- Life is hectic, especially when it’s changing. But don’t forget to stay on top of your insurance coverage by taking a few simple steps.
- There are many types of insurance, and a broker can help you find the right coverage for your situation. They can even let you know when you no longer need coverage for something.
- Set a reminder to check in with your broker annually—more often if needed—to make sure you’ve got the right insurance at the right price.
Once you have it in place, insurance can be easy to forget about. But as your life changes—you get married or buy a house, your child leaves for college, or you get ready to retire—so does your need for insurance coverage.
We know organizing your insurance may not be how you want to spend your time. But it really doesn’t take much time and could save you money. When you are underinsured, you could be putting yourself and your family at financial risk. And when you are overinsured, you’re wasting money on something you don’t need. It takes just a few minutes to make sure you’ve got the right coverage and the right rates.
Stay on top of your insurance coverage
There are a lot of things that can happen in life that change your need for insurance. Here’s how to get organized with a quick inventory.
1. Know what types of insurance you need
Take a close look at your life to determine what types of insurance coverage you need. It could include…
- Car insurance
- Homeowners or renters insurance
- Life insurance
- Umbrella insurance
- Other types of coverage:
The type of insurance you need may not always be clear, so be sure to consider all the ways your life is changing. For example, if you got a new puppy, you may want to add an umbrella policy to protect your assets if Fido bites someone. Or, if you have a young family and recently bought a new home, you may want to add a life insurance policy to pay off your mortgage if something happens to you. Did you decide to start renting your vacation home through Airbnb? You may need to add a landlord policy.
2. Take inventory of what you need to insure
This step may take a few extra minutes the first time you do it, but it’ll be easier in the future.
- Take pictures or a video of your home or rental and all the things in it. Note the specifics (make/model, serial number, etc.) of specialty items like antiques, firearms, expensive electronics, jewelry, and others. There are apps that can simplify this process.
- Consider the items you already insure to make sure you’re accounting for changes you’ve made. Did you install a pool, or remodel to increase the value of your home? Do you still live in your home, or are you renting it out? Do you now store your boat or RV in another state?
Taking inventory also helps you identify insurance you may no longer need. For example, if your car is older, you may want to drop the collision coverage and only pay for liability. If you’ve paid down your mortgage, check to see if you can drop your private mortgage insurance. And if you’ve paid off your mortgage altogether, you may no longer be required to carry hazard insurance such as flood or earthquake coverage, although you may wish to keep it.
3. Let a broker find the right coverage for you at the right price (at no additional charge!)
Here’s where it really pays to have the right person on your side. A good insurance broker will help you find the right mix of coverage and price for your situation. A broker can…
- Ask questions to make sure you have the right policies for your current needs
- Help you choose between carriers and coverage options
- Find discount opportunities like safe driver discounts or bundling. Bundling can also help you consolidate multiple insurance policies into one bill, which simplifies payment
- Look for additional ways to save, like increasing your deductible or paying annually instead of monthly
4. Finally, set reminders to revisit your insurance coverage annually
Experts recommend that you check your insurance each year to review life events that affect coverage needs, and to check for new policy options and discount opportunities. You can do this any time, but one option is to do so the month before your policies renew to make sure you’re not paying for something you no longer need. But if something changes during the year, don’t wait to change coverage.
Some experts also recommend that you compare auto insurance rates at least once each year to make sure you’re getting competitive rates, but talk with your broker, because your carrier may offer a discount for long-term clients. And if you find that your need for new insurance ends up increasing your costs, ask your broker for help; they can shop and compare policies and coverage options for you.
It’s easy to lose track of your insurance coverage over time, but it’s almost as easy to check in on an annual basis and make sure you’re fully covered, paying only for the insurance you need.
Insurance is an investment you make to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. Your goal should be to balance how much you spend against the protection that coverage provides, all while making sure you’re protecting yourself at the right level. The process is easier when you have a broker with Global Credit Union Insurance Brokers to help you; they can also help you avoid common insurance mistakes.
Think of all the time and money you could save by keeping organized with your insurance coverage and by making sure you have the right coverage for where you are in life.