As you roll into the new year, you might look back at last year and think that a lot has happened in just 365 days. Maybe you’ve moved, found the love of your life, or faced trials and tribulations brought on by once-in-a-century circumstances. You might even be wondering if now is the right time to change up your insurance policies based on the last year’s events. Well, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to start adjusting your game plan for protecting you and your loved ones from what could happen over the coming year. Here are a couple questions to ask yourself as you evaluate whether or not to make changes to your auto, motorcycle, life, homeowners or renters policies in the new year.
Have I Just Reached or Am I Anticipating Hitting Any Major Milestones this Year?
Sometimes it’s hard to predict what will happen in the coming year. But some things can be easy to plan for – a daughter turning 16, buying a home, moving, or an upcoming marriage. If any of these events, or others like them, are on the horizon (or just happened), it might be time to make some changes to your policies.
A New Driver in the Family
If you’re about to have a new driver in the family, congrats! But before they get behind the wheel, they’re going to need the right coverage. When your teenager receives their license, you’ll either want to add them to your existing auto insurance policy or help them purchase a separate policy. Call your agent to discuss the best options for your family.
Moving to a New Home
Whether you move across the street or across the country, you might need to make changes to your existing policies.
For starters, each state’s auto insurance laws are different. So, if you move out of state, your existing auto coverage may or may not meet the minimum requirements for your new home. If you move somewhere like Florida, you might even have to purchase different coverages, like Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
No matter where you move, you might also need to adjust your homeowners or renters insurance. Depending on the size of your new space, the valuables inside, and the risks (like weather or chance of theft) of your new location, it’s worth having a conversation with your agent. If you’re a first-time homeowner, it’s probably time to talk about homeowners coverage. If you’re a homeowner, you might even be able to get a homeowner discount on your auto coverage!
Starting a Family
Do you hear wedding bells in your future, or did they just finish ringing? If so, it isn’t just your lives that could be merging. You could potentially save money by combining your auto insurance policies and take advantage of a multi-car or multi-product discount! Considering having kids or just have your first child? If so, or if you just want to be prepared, you might consider purchasing (or increasing the coverage on) a term life insurance policy. While it’s never fun to think about how your family would be taken care of should the unthinkable happen to you, it’s nice to have some sense of security. Subject to the terms and conditions in the policy, term life insurance is guaranteed to pay out a predetermined coverage amount as long as your premium is paid. This can help cover loss of income or funeral expenses during a tough period of time.
Did I Have Sufficient Coverage Last Year?
Rethinking the types and levels of coverage you have and what you might need is a good start to securing a new protection plan that’s right for you. And after any stresses of the last year, it’s understandable if you feel like you need to adjust your coverage amounts or add/drop different types of coverage.
If you were involved in a car accident last year, maybe you want to consider increasing your liability limits or adding collision or comprehensive coverage to help protect your wallet a little more this year. If you were the victim of a hit and run, perhaps you want to consider adding uninsured motorist coverage for the first time. That way you won’t be left paying a large sum out of pocket for someone else’s careless driving.
On the other hand, if you had a relatively quiet year behind the wheel or on your bike, maybe you want to cut down on your monthly payments. If you’re not driving as much or if you’ve had a very safe 12-month period, maybe you want to consider raising your deductible, or depending on the age and financed status of your car, you may want to evaluate whether you need to keep comprehensive/collision coverage. With a higher deductible, you could reduce your monthly payment. However, with a higher deductible, or if you choose to drop your comprehensive and collision coverage, you want to make sure you have enough cushion in your bank account to pay for damages done to your car if you have an auto accident, as you’ll need to pay more out of your own pocket.
Feeling generally uncertain or hesitant about the future? That’s understandable! We always recommend being prepared and having some hard conversations, even if they’re not fun. Talking about term life insurance for the first time (or upping your coverage amounts) could provide you and your family with valuable peace of mind, even if it’s a little unpleasant to think about upfront.
Still feeling unsure about all of your different options? We’re here for you! Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you find the right auto, life, or renters coverage.