September is also “Food Allergy Awareness Month”

Food Allergies

[hs_action id=”9597″]

September is also “Food Allergy Awareness Month” and people often as me “You are gluten free, what DO you eat?” Yes, I am gluten free and there are plenty of options. Many people ask me what they can/should eat when following a gluten free diet. Make sure to always read food labels. Here are some ideas to get you started:

What you CAN eat on a gluten free diet:

• Brown rice
• Brown rice cakes
• Brown rice tortillas
• Brown rice pasta
• Quinoa pasta
• Mung bean or black bean pasta
• Flours – made from beans, brown rice, quinoa, millet, corn
• Low fat corn chips
• Corn tortillas
• Gluten free oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill has a good one!)
• Gluten free Oat bran (make sure label states “gluten free” on oat products)
• Hot brown rice cereal
• Gluten free lentil chips
• Rice crackers & chips
• Millet
• Quinoa
• Beans – all kinds
• Lentils
• All fruits
• All vegetables
• Lean meats (as long as they are not breaded or fried)
• Eggs
• Gluten free salad dressings (read labels!)
• Sunshine veggies burgers (be careful of most frozen burgers or meals)
• Hilary’s Eat Well – veggie/bean burgers

Snack ideas:

• Fruit & vegetables
• Hummus
• Rice cakes with almond butter
• Trail mixes
• Larabar or KIND bars




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE2014 Best Practices Agency logo

Contact: Rene’ Carpenter

888.263.4656 x1154


Adrian, Michigan, September 2014 – Kapnick Insurance Group has retained its status as part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group.

Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected “Best Practices” agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year.

Last year more than 1,100 independent agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study, but only 217 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen, the agency had to be among the 35-45 top-performing agencies in one of six revenue categories. The agency was nominated by either an IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company and qualified based on its operational excellence.

“Our designation, once again, as a Best Practices Agency is further proof of our commitment to excellence we continuously strive to uphold for our clients” according to Jim Kapnick, CEO.

The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual survey and study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

About Kapnick Insurance Group – Kapnick Insurance Group is a third generation, family-owned agency headquartered in Adrian, Michigan – with additional offices in Ann Arbor and Southfield. Their nearly 150 employees have been providing clients business insurance, employee benefits and more for over 65 years. To learn more, visit their website at

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance – property, casualty, life and health – as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:

Kapnick Insurance Group’s Patrick Pennefather Becomes PPACA Certified











Kapnick Insurance Group’s Patrick Pennefather Becomes PPACA Certified

Southfield, MI – Patrick Pennefather, CLU, ChFC, CEBS, LUTCF, Senior Client Manager/Research & Technical Services became certified through the National Association of Health Underwriters’ (NAHU) new professional development course on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Pennefather completed this 10-hour course to receive the most up-to-date information on the key technical components of PPACA and is prepared to counsel Kapnick clients on upcoming required healthcare changes and new options for health plans.

“By taking this course, approved in all 50 states, Pennefather has joined an elite group that is uniquely qualified to assist clients in complying with the new law,” said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein. “He understands how the market is likely to change over the next few years, and is in the perfect position to advise businesses in planning for the future.”

Topics of study included:
• Implementing healthcare reform—overview and politics
• Grandfathered plans and the small-business tax credit
• Medicare Part D and non-discrimination rules
• Patient protection and changes to consumer-directed health plans
• Medical loss ratio requirements and tax implications
• W-2 reporting, summary of benefits, waiting periods, essential benefits and community rating
• Individual mandate, pre-existing conditions and rating reform
• Health insurance exchanges for individuals and small employers
• Employer pay or play
• Self-insured plans

“The ACA is complicated and our clients need guidance – we are proud to have an individual on staff who has received this certification so that we can provide the consultation that our clients need regarding the ever-changing marketplace,” according to Steve Peck, President – Kapnick Benefit Services.

The course is delivered through NAHU’s Online Learning Institute. More information is available at

About Kapnick Insurance Group – Kapnick Insurance Group is a third generation, family-owned agency headquartered in Adrian, Michigan – with additional offices in Ann Arbor and Southfield. Their nearly 150 employees have been providing clients business insurance, employee benefits and more for over 65 years. To learn more, visit their website at
Point of Contact: – Rene’ Carpenter | 888.263.4656 x1154 |

September is “Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month”

September is “Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month”

In celebration of such a fantastic theme for September, I will focus a few blog posts on veggies and fruits.

This week, I want to talk about vegetables! Oh, the wonder of veggies. Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins & minerals. They give us nutrients we need and help us live a healthier and more vibrant life! Here are 12 to try this month.

1. Broccoli and cauliflower: loaded with anti-cancer properties and fiber. Eat them raw or cooked, in a salad or even a slaw.
2. Carrots: Sweet, crunchy, good for your teeth, eyes and heart! Perfect raw (as a snack or salad) or cooked in a stew.
3. Peppers: Green, red, yellow, orange or even purple! Enjoy peppers in a salad, stir-fry, or casserole or as a snack.
4. Spinach: A salad of baby spinach leaves with pears or apples can turn anyone into a real spinach lover.
5. Onions: A zesty onion family (scallions, leeks and garlic) have some powerful antioxidant nutrients.
6. Peas: Fresh, frozen or even canned, peas are a treat to eat and you can find them dried and eat like a crunchy snack or top on salads (instead of croutons)
7. Beets: The deeper the color, the better! Eat them raw or grilled or lightly steamed in the microwave.
8. Sweet potatoes and yams: Switch the color of your usual baked potato and you’ll get a lot more nutrients, along with great taste.
9. Mushrooms: Just a mushroom or two adds a rich flavor to a casserole, soup, stew, stir- fry or even a tossed green salad.
10. Leaf and romaine lettuce: Better than iceberg lettuce. Crunchy and perfect for lettuce wraps or salads.
11. Green, yellow or purple beans: Like their pea “cousins”, beans offer some fiber and a little bit of protein, along with vitamins and minerals.
12. Tomatoes: Cooking increases the availability of some tomato nutrients, so enjoy canned sauce, paste and chunks.


Maria Hicks | wellness coach

Kapnick Insurance Group | Strength. Knowledge. Direction.

1201 Briarwood Circle | Ann Arbor, MI  48108 |

D 734.929.6591 | F 734.994.7326 | P 888.263.4656 x1183

Kapnick Welcomes Judy Thompson to its Employee Benefits Service Team

Kapnick Insurance Group is pleased to announce the addition of Judy Thompson, Client Advocate, to its employee benefits division. Judy comes to Kapnick from OPG Benefits, located in Brighton, MI.  Judy has over 35 years of experience in group health care benefit plans, sales and service – both on the vendor side and the insurance agency side. Because of her years of experience Judy is a specialist in assessing customer needs, reviewing plan designs and implementing health benefit plans.

In her  position as a Client Advocate at Kapnick Insurance Group she will belong to the Kapnick client service team and specialize in claim inquiry resolution and overall client service.  According to Steve Peck, President of the Benefits Division, “Judy’s over three decades of experience in the group health care benefits arena, her professionalism and expertise at assessing client needs fits perfectly into the quality of service Kapnick upholds to its clients.”

Kapnick Insurance Group, founded in 1946, is a leading independent, 3rd generation agency with local roots in the Midwest and a global reach. Providing business insurance, employee benefits, risk management and more to clients worldwide, Kapnick employs nearly 150 insurance professionals who have earned a national reputation for anticipating clients’ problems and creating innovative solutions.


26100 American Drive, Suite 300
Southfield, MI 48034
888.263.4656 |



SOUTHFIELD, Michigan (August 19, 2014) – Kapnick Insurance Group announced today it has acquired OPG Benefits based in Brighton, MI. OPG Benefits has provided benefits consulting services to the public sector – school district segment for over 18 years.

“This acquisition strengthens our presence with school districts. Our wide portfolio of resources and services fit extremely well with the unique challenges faced by the public sector. It goes without saying that creativity is needed to address the complexity of employee benefits for school districts” said Steve Peck, President of Kapnick Benefit Services.

“Kapnick takes great pride in being a family owned, Michigan based agency for over 65 years. We work and live in the communities of our clients. Being one of the largest privately held agencies in the state allows us to blend personal service with a depth of expertise that is second to none” said Jim Kapnick, CEO of Kapnick Insurance Group.

About Kapnick Insurance Group – Kapnick Insurance Group is a third generation, family-owned agency headquartered in Adrian, Michigan – with additional offices in Ann Arbor and Southfield. Their nearly 150 employees have been providing clients business insurance, employee benefits and more for over 65 years. To learn more, visit their website at

Point of Contact: – Rene’ Carpenter | 888.263.4656 x1154 |


Corporate Wellness – Should You Ditch The Company Vending Machine?

How to make the healthiest choice from a vending machine VIDEO

An interesting new study being published in the journal Population Health Management shows that eating unhealthily is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity. As a comparison, physical inactivity is linked with a 50% increased risk of low productivity, and smoking is linked with a 28% increased risk of loss of productivity.

Your employees spend most of their waking hours at the workplace. Add in the time that they spend doing extracurricular activities, running errands and spending time with family. That leaves them with very little time to focus on nutrition, let alone plan nutritious lunches or snacks to bring to work. This causes many employees to surrender to the workplace vending machine when hunger hits. Because most vending machines offer primarily unhealthy options to eat, employees everywhere are putting their health at risk overtime. There is one way that employers can help: remove the vending machine!

However, you will want to think of an alternative to the vending machine for when employees become hungry during work hours. When hungry, employees start to lose focus and motivation. Instead of relying on unhealthy vending machine foods, you could designate a group of employees to create a healthy snack area in the break room.

Even with a minimal budget, here’s an example of what a corporate wellness option could look like:

  • Fresh fruit such as bananas and apples
  • Individual bags of pre-portioned raw nuts, such as almonds or walnuts
  • Popcorn
  • Individual snack bags of healthy trail mix
  • Healthy granola/energy bars
  • Fresh veggies and low-fat dip

There are also a host of healthy vending machine companies popping up all over the place – below are a few links to companies I found online.

Sarah Szul|wellness client manager

Kapnick Insurance Group|Strength. Knowledge. Direction.

333 Industrial Dr. |  Adrian, MI  49221 |

D 517.266.6453 | F 517.263.6658 | P 888.263.4656 x1196

Summer Water Safety Tips

It’s important to touch on water safety tips for the summer. Check out your local Red Cross for more information and to get CPR certified.

The Great Lakes have a high incident of drownings each year due to currents and other factors – click here to learn more
• Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
• Instruct babysitters on water safety, and the need for constant supervision.
• Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children near a pool or water
• Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
• Install a poolside phone, with emergency numbers
• Learn CPR and post instructions
• Keep rescue equipment near the pool.
• Keep a first aid kit near the pool
• Maintain constant visual contact with children near water. Don’t ever think someone else is watching the kids
• Do not prop the gate to a pool area open.
• Don’t rely on swimming lessons, and think you can leave your children in water alone
• Always watch the children and don’t just “listen” because drowning is mostly silent with no kicking, splashing or screaming. Eyes (not ears) on the water!

Earthquake Coverage in Michigan

Like Flood Insurance, Earthquake, Volcano and Mudslides are not included in the vast majority of insurance contracts written today. This coverage will be picked up via Endorsement (or for the old folks a “Rider”). For us in Michigan, this often overlooked coverage option is available from most commercial carriers. Earthquake coverage is also available from many personal insurance carriers, but this blog will focus on the commercial area. ISO Commercial Risk Services, which provides “coverage forms” for many of the approved Michigan carriers has a specific form which is CP 10 40 06.

Seismic Activity in Michigan is not necessarily up over the past couple of years, however we have “felt” neighboring states (Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania) increased activity. And, of course, many of you reading this likely know that one of these earthquakes come from the New Madrid Fault. One of the most powerful earthquakes in the history of the US emanated from the New Madrid fault in the Midwest. As recent as 1947 Michigan did experience a Magnitude 4.6 earthquake that caused widespread structural damage centered southeast of Kalamazoo and including the areas of Bronson, Coldwater, Colon, Matteson Lake. This earthquake as recorded by USGS (US Geological Survey) caused chimney damage, window and plaster damage as well as brick cornices coming down.

The good news however is since these events are somewhat rare in Michigan the cost for adding the coverage is relatively low.

Common ways that Carriers offer Earthquake insurance is via a sublimit. For Instance, $500,000 sublimit may be offered as an option on a Multimillion dollar structure. This option is OK for starters, but it is advised that you ask your agent to ask for the full property limit to be offered as an option. If full limits are not available, work with your agent for higher sublimit options. If your agent or carrier is not able to offer higher limits inquire about a Difference in Conditions (DOC) policy that can provide higher limits on top of your primary property policy.

Be prepared for a deductible that will likely be proposed as a percentage of damage. These can range from 1- to 10%. Also make sure that the coverage that you choose includes business personal property and business income to follow the rest of your insurance program.

History of Earthquakes Felt in Detroit and Michigan

Has your agent discussed Earthquake Insurance with you?


Joe Buick | vice president

Kapnick Insurance Group | Strength. Knowledge. Direction.

333 Industrial Dr. | Adrian, MI 49221 |

D 517.266.6574 | F 517.263.6658 | P 888.263.4656 x1170