Spring is a great time for a checkup, an insurance check-up that is! Insurance is one of those topics that many of us don't think about on a daily basis, but it's one of the most important things in our lives when we need it. So here's a primer, courtesy of Chris Schoelen, State Farm Agent on New London Turnpike in South Glastonbury.
1. Why is an insurance check-up important?
As we all know life can change in an instant. That being said, you should be reviewing your policies annually with your Insurance Agent. I personally like to equate your annual insurance check up to an annual physical with your doctor. During an annual insurance review it is important to discuss any changes or additions in life; many of these include, but are not limited to: home additions, change in personal income/employment, newly licensed drivers, marriage etc. The unexpected happens; do you have the appropriate protection in place to recover from it seamlessly? Completing annual check-ups with the right Insurance Agent can make sure you are brought back whole in the event of a loss.
2. What should I be looking at during a check of my insurance needs?
First and foremost you want to make sure you are covered. You want to ensure that you continue to have adequate protection for the future of your loved ones and to safeguard your income earning abilities despite any life changes you may go through. Too often people look at upfront cost before taking a look at the actual coverage being provided. Coverages that should be reviewed include, but are not limited to: physical property, liability protection, income replacement, and future needs. This check-up is not just about ensuring adequate protection, but also a time to review and see if there are more discounts you can qualify for.
3. How has the pandemic changed our insurance needs?
With so much uncertainty in this “New Normal” it is important that we are still protected against the unexpected. Many of us who were working from brick-and-mortar locations have moved businesses to the comfort and safety of our homes. However, there are restrictions on homeowner policies when it comes to coverage for an in-home business. This is something you must review with your agent, and in many cases a few small changes or an added policy can get you appropriately covered. We have also seen an influx of major home improvements taking place in our country. Anytime you are making changes/improvements to your home you want to convey this information to your agent. This doesn’t always result in a premium increase, but in some cases it can lower your premium. Not sure what’s covered and what’s not? Call your Insurance Agent and get clarification, do not just assume.
4. What kinds of new products are in the insurance marketplace that folks probably aren't aware of?
Telematics has probably been one of the biggest revolutionary changes in the past few years in the Auto Insurance world. Telematics devices measure a number of driving behaviors including: miles driven, time of day, rapid acceleration, hard braking, hard cornering, etc. This has benefitted drivers greatly during the pandemic with many Americans working from home and putting fewer miles on theirs cars. State Farm, like many other insurance providers, grant their policy holders an additional upfront discount for sharing this information PLUS additional discounts based on driving behaviors. We will see this technology more and more as we move into the future.
5. How do I know if I have enough coverage in all my insurance products?
Insurance is not a “one size fits all” type of product; everyone is different and has different needs. This is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable Insurance Agent that you trust and can meet with annually (virtually or in person). An agent can help direct you to the best coverage for your particular situation. When deciding on an Insurance Company, and/or agent, do not just make a decision on upfront price, but also review company ratings and ensure you have the appropriate coverage in place if the unexpected happens.