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Student-Driver Away Discount

March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

Do You Qualify?
Student-Driver Away Discounts help you save while they learn

collegestudentsYour child is away at school for the year and not using the family car regularly, so you may think it’s time to drop them from your auto insurance policy. That is certainly an option when your child leaves home, but the student-driver away discounts can be a better fit for your family than taking your child off the plan entirely.

Let’s see if you qualify for student-driver away discounts, why the discount is worth it and how much you’ll save.

Who Is a Student-Driver Away Discount For?
Most auto insurance carriers consider you eligible for a student-driver away discount if your child attends boarding school or college at least 100 miles from home and does not have regular access to a vehicle. Some may also require the student to be under 23 years of age.

Why You Should Get a Student-Driver Away Discount
While it sounds tempting to remove your child from your auto insurance plan while they are at school, there are significant reasons to consider the student-driver away discount instead:

  • Driving During Breaks: Your child will likely come home from school to visit, and while they’re back, they might borrow the family car. Having your child on your policy means they are automatically covered in the unlikely event of a car accident.
  • Financial Responsibility: If you still declare your child as a dependent, then you assume financial responsibility for them. This means that, legally, you are their financial provider, no matter how much pocket money they have on the side. This is important because if your uninsured child drives a vehicle and gets into an accident, you are financially responsible for that accident, even though you weren’t involved. Medical and legal costs can be substantially more than paying for a student-driver away discount.
  • Better Future Rates: Auto insurance companies often give discounts to new clients who were previously dependents on their parents’ policy. Other carriers sometimes charge new clients a higher fee for joining as a young driver without that experience. Keeping your student on your auto insurance plan now can give them a foot up later.

How Can You Validate Your Child for a Student-Driver Away Discount?
Most auto insurance carriers will require verification that your child is at school. Providing your carrier with the correct validation for a student-driver away discount can be very easy. Here are some common ways to prove eligibility:

  • School Address: Providing the address of your child’s boarding school or college to your insurance agent is usually enough verification for some carriers.
  • Current Class Schedule: Providing your child’s class schedule shows that your student is currently enrolled in school.

How Much Money Will You Save?
Student-driver away discount rates can depend on which carrier you have. In most cases, you will save between 10 percent and 30 percent on your auto insurance. Though it might seem like a hassle to keep your child on your policy when they do not drive frequently, it may be smart over the long run.

Secure Your Student-Driver Away Discount Today
With a student-driver away discount, you won’t break the bank, and you’ll help your child start on the path to their own insurance policy one day. As your independent auto insurance agent, we take it upon ourselves to make sure that you and your family can drive safely with the peace of mind that you’re getting the best rates possible. Contact us today to find out if you qualify for a student-driver away discount, as well as other auto insurance discounts.

Source: Hodge, Hart & Schleifer

Student-Driver Away Discount

January 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

Do You Qualify?
Student-Driver Away Discounts help you save while they learn

collegestudentsYour child is away at school for the year and not using the family car regularly, so you may think it’s time to drop them from your auto insurance policy. That is certainly an option when your child leaves home, but the student-driver away discounts can be a better fit for your family than taking your child off the plan entirely.

Let’s see if you qualify for student-driver away discounts, why the discount is worth it and how much you’ll save.

Who Is a Student-Driver Away Discount For?
Most auto insurance carriers consider you eligible for a student-driver away discount if your child attends boarding school or college at least 100 miles from home and does not have regular access to a vehicle. Some may also require the student to be under 23 years of age.

Why You Should Get a Student-Driver Away Discount
While it sounds tempting to remove your child from your auto insurance plan while they are at school, there are significant reasons to consider the student-driver away discount instead:

  • Driving During Breaks: Your child will likely come home from school to visit, and while they’re back, they might borrow the family car. Having your child on your policy means they are automatically covered in the unlikely event of a car accident.
  • Financial Responsibility: If you still declare your child as a dependent, then you assume financial responsibility for them. This means that, legally, you are their financial provider, no matter how much pocket money they have on the side. This is important because if your uninsured child drives a vehicle and gets into an accident, you are financially responsible for that accident, even though you weren’t involved. Medical and legal costs can be substantially more than paying for a student-driver away discount.
  • Better Future Rates: Auto insurance companies often give discounts to new clients who were previously dependents on their parents’ policy. Other carriers sometimes charge new clients a higher fee for joining as a young driver without that experience. Keeping your student on your auto insurance plan now can give them a foot up later.

How Can You Validate Your Child for a Student-Driver Away Discount?
Most auto insurance carriers will require verification that your child is at school. Providing your carrier with the correct validation for a student-driver away discount can be very easy. Here are some common ways to prove eligibility:

  • School Address: Providing the address of your child’s boarding school or college to your insurance agent is usually enough verification for some carriers.
  • Current Class Schedule: Providing your child’s class schedule shows that your student is currently enrolled in school.

How Much Money Will You Save?
Student-driver away discount rates can depend on which carrier you have. In most cases, you will save between 10 percent and 30 percent on your auto insurance. Though it might seem like a hassle to keep your child on your policy when they do not drive frequently, it may be smart over the long run.

Secure Your Student-Driver Away Discount Today
With a student-driver away discount, you won’t break the bank, and you’ll help your child start on the path to their own insurance policy one day. As your independent auto insurance agent, we take it upon ourselves to make sure that you and your family can drive safely with the peace of mind that you’re getting the best rates possible. Contact us today to find out if you qualify for a student-driver away discount, as well as other auto insurance discounts.

Source: Hodge, Hart & Schleifer

Raising Deductibles

January 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

to Lower Homeowners Insurance Premiums

keyinhandHome ownership is part of the American dream, and often, homes are the largest investment most people make during their lifetimes. When you have a large part of your finances tied up in your home, you want the most cost-effective yet serviceable homeowners insurance policy possible. For some, this means having the right deductible in place.

Full protection is important for any homeowner, but raising your homeowners insurance deductible can save you money. Changing your homeowners insurance policy to have a higher deductible can lead to a lower premium.

The Deductible Amount That Works for You
Typically, homeowners insurance deductibles begin at $250. Depending on your policy, your premium can be reduced by changing your deductible with general savings of:

  • Up to 15 percent for a $500 deductible
  • Up to 25 percent for a $1,000 deductible
  • Up to 30 percent for a $2,500 deductible
  • Up to 35 or more for a $5,000 deductible

While the additional discount savings for a very large deductible may look appealing, deductibles of more than $1,000 are not permissible with most mortgage companies. Check with your mortgage lender first, if you are considering a deductible in excess of $1,000. Of course, large deductibles mean you are on the hook for part of the repair or replacement cost should you need to file a claim. So, unless you have the cash on hand, a large deductible could be a drawback at claim time.

Claim Frequency and Homeowners Insurance Deductibles
Typically, insurance claims are made infrequently so the amount saved on monthly bills makes up for the additional amount of deductible needed for a claim. A higher deductible can be especially advantageous if you have a history of limited claims. For people that have a history of filing a large number of claims or those that live in high risk areas, an increased deductible may not provide savings over time.

Keeping an Emergency Fund to Cover Your Deductible
Larger deductibles can be advantageous, but you also agree to accept the financial obligation of having a higher deductible. Be sure you can afford to pay the amount of your deductible if needed. It is important to be prepared and have the finances available to cover the cost of your deductible if you have to file a claim.

Since you have to pay the cost of a deductible upfront before your coverage begins, an emergency fund can be helpful. The money you save by having a higher deductible can be put into a savings account or other safe easy-to-access place. If you ever need to file a claim, an emergency fund can eliminate financial strain. No one ever knows when something will happen and a claim will be needed. Having safeguards in place in the form of an emergency fund can bring peace of mind.

Other Homeowners Insurance Deductible Considerations
The price of homeowners insurance can vary with the deductible amount included in the policy. Deductibles vary depending on what kind of homeowners coverage you have and other factors. If you live in what is considered to be a disaster-prone region, certain forms of damage including, hail storms, windstorms, earthquakes may have a separate deductible.

Reviewing Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
One way to save money on your homeowners insurance is to carefully review the deductible amount on your policy. You can then evaluate the deductible amount you currently have to see what savings a lower deductible could provide.

Contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer, Inc. today to discuss your personal situation and your options. We have been insuring homes in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia for more than 80 years. We can help you find the protection your need at a price you can afford. Call us today at 240-644-6000.

Source: Hodge, Hart & Schleifer

Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that about 10 million people are victims of identity theft every year.

How it Happens

IdentityTheftIdentity thieves get information in a variety of ways, including:

  • Stealing personal items such as a wallet, purse, laptop, personal digital assistant and mail
  • Picking through garbage for discarded credit card statements, bank statements, and pre-approved credit card offers
  • Hacking into computers
  • Posing as someone else to obtain personal information from a bank, credit card company, etc.
  • Conducting telephone and email scams

Stay One Step Ahead

To minimize your risk, the FTC recommends the following precautions:

  • Check your home mailbox daily, and drop your outgoing mail into a secure U.S. postal mailbox only.
  • Since fewer credit card solicitations in your mailbox mean fewer opportunities for theft, you can opt out by calling 888-567-8688.
  • Carry only what you need in your wallet or purse, and leave your Social Security card at home in a safe place. Keep an itemized list on paper of all the items in your wallet, make front and back copies of your credit cards, calling cards, driver’s license, insurance card, passport, etc.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles, as identity thieves may change your billing address on your credit cards, so late bills may indicate a problem.
  • Give out your personal information on a need-to-know basis and to legitimate businesses only. Do not print your Social Security number, home phone or driver’s license number on your checks. If requested, use your work number. If you are required to use your Social Security number as an account number, request to use an alternate identifier.
  • Update your virus protection software. It is also a good idea to use a firewall program.
  • When shopping online, make purchases from a secure browser, indicated by https://, and do not use automatic log-in features.
  • Before disposing of an old computer, delete your personal information using a wipe utility program, which cleans all the information off your hard drive.

DidYouKnow

Report Identity Theft

If your wallet or some of its contents are stolen:

  • Determine what’s been stolen, and call all creditors immediately to cancel your accounts.
  • File a police report. This will help provide proof of immediate action to your credit card providers.
  • Call the three national credit reporting bureaus, as well as the Social Security Administration, so that a fraud alert can be placed on your name and Social Security number.

View Source

Insurance IQ: Auto Insurance

May 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

How much do you really know about auto insurance? What does “premium” and “deductible” mean? What is “comprehensive” coverage for? Test your knowledge by watching this video.

Home & Auto Insurance Discounts

April 2nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

What About Discounts?

bankVarious insurance companies not only have a variety of coverage types and exclusions, but they also provide various discounts that can help you save on your premiums. We can work with you to find out what discounts are available, and how those discounts would affect the quotes you receive. Some of the more common discounts available include:

  • Safety discounts for having fire or burglar alarms installed in the home
  • A senior discount for being above a certain age
  • A discount for having great credit
  • “Claims-free” discount for not filing a claim over a number of years
  • Discount for being the first or original owner of the home
  • Multi-policy discount for having home and auto insurance with the same company
  • Continuous Insurance
  • Good Payer
  • Early Quote Discount
  • Hybrid/Electric Vehicle
  • Multi-Car
  • New Car
  • Anti-theft/ Anti-lock
  • Safe Driver
  • Driver Training
  • Good Student
  • Home Ownership
  • Paid in Full
  • Student away at School

We will help you decide which discounts with which company gives you the best policy for the best price.