For many families across the nation, insurance is one of the most commonly neglected aspects of their total financial picture. We typically buy policies, pay the premiums, and then forget about it, sometimes for years… until we need it.
For many people, the focus is on simply having insurance at the lowest possible premium, but as our personal injury attorneys can attest, it is better to review your policies frequently to ensure it is still accurate for the needs of your lifestyle. A regular insurance checkup helps ensure that after an accident you have what you need to undo the damage and move forward.
Why Should I Review My Insurance Coverage?
You should review your coverage to ensure that your assets are fully protected, like your home and vehicles. As your life changes, your insurance needs will also likely change. If you purchase your insurance and then never look to review it again, you could face a situation where after an accident, injury or natural disaster, you do not have enough insurance coverage to “make you whole again.”
When Should I Review My Insurance Coverage?
Our legal team recommends that you review your coverage on an annual basis. At a minimum, you should be sure to review your coverage in the following situations:
- Life changes such as marriage, divorce, or having children. You may need to increase your coverage, name additional insureds, or cancel duplicative policies. You may want to consider purchasing additional insurance or take on a higher deductible and pay lower premiums.
- Significant changes in your financial situation. You should review your coverage if you have increased your salary or gained new sources of income. Similarly, you should also review your insurance coverage if you have inherited or otherwise acquired significant assets. On the other hand, you may be able to eliminate expensive insurance policies if you have since down-sized or entering retirement.
- When you have invested money into a home remodel or improvements. Over time remodels are likely necessary to help your home support your growing family. Some improvements, like adding a pool or hot tub, can increase your liability if someone is injured on your property.
How Do I Know I Have Adequate Insurance Coverage?
For homeowners or renters insurance, you want to make sure that the total value of your home and your possessions are covered and that you have protection against any potential liabilities. For example, you want to make sure you have sufficient liability coverage if you have installed a swimming pool or hot tub since purchasing the home.
When reviewing your insurance coverage, we recommend that you have coverage for the replacement of your contents. It will cost more to replace your home and contents in the event of a fire or natural disaster. Replacement coverage in your policy will provide peace of mind that you will be compensated a fair value to rebuild your home and replace the contents.
Understand How Your Insurance Works After an Accident or Life-Changing Event
Insurance policies are highly complex legal contracts that are difficult to understand. If you have questions about your insurance coverage and whether it meets the needs of your family and property, your insurance agent can review your policies and suggest what steps you should take to ensure proper representation.
In addition, during your annual review, be sure to consider how you will address any legal concerns that may arise over the upcoming year. At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, our practice expands into key areas of law that can help you and your family, including criminal defense, personal injury, and family law. If you need legal assistance, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.