They say change is the only constant in life. Chances are you’ve already experienced some of life’s bigger changes, like marriage, childbirth, a new job, house or car, becoming an ‘empty nester’ or retirement. Chances are you didn’t consider how these changes may have affected your insurance needs.
To be effective, insurance must match your situation. To make sure you haven’t outgrown your insurance, it’s a good idea to review your coverage at least once a year. Consider whether insurance changes are needed to keep up with any recent life changes. The following questions from the Insurance Information Institute can help you get started.
- Have you gotten married? You may be entitled to marital status or multi-car premium discounts on your auto insurance. Your homeowners’ insurance may no longer be sufficient after merging two households under one roof.
- Have you had a baby? New children need to be covered by health insurance and should be protected by life insurance.
- Did your ‘baby’ get a driver’s license? Covering a teenager under a parent’s auto insurance policy is often cheaper than purchasing a separate policy. Discounts may also be available for good grades or driving school.
- Have you switched jobs? New jobs often mean new fringe benefits, so identify which employer-provided coverages have been gained or lost, and adjust personal coverages accordingly. If income increases, coverage limits may also need to be increased.
- Have you done extensive renovations on your home? Major home improvements, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch or expanding a kitchen, may leave you under insured. Homeowners’ coverage limits may need to be increased to cover the increased value of your renovated home. New structures, like a gazebo, pool or hot tub, may not be covered under your current policy.
- Did you buy a second home? The risk of loss may not only be greater in a second home, but completely different. Second homes may be harder to insure because they are often located in areas with specific risks (earthquakes, avalanches, floods, etc.) and vacant for long periods of time.
- Have you acquired any new valuables (jewelry, electronics, fine art, antiques)? Standard homeowners’ policies offer limited coverage for highly valuable items, so a personal property floater or endorsement may be necessary.
- Did you purchase any new toys? In addition to being valuable, items like boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles can create potentially significant liability exposures that must be covered by insurance.
These questions can help avoid painful coverage gaps that are likely to occur when your life becomes too big for your insurance. They can also help save money when your insurance is too big for your life.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how your insurance needs may have changed, please contact us.
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