Friday, July 29, 2016

Back To School Tips

It’s August and back to school season is just around the corner.  Are you prepared?  Here are a few tips to get you and your family ready “insurance” wise!

Talk about Safety! 
  • Do you have young children who will be walking or riding their bike to school?  Take time to talk about safety and do a “dry run” of the school route. 
  • Have your children practice following the sidewalks, understanding the traffic lights, stranger safety, and what to do in case of an emergency. 
  • Don’t forget to buy new helmets or other safety gear so that it’s the right fit for the new school year.  There are some great video resources on bike safety for a variety of ages available here:
Cell Phone Safety
  • If your children are a little older, then you have another safety discussion!  Talk about the rules for using cell phones while driving, especially in regards to texting.  In 2012, driver distraction was the cause of 18% of fatal accidents.  Some studies have shown that texting increases the risk of a crash 23 times over driving while not distracted! 
  • Set up clear consequences for distracted driving and be clear with your teens about the dangers.  If you need ideas, here is a sample contract to create between you and your teen driver that you can adjust as needed - 
Get Good Grades
  • Depending on your policy, you may be eligible for discounts when your teenage driver has good grades!  Encourage them to keep their grades high for many reasons, with better insurance rates being one of them.  This is especially motivating for teens that have to pay for their own insurance!
  • There are also some discounts available for drivers ed and additional drivers training courses.  Give us a call to discuss what is available on your particular policy.   
College Kids Count Too!
  •  While you’ll want to remind your college age kids about not driving distracted, there are a few other things to consider for them too.
  • Depending on your Homeowners insurance, you may or may not need additional coverage for your college student’s belongings while away at school.
  • Those laptops, textbooks, clothes, and electronics can add up fast!  While Homeowners insurance does provide coverage for property off premises, it may not be enough (or may have a high deductible). 
  • We can review your current policy and look at options for covering your student’s belongings through your Homeowners or a new Renters insurance policy.
  • If you have questions about your college students or teen driver’s insurance, give us a call today.  And enjoy going back to school!
Give us a call at 703-556-7857 to prepare your family for the school year.
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Do Stay-At-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?

A lot of us assume that the only people who need life insurance are the breadwinners of the family.  The person who brings home a paycheck that would need to be replaced if they were to pass away.  But this simply isn’t true! 
If you’re a single-income family, you also need to consider life insurance for the stay-at-home parent in your household.  Why?
Well even if they aren’t bringing in a regular paycheck, the stay at home parent is contributing in many ways - and those costs add up!’s annual survey assessed that the base salary of a stay at home mom comes to $48,509 with an additional $94,593 in overtime pay!  Stay at home parents are in charge of child care, housekeeping, daily cooking, shopping, and many other household tasks. 
If they were to die, the working parent would still need to work, but would also have to afford child care and take on ALL of those household jobs.  It would be extremely tough, especially after a terrible loss.
This is where good life insurance comes in.  With the right coverage, the surviving spouse could afford the help they needed in a difficult situation.  Plus, they could arrange to take time away from work as needed so that they could be there for their children. 
Unsure of how much coverage your family needs?  Let us help.  We’ll review your current household income and how much coverage would protect your family as well as your stay at home parent.  Call us today at 703-556-7857 for a free no-obligation review and quote. 
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Home Maintenance Tasks

Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape all
year long. So here are a few simple tasks you can take on in October!

Pack Away The Air Conditioner - If you use a seasonal air conditioning unit, then now
is the time to pack it up for winter! Make sure to spend a few extra minutes cleaning all
the filters and coils well. It will keep the unit in great shape and it will last much longer.

Winterize External Plumbing Systems - It's much better to prepare for freezing
temperatures before it's freezing! Winterize all exposed outdoor pipes and you'll avoid
the trouble when there is snow or ice on the ground.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector - This is an important one! October is a great
time to check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure it is performing well.
Change the batteries, test it, and replace older units.

Clean Up For Halloween - Trick-or-treating can be a liability hazard! Clean up any
loose tree limbs, fill holes in the yard, and remove any fire hazard Halloween decorations before kids are running to your door.

Save on Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your belongings. To make sure you have the best coverage, call us today at 703 556 7857 for a free, no obligation quote.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Insurance for Your Wedding Rings

Did you know that June is the most popular month for weddings? 

I’ve seen many of my clients planning weddings over the next few weeks.  So I thought I’d share an insurance tip this week just for engaged couples and newlyweds.

You’re spending a lot of money on your wedding and those new rings.  Make sure they’re covered! 

Jewelry is covered under your Homeowners or Renters insurance.  But the coverage amount can be limited.   If you don’t cover the individual piece of jewelry specifically, you might not have enough insurance if it were to be lost or stolen.

Here’s what I recommend.  Get an appraisal of your rings from the jeweler.  Then bring in a copy and we’ll add the rings to your policy.  (We can also discuss deductibles or special coverage.)  Depending on the value of the ring, you might spend only a few dollars a year to know that your valuable jewelry is insured.

If you are renting or getting ready to purchase a home and don’t have a policy, now is a great time to schedule a free consultation to discuss what coverage you’ll need and give you a ballpark figure for what it will cost.  Renters Insurance is very inexpensive and can give you a lot of peace of mind as you combine your two households.

But the best tip I can give?  Get a local insurance agent you can trust!  We’ll look out for you and help you get the right coverage at an affordable rate.  Call today for a free quote today at 703-556-7857.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What is Transportation Expense (And Do You Really Need It)?

As you look through your auto policy documents, you might have seen a coverage called Transportation Expense.  What is this?  And do you REALLY need it? 

Basically Transportation Expense is there to help you when your car is unavailable due to a covered claim. 

Let’s say that you had a fender bender and your car is in the shop for a few days getting a new bumper.  Or after a major storm, you’ve got hail damage that needs to be repaired.

While the car is being repaired, what will you drive? 

That’s where Transportation Expense comes into play.  With this coverage, the insurance company will pay a certain amount per day (based on your policy) towards a rental car.  That way, you’re not inconvenienced while the repairs are being made. 

We highly recommend that you have this coverage, however there are a few situations where it might not be necessary.

If you own multiple vehicles and could easily drive another while your car is in the shop, you may not need rental coverage.  And if you rarely drive your vehicle, don’t have a job that requires you to drive daily, and could easily stay home for a week and walk where you need to go, you may not need rental coverage either.

If you’re not sure what’s best for you, then give us a call at 703-556-7857 to discuss exactly how much the coverage will cost you each month and what different levels are available.  We look forward to helping you choose the right insurance coverage!

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

What College Graduates Need to Know About Auto Insurance

You’ve proudly watched your child graduate from college (and celebrated the last of the tuition bills!)  Now they’re searching for their first “real” job and ready for a new phase of life.  

This is what you and your new grad need to know about their insurance.

First, in most situations, they can remain on your auto insurance policy as long as they are living in your household.  If they’ve moved back home while job hunting, you can keep them on the policy.

But once they move out, it’s time to look at other options.  Some of this will depend on who is the owner of the car and if you’re living in the same state.  The best option is to talk to one of our agents to discuss your particular situation in detail.

Remember, regular on-time insurance payments can help establish credit history and serve as a reference when renting an apartment. 

If your graduate is moving out on their own, you’ll also want to get some information on Renters Insurance.  It will protect their belongings and protect you from any liability for damage they might cause to a residence (even if it’s just an accident, like a small kitchen fire.)  In most cases, a parent is a co-signer for a lease and needs to make sure this protection is in place. 

The end of college marks some big transitions into adulthood.  Help your new graduate to make smart financial decisions and establish a great start.  We can help!  Schedule a personal review and quote today. Call us at 703-556-7857.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Biggest Risk to Your Home (and how to prevent it)

Most people think the biggest risk to their home is a fire or a bad storm.  It’s why they buy insurance (and the fact it’s required by their mortgage lender). 

But in reality, the biggest concern is protecting your assets from a liability claim.  Consider this...

Warm weather has arrived and everyone is beginning their yard work. Mowing, planting
flowers, and digging those vegetable gardens. There is a lot of work to be done.

So let's say that you dig a large hole in the front yard so you can plant a new tree. You
walk away for a moment and while you're gone the kid next door runs through the yard,
falls in the hole, and breaks his ankle.

Unfortunately, you could be held responsible for his injury. But not to worry, your homeowner's liability insurance is made for these kind of situations. It will pay if someone is injured on your property. It's also the coverage that protects you if the dog bites your child's friend (as long as it's not a restricted breed) or if your cousin falls down your front steps.

If you have a large number of assets, then you'll want higher liability coverage. If the
injury exceeds your liability coverage amount, then you could be sued for the difference.
Work with us to determine the amount of coverage that you are comfortable

No one can protect themselves by just being careful alone. There are too many
possible scenarios that you could never avoid. But with the right insurance coverage,
you'll never have to worry.

Call us today at 703-556-7857 for a free review and to discuss how much liability coverage you need. 

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