Start the New Year Right: Review Your Insurance Coverage

I doubt many people enjoy sorting through insurance paperwork, but the paper cuts and headaches are worth the hassle. Some of my friends thought rental cars were included in their car insurance only to find – after being in a car accident – that they weren’t. My friends ended up having to pay their deductible as well as the cost of a rental. Ouch. If they had reviewed their coverage, they might have noticed the gap in it and paid the few extra dollars per month to have a rental included in their auto insurance.

Car insurance isn’t the only coverage you need to evaluate. You also need to examine your other insurance policies, including health, life, disability, and home. Check your deductibles; are they too much or too little? Are you receiving the coverage you need? Maybe your policy was spot-on a few years ago, but is it now? Maybe your kid was only twelve when you last updated your car insurance policy. That kid is now fifteen and wants to get behind the wheel. Do you have coverage for the fender-benders that may occur? Maybe you’re nearing retirement age and have developed a new ache in your left hip. Will your health policy cover the cost of hip replacement surgery or physical therapy?

If you don’t have the five types of insurance – auto, home, health, life, and disability – you’ll want to evaluate what insurance you need to add this year. Maybe you have a new roommate you don’t know very well. You may want to consider home or renter’s insurance. Maybe you asked your girlfriend to marry you this past Christmas. Have you considered purchasing life insurance before you wed? Perhaps you’re starting a new job. How much coverage do your work benefits offer you? Would they be enough to support you and your loved ones if you had to take an extended leave of absence from work? If not, you will want to acquire disability insurance.

This year, start things off right. Take some time to evaluate the insurance coverage you already have. Is it more than adequate or barely sufficient? Also consider what insurance coverage you need to purchase to protect you and your loved ones in 2011.

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