As we look back on the past year and toward a new one, it’s almost instinctual to set goals. We all have things we’d like to change or improve, and a new year is the perfect excuse to get started.
Now is also a great time to think about your insurance resolutions. Insurance shouldn’t be something you buy once and blindly renew each year. If you’ve moved, changed jobs, retired, added to your family or made any other major life changes, your policies could likely use some updating.
Get 2024 off to a good start by taking the time to review your policies and make sure you are still getting the most out of your coverage. Here are a few insurance resolutions to get you started.
As you reassess your auto insurance policy, think about how your – and your family members’ – driving habits may have changed. Perhaps you’ve started working from home or recently retired, resulting in less time on the road. Driving less could qualify you for low-mileage discounts. Maybe you have a college-bound student who will no longer have access to household vehicles or, on the other hand, a teenager who’s ready to be added to your policy.
Think about your vehicle. If you’re holding onto an older car, collision and/or comprehensive coverage may no longer be worth it for you. Talk to your insurance agent about adjustments that can be made.
To help lower auto insurance costs, look into taking a defensive driving course. Not only will it help you to become safer on the road, depending on the state you live in, it could also save you up to 10% on your insurance.
Whether you own or rent your home, making (or updating) an inventory of your belongings – at least your most valuable things – is a smart decision.
If you bought a new TV, phone or laptop, or made another large purchase during the year, such as furniture or appliances, you’ll want a record of it – just in case. If you don’t want to write out an itemized list, consider making a video. This way, in the chance of theft, a fire or natural disaster, you’ll know exactly what’s missing and have proof for your insurance company.
Updating your home insurance after any renovations is a must. An updated bathroom or a finished basement converted into an at-home gym, office or lounge could increase the value of your home, meaning you might want more coverage. Similarly, if you added a hot tub, pool or trampoline, you’re increasing your liability.
Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you are fully covered without overpaying. Keep in mind that homes are often insured for a limit that is different from market value. It instead reflects the cost necessary to repair or rebuild the home in the event of a total loss based on the current market’s construction costs.
Learn more about homeowners insurance with our list of frequently asked questions and answers.
Getting serious about quitting smoking or seeing your doctor annually are insurance resolutions that could help to improve your health and save you money on life insurance.
People who maintain a good weight due to diet and exercise typically receive the best life insurance rate offerings. “No matter what risk you may be, it’s recommended to see your primary doctor once a year to get labs and any recommended testing your doctor may order completed,” says AAA Northeast Life Insurance Specialist Brenda Silva. “Life Insurance companies weigh their decision very highly on what they review in your medical records and like to see that you are maintaining good health.”
Because rates are based on how much of a risk you are, part of the cost of life insurance also depends on your age. The younger and healthier you are, the better the time is to invest.
The main purpose of life insurance is to take care of others after we’re gone. No one wants their loved ones to have to take on their debts or struggle for basic needs. Review your beneficiaries regularly and make sure to tell someone you trust about where you keep your important documents.
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Mind the Gap
While auto, home, rental and life insurance are the most popular and necessary types of coverage, depending on your lifestyle and where you live, your current coverage might have a few gaps. For example, if you live near the water or in a location that experiences heavy rains and/or poor drainage, you should look into flood insurance. Flood damage is considered a separate policy that is not covered by your overall home insurance.
Umbrella insurance, also called a personal liability policy, goes beyond basic home and auto coverage, protecting you with high liability limits.
Protect Your Plans
If you’re someone who travels often, travel insurance could be a smart investment for you. This kind of insurance will refund you in the case of a cancellation. More importantly, it can help cover medical expenses or an emergency evacuation back to the U.S.
Protect your furry friends with pet insurance. Like health insurance for humans, this type of coverage helps pay for veterinary care if your fur baby becomes injured or sick. Most policies only apply to cats and dogs.
Learn how your pets may also be covered by your auto and homeowners policies
You never want bad things to happen, but you’ll be thankful for being prepared if they do.