Insurance Coverage Checkup
IS YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE ADEQUATE?
The world is always changing. Prices go up and down (well, mostly up), materials availability fluctuates, families’ situations evolve.
As all those things change, so do your insurance needs. That’s why it’s a good idea to revisit your policies every year to make sure you’re not over- or underinsured.
Between rising costs of goods and services and the severity of storms, the costs of repairing or replacing just about everything has been going up and up over the last few years.
Climate change is another consideration: if current trends continue, adverse weather events will happen more often, and with more severity. Even if you live where the weather stays clement and your house and living conditions stay the same, your home’s value may have increased quite a bit in the last few years due to the rising costs of building supplies, which could mean you’re currently underinsured.
If you don’t have a personal liability umbrella policy, discuss with your agent whether you should invest in one. An umbrella policy helps protect you from large claims by providing additional liability coverage above and beyond your homeowners and auto policies. It also covers some risks excluded by other policies.
According to consumeraction.org, there are some life changes that could make buying an umbrella policy (or increasing the coverage on an existing policy) something to consider:
- You have a teen driver on your auto insurance policy (much higher likelihood of an accident)
- Your assets have greatly increased (However, even people with modest assets might want to add or increase an umbrella policy to protect their future earnings in case they lose a lawsuit.)
- You’ve purchased rental property
- You’ve joined the board of directors of a non-profit
LEARN MORE: RESOURCES
Experts recommend that you revisit your policy package once a year to make sure you’re neither over- nor underinsured.
- Your own local insurance professional can help you understand what coverages, and how much coverage, is right for you.
- The Insurance Information Institute’s “10 questions to help you conduct a quick review of your changing insurance needs.”
- Consumer Action’s “Time for an Insurance Checkup,” a guide to assessing and adjusting your insurance coverage, available for download from insurance-education.org, a site maintained by Consumer Action as part of its Insurance Education Project .
- Wise Up: the Savvy Consumer’s Guide to Buying Insurance,” available for $12 from United Policyholders (UP), a non-profit whose mission is to offer information about all types of insurance.
Sources: Consumer Action: Insurance Education Project, United Policyholders, Insurance Information Institute
Blog Credit to our Partner: Grinnell Mutual