Massachusetts Homestead Act

Massachusetts Homestead Act

The Homestead Act is designed to allow homeowners in Massachusetts to protect their primary residence against subsequent attachment, levy or sale to satisfy debts up to $500,000.

The Homestead Law does not protect against: taxes or mortgages used to purchase the residence. Homeowners must file for the Homestead Act with The Registry of Deeds office in the county in which the residence is located.

Massachusetts charges a one time Filing Fee of $35 for a Declaration of Homestead.

Registry of Deeds Links:

Registry of Deeds Offices:


Located in:

Barnstable Barnstable
Northern Berkshire Adams
Middle Berkshire Pittsfield
Southern Berkshire Great Barrington
Northern Bristol Taunton
Southern Bristol New Bedford
Fall River Bristol Fall River
Dukes Edgartown
Northern Essex Lawrence
Southern Essex Salem
Franklin Greenfield

The Homestead Act
Questions & Answers

La Ley de Protección de Hogar Seguro
Preguntas y Respuestas

City/Town to Registry Guide


Located in:

Hampden Springfield
Hampshire Northampton
Northern Middlesex Lowell
Southern Middlesex Cambridge
Nantucket Nantucket
Norfolk Dedham
Plymouth Plymouth
Suffolk Boston
Northern Worcester Fitchburg
Worcester Worcester

Massachusetts Deed
Indexing Standards
(PDF, 276 kb)

Massachusetts Document
Formatting Standards,
Effective January 1, 2008
(PDF, 12 kb)

Welcome to Massachusetts!


Let us be the first to say: Welcome to Massachusetts!

Whether you’re shopping for home or auto insurance, you’ve found the perfect place to help ensure you’re insured.

Massachusetts Fun Facts:

Official Name:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens Designation:
Bay Staters
State Capital:


The Bay State

6,547,629 (2010 U.S. Census Bureau)
Population Rank:
14th of 50 states (2010 U.S. Census Bureau)
8,257 square miles (land and water)
Population Density:
839.4 persons per square mile (land area) (U.S. Census Bureau)
312 towns; 39 cities
There are 14 counties: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester.
State Government:
Six constitutional officers elected for four years: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Attorney General, Treasurer and Receiver General, Auditor
Massachusetts is one of the original thirteen colonies and became the sixth state of the Union on February 6, 1788
Official Name: General Court. Two branches with members elected for two years; House of Representatives: 160 members; Senate: 40 members


Highest point: Mount Greylock (3,489 ft)

Massachusetts Home Insurance?


HomeownerQuote is your site for all things Massachusetts home insurance. Our professional, independent insurance agents offer no obligation, coverage and discount suggestions. Call or click us for a free, no-obligation home insurance quote.


Home Insurance Renewal Checklist

Home insurance renewal

Home Insurance Renewal?

Consider these Home Insurance Renewal Questions:

  • Do you own jewelry, furs or watches with values over $1,000?
  • Do you own silverware with a total value of over $2,500?
  • Do you have a collection of valuables, including: coins, stamps or other?
  • Do you own any of the following: Musical Instruments, Fine Arts or Antiques, Camera Equipment, Sports Equipment, Personal Computer?
  • Do you own a boat?
  • Is there a trampoline on your property?
  • Do you have any tools, equipment or other property used in your business or occupation?
  • Would you like your insurance to provide: Replacement Cost Protection on your Dwelling, on your Personal Property, Credit Card/forgery protection, Ordinance or Law coverage, Earthquake coverage?
  • Flood is not a covered loss on a homeowner policy. Would you like to obtain rates for flood insurance? Also excluded from coverage are such things such as: rot, mold, mildew or animal/vermin/insect damage.
  • Are you interested in receiving information on: Auto, Life, Excess Liability (Umbrella), Boat or Business Insurance?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these home insurance renewal questions, you should contact your friendly, independent insurance agent to make certain you have the coverage you want.

If you’re not happy with the service you receive, call!


Massachusetts Home Insurance Tip

Massachusetts Home Insurance Tip
Massachusetts Home Insurance Tip

Is your home in excellent condition?  Are you a “do-it-yourselfer” that fixes small problems around the house? Do you have a new roof, heating & electric systems, and plumbing? Are you a risk taker that would prefer to save money up front and spend more at claim time because of a higher deductible?

If yes to any of these questions, your Massachusetts Home Insurance Tip:

To save money consider a high deductible.

Without claims, the money you save by deciding on a high ($2,500 or $5,000) deductible  is, literally, money in the bank.

Consider higher deductibles.

When your parents bought their first home, most likely their deductible was $250.

As a general rule of thumb you can save 10% of the annual premium if you carry a $500 deductible; an additional 10% if you carry a $1,000 deductible, and an additional 10% if you carry a $2,500 deductible.

For those of us that go years & years without claims, higher deductibles is, literally, “money in the bank.”

In addition, by carrying a higher deductible you self-insure yourself a little more thus making the chance of filing a small claim less appealing. By doing such consumers can keep their “loss free” credits and, without claim frequency, you remain more insurable.

Winter Storm Watch: Snow Removal Tips


The Basics
Snow shoveling can be compared to weight lifting, and in some cases, the aerobic aspect of this activity is similar to a workout on a treadmill! To help your body function on demand, consider the following …

  • Be heart smart! Don’t eat or smoke before shoveling snow. Avoid caffeinated beverages. These are stimulants and may increase heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.
  • Pace yourself during shoveling activities. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Snow shoveling is strenuous work, and it is important to re-hydrate your body often.
  • If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction. Be aware that some areas may be uneven and could cause you to slip, trip, or fall.

Dress for Success!

  • Consider the weather when choosing outerwear. Dress in layers. Wear clothing that is easy to move in.
  • Wear a hat—a great deal of body heat is lost through the head.
  • If it’s icy cold, consider breathing through a scarf, but don’t let it obstruct your view.
  • Proper boots are essential for keeping feet warm and dry while appropriate soles provide traction. Good boots can help you maintain your balance!
  • Choose gloves that will keep your hands warm, dry, and blister free—consider thicker gloves, which allow for a good grip on the shovel’s handle.

Select a Shovel that’s Right for You
Shovels are made from different materials and come in many shapes and sizes.

  • Choose a shovel that is ergonomically correct—a shovel with a curved handle. Many hardware stores and home centers stock ergonomically designed snow shovels. These shovels help you to keep your back straighter reducing spinal stress.
  • Consider a shovel with a plastic blade instead of metal—plastic is lightweight—isn’t the snow heavy enough?
  • Sometimes a smaller blade is better. You will not be able to shovel as much snow per shovel load, but the load will weigh less, which puts less strain on the spine.
  • Get a shovel made to push snow. It is far easier to push snow than to lift it. There are shovels made expressly for pushing snow. See what is available at your hardware or home center store.

Once you have your shovel, you might want to consider spraying a bit of silicon lubricant on the blade. This can help keep the snow from sticking to the shovel. The snow will slide off the shovel blade.

Technique. Technique. Technique.

  • Warm muscles work better. So take some time to stretch to prepare your body for activity.
  • Just like with a golf club, hand placement on the shovel handle is very important! Don’t put your hands (grip) close to one another. Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.
  • Think about good posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.
  • Address your task directly. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees—not the waist or back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs—not your back. Do not twist your body. Dump the snow in front of you. If you need to move the snow to the side, move your feet—do not twist!According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel an inch or two; then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary.”
  • Don’t throw snow over your shoulder! Go forward with the snow.
  • Fresh snow is lighter in weight—so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. Snow becomes dense as it compacts on the ground. Wet snow is very heavy. One shovelful can weigh 20 pounds or more!
  • Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.

A snowblower is a terrific piece of machinery, but if it’s not used correctly, you can strain or injure your back. Snowblowers are designed to remove snow at a particular rate of speed. Pushing or forcing the equipment to go faster is defeating its purpose—to do the work for you!

Community Involvement
Not everyone is able to shovel snow or operate a snowblower. Consider the disabled and some in the senior population. Fortunately, many communities across the US have organized volunteers to help people who need assistance during the winter season.

Homeowner Insurance Review


The standard homeowner (HO-3, Special Form) policy provides broad protection for your home however, there are limitations to coverage.

Section 1, Property Coverage, excludes coverage for loss resulting directly or indirectly from:  Ordinance or Law, Earth Movement, Water Damage, Power Failure, Neglect, War, Nuclear Hazard, and Intentional Loss.

The home insurance policy does not include property coverage for: Animals, Birds or Fish, Motorized Land Vehicles, Aircraft and Aircraft parts.

The policy has “special limits of liability” which in the event of a loss, the most the insurance company will pay: $200 on money, bank notes, bullion, gold, silver, platinum, coins and medals; $1,000 on securities, accounts, deeds, evidences of debt, letters of credit; $1,000 on watercraft; $1,000 on trailers not used with watercraft; $1,000 for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semiprecious stones; $2,500 for loss by theft of silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, etc.; $2,000 for loss by theft of firearms; $2,500 on property, on the residence premises used at any time or in any manner for any business purpose; $250 on property away from the residence premises used at any time in any manner for any business purpose.

With every home insurance renewal we include our Homeowner Renewal Checklist. We recommend you review and call us with any “yes” answers.

Homeowner Insurance Renewal Checklist:

  • Do you own jewelry, furs or watches with values over $1,000?
  • Do you own silverware with a total value of over $2,500?
  • Do you have a collection of valuables, including: coins, stamps or other?
  • Do you own any of the following: Musical Instruments, Fine Arts or Antiques, Camera Equipment, Sports Equipment, Personal Computer?
  • Do you own a boat?
  • Is there a trampoline on your property?
  • Do you have any tools, equipment or other property used in your business or occupation?
  • Would you like your insurance to provide: Replacement Cost Protection on your Dwelling, on your Personal Property, Credit Card/forgery protection, Ordinance or Law coverage, Earthquake coverage?
  • Flood is not a covered loss on a homeowner policy. Would you like to obtain rates for flood insurance? Also excluded from coverage are such things such as: rot, mold, mildew or animal/vermin/insect damage.
  • Are you interested in receiving information on:  Auto, Life, Excess Liability (Umbrella), Boat or Business Insurance?

Dog Owner Tips

Dog Tips

Dog Owner Tips


Dog bites are serious insurance business.  Over 2,000 injuries that require immediate medical care result from dog bites, daily!  The owners of these poorly behaved dogs can be held legally liable for their dog’s actions.  Forunately, many of these bites are covered by Homowners policies, with some exceptions. In fact almost 33% of all claims paid by insurance companies through Homeowner policies are the result of dog bites.  Many companies won’t write new policies for homeowners with dogs considered to be aggressive breeds- rotweilers, pit bulls and German Sheppards are often on these lists.  Some carriers even request pictures of mixed breed canines to try to determine breed traits.


No dog owner wants their dog biting friends or family, so here are some suggestions from professional dog trainers.


*Consider dog breeds carefully prior to selecting your new pet.  Some breeds are more aggressive than others.  You can even ask your insurance agent about a list of breeds that are problems for insurance companies.

*Spay or neuter the animal, as this often decreases the aggressiveness of dogs.

*Seek a veternarian’s advice quickly if your dog starts to become aggressive.

*Socialize your dog from an early age to encourage appropriate behavior.

*Never leave dogs alone with small children.

*Avoid aggressive games with puppies and dogs- tug of war, wrestling.

*Don’t put dogs in situations where they can feel threatened or teased.

*Train your dog to obey commands.

*If your dog does bite someone, a board certified plastic surgeon should be consulted to minimize scarring and/or potential disfurgement.


For more information on dogs and insurance, call Johnson & Rohan Insurance at (781) 224-0909.

Top North Shore Public Golf Courses

Middleton Golf Course Number One

Top 11 North Shore, Massachusetts Public Access Golf Courses

Everyone has an opinion and, I suppose, we do too.

Where should you go to enjoy a round of public golf on the North Shore?

We offer our Top North Shore Public Golf Courses:

  1. Middleton Golf Course, 105 South Main Street, Middleton, MA, 01949, (978) 774-4075, 18 holes, public.  Note: Great place to practice your short game. Demanding par 3, great for players of all abilities, great food, eat on the deck when your done!  Call to learn about free Saturday clinics for beginners.  Great for lessons too.
  2. Far Corner Golf Course, 5 Barker Road, Boxford, MA, 01921, (978) 352-8300, 27 holes, public Note: Great public facility with 27 holes, driving range and putting green. Great value food in the club house too.
  3. Bradford Country Club, 201 Chadwick Road, Bradford, MA, 01835, (978) 372-8587, 18holes, public Note: Challenging routing with 3+ sets of tees, great for golfers of all abilities.  Hit it straight!
  4. Larry Gannon Municipal Golf Course, 60 Great Woods Road, Lynn, MA, 01904, (781) 592-8238,18 holes, public. Note: Well manicured, Donald Ross designed, town owned facility.  Call in advance, gets busy.
  5. Beverly Golf & Tennis Club, 134 McKay Street, Beverly, MA, 01915, (978) 922-9072, 18 holes, semi private. Notes: Fun, full length track, usually with quick greens.  Call ahead for tee times, semi private.
  6. Sagamore Spring Golf Club, 1287 Main Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940, (781) 334-3151. 18 holes, public. Fun course, inviting, friendly staff.
  7. The Meadow at Peabody GC, 80 Granite Street,Peabody, MA, 01960, (978) 532-9390, 18 holes, public.
  8. Olde Salem Greens Golf Course, 75 Willson Street, Salem, MA, 01970, (978) 744-2149, 9 holes, public.
  9. New Meadows Golf Club, 30 Wildes Road, Topsfield, MA, 01983, (978) 290-2288,9 holes, public.  Note: Conveniently located right off Route 1 North, fun 9 hole course.  Great for beginners.
  10. Wenham Country Club, 94 Main Street, Wenham, MA 01984, (978) 468-4714, 18 holes, semi private. Note: Call for tee times, semi private.
  11. Reedy Meadow Golf Course, 195 Summer St, Lynnfield, MA, 01940, (781) 334-9877, 9 holes, public. Note: Close to Johnson & Rohan!

Have an opinion? Let us know and we’ll gladly update or consider additional nominees!

Bad Dog!

Dog coverage  on your home insurance policy

Personally, I love dogs.

As your friendly neighborhood insurance agent, professionally, do I love dogs?

Not so much.

Sadly, dog bites are a common cause for claims on home insurance policies. Sometimes big claims. With dogs, anything from playful nips and serious, provoked biting attacks can cause injuries. As any dog owner knows, every dog has a threshold that can trigger the animal to bite. Some breeds of dogs are considered to be more at risk and harder to insure than others, including:

  • Akita
  • Doberman pinscher
  • German shepherd
  • Pit bull
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire bull terrier

Do you have coverage for your Dog?

In addition to certain breeds, your homeowners insurance may have exclusions for dogs that have been designated as dangerous or even exclude coverage for dogs altogether, regardless of their reputation or lineage.

Before you get a dog, give your agent a call to see if your new, best friend is on your company’s “do not insure” list!

Animal Liability Coverage

Certain dog breeds aren’t the only prejudiced against pets on the standard home policy.

Think twice before you think you can invite the following critters onto your coverage:

  • Alligators
  • Amphibians: frogs, toads, salamanders and newts
  • Apes, non-human primates
  • Bears
  • Cockatiels
  • Coyotes, fox, hyenas, wolves and wolf-dog hybrids
  • Hares
  • Hedgehogs
  • Raccoons, skunks
  • Sugar gliders
  • Wild felines: lions, tigers, bobcats and ocelots
  • Reptiles: lizards, snakes, tortoises, turtles

How Can I Save Money on my Massachusetts Insurance?

Save Money on MA Insurance!

Consider larger deductibles. Different property deductibles are available for choosing; $250, $500, and $1000 deductible are available. Savings in increments of 10% are commonplace per deductible.

Try to remain in the Voluntary Market! Insurance Companies reserve the right to insure or renew properties. If you have had a few losses within the past couple of policy years your insurance company may decide to not renew you.

The MPIUA (Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association) offers  insurance to properties that are not insurable on the voluntary market. The cost to insure with them is usually considerably more expensive than the consumer will find on the voluntary market.

Some of the credits that are available to insurers are:

Protective Device Credits … starting with deadbolt locks, extinguishers, and smoke detectors are available. Larger credits are available for Local and Central Station burglar and fire protection systems.

Non-smoker credits … if you and household members are non-smokers some companies offer discounts to non-smokers.

Loss Free Year Credits … if you have not had any losses in multiple years some companies offer “Loss Free Credits.” Check with your Independent Insurance Broker to see if you qualify for any companies’ programs.

Home Renovation/New Home Credits … if you have renovated your home within the past 10 years some companies offer Renovation Credits. If you are buying a new home, some companies offer large New Home credits.

Account Discounts … some insurance companies offer 10% “Account Discounts” if you insure your home and auto with the same company … in addition, some companies may waive service charges.

Shop Around!

Different companies offer different discount programs for different properties and property owners. Shop around with different companies to see who is offering the best deals. Your local, independent Insurance Broker uses numerous companies to find you the best rates & service!