“Education is what you get from reading the small print; experience is what you get from not reading it.” -Common
Every year, Americans spend thousands of dollars on insurance. In fact, according to a report done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent about $9,359 on insurance in 2015. That’s a lot of money to give away to insurance companies! This is why it’s very important ensure that what you pay for actually covers your needs. About once per year, set aside time to review your insurance.
Reasons to review
There are several reasons why you should review your insurance each year, but here are a few common things to look for:
- Gaps in insurance coverage
- Assessment of whether there’s still a need for the amount of coverage you have
- Rate reductions and discounts
Here is how to do your annual insurance review:
- Think about any changes that have been made within the last year. This could include a new baby, a new car, new drivers, older drivers (over 24-26), any large purchases, or a move to a new state. All of these things can impact your insurance rates and coverage.
- Look for any discounts. There are several things that can qualify you for a discount including: good driver, safe cars, home security systems, employment (police officers, military, civil servant, etc.), or older drivers (especially for males). Contact your insurance carrier to see what discounts you specifically qualify for. Remember, closed mouths don’t get fed, so it’s up to you to be proactive about saving money.
- Assess whether you need additional coverage. This is especially important when major changes have occurred such as a new health condition, a new pet, a child in college, etc. Your current coverage may not protect your new situation, and can end up costing you more money out of your pocket. So, do a check up to make sure you are fully covered.
- Look for ways to bundle. Many insurance companies offer lower costs when you have more than one premium with them. So, if you have auto, renter’s/mortgage, and life insurance with three different carriers, find out if it would be cheaper to put them all under one.
- Lose the attachment. Don’t feel obligated to stick with the same insurance carrier over and over again. It’s your money and your coverage. Make sure your insurance company values your business by offering you the coverage you need at a price you can afford. There are too many other reputable companies to chose from!