Do you need an insurance checkup?

Do you need an insurance checkup?

Most of us are diligent about having our car oil changed regularly or getting routine physicals and dental cleanings. But when was your last insurance checkup?

Insurance coverage can be easy to neglect until something happens to remind you of the important protection it provides. If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your auto, home and life insurance policies to see if you can save more money or need more coverage, it’s time to take a look.

Understand your car insurance coverage  

Auto insurance has three parts — liability, collision and comprehensive. Liability is the most important. The minimum liability coverage amounts required in North Carolina are:

  • $25,000 for property damage per accident
  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident

Liability insurance is required coverage. In the event of an accident, liability coverage protects you if you’re at fault, and you hurt someone or damage their property. It has two parts: bodily injury and property damage.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are both optional coverages, but can be good preventive measures. Without this added coverage, you could drain your savings trying to cover damages to your car, should something happen.

If you were to damage or total your car in an accident, collision coverage helps you pay for needed repairs or a vehicle replacement. Comprehensive coverage exists to help cover damage caused by circumstances not related to an accident, such as theft, hitting a deer or an automobile fire, as examples.

Basic coverage amounts probably won’t be enough if you are involved in a serious accident, so consider buying more. If you’re worried about your ability to pay for comprehensive and collision coverage, shop around. In addition, you can potentially save on your premiums by raising your deductibles rather than reducing coverage. But make sure the higher premium won’t be too difficult to pay if you do have an accident.

Another good reason to review your coverage is to see if you qualify for discounts offered by your insurer. If you’ve added an alarm or park in a garage at home, you may see a discount in coverage costs.

Check on your homeowners insurance 

Knowing your home and valuables are covered if disaster strikes, means less worry about replacing what was lost. Keep in mind, the cost to replace your home today could be more than the original purchase price. You’ll be much better off if your homeowners policy provides replacement cost of the structure rather than actual cash value.

Consider a separate rider to cover expensive items and other valuables which exceed basic policy coverage. You may even need to add a business rider if you or your spouse maintains a home office. Again, make sure you can afford the premiums on such a robust policy.

Have you recently added landscaping? Or added a security system? Ask your insurance agent how this may lower your premium costs.

Keep life insurance coverage current

Is your current coverage enough to cover your family’s needs in the event of your death? Generally, the more dependents you have, the more life insurance you need. On the other hand, if your children are grown, you may realize you no longer need to carry as much coverage.

Your insurance needs may change with major life events (e.g. marriage, caring for an elderly parent, a home purchase, promotions or new employment) so it’s best to review the policy whenever you have a change to determine the need for updates.

Have you lost weight or quit smoking? These may be triggers that could lower your life insurance rates.

What could prompt a policy review?

An annual review of your insurance policies could be the preventive treatment you need to protect your family and your assets. The following are more reasons to go over your policies:

For homeowners insurance

  • Completing major home improvements
  • After major landscaping projects
  • Bought or sold a home
  • Policy is near renewal

For auto insurance

  • Change in marital status
  • Change in living arrangements (e.g. roommate moves in or out)
  • Addition/deletion of a teen driver
  • Bought or sold car
  • Policy is near renewal

For life insurance

  • Becoming a caretaker for your aging parents or loved one
  • Change in your health status (e.g. quit smoking or lost weight)
  • Change in marital status
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Becoming an empty nester

Take a minute now to think about the health of your insurance coverage to see if you’re under- or over-insured. Your Credit Union can help. As an LGFCU member, you can get a free home, auto or life insurance quote by calling 888.732.8562. 

The advice provided is for informational purposes only. For additional guidance, contact an Insurance Representative. Auto and Homeowners Insurance is underwritten by The Members Insurance Company.  Life Insurance is underwritten by SECU Life Insurance Company.   This insurance is not a deposit and is not federally insured, or guaranteed by your Credit Union. Insurance representatives are licensed in N.C. only. 

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