It’s Boating Season

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It’s Boating Season

It’s Boating Season

Every summer, our team gets calls from customers after a fun weekend on the water takes a turn for the worse. Often, these accidents could have been prevented with just a few simple precautions. Here are a few tips we like – courtesy of our partners at Safeco.

Don’t let an accident wreck your fun!

Life Preservers Aren’t Just for Kids. It’s not enough to just have life jackets on board — wear them! In an accident, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket. This rule applies to adults, not just children: More people in their 30s die in boating accidents than any other age group. Life vests have come a long way in style. Today, you can even get vests for your water-loving dog!

Watch the Back of the Boat. Carbon monoxide kills in minutes. So tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located and turn off your engine when people are in the water, and don’t let passengers “ski” or “teak-surf” by holding on to the back of the boat. Both Washington and Oregon made teak-surfing illegal in the last few years, after several tragic deaths. Carbon monoxide detectors are standard on most new boats; older boats install devices for less than $100!

Alcohol and Boating Don’t Mix. More than 50 percent of drowning’s result from boating incidents involving alcohol. You don’t drink and drive, so don’t boat and drive.

Boats Need TLC Too. When you’re out on the water, make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease. Carry a charged fire extinguisher. Have your boat’s operating systems checked yearly by a certified marine technician. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons also offer free vessel safety checks.

Experience Counts! The U.S. Coast Guard says that operator errors account for 70 percent of all boating accidents. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. You can also earn boat insurance discounts from Safeco and other insurers if you complete a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.

Sites for Information:

Coast Guard: www.uscgboating.org

Coast Guard Auxiliary: nws.cgaux.org/

Safeco tips: www.safeco.com/insurance-101/consumer-tips/your-boat

*Most home insurance policies have limited coverage for boats. If you own a boat, watercraft insurance is your best bet: It covers theft, damage, and injuries or accidents while you’re on the water, as well as some of your expensive watersports gear.

We have a variety of boat insurance options. Give us a call at (804) 320-0129 or email myagent@kmicoverage.com


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Stress Awareness Month

Relax! April is Stress Awareness Month

Believe it or not, the average stress level of Americans has dropped since 2007, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

But, we here at Knight Magee Insurance understand if you don’t exactly feel that way.

Even though things have improved, the APA’s most recent Stress in America™ survey indicates that Americans are still living with stress levels higher than what’s considered healthy. And nearly one-quarter of respondents say they aren’t doing enough to manage it.

It’s a good thing, then, that Stress Awareness Month is here. Held every April since 1992 and sponsored by the nonprofit Health Resource Network, Stress Awareness Month is a “national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.”

Stress management doesn’t just help you feel calmer and more focused. It’s important to your overall health. Constant exposure to stress can trigger your brain’s alarm system to remain in alert mode, flooding your system with the hormones you need to take flight or fight when facing danger, according to the Mayo Clinic. This causes more stress in and of itself. And, all that stress can cause problems with your health, your relationships and your overall quality of life.

So, reducing your stress is well worth your while, and, if you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. These tips from the Mayo Clinic and WebMD will get you headed in the right direction:

  • Make stress management a goal — and make a commitment to that goal. Simply saying, “I want to reduce stress” isn’t enough. You’ve got to learn to identify problems and implement solutions, which takes work.
  • Identify your triggers. What situations cause you to experience stress? Work? Relationships? Thinking about money? Don’t overlook everyday tasks, such as commuting, or even positive events, such as starting a new job.
  • Consider strategies to deal with those specific triggers. For example, creating a budget plan or talking to a financial adviser could help ease your worries about finances. Changing your hours at work could potentially improve your commute.
  • Practice relaxation techniques and live a healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few tools that people use to help alleviate stress:
  • Deep breathing, yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation and guided imagery — imagining yourself in a place of relaxation
  • Writing or talking to someone about your feelings
  • Exercise (even simple stretching or housework) and outdoor recreation
  • Art and other creative projects
  • Ask for help. Many people you know have probably experienced similar stresses to your own. Find out how they have solved problems and relieved stress. And, if they are still having trouble, you can work on managing issues together. 

April in RVA is a great time to try to reduce stress and live a healthier life. So, what are you waiting for? At the end of the month, see how you feel. Keep doing the things that worked for you; stop doing the things that didn’t.

Remember, when you make stress management a bigger part of your life, you leave less room for the stress itself.


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Earth Day

Take part in an Earth Day event — or celebrate in your own way 

People are thinking more and more about the environment — whether it’s something that affects the quality of life here in RVA or global issues such as climate change and extreme weather.

But more importantly, people aren’t content with simply thinking about these things any more. They’re focused on taking action.

Earth Day, which is celebrated April 22, is the perfect time to take action, whether you are looking to take part in a community event or organize your own. Here are some tips to help you get involved — and think about our planet Earth all through the year.

Find an event

It’s easy to find Earth Day events, whether you live in the city or a surrounding county. City and town Facebook pages are a great place to start, along with the websites of local environmental organizations. Newspapers, radio and TV often publicize events as well.

The Environmental Protection Agency website lists major Earth Day activities at: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/index.html.

What can I do?

There are all kinds of Earth Day activities, even some you can easily complete by yourself or with your family. Examples include:

  • Planting trees
  • Cleaning up litter from a natural area or park
  • Adopting a road for litter control
  • Talking about Earth Day and helping to educate others
  • Using alternate transportation, instead of taking your car
  • Holding a garage sale or clothing swap, rather than throwing out unwanted items
  • Learning more about actions you can take to reduce your environmental impact

What if I want to organize an event?

Hosting an event doesn’t have to be a Herculean task, particularly if you keep it small. Any of the ideas above could be turned into your own event — just get the word out via social media, friends and family or even local print and broadcast media. But if you do want to organize a full-scale event, go for it!

Make it more than a day

Of course, one of the best ways to have an impact is to make every day your own Earth Day. You can take part in earth-friendly activities at any time! So in addition to celebrating once a year, make this April 22 just the beginning of something special. Whether you find an event or create your own, the important thing is getting involved!

 


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Spring Home Maintenance

Spring Maintenance for Your Home 

When springtime rolls around in RVA, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. That’s fine (we probably all need to do a little more of that, after all), but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance.

So, when it’s time to set your clocks ahead for daylight-saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, give your home a checkup, too. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Interior and appliances

  • Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping.
  • Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent (lint found here is a common cause of house fires).
  • Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency.
  • Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens.
  • Check all air filters and replace, if necessary.

 

 Roof, siding, windows

  • Check for damage to your roof and have a professional inspection, if necessary.
  • Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking.
  • Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you might need new paint to protect against the effects of weather.
  • Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills.

 

Yard and exterior

  • Check for signs of rodents and other pests.
  • Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home.
  • Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs.

Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to spot, but it often results in wear and tear that homeowners can miss if they aren’t looking closely. It’s well worth it to spend a little time on home maintenance this spring, so that wear and tear doesn’t turn into something more serious.

For further questions and assistance, please contact Knight Magee Insurance at (804) 320-0129 or myagent@kmicoverage.com

 

 

 


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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.”

 


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Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring cleaning tips from Knight Magee Insurance

I know most of us are experiencing whiplash here in RVA. Is it spring, winter or something in-between? That hasn’t stopped us at Knight Magee Insurance from starting spring cleaning. We recently underwent renovations to expand the front reception area and also have our friend Pavel replicating our logo to be displayed on the back wall!

Of course, because spring is a time for new beginnings, cleaning and organization around the house are very popular this time of year. If you’re ready to tackle that monumental chore, read on for some helpful information. (And if you’re so tidy and organized throughout the year that spring cleaning isn’t a big chore for you, well, keep that to yourself! Unless you want your friends and neighbors to be jealous, that is.)

Take it one room at a time. Deciding to clean or organize your entire home can quickly get overwhelming. If you focus on just one area or room, then move to another only when you’re finished, you’ll likely work more efficiently.

Follow the six-month rule. Generally, if you haven’t used something in six months (with the exception of seasonal items), it’s a good idea to consider throwing it away or donating it.

Don’t forget the kitchen. Just like other rooms, your kitchen likely has things that haven’t been used in some time — and this includes food in the refrigerator or freezer. Give those appliances a thorough cleaning and get rid of anything you won’t be eating.

Set yourself up for success. Paper clutter is something we all could probably cut back on pretty easily. Setting up a few recycling bins throughout the house gives you a convenient alternative to just setting that old magazine or paperwork down somewhere and watching the pile grow.

Make some money! Of course, the spring cleaning garage sale is a tradition for many homeowners, and can be a great way to bring in some extra income. Talk about a win-win situation — you get rid of stuff you don’t need, and someone pays you for it!

Stay safe. When you’re cleaning or maintaining your home, be mindful of the physical risks involved. Lift with your leg muscles, not your back. Avoid prolonged repetitive motions. Use ladders, lawnmowers and other dangerous tools with caution.

Contact Us! 

For further questions and assistance, please contact Knight Magee Insurance at (804) 320-0129 or myagent@kmicoverage.com


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Successful Fundraiser

The Fundraiser for Evie took place Friday, March 9, 2018. The event was a huge success and it’s because of the many individuals and businesses who pulled resources together to make it possible. $7,000 raised in one evening between ticket sales and silent auction items.

Big thanks to The Westin Richmond for hosting! Rachel Leyco not only had an amazing show, but she also helped with all the announcements throughout the evening!

Tricia & Lauren helped us pull together items for the silent auction; they also made sure we were getting the word out on social media. They were the first two we approached about having the event and were immediately on board to come together and make it happen!

The Westin Richmond was so AMAZING to work with. They provided an amazing venue and staff, they coordinated and prepared the food, provided the DJ, photo booth and more.

Dr. Sarah Wilmer with Manakin Sabot Dentistry and Tammy from the Green Kitchen approached us just a week or so before the event to offer resources for food. The contributions they made ensured we had enough food since we had more than exceeded our goal for ticket sales.

Many thanks to everyone else who chipped in by attending, volunteering, and donating items and services to the auction. We love RVA and this event was the perfect example of just how amazing our community truly is!

Many have asked for the go fund me page.

Thank you again for being a part of this event it meant so much to us at Knight Magee Insurance to see our clients, friends and other local businesses rally together to support The Poland’s.

 


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Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss.

This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

 

What is insurance to value?

Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home. Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss.

 

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?

A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost. The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area. It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value.

 

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?

New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home.


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10 (Last Minute) Holiday Tips to Keep You Safe

The holidays are here – and it’s about that time to visit with family and friends, exchange gifts and enjoy all the spirit and festivity of the season. But, as with any disruption to the regular routine, the “most wonderful time of the year” comes with its own caveats. Whether you’re traveling or planning to stay close to home for the holidays, consider these 10 tips to ensure your seasonal celebrations are safe and secure. From pointers for protecting your home while you’re away to talking politics with family at the dinner table, here’s how you can avoid filing a claim on your insurance policy while you’re making merry and bright.

    1. Don’t post your plans.
      While it’s tempting to check-in and share your excitement about travel online, be careful about what you’re putting out there for anyone to see. Manage your security settings to restrict who sees your social posts, and keep your comings and goings out of the hands of strangers who can track when you’re not home.
    2. Let your neighbor know.
      If you’re headed out of town for the holidays, have someone check up on your home while you’re away. Water damage is one of the worst kinds of enemies for a homeowner, so a friend or neighbor can pop by periodically to confirm everything is in good working order. While the event of an emergency is highly unlikely, it’s also handy to have someone who can collect your mail so it doesn’t pile up out front.
    3. Secure your stuff.
      When it comes to your valuables, it’s always a smart idea to keep your prized possessions somewhere secure. Your insurance policy may include fine jewelry or any number of expensive items. Utilize a fireproof safe tucked away in your bedroom for peace of mind while you’re out of town.
    4. Lock up and leave a light on.
      This one should be a no-brainer, but do double-check that you’ve secured all the locks in your home when you leave. (As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to put this into practice with your car as well to prevent auto theft.) Lock all doors – and don’t forget about the windows. After you lock up, leave a light on so that your home is never pitch-black. Ideally, you can set a timer on this light to reduce the risk of fire and give your home the appearance of activity.
    5. Light the way with LED.
      And speaking of leaving on a light, make a switch over to LED lighting. Even if you’re staying home, now’s the time to replace incandescent light bulbs with LED lighting. Create the perfect festive ambiance complete with LED-lit flickering candles and holiday lights while consuming less electricity and putting off less heat. Because the LED bulb is cooler, you greatly reduce the risk of fire – so go ahead and get your home on your neighborhood’s Tacky Light Tour!
    6. Don’t toy with small parts.
      When shopping for little ones, be sure to heed advisories about age-appropriate toys. Toddlers especially are likely to explore the world by taste, so you don’t want to purchase items with small parts. Read the packaging before you buy, and stay away from coin lithium batteries if you can.
    7. Let’s talk turkey.
      If you search YouTube for clips of turkey fryers, you’re likely to come across some fiery explosions that surely resulted in an ER visit. Keep yourself and your loved ones out of the hospital this holiday season by being extra careful while cooking. If you do opt to use a turkey fryer, keep a fire extinguisher at the ready and follow all instructions diligently.
    8. Drive responsibly.
      Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. Just make sure you have a designated driver if you’re ringing in the New Year in a public place. Traffic tends to be more congested this time of year, so be mindful in the car and expect delays when you hit the road. Never text and drive.
    9. Be polite about politics.
      Hopefully dinner conversation won’t lead to filing a claim on your insurance policy, but 2016 was a divisive year in politics. If possible, stay off any controversial subjects that might disrupt the flow of good food and great company. If you do decide to go there, proceed with caution, respect the opinions of others, and present your views politely. (It only makes your argument stronger, anyway.)
    10. Call us if you need anything.
      As your insurance company, we’re here if you need us. Feel free to give us a call if you need assistance with your home, car or other insurance policies. Or, visit our Customer Care Center where you can access your insurance company’s claims department.

We wish you and your family a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!


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