Archive for November, 2014

High-Risk Holiday? Thanksgiving and Your Home Insurance Policy

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

If you think that Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and food, well then you would be right. But what if we added another word to that list: fire! Thanksgiving Day is one of the most high-risk days for house fires of the year, and being unprepared for this kind of emergency situation does not make for a happy holiday. Read on to find out more about Thanksgiving fire risks and how you can ensure your home insurance policy covers fire damages.

thanksgivingThanksgiving Fires: What Statistics Show

Thanksgiving Day sees an estimated average of 2,000 house fires across the country, costing millions in property damage and even deaths in some cases. But why does the risk for a house fire increase so dramatically on this holiday? The main reason is a simple one: cooking. Because there are so many dishes being prepared on Thanksgiving, cooks often get careless and leave the oven or stovetop unattended. This, in turn, can lead to fires- an oven mitt left too near an open flame, an entire dish catching light, etc. Based on recently compiled statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency, 57% of these fires were caused by ranges, followed by ovens accounting for 16% of fires. Also, many of these house fires were the results of frying and other high-risk heat activities. While you can work to prevent house fires by always keeping an eye on dishes while they are cooking, it is equally important to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Your Home Insurance Policy and Fire Protection

When deciding on a home insurance policy, you may not initially think of the importance of fire protection. Coverage for fires may seem like an unnecessary expense, but in reality it is a vital and important part of your home insurance policy. Discussing fire coverage with your insurance agent can help prevent major disasters such as a Thanksgiving house fire. Stay safe the whole year ‘round by keeping your insurance policy up-to-date!

Home Insurance Experts in Middletown, Maryland

Looking for someone to discuss your insurance options with? We’re here to help. At Wachter Insurance, we’ll sit down with you and help you to personalize your home insurance policy so that it workers best for you and your needs. Please call us at 301,371.6335, visit our homepage, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule your personal and informative appointment today.

 

Sources:

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/11/19/115027.htm

Rethinking Your Home Insurance Policy When Downsizing

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Whether you are watching your children go off to college, you’re a retiree looking to live in a more manageable home, or you are simply looking to simplify your lifestyle, downsizing may be the right decision for you. But though the ultimate goal may be to rid yourself of unnecessary complications through downsizing, there are a few things that you should know in order to keep the downsizing process hassle-free, particularly when it comes to your insurance. Read on to find out more!

Downsizing  When Downsizing, Consider the Change in Your Estate’s Value

 The word “estate” may sound intimidating at first, but all that it really refers to is your property and belongings. When you downsize, you might end up getting rid of a few or even many of your belongings in favor of a lower-maintenance lifestyle, and if so, the overall value of your estate will change. Your home insurance policy is designed to take into account many different factors, property being one of them. If you end up selling off or donating certain items that had a high value, the fact that they no longer need to be covered by your insurance policy means that your premium will change accordingly. Talk to your insurance agent whenever a major change in your estate occurs to ensure that you are not paying more than you need to on your home insurance.

 A Smaller Home= A Smaller Insurance Payment?

 Downsizing does not simply refer to getting rid of excess items; it also may mean that you move to a smaller home. This can be a great way to save money, as smaller homes generally have lower costs for heating and cooling. It is also easier to maintain a smaller home, both in terms of keeping it clean and in making necessary repairs and adjustments to the property. However, does all of this automatically translate into a lower home insurance premium? While a smaller house may cost you less, additional factors such as its location and its age may play into your final insurance policy cost. Talk with your insurance agent to find out how your policy will change when your address does!

 Downsizing? Call Us for Details and Tips!

Looking for someone to discuss your insurance options with? We’re here to help. At Wachter Insurance, we’ll sit down with you and help you to personalize your home insurance policy so that it works best for you and your needs. Please call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule your personal and informative appointment.

Can I Keep Car Insurance Costs Low with a Teen Driver?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage that every teen looks forward to. It signifies a greater amount of independence, a sense of responsibility, and the freedom to make their own plans without worrying about coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs! But as excited as your teen may be to get their license, you may be equally as concerned about what having an inexperienced driver in the house will do for your car insurance costs. So are there ways to keep your car insurance payment reasonable, even with a teen driver new to the road? Read on to find out!

teen driverWays to Manage Your Car Insurance with a Teen Driver

While your teen will be no doubt excited to get that engine revving, you might want to encourage them to pump the brakes. Let them drive independently, but not all the time after they get their license, and not on any trips in which they might encounter a tricky traffic pattern or exceptionally high speeds. While it is important that they gain experience and grow used to these kinds of situations on their own, they also are at a greater risk of a mishap, which in turn would raise your insurance costs. The mentality should be that your teen is still learning how to drive, and so should gradually be exposed to more and more difficult driving situations, rather than being plunged straight into them. A slow and steady approach will help them build confidence and stay safe on the roads.

Another method to keep your car insurance costs low with a teen driver is to consider what car they will be driving. The flashy, fancy new car? Probably not your best bet. An older car with good safety ratings and a relatively sturdy build will provide your teen with an added layer of protection, while also being the kind of car insurance agencies will charge you less for.

To encourage safe driving at all times from your teen, make sure that they know the rules of the road and the consequences of not following them. Maybe they could contribute a portion of the money towards their own insurance payments, and this portion increases if they get a ticket or citation? The better-acquainted your teen is with the expectations of a safe driver, the lower you will be able to keep your insurance costs.

Looking for someone to discuss your insurance options with? We’re here to help. At Wachter Insurance, we’ll sit down with you and help you to personalize your home insurance policy so that it works best for you and your needs. Please call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule your personal and informative appointment.

Don’t Take Your Policy for Granted- Find Out If You Are Covered!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

When it comes to your insurance policies, many people believe that simply having insurance is enough. They assume that certain things will fall under the coverage of the policy and that certain events cannot possibly be considered their fault.  But it is mistakes like these that land far too many people in a policy predicament! Read on to discover what some of the most common mistakes are that people make regarding their insurance policies, and what you need to know in order to protect yourself.

insurancemistakesHome Insurance and Natural Disasters

Homeowners may believe that big-time natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, are included within their basic insurance policy. But this is not always the case, and finding this out the hard way can be devastating news. If you live in a high-risk area that frequently experiences these kinds of natural disasters, it is more than worth it to purchase additional coverage.

Car Insurance and At-Fault Drivers

Let’s say you lend your car to your friend for the day. If they get into a crash or accident of any kind, they are the responsibility party, right? Wrong. In giving your permission to your friend, you also take on the responsibility of any incidents they might cause. While your insurance will pay for the damages, as it would if you were the driver, this can also go on your record and raise your insurance premium. Your best bet? Only offer your car to safe drivers, or better still, offer to drive them yourself.

Life Insurance and Families

Life insurance can be an extremely important way to guarantee that your family is supported in the event of your death. But what about those individuals who do not have a spouse or children? You can still benefit from life insurance coverage- it will provide other beneficiaries with funds that they otherwise might have to undergo a tricky legal battle in order to get access to.

Don’t let an assumption or mistake lead to a major problem down the line- talk to your insurance agent today and make sure you are receiving proper coverage.

Looking for someone to discuss your insurance options with? We’re here to help. At Wachter Insurance, we’ll sit down with you and help you to personalize your home insurance policy so that it works best for you and your needs. Please call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website, or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to schedule your personal and informative appointment.