THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2021
One of the moments we have been waiting for in Michigan is getting money back into our pockets from paying so much premium in car insurance, especially in the last decade. Mandatory fees, associated with an auto insurance policy in Michigan, include those from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). The fee started at $3 per vehicle in 1978, but the MCCA has required us to pay quite a bit in fees per vehicle over the past decade with increasing costs over time. The assessments per vehicle over the years are as follows:
2011 = $145
2012 = $175
2013 = $186
2014 = $186
2015 = $150
2016 = $160
2017 = $170
2018 = $192
2019 = $220
2020 = $100 (Michigan Auto Insurance Reform began)
2021 = $86
On December 6, 2021 Director Anita Fox with the Department of Insurance and Financial Services released a notice stating the MCCA will be returning approximately $3 billion of excess surplus funds to its member insurance companies (MCCA letter to Director Fox). Insurance companies will then refund policyholders that had a policy in effect on 10/31/21 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The amount refunded to these policy holders will be $400 for every car that was subject to the MCCA fee at this time. The amount for historical vehicles is 20% or $80 of the refund per car. The MCCA is anticipating to distribute this surplus to its member insurance companies, at the earliest March 9, 2022. Insurance companies will have no longer than 60 days after receiving the funds to issue out the refund checks to individual qualifying policy holders. Each insurance company will have more information available as they identify a specific timeframe and the steps to issue these refund checks.
Last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor and Director Fox worked together to give partial refunds to Michiganders for “staying safe and staying home”. We are grateful to see that the auto insurance reform is working and it is starting to provide lower rates and even refund premiums. It may take time because we know these processes do not happen overnight. Unfortunately, we can never get back the time and money that was spent, but we will be happy to recover whatever we can and we are hopeful for the future of Michigan’s car insurance rates.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2021
A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night
Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures — including shopping, sledding, snowball fights & holiday lights — longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.
You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).
Because we’re big advocates for safety at Macomb Insurance Mart, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.
What’s dangerous about night driving?
1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.
So what do you do?
Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed all the way to Frankenmuth or maybe even farther to Traverse City
1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!
At Macomb Insurance Mart, 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 586-263-0700 or send us a note at email@example.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!
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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2021
5 Dos and Don’ts for Black Friday
Okay, admit it. Have you ever let things get just a little out of control on Black Friday? Maybe you lost your patience in the parking lot. Or, perhaps you were less cordial than usual with store employees.
Hey, it’s a stressful day, and we here at Macomb Insurance Mart understand, but we do want you to be safe out there when the crowds begin to swell and the shopping frenzy sets in. So, here are five tips we gathered that should help you make safety a priority on the biggest shopping day of the year in Clinton Twp, MI.
1. Don’t park in a dark, secluded sport or directly next to large vans or trucks. Before heading into the store, do make a mental or written note of where you parked. Snapping some photos on your smartphone might help, too.
2. Do stay aware of your surroundings. Some shoppers get aggressive trying to get in the door of a store or fighting over an item. Others take advantage of distracted shoppers by stealing their packages, purse or other items.
3. Do carry only one credit card, if it’s practical, and wait until being asked to take out your credit card or checkbook. And, don’t overspend – it’s just not safe for your financial stability. Set a spending limit before you leave home.
4. Don’t forget that you need a plan for regrouping in case someone gets separated or lost. Keeping your mobile phones charged will help.
5. Do approach your car with keys in hand – get them out while still in the store, if possible. Scan the area around and under your car before stashing your loot in the trunk (not the back seat). Then check your back seat before getting in the car.
When you’re taking steps to stay safe on Black Friday, you may just find yourself more relaxed and able to enjoy the day. If not, just remember, deep breaths!
Happy shopping everyone!
Call us for a free insurance quote to save money this holiday season!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2021
5 Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey This Thanksgiving
Those in Southeast Michigan who have tasted deep-fried turkey usually say there’s simply no comparison to an oven-roasted bird — turkey out of the fryer is moist, with crispy skin and a beautiful color.
And, it cooks much more quickly than a turkey in the oven, which means you don’t have to wait for hours on end to get your fix.
But, if you’re not careful, frying a turkey can ruin your Thanksgiving, too. You’ve no doubt seen videos of people accidentally starting fires with their attempts. In some cases, families have even lost their homes.
With a little common sense, though, you can safely enjoy that great taste and fast cooking time. Here are five tips for cooking a great deep-fried turkey — without doing any damage (except maybe to your waistline):
1. Find a safe place to cook. Don’t ever set up a fryer any closer than 10 feet from your home, garage or any other structure. Make sure the area is flat to keep the fryer from tipping, and never put it on a deck or other flammable surface.
2. Don’t use too much turkey. You don’t want to drop a 20-pound bird in your fryer; it’s just too big. Keep your turkey to 12 pounds or less, don’t stuff it and make sure it’s completely thawed and dry.
3. Don’t use too much oil, either. When it comes to the oil, use something with a high smoke point (for example, canola or safflower) and do a test with water beforehand to figure out how much you need. Put the turkey in your fryer and fill with water until it is covered. Then take the turkey out and make a mental note of the water line — that’s how much oil to use. Be sure to dry everything completely after your test.
4. Use caution when it’s time to cook. Don’t just drop the turkey into the fryer, unless you want to splash hot oil on yourself (bad) or the burner (even worse). Gently lower it into the oil, and then monitor everything as it’s cooking. Keep an eye on the oil temperature to make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Keep an eye on the clock, because you want your turkey to cook for about 3-5 minutes per pound. And, watch kids and pets so they don’t get too close to the fryer.
5. Be prepared for disaster. If you’re cautious, the odds are you won’t need a fire extinguisher, but you should have one on hand anyway – a multi-purpose model with dry powder. Don’t ever spray water on a fryer fire. If you don’t have an extinguisher, either cover the oil or dump a large amount of baking soda on the blaze. And, if all else fails, call 911 – quickly.
Of course, there’s one way to get a deep-fried turkey that can’t fail: Buy one from a professional. They’re available at some grocery and specialty stores, and even restaurants are getting into the act now.
Whichever you choose, we here at Macomb Insurance Mart wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
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Tags: happy thanksgiving, thanksgiving, cooking, turkey, deep fryer, tips, safety, insurance, quote, michigan, clinton twp mi, southeast michigan
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2021
10 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home for Fall
Fall is a wonderful time in Clinton Township, MI — if your home is ready for it.
Yes, this is the time of year to fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophic. Here are 10 tips to help:
1. Look up. Examine your roof closely. Remove moss, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts, and repair any damage.
2. Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including in the basement and crawlspace. Bring in a professional to get rid of unwanted guests.
3. Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.
4. Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the basement and crawlspace for wet spots. And, make sure your water heater or boiler isn’t leaking.
5. Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When’s the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts, as well. And, change that furnace filter!
6. Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs now.
7. Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, boiler and/or water heater, as well as your oven and range.
8. Don’t play with fire. Before building your first fireplace fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.
9. Don’t play with fire extinguishers, either. But, check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don’t have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.
10. Don’t forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.
Keeping your home insurance policy in tip-top condition is smart, too. Remember to check in with us at least once a year to update your policy so you’re covered for your new remodel, additions or personal possessions.
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Tags: fall prep, home maintenance, weather damage, michigan, insurance, quote, home insurance, tips, prepare, clinton twp mi, southeast michigan