Your insurance is like the safety net that cushions you when life’s unexpected twists and turns pop up. Insurance safeguards your home, cars, and even your life, but remember, the effectiveness of your insurance policy greatly depends on the amount of coverage you choose and on the information you share with your insurance agent.
After all, how can your insurance agent know to enhance your liability coverage if they don’t know you added a pool? Not to mention, you could be missing out on some cost-saving measures by keeping things from your insurance agent.
From changes in your life circumstances to alterations in your property, let’s look at some of the often overlooked aspects that can have a real impact on your insurance coverage.
When You Buy or Sell Your Car
Your car insurance coverage and cost depends a lot on the vehicle you have, so naturally you need to let your insurance agent know as soon as possible when you’ve changed vehicles.
Some people think the dealership will handle that for them among all the other paperwork, but that’s not on their to-do list.
This is important because if your new car is not on your policy (and you’re in an accident), you could be in trouble. Not to mention, you don’t want to keep an old car no one is driving on your policy.
Finally, the DMV could run an insurance check and suspend your license for not having the proper coverage.
Change in Regular Vehicle Use
This is something many people don’t think of but it can actually help save you money!
When you purchased your car insurance policy, you may have estimated driving 15,000 miles a year. If you’ve since switched to a work-from-home job and drive only 100 miles a week, that’s something you should let your agent know about.
On the flip side, if you’ve decided to start driving for Uber or Lyft or another delivery service, you’ll need to add coverage to your existing policy.
Similarly, if you have a new driver in the family, your insurance agent needs to know.
Updates to Your Home or Car
We’ll discuss home renovation projects in a minute, but first, what are minor updates to your home or auto?
Things like software updates to your car, advanced security systems in your car or home, water sensors, and more preventative measures can save you some cash on your insurance premiums—but only if your agent knows about them.
Before you start remodeling the home of your dreams, let your insurance agent know about your plans. Depending on the work, you might need a Builders Risk policy which covers you during the construction period.
The work you do might also mean a new Replacement Cost Estimate is needed so your coverage can be adjusted afterward. Remember, your insurance is there to protect you in the event of a disaster, but if your insurance carrier doesn’t know everything they need to be covering, it’s going to fall short.
Change of Residency
When you move, even if it’s in the same city, your insurance can change. For example, car insurance in one zip code might be higher than another because of the incidence of accidents.
When it comes to your home, if you decide to move but keep your current home as a rental property, your insurance carrier needs to know about the change of use.
Changing Mortgage or Auto-Lenders
Your insurance needs the correct information on record when it comes to filing a claim. Moreover, many lenders will require proof that they’re listed on your insurance, so not letting your agent know could result in problems down the road.
Like the situation with car dealerships, this is your job to let your insurance know about the change.
Getting a Dog
Pets are not always covered under standard liability coverage, and some carriers will not cover certain dog breeds.
If you’re planning to add a dog to your household, check with your insurance first so you know if you’ll be covered or if you’ll need to shop for a new carrier.
Purchasing High Value Items
Jewelry and fine goods require special insurance coverage, so don’t just assume if your agent already knows about one expensive necklace, the others will be covered too.
Remember, your insurance coverage only extends as far as you allow it.
Change in Marital Status
Getting married means combining auto and home policies, adjusting life insurance beneficiaries, and more. And the opposite is true of getting divorced.
Similarly, having kids might change your coverage needs in and out of the home.
Starting a Business
Your personal home or auto insurance doesn’t apply to your business life, even if your business operates out of your home. You need separate business insurance policies to ensure everything is properly covered.
Work With an Independent Insurance Agency for the Best Results
Updating your insurance policies can be a long, confusing process, but not if you’re working with an independent insurance agency like Darr Schackow.
We work hard to get you the exact coverage you need, no matter the situation. And when it comes to changes in your life, we’ll help you stay on budget with your coverage and maybe save you a few bucks along the way.
Contact us today for a quote on your car, home, boat, and so much more.