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March 9, 2016 - 3 Ways to Spring Clean Your Insurance

March 09, 2016

Spring cleaning is the annual ritual of clearing out the accumulated dust and debris of winter for a fresh new spring. This year, as you sweep away the dust bunnies, do some spring cleaning on your insurance as well.

1. Give your auto insurance a check up

When is the last time you reviewed your auto policy and rates? Ask your insurance professional to review your premiums for competitiveness in the market. Ask about any discounts you might get for professional associations or bundling policies with the same insurance company. If you have an older car, comprehensive insurance may not make sense if repairs from a major accident would probably exceed the car’s value.

2. Go over your homeowner’s policy

While your insurance expert is reviewing your auto policy, ask about your homeowner’s policy as well. Make sure that your premiums are competitive and that you don’t have any gaps in coverage. Also consider whether the policy still fits your needs. If you have made major renovations to your home, you might be underinsured and will need to increase your coverage. If you have purchased expensive jewelry or electronics you might also need to add riders to help ensure that you’re fully protected against theft or loss. Make certain your home inventory is updated and add pictures of all your new possessions. If you have antiques or heirloom pieces, consider having them appraised for their insurance value.

3. Review and update your life insurance beneficiaries

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your life insurance policy very often. If you haven’t reviewed your beneficiaries in some time, it’s a good idea to do so. Remember, life insurance benefits will go to whichever beneficiary is on file, even if your will or estate strategies specify different heirs. Many a family has been shocked when an outdated life insurance policy provided a windfall for an ex-spouse. Confirm that your beneficiaries are current and consider adding secondary or contingent beneficiaries in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you.

Next Steps

As you gear up for spring, take the time to do a quick review of your insurance policies. Like most financial strategies, insurance isn’t set-and-forget and regular check ups will help them keep up with changes in your life and help you ensure you’re getting what you need and not paying for what you don’t.