changes: are you insured? Review your insurance policies to make sure you're
SEATTLE - Because life is full of changes, the beginning
of a new year is a great time to check your insurance and
make sure your family is adequately covered.
Marriage, children, a special holiday or
anniversary, a new home and retirement all have profound impacts
on your life. Your insurance should reflect those changes
to meet your needs.
"We recommend a complete review of your
insurance coverage at least once a year," said Karl Newman,
NW Insurance Council president. "Many families add high-value
electronics or jewelry during the holidays. The first part
of the New Year is a great time to make sure you have the
coverage you need - both for your home and belongings."
In order to make sure you and your family
aren't underinsured, NW Insurance Council recommends talking
with your insurance agent or company representative at least
once a year. Here are some things to consider:
Marriage - You may qualify for a
discount on your Auto
Insurance if you've recently married. If you and your
spouse insure your vehicles through two different companies,
consider insuring both under one policy. Consider updating
your Homeowners Insurance to protect new valuables such as
jewelry and wedding gifts.
After getting married, it's wise to examine
Insurance needs. Starting a family means being responsible
for your loved ones. Life Insurance can protect your
family if there is an unexpected death to either spouse. If
you've recently divorced, you'll need separate Auto and Homeowners
Children - If you've had a child,
review your Life Insurance coverage. One-third of families
with new babies - approximately 5 million households - haven't
updated their policies. Life Insurance also can help you continue to save for your children’s education if you or your spouse dies..
Teen Drivers - If your teenaged
children have started driving, it's generally less expensive to add
them to your Auto Insurance Policy. If they will be driving
their own vehicles, consider insuring them with your company
so that you can get a multi-policy discount. Choose the vehicles
carefully. The type of car a teen
drives can significantly impact the price you pay for
Career - Switching jobs or experiencing
a change in your salary can alter your insurance needs. If
your new employer doesn't provide as much Life Insurance protection
as you had in your old job, you can replace the lost coverage
with an individual Life Insurance policy.
If you received a salary increase or decrease,
make sure your current Life Insurance protection is adequate
enough to meet your financial commitments. Sometimes a
Life Insurance Policy with $500,000 of coverage can cost less
than $450,000 of coverage because of a Milestone Discount
offered by some companies.
Your Home - Too many home owners
believe that the coverage limits of their Homeowners Insurance
Policy are linked to the market value of their home, according
to the Insurance
Information Institute (III). Make sure you have enough
coverage to completely rebuild your home and replace your
belongings in the event of a disaster. Homeowners Insurance
is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding, not the sales
price of the home.
Also, if you've made significant improvements
to your home such as expanding a kitchen or adding a new room,
you may now be underinsured. If you've added more home, you'll
need more protection. Nearly 40 percent of homeowners who
say they've significantly remodeled their homes have not updated
Insurance, according to III.
For more information about insurance, contact
NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 and ask for a free
copy of Your Guide to Insurance, or visit www.nwinsurance.org.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit,
public-education organization funded by member insurance companies
serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.