Brew City Insurance Agency

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is It Time to Give Your Insurance Policies a Checkup?

At Brew City Insurance it is our mission to offer customers a truly exceptional insurance buying experience. We provide our customers with the knowledge to choose the best possible insurance products that fulfill their wants and needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, problem-solve, and best of all EDUCATE our customers so they can choose the coverage that best fits at a reasonable price.

The insurance industry often urges customers to review their policies every once in a while to make sure everything is up to date. The biggest issue is that insurance policies are written by lawyers and can be somewhat confusing.

The No. 1 reason people need to be reviewing all insurance policies is because circumstances change, and you do not want to be left underinsured or paying too much for insurance you no longer need.

So if you'd might rather do anything but comb through your insurance policies, remember there are some strong arguments for buckling down for a review. One issue that comes up during a review is that insurance policies are written by lawyers and can be somewhat confusing. Meeting with an independent insurance agent can help you decipher what is actually covered and for how much. 

You may catch mistakes ~
You probably have a lot of insurance policies -- health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance. There may be an error or two or three in one or more of those policies. For instance, Aflac, which provides supplemental health insurance, found in its annual employee benefits study, which surveyed 5,209 employed adults and 1,856 benefits decision-makers at companies, that 42 percent of workers waste up to $750 each year on insurance benefit mistakes.

You might find a better rate ~
Ken Davidson, co-founder of Dallas-based Eagle Independent Insurance, points out that you may lower your premium if you regularly compare insurance quotes.

"Insurance premiums can frequently change for several reasons," Davidson says, citing homeowners insurance as a type you'd want to look at fairly often. The crime rate, for example, could go up or down, changing your rates. You may have purchased your homeowners insurance policy after recent storms that could have inflated the rates, and perhaps your insurance company's rates haven't come down but competitors' rates have. "So only by comparing different policies at every renewal period -- or even more frequently -- can consumers ensure they're getting the best deal at that time," Davidson says. Independent insurance agents can offer several companies to compare, guaranteeing you get the most competitive prices. 

You have more assets ~
Your life doesn't just change. What you cover does. Here is an example of how assets can change: a client had a diamond ring stolen in a home burglary. Fortunately, she scheduled* the ring and it was insured, and the client was sent a $6,000 check. So the client went to the jeweler to replace the diamond ring.
*things like jewelry are only typically covered up to $2,500 per item. Policies will pay for the replacement if the item is reported (scheduled) with the insurance company for a very small fee. 

But the client wasn't able to replace the diamond ring -- because if she did, she would have to kick in a lot of her own money. When the jeweler was given the check to replace the diamond ring, he advised [her] that the ring had appreciated to over $18,000 and the $6,000 was not nearly enough. She could have had the item appraised and updated the insurance company to its current value.

Besides jewelry ~ you've likely been around a while and you have probably collected some stuff over the years. And perhaps a lot of it is expensive. You should always consider a major purchase for insurance purposes.

According to a study released March 31 by Liberty Mutual Insurance surveyed 1,936 American adults from January 28 to February 5 -- 
  • fewer than 1 in 5 Americans adjust their insurance policy after making a major purchase,
  • only 18 percent have formal documentation of their belongings, meaning that everyone just makes an estimated guess or stores all the information in their heads,
  • one-third of Americans don't know the value of their household possessions, and
  • almost 10 percent are unaware that they should check to make sure they have enough coverage to protect their belongings from theft or damage.
Don't forget the small things ~
How much do you have in personal property besides the big things? The best way to determine how much personal property insurance you should carry ~ do this mental exercise. Take your entire house and flip it upside-down and shake it. Everything that falls out is personal property. Sure TVs and collectibles can be expensive ~ but image replacing every piece of clothing, sheet, towel, tool, dish, sporting good, etc... those things are going to add up very quickly.

You may decide it's time to bundle ~
If you have four different policies with four different carriers, you might want to bundle a few. That is, have your homeowners and car insurance with one company, for example. You can often get discounts of at least 10 percent when you start bundling.

You may get some other discounts ~ 
Homeowners can earn credits on premiums by installing safety devices like burglar alarms, water leak detection systems, battery backups for sump pumps and automatic standby generators. When combined, these credits can reduce homeowners' premiums by 30 percent or more. Think about that. If you bought a security system months ago, or years ago, and you didn't tell your homeowners insurance agent, you have probably been overpaying on your homeowners insurance for some time.

Your life has probably changed ~
If you bought life insurance when you were single and now you're married or after your first child was born, and you're now on baby No. 2, you're probably long overdue for an upgrade. Or maybe you bought a new boat, finished your degree, remodeled your basement, or one of a million things that have changed ~ you are probably in need of a good review.

Bottom Line ~
Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld said it best ~ “The only thing constant in life is change”. It's time to document your assets, gather your policies, and meet with an independent insurance agent to have an expert review your policies with you to see if they actually cover what you have and the changes in your life.

Would you like to do a review of your life? Save some money? 
And have a great agency???
Brew City Insurance is a great place to start.

Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review. 
We will make sure you and all your family are safe all year long.

Brew City Insurance Agency Inc. is located at 2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.

Stop in today and see what we can do for you! Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone. 

Visit our web page to find out more!

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