Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Blog

Prevent accidents in a road work zone - avoid auto insurance claims - Schaefer & Delauder Insurance - Germantown and Frederick MDWhether you’re a Road Warrior or just use your car for occasional errands, you are sure to run into road work zones while on the road.  When you encounter those frustrating delays and traffic jams, it’s hard to remain calm especially if you have a schedule to meet.  But driver impatience in a work zone setting can be most dangerous.  In fact, according to a study by the Federal Highway Administration in 2014, work zone vehicle accidents claimed 669 lives and some 30,500 non-fatal injuries.

However, coping with work zone traffic can be managed.  Doing so makes for a safer and less stressful environment for you and your fellow drivers as well as the highway workers who depend upon you to drive safely for their own protection. 

If at all possible, you’ll want to avoid a road work zone; but if you must enter such an area, try to follow these safety tips:

  • Don’t Get Distracted:  Driving through a work zone requires you to keep your eyes and attention on the road – not on the work being done or the people doing it. Avoid multitasking. This is also not the time to be using your phone for calls, texting or photo-taking.  
  • Stay aware: Anticipate changes in traffic flow or pace.  Be ready for unexpected lane changes, sudden stops, or workers entering the roadway. 
  • Avoid tailgating: Keeping up with traffic is advisable, but following too closely puts you at risk for a rear-end collision.  This advice applies whether you are following another vehicle or road work equipment. 
  • Follow the signals of flaggers: Flaggers are in place to help assure that traffic moves around and through the work zone as efficiently and safely as possible. 
  • Obey the posted work zone speed limit: The FHWA warns that over 30% of fatal accidents in work zones result from excessive speed.  Don’t be tempted to speed up just because you don’t see any work currently underway.
  • Check traffic reports in advance: Before starting your trip, check for traffic delays. You can actually receive real-time traffic information by using one of several highly-accurate smartphone apps available.
  • Allow extra time: If you anticipate a work zone delay along your route, then build in some additional time.  You’ll be less stressed.
  • If you can’t avoid, be patient: Remind yourself that the work being done will offer a better road when it is complete, and the workers are just doing their job.  Try to do some stress-managing breathing while you wait.

Auto Insurance Tip

No matter how cautious you are when driving, there is always a chance for an accident on the road.  Coping with the aftermath of a vehicle accident will be much less stressful if you know that you have the best auto insurance coverage for your circumstances.  It’s advisable to check with your insurance agent to explore your insurance policy choices well in advance of needing to file an auto insurance claim.

We invite you to contact any of the experienced agents at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance either in Germantown  or Frederick, MD to discuss your auto insurance needs.  We can help you review your current insurance policy and explore your options to be sure you have the best coverage and protection to meet your needs.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 12:35

Renters Insurance is money smart - says Schaefer & Delauder Insurance AgencyLet’s say you’re a millennial living on your own. You’re likely renting an apartment in the city. So you know something about the high cost of living.  Typically, after you pay your rent and cover your other expenses, there is not much left in your budget. The last thing you want to do is take on another expense.

You might wonder what would be important enough to stretch your budget even further.  It’s the one item that seems to have no value until you need it; but when you have the need, it can save you from crippling debt and lots of headaches.

We’re talking about Renters Insurance.  It is usually not a top-of-mind type of insurance, like auto insurance or life insurance; but it can have just as much impact of your life, especially if you have losses after opting not to have it. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported a study in 2015 showing that only 4 out of 10 tenants in the U.S. have renters insurance.  The rest are at risk from unexpected theft, fire or liability.

It’s actually quite affordable.  You might think that something that will save you from potentially heavy expense would be quite costly.  Not so – renter’s insurance premiums will usually run just a few dollars a month – likely less than yesterday’s lunch.

Would Renter’s Insurance be right for you?

The easy way to find out if renter’s insurance is right for you is ask yourself the following questions. A “yes” to any of them means you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Would it be costly to replace my belongings?  Remember, while your landlord has insurance on your building, it will not cover your furniture, appliances and personal items. Do a quick inventory to estimate what it would cost to replace your things. If you find that the cost would be considerable, then renter’s insurance could help.

Are there other tenants in my building?  If your latest cooking experiment goes badly and smoke spreads to neighboring tenants’ space or if your pipe leaks into the downstairs apartment and destroys an expensive carpet, would you be able to cover the cost of repairing and replacing out of pocket?  If not, then renter’s insurance could be your answer.

Do I ever have visitors inside my apartment?  Don’t forget delivery guys and other service people.  If someone is injured in your space, you would be liable for their medical expenses.  If you think you might have difficulty paying potentially thousands in such costs, then paying a little each month for renter’s insurance could be a better alternative.

Do I ever leave my personal items in my car?  If you carry things like your purse, briefcase, gym bag, phone or other devices in your car where they might be stolen, and you’d find it hard to replace them, then renter’s insurance could be a good option for you.

Renters Insurance Tip

If you believe that renter’s insurance might be right for you, then it’s time to take action before you need the coverage. Your first step is to estimate the value of your belongings, and be sure not to underestimate.  Then sit down with your insurance agent who will help you explore the options and arrive at the amount of coverage you’ll need for your circumstances. 

We invite you to contact any of our experienced agents at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance either in Germantown or Frederick, MD to discuss your insurance questions.  We can help you to be sure you have the best coverage and protection to meet your own unique needs.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 12:00

Valentines Day - engagement - diamond ring - personal valuables insurance from Schaefer & Delauder Insurance AgencyA marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day… Congratulations to both of you.  We hope you’ll take some time to enjoy the happy moment. It will certainly be a favorite memory for a lifetime.  But then you’ll want to remember that there are a few practical considerations now that you own that beautiful diamond ring.  We’d bet that you’re not “thinking insurance” at the moment, but we are. You’re likely not aware that the loss of valuable jewelry is one of the most common of all content-related home insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute.   The III tells us that one of the most frequent of all homeowners’ content-related insurance claims is for the loss of valuable jewelry.  We know you’ll want that special new bling to be financially protected in case damage, loss or theft. 

Don’t delay.  Take these steps to insure and protect your engagement ring:

Get professional insurance advice immediately. 

Your insurance agent will tell that most rental and homeowner  insurance policies will usually provide limited coverage for jewelry and other personal items, but it is often not enough to cover the value of high-end jewelry, collectibles, etc.  You might need to buy additional insurance depending on the cost of your ring.  In fact, it is likely since the average retail value of an engagement ring is around $6000 according to a 2016 survey done by The Knot. 

You will want a copy of the receipt. 

This will not only be helpful for your own records but to provide to your insurer as a means to document the current retail cost of your ring for your insurer.  

Strongly consider getting an appraisal.

If the ring has been custom-designed or is a family heirloom or vintage piece, an appraisal record will show the value when examined by a professional.  Of course, appraisal reports are not good forever, and you’ll want to have the item re-appraised every few years. Your insurance agent can help you find your way to a reputable appraiser.

Once you have that new engagement ring properly insured and fully protected, then you and your new fiancé can enjoy sharing your news with your friends and family.  You’re off on a path of many “firsts” that will change your life as you’ve known it. 

Insurance Tip

Personal Valuables Insurance offers supplemental coverage for loss, theft and damage for many precious items. They include artwork, crystal, silverware, collectibles, cameras, firearms and more in addition to valuable jewelry. Arrange a conversation with your insurance agent who can help you decide whether you need increased insurance protection for valuable items. 

Here at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Services in Germantown and Frederick, MD, our experienced agents welcome your questions and can assist you by reviewing your current insurance coverage and helping you to exploring your insurance options. Why not contact us at your convenience?

Friday, 02 February 2018 11:28

In the Market for a New Vehicle in 2018?

If you’ll be purchasing a new car, truck or SUV this year, you might already have narrowed down your list of possibilities based on appearance, features and performance. But have you considered safety?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have just made it easier for you to know how your favorite makes and models measure up in terms of safety.  They have published their 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK+ list and their TOP SAFETY PICK list.  The difference lies mostly in the performance of their headlights and their degree of passenger-side protection.

 

Did your vehicle pass the test? Read More below to find out...

Monday, 22 January 2018 12:36

Congratulations to Mike Phillips of Mt Airy, Maryland, our 2017 Sweet Rewards Referral program winner.

Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Sweet Rewards Referral Program Winner - 2017 

Spike's Auto Care - Winner of the 2017 Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Sweet Rewards Referral ProgramSchaefer & Delauder Insurance has been there to cover Mike Phillips' insurance needs since 1998 when he started his auto repair business, Spike’s Auto Care, at his home.  We have also appreciated Mike's willingness to tell others about his positive experience with our agency and recommending us.  It is because of his referral that he was entered into our Sweet Rewards Referral program in 2017 and won the Grand Prize of 500.00. 

Over the years, we have been proud to watch Spike’s Auto Care grow -- from their move several years ago to a commercial location at 1001 East Ridgeville Blvd in Mt Airy, MD to expansion in a second location that is soon to open.   This local business is a full service repair facility for cars, trucks and fleets.  If you need auto repair for whatever you are driving, please consider Spike’s Auto Care!

Are you wondering how you might be eligible for the 2018 Sweet Rewards referral program?  It's really quite simple... get all the details here... 

We love referrals, so please keep them coming!  

Every time you tell a friend about Schaefer & DeLauder Insurance, you not only will receive a Dunkin Donuts gift card; your name will go into a monthly drawing for a $25.00 gift card to an area retailer; and you will be entered in an annual drawing for $500.00 in cash!    Each referral increases your opportunity to win!

Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:14

Happy New Year - Time to Review Your Insurance Coverage with Schaefer & Delauder InsuranceAs this year begins, it offers the perfect time to reflect on your life over the past 12 months – what worked for you and what didn’t. As you take stock of where you are, why not take the dawning of a new year as a prompt to check out your insurance policies and decide what should change.

Your insurance portfolio should always be a work in progress because, just as your life changes constantly, your insurance coverage must change to fit your circumstances. Whether it’s your auto insurance or the coverage on your home or maybe the amount of life insurance you carry, the new year is a good time to take a close look at what you have versus what you might now need.

Now you might be wondering  why do this and, in fact, how to go about evaluating your insurance.  The reason to do it is to be best prepared for whatever comes your way. As to how to do it: you might want to start by focusing on what you see as the worst that might happen to your vehicle, your home, your health/life. When you’ve come to terms with those scenarios, then decide what role your insurance portfolio needs to play should you  need to recover from a setback. Armed with that information, you will know what your insurance needs are; and then it’s time to schedule a visit with your insurance agent to review your current policies and discuss your options.

Read More below to see how to evaluate your insurance and what questions to ask...

Friday, 05 January 2018 13:37
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