Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Fever & Toys

Spring is here and the toys are coming out of storage and going to be used again. Everyone loves their classic cars, motorcycles, boats, RV’s, & other ATV’s. They are fun and exciting, especially on a nice sunny day! Let’s be honest, once the weather is nice we are ready to go. Before heading out, here are a few tips.

Tip number one is maintenance. Maintaining your toys will help them perform better and last longer. Some basics to remember are replacing spark plugs, changing fluids, cleaning or replacing filters along with your wash and wax. Lastly, before operating any vehicle you should conduct a thorough inspection!

Tip number two is insurance. Making sure you have insurance in force and being adequately insured will help prevent unnecessary cost and headache! Some basics to remember are discount’s do add up, not all home policies cover your toys, not all coverage is the same & don’t be afraid to ask your agent questions. Your insurance agent is only a phone call or email away! 



Absolute Insurance Agency, LLC
7400 University Ave, Ste A
Clive, IA 50325

Friday, December 11, 2015

Flood Map Changes- Now Is The Time To Act!!!

If you live in Clive and are affected by the recent flood map changes, then you should call Absolute Insurance at 515-279-2722 to help you understand your situation. If you'd prefer to read, then below is information for your consideration, and then call Absolute Insurance at 515-279-2722. There is also helpful information at FloodSmart.gov- the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Last Saturday, the City of Clive hosted an event at the Indian Hills Middle School auditorium to help address questions relating to flood map changes that have been completed by FEMA. There were FEMA representative on hand as well as city council members, the mayor, and representatives of our federally elected officials of Congressman Young and Congresswoman Joni Ernest plus Senator Chuck Grassley.

Absolute Insurance sent a representative (Dan Bell) to attend this meeting as well to better understand the changes that are forthcoming and to better assist clients and homeowners that are affected.

The mapping changes have changed the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for the area surrounding the Walnut Creek Watershed area which includes hundreds of homes and business in the Clive area. However, 2/3's of the entire state of Iowa have had remapping conducted as well meaning the impact of these changes will be widespread. With that said though, Clive and other areas of Polk county will begin the implementation of these changes with initial procedures beginning January 2016 and with a anticipated date of January 2017 for the maps to become effective.

The purpose of this meeting was to help homeowners understand that a flood risk is present and has increased since the last mapping that was at least 20 years ago. With that, the meeting was held to also help homeowners understand flood insurance and how they could purchase it and the impact it would have on a "going-forward" basis.

There are essentially 3 different situations that have occurred from the remapping:

  1. Homeowner is currently in the high-risk flood zone of A or AE and currently has a flood insurance requirement if there is a loan with federal backing. These homeowners will not experience anything new from this change (other laws may impact them with regards to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and in conjunction with the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014).
  2. Homeowner was previously in the high-risk flood zone of A or AE and had a Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA) done through the use of a hired engineer or land surveyor that has demonstrated to FEMA that the the Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG) of the property (as defined by FEMA based on the structure characteristics) is above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This would have removed the property from flood insurance requirements on the previous maps. This homeowner that has a LOMA should contact the City to see what the new BFE is per the new maps to see if their LAG is still above BFE. If so, then they will NOT be required to purchase flood insurance. However, if the LAG is now below or at BFE, then this homeowner will now be required to purchase flood insurance for federally backed loans.
  3. Homeowner was previously in the low risk zone of X and will now be in the high risk zone of A or AE. This homeowner will now be required to purchase flood insurance should they have or need to secure a federally backed loan.
This Is Your Call To Action: Here is what YOU can do to help mitigate the cost of the newly required flood insurance for federally backed loans:
  • Should the homeowner be either the 2nd type with a LAG either at or below BFE or being mapped into the A or AE zone, there are things that be accomplished now to help with rates:They can purchase the coverage at the current low risk zone (X) in the Preferred Flood Insurance Program at a very reasonable cost and keep that rate for 1 year after the inception of the new flood maps. 
  • After the expiration of that renewal, the insured will then keep the X zone classification but be moved from the Preferred Flood Insurance Program to the Standard Program. These rates will be capped at a maximum of 18% increases per year until the policy reaches the fully earned rate of "X" in the Standard Program. These rates will be considerably less than the alternative of having to purchase flood insurance at the A or AE zones in the Standard Program.

From what was disclosed at the meeting, these maps will take effect on January 1st 2017 with a few exceptions being made through an appeals process. However, if you are a homeowner that is being adversely affected by these changes, NOW is the time to act. Contact Absolute Insurance at 515-279-2722 or go to FloodSmart.gov for further information.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Turn Around; Don't Drown

Last week was about as wet and wild of a week as we can handle. In particular, Wednesday night was rather insane. It is not all that common to get over 7 inches of rain in a single night, but for many areas of central Iowa, this and more happened.

The pictures for this article are actually directly in front of our office. Luckily, we suffered no damage but others were not so lucky. In fact, while the office was safe and dry, many of us did get water in the basement, as did I. Remarkably, the water that came into my basement did not get there from the lack or malfunction of a sump pump. My damage was a result of tiny cracks in the basement floor. Seepage from those cracks left for a wet and smelly mess in my basement.

"But, Dan, you are an insurance agent and you have coverage for this type of situation" is probably what a lot of you are thinking. Unfortunately, since the water did NOT come through the sump pump NOR the drain, I have no coverage for this type of event. I must find a way to fix this problem without the help of insurance money. Fortunately for me, this is not the 1st time this has happened and I don't suffer any financial consequences in terms of property. I have everything that is of value on shelves and in plastic sealed tubs. However, for others, there was damage done from this. Some of the situations did merit coverage as pumps did fail. Others are like me: looking at gutter extensions and sloping dirt at more aggressive angles from the house- anything to push the water from the foundation. Then we can get to actually filling the cracks.

After a night like Wednesday night, we all experience the crash course in water tables 101 (and not the fun kind that kids play with under shade trees in the summer breezes) and what happens when the earth simply cannot handle any more water. The flash floods endangered lives and property and strangled commutes for days and weeks later. If you'd like to see what flood insurance would cost you, please feel free to contact your Absolute Agent. Keep in mind that flood policies have a 30 day waiting period before coverage becomes effective, so it is definitely something to purchase in advance. However, not even flood insurance would cover seepage.

Please remember, when you see water over the road to "TURN AROUND; DON'T DROWN." This is completely unsafe! We simply don't know where the road ends and the ditch begins and can't see any other hazards that are possibly in the road. Secondly, this will TOTAL YOUR VEHICLE as the motor will suck in water. Thirdly, do not underestimate how powerful the water is. It can easily pick the up the vehicle and carry it away. There is nothing worth risking yours and your family's lives for on the other side of that flooded road. Turn around; Don't Drown. 

Stay safe and dry, Friends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rainy Days Ahead! Time To Grab Your Umbrella...Policy!!!

"Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day"

This was a verse I heard over and over and over and over again this past weekend. You see, I have a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son and these types of songs are sang ad nauseam! As the clouds settled over our neighborhood and started pouring; we were outside playing (working) in the yard. For adults, this is an obvious break period. For children, the fun only ramps up!

The kids dashed down the sidewalk, trying to dodge the rain drops. They found puddles forming and made sure to jump in. They did all the amazingly fun things kids do that remind us that we all need to tilt our perspectives at times and keep life playful.

Then, as the rain started to up-tick, my wonderful daughter ran up to me- completely soaked at this point- and asked for her yellow umbrella. Sure, this was frivolous, but her and her brother truly enjoyed playing in the driveway underneath the protection of the umbrella.

As a father, I will never outgrow this... I can never have enough of these wonderful moments. They are truly beautiful. As an insurance agent, these moments are a reminder of the good that can be accomplished from a little extra protection. In this instance, with the rain pouring down, with that yellow umbrella held above their little heads, they giggled, they sang, they kept doing the things that children do despite the weather.

An umbrella policy does this for adults! I personally carry one. It is dollar-for-dollar the cheapest liability coverage I have ever bought. This policy, like an actual umbrella, covers over my home and cars. If I was brave enough, it would cover over any other vehicles I had as well- like a boat, motorcycle, ATV, or RV.

Much like my children, I can feel confident with my umbrella that the negative consequences of a liability claim will be mitigated by this wonderfully inexpensive and broad policy. Granted, I don't purposefully put myself in bad situations in order to utilize this coverage, but I have the peace of mind that if something happened- if I was the cause of a tragic accident- I would have the shelter of my primary policies liability limits in addition to the extra liability limits afforded to me via my umbrella.

Don't let the rainy days of life ruin your livelihood. Protect yourself. Take all your normal and necessary precautions and add to those an umbrella policy. You never know when the storms will come and that is exactly what makes life so exciting and frustrating. Help put yourself in a position to keep singing in the rain, contact your Absolute Agent today at 515-279-2722 or go to www.insaia.com and send an email to your agent. We would love to help you.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mind the Gap

London, England: perhaps one of the better examples in this day and age of the fusion between rich culture and history with modern flair. From the Tower of London to the nearby Shard that dominates the cityscape today, there are beautiful and wonderful examples of the new and fresh intertwined with old and true. One of the most prevalent and important aspects of the new age London is by far the introduction and utilization of the Underground.Very simply, this is a highly efficient subway system that crisscrosses and connects the entire town and surrounding areas.

While I was visiting this marvelous and beautiful city, my lovely wife and I used the Underground for nearly all of our transportation needs and became quite familiar with it within a few days. One thing that sticks with me, besides for the cleanliness of the system (we were there just prior to the 2012 Olympics and perhaps that was why everything was so clean), was the voice on the speakers as the train stopped to unload and load passengers: "Mind the Gap". That, in addition to several signs, helped passengers be cognizant of the 6 inch gap between the loading platforms and the train itself. Surely, to get a foot stuck or to actually fall between this gap would be more than a mild inconvenience! It would be a complete disaster of life and limb with major financial consequences.

I took to heart the warning and have took to heart the implication beyond simply getting a free foot amputation. Just as another captive company mentions frequently, we all most be cognizant of and recognize the gaps in our insurance policies. Some of these gaps are standard issues that every company has implemented- such as Flood exclusions. Some of these gaps can be solved through the use of riders like water back-up coverage and earthquake coverage. Some of the gaps exist simply because your lifestyle has changed and you now use your vehicle for delivery verses simply driving to one location on a daily basis.

This is where your local, independent Absolute Agent is worth their weight in gold! We can help uncover gaps in coverage and help you understand the ones that will always exist and the ones that can be mitigated against. Keep in mind that the cheapest possible insurance may not be the best for your situation. Also keep in mind that there is value in being able to actually sit down with your agent in the office and not always call the 1-800- WHERE-THE-HECK-ARE-YOU??? and get a different person each time nor always go to the computer for internet quotes and guidance. Help us help you keep your financial livelihood from experiencing an amputation!

Mind the Gap, Friends.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Love. We sell it! Come and Get Your Love Insurance!!!

No, really... you read that right! Perhaps it is not *exactly* what you think when I say we offer and sell love insurance. This is definitely not "broken-heart" or "a-promise-to-find-you-love" insurance, however, there are probably a host of other sites that will do so or at least lay claim to such a feat, but we do offer and sell "Love Insurance".

You see, when you purchase life insurance, you do so for one primary reason: Love. You purchase life insurance because you love someone and respect the idea that when you pass, there will be obligations left behind for your loved ones to have to sort out and deal with. Now, money from a life insurance (or Love Insurance) settlement will never replace you, but it can help to prevent a tragic personal loss from becoming a tragic personal loss compounded with a tragic financial loss.

As it sits today... this very moment... if you are struck by a bus, could your surviving family members, those that depend on your being-there and your paycheck, could they not only make ends meet tomorrow but also do that in addition to paying the raising costs of final expenses? Will the daycare still need to be paid? The mortgage or rent? Will your children have the option for college without soul-crushing student debt? Will... will... will... the obligations are truly endless but, while you may not be there, you can, in the very least, show your final act of true love by purchasing a Love Insurance policy that can help with these financial consequences of a life filled with love, lived. Even though you aren't there, these proceeds can go to help buy your daughters wedding dress, money down for your kids first house... all this for the price of a six pack and pizza (not all that much).

Show your love for your family and contact your Absolute Agent today at 515-279-2722. We have many options to review with you, but when it comes down to it, having something in place is the truly necessary ingredient to bake your love cake. Visit our website at: www.insaia.com 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet Dan

Meet Dan. Dan is not a "1-800" number. He is ready to assist you with all your personal lines insurance. Have you compared your coverage and rate lately? Let Dan help: 515-279-2722 or www.insaia.com. Serving the Des Moines Metro and surrounding areas.