Ask for Val: 440-247-3750 ext. 127


7 More Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Cleveland

Cleveland is a quirky place filled with interesting history and oddball people of the best kind.

cleveland traffic light

Check out these 7 interesting facts about our city and see for yourself:

1. Let There Be Light

The first city to be lit with electric lights was none other Cleveland. In 1879, the switch was flipped and for a brief moment in history Cleveland was kind of the most technologically advanced city in the world … at least, when it came to lighting it was.

2. For Those About To Rock

We all know that Alan Freed, a Cleveland disc jockey back in the day, coined the term “rock and roll,” but did you know he also staged the first ever rock concert, a show called the Moondog Coronation Ball? Now you do. 

3. Dun-Dun-Dun-DUNNNN

Cleveland as an epicenter of classical musical excellence? You bet. The rock n’ roll city is also home to the Cleveland Orchestra, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 best orchestras in the world.

4. Give A Man A Fish

The Great Lakes are a world wonder, and Lake Erie stands out among them as the most biologically productive. It has the warmest and most shallow waters, and produces more fish than any of the other Great Lakes. In fact, it has more than all the other Great Lakes combined – so go reel some in! 

5. My Pretty, Pretty

The Wicked Witch of the West is one of cinema history’s most recognizable villains, and the actress who portrayed her – Margaret Hamilton – hails from the great city of Cleveland. What that says about Cleveland is anyone’s guess.

6. If You Can Make It There

They say that when it comes to the stage, you want to be in London or Times Square, or nowhere. But you know what? Cleveland’s Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of Manhattan, so maybe it’s time to get Cleveland on the list of big players in the stage game. 

7. You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

When it comes to modern classics, A Christmas Story is the king of the holiday movies. It’s charming and hilarious and every new generation loves it as much as the last. Even better, the famous house is located right in suburban Cleveland!

In fact, it has been converted into a replica of the movie set and is now a museum. Well worth seeking out if you like pop culture fun.

4 Great Candies & Snacks Created in Ohio

If you think that working in insurance sounds a bit dull, you’d be mistaken. We have some very interesting accounts here in Northeast Ohio.

dum dum pops

Among them is Groovy Candies, one of the coolest online candy companies you’ll find – they have just about everything you love and remember from your past and present. 

That’s fitting, since Ohio is quietly one of the sweetest and “snackiest” states in the nation. Take a look at these classics that were created right here in Ohio: 

Dum Dums

Everyone knows Dum Dums, those popular lollipops you often see given away at banks and doctors offices, but did you know that they were born right here in the Buckeye State?

Made by the Spangler Candy Company, an Ohio mainstay since 1906, they have been one of the world’s most popular candies since 1924.

Life Savers

Life Savers are one of the most popular and recognizable candies in the entire world, and it turns out they have their origins right here in Ohio.

Garrettsville’s Clarence Crane invented them in 1912 because he wanted a candy that could survive hot summer days better than chocolate.

The candies, named because they resembled life preserves, were a quick hit. Crane sold off the brand a year later, and by the 1930s Life Savers had become a national staple!

Hot Dogs

Did you know this ballpark staple has its roots in Ohio? Many others try to lay claim to this fame, but the best story comes from Harry M. Stevens, an English immigrant who ended up in Niles, Ohio and became OBSESSED with baseball.

He loved it so much he designed the scorecard style still used today. His bigger contribution, however, came when he decided to sell German ‘dachshund sausages’ on handy little rolls instead of unadorned, as they usually were.

He called them red hots. A reporter supposedly couldn’t spell ‘dachshund,’ so they got translated to ‘hot dogs.’ The rest is history.

Potato Chips

Okay, we’re cheating a small bit here. Technically potato chips have been around since at least the 1820s, but you have Cleveland’s own William Tappenden to thank for turning them into the on-every-convenience-store-shelf commodity they are today.

He actually delivered chips directly to people, which helped spread their popularity, and turned chips into a big business AND into the all-American snack.

These days, Ohio is the second biggest manufacturer of potato chips in the U.S., so his legacy lasts.

5 Things To Keep in Mind When Choosing An Insurance Agent

Choosing your insurance agent should be taken as seriously as choosing an attorney or accountant.

insurance agent ohio

If I’m your agent, I’m involved in helping to protect the biggest investments you’ll ever make – your home, your business, and so on – and I’ll be among the first people you’ll talk to if something (God forbid) goes wrong.

In other words, don’t choose lightly. You don’t want to pick the first name in the phone book. Weigh your choices carefully and pick someone who will be right for you. 

You can start by following these five simple tips:

Ask For Referrals – If you want to find an agent you trust and who you enjoy working with, ask friends and family who they use. Referrals from people you trust can be a powerful thing.

Independent Agents vs. Direct Writers – Know the difference (and know the advantages of an independent agent). A direct writer works exclusively for a single insurance company. Essentially, they work to generate sales for that company.

An independent agent works for you; their main job is to look out for your interests. They are not beholden to any specific insurance provider, only to their clients.

Have Conversations – Your agent is going to be someone you’re most likely to talk to when you are in a crisis – damage to your home or car, for instance – so spend a few minutes to get a feel for your potential agent before hiring them. You want your personality to be a good match.

Location, Location, Location – Is your agent fairly local to you or do they work in some remote office that you’ll never actually see? For some people, having face-to-face access to their agent is important. If it’s important for you, shop local. If not, at least make sure they are easily accessible by phone, email, or online.

Ask For Quotes – Don’t be shy about asking for quotes up front. You wouldn’t hesitate when dealing with any other professional, so why not a potential insurance agent? A good agent will be happy to provide you with coverage and premium estimates (though remember that they are just that, estimates). If they won’t, walk away.

And one last bonus tip: check their credentials. See what certifications they have, ask about their experience in the industry, and so on. Remember, you’re hiring a professional. Make sure they ARE a professional! 

When all’s said and done, you’ll have a fantastic insurance agent who is there to serve you, there to help protect the things that are most important to you, and who can help get you through the difficult times that make insurance necessary in the first place.

Because ultimately, you need to feel good about the decision you make – and if you follow the above advice, I believe you will.

5 Essentials When Valuing Collectibles

insurance for collectibles

This might seem obvious, but it’s hard to remember all the details and specifics of what you have.

Too much detail is never a bad thing. For example, with artwork, take photos of the piece, and if it has a signature, get a close-up picture of the signed portion. You’ll also want a photo of the collection as a whole, plus a list of how many paintings were in the room, and who the artists were.

Store these pictures in a safety deposit box or someplace other than your on-site safe.


Backup your information and store it in at least two other places, ie use both an external storage device and some sort of cloud-based service such as DropBox or Google Drive.


If you want to do this every single year, by all means, do so. Again, being too careful cannot hurt you in any way.


You insurance should include a schedule for high valued items and collectibles at retail replacement value. To value an item, have it appraised at a jeweler, auction site, or a specialized dealer.

Give your agent a copy of the appraisal for record keeping, as it is necessary to submit to the insurance company for coverage. You should also keep copies of all appraisals with your inventory backups.


Depending on your insurance policy and the item scheduled, the carrier might weigh the price of restoration and any diminution in value against the cost of replacement.

For example, if a painting is damaged by smoke or water during a fire, it might be possible to clean the painting without any loss in value. Knowing the possibilities ahead of time will help your piece of mind – a good independent insurance agent can help.

Live in Northeast Ohio? Have more questions or need advice on insuring your valuables? Get in touch with me here


Apartment buildings for sale in Cleveland and Lorain, Ohio.  I highly recommend Ruset Patrascu with Phoenix9 Realty, Inc.  See the links below for all property listings:

Properties for Sale 11-12-2015for sale




Drivers beware: October, November, December, deer accidents double, especially during early morning and evening commutes.
The average cost of a claim is $4135 and the odds of hitting a deer are 1 in 169.
*Wear your seatbelt
*Be alert at dusk and dawn
*Avoid being distracted
*If deer is near the road, break firmly and slow down, they usually travel in herds.
*Do not swerve around the animal
*Watch for road signs of warnings of deer
*Deer whistles and reflectors have not proven to be effective in alerting or scaring off deer.
*Make arrangements for roadside assistance ahead of time and check with your insurance agent
* Move your vehicle of the side of the road, turn on hazard lights
* Call police
*Take photos of incident, the animal involved, the auto, and any injuries sustained.

Do I Need an Umbrella?

You may be asking yourself how much protection do I really need? If I have auto and homeowners insurance, is an additional umbrella insurance policy really necessary? Here at Val Seminaro Insurance, it is my business to provide you with the facts by performing a risk assessment to determine your specific individual excess liability needs. You can then make an informed decision on whether or not an umbrella insurance policy is best suited for you.

While both auto and homeowners insurance policies are constructed to provide customary protection,umbrella 2 umbrella insurance offers a level of additional liability coverage that can pay for expenses above and beyond existing policy limits. For example, the average household carries a typical auto insurance policy that will cover claims up to $300,000. Something to consider is that if you or someone insured under your policy is responsible for causing a severe or fatal accident, it is impossible to predict the potentially catastrophic financial losses that could be incurred. An umbrella policy can provide that extra asset protection above and beyond your current policy limits to cover lawsuit settlements, medical and other expenses.

Your son blinds a playmate with his BB gun. Your daughter rear-ends a car, causing serious injuries to its driver. A neighbor breaks his neck by diving into the shallow end of your swimming pool. Your teenager’s friend drinks liquor at your house, then paralyzes another driver in a car crash. You serve on the board of a nonprofit that fails to pay its tax bill. Which of these scenarios makes you a candidate for umbrella insurance? All of the above.

Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future. We also live in a “sue-happy” society. We hear and read quite often about all kinds of ordinary and bizarre accidents and those exuberant lawsuits that go along with them. As long as you have assets you want to protect, it may be a wise choice to consider an extra cushion to safeguard yourself against the unexpected. Umbrella policies range in coverage from one up to ten million dollars with premiums being quite reasonable considering the potential payout and added financial protection they offer. Call me today to discuss your options.

Shopping for Homeowners Insurance

When shopping for a new home, important factors relating to homeowners insurance are likely thehome furthest thing from your mind. Let’s face it; as a buyer, you certainly would be most focused on finding your dream home, in the perfect location, for the right price. It only makes sense, right?

But an important and often overlooked consideration is the insurance implications of your purchase. You will be paying insurance on your home for as long as you own it, so you should factor the cost of insurance into the home-buying process. You don’t want to find out that your dream home is more expensive to insure than you thought—after you own it!

Since it’s hard to turn back the clock after finding that heartwarming needle in a haystack, doing a little homework beforehand can help save you money on your homeowners insurance and prevent unexpected surprises. The checklist below outlines some of the important variables that your premium will be based on:

 What is the age of the home?
 What is the square footage?
 What is the age and type of roof?
 What is the age of the electrical and plumbing?
 What is the claim history on the home over the past five years?
 Is there for potential for flooding in the area?
 Are there any high-risk special features on the premises?
 Are there fire hydrants easily accessible and is the fire department permanently staffed?

By keeping these important aspects at the forefront when you embark on that exciting journey for your new home, you will have the knowledge to possibly to help yourself in the long run. Additionally, taking the time to speak with me prior to shopping for your new home would be advisable. I can also give you more in-depth insight into what to look for and what to potentially expect.

Insure Body Parts?

Celebrities insurance and their lucrative body parts:  Per Melissa Hillebrand article through Property Casualty 360:

Taylor Swift: 5’10” singer/songwriter reportedly insured her legs for $40 million

Bette Davis: In the 1940’s the actress purchased a policy to protect her weight gain. The star’s policy was for $28,000 if she grew to any size beyond her 25″ corset.

Bruce Springsteen: Insured his voice for 6 million.

Daniel Craig: Plays James Bond who performs his own stunts. His first appearance as 007 in “CASINO Royale” he insured his body for $7.7 milllion. For the 2008 sequel, he upped the price

to $9.5 million.

Dolly Parton: Country singer insured her famous breast for $600,000

Jennifer Lopez : The singer reportedly protects her derriere with a $27 million policyIMG_0570

Julia Roberts: the “Pretty Woman” with the million dollar smile insured her pearly whites for $30 million

Cristiano Ronaldo : European soccer club Real Madrid insured the legs of its star player, Christiano Ronaldo for $144 million

Keith Richards: the founding member and guitarist of the Rolling Stones insured his hands for $1.6 million.







Frozen pipes: 5 ways to protect and thaw them

frozen pipeHomeowners and renters should check their insurance policies to make sure there is enough coverage to cover damage caused by frozen pipes.

Pipes under the sink by any outside wall,any unheated attics or crawl spaces are of concern.

As water in pipes freeze, it creates as much as 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. That is enough to cause almost any pipe filled with water to rupture.

1. UNUSUAL SOUNDS:  When you flush the toilet or use the sink, air that cannot escape to the sewer lines crates a bubbling noise. This can be a sign of a broken pipe and should be inspected.

Other sounds would be whiltling, banging or clanking.

2. ODORS:  Sewage has a distinctly unpleasant odor and can be a dead giveaway that something is wrong.

3. DAMP DRYWALL:  Leaking pipes will release water and damp drywall or wet rings on the ceiling are indicators there is a problem. Sink holes in the yard can also be a sign there is a break in the main underground  pipes.

4. PERSISTENT PLUMBING ISSUES:  If you turn the water on and nothing comes out, something is wrong. Persistent clogs or a slow flushing toilet is also an indicator.

5. WET OR ICED PIPES:  Pipes that are exposed may show frost or bulge which indicates they are frozen.


First turn off the water at that section or the entire house.

Next, open the faucet of the frozen pipe to allow water to flow through and relieve the buildup of any pressure.

Apple heat to the section of the frozen pipe. Wrap a heating pad around the pipe, heat with a blow dryer, wrap the pipes in towels of soaked warm water, or us a space heater to heat up the area. Apply heat until the water pressure is restored and the water flows freely. If you can’t identify the location, call a certified plumber.

One other thing to consider when protecting your home against all types of weather damage is your insurance. Give me a call or shoot me an email to review your current coverage on your home.

We can makes sure you’re covered against this type of pipe damage and also see if we could maybe save you some money every month.

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Contact Me

Ask for Val: 440-247-3750
Email Me:

7227 Chagrin Road
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

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