Established in 1981, our company has grown to a full-service insurance agency. Currently, The Insurance Store Ltd. serves the insurance needs of many individuals and businesses throughout Iowa. Our office includes a state of the art computer system for record keeping. Our Primary Objective is to establish a relationship - a partnership - between you, the insurance company and our staff. We maintain a high standard of professional excellence in all that we do and establish a firm relationship of mutual trust and service with each of our clients.We Are An Independent Insurance Agency
We do not work for an insurance company; we work for our clients. We work on their side when they have a loss and follow through to see that they get fair, prompt payment and service. We represent a carefully selected group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies; therefore, we are able to offer our clients the best coverage at the most competitive price.We Invite Your Inquiries.
The Insurance Store Ltd. would like to offer you the opportunity to receive a no-cost, no obligation review and comparison of your insurance coverages. Find out how to get in touch with us on our Contact Us page.
Myth or Fact: Is It Safe to Use a Hands-Free Device While Driving?
It’s easy to understand the dangers of taking your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes off the road to pick up a cell phone call or to send a text. But did you know that using an earpiece, speakerphone or Bluetooth device is equally as dangerous?
According to information compiled by the National Safety Council, driving while talking on the phone forces your brain to do two things at the same time. Your brain can’t really multitask; instead, it tries to quickly move between the two tasks: driving and talking. In doing so, your brain gets overloaded and filters some of the info it’s receiving. Because of this filtering, your eyes can miss about half of what is going on in the world outside your vehicle, including red lights, other vehicles and pedestrians. Reaction time is also affected, so even if you see the danger ahead, you may be too slow in responding. While your hands may be on the steering wheel, your mind is not free to concentrate on driving safely.
Furthermore, the TV show “Myth Busters” found that driving while using a hands-free device is as dangerous as drunk driving. Later simulations compared drivers using hands-on and hands-free driving. Their results showed that both types of cell phone use are equally dangerous; only one driver in each study passed the driving test. The remainder of the drivers in both tests failed by going the wrong way or by crashing.
Why Should You Worry?
Of course you are concerned for the safety of your employees when they are on the road, and for the vehicles they drive. You also need to consider how to keep your company safe from the risk of liability. If an accident leads to a lawsuit, legal discovery can uncover the employee’s cell phone records, including the location and time of any voice calls and texts they may have made. Your company cell phone policy and enforcement (or lack of enforcement) of that policy can also become part of a legal record.
What Can You Do?
You’re not on the road with your employees, so you can’t watch their every move. However, there are ways to protect your drivers, your vehicles and your company.
- Develop and enforce a companywide distracted driving policy as part of your fleet safety program that employees must understand and agree to abide by. It should be clear that they can’t use a hand-held cell phone or hands-free device while the vehicle is moving, and recognize both the dangers and the penalties for non-compliance. Be sure to have each employee sign a statement agreeing to the terms.
- Enforce compliance using technology to gather evidence of any deviation from your company policies. Examples include attached devices and apps that prevent Bluetooth from connecting or that block the ability to use the phone when the vehicle is moving, and dash cams that capture video of any banned behaviors.
The leading threat to Iowa teens’ health is motor vehicle crashes
Motor vehicle crashes cause 48% of all teen deaths in Iowa. In the past five years, 162 teen drivers, ages 14-17, lost their lives in crashes in Iowa (CDC, 2009). To address this issue, we need to create an atmosphere where young drivers are supported as they learn and given appropriate guidance in preparation for the complexities of driving.
By maximizing experience and minimizing risks while this experience is gained, we can protect teens while they are learning and produce safer drivers in the long-run.
Because they are still learning, young beginner drivers need to obtain experience gradually, over an extended period of time, in order to develop good judgment and learn the complex skills needed to drive safely.
Research has shown that teen crash involvement can be reduced by improving the structure of driver licensing systems. Graduated Driver Licensing, or GDL, is an experience-based approach that allows young drivers to gain experience while minimizing risks to them and others with whom they share the road.
Please review this Booklet, and feel free to distribute to all of your families with young drivers.
Your Homeowners Policy: Please Read It
We, here at the Insurance Store, Ltd., encourage our customers to read their policy. Yes, it's very dry reading - somewhat like watching paint dry. Still, we think it's worth the effort. Then call us if you have any questions or concerns.
Listed below are items of homeowners insurance that can tend to confuse customers:
Flood: No homeowners policies cover damage caused by floodwaters, and some also exclude "surface waters" or water blown by windstorms, (though damage caused by windstorm is covered). Flood insurance is available at low cost by the National Flood Insurance Program (go to http://www.fema.gov for information), but damage is capped at $250,000.
Mold: Coverage for mold damage varies widely. Some companies limit coverage from $5,000 to $10,000 for damage caused by mold. Yet, some companies won't cover any damage from mold. And some companies limit coverage to a certain type of mold, if found in your house.
Dogs: Some insurers single out aggressive breeds for liability reasons, such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans and mixed wolf breeds. Other insurers state they can refuse to issue coverage if the dog (whatever the breed) has a history of biting.
Replacement Cost: Getting reimbursed for the actual cost of replacing a hail or wind damaged roof or burst pipes, as opposed to their actual depreciated value, does tend to raise premiums substantially. However this coverage comes in really handy where construction costs have risen rapidly or after a disaster when demand skyrockets. Replacement cost terminology may also be in your policy regarding the total value of your home should you have a total loss due to causes such as a fire or tornado.
In any aspect, customers are encouraged to do a little research on their own regarding the wording in their policies. Please don't be afraid to contact us should you have further questions.