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Common Auto Insurance Terms

March 9th, 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.

Eating Healthy = Expensive?

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on Eating Healthy = Expensive? | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component of living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:

  • Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
  • Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get to the store, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
  • Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons for various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. According to the Journal of the American Medical

Association, going grocery shopping when you’re hungry can cause you to spend more money than you initially planned to and can increase the odds that you’ll buy unhealthy options.

  • Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious than fast food. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.
  • Buy in bulk. For healthy, nonperishable items, it might be more cost-effective to purchase them in bulk. While the initial cost may be more expensive, doing so could help you save money in the long-run.
  • Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually easier to find and may be a lot less expensive when purchased in season.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Preventing Home Burglaries

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on Preventing Home Burglaries | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Preventing Home Burglaries When on Vacation

As a homeowner, security is critical and can make all the difference when it comes to preventing costly and emotionally taxing burglaries. However, when preparing to leave for a vacation, it’s easy to overlook basic home safety precautions. To protect your residence while you’re away and enjoy a worry-free trip, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Lock all windows and doors. Secure valuables in a safe deposit box.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed or snow shoveled while you’re away. This makes it seem as though people are home and keeping up with daily chores.
  • Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home throughout your trip.
  • Avoid leaving your house key outside your home, even if you think it’s in a safe place.
  • Leave a car parked in your driveway to make it seem as though someone is home.
  • Set timers on inside lights. Install a motion-activated sensor on outdoor floodlights.
  • Avoid posting photos of your trip on social media until after you return home. You don’t want to leave any clues for thieves that you are away.
  • Stop the mail. Piles of uncollected letters and newspapers are a telltale sign you’re on vacation, which can attract burglars.
  • Disconnect automatic garage doors. This prevents robbers from gaining entry to your home using universal garage door remotes.

Taking the proper precautions before you go on vacation can make all the difference when it comes to preventing theft.

View more InSights here.

Coronavirus Symptoms & Facts

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Symptoms & Facts | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

The Basics of Life Insurance

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on The Basics of Life Insurance | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

If others depend on you for financial support, part of your financial plan should include how you will provide for them in the event of your death. To help you decide which option is the best for you, we’ve covered the basics.

The Basics of Life Insurance

If you are married, it’s important for both spouses to have a life insurance policy. If both people bring in an income, a death can be a difficult financial loss. Also, if a stay-at-home parent should pass away, expenses such as childcare and other domestic items can create financial hardship, too. 

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs.

Option #1: Term Life Insurance

Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.

Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder and without evidence of insurability, for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy, without evidence of insurability down the road. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.

Option #2: Whole Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.

Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.

A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values, and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

To find the right amount of coverage, it’s important to weigh your dependents’ current lifestyle and spending needs against their future sources of income and assets. We can help you figure out how much your family will need to replace this lost income over this length of time should something happen to you. Call us today at 240-644-6000 to learn more.

Source: The Basics of Life Insurance

50+ Things To Do This March

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on 50+ Things To Do This March | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Fill your spring calendar with can’t-miss events, theater performances, outstanding concerts and fascinating museum exhibits in the District.

DC Defenders at Audi Field – March 8, 15 & 28
The XFL has returned, this time bringing with it a team that represents DC. The Defenders play their home games at the beautiful Audi Field, which provides one of the best stadium experiences in the area. Head coach Pep Hamilton has led the team to a 2-0 record (as of this writing) with back-to-back dominant performances at home. The Defenders will continue their quest for a postseason appearance in their inaugural season. March home games include matchups against the St. Louis BattleHawks (March 8, 3 p.m.), the Dallas Renegades (March 15, 4 p.m.) and the Tampa Bay Vipers (March 28, 2 p.m.).?
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

Direct Current – March 8-21
A two-week festival of contemporary American art, music, film, dance and activism converges at the Kennedy Center with fascinating presentations that will be new to Washington audiences. The programming, which focuses on female creatives this year, will tap creative luminaries such as Ava DuVernay, Camila Meza and Patti Smith. Expect film screenings, new theater productions and live music.
Learn more
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital – March 12-22
The longest-running and largest environmental film festival in the U.S. enlightens viewers on the state of our environment and what we can do to maintain its health. More than 100 movies will be screened at venues all over the District, including a new documentary that focuses on the career of Jane Goodall. The festival will also include informative discussions and social events that will inspire dialogue surrounding these wonderful films and their important themes. Many of the events are free and all are open to the public. Check the website for a full schedule.?

Nick Cannon Presents: Wild’N Out Live – March 13
Mixing stand up comedy and live music, Wild’N Out has been captivating audiences for 15 years. Hosted by the incomparable Nick Cannon, this live show will feature all the cool stuff you expect from the show: head-to-head battles, hilarious improv and even audience participation. Expect popular cast members to join Cannon on stage – as well as plenty of surprises.?
8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

HopFest 2020 – March 14
HopFest is the only beer festival in the city hosted by local brewers for local brewers. The DC Brewers’ Guild has one heck of a day planned for the sixth installment of this beloved event. Dozens of breweries will be on hand at the DC Brau Brewing Company to showcase hoppy goodness, from one-off specials to old favorites to rare brews you can’t find anywhere else.?
12-5 p.m. | Tickets
DC Brau Brewing Company, 3178 Bladensburg Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March 15
Honor the Emerald Isle with a bundle of pageantry at the annual St. Patrick’s Parade, which marches for a mile down Constitution Avenue. This free-to-attend two-hour celebration of Irish culture celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Expect marching bands, traditional Irish dance and the inevitable swath of green attire. The parade has grown from a small gathering on Massachusetts Avenue to a full-blown party in the heart of Downtown.?
12-3 p.m.
Parade route: Constitution Avenue NW from 7th to 17th Streets

National Cherry Blossom Festival – March 20 – April 12
The nation’s greatest springtime celebration returns to fill four weeks with free family events, many with Japanese influences, a nod to the gift of the trees in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to the citizens of Washington, DC. Among the signature events: the Pink Tie Party (March 20), the Opening Ceremony (March 21), the Blossom Kite Festival (March 28), the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (April 4) and Petalpalooza (April 11).

Pink Tie Party – March 20
Show off your duds and support the blossoms at this exclusive pink tie fundraiser, where a ticket will give you access to one sophisticated celebration. Mixologists go toe-to-toe with their own heady cherry blossom concoctions, while chefs from popular eateries get into the spirit by rustling up spring-themed eats. There’s also dancing and a silent auction that you will not want to miss. The event is for ages 21 and over.?
7-11 p.m. | Tickets
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony – March 21
Diehard blossom-goers make a point to be official about their visit by reserving tickets to this free event. Experience the festival on stage, through traditional and contemporary performances at the Warner Theatre, including the dance team WHITE OUT TOKYO, the singer Naotaro Moriyama and the alternative music ensemble of Anna Sato and Toshiyuki Sasaki.?
5-6:30 p.m. | Free admission |  Reserve
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Smithsonian American Art Museum Cherry Blossom Celebration – March 21
Join one of DC’s most popular museums in celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The free event will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum inside its gorgeous Kogod Courtyard. Expect a taiko drumming performance, Japanese dancing, face painting, cherry blossom-themed crafts, a scavenger hunt for spring-themed art and much more.
11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, F Street & 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Japanese Fashion Family Day – March 21
Watch Japanese fashion come to life at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Learn about kimonos, happi coats, accessories and the creations of leading Japanese designers while marveling at traditional dance performances. Attendees can experience a kimono dressing demonstration as well as create their own kimono designs and cherry blossom pendants.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free admission
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

BYT Presents: Future is Festival – March 26-29
The newest festival experience from Brightest Young Things launches in late March and includes events at Lincoln Theatre and The REACH. Future is Festival will showcase the talents of podcasters, filmmakers, comedians, musicians and innovators, including Nora from The Lily, Jonathan Coulton, Ophira Eisenberg, Rhea Butcher, Alex Elle and many more. To cap it off, there’s a Lizzo daytime dance party at Eaton Workshop that you do not want to miss.