Winter Driving Tips

Winter is definitely here in Central Wisconsin! Driving this time of year can be difficult in snowy and cold weather. Check out the link below for information on how to stay safe while driving in the winter!

 Click here for Winter Driving Tips!

YMCA of the Northwoods Golf Scramble

Pictured left to right: Wade Flannery, Connie Lang, Chad Olson, and Rich Zenisek

On July 21, 2017 Wade, Connie, Chad, and Rich represented us at Pinewood Country Club to help raise money for the Northwoods YMCA’s annual support campaign.

Stay Safe at the Pump!

Four Rules for Safe Refueling:

⇒Turn off the engine.

⇒Don’t smoke.

⇒Don’t use your cell phone – leave it in the vehicle, or turn it off.

⇒Don’t re-enter your vehicle during fueling.


Share this information to ALL your family and friends, especially those who have kids in the car with them while pumping gas.  If this were to happen, they may not be able to get the children out in time.


Here are 3 real life cases of why cell phones should not be operated in gas refueling areas

  1. An individual place their cell phone on the car’s trunk lid during fueling; it rang and the ensuing fire destroyed the car and the gasoline pump.
  2. An individual suffered severe burns to their face when fumes ignited as they answered a call while refueling their car.
  3. An individual suffered burns to the thigh and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in their pocket, rang while fueling their car.

You should know that cell phones can ignite fuel or fumes. Cell phones that light up when switched on or when they ring release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. Cell phones should not be used at gas stations, or when fueling lawn mowers, boats, etc. They should also not be used or should be turned off around other materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust.

Petroleum Equipment Institute has researched 150 cases of gas pump fires. The results are very surprising:

  1. Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.
  2. Almost all cases involved the person getting back into their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. When finished, they went back to pull the nozzle out, and the fire started as a result of a static spark from their bodies from sliding out of the vehicle.
  3. Most had rubber-soled shoes.
  4. Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.
  5. The vapors that come out of the gas is was causes the fire when connected with static charges.
  6. There were 29 fires where the vehicle was re-entered and the nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes and models. Some resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle, station, and customer.
  7. 17 fires occurred before, during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and BEFORE fueling began.

NEVER GET BACK INTO YOUR VEHICLE WHILE FILLING WITH GAS! If you absolutely have to get into your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out and close the door TOUCHING THE METAL before you ever pull the nozzle out. This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.


Looking For A New Career?

We are an independent insurance agency seeking a Customer Service Representative for our Wittenberg agency.

At CWIA, our CSR would be responsible for assisting in all aspects of our agency operations. From answering phones and processing policy changes to servicing clients and maintaining client files.

Qualified candidates should meet the following requirements:

  • Excellent Customer Service Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Telephone Skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Property & Casualty Agents License is a plus, but not required

ONLY Resumes accepted at this time. If interested in this position email resume to


Happy Holidays from CWIA!

Happy Holidays from all of us at CWIA!

Traveling during the holiday season is frequent for many of us. It is important to follow safe winter driving rules when traveling to see loved ones far and near. Keep the following safe winter driving tips provided by WI DOT in mind when battling the slippery and snow covered roads this winter.

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof – before driving.
  • Pay attention. Don’t try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows.  The law requires you to slow down or move over when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, including snowplows, parked on the side of the road when they have their flashing lights turned on.  If you approach a parked emergency or maintenance vehicle during a winter storm and decide to change lanes be extra careful.  The passing lane may be in worse shape than the driving lane.  There may also be a snow ridge between the two lanes.  Avoid making an abrupt lane change. If approaching a snowplow, stay back at lease 200 feet (it’s the law!), and don’t pass on the right.
  • Know the current road conditions. Call 511 or check out the winter driving conditions webpage.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Watch for slippery bridge decks, even when the rest of the pavement is in god condition. Bridge decks will ice up sooner than the adjacent pavement.
  • Don’t use your cruise control in wintery conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the short touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won’t help you stop any faster. Many 4×4’s are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4’s traction. It can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Don’t pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to “stomp and steer!”
  • Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you to quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Go Slow!

Even with following these rules, accidents happen. If you get in an accident give us a call!

We wish you and yours a fun and safe holiday season!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at CWIA!

Best wishes for an enjoyable Thanksgiving to you and yours!

We will be closed November 24th – 27th so that we can spend valuable time with our families.

We will reopen on Monday, November 28th at 8am.


T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude… our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
by Judith.A. Lindberg

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all of us at CWIA!


Here’s a poem and a recipe that we would like to share to get you into a spooky mood!



We bought a fat orange pumpkin,

The plumpest sort they sell.

We neatly scooped the inside out

And only left the shell.

We carved a funny funny-face,

Of silly shape and size,

A pointy nose, a jagged mouth

and two enormous eyes.

We set it in a window

And we put a candle in,

Then lit it up

For all to see

Our jack-o-lantern grin.



Pumpkin Dessert


1 Box yellow cake mix             1/2 c. melted butter plus 2 Tbsp.

4 eggs                                          2/3 c. milk

3/4 c. sugar                                2 tsp. cinnamon

1 large can pumpkin                 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

First Layer:

Remove 1 cup mix from yellow cake mix and set aside.  To remaining mix add 1 beaten egg and 1/2 cup melted butter; pat mixture into greased and floured 9×13 pan


Mix together 3 eggs beaten, milk, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and pumpkin in a bowl. Pour over first layer in pan.


Mix reserved 1 cup cake mix, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.  Mix with fork and sprinkle over filling.


In preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake for 35 minutes.  Serve plain or great with whipped topping.

Boats, ATVs, and Snowmobiles, Oh My!

Do I need Insurance?

In our area, we really love our toys! Most of us own or know someone that owns a boat, ATV or side-by-side, dirt bike, snowmobile, or jet-ski.  Even though it is not required by law to have insurance on these vehicles, it is still important to consider.  Even if your toy isn’t worth much, you still have liability exposure to think about.  If you let someone drive your ATV and they get hurt, or hurt someone else and/or damage their property? What if someone falls off your boat and gets injured?  You can be held liable!

“But… I don’t let anyone drive my toy…”

Even if you don’t let anyone drive your toy; think about this… There are many other drivers out there that don’t follow the rules, or drive without safety in mind. I’m sure you have seen at least one that makes you cringe.  What if one of those bad drivers crashes into you and you get hurt?  Now you have doctor bills, and if they don’t have insurance, wouldn’t it be nice if you had coverage to help you out?!

So, before you head out on the ATV, go for some late season fishing, or hop on that snowmobile for the first time this season; take a moment and decide if it is worth the risk to play without insurance.

What Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Most homeowners policies are broken down into the same sections. There are different types of homeowners forms, depending on the type of home or dwelling you have, and whether you own or rent.

The main sections of a typical homeowners policy includes:

  • Section A: Dwelling – The building itself
  • Section B: Other Structures – All other buildings on the property like sheds, detached garages, and fences. (unless specifically excluded)
  • Section C: Personal Property – Your personal possessions – Think of it as this: If you were to flip your home upside down and shake it, what would fall out? It is anything that is not permanently attached to the dwelling. The best way to keep track of these items is with one of our Inventory Booklets. The booklet will help expedite the process of getting a claim settled after the loss of personal property.
    • Note: For items of great value such as guns, jewelry, money, etc. – These items should be scheduled separately to insure their full value.
  • Section D: Additional Living Expense/Loss of Rents – Additional Living Expense is the  additional cost of living that you would incur if you were temporarily displaced from your home due to a loss.  Loss of Rents is the loss of any rental income as a result of a loss if you rent the property.
  • Section E: Personal Liability – Protects you and the members of your home against lawsuits if someone else is injured on your property, or as a result of your negligence.
  • Section F: Medical Payments – Covers medical expenses that may arise when someone is injured on your property.

There are other sections that may be added/removed depending on the type of form you need. For example, in a renter’s policy, Section A: Dwelling is not available because the structure itself is not something the renter has insurable interest in.

Following the property and liability coverages, there is a section that goes over more specific coverages and exclusions. Look over these and ask your agent if you have any questions.

Here at CWIA we strive to make sure that our clients are protected adequately so you and your family don’t suffer financially at a time of loss. If you have any questions about your current policy, or if you want to change your current policy, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Happy Retirement Janet!

Congratulations to Janet on her retirement!

Your experience and wisdom that you provided at the Merrill office will be greatly missed, not only by the staff but your clients as well!!!

We all wish you a long, healthy, and happy retirement!