A quick look at your calendar will tell you it's about that time—when your insurance is up for renewal. Regardless of what type of insurance it is, from home, auto, or business, it's often easy to continue your same coverage from one year to the next.
However, that approach might not always be the best solution for your needs. So when renewing insurance, pay attention to some key factors that may end up saving you time and money in the long run. Here's what you need to know.
1. Review Coverage for Potential Gaps
A lot can change in a year. For example, maybe you got a new job or added another member to your family. In that case, you may find a policy that covered all your needs eleven months ago might have some gaps now. Look at your current policy and ask your independent insurance agent if there are areas where you need more coverage.
2. Adjust Add-ons
Depending on the type of insurance, for example, your automotive coverage, there might be supplemental add-ons to your policy. While, in many cases, these can provide extra protection, there may be some instances where you realize you don't need it anymore. Review what add-ons you have with your independent insurance agent and determine if they are no longer necessary or if you need to increase coverage.
3. Consider Changes in Risk
Life events happen, you might find yourself in a job that's a bit risker than your last, or vice versa. In that case, you'll want to consider your new risk levels and if the policies you have now will provide adequate coverage. Changes in your credit score may impact your premiums too. If you've raised your score since the last renewal, for example, you could be considered less risky and get a better rate.
4. Prepare for a Rate Increase
There's no guarantee your insurance will increase year over year, but it's never a bad idea to anticipate that it likely will. It may be especially true if something has happened during the past year that could impact your rate. Here's one example, If you got into a fender bender, your car insurance premium will probably increase.
5. Go Over Your Personal Details
Don't forget to go over your personal details on any insurance policy you have. Changes big and small such as age, marital status, or location can all impact your coverage. For example, you may have forgotten to update your new address during the hustle and bustle of a move. Now is the perfect time to see what that change might do to your homeowners coverage.
6. Check to See if You Can Change Coverage
You might also decide that you're unhappy with your current coverage and want something new. Maybe the policy you have just isn't hitting all of your needs, or you've moved out of a geographic coverage area. In this case, check and see what your options are for canceling your renewal.
7. Weigh Cost vs. Value
While reviewing all your other personal details, consider both the rates and the value you're getting from your provider. Before your renewal date, ask your independent insurance agent to help you find the right coverage at the right price. A policy that offers a combination of great customer service at an affordable rate may be the best option for your needs.
8. Explore Bundling Options
Many insurers offer the option to bundle a couple of different types of coverage under one bundle. A common example is home and auto insurance. Bundling your coverage can typically help you save money over having each policy separately. So as you prepare for renewal, ask your independent insurance agent if this is an option for you.
9. Read Your Coverage Triggers
Insurance is often something you rarely think about—until the moment you need it. As your renewal date approaches, make sure you understand how your policy works and what to do if you need to file a claim. Nuances between policies could make all the difference. For example, with renters insurance, know what kind of water damage your policy can help cover and how to file a claim if you suffer damage.
10. Look at Your Beneficiaries
As you're taking the time to review your policies before the renewal dates, also look at who you've listed as your beneficiaries. In many cases, the person you listed a year ago might not change, but sometimes, events and life changes happen that can impact your choice. If you have a life insurance policy, it's critical to review your beneficiaries regularly.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you're working with someone who understands your insurance needs and has your back. Reach out to your local trustedchoice.com agent to learn more about your insurance options.