Dear Members,

We are excited to welcome you to the new digital version of Your AAA Magazine. As we embrace the future and all its possibilities, we are thrilled to bring you the same great content you’ve come to love, now in a more accessible and convenient format.

Our new digital magazine offers a seamless reading experience, with interactive features and multimedia content that bring our stories to life. Plus, you can now take us with you wherever you go, on your tablet, smartphone or laptop. We’re also saving tons of paper and reducing our carbon footprint by digitally delivering the articles, discounts, games and the rest of the content you love.

As we venture down this road, as always, we value your feedback. We hope you’ll take the time to let us know what you’d like to see more of as we plan the future issues. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you enjoy this new chapter in our journey together.

— The Editors of Your AAA Magazine

AAA in the Community

Join Us for Spring Cleanups

Members are invited to join AAA Northeast employees to spruce up parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces this spring.

Last year, more than 350 members volunteered with AAA at 16 cleanups across the Northeast. This year, we’ve scheduled even more events throughout our territory. To sign up, visit AAA Cares.

We’re also looking forward to another successful summer food drive this year. Every AAA Northeast branch throughout the territory will be collecting nonperishable items for local organizations to help people in need.

And, a big thank you to our members who so generously donated to our warm clothing drive in December. In total, the branches collected almost 7,500 items for local organizations.

From left, Shannon Reyes and Tom Ryan of AAA Northeast with representatives of Dorcus International Institute of Rhode Island, Victoria Lancellotta, Naydine Rock and Sheri Lupoli. Ten AAA branches teamed up to raise over 1,500 warm clothing items for the social service organization.

From left, Shannon Reyes and Tom Ryan of AAA Northeast with representatives of Dorcus International Institute of Rhode Island, Victoria Lancellotta, Naydine Rock and Sheri Lupoli. Ten AAA branches teamed up to raise over 1,500 warm clothing items for the social service organization.

For details about all upcoming community events and to sign up for an area cleanup, visit AAA.com/AAACares.

From left, Shannon Reyes and Tom Ryan of AAA Northeast with representatives of Dorcus International Institute of Rhode Island, Victoria Lancellotta, Naydine Rock and Sheri Lupoli. Ten AAA branches teamed up to raise over 1,500 warm clothing items for the social service organization.

From left, Shannon Reyes and Tom Ryan of AAA Northeast with representatives of Dorcus International Institute of Rhode Island, Victoria Lancellotta, Naydine Rock and Sheri Lupoli. Ten AAA branches teamed up to raise over 1,500 warm clothing items for the social service organization.

AAA in the Community

Join Us for Spring Cleanups

Members are invited to join AAA Northeast employees to spruce up parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces this spring.

Last year, more than 350 members volunteered with AAA at 16 cleanups across the Northeast. This year, we’ve scheduled even more events throughout our territory.

We’re also looking forward to another successful summer food drive this year. Every AAA Northeast branch throughout the territory will be collecting nonperishable items for local organizations to help people in need.

And, a big thank you to our members who so generously donated to our warm clothing drive in December. In total, the branches collected almost 7,500 items for local organizations.

For details about all upcoming community events and to sign up for an area cleanup, visit AAA.com/AAACares.

Branching Out

Benefits That Might Surprise You

Lost and found for pets: Our free AAA Pet ID Tag
Program helps to safely reunite lost pets with their humans. Members can drop by any AAA Northeast branch to sign up.

Just provide us with your pet’s name, breed and color and we’ll give you a collar tag imprinted with the AAA phone number and a unique serial number registered to your membership.

With this tag, there’s no need to put your personal information on your pet’s collar. If someone finds your pet, they can call AAA, day or night, and we’ll act as a liaison to reunite you with your pet in a safe environment.

For more information, visit AAA.com/PetTags.

Keep the Change

Saving Money on a Microscale

By Sarah Hopkins

What are you supposed to do with all your spare change? Almost nothing costs a quarter anymore, but money is still money. Try these simple ways to put your coins to good use. 

Storing Your Change 

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of smashing a piggy bank, you know that spare change can add up fast. Instead of letting coins gather dust in your couch cushions, car, bag or pockets, try collecting them in a single location. Put a jar or a dish near your front entrance, or where you hang up your coat. Whenever you come in after a long day, you can toss your change into it and lighten your load. 

If you’re old-school, you can wait until your jar is full and start rolling your quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies to take straight to the bank. 

Coin Counting Machines

A great option for those who don’t have time to sort through their change is to take it to a coin counting machine. You can find these at places like grocery stores, pharmacies and banks. Just dump your change into the receiving tray and let the machine do the counting work for you. Usually, you can get a receipt to bring to a nearby register or teller to get cash in return. 

Some of these coin counting machines take a cut of cash as a fee. If you can’t bear the thought of that, check if your bank has a machine that you can use for free. 

Can’t find a bank with a machine? You might be able to exchange your coins for a gift card. Machines sometimes offer to waive their fee and put your balance on a gift card instead. Depending on what you want the money for, that might be a good alternative for you. You can also choose to donate your balance to a selection of charities. You can get rid of your coins and do a good deed at the same time! 

Cash-free Change Solutions

Who even uses cash anymore? Well, there are still ways to save your change even if you’ve gone cashless. Check with your local bank or credit union to see if they have a change-saving functionality. When you purchase something with your debit card, it can automatically round up to the next dollar and deposit the change into an account of your choice. It’s a neat way to spend and save at the same time. 

If your bank doesn’t offer a function like this, you can use a third-party app like Acorns or Chime. Some even allow you to automatically invest your spare change — while watching your money grow!

Learn more about your savings options with AAA and Discover Bank.

How to Use a Home Equity Loan
for Renovations and More

Taking out a home equity loan could be an effective way of paying for house upgrades or other major life expenses.

By Andrew Sheldon

Big expenses come at us throughout our lives, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes planned. Regardless of the circumstance, you’ll need a way to finance these major purchases when they arise. If you own a home, your best course of action may be a home equity loan.

Home equity loans allow you to use your house as collateral and you can use the money for anything you like. Many people take out home equity loans to finance renovation projects that make their property more valuable.

Find out about AAA home equity rates and other mortgage services.

What are Home Equity Loans?

Also known as a second mortgage, a home equity loan allows homeowners to borrow money against the value of their home.

Home equity is calculated by taking the current value of your residence and subtracting your outstanding mortgage balance. For example, if your house is estimated to be worth $500,000, and you still owe $100,000 on your mortgage, then you have $400,000 in equity. Your loan will be borrowed against this total. Typically, most lenders will allow you to borrow up to 80% of the value of your property minus the first mortgage balance.

Home equity loans usually come with fixed rates. This means that home equity loans will be less expensive over the lifetime of the loan than financing your large expense via credit cards or other loan types. You may also be able to deduct the home equity loan interest payments from your taxes. We recommend consulting a tax advisor for personal tax guidance.

There is some risk involved. If you are unable to pay back the loan, the lender could choose to foreclose on your house. Therefore, you’ll want to be on sound financial footing before taking one out.

How Do Home Equity Loans Work?

Your home equity loan will be paid out in a single lump sum. This comes with its own pros and cons. On the bright side, you’ll have access to all the funds you need right away. But, since you’re not borrowing money as you need it, you’ll want a good estimate of how much money you need to borrow from the start. If your home renovation project costs less than the amount borrowed, you’ll still need to repay the entirety of the loan, usually in monthly installments that begin soon after the money is available.

If you’re unsure of how much money you will need, you may want to consider a home equity line of credit. Just like a home equity loan, a line of credit allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, but instead of receiving all the funds upfront, you can withdraw money as you need it. Line of credit loans function much like a credit card in that once you reach your credit cap, your balance will need to be repaid before you can withdraw more money.

What Can Home Equity Loans Be Used For?

Home equity loans do not need to be used on your home. The money can be spent on any big expense you need help financing, such as a wedding or business startup. One popular use for them is paying off credit card debt. Credit card interest rates are notoriously high. Paying off your credit card debt with funds from a home equity loan could save you a significant amount of money in the long term. It will also help consolidate your debt and make just one payment every month.

Although funds from a home equity loan can be used for anything, it’s important to note that interest from these loans is tax deductible if the funds are used on a home renovation project. Consult a tax advisor to see if your project is eligible.

There’s another convincing argument for using the loan on your home: It is a great return on investment. If you use the funds to add an extra bedroom, remodel the kitchen or install a pool in the backyard, you’re increasing the value of your property, which you will own entirely once your mortgage is paid off.

Let AAA help finance your project with a low-rate home equity loan.

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Say ‘Yes!’ to Engagement Ring Insurance

Keep your sparkler protected with these options

Enhance Your Coverage

Ask your insurance agent to increase your liability limit. On most standard homeowners and renters policies, coverage for jewelry is significantly less than the average price of an engagement ring. 

Customize Your Coverage 

Extend extra love to your engagement ring with a floater policy. Designed to protect high-value items beyond the limits of your homeowners or renters policy, a floater covers losses of any type, including accidents (like dropping your ring down the sink). Floater policies are replacement cost policies, meaning you will be compensated for a ring of equal value and quality. There is usually no deductible for a jewelry claim. 

Specialty Jewelry Policy  

This is a good option for those who don’t have a homeowners or renters policy, such as adult children living with their parents.

Find great rates on jewelry insurance with AAA Insurance.

Wind Damage and Your Insurance

How to Prepare for the Worst and Be ready for whichever way the wind blows

By Sarah Vincelette

In years past, high winds were symptomatic of the occasional tropical storm or offshore hurricane, but recently, it feels as though the severe wind warning on our phones is going off way more than usual. With the increase of windy conditions in the Northeast, it’s natural to wonder if you are covered for damage caused by windstorms. 

Wind damage insurance claims are an unfortunate reality for many homeowners, but understanding how to prepare and handle them can help ease your worry.

Is Wind Damage Covered by Insurance?

“Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow and ice to property and personal possessions,” according to the Insurance Information Institute. But the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific terms and conditions outlined in your policy. It’s important to review your insurance policy carefully to understand the scope of coverage for wind-related hazards.

If wind has caused damage to your vehicle, such an incident would be covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.

Making a Wind Damage Insurance Claim

If wind damages your home or car, what’s next?

First, document the extent of the wind damage by taking photos or videos and make a list of any broken items, being sure to note any structural issues. Once the damage has been recorded, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. Provide them with all relevant information, including the date and cause of the damage.

After your claim has been filed, the insurance company will typically send an adjuster to assess the damage in person. Be prepared to show them the documented evidence and answer any questions they may have. At this point, repair estimates from qualified contractors will need to be given to the insurance company. This helps ensure that your settlement amount aligns with the actual cost of repairs.

Then it’s just down to following the claims process. Work closely with your insurance company to complete the necessary paperwork and fulfill any additional requirements. Also be sure to keep track of all communications and documents related to the claim in case it’s necessary to reference them in the future. 

Review your homeowners coverage with a AAA insurance agent.

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Spend a Moment at KIN Southern Table + Bar

Take in the sights, sounds and surroundings with AAA editors as we visit some of our favorite places in the Northeast to hang out.

Follow the heavenly scent of freshly baked cornbread, fried-to-perfection catfish and collard greens to Kin’s front door in downtown Providence. Here you feel like family, which is exactly what owner Julia Broome aims to do.

Health Tip: Driving Ergonomics

The secret to being comfier behind the wheel.

Practicing correct posture while you drive isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for your safety on the road, too. It could help improve circulation, minimize fatigue and even reduce the risk of serious injury in a crash. Learn how to properly align your spine and get tips to maintain an ergonomic seated position when driving.

U.S. Ecotourism Destinations

Where to travel responsibly, domestically.

By Ellen R. Delisio

Typically, vacations are a time to chill, scrap the agendas and give little thought to what happens when you leave your destination. Ecotourism, though, is giving vacations a whole new look and mission. It means learning about the culture, history and environment of the places you visit and not causing any harm while you are there.

European cities like Zurich, Switzerland, and Copenhagen, Denmark, are the names that usually come up when discussing sustainable travel destinations. But ecotourism trips are popular and plentiful in the U.S., allowing travelers to relax and give back stateside.

It’s Easy Being Green

Not too long ago, ecotourism was a specialty niche, but now it is reshaping the travel industry. While ecotourism trips may sound like treks through the rainforests, swamps and jungles of the world – and some, of course, are – they can be booked anywhere. Many of the top destinations are in the U.S. 

Any trip can become eco-friendly if you spend less time driving and more time hiking, biking and cleaning up the environment, and opt for lodging with fewer frills and that supports the local economy.

U.S. Ecotourism Is Trending Up

The U.S. is rapidly expanding its spot in the ecotourism market. The nation’s sustainable tourism industry is nearly 7.5% of the global market. In 2023, that market’s estimated value was over $258 million, and it is projected to climb to above $663 million by 2033.

Interest in ecotourism is surging across all age groups, according to AAA Northeast travel advisor Brian Garland. 

AAA Travel is developing extensive expertise in the sustainable travel market and become a leader in ecotourism. It recently partnered with Tourism Cares, a nonprofit dedicated to the long-term survival of the travel and tourism industry, to create sustainable itineraries for popular destinations. 

Plan your eco-friendly vacation with the help of a AAA travel advisor.

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Discover these eco-friendly destinations with AAA Travel. Book your adventure today!

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