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Winter Home Protection Tip: Heavy Snow Threat

Ol’ Man Winter can take his toll on your home and business unless you take steps to protect your buildings from snow and ice damage.

Heavy snow accumulation can do damage even as it melts. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Blowing snow will typically accumulate on the leeward side of many roofs and should be removed to avoid damage to your roof. If you are unsure, consult a roofing contractor. 
  • Melting snow can result in costly moisture damage. See that snow is removed from outside stairwells, windows, and walls.
  • When snow melts on the roof and water runs down and refreezes at the much cooler roof's edge, it may cause damage to your roof. This is often caused by a warm attic. To be sure the attic stays cold in the winter, check the insulation level.

Insurance Tip

Well before damage occurs, be sure that your home is protected adequately with home owners insurance. Why not call your insurance agent for a policy review if you have any question.

Here at the Daniel Howley Insurance Agency in Rockville, MD, we are ready to help you review your home owners insurance policy at your convenience.  

How to Stay Safe in a Whiteout

Winter driving can be hazardous at best. But when snow and wind combine to produce a whiteout condition, your driving survival skills become most important. Obviously, if your forecast includes such conditions, the best course of action is to stay off the roads. But if you must drive, then heed these tips for safety:

  • Gradually slow down, bringing your speed down to what is suitable for the conditions. Not only will visibility be reduced, you will need more time and distance to stop or turn on the slippery roads.
  • Make all inputs to steering and braking smooth and gentle. Accelerating, braking or turning suddenly will could result in a spin or slide when traction is lost.

In “12 Tips for Driving in a Whiteout”, offers, “In many parts of the country, driving through wind and snow is just a part of your average winter. However, it’s not every day that you get caught driving in a whiteout… Drivers are often caught off guard when snow is being blown across roadways and visibility becomes virtually nonexistent. If weather conditions are bad enough, make an executive decision to stay home.”

Read the entire article to learn driving in a winter whiteout and how to best protect yourself.

Auto Insurance Tip

We all know we should be prepared in advance by having a survival kit in the car when driving during bad winter weather. Being prepared also means knowing in advance that you have all the insurance coverage you’ll need in case an accident does occur. Be sure also to take along your insurance agent’s phone number and your auto insurance policy information, just in case. A brief visit with your agent should assure you that you are sufficiently covered for your circumstances.

The Daniel Howley Insurance Agency in Rockville, MD, is a full-service insurance agency offering auto/car insurance, homeowners insurance, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD) and Virginia (VA) since 1969. Our experienced insurance agents welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time.


Black Ice – A Major Driving Hazard

Black ice is the sudden freezing of the surface of roads and walkways. Because of its unexpected nature and the fact that it is can be nearly invisible, it is a particular challenge to drivers. Unless you are a highly-experienced road warrior, you might want to learn more about black ice.

How Does Black Ice Form?

When light rain or snow falls onto a frozen concrete or asphalt surface, instant freezing occurs, producing a thin layer of clear ice that is nearly invisible to drivers. The black road surface shows through the ice – thus the name “black ice”.

Why is Black Ice so Dangerous?

Because of its smoothness, it is more slippery than regular ice that has a more irregular surface which allows for more traction. Because of its tendency to be invisible, a driver may not even be aware of it until they are already driving on it. So there is no time to avoid it.

What Roadways Are Most Prone to Black Ice?

Patches of roads that are heavily shaded by trees and buildings as well as tunnels and underpasses will be more likely to have black ice since they do not warm as quickly. In addition, bridges may often have black ice since they are higher elevations more exposed to winds.

Can I Safely Drive on Black Ice?

When conditions are right for black ice, the best advice is to use extreme caution and slow down and discontinue your cruise control. If you sense that your car is on the slippery surface of black ice, be sure to steer carefully not making any sudden, sharp motions with the steering wheel.

How Can I Recover From a Skid on Black Ice?

Once you are into a skid, the technique you’ll use to recover depends upon what type of vehicle you are driving – whether it has front- or rear- wheel drive, all-wheel drive with or without antilock brakes. See “How do I recover from a black ice skid in a front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive car?” from ErieSense for great advice. 

Auto Insurance Tip

No matter how experienced a driver you are or how cautious you try to be, accidents do happen. Before you take to the winter roads, be sure that your Auto Insurance offers you complete coverage. It is too late to do so, once an accident occurs.

Here at the Howley Insurance Agency, we are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Why not contact us for a no-obligation policy review or to discuss your options.



Ol’ Man Winter has not been kind to us. Even though we welcome the end to ice and snow and the polar vortex they rode in on, we now must deal with the dreaded potholes they have left in their wake. Now, that same ice and snow has left us dodging potholes as we drive on our roads.

Potholes are more than just a nuisance. If your vehicle hits a pothole, you could be left with major damage and large repair bills. So would that repair bill be covered by your insurance? The answer is a strong “Maybe”. If your auto insurance policy includes the optional Collision coverage, then the damage to your vehicle sustained by hitting the pothole would typically be covered up to the limits of your policy and after the Collision deductible has been met.

But sometimes the damage is not limited to just your own vehicle. Potholes might cause you to lose control, and you might hit another car or perhaps even a pedestrian. Damages to the other car or the pedestrian are not covered by your Collision coverage but by your Liability coverage.

Auto Insurance Tip

Before you set out on pothole-damaged roads, check with your insurance agent to be sure that your auto insurance policy includes the Collision coverage to protect you as well as to check on your Liability coverage limits in the event you need them.

Find out more about what auto insurance policy typically covers.

Here at the Daniel Howley Insurance Agency, we can answer all your insurance questions. Why not sit down with us to review your coverages and policy limits to be sure you are protected just in case you need it.



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