Most of us forget about our insurance policies the minute we’ve signed on the dotted line. We only think about them again when we need to make a claim.
This could potentially be a dangerous habit, however. Being underinsured could be costly and outdated details could mean that you can’t make a claim. It’s very important to review your insurance policies at least once a year. Most insurers update their scheme offerings, and terms and conditions, at the end of the year, so now is a good time to cast an eye over your policies.
The three most important policies in our portfolios are life insurance, home insurance and health insurance. Let’s take a look at when it is necessary to review these.
If you have dependents, you should have life insurance. Perhaps you took this out when you and your spouse first got married. In the meantime, you’ve had a child. If this is in fact the case, you have to review your life cover to ensure that it makes provision for both your spouse and child’s needs once you’re gone.
Other instances that would necessitate a review of your life insurance would be with the purchase of a home where a bond is required or whenever you make any other type of loan that someone might be responsible for in the event of your death. Life insurance will ensure that your loved ones aren’t saddled with debt due to expensive funeral services in Los Angeles they can’t handle.
But you shouldn’t only review your life insurance if you think you need to add it. Thinking about other burial services such as ash scattering. You should also sit with a financial advisor or broker to determine if you are perhaps over-insured. This situation isn’t ideal either. Savings you make could be invested elsewhere, like in a retirement annuity fund or an interest-bearing savings account.
Of the three on this list, your home insurance needs to be reviewed the most regularly. You have to update your policy whenever you add a valuable item to your home or when you dispose of one that is listed in your insurance document. When you insure items, be sure to do so at replacement value as opposed to market value. The former does not take depreciation into account, while the latter does. That means you’ll get a better “deal” on an item insured at its replacement value in the event of a claim.
Your home insurance should also be updated if you recently made alterations that would affect your home or if you’ve made it safer. A home that resembles Fort Knox is likely to cost less to insure than one that is not secure at all. Keep in mind that other factors, like the area you live in, will still have an effect on your premium.
More instances that would require a sit-down with your broker would be if someone moves in or out of your home. Whoever they are, they are likely to bring possessions with them or take belongings with them if they move out. This ties in with the first point, so you have to let your insurer know of the changes that have taken place.
Major changes in your family calls for a review of your health insurance. Partners who plan to have children, should update their health plan so that they’re prepared for the costs involved. Once the baby is born, your medical aid should be updated again to include the new addition to your family. This should be done for every other dependent that enters the family as well.
A yearly review of your health insurance will, in addition, ensure that your cover keeps up with your health needs. Perhaps it’s been discovered that you’ll need glasses soon or you’ve just decided that it’s time to visit the dentist again. You’ll need cover for these type of instances. Updating to an option with a savings plan within your current scheme could be enough, but look at alternative health insurers as well to see what’s available on the market. Bear in mind that certain limitations may apply when you move from one medical aid to another.
As mentioned earlier, don’t forget to keep your personal details, like your address, phone number or e-mail address updated as well. Aside from it being important for your insurer to get hold of you, the incorrect details could affect a claim. When you make a claim, you’re sure to be in the midst of a stressful time, so don’t add to it unnecessarily!
Greg Jones has a passion for people and information, and he marries the two with his writing.
A Journey With Wings
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