Archive for March, 2014

Assessing Home Damages and Homeowner’s Insurance Post-Winter

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Homeowner's InsuranceThis winter has been brutal, but hopefully we just saw our last bout of snow. It looks like decent temperatures from here on out! Since the winter was so brutal, though, it’s time to start looking at what havoc winter may have wreaked on your home and to go ahead and review that homeowner’s insurance. You may find it helpful after a tough winter like this one.

  • Have your roof checked out – Because of the amount of freezing and thawing this winter, there’s a good chance that your roof may have sprung a leak or a crack. Make sure it’s carefully inspected. If your roof has suffered any damage, first get the problem fixed, then prime and paint over any stains that the leak has left on your ceiling.
  • Check storm doors, screens, and fences – You want to check for any holes, bends, tears, and missing things on all of these. Most of the time it’s easier to just make a repair rather than start over entirely, but you’ll want to be sure that all of these items are intact. They’re all important to keeping your home safe from weather, bugs, and others.
  • Seal your deck and driveway – Similar to your roof, your driveway probably has some sizeable cracks and holes from all of the freezing and thawing your home has suffered this winter. If you have a concrete driveway, it’s much more likely to have developed cracks. Consider hiring someone for concrete/asphalt repair and resealing your driveway. You’ll also want to consider pressure washing and sealing your deck.
  • Clean gutters – It’s actually really important to do this in the fall when debris gathers in the gutters and downspouts from falling leaves and allergens; however, if you didn’t clean out your gutters in the fall, now is a good time to do it. Ice dams could easily have caused some of your gutters to burst. You’ll want to make sure you get these replaced and make a point to clean your gutters out this fall.

These are just a few of the things you should look out for this spring. It’s good to do a full once over of your home and landscaping to make sure that nothing is awry. You’ll also want to review your homeowner’s insurance to see what’s covered due to weather. If you have any questions about your insurance, please contact Wachter Insurance.

Wachter Insurance Agency opened its doors in 1969 and incorporated in 1996. A family owned and operated agency—now with the 3rd generation actively participating. We are an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Offering auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about our blog, Assessing Home Damaged and Homeowners Insurance Post-Winter, or you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Source: How to Help Your Home Recover from Winter

Review Your Business Insurance in Frederick County

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Business InsuranceIf you’re like most Frederick County business owners, you put a lot of time and money into your business. You want to see it thrive and avoid spending time worrying about the “what-ifs” that come with undertaking any kind of business venture. It’s important to make sure that you have not only enough insurance for your business, but also the correct type of insurance for the kind of company that you’re running. There are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself when reviewing your business insurance:

  • Has my type of company recently changed? For example, did you add a partner or open up a new branch? Find out what your insurance covers for these instances.
  • Did I add or change any types of operations? If you’re company is expanding into different fields, you’ll want to be sure that your insurance covers everything.
  • Have I done any construction or made any changes to my buildings? This could actually help lower your insurance if you’ve made the building safer.
  • Has my payroll changed or has my company grown significantly since the last time I checked my insurance? You may need extra coverage. Be sure you’re paying attention to any little changes that you may be making.
  • Have I added drivers or vehicles to the company? If so, you’ll want to be sure to get them added to the insurance to avoid issues down the line.

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you need to be sure to get in touch with Wachter Insurance ASAP. It’s important that you know what can help your company in case of disaster, hardship, or accident. We don’t want you left hanging out to dry, so be sure to review your insurance any time you make a change to the company, or alternately make sure you review everything on at least a yearly basis so that you’re caught up and can make any necessary changes.

Wachter Insurance Agency opened its doors in 1969 and incorporated in 1996. A family owned and operated agency—now with the 3rd generation actively participating. We are an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Offering auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about our blog, Review Your Business Insurance in Frederick County, or you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Source: Eight Reasons Why You Need to Review Your Business Insurance Coverage

Keeping Auto Insurance Down: The importance of teaching teen drivers

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Teen DriverThe first step to becoming a real licensed driver is to get a permit. For most parents, this is a scary time. In Maryland, a student can get a driver’s permit at the age of 15 and 9 months (though if they’re under the age of 16, they have to show proof that they’re in school). Parents will then spend the next year or so teaching their teen to be a good driver for safety purposes, low auto insurance purposes, and to hopefully perpetuate better driving habits and bring teen accident statistics down through the next generation. As a parent, there are some things you should know about teaching your new driver how to be competent on the road.

  • Prepare for the permit – There are quite a few requirements for your teen to get a learner’s permit. Your teen will need to study the permit manual in order to take the test and be prepared for his or her first few times on the road.
  •  Schedule Driver’s Ed – A driver’s education course is mandatory in the state of Maryland. It will also help keep your insurance rates lower and give you some peace of mind that your teen has a solid foundation for learning to drive. Driving with someone else (who has a brake on the passenger side of the car and is professionally trained) will give them a chance to get learning tips and perspectives from someone other than their parents.
  • Log the hours – It can be tempting to fake the hours on the log that has to be turned in for your teen to take the driver’s test, but it’s important that new drivers are allowed to log all of the required hours and are able to drive in different situations. The more experience your young driver has with a licensed adult in the car, the more likely they are to make good decisions on their own later.
  • Let your insurance know – When you first register your new driver on your auto insurance, your rate won’t go up since he or she will be registered as a non-driver until a full license is obtained.  Have a sit down with your teen and your insurance agent so that you can both explain the importance of safe driving and why all of the lead up to getting a license is necessary.
  • Schedule the driver’s test – You’ll want to do this well in advance, especially in Maryland, since it can take a while to get a date. Make sure your young driver is prepared by that date by logging lots of hours in your vehicle and doing mock driver’s tests.

We know the importance of family at Wachter Insurance Agency and we want to make sure that you’re keeping yours safe and protected with good driving skills and auto insurance.

Wachter Insurance Agency opened its doors in 1969 and incorporated in 1996. A family owned and operated agency—now with the 3rd generation actively participating. We are an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Offering auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about our blog, Keeping Auto Insurance Down: The importance of teaching teen drivers or you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Sources: (Bitter) Sweet 16 Series: One Mom’s Drive to Survive

MVA of Maryland

How Can Homeowner’s Insurance Help with Identity Theft?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Identity TheftTaxes are due on April 15th; this means that the next month or so will involve a lot of people scrambling to get year old paperwork together and trying to make sure that they have all of their bases covered. All of the scrambles of tax season give identity thieves an easy “in” to more easily steal your identity through use of your social security number and personal information.

Why is tax season such a vulnerable time?
The main reason that identity thieves are out so thick right now is simple; they want your money and tax scams are fairly easy for them to run if you’re not informed and prepared. Identity theft tops the list for tax scams, according to the IRS. In 2012, identity theft losses totaled up to 24.7 billion dollars (that’s right, billion). It’s very important that you take the proper steps to protect yourself and your identity this tax season.

What can I do to avoid identity theft?
There are a couple of answers to this question (you may be wondering how it relates to insurance. Sit tight).

1.     Get your taxes in early. Once your social security number has been used to file your taxes, it obviously can’t be used again. The sooner you get your taxes filed, the better your chances of avoiding becoming a victim of identity theft.

2.     Use secure methods.  Remember to use trusted sources when filing your taxes. Either use snail mail with return receipt or a secured internet connection. If you’re using a tax service, know their credentials and make sure that you trust them implicitly before giving them your tax and personal information.

3.     Invest in homeowner’s insurance and be sure to add identity recovery coverage. You may not know this, but homeowner’s insurance can actually help you if your identity is stolen. Wachter’s homeowner’s insurance with identity recovery coverage will help protect the cost of expenses during your recovery process, as well as providing you with a case management service to help you restore your identity and get your feet back on the ground.

Go into this tax season confident that your identity will be safe, and that if anything does happen, you’re covered and taken care of with a good homeowner’s insurance policy.

Wachter Insurance Agency opened its doors in 1969 and incorporated in 1996. A family owned and operated agency—now with the 3rd generation actively participating. We are an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Offering auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about our blog, How Can Homeowner’s Insurance Help with Identity Theft? or you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Source: Tax Scams A Dime a Dozen