Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Telematics - What is it? How can it help me save money on my auto insurance?


Several of the insurance companies that we work with offer a potential discount for customers who sign-up for “usage-based insurance (UBI)” or “telematics”.  Customers can either plug a device into their vehicle or download an app to their Smartphone, and the insurance company will use data collected to offer their customers a discount based on their driving habits. 
This year, when our auto insurance policy with Safeco Insurance was renewed, our family signed up for their Telematics program called RightTrack.  Safeco’s RightTrack program gives an initial discount to all drivers who complete the 90-day review period, and the policy could receive a discount of up to 30% when the review period is over.  The discount will roll over at each renewal and stay on for the life of the policy. 
Safeco’s Right Track program looks at the information gathered by the device to calculate a discount based on your driving habits.  RightTrack looks at information including: 
  • Total number of miles driven 
  • Nighttime driving (between midnight and 4 am) 
  • Rapid Acceleration 
  • Hard Braking 
How did it work for my family to use RightTrack?   
We have 3 drivers in our household – myself, my husband, and my mother-in-law.  Once we registered for the program online, all 3 of us downloaded the apps to our smartphones using the activation code that Safeco emailed to us – this helped to connect the app to our insurance policy.   Once the app is installed, it lets you know how many days remaining in the review period, lists projected policy savings and shows your overall performance on braking, acceleration, and nighttime driving.  There is also a log of all the driver trips that you have taken.   Since the app would register any trip, you would need to go into the app within 7 days to mark any trips where you weren’t the driver.   
Overall, we found the RightTrack app easy to use – the app will automatically record a trip, so you don’t need to open the app each time you drive. The RightTrack app ranked the 3 drivers on our policy against each other so we had sort of a friendly banter going back and forth about who was the better driver.   
Currently Safeco, Progressive, and Nationwide offer a telematics program on their auto insurance policies.  Each company’s telematics program works differently so you would need to either read up on the specific program or ask your agent how your insurance company’s telematics program works, and whether the program might be a good fit for you and your family.  
You can also check out this video with more information regarding Usage-Based Insurance or Telemetrics Insurance.
~ Janna Dailey, Insurance Agent at Absolute Insurance Agency, LLC

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Do all household members need to be listed on my auto insurance policy?


Two of the questions that we ask when working on an auto insurance quote is what other licensed/permitted drivers live in the household and are there any other drivers of the vehicle(s).   
You might also have to list anyone who co-signed the loan for your car or who is also registered on the vehicle.   
Each company handles these additional drivers differently, so it is important that we know all of the household members and other drivers when we are quoting your auto insurance so that we can give you an accurate rate.  Depending on the company, these additional drivers could be listed as: 
  • Rated Driver:  A rated driver is covered to drive your vehicle(s); most of the drivers on your policy would fall under this category 
  • Excluded Driver: An excluded driver would not be covered to drive any of the vehicle(s) on the policy 
  • Non-rated Driver: – Some companies list household members who have their own vehicles and own insurance as non-rated drivers 
Not every company allows licensed drivers to be listed as non-rated drivers or to exclude drivers, so it is important that we know all licensed and permitted drivers in the household or additional drivers of your vehicle(s) when we are working on your insurance rate so we find the best insurance company for you initially.  If you have any questions on whether someone should be listed on your auto insurance plan, speak with your agent. 
   
As always, your Absolute Insurance agent can help you with any questions about coverage on your insurance policy.

Do you have an insurance-related question or an insurance topic that you would like to see covered in an upcoming newsletter or blog post?  Send us your ideas to newsletter@insaia.com.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Creating a Home Inventory

Included in most Homeowners, Condo-Owners, and Renters policies is coverage for the contents of your home.  Do you know how much coverage you need if you had to replace everything in your house?  Would you know what you had in each room of your home in the event of a claim?

Keeping an inventory is helpful to know how much coverage you need, and to have a list of your contents in the event of a claim such as a break-in, a fire claim, or other claim.

There are several different ways to create an inventory – pick a method that works best for you.  Keep a copy of the inventory someplace other than your home.  It is recommended that your attorney or executor of your estate have a copy as well.  You can also leave a copy with a trusted family member or emergency contact.

Ways to keep an inventory:


  • Written List  
  • Digital List (Online with a Google Doc or Excel Spreadsheet) 
  • Pictures/Videos - this is especially recommended for more valuable items.  If you are taking a video, audibly describe items as you move through your home. 
  • Combination of above 

It is recommended that you take inventory by room within your house.  Make sure to take photos from different angles and in a well-lit room.  You can also use sticky notes to label certain items.  Keep receipts or appraisals of higher-priced items.  For electronics and appliances, it is recommended to also include the model number and serial numbers of each item.  Don’t forget to include your garage, shed, deck, and basement when you are completing your inventory. 

One example of how you could set-up your inventory digitally would be to use Google Docs.  Create a folder called “Home Inventory”.  Within the folder, you could upload photos/videos of each room.  An inventory would be created with either Google Docs or Google Sheets (similar to Excel); create a separate page for each room. If you are working on the inventory with another household member such as a spouse, you could share the folder and give them editing rights so that they can also modify the inventory.  You could also share the folder with your attorney, executor, or emergency contact with viewing rights so that they have a copy as well, or you could give them a hard copy to keep as a back-up for you.

A few times a year, review your inventory to add new items or remove items that you have gotten rid of.  Make it a habit to update your inventory when you add new purchases to your home.

As you are doing an inventory of your house and come across special or high-value items such as jewelry, art, cameras or coin collections, you might want to talk with your agent about insuring these items as Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) on your policy.  Here is a blog giving more information about SPP, but you can also reach out to your agent for more specific information.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Why do I need Uninsured Motorist coverage on my auto insurance? Why am I paying for the other person?



Why do I need Uninsured Motorist coverage on my auto insurance?  Why am I paying for the other person?
 
This question, or a variation of this question, is something that we hear frequently from our insureds.  Do I need uninsured motorist coverage?  Why am I paying for the other person?

On your auto insurance policy, you might notice Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverages listed where your liability limits are listed on your auto insurance policy.  These coverages are on your policy to help you – not to pay for the other person.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage:  This coverage may cover damage costs if you are involved in a covered accident with a driver who does not have insurance, or from a hit-and-run driver.
Sometimes, Uninsured Motorist coverage is separated into two different coverages: 
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) may cover damage to your property, including the damage done to your car that you are legally entitled to recover.  (This is a coverage that is not available in Iowa, but is available in some of the other states that we work in.  This is an optional coverage for liability only vehicles.)
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) will pay for injury-related medical expenses to you or anyone in your vehicle. 
Underinsured Motorist Coverage:  This coverage may cover damages related to an accident where the other driver’s insurance policy limits are not enough to cover the damages.

A recent study by the Insurance Information Institute found that about 13% of drivers (1 in 8) don’t have auto insurance.  In Iowa, that number is a little lower with about 8% of drivers not having auto insurance.  Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you and your family against injuries caused by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance.    
As always, your Absolute Insurance agent can help you with any questions about coverage on your insurance policy.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Boat Insurance Spotlight - "Store your watercraft, not your coverage"

The boating season in Iowa may be coming to an end as the weather starts to cool, but that doesn't mean that your boat insurance coverage should end.  It is important that your boat is protected year-round.

One thing that you need to do is to make sure to winterize your boat.  You can pay someone to professionally winterize your boat, or you can go through the steps yourself.  Check out this Progressive "Life Lanes" blog with tips on preparing your boat for fall & winter if you want to winterize your boat yourself, or there is also a step-by-step guide from Discover Boating that might be helpful.

Why should you keep coverage on your boat when it is being stored?  Just because your boat isn't out on the water doesn't mean that it is safe from the risk of damage. 

  • Last year, we had an insured where a raccoon family "moved in" to a boat over the winter and tore up the seats.  Because they had a fitted cover on their boat, this was a total loss covered by Progressive.
  • The temperature fluctuates greatly in winter - sometimes boats will have damage from the freezing and thawing coverage.  If a boat has been winterized, this is a covered loss by Progressive.

Two key things to keep in mind to help protect your boat: 1)  You need to winterize your boat  2)  Make sure your boat has a fitted cover in place when in storage

Check our website for more information on boat insurance, or contact your Absolute Insurance agent today for a quote on your boat today!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What Can I do to Lower the Cost of My Car Insurance?

We hear this question a lot when we start working with our clients.  Each of our companies that we write for asks different questions in order to determine eligibility, find the most accurate rate, and see which discounts a customer might qualify for – this is one of the reasons that we ask so many questions when we are gathering information from current and prospective customers. 
There are some different rating factors that are automatically included in the rate: 
  • Accident-Free & Good/Safe Driver:  All auto insurance companies look at an insured’s driving record and claim history when determining the rate for auto insurance.  If you are “accident-free” or have a clean driving record for the last 3-5 years, many insurance companies apply a discount to the premium quote 
  • Vehicle Safety Features:  While most of your car’s safety features are automatically incorporated into the rate from your VIN#, it is still good practice to let your insurance agent know if you have optional safety features in case it is eligible for an additional discount.  Does your car have blind-spot detection?  Automatic braking?  Lane Departure Warning System?  Does it have an anti-theft system?  If so, let your agent know! 
  • Multiple Car Discount:  If you have more than one car insured on a policy, your policy will receive a mult-car discount 
  • Driver Age:  Some companies give an automatic discount to drivers over the age of 55  

 Companies also offer a few different discounts you might be eligible for: 
  • Usage-Based Insurance / Telematics:  This is something that is relatively new and several of our auto insurance companies offer.  Using either a device that you plug-into your car or an app on your smartphone, the program tracks your vehicle usage and driving habits.  Common things that they look for are hard braking, fast acceleration, and night-time driving (between midnight and 4am).  Some companies give a discount for enrolling in the program, and then additional discounts are available at the end of the monitoring time or at the renewal.  Each company’s program is different, so make sure that you talk with your agent to get the specific information for the company that your auto insurance is with.  
  • Bundling your auto/home insurance with the same insurance carrier:  Most of our companies offer a discount if you have your auto and home insurance insured with the same company.  Some companies also offer further discounts if other insurance policies are also written with that company as well (motorcycle, boat, RV, personal umbrella, etc.) 
    • While most companies offer a discount if your auto and home insurance are written together, this doesn’t always mean that it will be less expensive to do this.  Sometimes it is cheaper to have your auto insured with Company A, and your home insured with Company B.  As independent insurance agents, we take that into consideration when we are quoting our customers and look to see which is best for each customer 
  • Company Car:  Are you provided a company car or truck that you drive to/from work?  If so, you may be eligible for a company car discount 
  • Low Mileage:  Do you put less than 7500 miles on your car a year?  The number of annual miles varies by company for what qualifies for low miles 
  • Good Student:  Is your student is between 16-24 years old, a full-time student, and has a “B” average, they may be eligible for a good student discount.  This if for both high school and college students 
  • Distant Student:  Does one of the drivers listed on the policy go to college over 100 miles away from home and not have a car with them at school?  If so, they may be eligible for a distant-student discount 
  • EFT/Paid-in-Full:  You might be eligible for a discount if are you paying for your policy in full, or are paying up for payments automatically withdrawn from your checking/saving account.   
  • Paperless Discount:  Would you prefer to get most of your insurance documents via email instead of through the mail?  A couple of our companies offer a discount if you do! 
If you think that you might be eligible for a discount that you are not currently getting, please reach out to your Absolute Insurance agent so that we can review your policy.   

Also, let us know if you have had anything change in your life that might affect your insurance:  
  • Did you recently retire?  Will your vehicle usage and annual mileage change?  If so, let us know! 
  • Do you have a new job and now have a company car?  Let’s discuss whether the company car discount is an option for you. 
  • Do you telework from home?  We should review the current vehicle usage and mileage to see if we still have it listed correctly. 
Are you thinking of buying a new car?  Call us before you make your final decision and we can quote to see what it would be to add to your existing policy.  This is helpful if you are debating between two different vehicles – the type of vehicle and the safety features that it has can have a huge difference in the insurance rate.
At Absolute Insurance Agency, we know that getting the best coverage at the best price is important to our clients.  One benefit of being an independent insurance agency is that this allows us to quote with multiple companies to see what the best insurance policy would be for you and your family.  Interested in an insurance quote?  Click here for a quote or contact us at service@insaia.com.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value: What is the best coverage for your boat or camper?



Do you have a boat and/or camper insured (or that needs to be insured)?  Do you know what type of value it is insured for?  You might want to look at your most recent declaration page to see how it is currently covered.

Boats and campers are typically insured one of two ways - either Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Agreed Value (AV).  What is the difference?


  • Agreed Value (AV):  Agreed Value means that if we have a boat insured for $10,000, and it is determined to be a total loss in a covered claim, the insurance company would pay the agreed value of $10,000.
  • Actual Cash Value (ACV):  ACV pays up to the amount an item is insured for, but the insurance company determines the value.   An insurance company might use NADA and comparables to look up the value of a boat or camper.  With the same example above, the insurance company might determine (after looking at NADA and comparables) that the value is $8,000 so they pay $8,000 if the boat was determined to be a total loss in a covered claim.  

Agreed Value is better coverage, and since the values of boats and campers can be all over the place we recommend changing to Agreed Value coverage.  We have had issues where a client has felt that their camper is worth more than NADA and comparables show - Agreed Value coverage fixes this problem when there is a total loss.  If you would like to discuss how changing from Actual Cash Value to Agreed Value could affect your insurance policy, contact Absolute Insurance today by emailing us at service@insaia.com or calling us at (515)279-2722.

For more information on insuring your boat, check out our Boat Insurance page.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is the right Rental Car Reimbursement amount for you?

If you have full coverage insurance on a vehicle on your auto insurance policy, you might also have rental car reimbursement coverage.  The amount of Rental Car Reimbursement coverage varies from plan to plan but the lowest coverage that any of our companies offers is around $30/day.  In Iowa, this will typically pay for a full-size car. If you normally drive a SUV, van, or truck, the $30/day coverage might not be enough to pay for a rental car for a replacement SUV, van, or truck.  We have clients who have multiple children or other needs where renting a full-size car would not work.  
Please contact us if you want to increase your rental car coverage or if you want a quote on how increasing rental car coverage would affect your insurance premium.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Commercial or Personal Auto: Which is Right?



If, like many Americans, your family car is also used for purposes that could be considered commercial use, you may want to steer yourself into a chair and look over your insurance policy.

You'll need to consider buying a commercial policy or make sure your existing policy covers the vehicle for business use.  Every company has different guidelines and may surcharge for business-use coverage on a personal auto policy.

One thing to keep in mind when determining if you should have a commercial auto or personal auto policy is that it isn't where you drive, but why you are driving:

  • Are you a sales manager who visits different stores/locations within your region?
  • Are you delivering pizza or other goods to customers?
  • Do employees drive your vehicle?
  • Do you drive people for a fee?  (Rideshare such as Uber or Lyft)
  • Does your vehicle have commercial license plates?
  • Do you haul equipment such as trailers, ladders, etc. in or on your vehicle?
  • Do you need more liability coverage than a personal auto policy provides?  
  • Do you need special coverage for situations encountered while conducting business?  
If you are think that you might need a commercial auto policy, or have questions about what is covered under your personal auto policy, please give your helpful Absolute Insurance agent a call today at 515-279-2722 or email us at service@insaia.com.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Rental Car Rules

Do you have an upcoming trip planned where you will be renting a rental car?  Pekin Insurance, one of the companies that we represent, posted a blog earlier this month regarding rental cars and how to avoid a big rental car bill.  
  1. Make Sure Your Insurance Checks Out:  The vast majority of insurance policies transfer over to rental cars - the coverage you have on your vehicle would be the same coverage as the rental car.  For example, if you have liability-only coverage on your vehicle, your rental car would have liability-only insurance.  If a claim were to come up, it would be filed with your auto insurance company.  Your credit card company you use when paying for your rental car may also provide some coverage as well.  Before you rent a car, you should talk to your insurance agent or credit card company to know what coverages transfer.
  2. Your Age Affects Price:  Some companies will apply a "Young Driver" charge for any driver under 25
  3. Watch Out for Extra Fees:  Make sure to read the rental agreement to avoid extra fees.  There are usually additional fees for returning the car with less than a full tank of gas, using a toll transponder, or using GPS.  
  4. Skip the Inspection at Your Own Risk:  Before you drive off in your rental car, make sure to take the time to do an interior and exterior inspection of the car.  If you have a smartphone, make sure to document any existing damage with pictures or videos and report them before driving off.  (Make sure to get down under the bumper too)
  5. Think Before You Sync:  Several in-vehicle systems store information such as contact information and even work/home addresses.
  6. More Drivers Could Mean More Money:  Before you add more drivers, look at what extra fees might be included with each additional driver and evaluate whether you think additional drivers are needed
For more information, check out the blog from Pekin Insurance!  If you have any questions about what coverage transfers from your auto policy, contact your agent.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Telematics


Many of our auto insurance companies offer a discount if you sign-up for Telematics, or usage-based insurance.  Telematics, or usage-based insurance, is a type of auto insurance that tracks mileage and driving behaviors such as hard braking, fast acceleration, nighttime driving, and idle time.  This means that your insurance premium is affected by your driving habits.  Driving is monitored either with a self-installed device or through a mobile application on your smartphone.  Some companies also provide tips to drivers on how they can improve their driving.

Each company offers their own Telematics program and how the program works varies by company as well.  Click on the links here for a few of our companies to learn more about the specific program offered by your insurer:
If you have any questions regarding how enrolling in telematics could affect your policy, please contact your agent today!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Teen Monitoring Discount - Auto Owners


Auto Owners now offers a new 5% discount for teen monitoring.  How does the Teen Monitoring discount work?  You can use an app on a phone or certain GPS units.  The information from the app/GPS must go to the parents.  It is not shared with Auto Owners.

If your teen is between the ages of 16-20, they are eligible for this discount.  All it takes is a GPS unit attached to the vehicle the teen principally operates OR the teen in an eligible application on their smartphone. This discount will be applied upon the receipt of the proof of the purchase or other documentation.

Eligibility:
Eligible GPS units and smart phone applications must meet the following criteria:
Locate Vehicle-the ability to determine the vehicle’s location via Web or phone.
Speed-the ability to know the teen driver’s speed and other various

The discount is removed when the operator turns 21, gets married, or is removed from the policy.

An otherwise eligible operator is no longer eligible for this discount if they have had:
More than 1 at-fault accident, or
More than 1 violation resulting in 2 or more conviction surcharge points, or
One violation resulting in 4 or more conviction surcharge points, or
One at-fault accident and 1 violation resulting in 2 or more conviction surcharge point.

If this is something you are interested in, here is a hyperlink of 5 companies that could help you with the discount! https://www.hellotech.com/blog/5-of-the-best-teen-driving-apps-for-parents/.  Auto-Owners has recommended these two apps that are eligible for this discount: Life360 and SafeDriver which are both mentioned in the article.  If you are interested in a different teen monitoring app, let us know and we can check to make sure that it would be eligible for the discount too - they need to monitor location, speed, and other driving habits if available.

We have an insured who uses the free version of the Life360 app and they really like it.  They know that their college child is in class so not to call, or that their child made it to work or a friend's house, etc.  Even if you don't have your auto insurance with Auto-Owners, you might want to see if these teen monitoring apps might be useful to you and your family.

If you have any questions regarding this new discount, please contact your agent directly, email us at service@insaia.com, or call our office at (515)279-2722.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Summer Energy Savings

Beat the Heat - and Your Air Conditioning Bill - This Summer


Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Americans spend about $11 billion each year on air conditioning?  That might not be such a surprise if you're the one who writes the check for your household energy bill every month.

Believe it or not, you can spend less on cooling costs while still keeping cool.  Here are five things to do to adjust the thermostat:
  1. Make sure your house isn't part of the problem.  If your home isn't insulated and sealed well, warm air could be leaking in, sabotaging your efforts to cool things down.  Make sure all cracks and openings are sealed, along with your ducts.  The DOE says air loss through ducts can account for 30 percent of the energy a cooling system uses.
  2. Keep that breeze flowing.  Natural ventilation is a great way to decrease the temperature in your home without using any energy.  Open windows in the mornings or evenings when the air is cool and get a cross-breeze going throughout the house.
  3. Check that the heat isn't on.  You might be heating your house in the summer without realizing it.  How?  By using the oven, stove, or other appliances that generate heat.  Cook outside whenever you can, and use the dishwasher and clothes driver at cooler times of the day if possible.  Look into drying bedding and clothes outside - sometimes they dry quicker outside in the sun than in the dryer!
  4. Create your own personal cool zone.  Cooling the whole house might not be necessary if you're only using a few rooms.  Set up fans (ceiling fans will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher), drink plenty of cool liquids and eat cold foods, which can help lower your body temperature.  You might even consider wearing a damp shirt to stay comfortable to putting an ice pack on your forehead, the back of your neck or your wrists.  
  5. Don't forget the basics.  When it's sunny outside, keep your curtain closed.  Minimize your use of lights, as they generate heat.  And, when the outside air is warming than the air in your house, close the windows to keep the cool air in.
We can't promise these tips will keep you just as cool as when you kick back and turn on the AC full-blast.  But saving money every month?  That's pretty cool, too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Replacement Cost vs Actual Cash Value - What Does it Mean?



Have you ever looked at your homeowners, condo, or renters policy and saw that your property, belongings, and/or roof is listed as being insured for Replacement Cost Value (RCV) or Actual Cost Value (ACV)?  Have you ever wondered what that means?

Replacement Cost (RCV) is the value to replace an item at today's cost.
Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the value for a similar item at today's cost minus depreciation (replacement cost minus depreciation).

What does this mean?  Let's use an example most people have in their house - a couch.  Four years ago when you moved into your house, you purchased a new sectional for $2500.  Last month, your sectional couch was damaged in a covered claim.  
  • If you have actual cash value coverage, the insurance company would pay the value of the couch today (replacement cost minus depreciation).  In this example, they might determine that after 4 years of use, your sectional is only valued at $1800.
  • If you have Replacement Cost coverage, the insurance company will pay what it could cost to buy a similar couch today.  The sectional you purchased 4 years ago might now be $2600 so they would pay that amount. (Some insurance companies will give you the actual cash value of an item and require a receipt for the new item before paying you the remainder)
What does it mean by depreciation?  Over time, your home, contents, and/or roof may lose value due to factors such as age and wear and tear.  This loss in value is commonly known as depreciation.  

RCV and ACV also affect how your roof is insured too.  Some companies only offer RCV coverage for roofs if they were installed within the last 15 years, otherwise, the roof is covered for ACV.  

Here are some important things you can do:
  1. Look over your Homeowners, Condo, or Renter's Insurance policy to see what coverages are listed for your policy
  2. On your Homeowners policy, make sure that we have the most recent roof year listed for your home
  3. Take an inventory of your items in your home, and update annually.  It is recommended to take a video of each room, including in your closets and cupboards.  This will help in the event of a house claim.
If you have any questions regarding the coverage on your policy, please contact your Absolute Insurance agent today at 515-279-2722 or at service@insaia.com.

You can find more information about Homeowner's Insurance coverage at https://www.insaia.com/home_insurance.php


You can also click here for a quote on your Homeowners Insurance.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

5 Alarms to Consider for your Home


What alarms and sensors do you need in your home? The answer is different for everyone. But, whatever your situation, today’s technology has you covered with options including online monitoring and more. Here are some common alarms, including two everyone needs to have, and three many people should at least consider:

  1. Smoke alarms
    No matter where you live — house, condo, apartment — you need smoke alarms. Place one in every room where people sleep, and at least one on each level of your home. Consider alarms that work for both flaming and smoldering fires (they’re different), as well as an interconnected system so that all alarms sound when one detects smoke.
     
  2. Carbon-monoxide (CO) detectors
    Here’s another must-have. CO — a deadly, odorless gas generated by the burning of fuels such as wood, natural gas or propane — kills hundreds of people a year in the U.S. You should have at least one CO detector on every level of your home, even if you only have electric appliances and heat sources. Your state may even require you to have one.
     
  3. Natural gas detectors
    These alarms usually detect CO and propane leaks, so consider one if you have natural gas appliances in your home. You also need one for your RV or trailer if you use propane to fuel your cooking or heating.
     
  4. Water alarms
    Leaks from appliances or pipes can do extensive — and expensive — damage to your home if they go undetected. Water alarm systems typically use sensors placed near appliances or other trouble spots to alert you when they sense moisture.
     
  5. Security systems
    Whether you want a do-it-yourself system or one that is professionally monitored, you’ve got more options than ever before. You may even be able to check in on your home from wherever you are using your smartphone.
     
When you’re making these important decisions, here’s one more important thing to consider: Some of these alarms could qualify you to save on your homeowner's insurance!

You can find more information about Homeowner's Insurance coverage at https://www.insaia.com/home_insurance.php

You can also click here for a quote on your Homeowners Insurance.

Please give us a call at 515-279-2722 or email us at service@insaia.com.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Workers' Compensation Insurance


Workers' compensation coverage provides medical expenses, lost wages, and physical rehabilitation costs to employees who are injured or become ill "in the course and scope" of their job.  Additionally, this coverage protects an employer from being sued by an injured worker in most cases.

Absolute Insurance can help your business find complete solutions to your unique workers compensation insurance needs.  We'll find solutions that create safer and more productive workplaces, more confident and secure workers and overall savings you'll see on the bottom line.

Coverage for office workers using their own vehicles on company business is often needed, as well.  If you have employees, it is critical that you consider this workers compensation coverage.

Some Workers Compensation coverage can include:
  • Innovative payment systems
  • Medical disability case managers
  • Utilization management nurses
  • Certified life care planning nurses
  • Vocational rehabilitation consultants
  • Physician consulting services
  • Legal staff
  • Contracts with medical network providers
  • Managed prescription drug program
What are some instances that Workers' Compensation might cover?
  • An employee is driving from a client's location back to office and is involved in an accident.  The employee requires hospitalization from the accident
  • An employee injures her back lifting a heavy box in the back room, requiring a doctor's attention, medication, and physical therapy.
  • An employee slips on a wet floor, injuring himself, requiring an emergency room visit and weeks of recovery time
To find out more about this product and other products and services, contact Absolute Insurance Agency today by calling 515-279-2722 or service@insaia.com.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Gift Coverage


Each year, we usually have a few clients who get engaged over Valentine's Day.  If you are one of these lucky couples, make sure that calling your insurance company is at the top of your list of people you notify.  Why?  "While there is no way to insure the sentimental value of such a gift, having the right amount of insurance will provide financial protection, according to the Insurance Information Institute."

Jewelry losses are one of the most common losses for all homeowners content-related insurance claims.  So if you received a new piece of jewelry for Valentine's Day (or a nice new set of golf clubs, or artwork, or fancy new camera, etc), you want to make sure that it is insured correctly.

Does the item need special coverage?
Most homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for contents, but there are limits to how much coverage there is for high-value items such as jewelry, furs, art, etc.  Usually, we add these types of items to a policy as "Scheduled Personal Property" or SPP.  This has specific coverage for individual items, offer broader coverage for loss (such as if your ring were to accidentally fall down a drain.)  There is usually no deductible applied to items that are scheduled as SPP on your policy.

Keep a copy of your Receipt or Appraisal
Insurance companies will usually ask for a recent appraisal of an item being specially insured as SPP.  This helps with a description of the item and the appraised value.  We also recommend that you keep a picture of items as well - this can help with identifying a lost item.

For more information regarding Scheduled Personal Property, check out this blog on our website.

If you have an item that you want to add as Scheduled Personal Property to your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Policy, please call your Absolute agent at 515-279-2722 or email us at service@insaia.com.

Friday, January 25, 2019

How to Stay Safe After a Winter Car Accident


The days are short. The air is cold. And, roads are often slick with rain, snow or ice.


It’s winter driving season in Iowa. And, while most people know what to do to try to avoid an accident, many don’t know what to do after one. It’s vital knowledge to have, because the aftermath of a crash can be just as dangerous as the crash itself — especially when it’s cold and snowy.


Here are five things to do (or not do) if you’re in an accident this winter to help keep yourself and others safe:


  1. Make sure everyone’s OK — then get off the road if you can. The safety of everyone involved in a crash is the first concern, of course. So, check on the occupants of each vehicle and call for emergency assistance if it’s needed. Then, if the vehicles are drivable, get them off the road as soon – and as carefully – as possible.
  2. Stay in your car if you can’t safely move away. If you can’t get your car off the road, but you can get off the road, wait until there’s no traffic around and then move well out of the way. Otherwise, stay in the car so you’re protected from other vehicles.
  3. Stay visible — and warm. Turn on your hazard lights and put up road flares so other vehicles know something is wrong. And, grab your vehicle emergency kit (you have one, right?) for blankets and extra clothing. If you’ve run off the road and you’re still in your car, make sure nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. Otherwise carbon monoxide may build up.
  4. If you’re stranded, stay put. Running off the road in a remote area is scary, but resist the urge to try to walk for help. You risk getting lost, especially during a storm, if you set off on foot.
  5. See a crash? Don’t always stop to help. Being a Good Samaritan could cause more problems than it solves. So, if those involved aren’t in immediate danger, call 911 and let the professionals help with medical aid and traffic control.


It’s not always easy, but keeping a cool head after an accident will do more than help everyone get through a stressful situation — it will help keep everyone safer, too.

And, remember, if something does happen on the road this winter, your Absolute Insurance agent is here to help with your auto accident claim. If you’re unsure whether you’re carrying the right coverage, call us now at 515-279-2722 before it’s too late!