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Time for an insurance checkup

Posted March 19, 2014 in Advice Column, Windsor Heights

When was the last time you reviewed your insurance coverage? Just as getting an annual medical checkup is a sensible way to maintain your health, reviewing your insurance policies annually can provide peace of mind and may save you money.

Homeowners insurance
• Does my coverage keep up with current rebuilding costs? If your home sustains serious damage due to a fire or a severe storm, does your policy cover rebuilding costs? If not, you might want to consider increasing your coverage
•    Does my recent home renovation affect my coverage? If you have added square footage to your home recently, its value may have changed. Check with your insurance agent about increasing your coverage
•    When was the last time I had my luxury items appraised? If you have expensive items such as jewelry, artwork and antiques that have not been appraised recently, you might want to consider doing so. Having up-to-date insurance can help take some of the sting out of replacement costs.
•    How can I lower my premiums? If your premiums are too high, consider raising your deductible. A higher deductible could lower your premiums.

Auto insurance
My teen recently got a driver’s license. How does that affect my auto insurance? If your teen is now driving, let your agent know and be prepared for your family auto insurance premiums to rise. Keep in mind that insurers may offer discounts to high school and college students who maintain a B average and complete driver-safety program.
•    Does my car’s value affect my insurance? If you have a much older vehicle, look up its value online to see if carrying collision and comprehensive coverage is still cost-effective.
•    What else can I do to lower my rates? If you increase your deductible, you can substantially reduce your monthly premiums.

Life insurance
• We’ve just had a baby. Purchasing more life insurance can help cover the costs of your child growing up, if something unexpected should happen to you.
•    We just got married. If you have recently gotten married, you might want to increase your life insurance coverage or change the beneficiaries on your policy.
•    How does my new job/layoff affect my coverage? If you recently got a better paying job and are planning to expand your lifestyle, then getting more life insurance is a good idea.

Information provided by Matt Cale, State Farm Insurance, 6733 University Ave., Windsor Heights, 280-9000.

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