How much is my jewelry really worth?

How much is my jewelry really worth?

Valentines Day is upon us! 

It is the most popular time of year for giving or receiving jewelry. Whether you are the giver or the receiver (or if you currently own valuable jewelry) the following information can be very helpful in determining to insure or not to insure.  

Did you know that coverage for jewelry is limited on your homeowner’s insurance policy?  There is typically some basic coverage that applies. That limit can vary from company to company.  It is important that know how much coverage your policy provides.  Discuss this with your agent so that you know how much coverage you may or may not have.

To insure or not to insure

Loss to your everyday jewelry may already be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, subject to the policy deductible. If you have jewelry that exceeds the limit provided by your current policy, you are able to add coverage for those items. To do this, you would need to provide your agent with a copy of an appraisal or bill of sale that includes a complete description of the item. The item would then be “scheduled” on your insurance policy and you would be covered for theft, loss and mysterious disappearance. You would also have coverage for loss of a stone from its setting.  You would see the item specifically described on your insurance documents. Scheduling the item(s) on your policy provides broader coverage and gives you the option of choosing a lower deductible. 


 Because this issue is so important, The Winstead Agency is bringing one of the leading jewelry appraisers in the mid-Atlantic into our office on March 4th to help customers get the documentation needed to update their policies.  Vincent Lash, who is a Graduate Gemologist (GIA) with 40 years of experience, has agreed to appraise each item for only $45.  This is a very special deal and easily half of what jewelry stores charge for a similar service.  What’s more, everything is done in front of you, there is no need to leave your items, and your documentation is ready within days.

Call your Agent 

It is important that you know what is and what is not covered by your insurance.  Take time to contact your agent for clear, concise answer to any of your coverage questions.  

If you are interested in participating in the upcoming jewelry appraisal event, please contact us today at 410-398-6700.

Barry Winstead awarded Elkton’s Small Business Of The Year Award

Barry Winstead awarded Elkton’s Small Business Of The Year Award

Every year The Elkton Chamber of Commerce honors one business person as someone who exemplifies a commitment to local business and has been voted by the Chamber committee. 

This year, Barry Winstead was honored to accept the award. 


Read the article on the Cecil Whig here:

Hit deer accident – now what?

Hit deer accident – now what?

Being involved in an accident with a deer is a frightening ordeal. They often jump out of nowhere, making it nearly impossible for even the best drivers to avoid the collision. If this has happened to you, you’re likely wondering what your next steps should be.  

Well, first of all, if you’re searching the internet on the topic while you’re still on the scene, safety is your main priority — both for you, your passengers and other people on the road. 

This means, if the accident is serious and the vehicle can’t be moved, you should exit the vehicle (if possible) and get out of the line of traffic, so you will not be hit by oncoming traffic. Immediately call the authorities so they can help secure the road, clear debris and direct vehicles by the area safely. If the accident is not very serious and you think you can move the car off the road without danger, do so quickly to protect yourself and so your vehicle isn’t a hazard.

After you’re safe

Once you, your vehicle and your passengers are safe and out of the road, it’s also very important to let your insurance company know as soon as possible. Take some photos of the scene if you can, because these may be useful in a car insurance claim. Pictures of the damage, the road, the animal and anything else could clarify the incident. Also, if there are any witnesses who stopped, ask for their contact information and an account of what they saw.

But am I covered?

The main question you’ll have at this point is — am I covered? While state laws differ somewhat, generally, the answer is simple. 

If you have comprehensive car insurance, and you’ve been paid your deductible, an accident where a vehicle directly strikes an animal in the road should be covered. Because most states only require liability insurance though, this is the only insurance that many drivers have. Those with only liability insurance will not be covered, because it is meant only to protect other drivers on the road from when you are responsible for an accident. 

Collision insurance that is not comprehensive may cover you, but only if you swerved to miss the animal and struck another vehicle (or even an object like a tree or median). Hitting an animal will not likely be covered. So the likely answer to, “Am I covered?” is, only if you have comprehensive insurance.

Questions about car insurance? Ask Winstead!

The details of car insurance, and insurance claims, can be complicated. It pays to have an insurance company in your corner that you can trust. For our customers, whether in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland or North Carolina, Winstead Insurance in Elkton, Maryland, has been that trusted representative since 1956.

If you want to review your coverage options, and maybe strengthen them to protect from unpredictable elements like wayward deer, call our office today at 410-398-6700.

Why is my insurance agent asking about my dog?

Why is my insurance agent asking about my dog?

If you are shopping for a dog this Christmas, you might want to ask your insurance agent about things to consider when making that purchase from your homeowner’s liability standpoint. We know, the puppy seems cute and harmless but believe it or not there’s reason to pause. 

Dog bites are the #1 cause of liability claims under homeowners insurance in America.

According to reported statistics, dog bite claims totaled 18,522 in 2017 with an average claim settlement of $37,051, for a total annual payout of $686,258,622. So your insurance carrier has a good reason to want to know the breed of dog you are purchasing. Some dogs simply have a much greater potential to do more damage to someone if they are involved in an attack because of the power of their bite.

Some carriers exclude certain breeds in MD, other carriers do not exclude, but if your dog has a claim from a bite to a person or another dog, the dog will have to be removed from your ownership or the carrier will not renew your policy. We understand that sometimes the bite was not the fault of the dog, but that is very hard to prove, and if the victim is a child, really will not count for much in a court of law. It seems like the carrier will always have to pay a settlement.

Breads with the highest risk

  • Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers.
  • Doberman Pinschers.
  • Chows.
  • Rottweilers.
  • Presa Canarios.
  • German Shepherds.
  • Great Danes.
  • Akitas.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 410-398-6700.

We love dogs and understand the value they can bring to their owner’s life, but like most things, there are issues to consider, you do not want a large lawsuit hanging over you head and not have coverage for it.


Insurance costs on new vs. old vehicles

Insurance costs on new vs. old vehicles

When buying a vehicle, one of many factors you may think about is how the age of the various options will affect your insurance costs. 

People’s instincts on this tend to immediately jump to one of two conclusions. Many think that because the shiny, new car is worth much more than an equivalent model that has aged, the newer car must cost more to insure. With other items, like houses or jewelry, the more expensive the property, the higher the cost to insure it. 

 Other people assume that because older cars don’t have many of the safety features of the newer cars, accidents are more likely and insurance companies will charge more to cover them. Maybe the older cars will also have problems on the road, like with power steering, brakes or other aging parts, that will lead to more accidents. 

The reality

It’s not so easy to say that age by itself is a factor that raises or lowers your insurance rates. An insurance company actually may look more favorably on a specific make and model, even if it is a few years in the past, if it is known to be safe, reliable and came with many safety features, than it would on a new vehicle that is not as trustworthy or safety focused. 

 The value of the vehicle is definitely a factor, however. Newer cars tend to be more valuable than older ones — when all other things are equal — so older cars do have an insurance cost advantage in that sense. 

 As the value of the used car falls even further over time, you can even drop comprehensive and collision insurance altogether, which significantly lowers the cost of coverage. This is not recommended for new cars because of their higher values, but it may be a way to save money if you know the vehicle is reaching the end of its days on the road anyway. 

 So, overall, it is generally cheaper to insure older cars, but the safety features of newer cars, among other factors like make and model, mean this is not always the case. 

Investigating insurance costs? Ask Winstead!

Getting precise answers to questions like how the age of a vehicle will affect your insurance costs is difficult. It really does depend on your specific details. 

 Winstead Insurance, based in Elkton, Maryland, is licensed to write policies in DE, PA, MD, NC and can give quotes based on whatever factors you’re weighing. We have been around since 1956 and have stayed in business by delivering the best rates and coverage with a personal touch. Give us a call at 410-398-6700 to get a quote today on your vehicle insurance. 


How does salt affect my car?

How does salt affect my car?

There are a lot of tradeoffs in life. As a society, we want to stay safe in the winter by de-icing the roads with salt, but have to accept the unintended consequences — people’s cars are damaged as the salt causes serious rusting.

Salt and “brine” (which is a mixture of salt, water and sometimes other elements) are great at melting ice cheaply and efficiently by lowering the melting point of precipitation from 32 degrees down to about 15 degrees. But to get this benefit, we have accepted that people will have to be aware of and protect their cars from rust damage.

Protecting your car from salt

While any part of your vehicle could be affected by rusting (at least any metal part), the undercarriage of the vehicle is especially in danger as salty water splashes up from the road. Parts like the muffler, fuel lines and brakes are common victims of salt-induced rust damage.

But this doesn’t have to happen to your car. There really is a simple solution — wash the salt off your car. In areas that have long winters with many snow storms, it may mean two car washes per week. Most areas will be fine with two a month during the winter, taking care to wash the vehicle immediately after the roads have cleared of snow, ice and salt.

Focus on the undercarriage

It cannot be emphasized enough that the real danger to the car from salt is to the undercarriage of the vehicle. Because this part of the car is not visible as you enter and exit your vehicle, it may be out-of-sight, out-of-mind, but be aware that rust is likely causing unseen damage if you ignore this part of the car.

During your weekly or bi-weekly car washes, try to find a good drive through wash that sprays the bottom of the car well. If you can get a wax coat to finish off the wash, even better. During the spring and summer, you likely don’t have to wash your car this often to protect it from salt, unless you live by the ocean, but in the winter, it really is necessary in order to ensure your vehicle stays in working condition.

Protecting your vehicle goes beyond avoiding rust

If you’re really serious about protecting your vehicle, not just from salt in the winter, but all year long, it’s vital to get the right car insurance. Winstead Insurance in Elkton, Maryland, is licensed to write policies in DE, PA, MD, NC and has been in business since 1956. Give us a call today at 410-398-6700 to get a quote on your vehicle insurance.