How to Conduct Your Annual Insurance Checkup
Just as a yearly physical is good for your health, taking time to examine your insurance coverage can help ensure your financial well-being.
Although you can do this any at any time beginning of the year is a good time to take a second glance. Follow these simple steps to make sure your insurance coverage is still good:
- Know your coverage – Make a list of your current auto, home and life insurance coverages. Know what your deductibles (the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance payout begins) for each policy are. Contact your agent or insurance customer service if you don’t know the details of your policies.
- Think about what has changed since your last checkup – Have you renovated, downsized or upsized your home? Have you added a vacation or rental property? Do you have a new driver in your family? Have you recently acquired valuable items such as jewelry, artwork, collectable coins or electronic equipment? You may want to enhance your insurance coverage.
- Review your home inventory – Now is also a good time to review your home inventory, or create one. There are free smartphone apps to make the process easier than ever. Take videos or photos of your home – room-by-room, top to bottom. Make sure you capture your valuables, even those that are tucked away in closets and drawers. Keep a copy of the inventory online or in a secure place, like a safe deposit box.
- Check your liability coverage – Make sure the liability coverage on your homeowners or renters policy is adequate, especially if you’ve enhanced your property with a swimming pool, hot tub or even a trampoline in the backyard. This may also be the time to consider getting a personal umbrella policy for additional liability coverage.
- Consider natural disasters – Homeowners policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage. Think about adding this insurance if you’re at risk, and remember that floods can happen with little or no warning, even if you’re not in a flood zone or near a body of water.
- Evaluate your auto coverage – If you have an aging vehicle, you may want to remove collision coverage. If you’ve changed jobs, retired or plan to go on more long-distance road trips, you may need to change your policy to reflect the number of miles you intend to drive. If your child is going away to college with a car that’s covered by your policy, be sure to inform your agent. All of these changes could affect what you pay.
- Call your agent – Call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local branch to discuss your insurance needs. Work with them to determine what policies and what deductibles work for your budget. Make sure to ask about possible discounts, including student, loyalty, and multi-policy.