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Happy New Year

By January 26, 2015 No Comments

Cheers to the New Year! As normally happens each January we tend to look back on the past year and look ahead to making a fresh start. I took myself to the gym the other night to make good on my non-resolution, resolution and the instructor made the comment “looks like January in here” to our packed class. What have you resolved to do this year? Lose weight, get organized, get fit or healthy, spend less money, and spend more time with family are all popular resolutions.

Completing an Insurance Package Review can get you on your way to achieving these common goals. You’ll lose the weight of worry by getting peace of mind that your accounts are in order and your property is covered. By taking a look at everything it will force you to get organized. You’ll become financially fit and reduce your stress levels. You may end up spending less money, but even if you spend a little more, it’s money that’s going to the right place. And finally you’ll know that if your affairs are in order it will only mean good things for your family.

When we think of reviewing our insurance we often think of shopping that insurance. That is what advertisers spend millions of dollars telling us we should do. Many times when insurance is shopped to other agents they are only looking to “match” your current coverage and hopefully save you a few bucks. The bigger picture of whether you are sufficiently insured can be overlooked. This is especially true when you use one of the 15 minutes or less insurance carriers. Fifteen minutes is not sufficient time to get the full picture of your insurance needs.

What is an Insurance Package Review?

So what’s involved with an Insurance Package Review? The first step would be to find your most recent copies of current insurance policies. If you have chosen get organized as this year’s resolution and don’t have a copy, you can always contact your insurance agent and they’ll provide you with one. If you aren’t an insurance professional these documents can be confusing. Some basic property coverage items to look for; are all of your recently purchased items listed, is every vehicle you own covered on a policy, are any items you’ve sold still listed? Once you’ve looked over the current policy, what has changed for you this last year? Did you get a new job where you commute less or more to work? Is there a newly licensed driver in your household? Have you added on to your home or done any significant remodeling? Put in a swimming pool or bought the kids a trampoline?

Your insurance should evolve as you do. Have you had children since you obtained life insurance? You may want to look at increasing coverage and/or updating your beneficiary information. Life insurance is the only type of insurance policy that you are guaranteed to use. Maybe you’ve been with your auto insurance carrier since college. The liability limits you started out with might not be sufficient for your lifestyle today. Is your credit card company or another company monitoring your identity? Identity theft is one of the most common crimes today and most homeowner’s policies will offer the coverage as an endorsement for a minimal cost. Are you engaged or recently married? If so, is the engagement ring scheduled on a property policy? It can be scheduled on a renter’s policy, condo’s policy, or homeowner’s policy for an additional charge. A great benefit to scheduling jewelry, in addition to providing coverage that may not be otherwise included, is it covers mysterious disappearance, which is a fancy way of saying you lost it.

How about a household member that has moved away to college or one that has moved to assisted living or a nursing home? Some coverage extends from your property policy, but there are limitations and restrictions and an endorsement or additional policy could be necessary. Have you thought about what would happen if you were injured outside of work? If you get hurt on the job worker’s compensation would cover you, if you are hurt on your own time that isn’t the case. A supplementary disability policy can be obtained to provide financial stability for you while you recover from an injury or illness.

Contact a California Insurance Broker

After taking a look at some of the above items it may turn out that your current carrier is no longer the best fit for you. In that case if you are insured with an Insurance Broker your insurance can then be shopped in house and the right carrier can be found while keeping your relationship with your agent. It is important to note this should not be strictly related to price. Insurance is not something to be shopped to the lowest bidder. You are dealing with your financial livelihood and saving a few dollars is great, but not when you are diminishing your coverage by more than 100 fold in some cases. It is important to find coverage and price point that allows you to be both financially fit and fully insured. The specialized account managers at Engle & Associates can help you gain the coverage you need while keeping costs manageable for your insurance budget.