Everyone has their favorite New Year’s tradition, their own special way of saying goodbye to the old and ringing in the new. It’s the perfect time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going.
It’s also the perfect time to make sure your financial house is in order, including a review of your insurance coverage. In fact, if an annual insurance coverage checkup isn’t already one of your time honored traditions, you should make it one starting this year.
Change is constant
Let’s face it, life never stands still for very long. All of us go through changes now and then. We switch jobs and move to new homes. We get married and have kids. We acquire new things and discard others. We suffer illnesses and ailments. We have families who need our help. Sometimes changes are planned in advance, sometimes they happen without warning. Reviewing your policies each year is a great way to ensure that your insurance coverage is keeping pace with any changes in your life.
To help you with your checkup, here’s a checklist of coverages to review:
Homeowners Insurance. Have you made any big changes to your home in the past year? Have you moved? Have you added more possessions? Any of these things can affect your premiums. An annual checkup can help ensure your renters or homeowners insurance coverage remains adequate for the structure of your home, your personal possessions, additional expenses such as alternate living arrangements while your home is being repaired, and your liability to others.
Auto Insurance. Since auto insurance is required in most states, it’s easy to forget about it once you’ve got it. But are all of your current vehicles covered? Have you sold, traded, or donated a vehicle in the past year? Have you made any modifications to a vehicle that would alter its value? Do you have coverage you don’t need, or need coverage you don’t have? An annual checkup can keep your personal auto insurance on track.
Health. Since everyone is required to have healthcare insurance or pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act, you should be covered by now, either by your employer or on your own. But if you’re not, it’s time to consider your options and get covered.
Life. If you don’t have life insurance, the New Year is a good time to consider it as you’re getting your financial house in order. The older you get, the more expensive it will be. If you already have life insurance, it’s a good time to review your coverage and ask some questions. Have you gotten married or divorced, had kids, moved, acquired more debt, increased your income, or quit smoking since you purchased the policy? It’s important to keep your coverage in line with your life situation.
Disability / Long-Term Care. According to LongTermCare.gov, 70 percent of us will require long-term care of some sort after age 65. But the cost of that care is prohibitive for many, and much of that care won’t be covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. This is one coverage you should seriously consider as part of your overall financial picture.
The fun stuff. Did you purchase any unique or high value items in the past year such as a boat, an antique, or expensive artwork? Your homeowner’s policy may not provide adequate coverage for these items, so review it carefully and check with your insurance agent to make sure your high value items are covered.
Want to put your New Year on solid financial ground? Call your independent agent today for a complimentary insurance review.