With the new year ringing in, now is traditionally a time to reflect and organize for the months ahead. Many people make resolutions in January, whether it’s getting in more steps, learning a language or just being more present in the moment. If one of your resolutions is budgeting or simply saving more money, don’t forget to look into your insurance policies. Keeping your coverage up to date and in line with your needs can help make your year a little less stressful. Start your year out right and countdown these 10 tips.
1. Renew Your Policy
Mark your calendar for the month of your policy renewal in the new year. You may also be able to enroll in automatic renewal; talk to your insurance company for more details. If you have any older policies you no longer need, make sure they don’t automatically renew.
2. Update Your Insurance
Has anything changed recently, or have you gained new assets? Maybe you have a new driver in your household, or you inherited or were gifted fine jewelry or a large asset like a snowmobile for the holidays. Maybe you recently moved to a new home, got married or had a baby. You may need to update your insurance policies after big life changes like these. For example, you will want to make sure your teenage driver or new spouse is covered under your auto insurance. You also may want to speak to your agent about adding riders to your specialty vehicle policies and adding items to your homeowners insurance like expensive jewelry, artwork and musical instruments. You will also need additions and edits to your current policy if you’ve purchased a new home.
3. Learn About Uninsured Motorist Insurance
While you’re looking into updating your policies, make sure your current auto insurance covers all your needs. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is something to consider when talking to your agent. If you get into an accident with someone who has no coverage or not enough, this additional insurance may help with medical expenses and repair costs.
4. Consider Life Insurance
Term life insurance is set to cover you for a specific time, from five years up to 30. Depending on your stage in life and the financial responsibilities you have, term life insurance is worth looking into. Before anything unexpected happens, a life insurance policy can help you plan on how to provide financially for loved ones who may be left behind. Talk to your local agent for more details on the length and amount of coverage you may need.
5. Look for Discounts
You may qualify for discounts from your insurance company. Talk to your agent and ask about available discounts, such as for being a safe driver or a good student. Other possible discounts include having a security system for your home, opting for paperless statements, automatic payments, driving an electric/hybrid car and more.
6. Bundle Up
You may save money if you bundle your policies together like your homeowners, life, auto and umbrella policies. Talk to your agent about whether bundling is right for you and your coverage needs.
7. Be Prepared for Emergencies
The new year is a great time to check on your emergency supplies and update evacuation plans. Is your fire extinguisher still in working order? Does your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need new batteries? Do you need to replace anything in your car’s emergency packs that is missing or damaged? Replenish what you need, and don’t forget to practice your fire escape plan to keep it fresh in your family’s mind. Practicing can also help you identify any alterations needed for a safer plan.
8. Consider Renter’s Insurance
Are you moving into your first apartment, or are you currently renting? Tenants need their belongings protected just like homeowners, and many communities even require it. Secure your belongings with renter’s insurance.
9. Protect Your Pet
Did you adopt a new dog or cat recently? Or have you been thinking about your pet’s future health more now that they are growing up? Look into pet health insurance and get peace of mind for your furriest family member. Pet health insurance can help cover a range of issues from accidents and illnesses to routine wellness exams, vaccinations and preventative medicines.
10. Plan for Seasonal Maintenance
Even when the year has just started, you’d be surprised how quickly time can get away from you. Seasonal maintenance routines help keep your home in top shape and prevent issues in the future. Making a note of and scheduling time for the coming seasons will help remind you when your home is due for tasks, such as clearing out gutters or changing your air filter. Do the same for your auto and recreational vehicles, whether you need to winterize your boat or RV or just get an oil change.
HomeFirst® Agency hopes you have a happy and safe New Year, and with these tips for reviewing your insurance coverage, you’ll be well on your way.