Spring Cleaning Your Insurance Policies
Spring cleaning means swapping out sweaters and cold weather gear for lighter frocks. Cleaning out clutter and getting outdoors to spruce up the yard or the exterior of your home. It also means it’s the perfect time to do some spring cleaning on your insurance coverage and policies.
You don’t need to be just a homeowner to take advantage of the refresh either. Spring cleaning your insurance is a good idea across any personal line of insurance policy.
Evaluating and updating your insurance policy regularly can help you save money, ensure you have adequate coverage, improve service, and give you peace of mind in case of emergencies or unexpected incidents.
Check out these few things to consider in evaluating your insurance this Spring:
1. Verify you can still afford your deductibles
Did your situation change last year presenting an issue to pay the deductible should you need to file a claim? High deductibles on home and auto policies can save you money on your premiums, but what happens if you can’t afford the deductible should trouble happen? Get into the habit of annually evaluating your ability to pay deductibles across all your policies.
2. Check if you are covered enough or if you are covered too much
Insurance coverage is never the same for everyone, as each person has unique circumstances and situations requiring personalization on what is protected. Even more importantly, the insurance coverage you purchased in the early days, may not be applicable as the years go by. Changes in assets such as owning more high-value items, changes in lifestyle like getting married or divorced, starting a family, getting pets, driving more expensive cars, or paying off items you once financed all impact your policy coverage requirements. You may have reduced assets such as selling personal items or downsizing; all of which will necessitate a change in required coverage.
It’s why it is important to review your insurance coverage every year and ensure the coverage you need matches what you own and accounts for lifestyle changes to ensure you always have just the right amount of insurance protection.
Umbrella insurance provides extra liability protection beyond standard auto and homeowners insurance, and can supplement current coverage for vehicles and home or condo.
3. Check to see if you have additional discounts you qualify to receive
You may qualify for additional discounts you didn’t the year before, so use the time to find out your eligibility to lower homeowners and auto insurance premiums through available discounts. What about bundling? Do you carry separate policies for home or renters and auto? You can save on average more than 22% on bundling policies. Are you a safe driver or do you have a teen driver with excellent grades? Did your credit score improve? All of these scenarios can make an impact on the premiums you pay.
Spring cleaning your policies also ensures discounts are being applied correctly. Depending on individual circumstances there may be discounts available based on age (such as student discounts) or other criteria. These must be reviewed periodically since they can change over time due to external factors such as rising costs associated with providing services/coverage.
4. Verify you know the total value of your personal property and if everything is covered
More commonly than not, people don’t take the time to properly inventory personal possessions or they don’t do it at all which is worse. Unfortunately, this leads to not having enough personal property coverage when needed. Keeping a current and accurate home inventory is crucial to ensuring everything you own is accounted for, while homeowners should be diligent to not overlook belongings as a way to keep insurance costs down.
It is likely over the course of the year you added new belongings to your home, so now is the time to inventory those items and ensure your policy covers the actual value of your property.
Additionally, don’t automatically accept the amount of content coverage named in your policy. Read the policy and verify there are no gaps in coverage, check dollar limits, and exclusions on personal property.
5. Check if you need flood insurance
If you answered no, spring is the perfect time to reconsider. Homes in low-risk flood areas account for more than 20% of flood insurance claims, so even if you think you aren’t at risk, low-risk does not mean no risk. In fact, an inch of water can cause up to $20,000 of damage, and standard homeowners policies don’t cover flooding.
6. Review if your driving habits have changed
Are you using your car for business purposes such as ridesharing or for tasks associated with your company? Did your teen get their driver’s license or have they went away to college? DId you have any changes to the drivers listed on your policy? Any of these need to be reported as they can significantly affect coverage or even leave you without coverage. In fact, not reporting a car being used for ridesharing may even get you dropped by your insurance carrier.
7. Reassess comprehensive/collision coverage
Verify limits are adequate and whether or not you need it. If you drive an older car worth less than $1000 or 10x the insurance premium, having this type of coverage may no longer be advised. Dropping it from your auto policy may reduce your premium.
8. Do you drive less than you did last year?
Driving less often means you’re not exposed to as many crashes and other hazardous situations on the road. Sharing your low mileage estimate with the Nudge Money team could save money on your auto premium.
9. Did you acquire valuable possessions
Items such as expensive furniture, artwork, or jewelry need to be accounted for to stay protected. Did you remodel or renovate your property? These change the value of your home, and depending on the remodel or renovation, you may qualify for additional discounts because of upgrading parts of your home like electrical wiring, plumbing, or adding gas or water sensors.
10. Verify any changes to beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are individuals who will receive benefits after death, and should also be updated any time there is a change in contact information (e-mail address), marital status etc., so payouts can go out without delays due to incorrect information.
Spring Cleaning Your Insurance
Spring cleaning is all about refreshing things up, including insurance policies. Taking the time to re-evaluate your coverage against changes and requirements can help you save and works to develop a personalized plan meeting all your needs. Be sure to speak with the Nudge Money team and take full advantage of the spring season change-up by polishing up those policies!
Covered or Not, We're Here to Help!
If you are a Nudge Money user, reach out and we can help spring clean your policies and ensure you are starting new spring season off right being perfectly protected.
If you are not a Nudge Money user, be sure to speak with one of our in-house Insurance Advisors who are ready to help switch your policy or current carrier, as well as find you all the discounts you may qualify to receive.