Showing posts from 2015

Photos of Our Year

We are wrapping up 2015 with photos from the year. Take a look back at the community events and fun things Michigan Insurance Group was a part of. 

May - Grand Opening of the Grand Haven office. Face painting, photo booth, prizes and more made for a fun day!

June - It was our first year taking part in Family Fun Day in Grand Haven.  The best part was watching the kids spray paint their canvas. 

August -  Our second year taking part in the National Night Out Picnic.

August - Karlee, Branden & Amanda at the Resident Appreciation Picnic at Lake Forest Apartments We hosted a drawing and enjoyed served root beer floats to the residents.
September - We enjoyed seeing the sites of Muskegon & Grand Haven during our staff photo shoot. 

September - Amanda, Pete and Brandon at the Windshield Repair Day event. Glass America repaired 65 windshields in 2 days. 

December - Our team at Lake Woods Nursing sharing holiday cheer with the residents.
We cant wait for more community events and fun …

Clothes Dryers can Catch Fire

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 7,000 annual residential fire losses in which the source of the fire was in the clothes dryer or vent.
Dryers are the third most common type of equipment involved in fires, ranking behind stoves and fixed area heaters. Clothes dyers can catch fire due to excessive lint buildup in the exhaust pipe or inside the dryer; this lint buildup is often out of sight.

As a result, you should take the following steps to reduce the chance of your dyer starting a fire:

Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing the vent pipe.Keep the dryer vent clean and unplugged.When you change your clocks twice a year also clean the dryer vent.Periodically, check for a plugged vent, especially if the dryer does not dry clothes efficiently. Remove and clean the lint screen before each use.Keep all combustibles away from the clothes dryer.Hire a qualified technician to periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.For the s…

We're looking forward to Thanksgiving Day. Are you?

The holidays bring about so many wonderful feelings, a.k.a. warm fuzzies. Part of this is due to traditions. Traditions are what make us look forward to what the holiday brings. Traditions are why we have so many wonderful feelings this time of year. Here are some of the things that the Michigan Insurance Group team are looking forward to on Thanksgiving:

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving because it is one of the only times all year when I get to see the whole family. – Branden Addicott

Amanda Merrills, Licensed Insurance Agent, says, “I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family and starting the day off watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Also looking forward to black Friday shopping, and putting up my Christmas tree to get ready for the Christmas Season!”
Ronda Hunt, Accounting Manager says, “We are making Garbage Can Turkey. It's tender, juicy, and delicious to eat.” 

I am looking forward to spending time at home with my family and eating delicious food. …

Michigan Salt Dough Ornaments

Yesterday we made salt dough ornaments for a sponsorship opportunity coming up in December. The Michigan shaped cookie cutters we had came in handy to make Michigan shaped ornaments. The recipe called for 3 ingredients, flour, salt and water. The processes from start to finish was easy to do but it probably helps that we have a baker in the office. You can find the original salt dough recipe here.

Amanda rolling out the salt dough. 

After cutting out the shapes we used a straw to make the holes for the ribbon to hang the ornaments.

They are ready to go in the oven.

Our toaster oven worked just fine to bake the Michigan shapes.

We couldn't go without Michigan and Michigan State ornaments. 
Salt dough ornaments can be a fun DIY project with the kids. Check back for more photos of the finished product! 

Written by Karlee Miller
Creative Administrator

Prepare and protect your boat or RV in the off-season

Winter is right around the corner. In fact, there are 74 days until Winter so unless you plan on heading South it is time to start winterizing your boat and RV. Follow these tips, courtesy of Progressive, to make sure your vehicle is ready for the cold weather.

Review vehicle manuals for winterization and maintenance.Check rubber seals, gaskets, roof tops, decks, windows, etc. to prevent water intrusion.Remove anything that retains water.Turn cushions on edge to prevent mold and mildew.Fill gas tank to minimize condensation, Add a fuel stabilizer.Change oil/oil filter to protect your engine from impurities.

Turn off refrigerator. Disconnect battery cables and turn off all battery switches or remove the battery completely.Open and clean drawers, lockers, refrigerator and freezer.Use a coupler lock on trailers. Lock all compartments and entry doors.Boats: Pressue wash the hull to remove marine organisms. Clean thru-hulls and strainers. Open seacocks to drain any water. Store the boat &quo…

Michigan events in September

August is almost over and September its nearly here. Autumn is well on its way, which means colorful leaves, Halloween, and that glowing charm you can only get in Michigan. While us Michiganders dread the coming Winter, we are very fortunate to have such crisp Autumns in the Mitt. Here are a few things you can do this September.

Autumn cruises on the Manitou
The Traverse Tall Ship Company offers cruises on Grand Traverse Bay during September and October. Each cruise visits localities along the coastline and allow you to soak in the colors of the lake.
Cruises include the six-day explorer cruise for $704 per person, the four-day star gazer cruise for $577 per person and a four-day Michigan Craft Beer Cruise for $577 per person.
A Manitou cruise is a true way to get away from the TV, mobile phones, internet, and really unwind. And with a limit of 22 people, the ships are never overcrowded. A ticket includes lodging, meals and sailing activities.
For more information visit www.TallShip…

Is your home prepared for another Michigan Winter?

The days are getting shorter now and it won’t be long until winter is once again upon us Michiganders. Winters in the Mitten can be harsh, so you should make any last-minute repairs to your home while you still can. Here are a few home improvement projects you should get done before that Winter wind starts blowing.
Roof replacement/repair
The roof is what keeps the outside outside and the inside inside. If you have roof problems, then you should get that taken care of before they get worse. A neglected roof can mean more damage to your home, leaks, and potential water damage to your home.  The water can even get into your basement, causing extensive water damage to your home.

Window replacement
Windows serve a similar purpose to a roof, so you need good ones in order to help keep your home warm and cozy during the winter months. New windows will help eliminate that draft and will take a nice chunk of change off of your monthly energy bills.
Gutter cleaning and installation
Many people pu…

How Can I Prevent Sewer Backup Into My Home?

Having a sewage back up in your home is not only extremely unpleasant, but also one of the most dangerous emergencies that can occur as well. Bacterial contamination can spread quickly and can lead to terrible diseases such as Hepatitis A. People don’t like to think about where there sewage goes. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know whether there is a sewage backup problem until sewage water starts to back up.

Sewer Backup Causes Accumulation of Clogs: Solid materials such as hair, diapers, and hygienic napkins can clog a system. Grease is also a major problem, and even tree roots can cause a system to become blocked. Manholes can also be affected by vandalism when someone crams leaves, rocks, trash, and other material into it.
Aging Sewer Systems: Older properties may have outdated plumbing. This is especially the case when the plumbing pipes are made of metal, which naturally corrode over time.
Problems at the Sanitary Main: It is possible for problems to occur at a municipal syste…

What exactly is the Right-of-Way?

The term "right-of-way" is used to describe the right to go first in a specific area. The law does not expressly grant the right of way to anymore; instead, right-of-way rules motorists how to decide which of them goes first. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the basic rules are as follows:
The first vehicle to arrive at an intersection gets to go first.

When two vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right gets to go first (it has the right-of-way).

If neither of the above two riles apply, traffic that is going straight through an intersection has the right-of-way over traffic that is turning left.

Who has the Right-of-Way?

You should never insist on taking the right-of-way. When in doubt, let the other cars go before you. It's always better to err on the side of caution and ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of others. You may technically have the right to go,but if another driver commits a righ…

What's in your water bottle?

Not all water is created equal. The logo water we use is Natural Spring Water, which means that it is pure water drawn from pristine springs and ensures the highest quality of water during the process of collection, manufacturing and distribution. We are assured the product inside the bottle is of the highest quality and we are proud to put our own name on the label.

What are the different types of bottled water?
FDA has established bottled water Standard of Identity to define the several different types of bottled water based on specific characteristics of the product. Bottled water products meeting the Standard of Identity may be labeled as bottled water or drinking water, or one of the following terms:

Spring Water: Bottled water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the Earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. Spring water collected with the …

DIY: How to Restore Your Deck

Over time, exposure to sun, weather, and wind will wear down your deck. The good news is that you can easily restore the luster back into your deck with a waterproofing deck stain. A deck stain will protect your deck from water damage, mildew and harmful sun rays. The finish will also restore and preserve the natural beauty of the wood.

Generally, it takes two weeks to completely refinish a deck: one week to clean it and another to refinish it.

Materials you will need:

Drill with screwdriver bitLeaf blowerAwlDecking screws (if replacement is necessary)Flat pry bar (if replacement is necessary)Putty knifeCircular saw (if necessary)Garden pump sprayerPowdered oxygen bleachHigh-pressure hoseWaterproofing stain (latex)Long-handled scrub brushPaint roller with an extended handle attachmentPaint trayPaint brushMild liquid detergentBucketPrep Work Remove all furniture from the deck: chairs, tables, plants, grill and all other items that aren't attached to the deck. A leaf blower is a great…

Meet our intern Jeff Stevens

My name is Jeff Stevens and I am from Grand Haven, Michigan. Currently, I am 20 years old and will be entering my junior year at St. Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois where I am studying finance.  
My whole life I have been a big sports fan. I am an avid supporter of the Detroit sports teams as well as the Boston Red Sox. Over the course of my lifetime I have been lucky enough to attend some of the world's biggest sporting events that include The Masters and the World Series. A big goal of mine is to see a baseball game in every Major League park as well as attend a Ryder Cup in the United States. 
For the summer of 2015, I am interning for Michigan Insurance Group in Muskegon, Michigan. So far, I have really enjoyed my experience. I have been able to gain valuable experience in organizing and preparing for large events as well as identifying and filing important documents. 

I decided to become an intern because I really wanted to experience the finance world first hand. I reall…

All about Green Roofs

Green roofs refer to layers of vegetation grown on rooftops of buildings to help in reducing surface runoff and in effect boost your water mitigation efforts. These rooftop gardens can be applied on a wide variety of buildings including residential buildings, educational facilities, church buildings, multi-office blocks, and industrial complexes among others. The size and type of green roof can range from a simple 2-inch vegetation cover to complex mix of vegetation that includes trees.
Benefits of Green Roofs  Efficient storm water mitigation and management: The urban environment is particularly susceptible to flooding during storms. With a rooftop garden in place, it is easy to slow down storm water runoff and thus reduce chances of flooding. On the other hand, the vegetation helps to filter pollutants from rainwater.Energy Conservation: Vegetation cover on the rooftop helps in curbing energy loss by absorbing heat and/or insulating buildings. As such, property owners require less am…

How to Deal with Smoke Damage After a Fire

A house fire is, simply put, one of the most devastating things that can happen to a family. Safety always comes first, but once the flames have been extinguished and you’ve begun the recovery process, there’s very little you’d rather do than resume your ordinary home life. But sadly, the harm from a fire might be long-lasting. You might not have extensive fire damage, but enough smoke and soot can be produced after a fire to still make your home unlivable. So what can you do about this?
First, make sure you have permission from your fire Marshall to re-enter your home. Then, contact your insurance provider. They could provide you advice and will be able to assist you financially-on the fire restoration or replacement of everything that was damaged in the fire. They could also recommend professional fire restorers that they’ve worked with in the past.
If you’re a renter, contact your landlord immediately. The two of you should assess the damage together and determine the next plan of a…

9 Ways to Keep Water Out of Your Basement

A flooded basement in Michigan is never a fun thing to walk home to. Not only does a soaking basement feel and stink like filth, it is a great danger to your home’s value. If left unimpeded, basement wetness can wreck flooring and walls, promote mold, and even harm roofing.
Some wet basements are easy to treat but if the situation comes from water flowing toward the residence from above, coming in from underground, or backing up via public storm drains—you must take more aggressive action.

Here are nine methods to keep water out of your basement that will keep it from becoming flooded.
1. Add gutter extensions If you are directing water less than five feet away from your home, you can direct water farther out by adding synthetic or metal gutter extensions.
But gutter extensions aren’t the neatest or most effective solution, primarily if you’re likely to trip over them or run over all of them with a lawn mower. Stable, underground drainage pipe is unseen and capable of relocating huge qua…