Shield Referral Program
Your referral can make a difference for Roslyn. Shield Insurance is helping Roslyn by donating $25 for each non-client who gets a quote from us! No purchase necessary! CLICK HERE to get a quote and we’ll donate $25 to her! (Be sure to mention Roslyn in the comment section!) You can also call or text the office and one of our agents will take a few minutes of your time to offer up a quote. Don’t forget to mention Ros!
More great stories featuring Roslyn…
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.
Ken Burns’ Hemingway Documentary Includes Michigan Summers
Award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick direct the upcoming three-part, six-hour documentary on Ernest Hemingway, including historical photographs of the writer’s summers spent in Northern Michigan.
The series about Hemingway, the iconic literary figure considered one of the greatest American writers, will premiere on central and Northern Michigan PBS affiliate, WCMU Public Media, April 5 at 8 p.m., and include voice actors Jeff Daniels as Hemingway; plus Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker, and Patricia Clarkson as Hemingway’s four wives. The documentary series will also include historical photographs of Hemingway’s time spent in Northern Michigan, provided by Michigan’s Clarke Historical Library.
“The extraordinary pictures in the photo albums at the Clarke Library are absolutely irreplaceable to our film,” shares filmmaker Lynn Novick about the important photographs the Clarke Historical Library provided for the documentary series. “They make it possible for us to represent Hemingway’s family and life in Michigan in the most vivid, tangible, and authentic way, and we are so grateful to be able to include them.”
In anticipation of this series, and to explore Hemingway’s deep ties to Northern Michigan along with how they influenced his attitudes, passions, and writings, WCMU Public Media is partnering with the Clarke Historical Library and noted Hemingway historian Michael Federspiel for “Hemingway in Michigan: A Live Streaming Event” Wednesday, March 31 at 6 p.m.
During this virtual event, attendees will enjoy “Let’s Go Back” video stories featuring the Clarke Historical Library’s Hemingway Collection containing one-of-a-kind items from the legendary author’s life, watch an exclusive advanced preview of the Hemingway documentary series before its April 5 nationwide premiere on PBS, and participate in a question-and-answer session with Hemingway experts, including filmmaker Lynn Novick and producer Sarah Botstein.
Are electric space heaters safe?
Electric space heaters can be used safely, but they are not the safest option for staying warm when the temperature drops.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), space heaters account for 43% of home heating fires and 85% of home heating deaths.
They can also be a hazard in the workplace. While there are no federal safety rules prohibiting space heaters at a worksite, you should follow local rules and regulations. OSHA also requires businesses to follow all manufacturer specifications on the unit’s label and in the user manual when using electrical equipment.
So, if you’ve tried other ways to warm the area, like adjusting your HVAC system or adding weather stripping, and it’s just not working, an electric space heater might be the next best option. And it can be used safely at home or in the workplace when you take the right precautions.
Here are steps you can take to increase space heater safety for your home or business.
Use your indoor electric space heater safely
Here’s how to increase safety while enjoying the warm comfort of your electric space heater indoors:
- Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.
- Before you use it, do an inspection of the space heater to check for damage on its parts, knobs, coils, and legs. If any damage is detected, take the space heater out of service immediately and have it repaired by a professional.
- Place the space heater at least six feet away from combustible materials and never place anything on top of or touching it.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near each space heater.
- Put your space heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Avoid furniture, countertops, rugs, or carpets. Keep it out of high-traffic areas, such as doorways.
- Make sure your space heater is plugged into properly grounded outlets. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
- Turn off the space heater when no one is occupying that area or when it is out of sight.
- Do not use space heaters if small children are in the area.
- Unplug space heaters at the end of each day and make sure the unit has cooled before exiting the room or job site.
- Only use a space heater as a temporary (not permanent) heat source.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
- For business use, require employees to request permission from a supervisor or facility manager.
When you use your electric space heater the right way, you are reducing the likelihood of property damage and injuries — keeping you and the important things around you safe and sound.
Safely use space heaters outdoors
Many restaurants, schools, offices, and other businesses use outdoor spaces during the cooler months of the year and rely on outdoor heaters to keep businesses running and people warm. Check out these safety tips for heating and storing propane cylinders and other outdoor space heaters
- Use propane heaters in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Set up heaters in open, ventilated areas. Propane cylinders cannot be used in enclosed spaces.
- Use the shortest possible hose to operate the propane cylinder.
- Follow restrictions based on occupancy. For example, restaurants with 50 or more occupants cannot have propane cylinders within five feet of exits.
- Store propane cylinders inside and in an area with minimal potential exposure to temperature increases, physical damage, etc.
There are also electric patio heater options for heating the outdoors.
NFPA recommends following these safety guidelines for electric patio heaters:
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe use and storage.
- Complete proper inspection, cleaning and maintenance procedures for each use.
- Be mindful of necessary clearances from the heating element as well as installation and wiring requirements.
- Pay attention to the power requirements and whether an electric patio heater can be plugged into an outdoor extension cord and receptacle, power tap or multiplug adapter safely.
- Ensure any extension cords used are in good condition and free from splices or deterioration.
It’s possible to accomplish the safe use of space heaters by following the right precautions during setup, use, and storage.
Keep this article handy as a quick reference for basic space heater safety indoors and outdoors.
Things to consider before you buy or replace an electric space heater
In addition to using your space heater safely, here are other safety tips to consider for buying, maintaining, or replacing an electric space heater
- Understand which type of space heater you have. There are convection and radiant heaters. Convection space heaters circulate air in the room. Radiant space heaters emit infrared radiation that directly heats the objects and people in line with the space heater.
- Invest in an electric space heater with added safety features. An automatic shut-off feature if the heater falls over or heating element guards are good features to look for.
- Consider the hours you have used your space heater as an indication for when it is time to replace it. For example, a space heater you have used daily for two years might need to be replaced due to the long hours of use. Replace your heater with a newer, safer model when possible.
Electric space heater safety is essential for you and the people around you. Practice safe use of space heaters on a regular basis to reduce the risk of fire in your home or business.
This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. Talk to your Shield Insurance Agent to learn more about Homeowners and Business insurance coverage options
– National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
– National Safety Council
– American Red Cross
– Business and Legal Resources
– Safety+Health Magazine
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.