Life doesn’t always unfold the way we expect. When it comes to insurance, certain events, some predictable and some not, might trigger a shift in coverage. “Any time your life changes, it’s a good opportunity to sit down and talk to your agent,” says State Farm Agent Melanie Bakala.
7 Key Times to Review Your Insurance Needs
When your current insurance policies are about to expire. If your home, auto, life, or health insurance policies are ending soon, make time to meet with your agent. As your needs change, so should your coverage. “A lot of people have term policies, and at the end of the term,” Bakala explains. “That’s a good time to revisit your coverage to make sure you have enough and it’s the right kind.”
If your family status changes. Getting married, having a child, or adopting one may prompt a change in coverage. On the flip side, losing a family member to death or divorce may lead to a loss in coverage.
When your children reach driving age. “A lot of people don’t think about this one,” says Bakala. “Some companies are particularly good at rating teen drivers. Also, look at any discounts they offer for being good students. At State Farm, we have the Drive Safe & Save program that allows you to see how teens are driving. It’s a great tool.”
If you move or remodel your house. When you make upgrades, the replacement cost of your house will likely increase. Or maybe you moved homes. You want to call your insurance agent to make sure that you are neither over-insured if you downsized your house or underinsured if you moved into a larger home.
When you’re starting a business. Your insurance needs will depend largely on the size and location of your business. You may want to consider property and liability insurance along with commercial vehicle coverage. Even if you’re working from home, you’ll want to review your homeowners plan to ensure that your business and equipment are fully covered. “If you lost benefits at work, you’ll need to look at life insurance and disability as well,” Bakala notes.
When your employment status changes. You may be starting a new job, leaving an old one, or just renewing your expiring healthcare plan. The biggest danger is assuming that your workplace insurance will continue after you’ve left the job. “We have people tell us, ‘I have life insurance at work,’” says Bakala. “People are changing jobs all the time. What work provides doesn’t necessarily follow you. The worst thing that can happen is that you leave a job and think you’re covered, and then something happens and you find that you aren’t.”
Once you’ve decided to retire. In preparing to retire, make sure you know how your employer handles health insurance coverage once you’re Medicare eligible. “That’s a really important time to see your agent,” Bakala maintains. “If you’re over 65 and in your last six months before retirement, you’re going to get a stack of mailers offering different coverage. Call me. I’ll teach you everything you need to know about Medicare and supplemental polices and help you make an informed decision”
Learn more by visiting the Melanie Bakala State Farm website or calling 360.426.2428 (Shelton) or 360.972.7905 (Lacey).