Archive for June, 2014

5 Great Fredrick County Summer Jobs for Your High School Student

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

summer jobThe sun is shining, students are out of school, and you’re about ready to tear your hair out. You’ve heard the phrase, “Can I have ten bucks?” more times than you’d like to admit in the past couple of weeks. If you tally them up, though, it gives you some great ammunition to answer with, “Guess it’s time for you to get a summer job!” There’s no better time to teach independence than during high school. Students are going off to college in a few years and will start amassing bills that they have no idea what to do with. The value of learning responsibility during high school years can’t be underestimated. When your student is ready to get out there and make a couple extra bucks, this list of great summer jobs will come in handy.

  1. Babysitter – This job is great for all young adults. It usually pays well and gives them a chance to see what it’s like to have kids around all the time. There’s no better way to instill responsibility and teach independence than having your high school student help take care of a little one. Plus, it’s a great way to network. The parent grapevine is powerful if your student ends up being a great babysitter.
  2. Intern – Does your high school student already know what he or she wants to do for a living? Looking into internships early is a great idea. Though they usually won’t count for credit (and sometimes may not be paid), they’ll learn what the business is all about and get a chance to take on some responsibility in their chosen field.
  3. Lifeguard – This is probably the most popular summer job for students. There is extensive training to make sure that lifeguards know how to do their jobs right, but working as a lifeguard can be very lucrative – not just in the money category. Students working as lifeguards get the chance to learn lifesaving skills that they can take with them as they get older and grow.
  4. Pet Sitter – Frederick country residents are always looking for good pet sitters while they’re on vacation. If your student likes working with animals better than people, this is a good place for them to get some extra money and hang out with furry friends. It’s important that these students are comfortable with animals and not afraid to go into other people’s homes to take care of the animals – being trustworthy is important, too.
  5. Tutor – Is your high school student really gifted in one subject area? They can actually make pretty good money tutoring other students or do the work for volunteer hours. Working with younger students will give them the opportunity to learn patience and find out more about the teaching career, possibly leading them to be even better students.

Finding a summer job isn’t all about making a little bit of extra cash. It’s about having a student learn about the working world and figuring out what it takes to be a responsible adult. It also gives you the opportunity to teach them a little bit more about what the working world can offer as they get older and how much things cost. Open the door to discuss more adult things with them, such as insurance, as well. If you or they have any questions about how insurance works, you can call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office.



Maryland Home Inventory – Protect Your Assets

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

home inventoryIn the event of a disaster in your home, you want to know that all of your assets are protected. The best way to ensure the protection of everything in your home is to have solid documentation of all of your assets. You’ll need to keep a home inventory of everything of value in your home and provide this information to your insurance company in the event of disaster. Check out the list below to learn a little bit more about what type of records to keep that will help you and your insurance company.

  • Detailed list with pictures – Take pictures of everything that you own that’s worth something monetarily. Keep a hard copy of these photos somewhere like a bank safe. You should also keep digital copies and make sure they’re backed up to a cloud file or something similar so that you can access them from anywhere at any time, in case your hard copies or original digital images are destroyed.
  • Proof of ownership – If you have any documentation of proof of ownership, be sure to keep those documents safe as well. They’ll usually document how much the item is actually worth so that you’re getting that value back for it rather than an estimated value. This will make your life as well as your insurance agency’s job much easier. If everything is in writing right in front of the, there are no questions about worth.

Reasons to document

  • Insurance claims – This is the number one reason that people document their assets. If you need to make an insurance claim, having valid documentation will make the process
    • Faster
    • Simpler
    • Easier
    • Have some peace of mind – If disaster does strike, you’ll have about a million other things to deal with. You don’t want to spend time worrying about what all you lost and how you’re going to find the money to replace thousands of dollars’ worth of lost items.
    • Just to have a list – Knowing what you own and having it organized is useful for so many reasons. You’ll know what’s missing in the case of theft, if you move, and more. Taking an inventory of your entire home is recommended just so you know what you have and what it’s all worth.

You can either do a home inventory yourself or contract out a company to do it for you. Either way, it’s a great addition to your homeowner’s insurance. If you have any questions about documenting your assets or Maryland homeowner’s insurance, you can call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office.

Hire the Right Frederick Area Contractor

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

contractorHiring someone to help you work on your home isn’t a small matter. The contractor will be in and out of your home and will be responsible for making sure that you love whatever renovations your home is undergoing. Choosing a contractor that will come in and better your home rather than make it worse can be a challenge, especially since many independent contractors don’t have reviews on the Internet and may not be licensed. Saving money shouldn’t be more important than ensuring a quality job. Use the following checklist to make sure that you’re hiring the right Frederick area contractor for you.

  1. Ask first – If you aren’t familiar with any contractors in your area, start by talking to family and friends that have had work done on their homes. Ask them who they’ve hired in the past and what their opinions are. Make sure you get a list of pros and cons of each contractor they tell you about so you can take some time to look over your list and think about it.
  2. Check paperwork – Is the contractor licensed? Did they draw up a detailed quote and let you know about any incidental fees that may occur? Do they have liability insurance? All of these are important questions to ask. Don’t just stop at asking, though. Make sure you see the paperwork or check with the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Look for warning signs – If you’ve asked for the paperwork and they refuse to give it to you, this is obviously a red flag. You should also be leery if the contractor only accepts cash or needs to be paid prior to the work being completed. It’s not abnormal for someone to ask for a deposit, but never pay in full before a job has been completed.
  4. Ask for help – If you’re not confident in hiring a contractor on your own, have an assertive friend or family member help you choose someone. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when it comes to your home. You don’t want to hire someone who is going to do a bad job or is of a questionable moral character simply because you weren’t willing to get a second opinion.

It’s also important that you let your insurance agent know about any remodeling projects that you’re planning. Once you choose your contractor, calling your insurance agent should be at the top of your priority list, just in case anything happens to your home. You can’t insure your whole home if your agent doesn’t know that there’s more to it! To talk to an agent about homeowner’s insurance, you can call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office. We’d be happy to help you find a great contractor and make sure that your homeowner’s insurance is up to date.

To learn more about tips for hiring a contractor, please visit this website.

Frederick Summer Home Safety Tips

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

summer safetyFrederick County summers are some of the best around. There are free concerts in the park, beautiful weather, and lots of shopping and dining opportunities. Summer is also a great time to spend having cookouts with your friends and family. After all, everyone is ready to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures and different food options available during the summer. Keeping your home and your family safe are of vital importance this time of year – it’s easy to accidentally serve bad food or divert your attention for a second and find yourself with an out of control fire coming from your grill. There are a few things that you can do to keep yourself and your guests safe this summer. Read up on the following tips and get ready to have a safe, fun summer.

Grill Safety

  • Check your grill for any obvious signs of problems before you fire it up – if you have a propane grill, be sure to check all of the hoses as well as your gas valve handle. Make sure it’s a three-pronged rather than a five-pronged handle.
  • Keep any flammable liquids far away from your grill and make read up on how to maintain your propane tank to avoid an explosion or propane fire.
  • Keep an eye out for children and pets or designate someone who isn’t grilling to do so. The less interference there is around the grill, the more likely you are to operate it safely. You should also always have someone near the grill to make sure that the fire doesn’t get out of hand and nothing catches fire around it.

Food Safety

  • Keep your coolers closed if you’re transporting food. That’s one of the only ways to ensure that your food will be at a safe temperature when taken from one place to another. If your food hits the “danger zone,” it’ll start to develop bacteria. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • When grilling, make sure that the internal temperature of your meat is up to par with the FDA regulated safe food temperatures. In order to be safe, chicken should always be thoroughly cooked.
  • Clean your produce. You should make a habit of this all year long, since many produce companies still use pesticides and any produce that comes in contact with another person could be contaminated as well.

Pool Safety

  • In a public pool, always pay attention to the lifeguard. He or she has you and your family’s best interests in mind. If the whistle gets blown, immediately stop what you’re doing and check to see what’s going on.
  • Do not run or rough house. This can cause falls, which can possibly be deadly on the cement, especially if someone becomes unconscious in the water.
  • Keep an eye on children and make sure that everyone in your pool either knows how to swim or has the proper equipment and flotation devices to stay safe and keep their heads above water.

Summer safety is important – you want to have a fun, enjoyable summer, and the best way to do that is to practice the above summer safety tips. For more information on grill safety, food safety, and pool safety, contact us at Wachter Insurance. You can reach us by phone at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office. We’re happy to give you tips to keep your insurance down and turn your summer fun up! You can also visit the following websites for more information: Barbeque Grill Safety, FDA, Pool Safely