Consumers should reevaluate their insurance coverage and budget in the new year.
A national survey revealed consumers have an alarming lack of knowledge about their own insurance coverage. As the New Year approaches, Trusted Choice® agents urge consumers to resolve to get their insurance coverage and finances in order.
More than one-third of consumers in the study said they have never conducted their own research prior to purchasing an insurance policy. Almost 40% of consumers in the study say they are not confident or only somewhat confident that they have adequate and appropriate insurance coverage for their needs.
The new survey also found that more than one-third of policyholders have not met with or even talked to their insurance agent within the last year. A new baby, marriage, divorce, death, home renovation or a major purchase could significantly impact your insurance needs and costs. Trusted Choice® agents encourage consumers to stay in contact throughout these life changes, as they can be crucial to your financial security.
Trusted Choice® agents want their consumers to understand the basics of protecting their family, home, finances, and property. When you review your insurance policies and budget, consider the following:
Know Your Limits
One of the most important criteria when selecting an insurance policy is your coverage limit. For an example, your Trusted Choice® agent can increase the liability limits on a typical homeowners policy from $100,000 to $300,000 a year for as little as about $25 annually. Your coverage limits deserve a closer look.
Most people set financial goals at the beginning of the year, but by the time March rolls around, the goals have fallen to the wayside. Eric Amado of www.wfaa.com says, “Set realistic goals for yourself. Instead of trying to pay off your credit card immediately, allow yourself the year. Set a date and make a plan and you will reach that goal.”
Use the article “New Year and No Debt—How to Save in 2014” as a guide to reaching your financial goals this year.
Cheaper Is Not Always Better
While price should be a factor in insurance decisions, choosing coverage based on price alone could ultimately be a costly mistake. Insurance policies differ widely, with varying deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions. Review your insurance policy and consider whether saving $50 per year on your premium, is worth the risk of not having thousands of dollars-worth of coverage if you ever need it.
Buying a more economical car, versus buying a more expensive luxury vehicle is commendable when trying to save money; however, buying cheaper appliances like washing machines and refrigerators can end up being more costly, than beneficial. The lifespan on appliances and other purchases may be so short that you end up having to replace the item anyway. Sometimes it is better to purchase quality from the start.
Don’t Disregard Discounts
Many consumers fail to ask about insurance discounts for which they may qualify. Companies often offer some unique, regional, very specific and, at times, quirky discounts. When every dollar counts, some may be able to nickel and dime their way to big savings.
Check with your agent to see if any apply to you. These discounts can make a substantial difference in premium costs:
- Installing a security system
- Living in a gated community
- Updating the roof and/or wiring in a house
- Teen drivers with good grades
- Graduating from certain colleges
Subscribing to www.coupons.com and shopping at wholesale clubs are some of the basic ways to get discounts and get more bang for your buck. Ask your employer about discounts or cash back when opting out of using company insurance. Also, paying bills in a lump sum, instead of monthly, may turn into big discounts and savings.