Slow Down & Save Money... and lives

How many times has the following happened to you? You’re speeding down M-59 when you spot a Livingston County Police car. You quickly hit the brakes and slow down, relieved that you didn’t get caught … this time.

Now take a minute to think what could have happened if you hadn’t been so lucky. 

First, your speeding could have hurt somebody — or yourself. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed is a contributing factor in more than 30% of fatal crashes and nearly 20% of non-injury accidents. That’s a big risk to take.

Second, getting a ticket could put a big hit on your wallet. Of course, that’s not nearly as important as the health and safety impacts of speeding, but in this economic climate, more and more people are watching every dime. And who wants to write a check to the state for speeding?

At Elite Insurance, we want you to be safe. We also want to make sure you get a great price on the insurance coverage you need. Thankfully, easing up on that lead foot can help accomplish both.

How a ticket impacts your insurance

If you get a speeding ticket, that violation can stay on your driving record for three years or even longer. And because your driving history plays a large part in determining how much you’ll pay for insurance, the fewer tickets you have, the better.

Different carriers have different policies when it comes to checking your driving record and dealing with drivers who have violations. If you receive a ticket, and it’s your first in several years, you may not see much of an increase — depending on the severity of the offense. In fact, many states will allow you to enter a deferment program if it’s your first ticket, keeping the violation off your record if you complete a safety course and avoid further tickets. 

But that second ticket (or third, or fourth …) can bring some serious financial penalties. While there are too many variables to say specifically how much each additional violation will increase your premium, it’s safe to say that the jump will be significant. And unfortunately, you can be stuck paying those higher premiums for years. 

Significant violations can have a bigger impact as well. If you’re going 20 miles per hour over the limit, you’ll likely pay more than someone with a ticket for 5 mph over. Insurance companies know that speeding increases the risk of accidents, and they’ll view you as an increased risk — for good reason. In fact, if you have a serious violation, or too many tickets, your insurance carrier could drop your coverage altogether.

For younger drivers (typically under the age of 25), it’s especially important to avoid tickets, because companies already view these drivers as riskier than the general population.

And keep in mind, even if your premium doesn’t go up, having a violation on your record could prevent you from receiving the lowest possible rate on your insurance. 

Of course, we think the best policy is simply to obey speed limits. Not only will you avoid tickets and possible insurance hassles, but your risk of accidents will decrease. And you’ll get better gas mileage. Sounds like a good deal to us!

Put the top down and hit the road in Michigan

The call of the open road is at its strongest during the summer - and so is the call of the convertible. If you’re one of those drivers who has long dreamed of dropping the top and heading across Michigan and beyond, we here at Elite Insurance have some buying tips for you.

And before we forget, make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen!

Safety considerations

Of course, you want to be safe when driving your new car, so here are a few things to look for in a convertible, according to 

  • Roll bars: Generally, convertibles offer some sort of roll bar to protect passengers should the car roll over.
  • Airbags: Side airbags that deploy from seats can be an optional feature on less-expensive convertibles and something you should consider. Some of these airbags offer extra protection for the head.
  • Rear-view cameras and sensors: When the top is up, it can be difficult to see out of the rear window. Cameras and sensors can provide added safety.

Hard or soft top?

You have two main choices when it comes to tops: Soft, which can result in more road noise and may be more susceptible to damage, and hard, which often look better but add weight and take up more trunk space when down. (A third option is a completely removable hard top, such as those found on some Jeeps.) This choice is largely a matter of personal preference, though cost can be a factor. 

You’ll also want to test the top for leaks - regardless of whether it’s a soft or hard top. Spray water where the roof connects with the windshield and where the glass meets the roof along the sides. You’re looking to make sure no moisture gets inside.
Everyday issues

If you’re planning to drive your convertible frequently (and why wouldn’t you?), there are some practical things you should take into consideration:

  • Wind noise: When you have the top down at Michigan’s highway speeds, you might find it difficult to hear the stereo system. If you’ll be driving a lot with the top down, getting the upgraded stereo might not be worth it. Then again, a better stereo can have more power, allowing you to actually hear your music.
  • Putting the top up/down: A motorized top, of course, makes everything easier. But they are more complex. Be sure to test out the top and how long it takes you to put it up or down, especially if it’s a manual process. After all, if it starts raining suddenly, you want to be able to get the top up as quickly as possible!
  • Luggage space: Most convertibles aren’t large to begin with, but trunk space is even smaller when the top is down. If you plan to take your convertible on vacation (or pack golf clubs or other bulky items), it’s a good idea to really take a hard look at the trunk space before you buy.
  • Passenger space: Do you need to take more than one passenger on many of your drives? If so, a roadster (two seats) isn’t an option. But even if the convertible you’re eying has four seats, hop in back and check the comfort level. If you aren’t comfortable, your passengers probably won’t be, either.

Special features

According to, there are certain features that truly make a difference in convertibles, such as wind deflectors, heated/cooled seats and sun-reflective upholstery. Certain features, such as heated seats, can make your convertible much more comfortable to drive on cooler days in Howell.

Above all, you’ll want to choose the convertible that best fits how you’ll use it. If you’re lugging golf clubs (and golf buddies) around in the summer, you probably don’t want a roadster. Conversely, if your idea of a great weekend is to toss a duffle bag in the passenger seat and hit the road, smaller may be better.

One of the great - and annoying - things about buying a car is the sheer number of options out there. But if you get frustrated, remember one thing: You’re buying a convertible. Your friends are probably envious!

And when you buy that convertible, give us a call. We’ll make sure you’ve got the right coverage - and we’ll probably be envious, too!

Five Ways To Get Your Car Stolen

Five sure-fire ways to get your car stolen

Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own — if not the most valuable. Despite that, however, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy.

At Elite Insurance, we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving Twelve Oaks only to find some broken glass left behind in your parking space. So take care to avoid these five mistakes.

  • Leave your car running ... and unattended. We know it can be chilly in the mornings, and who wants to wait in a cold car while it warms up? Well, a thief certainly won’t mind the chill — as he’s driving away in your car while you’re finishing that cup of coffee in your kitchen. If your car is running, you should be in it. Period. Even if you’re just running over to the ATM to get some cash or dropping off some mail.
  • Keep a spare set of keys inside the car. Law enforcement agencies say this is a great way to turn a car prowler into a car thief. They’re already breaking into your car to get a phone, or a laptop, etc. What do you think they’re going to do when they find a set of keys? They’re not going to drop them off on your porch with a nice note, that’s for sure.
  • Put valuables in plain sight. Seems simple, but we’ve all made this mistake. You’ll just be in the store for a second, after all, so who cares if you leave your smartphone on the front seat? Or items from your other errands in the back seat? Be smart — if you have to leave items in your car, put them in the trunk, or at least hide them as best you can. And do it before you get to your next destination.
  • Leave your car unsecured. The best thieves can work wonders with a window that’s left open even just a crack. And even the worst thieves can steal a car that’s been left unlocked, with no alarm set.
  • Assume nobody would want to steal your car. Think your car is too old or too undesirable for a thief to bother? Scrap metal is worth money, so never assume that your car is safe — even if you think it’s just a “junker.”

Keeping thieves away helps to keep everyone’s insurance costs down, so avoiding these mistakes not only will save you hassle, it will save you money as well. So stay safe, not only on the roads, but in the parking lots as well!

Contact Us!

At Elite Insurance 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 (517) 545-9325 or send us a note at We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

Let's Keep Our Lawns - and Ourselves - Safe in Michigan

For many of our neighbors in Howell, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in the yard - often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Each year about 400,000 people are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Don't let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital! Follow these handy safety tips.

Tool safety tips from the U.S. CPSC

  • Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes and no jewelry. Sturdy shoes are recommended, and ear plugs may be appropriate depending on how loud the device is.

  • Before starting, remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass or stones.

  • Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them.
    Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs and trees.

  • Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult.

  • Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Of course, you should never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.

  • Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

  • Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University

  • If you use chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Follow all instructions.

  • Keep children and animals away from the application area, and protect your skin, eyes and nose during and after application.

  • Remember, use only the recommended amount. Using more of the chemical will not do a better job.

  • Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?

From all of us at Elite Insurance, here's to keeping both you and your lawn healthy this summer!

Do You Have Enough Coverage To Rebuild Your Home?

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance. 

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

What is insurance to value?

Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home.  Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?
A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost.  The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area.  It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?
New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home.

How can I make sure I have the correct amount of insurance?

  • Work with your agent to provide detailed information at time of purchase to be sure that you receive a thorough and accurate quote.
  • Ask us about additional coverage options that may be available.
  • Review your insurance to value calculation on a regular basis with your agent.
  • Tell your agent about any changes or improvements that you make to your home. 

Why a Home Inventory Is Important

Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory?

Didn’t think so.

The fact is most people own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage?  Or every pair of shoes?

All of it is regarded as personal property for insurance purposes. And if your home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together.


Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way?

Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist.

Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory:

  • Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note.
  • Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier.
  • Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged.
  • Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables.
  • Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all.

How much insurance do I need?

We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.)

Finally, remember your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage.

The Insurance Information Institute has a FREE online tool that can help you create your inventory. Just visit for more details.

We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later!

Renter's Insurance

You have a lot of things that are important to you – from your clothes and furniture to your sound system, sports gear, and computer. And you want to feel confident that everything you’ve worked for is not at risk. Let Elite Insurance help you find coverage options that protect you, your family, and your personal property. Call us at (517) 545-9325 and let us help to make sure you’re properly covered.  

Howell – What you need to know about renters insurance

Your renters policy covers your personal property against theft or damage subject to the limits and deductibles you select. The coverage applies even when you are away from home. For a small additional premium, you can choose to carry full value coverage on your personal property, which ensures that you will be paid the full replacement cost of items that are damaged or stolen without deduction for depreciation.


Michigan - Protect yourself and your guests

Your renters insurance policy protects you and your family against certain bodily injury and property damage claims for which you are liable.  Legal defense is also provided in the event you are sued after a covered loss,  subject to the limits you have selected. In addition, you can select medical payments coverage which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence regardless of fault. Various limits are available. Let Elite Insurance help you find the right amount of coverage to suit your insurance needs in Michigan.  Call us today at (517) 545-9325

Get the right amount of insurance coverage at the best price

Whether you’re starting out, between homes or downsizing, Elite Insurance  will help you pick the renters insurance coverage that best fits your needs. Give us a call today at (517) 545-9325 and get covered. Be sure to ask about available discounts including burglar alarm credits and the account credit for customers who package auto policies with their renters policy.

Extra coverage doesn’t have to cost a lot

Whether you’re starting out, between homes or downsizing, we will help you pick the renters insurance coverage that best fits your needs. If you have special valuable items such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, ask about our Valuable Articles option which provides broader coverage and no deductible in the event of a covered loss.

Home Insurance - Protecting Howell & Michigan

Your home is the center of your daily life, and likely your most valuable asset. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that understands this simple fact. Elite Insurance can help you find the homeowner’s insurance that will best meet your needs and provide the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service and fair pricing.


Insurance for All Kinds of Homes

Depending on where you live – a house, apartment, or condominium – the right home insurance policy can provide you peace of mind as well as the money you need to repair or replace your home and/or belongings. Contact us for more information today!


Michigan – What you need to know about homeowners insurance

Whether you own or rent, insuring the place you call home can help protect you financially if you suffer a loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other covered events. It will also cover you in the event someone is injured while on your property and wins a legal judgment against you.


Homeowners policies differ by which losses are covered, which coverages you choose, and what type of residence you own. You choose which policy is best for you, whether it’s a comprehensive policy that cover losses such as fire, hail, smoke, falling objects, vandalism and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers only specified losses.


Elite Insurance is here to help you find the right insurance for your home

Whether you’re a home or condo owner, a renter, or a landlord, Elite Insurance will work with you to find a home insurance policy that fits your needs. We specialize in making it easy to choose the insurance coverage that gives you the best value for the best price.


Your home insurance policy is most often made up of the specific options you choose, so how much you'll pay for your policy depends on:


  • What you select. Oftentimes homeowners insurance options are priced individually, so how much you'll pay for your policy depends on what coverages you buy.

  • How much you want to cover. Higher deductibles usually lower your premium price by shifting part of the loss payment to you. For example, if you had a $500 deductible, you would be responsible for paying the first $500 of the covered loss.

  • Where you set your limits. You may choose to set higher limits than the recommended amount if appropriate to your situation and needs


The Right Coverage. The Right Price. The Right Value

The amount you pay for your homeowners insurance depends on many factors. Think of your personal housing situation, and the assets you want to protect.


Protection for Your Home

Property or Dwelling Coverage typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event like a kitchen fire or windstorm.


Protection for You and Other People

Personal Liability Coverage applies if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are to blame. The coverage generally applies anywhere in the world.

  • When choosing your liability coverage limits, consider things like how much money you make and the assets you own. Your personal liability coverage should be high enough to protect your assets if you are sued.


Medical Coverage

This covers medical expenses for guests if they are injured on your property, and in certain cases covers people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover health care costs for you or other members of your household.


Additional Living Expenses

If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, your home insurance policy will pay additional living expenses—commonly for up to 24 months—while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.


Protection for Your Belongings

Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, electronics and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal Property Insurance helps replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss.


Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

If you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles you may want to talk to your agent about this additional coverage. It provides broader coverage for specific items.

Tips for College-Bound

College is expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft, not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your coverage.


(varies by state)

  • Personal Property:  Most homeowners policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage). Not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items such as jewelry or expensive electronics, require special coverage. Renters insurance is strongly recommended.

  • Liability Coverage:  General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered.  

  • Documentation:  Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. Use photographs and keep receipts.


(varies by state)

  • Car Stays Home:  Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still drive your car while at home on school breaks.

  • Car at School:  Make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered.  

  • Driving a Friend’s Car:  Students are generally covered if they are listed on their parent’s policy and are not regularly using the vehicle. The coverage would be secondary.  The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage.

  • Discounts:  A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

Before your child leaves for school, call Elite Insurance at (517) 545-9325 or e-mail We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage. We’re here to help!

Business Owners Policy – Serving Michigan

As a business owner, you strive to make decisions that are right for your business, your employees and yourself. This includes decisions about business insurance. You know you need excellent coverage. You don't, however, have time to become an expert in business insurance. That’s where Elite Insurance can help.

A Business Owners Policy (BOP) combines property, liability and business interruption coverage for small to medium-sized businesses. This packaged coverage is generally less expensive than when purchasing coverage separately. With a BOP you have the ability to customize the policy to meet your individual business needs.  

Perhaps you need general liability coverage that includes operations. Or, you need to add business auto coverage or commercial property insurance. Whether you are a home-based business, small service provider or contractor, Elite Insurance will work with you to find the right combination of business insurance coverage to meet your specific needs. Contact us today!

Supplemental Coverage Available

  • Extended liability for additional insureds.

  • Debris removal, personal property.

  • Tools and equipment.

  • Valuable records protection and accounts receivable.

In addition to advising you on the right coverage, we provide additional services, such as:

  • Loss Prevention Programs—with our insurance company partners, we can evaluate your business's current conditions and recommend ways to lower property, auto, workers compensation or liability losses. Lower losses will not only lower your insurance costs, but also increase your productivity by avoiding downtime.

  • Quick Claim Response—when you do have a claim and need fast and fair service, we work with you to make that happen. That's why we only represent companies with excellent records for settling claims fairly and promptly.  

  • Competitive Rates—many of the insurance companies we represent specialize in insuring specific types of businesses or industries, offering special coverage and pricing.

To see if your business qualifies for one of these special programs, contact Elite Insurance for more information. Give us a call at (517) 545-9325.