Clarke & Sampson Blog

Scott Jefferson

Recent Posts

Understanding Home Replacement Cost

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Dec 12, 2013 8:18:00 AM

Whether you are purchasing coverage for the first time or reevaluating coverage that has been in place for years, every homeowner should understand what "replacement cost" means relative to homeowners insurance. To start, here is a simple definition:

The replacement cost of a home is the cost to rebuild that home exactly as it is now, in its current location, with like kind and quality of materials, in the event of a total loss.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Historic Home, Alexandria VA

Family Trust Management: Am I Personally Liable?

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Nov 26, 2013 9:30:00 AM

Over the next decade, trillions of dollars will transfer hands through family managed trusts in an effort to preserve and distribute family assets. Generally a volunteer or designated family members act as the managers of the trust. With a sense of duty, the trust manager carries out the tasks at hand with the very best of intentions. Unfortunately, the best intentions don't always result in the desired outcome for each and all. As a result, trust managers are increasingly finding themselves faced with legal suits for alleged breach of duty.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Personal Liability, Historic Home

Starting a Business: An Insurance Perspective

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Nov 19, 2013 9:35:00 AM

Starting a business can require a significant investment of time and money, but, in select cases, that is a risk we are willing to take. After all, we start businesses to take risks. No risk, no reward, right? There are some risks associated with running a business, however, that we would prefer not to take. That’s were business insurance comes into play. Business insurance protects your organization from unexpected events such as a lawsuit, an injured employee, death of a partner, theft, natural disasters, and more. 

Be sure to have the coverages required by law

Workers compensation is a legal requirement in most states if you have employees. This coverage pays for medical, pharmaceutical, and other health care costs of employees’ work related injuries. It also covers a portion of lost wages while the employee is unable to work. Failure to carry this coverage could result in steep penalties, such as fines, stop work orders, and prison terms.

Auto insurance is required by law at the state level. If you intend on having a commercial auto as part of your operations, you’ll need to make sure you are carrying the proper coverage. Each state has specific minimum requirements for bodily injury and property damage liability. Please note, however, that the minimum limits are rarely sufficient to protect the business from an auto related loss. Consult an agent to assess your exposure and determine the proper auto coverage options and limits.   

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Topics: Business Insurance, Workers Compensation, Data Breach, Professional Liability

Protecting Your Home With Thermal Imaging

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Nov 15, 2013 12:02:00 PM

Thermal imaging has become a hot topic amongst homeowners. Originally developed to identify enemy soldiers at night, thermal imaging is now used in everything from medical applications to building construction. The technology is catching the attention of homeowners because it provides valuable information on three major concerns of homeowners: heating and cooling efficiency, water damage and mold, and unwanted guests such as termites and rodents.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Home Security, Thermal Inspection, Thermal Imaging

Protecting Your Trusts and LLCs

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Nov 8, 2013 8:03:00 AM

Holding personal real estate in a Trust or LLC is a common practice in the United States, whether it is for estate planning, limiting personal liability, or tax reasons. According to the IRS, the personal use of LLCs and trusts has increased substantially over the last decade. Most people are not aware, however, that the use of these instruments influences how your property insurance should be structured. In our experiences, it is a common misconception that assets held in LLCs and trusts are protected from liability. The reality is that even a trust or LLC could be liable if there is an injury on the property.

How are trusts and LLCs used?

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Home Security, Personal Liability

Insuring Your Historic Home

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Oct 30, 2013 4:41:00 PM

Whether you live in a revolutionary war era farm home or an early 1930s federal style townhome, it's probably the charm, elegance, and history of the home that you fell in love with. Your home may also have a special place in your heart because, frankly, they just don't make homes like they used to.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Home Security, Historic Home

Insuring Against Flood: Alexandria Edition

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Oct 16, 2013 1:31:00 PM

With our proximity to the Potomac River, we enjoy its beauty and countless recreational opportunities. With this proximity, however, we are faced with unique flood risks. This risk is nothing new. Flooding has threatened life and destroyed property since  Alexandria was first settled in 1695. As new developments and redeveloped areas spring up along the Potomac and its feeder creeks, understanding flood risk is more important than ever. 

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Topics: Flood Insurance, Flood Facts, Alexandria Flood, Business Insurance, Personal Insurance

What Is Terrorism Insurance (TRIA)?

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Oct 11, 2013 9:35:00 AM

While working on commercial insurance packages we are often presented with the question, “What the heck is terrorism insurance?” Terrorism insurance is protection against damages by certified acts of terrorism as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. In order to qualify as terrorism, the act typically must be a violent action, or threat to human life, property or infrastructure, that attempts to influence people, policy, or government conduct.

As a result of the attacks on September 11, insurance carriers suffered enormous losses. In the midst of an unstable insurance market, the government enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act to serve as a backstop against catastrophic losses.

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Topics: Business Insurance, Terrorism Insurance

Four Reasons To Have a Home Security System

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Oct 8, 2013 9:43:00 AM

Each year an average of 16.3 million reported burglaries occur, threatening life and property. It’s no wonder homeowners seeking peace of mind often turn to home security systems. Home security systems can be beneficial in a number of ways. Here are four major reasons you should have a home security system:

1. Home security systems reduce risk of theft.

Homes without professional security systems are three times as likely to be victims of theft. Why? It is simple; thieves look for easy targets.

2. Faster response to burglary, fire, and carbon monoxide.

Home security systems have 24 hour monitoring through a network or interconnected monitoring centers, which helps to ensure that both you and the proper authorities are notified as soon as possible of a potential threat.

3. Reduced cost of homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance companies offer discounts up to 20% for home security systems. In the case of a high value home, insurance companies often require home security systems.

4. Reduced risk of victimization as a result of burglary.

Trauma, bodily injury, and death are the greatest threats of burglary. Personal property can be replaced, but a life cannot. According to government statistics, 7% of burglaries involve violent victimization. Home security systems can deter burglars, decrease authority response time, and help capture and prosecute burglars, all of which help to protect lives.

Your safety and security is a priority at Clarke & Sampson. If you have any questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Home Security

Hurricane Preparedness

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Sep 10, 2013 11:45:00 AM

Hurricane season began as of June 1, and although storm activity has been limited so far, we shouldn’t let our guard down. Hurricane season extends through November 30, with some of our worst storms on record occurring in the latter half of the season. Here is some quick insight on hurricane basics and how to prepare (in advance) for the big one.

To start, here is a quick run through the terminology:

Tropical Depression – Tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less.
Tropical Storm – Tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph
Hurricane – A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.  When these types of storms form in the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons.
Major Hurricane – A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 or higher, corresponding to a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane.

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Topics: Hurricane Preparedness, Personal Insurance