January 8, 2019

2018: That’s a Wrap!


Another year is in the bag for VAST and with it brought some great memories, successes, and celebrations. Let’s take a peek at some of the highlighted moments from 2018. 212°: This year’s focus was based off the concept of “212 degrees” – one degree more than the boiling point. This concept is about going the extra mile and adding that additional degree in all that we do to bring ourselves as a whole to “boiling”. Being “Lean”: Another concept of the year is becoming a “leaner” agency and improve our daily procedures so we work as a well-oiled machine. … Continue reading

January 2, 2019

CISR Designations


Kelly Schultz, Alison Neumann, Jane Wanberg and Andrew Flannery of VAST have all recently obtained the designation of Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) after successful completion of a comprehensive insurance education program sponsored by the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives. The Society of CISR is a key member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, the nation’s preeminent provider of insurance and risk management education. This program is designed to serve a variety of individuals practicing insurance so that they may better serve their clients’ needs and requirements. Kelly, Alison, Jane and Andrew have demonstrated their professional … Continue reading

December 10, 2018

Holiday Safety


A lot of variables come with the holiday season. People are traveling many miles, cooking elaborate meals for loved ones, ordering plenty of items off the internet, and decorating their homes. All of these various activities expose us, our home, and our families to a little risk. It’s nothing to be too scared or nervous about, but keeping these holiday safety tips at the forefront this season may help you and your loved ones stay safe. After all it is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”, let’s be sure to keep it that way! When decorating … Continue reading

November 30, 2018

How Regular Exercise Impacts Workplace Performance


When we think of exercise, usually the first things that come to mind are improving our physique and bettering our health. A regular exercise program can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and improve confidence and self-esteem.  Another benefit of exercise that people don’t always realize is that it improves the way we think. This has a direct translation to how we perform in the workplace! Studies indicate that our brain firepower is directly linked to our regular physical routine. Regular exercise has the following cognitive benefits: improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina, enhanced creativity, and lower … Continue reading

November 30, 2018

Surety Bonds 101


When I tell my friends and family that I work in the commercial side of insurance, and issue many surety bonds, I get a lot of blank stares.  The fact is, if you’re not familiar with construction and the world of bonding, it’s likely you’re not aware that surety bonding even exists!  Below I’ve a compiled a few quick tips and facts to help with familiarity and awareness of surety bonding. In its purest form, a surety bond is a financial guarantee that a contract will be upheld and completed for an owner by the contractor or principal. In construction … Continue reading

November 13, 2018

Enhancing Our Culture through Conferences


Attending industry conferences can greatly benefit employees in many occupations, especially insurance.  VAST regularly sends team members to multiple different conferences throughout the year.  Doing so gives us educational opportunities, networking possibilities both with others in our industry and with vendors and suppliers, and prospects to grow within our fields of expertise in the insurance industry. VAST regularly encourages and sponsors its team members to take part in many different conferences and learning opportunities.  Some include specific educational opportunities and exams for different insurance agent designations.  Others focus on particular insurance carriers or sectors of the industry.  All conferences provide … Continue reading

November 6, 2018

Disaster Preparedness


Wildfires. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Flash Floods. These severe weather/climate events have become all too familiar in today’s day and age. Weather events are increasing in size and severity and, unfortunately, more and more people are experiencing them. Beyond asking ourselves why these events are happening, we can have disaster preparedness for ourselves and our families by following some simple tips and suggestions from www.ready.gov: Put together a plan in case of an emergency. Discuss what your family should do in the event of a natural disaster. Who should contact whom? Where should everyone meet in case they are not together, or … Continue reading

November 1, 2018

Upcoming Michigan Employment Changes


The proposals within the November General Elections and two new legislative employment acts that were approved on September 5, 2018 by the Michigan Legislatures are going to require employers to review their employee handbooks and make some changes moving toward 2019. As most of us are aware, there is the proposal on the ballot “To allow under state law the personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.”  Should this proposal pass, employers can still have a “no tolerance/drug free workplace.”   However, you should still review your policies and make decisions on how this … Continue reading

October 12, 2018

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep


Life is busy and the days are short. Whether you’re trying to get more work done, studying for school, or socializing; we pack as much as possible into our schedule, which leaves an essential part of our health neglected, sleep.  Sleep plays a vital role in your health, and there are many consequences to insufficient sleep that can take a toll on overall quality of life. The old saying of, “Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep” is an accurate statement. There are many benefits of sleep, some of them being: Healthy Brain Function According to the National … Continue reading

October 9, 2018

Insurance Misconceptions Pt. II – The Industry


In the first part of this misconceptions blog, we discovered the myths behind the insurance agent. Now let’s dive a little deeper into some of those misconceptions that are often heard about the industry itself. ·         The insurance Industry is always raising rates because they’re “greedy.” The first step in understanding rates is to shine some light on how insurance works. The insurance industry operates under a type of risk management referred to as a risk pool.  In this, risk is allocated among the population with many paying for the losses of the few. On the contrary, when there are … Continue reading

Our foundation may be insurance, but we have evolved, and so have the solutions that we provide.