Just as getting an annual medical check-up is a sensible way to maintain your health, reviewing your insurance policies annually can provide peace of mind and may save you money. As you review your policies, here are some questions to keep in mind:
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? Does my recent home renovation affect my coverage? If you have expensive items such as jewelry, furs, coins, 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 in case of theft or damage. How can I lower my premiums? If your premiums are too high, consider raising your deductible. A higher deductible could lower your premiums, but will also make you more responsible for a greater portion of each covered loss.
If your teen is now driving, let your agent know and be prepared for your family auto insurance premiums to rise. If your teen stays on your insurance, it is still cheaper than purchasing a separate policy. But keep in mind that insurers may offer discounts to high school and college students who maintain a B average and complete driver-safety program. By driving less, you can lower your auto premiums because you are putting fewer miles on your vehicle per year. If you have a much older vehicle, look up its value online to see if carrying collision and comprehensive coverage is still cost-effective.
We’ve just had a baby. Should I increase my life insurance coverage? Purchasing more life insurance can help cover the costs of your child growing up, if something unexpected should happen to you. Does my recent marriage affect my life insurance? If you have recently gotten married, you might want to increase your life insurance coverage or change the beneficiaries on your policy. Having more life insurance could make your family’s future even more secure. How does my new job/layoff affect my coverage? If you recently got a better paying job and are planning to expand your lifestyle (a new home, a bigger car, etc.), then getting more life insurance might be a good idea. If your life insurance policy was tied to your old job, you might want to consider starting a new policy that suits your current needs.
Information provided by Glenn Waterhouse, State Farm Insurance, 5441 N.W. 86th St., #100, Johnston, (515) 223-5566.