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Sledding Safety

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Sledding Safety

 

Wintertime is here (or will be soon in Michigan!) and lots of winter sports will be available from skiing & snowboarding to sledding! Before you hit the hills with your super-fast saucer sled, check out these tips we gleaned from the article found at Nationwide Kids. Be sure to check out the full article for even more tips!
– Dress Warm. Make sure kids are dressed appropriately with either a snow suit or jacket & snow pants. Gloves, hats, & boots are a MUST!

– Choose the Right Sled. For the younger kids, choose a sled that is steerable so they have a little more control. Older kids with a little more experience should be able to handle the sheet-type sleds, saucer sleds, & toboggan-type sleds.

-Always Have an Adult. An adult should always accompany your child(ren) when sledding in case of accidents and to keep watch for child predators.

– Feet First. Always sled feet-first, using your feet to turn/brake if necessary.

– Watch Where You Sled. Choose a sledding area that is not near a street or body of water. Never sled down a driveway, parking lot, or anywhere cars are present.

Be sure to read the full article from Nationwide Childrens for more information on being safe while sledding!

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & 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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Snow Removal Safety Tips

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Snow Removal Safety Tips

 

The Great Lakes area is predicted to get up to a foot of snow within a 24hr period this weekend. We felt it best to share some tips on being safe when digging yourself out of the white stuff. We found this article from Replacement Commercial Parts Warehouse with all sorts of tips whether you’re shoveling, blowing, or plowing your driveway:

– Check your health. Consult with your physician to make sure you are well enough to handle the snow removal duties. Removing snow can put significant strain on your heart. If you have existing medical conditions, consider hiring someone to come out to remove the snow than to risk a serious medical event.

– Dress warm & keep your vision clear. Dress in layers and keep your eyes clear of scarves & hats. Dressing in layers will help with insulation & allow body heat to ventilate to cut down on excessive sweating. Wear appropriate footwear & gloves.

– Start early. Remove snow more frequently so that you are only dealing with light layers of snow rather than waiting for it all to come down or become difficult to manage.

For Snow Shovelers:

– Warm up & pace yourself. You should warm up your muscles with some light stretching & pace yourself. Take breaks when needed, don’t be a hero and try to finish everything in one go.

– Proper equipment & technique. Make sure your shovel/snow pusher is in good condition and is comfortable to use. Using a shovel that doesn’t fit will cause muscle strain & fatigue much quicker. Push the snow when you can rather than lifting and throwing.Squat and don’t bend at the waist, certainly don’t twist your torso when tossing snow.

For Snowblowers:

– Clear the area and your snowblower. Make sure the area is cleared of things that could get stuck in the blower such as sleds/doormats/wires/etc. Also make sure your snowblower is in good working condition with plenty of fuel.

– Clearing jams & watching cords. Turn the engine completely off when clearing a jam in the snowblower & watch the electrical cords if using an electric snowblower.
For Snow Plows:

– Get rest & check equipment. Make sure you are plenty rested before getting behind the wheel. Also inspect your vehicle and the snow plow to make sure everything is in good running condition. Make repairs/adjustments before going out.

– Pace yourself & know your limits. Take your time snow plowing, watch out for people/animals/debris that may be hidden by the snow. You should mark the outlines for the area you are going to plow to help avoid those hidden obstacles & minimize damage to property & your plow/vehicle.

The article at Replacement Commercial Parts Warehouse has many more tips for safely removing snow from your property so be sure to check out the full article!

 

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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

When It Pours

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When It Pours

The state of Michigan passed a bill that will revamp the current auto insurance laws in an effort to reduce insurance costs for consumers. Among the changes coming is a change to the minimum liability limits required for registering/operating your automobile. Currently the state of Michigan requires minimum insurance limits for Bodily Injury Liability to be $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. The new limits effective 07/01/2020 will change to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for newly-written business or defaulted to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for current insurance holders (which can be lowered via a signed selection form).

With the liability requirements for auto insurance increasing, we surmise that the state of Michigan is expecting an increase in Bodily Injury lawsuits due to policyholders choosing inadequate medical coverage for automobile accidents. Because of this, we are recommending people purchase an Umbrella Liability policy to help add an additional layer of liability to protect their assets.

What is an Umbrella Liability policy?

– A secondary or “excess” liability policy that covers losses in excess of the limits contained in your auto/home/watercraft/motorcycle/recreational vehicle insurance policies.

– The base limit is $1,000,000 with the ability to purchase more coverage in some cases of up to $10,000,000 subject to additional underwriting guidelines.
What does it cover?

– The portion of a settlement or judgement that exceeds the underlying policy’s liability limit as well as legal fees associated with the lawsuit.
– If the underlying policy covers the loss, the Umbrella Liability policy also covers the loss.

– Some examples would be serious bodily injury, significant property damage, libel or slander, & malicious prosecution.

Do I need an Umbrella Liability policy?

The questions you need to ask are:

– What is my current net worth? (what you own minus what you owe)

– What is my future income? (how much will your annual income be until you pass away)

– What are my future financial liabilities? (children’s college, retirement plan, etc.)

If you’re in your early 20’s, single, broke, a renter and in reasonable good health, you could get away with not having an Umbrella Liability policy. But if you’re married with an established family and some assets such as a house, you may want to consider purchasing an Umbrella Liability policy to cover those assets in case of a liability lawsuit.

What does an Umbrella Liability policy cost?

– Depends on the carrier/underlying policies/rating details. Typically a $1,000,000 Umbrella Liability policy can be had for less than $200/yr.

 

 

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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Holiday Travel Tips

 

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Holiday Travel Tips

Reports are stating that this Christmas/New Year’s holiday season will potentially break records as far as traveling. Many more people are flying or driving to see family or vacation during this time of year. We found an article from Smarter Travel with tips on how to cut down on the stress that traveling during the holidays can produce:

– Avoid Peak Travel. Try to schedule your travel day at least 2 or 3 days before the holiday. The day before a holiday is always the worst day to travel as millions of people will be lining up at airports or traveling in their vehicles. This year, try flying or driving out the Sunday before the holidays.

– Shop It. Shop around for plane tickets and be flexible with your departure/arrival dates & airport choices. Choosing a smaller airport may be less busy and could generate a big savings rather than sticking with the major airports.

– Check Your Connections. Check the layover times & calculate for possible travel/flight delays due to weather. If you can, choose connecting flights that avoid possible weather delays.

– Leave Early. We no longer live in a “Home Alone” world where you can run for the gate and expect to get right on the plane without hassle like the Macallisters were able to do. Traffic delays, long security lines, & other potential delays could cause you to miss your flight. Leave at least 2 hours early so you can check in and relax before boarding your flight.

-The Earlier, The Better. Flying or driving earlier in the day leads to less-congested roadways & airports and getting to your destination earlier allows for you to decompress and enjoy the holiday a bit quicker.

Be sure to check out the full article at Smarter Travel with more tips on packing for the holiday & others that will make your trip a little more pleasant & less-stressful!

 

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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Christmas Shopping Safety

 

 

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Christmas Shopping Safety

 

The Christmas shopping season started in early November with sales both online and in stores. This marked the first time that mobile shopping (via phone/tablet) outperformed computer/in-store shopping. But often you need to head to the stores shopping for those last-minute gifts. We found some tips from The Hearty Soul to help you be safe when out shopping in the stores:

– Leave the Cash at Home. Don’t bring a lot of cash with you, use your credit/debit cards instead. You can call in and cancel a credit/debit card that is stolen, but if a thief gets your cash – you’re out of luck. If you absolutely have to bring cash, keep it in a wallet that is located in your front pocket (harder for pick-pockets).

– Dress for the Grocery Store, Not the Taj Mahal. Dress in comfortable clothes and leave the excess/expensive jewelry at home. Dressing down may cause thieves to skip you and move onto a more-profitable mark.

– Don’t Use ATMs. If you need cash, utilize the “cash back” feature at the check out (when available) or go to your bank. Mall/store ATMs may contain card skimmers & thieves could be staking out ATMs to find their prey.

– Go with a Friend. Especially if shopping in the evening, have a friend or two with you. The larger the crowd, the more-likely a thief will skip you. If you need to shop alone, shop during daylight hours or park in a well-lit parking spot at night near the entrance to the store/mall.

-Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Too many people have their heads buried in their phones and aren’t paying attention. Just what thieves are looking for.

 

Be sure to read the rest of the tips from The Hearty Soul to help you have a good time when out getting those Christmas gift bargains!

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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Christmas Tree Safety

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Christmas Tree Safety

This week we share tips on choosing/decorating your Christmas Tree from the city of Columbus, IN. Be sure to visit their site and read the full article!

For Fresh Trees:

-The fresher, the better. Buy the freshest tree possible, harvesting your own if available.

– Green & strong. Make sure the needles are bright green and do not come off the tree easily.

– Keep it watered. Water your tree every day to make sure it does not dry out. Do research on additives to keep your tree longer, stay away from “old wives’ tales” of additives to use as they may be harmful to the tree or to others.

 

For Artificial Trees:

– Rated for Safety. Make sure the tree is UL-Listed or the manufacturer certifies that the tree is flame-retardant/resistant.

– Check the Wires. If using a pre-lit tree, check the wiring to make sure there are no exposed wires and they do not get hot. Check the bulbs/sockets and replace as necessary

 

Decorating & Placement of Your Tree:

– Keep away from heat. Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source.

– Watch the placement. Check that the tree placement is not blocking an exit or in an area that could be potentially hazardous.

– Use proper lighting. Check the label and make sure you are using indoor or indoor/outdoor rated lighting. Don’t use “vintage” lights as they do not have the safety features of modern lights and could pose a fire hazard.

 

Visit the article at the Columbus, IN website for more tips on choosing & decorating your Christmas tree!

 

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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

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Thanksgiving Safety Tips

The US Fire administration claims that more than 4,000 fires happen each Thanksgiving Day. In order to help you avoid being one of the statistics, we found this article from Atlantic Training with tips on keep you and your loved ones safe while feasting at Thanksgiving.

– Never leave food unattended & if deep-frying, keep the fryer outside and away from walls & free from moisture

– Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys. Buy your turkey a few days before you cook it and keep it in the fridge. If you happen upon a deal that is a week or so before, put the turkey in the freezer

– Properly defrost your turkey by keeping it in the fridge (every 4lbs needs 1 day to thaw), submerge turkey in cold water being sure to change the water every 30min, or use a microwave safe dish and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for thawing.

– Don’t pre-stuff your turkey, cook the stuffing/dressing separately to cut down on food poisoning.

– Leftovers can be safely eaten (if put away properly) for up to 3 days in the fridge. Or they can be frozen (if able to be frozen).
Be sure to visit Atlantic Training for more tips on helping to make your Thanksgiving safe & memorable.
Your pets need to be safe at Thanksgiving as well, check out this article from the ASPCA with tips on how to keep them safe.

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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 marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized