Insurance protects you, your family, your home, your car, and your property from the unexpected. But, it can only do its job if the coverage is up to date. Review your insurance coverage to ensure it is there when you need it. There are key times during the year to review your home, renters, and auto insurance. This is also a good time to examine your need for products such as life insurance or umbrella insurance.
1. Once your children have matured to the driving age
When you have a new teen driver, adequate auto insurance is a must. Your agent can review options with you. Whether your child is leaving for college or has recently graduated, it’s time to consider renters insurance. Personal property and liability protection are typically provided under renters insurance. Discuss with an agent the amount of coverage needed to protect your child’s new home.
2. Changes in career or business.
Suppose your client started in business as a sole proprietor but has since added a key partner. This can create the need for more or different coverage to provide the funds to ensure business continuity in the event of the death of one of the partners. Or it may be that over the years, your client has risen through the ranks at their employer, and their income has increased greatly since they originally purchased their life insurance. If their income has grown, has their insurance coverage grown with it? If they don’t have sufficient liquid assets to ensure continuity of a comfortable lifestyle for a spouse or other dependents, life insurance and its ability to create an “instant estate” may be an important consideration.
3. When your employment status changes
In today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment, protecting your family’s health can be a challenge. Here are three examples:
Your current healthcare plan is up for renewal.
You have started a new job.
You’ve been downsized and need brand-new coverage. In each instance, it’s important to take the time to compare plan features against your family’s current or anticipated needs. Also, consider disability insurance to help protect against disabling illnesses and accidents.
4. Approaching retirement.
It may be surprising for some to learn that life insurance can have important implications for retirement. Many who are now thriving retirees purchased guaranteed cash-value policies in their younger years to provide security for their families, and many of those policies, some of which may be fully paid, have accumulated significant cash value, even if they have been lying forgotten in a filing cabinet for years. While the death benefits of the policies may be less important now because of the availability of other financial resources, guaranteed cash values in fully matured insurance policies, which may be earning very modest rates of interest, can provide significant assets for reinvestment to help fund a retirement lifestyle. As you counsel your clients who are retired or approaching retirement, be sure to ask them about any life insurance policies they may still own. Even if they don’t wish to surrender the policy for its cash value, they may be able to borrow the cash value for other uses. Policy loans often need not be repaid, since the insurance company will reduce the death benefit payable by the amount of any outstanding principal and interest (typically much lower than the rate on a bank loan).
5. You make a major purchase
If you buy a home or vacation property or take on a significant renovation, you should review your home insurance. But don’t stop there. When you buy, inherit or acquire items of value, like expensive sports equipment, a baby grand piano, or antique jewelry it’s also important to check whether these possessions are fully covered by your existing policy or if they will require additional protection.
Whether you have an approaching life event, or it’s just been a while since you’ve reviewed your coverage, it’s never a bad idea to discuss your policy with your Desjardins Agent.