A Resolution Worth Keeping: Get an Insurance Checkup

by Ron Haynes

New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for being kept … for about 6 days. But there are several resolutions worth keeping this new year. One of them should be to review your insurance needs.

Let’s face it:  Your life changes on a daily basis but rarely do we make the needed tweaks and changes to our insurance coverages to keep up with those life changes. Insurance services are getting highly competitive and you can use that competitiveness to get a better price when you get your insurance checkup.

Types of insurance to review:

  • Car Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Homeowner’s or Renters Insurance

The great thing about insurance these days is you can do much of your research online and then compare your quotes. To get quotes on multiple types of insurance, you can try companies like InsureMe, or US Insurance Online. With either site you can easily get the multiple quotes you need to insure (no pun intended) you get the very best price and allow you to buy your insurance direct. Direct insurance is usually cheaper since you don’t deal with a broker.

Get FREE car insurance quotes from multiple providers like Travelers, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, Farmers, the Hartford and Liberty Mutual

Review your car insurance needs

I’m sure you’ve seen the car insurance wars on television commercials. With everyone and everything from the Geico gecko to the “Saver” from Esurance to the Allstate “Mayhem” guy hawking car insurance, it seems like all you have to do to save $452 on your car insurance is switch companies. But that isn’t the case at all.

The best way to save money on your car insurance is to:

  1. Only pay for coverage you actually need – if your car is worth less than $2,500, you might reconsider having full coverage.
  2. Don’t duplicate your medical coverage if you have good health insurance.
  3. Ask for every discount you can possibly get.
  4. Buy a car with safety features.
  5. Buy a car that isn’t in high demand by thieves.

Bottom line

Get multiple quotes from multiple companies and ask for discounts. Another one to consider is USAA auto insurance. Four out of every five people who request a FREE quote find that USAA Auto Insurance rates beat the competition.

Review your life insurance needs

Life insurance is very misunderstood, even by people selling it for a living. It isn’t just needed to replace income! It’s also needed to cover your final expenses … or the final expenses of your spouse, child, or other relative. Funerals aren’t cheap and can easily cost $10,000 or more. Couple that with the potential final medical expenses and deductibles and you could easily be looking at $20,000 to $30,000. THAT’S why I have life insurance on my children and my wife.

The best way to save money on your life insurance:

  1. Term insurance is generally the best bet, but life insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all.
  2. Buy coverage between 10 and 15 times the annual salary of the main breadwinner.
  3. Buy at least a small policy on non-breadwinners and children.
  4. If you’re not in the best of health (you smoke or are overweight), get another quote after you make any needed lifestyle changes.

Bottom line

Get quotes from multiple companies and ask about 10, 20, or 30 year level term life insurance. “Level” term means that the insurance company averages your term insurance costs over a period of time and allow you to pay too much for coverage in the early years but not quite enough in later years.

Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance needs

Homeowner’s insurance

Your homeowners insurance may be the most difficult to review simply because there are more variables than with other types of insurance. Homeowners insurance has several components and riders attached to it. Some things such as jewelry, guns, and furs are covered only to a small degree unless you add specific riders listing those items. You can add a personal liability rider in case you get sued personally. The components inside your house are covered in different ways depending on the policy. Some policies will replace your home and its contents based on their replacement costs, some will replace your home and its contents based on their value at the time of your loss.

Renter’s insurance

Renters insurance is a little easier because it only covers your personal belongings without insuring the structure. There are still some options for different riders you may need to add, specifically jewelry or guns, and you need to ask a lot of questions to understand what you’re buying.

Bottom line

Ask questions … lot’s and lot’s of questions. And remember, when claims volume is low, insurance companies are flush with profits and can offer bigger discounts. During periods when claims volume is high, however, money is tight and discounts are fewer. Rates change all the time, so some experts believe homeowners in particular should check with sites like USAA Renters Insurance, InsureMe, or US Insurance Online as often as twice per year in order to maximize savings.

The key to getting your best deal on ANY insurance

Asking questions. Questions could be the answer to all your insurance needs!

 

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.