Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years

Valentine’s Day Gifts: Are Your Valuables Protected?

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year, and if you’re in a relationship then it’s probably a day that you can expect a great gift from your special someone.  In fact, Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for getting engaged.  If you’re already married, then you can probably expect a beautiful piece of jewelry or another big present this year.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of criminals who also know that there will be a lot more valuable jewelry, electronics, and other gifts on the streets, in cars, and in people’s homes in the coming weeks.  While losing a sentimental gift will be hard emotionally, you want to make sure that you’re financially prepared as well.

For many people, their engagement ring and other jewelry are some of the highest value assets that they own outside of their home or car.  Losing a single piece can be a huge financial blow.  That’s why it’s important to insure these items just as you would your house or car.

A personal articles insurance policy can help to give you the peace of mind you need.  These insurance policies can be written to cover all kinds of items, including:

  •  – Jewelry
  •  – Appliances
  •  – Electronics
  •  – Collectables
  •  – Fine Art Work
  •  – Furs
  •  – Instruments

Personal article insurance policies are designed to supplement the coverage provided by homeowner’s policies.  Because homeowner policies have high deductibles and restrictions on what is covered, many people discover that after the theft or loss of a piece of jewelry they can’t use their existing policy to cover the loss.  With a personal article policy, however, the entire value of the objects lost can be covered.

While signing up for one of these policies is relatively simple, it is a good idea to hold on to some proof of the value of the items you are insuring.  A receipt or letter of appraisal can provide the proof of value that these policies often require.

If you have any questions on whether or not your particular items can be insured with a Personal Articles Policy, call Waitte’s Insurance Agency today at (860) 886-1961.

5 Tips on How to Prevent Ice Dams

Prevent Ice Dams

When you have snow on your roof, it should melt gradually and drain into your gutters. If you have ice dams, though, melted snow isn’t able to drain properly. Ice dams form when parts of your roof near the top are warmer than the rest, causing snow in those areas to melt faster. Melted snow then runs down toward the eaves, which are colder, where it freezes and forms blockages called ice dams. These dams block additional melted snow from being able to drain into your gutters, causing it to flow under the eaves and potentially damage your home’s interior. Fortunately, you can take the following steps to prevent ice dams from forming.

Keep Snow Off Your Roof

After heavy snowfalls, clear off snow from your roof as soon as it’s safe to do so. Consider using a roof rake to clear away a few feet of snow from around the eaves without having to go up on your roof.

Keep Downspouts Clear

Clear snow and ice away from your downspouts throughout winter. This helps ensure that melted snow can drain from your roof to the ground through your gutters. It also stops you from having pools of standing water around your downspouts.

Add Attic Insulation

Insulation helps keep heated air from reaching your roof through your attic, which lowers the risk of having ice dams form. Make sure your attic has enough insulation, especially in places where heat can sneak through, such as around vent pipes and light fixtures.

Set Up Heated Cables

Heated cables placed around the edges of your roof can help prevent ice dams. These cables, which attach to your roof with clips, give off heat that helps ensure that melted snow from higher up has a clear path to your gutters.

Improve Roof Ventilation

Making sure your roof is adequately ventilated helps cooler air circulate below the whole roof surface. This prevents certain areas from becoming warmer than the rest, which reduces your risk of ice dams. Ideally, you should have a ridge vent and soffit vents that have openings of the same size.

If you end up with damage caused by ice dams, check your homeowners’ insurance policy. Depending on your policy, you might be covered for issues such as water damage, mold growth, damaged siding or shingles and damaged insulation.

Before having damages to your home repaired due to ice dams or any other circumstance, contact Waite’s Insurance Agency to find out if your current policy covers such repairs.

Health Insurance Changes in 2016: What You Need to Know

Health Insurance Changes

The passing of the Affordable Care Act, the launch of HealthCare.gov, and the establishment of numerous health insurance marketplaces all marked important changes in the infrastructure of health insurance around the country. More changes are coming in 2016, partly as a result of government changes on the national level and partly because of market shifts in response to these changes. Thankfully, you can make sure that you stay ahead of the curve by keeping track of the expected health insurance changes in 2016, including these five important projections:

1. Higher premiums

As in 2014 and 2015, health insurance premiums are expected to increase by about 5 percent – which may not seem like a lot, but adds up when considering the cost of insurance for employees, dependents, and spouses. Most large employers plan to have employees cover about 20 percent of their own premiums and 24 percent of their dependents’ premiums.

2. High deductibles

High-deductible health insurance plans will grow in popularity as 83 percent of employers turn to a consumer-directed health insurance plan in 2016. Depending upon your employer, you may have a choice to select the high-deductible plan, or may have it as the only option.

3. Higher non-compliance penalties

The Affordable Care Act mandated that all U.S. citizens must have adequate health insurance, and in 2016 the penalties for not complying with this law are expected to rise sharply. Consumers who choose not to purchase health insurance will have to pay the greater of either a $695 fee or 2.5 percent of their modified adjusted gross income.

4. Telemedicine options

Many health insurance plans will start to offer telemedicine options, which are medical consultations with a licensed physician that take place through digital means, such as video communication. This can affect how you meet with a physician as well as how much you have to co-pay for doctors’ visits.

5. Cash for wellness programs

Many employers, looking to prevent employees’ health problems rather than deal with them as they come along, plan to offer health insurance breaks for employees who join a wellness program, health assessment or biometric exam, otherwise known as “cash for wellness” programs. In 2016, this could affect your health insurance costs as well as your own well-being.

If you have any questions on how the expected insurance changes in 2016 could affect you, or if you would just like to review your current policy, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency.