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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: livonia auto insurance

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Michigan regulators approved rate hike requests from major insurers who said they are increasing prices to accommodate rising per-vehicle fees that fund the state’s no-fault system, highlighting the passage of costs from insurers to consumers that occurs in the only state in the U.S. offering lifetime compensation for crash-related medical expenses regardless of fault, according to Online Auto Insurance.

Insurers pay into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), which charges a $175 per-vehicle fee to reimburse insurers for claims exceeding $500,000. A $30 fee increase went into effect on July 1; that fee has increased year-after-year from $104 in 2008.

Critics have argued that increasing MCCA costs make it hard to get cheap car insurance coverage in Michigan, as insurers who pay the ballooning per-vehicle fee typically shift their costs onto policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

Allstate, Fremont and 21st Century were all approved for rate hikes of varying degrees that kicked in on July 1, 2012 - the same day that the higher MCCA fee went into effect. Regulators approved 21st Century’s request to hike rates 3 percent overall. Fremont submitted its request to increase rates by 2.1 percent. Allstate increased rates overall by 3 percent.

Industry experts and legislators have grappled with the cost of coverage in Michigan, which is one of the most-expensive states for coverage in the U.S.

American Insurance Association (AIA) president David Snyder  testified before members of a state House committee last October, saying the coverage system faces a “death spiral” if reforms were not made.

Several pieces of legislation establishing new exclusionary provisions into no-fault laws were introduced this year, including one that prohibits illegal aliens from seeking no-fault benefits and another that does the same for drivers who crash their cars while intoxicated.

Those bills were approved by committee members in June and are currently awaiting further consideration in the state House.  

To keep your auto insurance policy as reasonable as possible, contact the insurance experts at Insurance Planning Service today at 800-225-5582 or use our
online contact form!


We hear a lot about the effects that alcohol and drugs have on driving and fatal car accidents. However, a lesser known threat is people who drive under the influence of sleepiness. According to a survey (Asleep at the Wheel) conducted by the AAA foundation in 2010: one in every six fatal accidents involved a drowsy driver.  

 In addition to fatal accidents, drowsy driving also was to blame for 13% of automobile accidents resulting in a hospitalization and 7% of accidents where a vehicle needed to be towed.

Those at a higher risk for driving drowsy are young drivers (under the age of 24) and men.  According to the AAA study, 52% of men reported falling asleep behind the wheel while only 30% of women reported ever doing so. Likewise, younger drivers reported falling asleep behind the wheel more than any other age group.

How do you know if you’re driving drowsy?

You may be too sleepy to drive if:

·         -Your eyes feel heavy and difficult to keep open.

·         -You find yourself drifting from lane to lane or over the rumble strips on the highway.

·         -You have difficulty remembering the last few miles you drove.

What to do:

Tips from the AAA foundation:

·         -Before a road trip make sure to get a solid 7 hours of sleep before getting on the road.

·         -If you find yourself driving drowsy pull over immediately.

·         -Drink a caffeinated beverage.

·         -Schedule a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.

·         -Travel with an alert passenger.

·         -Avoid driving at times when you are normally asleep.

Avoiding drowsy driving is just one more way to practice safe driving. Remember that claims-free and violation-free drivers often qualify for the best auto insurance rates.

To learn more about auto insurance, get in touch with Insurance Planning Service today at 800-220-5582 or via our online contact option.


New Baby

Having a baby can be a very exciting, emotional, and exhausting experience for a family, and while most parents remember a lot of the preparation details -- such assembling the crib and installing child-safety locks -- updating their insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind.
Whether you’re expecting, a new parent, or you know someone who is, it’s important to have the right insurance. We at Insurance Planning Service want you and your growing family to be protected from all life’s possibilities, so we’re providing you an insurance checklist – no assembly required! – for expecting parents.

Health Insurance

1. When you find out you’re pregnant, make sure your health insurance plan covers prenatal and maternity health costs. (An employer with 15 or more employees is required by federal law to provide coverage for pregnancy-related expenses.)
2. Check your policy to find out if you need preauthorization for certain prenatal or maternity health costs, such as ultrasounds and amniocentesis.
3. Call your health insurance company to ensure your obstetrician, doctor, and/or midwife and hospital or birthing center are both in-network. If they’re out-of-network, there may be additional charges for your health-care expenses.
4. Know how many days you’re covered for after delivering your baby and if your insurance provides additional time for certain medical needs and scenarios, such as a C-section.
5. If you’re planning on a home birth, check with your insurance company to find out if any expenses are covered. (Most insurance plans will cover the cost of a midwife, but do not offer reimbursement for other costs associated with this type of birth.)
6. Contact your insurance provider to find out how to add your new baby to your insurance plan. Since a mother’s and newborn’s hospital stays are billed separately, you need to have coverage for both people. Many insurance plans will only cover expenses for an infant that is enrolled in a plan within 30 days of being born.
7. Confirm that your health insurance plan covers your child’s first set of doctor appointments and vaccinations, and that your pediatrician is in-network.

Life/Disability Insurance

1. If you and your spouse don’ already have a life insurance policy in place, a new baby is a good time to take out a policy. Most parents have a term life insurance policy, which usually is the least expensive options and provides coverage for a fixed amount of time at a set premium. Usually the beneficiary of this type of policy is a spouse, however, single parents may want to list their child or a family member.
2. If you or your spouse become disabled and one of you is the primary breadwinner for the household, you may want to consider long-term disability insurance. This type of insurance will provide your family with financial support if you are disabled and cannot work. Some employers offer this coverage, but you should check to make sure you’re covered and find out if you have enough coverage.

Homeowner’s Insurance

1. A baby comes with a lot of new stuff, which means you probably need to update your homeowner’s insurance policy to included enough coverage to replace everything in your nursery. If your new bundle of joy doesn’t have a state-of-the-art crib or fancy diaper genie, you may not need to increase your coverage, but you should check with your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent to find out.

Auto Insurance

1. Unlike other types of insurance, which go up with a new addition, your auto insurance will likely stay the same. However, a major life milestone, such as having a baby, can be an indicator of increased responsibility, which can actually lead to a decrease in rates. If you’re expecting or a new parent, contact your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent to find out if your rates can be reduced.
If you have any questions, need help getting coverage, or simply want to double-check your insurance policies, call us at 800-220-5582 or contact us via the web.  The professionals at Insurance Planning Service are happy to help … just don’t ask us to baby-sit!

Courtesy: Trusted Choice

Michigan Auto InsuranceThe goal of insurance is to take some of the risk you are exposed to every day off your shoulders. You pay the insurance company and, in turn, they accept the risk that you might have an accident and agree to pay a certain amount.

Auto insurance often offers a sort of shared risk. Deductibles and limits divide the risk to make certain some of the risk is yours, and some of the risk belongs to your insurance carrier.

Deductibles are the amount of damages you’re responsible for before your carrier pays out. If the cost of your damage does not exceed your deductible, however, you’re responsible for the full amount.

Limits are the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay toward a claim. Any additional liability above your policy limits is your responsibility, unless you have an umbrella policy.

Setting higher deductibles and lower limits, allows your insurance company to assume less risk. By your carrier assuming less risk, your premiums may be significantly lower. In the event of an accident, your financial responsibility may be greater since you have an aggressive deductible and lower limits to make up for.

Ultimately, when using deductibles and limits to create an affordable auto insurance policy, you want to make sure you find the right balance.

  • Can you afford the deductible? You should be able to pay your deductible without going into debt or having to remove the money from an account with penalties for early withdrawal.
  • Do you have resources for claims that exceed limits? If you have a claim that exceeds the limits of your policy, you should try to pay the claim with funds that are readily available to you.
  • Is it worth the risk? Finally, make sure you perform many policy comparisons with lower deductibles and higher limits to make sure that your premium savings are really worth the increased exposure you have. Consider the changes in premium that these adjustments bring and then consider the amount of money you will need in reserves to pay your additional responsibility.

Shopping for auto insurance is not just about finding the lowest premium. With a little finesse, you and your agent can design a plan with an affordable premium that offers you the coverage you need.Call us today at 800-220-5582 for more information or get a free Michigan auto insurance quote.


Livonia Umbrella PolicyThe premium on my personal umbrella liability insurance policy increased halfway through the policy term. My insurance agent says it’s because I added a teen driver. This doesn’t seem right since our son is a good student and is covered by our auto insurance policy.

Umbrella coverage works hand in hand with your auto and home insurance. For example, if you are in an auto accident and badly injure or kill another, you can easily exhaust the bodily injury limits of your auto insurance policy. When that happens, your umbrella policy steps in and pays the extra expense you owe, up to the umbrella limit, which is usually $1 million.

As a group, teenagers have the greatest accident rate of any drivers, and auto accidents are principal cause of teen deaths. There are many reasons for these data: teens are easily distracted by electronic devices (mp3 players, cell phones, etc.), they are more inexperienced drivers and they usually engage in riskier behaviors. However, there are precautions you can take to keep your son safe behind the wheel. If your state doesn’t restrict cell phone use and texting while driving or impose curfews and passenger limits for young drivers, you can set limits on those activities yourself.

With time and a good driving record, your son’s auto and umbrella insurance premiums will decrease. Meanwhile, you can get a lower overall rate for your family’s insurance by buying your auto, home and umbrella coverage from the same insurance agency. Also ask about good student and other relevant discounts. Increasing your auto and/or home deductibles is another way to make insurance more affordable, but make sure that you can actually afford to pay these deductibles.

To learn more about Livonia umbrella liability insurance contact us at 800-220-5582 or get a free umbrella liability insurance quote.

734.421.9900  |  800.220.5582  |


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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake