Broker Check

Are your insurance policies spotless during quarantine?

August 25, 2020

Since the global pandemic has given many of us more free time on our hands than usual, you might want to use this time at home to review your insurance policies, like life and homeowners’ coverage. These types of products are often overlooked during an annual investment review, but quarantine is an excellent reminder of why these policies matter: life happens, and your coverage may need to be updated to keep you and your family safe. Here’s how:

Spruce up your life insurance policy. Life insurance helps protect loved ones if the household income-earner dies. The unprecedented spread of the coronavirus around the world has many clients on high alert and has moved the task of reassessing life insurance policies to the top of many to-do lists.

As a general rule, clients should reassess life insurance annually, because a lot can happen in just a year. Anytime a major life event takes place, it affects your financial liabilities and therefore your life insurance needs. New births, new jobs, new mortgages, paid-off mortgages, salary raises or kids entering college all impact whether or not your existing coverage will fully protect your family.

For those who don’t already have life insurance and are in the process of applying, it’s important to be upfront and honest about your answers, especially about the places you’ve most recently traveled. Given the pandemic, false answers on questions like these can invalidate your coverage in the future, leaving your family in financial trouble.

Tidy up your homeowners’ insurance. This may come as more of a surprise, but an annual check-in on your homeowners’ insurance is always a great idea too. Nearby home sales, a renovation, new fixtures and a whole lot more can affect the value of your residence. If it’s not properly documented, it could lead to a gap in coverage if something happens to your house or belongings.

Here’s what you should do during quarantine and each year after to make sure your coverage is sufficient and you’re taking advantage of any available discounts:

  • Update your home’s inventory. Create and annually update a detailed catalog of all of your possessions. If you’ve remodeled, you should update the types of appliances, flooring and light fixtures you now have to reflect their higher value. Also, make sure to include expensive items, such as musical instruments, jewelry, electronics, art and antiques. Use a home inventory app to help you streamline this process and keep the information in one safe spot.
  • Qualify for discounts. If you’ve made a home improvement that reduces risk or made a lifestyle change such as quit smoking, ask your property and casualty agent if you’re eligible for reduced rates. Membership in certain organizations or bundling your coverage can also get you some nice discounts.

Even if you haven’t been looking at your insurance coverage annually, now’s a great time to start, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Typically one phone call can do the trick, so don’t wait. And as always, we’re here if we can help.