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16 Life Changes To Tell Your Insurance Agent About

By June 7, 2024No Comments

Life doesn’t stop after you obtain insurance coverage. Maybe you added that much-needed extra bathroom to your home or inherited your grandparents’ precious antiques. Perhaps your teenager is going to college or you’re starting a new business. It’s easy to get caught up in life and not consider your protection. This is just a gentle reminder that you’ll need to adjust your insurance coverage to align with your new circumstances.

Whether you’ll need more or less coverage or maybe you’ll be eligible for a discount, take a look at these 16 examples of when it’s time to talk with your insurance agent.

Getting married or divorced: Many insurance companies offer benefits like marriage discounts, multicar discounts and bundled insurance policies. If you’re getting married, you should insure your wedding and engagement rings since they’ll probably exceed the $2,500 jewelry limit in standard homeowners or renters policies. Create a new home inventory and increase your personal property coverage when you combine your belongings. If you’re going through a divorce, inform your agent. (Some divorce decrees specify insurance requirements.) You should adjust your policies, update names and review your life insurance beneficiaries.

Buying, renting or moving to a new residence: It would be terrible to lose your home in a fire or hurricane only to find out you’re not insured. Make sure your policy limits are high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home based on market value. Even if you don’t own a place, you and your belongings need protection. A renters insurance policy will cover your personal belongings and offer added liability coverage, in case someone is injured on your property and sues you.

Purchasing a car: Tell your insurance agent if you buy a new vehicle. They’ll need to know the make, model and vehicle identification number. Your insurance rate may change significantly depending on the type of vehicle and your residence.

Becoming a business owner, even if it’s a home-based business: No matter where your business is or how big it is, you’ll need coverage to ensure everything is properly protected. Take note of your business operations, even if you just have a home business. If you use your car for business or store merchandise and supplies at home, you’ll need extra coverage. Ask your agent if a business owners policy (BOP) is right for you.

Doing home renovations: Major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, remodeling your kitchen or enclosing a porch, can put you at risk of being underinsured. An increase in the value of the structure may require an increase to your homeowners insurance coverage limits.

Having a new teen driver: When your teenager gets their driver’s permit or license, they need to be properly insured. Teen insurance can be pricy, so make sure they attend all the necessary drivers education classes and keep up their school grades. And remember to inform your agent so you can take advantage of any discounts.

Acquiring something expensive: Any time you inherit or buy something valuable, you should reevaluate the contents coverage portion of your home or renters insurance policy. The policy limits may not be high enough. Compare the cost of increasing insurance on your valuables versus the cost of adding an umbrella policy to expand coverage over your home and auto. You can get an umbrella policy with $1 million or more in coverage.

Heading off to college: If your college student is moving to on-campus or off-campus housing, you should review your insurance policies to make sure their personal possessions and vehicle are adequately covered.

Joining a carpool: If you’re a regular carpool driver, your liability insurance should reflect the increased risk of additional passengers in the vehicle.

Installing a security or smart home system: Security systems deter theft. Some smart home systems, like whole-house water shut-off systems, also prevent catastrophic structural damage. Call your agent about insurance discounts for these systems, even if you’re only in the planning stages.

Switching mortgage or auto lenders: Payments can get confusing if your old lender is listed on your policy. Your insurance company may need to issue a check to you and your lender when there’s a claim. Having the wrong lender listed can delay claims processing or payments for premiums and leave you temporarily uninsured.

Driving less: Working from home, living closer to your office or joining a carpool will reduce your mileage. Auto insurance companies consider less mileage a lower risk, so you might be rewarded with a less expensive rate.

Buying a second home: Whether a beachfront property or a mountain getaway, don’t skimp on insurance. Good insurance is especially important if your second home will be vacant for long periods. If you rent your second home, ask your agent about landlord insurance.

Traveling internationally: If you plan to drive outside the U.S., your current coverage may not protect you abroad. For example, Mexico requires that all drivers have Mexican auto insurance. If you don’t, you can be fined or jailed in addition to not being covered in an accident.

Having your identity stolen: If you’ve been the victim of this kind of crime, you may want to invest in identity theft or cyber liability coverage to protect yourself and your family in the future.

Retiring: You might be able to get a discount on your homeowners insurance when you retire. And if you regularly commuted to your job, your annual mileage may drop significantly.

These are just 16 key examples of the most common instances of when it’s time to keep your insurance agent in the loop. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to update your insurance agent as your circumstances change so you don’t find yourself under or over insured. They’ll help you offset your financial liability, protect what’s important to you, and help you keep your costs in-line.

Contact V.F. McNeil Insurance today with any questions you have about your insurance.

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