What’s the Cost of Uber Drivers?

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Rtaxicabidesharing or “taxi-esque” ways of transportation like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar have become increasingly popular. Although there are several variations, Uber seems to be the most popular ridesharing service. If you are not familiar, it is an app that can be downloaded on a smart phone and used to request transportation from Uber drivers. The Uber app uses the GPS on your phone to find your current location and finds you the nearest available Uber driver. Once a driver has been selected, you are able to track their location to know exactly how far away they are and/or receive a text message when they arrive at your location.

Being able to track the driver is not the only benefit of Uber. Users can also provide a quote if you enter the pickup and drop off location so you know how much the service is going to cost you before you commit. Uber automatically charges your credit card upon arrive at your destination and does give you the option to split costs if you are with a friend. In this case both credit cards would be charged equal amounts.

The downside of using apps like Uber is that not all the drivers are licensed taxi drivers or commercially insured livery service. The only prerequisites for being an Uber driver is you have to be at least 23 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and personal auto insurance. The problem is most personal auto policies in Massachusetts do not cover livery services. So if you were in an accident with an Uber driver there is a good chance that their Massachusetts auto policy will not pay for damage or injuries incurred in the accident. While Uber does provide $1 million in liability coverage’s in excess to the driver’s insurance, it is undetermined how long it could take to be repaid for damages. It’s for this reason we highly recommend ensuring it is a taxi you are requesting, and not an unlicensed or underinsured driver when using services like Uber.

When requesting transportation Uber allows you to choose from an UberX, an UberXL, Taxi, Black Car, or SUV. It is our recommendation that you choice taxi when using the Uber service. There are also other apps that you can used to request Taxis. Apps like Hailo, Gett, and Curb all allow users to request a taxi or black car service, track how far it is while on route, and pay by credit card through the app. The downside to these apps is that if you are not in a city there probably isn’t a taxi near you and even if there is they may not be using the same app you are. Some taxis actually don’t use any of these apps.

Call us at 978-356-5511 for more information on Uber driving.

The Best Burger in Ipswich, Massachusetts

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I usually avoid ordering hamburgers at restaurants because they are never cooked medium-rare, how I like them. I will ask for a warm red center and inevitably it will come out having not even a hint of pink. Usually, I end up with a medium-well burger, taking two bites of it and having the fries as a meal. So in the past I have saved my burger eating for family BBQ’s and camping trips.

I had heard that The Choate Bridge Pub has a great burger. I never doubted that both the quality and quantity of the meat was there, but assumed that like every other restaurant there would be a fear of serving hamburger less then completely brown. Working so close to the pub, I have frequented it for lunch, but could never get away from the delicious lobster roll. I found myself taking a chance one day and ordered the bacon cheeseburger. Not only was it cooked a perfect medium-rare it was incredibly tasty and juicy. I still can’t believe the best burger I have had is right around the corner.

A great burger is not the only item on The Choate Bridge Pub’s menu. The fried seafood is delicious and comes in gigantic portions at a very fair price. They also have tasty soups that change daily if you’re looking for something on the lighter side. In fact everything I have had at the pub is great, but the burger is a must try for anyone living in Ipswich or just passing through.

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Driving With Dogs

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happy golden retriever with his head out the window of a truckAlthough you see many dogs in the front seat with their head out the window, it is certainly not recommended because they could be injured by flying objects. The safest place for your pet while in the vehicle is in a well-ventilated crate. The crate should be secure so it will not shift in the event of a quick stop and be big enough for the animal to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.

If you do not have a crate or your pet is not used to being crated, vehicle harnesses that attach to the seat buckle are available at most pet supply stores. You should also equip your vehicle with a pet traveling kit including: food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit. You can also bring your pet’s favorite toy or pillow to give them a sense of familiarity on longer trips.

You also want to bring your own water. Bring bottled or put tap water in a jug. Drinking water they’re not used to can upset some animals stomach. This is the last thing you want on a long drive with your pet!

Generally it is not a problem going over state lines with your pet, but some states do require proof of your pet’s rabies vaccination. Ensure your pet is wearing a up-to-date rabies tag on their collar or bring the vaccination record. In addition to the rabies tag your pet should have a tag with your cell phone number and any other relevant contact information.

If you travel a lot with your pet you may be interested in the following top 10 vehicles for pet owners:

  • Dodge Journey
  • Ford Flex
  • GMC Acadia
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Kia Soul
  • Mazda 5
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Volvo XC70

Learn more about pet-safe vehicles.

Contact us at (978)356-5511 for more information about insuring these vehicles.

Preventing Ice Dams

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To put it simply, ice dams are caused by an overly warm attic. When indoor air escapes into your attic, it warms the snow accumulated on the roof top allowing the snow to melt enough to turn into water. When the air temperature is low enough, this water freezes at the edge of your roof. Many homeowners tend to think they need a new roof when they get ice dams. In fact, many homeowners reroof their house and still get ice dams.
Before having the roof replaced, check for any gaps in the insulation of your attic. These gaps may be letting the indoor air escape. The easiest way to check your insulation, is to crawl around your attic and look. While you are up there, double check that the insulation covers the top plates of the exterior walls and take a measurement. You should have a minimum of 14 inches of fiberglass, cellulose, or open-cell spray foam. If you have blown-in fiberglass, you should have about 20 inches. Once you ensure your attic is property insulated, you should also check to see that the ventilation from your bathrooms is going outside and not to your attic.
While the focus of this article is to prevent ice dams, we think it is important to note that re-insulating your attic not only saves on your heating bill in the winter; it also saves energy in the summer by helping your home stay cool in the warmer months.
Like in the case of Ice dams, when homeowners feel heat escaping from their roof, they automatically think they need a new roof. This is not always the case, and reinsulating is a lot more affordable than reroofing.