Special Personal Property

Photo Courtesy StockVault.net

Special Personal Property

For the most part, the majority of homeowners insurance policies do not have the Special Personal Property endorsement. This is an added coverage (with added cost) that expands the “perils insured against” on a policy.

There 3 forms to a homeowners insurance policy which spell out what they will cover as far as losses or “perils insured against”. Let’s take a look at what each will cover:

Basic Form – This property form covers the least as far as “perils insured against” and only includes coverage for specifically named perils. If the loss doesn’t occur due to one of these perils, the loss will not be covered:

-Fire
-Lightning
-Wind or Hail
-Explosion
-Smoke
-Vandalism
-Aircraft or Vehicle Collision
-Riot or Civil Commotion
-Sinkhole Collapse
-Volcanic Activity

Again, if the loss isn’t by one of these perils – there is no coverage (this includes personal property damage as well). Vacant dwellings, dwellings under renovation, or dwellings in poor condition usually carry this form of coverage.

Broad Form – The majority of homeowners policies fall into this category which includes the above named perils but also includes the following:

-Burglary
-Falling Objects
-Weight of Ice and Snow
-Freezing of Pipes
-Accidental Water Damage
-Artificially Generated Electricity

Just as with the Basic Form, if the loss wasn’t the result of one of these perils it is excluded from coverage.

Special Form – This form is often reserved for high-valued properties and often has the price tag to match. This is the most-comprehensive as far as coverage since coverage is extended to any loss that isn’t excluded on the policy. Take a look at the exclusions section of a homeowners policy and there you will find the list of losses not covered. Some of them are:

-Ordinance of Law
-Earthquake
-Flood
-Power Failure
-Neglect
-War
-Nuclear Hazard
-Intentional Acts

This is just a small list of exclusions, you can check your own homeowners policy to see all the exclusions to get an idea of what the Special Form covers.

You can by endorsement change your policy from Broad Form to Special Form by adding the Special Personal Property Endorsement. This will make coverage for your dwelling, other structures, & personal property into “all risK, or whatever is not excluded on the policy is covered.

The majority of homeowners do not see the need for the additional expense, but it is an option if you feel you need the additional protection. Talk with your insurance agent or company for more information on the Special Personal Property Endorsement to see if it is right for your situation.

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Camping Safety Tips 2021

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net

Camping Safety Tips 2021

More and more people are opting for camping out rather than stay in hotels these days in an effort to get away from large crowds and enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors. We found this article from KOA (Kampgrounds of America) with tips whether you are a seasoned camper or new to the activity!

Decide on Your Camping Preference. If you cannot afford to buy or rent a camper or RV, you should decide whether cabin camping or traditional tent camping is right for you. Take into consideration the equipment required, your age, & physical limitations. Tent camping can be a bit more physical where cabin camping is almost like staying in a hotel.

Watch the Weather and Plan Accordingly. The weather can change in an instant, so watch the weather forecasts before you leave. Pack accordingly for the weather expected such as rain or high heat & humidity.

Be Careful with Your Food. Use waterproof & airtight containers to store your food and do not leave anything out in the open that can attract wildlife. Practice safe cooking preparation, washing hands & separating cooked from raw foods.

Campfire Safety is Paramount. Campfires should be at least 15 feet from vegetation and tents. Most campsites offer a fire ring to help contain the fire, if camping out the in wilderness be sure to adhere to the guidelines to help prevent forest fires.

Protect Yourself from Insects. Use non-water soluable insect repellents and check yourself and others (including pets) for ticks, even in unlikely areas. Wear long pants/long sleeve shirts when hiking and it is recommended you put your clothing in the dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes when you get home to kill any insects that may have come home in your clothing.

Be sure to read the full article from KOA with more tips on keep you and your family safe while camping in the great outdoors!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Fireworks Safety 2021

(photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Fireworks Safety 2021

A report from 2017 found that 8 people died and over 12,000 were injured due to firework accidents. Half of those injured were children and young adults. Also, firework account for over 18,000 fires each year. It’s wonderful to celebrate the founding of our country through the magic of fireworks, but you need to keep yourself and others safe while using them. This article from the National Safety Council has tips to keep you safe while also having fun with fireworks this weekend:

  • NEVER allow young children to handle fireworks. Even “harmless” sparklers can cause injury from the sparks and the temperature can reach as high as 2400F degrees which can result in serious burns.
  • NEVER use fireworks while on drugs or alcohol. Just as with operating a motor vehicle, your judgement is impaired and you may not be thinking clearly or aware of your surroundings which could cause serious injury or damage.
  • NEVER hold fireworks in your hand. Many injuries from fireworks occur when people hold them in their hands. A split second could mean a lost appendage or worse.
  • NEVER point fireworks at people/animals/buildings. We’ve all seen the videos online of people shooting roman candles at each other or tossing firecrackers under lawn chairs for a laugh. Ending up in the emergency room or worse is not fun.
  • SOAK spent or malfunctioned fireworks in water. Make sure they are submerged for at least a few hours before tossing in the garbage.

Fireworks for the Fourth of July is an American tradition, a wonderful display to cap off a day of celebration with friends and family. You can enjoy them and still be safe, read the full article from the National Safety council for more tips!

Contact Us! At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Additional Living Expenses

House demolition debris next to modern buildings.

Additional Living Expense

A devastating building collapse occurred in Miami, Florida early this morning that essentially took the fa├žade of the building along with dozens of condominium units with it. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims at this time.

The question comes about as far as residents who lost their condominium units as well as the other unit owners whose units were undamaged. The building of course will be slated as non-inhabitable whether the rest of the units are okay. The concern is that the building is now unstable and could completely collapse. What are the residents to do if they are unable to access their unit? If they have condominium owners insurance (and we assume that they all did), they would be able to take advantage of the Additional Living Expense coverage on their policy.

Sometimes referred to as “Loss of Use” coverage, this coverage provides funds to help insureds when they are displaced from their home or condominium unit due to a covered loss. Collapse is a covered peril on most home/renters/condominium insurance policies.

This coverage affords funds to get a hotel/motel/apartment to live in while your residence is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. It also affords funds for expenses incurred that you would not have normally incurred if you were able to live in your residence such as dining out at restaurants, using a laundromat to wash/dry your clothing, kennel expenses for your pet if your temporary residence does not allow pets.

Some insurance carriers offer a time limit coverage (12-24 months typically) while others offer a percentage of the dwelling or personal property amount on the policy (20%-40% depending on the carrier).

This coverage is available for covered losses only, so if your furnace breaks in the middle of winter due to wear & tear – you’re on your own.

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Beach Safety Tips 2021

(Photo Courtesy StockVault.net)

Beach Safety Tips 2021

The recent weather here in West Michigan has prompted many to head out to the lakeshore to find relief from the heat. West Michigan is home to many beautiful beaches from South Haven all the way to Grand Haven. We found this article from Healthline with tips on keeping you and your loved ones safe while enjoying the sand and water!

  • Pay Attention to the Flags. Most beaches have a flag warning system in place to let beachgoers know the condition of the water. Check the article for meaning of the different flag colors/patterns.
  • Be a Confident Swimmer. Swimming in an open body of water is vastly different than your pool at home or at the rec center. Be sure that you can handle waves and currents and avoid diving from cliffs, bridges, or piers. You may encounter rocks or other debris or find the water depth shallower than you expect which can cause serious injury.
  • Watch That Rip Current! The ocean and most larger lakes do experience rip currents (or undertow) which can be very powerful and leads to drownings every year. If the waves aren’t breaking and you see foam on the beach, a rip current is likely happening. If you get caught in one, your safest way to get out of it is to swim parallel to the shore. You may end up further down the beach but you will have a better chance at getting out alive.
  • Be Visible if Drowning. If you find yourself drowning or about to drown, call out for help and wave your arms above water. Float or tread water on your back if you are able to.

Make sure you check out the full article from Healthline for more tips on making your beach outing safer and more enjoyable!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Swimming Pool Opening Tips 2021

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Swimming Pool Opening Tips 2021

Temperatures in Michigan jumped from 50 degrees to over 80 degrees in a matter of just a few weeks. Time to turn off the furnace and crank up the air conditioning as well as open your outdoor pool!

We found this article from SwimmingPool.com with tips on how to safely open your pool for the season!

Clean Up Debris. Check the area around the pool and take care of any overgrown trees or bushes. Take care of any branches & clear up any leaves or other debris that may have fallen over the prior season.

Inspect for Damage. Check the pool & deck (if you have one) for damage that needs to be taken care of before opening the pool. Taking care of damage after opening could be difficult. Make sure your pool equipment is clean and in good working order.

Check Your Chemicals. Make sure you have all of the chemicals you need to open the pool. Many maufacturers offer an all-in-one pool opening kit that includes everything needed. Check to make sure any chemicals stored from previous seasons are not expired and properly dispose of them if they are.

Removing the Cover. Use a submersible pump to take off any water that may have collected over the winter/spring and use a plastic rake to take care of any leaves or other debris that also may have collected. Inspect the cover for any holes or damage before cleaning & storing for the summer. If there are holes or frayed areas, it’s time to replace the cover.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article at SwimmingPool.com for additional tips on opening your outdoor pool for the summer!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Windstorm Safety Tips 2021

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Windstorm Safety Tips 2021

June 1, 2021 marked the start of hurricane season for the southern gulf states including Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, & Texas. Even though we are located in the Midwest, these tips can also apply to tornados & other wind events that pop up during the summer months. We found this article from Safety.com with tips on how to prepare for a hurricane emergency:

Evacuation Plan – a hurricane/tornado/windstorm can strike suddenly and often without warning. Have an evacuation plan in place so you and your loved ones know where to go when disaster strikes. Special care should be taken in consideration of elderly members of your family and pets.

Gas Up – Make sure your vehicles’ gas tanks are full and consider filling a few 5 gallon gasoline containers and safely storing them just in case.

Yard Perimeter Check – Bring patio furniture, toys, garden equipment, anything that is loose in your yard indoors. Wind gusts can turn these items into missles and damage your home or hurt someone.

Stock Up – Make sure your emergency kit is well-stocked with a current first-aid kit, food, water, pet & infant supplies, batteries, cell phone chargers, there are many websites with checklists of what supplies would be best to keep in your emergency kit.

Be sure to check out the full article at Safety.com for more tips on being prepared for the next hurricane/tornado/windstorm!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Memorial Day Tips 2021

(Photo Courtesy StockVault.net)

Memorial Day Tips 2021

Memorial Day is coming up, a weekend where we honor those that have fought to protect the freedoms we enjoy that a lot of other countries around the world do not. It’s a time to enjoy picnics, cookouts, parades, and place flags/flowers/wreaths on the graves of our fallen soldiers.

Because of the lifting of Covid-19 mandates around the country, more people are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend. We thought it important to share some tips on staying safe while celebrating Memorial Day:

  • If traveling, make sure your vehicle is prepared for the trip. Check fluid levels, tire pressure, & take care of any issues beforehand. It would put a serious damper on your holiday being stranded.
  • Plan your trip beforehand and print off directions to keep in the vehicle. Poor cell reception & potential GPS interruptions could interfere with your navigation. Having a printed set of directions as a backup is a good idea.
  • Leave as early as you can for your destination, traffic usually starts getting bad Friday afternoon and can lead to traffic jams come 5pm. Leave a day earlier, or early on Saturday morning to avoid the dense traffic.
  • If staying home, be sure to check out our blogpost about grilling out.
  • Fireworks are legal in the state of Michigan for the Memorial Day weekend, keeping kids and pets safe are of utmost importance. Check out our blogpost on fireworks safety to be sure you have fun and not end up in the emergency room.

Above all, enjoy your time with friends and family. Remember those who have fought & died for the freedoms we often take for granted. Be thankful.

Categories: Uncategorized

Disaster Preparedness 2021

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Disaster Preparedness 2021

With the recent events happening in the southeast with gasoline shortages and some talking about food shortages at the beginning of tornado season, it would be wise to put together a disaster plan in case of a situation where you either need to vacate your home or remain in your home for a long period of time. The website MoneyCrashers has a great article on how to prepare for a disaster of any kind:

  • Get an Escape Plan. In situations where you may have to evacuate from your home and get to a safe place, have an escape route & checklist prepared ahead of time. Look for routes not using major roads or highways and have alternate routes planned in case of road blockages.
  • Communication Plan. Cell service may become spotty or overloaded with thousands of people trying to use the network to call their loved ones. Social networking or messaging apps may still work when texting or phone calls don’t. Save battery life by closing apps you’re not using, putting the phone on “airplane mode”, and reducing your screen’s brightness can help. A solar charger can be a life-saver when the power goes out.
  • Meeting Plan. If you’re in the neighborhood, choose a tree or other familiar place to meet in case of a house fire. If you’re outside your neighborhood, choose a familiar location in town where your family can meet. If you have to leave town, choose a meet-up location and print off a Google Map with directions on how to get there. Keep it in your vehicles for easy access.
  • Supplies Plan. Check out the article for a 72-hour portable emergency kit as well as a list of supplies to keep at home, keeping the kit within easy reach and the rest of the supplies in one central area like a closet or basement.

Be sure to read the full article at MoneyCrashers with more detailed tips on how to purify water, preparing for a power outage, & other important information.

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

ATV & UTV Safety

(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

ATV & UTV Safety

It’s not only motorcycle season but also ATV/UTV season as well. In recent years UTVs (or “side by sides”) have become a popular option for people to ride the trails & dunes with their friends and kids. As fun as they are, they are still responsible for many injuries and deaths each year. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that ATV/UTV injuries result in roughly 100,000 emergency room visits per year with 84% of those being treated and released. They also estimate that there are approximately over 736 deaths each year attributed to accidents involving ATVs/UTVs.

Motosport.com offers these tips if you are planning on riding either an ATV or UTV this year:

  • Wear Your Gear! ALWAYS wear safety gear including helmet, goggles, boots, & gloves. Most UTVs offer safety harnesses, USE THEM!
  • Pre-Ride Checkup. Always do an inspection on your ATV or UTV before heading out on the trails or dunes. Check the tires and rims for damage, make sure the controls are responsive. Check the chain and sprockets for breaks or signs of wear.
  • Don’t Ride Fatigued. It’s fun to hit the trails and can be some great exercise since it demands both physical and mental control. Over time, however, the bumps and rattles can wear you down. Take a break if you feel tired.
  • Passenger Safety. Most ATVs allow for one rider only and UTVs usually can handle 2-4 people. Don’t exceed the number of passengers and certainly don’t have 2 people on a one rider ATV. Be smart.
  • Watch Your Surroundings. Be aware of the terrain ahead, to the sides, and behind you. Forest creatures can come out of nowhere as well as other riders. Be safe.

Make sure you check out the full article over at Motosport.com for additional tips on keeping yourself safe when riding the trails or dunes on your ATV/UTV!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at mvpinsagency@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized