June 28, 2019

Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Insurance Carriers


How important is it when choosing an insurance carrier that they be admitted (standard market) vs. non-admitted (excess or surplus lines)? Although it may be important, it may not be as important as choosing an insurance company with financial stability. For example, an admitted company with an A.M. Best rating of C may be more of a risk than a non-admitted carrier with a higher A.M. Best rating. Typically, insurance will not be placed with a non-admitted carrier unless it has been declined by admitted carriers (the agent is required to do their due diligence in seeking a standard market … Continue reading

April 22, 2019

The Differences Between an HMO and PPO Health Plan


When researching health insurance plans, there are many items to consider. There are two plan design options to choose from, and knowing the difference between them is very important in determining which coverage is best suited for you. One of the plan options, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), commonly requires you to choose one Primary Care Physician (PCP) and all services will go through this physician. If you need to see a specialist or receive a service that is outside the realm of your PCP’s practice, you will need to make an appointment with your PCP first, who will then refer … Continue reading

March 28, 2019

The Melt And How to Deal With It


After the winter that Northern Michigan and the Midwest in general has experienced, it may be safe to say that spring is quickly approaching. The sun is getting higher in the sky throughout the day, bringing warmer temperatures and now with Daylight Savings Time our daylight hours are extended. With the incredible snow totals, and extreme cold temperatures we’ve endured this winter, there are some items you may want to take into consideration when preparing your home, office building, or structures in general to be sure they are foundationally sound for what they’re about to go through this melting season. … Continue reading

February 25, 2019

I’ll Be (ice) Dammed!


It is once again that magical time of year where it seems to never quit snowing. As you drive around town, you may also notice large icicles hanging off homes and businesses. While they can certainly be interesting to look at, they could potentially be the start of a more serious winter issue, ice damming.  But what exactly is ice damming? What causes it? How do we get rid of it and keep it away? I’m here to answer all of those questions! Ice damming is when you get a buildup of ice on the edge, or eave, of a … Continue reading

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

July 26, 2018

What is an EOB?


You contact your insurance agent for assistance on understanding a recent medical claim. More than likely, your agent will ask for a copy of the EOB to better assist in answering your questions. Your first thought may be, “What is an EOB?!” If this has been you, don’t worry.  In insurance talk, the abbreviation EOB stands for “Explanation of Benefits.”   An EOB is a document that members enrolled in a medical benefits insurance plan will receive after a claim has been processed. The document will be from the insurance company.  It will provide a detailed explanation of what was billed … Continue reading

July 6, 2018

Understanding Medicare Diagram


Medicare can often be a confusing thing, especially if you are still in the workforce. Below is an easy to follow diagram for understanding Medicare.

June 11, 2018

Who is at Fault for a Fallen Tree?


This is an issue that tends to cause a lot of confusion and frustration for many people. If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property, whether it be your home or business, who should have to pay?  Naturally, most people feel that it isn’t their fault, or their tree, so why should their insurance have to pay for the damage?  In most cases it isn’t really anyone’s fault.  The most common reasons trees fall are from storms, which is an act of Mother Nature. There are cases where your neighbor could be liable if their tree damages your property. For … Continue reading

May 14, 2018

Latest in Fire Safety


Technology continues to advance in so many ways and this also includes technology for fire safety. Some of the new fire alarms have some really cool features. There are “smart alarms” that will send a notification to your phone if the alarm goes off and can tell you if it is a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide, and also the location of the fire. For example, the alarm will tell you “there is smoke in the kitchen” and when one speaks they all speak, so if you are in a different room you will know there’s smoke in the kitchen. … Continue reading

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