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Distracted Driving Prevention Tips

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Distracted Driving Prevention Tips

Distracted driving has become a huge issue across the country and the world. 80% of car accidents today are caused by some form of driver distraction. 58% of these crashes are committed by teen drivers. Couple that with on average 9 people a day die as the result of an accident involving a distracted driver and you have a serious issue.

We found this article from the Shepard Center with tips on how to avoid or prevent distracted driving from occurring when you are behind the wheel:

1 – Put That Phone AWAY! Putting your phone on vibrate or locking it in the glove box or center console while you are driving will reduce your urge to check emails or texts.

2 – Watch Out! Don’t multi-task while driving. Focus on one thing and that is driving!

3 – Make a Plan. Set up your music, make those last texts or phone calls before you even put the key in the ignition. If using the GPS function on your phone, get a voice-command version. If using a map application, PULL OVER!

4 – Buckle Up! This goes without saying, but we have to say it – when you get into a vehicle whether a passenger or driver, buckle your seatbelt!

We’ve only shared a few tips, make sure you read the full article from the Shepard Center with more tips on preventing distracted driving!

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

Winter Driving for Seniors 2021

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Winter Driving for Seniors 2021

Winter weather is coming to Michigan according to the local weatherpersons. With COVID-19 necessitating social distancing practices, I can only assume many Senior persons are having to drive themselves to appointments this time of year rather than relying on neighbors & public transportation.

We found this article from McCann & Wall with tips on how to drive safely this winter if you are or know a senior:

Health Concerns – getting older means many functions of your body are slowing down or beginning to develop issues. If you are over the age of 65, you should get an eye test each year to make sure that you are able to see your surroundings clearly.

Vehicle Maintenance – Make sure your vehicle is in good running condition for the weather. Check your battery, brakes, tires, & other important systems to be sure they are safe for driving.

Preparing Your Vehicle – Start your vehicle and let it warm up a little and allow the front/rear defrosters do most of the work. Use long-handled scrapers & shovels to cut down on injuries.

Driving in the Snow – Check the weather report before you head out, if the conditions don’t feel right to you then don’t go out. Add additional stopping time because of slippery roads & intersections.

Be sure to check out the full article from McCann & Wall with tips on how to drive safely this winter if you are or know a senior!

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

Renters Insurance 2021

Renters Insurance 2021

An apartment building within 45 minutes of our office went up in flames displacing 11 renters and their families. Thankfully all are accounted for, sadly according to the article none of the residents had renters insurance and have lost everything to the fire.

For roughly the cost of a pizza and 12 pack of soda a month, these residents could have had coverage to replace what they had lost in the fire. You may think that you don’t need renters insurance, but it’s a bargain for the coverage benefits.

Renters insurance boils down to a handful of coverage that a renter would need:

  • Personal Property covers everything you move into the rented space. Your clothes, furniture, electronics, dishes, etc. would be replaced in case of a covered loss. Most insurance carriers offer a minimum of $15,000 in coverage with Replacement Cost (new for old).
  • Loss of Use covers temporary accomodations needed due to the rented space being uninhabitable in case of a covered loss. The coverage is usually 20% of the Personal Property coverage amount.
  • Personal Liability covers incidents where the renter is found liable for damage to another person or to others’ property. Most insurance carriers offer a minimum of $25,000 in coverage but we recommend a minimum of $100,000.

For the unfortunate tenants in the article they would have had coverage to get a hotel room until other arrangements could be made (Loss of Use), received funds to begin replacing their belongings (Personal Property), & for the tenant that started the fire on their stove coverage for the potential lawsuits brought on by the building owner and the other tenants (Personal Liability) if they had only purchased a renters policy.

Renters insurance is often inexpensive ($150-$175 in the West Michigan area) and provides a lot of coverage for the price.

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

Snow Removal Safety Tips 2020

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Snow Removal Safety Tips 2020

Snow has been dumping on the East coast for the past few days with upwards of 4 feet of snow being reported. Here in West Michigan we are beginning to see a few flakes. With snow on the way, it’s important to be safe when clearing your driveway and sidewalks. Here’s an article from Replacement Commercial Parts Warehouse with a lot of good information on being safe while removing snow:

  • Check with the Doc. Whether you use a snowthrower or a snow shovel, snow removal is a physically demanding task that puts quite a load on your heart. Check with your doctor to make sure you are up to removing snow. This is especially important in the current pandemic climate.
  • Start ASAP. Clearing snow early and frequently will result in moving lighter coverings of snow rather than waiting to dense/packed snow later.
  • Keep the Pace. Take as many breaks as needed to avoid dehydration and exhaustion. If you experience any sort of respiratory distress or chest pain, stop and seek medical attention.
  • Use the Right Equipment. If possible, use ergonomical snow shovels, or at the very least a snow shovel that fits your height & ability. Using a heavy or unwieldy shovel can cause physical distress.
  • Clear the Way. Make sure all objects are removed from the area you are going to remove snow. Dog chains, sleds, doormats, newspapers, any debris could cause damage to yourself and your snow thrower.

Be sure to check out the article from Replacement Commercial Parts Warehouse for more tips on using your snow thrower and snow plow safely to remove snow from your property!

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

Christmas Gift Wrapping Tips

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Christmas Gift Wrapping Tips

My wife is a “professional” gift-wrapper. She used to work for JC Penney in their catalog department, and one of the tasks in the department was gift-wrapping. This time of year was busy for them and she learned quickly how to wrap gifts efficiently and beautifully. I enjoy wrapping gifts but fail miserably unless they are in a box or can fit into a bag with tissue paper!

We found this article from Real Simple with tips on making your gift wrapping “pop” this holiday season!:

  • Get Your Materials. You’ll need a flat work surface (kitchen table), paper, scissors, tape, & other items. Better to have everything you need before you sit down than have to rush around trying to find them.
  • Measure & Cut the Right Amount. It’s easy to over-measure when “eyeballing” how much paper you need. See the article for tips on measuring the correct amount.
  • Make a Clean Edge. Fold over the last 1/4 inch of paper before taping it to the opposite side. This makes for a clean seam or edge. If you cut the paper jaggedly, this will help hide the massacre.
  • Fold the Ends. Follow the directions on the article on how to have clean & tight ends to your wrapping.

Be sure to read the entire article from Real Simple for more tips and to read the step-by-step instructions for wrapping your gifts!

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

Christmas Safety Tips 2020

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Christmas Decoration Safety Tips 2020

Stores have been decorated for Christmas since the middle of October. I think everyone is looking to make this holiday season as special as possible because of what the year has brought. We found these tips from the One Medical on making your holiday season as safe as possible:

  • Watch That Tree! Keep your tree (whether live or fake) away from any heat sources. Live trees are extemely flammable with their needles & fake trees with their “non-toxic” materials.
  • Recycle Your Paper! Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, the inks & plastic coatings may be toxic and the loose ash could cause fires.
  • Check Those Bulbs! Inspect your Christmas lights for any damage before you go through the trouble of stringing them. Loose wires or sockets warrant the possiblity of fire.
  • Get Unbreakables. Decorating your tree with unbreakable ornaments is ideal around pets & young children. If you have heirloom or fragile ornaments, secure them to the tree or display them on a table or shelf instead.
  • Forego the Plants. Poinsettias are beautiful and festive for the season, but are very toxic to children & pets. Best to go with a fake arrangement or wreath to enjoy them.

Be sure to check out the full article from One Medical with many more tips on making your holidays safer!

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

Thanksgiving 2020 Tips

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Thanksgiving 2020 Tips

The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a very stressful and lonely time for many around the world. From the loss of loved ones to working from home & virtual classrooms, both adults and kids alike have suffered.

Now with resurgences happening across the country and states limiting or outlawing large gatherings for the holidays, we need to dig deep and rise to the challenge of making our holidays as special as possible.

We found this article from Good Housekeeping with ways to help brighten the Thanksgiving holiday and make it special for 2020.

  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Although it is currently on schedule as a “virtual” parade with no crowds and a limited offering of floats/bands/balloons, things may change due to the recent spike in positive cases. Visit YouTube and check out broadcasts of parades past, maybe parents can find one from when they were their kids’ age. A stroll down Thanksgivings past can spark happy memories to help make the day special.
  • Make Thanksgiving Crafts. Handprint turkeys, anyone? Check out the article for a link to easy crafts kids can make for Thanksgiving.
  • Get Everyone Cooking. Make appetizers with your kids, allow them to create a dish to add to the table. Take time to enjoy meal preparation with your loved ones.
  • Watch a Fall or Christmas Movie. Watch “Freebirds”, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”, or “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” with your family. Streaming services are chock full of holiday movies and television shows (both old and new) to enjoy.
  • Enjoy Nature. If you are allowed where you live, take the family on a bike ride or walk around the block. Find the prettiest leaves & trees, play “I Spy”, enjoy the wonders of the outdoors to lift your spirits.

Be sure to check out the full article with many more ideas to make Thanksgiving 2020 special.

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!

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

Michigan PIP Revisited

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Michigan PIP Revisited

We are now over 3 months into the new No-Fault Reform changes that took place for auto insurance here in the state of Michigan in an effort to reduce auto insurance premium for the majority of its citizens.

One of the changes impacts medical coverage for auto accidents. People are now given options rather than continue with the unlimited medical coverage as was previously required. The options are as follows:

  • Unlimited Medical = the auto insurance carrier pays for all medical bills relating to auto accident injuries for as long as necessary. No coverage caps or gaps.
  • $500,000 Medical = the auto insurance carrier pays for all medical bills relating to auto accident injuries up to $500,000. After this limit has been reached, the client will rely on their personal Qualifying Health Plan or Qualifying Medicare Plan. There are annual deductibles/co-pays/out-of-pockets/potential coverage caps or gaps.
  • $250,000 Medical = the auto insurance carrier pays for all medical bills relating to auto accident injuries up to $250,000. After this limit has been reached, the client will rely on their personal Qualifying Health Plan or Qualifying Medicare Plan. There are annual deductibles/co-pays/out-of-pockets/potential coverage caps or gaps.
  • $50,000 Medical = the auto insurance carrier pays for all medical bills relating to auto accident injuries up to $50,000. After this limit has been reached, the client will rely on their Qualifying Medicaid Health Plan or Qualifying Medicare Plan. There are annual deductibles/co-pays/out-of-pockets/potential coverage caps or gaps.
  • No Medical = the client will rely on their personal Qualifying Health Plan or Qualifying Medicare Plan alone. There are annual deductibles/co-pays/out-of-pockets/potential coverage caps or gaps.

For those with Medicare/Medicaid that are considering a dollar amount or opting out of coverage altogether need to be aware of Medicaid/Medicare’s reimbursement clause. According to their website, they will require reimbursement for medical bills if a monetary settlement is reached in an auto accident.

So, if you receive a loss settlement for your auto accident of $100,000 Medicaid/Medicare will require reimbursement for any medical bills paid as the result of the accident. In most cases where a loss settlement is reached, ALL the money from the settlement would have to be turned over to Medicaid/Medicare.

Our agency highly recommends retaining unlimited medical coverage to avoid any hassles for coverage or payment for services as the result of an auto accident injury.

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

Hunting Safety Tips 2020

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Hunting Safety Tips 2020

Hunting season is happening currently in many states, with firearm deer season occurring within a week or so here in Michigan many hunters will be looking forward to getting outdoors and focus on the beauty of nature instead of current events.

This week we share tips from the RealTree Camo website chock full of 30 tips to help keep you safe while hunting, we’ve only share 5 of them:

  • Keep Guns & Ammo Locked Up. Make sure your rifles/handguns and ammunition are properly stored in a locked safe/cabinet when not going to be used.
  • Keep a First Aid/Survival pack with you including bandages, disinfectant, emergency blanket, & some survival rations in case you get hurt or lost.
  • Keep your rifle pointed in a safe direction. Always point at the ground or away from people when not using the rifle. Make sure safety is on & your finger is off the trigger.
  • Keep a compass & map. Cell reception in the woods can be non-existent, having a map of the area and a small compass can be a life-saver in case you are lost.
  • Keep weapon unloaded when not in use. If you aren’t actively hunting, unload your weapon, whether going indoors or getting into a vehicle.

Be sure to read the full article from RealTree Camo for the other 25 (well 26, there’s a bonus) 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

Halloween Safety Tips 2020

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Halloween Safety Tips 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of our lives from our jobs to education to even holidays & celebrations. This week we look at some tips from the magazine Family Handyman to help make your Halloween both safe & fun during this pandemic.

  • Use literal masks with your Halloween costume. Incorporating masks meant to limit the spread of the virus into your family’s Halloween costume can be creative and fun. The article references a few ideas to spark your creativity.
  • A scavenger hunt instead of Trick or Treating. Hide clues to a stash of Halloween candy for your kids to find. Be sure to keep the candy away from pets & don’t make the clues too complicated…
  • Have a party with your “social bubble”. If you’re a part of a bubble with other families/kids, have an outdoor party in your backyard and invite them over for a “dinosaur egg hunt” (basically an Easter egg hunt at Halloween), a costume contest, & tell spooky stories while socially-distancing around a fire pit.
  • If you decide to take your young ones trick or treating, stick to small groups of family members or those in your “social bubble”.
  • Bring something with you to ring the doorbell (wand, skeleton key, etc.) and be sure to bring hand sanitizer with you for use between houses.
  • Wipe down your treats with sanitizing wipes or leave them out in the open air overnight to help cut down on virus transmission.

Be sure to check out the full article at the Family Handyman website for more tips on making this Halloween both fun and safe during this pandemic.

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