It’s the time of year for renewing and refreshing everything in your life. Normally, you think about your home, your yard, and your office, but rarely do you think about your insurance policies. For most people, the last time they looked at their policies to determine if they have adequate coverage was the day they wrote that particular line of coverage. Unless it’s a large commercial insurance policy or commercial health policy, you may never review your policies to ensure that the coverage you have today provides coverage for items you have today. It’s time to spring clean your insurance policies and go through them with a fine tooth comb.
Personal Auto Insurance
Let’s start with the auto policy. You may still have the same auto policy you purchased after you bought your first house. While it may have provided adequate coverage at the time, it’s highly likely that it no longer fits your needs. For example, if you carry minimum auto liability limits, that’s not enough coverage to protect you. In addition, if you drive a high value vehicle, does actual cash valuation and $35 a day for rental coverage sound like enough for you? Wouldn’t you rather have agreed value and a higher rental car limit? These are certainly things you need to look into.
Your homeowner’s policy is probably in the same state. Have you purchase fine art, fine rugs, jewelry, and furs over the years? Do you remember to call your insurance agent for purchases like these that seem normal? Most people don’t realize that these items are not covered by the regular contents section of the homeowner’s policy. They need to be scheduled on an inland marine form, which can either be attached to a homeowner’s policy or written in conjunction with it. Why wouldn’t you want to insured an $11,000 pair of earring for approximately $100?
If you thought 10 years ago that you didn’t need an umbrella to provide additional layers of coverage over your auto and personal liability, maybe now you do need these extra layers of protection. Personal Umbrella Liability is very affordable and it provides extra barriers from your pocket book for claims in excess of the amount covered by the underlying auto and personal liability policies.
Small Commercial Insurance Policies
If you’re a small business owner and have commercial policies that renew automatically each year without confirmation from the company that there haven’t been any changes, now’s the time to look through your company and detail all changes. Bring them to your agent’s attention and make sure that you are fully covered.
Life Insurance Policies
Update your beneficiaries, if you went through a divorce you may not have thought about it, but you should probably remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. If you have term insurance, make sure you know when the term ends. You want to have time to shop for another policy. Maybe now you should look at whole life insurance instead. Also, look at the amount of the policy, is this enough insurance today for the expenses you anticipate it covering?
If you’re a healthy individual, do you really need a low deductible? Some people pay too much for health insurance because they don’t go over each coverage option in detail. Look over the various coverage options and see where you can increase a deductible and if there any other changes you can make.