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May 2017 eMagazine

May 11th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Misc

Spring Allergy Alleviation

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. Mold growth increases due to rain and many plants begin releasing pollen. Likewise, spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites. To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
  • Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
  • Vacuum twice a week.
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
  • Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
  • Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.
View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

5 Tips: Improve Your Mental Health

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Misc

Staying healthy is about more than paying attention to your physical body—your mental health directly influences how you think, feel, react and maintain relationships. If you don’t take steps to promote your mental health, you may find that anxiety, depression and irritability can take control of your life.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness in a given year, but less than half of them seek professional treatment. And, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, taking steps to improve your mental well-being can improve your physical health and help you maintain positive relationships.

Here are five tips you can use to help improve your mental health:

  1. Talk with those who care about you. Simply talking to friends, family members or co-workers can help you overcome a personal problem and stay connected.
     
  2. Take a break from digital distractions. Although smartphones and other modern technology make it easy to stay connected with others, focusing too much on digital media can make it easy to ignore close relationships and the world around you.
     
  3. Take care of your body. Your brain is still part of your physical body, so it’s important to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet and get enough restful sleep.
     
  4. Set realistic goals and focus on taking the first step. Many projects or errands can seem overwhelming when taken as a whole. Try planning out steps for large tasks and concentrate on what you need to do first.
     
  5. Get help when you need it. Although there can be negative social stigmas about seeking help for mental or emotional problems, mental health professionals are trained to help manage stress and mental illnesses with therapy or medication.

Read More : Personal Lines inSights Newsletter – May 2017

Auto Claims After an Accident

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Auto insurance is meant to protect you by covering your bills after an accident. However, the amount of compensation can vary greatly depending on the type of claim that’s made by insurance carriers and the value of your vehicle. The decision to have your vehicle repaired or declared a total loss directly impacts how much you receive.

Determining a Claim

If you’re in an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will analyze the approximate value of your vehicle before the accident as well as the cost to repair it afterward. Typically, the pre-accident value of your vehicle is determined by finding its actual cash value. This value is found by taking the price of a similar replacement vehicle in your area and then subtracting any pre-accident depreciation, such as your vehicle’s mileage and history.

If the cost to repair your vehicle is less than its actual cash value, insurers will usually opt to compensate you for the repairs. However, if the cost is too high or if the vehicle can’t be restored to a safe condition, insurers may declare it a total loss.

Total Loss Claims

If your vehicle is declared a total loss, you’ll be compensated with the full actual cash value of your vehicle, minus any applicable policy deductible.

However, if a financed or loaned vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurer will pay the remaining balance to the finance company first. Here’s a breakdown of the two most common scenarios that occur when a financed vehicle is declared a total loss:

  • The actual cash value of the vehicle is greater than the remaining balance of the loan. In this scenario, the insurer pays off the loan and then gives you the amount by which the actual cash value exceeds the loan balance.
  • The actual cash value of the vehicle is less than the remaining balance on the loan. In this scenario, you are responsible for the difference between the actual cash value and the remaining loan balance.

 

Repairs and Diminished Value Claims

Getting a check for the full cost of your vehicle’s repairs may seem like a best-case scenario. However, repairs can substantially reduce your vehicle’s value. Even if it drives better than ever after being repaired, the fact that it was in an accident will taint its history and lead to a lower price if you ever choose to sell it. However, you can file a diminished value claim against an insurance carrier to try to recover any value that’s lost as a result of repairs.

Most states and insurance contracts prevent policyholders from bringing diminished value claims against their own insurers. However, if another driver is at fault for an accident and his or her insurance pays for your repairs, you may be able to use a diminished value claim to recover any lost value.

Because few vehicles are appraised immediately before they’re involved in an accident, it can be hard to prove that value has been lost after they’re repaired. Here are some tips you can use before and after an accident to prepare yourself for a successful diminished value claim:

  • Check third-party websites to get an approximate value for your vehicle’s make and model.
  • Take your vehicle to a pre-owned dealership after an accident for an appraisal. You can then ask for a letter that shows that your vehicle’s lower-than-average value is due to its repairs or accident history.
  • Keep documentation about any repairs or enhancements to your vehicle. These documents can help show a more detailed history of your vehicle when determining its value.
  • Contact us at 240-644-6000 for more information about diminished value claims and to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Be Prepared

There are few things more dangerous and stressful than getting into an accident. Contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer today, we can provide you with a variety of auto resources, including our infographic, “5 Things to Do if You Get in a Car Accident.”

5 Tips to Save on Car Insurance

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Health Care Employee Resource

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety

May 2017 Festivals and Events

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

The 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Green Festival
May 13-14, 2017. Washington Convention Center. Washington DC. The event focuses on sustainability education and green products and services including authors, leaders and educators, hands-on DIY workshops, green films, kids’ activities, live music and more.

Northern Virginia Tour de Cure Bicycling Event 
May 13, 2017. Reston, VA. Help raise funds and awareness about diabetes by participating in this annual event. All experience levels welcome.

Georgetown Garden Tour
May 13, 2017, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Georgetown Garden Club sponsors a tour of eight Georgetown gardens.

Mother’s Day
May 14, 2017. 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.

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

National Police Week
May 14-20, 2017. The annual event honors the service of U.S. law enforcement officials. A candlelight vigil and memorial service are open to the public.

Maryland Craft Beer Festival
May 13, 2017. 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.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
May 13-14, 2017. See the works of 140 contemporary artists and enjoy live entertainment, children’s activities and downtown Bethesda restaurants.

Washington Jewish Film Festival
May 17-28, 2017. The annual event shows films with Jewish themes and encourages a dialogue about a variety of issues.

Bike to Work Day
May 19, 2017. Join thousands of Washington, DC area commuters by bicycling to work as a fun and healthy way to get to work.

Mount Vernon Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
May 19-21, 2017. 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.

National Asian Heritage Festival
May 20, 2017, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Washington DC. 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 20, 2017, 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.

Marine Corps Historic Half, 10K and & Semper Fred 5K
May 21, 2017. 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 21, 2017, 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!

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
May 20-21, 2017. 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.

DC Dragon Boat Festival
May 20-21, 2017. 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 20-21, 2017.  Frederick, Maryland. Enjoy a self-guided tour through some of the area’s most beautiful public and private properties.

GI Film Festival
May 24-28, 2017. 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 24 and 26, 2017. Annapolis, MD. The Blue Angels Air Shows demonstrate choreographed flight skills of the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron.

DC Capital Fair
2017 Dates to Be Announced. RFK Stadium Grounds, Washington DC. The summer carnival features dozens of rides, games, foods and live entertainment.

Memorial Day Weekend in Washington, DC
May 27-29, 2017. Find out about special events, concert, parade for Memorial Day in the nation’s capital.

Rockville’s Hometown Holidays
May 27-29, 2017. Rockville, MD hosts a three-day street festival in celebration of Memorial Day with live music, children’s entertainment, a parade and more.

Delaplane Strawberry Festival
May 27-28, 2017, 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.

For more information on attractions, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, recreation, sports, and things to do all year-round, see Top 10 Things to Do in the Washington DC/Capital Region

Source: dc.about.com

Teen Driver Safety Tips

May 8th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps