Winter Is Here, but Have No Fear! Home and Auto Tips for the Wintertime.

Colder temperatures and snowfall are among us. Have you taken steps to ensure your comfort and safety this winter season? With just a few suggested adjustments, including home and auto insurance coverage through Liberty Mutual and MetLife, you’ll be prepared to handle any weather that comes your way.

Winter Driving Tips:

Have you ever been in a slippery situation? Wintertime driving can leave us feeling like we’re on thin ice—literally! Poor driving conditions account for almost half a million car accidents during the winter months (Federal Highway Administration, 2018). Adjusting your driving in the event of inclement weather can not only save you money, but more importantly your life. Here are five winter driving tips to help keep your money and yourself safe this snowy season:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is insured. MSU offers eligible employees auto insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your auto insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This can help to prevent your vehicle from losing traction and you losing control of your vehicle in potentially slippery conditions.
  3. Maintain a following distance. During winter months, increase your following distance about eight to 10 seconds, as driving further back allows for additional stopping time. 
  4. Invest in winter tires. Different from your standard tires, winter tires are designed for increased traction on ice and snow. The average cost is about $120; however, that is a small fraction of what you would spend in the event of an accident.
  5. Leave early and drive slowly. One of the key factors of driving safe during the winter season is simply just to slow your driving down entirely. Plan to leave your home much earlier for work and other events to ensure ample time for a safe drive.

Winter Cost Saving Energy Tips for the Home:

It’s no secret that a much colder season is upon us and it can have chilling effects on our wallets. With winter in full swing, we tend to adapt our everyday lives to ensure optimum comfortability. However, a change in the weather does not have to mean a change in the cost of maintaining your home. Here are five winter cost saving energy tips for the home:

  1. Take advantage of homeowner’s insurance. MSU offers eligible employees home insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your home insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Utilize the sun. There isn’t nearly as much daylight during the winter season; however, warmth from sunlight can drastically change the temperature of your home. Open the curtains on the south-facing windows of your home to let in some natural light and warmth.
  3. Find and seal any drafts. Common areas such as the cracks around doors and windows let cool air in, making it harder to keep your home warm. Sealing drafts in could lower annual energy costs up to 30% (U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2019).
  4. Use ceiling fans to circulate air. Place your ceiling fan on its lowest setting to circulate the warm air that rises, leaving your home feeling much warmer.
  5. Make sure all vents are open and uncovered. Do a quick check of every room to ensure there aren’t any items blocking your vents. This allows for maximum heat flow, preventing increased costs to heat your home.

For more information on home and auto insurance through Liberty Mutual or MetLife, visit MSU Benefits Plus. You can get a free quote by contacting Liberty Mutual at 888-860-0316 or MetLife at 877-619-5604.

Consider Enrolling in Critical Illness Insurance During National Critical Illness Awareness Month

Have you or a family member ever faced a health emergency and wished you were better prepared? Critical illness insurance can alleviate some of the financial burden by giving you a lump-sum of money to help cover unexpected or additional costs in the event of a health emergency. During the Open Enrollment period (October 1-31, 2019), benefits-eligible faculty, academic staff and support staff have the option to enroll in critical illness insurance through MetLife.

Outside of the Open Enrollment period, benefits-eligible new hires or newly-eligible employees have 30 days to enroll from their date of hire or date of eligibility.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance works to complement your medical coverage. This type of insurance helps safeguard your finances by providing you with a lump-sum payment when you or an eligible dependent (such as your spouse or child) need it most. In the event your family experiences a health emergency, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke, your critical illness insurance can help you pay for unexpected medical costs or anything else you may need. The extra cash can help you focus on getting back on track— without worrying about finding the money to cover some of your expenses (MetLife, 2019).  

Watch the video below to learn more about Critical Illness Insurance through MetLife:

What Illnesses Does It Cover?

The following medical conditions are covered under critical illness insurance:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Full Benefit Cancer
  • Partial Benefit Cancer
  • Kidney Failure
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • And many more! Find a complete list on the plan summary sheet on the HR website.

Benefits-eligible faculty, academic staff and support staff have now through October 31 to enroll in this optional benefit through MetLife. Find more information and enroll through MSU Benefits Plus.

Questions? Learn more about critical illness insurance and other voluntary benefits on the HR website. For questions about enrollment, contact MSU Benefits Plus Customer Care at 888-758-7575. Contact the HR Solutions Center with any additional questions at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.


MetLife (2019). MetLife Critical Illness Insurance provides you cash when you need it most. New York City, NY.