Servicing DC, MD & VA


February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS | Posted in Family Health & Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are common in animal species, and most don’t affect humans. As of now, only seven different coronaviruses are known to infect humans. In their lifetime, most people will be infected with at least one common human coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, and those affected exhibit cold-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose

Some cases of coronavirus can be more severe, and individuals experience more serious lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. For the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems, coronavirus can be even more dangerous.

How is coronavirus diagnosed?

If you’re exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, you should call your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms and have traveled to countries where outbreaks have been reported. Your doctor will likely order a lab test to detect coronavirus. Be sure to disclose any recent travel to your doctor.

Deadly Outbreaks of Coronavirus

The 2019 novel coronavirus, as well as two other human coronaviruses, have caused severe symptoms. In 2012, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak caused severe illness—nearly 4 out of 10 people infected died. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which was first reported in Asia in 2003, spread to two dozen countries, infected 8,098 people and caused 774 deaths before it was contained.

How can I prevent coronavirus infection?

Most common cases of coronavirus occur in the fall and the winter, but can happen at any time throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is not a vaccine that can protect you from human coronavirus infection. However, because human coronavirus is believed to be spread through person-to-person contact, the CDC recommends the following prevention strategies:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

For more information about coronavirus, click here.

Top Homeowners Insurance Claims

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on Top Homeowners Insurance Claims | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

As a homeowner, you do everything you can to protect yourself from loss. Although some claims may be out of your control, being aware of common causes of insurance claims can help you prepare when faced with loss. The top homeowners insurance claims include:

  • Wind and hail damage—Damages from wind and hail are the most common homeowners insurance claims. Severe winds and hail can strip the siding off of your home, damage your roof and even break windows.
  • Fire and lightning damage—A recent study by the Insurance Information Institute found that fire and lightning claims are the most expensive, costing an average of $68,322 per claim. Faulty wiring, heating equipment and fireplaces are all common causes of household fires.
  • Water damage—Frozen pipes, sewage backups and various plumbing issues can lead to severe water damage. Remember, damages caused by flooding are typically not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.
  • Personal liability—Personal liability claims are made when a person or their property is damaged while visiting your home. In most cases, you are held responsible for paying any medical bills or repair costs for the damaged property.
  • Theft—Although theft is less common than other claims on this list, it can still contribute to severe loss. To protect your home from theft, consider installing a home security system.

Contact your broker today for more information on what perils are covered under your homeowners insurance policy.

View more InSights here.

American Heart Month

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on American Heart Month | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

It’s American Heart Month: What You Need to Know About Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, causing about 647,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heart disease is also an extremely expensive disease—costing the United States about $207 billion annually in health care, medications and lost productivity. 

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a term used to refer to several different types of heart conditions. Out of all the different conditions, coronary artery disease—caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the heart’s arteries—is the most common.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

The symptoms of heart disease can vary, and some people may not even know they have a heart condition until they have a heart attack. Common signs and symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, weakness and fatigue.

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if they become more severe or frequent, contact your doctor.

Is heart disease preventable?

In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and properly managing health conditions. American Heart Month, organized by the American Heart Association (AHA), is designed to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it. Here are tips that may help prevent heart disease:

  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your sodium intake.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.

If you are concerned about your risk of developing heart disease or would like to find out more information about the condition, visit the AHA’s website and contact your primary care physician.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Heart Disease Risk Quiz

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on Heart Disease Risk Quiz | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Get Your Results HERE.

Common Auto Insurance Terms

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on Common Auto Insurance Terms | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Auto insurance can be confusing at times. Policies often contain a variety of terms that can be difficult to understand, especially for someone without a background in insurance.

The following is a list of common auto insurance terms to keep in mind the next time you meet with your insurance broker:

Accident report form: Sometimes referred to as a police report, this form contains important information about an auto accident, such as circumstances that led to an accident, the parties involved and details regarding the citations given.

  • At fault: This term refers to the degree to which a party caused or contributed to an accident. This term is often used to determine whose auto insurance company pays for specific portions of damages incurred as the result of an accident.
  • Automobile liability insurance: This refers to a type of insurance that provides coverage when a party causes an accident and either physical or property damage occurs.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage: This type of insurance provides coverage for injuries or deaths to people involved in the accident other than the insured driver. This coverage kicks in if an insured person is legally liable for an accident and also provides coverage for defense costs if the insured is sued.
  • Claims adjuster: A claims adjuster is a representative from an insurance company who investigates and settles claims. This person’s job is to ensure that all parties involved in an accident receive fair compensation.
  • Collision coverage: A form of auto insurance that provides for reimbursement for loss to a covered vehicle due to its colliding with another vehicle, object or the overturn of the automobile.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage pays for any repairs not directly related to a collision. This includes damages from fires, thefts, windstorms, floods and vandalism.
  • Covered loss: A covered loss is any damage to yourself, your vehicle, other people or property covered by your insurance policy.
  • Declarations page: Sometimes referred to as an auto insurance coverage summary, this is a document provided by an insurance company. These documents list the following for policyholders:
    • The types of coverage elected
    • Specific limits for each coverage
    • The cost of each coverage
    • Specific vehicles covered by the policy
    • Types of coverage for each vehicle covered by the policy
  • Deductible: A deductible is the portion of a covered loss that a policyholder agrees to pay out of pocket.
  • Endorsement: Any change, addition or optional coverage added to an insurance policy. An endorsement may require additional premium.
  • Garaging location: A garaging location refers to the primary location you park your car when it’s not in use.
  • Limits: Limits refer to the maximum dollar amount of protection purchased by the policyholder for specific coverages. State laws often require drivers to have a minimum level of coverage.
  • Loss: Refers to direct and accidental damages to a person or property.
  • Medical payments coverage: Coverage that pays for reasonable medical expenses and death benefits to a policyholder and any passengers injured in the event of an auto accident, regardless of fault.
  • Motor vehicle report (MVR): MVRs are official records held by states that detail a driver’s licensing status, violations, suspensions and other infractions incurred over the last several years. These forms are often used to determine premiums.
  • Named insured: The primary person the insurance policy is issued to.
  • No-fault automobile insurance: This type of coverage is used to compensate victims of accidents without having to prove who caused the accident.
  • Non-owners policy: This policy provides liability and add-on coverage for someone who does not own a vehicle.
  • Personal injury protection coverage: Sometimes referred to as PIP, this coverage pays for medical expenses, and, in some states, lost wages and other damages, if a person is injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage often covers pedestrians struck by vehicles as well.
  • Premium: A premium is the amount a policyholder pays to an insurance company for coverage.
  • Primary use: Primary use refers to how a policyholder mainly uses his or her vehicle. Primary use options often include work, business, pleasure or farm use.
  • Principal driver: The principal driver is the person who drives the insured vehicle the most.
  • Property damage liability coverage (PD): If an insured person is legally liable for an accident, PD coverage pays for damage to others’ property resulting from the accident. PD also pays for legal defense costs if you are sued.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage: This coverage reimburses you (up to a set daily amount) for a rental car if your car is being repaired due to damage covered by your auto insurance policy.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM): This coverage helps pay for medical bills, pain and suffering related to bodily injuries caused by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN): This is a unique 17-character sequence containing both letters and numbers that identifies a vehicle.

If you need clarification on any terms or conditions when meeting with your insurance broker, don’t hesitate to ask. Doing so ensures that you fully understand your policy and get the coverage you need.

To discuss your auto insurance needs, contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer today.

50+ Things To Do This February

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on 50+ Things To Do This February | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks – Feb. 7
While Bradley Beal and the Wizards are struggling in the standings, the team is as exciting as any to watch, with supporting players like Ish Smith, Davis Bertans, Jordan McRae and rookie Rui Hachimura powering an offensive machine. The Wiz will be in for a challenge when the Dallas Mavericks, playoff contenders in the Western Conference, come to town. The Mavs are led by superstar Luka Don?ic, who’s near the top of the scoring leaderboard and averages nearly a triple-double at the ripe old age of 21. Prepare for some fun basketball.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

DC Chocolate, Wine & Whiskey Festival – Feb. 8
The name of this festival kind of says it all. You will be able to enjoy chocolate in a myriad of ways, from hand-rolled truffles to artisan chocolates to cupcakes, cookies, candies, cake pops, donuts … we could go on. On top of that, you can indulge in unlimited pours of premium wines, craft beers and ciders and savor samples of whiskies and other spirits.
12-8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Suite 101L, Washington, DC 20002

DC Defenders at Audi Field – Feb. 8 & 15
The XFL returns, this time bringing with it a team that will represent DC. The Defenders will play their home games at the beautiful Audi Field, which provides one of the best stadium experiences in the area. Head coach Pep Hamilton will look to lead the team to a postseason appearance in their inaugural season. Game 1 is a home tilt against the Seattle Dragons at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8. Additional home games will be held on Feb. 15, March 8, March 15 and March 28.
2 p.m. |  Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories – Feb. 13-17
Capital One Arena offers some first-class family entertainment this Valentine’s Day weekend. Disney On Ice is bringing classic characters to Capital One Arena. Kids will love seeing Moana embark on a high-seas adventure, Woody and Buzz strut their stuff and the dreams of Disney Princesses come true.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Woo at the Zoo – Feb. 14
The National Zoo hosts this special Valentine’s Day event that makes for a hilarious and fun-filled evening for you and your boo. Learn all about mating, dating and procreating in the animal kingdom during 7:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. presentations. In addition to the education portion, you can also sip on a cocktail, enjoy an ‘80s-themed dance party, participate in trivia and snack on complimentary desserts.
7-10 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Mizuno Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic – Feb. 15-17
More than 900 teams will participate in this national tournament that brings together the best junior volleyball teams in the country. From Saturday through Monday, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will showcase qualifier-style competition in one of the most exciting indoor sports. Three-day spectator passes, which go on sale Feb. 8, cost just $38.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, Washington, DC 20001

Old Glory DC Home Opener vs. Seattle Seawolves – Feb. 16
Old Glory DC Rugby was founded in 2018, but 2020 marks the first time that the team will compete in Major League Rugby. Their season begins in New Orleans on Feb. 8, with the first home game at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium falling on Feb. 16, when the Seattle Seawolves come to town. Check out intense rugby action all the way through Old Glory’s final home game on May 24.
3 p.m. |  Tickets
Cardinal Stadium at Catholic University, 620 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20064

Washington’s Birthday Celebration – Feb. 17
Honor the birth date of America’s first president with a free day of festivities at the beautiful Mount Vernon. You can witness a presidential tribute and wreathlaying at Washington’s tomb, take in an official observance ceremony, watch a military demonstration, listen to patriotic music, hear stories from previous Washington birthday celebrations and pose in front of a life-sized Lansdowne painting of G.W.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Intersections Festival – Feb. 19 – March 1
Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts the Intersections Festival annually, masterfully combining theatre, dance, poetry, music, film, writing, sculpture, photography and arts of all kinds into two weeks’ worth of intellectual excitement. Witness the finest creativity that DC can offer, and do so at one of the city’s most prestigious venues located in one of its most vibrant neighborhoods. Check out the full list of events and make sure to purchase a festival pass, which allows you to reserve tickets to the events of your choice.
Festival Pass
The Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

DC Dive Show – Feb. 22-23
The Mid-Atlantic Winter Scuba Dive Festival calls the convention center home for two days this February. If you’re into exploring the deep blue sea or are simply looking to learn to scuba, the DC Dive Show is well worth your time. Speakers will detail their adventures in the polar regions, the Bahamas and many other environs. You can also take in discussions regarding environmental issues, gaze at underwater photography, hear live music, watch exciting videos and much, much more.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

USA Men’s Basketball vs. Puerto Rico – Feb. 23
For the first time, the Entertainment and Sports Arena will host the United States Men’s Basketball Team. The squad, led by former NBA head coach Mike Fratello, will compete in the FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying games against Puerto Rico. Tickets start out as low as $5, with courtside seats going for just $75. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to enjoy international basketball competition.
3 p.m. |  Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Street SE, Washington, DC 20032

The Official DC Cocktail Festival – Feb. 29
Sampling 15 expertly crafted cocktails from DC’s best mixologists sounds like an awesome way to spend a Saturday. Elevate the experience even further with delicious food, live music and a chance to mingle with fellow cocktail enthusiasts. Vendors include Crimson Diner & Whiskey Bar, Primrose, The Occidental and Morris American Bar, among others. General admission and VIP tickets are available for each of the three sessions.
12-10 p.m. |  Tickets
National Union Building, 918 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

‘Future Sketches’ by Zach Lieberman –Through March 1
Marking the first solo exhibition of Zach Lieberman’s work, this new exhibit at ARTECHOUSE takes you right to the vanguard of modern computer design. Future Sketches stretches your imagination, showcasing interaction between humans and computers through jaw-dropping media art. The exhibit consists of more than a decade of Lieberman’s art, illuminating how body, voice and gesture can be displayed visually.
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

‘Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits’ – Through April 19
Delita Martin aims to bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual in her awe-inspiring large-scale works. The connection between the past and present, symbolism and personal memory are also vital to Martin’s work, which often contains a multitude of layers and techniques, including drawing, sewing, collaging and painting. Witness her mastery through seven works that showcase African American tradition, iconography and history.
Hours & Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

Maintenance Tips for Spring

February 4th, 2020 | Comments Off on Maintenance Tips for Spring | Posted in Lifestyle

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

Examine Roof Shingles

Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.

Probe the Wood Trim

Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.

Check the Gutters

Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.

Get More tips here.

How to Spring Clean Your Lifestyle

February 4th, 2020 | Comments Off on How to Spring Clean Your Lifestyle | Posted in Lifestyle

MARCH BRINGS ABOUT favorable weather changes and the turn of spring. While children are getting excited for spring break and outdoor activities, adults are simply enjoying the extended daylight when they leave the office. Although seasonal changes bring sunshine and warmth, our schedules also become busier and busier – with after-school activities, sporting practices and longer evenings spent outdoors. These hectic schedules cause many families to fall off the healthy-eating wagon. Nutritious family dinners are pushed to the side, while takeout and quick, on-the-go dinners become more frequent. And by now, many have unintentionally learned to forgo their New Year’s resolutions. There’s no better time than the turn of the season to spring clean your lifestyle and get your family back on track. This spring, make a goal to start with small, attainable changes that can help lead to better overall health.

The objective of spring cleaning your lifestyle is to refocus yourself, your family and others toward trying new foods and making healthy choices. Out with the old and in with the new – foods, that is! It’s often helpful to think about the foods you can have (as opposed to the foods you can’t), and focus on creating an eating style with a variety of those choices included. This may require taking bites of new foods that you’re not already familiar with.

But it’s not always easy for kids – or adults – to be open to trying new things, so this spring, I challenge you to make it a family and community affair. Making changes on your own can be seen as a burden; therefore, it’s important to enlist support from those around you.

Take the “spring cleaning” challenge:

1. Commit your entire family to trying a new fruit and vegetable each week during the month of March. Make this fun by having the kids rank the new food on a scale from 1 to 10.

2. Plan your meals to include different colored vegetables throughout the week (perhaps on Mondays, have the kids find a new yellow vegetable to try).

3. Swap out your standard grain for a whole grain half the nights of the week. Or try a new grain entirely, such as quinoa or couscous.

4. If you eat out often, make it a goal to cook a meal at home one or two nights during the week (try this quick and easy recipe the whole family will love).

5. Substitute plant-based proteins into one of your standard recipes (i.e. beans in place of meat in chili, tacos and more).

Get More tips here.

Best Lifestyle Mobile Apps

February 4th, 2020 | Comments Off on Best Lifestyle Mobile Apps | Posted in Lifestyle

15 of the Best Lifestyle Mobile Apps 15 of the Best Lifestyle Mobile Apps

Want to track your packages with the swipe of your finger? Now you can. Need to split a complicated dinner bill? It’s no longer a 10-minute math problem.

Lifestyle apps constantly appear in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and at least attempt to make our lives easier. 

Not only have some of our favorites gone through redesigns and similar changes, but a ton of new apps have been created since we last looked.