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School Equipment & Insurance

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School Bus Safety

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School Bus Safety

In just a few short weeks kids across America will be heading back to school to the chagrin of many kids and the joy of parents. Along with getting into the routine of waking up earlier in the morning and preparing their book bags, many kids need to get back into the routine of riding the bus. As adults, we need to get back into the routine when it comes to seeing school buses on the road.

Today we shared some tips from an article found at Safe Kids for riding the bus as well as what to do as a driver when encountering a school bus on the road:

  • Walk with younger kids to the bus stop and make sure drivers can see you and the children.
  • Teach children to wait until the school bus makes a complete stop before approaching the doors.
  • Teach kids to take 3 giant steps backwards before the school bus doors open
  • While driving, be aware of speed limits in school zones and slow down as necessary. Also be on alert for kids crossing the street or walking along the roadway.

 

Be sure to check out the full article at Safe Kids for more tips on keeping kids and yourself safe as school gets underway.

 

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

Michigan PIP Reform

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Michigan PIP Reform

 

Changes are coming next June for Michigan auto insurance. The hopes are to lower auto insurance rates in the state, which currently are the highest in the nation. This is due in part to our unique medical coverage for auto accidents. We offer medical coverage for auto accidents “for as long as medically necessary”), colloquially known as “unlimited medical”. This coverage cannot be opted out of and can only be reduced slightly by a medical deductible or as excess insurance (you must have a health insurance policy that will be primary in an auto accident in order to do this).

A recent bulletin from one of our insurance carriers reveals a little of what the changes to the no-fault law will mean as far as auto insurance medical coverage:

– Named Insureds, their spouses, & any resident relatives (which includes college students who are away at school but live with the Named Insured) will only be covered for PIP.

– Non-relatives are not covered for PIP even though they may be listed as a driver.

In both cases, non-resident relatives & non-relatives will need to purchase their own auto insurance policy. If they do not have a vehicle, they can purchase a non-owned auto policy that will cover them for liability & medical. Otherwise they can claim up to $250,000 in PIP coverage through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

– Occupants & non-occupants who are uninsured (not eligible for coverage from a spouse/resident relative) will have to pursue PIP coverage through MACP.

– Occupants of employer-provided vehicles will pursue PIP coverage through their employer’s vehicle insurance first, then their own/spouse’s/resident relative’s personal auto policy, and finally the MACP if no coverage is available.

– Occupants of transportation company vehicles will pursue PIP coverage through the transportation company unless specifically excluded. Then their own/spouse’s/resident relative’s personal auto policy, and finally the MACP if no coverage is available.

– Motorcyclists will pursue PIP coverage as before.

– Out-of-state residents will receive the same coverage as the personal auto policy coverage listed. Unless the owner of the vehicle is registered/insured in the state of Michigan.

 

Think hard about your coverage in the coming year. Choosing a lower limit or opting out completely may give you a cheaper rate, but keep in mind that your health insurance has annual deductibles/co-pays and has a lifetime benefit cap…

 

 

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

Saving Electricity This Summer

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(photo courtesy StockVault.net)

 

Saving Electricity This Summer

Sparked by a shocking electric bill, we found these tips from Freshome, a home improvement idea website. Be sure to visit the link for more tips on saving electricity this summer.
1) Replace Your AC Unit. If your home/AC unit is over 20 years old, it might be time to update/upgrade to a more energy-efficient unit.

2) Cook Differently. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for meals, try alternative cooking methods such as using a microwave, instant pot, or even cooking on an outdoor grill. Using a stove/oven increases the indoor temperature meaning your AC unit will run for longer to maintain the temperature.

3) Get a Programmable Thermostat. Programming the temperature to run a little warmer when you are sleeping or not at home to save on the AC.

4) Get Blinds/Curtains. When the sun is at it’s warmest for the day, consider closing blinds/curtains in areas affected by it. Blocking the sun from heating a room will help cut down on your AC usage.

5) Use a Fan. When possible, consider using ceiling & oscillating fans to cool your home rather than using the AC. Fans use considerably less electricity than your AC unit.

Freshome has a few more tips to help you save on electricity this summer, be sure to visit their website and read the rest of the 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

Wedding Day Blues

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Wedding Day Blues

For many, finding your “soulmate” and wanting to join together with them for eternity is special. But, sometimes that special day can be ruined by unexpected events. We highly-recommend purchasing wedding (or sometimes called “special event”) insurance to help ease the eager couple’s minds in case of catastrophe.

One of our carriers has a special wedding insurance package that is fairly inexpensive to buy and includes a bunch of coverage that could come in handy in case it rains on your special day (both literally and figuratively). The Wedding Plus insurance package from USLI offers many coverage which can be increased if needed. Here are some of the coverages included in the base plan:

– General Liability. This covers includes medical payments coverage in case a guest gets injured during the affair, property damage in case you or a guest damage the facility/venue the affair is being held at, & product liability in case a guest gets sick on the food/drink served at the affair (the caterer will be sued and you will be sued as well since it is YOUR affair…).

– Host Liquor Liability. Your homeowners/condo owners/manufactured home/renters insurance can offer liquor liability coverage BUT it often does not meet the minimum liability level (most venues require $1,000,000 in coverage) and will not allow you to add Additional Insureds (most venues will want to be covered for liquor liability for your event). Even if you aren’t found liable for an alcohol-related incident at your reception, you will still need legal defense coverage.

– Wedding Attire. The base policy offers up to a $1,000 for the cost to repair/replace either the bride or groom’s wedding attire in case of damage or if stolen. With the recent wedding dress stores going out of business and keeping bride’s dresses (basic theft) – this is a coverage to have.

– Lost Deposit. If a vendor goes bankrupt, closes its doors, or fails to show up – the basic policy affords $1,000 for lost deposits.

– Gift Coverage. recently there was a news story about a woman that entered a reception and made off with gifts/money envelopes. The basic policy affords $1,000 for stolen gifts.

 

There are more coverages included as well as additional coverage that can be added (such as rain date coverage) or increased. Give us a call if you live in Michigan for a quote today!

 

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

The Physical Damage Dilemma

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(Photo courtesy Stockvault.net)

 

The Physical Damage Dilemma

This week we discussed the dilemma many have when it comes to their vehicles – when is it time to reduce/remove coverage from the vehicle? Some call it going from “full coverage” to “PLPD” (Public Liability/Property Damage) or from “Two-Way” to “One-Way” insurance coverage. However you term it, there are things to consider before making the move to reducing/eliminating coverage from the vehicle.

  • What is the vehicle worth? Both KBB & Edmunds can give semi-accurate information as far as the worth of your vehicle, but to truly determine what your vehicle is worth is to check websites like your local Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace/Auto Trader. These will generally give you an idea of what your vehicle is worth in the current marketplace. If similar vehicles are worth between $2,000-$2,500, it may be time to look at reducing coverage.
  • If the vehicle were totaled, how long before you replace it? If you can replace the vehicle within 14-21 days or sooner, you could look at reducing coverage on the vehicle in question. If it is your only vehicle and you don’t have the funds to replace it within the 14-21 day time frame, you may need to keep coverage on the vehicle so you receive some money in case of a total loss to purchase a cheap vehicle or put a down payment on another vehicle.
  • Look at the savings by reducing/eliminating coverage. As was mentioned in one “real world” example, to change a Standard Collision $500 deductible (deductible applies regardless of fault) to a Broad Collision $500 deductible (deductible applies to at-fault accidents only) was a little over $50/yr more. For me, I would pay the additional to avoid the hassle of recouping my deductible (if possible) for not-at-fault accidents.

 

Ultimately the choice is yours as far as whether or not the reduce eliminate coverage on your vehicle. Be smart, look at the options before you jump in!

 

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

4th of July Fireworks Safety

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4th of July Fireworks Safety

It’s that time of year again, a time to celebrate our nation’s freedom by blowing pieces of it! Yes, firework stands are going up in parking lots and along roadways all over the country in preparation for the 4th of July holiday. Here are a few tips we shared from the Prevention Magazine article, we highly recommend reading the full article for more tips on being safe with fireworks!
– Know Local Laws. The area I live in has changed the ordinance regarding when fireworks may be lit. The day before, the day of, and the day after designated major holidays and no fireworks after 12:00am. The ordinance also outlaws Japanese lanterns (the paper lanterns that float in the air).

– Watch Firework Packaging. Make sure you are purchasing “consumer grade” fireworks that are properly labeled. Brown paper or nondescript packaging is indicative of ordinance that should be handled by professionals.

– Keep Pets Inside. Most animals become extremely frightened by the loud noises and burning smell emitted from fireworks. They may run away, so it is best to keep them safe inside.

– Don’t Light Fireworks in Your Hand. Place the fireworks on a stable non-flammable surface and follow all instructions included with the firework.

– Don’t Drink & Light Fireworks. You need to be clear-headed and focused when lighting fireworks. Just as you shouldn’t drink & drive, don’t drink & light fireworks.
Be sure to check out the full article from Prevention Magazine for more tips on being safe this 4th of July holiday!

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