Lifechanges may warrant insurance

Published on Thu, Feb 22, 2007
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Life changes may warrant insurance

Life is full of changes. Marriage, children, a special holiday or anniversary, a new home and retirement all have profound impacts on your life. Your insurance should reflect those changes to meet your needs.

“We recommend a complete review of your insurance coverage at least once each year,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “Many families add high-value electronics or jewelry during the holidays. The first part of the new year is a great time to make sure you have the coverage you need – both for your home and belongings.”
Nearly 32 million U.S. homes are underinsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In 2006, 58 percent of homes were undervalued – by an average of 21 percent – relative to what it would cost to rebuild.

In order to make sure you and your family aren’t underinsured, NW Insurance Council recommends talking with your insurance agent or company representative at least once a year. Here are some things to consider:

You may qualify for a discount on your auto insurance if you’ve recently married. If you and your spouse insure your vehicles through two different companies, consider insuring both under one policy.

Consider updating your homeowners insurance to protect new valuables such as jewelry and wedding gifts. After getting married, it’s wise to examine your life insurance needs. Starting a family means being responsible for your loved ones. Life insurance also can protect your family if there is an unexpected death to either spouse.

If you’ve recently divorced, you’ll need separate auto and homeowners policies.

Switching jobs or experiencing a change in your salary can alter your insurance needs. If your new employer doesn’t provide as much life insurance protection as you had in your old job, you can replace the lost coverage with an individual life insurance policy.

If you received a salary increase or decrease, make sure your current life insurance protection is adequate enough to meet your financial commitments. 

For example, a life insurance policy with $500,000 of coverage can cost less than $450,000 of coverage because of a Milestone Discount offered by some companies.

If you’ve made some significant improvements to your home such as expanding a kitchen or adding a new room, you may now be underinsured. Homeowners insurance rates are based on a number of factors including what it will cost to rebuild your home. If you’ve added more home, you’ll need more protection. 

Almost 40 percent of homeowners who say they’ve significantly remodeled their homes have not updated their homeowners insurance, according to III.