Back-To-School Insurance Checklist

The back to school shopping and hustle to check off your student’s check list is in full swing. If you’re helping your college student prepare for the upcoming year with dorm décor, bathroom essentials, and college books, add these items to the list:

Renter’s and/or Homeowner’s Insurance Check with your local agent to see if your homeowner’s insurance coverage will cover your student while away at college. If your student lives on campus in designated student housing your homeowner’sinsurance could provide coverage for their stuff. State Auto recently shared an infographic with quick facts about college students belongings. Check it out.
Is your student living off campus? If they are renting an apartment or house, renter’s insurance can offer coverage for the expensive things you just purchased for their education. Coverage could include replacement of their belongings as well. Renter’s Insurance costs can be as low as going out to eat once a month.

Auto Insurance When your student go…

Should I buy the “loss damage waiver” (insurance) for my rental car?

This is a question that most insurance offices get on a regular basis and unfortunately you will find many different answers so I thought it would be helpful to break down some of the reasons that this is a complicated question and how to help you answer, “Should I buy the insurance?”
First, I want to clarify that you are not actually buying insurance for the rental vehicle. In actuality you are paying the rental company to waive their rights to come against you for any losses they sustain due to damages to their vehicle. It is often called insurance, even by the rental car companies, but if you read the fine print you will find that it is in fact a waiver. Think about it, in order to sell insurance in the state of Michigan, you need to be licensed, they are assuredly not licensing all the counter people at the rental car companies.

In Michigan rental vehicles are typically included in the definition of non-owned auto and therefore are usually covered under both Liability Coverage and P…

Does My College Student Need Renter's Insurance?

Before you answer that question there are a few other things to consider. The following will give you a better idea if Renter’s Insurance is right for your college student.
Take a few minutes to consider the amount of stuff your college students will have in their apartment or college dorm. Make an inventory. Our list starts with college books, furniture, clothing and jewelry, electronics including a computer, cell phone, tablet and TV. Check out this infographic for the rest of the list. You'll find the math adds up quickly. 

Next, find out if your college student will be covered by your current Homeowner's policy. According to our carrier Safeco Insurance, some policies offer a certain amount of coverage for your student, based on your limits. “So, if you have $100,000 of personal property coverage on your policy, your student has $10,000 or $20,000 worth of coverage.” Keep in mind every policy is different. We recommend speaking to a local agent.

Another thing to consider is t…

What is water back up?

What is water back up and why should you have it on your homeowners insurance policy?

According to Grange Insurance, “back up of sewer or drains, commonly known as water back up, provides coverage for losses caused by water or sewer which backs up through sewers or drains or water that enters into and overflows from within a sump pump or sump pump well.”
Water back up, not to be confused with flood insurance, is an optional and fairly inexpensive coverage that can be added to your policy. This coverage is not automatically included on your homeowners insurance policy. Take a look at 4 reasons to add water back up coverage by Grange Insurance which gives 4 reasons to add water back up coverage. Grange has done an excellent job of outlining exactly why you might need this coverage.

Protect your home.
If you’d like to know more about water back up coverage give us a call at 616.755.3000 or 231.755.3000. You can also find us online at

Written by Karlee Miller Cr…

Go Camping in Grand Haven

One of our favorite Summer time adventures is going camping! It's not officially a Michigan Summer without at least one camping trip. Pack up the camping gear, get ready to roast marshmallows, tell stories around the camp fire and watch the stars. You'll want to after you read our list of campgrounds nearby our Grand Haven location:

Grand Haven Campground
Don't just enjoy the great outdoors but shuffleboard, horseshoes, arcade, kiddie train rides, arts & crafts, volleyball, hay rides and more.

Grand Haven RV Resort & Campground by Outdoor Adventure
Putt-putt golf, go-cart track, basketball and more. Enjoy camping in a tent on one of 200 campsites or camp in your RV. Grand Haven RV Resort offers full RV hook up sites.

Eastpoint RV Resort
Enjoy peace and quiet at the East End of Grand Haven when you stay at Eastpoint RV Resort. This new addition to East End is a clean and fun s…

Tips to Save Money and Space in Your Apartment

I remember my apartment days. Some of which were spent dreaming I had more space, my own yard, thicker walls, etc. In hindsight I realize apartment life has a few perks. If you’re lucky your landlord probably handles the maintenance of the apartment. Mine did! They also managed the property as well. This saved me time and money in many ways. There was no need to spend money on tools, a lawn mower or pay to hire a plumber to fix a leaky faucet. There’s a few other things that can save you money and space in your apartment but also help you enjoy your apartment too. Here’s my recommendations:
Rent or Borrow instead of buy There’s a long list of things you can borrow/rent instead of buying your own and having to store it in your apartment: luggage, a tent, tools, books, movies. What are some things you’ve been wanting to purchase but don’t have the space to store it? Add it to your wish list and borrow for now.
Unplug According to Energy Star “Consumer electronics play an increasingly large…

Ways to Lower Your Home & Auto Insurance Cost

For most of us, insurance is a recurring monthly bill. Why not try to lower this recurring monthly bill and make more room in your budget? We've put together a list of ways to save money on your home and auto insurance payments.

Bundle your home and auto insurance If your home and auto insurance isn't with the same company, you could be missing out on a multi-policy discount. Bundling your home and auto insurance will not only save you money but you'll have the convenience of having your insurance at one place.

Review your payment options Some insurance carriers offer discounts for automatic payments or paying your policy in full to receive a Pay in Full discount. Choose paperless billing and receive your bills via email to receive the Paperless Billing Discount.
Have you made any major updates to your home? When you make updates to your house, such as a new roof or heating and cooling system (HVAC), your home insurance premium could be reduced because there is lower risk of …