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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: livonia

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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.


Single GirlWe spend a lot of time talking about how couples, families and businesses can protect their financial futures with life insurance. But what about if you are single—do you need life insurance, too?

There are those people who have no children, no one depending on their income, no ongoing financial obligations, and sufficient cash to cover their final expenses. But how many of those people do you really know? And, more importantly, are you one of them?

It is important, then, to illustrate how a life insurance purchase can be a smart financial move for someone who is single with no children. Asking yourself these three questions can help you get at the heart of the matter:

• Do you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings?
• Do you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely?
• Did family members pay for your education?

Life insurance is an excellent way to address these obligations, and in the case of tuition, reimburse family members for their support. But don’t just take my word for it. Instead, “do your own math.” This Life Insurance Needs Calculator can help you quickly understand if there is a need—a need you might not be aware of—that could be easily addressed with life insurance.

In addition to addressing any financial obligations you might have, the current economic climate has made permanent life insurance an attractive means to help you build a secure long-term rate of return for safe money assets. Cash value in traditional life insurance may provide a 3% to 5% long-term rate of return over a 20-year period. This can provide you with money for opportunities, emergencies and even retirement.

For young singles, keep in mind that you have youth on your side. I don’t mean to sound trite. Instead, think about the fact that purchasing life insurance is very affordable when you’re young and allows you to protect your insurability for when there is a future need—perhaps, in time, a spouse and children.

While all of these reasons are valid, the most important reason for you to consider life insurance may be the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that your financial obligations will be taken care of should anything happen.

The professionals at Insurance Planning Service can help you find a Life Insurance policy tailored to your needs and outlook, old or young.  Call us at 800-220-5582 or contact us today!

Source: LIFE Foundation

Michigan Home InsuranceWhile you are shopping for a new home, you may be interested in discovering the crime rate in the area, where the local schools are, and how far the commute is from work—but you should also be evaluating the insurance rates in each of the neighborhoods you consider.

Choose Your Neighborhood Based on Insurance Costs

When looking at homes, you may have certain neighborhoods in mind based on their proximity to school and work, but each neighborhood has its own potential home insurance costs that you should also consider. Your home insurance agent can help you narrow down your neighborhood choices even further by giving general rates for the homes in each so you can avoid wasting time in neighborhoods tied to high insurance premiums that exceed your budget.

It’s important to note that these will be estimates, not guarantees. But they can give you an idea of what you will need for liability, contents and property coverage as well as whether or not you will need flood insurance coverage.

The many factors that will help your agent in building the estimate include:

  • Whether you are looking for a house with a pool or Jacuzzi
  • The neighborhood crime statistics
  • What kind of pets you plan to have
  • What your estimated contents value is

Check Insurance before You Buy

It’s important to understand your potential home insurance costs before you buy since the inability to afford insurance is not an option when you are a new home owner, because not only will your lender require it, you will also want to have it to protect your new, expensive asset. In order to set yourself up for a comfortable future, you must live within your means and since home insurance is a financial obligation, it too must fit within your means.

Whether you are beginning to narrow down your home choices, or just getting started, give us a call to get potential rates for your home insurance coverage so that you can more accurately project your total monthly costs. We can also discuss increasing your life insurance death benefit to accommodate your new loan and the need for an umbrella policy to cover your home and auto liability risks.

To learn more about Home Insurance contact us 800-220-5582 or get a free Michigan home insurance quote.

Michigan Home Insurance RemodelRemodeling your home, either to increase value or increase quality of life while living there, is almost a no-brainer. The activity of remodeling, however, and the results that follow will affect your homeowner’s coverage.

Insurance during the Remodel

While remodeling your house, you’ll need to have the proper liability coverage in place. If you hire contractors to work on the home, they may have their own coverage. Although, handymen and friends of the family, if injured, should have the opportunity to file a claim on your homeowner’s policy.

Turning your home into a construction site can put the interior at risk for damages. You should try your best to minimize risk exposures so as not to be negligent or expose yourself to more risk than is necessary.

The materials you use during your remodel could affect your insurance premiums. Be sure to follow the most recent code guidelines when making improvements. Also, try to invest in building materials that fortify the structure against damage. Fortifying your home can, in turn, add discounts to your home insurance policy.

Finally, think about your possessions listed in the contents area of your policy during the renovation. For some, you may have to find temporary, offsite storage for some items. This can take them out of the scope of your policy and expose you to risk of loss unless you have a supplementary plan of coverage those items while they are offsite.

Insurance after the Remodel

Once your remodel is complete the property value, as well as your replacement costs, will increase. If any redecorating is included with the remodel, the value of your contents might also have increased. All of this translates into a need to review and possibly update your home insurance policy to reflect your new values. Raising your limits will ensure you’ll get exactly what is needed out of your policy in the event of a post-remodel insurable incident. 

It’s very easy to update your homeowner’s policy to reflect these changes. Just give your agent a call to let them know what needs updated, and they can help you decide what your new property and contents limits should be. Since increasing your limits will likely increase your premiums, you could consider raising your deductible a bit in order to balance the changes out.

Contact us at Insurance Planning Service today to make sure your Michigan home insurance policy is all up to date!

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

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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