Insurance Checklist for the New Year
January 14, 2019
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? Besides making time to rid your life of bad habits or setting goals to improve your life and health, the start of the year is also a perfect time to re-evaluate your insurance coverage needs.
This is especially true if you've had any significant life changes or made large purchases during the prior year, like:
- Having a baby
- Getting married or divorced
- Making add-ons to your home, like a new deck, a man cave or swimming pool
- Making any major purchases, like a new entertainment system or new appliances.
You can call us to schedule a time to review your policies to make sure they meet your current needs. The last thing you want is to be underinsured in case you have to file a claim.
We can help determine whether your coverage is adequate or if you might need to make adjustments. If you haven't had a life-changing event or any of the above scenarios, you should still talk to us as you may be eligible for discounts.
Here are some things to consider:
You may need to make changes to your life insurance policy if you've had a child, divorced, remarried or obtained a new mortgage or job.
In the case of the birth of a child or a new marriage, you may want to consider increasing your death benefit. Call us to see if your insurance company requires a physical exam before increasing your coverage levels.
On the other hand, you may want to consider reducing your coverage if:
- You pay off your mortgage
- You retire
- Your children finish college.
You may also be able to expand your death benefits so they can be used while you are still living. Ask us about these options.
Homeowner's or rental insurance
After years of steadiness, homeowner's and renter's insurance rates are on the rise due to the increasing costs of natural catastrophes that have been hitting with increasing frequency in the past few years.
If you live in an area prone to disasters - floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires or tornadoes - you may see more pronounced rate hikes.
That's why it's more important than ever that you update your home inventory and make sure your homeowner's or renter's policy is up-to-date. You can be efficient by using the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' free home inventory smartphone app: myhomescr.APP.book, which you can find on iTunes or Google Play.
After you have made note of any material changes, including any work you have done on your home, call us to go over your policy.
If you have had an accident or a few tickets in the past year, it would be worth a call to go over your auto insurance policy with us.
You should make sure all of your limits are appropriate, particularly the liability portion. If you have not updated your liability limits recently, you maybe should. Besides medical costs having increased substantially in the past decade, the cost of repairing modern cars is also much higher than in years past.
If you have low liability limits and you exceed the limit, you may be out of pocket for any excess costs from damage or injuries that you may have caused.
Review your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage.
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