Who needs renter’s insurance? You do!

Who needs renter’s insurance? You do!

What does renter’s insurance cover? While a landlord’s policy insures the building and covers any structural damage, their policy does not do much for tenants. Typically, renter’s insurance protects what is inside your home against fire, storm, or theft (Business Insider). While renter’s insurance is not required by law, it does provide peace of mind knowing that your belongings are covered, and it is often less inexpensive than people expect (Business Insider). 

Coverage of personal property is what most people think of when considering renter’s insurance. When purchasing renter’s insurance, you decide whether to select actual cash value or replacement cash value. Replacement cash value is more expensive than true cash value (because the value of your possessions depreciates over time) (MarketWatch).

Another advantage of renter’s insurance is liability coverage. If you are sued for accidental injury or property damage, liability coverage can pay medical damage and legal expenses (NerdWallet).

Suppose your rental unit is damaged to the extent that you have to relocate temporarily. In that case, your renter’s insurance will cover a portion of your hotel room and meals (Business Insider) which could otherwise be a catastrophic expense.

Many policies even provide coverage away from home if your items are stolen (NerdWallet).

Not only is renter’s insurance inexpensive for basic policies, but you may also find that if you bundle your renter’s insurance with your auto insurance, your rate increase may be negligible depending on your level of coverage. While specialty items such as expensive jewelry, cameras, artwork, bicycles, or musical instruments may require additional coverage (known as riders), you may be pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is to protect your belongings (Business Insider). 

Even if you think you don’t have much, take an inventory of each room in your home and ask yourself, What if I had to replace everything? You may realize that the value of your possessions is greater than you thought, and protecting yourself against the potential loss of it all is to your advantage. 

You may also want to consider renter’s insurance for your college student. With the cost of tuition these days, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your son or daughter has protection for their material possessions, as well as liability coverage, may make renter’s insurance a worthy investment.

Interested in finding out more about renter’s insurance? Give us a call at Waitte’s Insurance Agency to learn more about your options. 

Business Insider

MarketWatch

NerdWallet

Interesting Area Festivals

Interesting Area Festivals

While some annual events are canceled this year and others may be modified, there are still many opportunities to get outside, visit local communities, and experience something fun and different. Below are just a few samples of New England opportunities for an adventure this fall.

On October 2-3 and 9-10, Bedford, Pennsylvania’s Bedford Fall Foliage Festival will feature arts and crafts from over 400 vendors, live music, and kids’ activities, including scarecrow making and horseback riding (Bedfordfallfoliagefestival.com). 

Ocean City, Maryland, will hold its annual Oktoberfest on October 23 and 24 this year with a beach maze, pet parade, “trunk or treat” driving parade, Halloween drive-in movies, and the “Great Pumpkin Race” (OCOceancity.com).

The Sea Witch Festival, held annually for 31 years in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, includes hayrides, vendors, scavenger hunts, a bandstand, a 5K race/walk, and more. The celebration begins on Friday, October 29, and ends on Sunday, the 31st (VisitDelaware.com).

The kickoff for Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine, will be at 5:30 on Friday, November 5. The celebration known as Meet Your Maker will feature members of the Maine Distillers Guild. Participants will sample a wide variety of spirits and foods and have opportunities to meet the distillers. The events on Saturday, November 6, feature two OysterFest sessions allowing participants to sample “the choicest oysters from up and down the coast of Maine,” as well as local beers and sparkling wine (HarvestontheHarbor.com). The link below can connect you with tickets for both events. 

This October, Providence, Rhode Island, will celebrate its 7th annual Ocean State Oyster Festival with live music, craft beers, and opportunities for visitors to learn about local oyster farming (Oysterfestri.com). 

While the fall festivals of New England offer excellent opportunities to build fun new memories, if your time is short, you can do something as simple as taking a walk in the country. The temperate weather and the sights of the changing leaves are sure to help you escape and rejuvenate. 

There’s nothing like the charm and beauty of New England in the fall. Get ready for your next road trip adventure and give Waitte’s Insurance Agency a call to be sure all of your home, auto, and other insurance needs are covered. 

Bedfordfallfoliagefestival.com
CountryLiving.com
HarvestontheHarbor.com
OCOceancity.com
Oysterfestri.com
VisitDelaware.com

Winter Fun and Adventure

Winter Fun and Adventure

Winter Fun and Adventure

This year many of us were experiencing some degree of cabin fever before the winter season even began. Fortunately, here in Connecticut there are so many opportunities for outdoor fun that everyone should be able to try something new or rediscover an old pastime. 

The Connecticut Office of Tourism (see link below) offers information about a variety of activities that allow you the opportunity to be outdoors, active, and still maintain social distance. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are obvious go-to winter activities. If you want to add a new twist, try going at night. If you are ready to bring it up to another level, you can try freestyle skiing or snowboarding. This involves jumps, rail slides, tricks, rides on half-pipes, and/or switch riding.

Another option is ski jumping at Satre Hill in Salisbury. Not ready to make the leap yourself or want to watch the experts do it? Check out Jumpfest 2021 on February 12-14 (Jumpfest.com). 

Kids can build a snowman or a snow fort, and when they are ready to explore beyond the yard, they may want to try snow tubing. Snow tubing is a fun activity for all ages and levels of athletic ability and can be enjoyed at Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort.

Another option for the adventurous can be found ice climbing. Ascent Climbing and Ragged Mountain Guides can hook you up with the guides, advice, and training you need for your next adventure. Fat-tire biking, also known as snow biking or ski biking, is done with bikes built with frames to accommodate extra-wide tires that allow you to explore trails in the winter on dirt or snow. 

Adventurers who prefer more independence can cross country ski or snowshoe at a variety of scenic Connecticut locations including Winding Trails in Farmington, Gay City State Park in Hebron, Weir Farm National Historical Site in Wilton, White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield, or Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic (Connecticut Office of Tourism).

One more option that may not yet have crossed your mind is ice fishing. Ice fishing can be done with one friend or a bunch, and as any veteran winter angler will tell you, you don’t even have to catch anything to have a great time, as typical ice fishing can have a lot in common with tailgating. If you do catch fish worth keeping, you may be surprised to realize how tasty they are. “The ‘muddy’ taste you sometimes hear about from fish can be caused by blue green algae, which can proliferate during warmer months. Blue green algae is gone, or greatly diminished, in cold and frigid water, so it no longer affects the fishes’ taste” (Associated Press “Ten Reasons to Go Ice Fishing”). If you decide to try ice fishing, check out the link below from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for advice on how to know when the ice is thick enough to support ice fishing and other tips.

Whatever you are into this winter, the staff at Waitte’s Insurance Agency wish you health and happiness as we embark on a new year. Give us a call when you are ready to discuss your unique insurance needs.

 

Associated Press "Ten Reasons to Go Ice Fishing"

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection 

Connecticut Office of Tourism “8 Must-Try Winter Activities in Connecticut”

Jumpfest

Snowmobile Fun and Safety

Snowmobile fun and safety

Snowmobile Fun and Safety

Those who have never tried it may wonder what is so appealing about riding a 500 pound machine that initially may be hard to control and often leaves even experienced riders stuck in snow. However, new riders are often hooked after just one run on the sled. The scenery, the variety, and the friendly people are all frequently mentioned as reasons to ride. If you are feeling skeptical, you can rent one to try it out. 

If you don’t own land enough to ride on or know anyone who does, you can check out the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website linked below with a list of ten state forests with snowmobile trails. After exploring the beauty these areas of Connecticut have to offer, you may be inclined to look toward other areas of New England or head west to even more wide open spaces including Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Montana. 

If you purchase your own sled, you are required to register it with the state of Connecticut unless you are only operating on property owned or leased by you (State of Connecticut DMV). Drivers are not required to have a special license to operate a sled in Connecticut, though intoxicated drivers can be prosecuted (State of Connecticut DMV).

With all the exploration, fun, and excitement to be had riding a snowmobile, it is also important to keep in mind that there are risks. Every year over 14,000 people are treated in hospitals with injuries sustained while snowmobiling, and over 200 fatalities are attributed to snowmobiling accidents in North America (Researchgate). While drugs and alcohol are frequently cited as contributing to these statistics, other sources point to lack of experience and excessive speeds (New Hampshire Snowmobile Association and NewYorkUpstate.com). 

Whatever you do for fun this winter, Waitte’s Insurance Agency is ready with options for your business, home, and recreational vehicles. Give us a call when you are ready to discuss your unique insurance needs. 

 

Connecticut DUI Law

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

NewYorkUpstate.com

New Hampshire Snowmobile Association

Researchgate

State of Connecticut DMV

December 19 is National Wreaths Across America Day

National Wreaths Across America Day - wreaths placed on veterans graves

December 19 is National Wreaths Across America Day

When Morrill Worcester was 12, he won a trip to Washington D.C. that included a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. This trip left a lasting impression on Worcester, who later founded the Worcester Wreath Company (Wreaths Across America).

At the end of the 1992 holiday season, Worcester’s company was left with a surplus of wreaths. With the memory of the trip still on his mind, Worcester decided to use this opportunity to honor the veterans buried at Arlington. Worcester, assisted by Maine Senator Olympia Snowe and others, arranged for wreaths to be placed in a section of Arlington Cemetery that was older and receiving less attention as the years passed (Wreaths Across America).

When word spread about what Worcester was doing, additional individuals and groups volunteered to help including James Prout, owner of the Blue Bird Ranch trucking company who provided transportation; volunteers from the American Legion and VFW Posts; and members of the community (Wreaths Across America).

In 2007, the Worcester family, along with various other groups and individuals, founded the non-profit Wreaths Across America organization. According to the Wreaths Across America site, “The mission of the group is simple: Remember. Honor. Teach.”

The event is currently held on the second or third Saturday in December in over 1,400 locations including all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and some overseas locations, placing hundreds of thousands of wreaths (Militarybenefits.info).

Want to know how you can get involved? Consider doing one of the following:

  • Start a fundraising group
  • Volunteer to place wreaths on veterans’ graves
  • Sponsor a wreath
  • Suggest a new location

More information about the event and opportunities to participate can be found by clicking on our links below. Waitte’s Insurance Agency is proud to be part of a community that honors the contributions of our nation’s veterans. Give us a call when you are ready to discuss your unique insurance needs.

Militarybenefits.info

Wreaths Across America

Seasonal Depression: Monster or Myth?

With summer in the rear-view mirror, the calendar begins to turn towards the autumn and winter months. Especially in New England, the temperatures will gradually decrease, the days will become shorter, and the warm sunshine will start to feel like an old friend that you just don’t get to see anymore. This combination of lack of sunlight and colder weather can cause many to feel a little down in the dumps. It’s not unusual this time of year to feel the winter blues, but is that all it is? Could there be an underlying cause? In the past couple of decades, a lot of attention has been given to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or how many refer to it as seasonal depression; but what is it exactly?

SAD Explained:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the name given to a mood disorder that seems to affect people, who are otherwise fine the rest of the year, with symptoms of depression during the same time each year, typically in the winter months.  It is thought that the colder temperatures, which forces people to stay indoors longer, coupled with the lack of sunlight in the winter months, causes people to feel depression.  Symptoms include lack of energy, decreased motivation, withdrawal from friends and family, overeating (which can lead to weight gain), and difficulty concentrating.  It is estimated that this disorder affects up to 6% of the American population, mainly concentrated in northern climates where winter is most pronounced.

Fact or Faked?

However, even though SAD is now an official clinical diagnosis, the question remains “Is SAD a legitimate disorder?”  A number of recent studies seem to suggest otherwise.  One major study published in January of 2016 examined a major cross-section of the American public (over 34,000 participants) and concluded that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that SAD is real, or that factors such as amount sunlight or temperature have any long-term effect on a person’s mental health. The results of the study suggest that SAD is an idea that might be  more rooted in folk psychology and old wives’ tales than actual science. In another clinical study in Norway — a location known for its long and severe winters — also examined a large subset of the population and concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that these symptoms were more prevalent in the winter.

The debate about Seasonal Affective Disorder will likely go on for years to come.  Even though many individuals continue to report having symptoms, evidence is mounting that SAD, in fact, might not be scientifically validated as the actual “disorder” as it was once suggested. As a result, many medical professionals are starting to question the prevailing school of thought.

Regardless, when there’s a chill in the air and the nighttime falls earlier, try not to let it get you down! Grab a nice book and bundle up by a warm, crackling fire or go outside and build a snowman with your family.  Continue to find ways to enjoy the unique activities that fall and winter can offer you in New England!

One particular activity that Connecticut and its surrounding states specialize in during the winter months is snowmobiling. Do you or someone in your family own a snowmobile and need to get it insured? No problem! Contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency to get coverage on all of your winter and recreational vehicles.

Preparing for a Hurricane in New England

Preparing for a Hurricane in New England

We are still in the midst of hurricane season and with all of the hurricane activity we have seen lately on the gulf and eastern coasts, it is an important time to prepare for a hurricane in New England. A hurricane can do lasting damage as winds whip up to over 100 miles per hour. As low-pressure meets with tropical ocean water, the conditions result in a hurricane. It surges unto land and as it travels onward, it loses its velocity. However, rain continues to fall often leading to flooding. Floods are perhaps the most deadly consequence of some hurricanes.

To help you with get your hurricane preparedness plan in place, follow these guidelines:

– Preparing for a hurricane in New England means you need a plan in place before a hurricane approaches. Make sure everyone in the family knows the plan. Test-drive the evacuation route in case you need to leave your home.

– Stock your home with essential supplies such as water, food, a first aid kit, flashlight, hand crank radio, and batteries.

– Continuously check with the national and local weather advisories and heed their warnings.

– When you hear that a hurricane is approaching, make sure your home in New England is prepared. Depending on the category rating boarding up windows or closing hurricane shutters and doors may be necessary. Especially if you are in 150 miles of the coast for a category 3 or higher level hurricane. Ensure all drain spouts are in proper working order, as well as other drains, sewers, and sump pumps.

– Check your generator to be sure it’s functional and fueled up.

– If you don’t have a generator, set your refrigerator to a colder setting in case the power goes out.

– Secure important documents that are irreplaceable.

– Check with your insurance agent to make sure your policy covers the potential damage of a hurricane. Add flood coverage if you don’t already have it.

– Cover your outdoor A/C unit with a tarp.

– Remove non-permanent outdoor equipment to a garage or basement (for example, picnic tables, patio furniture, and grills).

– Remove any loose limbs and shrubbery that is near your home.

– If the hurricane has already hit land, do not attempt to drive. Many people die in flooded waters.

Preparing for a hurricane in New England is an essential step to take now. The hurricane season doesn’t begin to die down until November. If you have any questions on hurricane preparedness or about your policy, please click here to contact us today!