Resolve to Review your Insurance Coverage this New Year

Around this time when you are reviewing budget and goals, make sure to review your personal insurance needs. Having the right coverages is important and what you need can be different at various stages of life. It is a balance, you want to be paying a competitive rate but you also want to make sure that you have the right insurance coverages should you need them.

Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Have any additions or improvements been made to your home? If you remodeled a kitchen, bathroom or possibly finished a basement this can increase the amount insurance needed on your home to reflect this.
    • This can also apply outside as well. If you add a pool, fence or detached buildings this can also affect property values.
  • Made any big purchases? Jewelry, art, heirloom furniture etc…. those items would need to be scheduled on your policy to be covered appropriately. Limits included on the policy are often not adequate on large value items.
  • Let your agent know about any resident changes such as a pet or if there is a room mate situation.
  • On the flip side, to save a little cash, think about loss prevention. Did you add an alarm, whole-house generator, or an in home safe? Some insurance carriers offer discounts for this. Don’t forget the indirect component either. If a fire department recently put a hydrant closer to your home that can make a difference also.

Auto Insurance

  • New teen driver don’t forget to price this out. Is it cheaper on a separate policy or on the parent’s? Also, ask about carrier discounts. If your teen takes a driver course or has good grades they can qualify for a discount.
  • Think about the age of your vehicle, if it has some age and wear (generally around 10 years old, depending on level of care), you may consider dropping the comprehensive and collision from the policy and just maintain liability on that vehicle. Something you can discuss with your agent.
  • Discuss adequate limits with your agent. State minimum limits are often not large enough to cover certain losses.

Life Insurance

  •  Life events such as the birth of a child, marriages, job loss and other family status changes may mean you want to now get one or change the terms. Of course, the sooner the better on a life insurance policy for the pocketbook. But if any of the above changes occur don’t forget about this coverage, it is very important for your family. Discuss the life insurance options with your agent to see what is best for your and your family.
  • If you have a change in income you may want to adjust. You may need to replace more income if your salary goes up significantly. On the converse you may need to lower the limit to keep the policy if you experience a job loss or decrease in pay.

Remember that your insurance agent needs to know about these life changes discussed above as they effect coverage types needed.

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