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New Year, New Coverage

Insurance Insights

Every year, people type out their New Year’s resolutions with goals to start a new workout routine, cut down on spending, or spend more time off their screens. But one resolution that individuals could get behind is reviewing their personal insurance coverage.

Reviewing your personal insurance options, such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance, can help you see what gaps there are in coverage and get your coverage up to speed so you stay away from major financial losses. Here are some things to ask yourself and look for while reviewing your personal insurance coverage.

Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value

For homeowners insurance coverage, it’s important to know the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value in your policy. These two loss settlement options determine how you will be reimbursed in the event of a loss. Replacement cost coverage is the preferred choice because it bases the settlement on the cost to repair or replace using new materials of similar quality.  Actual cash value, on the other hand, provides a settlement based on the cost to repair or replace, less depreciation.

Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t come with flood insurance or sewer backup coverage, so it’s important to make sure you address these exposures if necessary.  Sewer backup can usually be added by endorsement.  This is a coverage option you may not think you need, but if something devastating happens to your toilets or pipes, you will be glad you added it.   A flood insurance policy can be purchased through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.  Floods can happen anywhere, even if you don’t live in a high risk flood zone.  In fact, according to FEMA, approximately 25% of all floods occur in a low to moderate risk flood zone.

Discounts and Savings

The beginning of the year is a great time to review your finances as a whole, especially when heading into tax season. By going over your insurance coverage, you can look for any major discounts and savings that can help you cut costs or find bundles that can help you save in the long run.

Talk to insurance professionals to see how you can get a break on rates through security discounts, multi-policy discounts, safe driver discounts, and more.

Raising your deductibles on your homeowners and automobile policies can be a good way to save money.  Submitting smaller claims can result in costly surcharges on your policies, and insurance should be reserved for the more significant losses that can occur.  Consider carrying the highest deductibles you can reasonably afford.  You can even use the premium savings to invest in protective devices that can provide further discounts.

Umbrella Liability

Lawsuits are on the rise and can be financially devastating.  If you cause an auto accident, or someone slips on your steps, or your dog bites your neighbor, you can be sued.  Homeowners and automobile policies provide a level of liability coverage usually no greater than $500,000.  You can purchase an umbrella policy, with a liability limit of $1,000,000 or higher.  This can protect your assets if you are at the receiving end of a large lawsuit.

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