13 life changes to tell your insurance agent about.
Life doesn’t stop after you obtain insurance coverage. Maybe you added that much-needed extra bathroom to your home or inherited your grandparents’ precious antiques. Perhaps your teenager is going to college or you’re starting a new business. You’ll need to adjust your insurance coverage to align with your new circumstances.
Here are 13 life experiences that should prompt a call to your insurance professional:
- Getting married or divorced: Many insurance companies offer benefits like marriage discounts, multi car discounts and bundled insurance policies. If you’re getting married, you should insure your wedding and engagement rings since they’ll probably exceed the $2,500 jewelry limit in standard homeowners or renters policies. Create a new home inventory and increase your personal property coverage when you combine your belongings. If you’re going through a divorce, let your agent know. (Some divorce decrees specify insurance requirements.) You should adjust your policies, reflect name changes, update your life insurance and all listed beneficiaries.
- Buying, renting or moving to a new residence: It would be terrible to lose your home in a fire or hurricane only to find out that you’re not insured. Make sure the policy limits are high enough to cover the cost to rebuild your home (different from market value). Even if you don’t own a place, you and your belongings need protection. A renters insurance policy will cover your personal belongings and offer added liability coverage (if someone is injured on your property or sues you).
- Purchasing a car: Call your insurance professional with the make, model, and vehicle identification number if you buy a vehicle. Your insurance rate may change significantly depending on the vehicle type and your residence.
- Becoming a business owner (even if it’s a home-based business): No matter where your business is located or how big it is, you’ll need coverage to ensure everything is properly protected. Take note of your business operations, even in a home business. If you use your car for business or store merchandise and supplies at home, you’ll need extra coverage. Ask your agent if a business owners policy (a “BOP”) is right for you.
- Doing home renovations: Major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, remodeling your kitchen or enclosing a porch can put you at risk of being under insured. An increase in the value of the structure may require an increase to your homeowners insurance coverage limits.
- Having a new teen driver: When your teenager gets their driver’s permit or license, they need to be properly insured. Teen insurance can be pricy, so make sure they attend all the necessary driver’s education classes and keep their school grades elevated. And be sure to let your agent know so you can take advantage of any discounts.
- Acquiring something expensive: Anytime you inherit or buy something valuable, you should reevaluate the contents coverage portion of your home or renters insurance policy. The policy limits may not be high enough. Compare the cost of increasing insurance on your valuables versus the cost of adding an umbrella policy to expand coverage ($1 million or more) over your home and auto.
- Heading off to college: If your college student is moving to on-campus or off-campus housing, you should review your insurance policies to make sure their personal possessions and vehicle are adequately covered.
- Installing a security or smart home system: Security systems deter theft and some smart home systems prevent catastrophic structural damage (like a whole house water shut-off system). Call your agent about insurance discounts for these systems, even if you’re only in the planning stages.
- Driving less: Working from home, living closer to your office or joining a carpool will reduce your mileage. Auto insurance companies consider less mileage a risk reduction, so you might be rewarded with a cheaper rate.
- Buying a second home: Whether a beachfront property or a mountain getaway, don’t skimp on the insurance — especially if your second home will be vacant for long periods. If you rent your second home, ask your agent about landlord insurance.
- Having your identity stolen: If you’ve been the victim of this kind of crime, you may want to invest in identity theft or cyber liability coverage to protect you and your family in the future.
- Retiring: You might be able to get a discount on your homeowners insurance when you retire. In addition, if you regularly commuted to your job, your annual mileage may drop significantly.
Don’t forget to keep your insurance agent in the loop as your circumstances change. They’ll help you offset your financial liability and protect what’s important to you!
For more information
If you have questions about adjusting your policy for qualifying life changes, reach out to our Personal Insurance team to learn more.
This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.
Please note coverage can not be bound or a claim reported without written acknowledgment from a OneGroup Representative.
Written content in blog post: Copyright © 2020 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.