It’s a good idea to review your insurance coverage at least once a year to ensure that your family and belongings are appropriately protected. You’ll also want to review your coverage any time you’ve made a major purchase or experienced a significant life event, such as getting married, buying a house, sending your child off to college or receiving an inheritance. These life moments are considered insurance-qualifying events (also known as life-changing events for purposes of insurance), and it’s important to make sure your coverage is up to date to protect the people and things that matter most to you.
Have you had a life-changing event that might require an adjustment to your insurance coverage? Here’s some information to consider, which can help ensure that you’ve got the coverage you need to protect your loved ones and belongings. A good place to start is by doing an insurance review.
What Is an Insurance Review?
An insurance review is a thorough look at your insurance coverage – the policies protecting your vehicles, home, family members and other valuables. To review your insurance coverages, enlist the help of an experienced agent to tap into their expertise and knowledge. An agent will be knowledgeable about the available insurance products and can provide professional guidance on which coverages may be best for your unique situation.
The Benefits of an Insurance Review
An insurance review helps provide you the peace of mind that your most treasured belongings (and family members) are adequately protected in case something unexpected happens like a fire, theft or weather event. A review could also result in a potential reduction in your insurance costs if, for example, your agent discovers you are eligible for discounts, or that you require less coverage than you did previously.
Why (and When) Should You Review Your Insurance Coverage?
It is critical to review your insurance coverage regularly to help ensure that your property, your possessions and your loved ones are well protected. During an insurance review, you should evaluate your home insurance (or renters insurance), car insurance and any other policies you have in your name.
When should you do a review? When your circumstances have changed, or you have what’s considered a “qualifying event” or a “life-changing event” in insurance terms, you may want to consider an insurance review. As mentioned earlier, these events include things like having a baby, getting married and other big milestones. You should also consider an insurance review any time your policies are up for renewal. This is typically once per year.
What’s an Insurance-Qualifying Event?
Insurance-qualifying events are those moments when life circumstances change. Since these events can occur throughout the period of an insurance policy, you’ll want to check with your agent when an insurance-qualifying event occurs outside of the typical policy renewal time frame.
A qualifying or life-changing event, for insurance purposes, typically means:
- A change in family status or size: This includes having a baby, adopting a child, getting married, getting divorced or losing a family member.
- Childhood milestones: When your child graduates from school, goes off to attend college or turns 16 and is eligible to drive a car, it’s a good time to check in with your insurance agent to review your coverage.
- Retirement and aging milestones: If you retire and no longer commute to work, or downsize from owning a home to renting one, an insurance review can help identify potential adjustments in your coverage.
- Professional changes: If you own a business, changes to your company can warrant an insurance review, too. These changes could include selling your business, going public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or changing office locations.
- Changes in your living situation: Changes in your living situation (or locale) merit an insurance review. This might include moving, selling a property, remodeling your home or renting it out through a short-term rental property platform.
Significant events are a part of life. When your insurance coverage is aligned with your life events, you can focus more on those moments that matter.
Other Times You May Want an Insurance Review
In addition to those life events that might prompt an insurance review, there are other times that you may want to check with your insurance agent to review your coverage. For example, if you have expensive, high-value possessions on your property or are taking steps to increase the safety of your home, such as by adding an alarm system or upgrading your electrical system, those situations may warrant a fresh look at your insurance coverage. If natural disasters (for example, hurricanes) have increased in your area, you also may want to consider updating your policy to reflect these added risks. Check with your insurance agent for guidance.
How Often Should You Change Your Coverage?
Though you might review your policies annually, that doesn’t mean you’ll always need to make a change that often. In many cases, your current coverage may still be adequate. But generally, it’s a good idea to review all of your insurance needs at least once a year. If you have a major life change, contact your insurance agent or company representative, as the change in your life may have an impact on your insurance needs.1
How Current Is Your Household’s Insurance Coverage?
If you haven’t conducted an insurance review recently (or you’ve experienced a major life event or acquired additional property of significant value since you last renewed your policy), it might be time to evaluate your coverage.