Happy New Year! With January officially underway, it is now time to set yourself up for the year ahead. Insurance-wise, it is best practice to conduct yearly policy reviews of your various insurance plans to make certain you still have the coverage you need – no less and no more. Here we’ve compiled four insurance tips for the New Year.
1. Homeowners Insurance: Check Value of Property & Possessions
Homeowners insurance is usually made up of four types of coverage: dwelling, personal property, liability, and other structures. The beginning of the year is a great time to check that you don’t have a gap in your homeowner’s policy!
Check the market value of your home to determine if you still have enough dwelling insurance to replace your home if something were to happen. Depending on the type of dwelling coverage you have, market value could impact that dramatically.
If you gained expensive personal property last year – like an heirloom painting or priceless ring – and have not yet gotten it insured, it’s time to knock that off your to-do list! Not having enough personal property insurance built into your homeowners policy could mean that that item won’t be replaced if it is lost in an incident at home.
Bonus tip: Insurance companies need proof of the personal property items you claim. Be sure to take photos or video of your expensive items to prevent any trouble in having the items reimbursed.
2. Car Insurance: Evaluate How Your Vehicle is Being Used
A minimum amount of car insurance is required in most states, but additional coverage features can be tailored to fit your specific needs. Credit history, marital status, driving records, and car mileage and type, are all factors that can affect the cost of car insurance. That means that if you have automatically renewed your auto-insurance policy without taking into account life changes for the past several years, you may not be getting the best rate possible.
Consider switching from a comprehensive and collision policy to a liability-only policy if you have paid off your vehicle or if it has lost a lot of value. Comprehensive policies are much more expensive than liability only, so switching could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Another car insurance question is whether you use your vehicle for work. If you have been using your car for business and only have a personal policy, you may not have all the coverage you need since personal car insurance will not usually cover the business use of a car.
If you lease a car, check to make sure you have a GAP insurance policy in place so car payments are not an issue if your car is stolen or totaled.
3. Life Insurance: Make Sure Financial Liabilities Are Covered
You may be thinking “do I really need to review my life insurance coverage?” And the answer is a resounding “yes”! Life insurance is all about making sure your loved ones would be financially secure if you were to die. The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your assets, liabilities, dependents, and stage in life. If you’ve recently become a parent, a stay-at-home parent, or self-employed, it might be time to up your coverage.
New year, new insurance plans, right? Actually, that’s not always the case. You may have gotten to a point in your life where you no longer need life insurance. If you have a dependent who has aged out, have paid off your debt, or have retired … good news! That’s one less bill you may have to worry about.
4. Commercial Insurance: Align Insurance Coverage With Business Needs
This tip is for business owners. No matter the size of your business, you probably need a commercial insurance policy to help protect your company and even your personal assets. There are several types of commercial insurance policies to choose from and if your business has scaled up or down this year, it might be time to re-evaluate the specific needs of your company.
Don’t forget to add “conduct yearly policy review” to your calendar! Schedule a time to meet with us to discuss your insurance options for the New Year or get a free insurance quote online. We work with various insurance companies to help find you the best coverage with the best price and are proud to create custom insurance solutions just for you.