Along with losing weight, getting a better job and having a date night with your spouse once a week, another New Year’s resolution you should make is to update your insurance policy.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following five New Year’s resolutions:
- Call your agent and arrange to sit down for an annual review of your insurance policy. Did you have work done on your home? Will one of your kids get his driver’s license this year? You want to have the peace of mind that comes with having adequate coverage.
- Have you ever read your insurance policies? Most people don’t and it is a mistake. Do your policies pay replacement cost or actual cash value for a covered loss? With the replacement cost is the amount necessary to rebuild your home with construction materials of like kind and quality. Actual cash value takes depreciation into account. What happens if you or a family member gets into a car accident? Does your insurance pay for towing and rental car coverage?
- There are great apps that you can use to take an inventory of all your possessions. Check out the Insurance Information Institute’s “Know Your Stuff Home Inventory.” It is an easy way to make sure that you have photos and receipts for all big ticket items in your home. If something is lost or stolen, you want to make it as easy as file a claim.
- Everybody has heard the warnings about flood insurance since Hurricane Sandy, but you may also want to consider earthquake insurance. Earthquakes are not covered under a standard policy. Don’t assume that because your home isn’t in an earthquake prone area that you don’t need this coverage. Earthquakes can happen anywhere: Don’t forget the 5.8 magnitude quake in August 2011 near Washington, D.C., that also rocked our world in the Tri-State area.
- Remember that the lowest premium is not always the best value. At Advocate Brokerage, we always look for the best overall deal for a client. An important factor to take into consideration is the amount of your deductible, and usually the lower the premium, the higher the deductible. Have your agent find policies that provide discounts for security systems, smoke alarms and any steps you have taken to protect your property from natural disasters. It may also be possible to get a discount if you purchase multiple policies with one insurer.
Often a change in your own life or in your family will trigger the need for a new insurance policy. Did you recently start your own business? Has your child gone off to college? Is your teenager anxious to get a driver’s license?
Your insurance broker needs to know about anything that could have an impact on your coverage. Help yourself by keeping your agent in the loop.