Is It Time to Review Your Insurance Policy?
It’s a good idea to review your insurance policy at least one time per year or whenever significant life changes occur. Things like having children, getting married, buying a home, or starting a business make a big difference in the type and amount of insurance you need. Some types of insurance policies also incorporate coverage that may change over time. That’s why it’s essential to take a look at it at least one time a year so that you aren’t surprised later.
What to Review in Your Insurance Policy
Take a few minutes to sit down with your policy or log into your insurance provider’s website to find your coverage. Then, consider these specific areas first.
1. Are You Covered?
Do you have enough coverage to protect your assets and loved ones if an event occurs? For example, the cost of rebuilding homes has increased dramatically in the last few years. Does your policy provide enough coverage to ensure you have enough available to cover the cost of a rebuild should a covered event happen?
Take a look at other policies you have, too, including your car insurance, boat insurance, and home insurance. Does your renter’s insurance still provide enough coverage for the value of the personal items you now own? If you added expensive furniture or electronics, you may wish to speak to your agent about updates for these valuables.
2. Are There Coverage Gaps?
Think about the investments you’ve made over the last few years. Anything over $1,000 is a valuable asset that may not have full protection against things like theft or fire damage unless you’ve let your insurance company know about the valuable assets. Take the time to review your policy to find any types of gaps like this.
Also, talk to your agent about liability insurance gaps. There’s no way to know if someone will be hurt on your property or suffer an injury from a dog bite. You may also want to consider increasing auto insurance liability coverage if your current policy doesn’t offer enough protection now that you have a teen driver behind the wheel. What other gaps exist that could be making you vulnerable to claims made against you?
3. Have Your Needs Changed?
It’s not always just about increasing coverage but ensuring the type and amount of coverage you have meets your specific needs and goals. Life changes can alter your coverage needs. For example, consider your need for health insurance. You will likely need to update this policy year to year to match your current situation. Adding a new baby or getting married requires an update to your policy, even in the middle of the year, in some situations.
Speak to your insurance agent about any types of changes you’ve had, including buying new assets, selling them, or even removing drivers from your car insurance who no longer live in your home. Even if it seems minor, ask your agent about them.
4. Are You Getting the Best Value for the Money?
There’s never a reason not to shop for insurance policies, even in the middle of the year. Compare quotes from other insurance providers to determine which can offer you the coverage that fits your life at the best price available. Typically, there is no obligation after requesting quotes to use that provider if it proves to be more expensive. Yet, you can often save hundreds of dollars switching from one company to the next.
When comparing insurance policies, keep the coverage amounts and types the same from one policy to the next. That gives you a clear indication of what your specific cost savings may be if you decide to make the switch.
When to Review Insurance Policy
An annual review is an ideal decision, especially before your policy is set to renew. Take a look at all types of insurance you have to get more insight into any coverage gaps or needs. Even if it’s been a few years, you can review and update your insurance at any time during your coverage period in most cases. Don’t wait until it’s about to renew in this situation.
Get the Help You Need
Sometimes it’s hard to know what type of upgrade or change to make to your coverage. If you’re not sure if your policy is meeting all of your needs, reach out to your insurance agent for some guidance. They can help you update your policy based on your specific circumstances as well as common claims in the area. Regularly reviewing your policy ensures it’s going to offer the coverage you need should you need to file a claim.