4th of July

Independence Day Weekend

Summer is flying by! It’s the end of June and time to celebrate! We have a hot and humid week coming up for the birthday of America and it’s going to be perfect forflag cookouts and days on the lake. Some things we take seriously here in Michigan are cookouts, family time, and lake days. Let’s have a ton of fun this holiday week and remember to be safe while doing so! There will be lots of swimming, boating, backyard games (that may get slightly too intense), and of course, fireworks. These are the joys of summer but when done incorrectly, can cause trouble.

When on the lake, or near any body of water, make sure everyone knows the environment and is comfortable with swimming. Even if you’re on a boat with a life jacket, you’ll still need to know the basics of swimming so that in the event of an emergency, nobody panics. Make sure to know your area and if there’s any dangerous landscape or boats nearby. Keep an eye of everyone, it’s going to be hot and humid and if someone looks a little sick or pale then they need the appropriate treatment.

When lighting fireworks, make sure everyone stays 100 ft. away from the fireworks and never light them while holding them. Keep water nearby in case of an emergency. When you’re finished with the fireworks, soak them in water to ensure that no fire will break out. When lighting fireworks, wear eye protection and no loose fitted clothing. An astray firework could head for your eye or get caught on your sleeve, better to be safe than sorry! Fireworks are a blast and highly encouraged for Independence Day celebrations but you need to be cautious when using them because they are explosives.

It’s going to be HOT out there this week! We’re talking humid and 95 degrees. You’ll need lots and lots of water, especially if you’re drinking other beverages as well. Staying hydrated is key to a fun holiday. Keep an eye on yourself and those around you to make sure nobody is showing signs of heat exhaustion. Some common signs include profuse sweating, weakness, muscle cramps, headache, and nausea. If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible or else it could develop into heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that needs immediate attention. You’ll know that someone is close to heat stroke when they have the symptom of profuse sweating and it stops. Once the profuse sweating stops, that means they’re on their way to a heat stroke and need to be taken to a doctor as this is a medical emergency.

One good way to ensure that you, and those around you, don’t suffer from heat exhaustion is to take sun breaks. If you’re starting to feel ill, go relax in a cool place, drink some cold water, and loosen any tight clothing so your body can appropriately cool itself. If possible, take a cool shower, get in the pool/lake, or put a wet cloth on your forehead or the back of your neck. The important thing to remember is that it’s easier to stop heat exhaustion while it’s early than it is to let your body overheat and develop into something dangerous.

 Before Independence Day, brush up on your American flag protocol! It’s that time of year and it’s important to fly our flag with honor, make sure you’re doing it correctly: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-schweitzer/honoring-the-stars-stripe_b_10134868.html

Have a wonderful holiday and remember your safety tips! What are your plans for the 4th of July? We want to know!

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Kid’s Food Basket – Volunteer & Donor Appreciation Day 2018

Kid’s Food Basket – Volunteer & Donor Appreciation Day 2018

Kid’s Food Basket is one of the greatest charities in all of West Michigan. Here at Alliance, we support Kid’s Food Basket because they’ve supported us in the past. Today they hosted Volunteer & Donor Appreciation Day and it was spectacular! Not only is this event fun filled and exciting, but it’s also a great chance to get to know the workers and the minds behind Kid’s Food Basket. They have games, they have food, and live music. This event will knock your socks off AND you’ll get to hand out with some of the most innovative and creative people behind the idea. What a wonderful afternoon spent together with Kid’s Food Basket. We love them and appreciate their work in the community, and they turn around and appreciate us too. It only goes to show the character, kindness, and humbleness of the organization as a whole.

Kid’s Food Basket works diligently to ensure as many children as possible have a well-balanced meal. They want to make sure all children are able to be their best every day. Currently they are serving 45 schools, and over 8,000 children daily, across west Michigan. Unfortunately, there’s still 27 schools on the wait list.

To help get these schools off of the wait list we can donate and volunteer as much as possible! One way to help, is by requesting a quote online, through our website’s “Quote’s for a Cause” and we’ll donate $10 per quote.

You can also go to their website and donate or schedule a time to volunteer at a Kid’s Food Basket location in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, or Holland.

Quotes for a Cause – http://www.allins.com/quotes-for-a-cause/

Kid’s Food Basket – https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/

Here are some of the photos of Alliance employees having a blast at Volunteer & Donor Appreciation Day 2018! Enjoy!

 

 

10 Insurance Terms that Everyone Needs to Know

10 Insurance Terms that Everyone Needs to Know

 Insurance Terms Explained

Not everyone speaks the insurance language, so it can be difficult to work with your agent when they say things that don’t make sense. To your agent, they’ve been training andCar specialized in this area so it’s no big deal, but to the average person insurance can be tricky and confusing. Some people are just starting their own policies and have never gotten insurance before, some people have been given bad explanations of insurance terms. In an effort to make life easier for those people, we’ve put together a small list of insurance terms that are fairly common in the insurance world.

Deductible: A deductible is the amount that you pay before your insurance company will pay out. For example, your vehicle has thousands of dollars in damage and your deductible is $100. You pay the first $100 and then your insurance company pays for the rest.

Replacement Cost: This means that replacement of damaged materials will be done with the same exact materials. This is for home policies and this will guarantee that if anything happens to your home, everything gets replaced exactly as it was before.

Actual Cash Value (ACV): This is the replacement cost minus depreciation.

Underwriting: This is a term that we use often and it’s not common knowledge. An Underwriter is a position at a company, similar to being an agent or an adjuster. An Underwriter’s job is to dissect the insurance policies and make sure all requirements are met for their company and that the policies are written with the correct coverage. When there is a question in regards to what is eligible with one of our companies, an Underwriter is the person who determines that.

PLPD: This stands for Personal Liability and Property Damage. This is liability only and is the minimum requirement by the state of MI. This coverage will not cover your vehicle in the event of an accident, it will only cover the liability.

No Fault: All auto insurance in the state of Michigan is No Fault Insurance. It’s a state law, not an option. So it isn’t an optional coverage that you can add to your policy, it’s our only option. What No Fault means is that when there’s an accident, everyone is responsible for their own vehicles. So regardless of which driver got a ticket for the accident, if your vehicle is damaged, then you will need to contact your own insurance company. So if your vehicle is totaled in an accident and you have liability only on your policy, then there won’t be any coverage for your vehicle.

Full Coverage: There are many different ways that someone can have “full coverage”. It can be just comprehensive and collision (many different kinds of collision), or it can include rental car coverage and roadside assistance in addition to that. It can also include higher liability limits and an umbrella policy. So full coverage is a very vague term and when asking for “full coverage” you should always make sure you know exactly which coverages you do and don’t have. You can also have full coverage with deductibles that are high enough that you would almost never use the coverage. If someone tells you that you have full coverage, you’ll always want to verify with them what exactly those coverages are.

Comprehensive: Comprehensive is also known as “other than collision” and that’s exactly what it is. Comprehensive is coverage for if your vehicle has damage from fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, natural disasters, falling objects, glass damage, and for hitting an animal. This is particularly useful for windshields and when you hit a deer. Comprehensive is the cheaper coverage to add to your policy and it covers a wide range of perils.

Collision: This is coverage for when the vehicle “collides” with another object. There are 3 different types of collision. Limited Collision is when the damages to your vehicle are only covered if you were not at fault for the accident. Standard Collision covers the damages to your vehicle, no matter who was at fault, and you must pay the deductible amount prior to the insurance company paying out on the damages. Broad Form Collision covers the damages to your vehicle, no matter who was at fault, and you only pay the deductible if you were considered at fault for the accident. Again, if you don’t have any kind of collision on your vehicle, then the damages to your vehicle with not be covered in an accident.

Premium: Your premium is the cost of the policy. When looking at your premium, be sure to check the length of the policy period (usually 6 months or 12 months). We all know about payments and how those work, but it’s difficult to process the thought of “earned premium” with insurance. Earned Premium is when you have had insurance for a period of time (even if you didn’t file any claims) and now you have to pay for that coverage.

 

With these insurance terms explained, you’ll be better prepared for your future conversations with your insurance agent. You’ll be able to make better informed decisions when choosing your coverages and deductibles and instead of asking what the agent thinks is best for you, you can decide what coverages you want for yourself! If you have any questions about these definitions or any other terms you’d like explained, just give us a call!