5 ways to get the most out of your small business’s health insurance plan - Shield Insurance Blog

5 ways to get the most out of your small business’s health insurance plan

The Business Journals | By Cigna + Oscar | Oct 25, 2022 | Health Insurance

Whether you’ve just purchased small business health insurance or you’re shopping around, you’re probably aware that coverage can be costly, depending on the plan you purchase. According to a 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation report, the average annual premium was $7,739 for an individual and $22,221 for a family plan. Employers helped cover 83% of the costs for a single person and 63% of a family plan.

That’s why it’s critical to make the most of the plan you have — and help your employees stay engaged. Here are five key ways you can maximize your health insurance coverage, so your employees use the plan often, become healthier and help lower your business’s costs.

1. Emphasize the health insurance plan’s customer support programs and tools.

Some health plans offer dedicated customer support, online tools, and even concierge-like services that can help employees understand and use their plan. For example, Cigna + Oscar is unique in that it offers Care Guides, a team of professionals who help members find doctors and answer their questions about specific benefits and claims. Care Guides can also help coordinate care and prepare members for their upcoming procedures.

The more employees understand how their plan works, the more likely they are to use in-network providers, purchase generic medications, and rely on other cost-saving methods. In turn, this can help you, as an employer, lower your overall costs too.

2. Encourage your employees to manage their health insurance plan digitally.

If your health plan offers a mobile app, it may be where employees can access telemedicine services and prescription refill requests and even pay their premiums online. Encourage them to make the most of these convenient, digital services. After all, they help make your business’s health plan easy to use and can increase employee satisfaction.

If you’re shopping for a health plan now, look for one that offers digital services. You may want to ask your broker:

  • What telemedicine services are available to my employees, if any?
  • Is virtual urgent care available?
  • Can employees request prescription refills online?
  • Is there an easy way for employees to search if a doctor is in-network?
  • What other digital services are available with this health plan?

The bottom line: Today’s employees want to manage their healthcare at the click of a button. A convenient and easy-to-use mobile app and website can help them do that.

3. Communicate to employees about mental health care offerings.

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Illinois man inhales drill bit into the lung during a dentist visit - Shield Insurance Blog

Illinois man inhales drill bit into the lung during a dentist visit

ABC30.com | Tuesday, November 15, 2022 | Drill Bit | Dental Insurance

Doctors believe that inhaling just before he coughed sent the drill bit deep into the 60-year-old’s airways.

KENOSHA, Wisconsin — This could be a dental patient’s worst nightmare.

What began as a routine visit landed an Illinois man in the hospital after he inhaled the dentist’s drill bit, WISN reported.

The CT scan tells the shocking story: An inch-long dental drill bit had lodged deep in Tom Jozsi’s lung.

“I was at the dentist getting a tooth filled, and then next thing I know I was told I swallowed this tool, so I didn’t really even feel it going down. All I felt was a cough,” Jozsi said.

Doctors believe that inhaling just before he coughed sent the metal object deep into the 60-year-old maintenance worker’s airways.

It was so deep, pulmonary expert Dr. Abdul Alraiyes said, that normal scopes couldn’t reach it.

“When I saw the CAT scan, and where that object is sitting, it was really far down on the right lower lobe of the lung,” said Alraiyes, intervention pulmonary director at Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha.

“What happens if he can’t get it out? And really the answer really was, part of my lung was going to have to get removed,” Jozsi said.

That’s when Alraiyes and the Aurora Kenosha team decided to try a newer device, one not designed for removing foreign objects.

“It’s more for early detection of cancer, especially lung cancer,” Alraiyes said.

He said it’s the size of a catheter.

Video of the scan showed the medical team was able to navigate the narrow airways, reach the drill piece and pull it out, without any harm to the patient.

“I was never so happy in my life when I opened my eyes and I saw him with a smile under that mask, shaking a little plastic container that had the tool in it,” Jozsi said.

It’s a souvenir Jozsi said he now keeps on a shelf at home.

The drill bit was in the man’s lung for four days.

The doctor who removed it said he has heard from colleagues in Michigan and Ohio who reported seeing cases nearly identical to this one.

See the video of the Drill Bit!


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Jet setting over Pet sitting

Jet setting over Pet sitting

AmericanSeniors.org | Pet sitting | Special Event Insurance | Pet Insurance

Say goodbye to pet sitting and hello to jet-setting with your furry bestie! Options abound for your pet to join your vacation, whether you are flying, cruising, or driving to your destination.  Here’s what to keep in mind for traveling safely with your best friend – and how to find the best pet-friendly destinations.

Flying with Fido and Fluffy

Some airlines still have restrictions on pets traveling in their cabin, while others have returned to pre-COVID allowances.  Currently, Alaska Air, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United Airlines allow pets in-cabin, as well as some overseas airlines like Air France.  For all airlines, pets need to fit comfortably inside a carrier that can tuck completely under the seat in front of you.  Your pet needs to be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.  Make sure you double-check with your airline what their specific requirements are since they all vary. 

Allow your pet plenty of time to acclimate to the carrier long before your flight.  Set the carrier out in the house, with treats placed inside.  This positive association will encourage your pet to spend a longer time inside the carrier.  You can also take your pet for a drive inside the carrier to help acclimate to movement as well.  

Label the carrier with your name and phone number, and inside, you can place a potty pad to soak up any accidents.  Your pet’s favorite toy would be a comforting addition too.  

Five hours before the flight, stop feeding your pet, though water should still be made available.  Allow your furry best friend as much exercise as possible until boarding.  It is generally not advised to give your pet a sedative unless it’s specifically recommended by your vet. 

Cruising: Only with Cunard

If you dream of sailing the seas with your furry best friend, there is one cruiser that will welcome humans and pets alike.  Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is actually the only cruiser that allows a limited number of dogs and cats to set sail.  However, they aren’t allowed to stay with you in your cabin.  Cats and dogs must stay in The Kennels for the entire duration of the cruise.  You are allowed to visit during specific hours, but they won’t be able to join you for walks around the deck.  There is a very long waiting list, as there are only 24 kennels aboard the ship.  Costs range from $800-$2000, depending on the size of your pet. 

It is a beautiful trip, which perhaps is another reason why the waiting list for The Kennels is quite long.  Queen Mary 2 sails transatlantically from NY to Hamburg, Germany.  En route, it comes into port in charming Southampton, the British waterfront city that’s home to history abounding, including the Titanic Trail and 950-year-old St Michael the Archangel Church.  Stonehenge is just a stone’s throw away. 

Road Tripping Together 

Of course, the most flexible way to travel with your pet is to enjoy a road trip together.  The most important consideration here is keeping Fido or Fluffy safe.  A strappable crate or appropriately fitted seat belt attachment will make sure your beloved pet stays safe in an accident (and prevents them from distracting you while driving).  The safest place is the back seat for pets, far away from the front airbags that can be fatal for their small stature.  Practice driving shorter distances to help your pets acclimate to the restraint.  Remember the treats! 

Currently, in beta, Go Pet Friendly has a road trip planner that is helpful for planning the best drive for both species.  You can ask for recommendations for pit stops for all of your legs to stretch and play. 

Friendly Tails Pet Sitting

Bring Fido is an excellent resource for trip planning with your furry best friend.   Browse pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, activities, and even events.  

Pet-friendly accommodations are on the rise, with many chains welcoming your pet to stay for free.  Red Roof Inn allows for one free pet per room, as do many Four Seasons properties.  Other chains like the Ritz Carlton and Westin welcome dogs, but have varying fees and restrictions.  The AKC has a full listing of dog-friendly hotel chains and specifics. 

The Pet Sitting Checklist

Click here for the full checklist…


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General Information about Blood and Blood Donation

January is Blood Donation Month

AmericasBlood.org | May 2022 | Blood Donation | Medical Insurance

U.S. Blood Donation Statistics and Public Messaging Guide

Over 40 verified statistics from published research.

blood donation statistics

Designed for blood centers, media, and anyone who is generally interested in the current state of blood donations and utilization, this guide is the first of its kind designed to provide the latest look at America’s blood supply and its donors. It uses data curated from published research, credible public sources, and input from industry experts. We encourage readers to use the editable social media graphics contained in this guide that highlight the 13 of the most widely used statistics.

This Guide will be updated annually to reflect the latest statistics.  

General Information about Blood and Blood Donation

Q1.1:  do blood donations help patients in need?

■ Every donation can help save a life.

■ Each donation can help save or deeply impact more than one life.

Q1.2: How many patients can each blood donation help?

■ One donation can help two or more patients in need. Each donation can be separated into more than one blood product including but not limited to red blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

■ Some donations result in two or three of the same type of product, just more doses for patients (e.g., double red blood cells, plasma from automation, or platelets from automation). 

■ Each traditional whole blood donation can be separated into different blood product components in the lab (red blood cells and plasma) and depending on the amount of  time from donation to the lab, additional products can be made such as platelets and cryoprecipitate which are used in cancer treatment and heart surgeries.

Q1.3: How many blood centers are there in the U.S.? How much do they collect?

According to the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Blood Establishment Registration database1, there are 53 community blood centers and 90 hospitalbased blood centers in the U.S. Independent, community blood centers collect approximately 60

percent of the nation’s blood supply and the American Red Cross collects approximately 40 percent.

Q1.4: How often can individuals donate blood in the U.S.?

Individuals can donate whole blood no more than once in eight weeks.

Individuals can donate platelets (apheresis donation) as much as twice in a seven-day period — or up to 24 times in a rolling 12 months.

Individual blood centers may apply additional policies.

Q1.5: How many pints of blood do people have in their body?

An average adult has about 10.5 pints of blood in their body.

Q1.6: What is the prevalence of each blood type among the U.S. population?

The approximate distribution of blood types in the blood donor population is as follows.

Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups and in different parts of the country.

TABLE: PREVALENCE OF BLOOD TYPE 7 BLOOD TYPE PREVALENCE HOW COMMON IS YOUR BLOOD?

O Rh-positive 39% 1 in 2.5
O Rh-negative 7% 1 in 11
A Rh-positive 32% 1 in 3
A Rh-negative 6% 1 in 17
B Rh-positive 11% 1 in 11
B Rh-negative 2% 1 person in 50
AB Rh-positive 4% 1 person in 25
AB Rh-negative 1% 1 person in 100

Click here to visit the full report on U.S. blood donation…


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10 Things You Need to Know About Social Security

10 Things You Need to Know About Social Security

Answers to frequently asked questions about your retirement benefits

AARP | Andy Markowitz | Updated June 21, 2022 | Social Security | Life Insurance

Social Security provides benefits to more than 65 million people, and those monthly payments have an enormous impact on older Americans’ financial health. According to Census Bureau data:

  • Social Security accounts for at least 50 percent of income for more than half of households headed by someone 65 or older.
  • It provides nearly 80 percent of income for 1 in 5 such households.
  • It keeps more than 26.5 million people from falling below the poverty line.

An institution that looms so large in American life is bound to generate questions about what it does and how it works. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security. You’ll find more detailed information on these issues in AARP’s Social Security Resource Center.

1. Is Social Security just for retired workers?

No. As of April 2022, 72.7 percent of beneficiaries were retirees. The remainder were spouses, ex-spouses and children of retirees (4.3 percent); disabled workers and their families (14 percent); and survivors of deceased beneficiaries (9 percent).

2. At what age can I start collecting Social Security benefits?

You can begin receiving retirement benefits at age 62, but your payments will be more significant if you wait until your full retirement age (66 years and 4 months for people born in 1956, gradually rising over the next few years to 67). If you are eligible for survivor benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you can start collecting earlier.

3. How do I sign up for Social Security?

You can apply for retirementspousal or disability benefits online, by phone at 800-772-1213, or at your local Social Security office. For survivor benefits, you can apply by phone or in person. Local offices reopened to walk-in traffic in April after being largely closed to visitors for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the Social Security Administration (SSA) strongly recommends calling ahead to make an appointment.

4. How long do I need to work to become eligible for benefits?

For retirement benefits, at least 10 years. Social Security uses a system of credits, which you collect by working and paying Social Security taxes. You can earn up to four credits a year, and you need 40 credits to qualify for retirement benefits. The credit threshold may be lower for disability benefits.

No, you can receive benefits while working. But if you are below full retirement age and earn more than a certain amount, your monthly benefits will be temporarily reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, the reduction is eliminated, and your benefits will be increased to make up for what was lost over time.

5. Must I stop working to collect retirement benefits?

No, you can receive benefits while working. But if you are below full retirement age and earn more than a certain amount, your monthly benefits will be temporarily reduced. Once you reach full retirement age, the reduction is eliminated, and your benefits will be increased to make up for what was lost over time.

6. How much will I get from Social Security?

That depends on a number of factors, most crucially your lifetime earnings from work in which you paid Social Security taxes. Social Security takes your 35 highest-earnings years, calculates an inflation-adjusted average, and plugs that into a progressive formula that determines your “basic” benefit. The amount will also be affected by how old you are when you claim benefits. You won’t know it for sure until you file, but you can use the AARP Social Security Calculator to get an estimate.

7. What’s the maximum monthly Social Security benefit? 

Read more…


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10 Wellness Trends From 2022 That Experts Say You Should Keep In 2023

10 Wellness Trends From 2022 That Experts Say You Should Keep In 2023

From fitness to trauma healing to your “villain era,” here are the wellness trends experts say are actually useful.

HuffPost.com | Jillian Wilson | Dec 14, 2022, 12:24 PM EST | Trends | Shield Health Insurance

A lot of things trend on social media, and many of those trending topics aren’t good. In fact, they can be pretty harmful (looking at you, NyQuil chicken). But, like all trends, they capture attention for a reason — some of these popular topics even prove pretty useful.

In the wellness world, including fitness and mental health, hundreds of trends have come out this year or simply grown in popularity. From hot girl walks to healing your inner child, many healthy trending topics are in the zeitgeist for a good reason.

And just because they’re trending now doesn’t mean they need to end in 2023. If anything, they should be continued and explored more. Lindsay Monal, a yoga teacher at YogaRenew Teacher Training, said that it’s important to follow the trends that you like and that will keep you consistent in your practice, whether mental health or fitness.

Here are the most useful fitness and mental health trends of 2022, according to experts:

Mental health trends

End of people pleasing and entering your “villain” era

The simple search “villain era” on TikTok brings up thousands of videos that showcase people putting an end to people pleasing and embracing their so-called villain era.

But while boundary setting and putting an end to people pleasing are both valuable for your mental health, there is something wrong with this being phrased as villainous behavior, according to Sarah Sarkis, an executive coach and senior director of performance psychology at Exos, a corporate wellness company.

“The ‘villain era’ is really an inaccurate depiction of people setting healthy boundaries,” Sarkis said. “While the trend means well, we shouldn’t be vilifying taking a step away from pleasing others to prioritize our own needs and well-being.”

She asked: “If we are always pleasing other people but never addressing our own needs, who are we actually being a villain to? Ourselves perhaps? Is that OK?” The answer: No, it is not.

She noted that burnout (think: holiday stress, work stress, family pressure and more) is a significant driver of this end of people pleasing. “We’re starting to see this shift to reverse years if not generations worth of conditioning to put others’ needs before our own,” Sarkis said.

Healing your inner child

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4 Surprising Benefits of the Flu Shot

4 Surprising Benefits of the Flu Shot

The vaccine can protect you from influenza, and it may have some other perks as well

AARP | by Beth Howard | October 3, 2022 | Flu Shot | Health Insurance with Shield Insurance

Not getting sick from the flu is reason enough to roll up your sleeve for a flu vaccine every fall. And along with preventing millions of cases of influenza each year, flu shots also reduce hospitalizations for complications of this misery-making seasonal illness.

A 2021 study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that adults who got vaccinated were 26 percent less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and 31 percent less likely to die from the flu compared to those who were unvaccinated. There seems to be protection from illness even when vaccines aren’t perfectly matched to the strain of flu virus circulating (since the shot is formulated months in advance).

But evidence suggests that there are other payoffs beyond defense from fever, fatigue, chills, and aches.

“People don’t really appreciate the other potential benefits of flu shots,” says Michelle Barron, M.D., senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth in Aurora, Colorado. “It’s actually arming your immune system to fend off other problems.”

Here are four unexpected ways a flu vaccine can benefit the body and the brain.

1. A boost for the brain?

Previous research has suggested that flu vaccines may protect the brain from dementia, and a new study from the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston makes the case even stronger.

This study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, compared more than 47,000 people age 65 and older who were vaccinated against flu to a similar group of nearly 80,000 people who were not vaccinated. The findings: Those who got a flu shot were 40 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over a four-year period.

“We weren’t actually expecting it to be that high,” says study coauthor Avram S. Bukhbinder, M.D., now a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Bukhbinder has several theories for the vaccination’s potential effects on the brain. Perhaps by preventing the flu, the shot quells inflammation that can lead to harmful brain changes.

His most intriguing hypothesis is that vaccines alter the brain’s overall defenses. “There’s good evidence that when we get these vaccines, they help us make antibodies to the specific pathogen — the influenza virus,” he says. “But they may also modify the immune system in such a way that it’s better at either cleaning up amyloid and tau [the proteins responsible for the plaques and tangles that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s] or by preventing these proteins from building up in the first place.” 

2. The flu shot is linked to a stronger heart

A history of heart disease or a stroke can make flu more likely and more dangerous. In addition, flu can be a trigger for heart attacks and strokes in people at high risk for them. 

According to a 2018 Canadian study, people who got the flu were 6 times more likely to have a heart attack within a week of getting the diagnosis. And Columbia University researchers saw a significant jump in strokes in the month after fighting the flu, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke

A flu shot can also spare you the potential heart harms. A new study led by the University of Toronto that incorporated six previous studies covering more than 9,000 patients showed that people who received a flu vaccine had a 34 percent lower risk of a major cardiovascular event in the 12 months following vaccination. Higher-risk vaccinated individuals with acute coronary syndrome — a group of conditions that abruptly stop blood flow to the heart — had a 45 percent risk reduction of a major cardiovascular event, and a 56 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease in the year after they got the shot, according to the findings, which appear in JAMA Network Open. How the flu shot protects the heart isn’t fully known, but it may have to do with the plaques that build up on the artery walls of people with heart disease. The body’s immune response to the flu creates inflammation that is believed to disrupt these fat deposits, causing blood clots that may trigger heart attacks and strokes.

“The vaccine may interact with the body’s immune system and inflammatory processes to help stabilize plaques that might be present in blood vessels, thus preventing these plaques from rupturing and causing further problems,” says lead study author Bahar Behrouzi Homa, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the university. 

3. The flu shot could curb complications from other chronic conditions

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Year-end financial checklist

Year-end Financial Checklist

US Bank.com | October 11, 2022 | Shield Life Insurance | Financial Checklist

An end-of-the-year financial checklist is a good opportunity to make sure you’re still on track toward your financial goals. 

Sometimes it feels like a year can disappear in the blink of an eye. When you look back over the previous 12 months, you might be surprised at what may have changed for you, whether that’s in terms of the economy at large, your individual finances, or your personal circumstances.

That’s why the end of the year is a good time to review your accounts and investments and make smart adjustments for the new year. Also, with tax season around the corner, reviewing your portfolio and personal finances now could potentially help reduce your tax liability.

Use this year-end financial checklist as a guide.

1. Review your financial plan

Think about what you spent money on this year, and how much. Whether it was home improvements, a vacation, or boosting a loved one’s college savings, did you achieve your family’s financial goals? Or did you put some on hold in favor of other priorities that came up during the year? Do you foresee having to make any large purchases in the next year?

Also, consider what changed in your life this year. Births, deaths, marriage, divorce, and retirement can all have an impact on both your personal finances and your strategic financial plan.

Financial planning tips

  • Be honest with yourself. If money was tight, or if you had a surplus, this is a good time to adjust your spending and priorities.
  • Use a financial professional as a sounding board. An outside perspective is helpful when reviewing short- and long-term family financial goals. A financial professional might be able to make suggestions you haven’t thought about. 

2. Review your employee benefits

It’s tempting to just keep your employee benefits humming along in the background, but reviewing them yearly can make a big difference. Look at your employer-sponsored 401(k) or IRA account contributions for the year. Did you max out your contributions? If not, did you at least contribute as much as the company match?

For the 2022 tax year, the maximum 401(k) contribution is $20,500, plus an additional $6,500 if you’re 50+. The maximum IRA contribution is $6,000, plus $1,000 if you’re 50+. If you’re not maxing out your contribution, consider at least increasing it on an annual basis.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your allocations. Are you happy with the ratio of stocks, bonds and other assets, or do you need to rebalance?

Other employee benefits to review and adjust—with a financial professional, if you like—include corporate stock options and other incentive plans (restricted stock, restricted award units, etc.); health, life and disability insurance coverage; and your flexible spending account (FSA).

And don’t forget your health spending account (HSA), if you have one. For the 2022 tax year, the maximum HSA contributions are $3,650 for individuals, $7,300 for families, and an additional $1,000 for individuals age 55+.

Finally, are your beneficiaries up to date? Can you also designate a successor beneficiary? You work hard for your employees’ benefits, so be sure they end up where you want them.

Employee benefit tips

  • Calculate your remaining health insurance deductible. Can you accelerate or postpone medical treatments?
  • Use up your FSA. There are some qualified products you may not have thought of, from contact lens solution to bandages, that you can purchase with those funds.

3. Conduct a year-end tax review

Tax Day might not be until April 15, but it’s always a good idea to get a head start on preparation. For example, did you experience any life transitions (marriage, births, divorce, deaths, retirement, etc.) in the last year that could affect your tax withholding status?

Based on your anticipated income for next year, would deferring or accelerating any bonuses, property sales, other taxable transactions, deductible expenses, charitable gifts, etc., benefit you from a tax perspective? A financial professional can help you review your options.

Tax review tip

  • Explore tax loss harvesting. If you had investments that lost money, tax loss harvesting can help you reduce your tax liability. There are strict rules around how this is executed, so to avoid potential penalties, consider talking to a financial or tax professional before using this strategy.

4. Assess your investments

Read the full story on the financial checklist here…


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Vehicle-Deer Collision

Press Release: Vehicle-Deer Collision and Insurance Coverage

DIFS Encourages Drivers to Review Auto Insurance Policies to Understand Coverage for a Vehicle-Deer Collision

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov  | Vehicle-Deer Collision

Consumer Hotline: 833-ASK-DIFS, AutoInsurance@michigan.gov  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers to review their auto insurance coverage to make sure they understand what coverage may be available in the event of damage caused by a vehicle-deer collision. Though these types of crashes occur all year round, the fall deer hunting season, coupled with shorter daylight periods, often increases the number of these crashes, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Vehicle-Deer Collision

“Auto insurance may not be at the top of your mind as we head into the colder months, but this is a good time of year to review your policy so you are prepared for unexpected mishaps, like hitting a deer with your car,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Understanding your auto coverage can make the difference between an inconvenience and a major financial problem, given that the cost of repairing damage from a vehicle-deer collision can be $5,000 or even more. In most cases, you will need to buy an optional coverage called comprehensive insurance to cover damage caused by something other than a crash with another vehicle, so it is important to consider your family’s insurance needs and budget before a potential loss.” 

According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, each year there are approximately 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. About 80%of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn, especially during the spring and during fall hunting season. A recent study conducted by AAA reported that Michiganders pay an average of $130 million each year to repair vehicle damage caused by collisions with deer.

To make sure that you are protected against this type of damage, you should discuss your current auto insurance policy with your licensed insurance agent or company. In most cases, you will need to buy a optional comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive pays if your car is stolen, or for repairs if it is damaged by a falling object, fire, flood, vandalism, or collision with an animal.

Here are a few tips on what to do after vehicle-deer collision

  • Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if you exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company or agent.
  • Document the incident. If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their account of what occurred, and ask for their contact information.
  • Do not approach the deer. Wounded animals can be dangerous, and an animal that appears to be dead may only be stunned.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Double-check that your car is drivable after colliding with a deer. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch, and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow.

If you have questions or concerns with your insurance policy or wish to file a complaint, contact DIFS at 833-ASK-DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

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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Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween

Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween

National Safety Council | October 21, 2022 | Safe Halloween

Kids love the magic of Halloween, but costume and traffic safety are essential for trick-or-treaters. These tips can help make a safe and happy holiday for everyone.

Costume Safety for a Safe Halloween

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, fda.gov has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause safety hazards.

● All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
● If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
● Opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision; always test makeup in a small area first to see if any irritation develops
● Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation

When They’re on the Prowl

Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.

Keep these tips in mind when your children are out on Halloween night:

● A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
● If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
● Agree on a specific time children should return home
● Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
● Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
● Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home, and take care to avoid any food allergies

Safe Halloween Tips for Motorists

NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

● Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
● Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
● At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
● Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

Visit the National Safety Council website for more great safety ideas!


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