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Morning Blend

The Mornning Blend: No-Fault Update

Bob: With us this morning is Pat Brown from the Holt Dimondale Insurance Agency. Pat. I’ve been meaning to ask you, I wonder if there are any updates on the no fault insurance reform?


Pat: Yeah but, you know, COVID is kind of taking all the information and all our attention. The original No-Fault reform law came in July without much fanfare. People did see the reduction in their premiums and part of the initial bill was to have a couple of years worth of data, and then see what happens but the insurance commissioner announced last week that in July of, 2021, there will be another reduction, the size will be based upon what people have chosen throughout the course but there will be another reduction for the insurance public coming July of 2021. So it seems like a long ways off but it isn’t. 


Bob: Yeah. How has the pandemic affected your business dynamics?


Pat: I was thinking about this one, quite a bit and, and I’ll throw this back at you know how would you like to have to do morning blend 15-20 times in one week without a zoom and all you have is the phone medium? That’s tough because you can see as we do here, facial expressions, gathering information establishing relationships is done on a face-to-face basis, and it’s tough when all you have is that phone medium. We’ve had to change, change you know our dynamics for our team because on a daily basis we can’t get that information from our team so we do weekly meetings, via Zoom. We use the Team’s messaging system so that we can keep up on what’s going on with all our people, and outside we’ve put up a bill mailbox so people can drop off payments.  When we had that little short reprieve when we could get back to work, we were taking appointments that way but again we miss our public, but we want to make sure our team stays safe. We still have the guidelines in place but we’re ready to go when we get a chance to get back there. 


Bob: Real quick, any advice for businesses out there that received the PPP and Care loans.


Pat: Yes, it’s coming down to year-end. If you’ve received some monies you have some responsibilities to report it, go to SBAM Small Business Association of Michigan. Go to their website they have a multitude of ways that you can look at that information, get some help on what your responsibility is.

The Morning Blend: Insurance FAQ

Bob: Today we’re here with Pat Brown from the Holt Dimondale Agency.


Pat, I know you get a lot of frequently asked questions and I know one of them is, “will I always get a new roof on my home because of hail damage–true or false?” 


Pat: Both. And it’s sometimes a sticky wicket, if we want to use that term, but quite often, we use April of 2020, as an example, we had a hailstorm that came through our area. And there’s competition amongst the roofers in the area and what they’ll do is they’ll go out the next day and find a subdivision that may be 15 years old, so they know that some of those roofs might be in need of repair. They will go and check with the owners they will go up and write an estimate and find out that yep, you need a new roof. 
Well, the homeowner themselves take that for the gospel, and then they turn their claim in to the insurance company and find that you know, the roofer said that we need to have a roof replaced, the neighbor next door gets one, the neighbor on the other side gets one, you might not because the insurance carrier has the obligation to inspect it. And when the adjusters come out there they’re not trying to deny it, but it’s basically, “you got some damage we’ll repair half of it,” or “we’ll give you money towards this part of it,” but you’re not always going to get the new roof itself.


And a lot of times, because there is such an abundance of claims, some carriers will do what we call “armchair adjust: and say hey you know what I’ve got so many claims coming up, just replaced the roof… so it doesn’t always happen that way and sometimes people get a little flustered, my neighbor just got a brand new roof, why don’t I get one, so it’s always in between the insurance company and the insurers. So, yeah, this bit can be difficult sometimes. 


Bob: So another one that I know you get, “My mortgage company pays my homeowners insurance, but I don’t really check my policy, am I missing something here?” 


Pat: Definitely. Your sample policy comes in the mail, you see that it’s from your insurance carrier you know that your mortgage company pays it, you stick it in a file never think about it again. And because insurance is a competitive market, carriers on an annual basis try to create a better mousetrap to get their customers in, you know, Farmers with their, their policy perks and Liberty Mutual with their information. So there’s always new and innovative policy additions that can be or programs that can be added. If an agent is not calling you annually, like we do at Holt Dimondale Agency, you’re going to miss out on a lot of those things that could be advantageous to you. 


Bob: Good information and thanks so much for joining us.

The Morning Blend: Holt Community Food Bank

Bob:

We’re here with Pat Brown from the Holt Dimondale Dale Agency. Pat always good to see you You brought a guest with you today.

Pat:

Bob, good to see you as well. Yes, I have a guest today, Marni Swanson. She’s the director of the Holt Community Food Bank, and she is an integral part of the Holt Dimondale Delhi Township community Task Force. A lot of things that happen on behind the scenes, so I’d like to let Marni do her talk, and talk about the Holt community Food Bank. 

Bob:

Yeah so Marni, tell me a little bit about the Holt Community Food Bank and who it serves.

Marni:

So the Holt Community Food Bank serves residents of Delhi township who are food insecure.

Pat:

So how can people contact the food bank? And then also, is there a social media presence to it as well?

Marni:

So yes, the food bank can be reached, the best way is to just give us a call and our phone number is 517-694-9307, and right now because of COVID we’re not really in the office. So we just ask that you leave a message and I do callbacks every morning, sometimes even on Sundays. And then we do have a website, which is the holtcommunityfoodbank.org and then we have our Facebook page as well. And that is the Holt community Delhi Township Food Bank Facebook page, and there’s lots of information out there as well.

Bob:

We’ll make sure that we put all of that information on the screen. As you mentioned, COVID-19 and I’m wondering how the food bank has been impacted because of the pandemic that’s going on and has it affected any changes in distribution at all?

Marni:

It sure has. So we’ve decided to change things up a little bit in the years past, you know clients could come in and actually physically be in the food bank and kind of pick out some items that they, they would like. Currently, the way that we do that though is, they just drive up and they show their ID and they have an appointment already scheduled so we just wheel everything right up to their vehicle.

Bob:

Very good. Do you take items from people in the community to to help out?

Marni:

We do. We had to stop that for a little bit because of COVID but now we’re back to taking donations, you know dry goods, canned goods. We’ve been asking people to just call us so we can make an appointment to pick those items up and then we also take monetary donations which you can do that on our Facebook page, you can do it on our website, or you can actually mail it.

Bob:

Right, we’re gonna put all your information on the screen. Marni, thank you for what you do. 

The Morning Blend: Preparing for Winter

Bob: 

Joining us this morning is Pat Brown from the Holt Diamond Dale agency, Pat. It’s good to see you always, and around this time every year you come you come on and you remind us of the importance to prepare, especially as it starts to get a little colder and so I’m hoping he can do that this morning again.

Pat:

Yeah, Bob thanks it’s always nice to see you too, even from from afar. 

As a former firefighter and fire investigator I investigated a lot of fires and we were able to pinpoint certain things that would happen during certain times of the year. And as we start to button up our homes, put everything away, there are certain safety tips that we probably should just consider on an annual basis. 

Number one, people are starting to use their fireplaces. If they have a wood fireplace and it’s time to put the you know the wood in there…let’s have a fire…they need to be checked, they need to be cleaned, they need to be looked at to see if the creosote has not built up in there. Many, many many times we’ve had chimney fires that people just fail to have them cleaned. 

The other one is if you have a gas operated with make sure you have great ventilation. Because when we button up our houses the houses today are really really tight and you still have to have some of that, that ventilation, that makeup air to, to make them operate so just get them checked. 

Give yourself a furnace checkup or get somebody to check it out for you. Furnace filters, burners, people that are on propane, sometimes their burners will, because there’s a lot of moisture in it, and they produce a lot of carbon monoxide, and they should have that checked.

Generators. I know people are getting their generators out and, you know, making sure that it that it works, making sure that you change your spark plugs making sure you get fresh gas, we’ll talk a little bit more about generators in a minute. But clean out your gutters, you know, now’s a good time to start working on your gutters, for insurance purposes, for ice damming that might happen down the road…oh my goodness I forgot to to clean the gutters and next thing you know is I have ice damming, we have water damage in the house. 

And I can never leave this without having smoke alarm checks, make sure your smoke alarms are ready to go. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors operate. And your fire extinguishers, that you have one that’s not tucked underneath the sink. 

The biggest one is have a plan. Yeah, if something happens, have a plan to get out, practice. 

Bob:

Real quick, are generators dangerous. 

Pat:

They can be. Many people say, well you know what we got a generator. Let’s turn it on, and they fail to get oxygen or air into it, to have ventilation. They’ll put it in the garage and keep one of the doors open a little bit, and you still can get a lot of carbon monoxide that can come into the house, just like a fire running inside the garage.

The Morning Blend: Food Services at Holt Public Schools

Video Transcript:

Bob:

This morning on the Blend, we have with us our good friend Pat Brown the president of the Holt Dimondale Insurance Agency and Pat brought along Evan Robinson, who is Director of Food Services for Holt public schools. Gentlemen, welcome to the blend I want to start with you, Evan. Talk a little bit about how long you’ve been working with the Holt public schools.

Evan:

Yep, so I’ve been with Holt public schools for three and a half, almost four years, I started out as a district sub and then became the director.

Bob:

So what was it typical day pre COVID for you.

Evan:

So a typical day, pre-COVID would have consisted of us preparing breakfast and lunches, sending food out to each school, cleaning up spaces. You know servicing students, and then going home. However, it’s a little different now.

Bob:

Yeah, talk about how different it is now, the new duties that you have going forward.

Evan:

Sure. So some of the changes that we have now is that we now are sending food home on 10 different stops, nine bus routes, and parent pickup. We are now providing seven days worth of meals instead of five, as with a normal, normal school day. As of last week with the USDA guidance, now all students under the age of 18 can now get meals for for free. And now a new part of my job is about employee safety, student safety when it comes to you know mass cleaning and sanitation within our kitchens now. And also doing health checks.

Bob:

So, you are serving literally thousands of people every single day. That is a lot.

Evan:

Yes. So since this all began on Friday March 13 which has a new meaning now to me, we have done between 60 to 70,000 meals and that is for Holt families.

Bob:

So what would meal service look like with in-person learning? 

Evan:

When we do return to the classroom, which as we all hope will be soon. Breakfast will be in the classroom and lunch will be either in the classroom or still in the cafeteria, but everything will be packaged in plastic to keep it safe.

Bob:

I want to know how the community can help you, what can we do to help?

Evan:

Sure. So we are always looking for help. The best way is monetary donations because we can take those funds, and then use it to buy food for our pantry bags.

Bob:

Well, Evan I really want to thank you for being here today. Pat, thank you for bringing Evan and we’re gonna put your information on the screen. You’re helping thousands of people and we appreciate it. If you’d like more information on what Evan does you can go to HoltDimondaleAgency.com Thanks so much for joining us. 

Re-Opening for Covid-19

Patrick Brown & Bob Hoffman on the Morning Blend

Post Transcript

Bob Hoffman:

Joining us this morning on The Morning Blend, we have Pat Brown with us from the Holt & Dimondale Insurance Agency. Pat, always good to see you.

Pat Brown: 

Bob, good to see you. And again, we’re Zooming on in.

Bob Hoffman:               

We are Zooming on in. So with that, how is business making preparations going for a possible reopening?

Pat Brown:                  

 There’s a lot of information out there about should we open? Should we not open? Should we open partially? Should we take all our customers in? In our business, our team is paramount, safety of our team… And customers, we want to make sure that we’re all doing it the right way. We don’t want to have any complacency.

And we just got off our Tuesday talk with our team figuring, “All right, how can we do this safely?” We’re looking at alternative days of them being in the office. Again, because we’ve been working remotely for close to three months, maybe even more. We can continue to do that, but people want to see us. They want to be able to have a face-to-face. We’re working on that right now.

 Again, maybe opening up the lobby for a short period of time. Making appointments and allowing them to come in and ask questions. With the new no-fault, there’s been a lot of questions. People want to now find that information.

Bob Hoffman:              

 How about your employees? How are they feeling about a possible return?

Pat Brown:                   

We’re all a little bit apprehensive. I mean, we go out into the world and we’re going, “Okay, who wears masks? Who doesn’t wear a mask?” It’s worked well, working remotely. It’s worked, so they’re anxious, but still a little hesitant. But it just as of this morning, they’re all willing to come back in a capacity that satisfies the office, and ourselves as well.

Bob Hoffman:               

Now, Pat I know you, and you seem to have your fingertip on the pulse of so many things in the community. And I’m wondering if you know of any resources available on return to work for employees or employers?

Pat Brown:                   

Here’s a great one, Small Business Association of Michigan. Brian Kelly, I’ve listened to a couple of his recent Zoom meetings. And he encourages businesses to go to SBAM and their website. They have a template there that can be used for any type of business. Extrapolate parts that apply to your business, and that you can apply. You have to have a plan in place. So SBAM is a great one. Actually also the Lansing Chamber of Commerce, also has information out there. So there are templates, so you don’t have to recreate the wheel and great information out there.

Bob Hoffman:               

Well, always great information from you too Pat. Thanks so much for joining us on The Blend