Tuesday, May 21, 2019


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.

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.