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Archive for January, 2017

Savings for Seniors

January 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Savings for Seniors

 

These days it seems that the cost of living increases, while for many Americans (especially seniors) their income remains flat or in some cases decreases. The need for many seniors to make reductions in their lifestyle to stay afloat is immense. Oftentimes the question comes down to “Who do I pay and who do I not?” Insurance is a necessity, especially for seniors. Here are some ways to help cut down on insurance rates:

  1. “Bundling vs. De-Bundling” – As people get older, auto insurance rates start to increase. At age 70, those increases seem to get larger. We as the consumer have been taught that bundling insurances with one carrier is the most economical way. But there are carriers that are more “senior-friendly” than others, check to see what the difference would be in rates between bundling & a stand-alone policy. In many cases, it is actually cheaper to split out policies than to bundle them together.
  2. “Work Loss Waiver Credit” – Those over the age of 62 who are fully-retired, meaning that they no longer participate in the work force at all can take advantage of the “Work Loss Waiver Credit”. Work Loss is a companion coverage to the medical coverage on an auto policy. Those that are injured in an accident and are off work can receive reimbursement for their time off work. If you are fully-retired, there is no need for this companion coverage.
  3. “Billing Plan Discounts” – Many insurance carriers offer discounts based on the billing plan you choose. “Full Payment”, “Quarterly”, and even “Monthly EFT” billing plans may offer an additional discount that could be helpful. Check with your hometown agent to see which billing plan best fits your situation.
  4. “Physical Damage vs. PLPD” – Sometimes hard decisions need to be made about coverage. Switching a vehicle from physical damage coverage to just liability/medical could potentially save hundreds of dollars on auto insurance over the course of a year. But, this avenue of savings may not be the right choice for everyone. Talk to your hometown insurance agent for guidance on different coverage options and the potential pitfalls of reducing coverage.
  5. “Group Discounts” – Belong to a seniors group like AARP? Are you or your spouse an alumnus of a college? Did you or your spouse serve in the military? Do you bank at a credit union? Some carriers offer an additional discount if you belong to a certain group or organization.

Above all else, seniors really should have a hometown insurance agent that is willing to sit down with them and help them to find the coverage needed at a price that is reasonably attainable. Everyone should have a hometown insurance agent for that matter.

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Tiny Houses

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Tiny Houses

 

We all can understand the concept and appeal of tiny houses. The balance of amenities/comforts and bare-bones living is a fresh notion in a world where we scramble to accumulate as much as possible.

Henry David Thoreau spoke of bare essential living in his book, “Walden”, but the tiny house movement really started back in the 1970’s and has seen a huge resurgence in the late 2000’s thanks to the housing & financial crisis. And now with the proliferation of television shows dedicated to tiny houses, people are embracing a simpler living philosophy.

There are some things to consider when it comes to tiny house living. TheTinyHouse has an article on questions to ask yourself before jumping headlong into tiny house living:

  1. Do you have allergies? If you’re allergic to sawdust, propane, alcohol, or other building materials – tiny house living might not be for you.
  2. What are the local laws in regards to tiny houses? It may be illegal to have a tiny house where you live, or at least it will be mired in a legal “grey area”. Check with the county/city/township to see what the zoning/building codes are for tiny house construction.
  3. Are you agile/mobile? Tight spaces & the need for ladders won’t be pleasant for those with physical issues.
  4. Do you have a big family? Tiny houses are usually best for singles or couples, with the rare occasion of having a child or two. But as the children grow, the space can seems a lot smaller and impractical.
  5. Are you claustrophobic/afraid of heights? If small spaces or heights are difficult for you, tiny living might not be for you.
  6. Can you handle using a composting toilet? If you can’t see yourself doing your business and then adding a layer of sawdust, much less emptying the toilet – you might want to pass on tiny living.
  7. Can you live with the bare essentials? Although tiny house building has an art of where to store things, if you’re a shopaholic or clothes horse you might not be ready for tiny house living.

Read the entire article for more information on tiny house living and whether or not it is the right move for you.

Insuring a tiny house can be a challenge since it conforms to two different concepts – traditional-built homes and mobile homes/travel trailers. Our agency has access to markets willing to provide insurance to tiny homes! Give us a call!

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Snowmobile Safety

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Snowmobile Safety

 

In 2015 there were 14 fatalities along with numerous serious injuries relating to snowmobiles in Michigan. A majority of those accidents could have been avoided, most were related to 2 different factors – speed & riding at night.

Snowmobiles are fun recreational vehicles for some & a lifeline to civilization for others during the harsh winter months. The Michigan DNR has an article with some tips on how to be safe while operating your sled:

  1. Always keep your vehicle in top mechanical condition. Having a disabled sled in the middle of nowhere is not the best place to be.
  2. Wear the appropriate gear including insulated clothing, goggles, & a properly-rated safety helmet. The temperatures drop rapidly while riding a sled, best to be protected against the elements.
  3. Just like with hunting, don’t go out alone if possible. If something goes wrong, there is someone that can help or be able to go and get help.
  4. When possible, do not ride across frozen bodies of water. Ice thickness can vary and it is VERY difficult to gauge whether or not a lake or pond is solid enough for riding across.
  5. Never operate your sled on a street or highway. If you have to cross a street or highway to get to a trail, come to a complete stop & raise up off the seat to look for oncoming traffic.
  6. Keep your headlights & tail lights on at all times.
  7. Watch the terrain ahead of you and look low-hung fences/wires or for depressions in the snow, these could be indicators for low areas or possible debris that has been covered over.
  8. Of course don’t operate the sled if you’ve consumed alcohol or drugs.

 

Riding a snowmobile around Michigan’s “Winter Wonderland” is amazing, but it can also be dangerous as well. Be safe while having fun this winter!

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized