Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

With home values up do you have enough insurance coverage?

From: Michigan Dept. of Insurance and Financial Services <DIFS@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov>
Date: Tue, Jun 28, 2022, 8:31 AM
Subject: Press Release: DIFS: Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2022(LANSING, MICH)

For National Insurance Awareness Day, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is urging consumers to confirm that their home’s replacement value is adequate in today’s housing market, and to make sure they understand the terms and conditions of their policy, particularly the policy’s deductible, that will apply if disaster strikes their property.

Home Values

“Home values and building supply prices have increased across the country, and the current coverage provided by your homeowners policy may not be enough to replace or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Though some policies may provide automatic value adjustments, this is a great time to contact your company or agent to discuss your home’s value and to make sure you understand your policy to ensure that it will fully protect you in the event of a loss.

”Homeowners insurance is a contract between a consumer and an insurance company to provide protection for a home. The contract specifies the potential risks, called hazards, that the policy will cover and any applicable policy terms, limitations, exclusions, and policyholder responsibilities. It will also detail things like the premium, deductible, the replacement value of a home, any outbuildings, and any valuable personal property, such as jewelry or collectibles, that may require additional coverage with a personal property endorsement.

In exchange for providing the coverage described in the policy contract, the insurance company will charge the policyholder a premium. Premiums may be billed on a monthly basis, though discounts may be available if consumers elect to pay on an annual or semi-annual basis. The policyholder is also responsible for any relevant deductible, which is a certain amount of money that must be paid out-of-pocket before the insurance company will pay a claim after a loss. For example, a homeowners policy may have a $1,000 deductible, meaning that the insured must pay $1,000 of a covered loss before the company will pay.

“Policy premiums typically decrease when a consumer chooses a higher deductible but choosing a higher deductible may make it more difficult for a family to recover from a disaster,” said Director Fox. “It is important that you have a plan, such as a dedicated emergency fund, for paying your policy deductible or your family could face a severe financial strain if a fire, tornado, or other natural disaster damages your home or possessions.

”For more information and tips on saving for emergencies or other financial goals, visit the DIFS Financial Education website.

For additional information on insurance policies, the claims filing process, or to file a complaint against an insurance company or agent, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or call 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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How to save for a family vacation

How to save for a family vacation

Family Vacation Time?

Financial literacy is an essential life skill necessary to make informed decisions about budgeting, borrowing and more. Equipped with this knowledge, kids grow up prepared for financial independence.

Teaching kids and teenagers financial literacy often falls on parents’ shoulders — and it isn’t always easy. You need to both keep your youngster involved and interested and make the process fun. One way is to use exciting opportunities, like family vacations, to teach your kids good saving habits.

Set goals for you and your kids

So, you’re going on a family vacation. It’s time to set some goals.

  • Decide where you’re going

First, decide on where you’re going. Use selecting a destination as an opportunity to get your kids talking about where they want to go and to create excitement. Pick a place together and let your kids know that the trip can only happen if they chip in financially.

  • Determine the costs

Whether your family is planning a Disneyland trip or a vacation to your kids’ favorite spot, it’s time to determine the costs.

Involve your kids in the process. Break down the numbers for transportation, lodging, entertainment and other expenses. Show your kids the total and discuss how they’ll help you save that amount.

  • Set a timeline

Click here for the full story…


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How Do I Get Recreational Insurance?

If you want to buy insurance for recreational activities like fishing or golf, you will likely have to buy it separately from your homeowner’s or car insurance.  If you are self-employed or work for a small company, you may be able to get coverage through your small business owner’s or association insurance plan. 

Some employers may also offer group health insurance that covers some or all of the cost of recreational insurance. To learn more, consult with Shield Insurance Agency in Michigan. 

Recreational Insurance: What You Need To Know

Recreational insurance is specifically designed to help protect your investment in a vacation. You can get this type of coverage through an association, an organization, or a company. 

Associations provide lower rates because they tend to have higher-risk members. 

You can purchase a policy that specifically covers recreational activities, or purchase a general homeowners or renters policy. 

You can compare the cost of recreational activities to the cost of replacing the item. If the activity costs less than the item, you may be able to file a claim with your homeowners or renters insurance. 

When you go to buy your recreational insurance, you will likely be required to have some money in a certain type of account. 

Recreational insurance protects you from any potential damages or harm that you might face while participating in a recreational activity. 

Let’s say you are going camping with your friends and you go hiking in the mountains, and while hiking, one of your friends slips and falls down a cliff. 

What if he ends up breaking his arm? You will be responsible for them if you don’t have any sort of recreational insurance. 

Contact Us Today 

It’s important to obtain some sort of recreational insurance before engaging in any recreational activities. It could be as simple as getting an umbrella policy that covers all the things while engaging in a recreational activity. 

You can also get specific policies for different activities such as skiing or snowboarding, mountain climbing, etc. For expert advice, give us a call at Shield Insurance Agency in Michigan.

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Employers Needed to Support a Child Care Innovation

Employers Needed to Support a Child Care Innovation

Your Grand Rapids Chamber will be co-hosting an online webinar on child care and the Tri-Share Pilot Program in Michigan. This is a no-cost event and all are welcome to join to hear about this incredible opportunity to support child care access and affordability for employees.  

During this live webinar, interested employers can learn how to participate in the program and offer child care support to their employees. In a critical time for talent attraction and retention, Tri-Share is one solution to attracting and retaining talent and addresses one of the largest barriers to employment.  

A Grand Rapids Chamber-led priority, Tri-Share is an innovative public/private partnership that equally shares the cost of childcare between employers, employees, and the State of Michigan. This initiative is the first-of-its-kind childcare support program in the country and is now in 57 counties across Michigan. This pilot runs through the end of this year, but with the support of the legislature and Governor, we are on track to secure funding to continue the pilot through the end of next year.  


View the list of participating regions/facilitator hubs HERE.
View frequently asked questions HERE.


We will be joined by Cheryl Bergman, Executive Director of the Michigan Women’s Commission, and Michelle Richard, Senior Advisor on Education to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who are tasked with overseeing the pilot from the state. We’ll also be joined by a facilitator hub and a current participating employer. Register now!

Chamber-led Child Care Package Moves Closer to Governor’s Desk  

After more than three years at the design table, the Senate passed legislation to allow child care providers to accept a few more kids, give them 90-day grace periods for implementing new mandates and create an electronic option for sharing safety records.  

Providers overseeing non-toddler and non-infant youths would see their staff-to-child ratio expand, making a difference in profitability. The package also combats over-regulation and is hopefully a step forward in removing some of the barriers faced by providers.  

Check out the full story here!


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Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

Mental Health Care Services Are Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans

DIFS: Mental Health Care Services Are Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers that mental health care services are covered by many health insurance plans, enabling Michiganders to get the help, support, and care they need.

“Mental health care is health care. It is just as important as physical health and should not be neglected, yet we know that approximately 40% of Michiganders experiencing mental illness do not seek treatment for these concerns,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Mental health services are covered by many health insurance plans, including all Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans purchased through HealthCare.gov. Review your policy documents to determine if you have this coverage, which will cover the costs of office or virtual visits with a licensed mental health professional, substance abuse disorder treatment, or medications.”

Michiganders are encouraged to check with their health insurer to confirm that they have coverage for mental health services and to make sure they understand their out-of-pocket expenses before seeking the mental health care they need. Mental health and substance use disorder coverage offered by a health plan must be similar to coverage provided for medical surgical services. Out-of-Pocket expenses, such as copays, and prior authorization requirements must also be similar to those for medical surgical services.

DIFS stands ready to help Michiganders get the most out of their health insurance and reduce barriers that may discourage them from seeking mental health care. If consumers have concerns about mental health-related insurance claims that cannot be resolved directly with the insurer, contact DIFS by calling 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by filing a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Special Enrollment Period that is currently open for households with incomes lower than 150% of the federal poverty level. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

You can also call Shield Insurance for additional details on Mental Health Care Coverage at 616.896.4600


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The Drawbacks of Not Having Renters Insurance

As a renter, you might feel like you don’t need insurance. After all, your landlord has insurance, right? And your belongings aren’t worth that much, right? Wrong. There are many drawbacks to not having renters insurance. Shield Insurance Agency in Michigan provides you with this guide to navigate the issues around not having this coverage. 

The Drawbacks of Not Having Renters Insurance

1. You Could Be Held Liable for Damages

Did you know that you could be held liable if someone is injured on your property? If a guest trips and falls in your apartment, for example, you could be sued for their medical bills. Without coverage, you’ll pay those bills out of your own pocket. This can quickly become very expensive, especially if the injury is serious.

2. Your Personal Belongings Won’t Be Covered by Your Landlord’s Insurance

Your landlord’s insurance policy covers the building itself, but it does not cover your personal belongings. If there is a fire or another type of disaster, you would have to replace everything yourself. This can be very costly, even if you don’t have a lot of possessions.

3. You Might Be Kicked Out of Your Apartment

Some landlords require their tenants to have renters insurance. If you don’t have it and your landlord finds out, they could give you notice to vacate the property. This means you would have to find somewhere else to live, which can be very difficult on short notice.

4. You Could Miss Out on Important Coverage

Renters insurance doesn’t just protect your belongings; it also provides liability coverage and can even help with temporary living expenses if your apartment is damaged and you have to move out. Without renters insurance, you could be left without a place to live while your apartment is being repaired.

Get Renters Insurance in Michigan

As you can see, there are many potential drawbacks to not having renters insurance. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to purchase a policy. Shield Insurance Agency can help you find the right renters insurance policy for your needs. Give us a call today to get a free quote.

 

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Grand Rapids, MI Voted 16th Best Place to Live

US News Reports | By Anna Gustafson

Grand Rapids, Michigan Overall Score 6.6/10

What’s it like to live in Grand Rapids, MI?

Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on the Grand River – Michigan’s longest waterway – Grand Rapids has evolved from its 19th-century roots as a hub of furniture production to the modern-day metro area that is attracting college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing and outdoor recreational activities.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

Click here for the rest of the story!


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Business Leader under 40 years old

Know a Business Leader under 40 years old?

As a business leader, it’s been a monumental year of change in everything from the way we work and travel to how we buy groceries and invest our savings. (Bitcoin, anyone?) Do you know a rising entrepreneur, influencer, creator, or executive that has shaped the global pandemic experience—and paving the way for what comes next? Nominate someone for the 2022 year here.

GRBJ’s 40 UNDER 40 Business Leader Nomination Form

Thank you for nominating an emerging business leader for GRBJ’s 40 Under 40 class of 2022! Once the nomination form below is submitted, nominees will be contacted to fill out an application form. Application forms must be submitted for nominees to be considered.

Nomination Deadline: June 13
Application Deadline: June 20

Click here to nominate someone!

About the Grand Rapids Business Journal

Since 1983, the Grand Rapids Business Journal has been West Michigan’s primary and most-trusted source of local business news. The biweekly print edition of the Business Journal, a must-read for the area’s top decision-makers, is known as the business newspaper of metro Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and all of West Michigan.

grbj.com provides the same trusted and objective business reporting that the Business Journal is known for — plus real-time original content, timely e-newsletters/alerts, exclusive blogs and more. Business Journal subscribers receive the biweekly print edition, including bonus publications like the annual Book of Lists.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal is published by Gemini Media, LLC.


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Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

FROM: Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov 
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) As residents across northern Michigan assess the damage and begin to recover from Friday afternoon’s tornado, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is providing tips to assist residents when working with insurance companies to file claims and repair damages.

“DIFS stands ready to assist the residents of northern Michigan as they begin to recover from the incredible devastation wrought by Friday’s tornado, hailstorm, and power outages,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “It is important that those who have experienced damage understand their rights and responsibilities when filing insurance claims. They should carefully review their policies and work with their agents and insurers to see what coverage is available to them. DIFS is available to answer questions and assist consumers 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.”

Anyone impacted by storm damage should:

  • Contact their insurance company’s claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim. Have the policy number and other relevant information readily available. DIFS has prepared an Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet to make this process easier.
  • Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss. Be sure to keep receipts for any purchases of supplies that are needed to protect the property.
  • Document the loss. Take pictures or videos of the damaged items and do not get rid of the items until instructed to do so by the insurance company.
  • Review insurance policies to understand their coverage and discuss with their agent or insurer if there are any questions.
  • If there is water damage to a home or other structure, consumers should tell their insurance company that there is water damage and they are looking to determine what coverage is available. Consumers should not simply state that the damage is due to a flood as there may be additional causes for water damage, such as storm-related rainwater intrusion, sewer backup, or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
  • If there is damage to a vehicle, consumers should contact their auto insurance company. They may have coverage for the damage if they carry comprehensive coverage on their auto policy.

More Information

Additional disaster recovery information is available on the DIFS website.

DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve any claim disputes directly with their insurance company. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS will help try to resolve disputes. To learn more and file a complaint, visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. Anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance coverage is asked to call the DIFS toll-free hotline 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.


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April Showers Bring May Flowers - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers

For me, spring and fall are by far my favorite seasons.  After a long, cold winter it was so nice to be outside this past weekend and enjoy the sunshine!  I am so thankful to live in a location that gets to experience all four seasons.  As I was outside this weekend I could not help but stop & look around.  The creation seems to be bursting with life!  There were buds on almost every tree, the flowering trees seemed to explode over the weekend and the spring flowers are appearing everywhere.
     In a household with 4 teenagers, spring is very busy at our house with school activities, sports, year-end school programs, graduations, college finals, work, etc.  Everyone seems to be hustling about, going here, going there.  What about your household?  If it’s anything like mine, there are times when you feel you can’t even catch your breath.
     My challenge for myself and my family (and you too) is to try to schedule – yes schedule – time to take a break and enjoy some quiet time outside.  Enjoy the outdoors, the beautiful city that we live in, the nature around us.  It’s amazing how therapeutic listening to birds singing while soaking up the sunshine and smelling the fresh spring air is.  So take a break!  Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the beautiful spring season.

Submitted by Tammy

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