Author Archives: Sierra Knight Magee

Tree Maintenance

Tree Maintenance

Category : General , Helpful Hints

5 Tips to Help Prevent Tree Trouble

Trees are pretty amazing things. They produce oxygen. They serve as natural air conditioners, both by blocking sunlight and through evaporation. And they even absorb sounds, helping to keep things peaceful.

These benefits, along with countless others, are great reasons to keep the trees on your RVA property in good shape. Looking for another? Unhealthy trees can actually pose great danger to your home and property, as well as to your family and other people.

With these tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation, you can help prevent tree trouble – and potentially save yourself from a home insurance claim:

  1. Inspect trees frequently. The size, color and condition of leaves, and overall leaf cover, are good indicators of a tree’s health. Cavities or disfiguration can be a warning sign, although they don’t always mean a tree is a hazard. Just keep a close eye on it. Dead branches are a big risk, because they can fall easily. Those that cross or rub can create weak spots.

  2. Plant in an appropriate space. Putting in a tree that will grow to be large? Don’t put it near power or sewer lines, or close to your home. And avoid brittle trees – their limbs are weak and more likely to break and fall. Examples include Silver Maples and Willows.

  3. Prune correctly. Cut outside the branch collar, and prune regularly as trees age. Don’t allow a tree to be topped.

  4. Leave it to an expert. Once a year, have a qualified arborist thoroughly evaluate the trees on your property. An arborist can identify ones that need to come down immediately, as well as those to watch. In particular, trees that have been topped, or that have lost large limbs unexpectedly, could cause trouble. Taking down trees can be very dangerous, so leave it to a professional.

  5. Remember, you’re responsible. Property owners are generally responsible when their hazardous trees cause damage or injury to others. So keep your trees healthy, your space beautiful and your liability low!

When a tree does fall, you may or may not have coverage through your homeowners policy for any damage it may cause. If you’d like to discuss your coverage, please give us a call today. It may be a good time to think about adding extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio with an umbrella policy. Give us a call at 804-320-0129 or email myagent@kmicoverage.com.


Halloween Safety

Halloween Safety

Category : General , Home Insurance

5 Questions to Ask to Keep Your Haunting Brood Safe on Halloween

Despite the fact that Halloween involves walking around at night amongst ghouls and witches, it really only takes a little common sense to make the night safe for everyone.

Here are five questions to ask so your entire family, even pets, can enjoy a safe and fun evening of trick-or-treating or handing out candy to others:

1. Are we visible?

Add reflective tape to costumes, clothing and candy bags to make it easier for drivers to see you and your group. That also goes for pets who are tagging along. Put reflective tape or flashing lights on their leashes or collars. Carrying flashlights and glow sticks is a good idea as well — they make you more visible and help you see better, too.

2. How safe are our costumes?

Costumes, including masks and shoes, should fit well to prevent blocked vision, trips and falls. Baggy clothing can also increase the risk of contact with candles. If you purchase costumes, make sure they are marked as flame-resistant. And accessories such as swords and knives should be soft and flexible.

3. Where are we going?

It’s best to have a plan before taking your kids trick-or-treating. You should only go to known neighborhoods and houses that have outside lights on, and children should never enter someone’s home unless an adult is with them. If you have older children going out on their own, have them tell you their plan.

4. What are the kids eating?

It’s always a good idea to examine the items your kids have collected before they dig in. And it’s not just about tampering, either. Be aware of choking hazards, too, particularly for young children. And remember, when it comes to eating treats, moderation is key.

5. How are Fido and Fluffy doing?

Even if your dogs and cats are just hanging out at home while you hand out candy, don’t forget about them. They shouldn’t eat candy at all, but especially chocolate, which can be toxic. Make sure candles are placed in areas where they won’t be knocked down. And remember that, depending on your pet’s personality, having people constantly coming to your door can be stressful. You might want to create a comfortable spot for them away from your home’s entrance.

With the right plan, you can make Halloween fun — and safe — for your little ghosts and goblins. And you can probably snag a little leftover candy for yourself, too.


Fall Home Maintenance

Fall Home Maintenance Tips


10 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Fall is a wonderful time in RVA — if your home is ready for it.

Yes, this is the time of year to fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophic. Here are 10 tips to help:

  1. Look up. Examine your roof closely. Remove moss, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts, and repair any damage.

  2. Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including in the basement and crawlspace. Bring in a professional to get rid of unwanted guests.

  3. Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.

  4. Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the basement and crawlspace for wet spots. And, make sure your water heater or boiler isn’t leaking.

  5. Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When’s the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts, as well. And, change that furnace filter!

  6. Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs now.

  7. Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, boiler and/or water heater, as well as your oven and range.

  8. Don’t play with fire. Before building your first fireplace fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.

  9. Don’t play with fire extinguishers, either. But, check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don’t have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.

  10. Don’t forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.

Keeping your home insurance policy in tip-top condition is smart, too. Remember to check in with us at least once a year to update your policy so you’re covered for your new remodel, additions or personal possessions. Give us a call 804-320-0129  or email smagee@kmicoverage.com.


Business Insurance - Knight Magee Insurance

Time to Review Your Business Insurance

Your operation is constantly changing and evolving as you find new ways to grow your business. That’s why it is a good practice to review your insurance annually to identify potential coverage gaps or adjustments to limits that can help assure adequate protection for your business.

Please take a few minutes to review the questions below to help you identify any changes needed to your business insurance coverage.

General Information

  • Have you made any changes to your business operation(s)?
  • Have you moved your business location(s) or changed your business mailing address?
  • Has there been an increase or decrease in your company’s sales?
  • Do you have additional certificate requirements or need to update certificate holder list?

Property

  • Have you made improvements or changes to your existing location(s)?
  • Have you purchased or sold any buildings?
  • Have you purchased, sold or replaced property (e.g., computer equipment, tools, etc)?

Workers’ Compensation

  • Have there been any changes in your staffing that could increase or decrease payrolls?

Automobile

  • Have you purchased, sold or replaced any vehicles used for company business?

Other Insurance Considerations

  • Has your business expanded overseas? If yes, consider International coverage.
  • Do you store customer or employee data, including private information (social security numbers, credit or debit card numbers?) If yes, consider Data Breach Liability coverage.
  • Are you concerned about being sued by employees for harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination? If yes, consider higher limits for Employment Practice Liability.

Rental Car Insurance

Do you need Rental Car Insurance?

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

Maybe you’ve been here before. You’ve just come off the plane, picked up your baggage and gone to the rental car counter. You’re tired from the flight, about to begin an ambitious vacation or a challenging business project. And, this is the point at which you’re asked, “Do you want insurance with that?”

Most travelers, facing that question from the rental representative, have the vague notion that they don’t really need to buy rental car insurance – which somehow is covered already. With just enough doubt in their minds, and the need to make a quick decision, perhaps they buy it just to be safe.

So, which is it?

Do you need to buy rental car insurance or not?

Truth be told, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. However, you can likely reach a conclusion you’re comfortable with by considering these three questions.

1. What Types of Rental Car Insurance Are Available?

Typically, car rental agencies will offer you four types of insurance to purchase:

  • Collision damage waiver – The rental car company won’t charge you for a damaged or stolen vehicle when you buy this.
  • Supplemental liability protection – Electing this will ensure you’re covered for costs to others if you cause an accident in the rental.
  • Personal accident insurance – This coverage will pay for injuries or death of the driver and passengers of your rental car.
  • Personal effects coverage – Reimburses you for stolen personal items while renting the car.

2. What Rental Car Coverage Might I Already Have?

Start with your personal auto insurance. It’s likely that your policy will provide the same level of coverage for your rental as it does for your own car. That usually includes liability insurance, and, depending on the policy you purchased, may include collision, comprehensive and medical payments, too. There are exclusions, however. Some insurers won’t cover rentals in a foreign country, or rentals that are being used for business. Get in touch with your independent insurance agent to verify your coverages.

Next there’s your credit card. Most cards offer some degree of coverage, but it varies widely. Coverage is usually secondary, designed to step in and pick up where your auto insurance leaves off, and it tends to be mostly confined to collision, damage and theft. For coverage to apply, most cards require that you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver and pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection. Again, contact your card company to find out exactly what is covered.

Then, consider your health and life insurance, too. If you’re in an accident involving a rental car and you have these policies, you likely have coverage for your own costs. Plus, with your homeowners insurance, you may have personal property coverage to help repair or replace valuable belongings that are lost, damaged or stolen while you’re in a rental. Your deductible and policy limits will apply, and the same goes for renters insurance or condo insurance.

3. What Rental Coverage Might I Be Missing?

In the event something does happen to the rental car, you may be looking at loss of use and diminished value fees, and your regular policy may not cover them. Loss of use is the income that the rental agency loses due to the vehicle being in the shop for repairs, and diminished value is the calculated reduction in a vehicle’s resale value as the result of an accident. Credit cards sometimes cover these, but be aware that they may require documentation that rental agencies can be reluctant to provide.

So, before you make that next trip, give us a call 804-320-0129 and check with your credit card company. That way you’ll be ready to make an informed decision when you get to the rental car counter.


Update on Baby Evie!

Remember Baby Evie, the beautiful baby girl that the Knight Magee Insurance team rallied the community together for? Her story touched all our lives, and we were so thrilled to see her fundraiser draw in support from The Westin Richmond, Dr Sarah Wilmer DDS, Tricia Norris, and local performer Rachel Leyco. We sold over 100 tickets leading up to the event on Friday March 9, 2018 and raised over $7,000 in one evening + additional proceeds from a Go Fund Me page. This week we received this beautiful thank you and update on Baby Evie who is soon off to preschool! 

“Dear KMI Team, 

Hey there, I was thinking the other day just about how incredibly grateful we continue to be for all the support you all and the community provided to us while Evie was sick and on recovery. The support you all provided to us both financially and emotionally will never be forgotten. I hope that you will share this update on Evie in your newsletter since so many helped us through such a difficult time.

Evie will be 2 next week and is doing fantastic! She is almost a year seizure free and is almost completely up to speed developmentally (still working with OT on a few physical developmental skills). This year has been filled with many changes and challenges including a move to the Hampton Roads area to enlist help from our families with Evie’s care.

She has remained a trooper and amazes us every day with how far she has come and how much she has learned! Considering that everything stays as it is medically, we plan to start her in part time pre-school in January and she is super excited to “go to school to see the kids!”

We just wanted to take a minute to share an update with you all and again provide our unending gratitude for your support!”


Renter Insurance - Knight Magee Insurance

Think Renter’s Insurance is Only for Your “Stuff”? Think Again!

Clients often think they don’t need renters insurance — “Nothing I have is worth that much,” they’ll say, or “I don’t have a lot of stuff.”

That’s how most people think of renter’s coverage: protection for stuff, and nothing more. After all, it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t even cover the structure itself. So how important can it be, especially if you don’t think you have anything valuable to protect?

Plenty important, because you have more to protect than you realize. You just have to stop thinking only about “stuff.” Here are three key financial protections a renters policy provides:

Loss of use coverage. What would you do if a fire or other issue forced you out of your home? You’d have to find a temporary place to stay, maybe even for months — which might cost you more than your normal rent. Loss of use helps cover that and other additional expenses.

Personal liability protection. If someone trips and injures themselves in your unit, they could sue you. If your dog bites one of your guests, they might file suit, too. Yes, lawsuits happen — even among friends. Renters insurance can help cover legal expenses and even judgments against you. (Some dog breeds may disqualify you from coverage, so be sure to inform your agent of all dogs in the household.)

Personal property coverage. Wait, doesn’t this mean your stuff? Well, yes. But really, this coverage protects your finances. Even if you don’t think you have anything valuable, take a minute and mentally add up everything you own (note that if you do have any high-value items, such as jewelry or heirlooms, you may need additional coverage). Now imagine how much it would cost to replace it all. It’s probably a higher number than you thought — and that’s why renters insurance is so important.

Contact us to learn more 804-320-0129, myagent@kmicoverage.com


Dawson & Carter’s Story

Category : General

In the two weeks leading up to Dawson’s diagnosis, we had no idea what was going on. All of the symptoms were innocuous. Dawson had been drinking a lot of water. We had written it off to being winter time. We were all drinking water due to the dry air in the house. He was moody. Well he was a three year old… Click here to continue reading Dawson and Carter’s Story…

*Learn more here JDRF and get involved in helping to find a cure for Dawson and Carter and many other kids like them!


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Winter Storms

Are You Ready?

We admit it: As insurance pros, our picture of winter isn’t exactly cozy. Winter storms mean traffic snarls, hillsides turning to sheets of ice, and cars sliding around like hockey pucks. Cold temperatures can cause pipes to burst, frost swells and other damage. Heating your home with fireplaces and holiday lighting can increase the risk of fire.

A picture-perfect winter requires a few precautions 

Here are a few of our top tips to help reduce weather-related hassles this winter.

  • Winter-proof your car with good snow tires or chains, new wiper blades, antifreeze, and emergency road supplies.
  • Keep your attic cool to help prevent ice dams. Insulate the attic floor and make sure it is well-ventilated.
  • Do not overload circuits with holiday decorations.

When winter storms hit, be smart

  • If you do not have to drive, stay put. If you must drive, make sure you’ve winterized your car and have a full tank of gas.
  • When the air is cold, keep bath and kitchen cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate around pipes. If pipes do freeze, let them thaw normally—they’ll be less likely to burst.
  • And if the power is out, make sure you avoid leaving candles or fires burning unattended. If you use a portable generator, follow the instructions and do not use it indoors.

Know what your insurance covers

We want to help you rest easy. You will be more relaxed when you know you have prepared your property to lessen the chance of winter storm damage. If you have any questions at all about your coverage and/or deductible, call us at Knight Magee Insurance (804) 320-0129 and we will help you review your policy.


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

What to consider when hiring a contractor

Owning a home is rewarding and exciting! However, for most homeowners, looking to hire a contractor for a home repair or renovation is daunting!

Here are some things to consider when hiring a contractor:

Tip #1: Does your contractor have proof of insurance? It is important that your contractor carry insurance otherwise you could be left financially responsible for his or her negligence or mistakes. We always recommend that our clients obtain a copy of the contractors General Liability policy before any work is performed and if the contractor has a crew or employees ask for proof of Workers Compensation coverage. The General Liability policy will provide coverage for completed work and/or damage to your premises at the time work is being performed. Examples, the contractor scrapes your hardwood floor when moving in an appliance who hired him or her to install or the contractor wires something incorrectly and it later causes a house fire. The Workers Compensation coverage provides coverage for an employee’s work-related illness or injury.

Tip #2: Does your contractor provide references? Any reputable contractor should be able to provide multiple references for the same type of project you are looking to hire them for. This should also include photos depending on the type of work you are looking to have performed.

Tip #3: Does your contractor provide a contract? He or she should be willing to put both the scope of the project and bid in writing, if not, walk away!

Tip #4: Does your contractor use sub-contractors? This is common depending on the scope of a project. For example, you may hire a general contractor to oversee the entire project, but he or she may sub out certain work: electrical, framing, etc. It is important that those sub-contractors carry their own insurance.

Tip #5: Permits!!! We can’t emphasize this one enough. We work with a lot of clients who find faulty work down the line that could have been avoided with permits. Permits cost money yes, but the inspection process is meant to protect you from poor workmanship and to ensure everything is built to code!


Christmas Fundraiser - Knight Magee Insurance

CSC Homeless Run

Please help us as we support CSC Homeless Run hosted by Robyn McManis.

Christmas Day is one of the happiest days of the year, unless you are homeless, living on the streets of RVA. Every year, CSC family and friends organizes a fundraising event to purchase brand new coats and boots, as well as a meal and hot coffee for area homeless people. Continue reading…

Ways you can help:

Purchase (and drop off at either CSC or our office Knight Magee Insurance):

  • New Winter Coat (no used) in men’s sizes medium, large, extra large or XXLarge. The thicker the better and hoods are nice and warm!
  • New Boots (no used) in men’s sizes 9, 9 1/2, 10, 10 1/2, 11, 11 1/2, 12
  • Make a donation! Donations can be a check or cash that you drop off at CSC. You can also donate via PayPal at carystcafehomelessrun@yahoo.com. 100% of all donations will go towards the purchase of new coats and boots.

Follow the Facebook Page for more information and/or to volunteer!


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

5 Common (and potentially costly) homeowners mistakes

Category : General

Owning a home is exciting and rewarding, but can also be overwhelming especially as issues pop up. It seems no matter the issue, big or small, time and money are needed to remedy the problem!

It’s common, for neglect to occur, especially if you have been in your home for many years or have a rental property you don’t inspect regularly.

Here are five mistakes we often see homeowners make—and tips from experts to help you avoid them.

  1. Forgetting about (or ignoring) the small stuff. Some examples are a toilet that runs constantly, a crack in a deck board, or even a slow drip from a faucet. These may not seem like big problems, but typically what starts out small can turn into much bigger issues. When you find “small” repairs around your house, address them quickly and you will likely avoid bigger problems down the road.
  2. Not doing regular checks around the house. How often do you inspect your home or have a handy person inspect? Often time’s problems could have been avoided just by occasional inspection. Check your crawlspace from time to time and your attic. Check outside too, make sure the seals around your doors and windows are solid, look for debris or damage to your roof, and look for siding that needs repair or maintenance. Then remedy any issues prior to heavy rain and winter season.
  3. Skipping maintenance on your appliances. Not only does maintenance keep things working effectively and prolong lifespan, but maintenance also can prevent serious risks. Some examples include cleaning your dryer exhaust vent; too much lint build up could cause a fire. Check the hoses around the washing machine, if worn, replace… this could avoid significant water damage. Also be sure to test your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.
  4. Neglecting other systems. Have your furnace, heat pump, and/or central AC serviced annually. Be sure to change filters at the appropriate intervals.
  5. Not having a home warranty. Even with the best maintenance efforts, household items still fail and often times will need to be repaired or replaced. These things sometimes just happen and if left unrepaired could lead to further damage, for example a furnace not working in 20 degree temperatures and posing the risk of a frozen/burst pipe. We ask all our clients to consider a home warranty. A home warranty would cover the breakdown of appliances and systems, and potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars on repairs or replacements.

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it pays to be diligent about caring for it! Call us for a no obligation coverage review (804) 320-0129.


Knight Magee Insurance - Water Damage insurance

These tips hold water: Helping clients understand water loss avoidance and mitigation

Category : General

Did you know that water damage is one of the most frequently filed losses on homeowners and renters. Safeco is here to help with this Water Prevention Infographic:

Click here to view the Infographic

 

 

 

 


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Heavy rain? Be on the look out for heavy damage!

Category : Helpful Hints , Product

Your home protects you from the elements, but heavy rains can weaken that protection. With a little maintenance and a lot of vigilance, it’s not hard to stay safe and dry.

Spring rainstorms are a fact of life in many areas of the country, and they help keep things green, even if they keep you inside. But when they get heavy, it’s time to start thinking about the potential impact all that water has on your home. The first step is finding and fixing any immediate problems as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then, you’ll want to take measures to prevent those problems from happening during the next downpour!

Where is all that rain going?
Your roof and gutters form a key line of defense for your home – and in a storm, they’re vulnerable, because so many things can damage them. Trees, hail, and other objects can create weaknesses that might lead to leaks in your roof, so check for missing shingles and other issues. And keep your gutters clear so all that water drains properly.

Are you checking everywhere?
Water dripping from the ceiling is hard to miss. Water in your crawl space, however, can easily go undetected because hardly anyone ever checks there. Don’t forget to look down there after a storm (or have a professional do it) to make sure everything is nice and dry. If you do see moisture, you’ll want to get it out with a sump pump as soon as possible.

And don’t just look up – another place to check is your home’s exterior, whether it’s siding, brick, or another material. Weak spots can be hard to see, so look at various times of the day in different lighting conditions.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed to keep the elements out, too.

What about around your property?
Storm water has to go somewhere, and if your property doesn’t drain well, or if runoff goes toward your foundation, you could have problems. So watch for patterns, and grade property so it drains away from your home if possible. Always be wary of hillsides and tilting trees after heavy storms, because the land might not be stable.

And don’t forget to keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris. This can prevent flooding both on the streets and your own property.

What should you do during the storm?
During powerful storms, stay inside. This is not the time to check your roof, your exterior, or your property unless there’s an emergency and you know it’s safe to go out. Monitor your interior, making sure no water is getting in. If it is, do what you can to alleviate the situation in the moment, even if it means just placing something under a leak to collect the water. For more serious problems, though, remember that safety is the most important thing. If your basement is flooding, for example, don’t go down there – you could be trapped and even drown.


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Frequently asked questions during hurricane season:

1. Am I covered for flood?

Flood insurance is separate from your homeowner’s policy. We can quote flood coverage but FEMA requires a 30 day wait between when you take out the policy and when coverage begins. Also in order for the flood policy to provide coverage the following conditions must apply:

    • A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
      –Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
      –Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
      –Mudflow; or
    • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

2. What is a moratorium and why can’t I change or add coverage to my policy?

An insurance moratorium or binding prohibition simply means an insurance company places a temporary halt on writing new business or raising limits on existing policies for a period of time. This is common with an impending storm.

3. What type of water damage will my homeowners cover?

One example would be water back up and sump pump overflow, but only when the endorsement has been applied to your policy. This endorsement provides coverage when water backs up through or overflows from a sewer, drain, sump, sump pump or any system on the residence premises designated to remove subsurface water from the foundation area. This is a common claim after heavy rainfall.

4. What’s my responsibility if my home has sustained damaged?

Report your claim right away. Make emergency repairs to prevent further damage to your property, but only if you or someone you know is able to do so safely.

5. Do I have a separate deductible for a loss from a Hurricane?

Not necessarily. Some of our costal clients and those who live near major bodies of water may have a separate wind/hail deductible, but for the vast majority of our clients, you typically would have one deductible on your policy and it’s the same for all perils.

These are some of the common questions we’ve encountered with the impending storm, but please do not hesitate to call (804) 320-0129 or email myagent@kmicoverage.com, with any questions or concerns.


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Back to School Safety

As kids head back to school, let’s keep them safe

The end of summer means many things, such as cooler weather, shorter days and the start of football here in RVA!

But most important, it means kids are headed back to school. And that means we all should be extra careful on the roads, in school zones and around buses. Remember to watch for bikes, too! Here are some tips for both parents and kids to make sure everyone stays safe.

Use caution on the roads 

  • There are going to be a lot more kids on the sidewalks and streets when school starts, so take it slow and always be aware of your surroundings. That’s good advice for all situations, of course, but be extra cautious around the times when school starts and ends for the day.
  • Watch out for school zones! They’re usually easy to spot, as many have flashing signs indicating a slower speed limit.
  • Remember to follow school-bus rules. You aren’t allowed to pass the bus on either side of the road when the red lights are flashing. Even when the lights stop, make sure the coast is clear before moving on. Kids can move quickly and erratically.
  • Leave yourself extra time to make it to your destination. Whether you’re headed to work or dropping your child off at school, rushing is a recipe for disaster.
  • Be especially careful in school or child-care parking lots and loading zones!

Teach kids to be safe while walking  

Just a few minutes spent explaining some basic safety rules to your child can help keep them safe when they’re walking to or from school. Young children should never cross streets alone, but if your child is old enough to walk with others, remind them to do the following:

  • Always use marked crosswalks when crossing streets and look both ways twice.
  • Do not assume that drivers can see you. Try to make eye contact with them, if possible, when crossing the street.
  • Watch for driveways when walking on the sidewalk.
  • Be aware of cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Never move into the street from behind a car or other obstacle. Don’t chase a ball, pet or anything else into the street.
  • Always use sidewalks and paths. If there is no sidewalk or path, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.

Help them stay safe on their bikes

Just as it’s important to help your children learn safety tips for walking to and from school, it’s important to teach bike safety, especially by setting good examples yourself.

  • Make sure your child wears a properly fitted helmet every time he or she rides a bike.
  • Before the bicycle is ridden, do a quick inspection to ensure it is working properly and reflectors are in place.
  • Show your kids how to ride on the right side of the road with traffic and to stay as far to the right as possible.
  • Encourage your child to walk his or her bike across busy intersections. Or better yet, choose a route without any busy crossroads.
  • Explain to your child why no one should ride on the handlebars.
  • Demonstrate the rules of the road by using proper hand signals and obeying traffic signs when you ride bikes together with your child.
  • Set curfews so your child is not riding a bicycle at dusk or in the dark.
  • Most importantly, supervise your children every time they ride until you are certain they have good judgment.

We know you’re probably familiar with all of these good ideas, but everyone needs reminders. So take it slow, and let’s have a happy and safe school year!


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Back to School

Insurance Tips for Back-to-School Time

College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current policies. So, as you get your children ready to head off to school in the fall, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that tuition check): a review of your insurance coverage.

It’s important to keep in mind that policy language varies from state to state, and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, but below is a general guide. If you have questions, or want to go over your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!

HOMEOWNERS (may vary by state and individual policy)

Coverage of personal property: Most homeowner’s policies provide 10 percent of Coverage C (Personal Property) for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s. For example, if the contents of a policyholder’s home are insured for $100,000, a student’s property up to $10,000 would be covered if living in a dormitory – provided the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured.

For apartments or houses off-campus, the same coverage generally applies. Certain items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, may require special coverage, or a “rider.” Renters insurance is strongly recommended.

Liability coverage: There usually is exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured, so generally damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered, unless the student carriers renters insurance.

Ensuring adequate coverage: Contact us to get specific answers and information about your coverages. Also, it’s a great idea to create an inventory of the items your student is taking to school, as is keeping photos of and receipts for the items.

Renters insurance: If your student’s needs can’t be met under your current policy, don’t forget renters insurance. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the possessions of renters.

AUTO (may vary by state)

Coverage without a car at school: If your student will continue to drive while at home on school breaks, they should continue to be listed on your auto policy. If they are attending school more than 100 miles from home, and are not taking a vehicle with them, the policy may qualify for a distant-student discount.

Coverage with a car at school: In most instances, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school. But you should make sure that your insurance carrier writes coverage in the college’s state and location. And note that a change to the principal location of the vehicle could result in a change in premium.

Driving a friend’s car at school: Students generally would be covered while driving a friend’s car if the students are listed on their parents’ policy and do not have regular use of the vehicle. The coverage would likely be secondary in this case, as the carrier for the friend’s vehicle likely would be the primary coverage.

Coverage discounts: In addition to the possible distant-student discount mentioned above, students may qualify for a good-student discount. To qualify, most insurance carriers require that a student must be enrolled in at least four courses per term as a full-time student at an accredited college or university and meet certain academic qualifications. Also, drivers under the age of 21 who complete a driver education course may be eligible for a policy discount.

Going away to school is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Making sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future. We’re happy to discuss your coverage and options — just give us a call (804) 320-0129 or stop by!


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Attention Safeco Customers: File a glass claim online from start to finish

Safeco continues to partner with Safelite Solutions and now they are making it easier than ever to file your claim: You can report an auto glass repair from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Safelite’s website identifies the work that needs to be done, confirms coverage and gives the ability to schedule an appointment for repair or replacement. You can access the glass claim center through Safeco.com.

Why Safelite Auto Glass?

  • Guaranteed work: All work is backed by Safeco’s Presidents Guarantee, which ensures that all repairs completed through Safelite meet industry professional standards and this guarantee applies as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Value: For customers with comprehensive coverage, Safeco will cover the cost of a windshield repair 100% if the shop can repair, instead of replacing. If the windshield needs to be replaced you are subject to your deductible, *unless you opted to carry full glass under your policy.
  • Quality: All providers who perform the auto glass repairs are trained professionals who meet or exceed industry professional standards.
  • Convenience: Work can be performed at your home or your office at no additional cost. Customers are never left waiting and are kept in the know with OMW (On My Way) texts.
  • Speed: Safeco customers receive high priority at the shops in the Safeco network, so this means a repair or replacement is scheduled quickly.

Not sure if you have full glass coverage under your policy? Give us a call for a policy review. (804) 320-0129


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Auto Insurance Rates Cont…

Auto insurance rates are rising at the fastest rate in over a decade.

Here’s why:

There are many factors (out of your control) impacting insurance premiums. It’s important to understand that insurance companies base their annual premium rates on a number of factors and these factors are heavily regulated by federal and state laws, all of which are strictly enforced.

  1. Financial Stability: On a quarterly basis your insurer must prove that they are solvent. This means having assets in excess of liabilities. Many insurance companies are experiencing the effects of external environment and market factors that are driving up costs.
  2. Accidents: Even if you have had no accidents, the companies’ total accidents for the prior year will directly impact premiums for everyone. Inclement weather, heavy seasonal travel, and/or large construction projects have all been known to increase losses for a particular year. For example, lower gas prices might mean more families opt to drive to their vacation destination vs. flying. More drivers on the road = more frequency of accidents.
  3. Cost of repairs: With newer technology come higher repairs costs. Years ago a minor fender bender may have meant a new bumper cover and paint, today we have cars with back up cameras and other technology which are driving up the cost and time for repairs. Repairs are more common than total replacement of vehicles. This particular statistic can have substantial impacts on the auto insurance industry. Also, rising healthcare costs has driven up personal injury claims.

Insurance is designed to spread the risk across large numbers of people. By law, insurance premiums must be applied to an entire class of people, not an individual. It’s important to understand that insurance is a business and like any business some years are better than others. You can have one company file a 9% increase and another 2% and it’s all based on a multitude of factors from the prior year. This is why working with an independent agent is so valuable. At Knight Magee Insurance, we represent multiple insurance companies, we track market conditions, new programs and discounts and work with our clients to ensure you have the best coverage, but also the best rates. Contact us at Knight Magee Insurance for a no obligation insurance review.


Knight Magee Insurance Company in Richmond Virginia

Car Insurance Rates

There’s no one price fits all scenario when it comes to insurance. Here are some factors to consider that may impact your auto premiums:

  1. Previous coverage: Those who have had a lapse in insurance or a gap in coverage and/or carry state minimum liability limits tend to pay more for car insurance.
  2. Credit history: According to research a higher credit-based insurance score typically means you are less likely to file a claim, so as a result more favorable premiums are offered to those with higher scores.
  3. Your home: Where you live and whether you rent or own your home can impact your premiums. For example cities, tend to have more traffic and street parking and as a result are more susceptible to losses and therefore may pay a higher premium than those who live in less densely populated areas.
  4. Your vehicle use: The more time you spend on the road, the higher the chance of something happening. If you have a long commute your rates may be higher than someone who works from home and qualifies for a low mileage credit.
  5. Vehicle symbol: Vehicle symbols are determined by safety ratings, cost of parts and labor, and the likelihood of theft and/or break in. The higher the symbol the more costly to insure.
  6. Marital status: Believe it or not, those that are married are proven to have fewer auto accidents than non-married drivers. As a result more favorable rating is offered to married drivers vs. single drivers.
  7. Age: Younger inexperienced drivers tend to pay more, so qualifying for a good student discount and/or taking a driver improvement course might help offset the dreaded “youthful” surcharge.
  8. Deductible: Often, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. We recommend that clients only carry the highest deductible they can manage at the time of a loss. Don’t forget you have to pay that deductible out of your own pocket in the event of a covered loss.
  9. Driving history: If you’ve ever been in accident or received a ticket, then I’m almost certain you experienced an impact to your insurance premium. Watching the speed limit and not driving distracted are two ways to stay safe but also reduce premiums with a clean driving record.

Car insurance costs can vary greatly form driver to driver, carrier to carrier and even state to state, which is why an independent agent, with multiple markets is invaluable. If you want to better understand how your policy was rated or are interested in a no-obligation review, contact us at Knight Magee Insurance.

*Look out for our next blog where we will address how car insurance companies base annual premium rates on a number of “other” factors, all of which are out of your control.


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