Friday, November 23, 2018

Tips to Winterize your Car

This is the time to prepare your vehicle for the upcoming winter.  Here are some tips:
  1. Check your windshield wipers:  If your wipers are leaving streaks on your windshield or the rubber shows signs of cracking or stiffness, replace them with a new set.  When it snows, make sure to use a brush and a scraper to remove ice and snow from the windshield rather than your wipers so you don't overload the motor trying to lift a heavy load of snow.  Also, if your vehicle is parked outside during the winter, lift the wipers off the glass before it snows so that they don't freeze to the windshield.  
  2. Check your tires: Check the tread on your tires to see that they are in good condition before the snow really starts falling.  All-weather tires are generally okay during winter conditions, but some areas require tires with chains or tires with studs.  If you typically drive in a lot of winter conditions, you might consider purchasing a pair of winter tires that you can swap out during the winter months.
  3. Warm up Your Car:  Although newer cars can be put in gear and driven away as soon as they are started, that doesn't mean you should skip the warm-up entirely. A brief bit of idling time before you drive gives the oil a chance to heat up, thin out and flow more smoothly.
  4. Check your Battery:  Make sure battery cables and terminals are secure and free from corrosion.  You should also test your battery by turning on the headlights before starting the engine – if they get brighter once you start the engine, schedule an appointment with a mechanic for further electrical inspection.
  5. Check your Oil:  Most newer cars use a multi-weight oil that is suitable for a wide range of temperatures, but some manufacturers recommend specific grades of oil for specific temperature ranges. Check your owner's manual and plan your oil changes so your engine has the right grade of oil for the right time of year.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Common Questions about Life Insurance

At Absolute Insurance, we often hear some of the same questions regarding life insurance.  Here are a few of the most common questions that we get:

1.  I already get life insurance through my employer - I don't need additional life insurance, do I?
Oftentimes the coverage you receive through your job isn't enough to care for your family in the event that you die.  You will also lose the coverage once you stop working there.  Most of our clients who have life insurance with us keep the coverage their employer offers, but it serves as a supplement to their regular life insurance policy that they have with our agency.

2.  I know most life insurance policies require a medical exam - what does that involve?
The medical exam is similar to a basic physical that you would have at your doctor's office.  The insurer will send a technician to your house or office for the exam.  The exam usually consists of your vitals (height, weight, heart rate, etc) and sometimes a blood sample.  They may swab the inside of your mouth to test for tobacco use.  

3.  What is the death benefit on a life insurance policy?
The death benefit is the face value, or the amount your policy is worth.  This is the amount that your life insurance policy will pay out to your beneficiary should you die.  

4.  Can I list more than one person as a beneficiary?
Absolutely!  You can have one person as beneficiary or multiple people.  For example, if you have 3 children and wanted to split the policy between your three children you can list them all as beneficiaries.  You can also list a trust as a beneficiary too.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Life Insurance 101

Thinking of buying life insurance, but are overwhelmed with the different options?  You aren't alone!  Oftentimes we have clients tell us that they have avoided purchasing life insurance in the past because they didn't know which type of policy is the best for them:  Whole Life, Term Life, Transitional Life - what does it mean?  

What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company to provide you with coverage based upon your timely payment of premiums. Life insurance provides a death benefit to your named beneficiary (usually a spouse) upon your death.

Types of Life Insurance:
There are several types of life insurance, but the main types we sell are term, whole life, and transitional life.  
  • Term Life Insurance:  A Term Life Insurance policy is a life policy for a fixed period of time, or "term", such as 20 years.  Some policies allow the insured to convert the policy at the end of the term into a permanent policy.
  • Whole Life Insurance:  A Whole Life Insurance policy covers someone for the rest of their life.  It also includes a cash value component that increases over time.  You can borrow money against the account or surrender the policy for the cash. But if you don’t repay policy loans with interest, you’ll reduce your death benefit, and if you surrender the policy, you’ll no longer have coverage.
  • Transitional Life Insurance:  One of our life insurance carriers, Pekin Insurance, has come up with a product that is somewhat of a hybrid between term life and permanent whole life insurance.  Transitional Term Life Insurance provides a high, level term death benefit for the selected period, ending with a lower paid-up permanent whole life death benefit of an amount chosen by the insured at the time of policy issuance.  All the policy values are fully guaranteed.  Here is an example of how a transitional life insurance policy would work:
    • Lets say you want a $1,000,000 term life policy for a period of 20 years. After 20 years, your plan is that your home will be paid off, you will be debt-free, your children are raised and on their own, and you no longer need the $1,000,000 you once did. You still want some life insurance that would pay final expenses and maybe leave something left for your kids and grandkids.  With Transitional term, you could set the term limit for $1 million for 20 years and at the end of the 20 years set the policy up so that you would have $50,000 in paid up whole life insurance that will not go away for the rest of your life and you will not need to contribute to or pay another premium toward that $50,000 for the remainder of your life.  The $50,000 is fully paid up and guaranteed.  I am using $50,000 as an example but the amount could be anywhere between $10,000 and $950,000 in this example.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Classic Car Insurance

Do you have a classic car, truck, motorcycle, or boat?  Before you bring your beauty out from winter storage, make sure that your classic vehicle is insured correctly.  At Absolute Insurance, we know that insuring a classic or collector vehicle is different than insuring the car you drive everyday.  By insuring through a classic car insurance company, you are able to get insurance tailored to your unique vehicle. 

At Absolute Insurance, we work with several different companies that understand classic and collector cars.  Why is this important?  Classic Car insurers understand that there isn't a set "blue book" value for your vehicle.  You, as the customer, tell the insurance company what the value of your classic car is.  The company affirms the value of your car, and then guarantees that amount will be paid to you in the event of a covered total loss.  They also have claims specialists that help in finding stock replacement parts for your vehicle in case your car is involved in an accident or other claim. 

Contact your Absolute Insurance agent today at (515) 279-2722 to get a quote or additional information about insuring your classic car today!

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 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 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!