Insurance policy reviews are incredibly important. They may not sound all that exciting, but an annual review could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
There are several factors that can go into changes in your insurance policy—new drivers, additions to your home, a child who has ventured out on their own, and the list goes on. Without the proper review of your policies, you may not be as covered as you need to be. You may also be covered beyond your needs.
Here are a few questions to ask your agent when reviewing your insurance policies:
Do I have enough liability coverage?
Having adequate liability coverage on your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies is a must!
Let’s assume that your liability coverage is too low. What happens if you get into an accident where you’re found at fault? What would happen if someone gets injured on your property and has to file a claim to pay for their doctor bills? Do you know how much liability coverage you have? Do you know how much you would need?
Too many drivers and homeowners are underinsured when it comes to their liability coverage. We often neglect to take into account how quickly doctor’s bills and hospital visits can add up in a claim. Depending on the severity of an injury, you could end up liability for upwards of $1 million to treat an injury. Can you afford to pay that out of pocket?
You should explore umbrella coverage—which is excess liability coverage—to help cover you above your auto or homeowner’s liability limits to protect you for additional costs that exceed your regular coverage. Look for more information about umbrella coverage in a future blog.
How can we lower my premium?
There are many ways to cut your insurance premiums. Among those methods are through deductible adjustments and discounts.
Increasing your deductible to $1,000 could save you $300 per year on auto insurance, but if you were to get into an accident, would you have that $1,000? If so, increasing your deductible may be the right course for you to take. Given your good driving record, increasing your deductible may be a good idea. If you are an outstandingly safe driver, you may be paying for too much insurance coverage—which you are statistically less likely to use.
How is your vehicle rated on your auto policy? Have there been any recent changes in your vehicle’s usage? Are you now retired and your daily mileage has been cut? If you don’t frequently use your car, you could be paying too much for your auto policy.
Another way to lower your premiums is through discounts. Many insured individuals have discounts available to them that they aren’t receiving—simply because they aren’t aware of the availability!
Are you getting a discount for having your auto and homeowners policies with the same company? Multi-policy discounts can save you money. Do you have a central station bugler alarm or smoke detector system that alerts local authorities? Ask to see if there are any discounts available for taking measures in keeping your home and property safe. Additionally, there are typically credits available for having a fire extinguisher in your home and residing within five miles of a local fire department. Living within such a close distance gives firefighters a better chance to save your home!
How will changes to my home or property purchases effect my premiums?
Are there any changes around your house that could potentially affect your insurance needs—such as swimming pools or fences? The addition of a swimming pool won’t raise your insurance, but it is a potential hazard to have coverage for. At the same time, the addition of a fence—or even fencing in an existing swimming pool—could save you some money by reducing those potential hazards. Also, are there any additions or changes made to your home that increased its value? Your insurance will need to reflect those changes.
You could receive more comprehensive protection for these increased hazards through an umbrella policy.
Have you recently purchased any collectibles or expensive items? Expensive items will need to be scheduled within your insurance policy—insuring them for what they are worth. Fine art, jewelry, and firearms are some items to take into account when determining potential replacement costs.
While some things are priceless, we don’t want a $20,000 Rolex or $10,000 oriental rug to go unscheduled. If those items were stolen or lost in a fire, they would not be covered for their full replaceable cost if left unscheduled in your insurance policy. So, having the correct listing for these valuable items is an absolute must. So, having the correct listing for these valuable items is an absolute must.
While insurance policy reviews aren’t all that exciting, hopefully you are now able to see just how valuable they can be. Asking the right questions could end up saving you hundreds of dollars on your premiums—or even thousands of dollars in the event of an insurance claim need.
If you have questions about your insurance policies, or if you would like to schedule a policy review, contact Smallwood & Small today! Call 304-263-3361 to talk to an agent at our Martinsburg office or 304-229-7227 to reach our Inwood office. You can also visit our website for a quick quote.
Photo Credit: airpix. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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