5 Charitable Organizations Worthy of a Helping Hand

Charity: Happy group of volunteers collecting clothing donations

As the holidays are in full swing, the majority of us are thinking about gift shopping, visiting with family and loved ones, and the overall feeling of joy amplified by festive holiday music and warmth. However, it is important to remember that with all of the blessings that the holidays can bring, there are always those who have little to be cheerful about. From people facing hunger and homelessness to those battling life-threatening illnesses, the holidays can once again be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ with our help. As you appreciate what you have this season, a little effort can go a long way by donating or volunteering to any of these charitable organizations:


1. The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army was established in 1865 as an evangelical Christian organization with the goal of supporting people in need with social services, which include food aid, disaster relief, assistance for the disabled, help for the ill and elderly, clothing and shelter for the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The organization’s store uses 82 cents of every dollar for these services, which provide help for over 130 million people in 5,000 communities across the country. You can help The Salvation Army in Norwich by volunteering at their holiday store, open December 11-24, or by donating at any time. Furthermore, by shopping at The Salvation Army, you help support the people receiving donations or assistance from this organization. Learn more by visiting ctri.salvationarmy.org/SNE/.


2. The Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project helps injured veterans or service members heal after serving their country on or after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Through projects that support the four pillars of mind, body, economic empowerment, and engagement, the organization helps veterans adjust to life with a service-related injury. You can help by donating to the organization or volunteering at one of their numerous events. Visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org for full details.



3. Save the Children

Save the Children helps support children facing hunger, disease, homelessness, abuse, and a lack of education in the United States and around the world. If you’re looking to help, visit www.savethechildren.org for fundraising tips and other ways to make a difference.


4. The Pink Fund

The Pink Fund provides financial support to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. They assist in paying for medical bills and other devastating financial losses for breast cancer patients so that their main focus is on healing and recovery. The Norwich branch of this organization needs your help with donations and volunteering at their awareness programs. To learn more, go to www.thepinkfund.org.


5. Connecticut Food Bank

One out of seven people struggles with hunger daily in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut Food Bank provides food and other services for those who need, and deserve a warm meal and care during the holidays. You can become part of the solution by donating food, funds, or even your time to the Connecticut Food Bank by visiting www.ctfoodbank.org.

Together, we CAN make a difference in the lives of those in need! Waitte’s Insurance Agency wishes you and your family a festive December and the happiest of New Years! And remember, always drive safely and responsibly before and after holiday celebrations.

Fighting Connecticut Traffic Violations: Is it Worth it?

If you have ever received a traffic ticket, your first instinct may have been to fight it – after all, many people believe that the citation was unjust and that they did not deserve the harsh penalty that they received. However, roughly only 3 percent of drivers who receive traffic citations actually contest them in court, and choosing to do so relies purely on the circumstances surrounding the ticket. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before you consider fighting Connecticut traffic violations

1. Is the cost of the ticket worth the expenses it would take to fight it?

Going to court requires taking time off of work, finding reliable transportation, and possibly hiring legal counsel to help you with your court battle. All of these costs combined may be greater than the loss you would incur by just paying the ticket.

2.  Do I have the time to go through the process of fighting it?

Court cases for driving infractions typically don’t drag on for weeks or months like other cases can, but you still must be prepared to take at least one entire day off from work just in case. Taking time away from your work and personal schedules to fight a simple speeding ticket could serve as an inconvenience, especially if you have an unforgiving employer or a position that really requires you to be there on the court date.

3. Will the ticket influence my insurance rates?

If your premium increases because of the ticket you received, you may actually be saving money by fighting it in court – even with the expenses mentioned above. Check with your insurance agency to find out how certain citations affect your rates.

4. Could I lose my license if I don’t fight the ticket?

Some motorists run the risk of losing their licenses if they have tallied up multiple traffic violations. If this is the case, it provides a valid reason for you to go to court, as you don’t want to lose your mode of transportation or be forced to attend traffic school over another ticket.

5. Do I have a solid defense to successfully fight the ticket?

Without proper representation, fighting the ticket may simply be a waste of time. Review your options  you may need to hire an attorney who has experience with traffic cases and can help advise you through the process as well as in court.

Defenses for Fighting Connecticut Traffic Violations:

If you are considering going to court, there are several possible defenses (if applicable) that you could use to successfully get a traffic citation overturned. For example, if you can provide proof that the view of the police officer who pulled you over was obstructed, this could warrant dismissal of the violation. If you were cited for speeding and a radar gun was used, check whether it could have been compromised by something in the surrounding area. Alternatively, you could bring up the need to keep up with the flow of traffic (if there was any at the time).

Whenever you receive a traffic ticket, make sure to get testimonials from witnesses and document everything, including the officer’s name, badge number, their temperament, and the weather conditions. Finally, take photos to document the area where you were pulled over.

In the event that you are pulled over, it is important to remember one thing. Whether you believe the traffic ticket you received is justified or not, ALWAYS cooperate with the citing officer, abide by his or her instructions and treat them with the utmost respect. Acting irrationally and unnecessarily escalating the situation could result in additional citations that will only affect you long after the officer has left.

The most common traffic citation issued by police officers on a daily basis is due to speeding. But do you know what types of driving infractions in Connecticut could cost you the most?

How a Rough Winter Could Impact Your Car Insurance Premiums

Connecticut drivers aren’t strangers to driving in the snow. However, we can all use a little reminder as to what to do to properly prepare for the winter season; which can put exponential  wear and tear on your vehicle. There are a few simple precautions you can take to help your car survive the winter in good condition. Wear and tear cannot only affect the life of your vehicle, but also your car insurance premiums.

Here are some preventative measures to take during winter to avoid increased car insurance premiums:

Have your vehicle thoroughly inspected.

Before winter reaches the coldest months of the year, make sure that the maintenance on your car is evaluated thoroughly so everything is up to code. Change the oil and fill up both the wiper fluid and engine coolant. It is recommended to check tire pressure once a month to ensure it is consistently at the recommended PSI. You may want to add a little air into your tires anyway since the air will contract on bitter cold days. Doing this before sub-zero temperatures arrive will allow you to add an adequate amount of air while you can still feel your hands.

Make sure your tires are safe.

Check your tires before winter hits to make sure you have enough tread left on them. The roadways will be challenging enough without the extra worry of bald tires. A great way to check to see if your tires have sufficient tread is the penny test. Stick a penny face down into the tread of each of your tires – if you can still see more than half of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time to consider replacing your tires. To get the best protection you could also invest in snow tires.

Don’t let your gas tank get too low.

If you have a habit of letting your gas tank run all the way down to ‘E’, try your best to break this habit during the winter. Your engine has to work harder when it’s cold out and you don’t want to risk running out of gas. Always keep your tank at least halfway full. By having half of a tank or less, it could cause ice to form in your fuel lines.

Be careful of where you park during bad weather.

Accumulated snowfall on tree branches can cause them to become weak and break. Do not park your car under any trees where weak branches can fall. You also shouldn’t park on the street during a storm. This could get your car buried or struck by a plow, or even get your car towed if there is a parking ban in effect – which will certainly increase your car insurance premiums.

Wash car regularly to prevent salt erosion.

In the winter, especially in New England, your car will be constantly picking up salt. If left on your car for an extended period of time, this salt can cause corrosion. Even though it can be difficult to do in the low temperatures, you should be rinsing off your car periodically. Spray the undercarriage of your car where it is the most susceptible to corrosion. If possible, try to shoot for once per month or whenever salt excessively builds up.

Leave an emergency kit in your car.

For the safety of yourself and any passengers you have with you, always keep an emergency kit in your car in the event you become stranded or have an accident. The kit should include blankets, a flashlight, washer fluid and flares. Also, make sure you have a reserve of water and nonperishable snacks.

Keep yourself safe and your car insurance premiums steady by preparing your vehicle for any situation that winter throws at you. With the speculation that New England will experience especially harsh weather conditions this year, you’ll also want to know how to better control your vehicle on snowy and icy roads.

Connecticut Driving Seniors: When it’s Time to Consider Giving Up the Keys

From the moment a young driver receives his or her driver’s permit and well into their adult years, the ability to drive becomes a tent-pole for independence and transportation. However, like many other factors that can begin to diminish with age, certain individuals lose the ability to drive for a number of reasons once they reach senior citizen status. It is important for Connecticut driving seniors to stay sharp and identify when they might start having difficulty operating a motor vehicle. While it may not be ideal, certain seniors may need to make the decision to turn over their car keys indefinitely for the safety of themselves and other motorists on the road.

Is Age a Concern?

Road safety for driving senior citizens is crucial for keeping drivers from incident and injury. On average, individuals begin to lose some of their mental clarity and reflexes which enable safe driving around age 65, with a notable increase of fatal accidents happening between ages 70 and 74.

Though age may not indicate everything about your driving ability and individual skills, these numbers are alarming and should be an indicator of when someone should begin running through personal auto safety checklists. Ask yourself or your aging loved ones about recent traffic violations, near misses and other driving difficulties. If you notice an increase in any of these factors, you may need to re-evaluate your ability to drive safely.

What Health Factors May Impact Driving?

Health factors that crop up with age are considered one of the main causes behind a senior citizen’s reduced driving safety. Vision and hearing impairments are leading causes of reduced driver safety. These declines can cause serious challenges for Connecticut driving seniors who must pay attention to many moving components, including on-dash indicators like the speedometer and pedestrian activity on the side of the road.

If you fear that your age or the age of a family member has negatively affected the ability to drive or obey traffic laws, there are ways to combat some of the factors working against you.

How Connecticut Driving Seniors Can Keep Their Keys:

First, consult your doctor for a physical examination and get a visual exam, as well. These appointments are preventative measures to rule out serious health problems that can not only inhibit your driving abilities but may be a sign of illnesses. In some states, regular doctor’s notes regarding your capacity for safe vehicle operation are required in order to renew your driver’s license. This is not, however, a requirement in the state of Connecticut.

You can also employ some healthy living measures, like light physical exercise and good sleep habits to help you be more and alert throughout the day and on the road. Regular exercise with strength training and stretching can improve flexibility and provide the quicker reflexes that are required behind the wheel. Driving during good road conditions and when the sun is shining may also help you to feel more confident behind the wheel.

For Connecticut driving seniors, the life-impacting decision to turn over your car keys is definitely not an easy one, but there is no shame in it! For the overall safety of all parties involved on the roadways, it will provide peace-of-mind to stay realistic about one’s abilities. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a medical professional for you or a loved one if you fear they are no long able to drive on their own.

To all Connecticut driving seniors, or enthusiastic teens ready to hit the road for the first time, ALWAYS make sure that you are properly insured!

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Norwich CT House Insurance: Protect Your Home This Winter

With freezing cold temperatures, you need to make sure to protect your home. In addition to having Norwich CT House Insurance, you must take the necessary steps to keep your home safe and ready for winter.  Your best bet is to safeguard against the following winter complications, but in even a worst-case scenario, having proper Norwich CT house insurance will lessen any stressful situation that may arise.

Here are some common winter problems and how to protect against them to keep your Norwich CT House Insurance rates as low as possible.

Frozen Pipes:

Pipes that freeze can crack from expanding ice, creating a world of complications for your plumbing. One way to prevent frozen pipes is to fully insulate them with foam insulation. If insulation is not updated or even plausible for your home, schedule regular inspections of all pipes during the winter months.

Cold Internal Temperature:

Heat always finds a way to escape from your home in wintertime. Proper insulation is the best defense against this from happening. Updated weather stripping around areas that allow cold air in will also help to avoid having to crank up your thermostat.

Roof Damage:

Snow and fallen tree branches can be detrimental to your roof. Weak tree branches over your home that accumulate heavy amounts of snow are likely to crack and fall onto your roof, causing leaks or even collapses. This can become a nightmare in regards to your Norwich CT house insurance premium. Trim branches hanging over your roof and always clear your roof of snow immediately after a storm. Snow that lingers on a roof for too long can turn into ice, making it increasingly difficult to remove later.


Strong storms can strip the paint on your house. Make sure to use weather-resistant paint to keep it looking fresh all year long. If you plan on putting your house on the market in the future, weathered paint can be a major deterrent for potential buyers.

Damage to the Landscape:

Winter storms can kill plants and knock over unsteady trees. Bring any potted plants that you wish to keep throughout the winter inside to save them from cold temperatures. Surround and cover additional outdoor plants or gardens with mulch so they are not extensively damaged by frost. You may also want to consider laying down a wintertime fertilizer onto your lawn to ensure your grass returns greener than ever come spring.

Formation of Ice Dams:

Ice dams can easily form when the parts of your roof near the top are warmer than the rest of it. The snow in these areas will melt faster and then refreeze toward the eaves. Invest in a roof rake to get rid of the snow before this can happen. Also,  keep downspouts clear of debris. Adding attic insulation will keep heated air from getting to the roof through the attic.

Long-time New Englanders know the trials of up-keeping their home during the bitter winter months. With these simple precautionary measures, you can avoid a stressful ‘brain-freeze’ and keep your Norwich CT house insurance at a low, affordable rate. Are you due for a homeowners insurance review or wish to compare your current rates?

Don’t overpay! Receive your FREE rate quote for Norwich CT House Insurance HERE!

Connecticut Health Insurance: What Could Affect Your Premiums?

While the month of February includes Valentine’s Day, the time to consider those near and dear to your heart, it’s also the month to remember to care for your actual heart. February is American Heart Month, which is a designated time to raise awareness of the factors that contribute to good heart health. Among these factors are exercising regularly, a diet featuring plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and controlling stress. Without these daily habits, not only will your physical health suffer, but your Connecticut Health Insurance premiums could also be affected.

What Determines My Connecticut Health Insurance Premiums?


Obviously, you cannot turn back the clock, but you do need to be aware that as a general rule, people over the age of sixty pay more (sometimes as much as 3 times more) for their health insurance than someone under that age. Younger people tend to be healthier, and as a group, file fewer claims than older policyholders. If you are over sixty, even if you are in perfect health, you can expect to pay more than someone in their twenties, even if that person has a chronic health condition. However, pre-existing conditions at any age do not warrant an increase in health insurance rates.

Tobacco Use:

Smoking’s negative effect on health is well documented and tobacco use is second only to age as a predictor of mortality. So it’s no surprise that smokers pay up to fifty percent more for coverage than non-smokers. The good news, of course, is if you are a smoker you can quit! Although you need to be aware that individual insurance carriers can impose a waiting period from between one and five years after you quit smoking before your rate comes down.

Profession And Income:

Let’s face it, some jobs are more inherently dangerous than others. While worker’s compensation is expected to cover most on-the-job accidents, if you cannot prove your illness or injury was directly caused by your job, you will be expected to assume the cost of treatment.

If you are in a low-income bracket with a household income of between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level and you do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage, you may qualify for tax credits. If your income falls below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level you may be able to take advantage of Medicaid or CHIP and enroll in their low cost or even free programs.

Where You Live:

The area where you live may have an impact on your insurance rates, as some areas have been identified as having a higher proportion of unhealthy residents. Perhaps this is due to poor environmental conditions, little access to healthy foods and other factors. These types of location-based assessments are frowned upon by regulators, as they may lead to discriminatory practices, so check with your carrier to assess their standards.

Marital Status:

People who are married tend to live longer, engage in less risky behavior and take better care of themselves than single people, so it’s no surprise that a married person’s insurance rate will most likely be lower than a single person who otherwise has the same risk profile.

Number of People Covered By Your Policy:

It just makes sense that the more people who are covered by the policy, the more the policy will cost. Do the calculations to make sure that getting individual coverage for each party who needs insurance would not be more expensive that getting a policy that covers everyone. Discounts can be granted to those with multiple people on their policy, so look into all of your options.

Ignoring the fixable factors that determine your Connecticut Health Insurance can be costly. Continue best practices towards a healthy lifestyle and your insurance premiums will surely follow suit.

If you have any questions regarding your current health insurance coverage, please call our office at (860) 886-1961.

First Time Buying a Motorcycle? Read This Checklist Beforehand

As winter slowly fades into spring, people are gearing up for what should be delightful weather this season in New England. It’s the type of weather that is perfect for riding a motorcycle up and down the scenic east coast. While your buddies already have theirs, you might be thinking you are overdue for buying your own motorcycle. But before you start your search to find the sweetest ride, we’ve provided a checklist of items to consider to ensure you’re ready to hit the road. Buying a motorcycle is much like buying a car, only with a few more caveats.

If you’re a first-timer buying a motorcycle, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Know Your Ability

You’ve practiced and received your license. That doesn’t quite mean you’re ready for a bike just yet. There’s no room for error on one of these vehicles, so avoid showboating skills that you know you don’t have. Be realistic about your strengths, disadvantages and what you need to work on to remain safe.

  1. Research Your Options

Doing a little bit of research, and maybe a test ride will help you decide which style is better for you. While you may be tempted to get a fast bike, a cruiser may be better suited for you. This is all a matter of individual preference and riding style.

  1. Feel it Out

Especially for first-timers, look for a bike that fits your body type. Comfort will not only help you maneuver turns better, but you also don’t want to be stiff or uncomfortable if you’re planning a long road trip with your buddies.

  1. New or Used?

If you were learning how to play guitar, would you start off your first lesson by buying an expensive, Jimi Hendrix-style instrument? Of course not. The same goes for investing in a motorcycle. Novice motorists should consider starting off with a used, but safe bike as they are cheaper. Once you have gained enough confidence and experience, feel free to splurge on that shiny new model. Overall, your chosen investment all depends on your budget.

  1. Think it Over

So, you’ve found your dream bike. You’ve tested it, and love it. But you shouldn’t jump on it just yet. Take some time and ask the seller some in-depth questions regarding the bike.

  1. Inspect the Motorcycle

If you’re buying a motorcycle for the first time from a non-licensed dealer, you should have a qualified mechanic thoroughly inspect it. Double-check the mileage and find out about any outstanding repairs that are needed. When buying from a qualified salesperson, ask them to print out a service history report so you’re positive you’re not buying a lemon.

  1. Check the Title

Verify that the title has a clean history. You don’t want to get stuck with a bike that was involved in any previous criminal activities. It is not advised to purchase or trade with an individual you barely know, so always use your best judgment.

  1. Make an Offer

Most dealerships are willing to work with you so don’t let the sticker price scare you. Once you’ve found your bike, submit a reasonable offer and negotiate from there.

  1. Calculate Insurance Costs

Know your budget and calculate the additional costs of the bike after purchasing it. This obviously refers to a number of factors such as gas, maintenance, winter storage, and of course, motorcycle insurance. Shop for the best insurance policy options for your budget prior to your investment. The very best way to check out your policy options in Norwich, Connecticut is by contacting Waitte’s Insurance Agency.

Springtime motoring is just a couple short weeks away! If you’re buying a motorcycle for the first time or simply wish to compare premiums that are available, give us a call at (860) 886-1961.