Michigan Opens to Full Capacity on June 22! Shield Insurance Agency Blog

June 22: Michigan Opens to Full Capacity

Gov. Whitmer Announces Michigan Opens to Full Capacity on June 22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Michigan Opens

June 17, 2021 

Contact: Press@michigan.gov ernor

Gov. Whitmer Announces State will Open to Full Capacity on June 22 

More than nine million vaccines administered as new COVID cases fall to one-year low. 

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today accelerated the end of all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking as COVID-19 cases continue to plummet following increased vaccinations. Beginning June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100% and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask. 

“Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” said Governor Whitmer. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the medical experts and health professionals who stood on the front lines to keep us all safe. And we are incredibly thankful to all of the essential workers who kept our state moving. Thanks to the millions of Michiganders who rolled up their sleeves to get the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, we have been able to make these changes ahead of schedule. Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jumpstart our economy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that Michigan’s families, small businesses, and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.” 

Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of Michigan residents have completed their vaccination and over 60% have gotten their first shots. 

“This is great news and a day all of us have been looking forward to for more than a year,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We have said all along that the vaccine would help us return to a sense of normalcy and today we announce that day is here.” 

Case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations have all plummeted over the past several weeks. Currently, Michigan is experiencing 24.3 cases per million and has recorded a 1.9% positivity rate over the last seven days. 

Michigan Opens 

Click here for the full story…

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Shield Insurance Nominated for Business Excellence Award

Shield Insurance Nominated for Business Excellence Award

Shield Insurance Nominated for Business Excellence Award by Hudsonville Chamber of Commerce

Big News from the Hudsonville Chamber of Commerce!

It’s Awards Season!


The Chamber is SO excited to be hosting the Chamber Awards once again this year!

Here are our nominees for the 2021 Awards!

::::: drumroll :::::

Business Excellence Award

  • Hudsonville Physical Therapy
  • Advent Physical Therapy
  • Shield Insurance Agency

Leadership Award

  • Dr. Therese House-Vereeke
  • Patrick Waterman
  • Mary Jane Schreur

Spark Award

  • Hand 2 Hand Ministries
  • Meijer
  • Joy 99

The winners of the Awards will be announced at our official Awards Ceremony MEAL. June 17th at noon at the Pinnacle Center.

Make sure to get registered, we hope to see you there!

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Chipotle gift card winner for Shield Insurance Agency GIve A Way

Shield Insurance Gift Card Winners!

Friday July 30, 2021

Every week, Shield Insurance Agency draws a winner from its clients and social media followers. Be sure to LIKE our Facebook Page to get yourself entered to win and see who the winners are!

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shield insurance agency educational video cover

Insurance Terms

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.

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How credit score affects Insurance rates | Shield Insurance Agency

Insurance Rates and your Credit Score

How credit affects auto insurance: Rates could increase up to 72%

Kacie Goff /October 15, 2020

Article Highlights

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. 

Click here for the rest of the story…

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Oct. 20 National Teen Driver Safety Week

Oct. 20 National Teen Drivers Safety Week

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.

Opportunity

            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.

Be sure to visit our informative insurance Blog for more great articles!

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Independent Agents

Independent Agents vs. Captive Agents

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.

Captive Agents

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

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 agents 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 agent 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.

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What is insurance?

What is insurance and why is it important?

Have you ever had a moment — while looking at your insurance policy or shopping for insurance — when you’ve thought, “What is insurance? And do I really need it?”

You’re not alone.

Insurance can be a mysterious and puzzling thing. How does insurance work? What are the benefits of insurance? And how do you find the best insurance for you? These are common questions, and fortunately, there are some easy-to-understand answers for them.

To help, here are a few simple insurance explanations:

What is insurance?

Insurance is a financial safety net, helping you and your loved ones recover after something bad happens — such as a fire, theft, lawsuit or car accident. When you purchase insurance, you’ll receive an insurance policy, which is a legal contract between you and your insurance provider. And when you suffer a loss that’s covered by your policy and file a claim, insurance pays you or a designated recipient, called a beneficiary, based on the terms of your policy.

The most difficult thing about insurance is that you’re paying for something you hope you never have to use. Nobody wants something bad to happen to them. But suffering a loss without insurance can put you in a difficult financial situation.

What are the benefits of insurance?

Insurance is an important financial tool. It can help you live life with fewer worries knowing you’ll receive financial assistance after a disaster or accident, helping you recover faster. When it comes to life insurance, this could mean your family doesn’t have to move out of the house or that your kids can afford to go to college. For auto insurance, it could mean you have extra cash in hand to help pay for repairs or a replacement vehicle after an accident. Insurance can help keep your life on track, as much as possible, after something bad derails it.

Your independent agent is a great resource to learn more about the benefits of insurance, as well as the benefits in your specific insurance policy. For example, you may have access to perks such as free roadside assistance, risk control consulting for businesses or cash value in a life insurance policy, in addition to your insurance coverage.

And in some cases, like auto insurance and workers’ compensation, you may be required by law to have insurance in order to protect others.

How does insurance work?

Insurance is essentially a gigantic rainy day fund shared by many people (called policyholders) and managed by an insurance carrier. The insurance company uses money collected (called premium) from its policyholders and other investments to pay for its operations and to fulfill its promise to policyholders when they file a claim.

Because of the unpredictable nature of natural disasters — like tornadoes, hail, wildfires and hurricanes, and everyday disasters such as fender benders and kitchen fires — an insurance company’s main goal is to remain financially strong enough to handle anything that comes its policyholders’ way.

How do I choose an insurance provider?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing an insurance company to work with:

  • Insurance coverage. What types of insurance does the company offer? Can you buy all of your insurance through the company and receive a discount?
  • Financial strength. Would the company be able to pay your claim? Look to U.S. credit rating agency AM Best to determine the company’s financial strength.
  • Agency model. Would you prefer the help of a local agent? Or would you prefer to manage your insurance on your own?
  • Customer service. Do others recommend this company? What are people saying about it in online customer reviews?

When in doubt, contact Shield Agency and ask them any questions you have about insurance. Shield agents are insurance experts with the knowledge to guide you through the process and help you find the best protection for you and the people and things you care about most.

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