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.