Category Archives: Personal

Pioneer State Mutual changes rates on February 1st

Pioneer State Mutual will be making the following changes to the rating structure for homeowner policies:

  • Insurance Scores will be recalculated every renewal.  If a higher score is discovered, then the resulting tier will be used even in the improvement is from multiple tiers.  If a lower insurance score is discovered, policyholders will only drop one tier at a time to minimize disruption of rates.  Insurance Scores have not changed in four years but in order to accurate using using insurance scoring as a risk indicator the company is following the success of a similar structure in personal auto. 
  • Rating territories are being increased from 6 to 40.  This change will allow for more precise pricing based on loss experience in one area but not another.  This will benefit customers. 
  • A new multiple policy discount is being added.  A homeowner policy will receive a 2% discount when an Umbrella policy is written.
  • Overall rate impact to the entire homeowner line of business is 1.1%.

Hastings Mutual Insurance Company Recognized Again For Financial Strength

Hastings, Michigan, October 13, 2010: For more than 125 years Hastings Mutual Insurance Company has focused on financial strength and responsible management of its assets. The company’s dedication to excellence has paid off as reflected in their recent results. This year Hastings Mutual Insurance Company is again awarded the highest honors by Weiss Ratings (formerly and by Demotech, Inc.

Weiss is an independent research and ratings company that has been in operation since 1971. Melissa Gannon, vice president at Weiss Ratings, states, “Unlike most other rating agencies, Weiss Ratings accepts no compensation of any kind from the companies it rates.” Weiss announced on October 4, 2010, that Hastings Mutual is again rated “A+” based on the company’s strong financial solvency.

The Weiss score is based on the current and future financial stability offered to customers, vendors and employees. Less than 1 percent of financial companies reviewed meet the criteria for this exceptional rating.

This latest honor follows a recent Demotech, Inc. announcement that Hastings Mutual is again a “Super Regional™” carrier. Published in the May 17, 2010 issue of Insurance Journal, Demotech Inc. revealed their list of Super Regional™ P/C insurers. Of the 2,700 companies analyzed, only 165 qualified as a Super Regional™.

Joseph Petrelli, president at Demotech states, “These companies are strong, stable markets that have been working hard for their agents and insureds.”

“This recognition is an honor, and we know that the partnership we share with our agents is integral to our success,” remarked Bill Wallace, president and CEO at Hastings Mutual Insurance Company. “We look forward to our Company’s future and Hastings Mutual’s continued success with our agents.”

About Hastings Mutual Insurance Company

Hastings Mutual is an award winning, A. M. Best: A+ rated, regional Property Casualty insurance company. Hastings Mutual operates in six Midwestern states. The company, based in Hastings, Michigan, has been writing commercial, farm, and personal lines business through independent agents since 1885. For more information about Hastings Mutual and their 125th anniversary, access the company web site:

Grange Homeowner rates adjusted

Effective February 1st, Grange Insurance Pin-Point Homeowner policies:  Rates will likely increase slightly but will vary by each policy.  With this revision however, Grange is also introducting an automated rate-capping program to prevent rate changes from significantly affecting a policy’s premium.  If a policy’s renewal premium reaches the capping threshold due to a rate change, a note will print on the Declarations Page indicating a rate cap applies.

Effective December 15th, Grange Goldstar or Preferred homeowner policies will be increased due to loss experience.  Rate adjustments will vary by policy.

State Fire Marshal Reminds Consumers: Water Your Tree Daily Don’t Risk the Fire Danger of a Dry Christmas Tree

Contact:  Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Energy, Labor & Economic Growth
December 7, 2010 – To reduce the chance of a holiday tragedy, the Bureau of Fire Services is urging consumers to thoroughly water their Christmas tree daily. If a tree has already become too dry, State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr says to remove the tree from the home.

“When a Christmas tree catches fire there are literally only seconds to escape safely,” said Farr. “Removing a dry tree and subsequently the chance for a deadly fire to occur is easier to live with than the consequences such as the loss of your home, or even worse, family members. A Christmas tree is replaceable, but your loved ones are not, so don’t take the risks.”

Each year, an average of 260 home fires start with Christmas trees causing 14 deaths, 26 injuries and more than $13.8 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Farr said shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires.

The Bureau of Fire Services asks consumers to follow these important guidelines for holiday tree safety: 

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. 
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent between your fingers. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles. 
  • When setting up a tree at home cut one or two inches off the bottom and place the tree in water as soon as possible. Keep the stand filled water because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly. 
  • When choosing a spot in your home to place your Christmas tree make sure it does not block an exit that may be needed in an emergency. 
  • Place the tree away from fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, heating vents, and other sources of heat. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. 
  • Christmas trees should be checked daily and at the first sign of dryness be removed from the home. The drier the tree, the greater the fire hazard. 
  • Position the tree solidly in the tree stand. If the tree seems wobbly, center it in the stand more securely and redo the bolts or screws. 
  • Place the tree near an electrical outlet if possible so that cords are not running long distances. Do not place rugs over cords to disguise them; this can become an increased fire hazard. 
  • Don’t use any strings of lights that are frayed or broken. 
  • Don’t leave lit trees unattended. Unplug all lights on the Christmas tree before leaving home or going to bed. 
  • Watch small children closely when they are around the tree; many small decorations and ornaments are sharp, breakable and can be swallowed. 
  • When Christmas is over or when the tree starts to drop needles, dispose of it. Don’t leave it in the house or garage.

To see a video of how a holiday tree fire can spread in a matter of seconds, click on this link from the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

For more information about DELEG, please visit Follow DELEG at, visit the “DELEG” page on Facebook and Become a Fan or visit the Michigan Government channel on YouTube: 

Spray-painter burned in garage fire

Man was painting near a wood-burning stove

Updated: Wednesday, 08 Dec 2010, 10:38 AM EST
Published : Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 11:12 PM EST

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A 57-year-old man was severely burned after an explosion occurred in his garage as he was spray-painting near a wood-burning stove.

Louis Deleau suffered second- and third-degree burns on nearly one-third of his body. He is in fair condition at the burn center at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

It was around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday when he was working in the unattached garage in the 4000 block of Cannonsburg Road in Cannon Township.

The fire chief told 24 Hour News 8 at the scene the paint fumes built up, causing the blast.

Deleau was able to get out of the garage on his own before the garage was destroyed by the flames.