When is the Last Time You've Had an Insurance Review?
We all get busy with daily our daily lives and before you know it a year or more has slipped by without you giving your insurance coverage a second thought.
You pay your premiums and talk with your agent when a claim or need arises, other than that you assume all is well with your policies. But, what if it's not?
There are many life changes that should prompt you to call your insurance agent. For example, you may need to remove a driver from your auto policy or add additional coverage to your homeowner's policy.
Even if you adjust your coverage as some of these changes occur, you will likely only catch others by scheduling an annual review with your insurance agent. Below are a few questions you should be prepared to address:
1. What have I Added or Updated Around My Home? Did you add on to your home or remodel? How about adding a pool or finishing a basement? All of these examples increase the value of your home and how much it would cost to rebuild it. You should update your insurance coverage to reflect not only the new home value but also any new risks.
2. What Has Changed With My Vehicles or Drivers? Are you driving longer or shorter distances to work? Is the vehicle you previously used for commuting now sitting in your garage more often than not? It's a good idea to re-examine this annually to ensure you have the exact coverage you want - not too little and not too much.
3. What Significant Purchases Have I Made? Did you invest in a home automation system or a high-end leather couch? What about new piece of jewelry? If the value of your personal belongings has increased significantly, you'll want to check whether your homeowners or renters insurance still provides enough coverage. If not, you can likely purchase additional coverage for specific items or possibly groups of items. Otherwise, if a costly item is lost, damaged or stolen, you may find yourself needing to replace it with a lower-cost version.
4. What Is New Within My Family? Did someone leave for college? Are more people now driving your motorcycle? These are things you will also need to discuss with your insurance agent.
5. Are there Any Discounts for Which I Now Qualify? Doing things such as adding a security system to your home or driving your car less may help you gain discounts you didn't qualify for when you first purchased your policy.
Some other questions you might consider include:
- Do I need any specialized disaster coverage, such as flood or earthquake insurance, that I don't already have?
- Is my home inventory current?
- Can I afford to raise my deductibles, and how much would it lower my annual premium?
- Am I carrying high enough liability limits to protect myself?
- Is an umbrella policy right for me?
Just like filing your taxes, an insurance check-up should be an annual item on your to-do list. After all, there's nothing like the headache and heartache of thinking that you're fully covered and then finding out you're not when a claim occurs.
Remember, your insurance policies should reflect the life you have now - no the life you had when you first signed up with your carrier. So, keep your insurance policies up to date and set an annual appointment with your insurance agent.