Shield Referral Program
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Shield Insurance Agency & Foremost Insurance Company present Insurance Terms
Every industry has its own unique language – and insurance is no exception. Here are some key insurance definitions and terms you might come across as you consider insuring yourself or your stuff.
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan to help facilitate state child care pilot program
BY MARK SANCHEZ
Thursday, March 18, 2021, 02:33pm
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is one of three organizations statewide that was selected to pilot an initiative assisting lower-income workers with affording and accessing child care.
Serving Muskegon County, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan joins United Way of Northwest Michigan in Traverse City and Saginaw Intermediate School District as “facilitator hubs” for the MI Tri-Share Child Care Pilot Program, state officials announced Thursday.
Under the program administered by the Michigan Women’s Commission, the state, employers, and their employees will split the cost of child care. The initiative originated from a coalition of interests the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce assembled in 2019 to examine ways to assist lower-wage workers with child care.
The goal is to bring more people into or back to the labor pool to ease a worker shortage that persists across several industries.
“Child care keeps Michigan working,” Grand Rapids Chamber CEO Rick Baker said in a statement issued by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Our members tell us child care is essential to having the talent West Michigan needs to thrive. That’s why we were vocal supporters of Tri-Share and additional investments in child care.”
As MiBiz reported last month, the state-backed the pilot with $1 million allocated in the current fiscal year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed allocating another $2.2 million in the 2022 fiscal year for the MI Tri-Share program.
Under the pilot program, the three organizations will each receive $300,000. The hubs will serve as an intermediary between employers, families, and child care providers, and provide program management.
Hubs will recruit employers to participate in the program that will provide child care assistance to their employees who are otherwise ineligible for a state child care subsidy. Each hub must recruit three employers and help identify and recruit eligible employees who must earn more than 150 percent of the federal poverty level but no more than 250 percent.
Eligible employees at participating companies would have their child care costs split between state funding, their employer, and their own one-third share.
How credit affects auto insurance: Rates could increase up to 72%
Kacie Goff /October 15, 2020
- Can credit scores be evaluated for auto insurance rates?
- How do insurers and credit agencies evaluate scores differently?
- Does credit score affect auto insurance rates?
- Does credit affect car insurance rates more in certain states?
- How other factors can affect your auto insurance rates
- The takeaway
Before offering you a policy, insurance providers analyze your risk profile by looking at things like your driving history, as well as personal details, such as age or marital status. This evaluation is used in determining your premium.
But there’s another somewhat surprising factor that affects your premiums in all but three states: your credit score. Unless you live in California, Massachusetts, or Hawaii, expect your credit score to affect how much you pay to insure your car, at least to some degree.
You may already be familiar with your credit score as determined by the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, it’s important to know that insurers assign you an insurance credit score that varies from your traditional credit score. While your credit score plays a role in that insurance score, additional factors are also involved.
It’s important to understand why credit affects car insurance. Carriers’ proprietary credit-based insurance score provides a way to check two things: your likelihood of making insurance payments on time and your likelihood of filing a claim.
While insurance carriers use a more complex algorithm to calculate premiums based on your insurance credit score, for the sake of this study, Coverage simplified the ratings by classifying insurance scores into three general categories: “good,” “average” and “poor” credit. This is to give you a general idea of premium impact by credit tier.
Can credit scores be evaluated for auto insurance rates?
Short answer: yes, in most states. California, Massachusetts and Hawaii are the exceptions here.
Michigan is a bit of a gray area, too. In Michigan, you might be mostly off the hook. Insurers can’t use your credit score, but they can look at your credit information. That means a low score won’t necessarily increase your rates, but a history of missed payments might make an insurance provider wary, and could ultimately affect your rates.
Let’s look closer at why credit affects car insurance rates. Studies, including a Congress report by the Federal Trade Commission, have shown that a lower score means you’re a higher risk for your insurer. A poor score directly correlates to an increased risk of filing a claim.
Parents encouraged to talk to teen drivers about the importance of driving safely
How Parents Can Help Teen Drivers
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 15-18 years of age in the United States, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, and violence. Inexperience and risk-taking behavior are factors that increase the crash risk for teens.
“Parents can help protect their teens by talking with them about how to avoid risky driving behaviors,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Because of their lack of experience, teen drivers are at a greater risk of being killed or injured in a crash. That is why it is so important to start a conversation with teens and encourage safe driving practices.”
In Michigan, teens and young adults age 15-20 years old, accounted for 7.6 percent of all traffic deaths in 2018, with 55.4 percent of those deaths being the driver. In addition, 9,637 teenagers and young adults were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2018, representing 12.7 percent of all people injured in a crash.
Michigan, and other states, have adopted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws for teen drivers as a way to promote safety behind the wheel and reduce serious injury and death in a crash. Teens face the greatest risk of a crash during their first year of driving. GDL programs limit high-risk driving among teens and can reduce teen crash risk by as much as 50 percent. For more information on the GDL program in Michigan, visit: www.michigan.gov/teendriver.
A unique opportunity for teens to teach other teens about safe driving, is the Strive for a Safer Drive (S4SD) program. Students at every Michigan high school can participate in S4SD, with cash prizes awarded to the top five winning entries. Parents and teachers are urged to discuss the opportunity with teens and encourage participation in the program. Applications are due Nov. 14. Application information, including examples of winning campaigns, can be found at: https://www.michigan.gov
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides information parents can use to help keep teens safe including tips on seat belt safety, distracted driving, impaired driving, and speeding. For more details on Teen Driver Safety Week, including safe driving tips for parents and teens, visit: www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.
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When you’re in the market for insurance, whether it’s home, auto or commercial insurance, you typically work with an agent who can help you find a policy that meets your needs. But most people don’t know that there are two different kinds of insurance agents—captive and independent agents.
So what is an independent insurance agent vs. a captive insurance agent? In short, captive insurance agents are contracted to work for one insurance company and can only sell that company’s policies. On the other hand, independent agents are contracted to work with a variety of insurance companies and can sell policies from multiple providers.
As a consumer, it’s important to understand the distinctions between captive and independent agents. Although they sound the same, some people may benefit from working with a captive agent and others with an independent agent. In this article, we’ll explain the key differences and help you decide which agent is best for you.
Most of the major insurance companies, like State Farm, Allstate and Farmers, use captive agents to sell their insurance products. Their agents are only selling policies from that one insurer, so the agents are experts at knowing the different policies available, discounts and coverage add-ons for their one carrier.
Because of that, they can be helpful for people who are buying insurance for the first time or for people who aren’t sure how much coverage to purchase.
Client satisfaction is crucial for captive agents because they get a commission for every earned sale. However, their commission rate tends to be lower than for independent agents because they are also paid a salary from the insurance company and get financial assistance with costs like advertising and hiring.
Independent agents partner with several insurance companies of their choosing to sell certain policies from each provider. For example, an independent agent might contract with Pioneer Insurance, Frankenmuth Insurance,and Citizens Insurance and sell any of their auto and home insurance policies.
Many consumers like working an independent insurance agent because an independent agent gives the customer more options. They aren’t locked into purchasing from a small number of plans that might be too expensive or not a great fit for their coverage needs. Those options help people shop around for plans before settling on one.
Which is better?
Generally speaking, there isn’t one better type of insurance agent. Whether you choose to work with a captive agent or an independent agent depends on you.
The main benefit of working with a captive agent is that they have extensive knowledge of their insurers products and policies, because they have one carrier. However, working with a captive agent tends to be more expensive, due to extra fees that the insurance company charges.
If you work with an independent agent, you’ll get more options, which also means a wider price range. But independent agents have in-depth knowledge about numerous carriers, where captives only need to learn one. Also, independent agents usually charge less because there isn’t one parent company to support.
If you’re concerned with keeping costs low, working with an independent agent will save you money. Keep in mind that you should already have a general idea of what you’re looking for before meeting with an agent.
Frequently asked questions
What type of insurance do independent and captive agents sell?
Both independent and captive agents can sell any kind of insurance they want. Some choose to sell every product that an insurer offers, while others specialize in a few areas, like home and life insurance.
Should I choose an independent or a captive agent?
There are a few main reasons why you would choose an independent vs. a captive agent. The first is cost—working with an independent agent will be cheaper than working with a captive agent. Secondly, independent agents can offer a wider variety of plans, so you have more choices and a wider price range to work from.