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

March 5, 2020

Inland Marine Insurance – What Does That Cover?


When I first heard the term “Inland Marine Insurance”, I thought it sounded like an oxymoron.  How do you have insurance for marine items that are “inland”?  In fact, inland marine insurance almost fits that line of thought.  It is insurance for a wide assortment of specialized property made for land, not for oceans or water-travel. Inland marine insurance is a type of business property insurance that can include coverage for scheduled items on a policy, and it can also include a general limit for many items that fall under the same category.  This is often included on policies for … Continue reading

February 24, 2020

Green Team Spotlight


In 2019, I was fortunate to be part of a group of VAST employees who developed a plan to implement recycling in the office.  We had a desire not only to recycle, but also to reduce the carbon footprint of VAST and help the environment though waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation, and sustainability efforts.  Through the determination of a handful of dedicated individuals in the office, the Green Team was born. Throughout the year, the Green Team assessed the current state of VAST’s recycling efforts through Waste Audits and offered the employees of VAST opportunities to recycle rigids, fibers, batteries, … Continue reading

January 17, 2020

The Importance of Longshoreman Coverage


If you own a business and work near navigable waters, it is very likely that you need Longshoreman coverage.  This coverage is for your worker’s compensation policy to protect your employees who work on or near navigable waters of the United States, including employees working in any capacity near the water.  Working near the water can include anything from loading and unloading a vessel, doing work on a vessel, repair work, construction, and much more. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is similar to the Jones Act, but it was created for a different category of workers.  It … Continue reading

December 11, 2019

Business Auto – Drive Other Car Coverage


In today’s insurance world for Michigan, auto insurance is a big question mark looming in the distance.  Lawmakers and insurance carriers are currently deciding how everything will fit in place with the new auto insurance laws coming into effect July 2020.  The changes will influence both personal and commercial auto insurance, and no one has concrete answers on all of the details quite yet. If you own a business that possesses autos, most likely you have a business auto insurance policy.  No matter how many vehicles are on the business auto policy, if you or other employees use them for … Continue reading

November 15, 2019

The Value of Umbrella Policies


If you own a business, you probably have insurance policies for general liability, property, auto liability, and possibly workers’ compensation if you have employees.  However, there is one standard liability policy that is sometimes overlooked – umbrella liability.  No, it’s not insurance for those things you hold over your head when it rains, but much like those types of umbrellas, umbrella liability policies provide extra coverage. Commercial umbrella liability policies offer an extra layer of protection for businesses with claims against bodily injury, property damage, and other liability claims.  The policies are designed to extend coverage when your business’ general … Continue reading

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