As the year draws to a close, many people are already looking forward to the new year. Whether you see resolutions as a dreaded chore or as an exciting fresh start, they can be helpful. This year, consider fully embracing the world of adulting by making new year’s resolutions for insurance.
Getting your insurance ducks in a row might not be the most glamorous project. But it’s crucial for your long-term financial stability.
Here at Lake Region Insurance Agency, we take insurance seriously and want to help our customers wherever we can. Don’t let anything take you by surprise in 2021. After the craziness of 2020, preparation and planning are more important than ever.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Insurance Shouldn’t Be That Way
You probably don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about insurance plans and policies. You might prefer to avoid it all together. But the truth is, if you ignore your coverage, you could end up with significant problems.
Get ready for the upcoming year with our top new year’s resolutions for insurance. You’ll be able to rest assured that you have the coverage you need.
1. Figure Out What You Already Have
For many people, one of the key priorities for next year is to declutter, streamline, and minimize. But you can’t do this until you go through everything you currently have.
Why not extend this idea to your insurance by examining your current policies? Dig out your statements and take an hour or so to clarify what coverage you have in place, making a note of premiums, limits, and deductibles. That way, if you need to shop for a new policy, you can make sure you are getting the very best deal.
Better yet, set a time to meet with your insurance agent to review everything. They will help you find redundancies and gaps so that you can adjust your policies as needed.
2. Inventory and Document
The notion of doing a full, whole-house inventory can be overwhelming. But it is a vital part of your new year’s resolutions for insurance.
If you are a victim of a fire, flood, storm, or natural disaster, the aftermath will be stressful. The forms and paperwork that come with filing an insurance claim can feel overwhelming when you are reeling from a loss.
With an up-to-date home inventory, you can significantly reduce the stress that comes with this process. Set aside some time, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and power through this job.
Don’t skimp on your inventory. Include anything that you would want to cover in an insurance claim. Go room by room and create a digital document that lists all pertinent items.
Alternatively, making a video inventory is a great option. It can be a relatively quick project, and you can store a copy off-site or in the cloud. Ideally, you will have an inventory list and a video.
Make sure you include as much detail as possible. For big-ticket items, note when you purchased them and for how much. The more work you do now, the easier it will be if you need to make a claim.
3. Change Your Habits
Most resolutions involve establishing new habits, and this can also apply to your new year’s resolutions for insurance. Many people have behaviors or practices that boost their chances of needing to make an insurance claim.
For example, do you tend to leave the kitchen while something is on the stove? Maybe you decide to do a quick chore like moving laundry to the dryer and then get sidetracked folding clothes. Soon, something could be burning.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the top reason for home fires and injuries. Something as simple as supervising the stove could keep you safe and reduce the risk of a fire.
Some other habits that can lead to insurance claims include:
- Leaving keys in a vehicle
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while impaired
Working to change these dangerous habits will help you avoid an auto insurance claim or having your rates increase due to a ticket.
4. Increase Your Chances of A Deal
Your credit score can have a significant impact on your eligibility for good insurance deals and policies. With this in mind, improving your credit score should be one of your top new year’s resolutions for insurance.
Many factors go into your credit score, and they are under your control. Some of the most critical considerations are bankruptcies, debt load, missed payments, and the length of your credit history.
Make it a new year’s goal to get a copy of your credit report. You legally have the right to claim a report from each major reporting agency once every year. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian each have a file that contributes to your credit score.
Take time to examine your file so that you can dispute any errors and identify areas you need to improve. Improving your credit score may have a tremendous impact on your insurance rates.
5. Consider Umbrella Insurance
Once you have taken care of your major policies – life, auto, and home – it can be a good idea to invest in an umbrella policy. This plan is sort of a ‘catch-all’ policy designed to cover a wide range of circumstances. In a sense, it offers an extra layer of protection to your existing policies.
Umbrella policies can be useful for extreme situations that exceed the limits of your other policies. For example, if your dog gets out and bites someone, the medical and legal costs could surpass your homeowners’ policy limits. An umbrella policy can cover the difference, giving you significant protection.
How Can We Help?
The team at Lake Region Insurance Agency has the experience and expertise to help you make and keep your insurance resolutions. As independent agents, we can search for the perfect policy from a variety of providers.
We take time to get to know our clients well so that we can help them find all the coverage they need to protect themselves. If you are ready for this level of service, let’s connect. We have offices in New London, Willmar, and Cokato, MN. Give us a call or stop in to get started.