Most people contact their insurance brokers or underwriters when a significant event in their life requires new or revised risk cover – perhaps when they buy a new home or it’s time to take over the job. old car. However, far fewer remember to review their insurance at regular intervals or when more subtle changes in their coverage requirements occur.
Regularly reviewing your insurance helps ensure that your coverage is what you expect of it in the unfortunate circumstances where you need to file a claim. It also helps to make informed decisions about coverage and to be proactive in minimizing your insurance costs.
There are many different circumstances that could possibly alter your coverage requirements and prompt a call to an insurance professional for an examination. The examples below identify some of the cases in which you may want to review your coverage:
- Renovations – If you make renovations to your home, you are likely to increase its value as well. Whether it’s a new kitchen, bathroom, pool, or even expensive landscaping, be sure to check your policy limits to make sure they stick. adequate in the event of an insured loss. If you have recently renovated your basement, you should also know that it is very likely that your water damage insurance will need to be reviewed.
- You have accumulated possessions – Have you done a home inventory recently? Most people have more personal assets than they realize. Estimating the total value of your content is key to ensuring your limits are adequate.
- You have purchased a high value item – Remember that some of your personal effects must be scheduled to be properly covered. Jewelry, antiques, collectibles, wine collections, and art are some examples of rooms that may require additional coverage.
- New covers are available – The insurance industry frequently adapts to changing market conditions and provides coverage in areas it has not had in the past. For homeowners, insurance against surface water damage and home repair issues (such as broken furnaces) has recently become available from some insurers, in some areas. Additionally, legal expense insurance, travel insurance, and pet insurance are available from brokers looking to further cover your risks and insurance needs.
- Laws change to give you more or less choice – Changes to auto accident benefits force you to reconsider your choices.
- You become eligible for additional discounts – Changes in your personal circumstances may affect your eligibility for policy discounts. For example, if you install an alarm system, you are likely entitled to a discount on your home insurance policy. If you use snow tires on your vehicle, many insurers offer a discount on your auto insurance policy. If you are over the age of 50-55, you may become eligible for adult driver discounts.
- If you change jobs and have a shorter commute – You should report this to your insurance broker, as driving less is generally correlated with lower risk and cheaper premiums. If you are in a certain profession, you may also qualify for lower insurance rates.
- You started a home business – A different use of your home, other than strictly residential, may require professional insurance to properly cover the risks of liability.
- Your personal situation changes – If you are getting married or have children, you may want to review your coverage to ensure that your coverage levels are adequate to take care of your dependents in the event of an accident.
- Your child gets a driver’s license – Always check if your child can be added to your policy. This is often the cheapest option to insure their ride. If they get their own car, you’re probably eligible for a multi-car discount as well.
- If your child is moving to attend college or university – Check to see if your landlord’s coverage can be extended to protect your child’s property while they’re at school. It may be more cost effective than purchasing a standalone renter’s insurance policy.
- If you haven’t had an insurance exam for over a year – Your coverage levels may be out of date. A key example is your home insurance. Property values and replacement costs can easily increase to the point that your existing coverage limits don’t allow for the total rebuilding of your home in the event of a total loss.
Taking the time to talk to your insurance professional is always time well spent. Even if you don’t save on your insurance costs after the call, there is no substitute for the coverage you expect when a claim becomes necessary. Since most insurance policies are for one year, it is advisable to consult your insurance professional before renewing your annual coverage.