Top 10 Life-Changing Events to Update Your Insurance (G2) – 1 through 5
We are focusing our next two blogs on the top 10 life-changing events that require you to update your insurance or at least call your insurance agent. We are going to go through, giving details and tips on potential discounts, and how these events may affect your other policies. Let’s start with the first 5 events people should just keep in mind when it comes to updating their insurance.
- Moving or Buying a New Home: Obviously, buying a new home is one of the biggest purchases anybody makes in their life, and homeowner’s policies can be very complex and change significantly from one carrier to another. In terms of a Homeowners policy, there’s really no such thing as an apples-to-apples quote.
Many companies and their advertising try to simplify something that in reality can be very complex. Some things you should think about to cover you properly and potentially save money on a Homeowners Policy are:
- When was the home updated (e.g. new roof, circuit breakers)
- Will you have a dog
- Is there a swimming pool
- Do you have your home and auto together
- Is it time to add an umbrella policy
As an agency, we have to go into a lot of detail when someone adds a home because there are a number of things the company underwriters look at which could affect the coverage. In addition, we want to provide the best value by finding the best discounts and best company for your situation.
- Buying a New Car: Over the course of the year, we have a lot of customers buying new cars. New cars are coming out with all sorts of new gadgets that can potentially make it safer for everyone to drive. As an insurance agency, we need to know about all those features like:
- Do you have adaptive headlights
- What type of security system does the car have
- Will it drive for you
- Will it stop for you
It used to be that when we received the vehicle I.D. number, it would provide us with all the information on the car. Now, however, a lot of features are not built into the VIN. So, it is important that we ask those questions to find out what type of car we will be ensuring. Some additional questions you may be asked include:
- How much did you borrow for the car
- Do you need gap insurance
- Who will be driving the vehicle
- What is your average commute
- Is it being used for something other than a family vehicle (ride sharing, etc)
- New Driver in the Family: it’s a big day when a teenager gets their driver’s license, unfortunately, it can also be rather expensive. The key things we suggest you think about or ask regarding a teen driver is:
- Make sure you talk about a Good Student discount
- Know how often they’re going to be driving a car
- Make sure they’re rated on the oldest vehicle, not necessarily the brand new one (so, maybe don’t go out and buy your 16-year-old a brand new vehicle Mercedes).
- Do you want to carry comprehensive or collision on it
- Do you want to increase your deductibles
If you have a teenage driving in the house it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have higher liability limits too. An umbrella policy could also benefit you because teenagers, unfortunately, get into accidents. Just make sure to discuss the options with us and keep in mind, some underwriting companies like teenage drivers, others do not.
- Starting a Family: We don’t get this call very often in our office, but I think we really should because it’s a great time to look at your life insurance and figure out, “Hey, what happens if one of us is no longer here? How will it affect us financially? What can we do about it now?”. Looking at starting a family is actually an excellent time to explore life insurance options because you’re generally younger and healthier which usually leads to better rates. And, it can allow you to make better long-term decisions rather than waiting until you’re older and insurance gets more expensive.
- Kids Leaving Home: Kids leave home for several reasons, the most common we have is when they leave for college. When this happens, a lot of companies will offer an away-at-school discount for your auto policy, assuming that the child is away at school (typically needs to be more than a hundred miles away from your home) without a car.
Your kids leaving house could also mean we need to look at your homeowner’s policy. Let’s say your student goes to college out of state in Iowa and becomes a resident of Iowa to take advantage of in-state tuition. Well, does your homeowner’s policy cover all of their personal property if it is in Iowa? Or even if they’re just going to Madison for school, does your policy cover their stuff?
The quick answer is yeah, it usually does. But, it can depend.
And finally, if your kid permanently leaves home and takes their car with them, do you need to take them off the policy to make sure that your insurance company’s not charging you for an independent kid?
I hope covering these topics helps when it comes to making insurance decisions in the future during big life events. Stay tuned next month for the blog discussing the next 5 life-changing events:
- Remodeling or updating your home
- Marriage or divorce
- Home business or a new job
- Adding a toy(boat, atv, snowmobile, classic car)