But I bet those resolutions did not include calling your local insurance agent.
Insurance can be dull. I get that.
But an annual review is an important habit that helps protect your financial security. As your life changes, so also should your insurance.
Here are 5 life changes that should prompt a call to your agent:
1. Married, divorced or widowed.
This one is at the top of my list.
Marital status changes often affect your auto, homeowners, and life insurance. The joy or sadness of these events makes it easy to forget the importance of calling your agent when they happen. These life changes require a thorough review of your insurance.
2. Teenage driver.
Two things that can increase your risk (and possibly raise your premium): Did your teenager get their permit or license last year? Second, did your teenager get their own car? These events change your auto insurance. Lots of people want to ignore these inconvenient realities, but they are ignored at their peril. The good news is that by working with your agent, you can still find ways to keep your premium down.
3. New baby.
Whether it’s a “brand new to the world” tiny baby, or the adoption of a child of any age, a new child in your home means many new responsibilities. One of those responsibilities (one that’s often forgotten) is to make sure you’ve updated the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies. You also need to make sure that you still have enough life insurance.
4. Housing: Moved or renovated.
Buying or selling a home, or renovating your existing home- these all may change your insurance needs. I find when I’m doing insurance reviews that many people are over or underinsured. Both situations are bad. The worst time to find out that you are underinsured is after a fire. Even adding structures outside of your home can affect your insurance. If you’ve added a deck, a pool, a storage shed, or a garage, call your agent.
5. New valuables.
If your economy has gotten better, you may have purchased some nice things recently. You may assume that these are automatically covered by your insurance. But that’s not always the case. Collectables, jewelry, fine art, and even some expensive electronics- these may require additional coverage.
This list isn’t exhaustive. There are other life and property changes that may require a phone call to your agent. Are you retiring soon? Has a child gone off to college? Have you purchased a collector car? How about your driving patterns; is your mileage increasing or decreasing? Are you using your car more and more for your business? These things matter.
Call your local agent this week and set up a time to review your policies. It could make a big difference for you in 2017. Happy New Year!
Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates helping clients with insurance needs for personal, commercial and business insurance. Bruce can be reached at 707-931-0186, firstname.lastname@example.org