The events that have transpired this year have forced many of us to take inventory of the important things in life. Here is why we think an insurance checkup should be a part of that conversation.
Why You Need an Annual Insurance Review
- Many people put their insurance policies on auto-pay and never think about their coverage again.
- However, life changes and insurance policies need to change with them.
- These changes can leave you with insufficient coverage.
- You may have more coverage than you need; which means you’re spending more than you must.
- Policies should be reviewed once a year.
Update Personal Information
Make sure each insurer has a current address, telephone number, and bank account information (if you auto-pay). If your policy is nearing expiration and the agent can’t contact you (or your change banks), you could lose coverage.
Homeowner’s Insurance: Questions to Ask
Can my current coverage rebuild my house if needed?
Renovations, inflation, and changes in the housing market can raise the cost to replace your home from when you bought the policy.
Have I made changes that will lower the cost of my policy or increase the amount of coverage I need?
Installing safeguards like a security system or smoke/carbon monoxide detectors can qualify you for a discount. Ask your agent for a list of changes that will qualify you for a discount.
Installing luxuries like a pool or hot tub may require additional liability coverage.
Have I purchased or acquired anything that requires additional coverage?
If you have objects like jewelry, art, electronics, or other miscellaneous items that are not accounted for, you may need more coverage.
Life Insurance: Questions to Ask
Do I need more or less coverage?
Have you had a child or purchased a home? Are your children self-supporting adults, and have you paid off your home? These changes can increase or reduce the amount of coverage needed.
Has your health changed substantially?
If you’ve developed a chronic condition, controlled or reversed one, stopped drinking, or lost a substantial amount of weight, you may need to modify the amount of coverage you have.
Auto Insurance: Questions to Ask
Have you had a significant life change?
Premiums are typically lower for those who are older and married, but divorce can raise these.
Have you added a new driver?
Adding a teen driver raises rates, but there are ways to reduce costs. These include taking defensive driving courses and keeping your GPA above a certain number.
Have you changed job locations or moved?
If your commute is significantly short, your job allows you to work from home, or you are retired, this could lower your premium. If you have moved, it can impact rates. Auto insurance is generally higher in urban areas as opposed to suburban or rural settings.
Health Insurance: Questions to Ask
Have there been changes to your covered benefits, excluded benefits, amount of coverage, and costs of your current plan?
If there have been changes to what is covered and their amounts, your plan may no longer meet your needs.
Do you like the providers and facilities that are in your network?
If your plan requires you to use in-network provider’s facilities, make sure you are happy with the choices you have. If you go out of network, you will be hit with substantial out of pocket costs.
Have your prescription needs changed?
If you are on new medications from the previous year, make sure your current plan covers them. Paying for prescriptions out of pocket can cost thousands per year.
Does your current plan meet your needs?
Don’t stick with the same plan year after year, look at all of your options, and choose the plan that best fits your needs. That may mean a less expensive plan or a more expensive one.