The (Dreaded) Annual Insurance Review
Caller ID is a wonderful thing. Our phones tell us who’s calling, and we can choose to answer or not. Sure, we avoid some scams by not responding. We may avoid the doctor or the dentist and their friendly reminders for a couple of days, but we don’t mean it. We know we have to see them eventually.
But what do you do when you see your insurance agent’s number on your caller ID? Do you answer or let it go to voice mail so you can “call back later”? Unless you’re working to settle a claim, there’s no reason for this guy to be calling. The thoughts come unbidden:
“Oh my gosh – that policy renews this time of year. Why else would he be calling?”
“I never hear from this guy unless he wants something.”
Nope. I am not answering that one.
But what if we’re wrong?
Consider this: how has your life changed since the last time you talked to your agent?
- Did you get married? Divorced?
- Did you have (or adopt) a child?
- Do you have a new driver in the house?
- Did any of your children move out?
- Have you paid off a car loan?
Those are all significant life changes that may affect your insurance needs.
An annual check-in with the right insurance agent will ensure that you and your family have the right coverage for your current situation and might even save you some money!
There are different reasons to review various policies. Let’s have a look at each:
Home values change over time. If the replacement cost of your home has increased, you’ll want to make sure your policy provides enough coverage to rebuild at today’s prices. New kitchen? Finished the basement? You might need to adjust your coverage.
Reviewing your coverage can reveal discounts you might not know about, too. Have you added a new security system with motion detectors and cameras? New doors and locks? Sometimes added safety features could actually reduce your homeowner’s premiums.
Life changes, like those mentioned above, may require changes to your policy.
A new spouse, the loss of a partner, a new baby, a big raise at work, or even losing the income from a job could require an adjustment in your life insurance coverage.
Innovative new features can benefit existing customers, but only if you know about them. Have you heard of “living benefits?” When specific terms and conditions are in place, and your policy offers “living benefits,” the death benefit payout can be used to cover expenses for the living, such as long-term care or critical and terminal illnesses.
Does your life insurance policy offer that benefit? Do you qualify for one that does? You won’t know unless you review your coverage!
Much like homeowner’s insurance, auto coverage is required. If you still owe money on a car, sometimes you have to carry more coverage than if you own the vehicle outright.
Have you paid off an auto loan this year?
Do you have a new driver in the house?
Is your family driving fewer miles this year than they did before?
Maybe you need to adjust your coverage.
Of all the insurance categories, auto insurance is the one with the chance for the most potential discounts. But you won’t know about them if you don’t come in and review your policy!
Review Wrap Up
“The truth of the matter is that insurance agents generally get into the business because they care about others, and they’re good with people,” says Bill Lawrence, CIC, and President of P/L/R Insurance.
“At our independent agency, we help our clients find the best coverage for their unique situation, and always with their best interest in mind. If that means they come in for a review and add some coverage, that’s ok. If that means they leave the review and save $500 a year, but they still have the right coverage, then that’s ok, too.”