Insurance Review: Are Your Policies Protecting You at the Right Price?

Having the right insurance policies in place can soften the blows from unexpected events that would otherwise mean financial catastrophe for you and your family. But if you're like many people, you may not fully understand all the policies you have, let alone whether they're adequate to meet your needs.

As part of your annual financial checkup, here are some tips to help you assess your current coverage and decide whether you need to make any changes.

Home Is Where the Risk Is

Homeowners insurance may protect you financially in the event of everything from natural disasters to household mishaps. But as millions of homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy found out the hard way, standard homeowners insurance doesn't protect you against every type of danger.

One of the most common mistakes people make about homeowners insurance is thinking that it covers flood damage. But typical policies specifically exclude flood damage from their coverage. To get flood protection, you have to obtain additional insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Similarly, in earthquake-prone areas, you may need to get special earthquake coverage added to your policy, or else it won't necessarily cover damage from a quake.

Even if you have good homeowners insurance, it may not cover all of your belongings. Often, insurers will only cover up to a certain amount for high-value items like jewelry, cash, and artwork as part of their base policies. You'll need to add special provisions for protection above that amount. So if you've obtained any particularly valuable items in the past year, talk to your insurance company about what you need to do to get them covered.

A Matter of Life and Death

The reason we need life insurance is something no one likes to think about, but a policy can be invaluable in providing for your family if something happens to you. Even if you already have coverage, though, doing an annual insurance checkup can lead to cost savings.

As life expectancy has risen over the years, prices of term life insurance policies have generally fallen. So for instance, if you bought a 20-year term life policy 10 years ago, you may find that rates have fallen enough that obtaining a new 10-year policy could actually be cheaper than continuing to pay to retain your existing coverage.

The major area where people make insurance adjustments is in how much coverage to have. Family events like getting married or having a child can boost your insurance needs, so talk to your agent about whether your current policies provide enough benefits to overcome the financial burden your family would face if something happened to you.

Taking a Healthy Interest

Another area where a beginning-of-the-year review makes sense is in health insurance. By now, you should have most of your 2012 medical bills in, and looking at what you spent on health care over the past 12 months can give you valuable information about what type of health insurance is best for you.

Many people pay for expensive insurance plans even when they never use the vast majority of the benefits they provide. By looking at your expenses now, you'll be ready the next time open enrollment season comes around to make smart decisions about your health insurance choices — potentially saving you a boatload in insurance premium savings while still getting the same benefits you currently use.
What Are Your Wheels Worth?

Auto insurance is expensive, but it's vital to protect you from liability and injury in an accident. Still, you can produce substantial savings by making regular adjustments to your coverage.

One of the easiest ways to save big comes from dropping collision and comprehensive coverage from your policy. Typically, when you have a new car, having collision and comprehensive coverage is smart to protect you from a major loss. Yet as your vehicle ages, the value of collision and comprehensive coverage goes down. Giving that coverage up once your vehicle's value drops below a certain point will produce noticeable monthly savings that you can apply toward a new vehicle or other savings goals.

http://www.dailyfinance.com

Ask

insurance

Popular Q&A

What happens if someone hits your rental car?
If the dent is small in size first check what your deductibles are, then go in to the office file a claim with them. If you have a high deductible (500+) request that they wait on filing a claim with your insurance company because the damage is relatively small and there is no reason to potentially...

My husband and I are moving to Ohio?
If you're talking about your husband having a job at a nuclear power plant, the two closest plants are at Perry to the north and Beaver Valley to the east in Pennsylvania. Neither are a very short commute from Akron/Canton.If you want to experience snow and avoid heat, you'll be happier in...

Looking for the Nebraska division corporate offices of Farm Bureau Insurance?
You should contact your agent to deal with this issue.I did a quick peek, and it doesn't appear that there is a corporate claims office in Nebraska. Their corporate address is: P.O. Box 27427 Raleigh, NC 27611-7427Many times an insurance company uses a local independent adjusting firm to...

What car insurance company is offering me a better deal?
This question gets asked many times each day, it depends on where you live, how much coverage you are going to want, who else is in the household, and the credit score of the ownerPretty much any insurance broker or agent should be able to help you, just search around till you fing someone...

What insurance considerations are there on Vancouver Island?
There is no website one can refer you to because no one has ever done a study of that. You can always contact Environment Canada to discuss weather phenomenon, the geology department as University of Victoria to discuss earthquakes, the RCMP as well as Victoria and Oak Bay police to discuss...