Archive for January, 2015

How Do Blizzards Cause Home Damage?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

As the entire Mid-Atlantic region prepares for an exceptionally snowy end to the month, homeowners throughout the area are left wondering what effects these winter storm systems could have on their property. Home damage caused by blizzards can be severe and difficult to repair, so it is important to know whether or not certain kinds of damages are going to be covered by your home insurance policy. Read on to learn more about winter storm home damages and how you can ensure your policy will protect you.

blizzard-home-damageTop Home Damages Caused by Winter Storms

Blizzards are known for their heavy amounts of snow, ice, and strong winds. Separately, these three things can cause some serious damage; together, they can be even more destructive.

Snow, when it accumulates on rooftops or other structures, can weigh them down and eventually cause them to collapse inwards. A caved-in roof is also something you may have to contend with if snow builds up on a tree branch and causes it to break off, falling down on top of your house. You should discuss this kind of risk with your insurance agent and discover whether or not you are covered. You can also take preventative measures, such as pruning overhanging trees, to help keep your home safe.

Ice can prove risky no matter where it builds up. Ice on your walkway, driveway, or front porch creates the chance of slipping and falling. Ice in your rain gutters can build and build until it forms a dangerous ice dam. Salting your surfaces and taking preparatory steps to deal with ice before a blizzard hits can go a long way towards keeping your home safe.

Winds, especially the strong winds associated with blizzards, can wreak havoc on your home. If objects become airborne in heavy winds, they could strike your home, damaging the siding or even shattering glass. Talk to your insurance provider about protecting yourself from home damage expenses with an effective, comprehensive policy.

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.

Black Ice: Spotting It And Stopping It From Causing Auto Accidents

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

While falling snow may obstruct your vision and slush can lead to slippery roads, the most dangerous winter driving hazard by far is black ice. Why is this, you ask? Unlike other icy buildups on the road, black ice is extremely difficult for drivers to see and most often forms at night, when driving conditions are already more dangerous. So what strategies can you employ to avoid black ice and protect yourself from an auto accident? Read on to find out.

Black-Ice What Conditions Cause Black Ice to Form?

 During winter, temperatures fluctuate back and forth around the freezing point. While the air might suddenly exceed the freezing point, the material it touches, i.e. the pavement, do not have enough time to warm up to match it. When pavement is colder than the air around it, any moisture collected on its surface will freeze rapidly, leading to black ice. Because it freezes so quickly, black ice is thin and very difficult to see.

 How Can I Avoid Black Ice While Driving?

 If you hit black ice while driving, your vehicle could slip, skid, or crash all-too easily. The best way to prevent an auto accident caused by black ice is to avoid black ice altogether. To do this, restrict your driving only to what is absolutely essential. If you cannot help but be out on the roads when there is black ice, make sure you are driving defensively. Slow down, particularly around curves and corner, and maintain an even-handed control over the vehicle. A sudden turn or stop could cause your vehicle to skid over black ice, so take extra care to observe your surroundings and know what movements will need to be made.

 Staying Safe on Icy Roads

 An auto accident caused by black ice or other winter road conditions can lead to an increase in your car insurance payments. But the financial cost is the least of your concerns when it comes to winter driving safety: keeping yourself and the passengers in your car free from harm is your top priority.

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.

 

Source:

http://www.eriesense.com/black-ice-driving/#.VJRRoF4DrE

How Safe is My Car (And How Can I Find Out)?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

While style, color, and size may all play into your car-buying decision, these superficial factors do not determine whether or not the vehicle you are purchasing is a safe investment choice. An appealing yet unsafe car could send your car insurance premium flying through the roof, so it is important to do a little digging and determine just what kind of car you are buying.

safe-car-insuranceWhat Are the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Ratings?

One of the organizations that provides consumers with the data they need on vehicle safety is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They have created a safety rating system that measures two vital safety criteria: crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation. So what exactly do these terms mean?

Crashworthiness measures how effectively a vehicle protects passengers during a collision or crash. Five different tests are used to evaluate a vehicle’s overall crashworthiness: moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints. These aspects can be rated on a scale that ranges from good, acceptable, marginal, to poor.

Crash avoidance and mitigation refers to the kinds of technologies implemented in a given vehicle that help reduce its chances of being involved in a crash, or at least reduce the chances of a crash doing severe damage. Safety tech including back-up cameras and power steering can help boost a vehicle’s score in this test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety selects cars in a wide range of sizes for their “Top Safety Picks” each year. Whether you are looking for a small, midsize, or large car (or an SUV or minivan), the safety ratings provided by this institution can help you determine which makes and models will be your best bet. When you make a safety-conscious decision in your car selection, you also greatly increase your likelihood of getting a reasonably priced car insurance deal along with it.

Get in touch with Wachter today for more information about car insurance!

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.

Source:

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings

Frozen Pipes and Home Insurance: What to Know for Winter

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

With temperatures plunging far below freezing this winter, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the risks of cold weather. A big enough chill and your house could suffer the consequences, from broken furnaces to ice dams to frozen pipes. Of these winter-related issues, frozen pipes are one of the most serious and costly to repair, particularly if your home insurance policy does not give you the proper coverage you need. So how can you prevent frozen pipes in the first place and make sure you are protected from their potentially damaging effects? Read on to find out more.

frozenpipesWhat Causes Pipes to Freeze?

When water freezes into ice, it naturally expands and takes up more space. While this is not a problem in many cases, it becomes a problem when the water in question is freezing inside of a confined, restricted space that cannot expand with it. Your pipes are just such a space, and so when water freezes inside of them instead of accommodating it, they burst or break. Any type of pipe containing water that is connected to your house can burst during the winter if not cared for properly, from sprinkler system lines to swimming pool supply lines to your water main.

How Do I Stop My Pipes from Freezing in Winter?

Some water supply lines can be drained during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing. But others, your water main, for example, cannot be shut off and so extra precautions need to be taken in order to stop them from freezing. Insulating your home and sealing off any potential cracks can help keep the temperature of your pipes above freezing.

Does My Home Insurance Policy Cover Frozen Pipes?

Though you can work to prevent frozen pipes altogether, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality. Talk to your insurance agent about your home insurance policy to ensure that the damage caused by frozen pipes will be covered no matter what.

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.

Source: http://www.eriesense.com/frozen-water-pipes/?utm_source=thisweekaterie&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=twae010515#.VKwLJSvF8cA