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gardening water tips

Gardening Season in RVA

Category : General , Helpful Hints

gardening water tips

Garden Water Conservation

It’s gardening season in RVA, but, with drought still gripping several parts of the country, water usage is a growing concern. Even if conditions aren’t dry at the moment, it’s a good idea to think about how you use this precious natural resource — and how you can use it more wisely.

Here are five great tips from your friends at Knight Magee Insurance to help!

  1. Think about where to plant. Your space has a big impact on the amount of water you need to use. The same backyard can have areas that get different amounts of sun, shade and rain, for example. A flat spot will hold moisture better than one that is sloped. And, don’t forget to check the soil — clay soils will retain water much longer than sandy soils.
  2. Choose the right plants. Different plants and vegetables thrive in different conditions. Pick plants that will work well in your climate, and group plants with similar watering needs in the same area.
  3. Increase moisture retention with mulch. Mulch does more than insulate the soil and reduce evaporation. It is also effective at reducing weeds, which can suck up water meant for your plants. And, mulch doesn’t have to be bark or manure; it can be a plastic sheet. Add a soaker hose or drip system underneath for the best results.
  4. Know how much water your garden is getting. Install a rain gauge (or even a tuna can) so you always know how much water your garden has received — either naturally or from sprinklers. The average garden needs about an inch of water a week. If you can feel moisture just under the surface of the soil, you probably don’t need to water. And, remember, sprinklers don’t always provide even coverage, so monitor where the water goes, not just how long you’ve had them on.
  5. Install the right irrigation. One of the best ways to get water to your garden is through a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system. Both are (usually) inexpensive and easy to install. They are beneficial because they don’t simply spray water. They instead provide it in measured doses right at the root zone. 

With a little bit of planning (and some dirt on your hands), you truly can have a water-friendly garden in RVA. Enjoy the season!


Boat Pre-Season Tips

 Boat Pre-Season Tips

 10 Tips to Get You Ready for Boating Season

 Spring is here in RVA, and summer is right around the corner. It’s time to think about getting your boat out on the water.

Actually, first things first: It’s time to think about getting your boat ready to get out on the water. From the engine and propeller down to your trailer, a little preparation as you get your boat out of winter storage can help you start off the season right — and get the most out of your time on board.

Here are 10 tips from Discover Boating to get you started:

  1. Check your safety gear. Do you have enough life jackets? Are they in good shape? What about onboard fire extinguishers? Are your navigation lights working?
  2. Consider adding safety items. Should disaster strike, an emergency position indicating radio beacon can help rescuers find you and your boat. And, if you have an enclosed space on the boat, you should have a carbon-monoxide detector.
  3. Examine your fuel system. Any leaks or damage should be addressed immediately.
  4. Look at all belts, hoses and cables. Those that appear brittle or cracked most likely need to be replaced.
  5. Check fluid levels, such as engine oil. Change or add as needed.
  6. Have your battery and electrical system checked. Look for corrosion on your electrical connections.
  7. Make sure your propeller isn’t banged up. Dings and distortion can cause vibration, as well as damage your drive train.
  8. Look at the hull for blisters and cracks. Repair or patch damage, and make sure to use an environmentally safe solution when washing the exterior and interior.
  9. Don’t forget the trailer. Treat your trailer with as much care as you show your boat. Inspect the hubs occasionally, and check your lights before every trip. If you go boating in salt water, give the trailer a very good rinse afterward.
  10. Don’t forget insurance, either! It’s a good idea to check your coverage as you head into boating season, too. Just give us a call here at Knight Magee Insurance, and we can help you with a quick insurance review.

There’s nothing quite like a sunny – and safe – day on our local lakes and rivers in Virginia. We’ll see you out there!




COVID-19 Carrier Specific Premium Relief

Category : General

With millions under stay-at-home orders and working remotely, American roadways are seeing a lot less congestion and accidents. This means less risk of insurance companies and many carriers are taking note. However, refund programs vary widely from insurer to insurer. Here are how the carriers at Knight Magee Insurance are responding:


  • If one of your policyholders expresses their need for payment leniency resulting directly from economic hardship associated with the COVID 19 pandemic, please call us at 800-492-5629 for help.


  • If you have an active personal auto policy at the end of April, you’ll receive a credit of 20% of your April premium. We’ll offer the same 20% credit to active personal auto customers at the end of May, and we may offer additional credits in the upcoming months.
  • There is nothing to do, we’ll automatically calculate your credit at the end of each month, and then you’ll see it reflected in your account within a few weeks. If you have a balance on the policy, we’ll apply the credit directly to your remaining balance. And if you’re already paid in full, we’ll return the money to the payment account we have on file – so please make sure your payment details are up to date
  • This credit is subject to approval by state regulators.


  • For customers unable to pay their bill due to hardship caused by the pandemic, Dairyland is offering customers additional time to make payments without impacting coverage.  In other states, upon customer request, we are offering a grace period for premium payments through a date that is based upon the customer’s need, up to May 15th.


  • We will be returning a portion of premium to personal auto policyholders in the form of a 25% payback for the months of April and May based upon the premium that was in effect at the end of March. 
  • All Grange Insurance personal auto customers who have policies in force between April 01, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will receive paybacks.
  • The 25% payback will be granted automatically without any action from you or your agent
  • Your payback check will be mailed to your billing address. Most policyholder checks will be mailed in May. If you became a new policyholder with us in April or May, your check will be mailed in June.


  • Subject to approval by state regulators, Progressive Personal Auto customers who have a policy in force as of April 30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May and Personal Auto customers with a policy in force as of May31 will be credited 20% of their May premiums in June.
  • The credit will be applied within a couple of weeks of the end of the month. For many customers, they’ll see the credit sooner than 2 weeks.
  • Direct bill or automatic payments customers will see the credit applied to their policy and reflected in their payment schedule. For paid in full customers, we’ll apply the credit to their payment type on file.


  • Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% refund on 2 months of their auto premium, based on your premium amount as of April 07, 2020.
  • In most cases, refunds will be issued in the same manner that you made your last payment. If your refund is being issued to a credit card or bank account, we will send you an email to let you know when that is completed. If your refund is issued as a check, you will receive a note along with the check through United States Postal Service. Policyholders who pay through payroll deduction will be mailed a check. We plan to begin issuing refunds by the end of April and will continue throughout May.
  • Your refund will happen automatically, and you do not need to call us to get your refund.


  • In terms of how our policies will respond to COVID-19, because every claim is unique with its own set of facts, we’ll make determinations based on actual individual situations, not hypotheticals. In order for us to determine the potential for coverage, an actual claim report should be filed.


  • The Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program provides 15% credit to US personal auto insurance customers on their April and May insurance premiums. The company will automatically credit customer’s accounts, providing them with prompt and much needed relief during this time.
  • The program is available to U.S. personal auto insurance customers who have active policies between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020.
  • The credit will be automatically applied to all U.S. personal auto insurance customers. No action is needed on your part.
  • If you pay by monthly installment: The credit will be applied to future bills. The April credit will be applied by June 20, and the May credit will applied by July 20.
  • If you have a recurring automatic payment through your bank account (EFT) or credit card: The credit will be applied across future installments, starting in May for the April credit and in June for the May credit.
  • If you have already paid your policy in full: The credit will be issued to you via your last payment method – the April credit will be issued in May, and the May credit will be issued in June.
  • If you paid by payroll deduction: The credit will be mailed to you via check. The April credit will be mailed in May, and the May credit will be mailed in June.


We recognize the COVID-19 crisis has altered driving patterns, resulting in fewer accidents and claims, so we are giving back 15% of monthly personal auto insurance premiums, 10% of monthly business auto premiums, and 15% of select commercial multi-peril policy monthly premiums for two (2) month-long periods. In California, the giveback period calculation begins on March 19, coinciding with Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order, and in all other states it will begin on April 1. A credit will be applied to customer accounts in early May, and a second credit will be applied in early June. This is an everchanging situation, however, so Mercury’s response may continue to evolve as the pandemic continues.


National General Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NGHC), in support of its employees, policyholders, and business partners, today announced a 15% credit on April premiums for personal auto insurance policyholders and a commitment to donate $3M toward COVID-19 relief. The credit applies to personal auto insurance customers with a policy in force as of April 30, 2020, and will automatically be credited to their policy, subject to state regulatory approvals and other relief requirements. This credit is in addition to other substantial billing relief efforts currently in place in response to COVID-related hardships and may vary in form in different states. Policyholders do not have to take any action to receive the credit. Additionally, agent commissions will not be negatively impacted by this April premium credit.


As we all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, more of us are at home and driving less, which means having fewer accidents. That’s why we are announcing a Shelter-in-Place Payback for our auto customers. And, since our lives have become more digital, we are providing free identity protection for the rest of the year. Eligible auto customers will get an average payback of about 15% based on their monthly insurance costs during April and May.

Encompass customers experiencing financial challenges can call Encompass or your independent agent to learn how to delay payments without penalty. The Special Payment Plan gives auto and homeowner insurance customers the choice to delay two consecutive premium payments. Customers also can choose to pay what they can afford.


We know that everyone is impacted differently and we want to provide you with a longer-term solution. That’s why we created the State Auto In This Together plan. An automatic one-time 5% discount on your entire personal auto premium at your next renewal. Pending regulatory approval, this discount will apply for every State Auto customer with an active personal auto policy as of June 1, 2020.*

State Auto remains committed to our customers — and we’re here to support you during this difficult time. We will continue to offer flexibility in payment options and payment plans for those that may be facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


During difficult times, we’re at our best when our customers, agents, employees, and communities need us most. With that in mind, the member companies of Utica National have made swift changes due to COVID-19 that have resulted in financial relief to policyholders, valuable tools, and other accommodations to help our customers, agents, employees, and communities navigate through this tough time.

Our Customers

  • Offering our Personal Auto Rate Relief Payment Benefit, a one-time payment benefit of 15% of the policyholders’ monthly auto policy premium for April and May 2020
  • Offering a grace period on payments that are due and spreading the amount owed across remaining payments1
  • Waiving late fees for all policies and suspended our fee for taking payments over the phone with a customer service representative


The health and safety of our policyholders and agents is our top priority. While we navigate the new challenges facing the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to providing all the support that our customers are accustomed.

Policies can be managed at or on our mobile app which can be downloaded through the Apple store or Google Play. While we are practicing our own social distancing, we do have Customer Service representatives available to take your calls at (877) 384-7466 or (877) 784-7466 for our automated system. You may experience longer than normal hold times when contacting Customer Service.

To report a claim contact us at (877) 584-7466.

Please contact us if you’re experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus to discuss options.

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