COMMON (AND EXPENSIVE) INSURANCE MISTAKES CONSUMERS MAKE
A national survey by the IIABA reveals consumers have an alarming lack of knowledge about their own insurance coverage. The survey found that 38% of respondents have never done research before purchasing an insurance policy. Almost 40% of respondents said they were not confident or only somewhat confident in the amount and type of coverage they have for their needs.
It’s critical that you understand the basics of protecting your family, home and possessions. Make sure to keep your insurance agent updated on changes in your family or to your property to ensure your financial security. A new baby, marriage, divorce, death, home renovation or major purchase can all significantly affect your insurance needs and costs.
Here are the most serious and expensive insurance coverage mistakes you can make:
- Not knowing your limits. Too many people don’t know the limits of their insurance coverage and don’t understand how inexpensive it can be to raise them. For example, increasing liability limits on a typical homeowners policy from $100,000 to $300,000 a year can be as little as $25 annually.
- Disregarding discounts. Many consumers don’t take advantage of available discounts. Here are a few examples of discounts some companies offer:
- installing a security system
- living in a gated community
- updating the room and/or wiring in a house
- remaining claim-free
- good student discount for teen drivers
- graduating from certain colleges/universities
- Insurance in Estate Planning. Many people put their homes in trusts as part of their estate planning. In the process, they forget to tell their insurance agent. In those cases, the home is no longer insured since the owner of the home (the trust) is not on the policy. This can create problems at the time of a claim.
- Not assessing your biggest asset, your home. If you’re selling, renting or leaving your home for an extended period of time, you maybe vulnerable to devastating losses. Why? Because selling, renting or leaving your home changes the terms and conditions of your coverage. When there is a loss, your insurance company can deny the claim because you are no longer in control of what happens to your home. Check with an agent to learn the time limit on vacancy or change of occupancy before it alters or cancels the terms of the policy.
- Taking the cheapest route. While price should be a factor in your insurance decisions, choosing coverage based on price alone could be a big mistake. Insurance policies differ greatly between deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions. At Neckerman Insurance, we can help you choose the coverage that best suits you and your needs.