September 17, 2018

Insurance Misconceptions Pt. I – The Agent


Working in the insurance industry, I’ve come to find that during discussions with family and friends I’m often having to paint a “prettier” image of the job of an agent and the industry itself. Here, you will find a few of these misconceptions and the reality of insurance as I’ve come to know it first-hand. Working with an agent is more expensive It actually saves time and money when you go to an agent for your insurance needs. Think of it as your one- stop shop. When you go to an agent at VAST, they are able to seek out … Continue reading

August 14, 2018

Fall Hazards


  Occupational hazards are a serious aspect employers must consider.  Many safety applications exist to protect workers from harm, including death.  It may surprise you to learn that for Michigan workers, the most frequent cause of death for 2017 was due to falls.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, reported falls as the most common cause of work-related deaths for 2016 nationwide, which was 38.7% of all deaths reported. This may bring to mind the image of a construction worker or roofer falling from a high structure. In reality, falls from less than 6 feet can also cause … Continue reading

June 29, 2018

5 Insurance Coverages Breweries Should Consider


Craft beverages have become a growing trend, not only here in our town, but across the U.S.  According to the Brewers Association, overall beer sales were down 1% in 2017.  However, craft brewer sales continue to grow at a rate of 5% by volume. Craft production has grown the most in microbreweries. Due to the large growth in craft beverages, many insurance companies have specially designed programs for breweries. Here are five insurance coverages breweries should look for in an insurance policy: Product contamination – provides coverage if beverage product becomes contaminated while on your premises or comes into contact … Continue reading

June 26, 2018

Pre-Employment Screening Program


Motor carrier companies have many tools at their disposal in screening driver applicants. Motor carriers mostly run MVRs (Motor Vehicle Record) checks on potential applicants as part of their hiring process. However, there is another report that motor carriers run on applicants that is not as well-known as the MVRs. It is called the Pre-Employment Screen Program Report, or PSP. The PSP, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is a federally maintained program that allows motor carriers, drivers, and other industry service providers to access commercial drivers’ safety records. You may be thinking wouldn’t a drivers MVR show … Continue reading

March 21, 2018

A Synopsis: Commercial Property Coinsurance


What does the term “coinsurance” mean when referring to commercial property insurance?  This word is often misunderstood and confusing to policyholders.  It is a term that is completely different when it comes to health insurance, and it is important to know the meaning and how it works when you insure your building for your business. Coinsurance is commonly found in commercial property policies, but it is also found in many other insurance policies such as dwelling forms, homeowners, federal flood, directors and officers liability, inland marine, and of course health insurance.  Even the use of the word “coinsurance” can have … Continue reading

March 19, 2018

Obtaining a CDL in Michigan


As part number two of our blogs about commercial driver’s license we will now discuss the specific requirements for obtaining a CDL in the State of Michigan. In the State of Michigan when applying for a commercial driver’s license, an applicant must provide the following information, according to www.michigan.gov : Social Security Number Legal proof of residence in the United States If applying for a hazardous material endorsement (A Class C CDL) you must complete a Federal Security Threat Assessment and a U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident Form A complete application from your potential employer, which should include a … Continue reading

March 2, 2018

What is a CDL?


Navigating the many rules and regulations of the trucking industry can be tricky. Not only do motor trucking companies have strict rules and regulations to follow, but those wanting to work as operators (i.e. drivers) have requirements set specifically for them! The biggest requirement for potential truck drivers is the possession and maintenance of a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. A commercial driver’s license is a special license that must be obtained by an applicant in order to operate certain types of vehicles. The commercial driver’s license requirements can be broken down into three classes, according to the Federal Motor … Continue reading

January 12, 2018

Workers’ Compensation Claim Filing – Cost and the Importance of Timeliness


We all can agree that the circumstances surrounding the filing of a workers’ compensation or “work comp” claim can certainly be daunting and potentially costly. It’s easy to fall prey to the notion of “I’ll take care of this tomorrow” or “I probably don’t need to report this”. How much of a difference can early and proactive claims reporting really make? As it turns out, it could save your business thousands of dollars, or prevent the need to even provide a payout at all. From a cost standpoint, consider the unknowns surrounding the evolution of a workers’ compensation claim. Delayed … Continue reading

January 8, 2018

What does it mean to have a “Claims Made” Policy?


Insurance policies are primarily written on an occurrence basis or claims made basis. The most common of the two is occurrence simply because what you see (or pay for) is what you get – regardless of when a claim is filed the policy that was in force at the time of the claim would respond. An occurrence policy can be cancelled (no strings attached) and claims can continue to be filed if the claim occurred during the time the policy was in force. The more complex of the two is claims made. Unlike the occurrence policy where the policy that … Continue reading

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

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