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 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

October 26, 2017

Trailer Safety


Nervous about towing a trailer? With the right equipment and some practice, towing can be almost as easy as regular driving! No matter how comfortable you are with towing a trailer safety should always be a high priority. Here are some safety tips for towing a trailer: Safely connect the trailer to your vehicle. Use the locking mechanism and be sure the lock pin is in place. The lock pin is a small, often overlooked component that has the most important job in the hitch. A trailer connection to a vehicle should also have two chains, crisscrossing in an X-shape, … Continue reading

August 22, 2017

Protection for the People You Love


Most people wouldn’t even consider NOT putting insurance on their new home or car. You want those items repaired or replaced if they are damaged. We receive requests on a daily basis to insure cars, homes, and recreational vehicles.  But the calls we receive to purchase life insurance are less common. Why is that? Life insurance protects the people in your life, which I believe most people would agree is more important than their home or car.  I understand a person cannot be replaced and thinking about your own mortality is not necessarily pleasant, but it is necessary. Loss of … Continue reading

August 15, 2017

The Voice on the Other End of the Line: VAST’s Emergency Claims Phone


It’s 7 PM on a Saturday and you discover a major leak in your roof following a storm.  After taking care of the immediate needs of the situation, can you call your insurance agency at this time of day and week to notify them of the damage?  If you’re a client of VAST’s, the answer is YES! Other insurance agencies may be only available to take information on a claim during regular business days and hours.  VAST has an option for our clients, who have an after-hours emergency to call and receive help. Our job is to advise you to … Continue reading

August 11, 2017

Effectively Filing a Claim


Insurance is there to protect you in the event of a loss, and help alleviate the financial burden.  In the event of a property claim, you want to quickly restore your property and move forward with life. Below are some important tips to navigate filing a claim: Know what you have insured: It’s best to be proactive and keep a list of your personal property. In the event of a total loss, it’s hard to recall everything you own. An easy way to keep track is to take photos or videos of each room. Be sure to keep these documents … Continue reading

May 19, 2017

Anatomy of an Auto Accident


What happens when you’ve had an automobile accident?  Nobody truly expects to experience an accident, but all should be prepared to handle what to do after one takes place.  Take it from me, I had the unfortunate experience this winter.  I work for VAST, so I should know exactly what to do in a situation like this, right?  I learned quickly that adrenaline and chaos in a situation like this make it hard to keep things straight! Important tips I learned to act upon as quickly as possible once an accident occurs: Turn on your vehicle hazard lights and stay … Continue reading

May 8, 2017

Pedestrian Safety


As that warmer days approach (I promise, they’re approaching), the streets will be bustling with pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists that were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. Whether you’re on a bicycle or going for a run, there are a few safety precautions you should take as a pedestrian. Make sure you’re visible to drivers. Wearing bright colors, reflective clothing, or flashing lights will increase your visibility and signal drivers to slow down. This is especially important around dusk and after dark. Know where you belong. … Continue reading

March 13, 2017

Travel Insurance


It’s that time of year again where we ditch the snow boots and frigid temps for flip flops and sunny skies. For those that are lucky enough to take respite from the Upper Peninsula’s infamous winters, it’s important to know how to cover yourself and loved ones while you travel abroad to your spring break destinations. Who wants their relaxing vacation to be interrupted by an unexpected sickness or injury? If you’re like me when planning a trip, I like to be extremely organized and plan for any situation. Unfortunately, you can’t always plan for the unexpected. Take the stress … Continue reading

December 23, 2016

Celebrating Safely


December is National Impaired Driving Prevention month. Seasonal festivities have begun and according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities due to driving impaired increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year Holidays. Whenever your plans include consuming alcohol, make arrangements ahead of time for your transportation home so you do not drive impaired. Have a designated sober driver, plan to take a taxi, or arrange for a sober friend or family member to pick you up. You not only put yourself at risk if you drive impaired, but you also put other drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk. … Continue reading

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