Maintain Your Clothes Dryer

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 7,000 annual residential fire losses in which the source of the fire is in the clothes dryer or vent. Dryers are the third most common type of equipment involved in fires, ranking behind stoves and fixed area heaters. Clothes dryers can catch fire due to excessive lint buildup in the exhaust pipe or inside the dryer; this lint buildup is often out of sight. As a result, you should take the following steps to reduce the chance of your dryer starting a fire.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe.
  • Keep the dryer vent clean and unclogged.   Check for a clogged vent if the dryer does not dry clothes efficiently.
  • Remove and clean the lint screen before each use.
  • Keep all combustibles away from the clothes dryer.
  • Hire a qualified technician to periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.

 Clothes Dryer Fire Inside Dryer VentOutside Dryer Vent

Baltimore Restaurant Week February 16 – 23

Come dine at one of the fabulous restaurants participating in this week’s Baltimore Restaurant Week which runs now through this Sunday, February 23rd.  Some of the area’s top restaurants are offering special three-course menus, plus some restaurants are offering two-course lunch or brunch menus at special pricing as well.  Click here for information about the participating restaurants, as well as all the information about the restaurant you will need to decide where you would like to eat next!

Is Your Insurance Ready For College?

Is your insurance ready for college? If “back to school” means college for your son or daughter, make sure your home and car insurance is ready. Get our infographic at

Does your insurance cover your child at college?

Is your insurance ready for college?

Howard County Fair Starts Saturday

The 2013 68th Annual Howard County Fair will be held this Saturday, August 3rd and runs through Saturday, August 10th.   The hours are 8:00 am until 11:00 pm daily.  Parking is FREE and admission is $5.00 for ages 10 years and older; $2 for Seniors age 62 and older.  Food, fun, animals, rides and activities…something for everyone!  You don’t want to miss the GREAT Howard County Fair this year!  See you at the Fair!Howard County Fair 2013

What is a Trusted Choice Agency?

Well, as a Trusted Choice agency, we have access to many different insurance markets, and have made a commitment to help find the right insurance carrier for you that offers the coverage you need at a competitive premium…but that is just the beginning.  We take our Pledge of Performance very seriously.  Read over our pledge and see what you can expect as our customer:  

Trusted Choice® Pledge of Performance

Trusted Choice®agencies are insurance and financial services firms whose access to multiple companies and commitment to quality service enable us to offer our clients competitive pricing, a broad choice of products and unparalleled advocacy.As a Trusted Choice® agency, we are dedicated to you and are committed to treating you as a person, not a policy. This commitment means we shall:

  • Work with you to identify the insurance and financial services that  are right for you, your family or your business and use our access to multiple companies to deliver those products.
  • Guide you through the claims process for a prompt and fair resolution of your claim.
  • Help you solve problems related to your coverage or account.
  • Explain the coverages and options available to you through our agency, at your request.
  • Return your phone calls and e-mails promptly and respond to your requests in a timely manner.
  • Provide 24/7 services for our customers, offering any or all of the following: emergency phone numbers, Internet account access, e-mail and call center services.
  • Use our experience and multiple company relationships to customize your coverage as needed.
  • Commit our staff to continuing education so they may be more knowledgeable in serving you.
  • Treat you with respect and courtesy.
  • Conduct our business in an ethical manner.

We pledge this to you, our clients and ask that you let us know if we fail to meet our commitment, so we may take corrective action.

Support the Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge!!

We have this crazy employee named Matt Hiley who will be taking part in the Polar Bear Plunge on January 26th at Sandy Point State Park. The Annual MSP Plunge benefits the Maryland Special Olympics.  Matt has volunteered as a Swim Team Coach for Howard County Special Olympics for the past 3 years and this year he has agreed to take the plunge!  Show your support for Matt by making a donation, or just coming out to Sandy Point to cheer him on and watch him shiver!!  Click here for the link to Matt’s page:



Retirement Congratulations!

Health Dept CSRWe would like to extend hearty congratulations to Deborah Whattam on her December retirement! Deborah has worked at our agency for the past seven years in our Health Department, and prior to that had a long career in the insurance P & C industry. We wish her the very best as she starts this new chapter in her life!

Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance Offers Quality Insurance Products For Over 140 Years

Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance Inc. has offered superior quality insurance products to people and businesses since 1871. The company is very proud of its ability to offer high quality insurance to its customers. Their extraordinary team of customer service experts takes pride in the excellent reputation they have earned for great service and for their exceptional customer focus.

Businesses from Maryland and from many other states have relied on Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance for their insurance needs for decades. Rossmann Hurt Hoffman provides quality insurance to restaurants. They also offer general liability insurance for contractors such as plumbers, electricians, roofer’s, landscapers, flooring, roofing, street and road contractors. They provide insurance products to many other businesses as well.

Rossmann Hurt Hoffman offers car insurance and professional liability insurance in addition to their premium insurance products for businesses. The Maryland based company is also licensed and able to offer insurance products in many other states.

The company has special programs in place that allow them to find the best rates for each customer based on their needs. This very customer focused operation has earned an excellent reputation in the insurance business. All their systems are automated allowing them to work quickly and efficiently to find the best insurance for each clients needs.

With total customer focus, they take pride when they are able to get great rates for their clients and offer the best insurance products for the best price. They always strive to build long-term relationships with each client and the relationships are based on trust. This company-wide philosophy is practiced by everyone that works for Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance, Inc. Their highly trained team finds the best products available on a case by case basis, and offers those products to clients at very competitive prices.

Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance, Inc. has received the honor of being named a Best Practice Agency out of 900 eligible candidates. This is an honor and an amazing achievement. Only 195 were selected for this competitive honor and Rossmann Hurt Hoffman Insurance was proud to be named a Best Practice Agency for 2004 and 2005.

CDC’s Hurricane Health & Safety Tips | Ellicott City Insurance

Stay informed about Hurricane Readiness with new social media tools such as twitter, facebook, eCards, buttons, badges, and widgets! The CDC Hurricane Tips widget allows you to display the tips directly on your webpage. You can embed content in personalized homepages, blogs, and other sites. Once you’ve added the widget, there’s no technical maintenance. CDC will update the content automatically.

Learn more about social media tools>>  - Get the widget >>


Protect Belongings in Self Storage Units

The Self Storage Association, or SSA, reports an estimated 10 percent of Americans rent a storage unit, contributing to an industry that brings in $20 billion a year in revenue, making self storage the fastest growing commercial real estate section in the last 30 years.

With so many people storing personal property, it is important to consider storage insurance. Rental agreements with the average storage unit dictate the tenant as responsible for lost or damaged goods within the unit. A tenant would have to refer to personal insurance coverage first. A limit equal to 10 percent of the personal property within a storage unit is provided, according to the 2011 ISO HO 3. This limit of liability is not always sufficient.

Take for instance a homeowner who downsizes from a 3,500 to a 1,600 square foot home due to financial hardship. The homeowner rents a storage unit for the personal property that does not fit in the smaller home, such as furniture, art, tools, televisions, lawn equipment or appliances. The college-bound children store items in the unit as well.

If the new home has a personal property limit of $60,000 and is insured for $120,000, then the personal property coverage for the items in the storage unit is $6,000. Given the expensive items in the storage unit, this figure could be far too low for adequate insurance coverage.

In order to bridge a gap in coverage, there are 3 options. One option includes increasing the personal property insurance amount in the self storage facility endorsement (HO 06 14), which will increase the storage unit’s limit of liability coverage. Another option is to add the items in the storage unit to a personal inland marine policy, or floater, to allow for more coverage. A third option is to buy extra coverage through the storage facility. This option may be more expensive than a homeowner’s policy and require a deductible of $100 to $500. Storage facilities often charge $.50 to $2 per $100 of property.

With these options for covering potential insurance gaps, calculating the value of stored property is important to determine if and how much extra coverage is needed, taking into account the size of the deductible. Once all the factors have been contemplated, the decision for extra insurance can be made.