Insurance Blog

There were 3 explosions, 60 to 80 structure fires, 25 injuries, and 1 death resulting from the natural gas pipeline explosion in Merrimack Valley earlier this month. More than 8,500 gas customers were affected, according to Columbia Gas. It will be months before residents and business owners and their employees recover. As we continue to hear their stories, many people who were not affected are wondering if a gas explosion can happen to them — and if it does what can be done about it. In this article we answer several questions about what to do after a gas explosion as well as what to do if you smell gas inside or outside of a structure. 

Who oversees and regulates gas pipelines in Massachusetts?

The Office of Pipeline Safety partners with Massachusetts Pipeline Safety Division to regulate and monitor pipeline safety regulatory responsibilities.

The Pipeline Safety Division acts as the enforcement arm of the Department of Public Utilities, ensuring that operators of natural gas distribution companies, municipal gas departments, steam distribution companies, and other intrastate operators are in compliance with state and federal regulations governing safety. The Division also oversees utility operators and excavators to preserve public utility service through enforcement of the Dig Safe Law.

While the students enjoy the freedom and fun of summer, the parents start to count down the days until school starts again. One of the more daunting yet exciting times for both parents and teenagers happens during the summer between graduating high school and starting their freshman year of college. This is the start of many big life changes for everyone, which can also bring a lot of stress and questions. As a parent, an important question you may not be thinking about is what coverage your student will have when they go off to college. Are they covered under your homeowners policy? Do they need more coverage?

Many homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for your college student while they are away at school. If they are residents of a college dorm, most insurance carriers provide coverage for their personal liability and personal property under the parents’ homeowners’ policy.

One conundrum many drivers face is knowing when to file an auto claim. This is one of the most perplexing questions, especially since there are financial and time constraints tied to claims submissions.

First and foremost, filing a claim can be dependent upon requirements mandated by your auto insurer and state regulations. Time is of the essence; it is imperative for a claims adjuster to be able to investigate the damage in a timely fashion. Here are some situations that can help you determine if you need to submit a claim or not.

Scenarios when a claim must be filed:

  • If you are involved in an auto accident and anyone is injured, you need to file a claim. This is especially important if you may be found at-fault in the accident. Not filing a claim can leave you open to litigation, since injuries may result in medical expenses.
  • Accidents where it isn’t clear who is at fault. A claim should be submitted for auto accidents that result in either injuries and/or property damage as a result of a crash with another party. This allows your insurer to properly represent you. Vehicle damages that may appear minor can actually be deceivingly expensive. Also, sometimes injuries manifest 24 to 48 hours after a crash.
  • Weather-related damage and vandalism. Significant vehicle damage caused by a storm (downed limbs, flooding, etc.) necessitates a claim. As does vehicle vandalism caused by an anonymous vandal.

Claims should be submitted as quickly as possible. Thanks to mobile devices, many people can now file claims directly at the scene of an accident. Steps to consider when filing a claim:

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