Insurance does not go on sale during Black Friday. Tax-free holidays don’t send consumers running to their insurance agents. And you will have to scroll Instagram for quite a long time before you reach a post boasting of a newly purchased insurance policy, hashtag #score.
It’s not a glamorous purchase.
But having ample coverage ensures that you are covered in a car accident, protects your home from being taken during a lawsuit and, perhaps most crucially of all, guarantees your family will have financial protection after your death. It’s not pretty, but it’s pretty important.
Timing is Everything
When it comes to evaluating, changing and buying insurance, timing is everything. When should you review your insurance coverage? Experts say life events often trigger the need to change coverage. For example:
Marriage and divorce. Marriage, which increases a household from one to two, requires additional coverage. “That’s when some people realize they need insurance,’’ said Mike Rzeszutek, Hanscom FCU AVP Sales and Training.
Empty nesting. A change in household size can affect the cost of insurance coverage.
Heading to college. Students who head off to college with their cars may need different coverage since the zip code where they will keep their vehicle is different. This can be a particular consideration if the student takes a vehicle to a college out of state.
College students can also get a break by hitting the books. Most insurance carriers will give customers a “good student discount’’ if their grades are solid, often a 3.0 or higher, said Lisa Deedy, a vice president with insurance managing agency Insuritas.
They may not enroll in Insurance 101, but students on their own for the first time should learn the basics of their policies, she added.
“They need to understand the liability of getting behind the wheel and the repercussions of an accident. People don’t always go out of their way to understand their coverage. It looks like a bunch of numbers but it’s important for them to understand what they are paying for,” said Deedy.
Moving. “This plays a big role in your insurance,’’ said Deedy. Insurance costs can increase or drop, depending on where the move is – such as transitions from city to suburb. Renters insurance is another consideration said Deedy. “Encourage a roommate to also have coverage,” she said.
Perform an Annual Checkup
Besides a major life event, there are other times when evaluating insurance makes sense. For example, did you build an addition on your home, add a shed or a pool (which is serious fun but also can be a serious liability) or renovate your basement? These changes should trigger a look at the specifics of your homeowners’ policy.
“Insurance experts recommend you evaluate your insurance policies on an annual basis,” said Jim Potter, Hanscom FCU SVP Operations. He added that the best time of year to review your insurance policies is sixty days prior to the policy renewal date or – in the case of purchasing an automobile or home – when a creditor is requiring an insurance policy.
Take stock when considering insurance. Remember: Being prepared is never a liability.
“Insurance products are unique,’’ said Lisa Deedy. “A lot of personal data goes into building that equation. You can’t take the advice of your neighbor or a co-worker.’’
Shop around, talk to a professional and you can have peace of mind, ensured.
To find a professional to assist you in evaluating your insurance coverage, visit the Hanscom Insurance Agency LLC website.