insurance

10 Life Changes that Call for an Insurance Evaluation

8 Minute Read

If you’re like most people, you buy insurance and don’t think about it again until you need it. That’s a big mistake! As the years go on, your life changes. You might get married, have a baby, take a different job, or finish renovation projects on your house. And your insurance policy needs to change as your life does.

To keep from being underinsured or overpaying the insurance company hundreds of dollars every year, it’s a good idea to review your insurance policy with an independent insurance agent at least once a year. That said, you may go through some life changes that call for an immediate insurance checkup. Here are 10 of the most common.

10 Life Changes That Call for an Insurance Policy Evaluation

1. You just got married.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto, Homeowner’s/Renter’s, Health and Life

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  • Auto Insurance
    Can you save money on car insurance after you get married? You sure can. And what’s more romantic than saving money? When you call to join policies, your car insurance rates could decrease by 6%, which comes out to about $80 a year.(1)

  • Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance
    When you get married, you pile all your possessions under one roof. The more stuff you own, the more contents coverage you’ll need in your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. To make sure you’ve got enough insurance for all your belongings, take inventory together and update your policy.

  • Health Insurance
    Another way you and your spouse could save money is to join health insurance plans, which can be done during open enrollment or at the time of a qualifying life event—like getting married. Talk to your insurance agent to find out which option—being on the same policy or keeping them separate—makes the most sense for you both.

  • Life Insurance
    We know you just started doing life together, and you don’t want to imagine it ending. But if a tragedy happens, you don’t want to leave your surviving spouse unsupported. If you didn’t have life insurance while you weren’t hitched, get it now. Once you do, you’ll have the security of knowing your family will be covered financially if something were to happen to you.

2. You bought a house.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto and Homeowner’s

  • Auto Insurance
    How much could you save on car insurance when you buy a house? If your insurance company gives you the option of bundling, you could save around 8% on your premium.(2) Once you’ve moved in your new place, ask your insurance company if they offer discounts for customers who buy multiple types of coverage.

  • Homeowner’s Insurance
    Speaking of bundling car and homeowner’s insurance, if you buy a house, you must have homeowner’s insurance. The last thing you want is to lose your home in a fire or tornado and realize you don’t have the money to repair or rebuild it. So, get that house insured before you move in.

3. Your family size changed.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto, Health and Life

  • Auto Insurance
    Maybe your family has been the same size for quite some time, but the number of drivers in your family is increasing. Your baby is all grown up and has a car insurance policy of their own now. Find out from your insurance agent if adding another driver to your policy might score you a multi-car discount.

  • Health Insurance
    If you’re having a baby—congratulations! As soon as you know you’re pregnant, contact your health insurer and tell them you’re expecting. After your bundle of joy is born, you usually have 30 days to enroll your child on your plan.

  • Life Insurance
    If you’ve had kids but haven’t updated your life insurance policy since you got married, it’s way past time to call your insurance agent! Any new additions to your family should be added as beneficiaries on your life insurance plan. You can always reevaluate if your child needs to remain a beneficiary once they become financially self-sufficient.

4. You got a raise.

Insurance to Evaluate: Life

  • Life Insurance
    Anytime your salary changes, you should adjust your life insurance policy. We recommend you have 10–12 times your yearly salary in life insurance, which will leave your family plenty of support if something happens to you.

5. You took a new job.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto and Life

  • Auto Insurance
    Now, let’s be clear: You don’t need to inform your car insurer every time you land a new job. However, if you change careers, it might be worth paying your agent a visit. Military, engineers, lawyers, scientists, teachers, doctors, law enforcement and firefighters sometimes qualify for an annual discount on car insurance. But if you’re not in one of these fields, don’t be disheartened. As long as you’re a full-time employee, you’ll save roughly $30 more than those who are unemployed.(3) There’s yet another reason to get a job!

  • Life Insurance
    If that new job means you’re making a little extra cash every paycheck, remember to adjust your life insurance until you have 10–12 times your yearly salary. A new career might make your life insurance more expensive—but that’s mainly if it adds risk, like going from an office employee to a trapeze artist in a traveling circus.

6. You bought a vehicle.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto

  • Auto Insurance
    If you buy a vehicle, call your car insurance company with the make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the new vehicle. Depending on the kind of car you buy, your insurance rate may go up or down; an independent agent can shop around for you so you can drive away with the best deal.

7. You purchased something expensive—and it’s not a house or car.

Insurance to Evaluate: Homeowner’s/Renter’s and Umbrella

  • Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance
    When you bought homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you bought enough contents coverage for your possessions should they be lost, stolen or destroyed. But then anytime you buy expensive items—cameras, computers, sporting equipment, instruments, jewelry, antiques, etc.—you should definitely reevaluate your contents coverage.

  • Umbrella Insurance
    When you reach about a half million net worth, you may want to consider adding umbrella insurance. An umbrella policy allows you to add $1 million in liability insurance on top of your existing homeowner’s and auto insurance.

8. You renovated your property.

Insurance to Evaluate: Homeowner’s

  • Homeowner’s Insurance
    Anything that increases the value of your home—like a swimming pool, bathroom renovations or a front porch—calls for an insurance evaluation. And if you add gas detectors, smoke alarms, or any new safety feature, your insurance rate might go down. For whatever projects you complete, call your insurance agent and reevaluate your policy.

9. You’re driving less.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto

  • Auto Insurance
    Working from home, living closer to your office, or joining a car pool will reduce your mileage. Car insurance companies consider less mileage the same as reduced risk, so most companies will reward you with a cheaper rate for driving less.

10. You’re retiring.

Insurance to Evaluate: Auto, Life and Long-Term Care

  • Auto Insurance
    When it comes to cheap car insurance, your 50s and early 60s are your golden years. But the moment you hit retirement age—65—annual premium rates begin to rise.(4) Some companies, however, specialize in car insurance for retirees. Before you retire, talk to your independent insurance agent and ask which company can serve you best.

  • Life Insurance
    Remember that the purpose of life insurance is to support your family financially if the breadwinner dies. That means, as you’re approaching retirement, you should look at your situation and decide if you still need it. If you’re debt-free, sitting on a net worth of a half million to $1.5 million, and your kids are self-sufficient, you probably don’t need life insurance anymore.

    A good question to ask yourself is: If I passed away, would my spouse be able to live comfortably off my retirement savings? If the answer is yes, you may not need to renew your life insurance policy.

  • Long-Term Care Insurance
    Over half the people turning 65 today will need long-term care at some point.(5) To protect your retirement savings, look into buying long-term care insurance. The best age to buy long-term care insurance is 60, since it’s unlikely you will file a claim before that age.

When was the last time you evaluated your insurance policies?

Life changes signal the need for insurance evaluations. But what about things you’re not aware of? For instance, the crime rate in your neighborhood may go down which could cause your homeowner’s insurance to drop. Or a competitor of your insurance company may offer you a better rate.

How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal on all your insurance needs?

Easy! Work with a great independent insurance agent. An industry expert, like one of our recommended insurance Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs), will work with you to make sure you have the policies that fit your life now and help you anticipate the coverage you’ll need for the future. Find your ELP today!

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