Servicing DC, MD & VA

Handling a Car Accident

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Handling a Car Accident | Posted in Hedda's Hints

8 Tips for How to Handle a Car Accident

shutterstock_144026179Did you know that if you are involved in a minor fender bender and leave the scene of the accident without contacting the police, you may be breaking the law?

Knowing what to do if you are involved in a car accident will help you to remain calm. Knowing what is expected can help make a stressful and unpleasant situation more bearable and help you avoid unnecessary liability, time and expense.

1. Call the police. If you are involved in an auto accident, either you or someone who is with you needs to call 9-1-1 immediately. Even if you have not sustained injuries or    property damage that you are aware of, you must still wait for the police to arrive so that you can report the accident.

2. Do not talk about the incident to anyone. Speak only to the responding police officer. And call your insurance agent right away.

3. Be polite, even if you are really upset. When people get in car accidents, they are often more reactive than normal. Don’t start blaming the other driver. And if the other driver is rude to you, get in your car, lock the door, and wait for the police to come.

If there is a question about who was at fault in your accident, being overly emotional may potentially bias the reporting police officer against you to the point that he or she could give the other driver the benefit of the doubt.

4. Get all contact information from all drivers:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number and email
  • Insurance company’s name (and phone number if possible)
  • Insurance policy number

5. Be respectful to the police officer completing the accident report. You don’t need to go into great detail about what happened. It is probably better not to, because you may not be thinking straight and these reports are very hard to change after the fact. They will, however, be used as evidence by the insurance companies. Be cooperative and calm.

6. Take photographs of both vehicles and the scene of the accident. If one or both cars were totaled and you have no camera or cell phone, you can find out from the reporting officer where the cars are going to be towed and go to the lot later and take photographs of both the inside and outside of the cars. Pictures can help either prove damage or disprove damage.

7. Call your insurance agent or insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible with detailed specifics. You will need to tell your insurance company the following:

  • How the accident happened
  • Time and location of accident
  • Motor vehicles in the accident – cars, trucks, bikes, etc. Include the make and model of each car involved
  • Contact information for those in the accident
  • Injuries sustained in the accident
  • Witness contact information
  • Police report number, police jurisdiction in which the accident occurred; your insurance company will need the police report number to investigate any claim

8. See a physician immediately or as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you believe you have only a few bruises, it is important to document all injuries, no matter how minor.

If you have sustained serious injuries, documenting the injuries, including taking photographs of the injuries, can play a significant role in any insurance settlement.

The above information will help you streamline what can be a complicated, scary and confusing process.

We Are Here for You Before, During and a Car Accident

Hodge, Hart and Schleifer is with you every step of the way. We will make sure you have the proper auto insurance and help you through the claims process should you be involved in an accident. To learn more about what to do after a car accident, please contact us at 240-644-6000.


Skin Cancer Prevention

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Skin Cancer Prevention | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

May is Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month

shutterstock_203140600Did you know that it only takes 15 minutes for the sun to damage your skin but 12 hours for that damage to become visible? Many individuals suffer from hours of skin damage before even realizing that their skin is in danger.

Since skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, you should keep these prevention tips in mind:

  • Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear clothes with tightly woven fabric and a hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear sunscreen every day that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
  • Routinely inspect your skin, and, if you suspect that a spot on your skin is new or has changed color or appearance, contact a dermatologist.
View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

5 Questions Expecting Moms Have

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on 5 Questions Expecting Moms Have | Posted in Lifestyle

5 Questions Expecting Moms Have About Life Insurance


If you are expecting a child and are considering life insurance, the first thing I have to say is—smart move! But if this is your first time looking for coverage, you may have questions. Here are some typical ones I’ve heard over the years:

1. What type of life insurance coverage is best for new parents—term or permanent? Before figuring out what kind of coverage you need, you first have to understand how much death benefit you need to protect your family. You can do an easy calculation online to get a working idea of how much you may need with this Life Happens Life Insurance Needs Calculator.

Then you can move on to what kind of coverage—term or permanent—meets your needs. An advantage of term life insurance is that it costs less than permanent, at least initially. This makes it affordable for young families that may not have a lot of disposable income, but have a large need for coverage. Permanent insurance provides both lifelong coverage and a cash accumulation feature, which can be a valuable source of money that you can tap in the future.

Often, the best solution can be a combination of term and permanent life insurance. The term policy can give you extra coverage during the years when the children are at home, with the permanent policy offering lifelong coverage.

If you’d like a working idea of what you might need, try our online product selector. Answering a few basic questions will give you a quick answer.

quote12. Should you consider different types of coverage if you are working mom versus a stay-at-home mom? Both working and stay-at-home moms need protection because what they do for their families is so valuable. While a stay-at-home mom isn’t compensated for her work, if something were to happen to her, it would be expensive to replace all those things she does—from childcare to home care to ensuring the family gets where they need to go when they have to be there.

The difference between the two is that a working mother also contributes an income, which may be critical to the family financially. That means she needs to think about replacing that income when considering how much life insurance coverage she may need.

3. The company where I work offers life insurance, is that enough? Group insurance is a great benefit to have, but it’s limited in a number of ways. First, the coverage is often a lump sum, such as $50,000, or it may be one to two times your salary. That may sound like a lot of money, but my question to you is: Honestly, how long would that money last? And what would happen to your family financially after that was gone?

Second, when you leave that job, you generally lose that coverage. If you don’t have an individual policy that you own, you’ll be leaving your family at risk. Think of how many times people change jobs, and you’ll quickly realize that group coverage, which is limited in scope and amount, is not a proper life insurance plan.

Are there any restrictions I have to consider now that I’m pregnant? If it’s early in your pregnancy, and there are no medical complications, you should be able to get life insurance. If you’re farther along and there are medical issues, it may difficult to obtain. The life insurance company may want to wait until after your child is born. That’s why I advise those that are planning to have children to get the coverage as soon as possible.

quote2What can I expect to pay for life insurance? How much you pay for life insurance is based on a number of things but most importantly age and health. So, it depends on how old and how healthy you are! But here’s an example: A healthy 30-year-old woman could get $250,000 in life insurance coverage (for a 20-year level term policy for a nonsmoker) for just 41 cents a day. That’s certainly a lot of peace of mind for 41 cents.

And don’t forget about your husband or partner. The two of you could get $500,000 of combined coverage (using the example of two 30-year-olds that each get a $250,000 20-year level term policy) for right around $24 a month.

And my last piece of advice: talking with a life insurance agent at this stage can be very valuable. They can do a needs assessment and come up with the right type and amount of life insurance that works for your family budget. And what many people don’t realize is that an agent will sit down and offer this advice free of charge, with no strings attached. If you’d like help finding a life insurance professional, you can start here.

Source: lifehappens.org

Spring Cleaning Tips

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning Tips | Posted in Lifestyle

No more sad (Seasonal Affective Disorder) ness! It is time for a physical and mental spring cleaning.


Living with roommates and being a busy college student can cause major messes in one’s room. Buzzfeed.com gives a few helpful and smart ideas to make the most of the tiny space given to a college student.

  • Put all the snacks in an over-the-door shoe organizer instead of having them lying around on a table.
  • Want to avoid spending cash on a jewelry organizer? Put tiny jewelry (earrings and rings) in an ice cube tray.
  • For necklace and bracelets, tack them onto a bulletin board. Now, your jewelry will be tangle-free.

Declutter your social media:

People always seem to complain about the unnecessary drama on Facebook or how certain couples flaunt their relationship too much on Instagram. Here is an idea: unfriend the people you do not like on Facebook, unfollow the people who rant on Twitter and the people who post too many selfies on Instagram.

Emails can get overwhelming very quickly. Do not have an icon of 117 unread emails on your phone. Plan on sorting through them whenever you can spare the time. Emails pile up, and that isn’t beneficial in any way to anyone.


Go through your closet right now and pick out five things that you rarely or never wear. Take these clothes and if you can, gently used appliances and furniture, to the Hamden Goodwill Store and Donation Center located at 2369 on Dixwell Avenue.

Donating is not for everyone. Another way to empty out your closet would be to swap clothes with a friend. In this manner, you can get rid of clothes you hardly wear and receive clothes that are new to you. It is a win-win situation and there is absolutely no spending involved.

Get in Shape:

Still yearning for that spring body even though we’re past spring break? Fear not; Health.com has some excellent workout ideas that should slim down that winter weight.

  • TONE YOUR TUMMY–The reverse crunch is a great way to get rid of unwanted belly fat. Start off with your back on a mat and then put your hands behind your head. Bend your knees and raise your feet off the floor with your toes pointed upward. Tighten your abs and have your lower back slightly off the mat. Go back to the starting position. Repeat this for a minute. Also, attempt to raise and lower your tailbone steadily in order to focus intensely on your lower abs.
  • LEGS–The Two-Thirds Jump Squat works one’s quads and hamstrings. First, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Go down into a squat. However, lower yourself only two thirds of the way down (hence the name). Then, jump straight up with arms reaching upward. When you land, squat again. This would be one rep. Attempt to do three sets of 20 reps.
  • BUTT–The chair squat is very good for your behind. Stand with your back to a chair, your feet should be hip-width apart. Keep your weight focused on your heels, draw in your abs and lean forward at the hips while slowly lowering your butt toward the chair. Stop right before you would sit down and then return to the standing position. Try to do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Eat fresh and seasonal:

Spring means certain fruits are in season. According to About.com and nutrition-and-you.com, keep your eyes out for:

  • CHERRIES–These sweet fruits are packed with melatonin. This antioxidant can produce soothing effects on brain neurons, which can help with headaches and insomnia.
  • GRAPEFRUIT–This fruit has a lot of vitamin A (which is good for your skin and vision).There is also some potassium in grapefruit. Potassium regulates blood pressure and heart rate.
  • KIWIS–Kiwis are packed with vitamin C (which combats infection to the body).
  • LEMONS–The citric acid of a lemon helps in smooth digestion.
  • STRAWBERRIES–Studies show that strawberries may have health benefits against aging, cancer, inflammation and neurological diseases.

Just relax:

This is a no-brainer idea: step back and take a deep breath. The snow will eventually disappear from the ground, and then it will finally feel like spring. All your efforts to simplify your hectic lifestyle will be worth it.

Source: quchronicle.com

Cyber Liability Insurance

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Cyber Liability Insurance | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps


Imagine for a moment that your company has come under attack by a skilled hacker. The hacker has accessed your customers’ names and contact information–and worse–your employees’ social security numbers. On top of that, your website is disabled so that you can’t take orders or collect the payments you need to stay in business.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have cyber liability insurance right about now?

Insurance that protects you in case of a cyber attack may seem like something only large corporations would ever need, or could ever afford. But believe it or not, cyber liability insurance makes lots of sense for small companies as well. Here’s why:

1. It’s more affordable than you think.

“I’ve seen policies with premiums as low as $2,000 a year, though it can go up from there,” says Ethan Miller, partner at the San Francisco law firm Hogan Lovells. You can get coverage as high as $30 million and deductibles as low as $10,000, depending on your needs and what you’re willing to pay. Cyber liability insurance is still a fairly new concept, so there’s a lot of variation among policies, and a lot of room for negotiation.

2. It can cover more than you think.

Many policies offer “first party” coverage–that is, they will pay you for things like business interruption, the cost of notifying customers of a breach, and even the expense of hiring a public relations firm to repair any damage done to your image as a result of a cyber attack. Having this cash available in the event of a crippling hack can keep the lights on till you’re able to resume your normal cash flow. A good policy can even cover any regulatory fines or penalties you might incur because of a data breach.

Business interruption coverage can be especially important for a small business, Miller says, which may not be as diversified as a larger one, or have the same financial resources. “If a larger company has one line of business shut down by a data breach, it may be able to depend on its other lines for revenue. A smaller company may only have one line of business.”

3. You probably don’t have a risk management team.

Big corporations have entire departments devoted to analyzing the risks the company could face and helping set policies and procedures to protect against them. You don’t–but a good insurance carrier can perform a similar function.

“There are a couple of ways insurance can bridge that gap,” Miller says. “An insurer might work with a small company to make sure a firewall is in place to protect your network, and make sure you have social media policies that reduce risk.” Your insurer may well be willing to help with these areas because the better protected you are, the less likely you are to have a breach that could result in a claim.

4. Even if you don’t host your data yourself, you’re still responsible.

Is your website and any of your data hosted or stored in the cloud? Take a good look at your contracts: You’re still legally responsible. “There’s a significant risk,” says Karen L. Stevenson, senior counsel at Buchalter Nemer, a law firm with offices in California and Arizona. You can’t fully control how a cloud provider handles your data but an insurance policy can protect you if your cloud provider screws up.

5. Your general policy won’t cover you.

Typically, a general liability policy specifically excludes losses incurred because of the Internet, Miller says. So a good cyber liability policy can pick up where your general policy leaves off.

Make sure your cyber policy covers laptops and mobile devices as well, to give yourself coverage in as many situations as you can. “Work with your broker to integrate cyber liability with your general policy and employment liability policy,” Miller advises. “You want to give yourself the most seamless coverage possible.”

Source: inc.com

Happy Mother’s Day

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Happy Mother’s Day | Posted in U-Tube

What Kids REALLY Think About Their Moms

Mother’s Day is here (happy, happy!) and to honor the holiday we sat down with some talkative tots, who eagerly shared their favorite things about their moms. Check out our video below to hear the simple yet endearing answers, and then share what little thing your kiddo loves about you using the hashtag #pbjellymom — because everything mom does is special.


May Festivals and Events

May 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on May Festivals and Events | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

shutterstock_55909816The Washington, DC area and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia host lots of annual festivals and special events. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change.

National Cathedral Flower Mart
May 1-2, 2015. Enjoy the grounds of the cathedral, floral displays, children’s activities and musical entertainment.

Free admission.

Passport DC – Open Houses at Washington, DC Embassies
Throughout May. The multi-cultural event, sponsored by Cultural Tourism DC, features a wide range of performances, talks, and exhibits at DC’s foreign embassies.

DC Funk Parade
May 2, 2015. U Street Corridor, Washington DC. This is a one-of-a-kind street fair, parade and music festival bringing to life one of the city’s liveliest entertainment districts.

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
Through May 3, 2015, Winchester, VA. The annual celebration of spring showcases the blooming apple trees in the Shenandoah Valley with more than 45 events including the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, the Grand Feature Parade, band competitions, dances, a carnival, a 10K run, Firefighters events and more.

Virginia Gold Cup
May 2, 2015. The Plains, VA. The annual steeplechase in Virginia horse country features horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, tailgate competitions and more.

150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

Through May 2015.this year marks 150 years since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Commemorative programming will be held at a variety of venues throughout the city.

Charity Walks in the Washington, DC Area
Improve your own health and raise money for worthwhile Washington, DC area charities at the same time. A variety of events are held throughout the spring season.

Outdoor Movies in the Washington, DC Area
Watching movies on a large screen outdoors has become a popular outdoor activity. Find the schedules of outdoor movie festivals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia

Spring Theater in Washington DC
Check out the spring theater scene in Washington DC. With dozens of performances around the capital region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2015 season.

Washington Nationals Baseball
The Major League Baseball’s National League East plays 81 home games each season at Nationals Park. Enjoy a fun-filled day cheering on DC’s baseball team.

National Harbor Food & Wine Festival
May 2-3, 2015. Enjoy food and wine pairing, artisinal and organic products, lectures on culinary and wine trends and more.

Greater Maryland Tour de Cure Bicycling Event
May 2, 2015. Howard County, MD. Help raise funds and awareness about diabetes by participating in this annual event. All experience levels welcome.

Around the World Embassy Tour
May 2, 2015, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The event showcases embassies from Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Americas, with artists and artisans, performers, lecturers, teachers, and others.

Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 3, 2015. noon-6 pm. The annual Latino celebration features live music and family entertainment on the National Mall.

DC Yoga Week
May 3-9, 2015. Try a free or discounted yoga class this week at one of DC’s yoga studios. Practice with other yoga enthusiast on the National Mall on May 9.

World War II Aircraft Flyover
May 8, 2015. A once in a lifetime event! Don’t miss the chance to see dozens of vintage military airplanes fly over the National Mall in Washington DC.

DC Craft Beer Festival
May 9, 2015. Washington Convention Center. Washington, DC. The American craft beer tasting will feature seminars and food and the spring releases from approximately 75 breweries including 150 craft beers.

Georgetown Garden Tour
May 9, 2015, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Georgetown Garden Club sponsors a tour of eight Georgetown gardens.

National Train Day
May 9, 2015. Each spring, Amtrak hosts train focused festivities at Union Station including live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, kids’ activities, model trains and more.

Europe Month
Throughout May. Events include speeches, seminars and workshops on issues; film screenings, concerts and cultural programs related to the European Union.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
May 9-10, 2015. See the works of 140 contemporary artists and enjoy live entertainment, children’s activities and downtown Bethesda restaurants.

Mother’s Day
May 10, 2015. Looking for a special way to spend Mother’s Day this year? Here are some ideas of ways to spend some family time with mom on Mother’s Day in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

DC Design House Tours
Through May 10, 2015. Washington, DC’s premiere residential design showcase features a home renovated by the region’s top interior designers. Tours are available and raise funds for Children’s National Medical Center.

National Police Week
May 11-17, 2015. The annual event honors the service of U.S. law enforcement officials. A candlelight vigil and memorial service are open to the public.

Dance DC Festival
2015 Dates to Be Announced. The annual event, sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, highlights the folk traditions of the world through live music and dance.

Mount Vernon Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
May 15-17, 2015. An elegant evening of wine, live entertainment, reenactments, and tours of the rarely open cellar vaults of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Advance tickets are required.

Bike to Work Day
May 15, 2015. Join thousands of Washington, DC area commuters by bicycling to work as a fun and healthy way to get to work.

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
May 16-17, 2015. Reston Town Center, Reston, VA. See artwork by more than 200 painters, sculptors, fine-crafters and jewelers. Also enjoy musical performances, festive foods, beer garden, and artist demonstrations.

National Asian Heritage Festival
May 16, 2015, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with an Asian street fair in the heart of DC. Enjoy live entertainment and interactive displays.

Gaithersburg Book Festival
May 16, 2015, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Gaithersburg, Maryland. The annual festival features 100 best-selling and award-winning authors who will participate in panel discussions and book signings throughout the day. Other activities include interactive writing workshops, a Children’s Village, musical entertainment and more.

DC Dragon Boat Festival
May 16-17, 2015. Thompson’s Boathouse Center, 2900 Virginia Avenue, NW, Washington DC. Sponsored by the Chinese Women’s League of Washington, DC, the event features dragon boat races on the Potomac River, cultural performances and hands-on activities.

Beyond the Garden Gates Garden Tour
May 16-17, 2015. Frederick, Maryland. Enjoy a self-guided tour through some of the area’s most beautiful public and private properties.

Civil War 150th Anniversary Parade
May 17, 2015. Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC. The closing event of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration features a reenactment parade in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Marine Corps Historic Half, 10K and & Semper Fred 5K
May 17, 2015. Fredericksburg, VA. The 13.1 mile Historic Half course runs from the retail hub of Central Park through Fredericksburg’s historic downtown with impressive landmarks and splendid scenery. The new Historic 10K traverses the final 6.2 mile portion of the Historic Half course.

Taste of Arlington
May 17, 2015, noon-5 pm. Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA. Enjoy a lively street festival, complete with local entertainment, children’s activities and, of course, lots of food!

GI Film Festival
May 18-24, 2015. See classic and premier films celebrating the heroic stories of the American Armed Forces including a variety of films presented by award-winning Hollywood actors and directors. Participate in panel discussions with soldiers, journalists, authors, and filmmakers.

Blue Angels Air Shows
May 20 and 22, 2015. Annapolis, MD. The Blue Angels Air Shows demonstrate choreographed flight skills of the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron.

Memorial Day Weekend in Washington, DC
May 23-25, 2015. Find out about special events, concert, parade for Memorial Day in the nation’s capital.

Rockville’s Hometown Holidays
May 23-25, 2015. Rockville, MD hosts a three-day street festival in celebration of Memorial Day with live music, children’s entertainment, a parade and more.

Herndon Festival
May 28-31, 2015. Downtown Herndon, Virginia. The free summer festival features live entertainment, international foods, carnival rides and games, children’s entertainment, a business exposition, 10k & 5k races, a Fitness expo, fireworks and more.

Delaplane Strawberry Festival
May 30-31, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane, VA. The annual festival includes live entertainment, children’s games, pony rides, hayrides, a petting zoo, a 5K fun run, a raptor exhibit, antique cars, food, crafts and strawberries.

Vintage Virginia Wine Festival
May 30-31, 2015. Bull Run Park, Centreville, Virginia. Enjoy samples by more than 50 wineries including over 250 award-winning Virginia wines, educational seminars on food pairing, fine art exhibits, children’s activities, food and live entertainment.

Maryland Craft Beer Festival
May 30, 2015. Carroll Creek Park, Frederick, MD. More than 25 breweries present over 175 different brews. This family-friendly festival features live music by popular regional artists, kids’ activities, exhibitors and a variety of food.

Washington Folk Festival
May 30-31, 2015, 12-7 p.m. Glen Echo Park. Presented by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, the free festival features hundreds of musicians, storytellers, dancers, and craft vendors representing the rich cultural diversity of the Washington area. Audiences will enjoy American musical traditions such as bluegrass, blues, and swing as well as international traditions from across the globe. Rain or shine.

Source: dc.about.com