Insurance Agency Blog

Are you in the market for a home? If so, you’re not alone. As many as 40% of all home sales actually happen between April and June each year. It’s no wonder that period is known as the “home buying season.”

As one of those prospective homeowners, you must have many questions. Perhaps you wonder about mortgage interest rates and fees and taxes. As you visit prospective new homes, you probably ask about the neighborhood and schools. Likely, you’ll want to know the history and condition of the house you’re looking to buy.

As you ask questions and weigh your options, you’ll also want to find how the home’s size, construction, location and condition since those details will also impact your homeowners insurance costs.

If you’re wondering which home insurance questions are most important, then take a moment to view the following video …

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


 

Thursday, 06 April 2017 13:20

How to protect that engagement ring following the Valentine's Day proposalCould this Valentine’s Day be much more romantic than usual for you? It is if the love of your life just proposed marriage and offered up that diamond ring you’ve been dreaming of. We’re happy for you and we wish the best for both of you. We’re sure you’re on cloud nine as you should be. This is a Valentine’s Day you won’t forget. But now that you have the new bling, there are a few pressing responsibilities that need your attention. We know you’re not likely “thinking insurance” just yet, but we are. Why? Because the Insurance Information Institute warns us that the loss of valuable jewelry is one of the most common of all content-related home insurance claims. So we hope you’ll take the following steps to see that your new engagement ring is financially protected in case of theft, damage or theft.

  • Check with your insurance agent as soon as possible. You might need to buy additional coverage depending on the cost of your new ring. According to a 2016 survey of brides and grooms done by The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring is just under $6000. Although most renters insurance and homeowner insurance policies typically offer some coverage for jewelry and other personal items, it is usually not sufficient to cover an item like an engagement ring.
  • Get copies of the receipt from the ring’s purchase. Keep one for your own records and provide one for your insurer to document the current retail cost of that diamond ring.
  • Arrange for an appraisal. A reputable professional appraisal report is necessary to determine the real value of the piece if yours is a vintage ring, a family heirloom or if it has been custom-designed. As time goes on, the value of items changes, so appraisal reports are only valid for a few years. Then you’ll need a new appraisal to know the real value. If you don’t know a reliable appraiser, your insurance agent should be able to help you find one.

If you have taken the above steps to determine and document the value of that new engagement ring and also to properly insure it, you should be breathing a little easier. Now it’s time to enjoy life with your new fiancé as you both share your news with your friends and family. You’re off on a path of many “firsts” that will change your life as you’ve known it.

Personal Valuables Insurance Tip

Personal Valuables Insurance offers supplemental coverage for loss, theft and damage for many precious items. They include not only jewelry but also expensive artwork, your grandmother’s silverware, fine collectibles, furs, firearms, cameras, and much more. Discuss your valuable belongings with your insurance agent who can then help you decide whether you need increased insurance protection for valuable items.

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


Monday, 13 February 2017 17:00

New Year's Resolutions to Keep You Cyber Safe from Latimer Insurance, Bethesda, MDFor many, the New Year marks a fresh start when we can improve on previous behaviors. Typically, many of us set goals in terms of hitting the gym or quitting smoking, but perhaps this year it’s worth focusing on your relationship with technology as well.

Becoming cyber-safe is important - not only for business but for each individual who uses a cell phone, computer or any other device in today's world.  Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and each of us must do what we can to stay one step ahead.

Click READ MORE below for five New Year’s resolutions to help you avoid falling victim to cyber-attacks in 2017:

Saturday, 14 January 2017 11:53

Speak to your insurance agent about insuring your holiday jewelry giftsWhat you need to do to protect high-value items

Did you receive jewelry as a gift this holiday season? Perhaps it was the long-awaited engagement ring, or diamond earrings, or an expensive watch. If so, you might be wondering how you should go about protecting these precious items.

Know the Value

The first step, of course, is to know the value of the item. Consult a reliable appraisal firm to get a certificate of value. If you’re unsure who to consult, try asking your insurance agent who has undoubtedly dealt with the situation before and who would have the name of one, if not several, competent appraisers.

Appraisals Don’t Last Forever

Be aware that there is a time limit on appraisals of all jewelry containing precious gems and metals. When a professional appraiser evaluates your jewelry, the resulting appraisal will certainly be valid at the time of the appraisal report. It will remain so for some time thereafter, but not forever.   Most appraisers will note the time limitations in their reports – typically up to several years. The length of time an appraisal can be valid for use if the item is stolen or lost will depend on the ever-fluctuating jewelry market as well as the economy. Thus, it’s important to remember to have precious items re-valued every few years for an accurate appraisal.

Know Your Insurance Options

Once you have the appraised value, then you’ll want to insure the items. Assuming that you have either homeowners or renters insurance, then you will likely already have some limited coverage for precious items such as your new jewelry since standard home insurance policies typically cover loss of personal belongings in the event of perils such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism. However, the liability coverage for jewelry in the event of theft is usually relatively low because jewelry can be easily stolen.

If you wish to have greater coverage to protect your jewelry, you have a couple of options. You can either raise the level of liability on your policy or purchase a floater policy for each piece. Raising the liability level is less expensive in terms of the premium but still limits the amount that can be claimed. Individual floater policies could have higher premiums, but they also provide protection beyond theft such as for accidental loss.

You will want to discuss your insurance options with your agent who can advise you and help you determine what offers you the best protection for your jewelry and other precious items.

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


Thursday, 22 December 2016 17:31

Back to school time brings certain ayto insurance and home or renters insurance issues for parents to considerIt’s back-to-school time again. We thought it might be a good time to review some of those circumstances that are unique to the school year, especially as they relate to your insurance coverage and liability.

The bus stop is in front of my home

Having the bus stop is in front of your home can seem convenient. However, children gathering for the bus in front of your home every day could very well result in accidents, however minor, at some point throughout the school year. The issue will become whether your homeowners insurance policy carries enough liability coverage. So you will want to have a conversation with your insurance agent before the start of the school year to be sure that you have the right coverage in the right amount to meet your unique needs.

My child’s belongings were stolen from school

You will want to determine the total value of all items stolen so that you can make the appropriate reports to the school and perhaps to the local police agency as well as your insurance agent. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, then it will likely cover the loss of the stolen items up to the limits of the policy, assuming that the total value of stolen items exceeds your policy’s deductible level.  If your policy includes personal property replacement coverage, then you can replace the stolen items with new ones of the same kind and quality. If jewelry was stolen, the coverage limit on your policy will vary. Your insurance agent should be able to answer any questions you have about your policy’s coverage, limitations, exclusions, etc.

I’m the carpool parent

There are several auto insurance issues that you will want to discuss with your agent to be sure that you have the coverage you need can protect you and your passengers up to the limits of your policy.

  • If you are getting paid to be the carpool person, you need to change the car to “business use” on your policy in order to assure that any injuries are covered.
  • If someone were to be hurt in an accident, medical coverage would be needed.
  • If you were to be found at-fault in an accident and someone was injured, optional bodily injury coverage would help pay damages for those injuries.
  • If you were involved in an accident and it was not your fault, having uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage can cover this type of accident.

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


Tuesday, 06 September 2016 17:30

social hosting partyWhen adults gather for a party, quite often alcohol will be served. If you are hosting such a party and serving alcohol, you will want to know about social host liability. This is the legal term for the liability assumed by a person who furnishes liquor to a guest.

Social host liability laws are different from state to state among the 43 states have them on the books. Usually, the law provides an injured party (for example, the victim of a drunk driver) a process by which to sue the person who served the alcohol. Under some of the laws, criminal charges could apply.

Some state laws do not impose any liability on social hosts. Others limit liability to injuries that occur on the host’s premises. Still others extend the host’s liability to injuries that happen anywhere a guest who has consumed alcohol goes.

As a responsible social host, if your guest have been drinking alcohol at your gathering in your home or at another venue, you'll need to act appropriately and responsibly. 

Check out these tips to do that.

Monday, 15 August 2016 17:14

vacation pics on social media 2Social media has changed our lives. In today’s world, it is second nature for many of us to have our phone handy at every moment to stay connected with our friends and share everything that is going on in our lives in real time. We check in to show where we are, post pictures and video along with details of what is going on, and we love to share the details when we have special plans. We know that our friends enjoy keeping up with us this way. But there can be a dark side to all this sharing – especially when you’re on vacation.

According to the Prince William County Virginia Police Department, burglars take full advantage of your use of social media to find out where you live, what you have, how long you are likely to be away from your property. They stalk their prey, learning which homes offer the most valuable contents and when it is best to break in. (See more about how burglars use social media in this infographic.)

So how do you avoid putting your home at risk while you’re on vacation? Learn to be savvy about social media safety with the following tips.

Monday, 20 June 2016 16:34

Backyard grilling safety and homeowners insuranceIt’s that time again when millions of Americans look forward to outdoor barbecues. If you’re among them, then there are some things you should know before you fire up the grill.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) warns that about 5,700 grill fires happen each year on residential property, and most are caused by improperly functioning gas grills. These fires cause on average 100 injuries and ten deaths, not to speak of an average $37 million in property damage. Moreover, hospital emergency rooms see thousands of people with burn injuries resulting from barbecuing.

Accidents will happen, but there is much less chance if you practice safe grilling and grill-maintenance.

 

Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:00

Swimming Pool Safety TipsRegardless of our swimming abilities, many of us beat the heat in our backyard swimming pool as summer temperatures soar.  It seems that taking advantage of a residential swimming pool is more popular than ever before. In fact,  well over 8 million  U. S. households owni a pool, according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. 

But all swimming pools – from the simplest inflatable wading pool to the most elaborate luxury in-ground variety – can present a danger, especially to children.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017 11:53