Is An Insurance Review Necessary?
Rather than have a “set it and forget it” approach when it comes to your insurance, you, your finances and your peace of mind are sure to benefit from an insurance review. During this review, you and your insurance agent will sit down and look over your current policies and discuss any changes that might have taken place in your life lately to decide if your current policy is still a good match for your current life. Here’s a handy guide to provide you with more insight on the benefits of looking over your coverage with your agent.
There’s No Reason Not to Check on Your Policy
Because insurance is handled by humans, there’s a chance that mistakes were made in the creation of your policy. With an insurance audit, you have the opportunity to comb through your policy to see if there are any mistakes or misinformation that needs to be corrected. You don’t want to find out about that mistake when you go to file a claim, which might be too late.
Something else to consider is that you may find a discount during your review. By delaying your audit, you run the risk of paying too much for your coverage longer than necessary, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get that money back. Additionally, living in an area that now has a lower crime rate and changing weather in your area can both lower how much you pay for insurance. The only way to find out what you might be entitled to is to talk with your agent.
If you’re thinking about getting another policy for, say, the new motorcycle you bought, you’ll likely be better off seeing if your current provider can help you out. That way, you can bundle your policies with a single company and save some money. This is much better, and less expensive, than having several different plans from several different insurance companies.
Know What to Ask During Your Insurance Policy Audit
Knowing what to ask during your review will better help you to determine if you need an insurance update. For instance, you should ask if your current homeowner’s insurance policy is enough to rebuild your residential property if something catastrophic were to happen to it in the near future. The reason for this question is that just like the value of your home can change over time, the same applies to the cost of construction. This is an especially good question to ask if you’ve recently remodeled or updated your home, as that can impact the cost to rebuild your residence as well.
On a related note, you should definitely make sure your current homeowner’s insurance policy is enough if you’ve recently remodeled. Besides rebuilding costs, you also need to know if your remodel will require that you have more coverage. If you have water issues in your basement that are extreme enough that you need to file a claim, you want to know for a fact that all your new fixtures and furniture can be replaced.
Additionally, ask your agent whether your policy is enough to cover your outdoor appliances and landscaping, which is something many homeowners overlook. Something might happen to your new hot tub, sprinkler system or shed that’s covered by your policy, but only if you’ve taken steps to ensure those items are included in your policy.
There are some valuable items that need extended coverage, and that’s a question you should be sure to ask. Wedding rings, sports equipment, family heirlooms and instruments are just a few examples of belongings that often need additional coverage to ensure they’re fully insured. Also, if you operate a business out of your home, you might need extra coverage for that as well.
What to Expect During Your Insurance Review
Having an idea of what you have to look forward to during your insurance review can also go a long way in helping you prepare. Know that you’ll be expected to have certain documents when you meet your agent. For instance, your driver’s license, your current policy’s paperwork, a car lease and its registration are all items you’ll want to bring. It’s a good idea to contact your agent before your review to double-check what paperwork and info you need to have.
Have you had a child, gotten married or divorced or started a business recently? Or maybe your son or daughter recently reached the legal driving age. Any life changes that you even think might warrant a change to your coverage should be brought up with your agent. Additionally, buying something of major value, such as a boat or real estate investment, should be shared with your agent as well.
It’s also a smart idea to talk to your agent about special protections your policies have that you might not be fully aware of. For instance, if you’re ever the victim of identity theft, there’s a chance your insurance provider will be able to step in and help you sort the matter out. But just as there are extra protections you may be able to enjoy with your insurance, there might also be specific limitations to your policy of which you should be aware.
It’s a good idea to have your agent run you through a few common scenarios that might require you to file a claim. That way, you know for a fact if you’re as well protected as you think you are, information that can let you know whether you need to make some adjustments to your current policy.
Keep Your Agent in the Loop
Rather than wait for an annual review, try to always keep your insurance agent in the back of your mind when it comes to major life incidents. You never know what changes might warrant an upgrade to your policy or the need for a brand new policy.
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked over your insurance coverage with your agent, now is a great time to do something about that. Feel free to reach out to us here at Smallwood Insurance Agency to schedule a review of your insurance with one of our knowledgeable agents. We look forward to helping you protect your life and everything in it!