Author Archives: Sierra Knight Magee

Christmas Donations

Giving During the Holidays Without Getting Taken

Category : General

Every year during the holidays, people in RVA look for ways to give gifts, not just to family and friends but to those less fortunate. It’s the spirit of the season.

Unfortunately, some of the charities out there don’t help people as fully as they claim – or possibly not at all. As if that weren’t enough, bogus organizations take advantage of people’s goodwill by stealing credit card and bank account information, along with identities, from people who think they’re donating to a legitimate cause.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be generous this holiday season. It just means a little extra caution is in order. Here are four tips for making smart and safe holiday donations:

  1. Verify the charity is legitimate.
    Sure, the name sounds official and you think your friend mentioned what good work they do. Or does the charity simply have a name similar to another well-known organization? Before you donate, do a little digging.

    Enter the charity’s name at Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator or GuideStar, and, if you feel comfortable after reading about the organization, go ahead and donate. If not, look for another charity that supports the same cause. A good rule of thumb is to look for organizations with 501(c)(3) status.
  • Steer clear of pop-up charities.
    A pop-up charity is anything but charitable. These groups spring into action at opportune times, namely when people are feeling generous, such as during the holidays or following a disaster. The so-called charity is actually a scam designed to steal money, credit card numbers, bank account information and identities from unsuspecting donors. If, during your research, you come across an organization that seemingly appeared out of the blue, do not share any of your personal information with it.
  • Be careful with digital donations.
    Now that you’ve researched the charity, how do you plan to donate? If it’s online, be sure to type in the website address correctly. Fraudsters put up realistic-looking sites using a URL similar to a well-known charity’s to trick people into donating. But, they’re not donating at all. They’re lining the pockets of thieves.

    Once you know you’re on the correct site, check that it’s secure before submitting any credit card information. Simply look for “https” instead of “http” at the beginning of the URL.

    Likewise, that email you received from a prominent charity may be a fake. Instead of clicking on a link in an email to donate, go directly to your Web browser and type in the address yourself.

  • Avoid phone and door-to-door solicitors.
    If people call or knock on your door out of the blue asking for a contribution to this or that organization, ask them for the charity’s website or mailing address instead of donating right then and there. Even if it’s a charity you’ve heard of, the operation may be a scam. It’s always safer for you to initiate the donation by visiting the charity’s website or mailing in a check. Plus, fundraising over the phone requires a middleman – that agent calling you – who must be paid, reducing the amount of your donation that goes to the charity.

It feels good to be in a giving mood during the holidays. With a little legwork to look into the legitimacy and practices of the charity, your donation will help others feel good too.

Contact Us!

At Knight Magee Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 804-320-0129 or send us a note at myagent@kmicoverage.com.  We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!


car seat safety

Car Seat Safety

Category : Auto Insurance , General

The Right Car Seat for Your Child
Infant-only, convertible, all-in-one – many soon-to-be parents in RVA don’t know where to begin when it comes to car seats. And, each choice has advantages and disadvantages.

Here are five things to keep in mind, from shopping to installation, to help you find the right seat for your precious cargo:

  1. Know the pros and cons of each seat type. Children usually outgrow infant-only seats within the first year. However, they offer a snug fit and allow you to quickly snap the baby carrier in and out. Convertible seats and all-in-ones have a longer life, but they sometimes aren’t as convenient. Both transform into forward-facing seats, and an all-in-one seat becomes a booster, as well.

  2. Know when to use each type. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends using a rear-facing seat for as long as possible — through 12 months of age, at minimum. After kids reach the limits of rear-facing seats, often between ages 1-3, switch to forward-facing. When they outgrow those, usually between ages 4-7, it’s time for a booster. Finally, when a seat belt fits properly without a booster, your child is done with special seats! (They should still ride in back, though.)

  3. Don’t accept a used car seat unless you know everything about it. It should be within its service life (look for the expiration in the manual or on the seat) and not have been involved in an accident that caused injuries or forced air bags to deploy. And, of course, it should not be included in any recalls.

  4. Before you install, read the instructions. Seats should be secured in the back seat with anchors or a seat belt. When you’re done, get a free inspection to check your handiwork, if possible.

  5. Check the fit. Harness straps should be flat and placed through the slot either at or below your child’s shoulders (rear-facing) or at or above the shoulders (forward-facing). When the harness and chest clip are secured, make sure no extra material can be pinched at the shoulder.

Knowing your child is secure in the back seat helps you focus on distraction-free driving in the front. Your car insurance also offers peace of mind when you’re on the road. If it’s been awhile since your last insurance check-up, give us a call today. We’ll help ensure you have the right coverage. Give us a call 804-320-0129 or email myagent@kmmicoverage.com


Solar Panels

Solar Panels

What to Know Before You Go Solar
Solar panels can be economically and environmentally sound, and they’re more accessible than ever. According to one research firm, U.S. homes and businesses installed a new system every four minutes in 2013.

But, is solar power right for you here in RVA? To help you address the question, here are five things to think about before making the switch:

  1. The different options for installing a solar system. Oftentimes you don’t have to foot the full cost of going solar yourself. Instead, you may be able to lease a system from a company that installs and maintains it, or enter into an agreement where a third party actually owns the system and bills you (likely at a reduced rate) for electricity. Just keep in mind that installing and owning your own system may provide the best long-term return, and tax credits or rebates may help to lower upfront costs.

  2. Your current energy costs — and your future needs. Depending on your situation, you could have relatively low energy bills now and not be as motivated to pursue solar as someone with higher costs. But what does the future look like? If your family is growing, your energy costs are probably about to grow, too, and investing in solar might be worth your while.

  3. The power a system would generate. Have a reputable solar company measure the amount of sun your home gets, taking into account things such as shade, trees, etc., so you can make an informed decision about expected savings.

  4. What your homeowners policy says. With any improvement that increases the value of your home, you need to make sure your insurance policy reflects the change. Give us a call to see if your policy already covers solar panels. If it doesn’t, we can help you amend it.

  5. Your goals. Are you mainly looking to save money? Help the environment? Both? Knowing your goals will help you determine whether solar is the right choice for you, as well as which option makes the most sense. No matter what you choose, even considering solar means you’re thinking about energy a little differently. And that’s a good thing.


Renewable power – it can help protect your from rising energy costs and even power outages, not to mention the good it does for the environment. Just be sure to consider your options and all the costs involved before making the leap. Give us a call to learn more 804-320-0129 or email smagee@kmicoverage.com.


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