Friday, December 28, 2018

What gifts might you need to specially insure?

After the Christmas gifts are opened, the wrapping paper is picked up, and the Christmas dinner is over, you might want to take a minute to think about the different gifts that people in your household received.  Did anyone receive anything expensive that you might need to add specifically to your homeowners or renters insurance policy?  Did someone receive a nice necklace or ring?  That Gibson Guitar they have been talking about for a couple years?

We have had a few insureds share the great news that they are engaged this holiday season.  Engagement rings, and other jewelry, often has limited coverage on insurance plans unless it is added as "Scheduled Personal Property" to your home, renters, condo, or manufactured home insurance policy. 

We also typically get the question about who needs to insure the engagement ring - the person who gave the ring, or the person who is wearing the ring?  This depends on a few different factors such as whether the couple live together (and have a joint insurance plan) or if they live separately.  Generally, the person who is in possession of the ring needs to be insuring the ring.

Typically, we think about jewelry as an item that might be appraised and added to a homeowners or renters insurance policy as "Scheduled Personal Property", but there are other items that you might want to consider:
  • Cameras, lenses, and equipment
  • Golf Clubs
  • Skis or snowboards
  • Road bikes
  • Art or antiques
  • Firearms
  • Computers
  • Musical Instruments
If you, or someone in your household, received some of these items, you should consider adding them with special coverage to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policies.  Most Homeowner, Renters, and Condo Insurance policies place limits on high-value items.  These items should be added as Scheduled Personal Property to your policy.  You can insure jewelry, furs, fine art, expensive cameras, and other valuable items this way on your policy.  You can contact your Absolute Insurance agent at (515)279-2722 and discuss whether or not to add items to your policy.

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:
    • Let's 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.
You can find more information regarding life insurance on our website.  To speak with an Absolute Insurance Agent, please call our agency at (515) 279-2722 or

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!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What is the benefit of insuring an item as Scheduled Personal Property?

We often include reminders in our newsletter about adding jewelry and other items as Scheduled Personal Property, or SPP, to your Homeowners, Renters, Dwelling, or Condo Insurance Policy.  Have you ever wondered how SPP is different than the regular contents coverage included on your policy?

While your typical homeowners policy includes limited personal property coverage for the contents of the home, sometimes there are limits placed on certain categories of valuable covered items.  For example, a homeowner insurance policy might have a $1500 sub-limit on jewelry.  If you had a loss for a necklace valued at $400, you would probably be fine getting it covered under your homeowners insurance policy (assuming it was lost under a covered peril), but if you had a necklace worth $5700, you would most likely only be covered up to that $1500 policy sub-limit.  Many homeowners choose to seek additional coverage through a scheduled personal property endorsement to their policy.

Scheduled Personal Property also provides broader coverage for the scheduled items.  For example, if your wedding ring drops down the drain while you are washing dishes it may not be covered unless it is included as a Scheduled Personal Property item on your policy.  Also, if a loss were to happen to a SPP item, the policy deductible doesn't apply. 

What types of items can be added as SPP?
Musical Instruments
Stamp or Coin Collections
Golf Equipment
If I have an item I want to add as Scheduled Personal Property to my policy, what do I have to do?
Each item that is added as Scheduled Personal Property to a policy is listed individually and needs to be appraised before they are added.  If it is a recent purchase, the receipt might work in place of an appraisal.  Please contact your Absolute Insurance agent at 515-279-2722.