How Often Should I Review My Insurance Policies?Posted on Apr 20, 2020
Your insurance coverage is important. You want to make sure you have the right protection and the right policies to meet your needs today. Of course, your needs are likely to change over time.
That is why it’s essential to review your insurance policies. The policy you purchase in your 20s, for instance, isn’t the best protection once you reach certain milestones throughout your life.
These are a few of the occasions when you should review your insurance policies to make sure they are all still meeting your needs.
Every Year Without Fail
From year to year, a lot can change. You can purchase a new car, buy a new home, fall in love, get married, have a health scare, lose someone you love, gain an inheritance, and have countless other things that change who you are and how comfortable you happen to be with risk in your life. It may be time for you to add an excess liability policy, known as a personal umbrella policy.
Since insurance is one of the ways we all manage risks, this means you need to revisit your insurance protection to make sure you have the coverage you think you have and that the coverage you do have is the coverage you want.
Review your policy once a year without fail to make sure you have the insurance you want and need.
Changes in Marital Status
Whether you’re getting married or divorced, your insurance needs are likely to change.
In some instances, you will be combining policies and protection. In other cases, you may be separating complexly intertwined financial situations. Either way, you need to make sure your insurance protection reflects your new status in life and addresses unique needs that might represent.
When You Buy a Home
Most mortgage companies require a specific amount of insurance protection when financing a home. However, now is an excellent time to explore your homeowners insurance coverage to see if you are comfortable with the amount of insurance protection you have all around.
Of course, insuring your home alone often isn’t enough. You need additional protection in the form of an umbrella policy as well to help protect you and your property from liability claims against you.
When you Purchase a New Car
Without fail, you must contact your independent insurance agency when you purchase a new car. If you already have an auto insurance policy, you may have a grace period allowing you to revise your auto insurance policy for the new vehicle.
Bringing Children into the Home
Whether you’re adopting, fostering, or having a child of your own, bringing a baby into the fold represents significant changes for your insurance needs. Even if you’re a new grandparent, you should review your insurance policies to make sure you’re satisfied with the coverage you have. Many prefer to increase coverage, particularly life insurance, at times like this.
An Aging Parent Moves In
When you take on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent, it can cause many changes for your home and your family.
It also means you have new needs for insurance and may need additional protection, such as if you have medical equipment in the home that requires a rider policy or you need to increase your life insurance so your family can afford private care should something happen to you.
In addition to reviewing your insurance coverage when you buy your home, you also need to revisit your protection when you make renovations to your home. Not only do you want to make sure your upgrades are covered, but you also want to see if you qualify for new discounts.
Many insurance companies offer discounts for many things that occur during renovations such as:
- Upgraded wiring and/or plumbing
- Installation of alarm systems
- Replacing an old roof
In some cases, you may need to increase your insurance protection to account for the costs of the upgrades if a covered event damages your home. It’s always better to find out before a covered event occurs than after if you do not have sufficient insurance protection.
Following a Health Scare
Whether you or your spouse has recently experienced prolonged illness, now is a good time to carefully consider your overall insurance picture to see if you have the right amount of coverage in areas where you feel you need it most.
When Your Employment Status Changes
Whether you’re retiring, moving to a different job, or unexpectedly unemployed, now is the perfect time to review your insurance. In some cases, you may need to downgrade your protection. In other instances, you may need to make wholesale changes to your insurance protection.
Work With Otterstedt
Ultimately, there are many times in your life when it is vital to review your insurance policies. Doing so can help you save time and money while sparing you the agony of finding out, too late, that you have insufficient protection to meet your needs.