Archive for September, 2014

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

life insuranceLife insurance is one coverage that isn’t required, unlike car insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Even though it’s optional, it is just as (if not more) useful as other types of insurance. It’s a tough one to talk about sometimes, because no one ever wants to consider passing away and leaving family and friends behind. It’s crucial to have that discussion and figure out your options so that you can leave those friends and family in a good place when you do go. There are many options for life insurance policies, so you should always sit down with your insurance representative and discuss all of them before making any decisions. The following are a few mistakes that people make when looking into life insurance.

What Not to Do With Life Insurance

  • Don’t overlook life insurance. You never know what’s going to happen and it’s very important to remember that your death will impact someone financially. Knowing when to purchase life insurance is also important. The earlier you purchase it, the less of a burden it will be on you as you get older. You can usually purchase life insurance for a much lower rate when you’re young and whole than when you get a little bit older – plus, you may also be able to lock in that rate for life.
  • Don’t guess how much life insurance you need. Always sit down with an insurance agent and discuss all angles. You’ll have to consider your average salary per year, burial costs, and more. Deciding exactly how much you want your insurance policy to cover isn’t a light matter. There are also different types of life insurance. You want to be sure that you understand exactly what you need and what you’re getting.
  • Don’t settle for anything less than the best. The company you work for may offer life insurance benefits. While this isn’t’ a bad place to start, it’s always a good idea to see what else is available to supplement what your employer offers. You should also consider more than just term life insurance. It’s a great benefit to start off with, but whole life insurance may be more valuable to you over time.

Life Insurance in Frederick

Looking for someone to discuss your life insurance options with? We’re here to help. At Wachter Insurance, we’ll sit down with you and help you to personalize your life insurance policy so it suits you. We know it can be a tough subject to discuss. You will never be met with anything less than honesty and understanding at Wachter Insurance. Please call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule your personal and informative appointment.

Source: Huffington Post

Frederick Bonfire Safety Precautions

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

fire pit safetyThe first day of fall has arrived and it has certainly brought cooler air to the Frederick area. The chilly evening temperatures lend themselves well to boots, scarves, and bonfires (or fire pits). If you prefer to use a bonfire or fire pit to stay warm this fall, you should make sure that you are taking all of the precautions for keeping your home and family safe! A properly contained, safe fire can make all the difference between a fun night with friends and some disastrous consequences. We would like to present you with some tips for keeping your family safe around the fire this autumn!

Bonfire and Fire Pit Safety Tips

Know what shouldn’t burn. There are a few things that you should never throw on a fire. Batteries, aerosol cans, bottles, and paint are just a few of the items that could cause your fire to flare up too high or the items themselves to explode. Your best bet is to only burn fire wood and paper. If you have any questions about what you can and cannot burn, please contact the Frederick County Public Health Department. They’ll be able to instruct you on what is safe to burn in the area.

Make sure the fire is far enough away from your home.  If you are building a bonfire, you need to make sure that it is at least 50 feet from the nearest building. Do not burn near trees or other structures. Sparks can easily fly away from the site of the bonfire and catch an overhanging branch on fire. You don’t want to run the risk of a fire spreading away from its contained area and wreaking havoc on your home.

Clear any brush from around your bonfire area. Dry leaves that fall this time of year are very susceptible to catching fire. Some can burst into flame if they are simply touched by a spark. It is advisable to only have a fire shortly after it has rained and to make sure that you have all of the leaves safely raked away from the bonfire area. Keeping this are neat will ensure the safety of your home, family, and guests. You should also make sure that they are far enough from the fire to stay safe as well.

Frederick Homeowner’s Insurance

Do you know what your homeowner’s insurance covers regarding fires? Talk to your insurance agent about your policy and learn more about what you can do to protect yourself in case of a fire. At Wachter Insurance Agency, we take the time to get to know you and find out more about what kind of coverage you need. We’re local to the Frederick area and can better understand your situation and needs.  We are a family owned and operated facility, right down to the 3rd generation. We’re an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Our offerings include auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance or business insurance, or if you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Source: Safe4Autumn, Frederick County

 

How to Make Maryland’s Roads Safer

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

aggressive drivingHave you ever driven through Baltimore or DC during rush hour (or at any other time for that matter? You’ve probably noticed that drivers are less than friendly. Studies have shown that Baltimore and DC drivers are among the least courteous drivers in the entire country, along with Atlanta, Boston, and Houston. Road rage is an issue for many of these drivers because of the heavy, slow moving traffic in the area. Avoiding aggressive driving and road rage is important for keeping Maryland’s roads safe. We’ve got some tips to help you keep calm, cool, and collected on the highways near DC and Baltimore.

Tips for Keeping Aggressive Driving Under Control

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. There will be days where the traffic is completely outrageous. It happens, especially near cities where so much happens. The best way to avoid getting stressed out by traffic and allowing it to control your emotions and attitude is to allow yourself the time you need to get where you’re going. The worst that can happen is that you show up early, but you may have prevented a few accidents along the way.
  • Listen to music that helps you relax. Most people have those songs that make them want to drive faster and do some weaving. Instead of turning up Alice in Chains as loud as it will go, consider going for something a little more mellow or even popping in an audiobook. Anything with a driving bass line will get you amped up and can add stress.
  • Be courteous. The best thing that you can do if other people are driving aggressively is to be courteous to them. Don’t take the bait and try to retaliate. Instead, move over, let the person pass, and go back to being a defensive driver. It’s safer for you and all of the other drivers around you if you simply relax and let the person move on.
  • Try to relax behind the wheel. Remember that nothing that you do is going to make traffic go away. You can simply find ways to relax and choose to not let it bother you. If you find that you’re clenching the steering wheel or that your foot is starting to cramp, relax your muscles. Stop and stretch for a minute if you need to. Try taking a few deep breaths and see how you feel after.

The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

Did you know that 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving? Participating in aggressive driving could result in dire consequences for you and other drivers around you. Additionally, you may find that your insurance rates are lower and you get into fewer accidents if you make a point to avoid aggressive driving altogether. When you’re ready to start discussing car insurance with your Frederick insurance provider, we’re here to help. You can call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule a personal and informative appointment.

Source: Edmunds

Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

emergency preparednessOne of the toughest parts of emergencies is that you never see them coming – they spring up in an instant and require immediate action. Trying to deal with an emergency in the moment without any prior preparation can be disastrous. It’s important to have an emergency preparedness plan that your whole family knows about and can perform quickly and calmly. We know that there’s a lot to consider when an emergency arises (especially one that takes you away from your home). To help you and your family better prepare for an emergency, we’ve put together an emergence preparedness guide!

Tips for Preparing for an Emergency

  1. Identify potential hazards in the Frederick area – This one is pretty easy if you’ve lived in the area for a while. If you haven’t, talk to your neighbors or do some research into the subject. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms are 3 of the biggest threats to Maryland residents. The weather can change at any moment around here and being prepared is crucial to getting through a Maryland weather emergency.
  2. Figure out who needs to be a part of the plan – You’ll need to plan different to accommodate your infant or young child than you will for the adults in the household. Figure out what needs to be done for each member of the family (don’t forget pets) and inform each family member of his or her role in case of emergency. Make sure that you revise the plan each year based on the ages of people involved and any new members.
  3. Create an emergency kit – Your emergency kit should reflect your emergency plans. Your kit should contain first aid supplies, non-perishable foods, water bottles, clothes for at least 2-3 days, flashlights, and a way to entertain yourselves. Remember to pack food for your animals as well. It’s a good idea to have a couple of emergency kits around your home so that they’re easy to access in case you can’t make it to certain parts of your home. It’s also prudent to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Emergency Preparedness Through Insurance

One of the best things that you can do to prepare for an emergency or disaster is to make sure that you’re thoroughly covered by your insurance plan. At Wachter Insurance Agency, we take the time to get to know you and find out more about what kind of coverage you need. We’re local to the Frederick area and can better understand your situation and needs.  We are a family owned and operated facility, right down to the 3rd generation. We’re an independent agency representing the ERIE Insurance Group, Progressive, AIC – Agency Insurance Co., Foremost, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, and Wright Flood. Our offerings include auto, home, motorcycle, boat, flood, business and life insurance coverage. If you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance or business insurance, or if you’d simply like to talk to a representative, please feel free to contact us at 301.371.6335.

Source: Erie

Insuring Frederick Home Based Businesses

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

home business insuranceThe idea of starting a business is a daunting one to begin with. You have to make sure that you have a potential customer base and that you’ll be able to afford to keep the business running – moreover, you want to know that you’ll be profitable. It’s a gamble no matter which way you look at it, but if you’ve decided that you’re ready to run your own home based business, it can be the best decision you’ll ever make. One of the first things that you’ll need to focus on when you start your home based business is insurance. While your homeowner’s coverage is important to have, it won’t cover everything you need for your home based business.

Tips for Choosing Home Based Business Insurance

  • Ask about premises liability – There’s a very distinct line when you use your home as a business. If a client comes in and is somehow injured while in your home, they can sue. They won’t be suing as a person in your home, though. They’ll be suing as a person who was at your place of business. You’ll need separate insurance for this than you would for just your home. It’s best to cover all of your bases to avoid problems down the line.
  • Acquire business property insurance – If you have homeowner’s insurance, it’ll cover parts of your business in the event of a disaster. It won’t cover ALL of your business property expenses,  though. Business property insurance will ensure that everything in your home that is used for your business is covered. If your equipment for your home business is expensive or hard to replace, you’ll want to make sure that all of it is covered.
  • Business income insurance – If your home is damaged, you’ll need somewhere to continue to do business. A damaged home is enough of a problem without adding in the complication of figuring out where to come up with funds to get your business back up and running. Business income and extra expenses insurance will help you get your feet back underneath you while you work to rebuild.

Purchasing Business Insurance for an In Home Business

If you start an in-home business, the first thing you’ll want to do is talk to your agent. We’ll be able to advise you on exactly what you need in a policy, including professional liability, extra expenses, and more. When you’re ready to talk to your insurance provider, you can call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule a personal and informative appointment.

Source: Erie