Category Archives: Policy

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.


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!

 

 

 


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


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.

 


Spring Break

Taking a spring break? Keep your home safe while you’re away!

For many, the winter months are a welcome time to escape the short days and chilly temperatures by heading on vacation. And is there a better way to celebrate the end of winter than to take a spring break? We visited Cape Charles last year for the first time and are really excited to go back for part of Spring Break.

Whether you’re going to hang out locally in RVA, bask on a sunny, white-sand beach in the Caribbean or hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding, you have to take precautions to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away. After all, what could be worse than returning from a relaxing break or an active adventure to find a disaster has occurred, such as a break-in, or water or fire damage?

To ensure your vacation doesn’t end in tragedy, follow these tips before you go.

  • Check for any leaks and fix them. For example, ensure your refrigerator ice maker is not leaking!
  • Set your heater at approximately 50 degrees to ensure pipes and appliances don’t freeze. But if you have pets and they are going to be in the house, set it closer to 72 degrees.
  • If you have pets, make arrangements for their comfort and safety: either board them or have a friend come over daily to care for them.
  • Turn furnace and hot water heaters down.
  • Unplug all appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters and exercise equipment.
  • Leave a light or two on so the house doesn’t appear deserted at night.
  • Lower blinds and close curtains so that passers-by can’t view your valuables.
  • Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can enter the home in case of emergency.
  • Have a friend or neighbor bring in newspapers and mail or cancel delivery for both during the time when you’ll be away.

If you have the opportunity to get away the Spring Break, we wish you happy trails, and hope you come home to a safe and welcoming home!

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!

Here’s what customers are saying about Knight Magee Insurance

“KMI Solutions is the BEST! Above and beyond service!!”

KMI Insurance is top notch! I recently acquired both a homeowners and car policy through them. Besides the fact that I was able to secure great quotes, they went above and beyond to make sure that I understood all the details about my policies and answered all of my questions very clearly. When the day comes that I need to use my insurance, I feel confident that I choose a wonderful company to work with. I will always have them as a resource and would highly recommend them to everyone!”

“Knight Magee Insurance is hands down the best insurance company I have ever worked with in many years.”

“Saved us money but exceeded any other customer service I’ve received with another l agency. Sierra and Kate and wonderful.”

 


Health Insurance Open Enrollment – Changes for 2018

Open Enrollment Begins November 1st

Individual health open enrollment begins on November 1st. Are you ready?

As you are probably aware, there are some pretty big changes coming in 2018. We want to help you prepare and understand those changes and what they will mean for you. Whether you are seeking health insurance as an individual or a small business owner, there are answers here for you.

 

For Individuals


The Open Enrollment Period

The window is shorter this year. The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018.1


Anthem is Back - in Select Areas2

Yes and no. There has been some miscommunication about Anthem being back in the VA individual market. Although they are, access is limited to certain cities and counties throughout the state. For our clients who live in the city of Richmond, Chesterfield or Henrico, you will no longer be able to access Anthem either on or off the exchange for individual coverage.

Find out what cities and counties Anthem will continue to offer coverage.

 

For Small Business Owners


Get Group Insurance

If you are a small business owner with two or more employees, switching from individual health to group health could be more beneficial to you. At Knight Magee Insurance, we offer Anthem group health.

 

What's Next

Unfortunately, with Aetna no longer offering individual health insurance on or off the exchange in VA and Anthem being limited to specific areas of the state, we’ve been forced to partner with a third-party administrator to help assist our clients with securing individual health insurance coverage.

It is our understanding that the majority of the state will be limited to Cigna as the only option, however, Optima and Anthem will be available in some areas as well.3

Give us a call to review your options or get the conversation started.

 

 

1 https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/

2 https://www.anthem.com/blog/member-news/anthem-to-discontinue-many-virginia-individual-aca-health-plans-in-2018/?cnslocale=en_US_ct

3 https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/health-insurance-marketplaces-for-2018/


 A Homeowner’s Policy Doesn’t Cover Flood Loss

 “Your homeowner’s policy does NOT cover loss due to flood from any source.”

Many people aren’t aware that their homeowners insurance excludes flood and earthquake coverage. Earthquake coverage can typically be added with a simple endorsement, but flood insurance requires a separate policy entirely.

The Definition of a Flood

Before purchasing a flood insurance policy, it’s important to understand what is considered a flood.

A flood is “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area, or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property).”1

Flood insurance kicks in when the following conditions are met:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • 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

When to Purchase Flood Insurance

We realize that not everyone feels the need to carry flood or earthquake insurance, but we do want you to be well informed.

We can’t predict when that 100-year storm will hit, but we can provide clients with the accurate information they need to make the best decision for their family.

Find out what flood zone you live in.

You’ve discovered your flood zone, now what?

Go online and search your zone in your favorite search engine. Let’s say your flood zone is Zone X. These are areas determined to fall between the 100-year and 500-year floodplain and are areas of moderate or minimal hazard from flood.

See how your home would have stood up to Hurricane Harvey.

The Cost of Flood Insurance

On average a low risk flood zone might cost $400-$500 a year to insure and is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Flooding can occur at any time and isn’t always from a tidal surge and more often than not low risk areas may be affected when catastrophic storm hits.

If you are interested in discussing if flood insurance is right for you or you need help in securing a quote, please give us a call at 804.320.0129.

 

1 https://www.insure.com/flood-insurance/who-needs-flood-insurance.html


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