It’s a fresh new year, and while you’re well on your way to achieving all your New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to review your insurance coverage at the beginning of each year to make sure you don’t have any coverage gaps. Here is a checklist of what you should revisit each year for all your insurance policies.
An annual auto insurance policy checkup is just as important as taking your car in for service. If you’re like most policyholders, your payments are scheduled each month, and your insurance automatically renews yearly. This doesn’t leave much (if any) time for reviewing your policy and updating your agent about what has changed in the previous 365 days! Consider these changes when you review your car insurance at the beginning of each year.
- State Cell Phone Laws: Many states passed stricter laws on cell phone use while driving in the last few years. Some phones now even come with a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature to help avoid distraction from incoming notifications. Make sure you’re up to date with the newest cell phone laws in your state. If talking on the phone and texting while driving isn’t illegal in your state, we encourage you to make a family rule that cell phones should always be put away while driving. Learn More.
- Vehicle Age: As your vehicle ages its value can decrease. There are many ways to save money while still having proper coverage. Call your insurance agent, and discuss some of the pros and cons of lowering your coverage as your vehicle matures.
- New Drivers: Kids become teenagers quickly! Before you know it your youngest child is getting a driver’s permit. Even if your teenager doesn’t have their own vehicle, they need to be added to your policy.
- Driving Plans: Do you plan on driving more or less this year than last year? Do you have a big family road trip scheduled for 2018? Consider adding some additional coverage or dropping coverage you no longer need. Call your agent to brainstorm how you can save money while still having peace of mind.
- Emergency Kit: Double-check nothing is missing from your vehicle emergency kit. Check out this blog post to learn what items to include in your kit.
Home and Farmowners Insurance
Reviewing your home or farmowner policy may not be high on your New Year checklist, but it is well worth the time and effort. Reviewing your policy will save you money and frustration down the road. Consider these categories while evaluating your coverage.
- Improvement: Did you make renovations in 2017? A new kitchen, bathroom or a finished basement can significantly increase the value of your home. You may need to expand your coverage.
- Value: Most home values increase with time. If you have lived in your home for 10 years or more, you may have a coverage gap. The price you paid for your home could be very different than amount of money it would take to rebuild it today. Update your coverage to your home value opposed to the purchase price.
- Land or Valuables: Did you purchase new machinery for your farm or additional land? Update your agent at the beginning of each year to make sure your new assets are included in your coverage.
- Emergency Kit: Double-check nothing is missing from your home emergency kit and that your kit includes all necessary items. Learn more on our blog.
Additional Items To Review
There is more to your family safety than just your insurance coverage. Here are some other simple items to review and maintain now that another calendar year is in full swing.
- Change all your online passwords. Never use the same password for every account, and change passwords at least every year.
- Update your home inventory list with any new items you acquired last year.
- Change batteries in your smoke detectors, and install or update carbon monoxide detectors.
Now that your coverage and safety needs have been updated and double-checked, it’s time to celebrate an excellent start to a fantastic new year!