How often should you update your insurance policies?
It may be hard to know just how often you need to go back and take a look at your various insurance policies. How often should you update them? It is different depending on what kind of insurance you are talking about. Home insurance policies can be a tricky thing. Sometimes things change and new things can happen. Owning a home is quite a great thing but it also requires one heck of a lot of responsibility. The most important thing about finally owning your own home is being sure that it is insured properly and that you are taken care of the correct way. This means you will have to update it regularly of course. You will not necessarily have the benefit of keeping the same insurance policy as the one that you started out with. It is relatively simple to maintain your insurance policy but the big deal is understanding when it is time to update it.
Make sure that you stay current with your insurance coverage. The way you can do this is to check on your home insurance policy at regular intervals. Check on it often as it is always good to know what your current policy covers. Never just guess, make sure you are one hundred percent positive as to what you are covered for, as the consequences could be quite dire indeed. Replacement coverage may not be enough in today’s market. It may cost more than was initially believed to rebuild any damages that could happen. Rebuilding prices are always rising and it would be good to know that you are safe. You want to be sure you have enough funds to repair, replace, or rebuild anything that can be damaged if it comes to that.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you for any reason add any type of big upgrade to your home, that it needs to be thought about how it will affect your home insurance policy. Cost and protection is why you will need to consider this. You want to be sure that any damage that is mistakenly done will be covered. If you do not update your policy, you may find you will be paying for the damage done yourself. Rebuilding price is always rising as stated above and can end up costing you a pretty penny indeed. Even if the improvement does not seem to be that big of a deal such as new flooring/new carpets etc. it does not matter. You need to update your insurance policy as soon as any project you begin is finished. Things that are added on to the outside of your dwelling (such as pools) will also need to be covered.
One improvement on your home that will actually lower your home insurance premiums is a home security system. On top of lowering your premiums it will also make your home a safer place. So any time that you make any change to your home make sure you update your insurance policy.
So that covers your home insurance policy but what about your life insurance policy? It is really similar to the home insurance policy really. Any time a big change occurs in your life it is time to update you policy. If you get married it is time to update your policy. If you have kids it is time to update your policy. When you buy a new home or make a large investment and any time that your income drastically changes. You want to make sure the limits and beneficiaries reflect your family’s needs. You do not want to leave them in a lurch after all.
What about disability insurance? It is always very important to make sure that your disability insurance is up to date. Each year, the company that takes care of your needs will send you information about your current policy. Make sure you look it over and make sure you note anything that has changed since the last time. If you pay on an increasing scale, premiums will go up annually. You want to take note of this so you know if you can afford the raising premiums. If you ended up getting a new job it is very important to take a look at your disability insurance. As long as you pay your premiums, you will not have to worry if your pay is lower than before. You want to make sure that you know whether or not your new job is offering some sort of group disability insurance policy.
Make sure you know the ins and outs of the new policy. Does their view on disability reflect what you had last time? Make sure that if they are paying the premiums then you may be taxable on the benefits that are awarded to you. You have to consider your new income whether it is higher or lower, employee benefits, and anything else that may affect your insurance policy.
Also if you have a sudden and drastic change in your personal health it is time to go through your insurance plan. You want to make sure you are fully covered for anything you may need to go through, even if it is not major. You should always think about increasing your insurance policy at every chance you get.
As with the other types of insurance if you end up having a significant change in your life it is also a good idea to look through your disability insurance to make sure if you are still covered in all the areas you need to be. Getting married, having a baby, or even splitting up in a divorce means it is time to go through your insurance plan.
Say you do not get divorced however, merely separated. Things can get tricky here and it is the same for all types of insurance. If neither you nor your partner has yet filed for divorce then it may be difficult to change your insurance plan without consent from your ex. A joint insurance plan cannot be changed if just one person from the party wants to change it.
If you are the one who ends up moving out of your home, make sure you get insured for your new place. Your old policy will only protect so much in a new home or apartment. When your divorce in finalized it is also time to get separate car insurance policies. You need to update the garaging address and how far the vehicle will be taking you to work.
Certain discounts may be lost to you after splitting with your partner. It is a good idea to keep in mind what you may be paying extra for so that it does not sneak up on you at an inopportune time. If children are in the mix you want to make sure that they are all covered no matter whose insurance they happen to be under. If any of them are driving, it may be smart to get them on both parent’s policies. If they are driving both your car and your ex’s, you need to make sure that your children are covered equally.
Your life insurance and health insurance also need to be updated. With such a radical change in your life you need to make sure that certain things are taken care of now that your partner is no longer in your life. If you were on their health plan, then it is time to go out and get your own. Once the divorce is final you will be on your own unless something is worked out with your ex partner.
So remember, any time a significant change occurs in your life, it is time to update your insurance policies. Do not put things off because you “simply do not have the time”, if you do, you may very well be setting yourself up for a rough time up ahead.