Showing posts from 2017

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 …

What Are the Different Types of Collision Coverage?

Happy National Insurance Awareness Day! National Insurance Awareness Day is a day to remind you to look over your insurance coverage. Has your lifestyle changed since your last insurance review? Do you need or want more or different coverage? There are so many good reasons to review your insurance. We recommend talking to an insurance agent for a professional opinion about insurance coverage.
While you're focused on coverage, we want to also remind you about the 3 types of Collision Coverage in Michigan: Broad Form Collision - Provides collision coverage no matter who is at fault. Deductible only applied if you are found at fault.Standard Collision - Provides collision coverage no matter who is at fault. Deductible is applied no matter who is at fault.Limited Collision - Only provides collision coverage if you are not at fault. No vehicle coverage if you are at fault.No Collision – no coverage if there is collision damage to the insured vehicle. 
 Here's a fun little insurance in…

Meet Our Intern: Nakeah

We're lucky to have an intern this Summer! Not just an intern but a motivated, hardworking and fun intern. We are so happy to have Nakeah's smiling face in our Muskegon office for the Summer. We really appreciate her assistance in the office and at local events.

Here is a small biography from Keah:

My name is Nakeah Brown, but usually everyone calls me Keah. I am 20 years old and the oldest of 3 siblings. I was born in Grand Haven but grew up in Muskegon and attended North Muskegon Middle and High School.  I now go to Western Michigan University where I will be entering my Senior year in the College of Business with a major in Finance and minors in Accounting, Economics, and General Business.

I chose to get a Finance degree because money basically runs everything and I love dealing with numbers. Plus, there are so many different fields such as insurance, investments, banking, corportate, and financial planning that I could make a career in. After college, I am hoping to live in …

Join us at Family Fun Day!

We've wrapped up Windshield Repair Day and have plunged in to planning for Family Fun Day. Family Fun Day is the second event that has become a tradition for Michigan Insurance Group. This will be our third year participating in the event hosted by The Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg in conjunction with the the Grand Haven Art Festival. Squirt gun painting was such a huge hit the first year that we've made that a tradition too.

We enjoy seeing the kids create colorful paintings on foam board canvas. No two board are the same!

Our agency President, Donald Shampine, CIC, CRM takes the brave job of holding art boards for younger artists. You can bet he will be squirted by at least one kid this year. (It seems this is also a tradition,)

We really enjoy spending our day downtown Grand Haven. Family Fun Day gives us a chance to be out in the community and just have fun with kids. We'd love to see you there! The event is from 10am-2pm on Saturday, June 24th. Just …

Top Tips for Boat Trailer Safety

Living in Michigan means a body of water is never too far. This gives us many reasons to love boating season – it can be relaxing, exciting, entertaining and even rejuvenating. But hauling a boat on a trailer, and launching it at the busy launch ramp, can have its challenges. In fact, it can be stressful and, without proper precautions, it can be dangerous. 

With hot weather blanketing most of Michigan, boats are at boat launches morning, noon and night. As a reminder, and to help make sure hauling your boat to and from its destination and into the water goes smoothly, check out this basic trailer checklist from  Coupler, hitch and hitch ball are of the same sizeCoupler and safety chains are safely secured to the hitch of the tow vehicleAll fasteners are properly tightenedBoat is securely tied down to trailer (winch line is not a tie down)Wheel lug nuts are properly tightenedWheel bearings are properly adjusted and maintainedLoad is within maximum load carrying ca…

What is the Most Dangerous Driving Season?

According to an article by Property Casualty 360, Memorial Day weekend was the start of the most dangerous driving season of the year. I want to share this article with you because I had no idea how Summer affects drivers and creates more risk than other seasons.

The article not only mentions driving statistics that you may find surprising, I know I did, but it also mentions changes in driving behaviors such as: “8 in 10 drivers (81 percent) said they were less likely to drive cautiously (e.g. taking extra care with stopping, turning, and attention to speed) in the summertime.” Statistics like these really drove home the point that safe driving in the Summer is just as important as in the Winter.
I appreciate the tips and advice that Property Casualty 360 included in the article and I think you will too. If anything they are a good reminder to all of us. In the article you can find tips on car checkups, tires, emergency kits and more. Some of the tips they offer are simple but can have …

5 Reasons Why Windshield Repair Day is Awesome

This year will be our third year partnering with Michelle White and her team at Glass America to bring the community the opportunity to have their windshield chips repaired for Free. On June 6th we will host our 4th event and June 7th will be the 5th event where residents can enjoy a beverage and cookies and meet our staff while Glass America Technicians repair windshield chips.

1. Fix the break without going broke. One of the great things about Windshield Repair Day is that there is no charge. If the windshield chip is smaller than a quarter it is repaired for Free.  
2. Claims. We will not file a claim on your insurance! If your windshield needs full replacement, and you decide you want to file a claim, our team can help you file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is not Michigan Insurance Group.
3. 15 minutes. The windshield repair takes no more than 15 minutes. You can park your car, enjoy refreshments, meet the Michigan Insurance Group team, request an auto insurance…

7 Home Security Tips to Consider

If you’re working on home improvements this Summer, consider a few home security updates to make your home safer:
1. Install an alarm and security system. It doesn’t just save you the worry of break ins or theft, it could save you money on your home insurance too.
2. Know your neighbors. Ask them to keep an eye on your house, especially if you have plans to be out of town for a while.
3. Lock your doors and windows. When you get comfortable in your home or are in a hurry, it is easy to forget to lock the doors. Plus, burglaries are more likely to happen with unlocked doors and windows. If your doors aren’t equipped with deadbolt locks, consider installing deadbolts. This is another home insurance discount offered by many insurance carriers.

4. Taking a vacation? Avoid sharing the details on social media. It is very easy for predators to find your details, address, etc.
5. Outdoor lighting. Use outdoor lighting and motion sensors. Light up the entrances to your home. Burglars don’t want…

Featured Blog: Taj

Were you one of the many that witnessed the birth of April's baby Taj? Our agency president, Donald A. Shampine, CIC, CRM has something positive to say about the impact made by this little giraffe's debut. Read more here:

Why Michigan Insurance Group Enjoys Being a Local Agency

Our team has come together to give you insight on why we are in the insurance industry. For our team it is more than just clocking in and working 8:30 - 5:00. We are all here with a greater purpose. 
"I am a local agent because I like to help people in my community. Insurance can be a complicated subject and I like to have or find the solutions for my neighbors. I also like to save people money! It’s awesome when you can save someone money and also make sure they have great coverage in the event of a loss. I often run into my clients when around town and it’s a great feeling to live where my clients do."  – Ryan Miller, Licensed Insurance Agent
Nate Donselar, Licensed Insurance Agent, says, "I am in the industry because my greatest asset is talking to people. I also love helping people out and working with numbers."

"I work here because I want to help people. I want to be of service and make people’s day brighter. Plus I like the team I work with." – Ronda…

Do I need Renter's Insurance?

Your first thought might be “No, my parents have insurance,” or “No, my landlord has insurance.” If they are insured, that’s great…for them. We invite you to ask yourself these questions to determine if you should have renter’s insurance for you and your stuff:
1. Do you live at home with your parents? According to the Wall Street Journal almost 40% of adults live with their parents. If you are an adult living at home with your parents you may need your own renter’s insurance policy for your belongings.
2. Do you live off campus while at college? Living in a dorm your contents are covered under your parent’s homeowners policy. This is not the case when you live off campus. Renter’s insurance can provide coverage for electronics, clothing, furniture, books, etc. 

3. Do you rent an apartment? A common misconception among renters is that the landlord/apartment complex/owners are insured, therefore they are also insured. This is not true. Their insurance policy covers the dwelling and appl…

3 Things to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle season is upon us. We are constantly reminded on social media, the radio and TV to keep a close eye out for motorcyclists but accidents still happen. That’s why these 3 things are a must read for all the motorcyclists out there:

1. Talk with your medical insurance provider or review your plan to make sure that your medical insurance will cover motorcycle injuries. If your medical insurance plan does not provide coverage you can add medical benefits with various limits to your motorcycle insurance policy.

2. Michigan Insurance Group highly recommends wearing all safety gear, including a helmet. However, if you prefer to ride without a helmet in Michigan you are required to have a minimum of $20,000 in medical benefit coverage on your motorcycle policy. If you have a rider that amount may be higher.

3. Safety courses are always a good refresher for the riding season. Motorcycle safety courses will also provide a discount on your motorcycle insurance. Hot Rod Harley Davidson,…

How to Avoid Pot Holes

You’re driving down the road and your vehicle’s front end dips down and thuds. You cringe because you know you’ve just driven through a pothole. As we all know, hitting a pothole is not fun. The winter weather does a number on Michigan roads. As we patiently wait for the roads to be repaired, here are a few things you can do to help avoid potholes and damage:

Slow down. If you slow down you have a chance of lessening the impact the pothole will have on you and your vehicle.
Traffic patterns. Pay attention to the distance between you and other vehicles. By leaving more space you have more time to react. If you see the vehicle in front of you hit a pothole and you’ve left enough distance you might have enough time to adjust your driving speed before driving over the pothole or avoid it all together.
Beware of puddles. Watch closely for potholes after a lot of rain. Water does a very nice job hiding a pothole.
Steering wheel. “Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel as potholes can cause …