Centralized Webpage of Coronavirus Info for Dealers

To help centralize important information of interest to Michigan dealerships, we have created a “Coronavirus Toolkit” within the MADA website compiled of:

  • Information and advisories that MADA/DADA has previously provided
  • State of Michigan links and resources
  • Federal links and resources
  • Health, safety and legal guidance

From the home page, go to the FAQ tab and select Coronovirus Toolkit or use this direct link www.michiganada.org/faq/coronavirus.

Gov. Expands Unemployment Benefits for Michigan Workers

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. This executive order is effective immediately and until Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59pm.
Under the governor’s order, unemployment benefits would be extended to:
  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.
More information from the State of Michigan:

Comprehensive & Updated FAQs For Employers On The COVID-19 Coronavirus

Fisher Phillips, a law firm specializing in labor law, has assembled a cross-disciplinary taskforce of attorneys across the country to address the many employment-related issues facing employers in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus – especially now that the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as a pandemic.
In an effort to provide members with updated resources to help your dealership deal with the COVID 19 outbreak, MADA is working with Fisher Phillips to provide this HR specific information, as it relates to the virus and your day to day operations.
We encourage dealerships to visit the Fisher Phillips website for complete information. This website will continue to be updated with important new information as needed.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Workplaces

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” to help companies respond in the event of coronavirus in the workplace. The guidance was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The document provides practical guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, and contains information on safe work practices and appropriate personal protective equipment based on the risk level of exposure. In addition to the guidance, OSHA recently launched a COVID-19 webpage.
For further information about Coronavirus, please visit the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage on COVID-19.

MADA welcomes Armatus Dealer Uplift as our newest associate member

With over 6,000 approved submissions with 28 manufacturers in 49 states, Armatus Dealer Uplift is the industry leader specializing in Retail Warranty Reimbursement submissions. Armatus’ proprietary software and data management techniques offer clients the only true mark-up and labor rate optimization process in the market. The Armatus team has extensive retail automotive experience, superior knowledge of manufacturer protocols, and has provided the framework for 10 retail warranty reimbursement statutes.
For more information about Armatus, visit the company website at www.dealeruplift.com, or contact Joseph Jankowski at (888) 477-2228 or email joej@dealeruplift.com.

New ID requirements when flying in the US

Under the federal REAL ID Act, Michigan residents will need to present a REAL ID-compliant document to fly within the United States and enter certain federal facilities under federal law beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Michigan offers standard and enhanced state ID cards that are REAL ID compliant. (See chart.) If you have an enhanced state ID card, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. Enhanced state IDs that do not have a star will be printed with a star when renewed or replaced. Other compliant documents include valid U.S. passports.

The Secretary of State’s office offers extensive details about the upcoming change, including who will need a REAL ID, how to obtain one, plus many other frequently asked questions. Please click here for complete details.

We encourage dealers to pass this information along to staff to help get the word out about this important change. The SOS also offers this informational handout for Michigan residents. Dealers are encouraged to post copies at their dealership, or give to a customer whose license is not REAL ID compliant.

New Educational Resources to Help Michigan Drivers Navigate Auto Insurance Reforms

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has developed educational resources to help Michigan drivers navigate the state’s new auto insurance law. DIFS has launched a new website, www.michigan.gov/autoinsurance, created consumer guides, and now has a dedicated hotline, 833-ASK-DIFS (275-3437) and email address, autoinsurance@michigan.gov, where drivers can ask questions and file complaints related to auto insurance in Michigan.

In addition to creating these new educational resources, DIFS is also working to implement the legislation to ensure consumer protection and industry compliance.

In May 2019, Gov. Whitmer signed historic bipartisan auto no-fault legislation to lower costs for Michigan drivers, maintain the highest coverage options in the country, and strengthen consumer protections. These changes apply to auto insurance policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020.

“Last year we worked closely with leaders from both political parties to preserve no-fault and create a better auto insurance system for Michigan drivers. Protecting policyholders and providing them access to affordable coverage is fundamental to the prosperity of our entire state,” said Whitmer. “Drivers are now encouraged to use these educational resources before making the important decision of choosing their auto insurance policy.”

The new site details changes in the lawnew coverage optionsshopping tips, and provides many other resources that help explain the new reforms and how they will affect auto policies in Michigan.

“DIFS is here to help Michigan drivers understand the new auto insurance law so they can decide on a policy that best fits their family’s needs and budget,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “We are focused on educating policyholders and implementing these reforms to ensure that consumers are protected, and that companies are in compliance with the law.”

Following the signing of no-fault reform, DIFS began taking important steps to implement the new law. These measures include:

  • Fraud Investigation Unit: DIFS has established a new unit to investigate criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and work with Michigan Attorney General Nessel and law enforcement to prosecute these crimes.
  • New Consumer Forms on Coverages: DIFS developed new forms for insurance companies, agencies and agents to provide to drivers when choosing new coverage options.
  • Independent Actuaries: In anticipation of an increase in auto insurance company rate filings, DIFS’ rate review staff is working closely with independent actuaries to ensure the filings are thoroughly reviewed and actuarily sound.
  • Industry Bulletins: DIFS has issued more than 10 bulletins to the insurance industry regarding compliance in the areas of rate filing, reimbursement rates, and other enforcement issues.

For more information visit: www.michigan.gov/autoinsurance, call toll free at 833-ASK-DIFS (275-3437) or email autoinsurance@michigan.gov.


Key Aspects of Michigan’s New Auto Insurance Law:

Lowers Costs, Maintains Highest Benefits

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Choice: Drivers will be able to choose a coverage level that is right for their family. The new limits equal or exceed the highest benefits in the country and Michigan is the only state where unlimited PIP medical coverage continues to be an option. PIP medical pays for medical care if policyholders are in an auto accident.
  • Premium Reduction: Each insurance company will be required to reduce statewide average PIP medical premiums for eight years. Drivers’ overall premiums will depend on their individual circumstances and the coverage they select.
  • Fee Schedule: The new law establishes a fee schedule designed to control the costs that medical providers may charge auto insurers for their services. This is similar to cost control provisions used by other types of insurance, such as health insurance. This fee schedule will make PIP medical coverage premiums more affordable for policyholders, but will not affect the services to which existing and future accident victims are entitled.
  • Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) Assessment: The MCCA has already announced that as a direct result of the new law, it is lowering its per vehicle assessment starting July 2, 2020, which will save Michigan drivers at least $120 per car.

Increases Consumer Protections:

  • Elimination of Certain Non-Driving Factors: The new law prohibits auto insurance companies from using sex, marital status, home ownership, credit score, educational level, occupation, and zip codes in setting auto insurance rates.
  • Prior Approval: Auto insurance rates must now be filed with and approved by DIFS prior to being offered to consumers.
  • Fines and Penalties: The new law allows for increased fines on insurance companies, agencies, and agents for certain violations of the law.

DOT Hazardous Material 2020 Certification

Reminder: re-certification is required every three (3) years

The MADSIF/CastleRock Risk Management Staff once again is offering the DOT Hazardous Materials Certification Training Seminar for dealership personnel. This DOT Hazmat class is specifically tailored to auto dealership employees.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulation requires all businesses that package, ship, handle or store hazardous materials have at least one employee that is DOT Hazmat Certified. Hazardous materials referred to in these regulations include thousands of items, many of which can be found in dealerships, for example flammable liquids, air bags, seat belt pretensioners, paints and adhesives.

Certification is mandatory and must be renewed every three years. If you have an employee who requires recertification please sign them up for this seminar offered around the state in February.

Additional information, dates and locations are available here.

Shovel Snow Safely: 12 Tips

Closeup of someone shoveling

When snow accumulates, keep heart health in mind and pace yourself when shoveling sidewalks and driveways.

Here are some facts:

  • Shoveling snow can be hard work. Clearing snow for 15 minutes qualifies as moderate, physical activity. However, for many sedentary, out-of-shape Americans, shoveling heavy, wet snow for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running on a treadmill to the point of exhaustion. Studies show major snow storms are often associated with increased emergency room visits for everything from muscle aches to heart attacks, and the common denominator is snow shoveling.
  • The cold temperatures don’t help. Cold air raises blood pressure in people who don’t normally have a blood pressure problem and poses an even greater risk to people with high blood pressure, according to University of Florida researchers.
  • Wearing a hat can help. In bitterly cold temperatures, wearing a warm hat helps keep your body warm because a lot of heat can be lost via the scalp if uncovered in very cold conditions.

Blue Cross physicians offer the following tips to help prevent shoveling snow from becoming a pain in the neck, or result in a more serious condition. If you have any of the following conditions (or a family history), talk to your physician before shoveling snow:

  • A history of heart problems, heart disease or previous heart attack
  • Previous experience with back problems or asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol level
  • Past history of smoking or are a current smoker
  • Lack of daily, dedicated physical activity

For healthy, active individuals, Blue Cross suggests the following snow shoveling tips:

  1. Use the right shovel. Shovels with S-shaped handles and non-stick blade surfaces usually require less effort and minimize chances of back pain that could result from improperly bending or twisting. Remember – pushing or pulling snow out of the way requires less exertion.
  2. Avoid stimulants (for example, caffeine and nicotine) that can raise your heart rate and restrict blood vessels.
  3. Avoid shoveling immediately after eating a large meal.
  4. Before shoveling, warm-up by stretching muscles, especially in the morning. Muscles are less susceptible to injury during physical activity after a warm-up.
  5. Avoid dehydration by drinking fluids before and during shoveling, but not coffee (see above). Breathing cold air dehydrates the body.
  6. Dress in layers so you can remove or add outerwear as needed. Wear a scarf or mask and/or goggles, especially in windy or blizzard conditions. Use your scarf around your neck and face to create a “well effect” in order to avoid directly inhaling cold air, which may constrict arteries, decreasing your heart’s oxygen supply.
  7. Go slow and ease into the work to avoid a sudden load on your heart. An average shovelful of heavy, wet snow weighs 16 to 20 pounds. That means for every 10 minutes of typical shoveling, you’ll be clearing more than 2,000 pounds of the white stuff. To remove snow, bend from the knees, keep your back straight, lift with your legs and carry — don’t throw — it to the side. Try and avoid heavy lifting by pushing or pulling the snow out of the way when possible.  Newly fallen snow is usually lighter, so don’t wait to remove it. Remove heavy snow in two stages: First, skim off the top layer, and then remove the bottom. If snow is too heavy to lift, push or pull it out of the way. Take frequent breaks.
  8. Immediately stop if you feel any sort of pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing in your chest, stomach upset or discomfort in one or both arms or jaw. No one knows your body as well as you. People with a history of any sort of cardiac condition should check with their physician before shoveling snow or avoid doing it.
  9. If you have a lot to clear, consider hiring a snow removal service.
  10. Using a snow blower has its own set of rules. First, follow manufacturer safety precautions completely. NEVER attempt to clear a clogged or stuck blade or auger unless power is shut off. Avoid wearing anything that easily can get caught in the impeller, such as a long scarf or dangling clothing, laces or ties. Before starting, be sure children and others stand clear to avoid being injured by hidden objects thrown into the air. Just the act of using a snow blower will elevate heart rates, so talk to your doctor if you have a history of heart problems.
  11. Don’t forget that slip and fall injuries are more common in snow so be careful when walking outside.
  12. Let someone know when you will be shoveling so that they can help in the event of any unexpected problems that may occur outdoors.

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This article was originally published on www.ahealthiermichigan.org, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

Photo credit: WDNet

Starting March 1, residents will pay $12 for Recreation Passport

Passport gives year-round access to state parks and other outdoor recreation opportunities, and an easy way to help protect natural resources for the next generation


If you told Michigan residents that for just $1 a month they could enjoy vehicle access to more than 100 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, family-friendly events, hundreds of boating access sites and other outdoor spaces, most likely would jump at the chance. Starting March 1, they can.

Woman drinking hot chocolate at campfireThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that the regular Recreation Passport vehicle entry fee for residents will increase from $11 to $12 – the first Recreation Passport price increase since January 2013. All other resident Passport fees stay the same, including those for motorcycles, mopeds and commercial vehicles.

The change is due to a statutory provision to adjust the Recreation Passport fee based upon the Consumer Price Index as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That statutory requirement was put into law when the Recreation Passport funding model was created in 2010 to ensure the funding source keeps pace with inflation.DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson said it isn’t widely known that Michigan state parks are largely self-supporting. The steady growth in Recreation Passport revenue has been a key part in helping the department tackle some high-priority areas.

a couple sitting next to the fire“Although we were not anticipating a $1 increase this year, the additional revenue will help fill in funding gaps,” Olson said. “We are continually working on challenges including rising wages, the ever-increasing cost of goods and services and $278 million worth of significant infrastructure repairs and projects.”

Approximately 93.5 percent of state parks funding is generated by user fees and royalty revenues:

  • Camping and lodging reservation fees provide 47 percent.
  • Recreation Passport sales offer 26 percent.
  • Gas and mineral royalty revenues provide 15 percent.
  • Concessions, shelter reservations and other revenue sources bring in another 5.5 percent.

The remaining funding – approximately 6.5 percent – is provided from miscellaneous sources (including general tax dollars).

RECREATION PASSPORT BACK STORY

group of young men building sandcastles on beachIn 2004, state parks were removed from the state’s general fund because it was believed that camping fees could sustain the then 99-park system. As a result, revenue generated by motor vehicle stickers and camping fees became even more critical.

The Citizens Advisory Committee for Michigan State Parks, created in 2005, was charged with finding a long-term funding solution that would 1) address the nearly $300 million backlog of infrastructure needs, and 2) ensure that Michiganders could affordably continue using the parks. The committee ultimately recommended the creation of the model linking motor vehicle registrations to the Recreation Passport.“Those early conversations and research done by the citizens committee and many DNR employees laid the foundation for today’s Recreation Passport,” Olson said. “These were important steps in the right direction.”

The next few years made it clear that the existing funding model could not keep the state parks and recreation system afloat. Work on the new Recreation Passport funding model began in earnest, supported by bipartisan cooperation in the state House and the Senate, and the Recreation Passport bill was signed into law in April 2010 and took effect six months later.

RECREATION PASSPORT RATIONALE, STRUCTURE

A group snowshoeing in Muskegon State ParkThe Recreation Passport model is based both on reducing the customer’s cost and tying the purchase of a park pass to the Secretary of State’s vehicle registration process. The change relied on the notion that more people would buy the new Recreation Passport than would purchase the existing motor vehicle permit because:

  • The Recreation Passport purchase option would be put in front of every vehicle owner (rather than just those who visited state parks and bought the motor vehicle permit there).
  • The Recreation Passport (then $10) cost significantly less than the motor vehicle permit ($24).

During the Recreation Passport’s first year, an additional $7 million was generated.

All revenue generated by Recreation Passport sales goes into a restricted fund that supports state park infrastructure and operations, a local grant program for community recreation agencies, state forest campgrounds and nonmotorized pathways and trails, cultural and historic resource restoration, and marketing and promotion.

NONRESIDENT RECREATION PASSPORT FEE

The Consumer Price Index change also signaled a one-dollar increase – from $33 to $34 – for nonresident Recreation Passport purchases, effective Jan. 1, 2020. All other passport fees will stay the same.

The start dates for the increase to both residents and nonresidents are staggered due to the time it takes to integrate changes tied to vehicle registration.

SEE WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

a man riding a mountain bike on the DTE TrailView this 30-second video highlighting just a few of the many outdoor adventures you can enjoy with a Recreation Passport.
Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports, protects and provides easy, affordable access to the great outdoors at Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.

https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79137_79770_79780-517132–,00.html