Showing posts from 2017

Why Should I Create A Photo Inventory of My Home?

Major home losses occur every day in Michigan. From large-scale flooding to tornadoes to single-house fires, unforeseen events can destroy, scatter or render the contents of your home completely unrecognizable. That’s why it is important to create a home inventory that can be stored on the cloud. Pictures, receipts and written descriptions or appraisals can help you get the greatest appropriate value for personal property that is damaged, stolen or destroyed in a covered event.

Renters, mobile home owners, condo owners and homeowners all should have a digital record of at least their valuable belongings, though it’s easy enough to create one of everything you own. With a digital record, you can add to it as you amass more items or delete from it as you discard things. Not only can you record the appearance of your belongings, but you can also record their price, model number (if applicable), and location in your home. To get a glimpse of how important inventorying is, walk out of your …

How Can I Save Money on My Insurance?

One of the things Michigan Insurance Group loves doing is helping clients save money. To give you an idea of how we help you cut down insurance costs for clients we compiled a list of 15 ways to save money on your insurance:
1. Bundle your home and auto insurance When your home and auto insurance are with one carrier it’s more than just convenient, it saves you money.
2. Sign up for paperless billing. Receiving bills via email could save you time and a few dollars a month.  
3. Opt in for EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) Some of our carriers offer a 7-14% discount if you sign up for automatic payments from your account.
4. Pay in Full Not everyone’s budget can allow for this, but if you save money through the year and can make it happen, you can cut your insurance cost almost in half. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to not have to worry about paying insurance every month?
5. Own your home Homeownership has many perks. One advantage of owning a home is that you get a discount on your auto ins…

What Maintenance Should I Do This Fall?

Cooler nights are upon us already. Take advantage of the days between Summer adventures and raking leaves to perform a bit of routine maintenance. These tasks can give you peace of mind as winter weather hits.

1. Tune up your furnace Replace the furnace filter, check your thermal coupler and vacuum out the dust. If there is a humidifier attached to it perform maintenance on that as well.
2. Batteries Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, CO2 detectors and better check the fire extinguisher too.
3. Water Store hoses, turn off outdoor water supplies and direct drainage away from the house.
4. Chimney Have your chimney and fireplace inspected and swept. Make sure the damper is working.
5. Roof Inspect your roof for any damages and repair them as needed.
6. Gutters While you are working on roof repairs check the gutters and clean out leaves and sticks while you’re up there.
7. Windows If you put plastic up to cover your windows to save on heating cost now would be a good time to get…

10 Perks of Renter's Insurance

When we compiled a list of renter’s insurance perks we realized they all benefit the insured, so we just had to share them with you.
1. Fire/Smoke Damage – If you live in an apartment and there is a fire in another apartment; your contents are covered whether they are damaged by fire or smoke.
2. Theft Protection – Renter’s insurance can cover your stuff up to the limits listed in your policy if they are stolen. Renter’s insurance can also cover your personal belongings while you are away, traveling for work or fun.
3. Coverage for damage you cause – If you tip over your friend’s TV, crash their bicycle or cause damage to the property of others you could be covered.

4. Protection from liability claims – This helps protect you if you get sued for causing major damage or accused of defamation of character because of leaving a bad review online.
5. Affordable coverageRenter’sinsurance costs about the same as eating out once a month or about as much as one latte a week.
6. Coverage …

Am I Insured for Ride-Sharing?

As your local agency it is our job to stay informed on new trends that can affect your insurance coverage. Ride-sharing is one of these trends. Ride-share companies, such as Uber, Lyft, and Meijers Shipt, are becoming more common. In fact, several clients have shown interest in ride-sharing activities. Luckily, our carriers saw the trend approaching and now the ride-sharing endorsement is available through Michigan Insurance Group for your auto insurance.
There are several features of the ride-sharing endorsement that are beneficial, most importantly that there is coverage available while you are taking part in ride-sharing activities. 

A few key pieces of the ride-sharing endorsement that are important to know to avoid gaps in coverage are:
1. When you wait for a passenger match, the ride-sharing endorsement, when purchased and where applicable, provides you with comp, collision, uninsured/under insured, roadside & medical coverage.
2. Ride-sharing companies provide certain cove…

Do I have the right insurance for my house?

Do you have the right type of house insurance? Do you live in your home? Do you rent it to others? Is it unoccupied? Depending on how you answer these questions will determine what type of house insurance policy you should have. Here are the major differences between having a homeowners insurance policy vs. a dwelling fire policy:
Homeowners Policy: Owner occupiedProvides coverage for structure: the house itself, other structures: detached garageProvides liability protection: someone sues the homeownerAdditional living expense: for example, hotel costs if house is damaged by a covered loss*Personal Property: coverage for your stuff

Dwelling Fire Policy: Occupied by someone other than the home ownerProvides coverage for structure: the house itself, other structures: detached garageProvides liability protection: only for the homeowner, not for the tenantLoss of rents: pays homeowners loss of rent from tenant if home is damaged by a covered loss*Landlord Furnishings: appliances or furnitu…

Do I have Roadside Assistance?

If you’re on the side of the road, that’s a great question! If you’re not on the side of the road, shew! It’s still an important question to know the answer to, so you will be well prepared if perhaps you breakdown and need roadside assistance.

Before you ask the question, there’s a few things to know:
First it’s important to know that every auto insurance policy is unique. When a policy is written properly it’s tailored to you, your vehicle and your assets. This means not all insurance policies include roadside assistance, more specifically policies that are liability only. If liability only is the best coverage for you than it is very possible that  your policy does not include Roadside Assistance coverage. However, what if you need this coverage? This brings us to the second thing to know:
Just because you have liability only doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage for towing. It’s important to know that Roadside Assistance coverage is available to you and affordable. Michigan Insurance G…

3 Common Insurance Misconceptions

Agents are continuously learning about the insurance industry so that you don't have to. Our team takes pride in educating themselves on, not just the insurance industry, but our client's lifestyle as well. One of the reasons they do this is because insurance misconceptions could lead to a gap in coverage which means you might not be insured when you think you are. Your agents job is to make sure there are no gaps.

Here are 3 common insurance misconceptions your agents are looking out for:

If you have any concerns about the common insurance misconceptions or team is more than happy to help. Visit us at or give us a call. 616.755.3000 | 231.755.3000
Written by Karlee Miller
Creative Administrator

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 …