December 11, 2017

Causes of Loss Forms

Prior to working in the insurance industry, I purchased insurance because I had to. I did not really understand the ins and outs of what I was purchasing or exactly what risks it would or would not protect me from. An insurance policy can be intimidating and sometimes confusing, but it is important to understand your coverage prior to a loss rather than after the damage is done to avoid unexpected gaps. There are three commercial property forms (basic, broad and special) that identify the causes of loss (or perils) for which coverage is provided. The basic and broad causes … Continue reading

December 6, 2017

Business Acumen

Have you ever felt like you are so busy at work you just do things to get them off your desk (correctly of course J), but you may not actually have a deep understanding of WHY you are doing it?  The WHY behind the what you do is so important.  I’m so thankful VAST encourages taking time for business acumen each week. Otherwise, it may get lost in the stack of other things going on. Everything is so fast paced these days, including insurance.  The role of an account manager here can be so transactional, but it’s important to take … Continue reading

November 29, 2017

Truck Operators Electronic Log Mandate

In December 2017, commercial truck operators will be required to use an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to track hours of service (HOS) and records of duty status (RODS) if they are currently using paper logs or other logging software. Operators currently using an Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD) have until December 2019 to comply with the mandate. Most operators will need to comply, but there are a few exceptions to the rule: Operators of vehicles that were made before the year 2000. Drivers that currently operate under short haul exceptions and are not currently required to keep records of duty … Continue reading

November 22, 2017

Driving in Poor Weather Conditions

The end of October and into November brings variable weather conditions each year, especially in the Upper Peninsula.  So far this autumn we’ve already experienced gale force winds knocking down trees throughout the area and creating 29 foot waves on Lake Superior, heavy rains, and even a light dusting of snow! With these different weather changes, it is very important that drivers take precautions when setting out on the road each time.  Auto is a loss leader in the insurance industry, and auto accidents can be very scary and costly. Some tips to keep in mind each time you get … Continue reading

November 10, 2017

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

In this day and age, many professions are commonly desk based; meaning your work tasks are completed while sitting all day working on your computer and phone. With this come risks that many people may not be aware of.  Many professionals say that “sitting is the new smoking” and that sitting for long periods of time has been linked to numerous health concerns. Research by James A Levine M.D, Ph.D. from The Mayo Clinic supports that some of these health concerns include; increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.  A quite … Continue reading

November 8, 2017

Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

Fall is here! It is time to prepare your home for the winter season and take care of any potential problems before they arise. Here are some suggestions for fall maintenance: Check smoke detectors and change the batteries in each detector. Inspect your fire extinguisher to be sure it’s fully charged. Or, if you don’t have one, make sure to purchase one. If you have a fireplace, have your chimney cleaned. Check gutters and downspouts to be sure they are secured properly to your home. Don’t forget to clean out any leaves or debris that may be accumulating in them … Continue reading

November 3, 2017


As the insured, you have the option to insure your building(s) with a valuation method that best suits what you desire to receive in payment at the time of a loss. The chart below provides a brief summary of the two most common valuations and a claim scenario to help understand the differences. There are additional valuation methods that are less common. Please feel free to reach out to your insurance agent to review your current valuation or look at other possible options.

November 2, 2017

Milestone Anniversaries

At VAST, we love any reason to celebrate, but who doesn’t?  Once a year, at one of our monthly celebration lunches, we celebrate all employees who have a milestone work anniversary that year.  Milestone anniversaries are every five years of employment.  In addition to ordering lunch in, we also put together a slideshow with pictures of each person.  Thanks to years of past events, social media, amazing spouses and family members, we are able to put together a photo slideshow (including some awesome music) that never disappoints! This year, we are lucky to be celebrating several employees: Five {5} Years: … Continue reading

November 2, 2017

Employee Dishonesty – It can happen to anyone

You never want to think that you would have an employee that would steal, but unfortunately it does happen. However, there are some ways to reduce your risk: Do not give signature authority to just one person and require two signatures on checks. Separate check issuance and bank reconciling functions. If corporate credit cards are issued, require expense reports with original receipts to validate purchases. Require an original invoice to issue a check. Perform annual audits – both internal and external. Employee dishonesty coverage can also be purchased, either as an addition to your current insurance policy or on a … Continue reading

October 31, 2017

6 Halloween Safety Tips

Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing colors, and the air is crisp. We are also preparing for Halloween, which is even more fun when you have two little boys whose excitement is contagious. With all the fun there is to be had, it is also important to be safe. Here a few tips to consider whether you are a homeowner or a business owner who participates in trick-or-treating. Be sure sidewalks are clear and there are no obstacles in the way that trick-or-treaters might trip on. Consider using lights or battery operated candles instead of … Continue reading

National healthcare open enrollment starts November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017.

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