  We promise that we will be here if you call us with questions or need more information or a quote on coverages.

 So here are some seasonal tasks that are good loss control measures and may help you avoid a claim:

  1. Clean gutters well & make sure they’re working.  Nothing grows an ice dam like a clogged gutter!
  2. Chimney and furnace cleaning make for more efficient heating and help avoid puff backs.
  3. Trim trees and bushes near the house.  Wind & snow can make them bang against the building.
  4. Service your car, do winter preps, check tires, fluids and have an emergency kit in the trunk.
  5. Tune up winter equipment – snow blowers, chainsaws, and drain summer equipment properly.
  6. Have your rock salt, snow rake, shovels in place or easily accessible.
  7. Check for good weather seals around your windows and doors.  Reseal any cracks.
  8. Check your policy if you are hosting a party.  Make sure Host Liquor Liability is included so you will be covered should any of your guests get too “merry.”
  9. Cyber Liability is not just a new coverage – it is a necessary coverage with all the media devices that carry our information.  Adopt early; don’t wait till you are hacked.
  10. If you will need a generator should the power go out, NOW is the time to buy one.
  11. Make a reasonable budget for holiday giving and keep track of spending and NO GOING OVER!
  12. Change your passwords on all your devices and digital accounts to help prevent hacking.


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September 26th is going to be a phenomenal day, one that you will remember fondly, with a smile!  No, we’re not psychic at Fitts Insurance – though wouldn’t THAT be great if we could warn you about your accidents and claims!   No, we know it’s going to be a great day because that is the date of this year’s

METROfest! Is that a new word for you?  Maybe, though last year 7500 people enjoyed this event. Simply put, METROfest shows Metro’s BEST. Best what?  Best of over 100 participants (so far) offering the best Food, Arts, Crafters, Retailers, Community Groups, Artisans, Cultural Groups, and family events that Metrowest has to offer, all within the gated space at the newly renovated Bowditch Field.

Fitts Insurance is proud to be one of this year’s METROfest Sponsors.  We will be there from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday, September 26th, rain or shine. Entrance fee is $7 per person, $3 for kids 5-12, and free for kids under 5.  You can spend the entire day enjoying the planned activities, listening to the great music, shopping the unique gifts and crafts, and partaking of the scrumptious food that will be available.  Parking will be offsite with free shuttles.  Click here for more info.

We invite you to join us (and the other 10,000 people expected) to come and have a fabulous day.  We hope to see you there!



Fitts Insurance Agency, Inc.

2 Willow Street, Suite 102

Southborough, MA 01745