April 6, 2021

BBQ Safety!


Hooray, warm weather is upon us!  And with that, many people are pulling out their grills and firing up their barbecues. I can already smell that freshly grilled burger, and it is making my mouth water in anticipation. Whether your choice is veggie kababs or hot-off-the-grill burgers, barbequed food delights are aplenty. Before you jump on the bandwagon, now is a great time to review some safety tips to make sure everything is ready for you to enjoy the delicious grilling. Use your propane or charcoal grill outside only and at an appropriate distance from your home or other building … Continue reading

March 21, 2021

Dog Bite Liability


Many Americans regard dogs as cute, cuddly, friendly, and loveable animals. However, some people view dogs as vicious, dangerous, and potentially harmful. The stay-at-home orders of 2020 gave numerous households an impulse to adopt dogs at a much higher rate than average. According to the American Pet Products Association, almost 90 million dogs currently live in American households. While many adoptions were well-intended and brought comfort to the new pet owners and the dogs themselves, all of the adoptions came with the responsibility and liability of owning a dog. What happens when your dog bites another person? If that person … Continue reading

January 26, 2021

Mentorship at Its Finest


Starting a new job often elicits feelings of fear or discomfort in navigating the unknown in new responsibilities, new surroundings, and new people.  VAST does something special to increase the comfort level of our newest hires.  The VAST Mentorship Program pairs the new hire with an experienced employee who has worked for VAST for a substantial amount of time to be a loyal guide and mentor for their first year. Official and structured mentorship programs give new hires the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a knowledgeable employee to help motivate and engage them in their new place of work.  … Continue reading

October 29, 2020

Gearing Up For Winter


As much as I hate to admit that summer is over and the warm temperatures are gone, it is true.  Winter is just around the corner.  With that, comes the cold, snow, and icy weather conditions that can make driving hazardous. Autumn is the perfect time of year to do a full check-up on your vehicle and make sure you are prepared to handle the impending winter driving conditions.  It may seem like a funny concept, but spending money now to prepare your vehicle for the cold weather will actually cost less in the long run and prevent you from … Continue reading

September 23, 2020

It Actually IS Easy Being Green!


In honor of Earth Day this past April, the Green Team at VAST celebrated by encouraging all VAST team members and their families to do an environmentally friendly activity at home during our Stay at Home Order.  While this was not our original idea of how to celebrate Earth Day, it still resulted in great fun, participation, and many different acts that both helped and honored our earth. We gave our team members some ideas on how to be green at home, and they ran with it!  We saw people growing indoor herbs and veggies for their gardens, upgrading their … Continue reading

September 16, 2020

RV it up!


Are you one of the many Americans longing to get on the road these days and get out of town with your family?  A trip in a Recreational Vehicle, or RV, may be the perfect choice for you to safely travel in comfort this year. RVs are viewed by many as a safer traveling option for 2020.  They give you the ability to sleep in your own bed, use your own bathroom, and eat in your own space away from crowded areas.  To have a safe and successful RV road trip this year, you will need to prepare for both … Continue reading

September 9, 2020

Cycling Fun


Is there anything more fun these days than getting out for a nice healthy bike ride? I love to get out on my road and mountain bikes as much as possible and bike around Marquette County on the beautiful days.  However, each time I go out, I am careful to follow bicycling safety practices to keep myself and other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists safe. Getting out on a bicycle is one of my favorite ways to exercise, and it has many benefits.  It strengthens my heart with the cardio exercise, gives my immune system a boost and my brain a … Continue reading

September 2, 2020

Boating Safety


Since many of us have been looking for creative ways to social distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry that has been busy this summer is boating! Summer is not quite over yet, so it is still a good idea to review boater safety before heading out on the water. Before you cast off, no matter your desired choice of watercraft or body of water, it is a good idea to check the local weather forecast to know what you will encounter.  Sometimes it looks like a gorgeous day out on the lake, but dark clouds may be headed … Continue reading

August 19, 2020

Hiking Safety


Hiking Safety Planning time for pleasure and enjoyment can be difficult these days with the way the world has changed from the pandemic and the many restricted travel options.  One increasingly popular activity that is both easy on the pocketbook and good for your overall health is hiking. The concept of going for a hike may sound simple; however, it is important to prepare yourself ahead of time for any issues that may arise.  Knowing what to do if bad weather pops up, planning where you will go, hiking with a buddy or letting someone know when to expect you … Continue reading

June 19, 2020

The Lowdown on ERISA Bonds


You may have heard of ERISA bonds before.  You very likely have heard of 401(k) plans.  But did you know the two are connected?  I have found that, even in the insurance business, there is a lot of uncertainty as to what ERISA bonds do, how they work, and why they are required. ERISA is an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which was enacted into federal law to set minimum standards for retirement and health plans and to provide protection for individuals enrolled in the plans.  ERISA bonds are fidelity bonds that act as employee … Continue reading

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